Beyond Merchant Capital https://beyondmerchantcapital.com.au Funding Growing Businesses - Unsecured Loans & Merchant Financing Thu, 21 Mar 2019 06:39:02 +0000 en-AU hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.1.1 Feeding the Hungry: CEO of BMC Raises Funds for Those in Need https://beyondmerchantcapital.com.au/larry-prosser-raises-money-for-ozharvest/ Thu, 21 Mar 2019 06:39:02 +0000 https://beyondmerchantcapital.com.au/?p=36718 Joining together and breaking bread is the most gratifying way to bring people together. The good people at OzHarvest understand this better than most. This month they are joined by benevolent business leaders from around Australia for the ninth annual OzHarvest CEO CookOffTM. Our CEO Larry Prosser is there in his apron; ready and rearing […]

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Joining together and breaking bread is the most gratifying way to bring people together. The good people at OzHarvest understand this better than most. This month they are joined by benevolent business leaders from around Australia for the ninth annual OzHarvest CEO CookOffTM. Our CEO Larry Prosser is there in his apron; ready and rearing to reinvest in his community.

What’s cooking with Larry?

This week, in preparation for the big cookoff, Larry joined the OzHarvest team for a special master class. Here he prepared ‘Caramelized Capsicum and Onion Chutney’, as well as a ‘Fridge Odds N, Ends Veg Fritters.’ Larry admits smiling, “This is the first time I’ve actually enjoyed what I’ve cooked!” Meals like these will soon be served to a room of over 1400 guests-in-need on the 25th March. Says Larry Prosser, “This worth-while initiative is a wonderful opportunity for community members from different walks of life to come together. Our company is constantly striving to serve others, so this is an amazing opportunity to do it with funds and food.”Larry Prosser brushes up his cooking skills for the OzHarvest CEOCookOff

Larry’s goal

Larry’s big hope is to raise $10 000 for this worthwhile cause. And with $8841.60 already in the bag… he is almost there! We are humbly calling on our entire Beyond Merchant Capital network to pledge online and help Larry make this happen. Please donate generously now. Or visit the official website for more information on the event.

What is the OzHarvest CEO CookOffTM

Here, Australia’s top bosses and their teams take to the kitchen in support of vulnerable Australians on the 25th March 2019. The 2019 goal is to raise $3 million which will feed six million hungry Australians who go without food daily. Making this a wholesome initiative with a hearty goal.

More about OzHarvest?

OzHarvest is a proudly Australian initiative that salvages produce from going to waste by redistributing it to in-need communities. This happens daily. Similarly, the program invests in sustainability education. They do this by finding employment for vulnerable Australians in the hospitality industry. According to OzHarvest founder and CEO Ronni Kahn, “When you support OzHarvest, your impact is measured, appreciated and far-reaching.”

Larry practices his cooking skills for CEOCookOff with OzHarvest

Who is Beyond Merchant Capital?

Created for entrepreneurs, by entrepreneurs, Beyond Merchant Capital understands that small and medium-sized businesses simply can’t rely on easy access to traditional funding. Consequently, Beyond Merchant Capital has created a unique funding and payment model to provide a working capital solution for growing businesses. To find out more about alternative working capital give our team a call today 1300 955 428.

 

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How To Boost Small Business Via The Sharing Economy https://beyondmerchantcapital.com.au/how-to-boost-small-business-via-the-sharing-economy/ Tue, 19 Feb 2019 06:16:04 +0000 https://beyondmerchantcapital.com.au/?p=36622 What is the sharing economy? Trying to define the ‘sharing economy’ is like trying to hit a moving target. As a concept, it is constantly evolving. But in its simplest form, the sharing economy refers to the exchange of any goods or service using technology. Here mutual parties share the value of an under-utilized skill […]

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What is the sharing economy?

Trying to define the ‘sharing economy’ is like trying to hit a moving target. As a concept, it is constantly evolving. But in its simplest form, the sharing economy refers to the exchange of any goods or service using technology. Here mutual parties share the value of an under-utilized skill or asset. The exchange happens through a shared marketplace, a collaborative platform or peer-to-peer application. While this concept of sharing isn’t necessarily new, the internet and mobile tech have radically improved accessibly. Making share-based transactions the easiest it’s ever been.

What are the sharing economy buzzwords?

Technology

This is a crucial aspect of the sharing economy. Using technology to share services is a common factor amongst all versions. Technology renders the process convenient, efficient and in many cases more affordable for SMEs.

Collaborative Economy/ Peer-to-Peer Economy

A collaborative economy is a marketplace where consumers rely on each other instead of large companies. This is done via giving, swapping, borrowing, trading, renting, and sharing products and services for a fee.

Freelancing/ Gig Economy

A freelancer is a self-employed person who offers services to clients. These services are often, though not necessarily, offered through sharing economy apps like OzLance and Freelancer.

Crowdfunding/ Crowdsourcing

Australian crowdfunding platforms like ASSOB  and ChipIn offer an online marketplace to source funding for small businesses. Here business owners pitch their business and multiple individuals pledge support in return for goods, equity or services.

Coworking/Cobranding

This refers to SMEs sharing premises to save costs. These hub spaces are advertised and sourced on online platforms such as Hub Australia. Perks of this platform include shared and short-term rental.

Fintech

This is when finance and technology join forces to bring funding to businesses in need. For example, Beyond Merchant Capital provides a quick online application and minimal paperwork. This beats the bank system because access is quick and reliable. with funding granted in as little as 48 hours.

What does the Australian entrepreneur think about a sharing economy?

Australian entrepreneurs are definitely jumping on the sharing bandwagon. They appreciate how it provides cheaper and convenient services. It can also work both ways by SMEs offering their goods or services to other companies to boost bottom lines. As well as the ability to call on other SMEs to plug holes and provide support to their operations. This may take the form of using Uber for transport or Udemy for training and upskilling. Calling on freelances, Dribble for design work and Expert 360 for consultancy. Some SMEs have even hired executive support like CFOs on these types of sharing platforms.

Is sharing always caring?

Not necessarily. In countries like Singapore, the collaborative movement has come under siege. The hype surrounding the sharing economy is quickly fading, as its original ideas have taken a back seat to the relentless corporate pursuit of profits, and public fallouts. Investors with deep pockets expect a return on investment and are often at odds with the spirit of sharing. Further to this, there is a need for checks and balances, so that sharing-economy firms operate in line with the acceptable behaviour of traditional companies.

How can SMEs make use of the sharing economy?

Staffing

Finding ways to save on expenses while increasing profits is necessary to stay afloat. With a nation of Millenials, companies are changing how they hire staff as well. Instead of having cubicles filled with ‘lifers’ they are opting for staff who may come and go as required. Companies are now hiring employees who are more caring and sharing, but have a lower level of commitment than their older peers in the business world. For smaller companies with less staff, this millennial mindset and the sharing economy, sometimes called ‘collaborative consumption’, can save on operating expenses and raise profits if done correctly.

Raising Capital

Crowdfunding is one way to leverage funding online. But it has many drawbacks. Consider, instead, fintech merchant financing like a merchant cash advance. The application process happens online and can result in cash in your account in as little as 24 hours.

Business trips

Whether it be a ride to the airport, or to a meeting from the hotel, small businesses can save on transport/ vehicle costs by using services like Uber and Lyft. When it comes to travel, SMEs can also save up to 50 per cent of lodging costs by using services like Airbnb.

Outsourcing Small Tasks

Small businesses can outsource a lot of small tasks to outside providers. Handyman services, painting, cleaning, and maintenance can be outsourced on Airtasker. You can also find the services of a logo designer, app developer, and writer from freelancers on sites like Fiverr.

Monetize Space

Do you have extra offices in your building that aren’t being used? Space for a cell tower? Unused parking spaces? You can turn all of these assets into money for your bottom line by utilizing the sharing economy to rent them out. In some cities, parking spaces are worth $50,000 a year.

When done properly, a small business can use the sharing economy to save money in both the short term and the long run. SMEs can also form relationships with individuals and other businesses that can be mutually beneficial to both parties. The approach here is the think about company resources as an ecosystem rather than a closed structure. This way of thinking is also helping Australian start-ups find their way, test the market and save while establishing their businesses.

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Beyond Merchant Capital CEO Joins OzHarvest For Good Food And A Great Cause https://beyondmerchantcapital.com.au/beyond-merchant-capital-ceo-joins-ozharvest-for-a-great-cause/ Mon, 18 Feb 2019 06:52:00 +0000 https://beyondmerchantcapital.com.au/?p=36461 Coming together and sharing a meal is the most communal and binding experience in almost every place in the world. It is a powerful way to share something important and give each other nourishment.  No one understands this more than the people at OzHarvest. Which is why when our CEO Larry Prosser was invited to […]

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Coming together and sharing a meal is the most communal and binding experience in almost every place in the world. It is a powerful way to share something important and give each other nourishment.  No one understands this more than the people at OzHarvest. Which is why when our CEO Larry Prosser was invited to participate in the ninth annual OzHarvest CEO CookOffTM, he jumped at the opportunity to reinvest in his community.

What is OzHarvest CEO CookOffTM?

Here, Australia’s top bosses and their teams will take to the kitchen in support of vulnerable Australians on the 25th March 2019. This year, Beyond Merchant Capital’s CEO, Larry Prosser will also don an apron in support of those who are often unseen. The 2019 goal is to raise $3 million. This will provide six million healthy meals to Australians who go without daily. Making this an event with some healthy competition and all for a hearty cause. Staff and CEOs will be paired up with Top Australian chefs. These culinary kings and queens will then guide the teams in a gourmet meal preparation, which will then be served to a room of over 1400 guests-in-need. Says Larry Prosser, “This worth-while initiative is a wonderful opportunity for community members from different walks of life to come together. Our company is constantly striving to serve others, so this is an amazing opportunity to do it with funds and food.”

Donate to OzHarvest CEO Cookoff

What is OzHarvest?

OzHarvest is a proudly Australian initiative that rescues edible food from going to waste, by collecting and redistributing it to those in need. Their program also invests in sustainability education and helps vulnerable young people find employment in the hospitality sector. According to OzHarvest founder and CEO Ronni Kahn, “Since we started delivering meals in 2004, we have brought joy over 100 million times. When you support OzHarvest, your impact is measured, appreciated and far-reaching.”

Who is Beyond Merchant Capital?

Created by entrepreneurs, Beyond Merchant Capital understands (first hand) that small and medium-sized businesses can’t rely on easy access to traditional funding options. Consequently, they created a unique funding and payment model to provide a working capital injection for growing businesses. To find out more about alternative working capital visit Beyond Merchant Capital.

How can I support Beyond Merchant Capital and OzHarvest?

The OzHarvest CEO CookOffTM is a magical event in the lives of vulnerable men and women in Australia. To help Larry, the Beyond Merchant Capital team and OzHarvest reach the ambitious goal of raising $3 million, please donate generously now. Or visit the official website for more.

Donate to OzHarvest CEO Cookoff

CLICK HERE TO DONATE

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Power Up Your Business with Beyond Merchant Capital at Xero Roadshow https://beyondmerchantcapital.com.au/beyond-merchant-capital-at-xero-roadshow/ Mon, 18 Feb 2019 06:26:33 +0000 https://beyondmerchantcapital.com.au/?p=36500 Calling all bookkeepers and accountants! Visit us at the Xero Roadshow on the 20th February and learn how to boost your business with the Xero platform and Beyond Merchant Capital. Beyond Merchant Capital have partnered with Xero accounting software to make small business even better. By linking your Xero data to Beyond Merchant Capital, you […]

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Calling all bookkeepers and accountants! Visit us at the Xero Roadshow on the 20th February and learn how to boost your business with the Xero platform and Beyond Merchant Capital.

Beyond Merchant Capital have partnered with Xero accounting software to make small business even better. By linking your Xero data to Beyond Merchant Capital, you can fund your business with up to $500 000 in less than 24 hours. Our integration with Xero software simplifies the online application process. Making it more efficient for our applicants to gain the capital they need, in a faster, safer and easier way.Xero Roadshow

Where: Brisbane Convention Centre

Date: 20 February 2019

Time: 8h30 – 15h00

Registration: http://www.eiseverywhere.com/374613

For more info: https://www.xero.com/au/events/roadshow/

To find out more, visit us at the upcoming Xero Road Show. Find the full schedule of events here, and come away with valuable knowledge about the latest in digital technology trends, as well as insights into how to empower your business (and client base) with fast, effective funding.

We’ll be handing out free Grow Pots on the day, so be sure to grab yours before they’re all gone!

Beyond Inc. Sunflower Grow Pack

#XeroRoadshow2019 #BeyondMerchantCapital

 

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Top Technologies Your Small Business Should Invest In This Year https://beyondmerchantcapital.com.au/top-technologies-for-small-business/ Wed, 06 Feb 2019 06:59:18 +0000 https://beyondmerchantcapital.com.au/?p=36487 One of the most important decisions a small business owner will be making in 2019, is how to allocate spend. High on that list should be technology investment. The right tech can give your company the competitive edge, keep you current and improve operations. This can only have a positive impact on your bottom line. […]

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One of the most important decisions a small business owner will be making in 2019, is how to allocate spend. High on that list should be technology investment. The right tech can give your company the competitive edge, keep you current and improve operations. This can only have a positive impact on your bottom line. So which are the top technologies for small business that should be attracting your investment this year?

Top technologies for small business

Cybersecurity

Cybersecurity is one of the top technologies for small business. And is not somewhere you should be looking to save. According to the 8th Annual Allianz Risk Barometer survey on business risks, cyber incidents remain one of the highest risks to small business owners in Australia. Which is why entrepreneurs are now educating and arming themselves for cybercrime as much as they would for any traditional exposure. New risk management solutions, analytical tools, and innovative partnerships can help to better understand and mitigate the many risks facing business and prevent losses before they happen.  Make sure your devices are updated with the best security software on the market. Also, ensure that the right staff has access to tiered company information. Another tip is to test your own weak areas before someone out there tests them for you.

Integrate Your Technologies

Gone are the days of independent departments. This year, consider integrating your all areas of your business with smart technology like ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning). This enables departments to share reporting systems and speak to each other automatically. Giving you a bird’s eye view of your company’s performance. And empowering small decision making.

Your Website

Your website is also one of the top technologies for small business. Users are continuously on the rise. Meaning your website needs to be easy to use on all devices. Consider upgrading your website so that is it is easy to use on mobile platforms with better navigation, tag-able content, favourites lists, reordering options and multiple product images.

Upgrade Your Hardware

The thing with technology is that the tides turn very quickly. Operating systems become outdated incredibly fast. And competitive markets constantly result in better ways to do tech-driven business. Remember that downtime effects efficiency. Not to mention slow servers and inconsistent Wi-Fi. Your business needs to be in the fastest, most efficient lane when it comes to technology. Don’t wait for a screen to go black before replacing it.

Fast Pay Is The New Way

It stands to reason that the quicker a client pays you, the better your cash flow. E-Invoicing and bar code payment scanners give customers a quick and easy way to pay while its still top of mind.

Aim To Automate

Consider finding ways to automate repetitive tasks that tie up your resources unnecessarily. Scan your business to find places where your staff is being slowed down by manual activities. If these areas can be automated with technology, it will then free your team up to focus on revenue generated tasks instead. It is also sure to reduce manual errors, remove bottlenecks and increase productivity.

Funding For Growth

These sorts of upgrades, while necessary, are expensive. They often require cash flow that is not readily available. If this is the case, then your small business should consider Beyond Merchant Capital. The working capital providers with the hassle-free cash advance solution, which can be obtained in as little as 48 hours. With their help, you can implement your technology plan in no time at all. Safeguarding and streamlining your business with little worry about how to finance it

Top technologies for small business is not a nice-to-have in 2019. It is an absolute necessity. You can bet that your competitor is thinking this way, which means you should be too.

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An Instagram Marketing Plan for Promoting Restaurants https://beyondmerchantcapital.com.au/an-instagram-marketing-plan-for-promoting-restaurants/ Thu, 24 Jan 2019 01:09:22 +0000 https://beyondmerchantcapital.com.au/?p=36380 The manager runs up to a patron in his café, with a concerned frown on his face, “Sir, I just wanted to check all is okay with your food as I couldn’t help but notice…that you haven’t Instagrammed it yet?” This restauranteur understands all too well the power of a snap and a share on […]

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The manager runs up to a patron in his café, with a concerned frown on his face, “Sir, I just wanted to check all is okay with your food as I couldn’t help but notice…that you haven’t Instagrammed it yet?” This restauranteur understands all too well the power of a snap and a share on Instagram, and he wants it badly! He gets that this one meal has the power to transcend this particular sitting. And so he has joined the myriad of restauranteurs who are embracing Instagram in restaurant marketing, in order to promote new menu items and gain new followers. So as a forward-thinking entrepreneur, consider these six ways to effectively use Instagram in restaurant marketing.

Why promoting your restaurant on Instagram is so important

In case you have been living under a rock, Instagram is a monster of a social platform. Together with its original unique proposition (highly visual, immediate and widescale brand exposure), it now includes business profiles, analytics, advanced metrics and bulk schedulers making it the ideal tool for restaurant marketing. It stands to reason when you consider that 18-35-year-olds spend approximately five days browsing food images on Instagram with 30% admitting to avoiding a restaurant due to weak Instagram presence. These are some powerful stats.

How to use Instagram to consistently grow your followers and increase sales.

1. Create an Instagram business profile

Instagram Glyph

Embedding the Instagram icon on your website will also enable your visitors to easily share your feeds and images.

The clever folks at Instagram have recently introduced profiles tailored to businesses. By creating this type of account, you gain immediate access to analytics, upping the chance of your followers seeing you in news feeds. It also allows customers to contact you directly through Instagram. So as a business owner, who is serious about this channel, the first port of call is opening an account and switching to a business profile.

2. Cross-pollinate your feeds

The beauty of social media is that it plays nicely with other platforms. This means that you should cross-pollinate all your social media activity. Like sharing your Facebook feeds to Instagram. This will also allow potential customers to click on the link found on other platforms and immediately move over to your Instagram profile. We like using Buffer to post on multiple profiles at once, and the service is free for up to three profiles.

3. Keep it catchy

Instagrammers have an incredibly short attention span. If your posts are long-winded or over complicated you will be relegated out of their feed with one mighty swipe of the thumb. So short and concise is the name of the game.

4. Invite interaction

Tag a post and invite followers to “caption this.” Try posting a new dish and invite followers to name that dish. Ask them to tag who they would love to share this dish with and then choose a follower to receive that prize. It is with simple activities like these that will encourage interaction, grow your followers and boost your customer base.

5. Customers love free stuff

This leads onto the next point: Feed a food blogger and a contest winner, and you’ve basically grown your Instagram following for free. This is a great way to use Instagram in restaurant marketing. An effective strategy is to work with foodie Influencers. They can open you up to new bases. Once connected, you can initiate special offers through their profiles. For example, a post might read: “Like this picture, tag the friend you’ll share your winnings with, and follow [your restaurant handle here].” Ask the influencer if they’ll share four or five pictures over the course of the next week and a half, and watch the followers roll in. Just one proviso: Rotate influencers and only do a few contests at a time per Influencer. That way customers don’t get ‘contest fatigue’.

6. Do Hashtag Research

Example of hashtags

Research hashtags that will help locals find you.

Instagrammers follow profiles as well as hashtags. Plus, posts with hashtags generate 12,6% more engagement than posts without. You want to get on that train. So make yourself searchable by tagging posts with hashtags that will increase search results. Begin by typing into your search bar and find hashtags that will get you serious organic views. Similarly, not so many that will have you buried beneath millions of competitive posts. Also, consider hashtagging location to generate followers in your area. For example: #breakfastinsydney #sydneyfood #sydneyeats #sydneycafes #sydneyfoodie #foodobsessedbloggersydney #instafoodie #cafelife #restaurantaustralia #sydney #ilovesydney

Bonus: Promoted content

If you have the budget, reach out to companies that promote restaurants and food!

National Examples:
https://www.instagram.com/hungrymate_au/
https://www.instagram.com/theplateproject/

Local Examples: 
https://www.instagram.com/sydneyfoodcrew/
https://www.instagram.com/melbournefoodiehub/
https://www.instagram.com/brisbanefoodshots/
https://www.instagram.com/adelaidefoodbloggers/

Just search for your city followed by ‘food’ for more options.

Did you know that one of the top five reasons Beyond Merchant Capital is contacted for working capital is to fund marketing projects? Speak to our Lending Specialists today about funding your next campaign. #beyondmerchantcapital

 

 

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Best Ways to Manage Your Business Activity Statement (BAS) Fees https://beyondmerchantcapital.com.au/best-ways-to-manage-your-business-activity-statement-bas-fees/ Tue, 22 Jan 2019 03:57:25 +0000 https://beyondmerchantcapital.com.au/?p=36352 Nobody loves paying tax. But as a small business owner, this is a reality. One that should be dealt with upfront rather than being put on the backburner. Many business owners find themselves avoiding the submission of their Business Activity Statement (BAS) leading to unnecessary penalties and headaches. Here is everything you need to know about […]

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Nobody loves paying tax. But as a small business owner, this is a reality. One that should be dealt with upfront rather than being put on the backburner. Many business owners find themselves avoiding the submission of their Business Activity Statement (BAS) leading to unnecessary penalties and headaches. Here is everything you need to know about the BAS and how to ensure you are always covered and in control.

What is the Business Activity Statement?

The BAS is a form required by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) for all registered businesses. By law, every business is required to report all tax obligations. This includes GST, pay as you go withholding (PAYGW), pay as you go instalments (PAYGI), goods and services tax (GST), fringe benefits tax (FBT), wine equalization tax (WET) and luxury car tax (LCT). (That’s a lot of acronyms! And explains the overwhelm felt by small business owners.) Once submitted, the ATO provides a tailored BAS to each business outlining upcoming tax requirements.

What happens if I don’t lodge my BAS on time?

In a word- penalties. So even if you can’t actually pay yet, make sure you meet the relevant deadlines to avoid even more unnecessary costs.

What are the time frames?

The due date for each quarter (2019)
Quarter Due date
1 – July, August and September 28 October
2 – October, November and December 28 February
3 – January, February and March 28 April
4 – April, May and June 28 July

What happens if my business can’t pay?

The ATO is well within their rights to impose fines for late payers. As of 1 July 2017 failure to lodge on time results in a $210 fine. This amount can be repeated every 28 days up to five 28 day periods. However, if you can’t pay on time, you do have options.

Payment options and opportunities

Be on time

Your first port of call is to lodge with the ATO on time. This also safeguards you from personal liability down the line.

Ask for assistance

You may be surprised at how flexible the ATO can actually be. If you owe less than $20 000 you may be able to cut a deal. So always ask! If it’s more than that, the ATO also provide these payment plans. So be sure to have a thorough scan to see if you are eligible. What remains important is that you ‘play the game’ by staying in touch and up to do date with the ATO. This will keep your account in good standing and may assist with deals down the line.

What other options do I have to pay for my Business Activity Statement?

There is always Merchant Financing. This is a quick working capital solution designed for retail businesses. If your business operates with an EFTPOS terminal, has been in business for over six months, and has an average monthly turnover of over $5000, you can apply for up to $500,000. Best of all funds can be received within 48 hours. Jaco Gunter, MD of Beyond Merchant Capital says, “We want to empower entrepreneurs with the working capital they need to keep the focus on what they do best: Running their business! With our working capital solution, BAS needn’t be an unnecessary distraction.” The Beyond Merchant Capital Pay-As-You-Trade system processes repayments through a business’s EFTPOS terminal system as a small-agreed percentage of every card transaction. Rendering repayment (and tax obligations) virtually painless!” The important thing is that you are empowered with knowledge and funds that will keep your business moving forward.

For more information on accessing finance to ease your tax burden, speak to Lending Specialist today.

 

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‘Changes in legislation and regulation’ flagged as the leading risk for Australian businesses https://beyondmerchantcapital.com.au/changes-in-legislation-and-regulation-flagged-as-the-leading-risk-for-australian-businesses/ Tue, 22 Jan 2019 01:31:44 +0000 https://beyondmerchantcapital.com.au/?p=36357 According to the 8th Annual Allianz Risk Barometer survey on business risks, ‘changes in legislation and regulation’ has been identified as the leading risk, ranked by 32% of Australian businesses. The report, which considers 2,415 insurance and risk experts from 86 countries is pushing ‘cyber incidents’ (28%) to third place behind ‘business interruption’ (30% of […]

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According to the 8th Annual Allianz Risk Barometer survey on business risks, ‘changes in legislation and regulation’ has been identified as the leading risk, ranked by 32% of Australian businesses. The report, which considers 2,415 insurance and risk experts from 86 countries is pushing ‘cyber incidents’ (28%) to third place behind ‘business interruption’ (30% of respondents).

What Australian businesses are worrying about

Even though cyber incidents are less of a concern, this is only slight. Cyber incidents remains an important concern for Australian businesses (with 61% of respondents stressing this as a core worry). Particularly when it comes to the disruption these sorts of attacks cause. Business interruption is seen as the biggest cause of financial loss for businesses after a cyber incident – both globally (69%) and in Australia (65%). Regardless of the cause, disruptions can cause companies vast amounts of time, money and energy. New risk management solutions, analytical tools, and innovative partnerships can help to better understand and mitigate the many risks facing business and prevent losses before they happen.

In fifth place is the impact of ‘new technologies’. This is a double-edged sword for companies. According to Allianz Risk Barometer 2019,   “When asked which new technologies are the most useful or valuable for a company, the top answer by Australian respondents was Artificial Intelligence (80%). Yet when asked which new technologies pose the greatest risk to a business, Australians again answered with Artificial Intelligence (66%).” Demonstrating the conundrum of this particular area.

“The increased pace of change, both in terms of legislation, regulation, market disruption, and new technologies, is heavily influencing business risk concerns within the Australian market,” says Willem Van Wyk, CEO of Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty Pacific. His advice suggests that businesses make sure they scenario plan for a range of disruptions before they occur. This should happen across the business from supplier engagement to IT to HR and operational scenarios.

‘Business Interruption’ ranks highest globally

 ‘Business interruption’ hails as the highest threat for businesses globally for the seventh year in a row. Flagged by the US, Canada, Germany, Spain, Italy, and China. The nature of ‘Business Interruption’ is that the scenarios reach far and wide. Including break-down in IT systems, terrorism, political rioting, pollution, ransomware attacks, IT outages and more. It really refers to anything that can halt normal operations or shift focus unnecessarily. In line with this, ‘Business Interruption’ by cyber incidents ranks highest internationally (50%), followed by fire (40%) and natural catastrophes (38%).

Cyber – Increased understanding, increased losses

In the past, cyber incidents were happening, but quietly. However since the watershed of activity in 2018 awareness is on the up. Companies are now educating and arming themselves for cybercrime as much as they would for any traditional exposure. In fact, cybercrime now costs an estimated $600bn a year, up from $445bn in 2014. This compares with a 10-year average economic loss from natural catastrophes of $208bn – three times as much.

Top 10 Risks for Australian Businesses

  1. (36%) Changes in legislation and regulation (e.g. trade wars and tariffs, economic sanctions, protectionism, Brexit, Euro-zone disintegration).
  2. (32%) Business interruption (incl. supply chain disruption)
  3. (30%) Cyber incidents (cybercrime, IT failure/ outage, data breaches, fines and penalties
  4. (30%) Market developments (e.g. volatility, intensified competition/ new entrants, M&A, market stagnation and fluctuation).
  5. (27%) New technologies (e.g. Impact of increasing interconnectivity, nanotech, AI, 3D printing, autonomous vehicles, blockchain).
  6. (23%) Natural disasters (e.g. storm, floods, earthquakes).
  7. (22%) Loss of reputation or brand value.
  8. (18%) Climate change and increasing weather volatility
  9. (11%) Shortage of skilled workforce.
  10. (9%) Fire, explosion

 

Business owners worry about a lot. But your funding line shouldn’t be one of them. For more information on how to empower your business with working capital that can be used towards your risk mitigation plans, speak to one of our Lending Specialists today.

 

 

 

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Changes to flexible work laws to affect small business https://beyondmerchantcapital.com.au/changes-to-flexible-work-laws-to-affect-small-business/ Thu, 10 Jan 2019 06:34:42 +0000 https://beyondmerchantcapital.com.au/?p=35930 The post Changes to flexible work laws to affect small business appeared first on Beyond Merchant Capital.

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A business is more than a brick-and-mortar structure, where people clock in nine to five and get a task done. A business is made up hard working people, with unique needs and dynamics. With this in mind a new policy is in play in Australian businesses: As of 1 December 2018, the rules around flexible work requests have changed. This is according to a new ruling by the Fair Work Commission (FWC). But the big question is, how will the changes to flexible work laws affect small business?

So what’s different now?

The regulation is all about how flexible an employer needs to be with staff. So if an employee has been working for a company for 12 months or longer, they are entitled to make a request to amend the hours, location or pattern of their job description. If the employer refuses, this has to be with a backed up by an informed and plausible decision.

And the fine print?

According to the FWC website, workers who aren’t casual can make a request if they’ve been employed for at least 12 months and if they:

  • Are a parent and have the responsibility to care for a child.
  • Are a carer (under the Carer Recognition Act 2010)
  • Have a disability.
  • Are over the age of 55.
  • Are victim to domestic or family violence.
  • Care for someone victim to domestic or family violence.

Casual workers can make a request if:

  • They have been working for the same employees for 12 months.
  • Have a reasonable expectation to continue work there in their relevant capacity.

What’s the upside for small business?

Simply put – having happy employees. When your employees feel like their personal circumstances are respected and accommodated, it can only have a positive effect on performance. This is likely to increase your employee’s longevity in the business. Particularly, if they are likely to take off work as a result of personal responsibilities, like fetching kids from school. In these cases, care and consideration go a long way. And this can ultimately promote loyalty.

Some companies are extending the practice to include employees who want to explore creative projects. Understanding that well-rounded individuals are more dynamic and will be far more useful to the long-term vision of a business. By allowing (and encouraging) this kind of personal exploration, they will be invigorated in their work capacity. And, equipped with gratitude and zest for life, should be willing to go the extra mile at work.

What’s the downside for small business?

So how will the changes to flexible work laws affect small business, negatively? In an article for Smart Company, CEO of the Council of Small Business Organisations Australia (COSBOA) Peter Strong made it clear that this is going to make the already complicated task of running a small business, even harder.

His scepticism is rooted in how small businesses don’t have the HR capabilities to deal with these types of ad-hoc requests. Further to this. small business owners are concerned that staff requests like this will impede on business dynamics, making it very hard to drive their objectives as a core priority.

But a positive factor to consider is that often, small businesses are naturally flexible. This is because they are mostly structured in an un-corporate way. Meaning that more flattened structures may allow for this type of open-door policy. In fact, these types of understandings may already be in place, albeit in an informal way.

What’s the best way to handle these requests?

Be approachable:

This policy embodies taking ‘the personal’ into account. So make sure you give your employee the courtesy of a face-to-face discussion, even if it is to decline the request.

No-one likes surprises:

If the option is immediately off-the-table, say so upfront. Raise legitimate concerns at the outset. Maybe you can come up with suggestions on how to make it work, together.

Have an open mind:

Different isn’t always a bad thing. If you think of your employees as people, the problem becomes just another challenge to navigate. So ask yourself again: How will the changes to flexible work laws affect small business? This question is not as tricky as it seems. The word ‘flexible’ implies open cards. This extends to the employer too. The intention is that this is a win-win scenario for both you and your people. Entrepreneurs deal with curve balls all the time. This should be no different. So do what you do, and think out of the box.

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Government Grant & Tips To Safeguard Your Small Business Cyber Security https://beyondmerchantcapital.com.au/government-grant-tips-to-safeguard-your-small-business-cyber-security/ Thu, 10 Jan 2019 05:50:57 +0000 https://beyondmerchantcapital.com.au/?p=35936 Cybercrime is on the rise. Especially for small businesses. Often because they lack IT infrastructure making them a soft target for hackers and scammers. In fact, Small Business Computing reports that 58% of all data breaches last year occurred in small businesses. In the past 12 months, 54% of these small businesses hit, involved a breach of […]

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Cybercrime is on the rise. Especially for small businesses. Often because they lack IT infrastructure making them a soft target for hackers and scammers. In fact, Small Business Computing reports that 58% of all data breaches last year occurred in small businesses. In the past 12 months, 54% of these small businesses hit, involved a breach of employee and/or customer information. It is with this in mind that business owners need to take their security very seriously. Fortunately, Government is behind small business cybersecurity. We have rounded up the details of the grant, as well as some key tips to keep your business safe from the great wide web.

The Small Business Cyber Security Grant, Australia

At a glance, the government-backed grant entitles businesses with 19 or fewer employees, to a grant of up to $2,100. The grant is allocated to a complete security health check in order to red-light which area of your business’ cyber footprint is unsecured, to locate risk and advise on how to both remedy and protect your business.

Who can apply?

There are certain criteria for applicants: Most notably, your business must have a certified health check undertaken by a CREST provider. Your business needs an Australian Business Number (ABN). It must be registered for Goods and Services Tax (GST). The business must employ 19 or fewer people. It should also be a sole trader, entity incorporated or a partnership. Deadline to apply is 30 June 2020 and is well worth the effort to apply. So, visit their website for more details.

In the meantime what can I do to increase my small business cyber security?

First, understand what the threat looks like. The most common risk to small business cyber security involves phishing or social engineering. This often involves “pretexting” where attackers send emails appearing to be from an executive within the company. It mostly targets HR or Finance departments in an attempt to get financial or employee information. According to Symantec’s 2018 Internet Security Threat Report, each user at a small business receives an average of nine malicious e-mails per month.

The other common attack is on the web itself. As employees surf the web, embedded malware on compromised sites embed themselves on the user’s computer. Once the hacker gains access, they can easily access personal data and other private company documents. This information is then used against the company for ransom or with other malicious intent.

These tips can vastly improve your small business cybersecurity:

Improve password protection:

In this day and age, it’s pretty much a given that you need to protect your devices with passwords. And then, it’s even more essential that you update them regularly. Ensure there are policies in place to insist this is carried out among staff. Consider using a password manager and two-factor authentication to access your accounts.

Limit access:

Good cyber security for small business is all about layers. Create tiered access for staff. Ensure that only those who need to access certain information do so. Also, be sure to limit employee access to the web.

Monitor personal devices:

As a small business, to save on expenses, it is likely that you might allow staff to use their personal devices for work purposes. In these cases, you need to create policies that allow your network administrator to install monitoring software, push automatic security updates, and call for regular password changes.

Educate your employees:

It stands to reason that employees are the weakest link in the cybercrime chain. So it will come down to training staff on what they can and can’t do. Put guidelines and penalties in place to ensure rules are followed.

Plan for attack:

Even if you do everything right, these things happen. So work with an IT specialist to come up with a backup plan in the event of the worst happening.

Hack yourself before you back yourself:

As crazy as it seems, arranging someone to hack your own system will give you a very clear sense of where your vulnerabilities lie. You can hire an ethical hacker on Fiverr for as little as $5 USD.

Up to a point your cyber security rests in your hands. To layer your security, follow these key tips and remain on top of cyber trends at all times. In this world, vigilance pays off and hackers will go wherever it’s easiest. That needn’t be you.

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