FEDERAL BUDGET WILL SMALL BUSINESS DO THE HEAVY LIFTING?
BACK TO SCHOOL ON PROPERTY PRICES PICK YOUR SUBURB CAREFULLY
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A friend of mine has recently downgraded his mobile-device to a mobile-phone. This new phone doesn’t have: email, calendars, Facebook, Linkedin, Instagram, music, photos - or other essentials such as Angry Birds or Minecraft. It is just a phone. It makes and receives phone calls.
To assist with the transition he has engaged an administrative assistant — or two. He is not the only busy business executive, I know, that have made this move. This all fits in with a pet theory of mine that as technology advances, not using it, will become a luxury. Let me explain. Computers and mobile devices have led to the loss of millions of tasks once done by others. Tasks such as making and receiving phone calls, drafting, writing, sending and receiving letters, banking, bookkeeping, taking, sending and receiving photographs, music, films, reading books, gathering news, booking holidays, business, family and social networking etc. But who has taken over doing these tasks? Well us of course. Instead of creating more leisure time and taking us away from menial tasks—we are doing the menial tasks. We think nothing of checking our ‘messages’, email, Facebook, bank balance at 4.00am or midnight (or, horror of horrors, responding to these contacts at these ungodly hours). We use these devices in the bathroom, whilst driving, in the shower, having sex (tell me you haven’t checked whose calling or read a message). Anyway I digress, you get the picture. Therefore, those that want a quieter, more peaceful life, with more leisure time will ditch the devices and go ‘retro techno’. They will have a secretary or administrative assistant, send letters, buy records, read real books, magazines and newspapers, meet new friends in the flesh, know their bank manager and play board games - they might even drive a manual car with an AM radio and wind up windows. But for the rest of us ‘multi-tasking 24/7 mobile-device slaves’, I fear it is only going to get worse. This issue celebrates Garry Lee and RSM Bird Cameron Canberra. After establishing RSM Bird Cameron in Canberra 30 years ago, Garry is retiring in May and passing the baton of managing partner to Frank Lo Pilato. I would personally like to thank Garry for all of his wise counsel when we first bought B2B magazine and to wish him and Cathy well on the next journey of their lives. Send all comments to email@example.com
Photo: Andrew Sikorski
15 COVER STORY RSM BIRD CAMERON A FIRM FOR THE FUTURE
your gateway to business support Visit our website for a full list of events, latest news and more!
CONTACT US ON 1300 648 641 OR VISIT
05 Why parents of young children need wills
Avoiding burnout By Healthy Identity
08 Targeting talent in an employer's market
INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY Trade mark oppositions – important information By Arete Group
Dobinson Davey Clifford Simpson Lawyers HorizonOne Recruitment
12 Struggle. Survive. Evolve.
28 ONLINE MARKETING
How to follow up on leads to your website with Google AdWords By nFlame Creative
UPFRONT 06 Latest Innovation Connect grant winners
PROPERTY FINANCING Property investment through your SMSF By Loan Market
06 Simpler federal government tender process COVER STORY
15 RSM Bird Cameron – A firm for the future
Want to join the C-suite? By Hays Recruitment
19 ADVICE FROM THE EXPERTS
WEBSITES Take advantage of mobile commerce By Synapse Worldwide
How to keep the cash rolling in By RSM Bird Cameron Chartered Accountants BANKING Back to school on property prices By ANZ Mortgage Solutions Canberra Inner South & Queanbeyan/Jerrabomberra
30 MINISTER'S MESSAGE CBR Innovation Network to grow and create jobs
31 CANBERRA BUSINESS COUNCIL Federal Budget 2014-2015
21 BUSINESS ADVISORY
Will small business do the heavy lifting? By Vincents Chartered Accountants
32 ACT & REGION CHAMBER OF
BUSINESS LAW Statutory demands – can wind up being risky By Bradley Allen Love Lawyers
23 CORPORATE ADVISORY
33 ACT EXPORTERS Local knowledge key to international success
CORPORATE GOVERNANCE Getting your business 'sale ready' By Australian Institute of Company Directors
36 B2B @ RSM Bird Cameron Economic Update
35 B2B @ QT Hotel Launch By Dr Chris Caton
37 B2B @ PayMe Drive Launch
An estate plan is not just a will By Certus Law
COMMERCE & INDUSTRY Developments in Privacy
Have you considered a management buy out? By MAXIM Chartered Accountants
25 ESTATE PLANNING
A2B: ASSOCIATIONS TO BUSINESS
38 B2B @ Sydney Dance Company
FAMILY LAW Redundancy payments – do you have to share? By Dobinson Davey Clifford Simpson Lawyers
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F E AT U R E
Why parents of young children need wills I am currently at the stage of life where I seem to spend every second weekend attending a baby shower. Planning for the arrival of a baby is a busy time and most first time mothers have long lists of things to do or buy. Given the significant change in family circumstances and responsibilities once a child comes along, estate planning should be added to the pre-birth to-do list. If you do not already have a Will that provides for your children, then expecting a baby is a critical time to think about your estate planning. A Will sets out who is to receive your assets after your death. If you do not have a Will, then the law provides a formula (called the ‘rules of intestacy’) for how your estate is to be divided between your family members. In the ACT, if you are survived by both a partner and children, then your estate will be divided between all of them and your partner may be required to hold some of your assets on trust for your children until they become adults. This can cause huge problems for the surviving partner who, in most cases, needs access to all available funds to help make ends meet after losing the income of the partner who has died. If you want to make sure your partner receives everything on your death, then you should make a Will specifying this. We are not qualified to provide financial or insurance advice; new parents should seek appropriate advice on insurance to cover unexpected events such as death or illness. In addition to dealing with the ‘who gets what’, a Will has the important function of nominating key decision makers, in particular, executors and guardians.
Your executor is the person who has the job of carrying out the terms of your Will. You can have multiple executors, in which case they must act together. The executor is responsible for securing your assets, making sure all your liabilities are paid, and distributing your remaining estate to your beneficiaries. If your children are still minors, then it is the executor’s job to hold their inheritance on trust until they turn 18 (or whatever later age is nominated in the Will). While looking after the trust funds, the executor decides how the inheritance is invested and can release money for your children’s education and maintenance. The inheritance can only be used for the benefit of your children, but your executor controls the purse strings until your children are able to receive their inheritance. When deciding on an executor, you should choose someone who is trustworthy, reliable, and organised. It is also a good idea to nominate a guardian to look after your children in the event that both parents have died. The guardian makes decisions for the care and welfare of your children such as: where your children live; the medical treatment of your children; how your children spend their time; where your children go to school; and whether your children are raised in a particular faith. Nominating a guardian can be a tough decision. You should choose someone who is respectful of your wishes and who you trust to make decisions in the best interests of your children. It is a good idea to talk to your preferred guardian to make sure they
are comfortable with taking on that role if required. At the same time as making your Will, it is wise to put in place an Enduring Power of Attorney, which will nominate someone who can make decisions for you in the event that you become incapacitated in the future. This will mean that someone can decide where you live and what medical treatment you receive, as well as being able to deal with your finances to ensure that your children’s needs are provided for while you are unable to act for yourself. Estate planning is an essential part of caring for your loved ones. Anyone who has children, or is planning for children, should have a Will and Enduring Power of Attorney.
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Rebecca Tetlow is an Accredited Specialist in Wills and Estates Law (NSW) and a Senior Associate at Dobinson Davey Clifford Simpson phone (02) 6212 7600 firstname.lastname@example.org, www.ddcslawyers.com.au
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Latest Innovation Connect grant winners
Six Canberra-based businesses have recently been awarded funding from the latest round of the ACT Government’s Innovation Connect grant program. Innovation Connect provides matchedfunding grants of up to $50,000 to assist early stage Canberra businesses and entrepreneurs to accelerate the development of products and services through commercialisationpathways. Paramodic Pty Ltd, which is developing a second-stage prototype for curating and augmenting a narrative of indigenous cultural sites, artefacts and intangible heritage using smart devices, was among the grant recipients. “The grant will help us to work with local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and beyond to enable and inspire our communities to embrace, build,
and adapt digital technologies to create real educational and commercial opportunities,” says Ms Mikaela Griffiths, Managing Director of Paramodic Pty Ltd. The other successful recipients were: • Dilkara Hair for the commercialisation of an Indigenous professional hair salon range with specific botanical ingredients consisting of unique natural Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander blends. • Correct Communications Pty Ltd for the development of a unique cloudbased service focussed on the unified communications needs of small to medium businesses. • Targeted Genomics Pty Ltd for the development of high-speed, highresolution and cost effective genomic testing technologies for the routine quality and safety assessment of drinking and recreational water.
• XCOM-1 Pty Ltd t/as HaystackHQ for the development of a web-based visual analytics service for legal eDiscovery targeting regulatory agencies, tier-1 law firms and the Fortune 5000 companies they serve. • Candra Innovations for developing a system for improving dental health with self-screening targeted brushing and networking with professionals using miniature intra-oral camera for oral hygiene devices. Since the program was established in 2008, funding of more than $3.2 million has been awarded to 127 local businesses, an amount that was at least matched by the grant recipients.
Simpler federal government tender process
he federal government tendering process can be daunting and time consuming. Under new initiatives announced by the government, the process to bid for Commonwealth Government contracts is getting simpler. To get government and industry back to doing business, the Commonwealth Government is cutting complexity, eliminating repetition, and reducing unnecessary contractual burdens. As part of a number of measures, business of all sizes will soon find it much easier to supply their products and services to
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Government with the new Commonwealth Contract Suite — a suite of documents providing a simplified and consistent bidding process for contracts under $200k. Standardised terms and conditions, combined with user-friendly and intuitive online templates will remove the need for legal advice and other associated costs. The new low risk grant template will include a standard set of 20 terms and conditions covered in two pages. This compares with a regular grant template that can stretch to 50 terms and conditions and up to 50 pages. Government agencies will
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be encouraged to talk to potential suppliers during the tendering process. The Federal Government is also making it easier for small businesses to be paid. With the introduction of a new policy, credit and debit cards will become the Government’s preferred payment option for purchases under $20,000. These initiatives will be operational from 1 July 2014. They are part of the parliamentary repeal days to cut unnecessary and costly legislation and regulation. and in-line with the Australian Government’s plan to cut $1 billion in red tape every year.
One hour free
The smartest thing you can do for your business before the end of financial year Andrew Sykes from RSM Bird Cameron gets behind the marketing hype and shows you what cloud accounting can do for your business. Does it really save so much time and money? Come along to hear the answers. “Take the hour, or even the day off to attend this seminar – in any small or medium business you’ll free yourself from weeks of repetitive work and never look back.” Andrew Sykes, Partner
Register now to secure your place!
TUESDAY 20 MAY 2014 @ 5.30-6.30 PM Canberra Business Events Centre, Regatta Point Commonwealth Park, Acton TO REGISTER Email: email@example.com or phone 02 6217 0300 by Friday 16th May
F E AT U R E
Targeting talent in an employer’s market By Simon Cox
he worm has turned and finally market conditions are in the favour of employers. Hallelujah! Staff retention rates for Canberra are at an all-time high, and advertised jobs have reduced significantly. So there must be a real glut of great candidates to dip into right? Eureka!! Now must be a great time to shed some ‘dead wood’ and rebalance the team with premium talent? Mustn’t it? According to the recent publication, the third in a series by Deloitte titled ‘Positioning for prosperity – Catching the next wave’, in short – yes! Now is the time for Australian businesses to gain significant operating advantages through ‘prosperity levers’ such as expanding on core competencies and enhancing people strategies. Deloitte’s report states: A rapid way of increasing a company’s competitive advantage is to develop superior talent. The focus here is on enhancing recruitment, motivation, day-today management and training practices to find, retain and develop the best people. So let’s get recruiting! This is the point where things seem to go wrong for many of our clients. Whilst most recognise that the days of popping an ad in the paper are over, the days of job boards like SEEK as your primary recruitment tool are also rapidly fading. In a busy recruitment market, often the best candidates are passive and they look at career moves extremely cautiously. So how do you start targeting the elusive top 10-15% of talent?
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1. Actively farm your networks The best people come through trusted referrals; from those you know. Have a structured plan for activating your network, work consistently through that plan over time, and offer incentives for referrals. 2. Partner with a high performing specialist recruiter Deloitte states: …companies can partner with third parties to expand their areas of competency and create unique capabilities. This might include forming alliances with technical specialists, and outsourcing commoditised work that doesn’t deliver an opportunity to differentiate. Don’t multi-list your roles across several agencies. This is a dying practice particularly for permanent recruitment and leads to a surface level, transactional service that is based around speed and luck. 3. Reach out through multiple channels With the rise and rise of social media and technology more generally, there is no magic bullet that will reach the majority of the market anymore. You need to generate multiple ‘touch points’ to create a ‘funnel’ large enough to secure the very best talent. This is time consuming and there can be additional costs, so don’t consider this the quick part of the process typically associated with ‘popping an ad up’.
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4. Improve your interviewing and selection process Australia’s relative weaknesses in recruitment and talent management practices were highlighted in a recent study undertaken for LinkedIn by PWC titled ‘Adapt to Survive’. Almost one quarter of all people who get a new job in Australia quit within the 1st year because the job does not live up to expectations! When targeting the best talent in the market, you have no room for error. Your recruitment and selection process not only needs to identify someone who is great. You need to carefully manage their expectations and ensure that communication is crystal clear on what the move really means for them, now and in the future. If you are interested in a discussion about transforming your approach to talent and adapting your business, now is the right time. HorizonOne is well positioned to advise and guide you on the ‘how’.
Sourcing talent is a science, not a sales game
Please contact Simon Cox, Director at HorizonOne Recruitment on 02 6108 4878 or firstname.lastname@example.org Level 1, 27 Torrens Street, Braddon www.horizonone.com.au
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STRUGGLE. SURVIVE. EVOLVE. CONGRATULATIONS! You’ve Finally Managed To Put Together Your Dream Website, But Here Comes the More Difficult Challenge… I know for a fact that getting your website up and ready is bit of a painful process in its own right and once it is ready the excitement of sharing the accomplishment with your friends, family, co-workers and employees is just overwhelming. While I really don’t want to burst your bubble, I’d also hate to hide the harsh realities of the corporate world waiting to strike you, and strike you hard. Here is the bullet for you to bite.
“You have to work at least 200 times harder than you’d already worked for getting the website set-up and be online.” Here’s why… If you want to survive in this cutthroat, unforgiving business environment, you need customers and a lot of them. To make things worse, targeted inflow of website visitors is NOT the only important thing you need, you also require your visitors to do the most desirable action such as giving you a ring, shooting an email, subscribing to your e-mail list, or just buying your product or service. I meet start-ups and existing businesses day-in, day-out and consistently find them stuck at “taking their presence to the next stage”, where they can start registering success and stay in the business for as long as they possibly can. Marketing is a skilled expertise and not all entrepreneurs or business owners have it. Even when they do have the marketing skills they just don’t have the time to execute those skills because so much else is on the plate. After all, they have to do things like servicing customers, delivering products, managing finances and doing whatever it takes to keep their businesses up and running.
to successfully spread the word, build reputation, or drive the results it is after. That’s nearly about a whole working week! Speaking of SEO, one of the most talked about online marketing strategy, Google is committed to kick out all lowquality websites from its index by continuously flashing out complex algorithms in short time intervals making the job of marketers highly specialised and time consuming. Good luck to all those ventures that are ready to take the risk of churning out big money in an effort to recruit and train someone on their payroll with absolutely NO guarantee of the results. How do you cope with such a challenging business environment? What I’ve been experiencing is astute businesses are turning to the services that specialise in not only helping them to get FOUND in the immensely cluttered online space, but providing data driven suggestions and insights to boost their conversion rates. Now how to select such a service is another point of huge debate, but I strongly believe this is the right way of going about it. Outsourcing highly specialized marketing skills is allowing business owners to free up their time for doing what they are expert in, running their business. The other significant advantage of utilising someone outside of your business is, you only pay for the results agreed upon before the project gets off the ground. So, if you are struggling to be found online or have visitors but just not converting into revenues, here is your chance to pick up the phone, call Canberra Web, and let us know your woes and pains. We love to listen to our customer problems because it allows us to offer appropriate solutions.
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RSM Bird Cameron Canberra A firm for the future
Partners at RSM Bird Cameron Canberra: L-R Garry Lee, Frank Lo Pilato, Andrew Sykes, Rodney Miller, Ged Stenhouse, Rhys Kyburz, Jonathon Colbran
hen Garry Lee moved his family to Canberra in 1984 to head up a new office comprising of one accountant (Garry) and two administrative staff, he wasn’t sure how long he’d last. “Our first month in Canberra, there was something like 23 frosts. The heater didn’t work in my wife’s old Toyota and she got frostbite in her toes,” Garry said. This didn’t deter Garry and his wife Cathy who have made Canberra their home, raised two children and have taken a one accountant operation ‘above the fish and chip shop’ in Lonsdale Street to over 80 staff in the RSM Bird Cameron Building on Northbourne Avenue. As a result in part to Garry’s strong relationship focus to business, this year marks 30 years RSM Bird Cameron has been in
Canberra as well as 45 years Garry has been with the firm. Now after playing a pivotal role in the firm’s development and growth over the years, the accountant is ready for a well-earned retirement. Garry says that RSM Bird Cameron has worked methodically in building its market profile and reputation in Canberra which has led to new clients and growth of their business. “I have every confidence in the leadership team and staff at RSM Bird Cameron to take over the reins and continue the high standard of service our clients have come to expect well into the future.” “Personally, I am looking forward to more freedom to be able to travel with my wife around Australia in our RV. Many people know my love for golf and will not be
surprised to hear that the golf clubs will be coming with us,“ Garry says. Frank Lo Pilato, Director Turnaround and Insolvency Division will take over from Garry as Managing Partner and is truly excited about the future prospects of the firm. “It is a real privilege to be taking over from Garry as Managing Partner in Canberra. His are big shoes to fill but I am up to the challenge,” Frank said. “Garry has done a fantastic job over the past 30 years in building a business that now employs over 80 people. Growth has created more opportunities for individuals.” Frank said that Garry’s leadership has led to staff and partnership harmony and that Garry has been a great mentor and role model during his 23 years at RSM Bird Cameron.
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“Garry has always been encouraging and provided wise counsel to me over the years. When I first started I was losing staff every six months or so. I approached Garry and he said ‘Frank they come and go - you’ll know when you get the right ones’,” Frank explained. According to Frank, he took this advice on board and has since grown RSM Bird Cameron’s Turnaround and Insolvency division to be the largest in Canberra with over 20 staff. As the new Managing Partner Frank says that he is driven by the personal satisfaction of delivering a good service. “We are trusted advisors to many businesses. We work in partnership with our clients to maximise their potential. We need to differentiate ourselves from our competitors by listening and then following up our words with action. We go the extra mile for our clients,” Frank said enthusiastically, “We don’t take our position for granted. We are privileged to be involved in critical decisions in people’s lives and businesses.”
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Frank believes that their excellent staff is the key to RSM Bird Cameron’s ongoing success. “I will be listening to our staff and engaging them in running the organisation. Our staff and customers are the key to our ongoing success,” Frank outlined. Creating energy and enthusiasm are at the top of Frank’s priorities. “I want the staff to bring fresh ideas to work and apply them in the workforce with their clients. If they can see that there is a different or better way to do something – my ears are open,” Frank said seriously. RSM Bird Cameron is a national full service firm with nearly 1,000 staff and 28 offices across Australia, began as a mobile accounting business with just one staff member, travelling around regional Western Australia providing accounting and taxation advice to farmers and small store keepers. These humble beginnings and country values continue to flavour RSM Bird Cameron’s philosophy. RSM Bird Cameron, although operating out of Australia’s major capital cities, has maintained its relationships
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with regional Australia and small to medium business clients. In addition to its national offices, RSM Bird Cameron has international affiliations with firm networks in the UK, USA and France. The reference to the acronym “RSM” in the firm’s name is a reference to these international affiliations. The RSM international network is the world’s 7th largest accounting and consulting group with associate firms in over 100 countries around the globe. Whilst the RSM Bird Cameron Canberra office has the support and expertise of its international affiliates and other national offices, it is staffed by Canberra residents with expertise in and knowledge of the unique Canberra Market. The success of the RSM Bird Cameron Canberra Office can be attributed to its focus on understanding its clients and their businesses. The firm is aware that a thorough understanding of a client’s industry and business enables its business advisors to provide tailored advice. continued page 18
Accountant – Business Solutions
RSM Bird Cameron has provided me with an environment conducive to bettering myself. The team encourages me to identify where my individual strengths and passion lie. They also give me a well-structured framework, clear direction and the support needed to develop necessary skills to go beyond my potential abilities. I must say working with RSM Bird Cameron has given me great exposure to unlimited opportunities to develop my professional career further and I really look forward to working with such a dynamic and positive team into the future.
Senior Auditor – Assurance and Advisory
Working with RSM has been both challenging and supportive, beginning as a graduate 3 years ago. I have been exposed to a large array of clients with hands on training from day one. Although sometimes finding it tough, it was made easier by having a wide variety of friendly staff to offer guidance, advice or to just have a chat and a laugh. Through the support of the firm I have completed my CA and am
Michelle van Lier
Photos: Andrew Sikorski
now a senior auditor. My future with RSM is exciting with the promising possibility of working internationally with one of our many partner firms.
Senior Accountant – Business Solutions
I have been with RSM Bird Cameron for a little under 4 years. I take great pride working for the firm as it’s such an esteemed accounting firm in Australia and across the globe. RSM has provided me with varied opportunities for my professional development and has been supportive of my career aspirations, I am committed to excelling my career within the firm and can see myself contributing towards RSM’s success and future growth.
Michelle van Lier
Manager – Business Solutions
As a fairly recent addition to the RSM Bird Cameron team, I received an overwhelming amount of support and encouragement from all corners of the RSM team which made settling in a breeze. I believe having a strong and positive culture helps each staff member to achieve the
best outcomes, and in turn, provides the best possible service to our clients. In my short time at RSM the partners and managers have demonstrated the respect and support they impart on every client relationship, and I hope to continue this approach with our SMSF clients. I feel like I am part of a great (work) family unit and strive to deliver the same positivity and support through everything I do.
Senior Analyst – Turnaround & Insolvency
I have been with RSM Bird Cameron Canberra for almost 5 years. The key reasons for me continuing to come into work each day are the positive internal views on “life outside of work”, the enormous amount of training options and opportunities available to staff, the huge list of employee benefits provided by RSM Bird Cameron, the vast array of different types of clients that we work with on a daily basis and the team mentality that is present within the office. I am not just a midlevel employee in the office, I am member of the team and I am treated as one.
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Frank proudly asserts that ‘our clients enjoy a reliable and innovative service from practitioners who have developed a deep understanding of their business and industry sector’. RSM Bird Cameron’s focus on the local community is not just in the business sense. They are heavily involved in the support of local charities and community groups. “We are proud supporters of local charities such as LifeLine Canberra and Snowy Hydro Southcare as well as local sporting teams such as the Canberra United Women’s soccer team.”
“We plan on celebrating the 30th Anniversary of RSM Bird Cameron Canberra as well as farewell Garry Lee at the National Arboretum in late May and hope to see many our clients and contacts who have made our success possible along on the night,” said Frank.
Tel: (02) 6217 0300 Lvl 1, 103 - 105 Northbourne Avenue www.rsmi.com.au
RSM Bird Cameron offers a full suite of accounting services with some welcome personality thrown in Business Solutions
Turnaround and Insolvency
Assisting SME owners achieve their long-term and short-term goals, whether it is tax advice, strategic advice for improving your business performance and realising wealth in the future, or hands-on help to meet an immediate need.
Providing the best possible results to troubled companies and their stakeholders, including financiers, unsecured creditors and shareholders.
Tax Advisory Focusing not just on the next tax return but providing specialist taxation advice on complex transactions and tailored to the context of the whole business.
Assurance and Advisory (Audit) Drawing on in-depth knowledge of the client’s business to make constructive contributions for improvement.
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Financial Services Providing financial advice to clients to manage and enhance their wealth.
Tel: (02) 6217 0300 Lvl 1, 103 - 105 Northbourne Avenue www.rsmi.com.au
ADVICE 20 20 21 21 23 23 25 25 27 27 28 28 29 29
How to keep the cash rolling in by Ken Johnston, RSM Bird Cameron Chartered Accountants
Back to school on property prices by Paul Lanzon, ANZ Mobile Lending
Will small business do the heavy lifting? by Tony Lane, Vincents Chartered Accountants
Statutory demands – can wind up being risky by Mark Love, Bradley Allen Love Lawyers
Have you considered a management buy out? by Ben Weber, Maxim Chartered Accountants
Getting your business 'sale ready' by Phil Butler, Australian Institute of Company Directors
An estate plan is not just a will by Stephen Bourke, Certus Law
Redundancy payments – do you have to share? by Carrie Gan, Dobinson Davey Clifford Simpson Lawyers
Avoiding burnout by Robbie Manzano, Healthy Identity
Trade mark oppositions – important information by Shaun Creighton, Arete Group
How to follow up leads to your website with Google AdWords by Damian Schroeter, Nflame Creative
Property investment through your SMSF by Peter Spooner, Loan Market
Want to join the C-suite? by Jim Roy, Hays
Take advantage of mobile commerce by Sam Gupta, Synapse Worldwide B2B M AGA ZIN E
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by Ken by Ken Johnston Johnston
How Howto tokeep keep thethecash cashrolling rollingin in
CashCash flow,flow, as they as they say, issay, theis lifeblood the lifeblood of any of any business. business. It doesn’t It doesn’t matter matter whether whether you’re you’re making making thousands thousands of cars of cars a year a year or selling or selling lemonade lemonade to neighbours, to neighbours, if you’re if you’re stuckstuck waiting waiting for payment for payment fromfrom customers customers thenthen you you can’tcan’t pay pay youryour suppliers suppliers for the for next the next batch batch of of products products to sell. to sell. HereHere are 10 aretips 10 tips to help to help you you improve improve youryour cashcash flow:flow: 1. Consider 1. Consider giving giving discounts discounts for payments for payments upfront. upfront. Some Some businesses businesses will will havehave a discount a discount window window of a of month a month thatthat customers customers mustmust pay pay within within to receive to receive the discount. the discount. ThisThis is easier is easier to enforce to enforce thanthan a penalty a penalty for for late late payment payment and and is more is more attractive attractive to customers. to customers. 2. Take 2. Take as long as long as you as you can can to pay to pay youryour bills bills without without incurring incurring a latea late fee. fee. If a supplier If a supplier givesgives 30 days, 30 days, thenthen taketake the full the 30. fullPay 30. regular Pay regular suppliers suppliers before before others; others; earlyearly payments payments can can generate generate goodwill goodwill and and improve improve the the likelihood likelihood of obtaining of obtaining credit. credit. 3. Invest 3. Invest surplus surplus funds funds in a in high-interest a high-interest bearing bearing account account or other or other financial financial vehicle. vehicle. There’s There’s no point no point having having idle idle money money in a in business. a business. 4. Create 4. Create a cash a cash flowflow forecast. forecast. Know Know when when the money the money should should come come in, when in, when it is likely it is likely to come to come in, and in, and when when you you will have will have to pay to pay it out. it out. Knowledge Knowledge will help will help you you prepare prepare for the for inevitable the inevitable delays. delays. 5. Issue 5. Issue youryour invoices invoices as soon as soon as possible. as possible. ThisThis is one is one tasktask thatthat should should be first be first on the on list theevery list every day. day. Once Once sent,sent, make make suresure you you follow follow up by upaby a polite polite phone phone call or callsecond or second emailemail the day the day afterafter the invoice the invoice is overdue. is overdue. 6. Give 6. Give customers customers options options for payment for payment but but emphasise emphasise youryour preference preference for electronic for electronic payment payment suchsuch as direct as direct debit. debit. 7. Split 7. Split payments payments for longer for longer projects projects so that so that you’re you’re not not waiting waiting for the for the full invoice full invoice at the at end the end of the of job. the job. ThisThis has the has advantage the advantage of providing of providing some some security security of payment of payment as well as well as increasing as increasing cashcash flow.flow. 8. Monitor 8. Monitor youryour stockstock and and replace replace products products thatthat are unlikely are unlikely to sell. to sell. Focus Focus on the on better the better selling, selling, higher-margin higher-margin items. items. 9. When 9. When things things get tight, get tight, triage triage youryour payments. payments. Call Call all your all your suppliers suppliers and and negotiate negotiate extended extended periods periods or deferred or deferred payments. payments. Don’t Don’t pay pay the the biggest biggest debtdebt first,first, pay pay the most the most important. important. 10. Link 10. Link salessales commissions commissions to invoices to invoices paidpaid rather rather thanthan revenue revenue billed. billed. A A coldcold call from call from youryour accounts accounts department department to a to customer a customer asking asking whywhy a a bill isbill unpaid is unpaid is going is going to betoless be less wellwell received received thanthan the sales the sales rep giving rep giving a friendly a friendly reminder reminder at the at next the next meeting. meeting. It also It also givesgives the sales the sales person person a reason a reason to speak to speak to the to customer the customer againagain - and- and perhaps perhaps lay the lay ground the ground for another for another sale.sale.
Bird Bird Cameron Cameron
Chartered Chartered Accountants Accountants
If youIfwould you would lie some lie some guidance guidance or advice or advice on this onsubject, this subject, pleaseplease contact contact Ken Johnston Ken Johnston at RSM at RSM BirdCameron BirdCameron on 02on 6217 02 6217 0311 0311 or email@example.com. or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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By Paul By Paul Lanzon Lanzon
Back Backto toschool school ononproperty propertyprices prices
Although Although many many kidskids won’t won’t be concerned be concerned about about whether whether theythey are are heading heading off to offa to top-performing a top-performing school school nextnext year,year, theirtheir parents parents might might be. be. According According to some to some experts, experts, being being in the in catchment the catchment areaarea for one for one of the of the top top 20 government 20 government schools schools in a in major a major city city can can increase increase property property prices prices 1,2 1,2 fromfrom 5-15%. 5-15%. Plus,Plus, rental rental demand demand and and yieldyield in the in same the same areasareas can can be higher be higher thanthan in neighbouring in neighbouring suburbs suburbs because because families families whowho can’tcan’t afford afford to buy to buy in the in the 1,2 1,2 areaarea choose choose to rent to rent instead. instead. So, what So, what doesdoes this this school-zone school-zone squeeze squeeze mean mean for you for you when when buying buying or or investing investing in property in property in these in these sought-after sought-after areas? areas? Do your Do your homework homework Created Created by the by Federal the Federal Government Government in 2010, in 2010, the My the School My School website website lets you lets you search search for afor particular a particular suburb suburb or school. or school. There, There, you you can can findfind whatwhat percentage percentage of that of that school’s school’s students students are in arethe in top, the top, middle middle and and bottom bottom levelslevels of academic of academic achievement achievement compared compared to the to the 3 3 Australian average. Australian average. My School My School offers offers profiles profiles of almost of almost 9,5009,500 Australian Australian schools schools providing providing insight insight intointo whatwhat is going is going on inside on inside classrooms, classrooms, which which contributes contributes to to a school’s a school’s overall overall reputation reputation as a as topa top school. school. YouYou can can quickly quickly locate locate statistical statistical and and contextual contextual information information about about schools schools in your in your community community and and compare compare them them withwith statistically statistically similar similar schools schools across across the country. the country. Once Once you’ve you’ve chosen chosen a school, a school, areaarea or property, or property, finding finding maps maps of exact of exact catchment catchment areasareas can can be challenging, be challenging, but but mostmost can can be found be found online online or byor by 4 4 contacting contacting the school. the school. TakeTake the the testtest Just Just because because a property a property is in isa in topa top school’s school’s catchment catchment areaarea doesn’t doesn’t mean mean it is necessarily it is necessarily a good a good buy.buy. Firstly, Firstly, school school catchment catchment areasareas and and 1 1 academic academic scores scores change change regularly, regularly, and and eacheach can can affect affect a property’s a property’s value. value. Secondly, Secondly, according according to Catherine to Catherine Cashmore Cashmore fromfrom Property Property Observer, Observer, a property a property needs needs to betosuitable be suitable for afor family a family to attract to attract the the 1 1 school premium. school premium. However, However, therethere is room is room to gototogothe to top the top of the of class the class if you if you study study the the market. market. Angus Angus Raine, Raine, CEOCEO of Raine of Raine & Horne, & Horne, has found has found recently recently thatthat “more “more parents parents are adding are adding ‘proximity ‘proximity to a to good a good school’ school’ to their to their wishwish list of list of 4 4 home home features”. features”. References: References: 1. Cashmore, 1. Cashmore, Catherine, Catherine, ‘Property ‘Property in prestigious in prestigious school school zoneszones always always in demand in demand for both for both investors investors and owner-occupiers’, and owner-occupiers’, propertyobserver.com.au, propertyobserver.com.au, 11 October 11 October 2011.2011. 2. Farrelly, 2. Farrelly, Kate,Kate, ‘Zone‘Zone in onineducation’, on education’, news.domain.com, news.domain.com, 15 June 2013. 15 June 2013. 3. MySchool, 3. MySchool, myschool.edu.au, myschool.edu.au, as atas 11atOctober 11 October 2013.2013. 4. Paech, 4. Paech, Venessa, Venessa, ‘School ‘School wishlists wishlists driving driving Sydney Sydney demand’, demand’, realestate.com.au, realestate.com.au, 18 December 18 December 20122012
For more For more information, information, contact contact Paul Lanzon Paul Lanzon ANZANZ Mobile Mobile Lending Lending Manager, Manager, Canberra Canberra InnerInner SouthSouth & Queanbeyan & Queanbeyan Jerrabomberra Jerrabomberra ANZANZ Mobile Mobile Lending Lending M: 0422 M: 0422 007 005 007 F: 005 02 F: 8456 02 8456 6021 6021 E: email@example.com E: firstname.lastname@example.org This Mobile This Mobile Lender Lender operates operates as ANZ as ANZ Mortgage Mortgage Solutions Solutions Canberra Canberra InnerInner SouthSouth & Queanbeyan/Jerrabomberra, & Queanbeyan/Jerrabomberra, ABNABN 74 122 74012 122720 012an 720independently an independently operated operated franchise franchise of Australia of Australia and New and New Zealand Zealand Banking Banking Group Group Limited Limited (ANZ) (ANZ) 11 005 11357 005522. 357 522. Australian Australian Credit Credit Licence Licence Number Number 234527. 234527. ANZ’s ANZ’s colour colour blue blue is a trade is a trade markmark of ANZ. of ANZ.
By Tony Lane
Will small business do the heavy lifting?
As this article goes to print, the final touches are being put to the first budget from the Abbott led federal government. The Treasurer, Joe Hockey, has been vocal about Australians having to do the so-called ‘heavy lifting’ in this forthcoming budget – meaning that there is likely to be fiscal restraint announced that will impact all of the economy. But who will ultimately bear the weight of that burden? In recent times there have been indicators emerging in the market that would tend to show that the local economy is mounting a small resurgence. Housing prices and auction clearance rates are rising and recent unemployment numbers are encouraging. However, the contractionary tendency of the local economy is often fuelled by negative speculation, or flat out bad news. The important question yet to be answered is how will the budget affect small business? Amidst that speculation, small businesses should review their cash flow forecasts to test for differing detrimental scenarios – what will a 5%, 10% or 15% drop in revenue mean for your business? How will you manage costs in the context of a potential decline in sales? How will you manage increased wage pressures with mixed performance? A healthy business will be able to withstand short term shocks with minimal impact – certainly far more effectively than a business that lacks plans or forecasts that have already modelled an economic deterioration. How should businesses set about testing their resilience amid economic uncertainty? The first step is understanding the environment in which you operate. Followed by cash flow testing and sensitivity analysis, as well as assessing internal sources of finance (e.g. better management of debtors and creditors), these activities can give a rapid understanding of how changes in business inputs will effect productivity and profitability. However, as often occurs in a variable economic climate, there will be those businesses that cannot withstand a downturn. Even then, it important to act early and prudently to ensure that appropriate measures are put in place to retain as much value as possible and to protect assets. As always, early quality advice is key. Engage with your trusted business advisor who will assist you to appreciate the options and alternatives available. To act precipitously without thought is often just as detrimental as not acting at all.
Tony Lane is a Senior Manager at Vincents Chartered Accountants and provides specialist advice to clients in the areas of insolvency, business risk and financial conflict and dispute resolution. For more information, contact Vincents, Level 7, AMP Tower, 1 Hobart Pl, Canberra City. T: 6257 2077 F: 6257 1399 E: email@example.com W: www.vincents.com.au
by Mark Love
Statutory demands – can wind up being risky
A statutory demand notice is a formal, attested demand, which if correctly issued and served, gives the debtor company 21 days from the date of service to pay or compromise the debt to the creditor’s satisfaction. If the company fails to do so, then it is presumed to be “insolvent”. If a debtor company takes issue with the claim in the statutory demand, its form or its service, then the debtor company only has 21 days within which it must file and serve an application before the Court to have the statutory demand set aside; the Court cannot allow more time in which to bring that application and the application must be served with all the evidence on which the debtor company intends to rely. If the debtor company responds promptly, and has creditable proof that there is a genuine dispute regarding the debt claimed, then it should immediately state that case to the party making the demand, inviting the creditor to withdraw the statutory demand. A “genuine dispute” about the debt is a very low threshold. If the creditor does not heed that, then the creditor risks losing such an application, with a costs order to bear for the creditor’s trouble. With time being of the essence, the worst thing you can do in relation to a statutory demand is to ignore it. Consider: 1. A company which ignores the notice and allows 21 days from service to expire is presumed insolvent; this triggers an opportunity for a winding up application. 2. Once a winding up application is made, other creditors can apply to “adopt” the application and thus even resolving the statutory demand does not solve the problem. 3. Rebutting a presumption of insolvency is expensive and no mean feat: the onus is on the defendant, who must present the Court with the “fullest and best” evidence of its financial position. Where there is proper basis for belief that no genuine dispute exists, a statutory demand puts the creditor in a strong position. But where the debt claimed was in dispute, then the pendulum of pressure can rapidly and fiercely swing in the opposite direction and can do so at considerable cost. Not only will the costs of preparing the statutory demand be sunk, but also the imprudent creditor claim can be turned into a considerable liability. In short, a statutory demand should not be lightly made, nor taken lightly. Lesson for the well prepared: Habits are purportedly broken in 21 days – as are debtor companies who fail to respond to statutory demand notices.
Mark Love, Legal Director, Business Law 9th Floor, Canberra House, 40 Marcus Clarke Street, Canberra ACT 2601 Email mark.love@ bradleyallenlove.com.au Tel 02 6274 0810 | www.bradleyallenlove.com.au
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by Ben Weber
Have you considered a management buy out?
by Phil Butler
Getting your business ‘sale ready’
A management buy out or MBO is a transaction where a company’s managers obtain debt and/or equity financing from a bank or the existing owner to purchase the company’s assets and operations that they are responsible for managing. Many business owners include senior employees in their succession plan, either because of previous commitments; because they feel the employees “deserve” the opportunity; because they represent the best possible buyers; or because of some combination of these factors. This can work very well for the owner manager, senior employees, and the company, if the transaction is properly structured and implemented. An MBO delivers the best value and is best suited as an exit and realisation event for an owner where the business displays the following characteristics: • Low levels of goodwill or goodwill that is difficult to value; where the business operates on short term contracts or operates from contract to contract and the goodwill is difficult to quantify an MBO will deliver higher value than a third party sale. • Reliant on the owner and their relationships; where a large portion of the businesses revenue is derived from key client relationships the owner holds an MBO will deliver a better results than a third party sale, and the management will have a high chance of holding the key clients and relationships than a third party. • Difficult to obtain finance; if the business is in a industry where financiers are reluctant to finance a third party buyer, an MBO will allow the owner to part finance the sale to management over time. Some additional positive considerations regarding a MBO include: • If the owner manager is financing the deal, the owner manager can get the best price and the most advantageous deal structure. • The owner manager will be able to keep more control over the business. This can be positive for owner managers looking to ease out of the saddle, rather than jump off the horse all at once. • If things don’t work out, the owner manager is more likely to be in a position to take the business back while it is still in good shape. There is no question that management led buyouts can be a very satisfying and practical way for an owner manager to exit their business. However a poorly structured and thought out management buy out can be a disaster. The Maxim Corporate Advisory and Transactions team can help decide if an MBO is the right option for you and your business, and structure the transaction effectively and appropriately to deliver the highest value.
I recently studied the Australian Bureau of Statistics figures regarding businesses in the ACT, and while the figures are a little old, they tell an important and consistent story. At any given time, there are approximately 25,000 businesses in Canberra — each year approximately 4,000 start and 4,000 exit. Assuming Canberra is similar to other jurisdictions in Australia, you can expect that about 70% of the businesses in existence today will still be operating in two years time. If you are one of those 25,000 business owners, what is your longerterm strategy for your business? If the answer is that you would like to sell your business in the near future to enjoy a comfortable retirement, you may be interested in a recent article, Getting your business ‘sale ready’ published by the Australian Institute of Company Directors. This article raised a whole range of considerations for business owners, but a number of specific points caught my attention: The first of these focused on the need to understand the potential buyer’s perspective. Simon Merchant from The Merchant Report stated that, broadly, the things potential buyers will examine include: • How long has the business been established and how long have you owned it? • How has your income and gross profit margin been trending during this time? • How much does the business rely on you and how reliable are your systems and procedures? He also added that for some businesses the length of lease term can be an important factor. The second issue was around demographics, and particularly the increasing number of baby boomers who may be approaching retirement or have received a redundancy package and may be considering purchasing a business rather than re-entering the full time workforce. In addition to this increase, it is worth noting that a large number of high net-worth individuals from overseas are looking at Australia as being a good location for purchasing a business (not just because of the business climate, but the high quality of life that Australia has to offer). It’s vital to understand the objectives of your prospective buyer to enhance your sale opportunity and to look at your business objectively from the buyer’s perspective. Another consideration is that many businesses are offered for sale due to negative cash flow issues. If this is the case in your business, then you may need to take a more conservative approach when determining the price you are prepared to accept. While selling your business may be your preferred option, remember that it’s never too early to be considering what your exit strategy will be.
Ben Weber, Head of Corporate Advisory and Transactions Level 2, 59 Wentworth Ave, Kingston ACT 2604 Phone: (02) 6295 8744 Fax: (02) 6295 8344 www.maximca.com.au
Phil Butler is Manager - NFP, Public Sector & ACT at the Australian Institute of Company Directors. Level 3 54 Marcus Clarke Street Canberra T: 02 6132 3200 | www.companydirectors.com.au
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5. Our property inspection reports are thoroughly completed and supported by photographic evidence of the inspection’s assessment. These reports and photos are available to you on our website 6. Flexible property income options allow you to decide when and how your rental income will be paid to you 7. Direct debit arrangements take care of your tenants' payments and minimise rental arrears 8. Our dedicated management team ensure that each property and tenant receives maximum attention which gives you the freedom of continuous leasing 9. Tenants can apply quickly for your property on-line with easy, no-fuss applications
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by Stephen Bourke
An estate plan is not just a will
Okay so you finally go around to doing your will. Well done! You will probably find that spending a little bit of time (and money) drafting your will goes a long way to giving you some peace of mind. But as important as it is having a will in place is not enough. You ought to consider the following: Do I have an Enduring Power of Attorney? An Enduring Power of Attorney (EPOA) deals with who will manage your affairs in the period between loss of capacity and death. Due to the advancements in modern medical technology there can often be a long lag time between when you first suffer a catastrophic accident or illness and when you actually die, sometimes even years. Who will pay the bills while you are unable to make those decisions for yourself? What if your house or investments need to be sold to cover your or your family’s expenses? Do you have a business that needs to keep functioning? Who will make decisions about where you live, who sees you and whether you are kept on life support? Who will pay the kids school fees and other expenses? If you don’t have an EPOA in place then you may force your family to have to make an application to ACAT which costs more in both money, time and emotions than it would for your to do an EPOA now. Have I considered what I would like done with my body? In Australia we have an opt-in system for organ donation. This means that if you want to be an organ donor you should ensure that your name is on the organ donor registry. However this is not enough to make sure your wishes are taken into account. You should have an ongoing conversation with your family so that they are aware about your views on organ donation as their consent to donation is required and could trump any wish that you might have. When the unfortunate time comes that a decision needs to be made they may be caught up in the emotions of the moment and take the default route which is to refuse donation. Families that are aware of wishes are more likely to consent to donation. How will my family cope if I die suddenly? What would happen if you were hit by the proverbial truck today? Would the bills still be able to be paid? Could the mortgage still be paid? If you have accounts in your sole name they are usually frozen on your death until a grant of probate is made which usually takes around two months. You should ensure there is a source of funds which can easily be accessed by your family to cover this period. You should also consider talking to an insurance broker to arrange life insurance for the long term. One of the biggest expenses following death is the funeral. We usually recommend people consider how they would pay for their funeral. You may wish to consider arranging for pre-paid funeral so your family doesn’t have to worry about this (it also gives you an opportunity to have a say on the type of funeral you will have). You should talk to your family about your preferred means of disposing of your body such as burial or cremation.
by Carrie Gan
Redundancy payments – do you have to share?
How can a redundancy payment impact on your family law settlement? The Coalition Government’s decision to cut 12,000 public sector jobs during its term means that some government departments have started to offer or will be offering redundancies, both voluntary and involuntary. A redundancy payment, whether voluntary or forced, can impact on a family law property settlement. It can also have consequences with respect to a superannuation benefit. Who gets the redundancy payment? If one party to a relationship receives a redundancy payment, and that redundancy payment relates to employment engaged in during the relationship, then it is arguable that the other party could have an entitlement to share in that payment. This may be the case whether or not the redundancy payment is received before or after separation. Take the example of a couple who have been either married or in a de facto relationship for a period of 10 years: for the whole period, the husband was engaged in employment as a public servant and was the primary income earner, while the wife was the primary carer for the children and the homemaker. The wife may be entitled to include the husband’s redundancy payment in the asset pool on the basis that she made indirect contributions to his employment and to that payment. It will also depend on how the redundancy is used: if the recipient quickly moves to other work, the cash benefit of the payment can more readily be regarded as a capital sum. Superannuation considerations Members of the CSS or PSS are eligible to access superannuation benefits if they receive a redundancy, either voluntary or involuntary and even if they are below retirement age. You may be able to access a lump sum, a pension or a combination of the two from your superannuation entitlements. Members of the CSS or PSS may access their superannuation after receiving a redundancy and do not need to prove financial hardship or medical illness. There may be restrictions on how much of your CSS or PSS you can access if you have not yet reached the preservation age. In family law settlements, superannuation is treated like property and can be divided between the parties. However, in cases where your former partner is a public servant and receiving a redundancy, be aware that they may also seek and tap into their superannuation. Steps can be taken to ensure you can protect your interest in the superannuation or to prevent it being accessed without your knowledge or consent. The importance of seeking specialist advice It is important to obtain specialist advice (both legal and financial) about these issues if you or your former spouse have already accepted or are considering accepting a redundancy. To make an appointment with one of our specialists in family law contact us on 6212 7600.
Carrie Gan, Lawyer 18 Kendall Lane, New Acton Canberra City ACT 2601 T: (02) 6212 7600 E: firstname.lastname@example.org www.ddcslawyers.com.au
Stephen Bourke is a director of Certus Law Certus Law specialises in superannuation, trusts and estate planning. Visit Certus Law at Level 5, 28 University Avenue, T: 6268 9090, www.certuslaw.com.au
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By Robbie Manzano by
It was a long and successful term at Healthy Identity. Along with our sister company, Tennis Canberra, we have very tired sport and health coaches. For our tennis coaches the Australian Open was kind to business with Canberrans flocking to the tennis courts over the hot Australian summer. I have to admit — I love what I do, however teaching in plus 40 degrees, 6 days a week, takes its toll at the end of the school term. Unfortunately, after four to six hours on-court, the off-court management needs to be done and this is often in the early hours of the morning as prime time for sports coaches falls after office work hours. Canberra has many small businesses in the health industry. Everyone wants to be a PT (personal trainer) or a nutritionist these days and I can assure you each small business owner has felt what I’m describing. So what can be done to ease the physical, emotional and mental stress arising from business? Below are some pointers that can be used to reduce the chance of early business burnout. Get enough sleep Do not underestimate the power of sleep. Our body needs to physically recover before we can take on the mental and emotional stresses of coaching. If you have a client already secured you want to make sure they have the best experience under your watch and enough sleep will allow you to achieve this. Carbohydrates are your friend The extra physical workload will cause our blood sugar to drop (hypoglycaemia) and you may find yourself not making sense when delivering a program to a group or a client. Plan you meals/snacks and allow enough time between sessions to mentally recover (even if you think you can power on). Trust face-to-face service, it is your best form of marketing and an outstanding session will go a long way in creating a sustainable program for you and your business. The beauty of Canberra is how fast word of mouth travels. I know for a fact that our success at Tennis Canberra this summer was due to our reputation as having the best tennis services in the capital. Get outside the work environment when you have a chance When you have the chance, it’s a good idea for you and your employees to get out of the work environment so it doesn’t seem that work is a second home. I have a policy that every three weeks one staff member chooses an activity we all can participate in outside the work environment. This could be as simple as a dinner or a Sunday hike. Getting the little things right will keep everyone’s mind at ease and give everyone the chance to recover not just physically but most importantly emotionally - after all our emotions is what drives us each and every day. I hope these tips help you and if you have need any more advice you can contact me during office hours (as I’ll be teaching during the early mornings and winter evenings). If you have any feedback or suggestions please get in touch and together we can build healthier communities.
by Shaun Creighton
Trade mark oppositions – important information
Did you know that if a trade mark application is accepted by IP Australia, it is advertised in an Official Trade Marks Journal? At any time within two months from the date of the advertisement, a third party can file a notice of intention to oppose the registration with a view to starting opposition proceedings. In theory, anybody can file a notice but they must do so on one or more of the statutory grounds (see below). In practice, opponents tend to be other trade mark proprietors. Unlike legal proceedings for registered trade mark infringement, opposition proceedings are conducted before IP Australia and the parties are alternately allowed to file evidence in up to three ‘rounds’ (evidence by opponent supporting the opposition, an answer from the trade mark applicant, followed by a reply from the opponent). After the evidence phase, a Hearing Officer at IP Australia will make a decision either following a hearing (if requested) or on the materials presented through the evidence phase. Working out the proper ground(s) of opposition which applies can be daunting. Early in the opposition process, the opponent will need to file a Statement of Grounds and Particulars broadly detailing the grounds of opposition. This is why, along with complexities in drafting materials for evidence rounds, it is important to have professional advice in opposition proceedings. The most common opposition grounds under the Trade Marks Act 1995 (Cth) are that: Section 41 Section 44 (1) and (2)
Section 58 Section 59 Section 60
the mark is not capable of distinguishing the applicant’s goods or services the mark is substantially identical or deceptively similar to a prior trade mark application or registration in respect of similar goods, similar services or closely related goods or services the applicant is not the owner of the mark the applicant is not intending to use the mark another mark had acquired a reputation in Australia such that use of the applicant’s mark would be likely to deceive or cause confusion the application was made in bad faith
Note that most common examination rejection grounds are also opposition grounds. Given this, trade mark owners still have to watch out for other accepted but potentially conflicting marks to oppose where necessary to protect their rights. Some choose to use third party ‘watching services’ for this purpose which involves having a professional review the Official Trade Marks Journal to assess whether possible marks of interest have been accepted (and may be opposed). Failure to oppose an accepted trade mark application during the two month opposition phase will result in an application proceeding to registration (on payment of registration fees).
Robbie Manzano is founder and managing director of Healthy Identity. Robbie has degrees in Human Nutrition and Coaching Science from the University of Canberra and has completed a Graduate Certificate Public Health from Curtin University. firstname.lastname@example.org 0423 366 014
P: GPO Box 579, Canberra ACT 2601 E: email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org T: 02 6162 1639 | M: 0430 22 78 62 W: www.aretegroup.com.au or www.asportslaw.com.au
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by Damian Schroeter
How to follow up on leads to your website with Google AdWords
Have you ever visited a website to book a holiday to Fiji and then wondered why every website you visit after that is showing you ads for tropical holiday deals? It is very likely that you are being “re-marketed” to via the Google Ad Display Network. This is a really great online marketing tool and it is available to all businesses with a website, not exclusively holiday websites. I love the re-marketing feature in AdWords because it allows you to follow up on any lost leads to your website. Let me explain briefly how it can work for your business online. When a potential customer visits a designated page on your website, from a paid click or otherwise, they can be added to a re-marketing list. This list works by firstly engaging your AdWords Partner to place a piece of code on the webpage that you want to target, and then by firing a piece of code (cookie) on to the computer of each new visitor. This cookie identifies the visitor to Google as an interested lead and adds them to your re-marketing list. Once your list has 100 entries, you start chasing your leads all over the internet with image and text ads which can be displayed on any website feeding ads from the Google Display Network. Remember, Google does not charge you to show your ads, only when people click on them and continue through to your website. And now your ads are displaying to people who are considered very strong leads having been to your website previously. The code can be placed on any page of any website and should be targeted to pages such as specific product listings, a “thank you” page following a purchase, or even abandoned shopping carts. The point is to be able to identify the visitor in order to start showing them relevant ads encouraging them to return to your website. You can chase people for up to 540 days or until we tell them to be removed from the list. Re-marketing integration and management is included in the AdWords accounts of all nFlame Creative clients. All you need to do is engage us as your Google Partner agency and provide access for us to place some code on the relevant pages of your website. It really is that simple. Next month we will talk about designing your website to best utilise; Email Marketing, SMS Marketing, and measuring sales conversions with Google AdWords and Google Analytics
Damian Schroeter is a Google Partner and Director of Design & Advertising at nFlame Creative. Consultation by appointment: Phone: 02 6249 8694 or email@example.com www.nflame.com.au/AdWords
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by Peter Spooner
Property investment through your SMSF
As mentioned in my April column about the benefits of investing in property through your Self Managed Super Fund (SMSF) there are tight restrictions and essential processes in proceeding down this path. Compliance with each of these elements can be quite daunting but there are legal, financial planning and mortgage brokering professionals who have expertise in SMSF investment property purchasing who can take you through each step, including: Your SMSF’s appointment of a Property Trustee to purchase the property on its behalf. The legal owner of the real estate is the Property Trustee and the beneficial owner is the SMSF. The Security Custodian, on loan approval, taking a mortgage with the Lender to complete the purchase. A lawyer/conveyancer is instructed to act on the purchase. • The loans are personally guaranteed by the member(s) of the SMSF (subject the Lender’s to credit approval). The SMSF, once the loan settles, collecting the rent and paying the usual property outgoings along with the required loan repayments. • The SMSF can deal freely with the property (subject to the loan terms) in the same ways investors can deal with investment properties. • Loan repayments are made from the SMSF and all rents are paid direct to the SMSF. The property being held in trust until the loan is fully repaid at which time the legal title can be transferred to the SMSF or the property may be sold. • The SMSF can pay out or reduce the mortgage at any time (subject to the terms of the loan in place). Want to know more? Want to discuss loan elements of investing in property through your SMSF? Peter Spooner is a qualified and highly experienced residential property financing specialist. He has access to over 800 loan products from a panel of 30 lenders (including all of the major banks) plus reachback to over 500 Loan Market associates when formulating solutions for his clients. Peter does not charge a fee-for-service.
Australian Credit Licence 390222
To gain further information into the Loan Market go to www.loanmarket.com or drop Peter a note on firstname.lastname@example.org or call on 0400-281-398
by Jim Roy
Want to join the C-suite?
If you want to join the C-suite (CEO, CFO, CIO, COO), you are not alone since a recent Hays survey concluded that more than half of all employees working in Australia aspire to be high-level executives. In a survey of 1,364 professionals, 55% said they aspire to a position as a top executive and a further 295 said they have ambition to work in mid to senior level management. However, with a limited number of vacancies available for the top jobs, you’ll need to do everything you can to stand out from the competition. Executives who have made it to the C-suite are those who have successfully used their expertise to become excellent operators, and combined their technical skills with the highest levels of people, management, communication and organisational skills. Here are our six tips to help your aspiration become reality: Deepen your commercial acumen - Developing a strong foundation in the commercial workings of business is essential for an aspiring high-level executive as many large companies prefer candidates who can create value for the company and who understand the company’s financial drivers. Improve your personal qualities - Executives require strong skills in the areas of communication, decision making, leadership, problem solving and management. They need to be able to communicate clearly and persuasively, effectively discuss issues and negotiate with others, direct subordinates, and explain policies and decisions to those within and outside the organisation. Make individual development plans - A formal individual development plan can highlight on-the-job development activities that target specific areas for improvement. Then you can think through the key lessons each experience can teach you prior to task commencement and reflect on what you learnt following the completion of an activity. Continue education - Although education and training requirements vary widely by position and industry, many top executives have a bachelor’s or master’s degree in business administration or in an area related to their field of work such as ICAA. Company training programs, executive development programs, and certification can often benefit managers or executives hoping to advance, as can membership of the relevant industry bodies. Develop your experience - Many top executives advance within their own organisation, moving up from lower level managerial or supervisory positions. However, other companies often prefer to hire qualified external candidates. Regardless, successful top executives have all continued to add to their skills by gaining as much experience as they can. Focus on your personal qualities - For those who wish to become a top executive, knowing which skills and abilities matter most in your space is essential for success and will go a long way towards differentiating you from the competition.
Jim Roy regional director 5th Floor, 54 Marcus Clarke Street, Canberra T 02 6112 7663 | F 02 6257 6377 E email@example.com
by Sam Gupta
Take advantage of mobile commerce
The ecommerce and mobile commerce trend is continually growing in Australia. More than 75% of people choose mobile devices for the convenience factor. Around 17% of Australians shop via their mobile devices. Most people keep their mobile devices close to them throughout the day. The natural progression is to buy goods and services via mobile, because it’s accessible, fast and convenient. To take advantage of this trend, my advice is to start simple. Get a responsive website first. With the increase of mobile and tablet use in Australia and around the world, it is very important to optimise your website for mobile devices. Speed is the key, customers have no tolerance for sites that take forever to load on their mobiles. Secondly, make it easy for customer to make a payment. Just over 60% of all mobile purchases are for digital goods such as an app or music. Have you thought about creating an app for your customers? Take advantage of the new trends and offer customers the opportunity to buy your product or service through their mobile and tablet devices. Resist the temptation to go overboard on these devices. Keep the user interface clean and clutter free. Simple call to action buttons work well — the opportunities are limitless. In the near future, near field communication (NFC) on mobile phones will pick up, where you can simply wave your mobile phone in front of the counter, accept the payment, and check out with ease. There is also a huge growth in the acceptance of the eWallet concept around the world where your credit cards are securely stored. When checking out from an online store, you simply choose the card from which to pay. You won’t need to enter the credit card number as your eWallet takes care of the payment for you. New types of payment options are also gaining momentum. To succeed in these changing times, you need to embrace the technology now. Both ecommerce and mobile commerce are great ways to extend your product and services to a larger market or provide a value-added service to existing customers. To find out how your business can take advantage of ecommerce and mobile commerce, book an obligation free 1 hour consultation. Call 1300785230 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sam Gupta is the managing director of Synapse Worldwide. Sam would love to hear your thoughts on this advice column. Please contact him on 1300 785 230 or email@example.com
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CBR Innovation Network to grow and create jobs ANDREW BARR
ACT DEPUTY CHIEF MINISTER TREASURER MINISTER FOR ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
M AY 2 014
ast month I announced the establishment of the CBR Innovation Network to grow, innovate and create jobs. Innovative start-ups and companies with the potential for rapid growth will benefit from this initiative with industry stakeholders helping shape the services provided for entrepreneurs and innovation focused companies. This new approach is the result of a workshop held by the Economic Development Directorate in February with over 30 of the key stakeholders. The workshop recommended the establishment of an innovation network that would connect potential high growth businesses to a range of services, activities and mentors that would assist them to grow and create wealth. To implement this vision the CBR Innovation Network will be established with the following features: • The network will deliver services, programs and support to a wide cross section of growth oriented companies and entrepreneurs; • The network will have a physical location and will also have a charter of outreach that establishes multiple delivery points or partner delivery arrangements; • It will be managed by the stakeholders under a governance structure shaped and agreed by the stakeholders. Potential stakeholders include the ANU, CSIRO, NICTA and the University of Canberra and other partners who want to join the network. The ACT Government will also have representation on the management body for the network; • The network will be structured so that smaller players are able to have a role in the direction of the network; • The ACT Government will contract the network to provide a range of services to potential high growth businesses, including mentoring, access to capital, skills development, managerial skills and links to international supply chains amongst many; • The network will provide a ‘triage model’ for all entities that contact it, but with services that engage quite deliberately and effectively with potential high growth businesses; and
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• The services of the network will be made available to all potential high growth companies, not just companies spun out of research institutions or ICT companies. It’s important to emphasise that we will continue our commitment to assisting all general start-up and early-stage businesses in the ACT. The existing Canberra BusinessPoint service including the existing web site will be transferred to the network. The CBR Innovation Network, expected to commence operations in late 2014, will complement the ACT Government’s earlier announcement to establish a Digital Hub, centred on Garema Place. This new network has been welcomed by key stakeholders, including Professor Michael Cardew-Hall, Pro-Vice Chancellor (Innovation and Advancement), who noted that “A vibrant and well connected Canberra Innovation Eco-system is essential to research institutions such as the ANU in enabling the commercial translation of world leading research, ” Professor Cardew-Hall said. Dr Phil Robertson, Chief Operating Officer of NICTA sees the networks as key to catalysing engagement across the innovation community. “NICTA has a strong commitment to supporting innovation in the ACT, particularly where ICT is having a transformative impact on business and enabling new, high-growth opportunities,” Dr Robertson said. Professor Frances Shannon, Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research) at the University of Canberra also welcomed the Network, “The University of Canberra has a strong commitment to innovation and is supportive of a collaborative approach that will be facilitated through the CBR Innovation Network.” The CBR Innovation Network gives effect to the third strategic imperative of the Business Development Strategy to accelerate innovation in the ACT. I look forward to working with the business community to making the network a reality.
A S S O C I AT I O N S T O B U S I N E S S
Federal Budget 2014-15
he next six weeks will be critically important for business in the ACT. The Expenditure Review Committee has been meeting; the final report of the Commission of Audit has been delivered and will be released before the 201415 Federal Budget is handed down on 13 May 2014 and a month later on 3 June 2014 the ACT Budget will be delivered. At the local level, the economic fundamentals in the ACT remain sound but there are warning signs. CommSec’s latest State of the States Report (released 20 January 2014) showed that, while the ACT still had one of the better-performing economies in Australia, it had slipped from second to equal third place and was likely to be overtaken by Queensland before long, making it fourth and no longer one of the top performing economies. Governments are warning of tough times ahead as they try to rein in spending and return to surplus. Treasurer Joe Hockey has warned that all Australians will have to do the “heavy lifting”. Where does this leave business in Canberra? We all know that when savings come from cuts to Federal Government agency budgets, Canberra does more than its fair share of heavy lifting. Cuts to Federal Government spending always have a disproportionately adverse impact on economic activity, and on consumer and business confidence in the ACT – simply because our economy remains highly dependent on Federal Government procurement and employment policies. Canberra Business Council has identified three main areas as a “wish-list” for potential investment by the Abbott Government in the May 2014 Budget and beyond: 1. Investing in enabling infrastructure An integrated infrastructure strategy will boost the capital region economy, create jobs and help develop new industries: • Construct a world-class, highly secure new national convention centre (the Australia Forum) capable of hosting national and international meetings. • Establish and promote direct international flights to Canberra. • Invest in hotel, hospitality and transport infrastructure to support the Australia Forum and direct international flights.
• Improve road links between Canberra and other centres across the Capital Region including upgrades to Pialligo Avenue and Canberra Avenue, construction of the Ellerton Drive Extension Ring Road in Queanbeyan; and the duplication and improvement of the Barton, Kings and Monaro Highways. • Put the first stage – Sydney to Canberra – of an east coast High Speed Rail network to market immediately to test private sector interest and confirm costs. 2. Innovation The ACT is currently home to many world-class research and learning institutions and successful and innovative businesses. In the wake of public sector cuts, it will be important to build on Canberra’s strengths in order to grow these sectors and create new industries: • Retain and grow a hub of world-class research and learning institutions - such as the Australian National University, the University of Canberra, CSIRO and NICTA, to diversify and develop further as a knowledge economy. • Establish the ACT as a site for Federal Government funded trials of ICT and digital projects which could seed exportable products or services • Put robust processes in place to ensure small firms have an opportunity to competitively tender for Federal Government work. • Support separating APS staff who are looking to start their own business. 3. Recognising Canberra as the national capital The Federal Government has a responsibility to demonstrate a commitment to maintaining Canberra as a vibrant national capital - the home of our federal government, key national monuments and institutions, and Australia’s cultural history: • Commit to ongoing growth funding for national cultural institutions. • Reinstate funding for the National Capital Authority to 2007 levels. • Commit to retaining Federal Government Departments and Agencies in the ACT. For further details visit: http://www.canberrabusinesscouncil.com.au/ news-and-publications/article/?id=a-plan-forcanberra-and-the-region B2B M AGA ZIN E
CHRIS FA U L K S
CEO CANBERRA BUSINESS COUNCIL
CANBE RR A BUSINESS COUNCIL AFFILIATED WITH
Principal Members ACTEW Water, BluePackets Brookfield Johnson Controls, Canberra International Airport, CanPrint Communications Pty Limited, Cantlie, Cre8ive, Custom Security Services, Elite Sound & Lighting, Ernst & Young, eWAY, Hindmarsh, ISIS, KPMG, Master Builders Association (ACT), National Australia Bank Limited, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Staging Connections (ACT), The Village Building Co, Toshiba (Australia) Pty Limited, TransACT Communications, Westpac Banking Corporation
M AY 2 014
A S S O C I AT I O N S T O B U S I N E S S
Developments in privacy GREG SCHMIDT
DIRECTOR, WORKPLACE RELATIONS ACT & REGION CHAMBER OF COMMERCE & INDUSTRY
Corporate Sponsors ActewAGL TransACT The Canberra Times The Good Guys Tuggeranong Synapse Chamber Networks Women in Business Young Business Network Business after Business Foundation Member Australian Chamber of Commerce & Industry
M AY 2 014
here have been some significant changes around Privacy requirements recently that impact on the way that many employers should handle privacy issues. Firstly, significant amendments to the Australian Privacy legislation came into effect on 12 March 2014. The changes provide additional protections with regards to the use of data and restrict how Australian businesses collect, store and use data. The Privacy Act 1988 now includes a set of 13 Australian Privacy Principles that regulate the handling of personal information by Government agencies and many private sector organisations. Small businesses with an annual turnover of $3,000,000 or less are mostly exempt from the requirements of the Privacy Act. However this exemption does not apply to any business providing a health service, or businesses that are credit reporting bodies, and businesses meeting certain other criteria specified in the Privacy Act. Businesses would be well advised to inform themselves of their obligations under the Privacy Act and take any necessary steps to comply. Large fines (up to $1.7M for each contravention) can be applied for breaches of the Act. In the context of employing staff members, businesses are clearly entitled to collect certain information from employees and potential employees, and may also carry out searches of job applicants’ publicly accessible social media to provide additional information to assist in hiring decisions. However, there is no legal basis for employers to insist that employees or job applicants must provide their social media passwords. Notwithstanding this, recent Fair Work Commission decisions have reinforced the view that employers do have the right to exercise a degree of control over their employees’ social media activities. In the case of Cameron Little v Credit Corp Group Limited t/as Credit Corp Group, Mr Little was dismissed after he placed an offensive post on his own Facebook page in regard to a new colleague, and also made critical comments on the Facebook page of Christians Against Poverty, a third party organisation with which Mr Little had frequent dealings in his role as a Credit Corp Group employee.
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Mr Little maintained that his Facebook posts were private, they were made in his own time and that he did not identify himself on Facebook as a Credit Corp employee. He also stated that his post about the new employee was intended as a joke. He expressed the view that as an individual he had a right, like
Businesses would be well advised to inform themselves of their obligations under the Privacy Act and take any necessary steps to comply. Large fines (up to $1.7M for each contravention) can be applied for breaches of the Act. others, to have a Facebook account and to express his opinion on the internet in his own time, as long as it did not reflect poorly on the Company. However the Christians Against Poverty organisation was fairly easily able to identify Mr Little through his Facebook profile and notified his employer, which conducted an investigation and took the view that Mr Little had breached Credit Corp Group’s social media policy and damaged the organisation’s reputation. The Fair Work Commission agreed, and dismissed Mr Little’s Unfair Dismissal application. Another recent Fair Work Commission case, Pearson v Linfox Australia Pty Ltd, involved a worker who refused to accept his employer’s social media policy, apparently on the basis that “... as Linfox do not pay me or control my life outside of my working hours, they cannot tell me what to do or say outside of work, that is basic human rights on freedom of speech...”. While the employee’s refusal to accept the employer’s social media polity was not, by itself, sufficient to justify dismissal, Commissioner Gregory made the following statement as part of his decision: “… the establishment of a social media policy is clearly a legitimate exercise in acting to protect the reputation and security of a business. It also serves a useful purpose by making clear to employees what is expected of them. Gone is the time (if it ever existed) where an employee might claim posts on social media are intended to be for private consumption only. An employer is also entitled to have a policy in place making clear excessive use of social media at work may have consequences for employees.” For more information on your obligations as an employer, contact the Chamber today on 02 6283 5200 or visit www.actchamber.com.au
A S S O C I AT I O N S T O B U S I N E S S
Local knowledge key to international business success
he Export Council of Australia (ECA) with the support of Austrade and Export Finance and Insurance Corporation (EFIC) recently published the results of Australia’s International Business Survey (AIBS) 2014. An interesting part of the report is the survey outcome on barriers to exports and international business. In the survey, respondents were asked to identify the most significant challenges of doing business in the market they currently find most difficult. Barriers cited by respondents included: • Lack of information on local culture, business practices, language and consumers (selected by 59 per cent of respondents). • Lack of information on local regulation and tariffs (cited by 49 per cent). • Customer payment issues (45 per cent). • Tariff, quotas and import duties (34 per cent). • Regulatory issues including operating permits, licenses, and foreign company regulation (34 per cent). As indicated by the survey, significant knowledge gaps and information scarcity persist as a significant challenge for Australian businesses with international interests. Cultural differences We have all probably been confronted with cultural differences at some point, which often lead to amusing misunderstandings but can also have a serious impact on business dealings. One example is the way we communicate during business meetings. In some cultures, particularly in Asia, people are generally soft-spoken, indirect and tend not to interrupt others during a conversation. Furthermore, hierarchies may also have an important factor and failing to acknowledge the senior person’s status or to greet that person with due respect can leave a bad impression. It is therefore important to keep an eye at these differences and try to adjust to the way your business partners communicate. Another cultural difference is the concept of time. In many African, Middle Eastern and South American countries, scheduled appointments are often treated as a general guideline rather than
something which is set in stone. The key is to take advantage of this situation and not show signs of agitation or frustration as it will have a negative impact on your business partner. It is always best to be punctual at first and then adopt a more relaxed attitude towards time management if required. In this way, you will learn to adjust to your business partners’ concept of time. It is important to remember that our business partners will always appreciate our efforts to make a good impression, regardless of cultural differences. The importance of having a local contact One of the most successful and proven ways to achieve success in an international market is to work with an experienced local partner, which could be in the form of a local representative, agent or distributor. Having a local partner is critical as they provide you with knowledge of the local regulatory framework, introduction to key local business contacts and Government officials as well as language assistance. In the AIBS report, respondents were asked to identify sources of advice in overcoming information barriers. The top 5 sources of advice include: 1. Existing customers/suppliers – 58% 2. Other companies – 25% 3. Australian Government agencies – 24% 4. Industry associations – 24% 5. Business consultants – 13% As can be seen from the survey findings, local contacts (in this case existing customers and suppliers) remain an important source of information for companies doing business overseas. There are many free resources available online to help you understand the business cultures in various export markets as well as tips in identifying a good distributor/agent. The ACT Exporters’ Network is also well positioned to assist exporters as it provides a forum for exporters to network, share knowledge and insights and expand their export activities. Should you require further information about the ACT Exporters’ Network, please contact Larry Fisher at firstname.lastname@example.org. au or call (02) 6247 4199.
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EXPORT DEVELOPMENT MANAGER CANBERRA BUSINESS COUNCIL LTD
For more information on the ACT Exporters’ Network visit actexportersnetwork.com.au or call 02 6247 4199 The ACT Exporters’ Network is proudly sponsored by the ACT Government, Canberra Business Council, the Centre for Customs & Excise Studies and AusIndustry.
M AY 2 014
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