cafe

Has it ever been your dream to open up a quirky garden café that serves up great coffee and wholesome, fresh food in a relaxing atmosphere?

How about an underground bar pouring the best cocktails in the city accompanied by share plates that will make your mouth water?

Opening up a café or bar is something a lot of people consider. Many even take the plunge into the hospitality industry in the hope of realising their true passion and creating a job that doesn’t feel like work. We all know the hospitality industry is not always fine dining, good food and happy customers, so here are the pros and cons of opening your own café or bar:

Pros

  • A culture for dining out is growing as people choose to go out for dinner, try new experiences, and eat delicious food on a regular basis rather than sparingly or for special occasions.
  • Professional shopfitters, such as TU Projects, can make your space completely unique so that you stand out amongst the crowd of average cafés and bars. Shopfitters will also ensure the space works for you and the customers, so everyone can have an enjoyable, relaxing time as soon as they walk in the door.
  • The days are not getting shorter but people are getting busier and busier. This opens up a new opportunity for cafés and restaurants, especially to cater for time-poor families who want good food quickly and for a fair price.
  • There’s the satisfaction that comes with realising you have achieved your dream, created something special for people to enjoy, and secured a host of regular customers who support your business.
  • When things go right, you can achieve, long-term financial security for yourself and the business.

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Cons

  • The café and bar industry is saturated with choice, so it can be hard, especially for a new, small business, to stand out in an overcrowded market.
  • The start-up cost involved in opening up a café or bar is high because equipment, produce, and licensing are all large and ongoing expenses.
  • The success of your business and its incoming revenue is highly dependent on your customers. It is a gamble that sees you relying on the opinion of the general public whose views can be very subjective.
  • If you have ventured into the hospitality industry as a new business owner rather than a franchisee, there is no overarching company that will prop you up when you are down. While being an independent business may have its advantages, there is an increased degree of security when franchising an already established brand that you will not have the luxury of relying on.

While this isn’t a list to deter you from opening your own café or bar, it is important to consider both the pros and cons of every project before investing in it financially and emotionally. Balancing the pros and cons will allow you to see every factor of the project without tunnel vision, which is essential when starting a business.

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This post brought to you by Clime Asset ManagementID-10029336

When you work for yourself you miss out on some of the benefits of being an employee, like holiday pay, paid sick days and importantly superannuation.  You are not bound by law to make superannuation payments if you are self employed, but it is really important to think about building your super so that you have money to live off in your retirement.

Here are some super tips for mums in business to get you on your way:

Choosing a Super Fund

If you have ever worked for someone else you will have a super fund that was set up when you were employed.  You may in fact have several.  You can consolidate all of your superannuation funds and roll them into one account.  You can also find lost super by going to the ATO’s lost member register.

So how do you decide on the right fund for you? Ask for recommendations from friends, do some research on what funds have won reputable awards and even look into funds available to your specific industry.  Also consider the fees you have to pay each year.  If all this is too much then consult a professional superannuation or asset specialist.

Make Your Money Work

It’s hard to get excited about putting your money somewhere you can’t access it until you retire.  But in order to reap the rewards of investment and compound interest, you need to make it a priority.  Leave it too late and you will not have nearly enough to live off in your twilight years. Working for yourself doesn’t mean you can’t pay yourself super.  Set aside a nominated amount each month and get it direct debited.  You won’t even miss it!

Tax Benefits

If you are self employed and make your own super contributions before June 30 each year, you can claim them as a tax deduction in that financial year. Contribute up to $25,000/year (if under 50) and only be taxed 15% instead of the full tax rate. That’s a great incentive to pay yourself super!

Government Contributions

Many self employed people are not aware that they can benefit from the government’s co-contribution scheme by contributing to their own super. If you earn less than $49,488 per year (before tax) and make after-tax super contributions, you are eligible for matching government contributions.   If you earn less than $34,488 (before tax), the government will actually pay 50 cents for every dollar you contribute up to a maximum of $500.  Who doesn’t like a great return on their investment that is guaranteed?

There are eligibility requirements so check these before you start and in order to receive the co-contribution you will need to lodge a tax return for the year.

Self Managed Super Funds (SMSF)

Managing your own super fund is an option for those who have a large super balance to make it worthwhile.  There are many things to consider before deciding on this option as it is not as simple as you may think.  The rewards can be enormous (you have the freedom to invest your money in your chosen asset such as property or art) but you must first factor into the equation things like your time to manage the fund, your financial nous so that correct investment decisions are made, ongoing costs such as legal/accounting/tax advice and all the separate insurances you will need that are often wrapped up with super e.g. income protection.  If you are keen on this option then you can also consult an adviser such as Clime Asset Management who can assist with the decision making and administration.

Gaining an understanding of how you can contribute to your super whilst being self employed is a good investment in your future.  Ignoring your super fund will leave you with a big gap to fill come retirement, but making some smart decisions now could mean retiring many years earlier.

Make every dollar count and get your money working for you. The earlier you start, the more “super” the outcome!

Image courtesy of suphakit73 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

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This post brought to you by Learn to TradeID-100213690

If you’re conscious of the benefit that making some extra money would bring this year, the good news is that there are ways to make some extra cash without having to work around the clock. Every little bit of additional money helps and, sometimes, you need to think a little bit creatively about ways of generating some extra funds.

How can you make more income this year?

1. Trading

If you have an interest in shares and currency trading, now could be the perfect time for you to upskill yourself with a quality education course through a qualified provider such as Learn to Trade. When you have the appropriate education, you are best placed to trade strategically, insightfully and sensibly, which will increase your chances of playing the market successfully.

Another appealing aspect of learning to trade is that you can trade from anywhere and at times that fit in with your existing schedule and commitments. You definitely need to be organised and thorough to trade well, but when you are skilled and have a sound understanding of what you are doing, the rewards can be lucrative.

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2. Website Testing

Sometimes, website owners seek feedback and comments about their websites. This type of market testing can be paid and the tests you are asked to do often involve a nominal amount of time. While the money generated by website testing is appreciated, it is also worth noting that the payment received may be minimal and the opportunity to do this type of work irregular.

3. Sell Unwanted Items

Most of us have them laying around the place, but neglect to realise just how much money could be made through the sale of our unwanted items. If you become especially proficient at selling items online, your family and friends may enlist your help to sell their unwanted items, and this represents an opportunity to make some additional cash by splitting the profits.

4. Car Flipping

This type of activity is not for everyone, but if you love cars and are comfortable with the haggling process, a car flipping business may be an appropriate way for you to make extra income. To do this well, you will need to search for an appropriate deal, buy a car at a great price, repair and refurbish the vehicle as necessary, and then sell the car for more than you paid. Ultimately, you need to understand the kinds of cars that are not only sought by buyers, but the cars for which buyers will pay a good price. Also be sure to look more into your state or country’s stance on this practice before getting started to ensure you don’t break any laws!

5. Freelance Writing

If you are a skilled and confident writer, and can work to deadlines, work as a freelance writer may be a good way to generate some extra income. Today, content is absolutely essential on the web and there are many organisations that need the services of freelance writers to produce quality content to increase their visibility and draw people to their products and services.

This year, there are many different ways to generate some handy extra income. You may be tempted to try work in an area that you are not so familiar with, but capitalising on your existing skills and experiences is usually the best way to secure work that brings in some additional cash.

Image courtesy of suphakit73 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image of pig investing courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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This post brought to you by Careers AustraliaID-10032928

Your job and the career you choose to follow take up a large portion of your day to day schedule, and your life as a whole – you should at least enjoy it a little bit! For those that don’t, a new job is usually high on the list of priorities. However, the idea of changing careers is often easier said than done. There are plenty of resources and study options available to get you started though, including communities such as Careers Australia.

Still not sure if this is something you want? Below are some questions you can ask yourself to find out if it is time for a career change.

Are Your Stressed?

If your current job is starting to affect your health, this is the first sign that you need a career change. You may not even realise you are stressed and anxious, as it may have become so second-nature to feel this way each day. Uncooperative or bullying colleagues, unrealistic workloads, and lack of positive reinforcement are all contributing factors to a job that is making you suffer more than shine.

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Are You Unchallenged?

Even if the career you are currently in is not your dream job, you still need to feel challenged and have a sense of accomplishment. If you’re unchallenged at work you may also find yourself moving through tasks much quicker, meaning large chunks of your day are left finding stuff to do, and trying not to look bored. A great career should be stimulating your mind every day, and if it’s not, change it.

Are You Unfocused?

If you are someone who is spending more time sitting at your desk daydreaming then actually focusing on your work, you are in the wrong career. Lack of interest in the job at hand can happen to everyone, but it shouldn’t be happening every day – particularly if the source of your focus is on additional study or job sites. If this is you, also remember that being unfocused on your job isn’t doing your employer any favours either. Get out and find a career that excites you!

Is Your Job a Dead End?

Some people might be happy in a job that is consistent in expectations and achievements, but there are many people who aren’t. If you are in a career that has no further prospects or incentives for you, then it might be time for a change. Most people need to feel as though they are working towards a goal, whether individual or shared, and a job that doesn’t offer this can make you irritable, anxious and less productive. Find a career that has continued potential for growth.

When changing career, don’t feel like you have to aim for your ultimate dream job, as sometimes this will leave you more disappointed if you don’t reach it. Instead, if you answered yes to any of the above questions, look for a career change that will make you happy and allow you to work towards something achievable in a proactive and positive work environment. You may just find getting out of bed in the morning isn’t such an effort after all!

What is it about your work environment that makes you feel as though you’re ready for a career change?

Image courtesy of Salvatore Vuono at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
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This post brought to you by TelcoinaboxID-100147662

If you’ve long dreamed of being your own boss, you’re not alone. The benefits of working on your own terms, being in control of your destiny, and following your passions are all commonly cited reasons why so many people fantasise about launching their own business.

But, before you go out on your own, there’s plenty to consider and some serious questions you should ask yourself. Once you launch, there’s no going back, so these questions and your answers to them will help you understand exactly what you could be getting yourself into.

1. Have You Made a Business Plan?

Firstly, before you launch your business venture, you need have made a solid business plan. This will include conducting the necessary research to identify a market for what you are offering and to determine the appropriate prices for your products or services. You need to be completely honest with yourself or seek opinions from strangers. Don’t be discouraged if it’s not what you wanted to hear, since it’s better to make changes at this stage than react later on.

2. Are You in it for More than Money?

The fact is that money only motivates for so long. Sure, we all need money, but passion is what will get you up every day and propel you forward. Whatever it is that you want to do should be more than a way of making money; it should be a lifestyle. After all, it’s likely you won’t be making too much in the beginning and you’ll be putting in a lot of hours, so it may as well be something that you love. Otherwise your interest – and motivation – is likely to quickly waver.

3. Could You Offer an Existing Product/Service to an Untapped Market?

Some of the most viable (and profitable) businesses expand on an existing product/service with an established market and offer it in a new way or to a different customer base. For example, companies like Telcoinabox allow anyone with a phone and internet connection to act as an intermediary, distributing telecommunication services to their own customers. There are plenty of other profitable businesses that capitalise on a product with established demand and resell them in new ways to reach untapped markets; it’s worth looking at the industry your business idea fits into and investigating if you can introduce it to untapped markets.

4. Do You Have the Required Capital?

You need to invest money to make money. That’s why there’s no point launching your business if you don’t have the required financial means to effectively deliver your product or service. Your business plan should look at what financial (and other) resources will be required to get your venture off the ground. While some businesses, such as freelancers, contractors and other service providers, might need little start-up capital to begin trading, many others – especially bricks and mortar businesses – will require significantly more investment.

5. Are You Confident, Adaptive and Resilient?

You’ve only got yourself to rely on when you start your own business, which means maintaining mental strength and resilience through the hard times will be essential. Challenges will present themselves left, right and centre, and it will be all on you to deal with them and adapt as they arise. Be ready to make tough decisions and believe in what you are doing. You’ll need it – especially in the beginning.

Unfortunately, many small businesses fail in their first few years. While there are many reasons behind this, the case is often that the business owner simply wasn’t ready. To give your business the best possible chance of success the first time round, it’s important all budding business owners ask themselves these and other questions.

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