Questions

If you use your home as your office but not your actual business premises, can you claim on tax?

Can you claim any house related expenses on tax? read more

George Grimekis CPA
George Grimekis CPAAccountant at Alpha Omega Accounting & Business Solutions
Hi Tracey,There a different things that can be deducted depending on if you have a work area set up.Generally speaking in your situation where your home is not your business premises you can claim utilities such as electricity and gas (apportioned), work related phone calls and depreciation on office equipment and furniture.If you have a specific area set up to do your work you can even claim depreciation on curtains, light fittings and carpet etc.You cannot claim rent payments, mortgage interest, insurance and council rates.
Kirsty Fox
Kirsty FoxPrincipal at Spitfire Solutions
As John said, talk to your accountant. The tax office has specific rules regarding home offices.
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Questions

How far ahead should we plan to approach potential investors etc, for money to get the business started?

That is, when you business is still an idea in formation (as ours is) how far ahead should I... read more

Asked by:
Ava Lee at Swing
Neil Steggall
Neil SteggallPartner at Wardour Capital Partners
I would suggest that the issue of investor funding and your required levels of future equity should form a key part of your initial business thinking, planning and strategy and be detailed and factored into your plan and budgets. Waiting until investor funds are needed is usually too late and the business risks stalling or failing.Most investors are happy to be approached at an early stage of thinking, they have much to gain by investing in a winning idea and so they will most likely be prepared to offer help in developing your plans, speaking to banks and even bringing along other investors.Early stage investors also make great business mentors or advisory board members often bringing on board many years of experience and knowledge.Look at it this way....would you jump in your car and set off on a lengthy road trip without first checking you had the fuel and cash to complete the journey?Good LuckCheers,Neil.
Jessica McGrath
Jessica McGrathMarketing Consultant at Stoke Marketing
Not a definitive time but think like the investor. What value would they like to see in your product to make it worthy of investment? Have you got "skin in the game". Show how much effort? What are the $ for? What makes your product different and appealing to gain traction in the community. Show them this and either the tangible product or a prototype, or the service offering at the least. Show them what problem you are solving and why it's an awesome and compelling solution. Who are you competing against. If no competition, then why would someone want your solution if they are existing with no solution at all. When is a return on investment likely? What's your forecasted uptake? How did you work that out?Just some thoughts. Best of luck!
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Questions

How will you adapt to market networks?

Lisa Ormenyessy
This is a good article outlining the changes in the marketplace - http://techcrunch.com/2015/06/27/from-social-to-ma...
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Business finance and loans

NAB flags $25m refund to 62,000 customers

National Australia Bank is repaying 62,000 wealth customers a total of $25 million after internal...read more

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Questions

As a startup who has a new product to develop and sell, what is the best way to seek funding?

If a person or company has designed and created a new product (not tech) and needs to aquire... read more

Jef Lippiatt
Jef LippiattOwner at Startup Chucktown
Suzie,I would suggest looking into crowdfunding websites such as Kickstarter, Indiegogo or others. They can be great places not only to gain funding for your product, but also to validate that you have correctly positioned your product and that the market is reacting favorably to a product that isn't even available yet.You will need to think hard about a launch strategy as well as what type of rewards you're willing to setup at the different tier levels, but all of that can set you up for a successful campaign. Also clearly explaining or demoing the product in a video can really increase the audience understanding and value proposition of the product.I would also recommend that if you are interested in pursuing this avenue, that you browse the different platforms to find out which one is bet suited to your product, as well as research some successfully funded campaigns and see what you can learn from them to apply to your own.
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Questions

Does anyone know a company who provide extended warranties service?

Hi, The company I work for sells new white goods etc that come with factory warranties. However we... read more

Asked by:
Peter Jones
Peter Jones Founder at LinkSmart
You need to be aware of your obligations under Australian Consumer Law relating to consumer guarantees. I suggest you visit the ACCC website about consumer guarantees and when extended guarantees are illegal. Under Australian Consumer Law there is already inbuilt consumer guarantees that relate to the product and repair guarantees without the need to purchase extended warranties. Choice has also undertaken some work in this area.
Jennifer Lancaster
Yes I do, National Warranty Services has that service -- resellers too. Contact Don Card at nationalwarranties.com.au (The website looks straight out of 1996 but its a genuine business with offices in Redcliffe Qld).
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Questions

Where can I buy closeout, wholesale maternity dress? My dad is looking open up a small store.

Need reliable and honest source of wholesale, examples, closeouts of stylish maternity attire. Have... read more

Nicole McIverOwner at Nicole McIver
Contact Wholesale Baby they will be able to help you out :)
Jeffrey Joel
Jeffrey JoelMD at Auspac Trading NSW PL
Alibaba.com ?
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Business finance and loans

5 Unusual IRA Investments Options

When investors think of an Individual Retirement Account, they often think only of the stocks,...read more

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Business finance and loans

How to Build Great Credit for Your Fledgling Startup

Young entrepreneurs have the challenge of raising funds on little to no credit history. Here's how...read more

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Questions

What is the best way to get software finance?

As a small and new business part of what I do requires a software product that I pay for at... read more

Asked by:
Hi Shaun, I use ASM who offer awesome finance solutions for small businesses. No worries with software rental - as long as it is under $50,000 Scott McNally 0438 680 898 and mention my name. Greg Ferrett
Phil Joel
Phil JoelDirector at SavvySME
Shaun, what I know is that many large software / hardware companies such as Microsoft, Oracle, Intel, etc can potentially offer financing to their customers if the solution includes their products. Your product appear to be very specialised so somebody like Flexirent is unlikely going finance it. I did find this other link which could be worth investigating: Relion Finance  
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Questions

How do you choose the best business loan for your business?

I was talking to a friend the other day; getting the right business finance is hard. With so many... read more

Asked by:
Phil Khor
Phil Khor Founder at SavvySME
Hi Liam, If you are selling higher value items to clients you may want to consider offering your clients finance. One small business I know sells thongs (yes - shoes) to small retailers and offers 6 months interest free finance for their stock while getting paid the very next day and not wearing the risk of factoring (where you still own the debt after three months). This allows him to win a lot of new business and get stock on shelves without owning the finance risk. Try Scott McNally at ASM Money 0438 680 898 and use my name as an introduction or email me and I can send over more details Greg Ferrett  
Liam Shorte
Liam ShorteDirector, SMSF Specialist Advisor & Financial Planner at Verante Financial Planning & The SMSF Coach
Phil, it is important to use a bank that has experience in your sector as often loans products are adjusted to suit certain sectors like retail, trades, professional services. The problem with applying for a general business loan is that your business cash flow or seasonal changes in running costs may not fit a standard valuation or repayment model. You just take control and not act like you are willing to accept what is offered. So check the lender has experience in your industry and even ask for references.  Ask others in your industry what are the important features they have needed in a loan. don't be afraid to ask as most small business owners will be happy to discuss this issue. Make your own list of "must haves" and "negotiable" features. Talk to your accountant, advisor and lawyer before signing anything and don't be afraid to use a use a broker if you need support but again seek out someone who knows you industry.  
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