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Accounting for Online Businesses
The Internet has changed the way we do business and communicate. Retailers no longer require a bricks and mortar presence because websites provide a digital 'shopfront' for online business owners. Online sales continue to explode and traditional business models are threatened by internet businesses including online marketers, e-Bay and e-commerce businesses.
The barriers to entry into an online business are minimal and the cost to establish and operate an online store are a fraction of the retail shop. All you need is a computer, an internet connection and a website complete with e-commerce functionality and you are ready to launch. Of course, the internet provides a level playing field for retailers so once you have a web page you can effectively compete with the big players in your industry and almost any business can reach a global market, quickly and economically irrespective of their size.
As the internet continues to evolve, mobile technology and social media continue to grow and these two innovations have changed the way people use the Internet. Social media has given people a new way to communicate while mobile technology has made the internet more accessible. These channels including blogging are cheap and let you market to existing customers and potential new customers without leaving your home.
Here at R J Tyrrell & Co we recognise the fact that the internet is the first place most consumers go for information on products and services. We live on the internet ourselves and have invested heavily in our own website. Social media is an important part of our marketing artillery and we also recognise the importance of YouTube as a search engine. Most importantly, we understand the mechanics of an online business and 'walk the marketing talk'. In fact, online businesses are the fastest growing niche within our firm and we have mentored numerous clients through the start up process.
STARTING AN ONLINE BUSINESS
As a business start-up specialist our team of accountants have helped dozens of online business owners get their business off to a flying start. We offer you experience, technical tax knowledge and most importantly, an intimate understanding of your industry.
Starting a business is a bit like building a house. You need solid foundations including the right taxation structure, accounting software, insurances, a marketing plan, website and a social media presence.
Your choice of business structure is critical and there are a number of different options such as company, sole trader, partnership and trust. When selecting a business structure asset protection is a key consideration as well as your family situation, forecast level of profit and your future plans regarding the admission of new business partners.
Accounting software is another brick in your foundation wall and the wrong choice can be catastrophic. Poor financial records are one of the biggest causes of business failure in this country and up to date, accurate financial records let you make informed business decisions. Your software program needs to match your business needs with your level of accounting skill because too many business owners use sophisticated double entry accounting programs and produce 'computerised shoebox' records. One of our priorities is to help you minimise the cost of compliance which in some cases includes training you to use the software.
To build a house you also need the right tools and when 'constructing' your business we have developed a number of tools including a start-up expense checklist that dissects your start-up costs into categories like equipment, IT costs, professional fees, marketing costs and a website. These figures then slot into a cash flow budget template and form the basis of your first year profit and loss projections.
MARKETING YOUR BUSINESS
For an online business, marketing can be the difference between boom and bust. Most business owners rely on their reputation and referrals to grow their business and while these ingredients remain important, you need to shift your marketing focus online. Increasingly local searches like ‘Menswear Pakenham’ are driving traffic to your website and often your website is the first touch point with a potential new customer. As you know, you only get one chance to make a good first impression and your website and marketing can be the difference between boom and gloom in the online space.
One of our biggest points of difference compared to other accounting firms is our marketing expertise. We can assist you with your branding (business name, logo and slogan) and help you harness the power of social media to win more referrals. Over the past few years we have worked with dozens of clients to help them create affordable, quality lead generation websites. We'll make sure your website is responsive to smart phones and tablets and provide advice and guidance with your website content including video production. If your website lacks calls to action or lead magnets we'll help you build them plus we'll introduce you to strategies like re-marketing and search engine optimization to drive more traffic to your website.
If you aren’t using some of these marketing techniques your business probably won't reach its full profit potential.
The marketing process begins with your branding and we have worked through the process with dozens of clients over the years and using some online resources we can help you build a modern brand that resonates with your target market. We can even help you develop your stationery at a fraction of the cost of engaging a graphic artist or marketing consultant.
We recognise the fact that business owners want more sales, more customers and more profit so we also give you access to one of the world’s most successful marketing programs, the ‘Business Growth System’. It contains details of more than 80 breakthrough marketing strategies supported by videos, templates and checklists. Access to this ‘vault’ of resources would normally cost you $500 per month ($6,000 per annum), however, as a client of the firm you get FREE access. In addition, you also get unlimited access to the ‘Grow Your Business in 5 Days’ video training course that could have a massive impact on your future business growth.
In the digital age your website and social media strategy are critical. We can help you with your branding and provide advice regarding your website’s features, functionality and content. We have worked with dozens of clients and liaised with graphic artists and website development teams to create affordable, quality client websites. If you need help with your corporate brochure, newsletter or want to harness the power of social media to win more referrals we can also provide advice and direction. We believe our marketing skills set us apart from other accounting firms.
Our goal is to help you fast track your business success and the team of online business specialists at R J Tyrrell & Co offer you a full range of accounting, taxation and business coaching services including:
- Start-Up Business Advice for Online Business Start Ups
- Advice regarding Your Website and e-Commerce facilities
- Marketing Audit including the establishment or evaluation of your branding, website and social media strategies
- Advice and Assistance with Website Development, Content and SEO
- Spreadsheets and Tools including a Start Up Expense Checklist, Business Plan Template, Cash Flow Budget, Letterhead and Business Card
- Advice and Establishment of Your Business Structure
- Tax Registrations including your ABN, TFN, GST, WorkCover etc.
- Preparation of Business Plans, Cash Flow Forecasts and Profit Projections
- Cloud Based Accounting Software Selection and Training (Bookkeeping, Invoicing, Payroll etc.)
- Preparation of Finance Applications for the Bank
- Preparation and Analysis of Financial Statements
- Bookkeeping and Payroll Services
- Tax Planning Strategies
- Wealth Creation Strategies and Financial Planning Services
- Vehicle & Equipment Finance
- Advice & Assistance with Pricing
- Advice regarding Claiming Motor Vehicle Costs
- Advice regarding Employee Relations and Workplace Laws
- Business & Risk Insurances
- Business Succession Planning
You'll find we are more than just tax accountants. We are ‘business and profit builders’ who provide strategic advice and practical business solutions designed to give you a serious competitive edge in your industry. We work hard to understand your business and over the past few years online businesses have have become a niche area within our accounting practice. If you're looking to get your business off to a flying start or need a fresh pair of eyes to look at your business, contact us today.
If you're a committed and ambitious online business owner looking to accelerate your business success we invite you to book a FREE, half hour introductory consultation to discuss your business needs. You'll get practical business, tax, marketing and financial advice designed to help you build your business and grow your wealth. To book a time, contact us today on (03) 5941 4868 or complete your details in the box at the top of this page.