Search articles

Business Advice

A handy toolkit for small business article cover image
23 Oct 2020
Whether you use a registered tax agent or lodge your own tax return, it’s helpful to have information you can refer to when you want to get ready for tax time. The Tax Time 2020 toolkit is now available, and it includes a directory of links as well as several updated, and new, fact sheets for small business. The fact sheets can help you get an overview of what you need to know if you're: claiming deductions for the costs of using your home as your main place of business claiming a deduction for motor vehicle expenses for your business claiming a deduction for expenses you incur when travelling for your business a director or shareholder of a company that operates a small business, and you take money out of your company or use its assets. We also have information to help if you’ve had to pause or permanently close your business due to COVID-19. Ask for help if you need it, it’s never too late to speak with us or a registered tax professional. For more information visit  
6 Ways to Get Your Small Business Ready for Sale In 2020 article cover image
Richard Bristoe
19 Oct 2020
Are you looking to sell your business yourself or are you going to appoint a business broker? Selling a business can be confusing and very time-consuming. To help make sense of it all, here is 6 ways to get your business ready for sale. 1. Evaluate your business and why you want to sell It is important to evaluate your business, assess why you want to sell and what makes a buyer consider purchasing your business. Ask yourself the following questions: • Why do you want to sell? • Is it the right time to sell? • What are the business potentials for growth? • Who are your customers? • Can my business succeed without me or without a key customer? Evaluating your business and why you want to sell will force you to confront any weaknesses as well as underline the strengths and growth potential of the business.  2. Get your paperwork in order Getting your books in order is extremely important when you considering selling your business.  Prospective buyers will want to examine the financials prior to making any offer. Having your books in order will ensure that the interested buyers are comfortable in buying your business 3. Prepare an Information Memorandum An Information Memorandum also known as an IM is a sales document provided to interested buyers by the seller or business broker which gives them a detailed overview of the business that is being offered for sale. When selling a business, this sales document is one of the most important item that should be prepared prior to selling.  The main purpose of the Information Memorandum is to provide valuable information that allow buyers to get a better understanding of the business & its operations.  Based on the Information Memorandum, buyers can decide if the business will suit their needs.  You can write this document yourself, hire a writer or you can appoint a business broker who will most likely prepare this for you.  4. Write a compelling advertisement A business for sale advertisement that is appealing and professionally written is extremely important if you want buyers to notice your advert and enquire. Spending the extra time writing a well written advertisement for your business will help generate more interest and hopefully secure a buyer.  5. Prepare a Non-Disclosure Agreement for Your Business A Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) is a legal agreement between both parties that outlines confidential material, knowledge, or information that the parties wish to share with one another. It is a contract through which prospective buyers agree not to disclose any information covered by the agreement. An NDA creates a confidential relationship between both parties, to protect the confidential and proprietary information of the business.  Having a non-disclosure agreement ready for prospective buyers to sign, can also help speed up the selling process.  Get your lawyer to draw up a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) or to provide you with any additional information about this document.  6. Speak to your landlord When you sell a business that relies on a leased premise, you need to be aware that your landlord has a say in whether the sale withstands or not. In most commercial leases, your landlord must agree to the assignment before the settlement can take effect. If the business lease has several years remaining, the conversation with the landlord should focus on getting consent to an assignment.  However, if the lease has only a year or two remaining, the business may need a new lease for the new buyer, and that is the issue to be discussed with the landlord. For more information contact Richard Bristoe at Business Sale Writer.  
Watch out for scammers article cover image
Australian Taxation Office
30 Sep 2020
When you're running a business, there’s a lot to think about. Don't forget to protect your personal and financial information. Scammers often try to ‘phish’ for information by impersonating government agencies such as the ATO. If you hand over your information, scammers might use it to: drain your bank account establish fake businesses in your name gain access to your online government services scam your clients and employees. Scammers have many opportunities to trick you into giving away your valuable information. There are some things your business can do to help stay safe: use complex passwords and change them regularly remove system access for people who no longer work for you log out of systems and lock computers when you're not using them maintain up-to-date security and anti-virus software on computers and other devices. There are also some things you can do to stay safe when you're dealing with government services online: don't access services via a hyperlink in an email or SMS access services through an independent online search if you're ever in doubt, look up the service's phone number separately and call them to check. Next step:  Visit the Scamwatch website for more helpful tips and resources. See also: How to protect your business Top cyber security tips for business
Improve your cyber safety and protect your business article cover image
24 Sep 2020
Make sure you complete the Cyber Safety Checklist to help improve your cyber security and protect your identity Australian businesses are being targeted with COVID-19 scams, fraud attempts and deceptive email and SMS schemes. It’s important to protect your business, especially during tax time. The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) and Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) are sharing tips and resources to help you improve your cyber security and protect your identity. Cyber Safety Checklist During this time of heightened scam activity, businesses are encouraged to: Use multi-factor authentication where possible and don’t share your password with anyone. Run the latest software updates to ensure operating systems security is current. Secure your private Wi-Fi network with passwords (not the default password) and do not make financial transactions when using public Wi-Fi networks. Exercise caution when clicking on links and providing personal identifying information. Only access online government services via an independent search – not via emails or SMS. Call us on an independently sourced number to verify an interaction if in doubt. Educate your staff on cyber safety and scams.   Find out how to report a data breach or scam.Australian Taxation Office Learn more about COVID-19 malicious cyber activity.Australian Taxation Office Watch the short video on Stay secure online and protect yourself from scams.Australian Taxation Office Watch the short video on how to keep your digital identity safe by protecting personal information.Australian Taxation Office
How to position your practice for sale and maximize the value! article cover image
Sally Stuart
27 Aug 2020
Practice owners who are looking to sell often adopt a wait-and-see approach, which can be risky. Making a sale is not as easy as it appears, of course, but practice owners who avoid waiting too long to sell their practice may enjoy a more successful outcome. Waiting too long to sell, or not planning ahead, can cause practice owners to miss a valuable window of opportunity. Because it takes an average of 6 to12 months to sell a practice, long-term planning is necessary for any successful sale. Never Wait Until You Have to Sell One of the keys to a successful practice sale is selling when you don't absolutely have to. If a buyer sees that you've been planning this move for quite some time and that it's not a desperate “I've had enough” step, you can dictate a much higher price. Proper planning means careful financial records, a detailed practice history and an extensive sales portfolio. Many practice owners make the mistake of waiting until their practice is on the decline to sell, which is exactly the opposite of what you should do. The best time to sell is when your practice is at its peak, at the top of its game. The Right Conditions for a Sale In an ideal situation, a clinic sale would be completed when two conditions are met: when demand in the industry is strong, and buyers with deep pockets are available. It's a smart idea before selling to take a look at market conditions for your industry in order to achieve the best return. Working with practice brokers can be beneficial in this case, as they often closely monitor market conditions and can advise you on when conditions are favourable for your industry. What Can Harm Your Practice's Value When You're Trying to Sell? Many factors can affect the asking price of a practice, including industry competition, current market conditions and the overall economic climate. Events such as a recession or a practice downturn can affect your practice's value and lower the asking price. This is why it's beneficial to sell when the economy is healthy. Of course, even in the healthiest economic climate, having too high an asking price can lead to a dead-end street. Deciding on the right price for selling your practice is important, and it's one that practice brokers can help you determine. They take a careful look at your overall profits, the state of your industry, similar practices and the marketplace when choosing an asking price. Pricing is crucial to selling your practice. The right price draws in buyers, but the wrong price turns them away. Many owners make the mistake of overpricing their practice. An unjustified value can make buyers walk away — for good. And if buyers walk away, your practice is sitting on the market for longer, quite possibly losing even more value. Take the time to get the price right, and you’ll find it much easier to sell your practice. You Can’t Sell on Potential The first thing to understand is that a buyer is not interested in what your practice might be able to do. They’re interested in what the practice is doing. The truth is, every practice has potential. Converting that potential to dollars is going to require the new owner to invest time, money and skills, and the potential may not even be realised. Valuing based on potential means the new owner is paying you in advance for the improvements they make. If you claim your practice is full of potential, a buyer will also question why you haven’t exploited it yourself. Your broker can help you talk about potential in ways that make your practice attractive to buyers, but you can’t rely on potential to raise the value of your practice. Maintainable Earnings Many practice owners get caught up in the value of their assets and weigh them heavily in their valuation. Assets can help increase the value of your company, but buyers are interested in how those assets translate to cash flow. It’s no use being asset-rich if you don’t have enough money coming in to maintain those assets and any loans associated with them. Buyers also look at whether earnings can be maintained. If your profits have held steady or risen in the past few years, this will be reflected in offer prices. In the same way, if your profits have been decreasing, you will have to lower your valuation. Keep in mind, your buyer will also look at industry trends when deciding on an offer. Changing demographics, government policies or environmental concerns can affect the value of your practice. Technology can have a particularly large effect on value. If the potential buyer is aware of technological advances in the industry, they may think your earnings aren’t maintainable. Outside Valuation It’s very rare for owners to value their practices accurately. In fact, some experts believe that as few as  10 percent of practice owners have a realistic view of the value of their practice. Owners have usually spent countless hours, effort, sleepless nights and plenty of stress on building their practices. As a practice owner, you want to include all that sweat equity in your appraisal, but potential buyers aren’t interested in that. They’re only interested in whether they’ll continue to make a profit from their purchase. The other issue you have as an owner is that you know what you need to make from the practice. Owners often want to retire, travel or invest in a new enterprise so they reverse-engineer an appraisal, naming a price that matches their wants rather than on fair market value. Because objectivity is difficult in the appraisal process, going to a broker is the best way for you to get an accurate idea of your practice valuation. Brokers understand the different ways to value practices, the standard in your industry and current market trends, which all contribute to a fair price. In the end, your practice is worth what someone is willing to pay for it. If you have a realistic view of the value of your practice, you’ll be able to find the right buyer. Here’s some ideas on how to add value to your practice by making it less dependent upon you as the clinic owner: 1. Ask Questions: What will your business look like when it’s ready to be sold? Will all your patient offerings remain the same, or will you pare them down to the most profitable products and services? How essential are you to these products and services? Asking these questions allows you to get clear on how to make your practice as attractive as possible. 2. Decide on the Critical Functions: What are the things that must happen to ensure your clinic continues to make money? These are the critical functions and should not be limited to providing your service. Are you critical to any business management processes and how can you ensure someone else can handle the task? 3. Document the Processes - A large part of the sale of your clinic relies on being able to transfer knowledge to new owners. If this knowledge is trapped in the current owner’s head, it means a long handover period, or the information is lost when you depart. Well-documented processes are essential to making yourself redundant when selling your business. A business with everything written down looks a lot less risky to prospective buyers.  4. Build a Strong Team: Once you have the procedures documented, it’s time to hire a strong team to handle critical functions. Having an established team reassures a prospective buyer that the business will continue to run as the ownership transitions. Ensure your team understands every aspect of the business. If you’re the one that normally undertakes anything other than clinic duties, make sure you have a new staff member who can take over these jobs. Spend time training the new staff and creating your dream business. 5. Take a Step Back and Let Your Team Work: It’s time to get out of your business’ way. Take a break. Fly overseas, renovate your bathroom or visit your in-laws. Don’t check your emails. The purpose of this step is to ensure that your business can run without you. You’ve created it, helped it grow stronger and now it’s independent and you can leave it to run on its own. This is an essential step. When you go back to the clinic after a break, your team will be able to point to holes in the process and places where you are still needed. Or, hopefully, you’ll come back to everything running smoothly and a continued profit. This will tell you what you need to fix for prospective buyers or if you’re ready to get your practice on the market. Owner dependence is one of the most important factors in the valuation of a business. Buyers know that in an owner-dependent business, much of the value can be destroyed as soon as the owner departs. Taking steps to make your business independent will help you get the best price when you’re ready to sell your practice. So….when you have decided it is the right time to sell…and the practice is ready to sell, it important to consider how to position the clinic for sale. All buyers will be looking for the following in their search for a good business:  Quality Information – the more transparent the business information, the more trustworthy it is. Buyers won’t make decisions if the quality of information is poor. Realistic Price Expectations – Most sellers have unrealistic expectations of their business’s value and believe it’s worth more than the market is prepared to pay. Well Presented Sales Collateral – A complete business information memorandum with comprehensive details about the business, the industry, its resources and its future opportunity for growth or expansion. This document needs to make an impression so you can ‘sell the sizzle’.  Owners Who are Prepared to Stay Involved After the Sale – Expect buyers to want to retain owners for a period of time to ensure a smooth transition and to download all of their IP to the new owner. Depending on how your deal is structured, your final payment from the purchaser may be determined or incentivised by future business performance which you’ll want to ensure is optimised. Do Your Own Due Diligence  Most business owners review their financial performance on an annual basis and judge the ongoing performance through their business bank account. Compliance, contract and employment documentation is often poor or non-existent, and the value in documenting business processes and operating systems is never even considered. When the time comes to sell, there is no documentation to demonstrate the value of the business aside from annual accounts which have often been prepared to minimise tax rather than demonstrate financial value. A failure to identify business weaknesses in advance can often lead to the withdrawal of an offer or be cause for a price reduction when uncovered. Prospective buyers typically review every detail of the business in a process called due diligence. As a seller, you’ll need to anticipate the buyer’s questions and scrutiny and prepare your answers and arguments in advance. In order to do this, the owner needs to be their own biggest critic. This is usually the first time since starting the business that such a detailed review has been performed. After completing this process, many owners have a much more comprehensive understanding of their business – some even identifying that had they known what they learned through the process, they might have been more successful. If you want to sell your business to create retirement funds in the future, take the time now to create an appropriate business exit strategy. Identify your critical assets and your potential buyers. Carefully structure your plan so you understand what liquidity should be there for you. Make it an objective to run your business in a manner that if you received an irresistible offer today, you would be confident that the buyer’s due diligence wouldn’t uncover anything that would cause them to withdraw their offer. Once or twice a year look at your business as though you were interested in buying it. For more information contact Sally StuartBusiness Sales Specialist - Health sector P. +61 2 9899 1999 M. +61 437 082
Finding and Delivering Value  in Challenging Times article cover image
Mary Aldred
14 May 2020
In the current marketplace, it’s easy to say that your franchise can’t afford to invest in innovation, training or new initiatives. But can you really afford not to? It might be a new year, but the challenges facing small business and, in particular, franchising are familiar ones. In the economic briefings and forecasts I’ve attended, the message has been consistent. The economy remains weak and while Reserve Bank governor Philip Lowe has stated there may be a “gentle turning point\" in the economy later this year, businesses are understandably cautious. For any business, this caution must be balanced with the need to continue to innovate and develop products and services that resonate with consumers and meet their fast-changing needs.  Finding value for money is the key here. It’s easy to say that in the current marketplace, your franchise can’t afford to invest in innovation, training or new initiatives. I would argue that it’s these very circumstances that mean you can’t afford not to. Perhaps this can be enabled by finding savings that don’t compromise your brand’s value proposition, or that of your franchisees. One of the ways the FCA is working to facilitate this is through our partnership with EnergyAustralia. At last year’s National Franchise Convention, I mentioned how this new partnership will provide FCA members with benefits including access to free energy assessments and follow up recommendations on off-peak usage, solar panels and battery storage. This program is now underway, with the FCA and EnergyAustralia working together to roll out the assessment and audit program to a select group of members. We look forward to sharing the topline results over the coming months, and to offering this service more broadly across the FCA membership. It might be that your business can find smarter ways to access training and professional development. The FCA can help here too. You may have noticed the FCA has launched its new website at This is designed to be a streamlined platform delivering fact-based data, business advice and assistance for members, as well as useful information for the broader sector. Here you will find resources like the FCA’s Franchisee Guide, aimed at assisting prospective franchisees and existing franchisees with a toolbox of information from due diligence, to understanding franchise regulations and more. We encourage you to share this, and other useful information from our website across your networks of current and prospective franchisees. Across 2020, we will also be working to deliver member-only exclusive information through this platform, as we seek to provide members with the edge in growing sustainable franchise businesses. As the FCA looks to support members in delivering their ongoing education and training needs, we are also excited to partner with leading online learning and education platform, GO1. This education partnership is designed to support the compliance, skills and development needs of FCA members through the provision of training and resources on an accessible online portal. We’re looking forward to sharing more details about the learning pathways and course content that will be available through the GO1 platform with members as the year progresses. Value can also be gained by the connections that we form. Franchise professionals who are facing the same challenges as you but may already have solutions.  For CEOs of member franchise companies, membership of your local Chief Executive Syndicate, is an investment being part of an invaluable peer-to-peer network of franchise executives unlike any other. This year’s National Franchise Convention, to be held in Melbourne from 18-20 October, is yet another opportunity for members to collaborate and learn. At last year’s NFC, I also said that while it’s been a tough time over the last 12 months, this presents all of us with a transformational opportunity to shape the future that we want for franchising. This year’s NFC theme of “Shaping the Future” builds on this and reflects the need for franchised businesses to ensure they are well resourced to control their own destinies, even as market forces exert their pressures on the business environment. Following the success of the FCA’s inaugural Multi-Unit Summit in 2019, this event will again in 2020 bring together current and aspiring multi-unit franchisees and the franchise executives that support them to learn strategies to grow profitable multi-unit businesses and maximise the opportunities for the talented franchisees that are the backbone of every great franchise network. I cannot overstate the importance the FCA places on ensuring that franchising remains a strong business model and that your individual businesses are in the best position they can be for ongoing success. Each and every FCA membership is valued, and I look forward to continuing to deliver value to all FCA members in 2020. For more information visit Franchise Council of Australia website -
How to Maximise the Value of Your Business by Maximising the Value  of Your Most Valuable asset article cover image
Tony Arena
07 May 2020
While I thoroughly investigate the financials and hard assets, I am also asking questions about the people. What is the culture like. Does this current owner have the respect of staff. Will this be a happy transition?­ This is a summary of the key points from an interview between Joanna Oakey of Aspect Legal and Tony Arena of BCI Business Brokers. “How to Maximise the Value of Your Business by Maximising the Value of Your Most Valuable asset”Value of Staff:The value of the staff roster does not appear on the balance sheet, is not reflected in sales and until recently wasn’t even mentioned in discussions about value of a business. You can go back to 1920 when business valuation books talked about tangible assets only. These days a business may have goodwill as the only asset, be it a customer list that produces regular income (rent roll, mortgage loan book, online subscription services etc) or similar businesses devoid of tangible assets. Ask these questions:You can’t value a business without looking at the situation with staff. The following questions are hardly ever asked: How well are staff paid How happy are employees Do the key people want to stay on What do their contracts or terms of employment cover? While I thoroughly investigate the financials and hard assets, I am also asking questions about the people. What is the culture like. Does this current owner have the respect of staff. Will this be a happy transition?Steps to Take:You can take the following measures to strengthen your staff situation prior to a saleSit down and talk to staff before you go on the market. Take them into your confidence and tell them that you are going to sell. Find out if they would be happy to stay post-transaction. If you are a franchisor business, speak to some of your franchisees and tell them of your intention. Gauge reaction. We recently had a case I saw business fell over because of a franchise revolt right under the nose of the franchisor.Build the Asset:We had another sale where the vendor had no operational role but every morning she would arrive and make sure she walked around and found out how everyone was going. It was important for her that her staff knew she cared about them. If your staff know you care about them, they will look after you on the transaction and afterwards.Built the Roster with Foresight.You are going to sell your business one-day. Any extra people you put on will build value into the business. Choose people who are going to relieve you of responsibility within the business. If you are going to hire a general manager give yourself at least two years to bed down that position. You don’t want to go to the market with someone who is unproven and could further disrupt your life when you find out this is the wrong person for the job.Mental HealthWe live in an era where employees spend a good part of their life at work. There is often more interaction with people at the workplace than there is at home. If you create an atmosphere of support at work you will be rewarded and this will definitely show up in the bottom line. You are the coach. Let me give you an example in the sporting world. An international rugby league player once told me the best coach ever he ever had was Wayne Bennett because Wayne used to sit down with him and make him feel he was special, not just another player. In your workplace, people need to know that you care, need to feel that their job has meaning. Under those circumstances they will want to come to work and they will give you more bang for the dollar you are paying them. This is especially so in the workplace of today. Two out of four people will suffer a mental affliction in any given year. You have the opportunity to proactively search out what’s going on in your work force and play a positive part in bringing out the best in each of the people. That shows up in the bottom line and bears on business value.Mine the Wealth:Do you have many challenges in your business, to do with costs, productivity, operations etc. The wealth of experience and ideas contained within your workers is immense. Sit down with them and share your problems with them. Ask them for their ideas. They may see the problem from a different view point and might have even seen the problem from their vantage point before. This is a win-win. You may get your solution and your staff member will feel even more valued.Build your business with the people in mind. They might now show up in the balance sheet but they may be the difference in you having a good experience or a bad one when you come to sell. For more information contact Tony arena on [email protected] or visit
Top 5 issues facing small business  in 2020 article cover image
Dr. Warren Harmer
30 Apr 2020
Without specialised skills and departments in marketing, financials, HR and many other functions, the business owner just has to deal with each one, juggling a constant barrage of decisions coming at them. Small business owners are the ultimate jugglers. With too many business functions to manage, too few hours in the day and usually not enough expertise in the business, small businesses rarely operate with the effectiveness and efficiency of a corporate. Without specialised skills and departments in marketing, financials, HR and many other functions, the business owner just has to deal with each one, juggling a constant barrage of decisions coming at them. To add further challenge, the business environment is always changing, so new challenges can be quietly creeping in, and can become painful issues if the owner isn’t paying attention. In this article we have highlighted five of the biggest challenges we see with our clients, that are catching them off guard, causing headaches and (quite often) financial loss. Disruption - The business world is always changing, but the pace of change is undoubtedly getting faster, to the point it’s making many business owners dizzy. Technology is driving massive changes to consumer habits, marketing is changing at head-spinning pace and becoming ever more complex. Standing still can see small businesses lose market share very easily, so extra vigilance is needed to keep up. Whole industries have been hollowed out before our eyes, including such small businesses as bookshops, travel agents and the taxi industry. Cyber security - Whilst we all enjoy more and more convenience that comes with connectivity, it’s also getting much easier for nefarious actors to find their way into your business. Cyber-crime, identity theft and hacking are just a few of the never-ending stream of attempts by criminals to relieve us of our money. Not only are they increasing in frequency, but also in sophistication, requiring businesses to be every more vigilant. Small businesses are mostly unprepared, with poor security and practices that make them easy targets. Don’t’ assume it won’t happen to you: it can and probably will.Risk management - This season’s fires and now virus has shaken many industries, with daily news stories of small businesses under enormous pressure from sudden, unexpected events. What is unusual about this season is the large number of businesses affected by the same events, and the number of businesses affected at the same time. What is not unusual is that sudden events affect small business, sometimes significantly. Risk is always present, but almost no small businesses ever do even basic risk management. Just a 2-hour risk management exercise with an action plan can save a lot of pain. The unexpected should never happen because you have already planned for it. Expectations and skills - More and more is being expected of business owners all the time. All of the challenges highlighted here are just a few of the many demands faced on a daily basis, but there are more being thrown at them all the time. New laws in HR, wages and awards, tax, changes to superannuation, trade disputes and technology are just a few. With most small business owners being control freaks, letting go can be challenging, but it is not reasonable to expect one person to do all of them well.  Maintaining profit levels: costs and margins - Costs and prices are always in flux and profit margins cannot be assumed. In recent years, energy prices, rental and food costs have been particularly in focus, but are only part of this never-ending cycle. These can be ameliorated by good financial management skills, systems and regular reporting and the business owner really understanding how the business finances work. Unfortunately this is not common in small businesses, whose accounts are often outdated and basic concepts like gross profit not used. This leave the business very exposed and unable to act responsively. The common theme for all of these issues facing small business is increasing complexity and demand. Most aspects of business ownership need ever greater skills, knowledge and expertise, from online marketing, to cost management, employment law and cyber security. Juggling a bit faster will help most of the time, but it’s important to know the limit. Don’t be afraid to get expertise in when you need it: building an expert team around you and doing continual planning and review is one of the key skills of successful business owners. For more information contact Dr. Warren Harmer Chief Business Planner Email [email protected] or visit
How to prepare your business for a profitable sale article cover image
Kerry Anne Nelson
24 Apr 2020
Those on the hunt for a business investment are savvy. They will only invest in a bargain that suits their current situation and has the ability to expand their business success. The process of selling a business can be extremely difficult. When I embarked on this journey for the first time I had absolutely no idea just how arduous it would be. I didn’t realise how long it would all take and I certainly hadn’t considered what would be required to make my business attractive to a buyer. When I started the process I naively thought that all I needed was profitability. After a year of working at that sale, I learned a few lessons that just might make the world of difference to you as you prepare to take your business to market.  There was a time in the middle of preparing for the sale where I had to push through the fear that I may not make it. It was a roller coaster ride that was fraught with risky unknowns. I know now that my worries were actually founded in fact. Only 20% of all of the businesses listed for sale ever sell.  Those on the hunt for a business investment are savvy. They will only invest in a bargain that suits their current situation and has the ability to expand their business success. The health of your bottom line will certainly make your business more attractive, but this is only one factor your potential buyers will use to evaluate the opportunity you are presenting. Along with a profitable sales history, your buyer needs a truckload of certainty. It is essential that these five key areas ooze stability if you want to sell your business for what it’s truly worth:  Staffing If you can demonstrate that your staff work well with or without you there, you will be in a strong selling position. There is not a single business buyer in the world who wants to inherit a chaotic, negative workforce. A team of reliable, competent people running a tight ship is a compelling asset for any business purchase. Well established systems for recruitment, onboarding, training, management and offboarding are even more attractive again. Suppliers Knowing the business has clean, clear lines of supply for stock and other essential resources is vital to a successful sale. You must be on good terms with all of your suppliers. You need to be able to show you have watertight processes for managing accounts, and for purchasing and receiving supplies. When you present your business to your prospect, assure them that your company has easy access to quality supplies at great prices, and that there’s no risk of this changing in the foreseeable future. Operations You will be ready to show off the value of your business asset when you can walk your prospect through well-maintained operations manuals which document how everything is done. From your workflows to your website, to your marketing, service delivery, site management, and administration… every part of a saleable business must run like a well-oiled machine. This is the proof that the cogs of your business machine can and will keep turning long after you have left the engine room.   Goodwill Maximising the strength of your business reputation is an effective way to boost the final sale price. The value of your business brand name, solid customer base, good customer relations, good employee relations, and any patents or proprietary technology will all hold you in good stead with your buyers as long as they are rock solid. Success in this area cannot be achieved overnight. If you are thinking of selling up in future, you need to invest in building the goodwill of your business over the long term. Handover Your business will be irresistible to buyers if you show them you are ready to roll out the red carpet to welcome them. Map out a clear timeline of how you will hand the business over. Include an overview of the steps you have prepared to make it easy for them to take the reins. A successful handover is a natural extension of quality business leadership. Building effective systems to manage your staff, suppliers and operations will enhance the goodwill of your business and set you up for a silky smooth handover. For more information go to
Supporting Your Small Business article cover image
Australian Taxation Office
17 Apr 2020
The Australian Taxation Office offer a range of tools and services to help make it easier for you to get your tax and superannuation right, and to help your business thrive. Owning and operating a business comes with many rewards, but also a lot of work. The Australian Taxation Office knows business owners often have a lot to manage and have provided information on some current topics which you should consider if you have an existing business, or are looking to buy or sell one. For more information on starting your business you can talk to your registered tax or BAS agent, visit, and you can subscribe to the ATO’s regular articles from the Small Business Newsroom at  Instant asset write-offIf you’ve recently bought a new business you may need to look at buying or upgrading assets for it. If you plan on doing this, you can take advantage of the instant asset write-off which allows you to make a deduction in your tax return for an asset, costing less than $30,000 until the 30 June 2020. The threshold applies per asset, so you can use it multiple times if needed. In the 2019-20 financial year, businesses with a turnover less than $50 million are eligible to take advantage of this. To find out more about the instant asset write-off and how to claim, visit keeping for businesses Whether you are buying or selling your business good recordkeeping makes good business sense. It’s important that you stay on top of your record keeping obligations. The ATO have published the five rules of record keeping, which will help you keep accurate and complete records.This makes it easier for you when you need to meet your tax and super obligations. You need to keep all records related to starting, running, changing, and selling or closing your business that are relevant to your tax and super affairs. The relevant information in your records must not be changed and must be stored in a way that protects the information from being changed or the record from being damaged. You need to keep most records for five years. You need to be able to show us your records if they ask for them. Your records must be in English or able to be easily converted to English. To read more about how you can make sure the records you’re keeping are best practice, see the information at disaster support for small businessesThe ATO understands large parts of the community have been impacted by recent natural disasters, and they want to reassure you they are there to help. Your first priority is to focus on your family and community. If you need assistance with your tax affairs, the ATO can help you when you're ready.If you have been impacted by the recent bushfires and are in an identified impacted postcode, the ATO has automatically deferred any lodgments or payments you have due until 28 May 2020.  If you have been affected, but are out of the postcode zone, call the ATO on 1800 806 218 to discuss your circumstances. You can read more at  
News Laws in 2020 that will Affect Small Businesses article cover image
Christopher Tsiknas
07 Apr 2020
Within the last 6 months there have been a number of changes to laws that are relevant to small businesses. Whether you’re an owner looking to sell or a prospective buyer, it’s important to understand how these changes can affect you. As the new year has rolled in, most business owners will be in the early stages of carrying out their strategic plans with hopes of a successful start to the new decade. As an owner, it’s natural to keep an eye out for anything that may get in the way of achieving your goals. Ever changing laws and regulations can often catch business owners off guard and halt long term plans and ambitions.  Within the last 6 months there have been a number of changes to laws that are relevant to small businesses. Whether you’re an owner looking to sell or a prospective buyer, it’s important to understand how these changes can affect you. Below is a summary of some of the legal and regulatory changes to be aware of.  Updates to Employee Awards The most significant area of change arrives in the impending alterations to employee awards. The Fairwork Commission, as a result of a review, has decided that it will alter the provisions of 22 employee awards from March 1. The changes are primarily focused on the annualised salaries component of each award. Under the existing legislation of the Fair Work Act, businesses are required to pay full time employees an amount that reflects what they would receive under their award, inclusive of overtime and extra allowances. However, the grey area has always centred around the recording of hours worked. Given that it is rare for full time salaried employees to note their hours and days worked, it is difficult to determine entitlements owed. With high profile corporations being exposed and scrutinised for long hours and potential wage theft, the government has responded with strict requirements. As the awards involved range from hospitality to finance and manufacturing, it is likely that you will be affected as a small business owner.    • Recording and Tracking Hours The key takeaway from the changes to annualised salary provisions, is that you now must track and record the hours of salaried full-time employees. This means you will have to implement a system for the employees to submit all the hours they’ve worked and their breaks. Where an employee records hours outside of the limits under the awards, it is best to pay them for this at the relevant overtime or penalty rate.   • Notice of Annual Salary and Ordinary Hours In addition to recording and tracking hours worked, employers must now provide written notice outlining an employee’s annual salary and the maximum hours they can work outside the 38-hour week. As an employer, you will be obliged to ensure that employees are paid at least the minimum wage for any hours worked after the 38-hour threshold.  Employee Superannuation Changes As part of the changes to annualised salary provisions, there has been an effect on superannuation regulations. As of January 1, this year, salary sacrifices cannot be included as part of an employer’s mandatory superannuation contribution. Employers are now required to pay the 9.5% superannuation contribution on an employee’s gross pay including any salary sacrifice that has occurred. As an employer, you should also be aware of the Superannuation Guarantee Amnesty bill which has just passed through parliament. This will essentially provide employers with a 6-month window of opportunity to correct any non-compliance with regards to superannuation payments. If an employer chooses not to act and is exposed after the amnesty period, significant penalties will apply.  Unfair Dismissal Threshold Although this change did occur halfway through 2019, it is extremely relevant given the substantial reform to employment legislation that is currently occurring. The high-income threshold that excludes an individual from claims unfair dismissal was increased to $148,700 per year. Provided the other necessary provisions are satisfied, an employee under this threshold can apply for unfair dismissal after termination. This is likely to influence an increase in applications and is something you should keep in mind when terminating someone’s employment. Conclusion As stories of wage theft and mass underpayment continue to appear, it is clear that a crackdown has begun in 2020. With significant changes to employment awards and legislation, the Fair Work Commission has taken a stance to ensure the correct payment of employees. Significant penalties will be imposed for those who breach these new amendments. As a result, there is substantial risk for small business owners across the country, with non-compliance now a fatal move. Given that these updates can be complex and difficult to keep up with, the advice of an employment lawyer may be of use. For more information, contact Christopher Tsiknas at Lawpath [email protected]://
Is Now Your Time? article cover image
Ian Jones
01 Apr 2020
Unlike Real Estate agents, who need to understand the readily available comparative house and sales data, professional Business Brokers should be able to source comparative business and sales data which is not readily available to most business professionals. Is now your ideal time to buy or sell a business or franchise? If so, you will need a qualified team of industry professionals working with you and in your best interest to ensure you achieve the best possible sale or purchase outcome. One of the most integral members of the team of business professionals assisting you with the purchase or sale of  a business or franchise is a Business Broker. There is an old saying \"a good lawyer knows the law, but a great lawyer knows the Judge\". Well, it can also be said that the difference between a good Business Broker and a great Business Broker is measured by the level of gratitude expressed by both the buyer and the seller at the conclusion of a successful business sale.  What does a Business Broker actually do? Business Brokers help people buy and sell businesses, similar in the way Real Estate agents help people to buy and sell properties. Professional, qualified and experienced Business Brokers have specialised skills, training and knowledge required to professionally service clients looking to buy or sell a business, taking into account the unique circumstances of each business, buyer and seller. Unlike Real Estate agents, who need to understand the readily available comparative house and sales data, professional Business Brokers should be able to source comparative business and sales data which is not readily available to most business professionals. Business Brokers also need to understand complex and detailed business valuation methodologies as well as numerous other factors which impact a business’s value. These factors can include, but not limited to: • Understanding a business’s financials, P&L’s, balance sheets, etc • HR matters  • The value of supplier and customers contracts and relationships • Intellectual property • The value of a lease • The value of an online or partially online business versus a similar business with a physical location • The implications or impacts of a strong reliance on an owner; • A business being included/involved in a ‘roll-up’ or, that might be associated with an emerging or eclining industry. Professional and experienced Business Brokers should possess an incredible amount of knowledge and a clear understanding of the business, the client, the buyer, the landlord, the market, the region the business is located, the industry, how to best negotiate with the buyer and seller, the accountants (on both sides of the transaction], external advisors, valuers and the solicitors (on both sides). They also need to be able to understand the value of a business,  which valuation methodology is most appropriate for that business (ie; ROI, Capitalisation rates, DCF, Future maintainable earnings etc) and which profit figure is appropriate in each case (EBIT, EBITDA, PEBIT, PEBITDA, SDE, ROT, etc) as this will change from business to business and is industry dependent.  Additionally, a professional Business Broker must be aware of changes which impact a business’s value over time and have the skills to manage the confidential marketing of a business without disclosing the location and name of the business. They should also employ a rigorous confidentiality process which safeguards confidential and commercially sensitive business or franchise information. If you are considering buying or selling a business or franchise, or you’re a franchise system looking for professional representation, it is recommended that buyers, sellers and franchisors work with experienced, professional and licenced Business Brokers and Business Brokerages who are members of the Australian Institute of Business Brokers (AIBB) or accredited through the AIBB. AIBB members are accredited and comply with the institute's code of ethics. For information about the AIBB, or to find an AIBB member or an Accredited Brokerage near you, call 1300 79 66 67, email [email protected] or visit or to contact Ian Jones  mobile 0402 111 500, phone 1300 BROKER (1300 276 537).