Your Business Holiday Season Check-up

Your Business Holiday Season Check-up

The Christmas shutdown time can be busy and eventful for most small businesses across New Zealand, who are preparing for the holiday season.

To ensure that your Christmas break stress-free and for the best interests of your business, We thought it might be useful to prepare a quick list of items you should focus on before the shutdown:

Payroll: Have you managed to get your staff’s holiday pay sorted? Working out what an employee gets paid for taking a day off on annual holidays will depend partly on what they have earned in the previous 12 months. Using a software like Smart Payroll should also help in minimising these hassles and ensuring your staff gets payed correctly and on time. To know more about managing your staff’s payroll, you can simply get in touch with us by contacting us on the details provided in the article below.

It is also important to note that Boxing Day and the second of January (day after New Year’s Day) fall on a Saturday this year. So, if you have an employee who wouldn’t normally work on Saturday, their holiday entitlement is transferred to the following Monday. If your employee would normally work on Saturday, then they’ll get their holiday entitlements on Saturday (the calendar date of the public holiday).

Cash-Flow Forecasting: It’s imperative for you to have a look at your cashflow forecast over December-January. This should help you prepare your business for the holiday period, and ensure you have sufficient cash reserves during the holiday season, to ensure your business is operating smoothly.

 

Tax Obligations: This is another important aspect of your business you should focus on before the shutdown, especially if you are impacted by seasonal revenue (such as Christmas revenue as a retailer). Both November and December GST are due for payment in January as well as provisional tax.  If you are concerned that you may not be able to pay the tax due, or if you’re facing any other issues get in touch with us and we can look at the available options in the current situation.

 

Make sure to check on these aspects of your business before you head into the holiday break, and in case your facing any issues with the above items, please get in touch with us by calling us on +64-9-972-2236 or email us at info@jzr.co.nz.

 

 

 

Written by Rowain Pereira

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How to Use Marketing Effectively to Grow Your Sales

Increasing sales is not only just an important marketing objective, but also an essential means of maintaining business viability, and potentially expanding your growth. There are many efficient and sometimes inexpensive ways of using marketing to drive your sales. In this article, we’ll be outlining some of those strategies, to help you grow your business .

 

Know Your Customers

Understanding your customers, will help you gain key insight on how your marketing communication can be improved or altered on your products or services. CRM tools such as HubSpot, Marketo, and Salesforce help you get direct and valuable feedback from your customers. Make sure to check the feedback that your customers are giving you on a regular basis.

Feedback from your customers in such instances, can be used to update your products by fixing issues, making improvements or adding features which might be beneficial to users. This feedback can also be used to create new products or services aimed at targeting a new set of potential customers or fill a void in the market, thereby helping you capitalise on a new opportunity.

You can also use any positive feedback from your customers to leverage your brand identity. This allows for increased sales to existing customers who trust the brand. This can also help cement your reputation amongst potential customers.

 

Diversify Your Market

 Another effective means of growing your sales, is by diversifying your market. This means finding new ways of attracting customers across different market segments, by introducing new products or services. For eg: a company with a high-end product might also look at an opportunity to launch a ‘low-end’ or ‘mid-range’ product to help attract new customers from those segments. Study what your competitors are doing across these segments, and use that research data to help you design a new product or service for your business. While the profit margins might differ across different segments, it allows your business to widen its network, and helps substantially by increasing sales volumes.

 This in turn also helps build brand awareness amongst different segments, thereby adding more value to your brand.

Marketing Your Promotions

 Another method to successfully drive sales for your business is through varied sales promotions. Market your different sales promotions, like coupons, discounts, rebates or give-aways to attract a segment of price-driven and budget conscious customers. Marketing is a great tool to let potential customers know about the various offers and promotions being offered by your business.

These promotions will not only help new customers get acquainted with the brand, but will also help your business, by giving it a chance to offer high quality products or services and potentially convert them. This will help your business in generating a higher customer lifetime value. This is a great method for both new as well as existing companies to not only build brand awareness but also generate quick profits.

 

Create and Integrated Marketing Mix

A culmination of traditional advertising through broadcast, print and digital media should help you build and effective Integrated Marketing Communication Mix for your brand. The increase in the use of the internet and other social media platforms over the last decade will help small businesses in integrating a variety of promotional tools into their messaging through a relatively inexpensive method.

Digital Marketing is one of the most inexpensive and quantifiable marketing mediums available in present times. Social media campaigns, SMS broadcasting, emailers and banner ads are some of the most common ways of marketing or advertising your brand on a digital platform. The reach and engagement of these platforms is also large, and can be measured easily. This helps your understand whether the messaging and communication you are using for your brand is effective or not.

A healthy mix of the above three should help you in generating sales, and also any long-term goals that you have set for the organisation.

 

To know more about how you can work to keep your business sustainable and healthy, stay tuned for our exclusive Business Health Check-up Guide, which will you the opportunity as a business owner to identify any improvements or opportunities that you must make to keep your business healthy. It will also help you understand how your business is performing in comparison to the industry.

 For any other queries regarding your business, feel free to get in touch with us my emailing us at info@jzr.co.nz or call us on +64-9-972-2236

Written by Rowain Pereira

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Ways To Boost Your Mental Wellbeing at Work

Ways To Boost Your Mental Wellbeing at Work

The resurgence of COVID-19 and the strain it has caused on the economy can seem intimidating to a lot of small business owners who are currently struggling to stay afloat. If you’re a business owner or  manager, there’s a lot you can do individually to support your office staff and maintain a positive and healthy work environment to keep motivation levels up, thereby ensuring that your business can not only sustain itself during such a period, but even be profitable. Research has indicated that ‘happy’ employees are more likely to be productive, efficient and determined. It is also shown that employees who believe that their employers care about them, have been shown to be more engaged at work.

As part of our vision to help New Zealand’s small businesses, we are outlining a few ways for you as a business owner to help build a supportive work environment during these times and thereby boosting your employee’s mental well-being:

  1. Pick-up the perks: Its always prudent to maintain a healthy work-life balance, and hence a good incentive would be to offer your employees regular health benefits such as a monthly massage, a gym membership, or even counselling sessions. This will not only ensure that your employees are healthy, but also happy and more engaged. It’s important to note here that you’ll have to pay fringe benefit tax on any non-cash benefits to staff unless it meets of the exemptions such as being provided on site or falling under the $300 per employee/ per quarter exemption. If you’d like more information on FBT, feel free to reach out to us.

 

  1. Still working from home?: Make sure that you check in on your employees regularly, to ensure that they are doing well. Isolation can be stressful for a lot of people, and checking in on your employees, can positively reinforce your support towards them.

 

  1. Spread the word about 1737: Let your staff know about the free and professional counselling that is available round the clock for anyone dealing with stress, anxiety or depression. The 1737 number and services are absolutely free for anyone living in New Zealand. Any time any of your staff or employees are feeling anxious and stressed they can call or text the helpline services to avail any professional advice, which might help them overcome these obstacles.

 

  1. Leading by example: As the boss, a lot of your employees will be looking to you, to lead the way. It is hence necessary for you to remain calm, empathetic and compassionate, to understand the needs of your employees better, and thereby foster a stronger professional and personal relationship with them.

 

  1. Write a policy: Looking after your staff, no matter what they’re going through, is really important. Put together a mental health and wellbeing policy that outlines how you will support employees who experience mental health challenges, and outline that they will always be treated fairly. For tips on how to put a policy together, read the Working Well Guide at mentalhealth.org.nz. This should help reinforce a sense of confidence in your employees, and will help them in being more vocal about any of the challenges or issues they may be facing.
  1. Creating a list of goals: Helping your employees with making a list at the start of your day, can really help in giving them direction to focus on the tasks at hand. Categorise bigger tasks into sections, which lets them check every task one by one as the day progresses, while also keeping you updated on the status. Checking things off your list also helps in keeping you motivated and focussed towards your end goal.

 

  1. Make sure your employees are not socially isolated: Encourage your employees to be in touch with friends and family, which can be can be a real stress-buster for them. By letting them talk to people, they will have the opportunity to process the events of the day, and receive support. It will also help them lighten their burden, and feel more relaxed.

 

  1. Go for a walk: Exercise can be a great way to clear your mind from any stress or anxiety you may be experiencing at the time. A breath of fresh air will also help you feel more focussed, and will reduce the stress that isolation maybe causing, not to mention the additional health benefits of exercising. Encourage your employees to take exercise breaks, so they feel more relaxed and ready to focus on work.

 

  1. Take Breaks: It’s easy for a lot of us to get caught up in our work, and forget to take our breaks, and sometimes we just simply end up eating lunch at our work desks. However, breaks are as important as the work you do. Letting yourself rest and reset will help boost your productivity and efficiency levels, and will help you be more focussed when you return. Make sure your employees are taking breaks and are well rested.

 These tips should help to cut down on the stress caused to your business by the COVID-19 resurgence. If there are any other issues that your business may be facing, you can reach out to our team at JZR by mailing us at info@jzr.co.nz or calling us on +64-9-972-2236.

 

 

 

Written by Rowain Pereira

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A Summary of all the Tax Changes and Support Schemes for COVID-19

The year 2020 and the world’s current economic status has taken a battering with the outbreak of COVID-19. With governments racing to create relief and incentive schemes for local businesses, the purpose of this article is to simply outline all the key tax changes and support schemes that have been introduced by the government of New Zealand  to help local businesses mitigate the impact of COVID-19.

Major Tax Changes

1.     Reintroducing Depreciation on Commercial & Industrial Buildings

All depreciation deductions will be reintroduced for new and existing industrial and commercial buildings, including hotels and motels. There is no application process as the increased deduction will be available as part of normal tax filing processes. For more information click here.

2.     Immediate Deductions on Low Value Assets

Businesses will be able to deduct the full cost of more low-value assets in the year they were purchased, rather than having to spread the cost over the life of the asset. Currently, taxpayers are able to claim immediate deductions on the purchase of assets valued at lesser than $500. The threshold for this will now be increased to include assets that cost up to $5000 (for the 2020/21 income year).

The temporary increase in the threshold, is designed to incentivise businesses to bring forward investments to encourage spending. The threshold is being permanently increased to $1,000 (from 2021/22). For more information click here.

3.     Change to Provisional Tax Threshold

The government has increased the threshold for having to pay provisional tax from $2,500 to $5,000 for the 2020/2021 financial year only. For more information click here.

4.     Writing Off Interest On Some Late Payment Tax

The IRD has been given the power to waive interest on late tax payments for businesses who’ve had their ability to pay their taxes on time significantly affected by the Covid-19 outbreak. The relief will apply to interest on all tax payments (including PAYE & GST) due on or after the 14th of February, 2020. For more information click here.

5.     Change to Carrying Forward of Tax Losses

The government has introduced a ‘same or similar business’ test, which means a business could carry forward losses. To meet the test, the business must continue in the same or a similar way it did before ownership changed. This test is modelled on Australia’s rules.

Some companies will be looking to raise capital to keep afloat now and to recover in the future. Raising capital may result in a change to the existing shareholder structure. Relaxing the rules will ensure companies in this position could carry losses forward to offset income when they return to profit. A bill will be introduced in the second half of 2020 after consultation with tax advisors, and will apply for the 2020-21 and later income years. 

6.     The Temporary Loss Carry Back Scheme

Businesses that are expecting to make a loss in 2019/20 or the 2020/21 financial year will be able to estimate the loss and use it offset profits in the past year. The scheme introduces the concept of offset years, which are the pair of years affected by the carry-back. The first year is named as the taxable income year and the second as the net loss year. For more information click here.

Simply put, this means that they can carry their losses back a year. This will allow the IRD to refund some or all of the tax paid for the year in which the business was in profit. For more information click here.

 Business Support Schemes

1.     Wage Subsidy Resurgence

A new Resurgence Wage Subsidy Scheme payment has been announced by the government for employers and self-employed people who have been impacted by the recent resurgence of COVID-19.

All New Zealand employers who have had or expect to have a drop in their revenues of at least 40% due to the resurgence of COVID-19 may apply for the scheme. Businesses must show a drop of at least 40% in their revenues for a 14 day period between the 12th of August to the 10th  of September, compared to a similar period last year. Application dates for the scheme are open from 1pm on the 21st of August until the 3rd of September 2020. For more information on eligibility criteria and how you can apply, please click here.

2.     Small Business Cashflow Scheme 

The small-business cash-flow scheme (SBCS) will provide interest free loans for a year to small businesses which have been impacted by the COVID-19 to help support their cash-flow needs and fixed costs as well. The scheme will provide assistance of up to $100,000 to firms employing 50 or fewer full time employees.

The scheme will provide $10,000 to every firm, and an additional $1,800 per equivalent full-time employee. To further encourage businesses the loans will be interest free if they’re paid back within a year. If the loan amount cannot be repaid within a year, then a 3% interest fee will be charged for a maximum period of five years. Repayments are not required for the first two years.

3.     Business Finance Guarantee Loan Scheme

The scheme will include a limit of $500,000 per loan and will apply to firms with a turnover of between $250,000 and $80 million per annum. The loans will be for a maximum of three years and expected to be provided by the banks at competitive, transparent rates. The scheme is also only available to financially solvent firms (i.e. firms whose assets are greater than their liabilities).

As a New Zealand small business owner if you would like to apply for any of the schemes or would like us to help you with issues your business might be facing, please contact us on info@jzr.co.nz or call us on +64-9-972-2236

 

Written by Rowain Pereira

Tax

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COVID-19 Resurgence Wage Subsidy Scheme: Everything You Need To Know

COVID-19 Resurgence Wage Subsidy Scheme: Everything You Need To Know

A new Resurgence Wage Subsidy Scheme payment has been announced by the government for employers and self-employed people who have been impacted by the recent resurgence of COVID-19.

 What Is The Eligibility Criteria?

All New Zealand employers who have had or expect to have a drop in their revenues of at least 40% due to the resurgence of COVID-19 may apply for the scheme. Businesses must show a drop of at least 40% in their revenues for a 14 day period between the 12th of August to the 10th  of September, compared to a similar period last year.

You may be eligible if:

  • You are an eligible employer
  • Your business must be operational in New Zealand
  • Your employees must be working legally in New Zealand
  • You must have a 40% decline in revenue for a two week period between the 12th of August and the 10th of September.
  • Your business must mitigate the financial impact.
  • You must retain the employees you’re applying for.

What Are The Payment Rates?

The subsidy aims at supporting business for a payment period of two weeks. The payment rates are as follows:

  • $585.80 for people working 20 hours or more per week (full time rate)
  • $350.00 for people working than 20 hours per week (part-time rate)

As per information released by the government, the MSD is currently aiming to pay the Resurgence Wage Subsidy Scheme within 5 working days of receiving an application. This is conditional to the fact that the details being submitted by the company match the details registered with Inland Revenue. Mismatches in the information being submitted may lead to delays in processing.

When Can You Apply?

Application dates for the scheme are open from 1pm on the 21st of August until the 3rd of September 2020.

Important Note:
You can’t receive the Resurgence Wage Subsidy Scheme if you’re currently receiving payments from previous schemes such as the Wage Subsidy SchemeWage Subsidy Extension Scheme or the Leave Support Scheme for an employee.

What Does This Mean?
If your business has been registered for any of the previous schemes, that is the Wage Subsidy Scheme, The Wage Subsidy Extension Scheme or the Leave Support Scheme, and you’re still within the payment period of any of the previous schemes mentioned here, you might not to be eligible for the Resurgence Scheme.

The previous Wage Subsidy Extension Scheme announced an 8 week payment period for all businesses or self-employed individuals that were approved by the MSD. This means that if you’re still receiving payments from the previous scheme’s 8 week payment period, you won’t be eligible to apply for the Resurgence Scheme.

However if your payment period from the previous schemes has already concluded or will conclude before the 3rd of September, you may still be eligible for the Resurgence Wage Subsidy.

When you apply, you’ll be asked to declare that you meet the criteria and agree to the obligations for the use of this payment. All payments will be subject to audits and reviews.

If you have any questions regarding the Resurgence Wage Subsidy Scheme or how to apply for it, you can get in touch with us on +64-9-972-2236 or email us on info@jzr.co.nz

Written by Rowain Pereira

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