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Seven Marketing Mandatories for 2013

By Rebecca Wilson, Stretch Marketing

Every day we go to work wanting to do our jobs, technically competent, appropriately staffed and capable of delivering.   But the world is speeding up, changing and challenging the way we are doing business.  I know it. You know it. 

No matter how much some want to deny it, people are communicating differently, thinking more selfishly and expecting more.  Clients don’t just want a technically capable service provider anymore, they want a professional service that stays at the cusp.  They want to be the centre of your universe.  And why shouldn’t they… they are your Clients.

All those delivering services will be faced with a series of opportunities… keep doing things the way we always have and hope for the best; or understand what our markets require from our services firms as their positioning shifts and find ways to deliver an evolved service that fulfills the “right now” needs of your target clients.

Here are the most important trends I urge you to address.  Some of them are marketing, and some of them are more important “market positioning” for your firm.

Click on Read more below to view the 7 Marketing Mandatories for 2013.

www.stretchmarketing.com.au, Phone: 07 37390760

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Succession Planning - how to start the process

Article by Loretta Seamer FCPA GAICD

Most family business owners put off their succession planning because they don’t want to think about their retirement, disability or death, or they haven’t yet planned for how they can exit the business and obtain enough value to support them in retirement.  If there is no exit strategy in place, then how do you ensure you obtain maximise value for many years of work and/or ensure you can leave a legacy for the next generation.   

The issue of succession planning for family businesses is critical, and research shows that only about 30% of family businesses survive in the second generation, and around 15% survive into the third generation. Major causes of failure in family businesses is conflict within the family in the succession process, lack of management skills and preparation for the position; failure of parents to ‘let go’; little or no planning for the business; inadequate consideration and planning of the ownership; and failure to meet the specific needs of the family members.

This article outlines considerations and outllines the process for implementing a successful transition plan for your business.  Click below to read more.

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Family Disputes - Why it is important to have a Succession Plan

Article provided by from Toogoods Solicitors

Successful businesses take lifetimes to build but many business owners throw away their life's work by failing to plan for succession and their retirement. A business with no succession plan for the owner is set for major problems.

Where there is no succession plan in place, more often than not it falls on the Courts to decide the future of the business. These decisions usually involve very valuable assets and will have a profound impact extending beyond the decision-makers to all family members. There’s the potential that the court’s decision could proceed in a direction never contemplated by the owners of the business.

Giumelli and Another v Giumelli (‘Giumelli’) vividly exemplifies the legal problems which can arise from an ordinary family dispute, when it takes place within a family business.

 

Click below to read the full Case study of the Giumellis who were typical of many Australian farming families.

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Built to last - Protecting your business

Think of ‘the unthinkable’ by considering the following scenarios…

If something happened to you:

  • Would you be sure that you or your family would receive adequate payment for the transfer of your interest in the business to your business associates?
  • Would the business have sufficient funds to repay any loans owed to you and release any assets held as security?
  • Could your business associates continue to run the business?

If something happened to one of your business associates:

  • Would you be sure that the transfer of that person’s interest in the business would be not only orderly and equitable, but could be funded?
  • Would you lose a key revenue generator?
  • Would you have enough cash flow to meet your business commitments?
  • Would you be able to pay out business debts to release any loan guarantees or personal security that associate may have given?
  • Would the business struggle with the loss of key skills and costs to replace those skills?
  • Would you want to avoid selling or encumbering personal or business assets?

You have worked hard to build up your business so you will want to make sure it can withstand whatever life throws at it.  Well-structured business insurance helps keep your business functioning and protects the value of your business assets in the case of unplanned events.  Without it your business may fail, exposing you, your family and business associates to unnecessary financial risk.

The solution is to implement a set of protective arrangements that provide funding on the death or disablement of a key person. This would enable you to repay business loans or shareholder/director loans, to offset loss of revenue, or provide funding to exercise a transfer of the injured or deceased person’s share of the business.

Click on the link below to read the full article, including two Case Studies.

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Types of Insurance for Business Owners: An Overview

To be financially secure, both at work and at home, business owners need to plan for the unexpected.

Business owners are often risk takers by nature. Even starting a business is a risk in itself – leaving behind the comforts of a stable income, superannuation and entitlements like sick and annual leave. With SMEs making up 99.7% of total businesses in Australia, there are many out there willing to take that risk.1

While that risk can be extremely rewarding, one risk that’s not worth taking is trying to run a business without adequate life insurance.

One of the reasons under-insurance is a major problem in the small business community is that business owners have more to protect than most.  

If you can’t work because of sickness or injury, you not only have to worry about providing for your family, you have to think about how you can keep your business running.   You may have business debts on top of your mortgage or personal loans – giving you an even bigger headache if your income stops.

With so much riding on your physical wellbeing, it makes sense for all business owners to have a contingency plan for sickness or injury.

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Employee v's Contractor - A Crucial Decision

A recent decision by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) further exposed the need for workplaces to take note of whether staff are being correctly classified as an independent contractor or an employee.

The AAT ruled that an owner of an aged-care home was required to pay her workers Superannuation Guarantee Contributions after misclassifying them as independent contractors instead of employees.

Although each worker had entered into a contractual agreement with the business and acknowledged that they were independent contractors, the AAT found them to be employees because:

  1. They were not free to delegate their work to others;
  2. They had entered into a labour hire agreement;
  3. There was no evidence that the workers were required to produce a result. They were paid wages based on time worked rather than on the basis of a task completed.

Find out if staff are being correctly classified as an independent contractor or an employee by reading our guide…

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The New Australian Consumer Protection Laws

Article provided by Toogoods Lawyers

On 1 January 2011 the Trade Practices Act 1974 was renamed and amended to the Competition and Consumer Act 2010.  The Competition and Consumer Act 2010 is designed to protect you as a consumer in your dealings with business.

It incorporates a nationally-agreed set of consumer protections, the Australian Consumer Law (ACL), meaning there’s now consistency in consumer protection strategies across all Australian states.

The most important changes are in relation to:

  • New laws on unfair terms in standard form contracts;
  • Improved consumer guarantees on goods and services;
  • Controls on door-to door sales and similar sales away from business premises;
  • Mew product safety rules requiring suppliers to inform regulators when they find out about a safety issue with their products; and
  • New enforcement powers from ACCC.

Our focus of our article this month is on Consumer Guarantees by suppliers and how suppliers and customers will be affected.

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The New Personal Property Security Act (PPSA) Are you and your business ready?

The Personal Property Securities Register commenced on 30 January 2012 and is administered by the Insolvency and Trustee Service Australia.

This new act triggers significant changes to the way security is taken over personal property, and affects financiers, and all businesses, but particularly those operating in the manufacturing, wholesale and retail sectors.

Read this article to see if this affects you and how to ensure you and your business is ready...

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NEW Legislation: 6-months on...

by Michael J. Vail SA Fin FCPA

I hope this newsletter finds everyone well and prospering.

As you may already be aware, Australians now operate under changes to three (3) very important laws; the Personal Property Securities (PPSA) Act 2009 (C’wlth.), the National Consumer Credit Protection Act 2009 (C’wlth) as Amended, and the Competition and Consumer Act 2010.

The First extensively changes the way in which personal property is dealt with in Australia, and it came into force on 30th January 2012. The Second relates to how credit is granted and collected, and is now a national Act (with the Queensland Act being repealed in 2010). The Third largely replaces the Trade Practices Act 1974 as the main piece of legislation covering consumer protection in Australia.

My article this month provides an overview of the key issues and the articles below has additional aricles to provide more information on how these changes may affect you.  Please read on.

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New Workplace Health & Safety Laws- Due Diligence

Article by Lynn Cook, Managing Director, Personalised Business Coaching & Solutions.

 

Under the new Work Health and Safety Bill 2011, an Officer of Corporations and unincorporated bodies must exercise due diligence to ensure that the corporation meets its Work Health and Safety Obligations.

This article defines who is an Officer, and how they must exercise due dilligence to meet the requirments of the NEW laws.
 

Read the full article to understand your obligations under the new Work Health and Safety Bill 2011.

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Q & A - When should I update a Business Plan?

Article published in The Australian Financial Review, p16 on 5th June 2012.

 

Q: “The new financial year is coming up and one of my investors said I should revise my business plans. I brought him in two years ago and we haven’t updated the plan since then. Looking at the original plan with the benefit of hindsight and armed with a longer trading history, a new plan will need to be rewritten completely if it is to be any good. You’ve done this before. I would be grateful for your ideas and any tips.”

A: from Tonkin Corporation chairman Kenelm Tonkin: Up-to-date business plans are vital. There are seven (7) important principles to consider.

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Happy Financial New Year!

By Michael J. Vail SA Fin FCPA TRE PONTE corporate Brisbane

 

Thank-you for your custom over the past year, and we look forward to working closely with you in the future to assist you to achieve your goals.

As regards Business Planning, here we all are, at the end of another financial year, with the future something to really look forward to, as the difficulties of the past four years (especially the past two) commence to fade.

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Improving your Cash Flow, Growth and Profits!

Want a stronger cash flow and bigger profit? Then unlock your business’s working capital.

Many people believe that the only way to improve their business’s cash flow is to concentrate on generating more revenue.  But what is even more critical to business growth is unlocking your business’s working capital and using it to create a stronger cash flow, more growth in services and bigger profits.

How will this improve my profits?  By having access to cash available, this allows you to invest in new products or services to increase your sales opportunities, reduce debt and therefore limit finance costs, invest cash surpluses to earn additional interest, invest in new technology to improve efficiency in your business and reduce cost of services, thereby increasing profits.

Read on to learn strategies to implement for your business.

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New Workplace Health and Safety Laws from 1st Jan 2012 Are you Compliant?

The Workplace Health and Safety Act 2011 (New WHS Act) has replaced the current Workplace Health and Safety Act 1995 (Qld) (Current WHS Act) from 1st January 2012.  The New WHS Act will impose on all businesses, tough new requirements which will be time consuming and present to us considerable risks for lack of compliance.

So there are no “grey areas”, all businesses, regardless of size, have a positive obligation to undertake due diligence to ensure that their organisations are compliant.

The introduction of a new concept of “Person Conducting the Business or Undertaking” (PCBU), and the expansion of the definition of “worker”, has altogether greatly increased traditional employer obligations.

How does this affect businesses?

 

Information provided by Lynn Cook, Managing Director, Personalised Business Coaching & Solutions.  Lynn is a qualified Workplace Health and Safety Officer and WHS Auditor & Fire Safety Adviser

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10 Steps to Business Growth

Everything in Nature, to survive, must develop, grow and produce.
To survive and thrive, on the other hand, requires they must compete, and do it better than their nearest competitor; harder, faster, stronger.   Some things grow in a linear fashion (ie, the same amount, over the same time-frame; constant growth), other things grow exponentially (eg, like a Nautilus or conch-shell, Fibonacci fashion).
Business is no different from Nature.

Read more to find out the Top 10 tips for Business Growth in 2012.

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Plan or Perish

With a new financial year under way, now is the time to financially map your business. If you get this financial mapping right, you reduce your risk and remove some of the surprises that can occur along the way. Need some tips? Read on!

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Declaring and paying Dividends - New Rules that may affect you

Paying dividends is a normal part of company life; generate the profits, pay the tax, and then look at what dividends are available for the shareholders. Changes in the Corporations Act earlier this year mean that directors need to consider a new set of rules before they declare or pay a dividend. Section 254T of the Corporations Act provides the rules governing dividends. In the past, directors needed to ensure that dividends were paid out of profits. This has now changed.  With effect from 28 June 2010, section 254T has been amended and replaces the profit test with three new tests.

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Knowing when to change your Business structure

For successful businesses, simple business structures often do not work. They leave you risk exposed, are ineffective for tax purposes, and are not efficient for succession or sale.  In the early stages of business life the philosophy often is; keep it simple and low cost.  This may mean trading as a sole trader, in partnership, or through a simple company structure.  Where the business stays small this can be entirely appropriate and may serve you well for the lifetime of the business.  However, if your expectations are greater than this, or if you can see that your business is likely to grow in a significant way, then you will need to change structure at some stage.

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