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Deborah Vella
Top 10% Selling a Business

Owner at

Member Since March 2017

Darwin, NT,

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98 FOLLOWERS

We offer quality Australian legal documents and tools online that can be used by small law practices as part of their services to their own clients. We also offer legal services for small law practices.

Thank you for learning more about Support Legal. We trust that you will quickly enjoy the benefits of working with us in the way that we do and look forward to getting to know you and your law practice.

www.supportlegal.com.au

Deborah Vella answered this question

Official FAQ
Official FAQ, Inquisitor at SavvySME

Legal

What common legal issues do small businesses often overlook?

A common legal issue for small businesses is getting their business structure right. Sometimes its really easy to just start a business without thinking about the legal structure. One thing leads to another and you end up with a mess of who owns what. This has legal risks to you and your business and also immediate tax implications. Before starting a business, you should obtain advice from a lawyer and an accountant.

Deborah Vella answered this question

Official FAQ
Official FAQ, Inquisitor at SavvySME

Intellectual Property

When do you need to trademark your business name or logo?

You'll need to trademark your business name or logo when you'd like exclusive rights to use them and be able to legally prevent others from using it. This is especially within your business area.  See more at IP Australia https://www.ipaustralia.gov.au/trade-marks/understanding-trade-marks. 

Deborah Vella answered this question

Official FAQ
Official FAQ, Inquisitor at SavvySME

Accounting

Who's best in customer service Xero, MYOB, Reckon or Saasu?

I can highly recommend Xero as they are very responsive.  Your accountant can also log in to your accounts to look over everything.

Deborah Vella answered this question

Ananda Raj Pandey
Ananda Raj Pandey, Developer at SavvySME

Online Business

Is it necessary to have physical address for online business?

From a legal perspective, you will need to have a registered business address.  This doesn't need to be a business location where customers visit, it can be a home address.  This address will be on a publically available register so people can contact you for legal reasons.

Deborah Vella answered this question

Official FAQ
Official FAQ, Inquisitor at SavvySME

Accounting

Do you need accountants to help write business plans?

An accountant can help with their expertise, as can a lawyer.  You can write a business plan on your own but make sure to include a section where you'll obtain legal and accounting assistance to set up your business properly and also obtain ongoing legal and accounting advice throughout the lifetime of your business.  Without at least initial accounting and legal advice, you run the risk of not having your business and personal assets structured properly and end up without a business at all!

Deborah Vella answered this question

Hazel Theocharous
Hazel Theocharous, Small Business Support Specialist at Expert VA

Business Growth

What is one thing every business should outsource to an expert?

Anything that you are not confident at or takes you too long to do.  Chances are that the person that you outsource it to is more experienced, more confident and can product whatever you need in a more cost effective manner.

Deborah Vella answered this question

Official FAQ
Official FAQ, Inquisitor at SavvySME

Cashflow Management

What Are The Payment Times When Working With Big Businesses?

It can depend on the type of work and industry.  Make sure you check their standard contracts and don't be afraid to ask for a change in the payment terms.  The worst they can do is say no.  What I find can usually happen is that you'll receive the details of a dedicated person who can help process your invoice quickly so it is in the accounting system and will be paid on the next cycle.  It may not be perfect, but it's a manageable win!

Deborah Vella answered this question

Does Anyone Know How Much Intellectual Property Laws Cost?

It depends on what the program does and how it impacts your clients. You can look at www.ipaustralia.gov.au for basic information about copyright. However you'll need to speak with a lawyer who specifically works in the field of technology and ask them to prepare terms and conditions of use or an end user licence for you. That would be an agreement between yourself and your clients about the use of the program. You'll also need to consider appropriate insurance for your business as many off the shelf insurance products wouldn't necessarily be designed for technology businesses.Good luck!

Selling a Business

How to Organise Your Business Before Selling

For retail SMEs, organise your store arrangements and check your intellectual property arrangements and supply arrangements. For service-based SMEs, check your office space arrangements, your intellectual property arrangements, and client agreements. For general SMEs, make sure you know the ownership structure of your assets, obtain an independent business valuation, and that your business ...

Deborah Vella answered this question

For a small business, is Facebook worth the time and effort?

I believe it is worth the time and effort for a service based business. This may change depending on the type of business, the type of client and what you are hoping to achieve. For a service based business, it is important to generate and maintain a positive reputation and Facebook is a useful tool to assist with doing that.

Deborah Vella answered this question

How can I tell if my company has reached the limit of its borrowing capacity? Can I comfortably handle additional debt?

If you're uncertain, it is important to have your accountant look over the numbers. Given fluctuations in the economy and revenue for small business, it would be wise to include a buffer to ride out any difficult trading periods. Keep in mind also that it is illegal to knowingly trade while insolvent.

Deborah Vella answered this question

Franchise or self start up? Which would you choose and why?

It would depend on the proposed owner and what they are looking for. If they are looking for an established business or one that's simple to start up following a set procedure, and to be associated with a recognised brand, then purchasing a franchise business would be the way to go to get working asap.However if you'd like to generate a unique product or service and have the time, energy, motivation and some basic knowledge to start your own business, then starting a new business from scratch may be more rewarding.

Deborah Vella answered this question

What is going to be the next "big thing" in the next 5-10 years?

As the next generation comes through to the management levels in business, we seem to be seeing a trend towards more businesses with attributes that appeal to the millennial generation. One of those is working on your own terms in small business rather than grinding out work for years for a large employer. I think the next big thing in the next five to ten years will be just that, a major shift away from big business and supporting small businesses which provide a personal service.

Deborah Vella answered this question

What are your favourite marketing success stories?

The marketing that has worked best for Support Legal, and that of friends' businesses, is word of mouth. It is encouraging to hear success stories from others where their effort in maintaining positive client and peer business relationships leads to positive recommendations to others. This is the type of marketing that I've found to be most successful in the long term.

Deborah Vella answered this question

Jef Lippiatt
Jef Lippiatt, Owner at Startup Chucktown

Business Planning

Are Internal Processes or External Brand Perception in the Driver's Seat?

Both internal processes and external brand perception are important in business. As the owner of a law practice providing legal services, the external brand perception for Support Legal and personal reputation of myself as a lawyer are crucial to successful practice. That being said, my internal processes go along way to maintaining a quality brand perception and good legal services. Therefore I believe that you can't have success in one without success in the other.

Deborah Vella answered this question

SavvySME Official
SavvySME Official, Official Account at SavvySME

Budgeting and Forecasting

How will your business be affected by interest rate rises?

Doesn't both me at all. I'm taking a long term view with my business and aim to grow organically for the first few years at least. I can see how the rises will negatively impact businesses who have recently gone through a large expansion or growth phase.

Deborah Vella answered this question

SavvySME Official
SavvySME Official, Official Account at SavvySME

Finance and Accounting

What do you like most or least about Budget 2017?

It seems that the Budget 2017 does have small business in mind. While there may not be lots of small immediate perks, the budget helps to create a good foundation for small business to thrive.

Deborah Vella answered this question

What pitfalls or issues did you look for if you bought your company?

I didn't buy my business but I support others who chose to. It is essential to ensure that the main foundations of the business are strong. After that, goodwill and great relationships with clients and customers are a big consideration.

Deborah Vella answered this question

Wendy Huang
Wendy Huang, Full Time Blogger and YouTuber at A Custom Blog in 4 Minutes

Lifestyle and Health

After the sale of your business, what drives you these days?

Rather than the sale of my business, I made a lifestyle choice to start a business. Building up a business that I can work around my family was my lifestyle choice.

Deborah Vella answered this question

SavvySME Official
SavvySME Official, Official Account at SavvySME

Budgeting and Forecasting

Housing affordability: Should we limit/scrap negative gearing?

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.

Deborah Vella answered this question

What is your recommendation to learn more about business broker/business regulation law?

It depends on the type of business and industry you are looking into. There are a series of laws that govern a variety of different types of businesses in Australia. Then there are often regulations that businesses are required to follow depending on the industry and the goods or services being offered. You could try to read some general books about business which might spark your interest in a particular specialty to learn more about.

Deborah Vella answered this question

What happens to your online assets when you die?

You can leave instructions as to your wishes in your will. This may include a wish for another person to be assigned the intellectual property rights. This person then negotiates with the online publishers to grant your wishes.

Deborah Vella answered this question

Lina Barfoot
Lina Barfoot, Editor at SavvySME

Finance and Accounting

What does the term mezzanine finance mean?

Mezzanine finance is a type of finance that is part debt and part equity. Essentially, if the debt is not able to be repaid, then the financier has rights to part of the equity in your business or project.

Deborah Vella answered this question

How is a service economy different from a knowledge economy?

In the knowledge economy, suppliers are able to adjust their service offerings to enable businesses to maximise their own service offerings. I see the knowledge suppliers as professionals helping businesses to meet their service goals.

Deborah Vella answered this question

How should cofounders reconcile differences?

With a very practical partnership agreement. The agreement should cover the values that are most important to each of the partners in business, the decision making process, the process for when decisions are difficult to make and an exit strategy for either partner to exit the business.

Deborah Vella answered this question

Is "No Buyer's Remorse" scalable ?

I would like to see the concept in place, but perhaps without the physical shipping of the return items. It seems to be a waste of time, cost and resources to return the goods when other options are more economical, for example a limit to the number of returns per year per customer or photographic evidence that an item is not useable.

Deborah Vella answered this question

Am I better off borrowing with the same bank or should I cultivate relationships with several banking institutions?

It depends on what you are trying to achieve. With an ongoing business relationship, your bank may be able to assist you in different ways. However be careful of cross-collateralisation. On the other hand, with borrowing with different banks you may be seen more about the numbers.

Selling a Business

How to Organise Your Business Before Selling

For retail SMEs, organise your store arrangements and check your intellectual property arrangements and supply arrangements. For service-based SMEs, check your office space arrangements, your intellectual property arrangements, and client agreements. For general SMEs, make sure you know the ownership structure of your assets, obtain an independent business valuation, and that your business ...

Deborah Vella answered this question

Official FAQ
Official FAQ, Inquisitor at SavvySME

Legal

What common legal issues do small businesses often overlook?

A common legal issue for small businesses is getting their business structure right. Sometimes its really easy to just start a business without thinking about the legal structure. One thing leads to another and you end up with a mess of who owns what. This has legal risks to you and your business and also immediate tax implications. Before starting a business, you should obtain advice from a lawyer and an accountant.

Deborah Vella answered this question

Official FAQ
Official FAQ, Inquisitor at SavvySME

Intellectual Property

When do you need to trademark your business name or logo?

You'll need to trademark your business name or logo when you'd like exclusive rights to use them and be able to legally prevent others from using it. This is especially within your business area.  See more at IP Australia https://www.ipaustralia.gov.au/trade-marks/understanding-trade-marks. 

Deborah Vella answered this question

Official FAQ
Official FAQ, Inquisitor at SavvySME

Accounting

Who's best in customer service Xero, MYOB, Reckon or Saasu?

I can highly recommend Xero as they are very responsive.  Your accountant can also log in to your accounts to look over everything.

Deborah Vella answered this question

Ananda Raj Pandey
Ananda Raj Pandey, Developer at SavvySME

Online Business

Is it necessary to have physical address for online business?

From a legal perspective, you will need to have a registered business address.  This doesn't need to be a business location where customers visit, it can be a home address.  This address will be on a publically available register so people can contact you for legal reasons.

Deborah Vella answered this question

Official FAQ
Official FAQ, Inquisitor at SavvySME

Accounting

Do you need accountants to help write business plans?

An accountant can help with their expertise, as can a lawyer.  You can write a business plan on your own but make sure to include a section where you'll obtain legal and accounting assistance to set up your business properly and also obtain ongoing legal and accounting advice throughout the lifetime of your business.  Without at least initial accounting and legal advice, you run the risk of not having your business and personal assets structured properly and end up without a business at all!

Deborah Vella answered this question

Hazel Theocharous
Hazel Theocharous, Small Business Support Specialist at Expert VA

Business Growth

What is one thing every business should outsource to an expert?

Anything that you are not confident at or takes you too long to do.  Chances are that the person that you outsource it to is more experienced, more confident and can product whatever you need in a more cost effective manner.

Deborah Vella answered this question

Official FAQ
Official FAQ, Inquisitor at SavvySME

Cashflow Management

What Are The Payment Times When Working With Big Businesses?

It can depend on the type of work and industry.  Make sure you check their standard contracts and don't be afraid to ask for a change in the payment terms.  The worst they can do is say no.  What I find can usually happen is that you'll receive the details of a dedicated person who can help process your invoice quickly so it is in the accounting system and will be paid on the next cycle.  It may not be perfect, but it's a manageable win!

Deborah Vella answered this question

Does Anyone Know How Much Intellectual Property Laws Cost?

It depends on what the program does and how it impacts your clients. You can look at www.ipaustralia.gov.au for basic information about copyright. However you'll need to speak with a lawyer who specifically works in the field of technology and ask them to prepare terms and conditions of use or an end user licence for you. That would be an agreement between yourself and your clients about the use of the program. You'll also need to consider appropriate insurance for your business as many off the shelf insurance products wouldn't necessarily be designed for technology businesses.Good luck!

Deborah Vella answered this question

For a small business, is Facebook worth the time and effort?

I believe it is worth the time and effort for a service based business. This may change depending on the type of business, the type of client and what you are hoping to achieve. For a service based business, it is important to generate and maintain a positive reputation and Facebook is a useful tool to assist with doing that.

Deborah Vella answered this question

How can I tell if my company has reached the limit of its borrowing capacity? Can I comfortably handle additional debt?

If you're uncertain, it is important to have your accountant look over the numbers. Given fluctuations in the economy and revenue for small business, it would be wise to include a buffer to ride out any difficult trading periods. Keep in mind also that it is illegal to knowingly trade while insolvent.

Deborah Vella answered this question

Franchise or self start up? Which would you choose and why?

It would depend on the proposed owner and what they are looking for. If they are looking for an established business or one that's simple to start up following a set procedure, and to be associated with a recognised brand, then purchasing a franchise business would be the way to go to get working asap.However if you'd like to generate a unique product or service and have the time, energy, motivation and some basic knowledge to start your own business, then starting a new business from scratch may be more rewarding.

Deborah Vella answered this question

What is going to be the next "big thing" in the next 5-10 years?

As the next generation comes through to the management levels in business, we seem to be seeing a trend towards more businesses with attributes that appeal to the millennial generation. One of those is working on your own terms in small business rather than grinding out work for years for a large employer. I think the next big thing in the next five to ten years will be just that, a major shift away from big business and supporting small businesses which provide a personal service.

Deborah Vella answered this question

What are your favourite marketing success stories?

The marketing that has worked best for Support Legal, and that of friends' businesses, is word of mouth. It is encouraging to hear success stories from others where their effort in maintaining positive client and peer business relationships leads to positive recommendations to others. This is the type of marketing that I've found to be most successful in the long term.

Deborah Vella answered this question

Jef Lippiatt
Jef Lippiatt, Owner at Startup Chucktown

Business Planning

Are Internal Processes or External Brand Perception in the Driver's Seat?

Both internal processes and external brand perception are important in business. As the owner of a law practice providing legal services, the external brand perception for Support Legal and personal reputation of myself as a lawyer are crucial to successful practice. That being said, my internal processes go along way to maintaining a quality brand perception and good legal services. Therefore I believe that you can't have success in one without success in the other.

Deborah Vella answered this question

SavvySME Official
SavvySME Official, Official Account at SavvySME

Budgeting and Forecasting

How will your business be affected by interest rate rises?

Doesn't both me at all. I'm taking a long term view with my business and aim to grow organically for the first few years at least. I can see how the rises will negatively impact businesses who have recently gone through a large expansion or growth phase.

Deborah Vella answered this question

SavvySME Official
SavvySME Official, Official Account at SavvySME

Finance and Accounting

What do you like most or least about Budget 2017?

It seems that the Budget 2017 does have small business in mind. While there may not be lots of small immediate perks, the budget helps to create a good foundation for small business to thrive.

Deborah Vella answered this question

What pitfalls or issues did you look for if you bought your company?

I didn't buy my business but I support others who chose to. It is essential to ensure that the main foundations of the business are strong. After that, goodwill and great relationships with clients and customers are a big consideration.

Deborah Vella answered this question

Wendy Huang
Wendy Huang, Full Time Blogger and YouTuber at A Custom Blog in 4 Minutes

Lifestyle and Health

After the sale of your business, what drives you these days?

Rather than the sale of my business, I made a lifestyle choice to start a business. Building up a business that I can work around my family was my lifestyle choice.

Deborah Vella answered this question

SavvySME Official
SavvySME Official, Official Account at SavvySME

Budgeting and Forecasting

Housing affordability: Should we limit/scrap negative gearing?

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.

Deborah Vella answered this question

What is your recommendation to learn more about business broker/business regulation law?

It depends on the type of business and industry you are looking into. There are a series of laws that govern a variety of different types of businesses in Australia. Then there are often regulations that businesses are required to follow depending on the industry and the goods or services being offered. You could try to read some general books about business which might spark your interest in a particular specialty to learn more about.

Deborah Vella answered this question

What happens to your online assets when you die?

You can leave instructions as to your wishes in your will. This may include a wish for another person to be assigned the intellectual property rights. This person then negotiates with the online publishers to grant your wishes.

Deborah Vella answered this question

Lina Barfoot
Lina Barfoot, Editor at SavvySME

Finance and Accounting

What does the term mezzanine finance mean?

Mezzanine finance is a type of finance that is part debt and part equity. Essentially, if the debt is not able to be repaid, then the financier has rights to part of the equity in your business or project.

Deborah Vella answered this question

How is a service economy different from a knowledge economy?

In the knowledge economy, suppliers are able to adjust their service offerings to enable businesses to maximise their own service offerings. I see the knowledge suppliers as professionals helping businesses to meet their service goals.

Deborah Vella answered this question

How should cofounders reconcile differences?

With a very practical partnership agreement. The agreement should cover the values that are most important to each of the partners in business, the decision making process, the process for when decisions are difficult to make and an exit strategy for either partner to exit the business.

Deborah Vella answered this question

Is "No Buyer's Remorse" scalable ?

I would like to see the concept in place, but perhaps without the physical shipping of the return items. It seems to be a waste of time, cost and resources to return the goods when other options are more economical, for example a limit to the number of returns per year per customer or photographic evidence that an item is not useable.

Deborah Vella answered this question

Am I better off borrowing with the same bank or should I cultivate relationships with several banking institutions?

It depends on what you are trying to achieve. With an ongoing business relationship, your bank may be able to assist you in different ways. However be careful of cross-collateralisation. On the other hand, with borrowing with different banks you may be seen more about the numbers.

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