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Get Ready - Fringe Benefits Tax (FBT) 2020

It’s that time of year again: time to think about your Fringe Benefits Tax (FBT) return. Employers must lodge an FBT return if they’ve provided fringe benefits to any employees or associates during the FBT year. With the FBT year ending 31 March 2020, you’ll n.....

Business - 6 min read

Australian business owners keep our economy humming along, and the rewards of running a business can be enormous. The challenges can loom large, too, unfortunately, but when you’re prepared for the challenges, you’re better able to weather the storms.

The following are the top 20 challenges currently faced by Australian business owners.

1. Cash Flow

A stable business relies on a stable cash flow, but keeping receivables and payables in check can be a constant challenge. Fortunately, there are new apps and software options available to help Australian companies with cash flow.

2. Productivity

New technologies help us to be more efficient, but many business owners are finding that productivity can still be a challenge. Look for ways to take care of manual, time-consuming tasks without the assistance of your employees. That way, their efforts can be focused on creating value where it counts most.

3. Profitability

Transitioning from a start-up to a profitable business is difficult, especially for sole proprietors and very small businesses. This is especially true in competitive industries. One suggestion is to look for ways that digital innovation can help you achieve profitability.

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4. Attracting Customers

Marketing has changed drastically in recent years, and it can be difficult to attract customers, especially if you’re unfamiliar or uncomfortable with digital marketing and social media. Take the plunge into inbound marketing, seeking out help if necessary.

5. Networking

Australian business owners often spend their daylight hours keeping the business running. They simply don’t have time to work on networking and making connections. Networking can be very important, so set a goal to spend a little time each month making new connections.

6. Government Regulation

According to a Deloitte report, regulations cost Australians $249B per year in compliance and loss of productivity. Absorbing the cost of regulation can take a big bite out of organisations’ profits.

7. Time

Business owners are some of the busiest people around, and managing the many demands on time is a constant struggle. Although there’s no easy answer for the time shortage, you can decrease the problem by prioritising: take care of the essentials and delegate the rest.

8. Maintaining Processes

Hiring, training, payroll, marketing, paying bills, and managing human resources are all tasks that must be managed on an ongoing basis. Finding ways to keep these processes smoothly rolling along without too much oversight can make a business owner’s job much easier.

9. Marketing

It’s easy to drop the ball on marketing. You can get so wrapped up in the day-to-day operations of your business that marketing gets left behind. But if you don’t market today, you may not have customers tomorrow. Find ways to automate marketing or keep it running with little oversight from you.

10. Research & Development

Like marketing, R&D often gets put on the backburner while today’s crises are being solved. Incentivise innovation in your company, and give R&D the attention it needs: tomorrow’s success depends upon it.

11. Employee Loyalty

In today’s competitive job market, the best way to encourage employee loyalty is to develop a culture in which employees feel valued and they’re able to grow and develop. Coaching and mentoring can be instrumental in creating this kind of culture.

12. Business Loans

Business loans can be crucial at different points in your company’s growth. Start-up funds are essential, and you may need additional capital when you grow or expand into new territories. Find a business lender with integrity who offers loan terms that won’t hurt your business in the long run.

13. Efficiency

A lax approach to spending can take its toll on any organisation. Cultivate good spending habits in your managers, and you’ll have more money for spending on marketing and Research & Development, which will have lasting positive effects.

14. Customer Loyalty

Cultivating customer loyalty is as tricky as cultivating employee loyalty, but it’s just as important. Digital tools can be extremely helpful in this endeavour. Engage customers through email newsletters, social media, and your business blog to stay top-of-mind.

15. Targeting the Right Customers

With online marketing, it’s easy to cast a very wide net, but are you catching the right customers? By using solid SEO strategies and segmenting your email list, you can market to the right people at the right times.

16. Work/Life Balance

Many Australian business owners struggle to find a comfortable work/life balance. When they work long hours, they feel they’re neglecting their personal lives and their families, and when they’re relaxing, they feel they should be working. Try to set clear boundaries and use your time well. Don’t give up.

17. Hiring the Right People

Hiring the right staff can make all the difference in your success and the way your business runs. Start by writing specific, honest job descriptions and taking your time with the hiring process. Try not to hire someone questionable just because you’re desperate. Have the discipline to wait until you find the right person.

18. Increased Competition

Because it’s easier to start a business in Australia than it was in the past before the Internet was so user friendly, the competition has grown. Stay competitive by monitoring pricing of your products and services and focusing on excellent customer service.

19. Labour Costs

The wage rate and the administrative elements of hiring and firing make labour costs a challenge for Australian business owners. In order to reduce costs, you may want to consider hiring young people and train them for medium-term growth.

20. Rising Costs

Finally, Australian business owners are facing the challenge of rising costs. In order to cope with this challenge, shop around for better insurance quotes and telephone rates. Talk to suppliers about early payment discounts or volume discounts. Also, review your processes to find out if they can be automated or updated.

While Australian business owners face these and other challenges, it’s a great time to own and run a business in Australia.

For insight into the current state of your business' health, try our Healthy Business App by clicking below:

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