What to do if you get audited

No business owner looks forward to a letter from the taxman requesting a closer look at the books for an audit. If you’ve received an audit letter – an official request by the tax authority to review your accounts and confirm your taxes have been paid to date – don’t panic. Prepare. These four steps will help you get through the process with minimal stress and the best possible outcome.…  Read more

Is it better to buy or lease a company vehicle?

If you need a car to operate your business, you may wonder whether it makes more sense to buy or lease a company vehicle. On the one hand, if your business owns the car you’ll have a long-term asset and may qualify for more tax deductions. On the other hand, buying a car is a huge expense and monthly lease payments tend to be lower than car loan payments; they…  Read more

4 ways to make your business easier to sell

Perhaps you’d always planned to build a thriving business to eventually sell for a tidy sum – or maybe for unexpected personal reasons it’s best to let your company go sooner rather than later. No matter what the reason for selling your business, experts agree: it’s best to be prepared well in advance as it can take years to complete a successful sale. These four tips will help you get…  Read more

Is business insurance worthwhile?

If you’re like many small business owners, your business insurance might not be adequate in the case of a fire, flood, natural disaster, theft, or personal injury. Often home-based business owners assume they are covered under their homeowner’s policy. Other entrepreneurs, working long hours and pulled in too many directions, may never get around to talking to an insurance agent about their business. If you’ve been procrastinating on business insurance,…  Read more

Lean canvas – a new way to do business planning

Few business owners have extra time to devote to a lengthy business planning process. But every entrepreneur needs a solid blueprint to get their business successfully up and running. The Lean Canvas—designed by Sparks59 CEO and Running Lean author, Ash Maurya—is a simple, effective planning tool that helps entrepreneurs assess and test their ideas before investing too deeply in building a product. For the small business owner, the Lean Canvas…  Read more

Yellow pages vs Facebook ads – should you cancel your print listing?

If you’re a small business owner with a modest marketing budget, every dollar you spend has to be worth the investment. For decades—before the web, Google, and social media transformed the nature of marketing—buying an ad in the local Yellow Pages was a reliable way for people to find a business. The fact is, these days most consumers across the globe use the web and review sites like Yelp, TripAdvisor,…  Read more

Encouraging word of mouth

If you have any doubt that word-of-mouth referrals are important, consider these recent stats: According to Neilson, 92% of shoppers trust recommendations from friends and family more than traditional advertising 20% to 50% of consumer purchases are made because of a word of mouth recommendation 81% of buyers are influenced by their friends’ social media posts. So how can you encourage positive word of mouth for your small business? Try…  Read more

Wealth the Warren Buffett way – a short guide to value investing

Wealth through value investing is the stock selection strategy famously used by business magnate and third wealthiest person in the world, Warren Buffett, whose total net worth exceeds $91.5 billion. Developed in the 1930s by Columbia University professor and economist, Ben Graham, wealth through value investing involves screening securities to find stocks undervalued relative to peers and the market. Stocks are then assessed for their intrinsic value, determined by a…  Read more

Is technology making you less efficient?

“For a list of all the ways technology has failed to improve the quality of life, please press three.” Alice Kahn If you feel overwhelmed by the sheer volume of technological gadgets out there, never mind apps and other digital “solutions”, you’re not alone. Technology sprawl and the rabbit hole of more and more information, available all the time, is making productivity—and healthy downtime—a real challenge for many of us.…  Read more

Growing your business without borrowing

Taking out a business loan may be your first plan of action for financing business growth. But there are excellent reasons to consider other options for finding capital to expand your business. For one, it can be very difficult for a small business to secure financing, especially in the early days. You’ll need to prove to a lender that you aren’t a high risk, with financial documentation that shows your…  Read more

How to create an advisory board for your business

A company’s advisory board can contain a business leader’s most valuable mentors. Many remarkable entrepreneurs, including Warren Buffet, Sheryl Sandberg, and Richard Branson, have credited their success, in part, to the advice of their mentors. An advisory board is an informal group of mentors whose collective business expertise—and objectivity—can help you make better, more informed decisions, thereby accelerating growth. Unlike business consultants (whose fees may well exceed your budget), advisory…  Read more

Paying employees for leave

Working out what you need to remember when you are paying employees leave can be complicated — but with the right systems and processes in place, it doesn’t have to be difficult. Everyone wins when leave is done right Paid leave — your employees’ entitlements All employees are entitled to paid days off for: annual leave public holidays sick leave bereavement leave. You can decide whether or not to pay…  Read more

Short Term Rentals: What You Need to Know

If you’re thinking about making your home, rental property or holiday house available for short term rentals, make sure you know the rules on holiday rental agreements, claiming expenses, whether to declare it at tax time, and more. Holiday home rental needs to be done right Key things to consider for holiday rentals With the rise of online holiday accommodation websites like Airbnb and Bookabach, listing a property for short-term…  Read more

Claiming expenses on business trips – what’s tax deductible?

You can claim tax deductions for lots of daily expenses when you’re travelling for work. If you take a holiday as part of the same trip, you can only claim for the parts of the trip that were work-related. In general, when you’re away from home you can claim for: flights taxis, or mileage if you use your own car for business travel accommodation meals and snacks. Accommodation If you’re…  Read more

What is your succession plan?

According to recent research, a staggering two thirds of US millionaire-owned businesses are operating without a succession plan—and even fewer small business owners around the globe are prepared for their CEO’s eventual exit. Recent stats from PWC Global show that family owned businesses are no more prepared: 43% don’t have a succession plan in place, and only 12% survive to the third generation. No matter whether your company has one…  Read more

Property Tax Tip: The 10-Year Rule for Real Estate

For this property tax tip we thought it might be handy to summarise the 10 year rule. There are three classes of people involved in land type businesses for income tax purposes. They are developers, dealers in land and builders. The first two are not generally involved in building. If they buy an investment property and sit on it for at least 10 years, they can sell the property without…  Read more

Property Tax Tip: Tax Depreciation Opportunity

Here is a property tax tip that is often overlooked: claiming depreciation. When you buy a property, you can separate out items of commercial fit out for depreciation purposes. Along with the fit out, one item often overlooked is depreciable land improvements like hardstanding areas such as car parks, as separate assets. These hard standing areas could just be base course. The diminishing value rate for car parking pads is…  Read more

House Inflation – Sage Advice

House inflation; something to think about when it comes to one our most expensive assets. Since 1963 under 12 three year terms of National governments average house prices have risen by 9.2% per annum. Under Labour’s 6 terms they have risen 16.8% per annum on average. If we confine ourselves only to the 1990+ low inflation period the average per annum rise under National has been 6.6% versus 12.6% under…  Read more

9 reasons to switch to cloud computing

Don’t be left up in the air by traditional IT solutions. Check out the top 9 advantages for small businesses switching to cloud computing. Cloud computing is fast becoming the norm because storing information and using software hosted on the Internet has many advantages. 1. Save money Traditionally, a small business spends money licensing software or buying packages to install or download onto individual computers. Cloud computing, on the other…  Read more

5 Environmental Conservation Tips for Small Businesses

While major companies create powerful green initiatives, many small businesses use the excuse of “no resources” to do nothing. However, everyone plays an important role in protecting the environment, and small businesses have a unique opportunity to involve their community of employees and customers. The most effective environmental conservation projects need not cost much more than a collective effort. If you own or work in a small business, here are…  Read more

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