Budgeting and forecasting

This week in finance: Tech stocks get the wobbles, Fed to lift rates and jobs data out

This economy data has both positive and negative outlooks for businesses in the coming month, with...read more

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Budgeting and forecasting

Federal budget can’t fix 'dangerously dumb' housing prices

Any measures in the federal budget aimed at housing affordability will have little impact on...read more

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Budgeting and forecasting

Here's what to expect in the 2017 budget

The concept of home and all that it means will come into focus at this year’s federal...read more

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Questions

Housing affordability: Should we limit/scrap negative gearing?

Asked by:
SavvySME Official
SavvySME Official Official Account at SavvySME
Deborah Vella
Deborah VellaOwner at Support Legal
Negative gearing is one of the factors that feed into the property market. It can be aligned with lack of housing affordability, but so can a number or combination of other factors. Whether negative gearing should be scrapped or limited over time will depend on the plans for other factors affecting the property market. If the aim of limiting negative gearing is to reduce the tax deductions available for the individual wealthy taxpayers in favour or creating more equality with tax payers who don't own property, then it might be worthwhile to consider. However if the aim of limiting negative gearing is to completely eliminate the housing affordability problem, then more consideration will need to be given.
Yes, I think negative gearing should be scrapped... over time... I think a wind down period of 10 or even 20 years maybe, will have a positive effect, couple with making mortgage interest on your own home, principle place of residence, tax deductible, to encourage home ownership... I think it will also lead to higher quality and better considered and designed home building in this country.
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Questions

How will your business be affected by interest rate rises?

Almost every expert says the interest rates will go up within the next few years. How will your... read more

Asked by:
SavvySME Official
SavvySME Official Official Account at SavvySME
Helene Liatsos
Helene LiatsosOwner at Home Office Management Experts
If your business has loans or credit cards, the interest rate is highly important. This is money you pay out of pocket so the lower it is the better it is. What I try to do each month is pay more than the interest rate charges/minimum payment due....even a few dollars will help lower the principal on the account. If possible, look into getting a credit card with a lower interest rate or refinancing the loan. Another thing I try to do is to pay cash for items that I need so I am not constantly loading up the credit card. Best, Helene
Jef Lippiatt
Jef LippiattOwner at Startup Chucktown
This wouldn't currently impact me as I'm bootstrapping all my financing myself. However, I can see how if you were carrying significant inventory or trying to expand your business this could be a very negative impact.My suggestion is that if known interest rates will be going up but haven't yet, you need to fast track your plans and lock in the lowest possible rate you can while they exist. It may seem scary to speed up something like that, but the payoff could be great but non-existant if you wait... just something to think about.
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Questions

Should we legislate the time it takes to pay to protect SME’s cash flow?

Numerous surveys and report have showed again and again that overdue payments are detrimental to... read more

Asked by:
SavvySME Official
SavvySME Official Official Account at SavvySME
Scott O'Reilly
Interestingly, the construction industry in Victoria (and I believe mirrored in many other states) has a form of this called the Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act 2002 (VIC) - it is based on the premise that construction contractors already 'cashflow' projects for their clients by expending resources before receiving payment, so it sets a clear set of timeframes for payment or part payment. Failure to pay in accordance with this Act is easily enforceable at the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal or the Magistrate's Court, on the basis that the legislative timelines are very clear and strict.A core tenet of this Act is 'pay now, argue later' - that is, a client can issue a 'payment schedule' outlining a different (reduced) amount or alternative payment terms but that at least provides protection to the contractor for the agreed amount, rather than putting the whole invoice on hold. If a client doesn't lodge a payment schedule, they are deemed to have accepted the invoice and it becomes very quickly enforceable.More info at:http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/vic/consol_act/...http://www.constructionlawmadeeasy.com/SecurityofP...http://www.vba.vic.gov.au/practitioners/security-o...
I have to say I'm not a fan of legislating for good behaviour, especially not as it relates to business to business commerce. Besides that that I don't understand how a law like that could ever be enforceable.I think the biggest problem is with small business itself. Small business owners simply do not take the time to develop, implement and consistently apply realistic payment terms and collection systems.I have found that when thinking properly about how to set up your payment terms, how to ensure that clients understand them and how to ensure that payments are collected as per the terms, that 75% of the problem of overdue payments goes away. The final 25% never goes away and as a small business owner you must simply resolve to stop doing business with customers who don't pay on time.... Life's too short.A well thought out collections system that's applied and run like a well-oiled machine... relentlessly, and that includes as a final automatic step sending the bill off to a collections agent, whose fees are added to the outstanding debt, automatically, sends a message to recalcitrant payers that they m,ight as well pay up, because it's only going to cost them more money in the end and most recalcitrant payers are not of bad faith, but they simply have their own cash flow challenges and they pay the squeaky wheel first
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Questions

What “burdens” would you like to see scrapped as a small business?

Last year’s budget announced plans to reduce red tape for businesses. The GST reporting will be... read more

Asked by:
SavvySME Official
SavvySME Official Official Account at SavvySME
George Grimekis CPA
George Grimekis CPAAccountant at Alpha Omega Accounting & Business Solutions
I hope I live to see the day when Payroll Tax is abolished.I cannot understand why taxing businesses for employing people is still OK in this day and age.
Rebecca Carroll-Bell
I operate as a sole trader and for now that suits me. I find it very irritating when the politicians go on TV talking up how much they are helping "small business" when in fact, they are helping small companies. Many of the so called benefits and tax breaks are of no help to me because I am not a company and don't pay company tax. I'd like to see more support, breaks and benefits for the small business owners who are not incorporated; or at he very least, say what you mean and talk about small companies not small business. Bec
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Questions

Economic growth vs budget deficit?

As the government tries to reduce the budget deficit, what do you think is the best use of our... read more

Asked by:
SavvySME Official
SavvySME Official Official Account at SavvySME
Jef Lippiatt
Jef LippiattOwner at Startup Chucktown
I think one thing that would be great for all small businesses is reduced redundancy (aka more intuitive processes).Many times there are multiple applications you have to log in to (everything from filing forms, requests, paperwork, taxes, etc.) Those should be streamlined into a single application (1 username 1 password).Make all deadlines publicly published and send out systematic, automated emails reminding business owners of the upcoming deadlines.Eliminating bureaucracy that stands in the way of getting a business officially started would be a great help for many.I would say one other option would be to provide Innovation Incentive Grants/Funding. If a business creates a service or product that leads to more jobs within that State/Coun.try (of a certain level) or has the potential to make a meaningful (positive) impact on the overall economy
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Questions

How do I work out what to pay my self as a wage and how do I go about it?

Jef Lippiatt
Jef LippiattOwner at Startup Chucktown
One of the first questions I would ask is, are you profitable? Meaning, are you currently making more money than you are spending? If not, it isn't time to draw a wage. Keep in mind if you need to scale (add employees) they are the first to get paid and you are the last to get paid (as a founder / owner).If your business is making a profit, do you have more than enough to keep the company profitable for 1 to 2 months and still have extra money left over? If not, keep not drawing a wage. If this sounds like a board game, you aren't far from the truth.Lastly, if your business has met and exceeded both of those conditions it may be time to start drawing a wage. However, I would recommend starting small and gradually scaling it up to avoid having to ramp your wage back down.If there is still too much "haze" around this topic, I'd recommend talking to an accountant or tax advisor.
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Questions

What sort of budget is required to have someone work on SEO optimisation?

website touch ups etc in order to show up on the first page in google? I just starting paying $200... read more

Steven Freeman
Steven FreemanOwner at Evolved Sound
Its can be ongoing spend from $100 to $5k+ per month. Spend is only one part of the equation. - What are they exactly doing for your spend?- Can you accurately measure the performance and success?- Is it in line with your sales & marketing goals?The results that you accurately measure can only dictate the value and justify the spend. Otherwise its easy to burn lots of cash on SEO for little tangible results, other than what they tell you to make you feel good.There is a lot you can do yourself as a foundation, but not recommended for most business owners starting out in competitive markets. Their time is best used in their area of expertise instead.
Something to remember is that your competitors are also spending time and money trying to reach that top spot. And some probably have done for years. It will take lots of effort to get ahead. Here are some tips: 1. Do lots of research on your target market and what they want help with. Provide them with well written content on what they want to know in a blog on your website. 2. Make it user friendly 3. No broken links or errors 4. Consider Google AdWords as you'll then show on top of the search results.
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Questions

When employing someone permanent part time is there a minimum amount of hours you need to promise in a week?

You might be best to ring the appropriate government body about this. Laws change all the time and it's best you keep up to date with it all.Consider hiring them as casual if the hours are inconsistant from week to week.
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Questions

If you could get warm leads to quote on in your area that you want to cover for your industry, woud you use it?

For a subscription price? if so, what is your industry, where are you located (just suburb and... read more

I have paid for warm leads in the past for my Computer Support business.I am based in Perth Metro, Atwell, Western Australia.I haven't had any success with warm leads turning into a job.They were quite expensive. $10 or more a lead.Each job might earn me profit of between $50 and $150 so it wasn't worth it, especially when they were not converting.I would likely give it a go depending on the cost.
Jef Lippiatt
Jef LippiattOwner at Startup Chucktown
I'm not sure I would, but based on the industries I'm in (ecommerce retail of stationery and paper goods and publishing children's books) I am not really in the type of industries that pursue that type of lead funnel. Or at least if I am, I haven't heard of it being used by anyone in my professional networks.I suppose if the items I was selling were big ticket items or recurring subscriptions it would be a different story.
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Questions

How do you go about asking for the money off a client before work's done?

Steven Freeman
Steven FreemanOwner at Evolved Sound
If the spend will be higher - $500->$1000+ for example it is fair an reasonable to request a 30% or 50% deposit upfront upon order confirmation. With that said each client is different and some will never buy that and only pay after delivery against an official Purchase Order. It's balancing act of setting out clear payment terms from the beginning, but within that you may need to have sub (or special) terms for certain types of clients that you can manage the risk for if you still want them to do business with you, but may not fit into your default terms.
Hitesh Mohanlal
Hitesh MohanlalDirector at WOW! Advisors & Business Accountants
Excellent question. As business owners we are afraid that asking for money means we lose the project/ job. What we sometimes forgot is that if we walk away our business will be OK but if we run out of money our business dies. If clients have an issue with paying fees they are usually not a good customer.Customers don't like paying in advance because they want assurances that the work will be done and that there are safeguards in place that should there be a problem it will be fixed. Solve this problem and the resistance falls down. We always ask for a % of money up front if it is one off engagement. In my accounting and bookkeeping business we help the client by spreading payment over 12 months. If they do not pay we stop working and ask for payment. We always give a full money back guarantee. That way the customer feels that if anything goes wrong they is recourse back. If a potential customer refuses we politely tell them that is our policy not to start work without payment and it is included in all our engagement letters. The key i think is to be clear and explain why you are asking for payment in advance and also try to work out why they are not prepared to pay in advance.
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Questions

What it is that stops you from signing up to a course that you know you need?

I know money/payment structure is one and time. But if cash and time wasn't a problem what else... read more

I will likely sign up for an online course if I have seen testimonials and have heard positive feedback from real people I know. Or if I know the person professionally (which sometimes mean I have developed a relationship with them over social media)
Jef Lippiatt
Jef LippiattOwner at Startup Chucktown
There are several things that stop meNot offered at a convenient time (based on my schedule - during the week is not great as some companies don't help pay for course so you have to use vacation time to attend - so you are paying twice, the course fee and the vacation days you have to use)Not offered at a convenient location (if it isn't close enough to get to by car or mass transit it will impact decision). If I have to pay for a hotel room (one or more days) that also ups the "total cost" of the course.Negative reviews from other trusted professionals - If I hear that the course instructor was unpleasant or that the material covered was not beneficial, I'd probably not attend.
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Questions

What are the ground rules for SMEs while dealing with the current market scenario?

Asked by:
HiYou need to understand the demand & supply gap for the products that you have decided to invest in, apart from the other scenarios which you will consider. The ground rules mainly would be complying with the applicable statutory requirements and work within the limits applicable to the industry in which the investment has been made. You may have to deal with both micro and macro economic conditions applicable to the business.
Wills Ensa
Wills Ensa at Murray Lampert
study market condition first
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Budgeting and forecasting

Is the size of one's salary the key to happiness?

It's not how much you earn, it's what you do with it that counts.read more

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Budgeting and forecasting

Budget 2015: Big wins for small businesses. Small wins for startups.

The Australian government is a business in serious debt; and it’s affecting the nation....read more

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Questions

Is the Australian economy picking up based on your experience?

Hi Everyone, I just spotted this article in the Sydney Morning Herald is everyone experiencing an... read more

Asked by:
Neil Steggall
Neil SteggallPartner at Wardour Capital Partners
Demand for our services has increased steadily through 2014 but I believe the demand is driven by a concern re the economy and the inefficiency of the banks in meeting small to mid cap business needs. My personal belief is that we are balancing close to the economic edge and are in desperate need of strong leadership and fiscal motivation.
Jeffrey Joel
Jeffrey JoelMD at Auspac Trading NSW PL
I run businesses in both restaurant and food wholesale. Since the May budget, I've noticed that the restaurant trade has dropped slightly, probably due to people tightening their belts due to all the negative publicity. However, the wholesale side with deliveries to grocery stores has definitely picked up, as people must be eating more at home.
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Questions

Which sources provide you with data on SMEs to help you plan your business?

Which sources provide you with the data on SME's to help you plan your business and do you think... read more

Asked by:
Neil Steggall
Neil Steggall Partner at Wardour Capital Partners
Brad Lyons
Brad LyonsOwner at SMS Fusion
here are the results in list form. I have X out some of the details. These are all the results returned and then mapped as per the above image based on an ABN search.· 515 XXXXX Tce Fortitude Valley Qld 4006 · CXXXXXXN HXXXXXE LIMITED · cXXXXXXXse.com.au · domains@cXXXXXXXXse.com.au · Webmaster Webmaster · coXXXXXXXe.net.au · coXXXXXXse@domainnamegroup.com.au · CXXXon HXXXe · tXXXXme.com.au · stan.prince@colXXXXXon.com.au · Stan Prince · cXXXm.com.au · Domain Admin · 37 XXXXX St Ascot Qld 4007 · KXXy DXXy · 6 MXXXXyr Rd New Farm Qld 4005 · David GXXy · 351 EdXXXXh Rd Castlecrag NSW 2068 · David LXXXy · 2 BXXXh Ct Albany Creek Qld 4035 · Philip HeXXXsy · 52 EnXXXXy Rd Clayfield Qld 4011 · JulXXXXne ScXXXfer · MXXXw ThXXas · 19 HXXXXw Pl Mcdowall Qld 4053 · Julie TXXXy · Not found · PKF HACKETTS AUDIT · CXXXXXe Limited · Suite 3 484-488 QXXXXXn St Brisbane City Qld 4000 · (07) 3XXXX 0333 · bne.office@cXXXXse.com.au · (07) 3292 XXXX · KeXXX John DXXXX · (07) 3868 XXXX · (07) 3268 XXXX · Daly · 0405 XXX 158 · Mathew John XXXX · Maria Elaine XXXX · Danielle Louise XXXX · (07) 3868XXXX · D Daly · (07) 3868 XXXX · Dl Daly · D L Daly · David Michael XXXX · Unit 15 6 MXXXX Rd New Farm Qld 4005 · (07) 3358 XXXX · David Paul XXXX · Unit 303 21 PXXXX St Kangaroo Point Qld 4169 · Philip Arthur HXXXX · 241 GrXXXX Rd Bridgeman Downs Qld 4035 · Matthew James ThXXXX · 86 HXXXX St Wilston Qld 4051 · (07) 3356 XXXX · 0401 0XX XXX · Julie Margaret TXXXX · (07) 3353 XXX · Jeffrey Colin TXXXX · J C Tealby · J Tealby · (07) 3832 XXXX · (07) 3292 XXXX · (07) 3868 XXXX · (07) 3268 XXXX · (07) 3868 XXXX · (07) 3868 XXXX · (07) 3358 XXXX · (07) 3356 XXXX · (07) 3353 XXXX · domains@cXXXXXe.com.au · XXXX.net.au · XXXXXX.com.au · XXXXXXXXX.com.au · crXXXXXXect.com.au · caXXXXXXXerator.com.au · coXXXXXXse@domainnamegroup.com.au · stan.prince@cXXXXXn.com.au · bne.office@cXXXXXXse.com.au
Brad Lyons
Brad LyonsOwner at SMS Fusion
To answer your question on data available on SME's, here is a screen shot of the results based on a search on a company's ABN:http://vunoo.com/images/chresults.JPG It will not be very clear in this image however it is showing the name, address, phone, email, companies, websites for the ceo. Also showing the relatives living at the addresses. Share holder details. Social media accounts and basically anything that is connected to each result. There is plenty of data out there that can help SME's in different ways. From locating someone who owes you money and is trying to hide behind companies. Background checks on new companies that sign up accounts with you or just marketing information. In some cases you don't need to find new data sources, you may just need to look at the data you already have in a different way.I was at a conference last year when someone asked me what I could do to help them find their customers that owe them money. After finding out what their business was initial step they should have taken was in their own data. Before you buy data, look at your own data first from a different angle. As for the actual sources, I have a pretty large collection of current and historical data on business and residential. If you are looking for additional sources of data happy to have a chat and apply a discount for Savvysme members.
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Budgeting and forecasting

Startup costs: When lean isn’t all that lean

We hear a lot about people who have successfully launched businesses on a shoestring budget. Many...read more

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