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Small Biz Matters – a half hour program each week where you can work

ON your business rather than IN it.

What’s in the news this week for Small Business

& Useful websites

In the last few weeks we’ve referred a number of websites and chatted about what’s been in the media for small business. So I thought we’d bring it all together this week; examining latest announcements from the govt organisations which matter to small business. … we’ve also got an announcement of our own which will be coming at the end of the show….

Also, I thought I’d include some useful websites and newsletters which businesses I know my colleagues out there in the small business world utilize for inspiration and growth and just simple, good strategies.

First, let’s look at what’s happening in the world of small business:

Part 1 – FEDERALLY

  • ATO reveals web-chat for business – It’s a web-chat service for small business owners can talk online directly to them. It’s a way they’re attempting to cut red tape. They want businesses to do the right thing rather than the expensive process of auditing and I guess this is their way of opening up to other channels of communication.
  • Now, I personally prefer to chat online as I can type pretty quick and like to have a transcript of the conversation and then I know the service provider is accountable for what they’ve told me. But I don’t think this will be useful to a lot of the business owners out there I have dealings with – they are time poor, drowning in red tape and many of them are not as computer literate as feeling comfortable having a typed out conversation with an agent. Now, at the moment the ATO Commissioner Chris Jordan said small businesses that “get into trouble”, should contact the Tax Office. Yep, if you have a spare 45mins up your sleeve in wait time.
  • Here’s why they’re doing it (these facts are a little scary):
  • 60% of business debt to the ATO is from Small Businesses
  • In 2012, 6000 businesses were WRONGLY accused by the ATO for doing the wrong thing
  • The tax office has had 3000 jobs cut with more to come
  • But I ask, is this really solving the problem when ALL the liability, responsibility and process of reporting falls on the small business owner? Talking to businesses out there I would say many simply can’t see the wood from the trees as to their responsibilities even to which agency let alone making sure they get it correct.
  • For example which government agency is responsible for OHS? When does payroll tax kick in? Did you know this is under the state government office of state revenue, not the ATO? What about if you’re taken to court over an unfair dismissal? Which agency, is it state or federal level, can help? Which government agency is responsible for entitlements?
  • This I think is where the real red tape issue lies. Small businesses WANT to do the right thing but they don’t know who to ask for help, let alone how. I’m actually more excited about their Small Business Fix-It Squads which are there to help them find solutions for small businesses. Because, let’s face it….

Part 2 – USEFUL WEBSITES for small business owners

Flying solo – www.flyingsolo.com.au

  • Specialises in all things sole trader.
  • Great for forum discussions and really great articles for everything. If you want an article on a specific subject this is a really good starting point, and the forum discussions have lots of sole traders on there to help you. The forum community is extremely helpful too.
  • This IS Australia wide so I find this website to be quite overwhelming so the best way to navigate is to know what you’re looking for

Facebook

  • Many of you don’t intend to be on facebook beyond a personal level (or at all) but there really is an entire community out there willing to help. It’s a great starting point if you have a quick question. You could have a quick look to see if there are any useful industry groups out there who offer support and advice.

Your Industry newsletters

  • I know they can be boring and repetitive but they really do have the finger on the pulse for your industry.

Australian Govt Business website – Business.gov.au

  • Great when trying to find out about:

o   Registering your business name or getting an ABN, registering for GST or Payroll tax

o   Tips on how starting out

o   Grants & assistance

o   Useful checklists like starting a business and helpful sections on business planning. There is a template here but a forum page might be a good start for working out the best template to use for your business type.

o   “How to” for home based businesses

Fair Work Ombudsman – http://www.fairwork.gov.au

  • This is actually a really user friendly website. I am actually excited that I stumbled on this one and am going to show it to all my clients. It’s fab and really easy to use. What? I hear you say? A government website which is clear and makes sense???
  • If you go to the home page you can clearly see the different entitlements and how you, as a small business can make sure your employees are getting what they are entitled to as well as a clear explanation for each.
  • They even have a section especially for small business which goes through the tips for hiring & firing, entitlements and how to work it out, the correct award wage and an online learning centre to help you! I tell you, this website is going to put me out of business!!

Broader websites

  • I did also stumble upon a website entitled: “15 websites for small business advice in Australia” but that’s again just an overview of many of the websites above. Be wary of those kind of overview websites, if they are outdated then their links may not work or be relevant anymore. Again, I think colleagues in the small business community are a good starting point.

Inspiring websites:

  • www.entrepreneur.com – a great little website with short articles to help you find inspiration
  • www.UpWorthy.com – if you’re just looking for some feelgood moments during the day

Newsy websites:

  • My Small Business – part of Sydney Morning Herald online. This is where I get all my current affairs relating to small business. There are also useful articles too.

Part 3 – Local Usefullnesses

  •  Now there is a little secret I’m going to let our listeners in to. I’ve wanted to keep these workshops all to myself but I thought it was getting a little too selfish not to share. Abby Practice in Hornsby has been there for years and as a way of giving back to the business community Sid and his team host monthly workshops specifically designed to help small business. Topics have included Sales for small businesses, Starting, Buying or Selling a Small Business and the next one is going to be “Making Sense of your Financial Statements” which I know many of you (and even me) need help with. We’re actually going to have Sid Edwards the Principal on the show in a few weeks time to give the workshop on air – Budgets and Planning. Let me tell you these are EXCELLENT and would you believe, free. They are on the first Tuesday of every month but the places are really limited. Get on the mail list and put your name down quick.
  •  And here comes our useful announcement – On Tuesday 2nd Sept at Hornsby Inn from 5:30pm Small Biz Matters are co-hosting with Matt Kean State MP a FREE Business Networking Night. Also supporting are The Hornsby Business Alliance. The NSW Small Business Commissioner will be speaking on how the NSW government helps small business.
  •  Matt will be our special guest in a few weeks time too to chat all things small business.

Now we’re going to pop up all of these on the Breakfast Boys and Boyd Office Management Services facebook page so you don’t need to write them down, and of course as always if you missed the show you can catch up on podcast via each of those or my Blogs and Pdcasts page of my website www. Boydofficemanagement.com.au

Next Week

Our guest will be Paula Agius from Social Cocktails who is going to take us (carefully and slowly) through the minefield of social media. Remember we’re all about strategies to help you, so as usual the show will be full of useful tips and clear step-by-step guides to help you navigate.

Homework time!!

Which social media websites would you like to utlise more – in fact go ahead and tell us on the Breakfast Boyd Facebook page so we can focus on these next week!