Tips to help you start your own business

Starting a new business is exciting but there’s a lot to think about and organise.

Before you even begin, you should consider how prepared you are to make difficult decisions, work long hours, face financial constraints, lose sleep, and confront failure.

Most jump in thinking about all the freedom they’ll have ‘running their own show’ but if you ask any entrepreneur, usually the opposite is true!

Research

If none of these scare you, and you have the drive to make a success of your business idea, start by talking with others who have gone down the same path and can help you figure out your next steps.

Be under no illusions, this is a complex process with many moving parts, but having a checklist will make things easier.

The Department of Industry, Innovation and Science offers a lot of help through its business.gov.au website, including a start your own business preliminary checklist.

It says you should follow these steps:

  • choose your business structure and type
  • apply for an Australian Business Number (ABN)
  • register your business name and trademark
  • protect your intellectual property
  • understand the appropriate standards and codes of practice
  • set up record- and account-keeping processes
  • register a website name
  • work out what taxes you need to register for
  • find out the registration processes and licences you need
  • consider your insurance needs
  • buy or lease business premises.

Business plan

One essential ingredient of any new business venture is to draw up a business plan, which you will need to secure any financing. It will also provide direction and help keep you on track.

Financing your idea and keeping track of where the money is going is crucial to your success, so a good accountant is essential.

Employment

If you intend to hire people, you will also need to be familiar with the relevant labour laws, superannuation rules, work health and safety obligations and tax laws. Information about pay and conditions is available from the Fair Work Ombudsman website. You will also need workers’ compensation and public liability insurance.

Here to help

With so much to think about, it’s clear that starting a business is challenging. A financial adviser may help you understand your new financial obligations and develop a financial plan tailored to you, so you may get your new business off to the right start.   We’re always happy to help, so don’t hesitate to give us a call on 07 5593 0855.

Simple lifestyle changes for a healthier you

Treat your body well and it may help you dodge cancer. Here’s some tips on how to create a healthier lifestyle.

“Cancer isn’t always a matter of genetics or bad luck,” says Professor David Whiteman of Brisbane’s QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute.[1] A recent study from the institute found risky habits and behaviour are to blame for more than 16,000 Australians being diagnosed with cancer each year.1 The good news is that changing these behaviours may help prevent certain cancers forming.

The most common types of cancers that are directly related to lifestyle choices include skin melanomas, and lung, bowel, liver and stomach cancers.1 The key culprits causing these types of cancers include:

  • tobacco smoking
  • high intake of red and processed meat
  • low intake of fruits and vegetables
  • excessive exposure to UV light
  • excessive alcohol consumption
  • being physically inactive
  • being overweight.1

In other words, what we put in our bodies and how often we move them.

So, what changes can you make for a healthier lifestyle?

  • Since the biggest cause of preventable cancer is smoking tobacco, your first mission is to “hang tough, don’t puff!”1
  • Eat more fruit and vegetables and reduce your intake of red and processed meat –going vegetarian just two days per week may help you create a more balanced diet.
  • Decrease your alcohol consumption – limit your drinks to special occasions or set yourself the challenging of nursing one drink per party.
  • Exercise regularly – exercise may help reduce the risk of various physical and mental health problems.[2] If you have a sedentary lifestyle, even committing to 15 minutes of walking a day could be a great start.
  • Moderate your exposure to UV light – get your sunlight early in the morning or late in the afternoon and use a combination of protective clothing, shade and sunscreen.

 

[1] ABC News, (2017), ‘Changes to risk factors could have prevented 40 per cent of cancer deaths, study finds’. Available at: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-12-12/cancer-study-finds-40pc-deaths-preventable-with-lifestyle-change/9247876

[2] Australian Government, Department of Health, ‘Physical Activity’. Available at: http://www.health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/content/phy-activity

What is Bitcoin all about?

Chances are by now you’ve heard all about Bitcoin… but you may not know too much about what it really is.

Bitcoin is a type of digital currency known as a cryptocurrency. It operates on a decentralised peer-to-peer networked program on your computer, meaning that transactions can be conducted between a buyer and seller without the need for any third party oversight such as a regulator or bank. The underlying technology that makes all cryptocurrencies possible is the blockchain.

Bitcoin’s ‘wild run’

Bitcoin’s value has oscillated wildly. It peaked at US$20,000 in mid-December 2017, lost 40 per cent of its value within a week, then bounced back and hasn’t stopped bouncing since.

What are the risks?

Bitcoin certainly has all of the hallmarks of a ‘speculative bubble’ and history is littered with plenty of examples of speculative fevers that ultimately collapsed. Another risk is regulation. Some cryptocurrencies are becoming the preferred medium of exchange for criminals due to anonymity, if governments can find a way to crack down they surely will.

Want to know more?

There’s lots of information now available.  Have a chat to your financial adviser who can help you work out if Bitcoin or cryptocurrency, merits further investigation or is worth leaving behind.

It’s Finally Here!

My latest baby has now arrived… and ok, it’s been 19 years between births and this one didn’t hurt quite so much, (or weigh over 4 kgs) but my first book has now hit the shelves!

Financial Secrets Revealed hit bookstores just before Xmas and features interviews with 20 pretty amazing people.

I’ve interviewed 8 amazing ladies who are kicking goals as business owners and asked the best advice they’ve ever been given.  I’ve spoken with Financial Advisers from Australia and the UK about their back stories, how they got involved in financial services, and the top tips they like to leave their clients.  I’ve also found four amazing everyday heroes who are happy to go about their daily lives, and also make a difference, whether to their families or globally.  I ask how they manage – on Centrelink pensions,  running an international charity or heading into space for NASA.

If you’d like to learn about the setbacks suffered by entrepreneurs and how they’ve recovered, how our beliefs around money affect our behaviour, if budgets are all they’re cracked up to be, then Financial Secrets Revealed  may just be the book you’ve been looking for.

A New Year is often the time we swear that this is the year we’ll finally get on top of our financial situation, so maybe this is the incentive you need to stay motivated and on track with your money goals.

If you’d love to get your hands on a copy, you can let me know directly, or find the book locally or on Amazon.com  Booktopia.com.au or Barnes & Noble.  Also available as an e-book.  I’d love to hear your key take-outs from the book and what you learnt from the interviews.  Stay in touch!

PS  If you’re in Sydney, I have my book launch coming up at Business Chicks HQ on Feb 7 from 5.30 and would love to see you there.  Get your tix here.

The Gift of a Story!

If you believe in romance, then Ann-Marie’s story may take your fancy…

From a private airline hostess in Australia to the Amalfi Coast, Ann-Marie’s saga started the way of most fairy tales!  Swept off her feet by a German Count, she said goodbye to Australian shores, moved to Germany and proceeded to deliver luxury cars around Europe for her new father-in-law’s dealership.

A Champagne lifestyle followed as she jet set her way through Europe living it up as part of the Von Douglas Clan, the European branch of the Scottish Black Douglases.  Life was good, the Douglas women didn’t work… and travel to exotic locations was an integral part of the life she now led.

However, it turns out that not all fairy tales end with ‘and they all lived happily ever after…’

Anne-Marie has been kind enough to share her story with me in my book of how she went from the jet set, moved back to Australia to raise her daughters and to living on a much more modest ‘beer sized’ budget today.  She shares the best financial advice she’s ever been given and how to prepare for the unexpected.

And if you want to find out how Annie and I stay connected, I guess you’ll just have to pick up a copy of Financial Secrets Revealed.  I have plenty of stock on hand (just in time for Xmas) or good book stores and online shops all have copies.

 

Kicking Goals!

It’s kind of hard to believe that it’s already been a year (this week) since my trip to Malawi with The Hunger Project and 15 amazing women.

Learning firsthand the magic of mindset and what a difference it’s made as people become empowered to take charge of their own futures was a powerful lesson and made me think carefully about my own limiting beliefs.  And although I’ve kicked a few to the curb, there’s always more to add to that list!

Meeting the amazing villagers who had all lived in abject poverty and yet were stepping up into leadership positions to empower their communities was incredible to be part of.

Transformational Leadership isn’t just about fearless leaders rocking social media but everyday people making a difference in the lives of others – they’re the true rockstars.  And it certainly put the privilege I’d been born into, into stark relief.

I remember thinking that certain awards were ‘out of my league’ or that ‘I’d never be as amazing as that person’ or that ‘I couldn’t do what they’re doing!’  So I chose to question all of that and set some goals of my own.

I wanted to travel more, write a book, do more public speaking, stay involved with The Hunger Project and have an award winning financial planning practice, and what’s really cool… is in the last 12 months, I ticked all those boxes.  It’s only now that the memories are coming up in my Facebook feed that I’ve realised how far I’ve come… and what I still have to go!

Time to set some more Big Hairy Audacious Goals and get kicking!

What are you planning to set up for yourself in 2018?

 

Thanks Foxy!

Well, today’s the day that I received my final copy of my manuscript back from the publisher!  How cool is that??

I’ve cast my eye over the final copy, the book cover and we’re ready to hit the print button.  Can’t hardly wait!

I’ve had some amazing mentors through this writing journey with the fabulous Andrew Griffiths coaching along the way and Michael from Hanrahan Publishing providing guidance and accountability along the publishing path.

I’d also love to do a shoutout to Brad Fox for putting together the Foreword of my book Financial Secrets Revealed.  We first met ten years ago when Brad was starting out in advice and it’s been great to see his journey and transformation over those years.

As he points out, you won’t find any get-rich-quick schemes in the book, but it’s all about questioning your relationship with money which is something we all need to do – and preferably sooner rather than later.

As Brad says, ‘money is an enabler’ so what will you find to do with it?

Hopefully, I’ll be giving you the link to purchase in the very near future!