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Overcoming Fear as First-time Entrepreneur

No matter what level of success we want to attain when starting a business, we can't simply ignore the nasty little voices in our head. These are the voices that interfere and stop us moving forward, or more so stop us moving towards something great.  We can help and here are some items you may want to try:

  • Find the Root Cause.

Identifying the things that actually hold us back is the first step to acknowledge and find ways to overcome them. Take a moment to write down everything you consider as worst fears that could possibly happen in your business. Once you understand your fear, you can deal with the problem by solving it on your own or asking for help.

  • Focus on Pursuing Your Goals.

Running a business means setting goals and visualising ambitions in the first place, so do not let fear completely erase them. To conquer doubts and fear of failure, we must set our mind and shift our focus on the outcome we want to produce rather than the things that would hinder us to do such. Remember, your goals and dreams must be bigger than your fear.

  • Change Your Attitude Towards Failure.

No successful person has skipped the point of failure. It can be unpleasant yet it's not life's biggest enemy. Recognise the positive face of failure and regard it as an opportunity to go beyond your boundaries and learn something valuable as you move forward.

  •  Giving Up is Not an Option.

Whether the path is smooth or rocky, nothing, even doubt and fear, should stop you from achieving your goals. When your worst fear take place in business, don't turn and run from it, just take a little step back, regain some energy and confidence and try again.

 

 

How Teamwork in Business Works

In  business perspective, there are certain goals that cannot be achieved by just working alone that is why we hire staff with different skills, form a group and work together towards a common goal. Learning how teamwork benefits in a business or even at workplace keeps our values aligned in recognising that each person has an important function to perform as we aim for success.

  •  Higher Efficiency

Teamwork can improve every aspect in an organization. We can accomplish more than an individual can do alone. It maximises involvement and utilises everybody's strengths and areas of expertise thus enable us to complete tasks and activities in less time.

  •  More Quality Outputs

With higher efficiency comes more quality outputs. Having a team allows us to divide up roles and tasks among the members and helps us to keep track on our specific targets easily.

  •  Improved Creativity and Learning

When people work together on a team, a collaboration of ideas and unique perspectives takes place which results to more accurate, innovative and practical solutions. Bringing out the best in everyone in the organization paves way to wider discoveries and innovation.

  • Greater Sense of Unity

Aside from expertise and effort, it takes unity for a group to achieve its missions and goals. We feel a greater sense of accomplishment when we not only achieve a goal but also build stronger relationships with other members.

 

Did you know we are certified partners of:

 
 



 

2015 Mid-Year Tax Tips

Thinking about taxes probably is not on your to-do list right now but taking a bit of time to review your current tax and financial situation may help avoid unpleasant surprises and take the tax bite come 2016.

We've only just begun this tax year and we have summed up some useful tax tips to consider:

  • Manage Your Taxable Income

Estimated taxes including tax payments that are required should be evaluated to let you determine how much, if any, of an adjustment to make. Also, adjusting your withholding now could help you avoid a shortfall next year.

  • Be Organised

This may be one of the important tips for taxpayers as you shouldn't wait until 2016 to search for receipts and organise documents. A bit of organisation now can save us and you a lot of work and time later.

  • Review Financial Situation

Determine how any changes may affect your taxes  for the rest of the year by reviewing your income situation. Take a closer look at your overall finances and how or where have these flowed in 2015. It's not yet late to discover ways to manage expenses and cut some if needed.

  • Maximise the Use of Technology

Technology is deemed to be useful in our daily grind therefore, must be maximised as a tool to organise and even back up essential documents via email, thumb drives, the cloud, server or Microsoft office tools.

Here's to Financially Stable Life

Financial success can't always be measured by how much money we make, but what we do with our money. We see the importance of discipline and good habits in keeping financial life stable and we provide you with the ways on how to better protect your finances before unwanted situations emerge.

Keep track of spending. It's a matter of knowing and monitoring where your money goes. You can write down your expenses to identify if you go beyond control (talks about impulse spending) and what areas should consist of wise decision making.

Eliminate and prevent debts. Never neglect debt, small or big, as it may hinder your financial stability in the long run. The faster you pay down your debt, the less interest it acquires thus, you keep more of your money.

Develop long-term mindset. You may be smart with your money right now, but thinking of a head start on your financial future can help you become more stable. Efficiently planning your long term goals (this could be buying a car or going on vacation) would keep you guided and consistent on what you want and when you want that to achieve.

Invest. Start saving while it's not too late to put focus on necessary expenses or even when retirement is not yet lurking nearby. Securing the future is one of the best ways a financially stable can do.

Did you know we are certified partners of:

 
 



 



Seasons Greetings from the team at Choice

 

From the team at Choice Group, we thank you for your business in 2014 and wish you and your families a Great Christmas and New Year. We look forward to working with you and many successes in 2015

Our office will close Friday 19th December at 2pm and Re-Open at 9am on the 5th of January 2015.

Read on if you want to change your life/business in 2015 and hear our review of 2014.


What a big year it has been!

We have managed to double our clients yet still work toward our purpose which is to assist and serve our business clients.

You may have noticed a shift in our communication to you. We want to provide you with useful and thought provoking information. 

We ourselves are growing our business and love sharing our experiences with you and providing you guidance along the way.

Now that the New Year is fast approaching, this is the perfect time to evaluate your personal and/or business's dreams

Have you been thinking about starting a business? Growing your business? Or simply improving your business?

This break gives you the opportunity to evaluate you reposition and where you want to be. 

We have also been recently dealing with new business clients who find it hard to calculate their rates and prices for services, you don't want to charge too much, yet you need to make money! Below are some points we have put together that you can adopt to calculate rates for the services your business offers. And don't forget, we are here to help if you ever need us to walk you through anything.

It's time to Dream....

CLICK HERE TO BOOK AN APPOINTMENT


Starting a New Business, How much do you charge?


1. Calculate How Much You'll Need to Cover Operating Costs

Salary: How much do you want to earn (pay yourself)? You might take a look at your current salary or check out a site like Salary.com to find comparative wages. Let's say, for example, you want to take home $45,000 a year. (If you were to hire someone to help you, also add a line for that employee's salary, but for the sake of this example we'll just stick with one staff member-you.)

Taxes: When you're self-employed, you'll need to cover your own taxes. The ATO has helpful information on self-employment and taxes.

As a rule of thumb, though, you can simply add a factor of 15% to your salary to cover tax contributions. In our example, 15% times the $45,000 salary is $6,750. Adding these together, our new salary with taxes is $51,750.

Monthly overhead: Overhead costs are those that you'll incur just in running the business. Depending on your situations, these may include:

  • Rent
  • Utilities
  • Office supplies
  • Postage
  • Advertising or marketing
  • Telephone fees
  • Insurance
  • Auto leases

Tally these all up and multiply by 12 to get your yearly overhead. Then add in any yearly costs, such as computer or software purchases. In this example, we're going to say it's $12,000.

2. Figure Out Your Average Billable Hours

Next, find out how many working hours you'll have each year. You could take 40 hours a week and multiply by 52 weeks to get to 2,080, but you should also account for holidays, sick days, and vacations. Cameron S. Foote in The Business Side of Creativity suggests 1,920 hours, accounting for 48 working weeks.

Then you need to subtract non-billable time-time that you'll spend each week doing things like hunting for new clients or filing paperwork that you can't bill to a client. 20% is a good rule of thumb for those non-billable hours, so multiply that by your annual hours above. In our example, the total billable hours is now 1,152.

 3. Add Operating Costs and Divide by Billable Hours

Now add your salary and overhead costs together. In this example, it's $51,750 salary with taxes plus $12,000 overhead, for a total of $63,750.

Dividing $63,750 by 1,152 billable hours gives us an hourly rate of $55.34. But we're not done yet!

4. Factor in a profit margin

You'll also want to add in a profit margin of between 10% and 30%. The profit margin helps you build a reserve for when business slows. You might think you don't need to add in a profit margin because you'll be drawing a salary, but the additional profit is essential for future growth and also for obtaining loans.

Let's say we want a 20% profit; 20% of $55.34 is $11.07, so your new, final hourly rate is $66.41. You can definitely round that out to $66 or $67.

Charging by project: If you don't want to invoice clients with an hourly rate, all you need to do is estimate how much time you'll spend on a project and then multiply by your hourly rate to get a price you can quote your client.

Think the Rate Is Too High?

Keep in mind that calculating your rate precisely this way is really important if you want your freelancing business to be successful, because it's based on your actual costs and needs. While you may see others with lower rates than you (you'll also see much higher ones too, no doubt), avoid the common new freelancer mistake of pricing your services so low that you'll soon be scared back to the old 9 to 5 corporate world.

Other Methods

You can try several other methods for setting your rate, such as marking up your current salary (e.g., if you now make $15 an hour, charging double that, or $30) or just dividing how much you want to earn by how many hours you'll work, but I wouldn't recommend them because they're not realistic; they don't take into account your everyday expenses or account for long-term success. And this is what we wish you. Good luck with your new endeavour and a successful 2015!



                           Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!


Did you know we are certified partners of:

  


Kind Regards

The Team
Choice Group 

www.choicegroup.com.au

 

Another Year Over

Wow another year has flown by.  The 2014 tax year is now over and now is a great time to not only get your tax sorted, but to start thinking about adopting a budget, or starting to work towards Christmas savings!

We look forward to seeing you again this year and have provided some things to help you prepare.


Tax Time Is Here. Get Ready & Get In Early!


As always our clientele whom have kept their receipts, log books and relevant information always command a greater refund, so best practice is to keep all work related expenses and consult with us on which ones may be deductible.

We have added a quick checklist (download below) to enable you to ensure you have found all your paperwork, prior to making an appointment, or dropping off.

While you are gathering your paperwork now is a great time to start gathering or reviewing your superannuation, finances and financial affairs to get them in order.

This year we have more staff to assist you and look forward to seeing you.


Your 2014 Checklist

Income Not sure what to bring in? We have put together some checklists of items that are required and will help with your return. Click to download these below:

Individual Return Checklist

Business Checklist

Investment Property Checklist 


In a rush? Try our Express Service...

Unable to make an appointment?  Why not try our Express Service, with drop offs from 8am, and pick up's available until 8pm, same day processing and convenient parking at the front door it couldn't get any easier.

If you want to, make an appointment this year via our online service, book your preferred day, date and time and our staff will confirm your appointment quickly and easily, via email, mobile or SMS within the hour.

CLICK HERE TO BOOK AN APPOINTMENT


Starting a New Business?

Why not give us a call, to discuss your business structure, name registration,  ABN Application and tax compliance, all done within an hour to have you trading ASAP.


2014 New Rules & Things you Need to Know 

Each year we see changes made that can affect our returns, future income and superannuation. Below are the key changes for this year:  

  • From 1st July, the Medicare levy rose from 1.5% to 2.0%
  • If you are under 50: your concessional contribution cap has increased from $25,000 to $30,000.
  • If you are over 50: your concessional contribution cap has increased from $30,000 to $35,000.
  • As of 1st July, 2014 your superannuation charge should be 9.5%. Check your pay slips moving forward and ensure the super contribution is sitting at the 9.5%.

Kind Regards

The Team
Choice Group 

www.choicegroup.com.au

 

Another Year Over
Wow another year has flown by.  The 2014 tax year is now over and now is a great time to not only get your tax sorted, but to start thinking about your business goals and financial objectives. 

We look forward to seeing you soon and have provided some things to help you prepare.



 

2014 New Rules, Tips & Things you Need to Know 

  • From 1st July, 2014 fuel tax credit rates are changing for transport many off-road activities due to an increase in carbon charge amounts.
  • As of 1st July, 2014 the superannuation charge should be 9.5%. Ensure you update the superannuation contribution of your employees pay slips moving forward.
  • Ensure you record any superannuation owing to your employees as of 30th June, 2014.
  • You need to reconcile your accounting software: MYOB, XERO, Quickbooks etc along with your bank accounts.
  • Make note of your Debtors & Creditors as of 30th June, 2014 
  • IMPORTANT BUILDING & CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY: If you are in this industry and pay contractors for their services, you need to report these payments to the ATO on the Taxable payments annual report. These reports are due 21st July.

 


 

Your 2014 Checklist

Not sure what to bring in? We have put together some checklists of items that are required. Click to download these below:

Business Checklist

Investment Property Checklist 


 

In a rush? Try our Express Service 

Unable to make an appointment?  Why not try our Express Service, with drop offs from 8am, and pick up's available until 8pm, same day processing and convenient parking at the front door it couldn't get any easier.

If you want to, make an appointment this year via our online service, book your preferred day, date and time and our staff will confirm your appointment quickly and easily, via email, mobile or SMS within the hour.

CLICK HERE TO BOOK AN APPOINTMENT



Kind Regards

The Team
Choice Group 
www.choicegroup.com.au

*Our Office will be closed from 2PM Wednesday the 23rd of December and Re-Open on Monday the 4th of January 2016

Stress-less Holiday Shopping Season

Stress-less Holiday Shopping Season

From making wishlists, planning trips, gift-giving, to organizing parties, everyone surely loves the holiday season. While it's supposed to be cherished and bring joy, the season also equates to busy crowds and streets, last-minute shopping and overspending blues. We can help you beat the holiday stress and pressure and make the most of it with these ways:

  • Make a List and Check it Twice

An excerpt from a classic Christmas song falls as the top priority everybody can do to avoid going over the budget in holiday shopping. List down the people who will receive gifts or tips and take note of how much you'd like to spend on each of them and stick to it.

  •  Watch Out for the Best Deals

Doing last-minute shopping may get you stressed out and even forget some things to purchase so better start buying holiday items early. Big sales are all around the corner and you can get the best deals not having two wait for a day before Christmas.

  •  Shop Online

With the presence of various online shops and retailers, you can avoid the hustle and bustle of the busy crowds and still score great finds with one click away. Some offer free shipping and you may opt to deliver the presents to you or have them shipped right to the recipients.

  •  Pay with Cash

Holidays are full of surprises but don't let your budget surprise you with overspending. Leave the credit card at home and pay for your items with cash. You may find the urge to find the most perfect gift but having no credit card with you will keep you reminded to spend only within your means.

Top Holiday Business Ideas

Top Holiday Business Ideas

We are only a month away from the most wonderful time of the year. Aside from throwing awesome parties and exchanging gifts, this season serves as a good opportunity for business enthusiasts. We have rounded up some ideas that you may take advantage of pursuing this holiday season:  

  • Decorations and Ornaments
  • Baked goodies and pastries
  • Wines, beers and soft drink business
  • Photography service
  • Choreography service
  • Christmas bazaar
  • Gift-wrapping service
  • Ham making business
  • Food catering service
  • Crafts and customized item business


Wishing all our clients a Merry Christmas!

Did you know we are certified partners of:

 
 



 

"We have moved."

As you may know we recently moved our office and completed the move with a little party. With our move, fresh in our mind, we thought you may like to check out the following links and thoughts if you are moving your business any time soon.

On that note, here are some stress free office relocation tips.

Moving your business to a new location can bring plenty of benefits and growth opportunities but the changes can sometimes be complex and stressful. Whether your office relocation involves moving a few blocks down or to a different town, here are easy steps to make your move simple and stress free.

Plan and schedule your move well. Plan your office relocation in advance to figure out what needs to be moved and when you need to move. Make sure to keep employees in the loop so everyone can get ready for the transition and manage workflow appropriately.

Get your team together. Working with your own team on the office move will not only save you from hiring a moving company to do this but also improve employee engagement. You may appoint a moving manager who will ensure that tasks are delegated properly and the information is centralized.

De-clutter. Office relocation is the perfect time to give your space a makeover and get rid of other stuff you do not need. Sort all files, clear out the excess papers and take what you only need. For special items that need extra care, assign a team to move just these pieces. If you also want to clear out old office phones or any electronics, make sure to remove personal data and dispose them safely to avoid data leaks.

Update business materials. As you proceed to the moving process, do not forget to send a relocation notice to everyone involved in the business. In addition to notifying all clients about the new address, take time to update information on business cards, brochures, social media accounts and website. Any promotional material you pass out to customers should reflect the correct information to avoid client disruption and make your office move as smooth as possible.


Throwing a social event can do wonders in business. It does not only give the employees a chance to unwind but it also shows how much you care about your clients. A good party does not have to be expensive as there are ways to enjoy a festive time with co-workers and customers without breaking the bank. Here's how.

Pick a date. To begin with, find the date and time that suit everyone's schedule. Plan with the team, go through the calendar and finalize the date that works best for the majority.

Use your own space. Instead of renting outside locations (e.g. restaurants, function rooms), simply throw the party in the office. This will surely save you from spending a lot of money. Look around and find any room with enough size for festivity and plan how to decorate the space you already have.

Send an e-invite. Instead of using paper invitations, you may opt for email invites which you can send for free and allow the recipients to instantly RSVP. In addition, you can use the Event feature on your Facebook company page and share to your target audience.

Hunt for food and drink discounts. Aside from throwing a potluck, another thing that can help you minimise the party cost is by buying foods and beverages in bulk. Find time to look for stores which offer discounts and bulk purchase rewards.

Have fun. Everyone in the party is supposed to have fun and the host/organiser is no exception. Don't drain your time and energy wondering if people are having a good time instead, make yourself feel at ease. The more relaxed you are, the more fun everyone will have.


We often underestimate the importance of fun and enjoyment at work especially if we get so caught up in the things we need to accomplish. Success is not only about fulfilling our responsibilities but also enjoying the process and loving what we do.

Here at ThePlayLab, we aim to bring out a positive office culture while allowing you to push through your venture and grow your business. We have dedicated space suitable for your needs – at work and play. Find the right balance between hard work and play.

Make play possible @theplaylab 196-202 High St., Shepparton, Vic 3630 or Contact 03 5831PLAY (7529) for more information.

Why not talk to us today about our Co-working spaces which you can hire casually from a single room to the entire site, or book a dedicated desk to join us more often.

It's Playtime at Choice Group as we celebrated the opening of our new building along with our valued clients.

We would like to thank you for joining us as we welcome you to our new home. The fun does not stop there as we are always happy to help you and make play possible!

 



  

Saving more money is one of the most popular New Year's resolutions each year, however, without solid strategy and commitment, we may struggle to reach the target. If you think you are spending too much and saving too little, now is a great time to commit to smarter money habits.

Let us help you get on the right path and become more financially stable this year with below guide.

Start small. As the famous saying goes, "Great things start from small beginnings." The most sustainable way to save more money is to start small. Keeping a few dollars or loose change will surely reap rewards if done consistently. Remember, any amount is better than none at all.

Automate savings. Take the stress out of saving money by simply automating it. Set up a personal savings account with automatic transfers from your everyday account. This helps you set aside a portion of your wages for savings and makes it easier to achieve your financial goals.

Get rid of money wasters. Evaluate your spending habits and see what you can cut out or reduce. Don't be deceived by flash sales and promos instead, spend for what you only need. Examine your monthly bills and cut back on unused subscriptions. You may also want to bring home-cooked meals to work to skip eating out and buying pricey snacks. Cutting out unnecessary items and shopping smart can make a difference in your budget.

Eliminate debts. Stay away from financial trouble by reducing or getting out of debts. Prioritise debts that carry highest interest rate and always make your payments promptly. Create a realistic budget and stick to it to save you from overspending and help you figure out what works best for your lifestyle.

Check your progress. One way to successfully meet your savings goals is knowing where you stand with your finances. Check your progress weekly or monthly and if you fall off track, analyse the areas that need to be improved or fixed. Also, don't forget to celebrate and reward yourself a bit if you're making a good progress as this may inspire you to save more and become financially stable this year.

 

In today's busy world, striking a healthy work-life balance can be a huge challenge. Studies have shown that a poor work-life balance can lead to stress, unhappiness and reduce productivity. While we can find a lot of fulfilment in our work, it's also important to make time for other aspects of our personal lives.

Now, here are some ways to help you bring more balance to your daily routine and make play possible.

Create specific goals.  Write a list of your priorities at work and at home and turn them into concrete and measurable goals. Also, make it a point to schedule time with your family, friends and activities that give your well-being a boost.

Set boundaries.  It may seem like work never ends especially if we've got a lot on our plates. But consistently working long hours could pose health risks. Beat burnout by concentrating on one thing at a time and drop activities that sap your time and energy.

Unplug from technology. Although computers, smartphones and tablets have made everything so easy and convenient, being overly attached to gadgets and checking our phones 24/7 can leave us feeling anxious and distracted. Taking a short break from technology or "digital detox" does not only improve sleep and foster happiness but also gives us plenty of time to reconnect with life and the people around us.

Get moving. Exercise plays a big role to achieve a better work-life balance. It does not only raise our energy level and boost our immune system but also relieves stress and makes us happier. May it be a gym workout, yoga class or a short walk, find time to squeeze exercise in your daily routine.

Take a vacation.  A little relaxation goes a long way. Pack your things and go to a place you've been meaning to visit. Take a break and make play possible!

 




  

Tax time  is here and can be a stressful time for most. But, being prepared and organised may help alleviate some of the pressures. Here, we put together some easy steps to help you become tax time ready.

Start early. Resist the urge to put off dealing with taxes until the last minute. It is better to comply with lodgement deadlines to avoid paying late-filing penalties. Neglecting the importance of working on it early may increase the risk of making an error and missing some deductions. Remember, if you lodge early, you'll receive your refund sooner.

Get organised. Store your receipts and documentation in a folder or envelope so you can easily find what you need later. Keep a digital copy of your expenses by scanning and saving them in PDF, or utilise one of the many Apps for keeping track of your expenses.  Back up your digital receipts to a cloud storage or external hard drive in case of hardware or software malfunction. Getting your paperwork organised will save you time, money and a lot of stress in tax season.

Know your deductions. List out each deduction you are accounted for and make relevant notes if necessary. Take time to go over small details that may help you level up your tax game and save money at the same time. Keeping an eye on your deductions gives you an idea how much you could get back in your tax refund.

Seek assistance. If you would like to speak with someone before or after taking any of these steps towards a stress-free tax time, we are here to help. Call 1800 SORT IT (767848) or visit www.choicegroup.com.au to schedule an appointment.

Below we have listed a few of our services, see how we can make play possible for you throughout the year.




Playing is an essential part of who we are. It creates the foundation for a happy and balanced life in childhood and adulthood. It allows us to connect with ourselves and the world around us. Even when we tend to get swamped with work and commitments, we should not outgrow the need for play.

We don't need to play every second of the day to reap its benefits. Even a few minutes of play can make a difference. Here are some reasons why we should give ourselves permission to add even a little bit of play time to our day.

Reduce stress. Play brings joy which enables us to avoid getting burned out. Also, engaging with fun activities can help us loosen up in stressful situations.

Inspire creativity. As the famous saying goes, "Play is the highest form of research." Whether it's a short trip or good time with co-workers, play is a good avenue to explore, learn and inspire creativity.

Boost productivity. Playing board games, completing puzzles or pursuing activities that challenge the brain can prevent memory problems and improve brain function thus, can help us become more productive at work.

Improve relationships and connections. Play doesn't have to be a specific activity. Spending quality time with the family or sharing laughter with friends can facilitate deep connections. Also, developing a fun-loving nature can help us make new friends, break the ice with strangers and even form new business relationships.

***

The Playlab is now open! Start your day in a co-working space where you can make things happen, grow your business and find time to play.

Visit www.theplaylab.com.au and get full access to your dream space today!



  

THE CHOICE GROUP

Established in June 2008, Choice Corporate is based in Shepparton, Victoria. We take pride in offering a long-term, holistic service to our clients, providing expert advice and reliable service to assist you achieve your financial goals. Together with a team of professional staff, directors Darren Green and Jamie Cox are committed to delivering affordable wealth management solutions to every client.
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