Archive for 'business'

Hiring working holiday makers

In Australia, there are approximately 100,000 working holiday makers employed each year. Any employer can hire working holiday makers provided they meet the requirements to do so. Employers must confirm the working holiday maker has a valid visa subclass, either 417 (Working Holiday) or 462 (Work and Holiday).

Register:
Employers will need to register to apply the 15% working holiday maker tax rate and declare they are aware of the obligations associated, including complying with the Fair Work Act 2009. Working holiday makers can’t claim the tax-free threshold and must provide their tax file number (TFN). Employers who do not register must withhold tax at 32.5% from every dollar earned up to $87,000 and foreign resident withholding rates apply to income over $87,000. Those who do not register may be subject to penalties.

Working holiday maker tax rate:
Once registered, employers can withhold 15% from every dollar that a working holiday maker earns up to $37,000. Tax rates change for amounts above this. The tax rate applies to all payments made to working holiday makers, including salary and wages, termination payments, unused leave, back payments, commissions, bonuses and similar payments.

Super payments:
Eligible workers are entitled to receive super payments from their employers. When leaving Australia, working holiday makers can apply to have their super paid to them as a Departing Australia Superannuation Payment (DASP). The tax on any DASP made to working holiday makers on or after 1 July 2017 is 65%.

Posted on 17 September '19 by , under business. No Comments.

When do you need an ABN?

An Australian business number (ABN) is a unique 11-digit number that the Australian Business Register issues to all businesses, identifying your business to the community and government whilst also making it easier to keep track of business transactions for tax purposes.

While it is compulsory for businesses with a GST turnover of $75,000 or more to have an ABN and to be registered for GST, businesses with a GST turnover of less than $75,000 can still apply for an ABN and may choose to register for GST.

You are entitled to an ABN if you are carrying on or starting an enterprise in Australia. An enterprise includes activities done in the form of a business, as well as acting as the trustee of a super fund, operating a charity and renting or leasing property. Features of a business include:

  • Significant commercial activity, involving commercial sales of products or services and is of a reasonable size and scale.
  • Intention to make a profit from the activity as demonstrated by a business plan and a set rate of pay.
  • The activity is repeated, systematic, organised and carried on in a business-like way with records being kept.
  • The activity is carried on in a similar way to that of other businesses in the same or similar industry.
  • The entity has relevant knowledge or skill.
  • The entity has the appropriate insurance, such as public liability and WorkCover.

Posted on 9 September '19 by , under business. No Comments.

Are they an employee or a contractor?

Employers that incorrectly treat employees as contractors can face hefty penalties and charges as well as claims for entitlements and superannuation contributions. Even if employers are only hiring someone for a few hours or a couple of days at a time, it must be established whether they are employees or contractors to get tax and super requirements right.

When hiring an individual, it is the details within the working agreement or contract that determines whether they are a contractor or employee for tax and super purposes. The agreement or contract the business has with the worker can be written or verbal.

Workers such as apprentices, trainees, labourers and trades assistants are always treated as employees. In most cases, apprentices and trainees are paid under an award and receive specific pay and conditions. Employers must meet the same tax and super obligations as they would for any other employees of the business.

Companies, trusts and partnerships are always contractors as an employee must be a person. If a company, trust or partnership has been hired to work, then it is a contracting relationship for tax and super purposes. The people who actually do the work may be directors, partners or employees of the contractor.

Sham contracting arrangements, where an employer attempts to disguise an employment relationship as an independent contracting arrangement, are illegal and breach the Fair Work Act 2009. Employers who engage in sham contracting arrangements can face serious penalties for contraventions of these provisions. The courts may impose a maximum penalty of $54,000 per contravention.

Posted on 3 September '19 by , under business. No Comments.

Quick fixes to boost email marketing

While email marketing remains one of the most effective platforms for businesses to reach clients on a personal level, it does not always deliver the results you may be after. If you’re finding that email marketing isn’t going as well as you had hoped, here are five simple ways to improve your campaign:

Experiment with your “from” name:
Seeing “from” information that isn’t clearly related to a person or place that clients know, is often a red flag for individuals who are becoming increasingly wary of email spammers. Make sure your recipients know they’re getting emails from someone they actually asked to hear from by making your “from” information as obvious as possible.

Target behaviour:
While segmenting an email list by demographics can produce results, it is much more effective to segment subscribers by their behaviour. Send clients targeted messages based on their service or purchase history, send loyalty offers to those who consistently open your emails or re-engagement campaigns to those who never do.

Remember mobile optimisation:
With approximately 53% of emails being opened on mobile devices, using mobile-friendly layouts and graphics will help with continued engagement. If the content doesn’t appear properly on a mobile device, chances are the subscriber will be less likely to open another email. Make sure images do not look stretched or take too long to load and use appropriate ratios on all platforms.

Posted on 28 August '19 by , under business. No Comments.

Evaluating risks in business  

Business owners are faced with constant challenges and tough decisions to make on a day-to-day basis. Risk-taking is often necessary to achieve more in the business, but owners need to make informed choices to avoid potential damages. To manage risk effectively, a proactive stance needs to be taken in identifying and responding to risks before a crisis strikes.

Identify risks:
Risks can be hazard-based, uncertainty-based or opportunity-based, with both tangible and intangible items posing risks for your business. Owners may find it easy to list the physical items at risk such as assets and infrastructure, yet neglect intangibles such as injury to staff, loss of important business information and more. It is important for business owners to be aware of the risks they could face in their business.

Calculate your risks:
Making an educated assessment of both the likelihood and potential severity of risks can help prioritise your responses. Once the risks have been identified they should be ranked on the likelihood of occurrence and the severity of consequence it might impose on the business. Risk ranking can help you to determine what situations need more time, attention and resources.

Manage your risks:
Finally, the risks need to be managed effectively. Avoidance is not always the best or viable solution as there is no way to ever be completely risk free. Transferring is a common way of avoiding damage as the risk is no longer your problem, for example, insurance and product warranties. Reduction of risk comes from a sound knowledge of your business and little things you can do that make a difference. Acceptance is for those owners with experience and a clear mind. Nothing in life is without risk, the business owners who accept this and learn from challenges are the ones who find success.

Posted on 18 August '19 by , under business. No Comments.

Deduction rules for small businesses

Spending on capital assets usually cannot be deducted immediately. Instead, small businesses claim the costs over time in accordance with the asset’s depreciation. There are many different processes that businesses can employ to make claims on their assets. For small businesses with lower-cost assets, methods such as simplified depreciation or the threshold rule can help to make more effective claims.

Simplified depreciation:
Under simplified depreciation rules, business owners can immediately deduct the business portion of each depreciating asset that was first used or installed ready for use up to:

  • $30,000 from 7.30pm (AEDT) on 2 April 2019 until 30 June 2020.
  • $25,000 from 20 January 2019 until 7.30pm (AEDT) on 2 April 2019.
  • $20,000 before 29 January 2019.

Owners can also pool the business portion of most other depreciating assets that cost more than the relevant threshold in a small business asset pool. Then they can claim a 15% deduction in the first year, regardless of whether they were purchased/acquired during the year, and then a 30% deduction each year after.

The threshold rule:
The threshold rule allows owners to claim an immediate deduction for most expenditure of $100 or less, including any GST, to buy physical assets for the business. The rule is designed to help save time as purchases don’t have to be specified if they are of revenue or capital nature. Some examples of items costing $100 or less that fall within the threshold rule are:

  • Office equipment – staplers, pens, books, etc.
  • Catering items – cutlery, glasses, table linen, etc.
  • Tradesperson small hand tools – pliers, screwdrivers, hammers, etc.

Posted on 11 August '19 by , under business. No Comments.

Boost employee productivity

All businesses need to look at ways to increase the productivity of their staff. When your employees get more work done, it will ultimately lead to the business making a bigger profit. As well as increasing productivity, employers should also aim to improve the happiness and wellbeing of their workers. Here are some ways to boost employee productivity without losing staff engagement.

Use feedback:
Collect as much data as you can from your employees. This can inform how you create the workplace to best suit their needs. Data you might collect could include information on their performance levels by installing productivity tracking software on their devices. You could also regularly survey your staff to gain more qualitative data on their personal insights and happiness levels at work.

Provide good tools:
A business can only foster a productive environment when employees have access to the best tools. Provide your staff with excellent hardware, software and office supplies. This includes laptops, office furniture, and amenities. The more comfortable that your employees feel at work, the more work they will get done. High-quality software will also help your business to achieve work more efficiently.

Allow flexibility:
Having an employee schedule in place may be one way for you to ensure your workers stay on task and produce a consistently high standard of work. However, rigid schedules do not always suit all employees. Allowing your employees to make minor changes, such as swapping shifts, flexible start or finish times and remote working arrangements can actually improve productivity and loyalty to the business. It can also benefit employee communication, dependance and engagement.

Posted on 6 August '19 by , under business. No Comments.

Supporting mental health in the workplace

Business owners have a responsibility to look after their staff and ensure they have a healthy working environment. This extends to mental health as well as physical. With one in five people experiencing a mental health issue at some stage in their life, there is a greater need to have mental health support specifically within the workplace environment of small businesses.

While most workers can successfully manage their illness without it impacting on their work, some may require support for a short period of time and others may require ongoing workplace strategies. Employers should be aware of mental health issues they can encounter and how best to approach them. Research is key in helping to understand what your employee is going through, how to recognise the illness and ways to successfully manage it.

Employers need to recognise the role in which work can play in an individual’s mental health. An ‘unhealthy’ work environment or a workplace incident can cause considerable stress and possibly contribute to or worsen mental illness. Under the Disability Discrimination Act 1992, employers must make changes to the workplace to enable someone with anxiety and/or depression to remain at or return to work, provided they can continue to meet the core requirements of their role. These changes can be temporary or permanent.

Further ways to promote mental health initiatives within your business include encouraging members of your workplace to seek help, reducing the stigma surrounding mental illness, and fostering connectivity and communication. Managing mental health within your business by avoiding conditions that lead to excessive stress and encouraging awareness and support can have many positive outcomes and cultivate a mentally safe and healthy workplace. Employers should also familiarise themselves with the work health and safety regulatory body in their state or territory.

Posted on 29 July '19 by , under business. No Comments.

Managing business growth

It can be exciting and reassuring when your new business venture achieves growth and success. When things reach a certain threshold, however, you may no longer be able to oversee everything as a business owner. Here are some key things to consider in order to manage the development of your business.

Key performance indicators:
As your business expands, determine some key performance indicators (KPIs) to evaluate certain tasks and how you will get regular data for each. Some examples include:

  • Absenteeism: by creating a great working culture and attendance perks, you can encourage your staff to take less time off.
  • Sales: offering bonuses or other perks to employees who exceed sales expectations could improve overall performance.
  • Complaints: Implement a system for dealing with complaints individually to help ensure they don’t happen again.

Develop your skills:
In addition to making changes that improve how your business operates, you should also focus on adjusting your own leadership style. In areas where you recognise you could improve on, think about delegating tasks to your employees to maintain growth. Brainstorming with your staff and other advisors may open you up to different perspectives and insights, facilitating a diversity of ideas within your organisation.

Anticipate competition:
Growth will inevitably attract competition. If the growth of your business begins to take away your competitor’s market share, they may implement strategies to counter your success such as lowering their prices, increasing advertising or adding new products. Be prepared for this and pay attention to the other businesses in your market.

Posted on 21 July '19 by , under business. No Comments.

What makes a successful business plan

When starting a new business, there are many elements you need to consider. Careful planning is essential to ensuring the longevity of your business, but what exactly goes into a good business plan?

A good business plan is one that is detailed. Sections should include; an executive summary, company description, market analysis, organization and management, service or product, marketing and sales, funding request and financial projections. These topics cover as much of the business as you can in the planning stage.

Showing attention to detail in your written plan demonstrates a commitment to the business going forward. When writing a business plan, there are a few ways to ensure you are creating the best guide for your idea. Researching the industry and other companies in the market you are looking to step into can give you an insight into more than just the competition. As a business owner, it is your responsibility to know how and if audiences will respond to you.

If you aren’t presenting your plan to investors or potential partners, determine what purpose your business plan will serve. A good business plan can be used not only as a sales document but a map for the business into its future. Writing a business plan that makes projections for the first five years can keep you on track and show you areas in which you need to focus on.

A business plan is a guide to help you create and maintain the best business you can. Even if things don’t go exactly as planned, a successful business plan is one that teaches you the things you want to get out of the business and ways in which you can achieve them.

Posted on 14 July '19 by , under business. No Comments.