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How do people use the internet?

Each person uses the internet in a different way. Whether they regularly access the internet for their job or only go on it to watch movies and shows, users have found a way to utilise the internet for their convenience.

One particular convenience that has come from the internet is being able to research a product or services and purchase them online. A snapshot of July 2020 of internet users between the age of 16-64 showed that:

  • 81% of users searched online for a product or service that they wanted to purchase
  • 90% visited an online store
  • 74% purchased a product online

This data shows that the internet has become an important part of purchasing products and services. This also extends to users reading information about what the product/service is, what’s involved and reviews other people have provided.

Taking this into consideration, businesses should be putting in the time and effort to make their internet platforms (website or otherwise) user friendly. Customers should be able to access the information they require easily, otherwise, they will be driven towards a product/service whose information is more readily available.

Set up a website for your business if one does not already exist, and regularly update it with relevant information so that your customers have all the information they need. The more customers have to look for information, the more likely they are to opt for another product/service.

Posted on 13 January '21 by , under web. No Comments.

When is taking a pay cut okay?

Taking a pay cut is never easy but there are some situations where it makes sense. Focusing exclusively on the salary could prevent you from looking at other factors which are also important.

You may need to take a pay cut when you are making a career change. This is because you won’t have the relevant experience or the skills for the same pay grade in a new industry. You will need to acquire the same level of skills and experience in your new career to be able to demand or be offered the same pay. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as getting your foot in the door to a completely new industry is extremely important.

A work-life balance is desirable, although can mean that you need to make certain sacrifices. A higher pay comes with greater responsibilities and expectations, which can often be time occupying. Prioritising a balance could mean that you have to reduce responsibilities and take a pay cut.

You may come across the perfect opportunity but it may not come with the same paycheck. At times like this, it might be worth taking the reduction in pay to pursue the opportunity which involves work that you are more excited and passionate about.

Focusing exclusively on salary is tempting because there are always costs to cover and bills to pay. However, disregarding these other relevant factors could mean that you pass on a valuable opportunity for the sake of your paycheck.

Posted on 13 January '21 by , under people. No Comments.

Responding to negative feedback

The internet and social media have made it all too easy for customers to relay their feedback to businesses. This can be a great thing because it shows other customers or potential customers why they should choose your business.

However, this also means that if a customer has a negative experience, then their public feedback has the scope of preventing future customers. Hearing what these reviews have to say to implement change can benefit your business and responding sensitively to the reviews will help with damage control.

Follow these steps to construct an appropriate response:

  • Address the customer by name: Rather than using Sir/Madam, refer to the client by name so that they know their feedback is valued and not simply a scripted and automatic response.
  • Sympathise with the customer’s problem: Try to understand what happened from the perspective of the customer to find out why they might have had a bad experience. Apologising will also let the customer know that regardless of whether you agree with their review, you sympathise with their negative experience.
  • Let them know you are solving the problem: Acknowledge their problem and let them know that you will be addressing it. This will let future customers know that the negative review may no longer apply so that they are not immediately driven away.

Make sure you do not ignore negative reviews and feedback. Either the review is specific to the customer or they are making a valuable contribution towards how the business can be improved. In order to identify which it is, you should listen to what the customer has to say.

Posted on 13 January '21 by , under business. No Comments.

Protecting yourself from super scams

Superannuation is an attractive target for scammers as a significant volume of funds are placed into super funds by Australians.

There are some straightforward steps you can take to protect yourself from super scams.

Know the rules

  • Becoming familiar with the rules surrounding superannuation will alert you against scams which make false claims e.g. offering early access to your super
  • Keep up to date with the relevant authorities and so that you don’t put in your personal information into the wrong websites – always check that relevant institutions have verified their authenticity!

Check your balance and contact details

  • Check what your super balance is on a regular basis – if you notice something that doesn’t quite look right then immediately get into contact with your super fund and ask them about what could have happened.
  • Every once in a while, check that your super fund has the right postal address, email address and mobile number – this will help them get in touch with you if they spot any suspicious activity.

Stop identity theft

  • Taking the steps to stop identity theft will also help protect your super
  • This does not have to be all too complicated e.g. shred important documents, change passwords every few months, etc.

Posted on 13 January '21 by , under super. No Comments.

Fuel tax credits for businesses

The government provides fuel tax credits for businesses with a credit for the fuel tax (excise or customs) that is included in the price of fuel used in machinery, plant, equipment, heavy vehicles, and light vehicles travelling off public roads or on private roads.

Fuel tax credits a business receives depend on when the fuel was acquired, which fuel you used, and what it was used for. Since fuel credits change regularly, it is necessary to check rates each time the business activity statement (BAS) is filled out.

Eligibility

  • Certain fuels and activities are not eligible
  • Must be registered for GST when fuel was acquired
  • Must be registered for fuel tax credits when you lodge the claim

Posted on 13 January '21 by , under tax. No Comments.

Collaboration to grow business

Businesses can gain a lot from collaboration, regardless of the industry they are in. The following are some reasons why businesses should care about collaboration.

Get inspired

As a business, it is important to build a routine and figure out day-to-day operations. However, this might mean that you stop trying different techniques which could be more efficient. Collaboration could give you a fresh perspective and encourage new ideas and methods you could apply at the workplace.

Grow your network

Initiating collaboration will help you meet people who share common interests and goals. Building connections will benefit your business and could result in partnerships down the line.

Educate yourself

Collaboration opens up opportunities to learn from those outside your immediate circle. This can provide you with valuable information that may be helpful for your business which is not otherwise accessible to you.

Solve problems

Two heads are better than one. Therefore, with collaboration, you may be able to solve problems that were otherwise difficult to solve. This is because collaboration allows people with different expertise and backgrounds to contribute ideas.

Posted on 6 January '21 by , under business. No Comments.

Protecting your small business from legal fallout

Protecting your business from legal fallout isn’t at the forefront when you are focussing your efforts on growing your small business. However, it is necessary. You can take the following simple steps so that you are protected from potential legal issues:

  • Use written agreements: Don’t rely on the aural agreements on their own, confirm what is said in writing. This applies to any new relationship you establish as a business. This also ensures that all terms are clearly understood as there is less scope for misunderstanding.
  • Keep up-to-date paperwork: Having updated documentation and record-keeping whenever changes are made is integral. Maintaining paperwork is important for taxation and auditing purposes.
  • Do your research: Having a basic grasp of legalities associated with your business will be beneficial. Although there may be other industry-specific ones, general areas to build some legal knowledge include intellectual property, finances, employment and labour, marketing and advertising.
  • Register intellectual property: Protecting your intellectual property is vital. You need to protect your creative ideas and designs by registering trademarks and copyrights where possible.
  • Obtain legal advice: Legalities can be complicated and it is important to seek advice to clear any doubts you may have. You could opt for a one-time consultation or continued representation – depending on what your business needs.

Posted on 6 January '21 by , under legal. No Comments.

Finding your lost super

Changing of name, address or job can mean that you lose track of some of your super. This means that there is money that belongs to you that is not currently in your super fund. Finding your super will collate your previous lost funds with your current account.

It is likely that your lost super is held by the ATO. Create an account on myGov and link it to the ATO and select ‘Super’.

Once you have done this, you will be able to see the details of all of your past and current super accounts including any lost or forgotten ones. You will also be able to find funds which have been held by the ATO on your behalf. Further, you will be able to consolidate your super funds into a single fund.

Once you have found your lost super, remember to conduct research about which fund is providing you with the best returns before you choose which fund to consolidate with.

Posted on 6 January '21 by , under super. No Comments.

Lodging your business activity statement

Businesses that are registered for GST are required to lodge a business activity statement (BAS). These assist in the reporting and payment of:

  • Goods and services tax (GST)
  • Pay as you go (PAYG) instalments
  • PAYG withholding tax
  • Other tax obligations

ATO will automatically send businesses who are registered for an ABN and GST a BAS when it is due for lodgement.

Businesses are given various options to lodge their BAS:

  • Online services for individuals and sole traders – which may be accessed through myGov
  • Business Portal – which is a secure website created by the ATO to assist businesses in managing their tax online
  • SBR-enabled software – which allows access to lodgement from different financial, accounting and payroll software and can be integrated to industry-specific business software.

Posted on 6 January '21 by , under tax. No Comments.

Responding to conflict in the workplace

Handling conflict in the workplace is a sensitive issue which needs to be dealt with carefully.

The following are practical strategies to respond to conflict that may arise:

  • Focus on behaviour and events as opposed to personalities. Rather than generalising a behaviour, discuss what went wrong in a specific situation.
  • Listen to what both parties are saying. Both people might have different perspectives on what went wrong and there may be validity to both sides. Clarify the situation in detail with both parties separately before you discuss it with them together.
  • Identify the points of agreement and disagreement. The points that individuals agree on will help establish some understanding, and disagreements could help create potential solutions.
  • Prioritise which aspects of the argument need to be dealt with the most and address those first. Minor disagreements can be settled over time but major ones should not be set aside.
  • Develop a plan for each individual to work on to resolve that conflict. Setting a time frame and goal for what you expect to achieve out of the plan for both parties will help follow-up assessments of the situation.
  • Follow through your plan by ensuring that the conflict has been resolved over time. This could involve talking to both parties about their perspective on the matter and checking whether the source of conflict has been addressed.

Not all conflicts can be responded to in the same manner. Make sure you understand the situation and listen to the individuals involved carefully before deciding how you will respond.

Posted on 16 December '20 by , under people. No Comments.