• Mid-year health check
Running a business can be a little like owning a car, Tulley says. You can do the bare minimum to keep it on the road or you can stay a step ahead by lifting the lid on every part of the business to understand where efficiencies can be gained and where revenue opportunities can be maximised.
Doing that as part of a mid-year health-check can give business owners a running a start on a new financial year.
• Set tax and cashflow strategies early
According to the Australia Tax Office around 50 per cent of small businesses come under financial pressure within the first year and one of the biggest reasons is cashflow.
Dubbed the ‘oxygen’ of a business, there’s no disputing cashflow plays a huge part in how successful a business can be.
By reassessing their cashflow and tax strategy early, businesses not only have more control over their finances but have greater freedom to act quickly – which means seizing on growth opportunities competitors are missing. That can come by investing potential savings into new revenue-generating strategies.
• Bite-size approach to super
When it comes to managing finances, superannuation is one of the biggest sources of confusion for business owners and consumers alike. And, too often, discussions about potential superannuation contributions are happening on the eve of EOFY.
With changes to the annual concessional (pre-tax) contributions now in effect (at July 1), business owners should be thinking about the superannuation contribution they want to set aside for the financial year ahead, and provision for the appropriate amount either monthly or quarterly.
This will help make it manageable and achievable from a cashflow perspective, while ensuring you don’t miss the tax benefits which remain under the superannuation structure.
• Harnessing relevant data
A builder may be synonymous with a hammer, a retailer with a cash register and an IT specialist with a computer, but there are universal tools of the business trade every business owner can take advantage of.
One of the biggest advantages for a business is access to real-time information on their financial position.
Simple accounting software such as Xero or MYOB provides live information on tax payments and profitability. This proves helpful in understanding cashflow and, in turn, planning.
July is a good time to identify the levers which can turbo-boost business performance, particularly when it comes to understanding sales performance, cashflow, and the market environment in which a business is operating.
The use of data analytics software to track customer behaviour and insights can be a powerful tool in any SME’s armour. ANZ Business Insights is such a tool, offering free access to real-time data and online reports with information on sales patterns and trends, customer profiles and industry benchmarking.
• Get in early for tax write-offs
The Federal Government’s $A20,000 instant asset tax write-off scheme has been well-received by business owners with an annual turnover of up to $A10 million (previously $A2 million).
All too often however we hear stories of business operators scrambling to spend the allocation ahead of the June 30 deadline. Sometimes they miss the boat or a sizeable chunk of it.
Assessing a business’ capital needs early in a financial year and making that investment along the way – as part of a broader business plan – can save a lot of time and stress at year’s end, not to mention gaining full value from the instant tax write-off.
• Staying ahead of the game
Beyond July 1 there are several key dates business owners should be aware of if they’re to stay ahead of the competition.
The ATO has a small business information portal which provides important updates, tips and key dates to watch out for.