Reassess your business structure

Even if your business structure is currently working, you should take the time to review it. There are many common reasons why businesses choose to change structure.

Remember that you’re not locked into one structure for the life of your business.

Find out more:

  • Check out Starting a company on the Australian Securities and Investments Commission's (ASIC's) Small Business Hub.
  • Speak to a professional business adviser, solicitor or accountant. Search Advisory Services for low-cost business advisers near you.
  • Contact IP Australia if you’re changing, or need new, registered trademarks or logos.
  • Transfer your business name with ASIC.

Review your bookkeeping and record keeping systems

Not only does keeping good records make running your business much easier, depending on your industry, you might need to keep certain records to meet your responsibilities or obligations. It also helps you to keep track of how your business is going financially.

Review how your current bookkeeping and record keeping methods are working for your business so far. As your business grows, you may find that your requirements will change as well.

Take a look at your current financial position

It can be a good idea to sit down with your accountant or bookkeeper and review your business finances. Have a look at whether you are meeting your targets, and what you can do differently to improve and grow.

Use Small business benchmarks to compare your business’s performance against similar businesses to yours.

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO)’s Business performance check can help you check how your business is performing. To use it:

  1. Download the ATO app from Google Play, the Windows Phone Store or the Apple App Store.
  2. Go to Business.
  3. Select Business performance check.
  4. Enter the information requested.
  5. Check your business performance.

You can also use the ATO’s Business viability assessment tool to help you determine whether your business is viable. The assessment considers a range of information that is linked to the financial performance and position of your business. This includes the your ability to pay outstanding debts and meet ongoing commitments to creditors.

Find out more:

Check your registrations, licences and insurances

Business insurance

Check you have the right insurance policies in place for your business, particularly if your situation has changed from when you first started. You may need to change your cover if you’ve moved locations, started employing people or changed your business structure.

Insurances during COVID-19

  • Employees who work from home during COVID-19 still need to be covered by workers’ compensation insurance.

Registrations and licences

It’s also important to make sure your businesses licences, permits and registrations are current. As good practice, keep a register of your registrations and licences to make sure you’re always up to date.

Australian, state, territory and local governments are responsible for different business licences, permits, registrations and certificates. To find out those that apply to you, use the Australian Business Licence and Information Service (ABLIS).

Find out more:

Reviewing your business and marketing plans

Your business plan is crucial to the ongoing growth of your business. As your business expands, you should regularly review and update your plans.

It’s also a good idea to regularly review your marketing plan throughout the different stages of your business. The more you know about your business, customers and competition, the better you will be able to update your plan to suit your needs. This will help you improve your competitiveness and meet your sales targets.

  • The marketing plan template can help you pull together your total marketing effort and help you to use a targeted approach to developing your business's products or services.

Find out more

  • Our business plans section covers a broad range of information to help you in starting, running and growing your business.

Look at your staffing needs

Now that you’ve been running your business for a while, you may find that you need to employ staff for the first time or need to review your staffing requirements.

You may even consider employing a trainee or an apprentice.

Read Hiring people for more information on what you need to do when employing people.

Planning for leave or holidays

Have you made arrangements for what will happen in your business if you or your staff members are on leave?

  • Do you have a leave policy? Are your employees aware of it?
  • Are you actively aware of how much annual leave your employees have accrued?
  • Will you have enough people to effectively run your business if people take leave?
  • Do you need to maintain a casual workforce/use an employment agency to cover you when staff members take both planned and unplanned leave?
  • Do you have quiet periods during which you can encourage staff members to take leave to help lessen the amount of leave taken during busier periods?

Minimum leave entitlements for employees come from the National Employment Standards (NES). An award, registered agreement or contract of employment can provide for other leave entitlements but they can’t be less than what is in the NES.

Find out more:

Check out the National Employment Standards (NES), 10 minimum employment entitlements that must be provided to all employees.

Maintaining your skills

To keep up with, or create business growth, it’s important to make sure you’re continually developing your skills and those of your staff.

Attending training on new technologies, industry specific topics or internal processes like financial management can help increase your profits, productivity, staff motivation and customer satisfaction.

Find out more:

  • National Training Information is the database of vocational education and training in Australia. It includes information on training packages, qualifications, units of competency and Registered Training Organisations (RTOs).
  • Attend a seminar or workshop in your state or territory. Search for business related events in your area through our Events search.
  • Contact your local Business Enterprise Centre (BEC) for business training and workshops.

Improve your business through innovation

Is your business flexible and open to new ideas – even if it means changing your current business model?

Innovation is coming up with new ways of doing things in order to develop or create more effective processes, products and ideas. It is important to innovate as it can help you save time and money, and give you the competitive advantage to grow and adapt your business to address changing market needs.

Find out more:

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