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Financial control – a common blind spot

Business planning Australia

Most businesses that fail inside the first 3 years are victims of poor management and, in particular, poor financial management.  Unfortunately, most owners are technically minded and are not sufficiently trained in financial control to manage effectively.   So when their business starts to lose money the underlying reason can easily go unnoticed.

It is very common for owners to rely on their accountants.  Whilst accountants are very good at tax and compliance, financial accounting is mostly about determining what happened 12-18 months ago.   Businesses need to know what happened last week and what is likely to happen this week and next week.

Effective financial control comes from knowing the art of management accounting.   That is, using financial information for management decision making.    It is common to find business owners going broke because they under-cost and therefore mis-price their products and services.  Understanding the cost structure of your business is essential, getting the pricing right, and controlling cash in and cash out is the life blood for survival.

At Gary Weigh & Associates, we have spent years refining ‘first principles’ financial control concepts into easy to understand financial control tools for business owners.  We make difficult concepts easy with our simple financial models (e.g. costing, pricing, budgeting, break even and cash flow) .  We can show you your entire business performance on one sheet of paper.   Forecasts become child’s play.  All the work is done for you.  We tailor a model to your needs and all you need to do is input the variables that reflect your future plans.  You will see the forecast result instantly.

This is down-to-earth business planning Australia style.  If you would like to know more, call direct on 0408 756 531 and talk to Gary personally.


Will you receive fair value for your business?

Business planning Australia

The reality is that your business, like every other business, has its ‘ups’ and ‘downs’.  Good people come and go, owners become jaded, stressed, and sick.  Accidents happen and with increasing age, an owner chances of dying prematurely or suffering a critical and debilitating health event, significantly increase.

Larger businesses can cope in the owner’s absence because there are enough people and systems to carry on.  However, this is not the case in smaller businesses.  If the owner is absent, the business usually suffers.

Why?  Because, when misfortune strikes and there is no ‘plan B’, it doesn’t take long for the sudden silence and inactivity to cause customers to go elsewhere.  Revenue falls, and market value falls with it.

Planning a prosperous exit, under any conditions, expected or unexpected, is critical because it represents the culmination of your lifetime of work.  It is your one and only opportunity to cash-out an asset which may even exceed the value of your home.

Furthermore, the after-tax and after-debt proceeds from a sale may have to last you and your family for the rest of your lives.  So it is no small undertaking and certainly not the time to be forced into discounting years of sweat equity.

No planning or priorities

Business planning Australia

A new business enterprise that is poorly planned and starts badly will usually get worse. The saying “time heals all wounds” is a truth only when the wound is attended to. If the wound is neglected, it can worsen over time. Even if you plan your business well from the start, it can go stale over time.

Staleness can occur when you get a little too comfortable and fail to notice that the market environment has changed and you haven’t kept up. Your products and services that were in demand a year ago might now be edging towards obsolescence, but obsolescence is not an overnight event. It is a creeping adversary that is detected only by your constant vigilance, regular review of your goals and resetting your priorities.

For all your professional business planning Australia needs call Gary on 0408 756 531

In business … or buying yourself a job?

Business planning Australia

You have been recently employed and now you decide to go into business merely to buy yourself a job.  Nothing really changes except you have ditched the old boss and you are free to do as you wish. 

Not only are you the boss, you are probably the only employee – well someone has to do the work!  Unfortunately, it is likely that you are the boss in name only because the employee mindset rarely changes overnight. 

Even though there is a new boss sitting in the big comfy chair, your thinking is still that of an employee.  Old work habits and employee thinking die hard.

If this is you, then expect to struggle unless you have a fast change of mindset.  Not only do you still think like an employee, you now also lack the resources that your old boss once provided and you don’t receive the guaranteed weekly pay packet as you did in the past, even in those weeks when you didn’t earn it. 

Back then you were a small cog in a big wheel, even if you were called ‘a manager’.  Now you have to be the whole wheel as well as the engine that drives it.  It’s not an easy transition to make.

The tasks that you once performed and mistakenly believed to be central to your former employer’s profit will probably not make you a cent in your own business.  Filling up your day with non-core activity will not make you a profit now. 

You must come to the rapid realisation that only ‘high payoff’ or ‘profit’ activities related to ‘customer demand’ will make you money and you need to work out what they are.

You could be a dangerous liability to your new business if you don’t have a complete change of mind and work ethic. 

Until next time

Gary

For trusted and respected business planning in Australia call 0408 756 531

Don’t be the riches to rags business story

For all the business planning Australia needs!

Moving on from a death in the immediate family is very difficult.  Grief is hard enough to deal with, but poverty is even harder. 

It is very easy for a grieving family to be suddenly and unexpectedly thrust into poverty upon the death of the family breadwinner.  That applies to business owners too.

The death of a business owner can have precisely those consequences.  It can spell the death of the business and introduce a lifetime of hardship for the family left behind.

“She won’t be right mate!” if you, the former breadwinner, find yourself having a heart attack and you suddenly become a ghost. 

The spouse and kids are not going to be too impressed that they still have to repay the loan you mortgaged the house for; especially when they have no income.

Oh you think the business will still provide for them?  That was then … when you were alive and well, working your magic.  The reality when you are dead is much different. 

The financial reality is even worse if you don’t die and find yourself still alive, battling a critical illness or insidious disease and totally dependent on your family. 

Now they have to look after you and earn income as well!

Your life can turn to emotional and financial turmoil in an instant.  You can go from breadwinner to heavy financial baggage in one unfortunate health event!

So don’t be selfish!  Change the future for your business family while you still can! 

Build succession and estate planning into your business planning.  Australia does have a death tax.  It is now called capital gains tax.

Until next time!

Gary

For all your business planning in australia call Gary direct on 0408 756 531

Great article here 10 tips for the girst time business owner

Don’t let your business die with you

Gary Weigh

Despite your best intentions, your business could die with you.  The asset you worked all your life to build for yourself and your family; your jewel in the family crown and your ultimate retirement asset, could be dashed against the rocks when you die.

Business succession is not a matter of whispering your deathbed instructions to your first born eldest child.  If you believe that, you watch too many Godfather movies.

Here is a brief outline of reality for the future of your business if you die whilst still the owner or a part owner.

  • Firstly, the beneficiary who inherits your business could be lacking any relevant knowledge and experience and could be the worst thing that ever happened to your business besides losing you.
  • Secondly, the beneficiary you choose in your Will might be happy doing other things and not the least bit interested in your business (despite what they say to your face).
  • Thirdly, any co-owners who survive you in the business are not going to be too pleased about suddenly being in business with a perfect stranger.  It was never their expectation that you would be replaced involuntarily by your spouse, friend or family member, who could turn out to be disinterested, lazy and / or inept (and yet still draw an income).
  • Lastly, and depending on the timing of your demise, the beneficiary you choose may inherit more debts than assets from you.  Your bank won’t care if you’re dead; they will still want their loans repaid; and upon your death, they will very likely want them repaid in full immediately.

Having no succession plan even for a simple business structure, is just plain dumb!

It is a much smarter decision to pre-arrange the passing on of your business and the repayment of any outstanding business debts in advance, while you are alive and well.

That way, your business goes to a good home at the right price without being a burden on spouse, friends or family.  Your family is looked after because they receive fair value upon your death from a pre-arranged sale.

For more reading about business planning Australia, read The First Rule of planning

Until next time!

Gary

Check out my other very popular site Aikido secrets to Calm Success

Business planning Australia – who gets your business when you die

Gary Weigh

At Gary Weigh & Associates, we are business planning Australia!   That includes the all important and often forgotten issue of succession.  The answer to succession is not simple but the more you plan the simpler it will be.

If you own your business personally as a sole trader, it can be left to a beneficiary of your choice in your Will.  If you are a partner in a partnership with no partnership agreement, the partnership is automatically dissolved and your share can also be passed to your Estate via your Will.

If your business trades as a company, you are not the owner of the business assets and liabilities; your company is.  So you can’t leave the business directly to a beneficiary via your Will.  However, as owner of the company, your shares in the company are personally owned and can therefore the company (and everything in it) can be left to a beneficiary of your choice in your Will.

Your ownership interest in a fixed trust can also be passed to your Estate via your Will, in much the same way as a company, but the succession of a discretionary trust can’t.  It must be dealt with in the trust deed.

So the succession of most simple business structures looks very straight forward, doesn’t it?  However, it is not straight forward and here’s why!

The problem lies not so much in the passing of your business but in the receiving!  The critical issue is who will receive ownership via your Will when you die.   Not everyone is a willing or competent beneficiary.

Despite what they might have said to your face, spouse, friends and family may not want to follow in your footsteps, or may be incapable.  It is for this reason that a business often dies with its owner.

I will let you in on a secret to an alternative and much smarter business succession strategy.  This will be coming up over the next 2 installments of business planning Australia.

For more on business planning Australia read A challenge is looming for financial advisers

Until next time!

Gary

Learn The importance of a calm positive mind in business.  Visit my very popular Aikido Secrets website!!

First rule of planning

Business planning Australia

The only plan you have is the one you create yourself.

If you don’t have a plan then you will fly by the seat of your pants.  Most people don’t work to a business plan and end up working long hours to make a mediochre living.

If you don’t have a written down plan then you don’t really have a plan.  All you have is good intention to back up your ideas.

Putting your plan into writing demonstrates:

  • Your commitment
  • That you have firm goals
  • That you have done research and gained knowledge
  • You see the problems as well as the opportunities
  • You know your limits and the resources you need

Creating a business plan or financial plan is the first step in creating positive change.  At first, it might be no more than a written reflection of your aspiration and imagination, but subsequent research will reveal the obstacles and opportunities and make the probable possible.  Your action will then make the possible real.

So start writing!  When you need a knowledgeable coach and mentor, call me on 0408 756 531 or email gary@garyweigh.com

Check out my Aikido Secrets blog at http://www.aikido-secrets-to-calm-success.com/ to see how it can power you up!

Until next time

Gary

#1 in business planning Australia

Be a stand-out risk adviser!

Business planning Australia for financial services 

Call Gary direct on 0408 756 531

The majority of advisers are generalists because they tend to write the next person who says yes to an appointment, whoever that may be.  For this reason, risk advisers by and large look the same to the average customer.  Often the winning difference is persistence, professionalism, knowledge or trust.

It is tough to operate as a ‘me-too’.  It is even tougher being a ‘me-too’ trying to be all things to all people.  In a market where clients are becoming more educated and aware, few advisers have the comprehensive technical and product knowledge to do it all and do it well.

For a lot of advisers, the risk insurance appointments that aren’t referrals are the result of cold calling.  However, the anti-hawking provisions and the do-not-call telephone register now make it difficult to directly approach individual householders.  As a result, there has been a shift towards cold-calling business owners, mostly because they are still fair game.

The SME (small to medium enterprise) market segment has become increasingly popular but is still significantly underdone.   There is a tendency to separate the owner from his or her business and insure the individual only; thus ignoring the business itself.

The missed opportunity is not responding to the total needs of both owner and business as a combined unit.  This non-response is generally caused by a lack of knowledge, experience and confidence.  It also takes a little longer to get the job done and this is perceived as time better spent elsewhere.

It is for these reasons that the more complex business issues of equity protection, asset protection, key person protection, business succession and small business CGT rollover are overlooked.

It is the distracted effort to maintain a consistent flow of new business and monthly income that results in the more specific and more valuable market segments being missed by advisers.

Advisers who do specialise do it either by industry or and / or by product.  Over time, they emerge as very successful because they have deep knowledge in a narrow area.  As a result, they become known in an industry and are referred to more often.

Financial services business planning you can trust 

Call Gary direct on0408 756 531 or email gary@garyweigh.com

The true value of the specialist risk adviser

For business planning Australia call Gary direct on 0408 756 531

Under the FoFA proposals to ban conflicted remuneration (i.e. product commissions) the specialist risk insurance adviser is looking as though it might emerge unscathed.

While financial planners appear to be headed for an ever deepening mire of ‘nanny-state’ paperwork, added to which will be the administrative task of generating and mailing invoices and / or opt-in renewal notices, it appears as if risk advisers might be left to get on with the job of advising.

With no requirement for holistic plans, doorstop sized SoAs, invoicing and debtors systems, it appears as if the solo risk adviser might continue to operate as they always have.

Yes it is true that the risk insurance commission system doesn’t always reflect the true value of risk advice over time but it does help ensure that at least the client focused adviser will there for the client in the event of a claim.  The proposed opt-in provisions are unlikely to achieve that.

On the plus side, it will certainly be a big help to solo risk advisers to have the life companies and licensees continue to shoulder some of the administrative burden by of commission remuneration.

On the minus side, the commission system has the potential to provide the adviser with a good income regardless of whether they provide a good service or not.   Being paid by the product provider attaches the adviser to the product but does not necessarily attach the adviser to the client over the long term.

Without risk advisers, Australians would be further underinsured and that increased financial burden will eventually transfer to the government welfare system.

The majority of Australians already dismiss the concept of risk insurance as a waste of premiums because they wrongly believe that “it won’t happen to me”.  It is only the life company claims people, medicos and risk advisers who know the reality and see the end result of human fragility.

It is not until you have delivered a cheque to a family torn by tragedy, and seen the expression of relief and gratitude, that you can ever understand the true value of risk insurance and the true value of the client-focused risk adviser.

#1 business planning in Australia

Financial services advice you can trust!

Call Gary direct on0408 756 531 or email gary@garyweigh.com