July, 2015

Increase business success in Perth

5 ways to help you increase your business success in Perth

OK, so the new financial year is here.  So what are you going to do differently to ensure you have your most successful year yet?

We have put together a list of 5 things you can do right now to increase business success in Perth and significantly improve your business performance over the coming year.

  1. Review your business from your clients’ perspective

    Do you make it easy for them to do business with you?  Think through every stage of the journey - is it smooth and hassle free or are there obstacles that prevent them from dealing with you?  If you don’t make it easy for them to do business with you, you could be missing out on thousands of dollars in income every year and reduce your chances to increase business success in Perth.

    Consider the following:
    -       Do you have a website where people can find information about you, your company and what you sell?
    -       Can they purchase from you online 24/7?
    -       Do you take credit card or other easy payment options?
    -       Do you make it easy for them to ask questions and make enquiries?

  1. Do you have people who refer business to you?

    If yes, now is a great time to catch up for a coffee and thank them for their support and update them on developments in your business.  If not, then make a list of all non-competing businesses in your industry that may be able to refer clients to you and vice versa (e.g. if you are a carpet fitter you could link up with a retail carpet shop).

  2. When did you last review your website?

    95% of Australian households are online.  92% of Australians look for information on products and services online and 78% purchase goods or services online.  When you consider these statistics it’s easy to see that without a good online presence you may be losing thousands in sales every year.  Now is a great time to either review your website or invest in getting one developed.  However, being online is just the tip of the iceberg – 98% of people never look past the first page of Google, so you need to invest in Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and get your business on the first page and win more clients.  We use Pineapple Planet and they have greatly increased traffic to our website and our digital footprint.

  3. Are you using social media?

    73% of Australians use social media, mainly Facebook,  therefore it can provide a free platform for you to engage with your clients.  There are many other social sites you can join - TwitterPinterest, YouTube, Google+ and Linkedin.  Choose one or two where your target market is most likely to be and focus on them.  This means regularly posting and commenting on your page and other people’s feeds.  If you are already on social media, update your personal and business profiles to ensure they improve your prospects.  Also, regularly plan your social media activity and commit to posting at least twice a week.

  4. Get to know your best clients

    List your top 5 clients by revenue, profit and growth potential.  Make sure you really understand which clients will have the greatest impact on your business.  Then think about what you can do to improve your relationships with them.  It could be as simple as a catch up meeting, a free trial of a new product or a special offer.  Make sure they feel appreciated and they will be less likely to look elsewhere.

If you would like assistance to increase business success in Perth, improve your business performance and maximise your profits, speak to us today for an obligation free meeting.  We can review your current performance and assist you to identify opportunities for your business.  Fill in the form below or contact us on 9204 3733.

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Make doing your tax return easier

9 Easy tips to make doing your tax return easier

It’s the end of the financial year, which means it’s tax return time!  With a little understanding and preparation you can ensure you get the best tax refund.

If you are planning on saving money by completing your own tax return you may miss out; our tax system is one of the most complex in the world and with the insight and training that tax accountants have, they will know everything you are entitled to claim to maximise your refund.  We can help make doing your tax return easier with these 9 top tips.

    1. Know your dates

      If you plan to lodge your own tax return then you need to have it submitted by 31st October 2015.  However, if you are lodging via a tax accountant you get extra time to prepare and lodge.

    2. Gather up all your receipts

      Make sure you can track down all your business expenses and receipts.  These should be kept for 5 years after you have lodged your tax return just in case you are audited by the ATO.  If you know you have made purchases but can’t find your receipts, don’t worry too much – you can claim for certain purchases up to $300.

    3. Don’t forget about charitable donations, either regular or one-off

      All charitable donations are tax deductible so keep your receipts.  If you donate via your bank account on a regular basis, print a copy of your statement as evidence of your donations.

    4. Can I claim my rental property costs?

      If you own a rental property there are a number of deductions you can claim, so it’s a good idea to speak to a professional to ensure you are claiming everything you are entitled to.

    5. Do you owe capital gains tax for properties that you have sold?

      If you have sold any investment properties during the financial year, whether for a profit or loss, make sure you include full details in your tax return.  Your accountant will calculate if you have a tax debt to pay.

    6. Interest on savings in your bank account/s is taxable

      Interest earned on savings needs to be included in your tax return, so print your statement/s as evidence of this.

    7. Make sure you claim for interest on any loans

      If you have taken out loans for business assets (i.e. vehicles), the interest is tax deductible so make sure you include all your loan information in your tax return.  Also, with the changes made in the budget, businesses can claim for purchases up to $20k in one lump sum.

    8. Marketing expenses are all tax deductible

      If you have been promoting your business collect together all your receipts to substantiate your claim.

    9. Claim for training courses and supporting material

      If you have paid for training courses, books etc to improve your skills, these items are tax deductible so make sure you include them in your tax return.

If you would like us to help make doing your tax return easier and to ensure that you get the maximum tax refund, then speak to us today.  With our in-depth understanding of our Australian tax system we can ensure you don’t miss out on a cent.  Call us today on 9204 3733 or fill in the form below.

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Improve Business Performance in Perth

10 Housekeeping tips to improve business performance in Perth

To ensure success in the new financial year, you can do some basic housekeeping to improve business performance in Perth.  There is a lot of planning that goes into running a successful business, so with just a little forethought you can make life easier for yourself.  Check out our top 10 tips to set you up for a good new financial year.

1. Revisit your business plan

When was the last time you looked at, let alone updated, this critical business plan?  Take the time to review it and think about how your business has changed and how this needs to be reflected in your business plan.

2. Set your business goals

What do you want to achieve this year?  What do you need to change or implement to ensure you achieve your goals?  Be specific so you can actually measure results and see whether you can accomplish them by year’s end.  Also make sure you schedule regular reviews to see how you are tracking in relation to your business goals.

3. Build a marketing plan

If you want to grow you need more customers and if you want more customers you need people to know about you.  Therefore it’s essential you plan how and when you are going to promote your business.  It is also essential that you have money available to spend on business promotion if you are to succeed.

4. Consider your hiring needs

If you plan to grow your business consider whether you need additional staff.  Take the time to plan ahead while time permits – this will give you plenty of time to find the right people before things get too busy.

If your budget is tight, consider hiring casual staff instead of full time staff.

5. Invest in technology

If you’ve been putting off purchasing new technology for your business to keep costs down, this could be a false economy.  If it will assist you to deliver a better service more efficiently, then it may be worth the investment.  Look at your cashflow then consider your options - is it worth getting a loan to help spread the payments to ensure you have cash in reserve, or can you lease or hire equipment in the short term?

6. Make sure you know what’s going on in your industry

Every year you should take the time to research what’s happening in your industry to keep up with changing technology, market demands and new competition in the market.  All this information ensures you can stay on the front foot and plan for changes in the near future should they be necessary.

7. Reassess your online brand

Google yourself!  Check out your website – does it need refreshing?  Also consider what worked for you in terms of marketing this year.  This is a great time to tweak your online strategy so that you identify the tools that helped your business grow and cut back on those that didn’t.

8. Get organized

If you’re like a lot of business owners, your desk is cluttered and so is your computer desktop.  Spend a few hours cleaning up and discarding things you don’t need.   Also tidy up your computer files.  This will not only make things easier to find but also save you time and stress.

9. Refresh your employees’ skills

Now is an ideal time to offer supplementary training to your staff to refresh their skills or develop new ones.  For example, perhaps they could update their computer skills and knowledge of your software management systems.

10. Get smarter

Your employees aren’t the only ones who could learn more.  Are there any skills you are lacking?  Is there anything that could make your business more successful?  Try to regularly read industry blogs, books, magazines etc to remain up to date with the trends in your industry.

If you would like support in achieving your business goals, call us today on 08 9204 3733 for an obligation free meeting and business review.

Planning for the New Financial Year

The start of the new financial year is a great time to review your business activity during the previous year and use what you have learned in order to plan for the new financial year.  Here are some tips to make the planning more productive.

Get your team involved

Business planning works best when it’s a team effort.  Involve your key staff and your advisors such as your accountant, your mentor (if you have one), plus others who can contribute meaningfully to the planning (e.g. an IT expert if you envisage a major website overhaul).

Hold a planning meeting and invite people to discuss all their ideas and suggestions; also, try to hold the meeting away from the business to avoid distractions and interruptions that daily activities can create.

Review your business

Start with a review of your business as it currently stands, focusing on three key questions:

  • Which things that work well for us at the moment should be kept?
  • What’s not working − what should we drop or do less of?
  • What has the most business potential for the future?

Decide on changes

Combined thinking with your staff may produce some required changes.  For example, when planning for the new financial year you may need to change your existing products and services, seek new markets or distribution channels, or change your business model entirely.

While these changes require a general consensus, bear in mind that resistance can arise when people feel that their comfort zones or their jobs are being threatened.  Address these issues right at the start.

Figure out capacity

Any changes will likely require some investment in new skills, new products or services, or changes in capacity.  If so, ask your accountant to complete a return on investment (ROI) analysis.  This will enable you to calculate how much extra business needs to be generated for a reasonable return and whether extra staff and/or funds are required for the anticipated growth.

Get everyone on board

So you’re planning for the new financial year and have established where you want to take the business.  Concentrate on the next 12 months by setting some end-of-year goals, then work backwards to create the stepping stones that will take you there.  Your role now is to get everyone on board by clearly communicating the plan to them.

Consensual goals are more motivating than imposed goals, so get at least your key staff involved in the goal setting.  Immediate goals are easier to focus on than longer-term goals, so make sure each person understands what is required from them this week, this month, this quarter and so on.

Maintain the focus

Business planning is done at the beginning of the year when optimism and motivation levels are high, but this can fade quickly when staff become caught up in their daily activities and new projects.

Business goals will be overlooked unless you set regular meetings to review progress – say every 90 days.  Once your staff realise that they will be required to  attend and provide progress reports, they will be more motivated to maintain their focus.

If you are looking for help in planning for the new financial year why not speak to the experienced team of professionals at BSN & Co?  We can assist you develop a strong plan based upon a review of your activity last year and your goals for this year.  Call us today on 9204 3733 for an obligation free meeting.

Tax Topics 2015

We regularly publish brief notes of advice/comments on tax topics plus related matters in “dot point” format for you to skim through and consider.  Hopefully these will be of interest to you:

  • Company tax rate for ‘small business’ (SBE) companies reduction from 30% to 28.5%, effective 1 July 2015, was announced in the budget.
  • The highest marginal tax rate is being increased by 2.0% for what is described as a “temporary (3 year) budget repair levy” and with the increased Medicare levy those earning over $180,000 will pay 49%!
  • The Medicare levy was increased to 2.0% from 1 July 2014 to fund the National Disability Insurance Scheme.
  • The medical expense rebate is being phased out in 2015 – only available in 2014/2015 to those taxpayers who claimed in 2013/2014.
  • The superannuation guarantee charge remains at 9.5% until 30 June 2021, increasing 0.5% every year thereafter.
  • Employers who engage contractors where the contract is wholly or principally for the contractor’s labour are still required to make superannuation guarantee payments on behalf of the contractor, even though he or she may quote an Australian Business Number (ABN).
  • Overnight work related travel within Australia – a travel diary is only required for extended travel (more than five continuous nights) where the travel is not undertaken exclusively for employment purposes – i.e. there is a private use element to the travel.
  • Overnight work related travel overseas – a travel diary is required where travel is for more than five continuous nights.

(In both “overnight work” cases written evidence of airfare and accommodation costs are nevertheless required.)

  • Borrowers with tax deductible interest may pre-pay up to twelve months’ interest and claim a deduction for the pre-payment (available to small business entities and non-business individuals).
  • The ‘two year’ CGT rule in respect of dwellings bequeathed is measured from the date of death to the date the beneficiary ceases to legally own the dwelling – i.e. the date of settlement, not the date the sale contract is signed!  This contrasts with the CGT position on acquisition or disposal of investments where the contract date is the relevant date for CGT purposes and not the date of settlement!
  • The ‘two year’ rule, if exceeded, is no longer applicable; it is not pro-rated!