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Developing a successful mentoring program

Posted on October 19, 2018 by admin

Spotting talent early and nurturing it will benefit your business by strengthening your staff and ensuring that high performing, high potential employees remain loyal to you. Here are tips to develop a successful mentoring program. Give it some thoughtWhen developing your mentoring program, you need to establish your aim. Do you want the proteges to be long-standing members of your company? Do you want the program participants to gain leadership skills? Are you training them for a specific purpose? Once you have decided your aim consider: The application process Who is eligible (existing staff or external applicants) What age and experience are you looking for (undergraduate or experienced in the industry) Mentoring style Who will mentor Choosing your mentorsI should bestow extra responsibilities upon those employees that are not only able but willing. Announce the mentoring program to a select group of qualified employees and ask for volunteers. Train the suitable mentors in the style you would like. Encourage getting out of the office and a personal approach for a well-rounded sense of support.

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Event-based reporting framework for SMSFs

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The event-based reporting (EBR) framework for self-managed super funds (SMSFs) commenced on 1 July 2018. The initiative allows for the administration of the Transfer balance cap (TBC). Under the EBR framework, you need to report to the ATO, when the first member of your SMSF begins a retirement phase income stream. The SMSF annual return is to be kept separate from the transfer balance account report. The TBAR enables the ATO to record and track an individual’s balance for their TBC and superannuation balance. The ATO does not provide ‘special circumstances’ discretion for contraventions of the TBC which is why SMSF trustees and members self-monitor to ensure that members do not exceed their TBC. Events to reportYour SMSF must report events affecting a member’s transfer balance including: Details of pre-existing income streams (including value and type) being received on 30 June 2017 that continued to be paid to them on or after 1 July 2017 or were in retirement phase on or after 1 July 2017 Details of new retirement phase and death benefit income streams including value and type (when a death benefit income stream is reversionary, the start date will be the date on which the member died) […]

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ATO reminder: fuel tax credit rates have increased

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Fuel tax credit rates have increased on 1 August. The ATO reminds you to use the new rates to calculate claims on your next business activity statement (BAS). How to simplify fuel tax credit claimsIf you claim less than $10,000 in fuel tax credits each year, you can use the ATO’s simplified methods to keep records and calculate your claims. Keep in mind the following tips: Keep accurate business records to help you claim all fuel tax credits you are entitled to Use the ATO tax fuel credit calculator to work out your claim Registered tax agents and BAS agents can help you with your tax Simplified record keeping strategiesUse the following records to substantiate claims of less than $10,000 per year: Contractor statements can be used where an amount for fuel used in performing services is deducted from the amount payable for the services Financial institution statements (business or personal credit/debit accounts)- where only the dollar amount is displayed on the statement Point-of-sale docket- where the docket either does not itemise the quantity of fuel dispensed or the quality is illegible Fuel supplier statement of invoice- where only the dollar amount is displayed on the statement

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Web design tips

Posted on October 12, 2018 by admin

Presenting your business online is key in today’s e-commerce driven environment. If your website looks dated, unprofessional or is not as visually engaging, odds are your business will come off worse against more web-savvy competitors. Relevant imagesUsing stock images for the sake of filling up space on your landing page will add no benefit to your website. You are missing an opportunity to show something more relevant like images of your products, videos describing your business and satisfied customers with your product or service. Be consistentYour image and file size should be regular and your font and font size. This gives your website a professional and clean aesthetic. Mobile friendlyIf your website is not mobile friendly, you are not accessible to the greater market. Many of your customers will browse on the go and having an incompatible website interface with phones and tablets seems unprofessional. Less is moreA cluttered page will deter customer engagement. Refine your services and goods, on your landing page. If you need to explain more have links that take you to a separate page.

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Competitive business strategies

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Competition is part of the business. Getting that edge is make or break regarding getting your business up and running and promoting its future growth. Consider these strategies to implement to come out on top of your business’ rivals: DifferentiateEstablishing your point of difference is vital in business. When executing this strategy, it may not be as easy as it sounds. Consider specialising in a particular niche of your industry and providing the best customer service in that role or offer something that your competitors do not have. Establish community bondsBy being involving your business in your community, you will establish loyalty for your demographic and promote the visibility of your brand. Consider funding a local initiative or getting involved in helping the local high school or primary school to establish yourself and reputation. Be niceIf you are hostile to the competition, you will only worsen your reputation. If you co-exist, you eliminate the risk of retaliation and will not alienate customers of your competitors and your own business.

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Managing risk in your SMSF

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SMSFs provide the trustee autonomy and an increased opportunity to maximise your retirement savings. However, an investment strategy must be accompanied by a risk management plan should some of your investments come up short. Consider the following risk management strategies: DiversificationDiversification reduces risk by investing in many different assets including property, annuities and equities. By spreading your earnings across several investments you minimise the risks to your retirement nest egg that can occur if one investment suffers a loss or a disappointing return. Organise your target returns according to your asset class and establish the accepted variation range from this target. This allows you to track your investment portfolio and whether it is setting you on the right financial path. LiquidityIf you tie up your money in assets like property, then you may run short on cash. It is important that you have cash to cover the costs of running your SMSF and in the case of a member’s total and permanent disablement. If you’re also forced to sell an asset to get this cash the market conditions may not be ideal, and you could receive a disappointing return because you need cash in a rush.

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ATO announces $20,000 instant asset write-off

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The ATO has extended the $20,000 threshold to 30 June 2019. If you buy an asset and it costs less than $20,000, you may write off the business portion in your tax return. To be eligible to use the simplified depreciation rules and claim an immediate deduction for the business portion of each asset costing less than $20,000, you must: Have a business turnover less than $10 million (increased $2 million on 1 July 2016) The asset was first used or installed ready for use in the income year you are claiming it in. If your asset costs more than $20,000, you are not eligible for immediate deduction. They will continue to be deducted over time using the general small business pool. You can write off the balance of this pool if the balance (before applying any other depreciation deduction) is less than $20,000 at the end of an income year. The $20,000 threshold applies from 12 May 2015 to 30 June 2019 and reduces to $1,000 on 1 July 2019. Remember, registered tax agents and BAS agents can help you with your tax.

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Employer’s annual leave obligations

Posted on October 5, 2018 by admin

Annual leave or holiday pay, allows an employee to be paid while they have time off from work. The law confers obligations on employers to provide rights to their employees depending on the status of that employee. All of your employees are entitled to annual leave, aside from those who work casually. Keep compliant by following this basic checklist. Minimum entitlementsEmployees working full time accumulate four weeks of paid annual leave each year of service. This leave will accrue based on the number of ordinary hours that they work. Annual leave will continue to accumulate during paid leave but not unpaid leave. Shift workersIf you are using shift workers, they are entitled to five weeks of paid leave. The award or registered agreement must apply to the employee. When can annual leave be taken?Annual leave can be taken as soon as it is accumulates. You cannot compel your employees to take the leave each year. However, an employee cannot unreasonably refuse your request to take annual leave, if they have accumulated it over a long period, such as ten years.

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Preventing workplace fatigue

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Workplace fatigue damages morale, increases errors made by staff and can lead to an overall decline in the quality of your business. Steps you can take to prevent and reduce workplace fatigue are provided below. Educate your workersYour employees should be informed about the symptoms of fatigue and the lifestyle choices they can take to eliminate or deal with these issues. Opening a dialogue with your staff will also make it more likely that they will approach you to discuss problems with their work-life balance. Encourage holidaysIt is vital that staff take adequate breaks to refuel so that they do not burn out at work. By encouraging staff to take their leave rather than just accumulating it, you promote a healthier lifestyle that will benefit your team and therefore you as an employer. Be cautious with overtimeAt certain times of year businesses heat up, and everyone needs to pitch in a little more than usual. However, if you notice an employee is working overtime over a prolonged period, this may be a warning sign for you to either hire more staff or assess that employee’s workload. Checking in and redistributing tasks may be key in keeping your team energised and […]

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Haggle like a pro

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When it comes to saving money on anything from home loan interest rates to new appliances for your house, haggling is critical. Master some of the haggling skills below to reap some saving rewards. TimingIf your timing is not right many of your haggling skills will be wasted. Make sure you are bargaining when the salesperson has adequate time to consider your proposal or when the appropriate moment presents itself. For example, negotiating in a fixed term of your contract have low prospects of success in comparison to when your contract is up for renewal. Compare to competitorsIf you have done your research and know who the relevant competitors are, you are on track to achieve the best deal. Many business’ price match or seek to beat their competitor’s on value so by being educated, you may get the two business’ to drive the price down while they compete for your business. Be niceBuilding a rapport with the salesperson is vital. Many forget that bargaining is a negotiation process and that coming in and demanding your price will not be effective. It is better to get the business’ representative onside so that they genuinely want to help you. Talk to […]

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