As all levels of Government move to reduce costs and improve efficiency we, the consumers, more
often than not find ourselves directed to a website for information.
For some who are comfortable with the process this is OK. However, how many of us have become frustrated,
annoyed and sometimes wanting to punch the screen because we simply cannot get the precise
bit of information we need?
I was having a discussion about this frustration with some small business owners at a recent event
organized by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO). I know the ATO comes in for a fair bit of
criticism from time to time especially if you can’t find the information you are after on their
website and have to revert to the help line which can leave you in a holding pattern for a
very long time. Small business owner’s time is very valuable!
We agreed that websites will never be all things to everyone. But in my view, the ATO website has
substantially improved and is now much better than it was some years ago.
I especially like the Small Business Newsroom which is dedicated to small business issues including
resources such as videos and quick links to a range of topics including:-
- Online services
- ABN Lookup
- Small business assist
- ATO app
- Calculators and tools
- After-hours web chat
- Book an after hours call back
Give it a try if you haven’t been there for a while and let’s know what you think. www.ato.gov.au
Is it easy to use, find what you want and relevant to small business? I will pass your thoughts
onto the ATO.
As a matter of interest, the amount of traffic that goes through some of the Government regulators
websites is mind boggling.
The Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) recently provided me with some data
on the number of enquiries, searches and lodgements handled through its website.
Have a look at the graphic below and you get an idea of the huge volume of traffic directed through
the ASIC site.
Australian Small Business Advisory Service Programme
BEC Darwin is proud to provide the next round of low cost business advisory services as part of the ASBAS Programme for the following sessions:
Is your business easy to find online?
7.30am - 9.30am Thursday 5 November 2015
Subcontractors vs Employee; Casual vs Permanent - What's in a definition?
7.30am - 9.30am Tuesday 10 November 2015
Business tenancies and negotiating a commercial lease
7.30am - 9.30am Thursday 12 November 2015
Why you need an agreement for services and what to include in one
7.30am - 9.30am Tuesday 24 November 2015
Preparation of Funding Applications
7.30am - 9.30am Tuesday 1 December 2015
Online Payment Integration
7.30am - 9.30am Thursday 3 December 2015
Visit the website for online bookings
October Business Month
Wow another October Business Month over!
What a spectacular year with an impressive lineup of keynote speakers that included Ruslan
Kogan, Matt Moran, Steven Bradbury, Naomi Simson, Lisa Messenger and David de Garis ending
with this week’s final keynote event "How I Turned $1000 Into A Multinational Company"
with Carolyn Creswell from Carman, the number one selling gourmet muesli brand on Australian
supermarket shelves. We can’t wait to see what 2016 has to offer...
BEC Small Business Workshops
Don’t miss the final Small Business Workshop for 2015 introducing you to five specific and
important areas of business including business structures and tax, marketing and bookkeeping.
Best of all the workshop is FREE!
Venue: BEC Darwin, 20 Catterthun Street, Winnellie (Lower Level)
Dates: 7-9 December 2015
Bookings are essential, register online
Territory Businesses can register now for free workshops to help them grow their own skills
and develop their business as part of a suite of programs offered by the Northern Territory
Government to help Territory businesses to start, run and grow.
Workshop topics encompass business management, finance, human resources and marketing. To view
the calendar of events and to register visit the Upskills website.
Stay Smart Online
Your business holds a lot of sensitive data and information that cyber criminals would love to access.
The Australian Government’s Stay Smart Online website released a Small Business Guide to help
you put in place some basic online security practices to protect your business.
The guide was developed in collaboration with Australia Post, ANZ Bank, Commonwealth Bank,
NAB, Westpac and Telstra.
Stay Smart Online also has a free email Alert Service for people who want to keep up‑to‑date
with current online threats and how to address them. To sign up for the free Alert Service
and for further information visit the website.
Personal Property Securities Register
The PPSR is now the national register of security interests in personal property.
Using the PPSR can protect your business from risk in two main ways:
When buying goods – searching the PPSR helps you make an informed decision by letting you know
if secured debt is claimed on the item you are interested in.
When selling on retention of title terms of trade, or hiring or leasing out equipment – if
you have properly registered your security interest on the PPSR it will protect your rights
if the customer defaults and/or is insolvent. If you haven’t, you could lose your rights
in that property.
Access the range of PPSR business resources for more information.
Congratulations Gold Plate Award Winners
The hospitality industry is a significant contributor to economic and employment outcomes.
Spending in cafes, restaurants and takeaway food in the Territory was valued at $454.6
million in the year to August 2015. Many of the local hospitality suppliers and venues
are small businesses, often family owned.
The cream of the Northern Territory Hospitality crop was celebrated at the Australian Hotels
Association NT (AHA NT) Gold Plate Awards Gala Dinner.
Congratulations to Pee Wee’s at the Point for being named ALM Gold Plate ‘Restaurant
of the Year’ for the second time in three years.
Other award winners included: Fork n Dagger at Rydges Palmerston which claimed
the ‘Best New Establishment’ award, while Karen Sheldon Catering took
out the ‘Best Function/Event Caterer’ for the third straight year and Rum Jungle Tavern was recognised in the ‘Best Public Hotel Dining’ and ‘Best Casual Dining’ categories.
The Minister for Business Encouragement Award was also presented to Alice Springs Golf Club after it came in a very close second in both the Club Restaurant and Casual Dining categories.
Telstra Northern Territory Business Women's Awards
The top gong of 2015 Telstra Business Woman of the Year went to Mary Linnell,
owner and operator of Easy Glass Services.
With a business in consulting, fabricating and installing custom-made glass products, Ms Linnell
also took out the Entrepreneur Award.
Ms Linnell restructured her business in 2012 from a partnership to a sole-tradership, avoiding
bankruptcy and rebuilding credibility, to emerge with stronger profitability than ever
before. Ms Linnell said the key to owning a successful business was fostering a ‘can do’
attitude in the workplace.
Another dual winner, pastry chef Brigid Beilby was recognised with the Young
Business Women’s Award and the Start-Up Award, for her artisanal café Alley Cats Patisserie.
Also honoured was General Manager of the NT branch of the CPA Australia, Deborah Hall,
the most senior representative of an organization which represents over 500 local members.
Deborah Bampton, Service Development Manager and Administrator of Somerville
Community Services, won the For Purpose and Social Enterprise Award for her contribution
to the organisation’s 11 community group homes for people with severe to profound disabilities.
Good luck to all the Northern Territory winners who will head to the national finals in Melbourne
on Wednesday 18 November.