INVEST IN YOURSELF

  Photo credits: serendipitygirl wordpress

Photo credits: serendipitygirl wordpress

One thing I am currently undertaking and am passionate about for everyone is investing in yourself by up-skilling and adding to your skill set, I see myself as a living breathing document that needs constant updating and improvement, this gives me confidence and ensures I deliver the best service to my clients.  Investing in yourself manifests in many forms, your health and well being are just as important as your skill set.

Like many business owners, I usually spend my week juggling that tight rope of work, family and life and then inevitably work weekends to stay on top of everything – sounds like you?

One of the things you can do to free up time is outsource your bookkeeping, don’t spend your weekends buried in invoices and receipts, this is vital family time, when you should taking the kids to footy or netball or visiting that Dinosaur exhibit that you’ve been meaning to see.

I love this list so wanted to share with you…

1. Invest in your health

Exercise and nutrition may involve some time cost, but without wellbeing, only suboptimal results can ever be achieved. The greatest wealth, as the traditional saying goes, is health.

2. Grow your skill set

Take courses to improve your skills, particularly in the areas you perceive are your weakest suits.

3. Hire help

Hiring help such as a bookkeeper, an administrative staff member or a cleaner may come with a financial cost, but the principle of opportunity cost holds that these may be funds well spent if they free up time for you to focus on more important or productive matters.

4. Choose mentors

One of the greatest shortcuts to success — both in small business and in life — can involve identifying mentors who have already successfully accomplished what you want to achieve, and then resolve to learn from what has worked for them and what has not. Model those who have succeeded, and follow their path. Better still, why not decide to improve upon their path?

5. Read to learn

When engrossed in day-to-day travails, it’s frequently difficult to see the wood for the trees or acknowledge the bigger picture. This can be particularly so during the early growth phases of a small business, where the business owner can be covering a wide range of roles.

Stepping away from the detail of your business to read about new ideas and strategies can be a highly effective blueprint. There are so many wonderful resources written by brilliant business people that it would be a shame if you didn’t set some time aside for them.

6. Make time 

In an ideal world we’d all resolve to invest in ourselves, yet many business owners don’t because they don’t have time.

Yet, we all have 24 hours in a day and 7 days in a week, so by definition we all have the time! What we really mean is that we have other priorities.

How do you start investing in yourself?

Firstly, at the start of each day write a list of bullet points of what you want to achieve, and tick them off as you go. This alone should make your day more effective.

Secondly, just for one day, keep a time diary of how you spend each hour of the day. Take a careful note of the time expended on activities of a low yield, such as checking for new emails or idly perusing social media.

Through efficiency and focus you should be able to make to time to invest in both your business and in your most valuable asset of all: yourself!

 

 

DO YOU USE YOUR CAR FOR BUSINESS?

If your car is registered and owned in your business name, then you can claim the following as business expenses:

Car registration and insurances,
Petrol and servicing costs (even car washes to keep it looking   pretty!)
Financing costs

How much your business can claim, though, depends on the method you use. The two most common ways to do this are:

The Logbook Method

To maximise the amount of the car expenses you can claim for your business, you need to establish a business-use percentage — that is, the percentage that the car is used for work (versus personal use). To do this, keep a logbook over a continuous 12-week period to substantiate the business kilometers traveled by the car. The log is good for five years, and then you will have to track it again. It is this business percentage that you can claim of all the car maintenance expenses, including petrol, servicing, insurance, registration, and depreciation and financing on the cost of the car.

*There are three important things to note:
Traveling from your home to your work place is not business travel.  You must reimburse your business for the percentage of the car expenses that is for your private use, or your business may be subject to Fringe Benefits Tax (FBT). Your business can only claim the business-use percentage of the GST paid as a car expense.

The Kilometres Method

There are two other, simpler methods you can use aside from keeping a logbook to claim car expenses. If you travel less than 5,000 kilometers in a financial year, you can claim a set rate of cents per kilometer (business travel only) as an expense. The ATO sets the rate each financial year. If you travelled more than 5,000 kilometers then you can claim 12% of the cost of the car or 1/3 of car expenses.

Depreciation claims

The claim on depreciation of the car is limited — it’s currently capped at $57,466. If you purchase a car that costs more than this amount, the depreciation expense is capped. 

Hope everyone had a great Australia Day Weekend….back to work now!

Yes profit is important but cash is king because while you are waiting to be paid by your clients, and this could take anywhere from 1 week to 2 months, you still have to pay the bills.

Your rent, your suppliers, your staff, replenishing your stock or buying new equipment will not wait, your cash flow is the first thing that will take a hit. Don’t suffer from a short-term cash short fall.

Tips to help manage your cash flow:

* Invoicing – Don’t wait till month end
Invoice frequently. Instead of leaving it to the end of the month, do it as soon as the job is done. Don’t forget some debtors take their own sweet time to pay!

* Go cashless – Do away with folding money
All payables should be done electronically. Whenever possible, use a business credit card for travel, meals and your minor expenses. This leaves more cash in hand and you can defer payment until the end of the month or when it’s due.

* Manage receivables
Monitor your debtors weekly, its ok to send a gentle reminder to late payers, create a pro-forma letter to be consistent. Some people whilst the loveliest clients on the planet are full of excuses for paying late perhaps a late payment fee might motivate them to pay on time!

* Reward clients who pay early
Reward your clients by offering an early payment incentive, that might also help appease any guilt at charging other clients with a late payment fee! You could offer from 2.5% - 5% off the price.

* Be mates with your Bank 
Banks can offer businesses useful services like overdrafts or credit, particularly when you are starting out so make sure you keep them in the loop if you think your going to have a cash flow short fall, they need to understand your business and growth potential.

* Make Progress Claims
If you are working on big projects that could carry across over a few months, make sure you get a deposit to start the job and then stagger a 2nd and final progress claim. Set up a payment schedule with your client around the job.

* Create a cash flow forecast
The forecast should tell you who you are paying, when the payments are due, who is paying you and when that money is coming in. A good forecast also sets out all your costs for the month, leaving room as a buffer.

* Keep an eye on your stock
Remember that inventory consumes cash. After all, you have to buy it before you can sell it. Regardless of whether or not you manage to sell it, your vendors don’t care and want to be paid. Put another way, every dollar you spend on inventory is a dollar you won’t have in cash.

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