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Welcome to the July 2023 edition of the Small Business Financial Counselling Service (SBFCS) Southern Queensland newsletter.

Message from CEO

Suddenly, it’s July and a new financial year is upon us! Whilst this can be an opportunity to turn the page and focus on new and exciting goals for the year ahead, I encourage everyone to take time to review and plan your to-do list of activities to finalise the 2022-23 financial year. This typically includes completing the last business activity statement (BAS) for the June quarter, compiling and engaging with your accountant to complete your annual tax return and financial statements and addressing any tax implications that arise from these lodgements. It’s also important to remember your WorkCover declarations at this time of year too.

In addition to these structured requirements, I encourage you to sit down and review the 2022-23 year that was. What happened with your sales and other income? How did you track with your expense management? Is there anything that you want (or need) to do differently in the 2023-24 financial year? In particular, I encourage you to consider your costs and identify whether, in this rising cost environment, the sale price of your goods or services remains relevant. Whilst I understand that raising prices is a big decision, it is important to ensure that you review your business income relative to your costs.

Throughout June we regretfully bid farewell to some members of our regional small business team as funding via the Regional Small Business Support Program came to an end. However, our remaining eight Small Business Financial Counsellors and six Business Wellness Coaches are continuing to provide support across all of Southern Queensland (including digitally as required).
Best regards, 
Ross Leggett
Chief Executive Officer

WorkCover wages declaration

The start of the new financial year comes with a to-do list of bookwork related tasks for your business. One of those tasks is to renew your Workcover Accident Insurance Policy.

To renew your policy, you must ensure that you declare your wages and pay your premium by 16 September to take advantage of premium discounts offered by Workcover Queensland.

You can declare your wages anytime from 1 July. By making the declaration early using WorkCover Connect, you can utilise a payment plan for your premium should you require it.

Before making your declaration, you need to know your actual wages from the last financial year as well as an estimate of wages you will pay this financial year. Your declaration must include:

  • all PAYG gross salary and wages payments
  • all superannuation payments including salary sacrifice super
  • any fringe benefits or other entitlements that have a monetary value
  • all payments (excluding GST) made to individual contractors that are considered workers.

Get to know Julia Spicer

This month we caught up with Queensland’s Chief Entrepreneur, Julia Spicer. Julia is a Goondiwindi local and has extensive knowledge of regional Queensland and the particular obstacles that businesses face outside of major cities. Read on to learn more about Julia and dive into the mind of Queensland’s flag-bearer for innovation and entrepreneurship.
Can you tell us a little bit about your role as Queensland’s Chief Entrepreneur?
The role is really about championing innovation and entrepreneurship across the state and for me a big focus is shining the light on regional Queensland and helping support a resilient innovation ecosystem where communities, people and the planet are connected and thriving. We have the solutions for global problems – we just need to get those solutions out there!

Can you share any exciting projects or initiatives that you have in the works for the coming year?
We have some amazing partnerships in the wind around supporting climate tech and low carbon solutions.  We are working with the Queensland Small Business Commissioner, Dominique Lamb, to look at opportunities for invigorating and activating communities to ensure economic growth. We are always on the lookout for great stories about innovators and entrepreneurs across the state. We will be supporting businesses to attend various events around the state to connect with other like-minded people. I’ve also just come back from Cape York and there’s so much potential for economic growth in that region!

We have key priorities in the Office of the Queensland Chief Entrepreneur – connection, transition and resilience and impact. All of our work will be focused on these priorities.
Who are some of the people who have been most influential in your career and personal life?
I find inspiration from most people really! I am pretty blessed to have had strong foundations from mum and dad, and I spent a year in Switzerland at the age of 17 living with a family I became really close to. I have friends from primary school all the way through the various chapters of my life and they have all influenced me in many ways.
What do you enjoy doing in your free time to recharge and stay energised?
Being out on our hobby farm just outside of Goondiwindi is my favourite thing. Recharging with my husband and all the animals – miniature horses, some sheep, a goose and a few too many guinea pigs! I also love to catch up with friends and go for a walk or having good conversations over a coffee (or something stronger).
What advice would you give to aspiring entrepreneurs in Queensland?
To go for it! If you have an exciting idea or many, test the waters, talk to as many clever people as you can and just take action. Progress over perfection. The world needs you!

Ros’ tip for small businesses

For small business owners, it’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day of running a business, constantly busy with tasks that demand immediate attention. However, it is important to prioritise working on your business, rather than simply working in it.

The start of the new financial year provides a great opportunity to reflect on the past 12 months and start planning for the year ahead.

Here are some tips to guide your planning.

  • Revisit your business plan.
  • Set goals for the next 12 months.
  • Complete a cashflow budget and set targets. Check this every month to keep track of performance.
  • Look at the operational needs to ensure the business is efficient and make changes if required.
  • Consider current risks and mitigation strategies.

Remember this can also be a team activity and a good opportunity to discuss in depth with your accountant/business advisor.
Ros Jones
Small Business Financial Counsellor
Gold Coast Region

Business Launchpad

Business Launchpad is an online tool designed to make it easier for Queensland businesses to find their compliance requirements.

Bringing together all business licencing, permits and regulatory information across all levels of government onto one platform, Business Launchpad ensures everything you need to know about setting up and running your business is accessible in one place.

Users can generate a tailored list of licences, codes of practice and other regulatory information – specific to business, industry and location, highlighting all the regulatory requirements and support services available.

With all businesses, industries and locations in Queensland covered, the launchpad is a key reference enabling new and existing businesses to easily find, action and store relevant licencing and permit requirements.

Have your say on vocational training

If your business has used vocational training programs through TAFE or a training provider to train yourself or your staff, the Queensland Government wants to hear from you.

Complete a short online survey and share your views on what you like about Queensland’s vocational education and training, what could be done better and how to ensure people across the state can access the training they need.

The survey closes Friday 18 August 2023.

Business Wellness Coaching FAQs

Seeking support can be daunting and it can be difficult to know what to expect. This month, we answer some frequently asked questions (FAQs) about Business Wellness Coaching to give you a better idea about our service.

When should a small business owner contact us?
If there’s something that’s worrying you as a small business owner or keeping you awake at night, definitely get in touch with us. We can help with a range of challenges related to your business, relationships, health or yourself.
What does the first session with a wellness coach look like?
During the first session, business owners will have a one-to-one chat with one of our team. We are here to listen and respond to the individual business owner’s unique situation and support them to ‘take the next right step’.
What is the business wellness team’s approach?
It is very important to our coaches that we take a person-centred and strengths-based approach that is caring and non-judgemental. Our aim is to create a trusted and confidential connection so that small business owners can feel safe and supported from the very first contact.
If you are a small business owner in need of support, reach out to our Business Wellness Coaching Team.

Linda-Ann Northey
Program Coordinator and Business Wellness Coach

Free resources to help with hiring staff

Is your business looking to hire staff? The Australian Government has developed two free resources to help you get it right.

Developed with the ATO, Fair Work Commission, Fair Work Ombudsman and Attorney-General’s Department, these resources are designed to provide clarity on the employment process, and confidently meet Australian laws. The resources include:

  • a hiring employees checklist – to help understand the process of hiring and the laws of employment
  • an employment contract tool – to help build a compliant contract, tailored to the needs of your business, in just 10 minutes.

Funding for regional Queensland manufacturing enterprises

If you are a small to medium manufacturing enterprise (SME) in regional Queensland matched funding between $10,000 and $500,000 is available for projects which make your business more productive, build advanced manufacturing capabilities or create jobs of the future.

These outcomes can be achieved through either:

  • technology adoption
  • skills and training
  • business development
  • advanced robotic manufacturing hub services.

To be eligible your SME must:

  • be Queensland-based
  • have principal activity and the majority of annual turnover derived from manufacturing
  • have main operations located in an eligible Queensland SA4 region (Cairns, Townsville, Central Queensland, Mackay or the Gold Coast)
  • have operated within Queensland for a minimum of three consecutive years prior to making an application
  • be GST registered and hold an active ABN.