Financial Management

Four Ways To Create A Successful Business

There’s a lot of information available on creating and sustaining business. There are a lot of points of view too! Some points of view may be true for you. Many may be limitations that you can go beyond.

Whether you are considering starting a business, in the beginning phases of a business or have been doing business for many years, what matters is what works for you. We often attempt to duplicate what others have done rather than functioning from what we know.

If you are interested in creating a successful business, there are 4 things I recommend. I am not offering steps or formulas so that you can do what I do. Rather, I am offering tools that you can use to bring what works for you into existence. After all, you are the most valuable product of your business!

1. What’s Your Target?

What does success mean to you? What’s the real target of your business? What’s the real target of your life?

For me, business is about changing the world and creating more awareness and consciousness on the planet.  That’s my target.  If one person reads The Joy of Business or walks out of a class I have facilitated and has changed even slightly because of something I’ve said, then I’m a success.

What is it for you? What makes you come alive? What energy do you wish to have more of in your life and in the world?

Hint: Usually whatever you find really easy and think has not value is what you can make money from.

2. Ask Questions

Everything has consciousness, including your business. A business has a way it wishes to develop, and when you are in allowance of that, it can be much more successful.

Questions you can ask your business:

What can I contribute to the business today?

What does this business require of me today?

What would be fun for us to create today?

What information do we require to increase the business?

You can awaken your business and your life when you ask questions, trust your knowing and develop your awareness of what else is possible.

3.Empowerment Not Micromanagement

When you micromanage, you go into your thoughts and expectations and you leave the possibilities behind. Micromanagement shuts down the energy of the business.

Empower your staff and colleagues instead!

Ask them:

What could you contribute to this project?

What ideas do you have?

Where do you see this business in 2 years?  5 years?  10 years?

What would we have to institute today to increase our business today and in the future?

What is vital to you?

When you empower people in this way, you open the door for them to ask, “What can I contribute?” This is a huge factor in the success of a business.  It invites people to a possibility of contribution.

4.Be Willing to Receive

Your ability to receive is essential to the success of your business. What are you willing to receive? Success? Money? Gratitude?

If your business is not as successful as you would like, look at your willingness to receive and ask:

What energy have I been unwilling to receive that would create success beyond what I have ever imagined?

To create a successful business with ease: Know your target. Ask questions. Empower. Receive!

Simone Milasas is a business mentor and the author of Joy of Business, $38.50.  She has been involved in a multitude of companies, and is presently the world wide coordinator of Access Consciousness® as well as the founder and creator of Joy of Business.  For more information visit www.accessjoyofbusiness.com

September 6, 2015

6 Reasons Short-Term Loans Could Be A Better Way To Borrow

Short-term loans have received a lot of bad press over recent years. This was mainly as a result of exorbitant interest rates, administrative fees and other costs. Yet for many, a short-term loan is a viable option to get out of financial trouble. Here are six reasons why you might need to access a short-term loan.

The bargain of a lifetime 

Holidays are always important. If you’ve spotted a travel agent’s deal that’s too good to miss, then as long as you’ve done all of the sums and know that you can afford the repayments, a short-term loan will prove to be a welcome solution to any cash strapped shopper. Why not click here to see if you can afford a logbook loan. Unlike payday loans, you can repay the amount borrowed in small regular amounts until the debt is repaid.

No one wants to be locked into a debt 

If you’ve borrowed money, you don’t want to be locked into a repayment schedule that will prove costly and possibly inconvenient. You may even forget why you took out the loan in the first place. According to the website Money Saving Expert if you shop around you can still access a cheap short term loan, this might be through 0% introductory credit card offers or even a 0% overdraft rate with a new bank account. As long as you can prove that you have a good credit rating, this type of offer is the ideal way to source a short-term loan.

The future is always a mystery 

If you’ve worked out your budget for the foreseeable future and you are confident that you can meet your loan repayments, then a short-term loan is perfect for most purposes. No one has a crystal ball. Illness or accidents, or even recessions can occur at any time, so borrowing for a short period of time may be safer than a long-term debt.

Manage your debts 

A recent article in The Guardian highlighted the dangers of debt. Non-mortgage borrowing has reached a staggering £10,000 per household across the UK, or £239 billion in total and this figure is set to grow. This figure does include unavoidable student loans, which amounted for £9.1 billion of the £19.7 billion increase in 2014, and personal debt including loans and overdrafts amounted to £6.4 billion. If you want to manage your finances, a short-term loan that’s repaid within a fixed term may be your best option.

You need money quickly 

If you need funds in an emergency and don’t have time to wait for a bank’s decision on an overdraft, or your credit card is maxed out, then a short-term loan is perfect. You’ll be able to respond to the emergency and repay the money in over a short period of time.

Always read the terms and conditions 

Loans vary from company to company. Despite new regulations governing this financial sector you’ll still find that some loans are more expensive than others. As long as you understand the repayment schedule and all of the connected charges, then this type of loan can bail you out of a difficult financial situation.

June 1, 2015

Choosing The Right Loan For You

The world of finance is complicated. You can always go onto price comparison websites to look at the costs of some loans or you can visit the Money Advice Service to seek help. Where possible you should always take your time when you are choosing a loan.

RELATED: How To Ask For A Pay Rise

Do you really need a loan?

If you really feel that you need a loan for an important purpose, try to avoid taking out credit. It’s always expensive and if you can’t afford the repayments your financial situation could deteriorate. Try and see if you could curtail your outgoings and save the money yourself for your proposed expense. Most people use credit because their regular budget doesn’t allow them a certain level of expenditure. If this is your situation then you must evaluate if you can realistically afford to repay any credit that you may wish to secure.

Secured or unsecured loans

There are two major types of loan. One that’s secured on your property or possessions, where the creditor can always be confident that they can recoup their losses through your assets, or an unsecured loan. If you borrow from a bank or credit card, or even a payday loan company you are taking out an unsecured loan. The length of time that you borrow the money for can vary, as can the interest rates. Though unsecured loans are generally more expensive and for smaller sums of money.

Guaranteed loans

If you have a poor personal credit history, there is still an option. If you have a close friend or family member who is prepared to vouch for you, and cover the loan should you fall into difficulty or arrears, you may be able to access a guaranteed loan and avoid the sky-high interest rates offered by payday loan companies.

Typically you will be able to borrow between £1,000 to £7,500 and you can repay the sum over five years. As long as your guarantor is confident that you will repay the debt this is an excellent option if you need a large household item, for example to replace a broken oven. The Independent suggests that you can also rebuild your credit history with this type of finance. The APR is generally around 50%, which is a lot lower than that offered by payday loan companies.

Credit unions

Another source of finance are credit unions. According to The Guardian, it’s 50 years since these institutions were established in the UK. They offer a low interest alternative to payday loan companies and banks, and encourage customers to save as well as borrow. The rates of interest offered by credit unions to borrowers are extremely competitive, some charge as little as an APR of 12.7%. If you want to borrow from a credit union you will have to be a member of your local organisation. The number of credit unions is growing and there will probably be one near you that you can sign up with. You’ll also be offered free life insurance, so if you die before you’ve paid back your debt, the repayments will be protected. This provides peace of mind for your family.

November 4, 2014

The Best SMSF Advice You Can Be Given in Your 30s

As you near retirement, investment advice is important with more retirees looking toward SMSFs for help. Self-managed super funds can be managed without much hassle if you have the right information. When you are in charge of your own investment choices, you’re more likely to be more profitable and more engaged in the process.

The latest research shows SMSF trustees are getting younger, with nearly a third between 35 and 44 years. Thus, it’s absolutely crucial you’re armed with the best advice in preparation for a successful retirement. We check out a few vital tips below.

Understand your role in SMSFs

The purpose of your SMSF is to ensure that everyone gets an adequate retirement. Professionals should be used because it is difficult for a novice to understand all of the tax laws to protect your assets. The sole purpose test must be passed in order to receive all the full tax concessions that are available to SMSFs.

Diversification, risks, and return on your assets should be discussed according to your members’ needs and circumstances. Many people will re-evaluate their SMSF assets near retirement age and may add to their portfolio a more low risk and low reward investment.

Know your duties as a trustee and the governing bodies

For instance, if you’re setting up an SMSF, you should consider devising an investment strategy. The strategy should include how to accept contributions and pay the benefits.

The authority of SMSFs is the Australian Taxation Office. It enforces the majority of regulations and restrictions that are related to an investment strategy. When you are a trustee, you have full control over your retirement investments. You can choose to invest in shares, property, art, or collectables.

Know how to keep your fund compliant 

Ensure that you’re in compliance with all tax laws and super laws. This will also protect your members’ assets. Again, the sole purpose test must be passed to get full tax concessions.

If anyone is under the age of 60, the amount of tax deductible contributions that can be made without accruing a penalty is $25,000. If you’re over the age of 60, the maximum amount is $35,000. Many people make a salary sacrifice to make the contributions. Check with your employment agreement to determine what the maximum amount allowed is at this point. In general, you need to work for at least 40 hours for 30 consecutive days before you can make non-deductible contributions and tax deductible contributions to a super.

Know how to make investment decisions

In general, your investment decisions should always be evaluated according to the increasing returns on your fund. Experts suggest that you change your SMSF asset to include more low reward and low risk investments. These are the basics you must know before investing in these types of products.

Be aware of personal tax deductions to superannuation

Self-employed people and investors can receive less than 10 percent of their income deducted for superannuation. Always notify the fund and tell them how much you’re eligible to claim every year. Always save your paperwork for your accountant or tax agent.

Any tax deductions that should be taken from a personal savings or an inheritance can come from your personal income. You can also transfer personal investments, an inheritance, or profit from the sale of investments. Keep in mind that you can contribute up to $150,000 after taxes in 2014. If you’re under 65, you can contribute up to $450,000 in a three year period. A tax penalty may be assessed if the contribution caps are exceeded. The penalty can be as high as 46.5 percent.

After July 1, 2014, the cap will increase to $180,000, and $540,000 can be contributed over a fixed period of three years. A professional adviser can help you if you do not understand the process or if you meet the upper requirements for contribution.

Be aware of government co-contribution

If your adjusted income is less than $48,516, you may be eligible for the government co-contribution. If you make super contributions before the end of the financial year, you can consider this feature. The government will contribute 50 cents to your superannuation for every dollar that you contribute. The maximum government contribution is $500.

Know the amount of taxation on superannuation pensions

Keep in mind that the superannuation fund will be taxed at 15 percent rather than being tax free. You should be aware of these taxes to ensure that you are taxed in the appropriate bracket. When you turn 60, the lump sums that are taken from the superannuation are not taxable. Thus, any funds removed before the age of 60 will be taxed. Keep in mind that no tax is payable on amounts up to $180,000.

SMSF asset valuations

Assets present in your SMSF must be valued in a financial year. The assets in SMSF need to be valued every financial year. Property, artwork, and unlisted investments are recorded in your financial statements to ensure that your investments are sound.

By Jayde Ferguson, a freelance writer based in Western Australia. Connect with her on Google+ today.

September 23, 2014

10 Super Terms Every Woman Should Know

Is one of your resolutions to get serious about your savings? If not, it should be! To help you understand superannuation, Crystal Wealth Partners director John McIlroy explains the top 10 super terms to help your retirement and investment choices.

1. Default option
Refers generally to the investment option you are given when you have your super money paid into an industry fund or retail fund and you decide not to make a specific investment choice.

2. Industry fund
These were established primarily to provide benefits for employees engaged in a particular industry (e.g. building industry).  These funds are designed to enable individuals who frequently change jobs within an industry, or have more than one employer within the same industry, to maintain all of their superannuation benefits within the one superannuation fund. Many of these funds have become like retail funds, which means that anyone can be a member, rather than just employees working in a particular industry. Historically, industry funds have provided a low-cost super option with limited investment choices but many are now offering a wider range of investment options.

3. MySuper
This is the name given to a new range of simple super accounts that are low-cost and provide limited investment options. There are MySuper rules which any super fund needs to meet to be classified as a MySuper account. Any fund, industry, retail or corporate super fund can provide MySuper accounts.

4. Preservation
To ensure that superannuation benefits are used for the primary purpose of the provision of benefits in retirement, the government has imposed provisions that restrict access to amounts held within the superannuation system.  These provisions are generally referred to as the ‘preservation rules’. Your age determines when you are able to access your super benefits and most younger people are able to access super benefits from age 60. Older people can access their super from age 55.

5. Retail fund
These are generally superannuation funds, which are ‘open’ for membership to the general public. They are mainly provided by larger financial institutions such as banks and life insurance companies and what they offer can vary considerably from low cost/low choice options to more complex structures which are sometimes referred to as wrap platforms.

6. Rollover
If you are entitled to a superannuation benefit you can, regardless of age, transfer all or part of the payment to another superannuation fund. This can occur simply to amalgamate multiple super accounts into one fund while working or can it occur upon retirement to consolidate savings.

7. Salary sacrifice
This is another type of super contribution but rather than being compulsory, an employee voluntarily elects to direct salary or bonuses into super rather than receiving cash. This may provide some tax benefits to the employee over receiving cash remuneration.

8. SMSF
Self managed superannuation funds are one of the choices you have for managing your super, along with industry funds and retail funds. SMSFs are often also referred to as DIY superannuation funds. They are super funds with fewer than less than members that satisfy specific control and membership conditions. As the name suggests you can invest your own super through this type of fund, but you have to comply with certain rules. You can also appoint advisers to help you.

9. Super Guarantee
Super guarantee or SG refers to the prescribed minimum level of superannuation contributions required under the Superannuation Guarantee (Administration) Act 1992 to be made by employers on behalf of their employees. Also referred to as compulsory super, these contributions are currently at a prescribed level of 9.25 per cent of salary or wages. Most employees have the choice of having these contributions directed to a retail fund, industry fund or SMSF.

10. Superannuation pension
A pension payable from a superannuation fund which is usually provided by way of monthly payments. There are various types of superannuation pensions available and they are an alternative to taking super benefits as a lump sum at retirement.

Crystal Wealth Partners is a privately owned boutique financial advisory and investment management firm specialising in delivery of services to high net worth individuals and family offices.

What are your financial goals for 2014?

January 8, 2014

5 Tips to Help First Home Buyers Buy Property with Confidence

With interest rates sitting at historical lows, and lenders proving they are hungry for business, now may be a great time to consider your property options.

Of course buying property, particularly if it’s your first, can be a daunting prospect. According to a recent survey by Mortgage Choice*, four out of five future first homebuyers do not feel well informed about the property purchase process.

Purchasing property can be a complex process but, provided you set achievable goals, do your due diligence and seek professional advice, home ownership can be a rather fulfilling and enjoyable experience.

Mortgage Choice spokesperson Jessica Darnbrough offers a few tips to help first home buyers feel more confident about getting into the property market and achieving their goal of home ownership sooner rather than later.

1. Find out if you are eligible for government grants or concessions
For example, the First Home Owner Grant is a national scheme funded by the Federal Government that can help first time buyers get onto the property ladder sooner. The amount available varies by state and ranges from $5,000 up to $25,000 for first home buyers towards the purchase of their first home.

2. Consider Lenders Mortgage Insurance (LMI)
As a borrower, if you do not have a deposit of at least 20%, you can be forced to pay LMI. This insures your lender, protecting them against any loss incurred if you default on your loan. While LMI does not protect you as the borrower, it can potentially help you purchase property sooner if you have a smaller deposit. However, it is important to weigh up your options carefully and consider whether or not it is right to pay LMI and jump in now, or hold off, watch the property market and save a larger deposit.

3. Buying with others
If you’re struggling to put aside enough money each month to save a deposit for your first home, you could consider pooling your money with others, be it a partner, friend or family member. Combining your funds will not only give you a bigger deposit, it may also increase your borrowing power and help you secure a home loan that meets your needs.

Of course, if you decide to go down the path of co-ownership, it’s important to seek legal counsel as this will help you to address all the important issues upfront, such as what would happen if one person sold their share or defaulted on their mortgage.

4. Let your mortgage broker do the legwork
Choosing the right home loan is an extremely important part of the home buying process. At no cost to you, a broker can walk you through the mortgage minefield and help you find the right home loan for your needs – often saving you a great deal of time and money.

5. Get ahead with pre-approval
Before hitting the pavement in search of your new home, consider getting pre-approval. This will give you a good idea of your borrowing capacity and save you from looking at properties that aren’t in your price range. Contact your local mortgage broker to obtain home loan pre-approval.

If you want to learn more about your home loan options, visit www.mortgagechoice.com.au

Are you thinking of buying property in 2014?

October 17, 2013

How to Save $6386 a Year by Getting Smart With Your Bills

My guess is you spend more time dwelling on your Facebook status than your financial one… planning your Pinterest board than your interest hoard…linking in than stopping money leaking out.

But it is. And the irony is that technology is making the flow faster.

A growing phenomenon I’ve dubbed Digitally Induced Laziness sees us blithely ignore all the automatic payments that come out of our accounts each month – allowing oh-so-convenient to become oh-so-conned.

Providers of everything from utilities to financial services rely on their bill-DIL existing customers to fund big discounts to entice new ones. You may even find your deal gets slowly worse.

Here is where you’re likely to be losing the most money.

Your mortgage

The big banks are exploiting your electronic inertia big time. The difference between the standard variable rate offered by the Big 4 and the most competitive mortgage on the market has swelled to a shocking 1.42 percentage points. Historically they’ve only skimmed 1 point or so off the top. Today you’ll pay 5.91 per cent versus just 4.49 per cent, which means you could save on the average $300,000 mortgage a massive $75,000 in interest.

Possible saving: $250 a month; $3000 a year. BUT it’s possible to take this total interest saving from $75,000 to $122,644 without paying an additional cent… you simply need to maintain your repayments at their existing level. This means you’ll also clear your debt more than five years early, after which your money is your own. And your big-bank lender may even agree to match this if you threaten to leave.

Your electricity

For all the talk about big increases in the price of electricity, and some areas have seen hikes of four times the rate of inflation in the past five years, you can actually make huge savings. A family can save a big chunk by moving to a better offer; you just need to be wary of contracts that commit you for a period of time as you may end up stuck on an increasingly uncompetitive deal.

Possible saving: $386 a year, says Market researcher Energy Watch.

Your insurances

You could probably be paying 15 per cent less on every single general insurance policy – think car, home and contents. The potential savings could be even higher with risk insurers like life or income protection providers, but because of age or health history it can be trickier to change. You could also save a truckload on your health insurance – and bear in mind that laws designed to keep health insurance competitive dictate that you do not have to re-serve waiting period for hospital cover.

Possible savings: More than $2000 a year.

Your telecommunications

New players are massively shaking things up when it comes to your mobile phone and your data plans. Look into signing up with a new provider as soon as you get off a phone contract; you’ll be stunned by the savings now on offer. Consider also bundling your internet into the deal to save a bucketload more.

Possible saving: Maybe $1000 a year (and that’s assuming you’ve already been tech savvy enough to get on to Voice-over Internet Protocol like Skype  for overseas calls).

Screen time of a different kind could yield big results if you’ve inadvertently become a bill DIL. In fact, swap Instagram for an hour a month for probably an instant grand.

Fess up – how much time do you spend each month dealing with your finances?

Nicole is the founder of TheMoneyMentorWay.com and developer of the 12-Step Prosperity Plan, an achievable and even enjoyable blueprint to take Aussies from worry to wealthy. Nicole’s writing has earned her top personal finance awards in both the United Kingdom and Australia. Her career credits include founding and editing The Australian Financial Review’s Smart Investor magazine, and reporting and editing for the magazine arm of the UK’s Financial Times. Author, qualified financial adviser and Fairfax’s Money Matters columnist for the last decade, Nicole is a regular on television and radio. She talks money without the mumbo jumbo. Follow her on Twitter at @NicolePedMcK.

September 30, 2013

Why You Need an Income Protection Insurance?

Brought to you by Zurich FinanceMany of us only appreciate the “extra” money we earn – that which we can invest and put towards those things that are important to us. Whether that is an investment plan, a trip to Europe, saving for a house deposit or the latest coffee maker, we work to strive for our goals.

But what if, for whatever reason, your “essential” money stopped coming in? The money you use to pay your rent, your mortgage, your food, your telephone bills and all those other essentials? This happened to Laura, 28, who was taken ill with chickenpox. After taking a week off work, she thought she was on the road to recovery – then the vomiting, seizures and a stiff neck began. Her doctor diagnosed her with serious secondary encephalitis and she was hospitalised immediately. Laura recovered, but was unable to return to work for

three months. During this time, she had no incoming salary, or family members able to offer financial support. So Laura had to live off two weeks holiday pay – and wiped out her carefully accumulated savings (intended for a new car).Sporting accidents, viruses, limb fractures and even conditions such as depression mean that every day, people around Australia are unable to attend their normal place of work and earn an income. Sick pay and holiday pay may not last long in these situations when you may need a month – or more – off work to recover. Imagine not earning an income for up to 12 months, scary stuff.

Now it’s true that no one wants to think about these situations. But all working people should think seriously about protecting their ability to earn an income through taking out income protection insurance. The good news is that income protection is generally a 100 per cent tax deduction.

So how does it work? Most covers will provide you with up to 75 per cent of your normal income should you be unable to attend work due to illness or injury. And most will give you a choice of optional benefits such as family care and severe disability options. While no one enjoys paying insurance, income protection really is one of the “must-haves”. Without it, should illness or injury occur (and it easily can), you could potentially wipe out your savings, just to cover living expenses. Or even go into debt. That’s somewhere no one enjoys being.

Seeing a financial adviser can be a great way to get your finances and savings into gear – and at the same time look at income protection cover.

August 1, 2001

How to Invest Properly in Property

How old were you when you bought your house/unit?

24.What you earning back then? How much was the deposit?

I was earning the same as I am now, and the deposit was approx. $20,000.

What made you take the plunge at such a young age?

I wanted to have something for the future! Also, I wanted to get in now before any further rise in property prices. Another reason was that interest rates were low.

Was it difficult to save for the deposit? Was it difficult getting a mortgage because of your age?

It wasn’t difficult at all getting the mortgage. Saving took a few years and I had to watch my spending.

How has your lifestyle changed since you’ve had the mortgage, do you have to sacrifice a lot?

Yes, definitely. I live at home with my parents and I have a tenant in the unit, which covers some of the loan repayments. I also have to watch my spending, particularly on entertainment as that was a major cost. I still have a bit to spend though, but the amount of money that’s left in my bank account is quite low.

Did you ever consider investing in shares rather than property?

No.

What’s your advice to other women thinking of investing in property in the future?

Save as much as you possibly can before purchasing. Don’t get in above your head. Plan a budget and stick to it (well, try).

June 22, 2001