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Growing your business with referrals

Posted on August 7, 2020 by admin

‘Word-of-mouth’ referrals may seem like an outdated concept in today’s digital age of online reviews, but a few credible and positive opinions can still go a long way when it comes to attracting new clients. Customer referrals are never guaranteed, but here are a few methods you can use to increase the number of people who will remember and improve the chances of a client recommending your business to another. Remind customers you existMaintain high levels of brand awareness and make sure your customers can easily remember your business and products. Use a mailing list database and keep in touch with your clients regularly through email or social media. Make sure to update your clients (personally whenever possible) when you have special offers and new products to keep them engaged with your business. Join communitiesFrom professional organisations to online community groups, getting involved in different activities will give you new contacts, boost your business profile and increase your brand awareness. For example, using community hashtags on your social media posts when promoting a product will direct interested audiences to your business. Simply remaining active in such community spaces can go a long way in indirectly advertising your products and services. […]

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JobKeeper to be extended

Posted on July 30, 2020 by admin

The Australian Government has announced that JobKeeper payments will be extended for a further six months after the initial 28 September 2020 deadline. However, the extended JobKeeper program will have substantial payment reductions compared to the original JobKeeper amounts, as well as revised eligibility requirements. The new JobKeeper flat-rate payment after September will be reduced from $1500 per fortnight to $1200 a fortnight for eligible employees who were working an average of 20 hours per week in the four weeks before 1 March 2020. The rate for employees who were working less than 20 hours per week for the same period will be reduced to $750 a fortnight. These rates are set to apply until the end of 2020. A further reduction in JobKeeper payments will be administered from 4 January 2021. After this date, eligible employees who were working more than 20 hours per week in the four weeks before 1 March 2021 will receive a flat rate of $1000 per fortnight, while employees who were working less than 20 hours per week for the same period will receive $650 per fortnight. The JobKeeper extension shares a similar eligibility criteria as the initial JobKeeper program, however, it will be […]

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The Government introduces JobTrainer and wage subsidies

Posted on July 23, 2020 by admin

The Government has introduced a $2 billion JobTrainer scheme, which aims to help businesses train or re-skill workers in Australian industries of high demand. What is JobTrainer? The new scheme will create 340,700 job opportunities nation-wide and will be open to recent school graduates and workers looking to re-skill in a new industry. Industries that will be covered by the JobTrainer scheme include: healthcare and social assistance Transport Postal Warehousing and manufacturing Retail trade and wholesale trade The JobTrainer job positions will be distributed in proportion to unemployment levels per state, with New South Wales receiving the most training places (108,600) and the Northern Territory receiving the least (3,200). Further subsidies for apprentices and trainees Out of the $2 billion, $1.5 billion will be distributed to subsidising existing apprenticeships to keep workers employed and trained. Subsidies will be available to cover 50 per cent of an apprentices’ or trainee’s wages (up to $7,000 per quarter) who were employed from 1 July 2020. The Government encourages businesses to continue applying for the apprenticeship and traineeship subsidies to keep their employees working in light of Australia’s 7.4% unemployment rate.

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Changes to business practices and TPAR

Posted on July 16, 2020 by admin

COVID-19 has forced businesses to adapt their practices to cater for social distancing measures and sanitary precautions. As a result, many businesses have taken on contractors to assist with these changes. Businesses who have made payments to contractors in the last year may need to lodge a Taxable payments annual report (TPAR) by 28 August. This applies to the following contractor services: building and construction, courier, delivery or road freight, cleaning, information technology, security, surveillance or investigation. In response to COVID-19 restrictions, providing additional cleaning and courier services to customers have become particularly popular for businesses. For example, businesses with limited access to physical stores due to social distancing restrictions may have paid contractors providing courier services to deliver goods to customers on behalf of the business. If the payments received by the business for courier or cleaning services provided by contractors amounts to 10% or more of their total GST turnover, they will be required to complete a TPAR. Businesses can still lodge a TPAR even if they don’t think they need to or if they are unsure if they meet the 10% GST turnover threshold. Businesses providing courier or cleaning services using their existing employees and not contractors […]

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Debt financing vs equity financing

Posted on July 9, 2020 by admin

Gathering funding is a challenge that almost all business owners face at some point. Financing can come in two forms – debt financing and equity financing. Debt financing is money that you borrow and plan to pay back within an agreed time frame and interest rate. Common forms of debt financing include bank loans, mortgages and credit cards. This may appeal to business owners that wish to maintain complete control and ownership over their business, without having to manage the expectations of investors. Debt financing also means that business owners do not have to share any profits made by the business, as their only obligation to their lender is making payments on time. As well as this, debt financing methods are usually tax-deductible, unlike private loans. However, debt financing also has its downsides as the cost of capital is higher. Loans from official lenders such as banks typically come with interest rates that also need to be paid in addition to regular repayments. This means that your business must generate enough income to meet the requirements of the debt, which can affect cash flow and could even result in bankruptcy if the business fails and is not able to repay […]

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How to keep employees safe as they return to the workplace

Posted on July 2, 2020 by admin

Enforcing health precautions is an essential step to creating a safe workplace and giving your employees peace of mind, especially during the current pandemic. Businesses looking to invite their employees back into the office after the easing of lockdown restrictions should implement safeguards to ensure their workplace is a safe one. Conduct a COVID-19 risk assessment Before opening your office to employees, conduct a COVID-19 risk assessment with Safe Work Australia. A risk assessment will include an evaluation from Safe Work Australia regarding your business’: responsibilities and leadership, worker engagement, alternative means of communication and participation levels, COVID-19 hygiene principles (such as the 4 metre square requirement), hierarchy of controls, and employee health and safety plan. The progression of additional business activities will also be assessed. For example, the safety of business trips when travel restrictions are lifted. Implement cleaning processes Invest in frequent cleaning services and processes to lower transmission risk and give your employees peace of mind. In addition to hiring a cleaning service, you can also keep your workplace safe by providing employees with disinfectant solutions for door handles, light switches and keyboards. Other cleaning and hygiene processes to implement include: Distributing hand-sanitizer Reminding employees to wash […]

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What to consider before opening another business location

Posted on June 25, 2020 by admin

Expanding your business to open in multiple locations can offer more opportunities and profitability. However, managing one location can be challenging enough, so it is crucial to examine and prepare for the implications of opening up a second store. Here are some considerations that business owners need to keep in mind before deciding to open up a new branch. How successful is your current business? Your current business should be stable and successful before you open up multiple stores. If your business is struggling in key areas such as cash flow, sales, employee skill sets, and customer retention, then it’s a good idea to address these needs first, otherwise, your new locations are likely to face the same issues. Assess your current store’s shortcomings and consider whether they will also put your new locations at risk. What are the characteristics of the new locations? Choosing the right business location plays a key role in the success of your business. Before branching out, research potential locations and consider how areas could affect your business due to factors such as popularity, business competition, demographics, transport accessibility, rent prices, and attractiveness to employees. Assess whether the differences between your current and potential new […]

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How your business can benefit from flexible workplace arrangements

Posted on June 18, 2020 by admin

Businesses working from home due to social distancing restrictions can take the opportunity to learn from the experience and consider new work structures coming out of COVID-19. This could mean increased flexibility for employees when it comes to working remotely and adaptable hours. Here’s why flexible work arrangements with your employees may be beneficial for your business in the long term. Increased productivityFlexible work arrangements can increase the productivity of employees by allowing them to work when they feel most motivated. Some people may naturally be more productive at night time and do their work then, which would not be possible with regular office hour restrictions. Remote work also saves time on excessive staff chatter and workplace distractions, such as ringing telephones and colleague drop-ins. Offering flexible work arrangements can show your employees that their lives are valued, which can lead to higher levels of performance and hard work to justify the flexible arrangements. Reduced expensesWhen employees are working from home more frequently, it means that your office doesn’t have to sustain as many people and you can reduce rent and utility expenses. This doesn’t mean that your employees have to pay too much more; the ATO has introduced an […]

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Options to consider before declaring bankruptcy

Posted on June 11, 2020 by admin

Businesses struggling with debt may feel like declaring bankruptcy is their only option. Premature bankruptcy is an unfortunately common scenario but there are ways businesses can deal with unmanageable debt before declaring bankruptcy. Temporary Debt Protection (TDP) Businesses with debt they can’t pay or are being taken action against by unsecured creditors can apply for TDP. TDP provides a six-month protection period where unsecured creditors can’t take enforcement action to recover the money businesses owe them. Businesses are encouraged to use this time to seek advice from the Government’s free financial counsellors, negotiate payment plans with creditors and consider other formal insolvency options which may work better for them. Declaration of intention (DOI) A DOI is a short-term option similar to TDP and protects businesses for 21 days from unsecured creditors. During this time, creditors can’t take further action to recover their debts. Debt agreement A debt agreement details how businesses will settle their debt and is a flexible way to help businesses come into an arrangement without becoming bankrupt. A debt agreement means either paying a lump sum that may be less than the original amount owed, or repaying debt in instalments. Businesses can apply for a debt agreement […]

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How to improve your hiring process as a small business

Posted on June 2, 2020 by admin

Small businesses coming out of COVID-19 may be looking to expand and grow as quickly as possible to prepare for a changing economy. One of the ways you can effectively grow your business is by improving your hiring strategy and making sure it is efficient. Analyse and catalogue your needsTo make sure your hiring process is fit for your business, spend some time analysing your needs. For example, consider how quickly you are looking to expand, how many employees you are looking to and capable of hiring, the space you have available for additional employees, and other similar conditions. By being specific with your requirements, you are making this easier for yourself in the long run and trimming away unnecessary expenses before you even know it. Consider hiring part-timers and contractorsExpanding your conditions for potential employees will widen the pool of talent available to you. Instead of being set on particular working conditions such as full-time working hours or in-office working, consider being more flexible with your working arrangements. Hiring part-timers and contractors will be more advantageous to businesses looking to grow quickly and substantially, as part-timers and contractors come with lower costs and you do not have to worry […]

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