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Advice from Outside the Square

The Square Orange Blog

10 Things Every Small Business Needs To Do To Succeed

As a business advisor and accountant, I am often asked what a small business needs to do in order to succeed. It's a simple enough question but there are so many things small business owners need to know, need to be, and need to do in their businesses. So I asked a number of my most successful clients what they thought about the question, and, using my own experience gained over the last 30-plus years, I have collated the top 10 things that a small business needs to do to succeed. 1. Make sure that you are marketing effectively. From experience, I cannot stress enough how important marketing is to the success of any small business. The problem is that most small business owners are subject matter experts - they are good mechanics, good lawyers, good accountants, good toy retailers, good garment manufacturers - and this means that they try to make their business succeed by being good at what they do. Unfortunately, that is not enough. A business succeeds only if it finds and continues to find customers. Some of these will come from word-of-mouth or reputation but the volume of these new customers will not be enough to grow your business. So, you...
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Setting Up Your Accounting System

While our focus is on advice to you after the accounts are prepared - on issues like your future-proof strategies, how to grow sales, making your business efficient - nevertheless we base our advisory work on numbers. So naturally we care very much how you set up your accounting systems. Whether your software or manual system, and your system around it is appropriate for you, whether the information is accurate (garbage in - garbage out), whether it is secure, whether it is efficient - all these details affect what our ongoing advice might be. Whether you are thinking of starting your first or new business, or whether you are dissatisfied with how you "keep your books" at the moment, it is important to set up your accounting system correctly. In order to help you we have prepared an extensive, free checklist on setting up your accounting system. (more…)...
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Tax Updates March 2018

In this tax update:
  • Bill to implement housing affordability CGT changes
  • Changes to small business CGT concessions
  • Bill to change residential property GST arrangements
  • ATO moving to combat the black economy
  • Corporate tax avoidance: ATO's latest targets

Bill to implement housing affordability CGT changes

As part of the 2017–2018 Budget, the Federal Government announced a range of reforms intended to reduce pressure on housing affordability. Legislation has now been introduced into Parliament that proposes to:
  • remove the entitlement to the capital gains tax (CGT) main residence exemption for foreign residents; and
  • modify the foreign resident CGT regime to clarify that, for the purpose of determining whether an entity’s underlying value is principally derived from taxable Australian real property (TARP), the principal asset test is applied on an “associate inclusive” basis.
The Bill also proposes to amend the tax law to provide an additional discount on CGT for affordable housing. The discount of up to 10% will apply if a CGT event happens to an ownership interest in residential property used to provide affordable housing. The main residence exemption means that CGT doesn’t apply...
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When do you start making profits?

One of the key pieces of information for any business is - what is your break-even point? This is the point of sales volume or revenue, that is required to cover all your costs, being both fixed costs as well as variable costs. At this break-even point your total profit is nil. Before you reach that break even point, you will be making losses. After that break even point, you will be making profits. In order to generate sales, you have to incur costs. You need to know how much you must sell in order to break-even. You can get our free break-even point calculator here. It is an Excel spreadsheet that you can use to calculate your break-even point. So, how do you calculate your break-even point? (more…)...
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