#1: Make a business plan                                         

Every thriving business has a clear strategic vision. It’s important to define your purpose; how are you improving your customers’ lives? It’s a good idea to put your thoughts on paper in the form of a business plan. Ask yourself: who are my ideal clients? How big is the market? Who’s my competition? What’s my marketing strategy? Having a clear vision will help you stay on track, even during tough times.                                      

#2: Separate your finances       

The line between business and personal can become blurry regarding funds so good record keeping is essential. Keeping your business and personal funds separate can save you a lot of hassle down the line, especially when it comes to your taxes. If you haven’t already, consider opening a Business Transaction Account to draw a line between your business and personal finances. CommBank small business customers can easily toggle between their personal and business accounts in the CommBank app.

#3: Know your cash flow

Once your business is up and running, it’s critical to have clear visibility of your cash flow. Knowing what’s coming in and going out can help you make timely and informed decisions. CommBank Business Transaction Account holders can access insights into their cash flow via the app, along with strategies and tips on how to manage it throughout the year.           

#4: Tax-time tips                          

With the rising cost of doing business, it pays to be aware of all the deductions you may be entitled to claim. With the end of the financial year approaching, now is the time to consider any big purchases you might need to make soon, whether it’s equipment, tools or appliances and stock up before 1 July to claim a deduction.     

You may also be able to claim some of the expenses of running your business. Eligible expenses include those with a service period of 12 months or less, such as annual policies, utility bills or professional subscriptions. If you work from home as an employee, you could be able to claim 67 cents for every hour. You need to keep a written record – a timesheet, roster or diary – of your hours worked from home. There are also other methods so check with your accountant to see which may be best for you.

#5: Don’t neglect your super fund

If you’re self-employed, it’s up to you to make sure you’re putting enough away for a comfortable retirement. A low flat tax rate of 15 per cent applies to every dollar you put into your super each year, up to the annual contribution limit of $27,500 (rising to $30,000 in FY2024/25) – this includes employer contributions on your behalf. There’s also an extra tax for those earning more than $250,000.                                                                   

Super contributions received by your fund before 30 June can be claimed as a deduction in that year’s tax. You’ll also have to submit a “notice of intent to claim” form to your super fund before you submit your tax return. As with all things tax, if you’re unsure of anything, check with your accountant – and don’t forget to claim the cost of your accountant in the next tax year.

Consider your future financials

You might be tempted to reinvest every penny your business earns. But while it’s important to grow your business, don’t neglect your own financial future. Compensate yourself as you would any employee and don’t forget your super – future you will thank you.