Planning for Success

Tools: how to be more productive when you are feeling overwhelmed

We are all familiar with the uncomfortable feeling of anxiety and stress when we have a lot on our plate. These feelings can sometimes become so intense that we don’t know what to do or how to move forward.

This is called being overwhelmed and it is a very exhausting feeling to experience – especially as a business owner. Here are some of the signs that you may be overwhelmed:

●     Having trouble concentrating and completing easy tasks

●     Feeling more tired than usual

●     Overreacting to situations

●     Easily distracted and can’t keep focus

●     Withdrawing from others

Feeling overwhelmed with your business can be doubly stressful because you likely have other people relying on you, or you have firm deadlines to meet, and there is no space or time to feel overwhelmed.

That’s why learning some simple strategies to change your mindset from an overwhelmed state to a state of productivity is so valuable.

Here are some quick tips you can do right NOW to help you feel less overwhelmed:

  • Turn off notifications – It can seem like somebody always wants something from you which can be stressful. Just turn them off for a day.
  • Consciously stay on task – Tell yourself that you must stay on task for a certain amount of time and stick to it.
  • Eliminate distractions – Close those other tabs in your browser!
  • Update your client base – Get rid of people who are simply sucking your time.
  • Take time out – Don’t feel guilty about taking some time out to think and recharge. It’s an important part of mental health.

“Either run the day or the day runs you.”

Jim Rohn

If you seriously want to eliminate feelings of being overwhelmed and distracted then the following 3 mindset activities can help you.

  1. The Achiever Matrix: This model is made up of 4 quadrants to help you manage your tasks more efficiently, use your time more effectively, and keep you organised. The 4 categories are:
  • Important, Urgent (The quadrant of urgency) These are pressing tasks which must be dealt with immediately. Often these tasks become urgent due to a lack of good planning.
  • Important, Not Urgent (The quadrant of quality) These tasks are ongoing and relate to planning, management, minimising problems, and building skills. This is where most of your time should be spent.
  • Not Important, Urgent (The Quadrant of deception) Often these tasks are important to others and serve as a distraction from our personal goals.
  • Not Important, Not Urgent (The quadrant of waste) This is where we procrastinate, get distracted, and waste time. It’s best to spend as little time in this quadrant as possible.
  1. The Productivity Pyramid: This is a 5-tier pyramid structure that organises your use of time to maximise your rewards. The base of the pyramid, or first tier, is where you spend the most time. As you work higher up the pyramid, you will generate the highest return for the least amount of time invested. These are the 5 tiers, starting from the base of the pyramid:
  • Improve – get better at the work you are doing
  • Increase – get more people to do your work for you
  • Invest – buy technology to scale
  • Invent – Invent a system or technology
  • Innovate – work on better things
  1. Atomic Habits: This mindset looks at your habits and how they affect your productivity, happiness, and success. Habits are small decisions we make every day that result in certain outcomes. We can distinguish our habits into 2 categories, outcome-based habits and identity-based habits. Building more identity-based habits is preferable because they will develop the person you want to become and build a positive identity.
  • Outcome-based – decide on the results you want > take action > your beliefs about yourself get in the way > feel badly about yourself.
  • Identity-based – decide the type of person you want to be > actions based on what that person would do > show that you are that type of person > feel good about yourself > repeat

These are some practical concepts that you can work into your life to help combat feelings of being overwhelmed and frustrated, and having a lack of control in your life. Identifying what’s important, learning to focus, and focussing on positive action will help you to feel better about who you are as a person, and how you manage your business.

Are you feeling overwhelmed and need some help?

If you are feeling overwhelmed and need to take some weight off your shoulders, then sign up for our mentoring packages. Our Quarterly or Monthly Coaching service provides you with increased accountability and support so that you achieve the results you want from your business. We will eliminate all your confusion and make the process simple and easy to understand.

We are experienced bookkeepers, accountants, and tax agents who can help you with all of your tax questions. Get in touch with us today.

Planning for Success

What structure do I need for my business?

If you are a new business owner, you may be wondering which business structure is right for your business. Maybe your business has changed significantly with COVID? Or, perhaps your business has outgrown its current structure.

Either way, it’s important to have a good understanding of what your options are so that you can choose the business structure that will work the best for you and your business now and into the future.

In Australia, there are 4 commonly used business structures. They are:

  • Sole trader
  • Company
  • Trust
  • Partnership

Each structure comes with its own responsibilities that will determine which one is best suited to your business. Let’s take a look at each business structure so that you can work out which one would be the best choice for your current business operations and why.

  • Sole trader

Operating your business as a sole trader is the simplest way to run your business. As a sole trader, you are the only owner of your business and you control and manage all aspects of your business. This means that you are 100% responsible for absolutely everything relating to your business. There are a few key points to consider if you are operating as a sole trader ae:

  • You cannot employ yourself (but you can employ other workers).
  • You are responsible for paying your own super (and your workers’ super).
  • You cannot share your debts and losses with other individuals.

Some other important considerations about being a sole trader include:

  • You must have an ABN (Australian Business Number).
  • If your annual turnover is $75,000 or more then you must register for GST (Goods and Services Tax).
  • Use your individual tax file number and individual tax return to lodge your tax returns under the section for business to document your income and expenses. There is no separate tax return.
  • You could be eligible for the small business tax offset.
  • Pay quarterly PAYG (Pay As You Go) installments to put money aside for the end of the financial year when you have to pay your income tax.
  • Claim deductions for personal super contributions.
  • Company

A company is a legal entity that is run by directors and owned by shareholders. It is more complicated to set up and comes with more administrative expenses. Unlike sole trader and trust structures, a company owns its profits and money cannot be taken out unless for wages or formal distributions. As a company, it’s important to consider:

  • You are required to lodge an annual company tax return and pay tax at the company tax rate.
  • If the company is a base-rate entity, then it could pay a lower company tax rate.
  • Must pay super and could be eligible for small business concessions.
  • Trust

A trust requires a formal deed that clearly outlines how the trust will operate. This requires initial and ongoing administrative costs that can be quite expensive. A trust requires a trustee who is legally responsible for the management of the trust. The trustee could be an individual or a company. Beneficiaries receive any profits from the trust. Here are some key differences:

  • How a trust pays tax depends on the wording of the deed and whether the beneficiaries receive any of the trust’s profits.
  • The trust is not required to pay tax if all the profits are distributed to adult beneficiaries.
  • The trustee is assessed on income that is distributed to beneficiaries who are minors or those who are non-residents.
  • If the trust accumulates net profit, the trustee is assessed based on the highest individual tax rate.
  • Partnership

Similar to a sole trader, operating your business as a partnership is fairly simple and inexpensive. A partnership structure includes more than one person who is responsible for and shares control of the business.

When considering going into partnership with other people then it is highly recommended to create a written partnership agreement that outlines all aspects of the operation of the business, including how responsibilities are delegated and how profits and losses are distributed. Here are some differences from the sole trader business structure:

  • A partnership has its own TFN (Tax File Number) and must lodge its own annual partnership return.
  • Unlike with the sole trader structure, a partnership does not pay income tax. Instead, everyone declares their own profit in their individual tax return.
  • Profits drawn from the business are not wages and you can’t claim deductions on money drawn.

How is your business structured?

If you are feeling overwhelmed about how to operate your business and you aren’t sure which business structure is the right choice for you, then talk to us about getting your business structure set up. We will eliminate all your confusion and make the process simple and easy to understand.

We are experienced bookkeepers, accountants and tax agents who can help you with all of your tax questions. Get in touch with us today.

Planning for Success

Tax Time Essentials: Learn how to navigate tax basics as a business owner

Chances are you may have experienced some changes that will affect your small business. COVID-19 has impacted us all to varying degrees and has no doubt created more stress in our lives.

Understanding what your tax obligations are is one way you can alleviate some of the stress you may be feeling. Read on to learn about some of your tax time essentials.

1. Home-based business expenses

If you are a sole trader or in a partnership, you can claim deductions on a lot of home-based expenses if you operate your business from home. These can include:

– Rent

– Electricity costs

– Phone and phone bill

– Plus many other expenses (ask your accountant)

If you run your business from home and  your work area is also shared with your living area, this will affect what you can claim.

Remember to keep the records of all your expenses for at least five years. For a full list of deductions and information, visit the ATO website here.

2. Motor vehicle expense

The ‘Cents per Kilometre’ method or the ‘Logbook’ method are the two ways to claim motor vehicle expenses. You can claim travel expenses of up to 5000 km at a rate of 72c/km from July 1, 2020.

If you want to claim travel expenses then you must be able to show a calendar, diary or logbook that documents your travel time.

Remember, the only motor vehicle expenses you can claim are the kilometres you use exclusively for business-related travel. You cannot claim personal travel expenses.

The types of expenses you can claim are:

  • Fuel
  • Oil
  • Services
  • Repairs
  • Interest on a motor vehicle loan
  • Lease payments
  • Insurance
  • Registration
  • Depreciation of the vehicle.

For more information, visit the ATO website here.

3. Travel expenses

Similar to motor vehicle expenses, you can also claim travel expenses.

These expenses can include:

  • Airline tickets
  • Train tickets
  • Bus tickets
  • Tram tickets
  • Taxi expenses
  • It may also include accommodation and meal expenses

Again, all expenses must be only business-related (not personal) and you must keep exact records that will prove your expenses for five years.

For more information about travel expenses, visit this page on the ATO website.

4. Pausing or permanently closing your business due to COVID-19

There are a few things you will need to consider if you are either pausing or permanently closing your business.

If you are permanently closing your business, you will need to prepare your final activity statements and income tax returns before you cancel your ABN.

Then you must cancel your ABN within 28 days of closing your business.

If you are registered for GST, you must also cancel your GST registration within 21 days of ceasing business activity.

To see all the obligations of pausing or permanently closing your business, go to this page on the ATO website.

COVID-19 has brought about a lot of changes for many people in small businesses and so it’s important you stay up to speed on what you need to do. This will give you peace of mind, and help you avoid complications further down the line.

Do you need help with your business tax?

Vibrant Business will help take care of all of your business financial needs. From tax and accounting to bookkeeping, coaching, and mentoring, we can help you plan and structure your business to achieve your milestones. This means less stress for you as a business owner.

For more information on these services, please contact us or book a time to chat here.

Planning for Success

Having a positive outlook is your best defence in business

For those of you trying to run your own business successfully, the COVID-19 pandemic is almost definitely a source of concern.

Worrying about the future of your business, money, clients, and grappling with all the constant changes, is making it harder to stay in a positive mindset, and even harder to turn things to your advantage.

It’s never been as important as now to develop a strong frame of mind because, for many of us, we are facing business challenges that we have not encountered before, and there are, no doubt, going to be more challenges to face and overcome in the next 6-12 months.

Adopting and maintaining a positive mindset is important because it will help you build resilience, self-esteem, and encourage you to use your creative thinking skills to help your business.

Learning how to come up with ideas and solutions that will help you navigate your business through the COVID crisis. It will empower you and make you better equipped to handle whatever else comes your way.

But what you think, believe, and expect has a direct influence on your ability to achieve and maintain success in life.

Consciously choosing to see the silver lining in every situation can help you to stress less, focus, and still achieve your goals. Be open to new ideas, practice an abundant mentality, don’t be afraid, keep sight of your long-term vision, and trust in yourself and the services you offer.

How to up your positive mindset game in business in 3 steps

1. Take a few tips from the OARBED behavioural model

It is a simple way to become more aware of behaviours that will help you thrive in business and to be aware of those who serve no purpose for you.

  • OAR’ – Ownership, Accountability, Responsibility

These are the skills you want to practice all the time when dealing with team members, employees, employers, and clients.

It’s vital to demonstrate that you have these skills so that even when unfortunate situations arise, you know how to handle them maturely. Realising the role you play when dealing with other people and incorporating these skills as an integral part of your mindset will foster trust, patience, and understanding with people around you.

And not just in your professional life, but in your personal life, too!

  • BED’ – Blame, Excuse, Deny

On the other hand, if you regularly use these behaviours when you interact with others, you are likely to encounter friction, low morale, and a lack of productivity in your workforce.

It’s not always easy to take responsibility when things aren’t going your way, but showing that you have the mental strength and maturity to own your actions will foster stronger relationships with others and they will feel more supportive and honest.

2. Focus on your big goals and vision for your business

When you focus on the future of your business, it’s easier to maintain your positivity because you are constantly working on something that you love.

You can do this easily by following the ‘The Man on the Moon Principle”. It’s a concept that shows how important it is to have a big goal or vision that unites people.

To achieve this goal, it must be broken down into smaller goals or milestones that work towards getting you and your team closer to the big goal.

Remembering that you have a vision, not ever losing sight of it, and working on what you can do right now is an important motivational mindset to adopt.

3. Choose happy and healthy thoughts

According to the ‘Happiness Pie’, we only have 40% control over the happiness we generate in our lives.

This makes it even more crucial to foster healthy thoughts that improve your mindset. Expressing gratitude, thinking optimistically, helping others, and practising living in the moment can improve your state of mind.

Working on your relationships with others, having a positive attitude, and maintaining a focus on your goals will also guarantee you the best chance of getting through this difficult time with the least amount of stress.

Remember, the best thing you can do right now is to stay focused, remember your dream, and don’t lose sight of it!

Taking the next steps for your business success

Once you have worked on your mindset, and are using these skills to help you in your business, then it’s time to talk to a qualified finance team.

Vibrant Business will help take care of all of your financial needs. From tax and accounting to bookkeeping, coaching and mentoring, we can help you plan and structure your business to achieve your milestones. This means less stress for you!

For more information on these services, please contact us or book in for a complimentary Business Impact Session.

Planning for Success

Stuck in the “too-many-tasks” trap? You need to outsource.

Nothing makes us procrastinate more than the “too-many-tasks” trap when you are already feeling overwhelmed and you don’t know what to do next.

But it’s your business (and your cash) that will take the hardest hit.

If you are overwhelmed by your business and the workload attached to it, the first thing to outsource is your tax, accounting and bookkeeping tasks – because this is where the money is – and don’t you want to look after your money?

You need to be across you accounting and bookkeeping, but you also need an expert who knows these areas like the back of their hand and can guide you in the right direction so you can lower your expenses and tax and increase your profits and cashflow.

Vibrant Business is now a one-stop accounting, bookkeeping and mentoring business with a team ready to help you understand your numbers and grow your business with more profit.

We can help you in 3 main areas:

  1. Tax and Accounting
  2. Bookkeeping
  3. Business Mentoring and Courses
  • Tax and Accounting

Our tax and accounting service is ideal for all business owners. Being compliant in this area of your business can be easily be overlooked if you don’t have a specialised accountant on your team.

We can help you build a system to keep your business running smoothly, stay compliant, ensure accuracy, and organise and maintain your financial records.

We specialise with sole traders, partnerships, trusts and companies that require assistance with tax and accounting.

Learn more

  • Bookkeeping

Bookkeeping isn’t always fun but it is a must. We let you do what you are good at in your business while we do the “stuff” you don’t like or don’t have time for.

Not only that, but we keep you updated with real-time reports so you can stay up to date. Keeping in check with what’s going on in the background will help you make strategic business decisions to grow and develop a vibrant business you love.

Learn more 

  • Business Mentoring and Courses

This can all sound overwhelming but with our business mentoring and courses we can help you get clear on the steps required to grow your business.

Our quarterly or monthly coaching programs and our 8-week Planning for Success online course can provide you with increased accountability and support so you can achieve the results you want from your business. The outcomes include increased profitability and cashflow, customised reporting templates to measure actual performance against forecasts and access to an expert sounding board to ensure you continue working towards your goals.

Learn more

The framework for business success

At Vibrant Business, we will set you up for success with our five-step system to ensure clarity, direction and purpose. (It’s a RIPPA! 🙂 )

  • REVIEW: Step back and see where you’re at. What have you achieved since last year? Do you have accurate and viable systems in place?
  • IDENTIFY: What’s holding you back? Did you miss anything or overlook something that can affect you in the long run? Now is the time to knock out any burning issues.
  • PLAN: Now that you have clarity over what you have achieved, now it’s time to plan what needs to be done. Write down your goals and check them every day.
  • PUT: Get cracking! What do you need to put in place to achieve your goals? How long will it take you?
  • ACCOUNTABILITY: Who will keep you in check? Being a business owner, it’s easy to become overwhelmed and lose sight of your goals and end result. Having someone outside of your business to keep you in check is essential for you to stay on track and never lose sight of your dreams.

Taking the next steps for your business success

Gaining clarity, direction and purpose will help your business grow – and the biggest success driver is having a qualified finance team on hand.

Vibrant Business will help take care of all of your financial needs. From tax and accounting to bookkeeping, coaching and mentoring, we can help you plan and structure your business to achieve your milestones.

Not sure where to start or what you need? Book a session with us now to discuss your situation.

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