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Christmas Survival Guide for Business Owners

Eat, drink and be merry. If only Christmas were that simple.

When you run a business, Christmas can be a stressful time of the year. You may need to juggle sluggish cash flow, staff going on holidays and, like everyone else, a multitude of personal commitments.

So what can you do to get through the Christmas period without turning into the Grinch?

Up the exercise

We all know exercise is great for reducing stress. But don’t wait until the New Year to up the ante at the gym or dust off the bike helmet. Use the Christmas holiday period as a chance to do more of something you enjoy.

Not only will this help you relax and take your mind off work, it will counter some of the excess indulgence that tends to happen this time of year – helping you feel healthier, happier and more energised for 2020.

Boost cash flow 

If the holiday period is stressful because there’s less revenue coming in, do what you can to boost your cash flow until you’re likely to be busy again.

Are there any outstanding debts you can call to be paid before Christmas? Do you any have insurances or membership fees you could pay by the month instead of annually? Could you use your credit card more than you currently do for large business expenses – like your ATO Tax Bills?

Using a third party payment system like B2Bpay  can help you keep cash in your account longer. You also get the added benefit of earning credit card reward points, which could help you pay for next year’s Christmas holiday!

Take a (proper) break

Business owners are notoriously bad at switching off from work. It’s one of the reasons your customers love you, but it’s also a common cause of stress because you rarely take a real break.

The Christmas period is a good chance to take a time out when most of your customers are doing the same.

If you can’t shut down completely, why not entrust one of your staff to take the reins for a week or two? Who knows, you may even find that leaving someone else in charge works out fine – which will make you more comfortable to do it again.

Put family first

If you spend the year having to say no to family functions and other social engagements because of work commitments, use the holiday period as a chance to make up for lost time.

By prioritising your family and encouraging your employees to do the same, it helps build a healthy work-life balance that everyone in your workplace will appreciate – which in turn will help you attract and retain valued people.

Be Santa

It always feels good to do something nice for someone else. So why not treat your staff or customers to a surprise gift or get together? It can be a great way to build relationships and shows your appreciation for the people who are important to your business.   

If you’re not sure what an appropriate gift might be, consider a prepaid credit card  that lets your recipient buy whatever they want. You can even personalise the card with your own brand so they think of you (in a good way!) when they open their wallet.

What will you do?

Whatever strategy sounds right for you, now is the time to do something that might help de-stress over the Christmas period. Get it right and it could be a gift that keeps on giving for many years to come!

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Innovative Ways to Manage Cashflow

If cash is king for any small business, a positive cash flow is the backbone to survival and success. Being nimble is a major advantage for small business. However, this can also result in fast turnover and sudden short falls. Keeping on top of financial incomings and outgoings can be a daily challenge. Here are some innovative ways to manage your cash flow:

Constantly Forecast and Monitor Your Cash Flow

 Although, forecasting for projected earnings and losses can be as fun as watching paint dry, it is absolutely crucial. A forecast allows you to make informed decisions on which business areas have potential revenue growth as well as where to cut costs.

The fast-paced dynamics of a small businesses can make monitoring cash flow a fickle task. Yet, it’s the constant changes that require a close and frequent analysis of your business income and expenditure. Smart small business owners will even track their cash flow on a weekly basis.

B2Bpay is a secure online portal where you can check on all your payments one-off, automatic and future dated. Become a B2Bpay Biller and track your accounts receivable at anytime from anywhere.

Collect receivables immediately

 Generating revenue can be an unpredictable game. However, keeping on top of invoicing and payment receivables will help maintain a positive cash flow. Here are some suggestions to streamline and efficiently collect money owing to your business:

  • Issue and send invoice efficiently and follow up overdue payments
  • Offer a convenient and secure online payment option on your invoice
  • Offer discounts or incentives to encourage customers to pay early
  • Secure a customer’s booking by requesting partial payment
  • Make deposit payments mandatory when taking a customer’s order

 Extend your payables

The key to a successful business is to keep cash coming in as quick as possible while holding back on expenses for as long as possible. Easier said than done? Here are some useful tips:

  • Work closely and build strong, trusting relationships with suppliers who can offer flexible payment terms.
  • Negotiate and maximise payment terms. If a payment is due in 30 days, see if you can extend it to 45 and don’t pay any earlier.
  • Electronic funds transfer allows you to make payments on the last day they are due. This will help you retain funds for as long as possible without facing the stress of late fees.
  • Streamline your accounts payable process and make payments digitally.
  • Don’t leave it to the last minute to request an extension on payment. Look ahead at upcoming bills. Make a conservative decision whether you can make payment or not. If not, contact your supplier immediately and explain the situation.

B2Bpay Benefits

B2Bpay allows you to pay all your invoices using existing credit cards, whether or not your biller accepts credit cards. B2Bpay accepts all major credit cards.

Pay your invoices through B2Bpay and you will:

  • Boost cash flow by taking advantage of your credit card’s up to 55 day’s interest free period
  • Earn Qantas Points
  • Earn credit card reward points
  • Earn full credit card points when paying ATO, insurance and telco bills
  • Eliminate mundane admin and accounting tasks so you can go back to doing what you do best – building a business

According to a recent Wakefield Research study, within the 500 Australian small businesses that were surveyed, 50 percent have lost $10,000 or more by foregoing a project or sale specifically due to insufficient cash flow issues. Having a positive cash flow not only lets you sleep well at night but allows you to financially expand your business.

Whether you’re looking to tighten expenses or need efficient payment methods, B2Bpay allows you to streamline the constant movement of your business funds. Think of all the additional revenue and extra business opportunities that come along with it.

To register, click HERE. Setting up is easy and at no cost!

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How to Pay Your ATO Tax Bills With Credit Card and Earn Points

Tax bills are one of the biggest expenses for any business. So wouldn’t it be nice if you could earn frequent flyer points on your payments to the ATO?

If done correctly, it is possible to pay your pay your ATO tax bill using your credit card and earn maximum rewards points.

This article will explore your options for paying the ATO via credit card, the fees associated with paying via credit card, and the best way to maximise the rewards points you receive from paying your tax bill (including a great hack for earning extra Qantas Points!).

Can you pay the ATO by credit card?

Yes, you can pay the ATO using your credit card – including Visa, MasterCard or Amex. The fees associated with paying the ATO vary based on which card you use, so make sure you use the chart below to identify exactly how much you’ll be charged in credit card fees.

Does the ATO accept Amex payments?

Yes, the ATO accepts payments from Amex cards. However, the fee for paying the ATO with an Amex card is 1.45%, which is significantly higher than other domestic credit cards.

What are the benefits of paying the ATO by credit card?

There are some good reasons why paying your tax bills by credit card makes sense:

Cash flow

Paying the ATO by credit card means the money doesn’t leave your bank account straight away. Instead you can hold onto your cash during the interest-free period on your credit card, and it won’t cost you any interest if you pay your credit card bill on time^. It can also help you avoid any late payment fees or interest charges if you don’t have the cash available on the due date.

Credit card fees may be tax-deductible

You may be able to claim your credit card processing fee as a tax deduction for your business, which helps offset the additional cost of paying ATO bills by credit card. However, any interest you pay for late credit card payments is generally not tax-deductible.

Credit history

Paying your bills by credit card can be good for your credit history, provided you always pay your credit card bills on time.

Reward points

You may be able to earn rewards points on your tax payments, which wouldn’t be possible if you pay the ATO straight out of your own pocket.

What should I watch out for when paying the ATO by credit card?

Reduced or zero rewards points earned

Traditionally, the big downside of paying ATO and government bills – and other bills such as insurance, rates and utilities – on credit card is that these billers are often categorised by your card issuer to earn reduced or ZERO credit card rewards points.

In other words, they’ll let you pay these bills using your credit card (and charge you a credit card processing fee), but you won’t get the full benefit of rewards points.

ATO credit card payment fees

Another downside of paying by credit card is that you’ll pay a card payment fee that wouldn’t apply if you were paying by direct debit.

The ATO charges the following card payment fees:

 Card  Fee
 American Express  1.45%
 MasterCard – International  2.70%
 MasterCard – Domestic Debit  0.15%
 MasterCard – Domestic Credit  0.70%
 Visa – International  2.70%
 Visa – Domestic Debit  0.15%
 Visa – Domestic Credit    0.78%

 

The trade off with card payment fees is that higher fee cards often earn more reward points per dollar than lower fee cards, so the extra benefit may outweigh the extra cost.

Interest if you don’t pay your card off

If you don’t pay off your credit card bill by the due date, you could end up paying additional interest to your card issuer on top of your ATO tax bills and card payment fees.

Some credit cards charge as much as 20% p.a. interest on overdue amounts, which could mean a significant penalty if you’ve put a large tax bill on your card. Again, any interest you pay for late credit card payments is generally not tax-deductible.

How do I get the most rewards point when I pay the ATO by credit card?

While card issuers will give you reduced or zero credit card reward points when you pay the ATO, you can increase the reward points you earn by using a third-party payment service like B2Bpay.

What is B2Bpay and how does it work?

B2Bpay is a third-party payment service that allows you to pay all your business expenses* online using your credit card.

Unlike using credit cards directly, B2Bpay allows you to pay the ATO while earning FULL credit card points (including Amex).

That means you can earn at least double the credit card points^ than if you paid directly, without paying double the credit card processing fee. Plus you can receive additional bonus Qantas Points on top of that, helping your reward points stack up even faster.

How many points can I earn (and what can I do with them)?

If you paid $240,000 per year in BAS, payroll taxes and other business expenses using B2Bpay, you could earn:

    • 240,000 Qantas Points (or credit card points) every year*, plus
    • 2,400 Qantas Points for your business every year (or even more by paying B2Bpay Bonus Billers).

That’s enough points for 2 x return Business class flights from Sydney or Melbourne to London every year, including approximately $1,517 in taxes, fees and carrier charges.

How much does it cost to use B2Bpay?

The only fee for using B2Bpay is a card processing fee – which ranges from 1.2% to 2.4% excl. GST (or 0.84% to 1.64% after eligible company tax deduction) depending on your card type.

This fee is outweighed by the value of the credit card and Qantas Points you can earn, plus the cash flow benefits of holding onto your cash longer.

Get started now

Paying your ATO bills by credit card offers a number of potential benefits for business owners, including credit card reward points. And if you’re disciplined about paying your credit card off each month, these benefits can easily outweigh the additional costs.

To start turning your tax bills into rewards points, join B2Bpay free below or click here to find out more.

^ Credit card reward points and interest free days are subject to the terms of your credit card and linked rewards program.
# A business must be a Qantas Business Rewards Member to earn Qantas Points. A one-off join fee of $89.50 including GST normally applies, however this will be waived for B2Bpay customers using this link. Membership and Qantas Points are subject to the Qantas Business Rewards Terms and Conditions. Qantas Points for business are offered under the B2Bpay Customer Terms and Conditions. Members will earn 1 Qantas Point for every $100 paid and up to 3 Qantas Points per $1.50 paid to B2Bpay Bonus Billers. See B2Bpay website for a list of current B2Bpay Bonus Billers. Qantas Points earned using B2Bpay will be automatically credited to your linked Qantas Business Rewards account within 90 days of your eligible spend as outlined in the B2Bpay Customer Terms and Conditions. Any claims in relation to Qantas Points under this offer must be made directly to B2Bpay by emailing [email protected]. Businesses must ensure the ABN registered with Qantas Business Rewards is saved in the B2Bpay customer profile or entered online when paying in order to earn Qantas Points. 
* Use a Qantas Points earning credit card to earn points on every payment. Card products referred to are not issued by Qantas but by the relevant Card partners. The applicable Card Partner is the credit provider and credit licensee under the National Consumer Credit laws. Points are offered by the relevant Card partner and partner reward program and can only be earned on eligible purchases. Contact the relevant Card Partner for terms and conditions or enquiries. Bank issued points earned by using your credit card are estimated to be 1 Qantas Point or alternative credit card reward point per dollar spent. Credit card reward points are subject to the terms of your credit card and linked rewards program. Qantas Points quoted are accurate as at 1 August 2017 but may vary at the time of booking. Classic Flight Rewards are available on Qantas, Jetstar and partner airlines. Classic Flight Reward seats are subject to capacity controls, availability is limited and some flights may not have any Classic Flight Rewards available. Taxes, fees and carrier charges are payable by an Accepted Payment Card in addition to the points required on Classic Flight Rewards. These are quoted at the time of booking and are subject to change. See Classic Flight Rewards for more details.