Bryant's Bookkeeping Services Bryant's Bookkeeping Services Tue, 18 Oct 2016 23:33:20 +0000 en-AU hourly 1 Tips to help restore a healthy work-life balance Tue, 18 Oct 2016 23:33:20 +0000 Work–life balance is a concept that involves creating equilibrium between the different aspects of our lives. It requires prioritising career with lifestyle pursuits like sport, health, leisure, diet and relaxation and learning to blend these often conflicting things successfully. Many of us are time poor, and struggle to achieve a healthy work-life balance. Small business owners sometimes tell me that work is all-consuming and interferes with or prevents them from doing other activities. A ‘balanced’ life should include time for family, friends, work, exercise, leisure and having adequate sleep. Increasingly, work is the main culprit that’s pushing us out of balance.

But the idea of work-life balance can be misleading. It implies that work and lifestyle are mutually exclusive. Work is an important part of most people’s life that ideally is meaningful, enjoyable and can create a sense fulfilment. It creates financial support for the important things, but when it’s all consuming and dominates our lives it can lead to stress and burnout. Digital technology has enabled many people to work at home or just about anywhere. This means there is now flexibility of working hours which has been a great thing for many. For others it’s meant the workplace has now invaded the home permanently and some people never seem to be able to switch off and leave work at all.

Here are a few tips to help you maintain a healthy work – life balance:

1. Small things can make a difference
It’s not necessary to make major changes to bring more balance to your life. Small changes that are achievable and that are gradually introduced will make a big difference. Things like leaving work early one night a week to play tennis or attend a yoga class, or having a weekend away every couple of months will make a big difference. If you slowly build more activities into your schedule that are important to you, this will go a long way to improving work life balance. Even during a busy day, you can take 10 or 15 minutes to do something that will rejuvenate you like going for a walk, meditating or listening to music. It’s important to make time for the small things that give you joy.

2. Avoid activities that waste time and energy
We all seem to be time poor these days so avoid activities or people that waste your time or don’t enhance your work or personal life. Valuable time can be saved by not spending it online or on social media sites for example, or by not making personal calls or spending time at work chatting with colleagues you don’t need to be with. These habits are sucking up time you could be spending in a more productive and valuable way.

3. Exercise
It’s often hard to find time for exercise when you’re so busy, but making time for this is a vital part of maintaining good health and restoring balance to your life. The benefits of exercise are numerous. It’s been proven to boost energy levels, help you to concentrate and be more mentally alert. Regular exercise also reduces stress and anxiety, prevents cognitive decline, sharpens memory and increases productivity.

4. Include leisure activities in your schedule
When you plan your time, make it a point to schedule time with your family and friends, and other activities that help you recharge. If a night out with friends or day trip somewhere fun with the family is scheduled, then you’ll have something to look forward to and a motivation to manage your time well so you don’t have to cancel. If you plan a regular activity with your family, like going to a movie or the park, every Sunday afternoon for example, you’re making the effort to spend quality time together which will help with work – life balance.

5. Outsource time-consuming tasks
Maybe you can outsource some of your time-consuming household tasks to make more time for those things that are important. You could order your groceries online and have them delivered, or get someone to mow your lawn. Have your dry cleaning picked up and dropped off at your home or office. Have a cleaner do your house once a month or fortnight. Even if you’re on a tight budget, you may discover that the cost is actually not that high and the time you’ll save will make it worth it.

6. Wellness and mindfulness phone Apps
You might even wish to get a wellness and mindfulness App for your Smartphone like Headspace or Happify. These are meditation Apps that can provide the user with regular ‘mindfulness practice’ through meditation. They also claim to be an effective treatment for stress and worry. By choosing the sessions to suit your mood and lifestyle, they help promote greater focus, creativity, better relationships as well as peace of mind and wellbeing.

It’s not just about the numbers Tue, 04 Oct 2016 23:57:59 +0000 I’ve always believed in the importance of empowering our clients with a greater understanding of their finances so they can make better business decisions. This doesn’t mean just emailing off an automatically generated report at the end of each quarter and hope it all makes sense. Because everyone is different, it means customising our approach with each client to make sure they all can understand and interpret what the numbers really mean. Let’s face it, financial data has a reputation for being boring, clients are time- poor and some find reports difficult to understand. Depending on one’s level of financial literacy, statements such as the Profit and Loss and Balance Sheet are not always easy to read and fully comprehend at a glance. Long lists of numbers are hard to visualise, interpret, and then apply critical thinking to. They are difficult, if not impossible, to use to determine trends, issues, and to highlight potential problems. For this reason I have always been a firm believer that financial information means more if it’s presented in the easiest way to understand.

Most people are visually inclined, so pictures and graphs can go a lot further in providing understanding of a message than just text and figures alone. Numbers are abstract and also relative. The value depends on another number being used as a comparison and in this way they’re different from images and words. If you are presented with an image or word, your mind will create an association with this. A number is not as easy to imagine. When I present numbers to clients I want them to understand what’s behind those number. For example, if I told a client that the sale of one of their products had increased 20% over the last year this may not sound like much but if I then go on to explain that this number represents a total greater than the three previous years combined, then it’s a very good result. This number then becomes meaningful.

Depending on how much detail clients require with financial statements, I find it’s important to make the numbers concise and use highlighting to show them what’s really important. It’s often unnecessary to go through every figure from every report. Probably the best way to show financial information is graphically. The most common forms are line charts which are good for showing trends over time, bar charts that are best for showing comparisons and pie charts which are useful for showing relative comparisons, such as percentages or size comparisons.


line-graph                 bar-chart                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 pie-graph


There are a few rules I always make sure I follow with graphs. The most important is to state clearly and concisely the point of the graph, and to draw attention to the most important information. I also like to help explain every graph with words placed close to it, and if possible, on the graph. Using colours to show different elements of financial information I find is also a good way to show or highlight comparative information. But too many colours can be just as confusing as not using any, and I always add a legend where it’s appropriate. Whether the need is to inform or to persuade, graphs are an efficient way to communicate because they can illustrate trends not obvious in a table or list of numbers, make conclusions more striking and create maximum impact. I find graphs are not only useful in the presentation of information but in the analysis of data as well. By giving meaning to numbers and making financial data engaging and easy to understand, I believe I provided my clients with greater certainty and a feeling of confidence around their business finances.

Global finances and the effect on small business Wed, 14 Sep 2016 02:06:30 +0000 Between 2007 and 2009 the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) impacted nearly every industry in Australia with thousands of businesses closing down and many employees losing their jobs. While 2010 marked the beginning of the return to economic prosperity for some, the effects still seem noticeable and business confidence is low, even six years later. Have businesses bounced back to pre-GFC levels of profitability and confidence or are they still struggling? Based on what I’ve seen over the last couple of years I’d say many are still struggling. Every business is different of course, but there seems to be a sense of pessimism among small business owners I talk with. I thought I’d dig up some statistics on the issue.

There are more than two million small to medium sized businesses in Australia, of which almost two-thirds are sole traders and a further quarter has between one and four employees. About 10 per cent, or 200,000, employ between four and nineteen people. The Australian Bureau of Statistics data shows that during the GFC, in the two years between June 2007 and June 2009, more than 638,000 Australian businesses (of all size) stopped operating. Nationwide, there was a 26.4 per cent failure rate in these two years. During this same period small businesses, employing one to four staff, fell from 528,669 to 497,141 resulting in 31,528 smaller operators closing their doors.

Small businesses hit hardest
According to the Reserve Bank, small businesses were hit harder by the GFC than larger businesses in Australia. They have found it more difficult to recover, and business conditions over the last two years have been weaker for them than for larger businesses. Tighter lending requirements since the GFC, by Australia’s major banks, has also disproportionately affected smaller businesses. This has limited spending on plant, equipment, building and other assets. A recent small business survey by the National Australia Bank shows SMEs have been more subdued in their borrowing than the broader business community. It also says that in general employment is disappointing. The survey results also show that the services sector continued to outperform more traditional sectors (except for retail) and that conditions are particularly positive for small businesses in the finance, property, hospitality and health sectors. In contrast, conditions have turned negative for those in wholesale and retail.

Business Confidence
Business confidence seems to vary from industry to industry. A 2015 business confidence survey by Sensis showed that the industries that were ‘very confident’ were: Health and Community Services. Those that were just ‘confident’ included the Building and Construction, Finance and Insurance, Cultural, Recreational, Personal Services and the Hospitality industries (Accommodation, Cafes and Restaurants) while those that were ‘not confident’ at all included Manufacturing, Retail Trade, Transport and Storage, Communication, Property and Business Services.

The biggest issues for small businesses
A recent Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry Small Business Survey highlighted what are currently the biggest issues for small businesses.
These were:
• the need to cut down on red tape,
• a need to simplify the tax system which is seen as being too complicated
• compliance with government regulation which is expensive and time consuming,
• a lack of incentives for small businesses to invest.
• make it easier to employ people. Australia is a costly place for small businesses to hire, retain and dismiss staff so when times are tough that means jobs and hours get cut.

It looks like my research backs up my personal observations. Many small businesses are still struggling and, even though some industries are more confident than others, there is a general lack of business confidence. Stricter bank lending requirements has put limits on small business spending and capital investment. Employment rates are low but small businesses want it to be easier to employ people. They also want a simplification of the tax system and a reduction in government red tape. It seems it will take time for small business sentiment to recover, and the return to economic prosperity may still be a while away for some.

Basics of the cash flow budget Wed, 17 Aug 2016 23:53:38 +0000 Cash flow is vital for any successful business, and it’s a fundamental mistake not to have a cash flow budget. Even if sales are increasing, many small businesses struggle because they don’t have enough cash. This budget will help you to figure out how much money you have, how much you need to spend, and how much you need to bring in to meet business requirements. It should include revenues, expenses, and most importantly profits or ‘cash flow’. It will be developed from the aims decided in the planning process and also the expected sales figures.

To create a cash flow budget you need to start by developing a figure for your sales revenue. Analysing previous financial data is one method of creating a budget. Another is by starting from scratch and entering information line by line into a spreadsheet or accounting program. Either way, regular tracking of actuals against the budget is essential. Begin by estimating what type of realistic profit you expect in the coming year. If you have been in business for a while, use your company’s most recent financial statements. The reason you start with sales is because this information will dictate your estimates for expenses and capital expenditure. Anticipated income and expenses in any cash flow budget needs to, as accurately as possible, account for items subject to and not subject to GST. It should also include an itemised list of the fixed and variable expenses you have. You need to also have a cash flow cushion for unexpected expenses. This is a minimum amount of cash you need to keep on hand for emergency situations.

A cash flow budget should be developed at least once a year. You should make any adjustments to the budget numbers based on current plans for the coming year. When your budget is complete, it will take minimal effort to maintain but you need to monitor it on a regular basis – a quick weekly check in will do – and update it with actuals monthly. Most yearly budgets are divided into 12 month breaks and even down to weekly figures, with blank columns next to your estimates to fill in with your actual results as the year progresses. By committing these numbers to paper it will help you spot problems before they occur. Actual budget outcomes should be observed regularly, and if there are significant differences to the budget, it can be changed accordingly. But the actual budget should not be amended every month to mirror actual results. Differences between actual results and the budget should be analysed and the reasons for these differences considered for future budgets.

An important consideration with any cash flow budget is knowing what your break-even point is. A break even budget gives you the income target to meet all expenses required to run the business. It is the point at which total revenue equals total costs or expenses. At this point there is no profit or loss. By understanding where your break-even point is, you are able to work out how profitable your present offering is, how far sales can decline before you start to make losses, how many sales you need to make before you see a profit and how reducing price or volume of sales will impact on your profits. It’s very important that these figures include wages, especially in the case of sole traders who should also allow for superannuation in these calculations.

Once a cash flow budget is established you’ll need to keep some good procedures in place to monitor the cash flow. Remember that budgeting is not an exact science but it’s important to use realistic figures. Using good cash management practices along with monitoring how your cash is flowing, both now and in the future, is the path to a sustainable business.

5 management issues often overlooked Wed, 03 Aug 2016 00:26:38 +0000 Running a business can be difficult. And business owners can sometimes get so involved in their day-to-day activities, that they overlook some very important longer-term tasks that need doing. Here is a brief overview of 5 of the most common management issues, that I come across, that are often overlooked by small businesses and some suggestions on how to overcome them.

1. Having insufficient systems
Too many business owners have few, if any, documented procedures for operating their business. Having good, proven systems in place for every aspect of the business is vital to operate efficiently. Everything from sales, HR, marketing, IT backup to even how to answer the phone, constantly updated and based on what you know works, should be documented in a business operations manual. It means you don’t need to constantly be explaining the same thing over and over again, spending time training, supervising and constantly intervening in employee’s work. If it’s written down as standard procedures you don’t need to keep reinventing the wheel. Having great systems in place is something that should be implemented from day one and revised and improved as your business develops.

2. Failing to plan
Failing to plan is a big problem for many small businesses. If you’ve no goals or specific plans for your business and you allow it to operate with no clear direction or guidance, you run the risk of constant distraction, and the business may not go anywhere. In addition to creating a business plan before you commence operations, a good idea is to spend some time at the beginning of each year setting out realistic, achievable goals and clear plans on how to reach them. Put this on a single page and put it somewhere you can refer to it regularly. This is a critical tool that helps you both state where you’re going and how you’ll get there. You just need to follow this plan and revisit it at the beginning of each year.

3. Wearing too many hats
One of the most common issues for business owners is a lack of time. Running a small business, especially as a sole trader, means you have to be the marketer, sales representative, product development expert, finance manager and perform another half-dozen different roles. This means you can be easily distracted from one task to another without completing any properly. It takes real discipline to complete each job and do it well. Look at where you spend your time and effort, and maybe you’re better off focusing on your core business, and should consider outsourcing other tasks.

4. Undervaluing what you do
Whether it be a lack of confidence, fear of failure or just because you’re starting out in business, many small businesses under- price their products and services. This is a dangerous path to take because it undermines the unique value you offer your clients. Bouncing back from initially setting too low prices is difficult to do, so you should explore the market thoroughly as you start your business to identify the best price entry point for what you’re selling.

5. Having no exit plan
Every business owner will eventually exit their business, but very few give enough thought to how this will take place. The reasons for exiting include decreasing profits, increasing competition, changes in health or life goals, retirement or passing a business on to family members. Whether you decide to exit voluntarily or because you have no choice, you will need to have a plan. The most common ways of exiting a business are:
• through succession planning which involves a transfer of control,
• closing your business which involves selling off business assets, paying off debts and keeping whatever money is left or, the best option,
• you can sell your business. Any potential buyers of your business will be looking for a reliable revenue stream, a healthy profit margin and a business that has established systems and procedures in place. If you can demonstrate that your business is profitable it can be worth a great deal of money to a potential buyer and set you up with a financially rewarding way out.
Whichever way you end up exiting your business you need to have some sort of exit plan in place.

3 Tips for more profit quickly Thu, 21 Jul 2016 02:20:25 +0000 It seems that most small business owners I know started their own business to do something they’re passionate about in an industry they’re familiar with. But even though being dedicated and having an understanding of a particular industry is vital for success, it’s equally important to know what’s required to run a profitable business. Good financial management is the element that’s common to all profitable and ultimately successful businesses.

Running my business day to day, looking at cash flow projections, aged receivable information and analysing profit and loss, I occasionally see what looks like basic financial mismanagement. But I can also see that by implementing a few simple and targeted strategies these problems can be turned around. Struggling with cash flow, under valuing what you offer and not getting paid when you should are three of the most common mistakes I see that can be fixed relatively quickly and simply.

1. Improve your cash flow
Poor cash flow is a big issue for some, but a lack of cash can actually be disastrous for a business. Even if sales are increasing, some small businesses struggle because they don’t have enough cash. This problem can be solved by developing a cash flow forecast to manage cash, identify cash shortfalls and plan ahead. Cash flow can be improved by asking customers to agree to shorter payment terms, getting them to make deposits and prepayments based on work completed, or by negotiating longer payment terms with suppliers. Other ways of improving cash flow are to focus promotional activities on high turnover, good profit- margin offerings and by reducing stock held (but still making sure you have enough to meet customer demand).

2. Charge more
Many small business owners don’t seem to charge enough and consequently struggle to make a profit. I think the main reason for this is a lack of confidence and an under-valuing of what they offer when setting prices. It’s important to value your business and appreciate the importance of the quality, service, knowledge and expertise you’re offering and the benefits this provides your clients. Setting prices by taking into account the profit you want for your business, competitor pricing and what customers are willing to pay, is a good long term strategy to adopt. Bundling products or services rather than discounting and maintaining your profit margin rather than absorbing price rises is also a good way to maintain the value of your offering. Look to pass on your cost increases to customers while finding cost savings in your business. Don’t just follow the prices of your competitors because simply charging a little less than your competitors isn’t a sustainable strategy.

3.Get paid on time
Another issue I sometimes see with clients is being too slow to collect customer payments. Chasing debt can be an unpleasant and time-consuming task but it should be a priority. If clients are consistently not paying on time then one thing to consider is reducing terms to 14 days, for example, instead of offering 30 days. Alternatively you could offer a discount for paying on or ahead of time or consider imposing interest on late payments. It’s important to chase up late payers and if necessary engage the services of a debt collector.

Dedication to these three thing is vital to a successful and profitable business, as is having a good bookkeeper, accountant and a business owner who wants to work closely with both. If what you’re just read here sounds like your business or you’re struggling with other financial management issues, please let us know how we can help.

What travel expenses can I claim? Thu, 07 Jul 2016 23:38:22 +0000 Recently we’ve had some clients tell us that they’re a little unsure about what can and can’t be claimed as legitimate business travel expenses. This is an area that often causes confusion. So I thought it was a good time, especially at the start of the new financial year, to shed some light on the subject.

Generally, you can claim motor vehicle and other travel expenses, such as travelling overnight, that is directly connected with your work. You can claim deductions on expenses you incur on airfares, train, bus and taxi fares as well as accommodation and meals when travelling for business away from home nationally or internationally. But if your travel is for both business and private purposes, you must exclude the private expenses from your claim. You also can’t claim for normal trips between home and work as this is considered private travel.

Motor Vehicle Expenses
The deductions you can claim for the business use of a motor vehicle are not that straight forward. It depends on the business structure you operate under, the type of vehicle you use, whether you also use the vehicle for private purposes and whether your income includes personal services income. But basically, if you operate your business through a company or trust, the company or trust can claim a full deduction for the operating expenses of the vehicle. If the vehicle is also used for private purposes, the company or trust may have to pay fringe benefits tax, but the FBT cost is also tax deductible. If you operate your business as a sole trader or a partnership, your motor vehicle deductions are calculated on whether or not the vehicles you use are ‘business purpose’ vehicles, that is, a truck or van or a smaller vehicle (a ute, wagon or panel van) that has been modified for business use so long as private use is restricted to home-to-work travel and very minor other use. You can claim a full deduction for business purpose vehicles. You can also claim a deduction for the business use of a vehicle you own, lease or hire be it an ordinary car, station wagon or four-wheel drive, if it is designed to carry less than one tonne or fewer than nine passengers.

But before you can claim motor vehicle expenses, you need to select either the Cents per kilometre or keeping a logbook method to calculate your claim. When deciding on the method, you can choose the one that gives you the best result and you can use different methods for different vehicles and also change methods from year to year, but you must keep records.

Overnight business travel expenses
If you stay away from home for one or more nights on business travel, you generally need to keep written evidence of all expenses. If you stay away from home for six or more consecutive nights, you must use a diary to record the particulars of all of the business activity you were involved in. This should be done before your travel ends, or as soon as possible afterwards. You need to record the nature of the activity, the day and approximate time the business activity began, how long it lasted and the name of the place where it happened. You must also keep all receipts and boarding passes. If you operate your business as a company or trust, fringe benefits tax may apply if the travel includes private activities. Like with motor vehicle expense claims, if your travel is for both business and private purposes, you must exclude the private expenses from your claim.

There are separate rules that apply to travel allowances. A travel allowance is a payment made to an employee to cover expenses that are incurred when they travel away from home in the course of their duties. It covers accommodation, food, drink and incidental expenses related to the travel. When an employee is paid a travel allowance, there may be a requirement for the employer to withhold an amount from the payment. Each year the Australian Taxation Office publishes a determination setting out the amounts considered ‘reasonable’ for claims for domestic and overseas travel allowance expenses.

The ATO insist that all business owners keep accurate and complete records of all deductions, both motor vehicle and travel away from home, that they wish to claim. They also say that if you make false or misleading statements they might determine your income, based on industry benchmarks and other information, and issue an amended assessment, apply penalties and even commence prosecution.

Why track time? Wed, 22 Jun 2016 23:43:32 +0000 As a business owner have you ever found yourself completely at a loss as to why some jobs have made no money at all and taken so much longer than expected? Or what you thought was a reasonable time estimate turned out to be completely off the mark? It can be quite easy sometimes for hours worked to blow out, especially with a looming deadline, unexpected complications arising or a desire to keep a new client happy. And with fixed fee jobs, the business simply has to wear the cost of the extra hours worked. It ‘s essential for all businesses, particularly project based ones, to know exactly how the time of their employees and contractors is being spent in order to monitor productivity and ultimately profitability. By always using employee time sheets and job time tracking software, managers can consistently track hours worked and know which jobs are most profitable, which to outsource or which to simply say ‘no’ to.

By knowing how long certain tasks are taking, and seeing where you spend your time, you can make your project estimates more accurate and your business more productive. This close monitoring helps keep project hours in check, and businesses that track billable hours can easily see the time spent on a particular project. This is also a very good way of ensuring accurate billing by simply generating reports with relevant hours worked and tasks performed. This provides accountability to clients that may be concerned they are being overcharged.

Some time management software offers flexible monitoring for different employees and job types. Employers can track each employee or contract worker and even generate individual reports for greater accountability. For those companies that hire contractors or other freelance talent, time tracking can help keep hours to a specified amount. It also helps to minimises employee distractions. It keeps employees focused and accountable for their every minute ensuring time spent on personal or other non-work related activity won’t take their attention away from the job at hand and it gives employers a way to track it if they do.

The use of time sheets and job tracking software can also be an excellent way to manage time even if your business doesn’t do project based jobs and you don’t need to closely track time spent on client or billable work. It allows you to adjust resources, reprioritise and streamline processes where needed. Tracking your time across all jobs and other business activity can help increase productivity by making you focus on the task you’re working on and can give you a clear picture of exactly where your time is being spent, on a daily basis and over the long term.

Time tracking improves overall company time management. When employees and their managers track the time spent on daily tasks, the company can use this data to streamline processes and improve efficiencies at the individual level but also throughout the business. This makes good business sense, increases efficiency and profitability and ultimately makes both management and clients happy.

The hidden costs of taking on new staff Wed, 08 Jun 2016 04:05:45 +0000 There are many benefits to hiring full time employees. They will generally have a greater level of commitment and be more likely to perform a variety of different tasks and learn new skills. Also, the hourly wage is often much less than a contractor or casual employee because of the job security and entitlements. But when taking on permanent staff you need to be very careful that you take into account all of the costs involved. You then need to weigh up these costs against the expected increased productivity that this new employee will bring, and ultimately how this affects your business’s profitability.

You may find that the additional benefits outweigh the additional costs, or that you are better off leaving things as they are.

If you are time-poor then employing someone to help you at a lower rate than your own can leave you with more time for chargeable work & actually be financially beneficial

There are many hidden costs associated with taking on new staff.

• Recruiting – You need to consider the time and costs associated with advertising, selecting and interviewing applicants. For some businesses this could mean a lengthy process.
• Training – Then once you’ve decided on a new employee, there is the time and costs involved in ongoing training so they’re familiar with the systems and processes and can grow into their new job and work effectively with other employees. Setting procedures up to minimise supervision requirements is time consuming initially, but will pay off over time.
• Space – There may also be the expense associated with improving the infrastructure of your business premises such as creating space that another employee will need. The business may even need to move somewhere else in order to employ new people.
• Equipment – You also need to consider other factors such as the cost of the equipment they will require eg protective clothing, tools, extra workstations.
• On-costs – Apart from the obvious cost of paying a base salary, there are also the costs relating to employee entitlements such as setting up and preparing regular payroll in a compliant manner, superannuation, annual leave, sick leave, public holidays and workers’ compensation insurance. These additional costs can add 25% to 30% to the basic wage.
After careful consideration of these expenses, you will be in a much better position to decide whether or not it’s a good idea to take on permanent staff or to just continue resourcing your business with casual employees and contractors.

Advantages to hiring full-time employees Wed, 18 May 2016 23:21:37 +0000 Following up from our blog earlier this month on the various types of employment categories there are, I thought it might be a good idea to take a look at the advantages of employing full-time staff compared with contractors or casuals. As a business owner, the decision to employ full-time, part-time or casual staff can be a difficult one. When you hire full time employees they will usually have a long-term commitment to you and your business. This, however, is not always the case with casual employees or contractors. Because full-time employees will generally work thirty five or more hours a week, they will feel pride in their position, have a greater sense of job security and also feel the satisfaction of working for a business that they can call ‘home’. Most employees want to feel that they are an important part of a team and if they feel this they will generally ‘go the extra mile’.

With full time employees you don’t have to ‘wear all the hats’ in your business yourself. Instead you can delegate tasks permanently to others. They know you and how you like things done, and can do the work without the need for continual direction. This frees up your time to do the tasks best suited to you, and if you want to take a break from the business you can feel more confident that someone is looking after things in your absence. Full- time staff can also undertake a variety of different tasks, learn new skills and diversify their talents. Casual or part-time workers, on the other hand, may have less experience and be limited or unwilling in the types of tasks they perform. This flexibility in staff resourcing also means you don’t need to scramble to find help when your workload increases and are able to act quickly when opportunities arise or challenges take you in a different direction. If you only rely on independent contractors and need urgent help, your preferred contractor might be unavailable or it might cost you a lot more to hire one last-minute. And because part-time or casual staff may not be as committed to the job as a full-timer, absenteeism may be higher causing you even greater staffing headaches.

With full time employees it’s also easier to establish and maintain your business’s culture such as the way you conduct business, your attitudes, beliefs and values. Ultimately this reflects how people perceive your business and distinguishes your offering from others. But probably the biggest advantage of having full time employees is that the hourly wage is often much less because they have job security and are paid entitlements. If you were to hire a contractor to do the same work you would expect to pay quite a bit more.