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  Could Your Business Survive Without You? 
 
Your business must be independent of any one individual if you want your business to thrive in the marketplace on a long-term basis.

The most effective way you can grow your business is by removing yourself from the daily operations and focusing your time on developing strategies to elevate and move your brand forward. However, you cannot step away from running your business until you have strong systems in place, a dependable and knowledgeable team, and a stable customer base.

To help you develop a business that can run on its own, consider the following:

Test your business

The best way to test how well your business will perform without you is to go on a holiday. Ensure you are unreachable during the entire period. In this way, you can come back and assess what went wrong or where your issues lie, for instance, you may find your staff are not comfortable calling the shots if they are used to being micromanaged.

Build strong systems

Putting strong systems in place is the only way you can remove yourself from the daily operations involved in running your business. You must establish clear requirements for all business activities, including how to manage your social media and content calendar through to the processes used for handling customer complaints. By having clear guidelines in place for every aspect of your business, you will no longer need to be there to save the day.

Become replaceable

When you reduce your responsibilities, you must have a reliable and qualified team who can run your business efficiently in your stead. There must be team members employed who are capable of speaking to clients or suppliers and have the relevant industry knowledge to make important decisions on behalf of your business. You need to ensure there are also effective training protocols set up so that every employee understands the business policies and procedures, and what is required in their individual roles.

Perks of a stable customer base

Having a steady customer base provides a reliable and regular source of financial security to take time out to strategise your business' future or tweak any issues in your branding image. For instance, you may want to put your time and effort into perfecting or redeveloping your service or product to attract a broader target market. Stepping away also allows you the freedom to take time away from your business altogether.

   
  Developing Your Intellectual Property Strategy 
 
Developing your intellectual property (IP) strategy is vital in order to protect the value and future of your business.

IP is any original idea or work that has been created by your business. These valuable intangible assets assist your business in remaining competitive, boosting your profits and value of your business as an investment and providing potential for future growth. Consider the following tips so your business can reap the market benefits of your creative work.

Perform an intellectual property audit

Whether your business is just starting up or has undergone a change in ownership, an intellectual property audit will help you determine what steps you need to take to protect your ideas and remain compliant. This process referred to as "due diligence" may include checking public registers for patents, trademarks, designs and any infringement notices. When you identify your IP assets think about the key products and services in your business, what legal rights you possess concerning those products or services and what market advantages are gained from those rights.

Register your IP

Once you have identified your intellectual property assets, formally register them with IP Australia. Although this process incurs costs and takes time, it provides the most significant legal protection. If you do not register your assets, you will have to rely on case law and undergo court processes to prove ownership rather than producing your registered trademark or patent.

Get staff to sign a confidentiality agreement

Your staff, associates or contractors can pose a risk to revealing your intellectual property to others. Consider drafting a confidentiality agreement to protect you if you need to prove a breach in IP. Ensure your contract is concluded before work starts, defines which ideas fall under the business' ownership and outlines damages in the event of a breach.

Valuing your IP

Building your IP portfolio can be vital in boosting your business value and convincing investors to finance your enterprise for growth. You can value your IP on a cost basis or fair value basis and might consider values from royalties, profits differential, brand strength or incremental cash flows. In the valuing process keep in mind the following assets:

  • Patents, trademarks and brand names
  • Industrial designs
  • Franchises and licences
  • Distribution agreements
  • Secret processes and formulae
  • Information databases, computer systems and software. 
Take action for infringements

If there is a breach of your intellectual property, your business should take it upon itself to enforce legal rights. Violations will be determined on the relevant legislation although you may make a complaint about an infringement that is not defined in law. You may only be partially protected depending on what part of your work has been registered. When developing your infringement strategy consider:

  • Detection methods like data seeing can quickly identify misuse of your IP
  • Plan at what court or tribunal you will turn to consider your legal budget for enforcing your right
  • Set clear goals for the outcome of your legal process.
     
  Harris Black Digital Toolbox - BRiN  
 
Digital technology provides great opportunities to amplify the impact of your business activities and practices.

Gone are the days where you need to do everything manually within your practice like ordering, logistics, payments and receipts, marketing, HR, motor vehicle log book and so many more.

Every month, Harris Black will showcase a digital tool that will surely improve awareness, knowledge management, communication, and productivity within your business practice.

In this issue, we give you BRiN.

 
Source: BRiN Youtube

Brin is a personal advisor app which uses artificial intelligence to provide personalised education and human like support to millions of business owners, all at the same time.

The app uses a simple chat interface to understand and pinpoint your business problems better than most humans can and give you solutions and recommendations within seconds.

The other side of the app is education. The app provides thousands of recorded online course and training videos on every area of business from over 250 experts around the world. Showcasing the teachings and advise covering the topics of strategy, Marketing, Human Resources, social media, Management, business operations and many others.

When you use BRiN, you are accessing the information any other business coach would charge thousands for. This incredible app has the power to change your business, from your pocket.

To know more about the BRiN, contact your Harris Black team member today.


  Seasonal Pricing Strategy
 
A seasonal pricing strategy will help you minimise loss of cash flow in low periods and maximise profitability in peak seasons.

Changing your pricing will help you capitalise on your target market's spending habits. Keep in mind that creating a supporting marketing campaign to bring awareness to your price change or seasonal deals will be critical in meeting your business objectives. Consider the following steps to get the most out of your seasonal pricing strategy.

Know your customers

Previous buying patterns should influence campaigns so you can tailor your pricing to the needs of your target market. Segment your market and develop a range of pricing strategies to maximise customer engagement.

Pricing for low and peak periods

Your pricing strategy should accommodate fluctuations in customer demand. Break your year into low, mid and peak seasons. Offering an off-peak discount may boost your profits by incentivising your customers. Increasing your premiums in peak season will help you capitalise on high customer demand. Experiment with pricing so that your discount does not encourage customers to wait until your peak period is over and so your premiums do not drive away customers looking for better value. Look to the market to help you strike the right balance to maximise the benefits of seasonal pricing.

Holiday based strategies

The customer influx in Christmas and the New Year is an opportunity for you to tap into the spending season with your pricing strategies. Advertising seasonal deals well in advance are essential to reaping the benefits from your price change and gaining an edge on your competitors. Offer incentives like a gift wrapping service, loyalty credits or special deals on your most popular products. In the post-Christmas sales look to your competitors to see how far you should discount your prices to capture the largest target market while keeping your profit margins high.

Reuse and recycle

Seasonal pricing strategies and their accompanying marketing campaigns can be costly. Reuse past marketing campaigns that were successful. Recycle them only if they are still relevant or need a few minor amendments. Assessment of pricing strategies should be ongoing to ensure your business is up to date with your customers' spending habits.

 
  12 Month Extension Of $20,000 Instant Asset Write-Off 
 
The Treasury Laws Amendment (Accelerated Depreciation for Small Business Entities) Bill 2018 has now passed through Parliament without amendment.

The Bill makes changes to the tax law to extend by 12 months the period during which small businesses can access expanded accelerated depreciation rules for assets that cost less than $20,000. The threshold amount was due to revert to $1,000 on 1 July 2018, but will now remain at $20,000 until 30 June 2019.

Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman Kate Carnell has welcomed the extension, but reminded small businesses and family enterprises that the instant asset write-off is a tax deduction, not a rebate – your small business needs to make a profit to be eligible to claim the benefit.


  Preparing Your BAS 
 
Businesses registered for GST must lodge business activity statements (BAS) every year with the ATO. To assist you, here is a record-keeping and submission checklist you can follow to help you prepare and lodge your BAS accurately and on time.

You must lodge and pay your BAS on time to avoid incurring any charges or penalties. Most businesses lodge their BAS by the quarterly due date. Although how often you lodge will depend upon your situation, for instance, a business may make a prepayment for an expected bill or lodge and pay monthly when it helps them manage their tax more efficiently.

The due date for your monthly BAS is usually on the 21st of every month and your BAS quarterly due dates are:
  • Q1 (July, August and September) is due 28 October 
  • Q2 (October, November and December) is due 28 February
  • Q3 (January, February and March) is due 28 April
  • Q4 (April, May and June) is due 28 July
You must always maintain accurate and detailed record-keeping by:
  • Keeping all sales, fees, expenses, wages and other business costs records.
  • Avoiding claiming credits for purchases that did not include GST, such as water bills.
  • Holding onto tax invoices and other GST records for five years.
  • Putting your GST in a separate bank account.
  • Only claiming GST credits from GST-registered suppliers.
  • Only claiming business expenses and the business portion of things you purchase (when they are also used for personal use). 
Before submitting your BAS, always check:
  • You have entered each invoice only.
  • You have entered whole dollar amounts.
  • Your expenses and sales are from the same period you are lodging for.
  • You have completed the fields that apply to you.
Remember, should you have nothing to report, the ATO still requires you to lodge a nil statement.

Please note that the ATO may provide extended due dates if you lodge electronically or via Harris Black's tax agent licence – if you don't think you can meet the above due dates please contact your Harris Black team member to determine if an extension is available.

 
  Brentnalls Conference - Singapore 
 
On Wednesday 25 October 2018, Harris Black's Directors and Practice Manager (Kimberley Schluter) headed off to Singapore for their bi-annual Brentnalls Conference.

The Brentnalls group is a network of affiliated independent Chartered Accounting firms across Australia with members in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Hamilton VIC, Perth and Auckland NZ. Harris Black is very proud to be a part of this dynamic team of professionals. Each of our firms have a similar passion for helping clients achieve their goals, develop their businesses and ultimately grow their wealth.

Our bi-annual conferences provide us with invaluable opportunity to share our ideas, further develop our capabilities and ultimately improve our ability to better support and provide exceptional service to our clients. Internal benchmarking comparisons and shared practice updates encourage us to continually consider ways to fine-tune and improve our own firm's practices and procedures.

Each of our conferences has a key focus. For Singapore, we focused on 'Family Services' and were fortunate enough to have the following firms attend and share their knowledge:
  • Philadelphia Pte Ltd (Why Singapore? History and Rise of Singapore as a Financial Hub of Asian)
  • Equiom (Wealth Planning Solutions)
  • Lombard Odier (Family Wealth Transitions)
  • Rawlinson & Hunter (International Grouping of Professional Firms, Specialising in Financial and Taxation Advice)
  • Taurus Wealth Advisors (Multi Family Office Services)
  • Crest Capital (Trends and Opportunities in Private Wealth Management)
Whilst there was little downtime across the two days, we did manage to enjoy some of the facilities offered at Marina Bay Sands Hotel including their famous Infinity Pool on the top of the building. Those with a fear of heights might have felt a little uncomfortable to be 57 floors up but it was indeed spectacular!
 
  Important Tax Date 
 

21 November 2018

  • Lodge and pay October 2018 monthly business activity statement.

25 November 2018

  • Lodge and pay quarter 1, 2018–19 activity statement if you lodge electronically. 
   
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This newsletter is for guidance only, any professional advice should be obtained before acting on any information contained herein. Neither the publisher nor the distributors can accept any responsibility for loss occasioned to any person as a result of action taken or refrained from in consequence of the contents of this newsletter. We recommend that you contact your Harris Black team member before making any decision to discuss your particular requirements or circumstances.  
     

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Since 1994, Harris Black has been providing accounting and advisory services to our valued clients to help them achieve their business and personal wealth goals.

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Harris Black is a key participant in a network of nationally affiliated independent chartered accounting firms called the Brentnalls Group.

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