FREE Digital Business Course

Learn How to Run a Business Online

starting-a-new-cafe-or-retail-business
It doesn’t matter whether you have a specifically online business, or a gift shop, clothing store, cafe or other bricks and mortar business, as a business owner, we can help you understand the digital economy.

In a post I published about starting your own business in January 2017, I said that all small business owners should have an understanding of traditional and digital marketing. You’ll be surprised how many don’t!

All businesses have a digital aspect to them these days so it’s vital that business owners and managers know how to manage the digital aspects of their business. This starts by understanding some of the terms used and how websites, domain names, hosting and the Google search engine works.

It doesn’t matter whether you intend to start a fully digital business (i.e. a home based bookkeeping business or online shop for example) or if you will start a more traditional bricks and mortar business (a cafe, retail clothing or gift shop, or some other business with office or retail space), you need to understand how to use the internet to develop new leads, engage with your existing customer base, and build your presence online.

Register for Our FREE Digital Business Foundations Course

I created a free Digital Business Foundations Course to help new and existing business owners understand how to digitise their business. You can register for our free Digital Business Foundations Course (scroll about half way down the page) to begin receiving the free course content. Some of the things you’ll learn include:

  • Insights into websites
  • Domain names
  • Web hosting
  • How Google Search works
  • How businesses use Content blogs for SEO
  • What SEO really is, plus much more.

Each of the principles discussed in the free Digital Business Course were applied to EzyLearn, when it transitioned from a bricks and mortar training centre business to an online only training business, and have been used by 123ezy, which provides content marketing for real estate agents, content writers and bookkeepers across Australia.

Case Study: Baby Massage Business

baby-massage-helps-new-parents-bond-with-their-newborn-child-wordpress-training-courseI wrote about Sonia Mitterdorfer and her baby massage business in August this year. For most of her working life, Sonia had been a registered nurse. After raising her family she wanted to return to the workforce in some sort of meaningful capacity and heard about baby massage. Her first introduction was a seminar (incidentally, run by a middle aged bloke holding weekend retreats helping new parents understand and bond with their babies!)

Sonia had her website created by a registered BAS agent who wanted to have add another feather to her bookkeeping bow (and wanted to do more “creative” work). Sonia’s website has been pivotal as a means for her to demonstrate her credibility and explain about the nature of her work.

There’s Much More to Domain Names

So many business people think (wrongly) that a domain name is simply the cost of a website, but that’s just the name — you need to:

  • point it (DNS) to a web host
  • set up your email at the web host (I prefer to outsource that to Google Apps — now called Google G Suite)
  • install website design software like WordPress
  • create the pages and menus
  • insert images (source them and edit them)
  • write some words (that Google thinks are relevant).

Don’t worry if you feel a little bamboozled — we cover all of this in our WordPress course!

Add an Online Dimension to Your Business

The majority of people, when they’re looking for a product, service, restaurant, cafe, real estate agent, bookkeeper, virtual assistant — online training course, even — will search online. Even if you think your business is already doing well, if it’s not optimised to deliver online leads, then it could be doing much better.

Reach your business’s full potential, register for our free digital business course to start a digital business or transition into one today.

Start Your Business NOW for the New Year!

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

start-your-own-small-business-this-christmasIF YOU’VE DECIDED THAT 2017 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.

Before a business can commencing trading, there’s a lot of work to be done. This takes time and requires some rudimentary knowledge of Australian tax law, copyright law, trademarks and patents. You should also have knowledge of particular software applications, and digital marketing.

One of the most common reasons a business fails is because it was mismanaged; the other most common reason is because the business failed to implement appropriate credit management processes. In both cases, businesses fail because the owners, directors, partners or managers lacked the appropriate management skills to make it a success.

Don’t Become a Small Business Statistic

Research has shown that by taking just one short course on small business management, the chance a business will fail is reduced by as much as 50 percent. The key areas businesses owners should understand before starting a business include:

  • Business planning
  • Digital and traditional marketing
  • Intellectual property and general law
  • Researching the market
  • Cloud-accounting software
  • Working with content management systems.

Ordinarily, to become skilled in each of those areas, a person would have to take, at least, five different training courses. But few people are ever likely to do this. Instead, they’d be more likely to cherry pick the areas they’re least familiar with, and fly blind with the others.

Take Advantage of Our HUGE Xmas Discount

start-your-own-business-in-january-2017We don’t want you to wing it or fly blind — our goal is to help small businesses succeed which is what we’ve been doing for near on 20 years. As a special offer, we’ve reduced the price of our EzyStartUp Business Course to $297 (down from $697). It covers each of the key areas mentioned above that a small business owner needs to be familiar with, in addition to the following:

  • Originating and developing concepts
  • Establish legal and risk management
  • Product packaging

Plus, you’ll have access to ALL of our software training courses for 12 months at a big discount, which includes Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint training.

Don’t Wait Till January — Become the Head Honcho Today

Use your time off from work this summer to begin working on your new small business. All of our training courses are delivered online, and can be completed at your own pace, so you can complete them while you’re actually on holidays, or relaxing at home or at a cafe. And since one of the best ways to start a new business is by operating it as a side project to your other job, if you get all the startup stuff out of the way while you’re on holidays, it’ll be ready to go by the time you back to work.

Learn more about the EzyStartUp Business Course at our website or view all of our special offers to save on your next EzyLearn training course.


 

Wot About Childminding and Flexible Workspace for Working Mums? WOTSO Workspaces, That’s Wot!

There is a co-working / shared / serviced office business with casual day care rates

Working mums can run a business from home and use Wotso to have meetins AND childcare by the hour - great newsIf you’re a mum looking to return to work and you live in Sydney, childcare costs are probably one of the biggest hurdles you’ll have to overcome – that is, in addition to flexible workplaces, transport, and affordability, of course! But it’s not just mums returning to work for an employer that have trouble accessing childcare, it’s also mums who work from home.

Being self-employed comes with abundant distractions as it is – being in close proximity to the fridge, the TV, an overflowing laundry basket – but with small children around competing for your attention all the time, it becomes even harder to get any work done.

Then there’s the issue of trying to make a business call without the other person hearing your kids in the background, or of finding childminding for a couple of hours while you have a business meeting. As difficult as it is for mothers to return to a structured work environment, it’s also equally difficult to work in an unstructured one. As it happens, this is an experience shared by many other women, particularly now that there are more women starting their own businesses after having children.

WOTSO, the co-workspace with a wabbit

With the startup culture in Australia thriving, co-workspaces have grown in popularity. Once the favourite haunt of hip, young, creatives in urban city centres, like Sydney’s Ultimo, Chippendale or Darlinghurst, co-workspaces soon began to expand into the suburbs – there are several located on Sydney’s Northern Beaches, while a few more have popped up in the western suburbs.

Among those workspaces, are WOTSO Workspaces, a group of flexible workspaces located throughout Sydney, Canberra and the Gold Coast.But it’s in their Neutral Bay workspace, located on Sydney’s North Shore, that WOTSO came up with a rather simple, yet ingenious, service to offer their tenants: a creche service they called WOTSO Wabbits.

The WOTSO Wabbits service came about after a couple of WOTSO employees became mums themselves and wanted to return to work, but couldn’t find any reliable childcare for the hours they needed it. And so the WOTSO Wabbits service was born, which began at the Neutral Bay site as a trial but was so popular that it’s now being rolled out to the group’s North Strathfield, Pyrmont and Gold Coast locations.

Childminding by the hour for working parents

For self-employed parents (or parents who telework), the biggest drawcard is that you only need to book and pay for the WOTSO Wabbits service as you need it. If you only need it for three hours, you don’t have to pay for a full day like you do at a childcare centre; you’re also not locked into childminding on any specific day or days each week. This detail shouldn’t be overlooked as being insignificant.

Most self-employed mums only work part time hours so they still have the time to be with their kids, and childcare can’t be claimed as a business expense. There seems little sense in paying for day-long childcare every week, when you only really need it for a few hours – or may only need it occasionally.

Besides, childcare is in short supply as it is. If there were more services available for parents who only need childminding for their children for a few hours, each week that would free up childcare for the parents who have full time jobs to go back to, but who are having difficulties accessing childcare when and where they need it.

Now’s the time to start a home-based business

start a bookkeeping business
Business Opportunities for Ordinary People

I know I’ve said this before, but I’m yet to find any evidence to the contrary: there has never been a better time to start your own business. With the number of government incentives currently available, the greater opportunities to work from home, and a general culture that’s more nurturing and conducive to entrepreneurship, there really aren’t any good reasons why, if you’ve got the talent, drive, and desire to start your own business, you shouldn’t be doing it now – unless, of course, you’d like to continue duking it out for a job in the ever-decreasing pool of permanent employment.

If you’d like to start your own home-based business, EzyLearn has recently started the StartUp Academy, which has a number of business opportunities, across an array of industries and professions, who can give you the training and coaching you need to make your business a success. Alternatively, to read more about starting a business, subscribe to our blog, or visit our website for a list of training courses that can help you with the various aspects of operating a small business.

What are the Barriers that Stop Mums Returning to Work?

Mummy Needs to Work, But at What Cost?

daycare costs, travel time, parking and school hours are all reasons why mums love working from home - image from mychild_gov_auFewer families today can prosper on a single income, but even if they can, there are even fewer mums who want to completely disconnect from the working world. The benefits of being employed and contributing to the corporate world extend beyond the financial; working provides a person with a sense of accomplishment, by keeping them stimulated and engaged in something they enjoy. Unfortunately, there are many barriers, both financial and practical, that prevent many women returning to work after having children.

The high cost of daycare

For most families, childcare is the biggest hurdle to overcome. In this country, childcare is in relatively short supply and that makes it costly. Even in a major city like Sydney, it’s difficult to secure a space at a childcare centre at the location, cost, quality and with the hours most families require; it’s even more difficult in regional areas.

The issue reached such a crisis point that in 2013 the Productivity Commission launched an inquiry into Australia’s childcare problem, and its findings were stark. According to the Commission, there were 165,000 Australian parents who can’t work or can’t work enough because of access to childcare, while 26% of children under the age of 12 are cared for by grandparents. The Productivity Commission recommended that the Government invest $246 million (in addition to the $7 billion it already spends in funding to the early childhood sector) to fund a nanny subsidy pilot scheme, which will begin in January 2016.

The pilot, which will involve about 4,000 nannies and up to 10,000 children, will assist households with a combined income of below $250,000 to employ a registered nanny to care for their children, the cost of which will be eligible for a rebate similar to the childcare rebate. It’s a good start, but there are still a bundle of other issues working mothers face.

Flexible workplaces

Workplaces that aren’t flexible with their working hours or arrangements are the next biggest hurdle most working mums (and dads) face. Australia’s industrial relations laws require all Australian workplaces to allow new parents – whether they’re mums or dads – to request a more flexible working arrangement, however there’s no requirement for workplaces to agree to those requests. Employers that can’t or won’t offer some flexibility in the working arrangements of parents, often force new parents to extend their maternity leave until childcare becomes available, or to leave that job altogether.

Even if childcare is available when parents need it and for the hours they require, without a flexible working environment, it still doesn’t make it any easier for parents to keep working full time after they have children. Kids get sick, especially very young children, and even when they’re school-age, they have ten weeks of school holidays every year, when a full time employee is only entitled to a maximum of four.

Turning up to an office at 8.30am, Monday through Friday, and until late in the evening is virtually impossible when you have young children, as most parents already know. But the corporate world has been very slow to recognise and respond to this fact. There is hope yet, however. As technology and cloud computing has made it easier and more cost-efficient for businesses to allow their employees to work remotely from home – or at co-working spaces, like the NSW Government’s Smart Work Hubs – there is greater opportunity for parents to continue working, after they have children.

Transport, travel costs and parking

Here we come to one more stumbling block for working mums, and it’s possibly the most overlooked. Even if all the stars align in your family’s favour and you can secure childcare for the days and hours you need, and are fortunate enough to have an employer who can be flexible with your working arrangement, you still need to be able to drop off and pick up your kids from childcare, which is difficult for parents who work in the CBD and usually take public transport to work. Most mums and dads take it in turns, which means both parents need to have a reasonably flexible workplace; a lot of families, however, rely on outside help – friends and grandparents – to pick their kids up when they can’t.

The rise of the “mumpreneur”

It’s little wonder, then, that more and more mums are becoming entrepreneurial by starting their own home-based businesses. I see a lot of mums take our training courses, either to learn a new skill in an area where employment is more flexible – such as bookkeeping – or because they’re starting their own business and they’re brushing up on their already existing skill sets. In fact, if it weren’t for mums looking for the skills to facilitate a career change, there mightn’t be an EzyLearn.

How EzyLearn came to be…

It was two mums based in Sydney who, under the EasyLearn name, began offering training courses to mums wanting to re-enter the workforce. I was also in the training business, using the name EzyLearn. When those mums decided to sell EasyLearn, I bought their business and continued their tradition of helping mums up-skill for work.  

So if you’re a mum (or a dad!) and you’d like to start working from home, we’d gladly like to help you on your way. We have a number of training courses that can provide you with the skills you need to start a home-based bookkeeping business (our MYOB training courses) or content marketing (our blogging for business course). We’ve also partnered with WorkFace, which helps people to start their own home-based business and who have business opportunities available across a range of industries and professions. Or, for more tips, advice and news about starting your own business, subscribe to our blog.

The High Cost of Cheap

How to tell whether your prices are too cheap

cheap can be bad for business clients and your health small business startup training course will help with your breakevenDETERMINING YOUR PRICES, and whether you’re selling yourself too cheap, is a critical element in the success of your business, and in your own success as well.

Our EzyStartUp Course covers setting prices in some detail as there are many factors you need to consider and include in your prices to ensure you’re not just competitive — but that you’re also drawing a living wage.

There’s a theory that low prices attract more clients and that, in doing so, you’ll be able to earn more than if you had higher prices and only a few customers. This model does work, but it’s usually only in relation to big supermarkets or chain department stores. Take, for example, Woolies and Coles each trying to outdo each other with the cheapest bread and milk — and more recently, Bunnings and Masters who’ve gone head-to-head over the price of hardware items like paint.

But smaller retailers have rarely been able to compete with big ones, and it’s largely the reason why there are fewer independently owned retail shops now than there were 30 or 40 years ago. And gradually this mentality has started to seep into other areas of business, including the area of professional services.

Reasons why setting your prices cheap doesn’t work

Even though cheap prices will generally bring you more clients, there’s good reasons why having a lot of clients paying you very little is bad for business. Here’s a couple:

1. Lots of clients paying very little means you’ll work like crazy

If you’re going to outdo your competitors with low rates, then you’ll need to employ staff or find other contractors willing to subcontract the work from you for even lower prices, otherwise you’ll find yourself working like a crazy person in order to make ends meet.

I know there’s that old saying which goes something like, “If you find a job you love, you’ll never work a day in your life,” but I also know that living in a capitalist society means having to pay for stuff, and unfortunately, very few banks accept bags of love as a mortgage repayment.

It doesn’t matter how much you love what you do, you need to ensure you’re remunerated fairly for it. You may choose to set your prices lower to get those first few clients but you need to adjust them later as you become more established.

You may choose to set your prices lower to get those first few clients but you need to adjust them later as you become more established.

2. Cheap Seems “Cheap”

Everyone loves a bargain, but there’s a difference between something that is well priced and something that is plain cheap. If your prices are drastically cheaper than your nearest competitor – and that includes other small businesses and sole traders – and you can’t justify why (“I don’t have the same overheads because I work from home”), then people are going to wonder why.

Cheap rates reek of one of three things:

  • you’re inexperienced
  • you’re not very good at your job
  • or your work is substandard, either because of one of the aforementioned reasons or because you simply don’t have the time/care/both.

None of those things are appealing to businesses looking to hire a contractor, and more often than not, most businesses will go with the slightly more expensive option.

***

There are many things to consider when setting your prices, which is why we include it as a subject in our EzyStartUp Course. However, as a general rule of thumb, researching other businesses in your industry will help you to understand how much you can expect to earn, and should serve as a good starting off point for your business.


Check out our Spring Specials!

learning how to use excel and xero with online training

We have a host of online training course specials for the spring season — take a look!


 

The NBN Means Do-or-Die for Remote Workers

The NBN isn’t smoke and mirrors for home workers

NBN launches 2 billion dollar satellite so that rural and regional workers can start a business and work from homeIn September, the Australian Government launched a 780-tonne rocket, called the Sky Muster, into space. The Sky Muster was not intended to determine whether there was life on Mars nor any alternative solar systems; it’s purpose was to beam wireless broadband back to 200,000 homes and businesses in some of Australia’s most remote outposts. It was the next phase of the National Broadband Network’s rollout strategy to have more Australian premises connected to its fibre optic network.

We’ve been keeping a close eye on the NBN rollout because, when it’s finally complete, it will mean that almost every household and business in Australia will have access to high-speed internet, providing greater opportunities for regional businesses to work with metropolitan and international-based ones, for kids to have access to high-quality education, and to give a greater number of people in regional Australia the opportunity to work from home.

Although the NBN has been through many incarnations – first under the former Labor Government as fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP), then under the Abbott Liberal Government the priority was fibre-to-the-node (FTTN), and now under the Turnbull-led Liberal Government as a mixture of FTTN and FTTP, where the the latter is available – the NBN is still a hugely important investment in Australia’s future.

The high cost of living makes NBN a necessity

The high cost of living, particularly the cost of housing in places like Sydney and Melbourne, has seen many Aussies, including singles and younger couples, moving to regional parts of Australia, where housing is more affordable; a practice that wouldn’t have been possible a decade ago, or even as recently as five years ago.

That’s because jobs, excluding those in the retail and hospitality sector, are limited in regional Australia. Moving out of the city for a sea or tree change was something retirees could afford to do, but not younger working people because the jobs simply weren’t there. But technology, coupled with cloud computing and, of course, high speed internet, has changed that.

Now, more people can continue to work for their employer in Sydney, even though they live, say, on the Central Coast, by teleworking at one of the NSW Smart Work Hubs in Gosford or Wyong (more people, still, can live in Newcastle and only commute as far as Gosford or Wyong to telework at a Smart Work Hub for their Sydney-based employer). But what’s becoming far more commonplace is the number of people starting their own businesses, which they operate from their homes in regional Australia.

These are the next communities to receive the NBN

If you live in regional Australia, then you’re probably very familiar with the challenges people have accessing broadband internet. In most regional communities, demand for broadband internet outweighs the supply ports, so you have to wait until someone else disconnects their broadband service – which, today, means they’ve either moved out of the area or…. died – before you can connect your service (or progress in the queue). And believe it or not, that’s not even the worst of it.

Other areas throughout Australia don’t have the infrastructure available to even connect to the exchange, never mind the port. That’s because Telstra’s ageing copper wire network is in desperate need of an upgrade, but the company had been so slow to prioritise any upgrades that it threatened to derail the Government’s NBN initiative. In December last year, the government-owned NBN Co signed an $11 billion buyback deal with Telstra, so that the copper wire network can be gradually replaced with FTTP but that could still take many years.

The good news is that there are currently more than 870,000 Australians who can already access the NBN, while an additional 550,000 premises, throughout Australia, have been added to the rollout plan, with construction to commence by September 2016. These additional communities include:

Queensland New South Wales
Greater Brisbane (21,300 premises)

North Queensland (24,400 premises)

Sunshine Coast (36,200 premises)

Southern Queensland (8,100 premises)

Gold Coast (19,500 premises)

Far-North Queensland (780 premises)

Wide Bay Burnett (1040 premises)

Greater Sydney (26,600 premises)

Central Coast (6,400 premises)

Central West (16,900 premises)

Hunter (25,000 premises)

Murray (9,700 premises)

North Coast (26,100 premises)

North West-North West Slopes (2,400 premises)

Riverina (35,100 premises)

Snowy Mountains (5,200 premises)

Southern Tablelands (800 premises)

Southern Highlands (1,600 premises)

Victoria South Australia
Metro Melbourne (56,200 premises)

Barwon (5,300 premises)

Gippsland (23, 400 premises)

Loddon Mallee (46,900 premises)

North East (15,370 premises)

Adelaide Hills (900 premises)

Greater Adelaide (19,00 premises)

Eyre Peninsula (10,400 premises)

Far North (2,800 premises)

Limestone Coast (23,300 premises)

Yorke and Mid North Coast (9,900 premises)

Western Australia
Greater Perth (56,100 premises)

Goldfields-Esperance (6,000 premises)

Great Southern (3,700 premises)

Kimberly (6,400 premises)

South West (2,000 premises)

Wheatbelt (3,700 premises)

Mid-West (500 premises)

South West (670 premises)

Is the NBN coming to you?

If you’re already able to access the NBN or are shortly going to be able to, don’t just sign up to Netflix! Make the most of the NBN by starting your own home-based business and provide valuable services to businesses located all over Australia. Whether you’re a writer, a web developer, bookkeeper, or administrative assistant (better known online as ‘virtual assistants’), there’s a huge marketplace for your skills all over Australia and throughout the world.

Content marketing, for example, has become a hugely popular marketing activity for many businesses, now that other traditional marketing opportunities have started to dry up. A key component of content marketing is written content – blog posts, ebooks, e-newsletters, web copy. If you’re a writer, with a flare for business writing, you can start your own home-based content marketing or freelance writing business from your home in regional Australia, and all you need is a computer and access to the internet!

EzyLearn can help you to start your own business today

EzyLearn has being using content marketing almost exclusively ever since we transitioned from a bricks-and-mortar business to an online one in 2008. In that time, we’ve seen a plethora of other businesses begin to utilise content marketing too, so we decided to create a content marketing training course, born of our 7-plus years content marketing experience.

If you’d like to learn more about creating marketing content for businesses, you can register your interest in our content marketing course or enrol in our blogging for business training course. If you’re looking for work now, and you have experience as a virtual assistant, a bookkeeper, content marketing, health and safety, or in IT, EzyLearn has partnered with WorkFace to help you start your own home-based business. Visit the WorkFace website for information on the opportunities currently available.

FREE Guide on Becoming an Independent Contractor

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 EzyLearn’s latest venture, 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.

New technologies, new opportunities

There are many business analysts and economists who see the reduction of permanent jobs as a bad thing – and to some extent, they’re probably correct – but I saw it as an opportunity. New technologies have made it easier for people to work at home, wherever their home may be – a city, a beachside town, outback Australia – so long as they have access to a reliable Internet connection.

Now, people who have previously been excluded from the job market have an opportunity to earn an income. That’s great news for workers and for the economy, and it’s why the government has spearheaded a move to encourage working from home, or teleworking as it’s officially known, among businesses and their staff.

EzyLearn’s a Telework Partner

I joined the Telework Partner Program with the Australian Government a few years back and even presented a seminar at the Reinvent Your Career Expo, because I really see contracting as the future for many professions. I launched the StartUp Academy, because I wanted to help people make the transition from salaried employee to independent contractor and even more importantly remote contractor.

Build credibility, reputation and trust

This brings me to the reason you clicked on this blog post in the first place: that free guide on becoming an independent contractor. Before you can start providing services to clients as an independent contractor, you need to set yourself up. As an independent contractor, you can operate your own business as a sole-trader (or a partnership, company or trust) and as a sole-trader, you have certain responsibilities you didn’t as an employee – you have to determine your own charge out rates, manage your own superannuation, make provisions for your annual and sick leave, and so forth.

Tips, hints and advice from REAL contractors

I spoke to a number of independent contractors, consultants and freelancers to find out exactly what they wish they had known about starting out as a contractor before they started out. Based on their comments, observations and advice I put this guide together for you, which you can download from the StartUp Academy website, absolutely FREE.

I hope you find it useful, and if you’re reading it over the summer and weighing up your options for the new year, you might want to consider one of the business opportunities available at the StartUp Academy for 2015.

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.

The Great Compression

There are lots of reasons why it’s a great time to start your own home-based business. I’ve talked about the perks of working from home before, for instance. But perhaps one of the best reasons to start your own home-based business is that in today’s job market, it actually offers more job security. Now, this may be pretty much the opposite of what nearly everyone else says about being self-employed, but bear with me.

In our Small Business Management Course we look a little at business finances and how they can affect the business cycle. In economics, the slowing down of the business cycle, accompanied by a decline in the housing market, the stock market, and an increase in unemployment for more than two consecutive quarters, is referred to as a recession. And if that economic downturn continues long enough, it’s then considered a depression.

We’re technically no longer in a recession, though some parts of Europe still are – namely Greece and Italy, for example – yet there seems to be fewer jobs on offer. Indeed, Australia’s national unemployment rate hasn’t been this high (6.4 percent) for more than two decades, so there are certainly fewer jobs around. But could it also be a case of jobs becoming smaller?

The Compression Effect

I’m inclined to think so. Underemployment is on the rise as many businesses find they no longer need to employ a full time receptionist, because new technologies like VoIP and virtual answering services have made it possible to contract those services out to other companies.

In this sense, we’re entering a period of Great Compression, where jobs are being compressed down from five-day-a-week full time positions to two-day-a-week contract jobs. But because I’m a ‘glass half full’ kind of guy, I don’t necessarily see this as a bad thing for workers.

In fact, I see this as a great opportunity for those go getters who have always wanted to start their own business, but who were previously unable to get a foothold in their industry, because their area of expertise – administration, for example – had always been a full-time position that had to be performed in the office.

Specialise Early

Now, with the help of cloud-based software, like DropBox and MYOB’s Account Right Live, most administration tasks can be performed remotely by a virtual assistant; even answering business calls can be routed to a virtual assistant based anywhere in the country with the use of a Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) service.

For people who want to start their own home-based business, this Great Compression of jobs makes it possible to carve out a niche for yourself by specialising in a particular service or area of expertise and contract your services out to other businesses.

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WorkFace has a number of home-based business opportunities available across an array of industries, including work health and safety, training and education, bookkeeping, and online marketing, to name just a few.

If you’re interested in becoming a home-based independent contractor, specialising in one of the industries we have on offer, register your interest on the WorkFace website, and our team will contact you with more information on the opportunity you’ve expressed an interest in.

This post was originally published at the WorkFace website.

Become a MYOB Affiliate Marketer

We prefer our affiliate partners to have done our online MYOB course so they can truthfully recommend it to their friends.
We prefer our affiliate partners to have done our online MYOB course so they can truthfully recommend it to their friends.

At EzyLearn, we’re passionate about helping people follow their dreams and start their own businesses. We currently have a number of opportunities available to people who would like to partner with EzyLearn and start their own home-based business.

Start Your Own Bookkeeping or Digital Business

We’ve already helped a number of our former students go on to start their own home-based bookkeeping businesses, virtual assistant businesses and even MYOB training businesses using our EzyLearn training vouchers.

And we’re also helping our students start their own digital marketing business by becoming an EzyLearn affiliate marketer.

How Does Affiliate Marketing Work?

Affiliate marketing is a great way to earn a commission by recommending a product or service to people within your social networks. Amazon was an early adopter of affiliate marketing programs, which was later championed by Google and its Google Adsense platform.

As an affiliate of EzyLearn, you earn a commission for promoting our training courses through your website and social networking platforms.

Ideally, an EzyLearn affiliate will have already completed one of our training courses, such as the MYOB training course, which you can then honestly recommend to your contacts.

We’ll give you a unique URL so you can track when someone clicks on a link to a training course you’ve promoted and track your commissions.

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If you’re looking for a way to branch out and start your own business, becoming an EzyLearn affiliate marketer could be your first step forward. To learn more about our affiliate marketing program, register your interest as an EzyLearn Agent on the business opportunities portion of our website.

What Do You Need To Start Your Own Bookkeeping Business?

Starting a Bookkeeping Business is Low RiskID-10093149

If you’re already employed as a bookkeeper or have graduated from our MYOB training course and starting your own business is something you’ve always dreamed of, then turn that dream into a reality.

Starting a bookkeeping business is one of the few low-risk start-up options, because a bookkeeping business, unlike other bricks and mortar businesses, can be operated from your home-office, eliminating many of the costly overheads that eat into your profits.

In fact, many of the overheads related to running a home-based bookkeeping business involve items you probably already have or are inexpensive to source, such as a laptop, mobile phone, internet connection, and a designated work-space.

But like any business, just because you have previous experience or the zeal to make your venture a success, doesn’t necessarily guarantee success—a business plan does. This should be the first thing you do.

  1. Writing a business plan lays out things like what services you will offer, pricing structures, and how many customers you will need to turn a profit. But it also forces you to do market research and compare your services and prices with your competitors. Our Registered BAS Agent has created a bookkeeping business template that you can use if you start your bookkeeping business with us!
    Market research, no matter how experienced you are in the industry, can help you establish a point-of-difference from other bookkeeping services and aid in the setting of your rates. Many small business courses like our Small Business Management course cover writing business plans as well as other strategies to ensure you manage your business efficiently.
  2. Contacting an insurance broker to find out what kind of policy you will need should be your next port-of-call. Rather than calling many different insurance companies and going through their product disclosure statements yourself, a broker can do this for you and find the best policy at the best price.
  3. You’ll also need to contact an accountant to discuss the ways to maximise your business tax deductions—this could also serve as a good way of drumming up some business, as many sole traders still take their shoeboxes full of receipts and bank statements to their accountant to sift through come tax-time!
  4. It’s also wise to consider ways you can grow your business using low-cost marketing strategies. Many small-business owners make the mistake of thinking that as a small business, they don’t need to worry about marketing, leaving it to the big guys instead.

But some of the biggest companies in the world started out as a start-up in someone’s garage or home-office! As a small-business owner, there are many marketing lessons you can learn from big business.

Believe and you will achieve

If you’ve been dreaming about one day starting your own bookkeeping business, then what are you waiting for? We now have the training, coaching and mentoring support to help you start a bookkeeping business and work from home as an independent contractor working your own chosen hours. We’ve teamed up with a registered BAS agent and business coach to compliment the small business management course and provide you with the support and training you need to start a bookkeeping business without joining a bookkeeping franchise and paying ongoing franchise fees.

National Bookkeeping Business Plan Template
Get a bookkeeping business plan created by a registered BAS agent and get started fast

Become a National Bookkeeping Licencee

If this is something that interests you explore the “Start a bookkeeping business” opportunity with National Bookkeeping and get franchise like support without loosing a percentage of every hour you work. We can help you succeed in your own bookkeeping business by give you the training you need.

National Bookkeeping is designed to help ordinary people start a bookkeeping business as an independent contractors working from home as a virtual assistant with the help and support of existing businesses.