by ashleysrbec ashleysrbec No Comments

Take A Bite of the Apple

Add your Business to Apple Maps

Have you noticed that little USB socket under the touch screen in your new car? Did you know you can plug your iPhone into that socket and then you can control your phone from the cars touch screen This is called Apple CarPlay. This is the only legal way to use your iPhone while driving. There might even be a voice command button on the steering wheel. Give it a go “ Hey Siri Driving directions to ………….”

Now if you have a client who’s business isn’t listed on Apple Maps  you could be lost. There are 2 ways to fix this. Either make sure the business is list on Yelp, as Apple uses this data for requests like “ Hey Siri, Driving direction to the nearest Sushi”. Siri will offer suggestion based on Yelp reviews.

Alternatively go to https://mapsconnect.apple.com/business/ and log in with your Apple ID and add your business. This is the better way of adding it with Apple upcoming rewrite of the app.

Drive Safe.  

by ashleysrbec ashleysrbec No Comments

Business Excellence Awards An Outstanding Success!

Queanbeyan-Palerang Business Excellence Awards an outstanding success!

The 2018 Queanbeyan-Palerang Business Excellence Awards concluded with a gala presentation dinner on the 12th October at the Kangaroos Club Queanbeyan. This years awards received many nominations and we were pleased to see Braidwood & Bungendore businesses embrace the opportunity to nominate in the expanded local government region.

The Business Excellence Awards celebrate the excellence, success and innovation of Queanbeyan-Palerang’s businesses aiming to provide local businesses with an opportunity to receive the recognition they deserve, while networking with like-minded businesses and creating new business relationships.

This year there were 7 categories:

“Trade” category had 3 finalists;
Aluform Interior Supplies, Dawson Heating & Cooling & Dimension Gardenscape, with Aluform Interiors Supplies winning Best Trade Business .

“Start-Up” category had 3 finalists;
The Contentious Character, Corang Estate & Executive Event Solutions with The Contentious Character winning Best start-up business.

The winner of the “Inclusive” business category was The Big Green Cup.

“Retail” category had 4 finalists;
Provisions Grocery & Deli, Len Mutton & Co, Sandalwood Homewares, & Braidwood Bakery with Sandalwood Homewares winning Best retail business.

“Professional Services” category had 4 finalists;
Eyecare on Q, Elringtons Lawyers, Bom Funk Dance Studio, & Blooms The Chemist Karabar with Elringtons Lawyers winning Best Professional Services business.

The winner of the “Tourism & Hospitality” category was Mona Farm.

The winner of the “Light Industry & Manufacturing” category was Resort Trailers.

The overall winner of “Business of the Year” was then selected from the winners of each category with Aluform Interior Supplies deemed “Business of the Year”.

The awards also include a “Customer service Award” that is voted on by the community for the businesses that they believe provide the best customer service.
Again, there were many nominations for businesses across the Queanbeyan-Palerang region with three stand out winners; Home Hardware Karabar in Queanbeyan, R n R’s Diner in Bungendore & Braidwood Bakery.

The Business Excellence Awards committee would like to congratulate all businesses that nominated and were involved in this years awards.

 

Aluform Interior Supplies deemed "Business of the Year"

Aluform Interior Supplies deemed “Business of the Year”

To view more photos of the evening, head to the official Business Excellence Awards Facebook Page;

https://www.facebook.com/beawards/?ref=bookmarks

 

by ashleysrbec ashleysrbec No Comments

Small Business Month & Biz Day Out Recap

October was Small Business Month in NSW and we met Business Owners from Wollongong, Queanbeyan, Bowral, Cooma and Goulburn when they attended SRBEC Biz Day Out events.

Taking a day out of working in their business to consider strategic level concepts to use on their business, owners and their staff were given the opportunity to explore:

– what’s working well in their business with guest speaker Jodie Cooper, and the impact having a Positive Psychology has, not only on themselves and their families, but their staff, customers, businesses and ultimately their way-of-life.

– ways of utilising the power of lateral thinking to take an idea to profit as Entrepreneurship and Innovation Masterclass presenter Randall Walker had them considering the difference between being self-employed and being a business owner.

– how an understanding of personality, culture, values and beliefs will help them communicate a clear message to staff, customers and stakeholders and create a winning outcome with Leadership and Communication coach and Masterclass presenter, Chris Edwards.

Participants had many opportunities to network with each other, the presenters and SRBEC advisors and to pitch their own business to the groups. The feedback we received was very positive with comments like ‘all 3 speakers were top notch and I’ll definitely be using some of their suggestions’.

Due to popular demand, one last encore of the Biz Day Out workshop, will be held in Canberra in the new year. Details to come, so stay tuned!

by ashleysrbec ashleysrbec No Comments

SRBEC Voted Best Regional BEC in Australia.

The Southern Region Business Enterprise Centre (SRBEC) has been acknowledged & rewarded for its; innovation, quality of delivery & service to regional NSW at the National Peak bodies ”Business Enterprise Centres Australia” annual awards presented at the recent national conference held in Canberra.

Awarded the ”Best Regional Business Enterprise Centre in Australia” is recognition of its delivery of services to businesses & young people across the southern region of NSW. Board Chair Sue Whelan OAM & CEO Graham Baxter were present at the gala dinner to accept the award. In accepting the award, Chair Sue Whelan acknowledged the work done by Graham & his team at SRBEC in assisting businesses to innovate, to scale up & generate additional employment across the region. Sue also recognised the work SRBEC do in assisting young people to advance their educational & career prospects through the delivery of various government programs.

In outlining SRBEC history, its locations & current staffing, CEO Graham Baxter said he was extremely proud of the team & what we have achieved together, particularly over the past 5 years as we have experienced amazing growth during this period. The SRBEC was established in Queanbeyan in 1987 (31 years ago) by the community to promote business sustainability, to assist with employment generation & economic development of the region. Today, the Centre operates throughout the southern & northern region of NSW with outreach offices in; Canberra, Wollongong, Goulburn, Narooma, Bowral, Coffs Harbour, Armidale, Port Macquarie & of course in Queanbeyan (HQ) & has a team of 33 dedicated, experienced & professional staff ready to assist businesses & young people in regional NSW.

SRBEC services are extensive & diverse with a focus on skill development, business growth & enhancing employment opportunities. A key part of SRBEC product delivery has been the provision of an extensive business advisory & educational service to all businesses across the region. We service, existing, start-up & exiting businesses across all industry sectors with a team of 12 mobile advisors travelling throughout the region. Advice & assistance is offering on area areas of business management including; marketing & digital engagement, strategic business planning, workforce & financial management as well as a raft of other operational & compliance matters.

This award has spurred us on to achieve even greater success as we plan for 2019 Graham concluded.

by ashleysrbec ashleysrbec No Comments

Bin Trim Update

Because of the SRBEC Bin Trim program, I have, in the last few months, been to Waste expos in Sydney and Melbourne.

For businesses, the usual equipment providers were on display which is most useful when managing and transporting waste at a macro level. There were smaller companies present, reflecting some emerging technologies such as turning cardboard into effective packaging, food containers for personal use in restaurants, technologies which measures material levels in a waste bin and Keep cups for coffee drinking and no waste.

Perhaps the biggest matter of interest at both forums was Government and Industry action around the circular economy concept, about which our July edition article has commented. This focus is reinforced by the news that a number of Asian countries, such as Vietnam, are also closing their borders to contaminated waste stream material imports, just as China has done.

Additionally, consistent with this interest by Government at these expos is that, on October 22nd, the NSW Government released its consultation launch of its draft Circular Economy Policy.  Follow the link below: https://www.epa.nsw.gov.au/news/media-releases/2018/epamedia181022

What remains missing however in these large, waste-focussed forums is a discussion of how rural and regional community businesses might benefit from smart waste stream strategies and operations.

We know from the SRBEC Bin Trim program (web address) that in smaller sized communities, smaller balers are useful, good sized worm farms are valuable and smart organics composting is helpful. As in most such communities however there is a need to process film plastics, break down tyres, make use of wood or pallets to manufacture locally valuable products or process all organic materials and sell the resultant compost. These are business opportunities.

In our Bin Trim program work, we see companies across our region using:

*             smart milk portioning equipment

*             carboard and paper boxes to build a whole internal filing system

*             shrinking used milk containers by heating with steam

*             selling keep-cups for coffee drink sales

*             time to work closely with cleaners

*             clever waste bin labelling and signage; and

*             using organics for lots of local purposes

We have also come across business people who asked their suppliers to stop sending their goods in so much packaging. This is a very useful strategy. One example meant plastic packaging was replaced by a rubber band! Another example is that providers of food might be asked by the retail food industry if the vegetables and fruit they receive can be topped and tailed so the resultant cut-offs remain on farm for composting and to support good soil development.

 

Finally, the SRBEC has organised a forum on the Circular economy on November 20th 2018. Details on how to register can be found below, so come along and hear from international presenters from the European Union who will show how utilising the materials of the waste stream is an economic driver for a local regional community.

Register here;

https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/making-the-circular-economy-work-for-our-region-tickets-52451035459

 

Last but not least, Bin Trim is proud to announce that we are now on Facebook!
Visit us at; https://www.facebook.com/SRBEC-Bin-Trim-Program-1964899606908472/?ref=bookmarks

by ashleysrbec ashleysrbec No Comments

Small Business Month – Biz Day Out

Small Business Month – Biz Day Out 

Small businesses are the heart of a community and are vital to the success, character and vibrancy of a town or city. After all this is where you – the owners live, where your children attend schools and where your customer base is. So, it is important to recognise your contributions to your community and acknowledge your successes.

October is Small Business Month, a time to celebrate the important role Small Business plays in local communities. Events are planned throughout the region to inspire you to start or grow your business, to provide practical information and ideas, and to connect you with like-minded people.

SRBEC has brought together an exciting program of speakers who will inspire, motivate and empower you to think outside your box and look at your business from a different perspective… and, it’s completely FREE to attend!

Over the last 12 years keynote speaker Jodie Cooper has provided business people with the tools of positive psychology to help them manage their stress more effectively and improve their confidence to succeed at work and flourish in their personal lives.

Regarded by many as the leading authority in conceptual and creative thinking, Edward de Bono states “Lateral thinking is about escaping from established ideas and perceptions, breaking out of the perpetual boxes we build for ourselves, and generating ideas of real moment…” The first Masterclass of the day is on Entrepreneurship and Innovation and will be delivered by Randall Walker, exploring how lateral thinking can take ideas to profit, help you make the transition from being self-employed to become a successful business owner and establish an innovative and sustainable competitive advantage for your business.

Our final Masterclass for the day will be presented by successful Leadership and Communication Coach, Chris Edwards. Chris has been involved in the business of communication since the early 1980s, transitioning from old-school manual techniques of communicating via traditional media, through the advent of computers and the impact they had on the business environment, to what we have now with instant access to everyone through social media. Chris will reveal insights on successful self-motivation and face-to-face communication.

There will be opportunities throughout the day for you to participate with 2-minute ‘Pitch your business’ spots available for a small number of local businesses. Sell your story and possibly find that one connection you have been looking for.

Don’t forget to bring your business cards – there is plenty of time for networking with like-minded people over lunch and during the breaks – we’ve created the time and the space for you to mix with business owners, our advisors and the presenters.

To top it off – you may be eligible for a fully-subsidised one-on-one session with one of our business advisors to talk turkey about your own business and your personal goals. You never know what you could pick up from the experience, knowledge and connections of our business advisors.

Biz Day Out will be from 10am – 4pm and in the following locations:

Wollongong                        Wednesday 03 October

Queanbeyan                      Thursday 11 October

Bowral                                  Tuesday 16 October

Cooma                                  Wednesday 24 October

Goulburn                             Wednesday 31 October

All Biz Day Out workshops are FREE! – Simply register here to attend https://srbec.com.au/events/.

by ashleysrbec ashleysrbec No Comments

A Circular Economy

A sensible but different approach to sustainable business development — a circular economy!

The free SRBEC business waste stream program for local companies is now in full operation — details below.

Importantly, this waste program is a stepping stone to businesses becoming sustainable, which research suggests approximately 80% of customers are now asking of the businesses they buy things from. Most businesses also are now hopping on this bandwagon as they see such a change in consumer demand being crucial for their business future.

Even more significant for businesses in the short-term future is the work at Government and industry organisation level across Australia looking to introduce policies and practices around the idea of a ‘circular economy’. What is a circular economy and why is this relevant to your business?

Here is a diagram which shows what is meant by this term

Most advanced in Europe, the circular economy helps businesses and consumers make the transition to where resources are used in a more sustainable way. It is about “closing the loop” of product lifecycles through greater recycling and re-use, with benefits to the environment and the economy.

When in place a circular economy covers the full lifecycle of products: from production and consumption to waste management and the market for secondary raw materials.

The NSW EPA is soon to release a Draft paper discussing the idea in detail and seeking comment. Businesses need to be aware of, and planning for, the advent of this policy change.

by ashleysrbec ashleysrbec No Comments

The 1 Page Business Plan

 

The 1 page Business Plan

Having worked with many business clients over the past 25 years & operated 5 businesses myself & I have no doubt that one of the biggest challenges faced by business owners is to ensure that their business is giving them the lifestyle they desired.

We all start off with high expectations & with great enthusiasm, but this quickly turns into a situation where you are too busy doing the day-to-day operational stuff and not focussing on the things that are most important to us – our personal goals!

Most businesses don’t have a Business Plan, which means that they don’t have strategies that will drive their business to achieve those personal goals that they wanted from the outset.

Business Plans don’t need to be complex, I believe that a simple one-page Business Plan can provide; clarity, strategies & direction for your business that will assist you in achieving those original goals you had for your business.

The one-page plan will explore; what you are really selling, what’s your unique selling proposition is, who your customers are, what your value proposition is, how you will market your products, how they will be measured & expected revenue. These are powerful points that will challenge your thinking & focus your business in a way that will drive success & lead to your goals being met — remember YOU are what is important in your business.

To get your hands on a one-page business plan simply contact SRBEC and ask us to send you one, better still; meet us for a chat and we can help you through it.

Give us a call on 02 6297 3121 or email admin@srbec.com.au and ask for the one-page Business Plan and start kicking your business goals.

by ashleysrbec ashleysrbec No Comments

Bin Trim’s Back!

The Southern Region Business Enterprise Centre (SRBEC) business waste Bin Trim team is back.

Graham Baxter, SRBEC CEO said: “Following its round 2 success, the SRBEC Bin Trim team was again successful in its application for the 3rd round of the NSW Environmental Protection Authority business waste or Bin Trim program.”

SRBEC Bin Trim Program Manager Geoff Pryor said: “We are back to help local businesses! Last round we registered more than 500 companies. For some, this help amounted to savings worth thousands of dollars. We assisted more than 10 companies gain 50% rebates for equipment to be used in their company.”

In a world where customers require businesses from which they purchase their products and services to have less and less impact upon the environment, the Bin Trim program is an important and valuable support. The popularity of the ABC’s War on Waste is testament to this sentiment.

Mr Pryor said; “The Bin Trim program is a free service to businesses to assist them improve the way their businesses operates with the result that cost savings may be found, market image is improved and staff morale grows.

He said: “Not only is the Bin Trim service free but there are opportunities under the program to gain financial support for useful equipment and to be publicly recognised for doing the right thing, and these are significant benefits for all businesses.

The particular site featured in the photograph below, shows how cardboard and plastic can be managed so as to be diverted from landfill but still other limited waste streams remain. This is an example of a significantly improved operation achieved through participation in the Bin Trim program and success with a rebate application for equipment.

 


Engagement with the Bin Trim program is very simple and takes little time. After registration into the program with the SRBEC, a specialist advisor comes to you and does an audit of your waste streams which then results in a proposed action plan for your consideration. The Bin Trim team assessor is readily available to take your calls and answer your queries about this plan. Progress is reviewed and monitored and it is likely that the initial plan morphs into a 2nd Action Plan, used thereafter by the company to guide its activities.

Interested? All you need to do is email or call us on the details below, and we will assist you.
Email us at assist@srbec.com.au
Or, call us on 6297 3121.

by ashleysrbec ashleysrbec No Comments

Tax Time Tips

Tax Time Tips

End of financial year is fast approaching, here are some tips to think about before 30 June.

Being business owners, we all know and understand the benefits of being organized in our day-to-day operations. But we also understand that sometimes the business and other things get in the way of that organization. So, this note is for all of you out there who can see the 30 June horizon rapidly approaching, maybe are not as organized as you would like to be need a gentle nudge to get things moving.

 

Get your record keeping in order

It’s never too late to suggest you keep better tax and accounting records. Keeping accurate and timely records on a regular and consistent basis makes perfect sense. It will help you to understand how well you are tracking and good information is the cornerstone you need for making future decisions on your business operations. If your records are up to date, filed in an orderly and systematic way such that you know where all your essential information is, you should be able to get some management accounts prepared quickly.  And apart from it being the law that you keep proper accounting records, your accountant will appreciate the effort as well.

 

Get a set of management accounts prepared to 30 May 2018

Now, if you haven’t prepared a set of management accounts up to the end of May then this is the first thing I suggest you do. Your management accounts to the end of May will give you a pretty good guide to what your end of year results might look like. And these are what you can use for some clever tax planning before the end of the year.

Do your May accounts suggest you are on track for a likely profit? Or are they indicating a loss? Depending on what they show will assist you with what to do next.

 

No one should pay any more tax than they legally have to

The late Kerry Packer, while being examined at the 1991 Print Media Inquiry, rather famously stated: “Now of course I am minimizing my tax and if anybody in this country doesn’t minimize their tax they want their heads read because as a government I can tell you you’re not spending it that well that we should be donating extra.” I’m going to go out on a limb here and suggest that his words ring as true today as they did back then.

If your May accounts suggest that a profit is likely at 30 June, then here are a few things you can consider.

  • Perform a stock take. Identify any old or obsolete stock and dispose of it. Old and obsolete stock sitting around your shop or workplace is costing you money. It’s taking up space and impacting upon your working capital. The best bet is to discount it and sell it, but if you can’t sell it, write it off. You will only be able to claim a tax deduction for the write off of stock in the year that actually do it. So that means physically write it off before 30 June.
  • Review your debtors. Any bad and doubtful debts should also be physically written off before 30 June.
  • If your aggregate business turnover is less than $10million then the ATO will consider you to be “Small Business Entity”. As a small business entity you are entitled to use the Simplified Depreciation – Immediate asset write-off rules. Under these rules you can immediately write-off, or claim as a tax deduction, the full cost of a depreciating asset in the year that you buy it, so long as the asset is bought, used or installed ready to use before 30 June.
  • The instant asset write-off threshold is currently $20,000, but at the time of writing this article, it will only be $20,000 until 30 June 2018. After that date it will revert to it’s original amount of $1,000.
  • If you are employed by your business, consider making an additional payment to your Superannuation account up to your concessional cap limit.

 

Step back and take a good look at your business

Sometimes you need to step back and look at your business from a different angle. How does it look? Are your finances appropriate for your stage of business? Might you require an overdraft for a short period of time or have you had an overdraft that should possibly be converted into a term loan?

The end of financial year gives you an opportunity reflect on these things, take your accounts to your bank and discuss where to next.

You might also want to have a look at your insurance policies. Are the levels of coverage appropriate for your business? Are the premiums you are paying reasonable? If you don’t engage the services of an insurance broker, then it’s something worth considering. Remember that a broker works for you, not the insurance companies.

And finally, why not have a look at your business goals for the next year. What are your goals? Are you achieving your goals? If the goals are moving are you adapting to the change? Are you maximizing the opportunities that are coming your way?

 

What now?

Get your accounts together and go and talk to your accountant. You should always get the advice of your accountant or tax agent before making decisions that impact on your tax situation. Remember that your advisors are there to protect your interests and maximize your returns. Don’t think of them as a cost, think of them as a business asset to be used for your benefit!