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BEYOND NUMB3RS

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Build your own empire

By Michelle Salisbury

You’ve got the skills and enough hands-on experience working for someone else.  Now it’s time to get out on your own and build your own empire.  With plenty of fire in your belly and pure determination you are ready to go for it.  Or maybe you are already on this journey and need some inspiration and assistance to continue to grow.

There are so many aspects of this chosen path that may be daunting and confusing at times.

Transition tips

  • Begin thinking like a business owner.  Look at the big picture and make plans for the future.  Engage in a brain storming session and use the results of this as a starting point.  Develop a business plan and cashflow forecast – we can assist with this so don’t be afraid to reach out.  We can also help you plan for cashflow items such as Tax, GST, and superannuation payments.
  • Make good business contacts with people who have different skill sets to yourself.  For example, get to know someone who is a marketing guru or maybe someone who is brilliant with technology.  Go to local networking groups to gain a wider range of contacts.
  • Look for ways to constantly evolve your leadership skills.  Do a short course, read a book, maybe watch something from the net or even find short clips on You Tube.
  • Get good at understanding and reading financial figures – so you can better make strategic business decisions.  Ask your accountant questions, compare your results from year to year, talk to other business owners about the numbers.  It’s a language worth learning.  There are industry benchmarks that you can use to see how you compare to others in the same industry as yourself.
  • Set budgets for jobs and monitor their progress.  Compare the outcome of one job to a similar job, then critique your performance.  Don’t be afraid to charge what you are worth – believe in yourself.
  • Refine the processes you have put in place in your business to continuously improve your business’s efficiency and productivity.

Set up your business structure

When looking at an appropriate business structure, you need to consider the needs involved with your business and your personal position.  Protection of your personal assets from business risk is an important issue to consider.  Which structure suits your situation will differ and needs to be discussed with your business advisor here at Lincolns before starting on your new adventure.

The various structures you can trade under include:

  • Sole Trader
  • Partnership
  • Trust
  • Company

Each of these structure options have differing costs and asset protection levels.  These can be tailored to suit your needs.

Getting started checklist

Here is a ‘to do list’ for starting a business:

  • Sort out your business structure
  • Prepare a cashflow budget
  • Create a business plan
  • Register for GST
  • Register your business name (ABN)
  • Setup a bank account
  • Sort out insurances
  • Setup your accounting software
  • Apply for industry licenses
  • Market your business
  • Get your HR systems in order if you’re going to employ people

For more details see our New Business Handbook.

Need help getting started?

Don’t be shy in asking for assistance.  It’s very hard to do it all yourself.  So, we can help with:

  • BAS preparation
  • Cash Flows
  • Business Advisory services
  • Software support
  • Human Resources
  • Financial Statement preparation
  • IT support

Just to name a few you will need along your journey.

If you require some assistance with any of the above or would like some more information, then please speak to your accountant or give us a call on 9841 1200.


Say goodbye to Microsoft Windows 7

By Rodney Russell

Are you running Windows 7?  How about a server with Windows Server 2008?  

Did you know the end of these operating systems was 14 January 2020?  How does this impact your accounting software?

Now is the time to start preparing your upgrade.

What does end of support mean?

If you continue to use software products after support has ended, your PC will still work, but it may become more vulnerable to security risks and viruses.  Your PC will continue to start and run, but Microsoft will no longer provide technical support, software updates or security updates.

Many large software providers will only support their software for a certain number of years. Windows 7 was released 22 July 2009 and will no longer be receiving security updates as of 14 January 2020. This will also include Microsoft’s Server product, Windows Server 2008.

What about my software?

With Windows 7 no longer supported, you’ll find software developers will also cease updating and supporting Windows 7.  They will encourage you to upgrade to maintain full compatibility with their product.  While you can still run their software, they will not be obliged to provide any support to you.

MYOB have announced they’ll continue to support AccountRight running on Windows 7 until the 31 March 2020.  After this date, they’ll no longer provide any support.  Instead of waiting, you should be using this time now to plan your upgrade

I’m running Office 2010, will I need to upgrade that too?

Unfortunately, yes but not right away. Microsoft Office 2010 is also reaching end of support on 13 October 2020.  So, while you can still run Office 2010 on a Windows 10 computer, you will need to start looking at upgrading to Office 2019 or subscribing to Office 365.

What are my options?

Like it or not, even if you don’t want to move to Windows 10 initially, eventually you’ll have little choice.  PC makers will be bundling Windows 10 into their machines, with no option to downgrade to Windows 7.  

Before upgrading to Windows 10, you will need to make sure your computer meets the minimum requirements.  If your computer is 10 years or older, it will run Windows 10 but probably not at as fast as you hope.

Why Windows 10?

Microsoft released Windows 10 on 29 July 2015 and they plan to release new builds on an ongoing basis and at no additional cost to users.  These new builds are released twice a year.  The support cycles are shorter (18 months for Home/Pro and 30 months for Enterprise/Education) but the build updates are more frequent.

Windows 8 and 8.1 is still available and can be an option if you really don’t want Windows 10 but finding it for sale these days is very difficult and will reach end of support on 10 January 2023.  After this date, Windows 10 will be your only supported choice.

Conclusion

Windows XP was around for a long time and was adopted by many businesses.  Then when Windows Vista was released in 2006, it brought many changes and caused so many headaches that Windows XP was still the goto choice for businesses until Windows 7 appeared in mid-2009.  Windows XP was officially retired 8 April 2014.  Now it is time to put Windows 7 to rest.

If you’re still running Windows 7 and want to make sure you can upgrade, please give Lincolns a call today and book an IT assessment where we can look over your computers and software and assist in your upgrade path to Windows 10.

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