October 26, 2021
How To: Set Goals and Achieve Them

We don’t claim to be all-knowing self-help types, but we do know a thing or two about setting goals and how to achieve them. Thanks to our experience, we thought we’d share a few insights that could make a real difference to your process and help you improve the strategy you have in place to achieve your goals.

Having goals and working towards them is an important part of being human. The path towards our goals may not always be smooth or easy, but having goals gives us a sense of meaning and purpose, points us in the right direction and keeps us interested and engaged, all of which are good for our overall happiness (this is scientifically proven).

But setting goals can be hard; sometimes it is hard to differentiate between a dream, hope or a clear, specific goal. If you fail to plan, well, you plan to fail! So here are 5 tips for setting goals and achieving them successfully.

 

1. Workout the Why

Motivation is key to achieving your goals, so set goals that relate to the high priorities in your life. Work out what is important to you and make sure that there is value in achieving this goal. It helps to have this type of focus, so you stay committed and feel the sense of urgency.

Sometimes it is easier to get going with something small and have a few mini short-term“wins” which can keep you motivated and believing in yourself.

Let’s user home ownership as an example … Your first goal to help you buy your home could be to save an additional $1,000 every three months. This will feel more achievable than just setting your goal as “saving $50,000 for my home deposit”.After you achieve this ‘mini-goal’ in three months (go you!) you will feel a massive sense of achievement, and this will keep you going for the next three and so on until your ultimate $50K goal is reached.

To make sure your goal is motivating write down WHY it is important and what you would tell someone about your goal if they asked. That mini-goal is important because it means you have taken the first steps to your ultimate goal, and you are learning how to be disciplined with your finances.

 

2. BeSpecific

 We cannot emphasise how important this step is! We are all guilty of using the phrases “I wish I was skinnier” or “I wish I had more money”. News flash – these aren’t achievable goals. Let’s try and rephrase these into specific, achievable goals:

 

· My goal is to lose 5kg over the next five months.

· My goal is to attract 5 new customers each month for three months

 

These goals are specific, measurable and time-bound. You can write progress in your diary and track it each month to keep you engaged. They aren’t too far in the future, yet also far enough that you will change your habits and still be required to work hard to achieve them.

 

3. Write it down

Everywhere!

The fridge, your bathroom mirror, your calendar. Share the news! Tell your friends and family and ask them to hold you accountable. Writing it down and getting it out there makes your goal real and tangible and increases your chances of sticking to it. Phrase your words positively rather than negatively. Rather than saying“I need to procrastinate less”, phrase it like “I will work 4 hours per day on customer attracting activities” which is more motivating and focuses on what you should be doing instead of what you shouldn’t.

 

4. Workout the How

Now for the fun part… (especially if you like budgets like we do!) Breaking down your goal and working out how you will achieve it. What changes can you make in your day-to-day life that will help you reach your goal? If your goal is savings, work out your weekly income and expenses, and where you can spend less. If it’s gaining customers, work out where they spend time and how you can best engage with them.

If we revisit the above examples, let’s give them some “how”:

 ·     My goal is to lose 5kg over the next five months.
I will achieve this by exercising five days a week, and limiting my chocolate to once a day.

·     My goal is to attract 5 new customers each month for three months
I will achieve this by spending 2 hours per day, first profiling what my new customers look like, why my business is attractive to them. Then I’ll lock down how I will get my brand in front of them and create a clear method to convert them.

 Now these goals are also attainable. We’re not just going to cut carbs out completely and drink only juice for one week. We also aren’t being unrealistic about how much time we spend on the second goal. We have set some clear mini-goals we can follow each week which will give us a feeling of success along the way. All of these things will help us stay on track towards the bigger goal.

 

5. Stick with it!

Life is always going to throw us curveballs and it is best to be as prepared as you can be. Try and think of some potential options you could try if something gets in your way. If you think other work might get in the way of your 2 hours scheduled for new customer attraction, you could outsource or automate some of your processes.

Use phone or calendar reminders to keep yourself on track, and make the time to review your goals. You may need to tweak your action plan slightly as you go, and this is totally fine! Your end goal will likely remain the same, but how you get there may change as you go. By making sure the relevance, value, and necessity remain high, the purpose and motivation will always be there.

Above all, believe in yourself and your capabilities. You can do this!

 

If you’d like to discuss your business goals and build strategies to get there, we’d love to chat. Speak with one of the Attune team on 1300 866 113 or click here to start the conversation on email.

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October 15, 2021
Starting up? To Bootstrap or Dilute That is the Question…

Got a killer idea that you’re ready to turn into a potential new business? Has your new business kicked off and you’re in those early days of late nights and seemingly endless costs? No doubt you all have one major item on your mind… Money. Funding. Capital. Cashflow. Whatever you want to call it, we all need it.

 

What we want to look at are the questions about money. Will it come from your projected sales? Will you get your business proposal together for the bank and hope for a loan? Or will you rely on your own savings? Or critically, dilute your shareholding and reach out for some investor funding?

 

Here we talk the pros and cons of bootstrapping versus investor funding to kick-start your new startup and get the best bang for your buck.

 

Bootstrapping

 

The term bootstrapping comes from that very famous legend ofBaron Münchhausen who pulled himself out of the water with the help of his own bootstraps, becoming a metaphor for achieving success with no outside assistance.

 

It is building a company from the ground up with nothing but personal savings, and with a little luck, the cash coming in from the first sales.

 

Studies show that more than 80% of startup operations are funded by the founders' personal finances, with the median in start-up capital being about $10,000. Some of the most famous and most successful companies in the world started off this way – Apple, Microsoft and DellComputers to name a few!

 

Advantages and Disadvantages

 

As all of the financial risk is placed on you as the business owner, bootstrapping can be a tough way to go. Limited resources can inhibit growth and even undermine the quality and integrity of the business envisioned. Not to mention cause a few headaches. On the other hand, you are able to maintain full control over all decisions and the business itself. And, all the energy goes into the product or service itself, not into pitching venture capitalists and other potential sources of capital investment.

 

Bootstrapping allows you to experiment more with the brand, as there is no pressure from investors who may have their own ideas. There is another kind of pressure though – you may have personal or family assets on the line.

 

It might not be the quickest way to turn a profit, but bootstrapping can be a way to start slowly bringing in revenue and establishing a safety net that enables you to maintain total control of the business.

 

It must be said, there’s no definitive number in terms of how much you need to bootstrap a business, that all depends on the business.

 

Investment Funding

 

This is all about selling your idea to an investor, who is interested in getting some form of profit or return out of your business idea in the future. They finance or help you finance your business for some ownership equity in return. They usually closely evaluate the business and projections before hand and may have some say in decision making and goal setting. The most popular investors are generally angel investors or venture capital investment funds, but they’re generally not easy to get involved with.

 

Ø Angel Investors

 

An angel investor is generally a high-net-worth individual who provides financial backing for small startups or entrepreneurs, typically in exchange for ownership equity in the company. They can often be found amongst your family, friends or colleagues. The funds that angel investors provide may be a one-time investment to help your business get off the ground or an ongoing injection to support and carry the company through it's difficult early stages. In addition to cash, they usually bring along with them a range of expertise, connections, knowledge, experience and advice.

 

Ø Venture Capital Investors

 

Venture capital generally comes from well-off investors, investment banks, and any other financial institutions who see a lot of potential in your business. For new companies or ventures that have a limited operating history (under two years), venture capital is becoming a popular way of raising money, especially if they lack access to capital markets, bank loans, or other debt instruments.

 

Advantages and Disadvantages of attracting investment

 

In short form here’s the quick potential pros & cons list depending on your needs:

 

PROS:

• Money in the door for growth

• Ongoing access to business experience and advice that comes with the right investor

• Less personal financial risk

 

CONS:

• Loss of equity in your own business

• Potential loss of some control depending on your agreement

• Potential extra pressure for the business to perform

 

Let’s look at these in a bit of detail before we wrap up…

 

Bringing in an external investor is a great way to get money and get it fast. Sometimes it’s enough to really make or break your business and if you’ve exhausted your personal savings (and then some!) this may be your last option. The cash comes at a cost though as the investor will always take their slice of the pie.  

Some investors may be happy to sit back and leave the decision making to you however some may choose to get really involved. This may bring some misunderstandings and a misalignment of goals for the future. On the other hand, it may also bring another perspective and a new set of skills.

Similarly, selecting the right investor for your business can often be dictated by the input you’re looking for. As an example, you maybe missing a certain skillset that your business needs that could be filled by the investor, or perhaps would like an investor to bring their network of contacts and knowledge with them.

Ultimately, making the decision to bring on an investor (and what kind) shouldn’t be done completely on a financial basis, but with your entire business and goals in mind alongside the money factor.

If you’d like to discuss your business strategy, what investment might look like for you alongside other accounting implications, we’d love to chat. Speak with one of the Attune team on 1300 866 113 or click here to start the conversation on email.

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October 1, 2021
Accounting and Tax Treatment of Crypto-Trading

If you are involved in acquiring or disposing of cryptocurrency, you need to be aware of the tax consequences, which can vary depending on the nature of your circumstances and the transactions involved.

 

The ATO has been focussing a lot of their attention on the tax treatment of crypto transactions, so it’s vital that you keep very specific records in relation to your crypto transactions. Sound a bit over your head?We’ll try and bring it back to the basics so you can stay on top of your crypto tax obligations!

 

What is Cryptocurrency?

 

In the words of the ATO, the term cryptocurrency is generally used to describe a digital asset in which encryption techniques are used to regulate the generation of additional units and verify transactions on a blockchain. cryptocurrency generally operates independently of a central bank, central authority, or government.

 

How am I Taxed?

 

Broadly speaking, if you are a crypto “investor”, CapitalGains Tax (CGT) is what will get you. If you are in the actual “business” of trading cryptocurrency, all gains are assessable income and all losses are deductions.

 

Not sure if you are an investor or trader? Factors that determine someone being a trader is the use of trading systems, the volume of transactions (this needs to be excessive), the existence of a business plan, a profit motive, and records being kept in a business-like manner. Generally, if you’ve quit your job and you are trading crypto full-time, you’re likely to be a trader.

 

For the purpose of this article, we will assume you are an“investor” so will be sticking to the Capital Gains Tax path.

 

When am I Taxed?

 

You may have heard a rumour that crypto gains are only taxable when holdings are cashed back into Australian dollars. Unfortunately, this is not the case. There are many different taxing points with crypto, and we have provided a summary of the most common ones below.  

 

A CGT event occurs when you dispose of your cryptocurrency. A ‘disposal’ can occur when you:

• Sell or gift cryptocurrency

• Trade or exchange cryptocurrency (including the disposal of one cryptocurrency for another cryptocurrency)

• Convert cryptocurrency to fiat currency (a currency established by government regulation or law), such as Australian dollars, or

• Use cryptocurrency to obtain goods or services.

 

Capital Gains & Losses

 

You will make a capital gain if the capital proceeds from the disposal of the cryptocurrency are more than its cost base. Even if the market value of your cryptocurrency changes, you do not make a capital gain or loss until you dispose of it.

 

If you hold your cryptocurrency as an investment for12 months or more, you may be entitled to the CGT discount to reduce a capital gain you make when you dispose of it.

If you have a net capital loss, you can use it to reduce a capital gain you make in a later year. You can't deduct a net capital loss from your other income.

 

You must keep records of each cryptocurrency transaction to work out whether you have a made a capital gain or loss from each CGT event.

 

Record Keeping

 

Good record keeping is the key to success!

You need to keep the following records in relation to your cryptocurrency transactions:

·     The date of the transactions

·     The value of the cryptocurrency in Australian dollars at the time of the transaction (which can be taken from a reputable online exchange)

·     What the transaction was for and who the other party was (even if it’s just their cryptocurrency address).

 

The sorts of records you should keep include:

·     Receipts of purchase or transfer of cryptocurrency

·     Exchange records

·     Records of agent, accountant and legal costs

·     Digital wallet records and keys

·     Software costs related to managing your tax affairs

 

Wishing you good luck is a good start with crypto trading but, investing as part of a strategy you’ve put in place is how you’ll get the most out of your crypto experience.

If you’d like to discuss your strategy around investing in crypto (or anything else), alongside other accounting implications, we’d love to chat. Speak with one of the Attune team on 1300 866 113 or click here to start the conversation on email.

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September 24, 2021
10 Lessons for Entrepreneurs from Amazon’s Jeff Bezos

If you haven’t heard of Jeff Bezos, then you have no doubt heard of the trillion-dollar company that he built from scratch, Amazon… yes, it’s currently standing with a market value of a mere $1.7 trillion. Not just an online shopping store but one that has expanded into cloud accounting, entertainment, advertising and even finance. Amazon has taken the world by storm and Bezos is one of the most influential businessmen of our time.

 

With Bezos now having vacated his role as CEO, here are 10lessons we can all learn from the man himself.

 

1. Use the regret minimisation framework.

 

When he was in the early days of starting up an online bookstore – back in the day when the internet was only used by a select few – Jeff thought of himself as an 80 year old, looking back on his life. What would he be proud of, and what would he regret? He didn’t want to regret taking the leap into the online world, because at the time he thought it was going to be a really big deal, and boy was he right.

 

2. Find the right opportunity.

 

Bezos knew he wanted to build an internet business and he saw the opportunity of pairing this with an online book business. He wasn’t even that fond of books, but they seemed like a good match to take advantage of the internet’s massive growth potential. There are millions of books available, so they’re easy to stock and they are easy to ship. Simple.

 

3. Be customer-obsessed.

 

Whilst many companies preach the motto of customer focus, none of them live it quite like Bezos. He was so passionate about the customer experience, he didn’t only want a company that made you feel good, but one that you really couldn’t live without. Each new product created needed to come with a 6 page narratively structured memo that everyone in the company had to read, live and breathe. There had to be a story behind it and that story had to explain why the customer could not live without the product.

 

4. Make your value exceed all the costs.

 

When Amazon first kicked off, online shopping pretty much sucked. Only about one-third of households had a computer, even less had internet and those that did found it painfully slow. So Bezos had to create an experience – low prices, great selection, flawless fulfilment – that would help his customers overcome the early barriers of buying online.

 

And he had to stay one step ahead of the rest. As online shopping started to boom, he still needed his customers to choose Amazon; and in turn he needed to make their lives easier or better by providing a service of such value that it would exceed all costs.

 

5. Fear customers, not competitors.

 

Customers give you money, competitors do not. Focus your worry on your revenue source and don’t worry about anyone else.

6. Focus on the long term.

 

Jeff has long been known to stick it to the (investment) man and not care about quarterly earnings or profits. He believed that the fundamental measure of the company’s success would be the shareholder value they create over the long term. They wanted their customers to be loyal and frequent shoppers. So, by offering Prime membership (free two-day delivery on everything for $79 a year) his shipping costs actually exceeded the price of membership. He didn’t care. He knew that by having a loyal membership base the sales would skyrocket and he was right. Short term pain for long term gain.

 

7. Feed the flywheel.

 

The term ‘flywheel effect’ was first used by Jeff in 2001, at which point he revealed Amazon’s clear growth strategy that once momentum picked up, it allowed Amazon to mainly stand back and let things unfold. Books were always going to be just the beginning.

 

He wanted a large selection of products, low prices and great customer service. By staying true to this, he attracted third-party sellers to the platform which in turn attracted more customers, and so on. Sounds too easy right?

 

Put the customers first and work backwards from there.

 

8. Hire for intensity.

 

Are you sick of hiring great people and seeing them leave?Give your employees a mission; something with real purpose. Let them run with it and keep the passion alive.

 

9. Protect your culture.

 

You may have heard the cutthroat stories of working atAmazon – long hours, brutal working conditions and an environment that pushes everyone beyond their limits. Jeff has been famously known not to deny such things, yet he also fiercely protects the culture, which has been created slowly over time by the people and events, by the stories of past success and failure that has become a deep part of the company story.

 

10. Listen to your critics--but not too much.

 

There’s going to be critics at every corner. But what is important is your own values and belief system. With your values in mind, look in the mirror and take time to decide if your critics are right… if they’e right, change, if they’re wrong they’re just being critical.

 

Strategy is our strength, so if you would like help planning your future move(s) (like Jeff did), get in touch with one of our AttuneAdvisory team. Phone 1300 866 113or click here.

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