— Finances

Why you need a business plan

“A strong business plan is essentially the cornerstone of your business, and yet many entrepreneurs drag their feet when it comes to writing one— possibly because it involves a good deal of work and may bring back childhood memories of writing a tedious book report on summer vacation. But it’s critical that you not only organise your thoughts on how you intend to run your business but also formalise your plan in writing. Here’s why…” Read on

Colleen DeBaise The Wall Street Journal, Small Business

Published 29 September 2009.

Planning your exit strategy

“Entrepreneurs have their exits as well as their entrances, and if they know what’s good for them, they plan as well for the one as for the other. Growing Business explores some of the issues you’ll need to consider before selling up.” Read on

John O’Hanlon GB Magazine

Published 29 September 2009.

Is starting a business brave, smart, stupid or nuts?

“I have started nine businesses. I can tell you this from experience: If everyone who starts a business had to get a sign-off from the general population, no one would start a business… Getting advice about whether to start a particular business is tricky. Whom do you ask? I would ask business owners. They understand the risks, the opportunities, the potential problems and the things you need to watch out for. Perhaps you can learn from their mistakes.” Read on

Jay Goltz NYtimes.com

Published 16 September 2009.

Track key performance indicators

“To adjust to market conditions quickly and do more of what’s working and less of what’s not working, you need to track and measure your activities and the results of those activities. As you engage in this process you’ll likely find corollaries between routine business activities and revenue growth. These corollaries are key performance indicators.” Read on

Paul Diamond Bizmore

Published 28 August 2009.

Start-ups share space to shave costs in slump

“Sharing office space with other businesses isn’t new, but the tanking economy has prompted many small business owners to consider it as they look for any practical way to lower overhead costs. Some providers of co-working space are also offering reduced rates and even giving entrepreneurs opportunities to barter their services in return for paying no rent at all.” Read on

Raymund Flandez Small Business, The Wall Street Journal

Published 29 July 2009.

Why small businesses fail

“Entrepreneurs tend to concentrate on what they love, whether it’s the artist who paints but doesn’t spend any time marketing or the chef who lives in the kitchen and ignores her financials. Every business owner needs to be his or her own CFO. Delegating that task to a bookkeeper or an outside accounting firm means putting your life into their hands. They generally don’t know the ins and outs of your business well enough to make critical decisions.” Read on

Jay Goltz CNNMoney.com

Published 08 July 2009.

Getting paid

“Sometimes the hardest thing in business is not finding customers; it is being paid for the product or service you provide. As Australia’s economy slows, the average age of accounts receivable is stretching many smaller and emerging businesses to almost breaking point. Before we examine ideas for ensuring fast payment of invoices, it is important to acknowledge that the best defence against unpaid invoices is not giving credit in the first place.” Read on

Mark Neely Australian Anthill

Published 07 July 2009.

Business 101: Making sure you get paid

“Regardless of how exciting your project is and how ‘cutting edge’ your technology may be, it’s still important to pay attention to the most fundamental principle of business – making sure you get paid. The risk of being dudded is reduced by following a few simple rules. It’s surprising how often they’re bypassed or forgotten.” Read on

Mark Toohey Australian Anthill

Published 07 July 2009.

Setting up a bookkeeping system

“All businesses are about money – how much you have, where it comes from and where it’s going. One of the most important tools to help you succeed is a good bookkeeping system. A good system makes it easier to analyse your business finances.” Read on

State of Victoria, Australia. Business Victoria

Published 07 July 2009.

Here’s trouble

“Spotting signs of business failure is important – not just for your own business but also in your suppliers. If you’re in manufacturing, the loss of a key component, or as a retailer, the collapse of a wholesaler, presents real business risk.” Read on

Julianne Dowling Small Business, The Sydney Morning Herald

Published 07 July 2009.

Boost cashflow by reducing your cycle time

“Many businesses fail despite having customers lined up around the block. The reason? They grow too fast. If you have a long cycle time between order and payment, chances are you’re used to cashflow crises. It’s time to reduce your cycle time.” Read on 

Roger La Salle Australian Anthill

Published 06 July 2009.

Managing cash flow and fixed costs

“One of the biggest challenges for creative businesses, especially fast-growing enterprises, is the management of cash flow. When businesses fail, it’s frequently because of a cash flow crisis rather than lack of profitability… An unprofitable business will inevitably run short of cash but even profitable businesses can face a cash crisis if cashflow isn’t managed carefully.” Read on

David Parrish T-Shirts and Suits 

One of the biggest challenges for creative businesses, especially fast-growing enterprises, is the management of cash flow.
When businesses fail, it’s frequently because of a cash flow crisis rather than lack of profitability. The gap between cash outflows and cash inflows becomes too big and they run out of cash. An unprofitable business will inevitably run short of cash but even profitable businesses can face a cash crisis if cashflow isn’t managed carefully.
Published 06 July 2009.

Failure to take account could ruin a small business

“Those who think of themselves as entrepreneurs need to confront two of the greatest reasons for small business failure. The first is their tightwad ways; the second, that their accountants too often are hopeless at business.” Read on 

Peter Switzer The Australian

IN the aftermath of the May budget, those who think of themselves as entrepreneurs need to confront two of the greatest reasons for small business failure. The first is their tightwad ways; the second, that their accountants too often are hopeless at business.
Now before all of my accountant buddies head to their emails, read me out. I believe a great accountant is crucial to business success, but if small business failure rates are so high, you have to ask: where are the accountants when this happens?
The answer could be that many small business owners have done their own tax returns to save money and lost their business, their house, their family and a whole lot more.
Published 06 July 2009.

Ten ways to reduce your accounting fees

“Professional accountants can be critical to the ongoing success of your business. They can provide advice on company structure, financial management and legal tax avoidance. But their fees can be exorbitant! There are three key areas the business owner can focus on to minimise the cost of their accounting fees.” Read on

Heather Smith Flying Solo

Published 01 April 2009.

Cheque yourself – getting clients to pay up

“One of the hardest parts of running a business is tackling deadbeats. Some clients dither and wriggle as long as possible. The money will arrive in your account or in the post any moment now, they say. Alternatively, they plead that the delay will end just as soon as a flood of new business materialises or Mercury is aligned with Jupiter. Since business revolves around cash flow, no SME operator can afford to hear excuses indefinitely… So how do you avoid being stiffed and coax money owed?” Read on

David Wilson Small Business, The Age

Published 11 March 2009.

Show me the money

“Unless you have deep pockets, your new venture is not going to get very far without a capital injection. Of course, different investment opportunities suit different investment types. We asked a bank loan broker, an angel investor and an early stage venture capitalist what they look for in an investment deal.” Read on

Paul Ryan Australian Anthill

Published 19 November 2008.

How to write a business plan

“It’s the moment all entrepreneurs dread. You’ve got a great idea, but can you prove that it will work in practice? A business plan is not just a corporate formality, it’s a test to see if your idea stands up – vital if you hope to convince someone to lend you money – and an ongoing reference point once you’re up and running. So how do you draw up a business plan to ensure that you really will be laughing all the way to the bank?” Read on

Emily Ford The Times

Published 27 June 2008.

Collecting your debts

“Collecting overdue accounts can be a major hassle for small to medium enterprises but the impacts of not staying on top of debtors can be devastating. Christine Christian, chief executive of debt collection and credit reporting agency Dun & Bradstreet, sees the impact of overdue accounts every day and offers the following advice to SMEs.” Read on

Christine Christian Small Business, The Sydney Morning Herald

Published 16 April 2008.

Tool kit (Finances)

Arts Queensland: Determine your selling price
This fact sheet provides definitions of important terms related to selling prices and provides calculations to help you devise various gross profit and other cost types.
Arts Queensland: Preparing a cash flow budget
A cash flow budget records the cash you expect to receive and pay out over a period of time. This fact sheet takes you through the various factors to consider when creating this type of budget.
Australian Taxation Office: Record keeping essentials
A comprehensive guide to record keeping for business that outlines basic to advanced methods for keeping records in a variety of industries.
Business Victoria:
Cash flow statements and forecasts
Developed by Business Victoria to help SMEs to understand cash flow and forecasting, this article includes links to an automated cash flow template.
Business Victoria:
Records management
This article by Business Victoria includes a checklist on the kind of business records all Australian SMEs need to keep and how long you need to keep them for.
NAB Microenterprise Loans
NAB Microenterprise Loans are unsecured business loans of between $500 and $20,000. They are provided on a non-for-profit basis and are available to help start ups or existing businesses of five or fewer employees.
Small Business NSW:
Pricing and costing online module
This free online interactive module will help SMEs understand profit, cost structures, setting prices, break-even point and the difference between cash flow and profit.
T-Shirts and Suits: A guide to the business of creativity,
Counting your money
This chapter by David Parrish covers financial topics including cash flow, generating income and ensuring long-term financial security.
About ADU
Part magazine, part bulletin, part business resource, ADU is a publication and archive about design and creativity published monthly to encourage and support designers. ADU is an independent and strongly collaborative voice within the design sector with a broad network that connects designers from across the country to the resources they need. ADU is also a vehicle for workshops, forums and exhibitions produced to encourage discourse and develop skills around design, creativity, entrepreneurship and ideas. ADU collaborates with design institutions and existing initiatives to enable designers to develop new markets at home and abroad. ADU is a joint venture between Parcel and Studio Propeller.
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