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Common mistakes to avoid when launching a business

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Starting a new business is an exciting time for many entrepreneurs. However, there are 5 common mistakes many new business owners make. By being aware of these mistakes, you will increase your chances of success and remove the risk of your new venture turning into a failure.

Being unprepared:
Organisation is key when it comes to running a small business. While it may be tedious, implementing a solid plan for your business will benefit your time management and goal setting by mapping out exactly how much time and money it will take you to grow your business. Plans you may consider include a business plan, a financial plan and a marketing plan.

Avoiding new technology:
Technology can provide new opportunities, help to do your work more efficiently and even help to save money in your small business. While new technology may seem intimidating and require more time initially to learn and understand, an unwillingness to adapt to new technologies may hurt your business in the long term.

Failure to delegate:
A new business owner may think they can take on all tasks at once. However, effective delegation can be a great way to build and grow your business. It can free up your time for business activities that may require your unique expertise, and help to build a strong team that can work together for collective success.

Ignoring market research:
Investing large amounts of time and money into a business idea where you have not researched the market can potentially lead to devastating outcomes. Test your products and services before you start your business, to identify what target market you are trying to reach and how they may respond to your marketing activities.

Running out of capital:
A new business that is running out of money is the quickest way for it to fail. You should plan in advance to ensure that you will have enough money to live on while your business is in its startup phase, as well as budgeting for the amount of capital you will require for the business to survive and grow.

Consolidating your debt

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Debt consolidation loans are a financial solution that may be suitable when you have multiple debts at once and are struggling to manage them all.

Debt consolidation is the process of bringing together all of your current outstanding debts into one single repayment. This is typically done by taking out a new personal loan to repay your existing debts and then paying this new loan back over a set term. While they may seem like an appealing idea, there are a number of potential negatives to consider as well as the benefits.

Pros:

  • Consolidating your debt into one single loan to repay can be easier to track and manage.
  • Debt consolidation loans that are taken out with a fixed interest rate mean that you will always be able to stay on top of your money and plan your finances accordingly.
  • Those taking out a debt consolidation loan may benefit from a lower interest rate compared to what they are currently paying. This means that over time, you can expect to save money.
  • While you may end up paying more overall, stretching the term on your personal loan could mean that you will spend less towards paying off the debt on a regular basis and give you more money for day-to-day expenses.

Cons:

  • Without being mindful of your finances, the lower regular payments as a result of consolidating your debt may lead to you spending more overall. This creates the potential to accrue more debt and pay more in the long term.
  • Failing to keep up to date with regular loan payments could end up affecting your credit score and put you in further financial hardship.

Before deciding to apply for a personal loan to consolidate your debt, take the time to consider all of the potential advantages and risks that are involved. Factor in your own circumstances and look for a loan that offers an interest rate and terms that will work for you. For more information, you may consider seeking professional financial advice.

ATO impersonation scam report

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The ATO has released an Impersonation Scam Report for the month of February 2019. Highlighted are the various ways in which scammers have attempted to contact people, posing as the ATO.

The most common method of contact was by phone calls or messages, accounting for 97% of reported scams over the month. Reports of 9,342 phone scams were officially recorded, decreasing significantly from 13,800 reports in January 2019. Emails accounted for 2% of scamming methods with 327 phishing scam emails being reported to reportemailfraud@ato.gov.au. The remaining 1% reported was scam by text message.

According to the ATO, the amount collected by scammers was approximately $256,635, over $240,000 less than January 2019. Payments to these scams by bank transfers significantly increased in February, accounting for 47% overall. Google Play and iTunes combined accounted for 49% of payments, with the remaining 4% listed as “other”. No payments using Bitcoin were reported this month.

Overall, 52% of clients provided scammers with their personal identifying information (PII), down 3% since January 2019.

Although trends are down in the last month, the ATO is working to create better public awareness of these scams. The ATO has launched a new scam warning video across their various social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

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