Archive for 'Business'

Best practices in business management

Posted on 14 October '20 by , under Business. No Comments.

Engage employees in the company vision

It is important to share the business vision with employees so that they feel more motivated and enthusiastic. This will not only develop an interest in the work being completed, but also increase productivity. Further, engaged workers are more likely to bring in ideas and contribute to the growth of the company.

Reward Effort

Continually recognising and rewarding effort will encourage employees to continue putting in the effort. It lets employees know that they are appreciated and builds company loyalty.

Being Vulnerable

Upholding a stoic demeanour rather than being vulnerable prevents teams from developing strong professional relationships that are effective. Instead, vulnerability assists in team building and allows employees to feel comfortable with making suggestions that could be extremely promising.

Encourage differing opinions

Businesses should steer clear from creating an atmosphere where people avoid making suggestions because they are in conflict with other ideas. An environment where conflict is welcomed can lead to productive discussions and the generation of good ideas.

Company culture

Determining the core values that your business holds and sharing them with employees can help with creating a strong team. The dynamic between team members is important in ensuring productivity and efficiency. Identifying a company culture will assist the hiring process as well as team dynamics later on.

What is Organisational Culture?

Posted on 6 October '20 by , under Business. No Comments.

Understanding what organisational structure is can help with making decisions about your business in all areas. Organisational culture is multifaceted, it consists of the shared values, beliefs and norms in the workplace, and determines employee interactions as well as customer interactions.

There are four types of organisational cultures.

  • Clan Culture: Focussed on collaboration between teams to form a family-like relationship.
  • Adhocracy Culture: Focussed on creativity and innovation and open to continual change.
  • Market Culture: Focussed on achieving goals through competitive drive amongst employees.
  • Hierarchy Culture: Focussed on formal procedures and guidelines and maintaining power structures.

The organisational culture reflects in all aspects of the business. It can help with determining which potential employees may be more suitable than others and the way that those in leadership positions communicate with employees.

The way a business communicates and interacts with their customers is also influenced by organisational culture. Businesses may desire friendly and informal relationships, or formal and reserved relationships. Communication methods may also change, such as preferring email interaction as opposed to utilising chat functions.

Of course, the culture of an organisation can have overlap of the different types. More important than focussing on one type of culture, is recognising what works best for your business and trying to foster values and norms that embody that.

How to upscale your business

Posted on 1 October '20 by , under Business. No Comments.

Set realistic and actionable goals

Businesses should set realistic and actionable small goals which they can work towards, rather broad goals which provide no direction. Setting broad and unrealistic goals is demotivating and makes any progress made seem insignificant. Every person in the business should be given a target to meet over a reasonable timeline which contributes towards achieving a larger goal.

Establishing standardised and automated processes

Small businesses can make the mistake of ‘doing things as they come’ but this means that as business grows, adjusting to high scale tasks is difficult. To avoid this, business should standardise all processes of work. Any individual placed into a role should be able to follow standardised procedure and yield a product which is of similar quality to the previous one. Investing money into automation tools is worthwhile for this procedure. This can include automating management of social media, email, and customer relationships. Both of these will contribute to creating structures which support growth.

Identify competitive strengths and weaknesses

Recognising the strengths and weaknesses of one’s business is essential. Strengths will allow businesses to hone in on unique qualities they possess which give them a competitive advantage. Weaknesses will reveal which areas require growth so that changes can be made before upscaling takes place.

Network

Businesses should continue to develop relationships with service providers, sales channel partners, suppliers and customers. Keeping an open mind about partnerships or potential collaborations could open up different avenues of business growth.

Types of business structures and which is best for you

Posted on 24 September '20 by , under Business. No Comments.

An important decision to make before you start a business is what structure your business will run under. This will reflect into all facets of your business, so you should spend time understanding the implications of each structure.

Sole Proprietorship

  • You have complete control of your business.
  • Your business assets and liabilities are not separate from your personal assets and liabilities.
  • Personally liable for debts and obligations of the business
  • Low-cost structure

Partnership

  • Share control and management of business
  • Each partner pays tax on the share of net partnership income each receives
  • Minimal reporting requirements + Inexpensive to set up
  • Requires more documentation

Company

  • Separate legal entity from its owners – all profit, tax, and legal liability is directly to the corporation
  • Members not liable for company’s debt (only liable if you breach legal obligations)
  • Complex business structure + Extensive documentation and record keeping
  • Wider access to capital

Trust

  • Expensive set-up and operation
  • Formal trust deed outlining operation required
  • Trustee responsible for yearly administrative tasks

Optimising budget for digital marketing campaigns

Posted on 26 August '20 by , under Business. No Comments.

Maximising returns on investments is the primary goal for every business owner who invests in a marketing campaign for their brand. Learning how to properly test and troubleshoot your budget according to your business needs can help you save a failing campaign from costing you money.

Objectives
The first step to budget optimisation is being clear with the goals you are trying to achieve through this campaign. These can include generating qualified leads, driving content downloads or building awareness of your brand. Understanding your objectives can help you decide what aspect of your campaign needs more finances.

Testing
Deciding how to set a maximum and minimum spend per day on your campaign can be challenging. A two to four week testing period can help in narrowing down the range that works best to deliver the results set in your objective phase. A common strategy is to start with a mix of ad formats including sponsored content, text and message advertisements. This testing method can help in identifying the types of ads and content that provides optimal results for your brand.

Adapting your budget
Budgeting for marketing campaigns may present a range of issues even after the testing phase. It should be noted that constantly changing and adapting parts of your campaign to run smoothly is a part of digital marketing. It may help to start with a daily budget that is higher at the start of the campaign, and use these insights to then optimise your campaign and lower daily limits if required.

If your campaign is exhausting its budget too quickly, consider lowering your daily limit. If your campaign is not spending its budget, then you may need to automate your bidding option or set more competitive bids. Automated bidding aims to deliver the most results while spending your daily budget in full. This can also help to provide fast results, which can be useful if your marketing content is time-sensitive. However, this will also lead to faster spending of your budget.

Creating a business contingency plan

Posted on 20 August '20 by , under Business. No Comments.

When business is going well, it can be easy to procrastinate planning for the bad times. However, preparing for disaster before it strikes by having a contingency plan can be the key to business survival.

A contingency plan can help businesses prepare for possible circumstances such as natural disasters, employee theft, negative publicity or staff injuries. Having a plan for these contingencies can help your business react faster to unexpected events to prevent ongoing damages, recover from disruptive events, and resume regular business operations as quickly and easily as possible. When writing a contingency plan, consider incorporating the following tactics:

Identify the risks
Think about the key risks that your business could face. This could involve researching your business market, competitors, economy trends, security threats or employment issues. It is a good idea to work with members of different departments in your business in order to foresee potential risks in all sectors.

Prioritise
Once you have identified potential risks, prioritise the ones that are most likely to affect your business. This will ensure that the most relevant issues are addressed first to provide you with a plan if they occur. One way to do this is by creating a risk assessment to identify the most pressing risks.

Create a plan
After identifying the key risks to your business, you can start drafting a contingency plan to mitigate their effects. This should include a clear guideline that outlines what to do when a contingency occurs and how to continue operating the business. The plan should also clarify employee responsibilities, key contact details, timelines of when tasks should be done, restoration processes, and existing resources that can be drawn upon to prevent damage, such as insurance coverage.

Resource assessment
Consider the resources you may need in order to resolve a contingency. This could include extra staff, insurance, PPE, or technical support. In order for the resolution process of a contingency to go smoothly, it is important that you have enough equipment and support so that you don’t have added stress and time going towards finding extra resources.

Share the plan
Once you have written a contingency plan, ensure that they are accessible to your employees and stakeholders. Be receptive to any feedback your employees or stakeholders may have about your plan as there may be room for improvement. It is also important to review your plan over time to ensure that it stays up to date.

Growing your business with referrals

Posted on 7 August '20 by , under Business. No Comments.

‘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 exist
Maintain 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 communities
From 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.

Exhibit at industry events
Industry-relevant exhibits and events are a good way to increase your business’ brand awareness and meet a lot of new potential customers at once. Being active at these kinds of events (through sponsorships or networking) will keep your name in front of your current customers as well.

Use testimonials
Similar to reviews, testimonials from your existing customers can help improve your brand’s reliability and encourage loyalty and trust with your new customers. The fact that a client allows you to use their name adds credibility and serves as another kind of referral.

Ask customers for feedback regularly
Constant improvement and clear communication is key to impressing clients and increasing the chances of referrals. By soliciting suggestions from your existing clients, responding to them personally, and providing high-quality service, you can let customers know that you care about them and want to meet their needs. Establishing such a caring relationship with your customers will improve your business’ reputation as well.

JobKeeper to be extended

Posted on 29 July '20 by , under Business. No Comments.

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 targeting support to businesses and not-for-profit organisations that are facing continual impacts from COVID-19. Those seeking to claim the JobKeeper extension payments must reassess their eligibility by demonstrating that they have met the decline in turnover test for the new required periods. Businesses who have experienced either one of the following will meet the decline in turnover test:

  • A 30% fall in turnover for an aggregated turnover of $1 billion or less.
  • A 50% fall in turnover for an aggregated turnover of more than $1 billion.

To be eligible for JobKeeper from 28 September to 3 January 2021, the decline in turnover test must be met for the June and September quarters 2020. Businesses must reassess their eligibility again in January 2021 to be eligible for JobKeeper from 4 January to 28 March 2021. To remain eligible for the March 2021 quarter, businesses will need to demonstrate that they have met the decline in turnover test in each of the previous three quarters.

The extended JobKeeper program is set to end on 28 March 2021.

The Government introduces JobTrainer and wage subsidies

Posted on 22 July '20 by , under Business. No Comments.

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.

Changes to business practices and TPAR

Posted on 15 July '20 by , under Business. No Comments.

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 will not need to lodge a TPAR.

TPAR lodgements can be made using SBR-enabled business software, the ATO Business Portal, through a tax or BAS agent, or by ordering a Taxable payments annual report (NAT74109) paper form.