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Start Your Business NOW!

The Christmas Holidays is a Terrific Time to Start a New Business

start-your-own-small-business-this-christmasIF YOU’VE DECIDED THAT this will be the year you start your new business, don’t wait until January to begin your journey to becoming the head honcho.

Right now is the best time of the year to begin — because while everyone else (businesses included) has gone on on holidays, you’ll be ready to take on your first client or customer by the time January 2017 rolls around. Continue reading Start Your Business NOW!

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You can start a bookkeeping business alongside your job

Starting a bookkeeping business is a learning process

Thinkink about starting your own business and want to learn from small business mentors and other entreprenuersWhen I started my first business I was in my early twenties and I knew that I needed to be available during normal business hours when customers made enquiries so I jumped off the short corporate journey I was on and worked full time in a bar – 4 long shifts of 10 hours, including weekends. It was a big change in mindset for me (admitting I had failed in the corporate race) but it gave me the time and money to learn about business and what having a business is like. It’s the same for a new bookkeeping business.

Finding the time

Time management is tough when you are a mature person: family, kids, school, part-time work and studies are common for many people in their thirties and forties and sometimes this is enough to stop people before they even get started. Despite the continual pressures on your time it is possible to fit in a new business and it’s centred on finding your productive time or available time.

Some people use mathematics to find available time – 168 hours in the week, then block out things like travel time, work-time, study time etc, but I think you’re best off finding the time where you can get into “the zone”, after all you’re exploring, practising and researching something that will result in you being able to earn money close to home or even by working at home! For early risers this time is first thing in the morning while you’re drinking a strong coffee, for others it will be at night after the kids have gone to bed and for some it will be on the weekend when you’re not really doing much else. Most people living in the big cities have a long commute into the city and often this is a good time to study, read and research. You only need a couple hours a week to start imagining yourself in your new business.

Keeping track of your tasks

OK, so you managed to find the time – most people can find the time if the task or project they are working on is important to them. The next thing is how are you going to keep track of what you learn and what you need to do? My first real success in this area came when I listened to a Jim Rohn audio cassette (yup) where he talked about the value of a journal filled with empty blank pages and how that journal was more valuable than a book filled with details about someone else’s life. To reward myself for writing in it, I’d treat myself to a coffee at a cafe and to this day I write in a journal most days of the week – particularly at the beginning of each week – I don’t go out to drink as many coffees though.

This practice taught me that every obstacle can be over come and every goal reached, it’s just a matter of figuring out how to do it. This practice also helped me understand what I was working on better because I would spend the time to make a note of the biggest challenges.

I’ve used a number of different software programs and services to help me manage tasks and time, including:

  • Google Apps Tasks
  • Google Apps Calendar
  • Asana
  • Basecamp
  • Time Meter

I use my journal to write down goals for the week for myself and for my direct team and I refer to it several times a day during the entire week. Throughout each day and at the end of the week I put a big tick next to everything that was completed and if there are things that I didn’t complete I don’t kick myself about it; I just re-write it as a task for the next week (or realise that it wasn’t that important).

Be accountable

jim-rohn-inspiration-for-starting-your-own-bookkeeping-business-and-setting-and-achieving-goalsA big reason for my maintaining the use of a journal was to have a record of the work that I had DONE as much as what I’d planned to do. One of the worst feelings I can imagine is having so much going on in my mind that I don’t know which way to go or where to start and by going through the process of journaling and setting goals I am able to gain clarity and set some simple achievable goals. Many of my goals are to simply learn more about the task that I am working on or understand something that a member of my team is struggling with.

Lately we’ve made some big changes to our Enrolment Voucher System and it has involved connecting multiple different online services together in one solution. Some parts of it worked smoothly while others were a real struggle so I wrote that down as a goal to research and we ended up finding a solution EVERY time. This system enables us to provide low cost courses to our corporate training clients so it’s very important to us.

It’s not about busting your balls for not finishing a task on your list, it’s more about remaining on track to achieve your goals and keep moving forward constantly in the direction of your goals.

Do something you love doing

Am I really doing something I love doing? More than anything I would like to be swimming on a clear beach, sun bathing, drinking something alcoholic (but in moderate proportions of course), then eating something and then having a rest 🙂 But as far as work is concerned I work from my home office and choose my own hours and have a team of people who do the same! It’s something I’ve wanted to do ever since I closed my last physical training centre in Dee Why in 2006!

When I hear these words it’s more about managing the tasks that you don’t like doing (you’ll be glad to hear that most business owners hate doing their bookkeeping and would rather find a good local bookkeeper 😉 and focusing your time and energy on the things that you like doing. The stuff you don’t like often still needs to be done but you can always find alternative ways of solving the problem. You can

  • find someone who prefers to do that work and delegate it to them,
  • do the work first thing in the morning to get it done and over with, or
  • find a way to automate or systemise it.

Start a bookkeeping business not a franchise

Pre Qualify Now to start your own bookkeeping business

Challenge yourself to grow

This one is the hard one because it involves making yourself do something you don’t want to in the hope you’ll be able to achieve something you don’t think you can achieve. This is the step that often requires the help of a business mentor or a coach and some people buy into a franchise in the hope that the system of the franchise will enable them to just do the work.

One thing I have learnt for sure though is that if I didn’t make a start I wouldn’t be doing what I am doing today. When you start on your journey of having your own bookkeeping business you change personally because of the challenges you face and what you learn along the way often changes the direction your business takes or the services you want to provide.

[box type=”info”] The learning and researching stage is so important because this stage pushes you out of your current patterns and opens your mind to the endless possibilities.[/box]

In business to help others

This is one of the most important things to keep at the front of your mind when you’re starting a new business – that only when you are helping to solve other peoples problems are you going to be of any value. When you maintain the positive thought that you are actually in business to help someone with their problems it’s easier to focus on solutions for your clients rather than what YOU want right now and that is the moment your challenge will begin to show results. It is often the moment when you go from the “I want/need $X per hour” to “I can help a business do XXXX better and save them XXXXX” – you can fill in the blanks yourself.

I wrote this blog after listening to stories from different people, most of them currently working in the corporate world where they deal with long commutes, frustrating traffic, childcare costs, politics and deadline stress, under-staffing etc. These people are very experienced and their knowledge would help growing businesses closer to where they live but these people still have to manage the transition while still paying their mortgage. To these people I say “Start now and with a little bit of time each week you can have a business and potentially even new clients within 3 months, while clearly defining how you’d like to work the the type of clients you want to work with”.

Here’s to your success 🙂

 

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Why Are So Many Mums Starting Their Own Businesses?

Men vs Women

Dreaming about setting up a new business startup
365_The_Daydreamer_(6517625965).jpg

There is a fairly significant gender imbalance when you look at the people holding executive positions in the corporate world. Sure, there are the Gail Kellys and Marissa Mayers, but men in managerial positions in the workplace still outnumber women two-to-one. Many people would contend that this is something to do with sexism, but sexism, gender inequality – whatever you want to call it – only tells part of the story. In order to understand why there are so few women in executive leadership positions in corporate Australia – and why more women are becoming small business entrepreneurs, instead – it helps to start from the very beginning.

When women enter the workforce, their participation rates are typically the same as they are for men, hovering at around 75 percent; in some industries, particularly clerical and administrative ones, women far outweigh men in the workplace. But despite this, and despite women being better educated (just 30 percent of men hold a bachelor degree, while 42 percent of women do), men continue to progress in their careers, moving from entry level and administrative roles through to managerial ones, while women don’t.

In fact, the decline in the number of women holding managerial positions (34 percent), compared with men (66 percent) is significant. Looking at those numbers alone, it’s easy to write this off as sexism, as men being promoted over women, but the truth is that the decline in women in managerial positions is commensurate with the overall decline in women in the workforce, period.

So where have all the women gone?

Well, at the risk of coming off as a bit 1950s, they’ve left work to raise their children. The reason they haven’t returned to their careers, though, is not for want of trying. It’s because being a working mum is a logistical and, as a result, professional, nightmare. To start, there’s the distinct lack of affordable, high quality childcare, which has reached such a crisis point that the Federal Government, on the recommendation of the Productivity Commission, is trialing a nanny subsidy scheme, which would allow families to receive a government subsidy for the cost of hiring an (approved) nanny to care for their children.

That scheme, which commences in January 2016, will involve 4,000 nannies and up to 10,000 children and, if it passes the pilot stage, is estimated to help the 165,000 Australian parents who can’t work or can’t work enough due to problems accessing childcare. But all the childcare in the world won’t make up for a generally inhospitable workplace culture for working mothers.

Even though almost all Australian businesses are supposed to offer flexible working arrangements for parents, none of them actually have to practice it. As long as an organisation doesn’t blatantly discriminate against their working-parent employees, they’re well within their rights to tell mums requesting flexible working arrangements (such as, starting and finishing later, working one day from home, etc) that their request has been refused due to one of the following reasonable business grounds:

  • The requested arrangements are too costly
  • Other employees’ working arrangements can’t be changed to accommodate the request
  • It’s impractical to change other employees’ working arrangements or hire new employees to accommodate the request
  • The request would result in a significant loss of productivity or have a significant negative impact on customer service.

Women are more entrepreneurial than men

This is not to say that gender inequality doesn’t figure in the underrepresentation of women in the workplace, because it does; certainly with respect to wage inequality. Although, to be fair, it’s not always men that create inhospitable working environments for women with kids. There’s often a lot of girl-on-girl crime going on here, especially when it comes to mums requesting for flexibility that isn’t also extended to women without kids.

Nevertheless, in the stuffy, old corporate world, usually controlled by men, biology means women nearly always start off on the backfoot. But it doesn’t have to continue to be the case, especially not today. With a society that’s never been more interconnected, thanks to changing technologies and greater access to high-speed internet, women have a greater opportunity to use their skills and talents to launch their own businesses, and to operate them from home.

Mia Freedman is probably Australia’s best example of female entrepreneurship. She’s the publisher of the Mamamia Women’s Network, this country’s fastest growing and most popular network of women’s websites. Freedman launched the company’s flagship website, Mamamia, in 2008 as a personal blog she updated from her kitchen bench – and sometimes her couch – after she left a career in women’s magazines; today, with iVillage and theglow.com.au, Mamamia now reaches 5 million unique readers each month.

But Freedman isn’t the only mumpreneur. There are scores and scores of women launching their own businesses. In the last five years, the rate of women starting businesses increased 7 percent, compared to 1.9 percent for men. In NSW alone, women make up one third of the state’s 650,000 small businesses, according to data from the NSW Department of Trade and Investment. And with the Government’s $20k immediate tax write-off for asset purchases, there really has never been a better time to start your own home-based business.

Are you the next mumpreneur?

start a bookkeeping business
Business Opportunities for Ordinary People

EzyLearn has a long, proud history of helping mums to reenter the workforce, and we’d like to continue that tradition by helping more mums to start their own home-based businesses. Whether you’d like to use your talent and expertise to start your own bookkeeping business or work as a freelance blogger, writing posts – just like this one – for other businesses, we can help.

We’ve recently created two new courses – one on content marketing and another on blogging for business – in addition to our other suite of training courses that includes our small business StartUp course as well as our flagship MYOB training courses, which can each provide you with the skills you need to start and operate your own home-based business as a remote or contract worker. We’ve also started the StartUp Academy with a number of business opportunities available to help self-motivated people to start their own businesses, across an array of industries and professions.

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Becoming a National Bookkeeping Bookkeeper

Starting a Business as a Bookkeeper is about Business Knowledge, Skills and Support

start a bookkeeping business
It can be daunting knowing where to get your first clients when you start your own business.

It’s not easy starting out as a bookkeeper running your own business. We think our partnership with National Bookkeeping is going to help you get underway.

If you’ve subscribed to our blog and followed our recent posts, then you probably know that EzyLearn has partnered with National Bookkeeping.

National Bookkeeping can now administer training courses to their new licensees, along with a range of other perks and benefits to help you launch your own bookkeeping business. Continue reading Becoming a National Bookkeeping Bookkeeper

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FREE Guide on Becoming an Independent Contractor & Working Remotely

The Contractor versus the Employee

Receive the free guide on starting a business from home as a remote contractorIn a recent post, I talked about the StartUp Academy, which helps people start their own home-based businesses as independent contractors. The StartUp Academy is something I’ve been working on for sometime after I noticed a compressing of regular salaried jobs – sometimes it was the consolidation of two jobs into one but most often, entire jobs were being outsourced to consultants and contractors.

Continue reading FREE Guide on Becoming an Independent Contractor & Working Remotely

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The National Bookkeeping license fee is 100% tax deductible

Costs of starting a business are tax deductible

become an independent contract and start a bookkeeping businessIf you’re subscribed to this blog and you’ve been following our recent posts, then you should be aware that we’ve recently partnered with National Bookkeeping to deliver online training courses to their new licensees. We’ve also been writing about the $20k tax breaks introduced in the recent budget, which allows businesses to immediately write off asset purchases up the $20k as a tax deduction (rather than being depreciated over time).

While we caution you to be prudent when it comes to making business purchases, if you had been thinking about becoming an independent consultant and starting a home-based business and needed to make any purchases – office furniture, technology, a training course – now’s the time to do it.

Now that we’ve reached June, there are just a couple weeks left of this financial year, which means that any business purchases you make between now and June 30 will immediately go toward reducing your taxable income for this current financial year. This even includes the cost of becoming a National Bookkeeping licensee.

A tax-deductible license fee

Typically, when you buy a franchise or become a licensee, the franchise or license fee you pay forms part of the cost-base for your franchise or licensed business as your capital asset, and cannot be claimed as a tax deduction. However, because EzyLearn is a partner and is providing its entire suite of training courses to new licensees, the fee to join National Bookkeeping is technically considered a self-education expense.

Self-education expenses, when they directly relate to your business, are a hundred percent tax deductible. If you register before the end of this financial year – that is, June 30 – then you claim it as an immediate tax deduction, and reduce your taxable income by $1,600 straight off the bat – and that’s not to mention any other asset purchases you make, like new cars, office furniture, technology and the like.

Aside from being instantly gratifying to be able to claim a business expense back right away, it’ll also mean that you’ve technically started your new business in the black as opposed to in the red like new most businesses do. So whether the license fee results in a bigger tax cheque this year or just reduces the amount of tax you have to pay to the ATO, it’s still money in your pocket that you can reinvest into other areas of your business.

Register before June 30 to avoid starting your business in the red

One of the biggest hindrances to growth in the first year of business is poor cash flow, and unfortunately many small businesses experience poor cash flow in their first year of trading. It typically occurs when a business makes a number of, albeit necessary, business purchases that leave them cash strapped until they can file a tax return at the end of the financial year. As a result, it makes it difficult to spend money on marketing or to hire a contractor to carry out work you’re not skilled for – developing a smartphone app for your business, say.

As a result, you either miss out on investing in opportunities that will help to grow your business in the long term, or you wind up trying to muddle through it yourself, which is both a waste of your time and is also false economy, because you’re losing money by not attending to the tasks that are going to generate immediate revenue (completing someone’s BAS, for example).

Even though becoming a licensee is a low-risk new business option, which usually includes most of the things you need to start and grow your business during its infancy, like sales and marketing collateral – in fact, National Bookkeeping licensees will want for nothing as nearly everything, with the exception of an ABN and Cert IV accreditation, is included in the license fee – there is some flexibility to how you operate your business, which means that if you decide you want to branch out and offer content marketing services, you may need to regularly work with a designer or developer.

You’ll need money to pay them, and if you want to keep up a good relationship with your suppliers, you’ll want to pay them quickly and on time. Ideally, your end client will do the same for you, but oftentimes they don’t. If you’re always waiting to be paid before you can pay your suppliers, it’s not going to foster good relationships with either your client or your suppliers.

Start your National Bookkeeping business in the black

So that’s why it’s a good idea to register with National Bookkeeping and become a licensee before June 30. It’ll mean being able to claim back the entire license fee this financial year, so you can give your business the best change at growing and becoming a success from the very start.

As a National Bookkeeping licensee, you’ll receive full access to our entire suite of training courses, including our small business management course, which covers all of the important aspects of operating a small business, like developing a business plan, managing the financials, and researching the market – in this case, useful if you decide to offer additional services, besides just bookkeeping.

You’ll also gain access to any future courses we develop, and we currently have a content marketing course in the pipeline. I’ve mentioned in a blog post already that content marketing has become a real focus for many businesses now that they’ve come to realise how important it is to engage and interact with their customers online.

Develop your skills to expand your business

The content marketing course we’re developing is designed to give people the skills they need to start their own home-based content marketing business, which you may decide to utilise by expanding your services beyond just bookkeeping and operate a business that offers a Complete Business Operations service to other businesses.

For a lot of medium-sized enterprises – a plumbing business, for instance – that has a number of staff or contractors and struggles to keep up with the administrative side of the business, being able to deal with just one business would be far more convenient than having to engage each one separately – a bookkeeper, a virtual assistant, and a marketing agency.

But then again, you may just decide to take the skills you’ve learned, create your own content marketing strategy for your business, and implement it yourself. It’s up to you.

Achieve success through education and flexibility

National Bookkeeping and EzyLearn wants you to have the best chance at succeeding in your business venture, and we believe that the best way to achieve success is through education, and that the more skills you have and knowledge you possess, the more likely you are to achieve it.

I honestly, don’t know many other franchises or licensed businesses with that level of commitment to education, nor to the flexibility that comes with it. So if you would like to start a home-based bookkeeping business, but want to have the flexibility to expand you services beyond just bookkeeping, while also having the security that a licensed business offers – an established business model and name, access to infrastructure, training, and coaching – then it’s worth your while to look into being a licensee with National Bookkeeping.

Visit their website for more information, contact the team, or if you’d just like to get started today – before June 30 so you can claim your licence fee back right away – register your interest online.

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How much should a local bookkeeper charge?

What is a local bookkeeper worth?

I recently wrote a blog post about whether bookkeepers could also provide marketing services to their clients, which I also touched on in another recent post about starting a bookkeeping business and the need to be diverse in the services you offer as an independent contractor.

While brainstorming with Ray from the Startup Academy about the services bookkeeper charge and the rates they can earn we discovered that there is a huge variety of services that a bookkeeper can offer and as a result their rates differ. Continue reading How much should a local bookkeeper charge?

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You’ve Already Got a Business Coach – YOU!

being your own boss
Every time you set goals and generally act like a boss, you’re serving much the same function as a business coach.

Ever since EzyLearn’s early days, when we still had our training centres in Sydney, I’ve always gained a real buzz out of helping our students start their own businesses.

I still do, which is why I recently presented a seminar at the Reinvent Your Career Expo and why EzyLearn has partnered with the StartUp Academy.

The StartUp Academy is a start-up incubator for entrepreneurs who want to work in industries currently experiencing rapid growth — like the work health and safety industry, for example — but who also want to have balance in their home and work life; to be their own bosses. Continue reading You’ve Already Got a Business Coach – YOU!

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Affiliate Marketing: Partner with Us to Start Your Own Business NOW

Start a Computer Training Business

start your own businessDo you want to start your own business? Perhaps a home-based business? At EzyLearn, we’re passionate about helping people follow their dreams and start their own businesses.

At the moment, we’ve got a host of opportunities available to people who would like to partner with EzyLearn and start their own home-based business with a focus on Bookkeeping. Continue reading Affiliate Marketing: Partner with Us to Start Your Own Business NOW

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Want to Earn a Thousand Bucks for Giving a Referral?

referral marketing
We’ve come across a great new referral marketing website that will pay you a grand for referring a colleague.

We’ve published numerous posts about referral marketing, which is an invaluable and cost effective way of marketing your business. In particular, we talked about LinkedIn. This is something that I, Steve Slisar, CEO of EzyLearn, am a big believer in — and so is small business marketing guru, Michael Griffiths.

You can learn more about using LinkedIn for referral marketing by attending one of Michael’s Sydney workshops and here’s a company willing to pay a good commission for referrals. Continue reading Want to Earn a Thousand Bucks for Giving a Referral?

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Getting the Accreditation You Need for MYOB and Bookkeeping

MYOB bookkeeper
You don’t need to be a BAS agent to be a successful and profitable bookkeeper.

The reason many of our students complete our MYOB training courses is because they’re looking for a new job, and so we’re often asked if our MYOB training courses are accredited and whether they come with a certificate.

The answer to this question is a little more complicated than it may seem, and here’s why:

Continue reading Getting the Accreditation You Need for MYOB and Bookkeeping

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Reinvent Your Career, Become an Independent Contractor

Who wants to work from home?

Ever since we started offering our MYOB training courses online, thousands of students have enrolled and learned how to become MYOB bookkeepers. Many of those students are mums, who were looking to become skilled in a job they could do from home.

In 2012, we added the Small Business Management and Start-up course to our online training platform, to help students to learn a new set of skills that would help them start their own businesses as independent contractors, so they can earn more money, work their own hours, work closer to home, and spend more time with the kids.

Continue reading Reinvent Your Career, Become an Independent Contractor

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So You Think You Can Be an Entrepreneur?

entrepreneur
Entrepreneurs are strong-minded individuals – but we’ve found there are at least 5 other qualities they tend to possess that leads to their business success.

In running our Small Business Management Course and MYOB Training Courses, one of most common reasons we find that people want to start their own businesses is to be their own boss and work remotely from home.

This is a perfectly understandable sentiment — but it’s not necessarily conducive to making a small business work.

Entrepreneurs are known to be people who manage starting up and/or bringing to fruition their own businesses and ventures, but entrepreneurs are a certain breed and as many find out the hard way, self-employment is not for everyone. Continue reading So You Think You Can Be an Entrepreneur?

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Is Google Your Sugar Daddy?

google marketing networking
Show Me the Money: A thorough understanding of how to use Google can help you – and your business – earn more.

We’ve been writing about referral marketing a lot lately, and in a recent post about marketing action plans, we talked about why you should include referral marketing and/or networking as a marketing strategy in your marketing plan.

That may seem silly to some people, since networking doesn’t always translate to sales straight away, but we’ve discovered another reason why you should include it in your marketing plan: Google! Continue reading Is Google Your Sugar Daddy?

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But Networking Isn’t Making Me Any Money! Putting Together a Marketing Action Plan

marketing action plan networking
With a Marketing Action Plan, you’ll be able to isolate which marketing strategies are working best for your small business.

In the marketing module of our Small Business Management course, our students learn about marketing action plans, and throughout the course come to create their own marketing plan for their soon-to-be business.

We also talked about referral marketing and networking in our last post, in which we outlined what every business should be doing to grow their customer base. For this reason, it should also be included in your marketing action plan. Continue reading But Networking Isn’t Making Me Any Money! Putting Together a Marketing Action Plan

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Pricing: Are You Being a Con Artist Without Knowing It?

It doesn't pay to sneak around your pricing; stating it up front is a better way to go.
It doesn’t pay to sneak around your pricing; stating it up front is a better way to go.

A short while back we wrote a post about why your final price should include GST, and just recently we talked about how you should structure your prices, so we thought we would add to these and talk about whether you should make your prices freely available on your website.

The internet has changed the way we do many things. It’s changed the way we bank, communicate and work, but if there’s one thing it’s almost entirely revolutionised it’s the way we shop — particularly the way we shop for professional services. Continue reading Pricing: Are You Being a Con Artist Without Knowing It?