Do I need an ABN? How to get your ABN

Do I need an ABN? How to get your ABN

Do you need an ABN for your business?

Today I’m going to talk to you about: 

  1. whether or not you need an ABN for your business 
  2. things to be careful of when registering your ABN and 
  3. a little walkthrough of the process of setting up your ABN

How to figure out whether or not you need an ABN for your business

If your business has a turnover of $75,000 per year then you need a ABN. If you earn less than $75,000 revenue per year you don’t legally need an ABN however having an ABN is quite handy. 

If you invoice people it is great to have your ABN on the invoice so that they can claim any GST that you may charge. 

When you have an ABN you can claim back the GST that you spend in your business.  And if you do earn $75,000 or more revenue then you do legally need an ABN. 

a few things to be wary of when registering your abn

There are some things to watch out for however when registering your ABN. 

It can be quite hard to find the correct page on the internet where you can register for an ABN for free. 

Registering for an ABN should be free so if you are being offered ABN registration and they are asking you for money you are not on the right page.  there are a number of businesses who come up in a Google search when you search “register and ABN”. These businesses charge you a fee to register your business name and ABN.

You don’t need to have a registered business name.

You only need the ABN.

So please be wary of these businesses if you don’t want to pay for your ABN and instead use this link which takes you directly to the government website to register your ABN for free.

a little walkthrough of registering your abn

Now I’m going to share a video of me setting up an ABN. all the information in this setup is false just to show you the first few steps and to see the website with your eyes so that you know what the page should look like for the free service.

A Business bank account

A Business bank account

I was very lucky when I started my business. I got some great advice early and was even able to use my business earnings towards getting a home loan within 3 years.

I was able to do that because I had paid myself from my business the whole time that I had my business so my mortgage broker could take my business and my earnings into account towards getting a home loan.

 

I have heard about some people who don’t keep their business finances separate from their personal finances. If this is you then I recommend you take action after you read this article.  If you already have separate accounts you probably don’t need this article at all – yay for you!

I can’t even imagine having my personal finance and my business finance all mooshed in together. Just thinking about it makes me feel chaotic and confused. Having your business bank accounts separate from your personal accounts will create clarity, make doing taxes so much easier, make doing your accounting so much easier and give you opportunities like my loan example above.

The good advice that I received early on is from reading the book Profit First By Mike Michalowicz.

Initially I didn’t think I was going to like this book because I thought that focusing on profit was greedy and a part of a machine that I didn’t want to be a part of. I really think Mike should rename his book because his system is actually really about self-care using money.

It’s about honoring your work and creating clarity in your life. And it’s about making money which is what we all need to do if we are in business; even if we decide to donate that money we still have to make the money in the first place.

Part of the Profit First system is to have separate accounts in your business. This is the main steps that I implemented and have used consistently for 5 years; to have one account where all the revenue comes in and another account called the expense account.

The profit first system includes other accounts, actually 5 accounts for profit and super and tax as well, however I don’t use those accounts. I think even if you simply have two business accounts: one revenue and one for expenses it’s going to create a lot of ease in your accounting. 

The other important point is to make sure that you consistently pay yourself whether that’s fortnightly weekly or monthly. This means (i) you get money and (ii) it also looks great on paper if you ever want to get a loan.

Then the question arises which bank accounts. 

If you’ve ever been to the bank to learn more about a bank account for your business they’ve probably offered you a business account. 

Business accounts seem to have higher fees and more costs than regular savings accounts. These accounts are really created for large businesses. If you are a single person, say a solopreneur running a small business, you really don’t need business accounts. You just need two accounts, basic savings accounts, that you can deposit and withdraw from easily and that you can transfer from one to another. 

I have accounts with Bendigo Bank because they are a community bank and I have one account which doesn’t have a card attached to it. That is my revenue account and that is the one that money gets deposited into. I also transfer money out of that account to pay myself and to pay my expense account. 

What I learnt in Profit First is to decide a certain percentage of revenue that is going to be expenses and to try to keep my expenses within that percentage amount. 

The expenses account is a second simple account that has a card attached to it (a debit card) so that if I’m out and about I can buy paper for the office or a new chair or petrol for the business car. It’s also the account that I pay my contractors with and I pay all of my bills with.

I hope that all of this makes sense and I hope that you have ease and flow in the money part of your business. 

The information contained within this article has been provided as general information only and prepared without taking into account your financial position, objectives, and needs. You should consider its appropriateness and seek financial advice before making any financial decisions.

What are your 3 things that you wished you had had when you were starting your biz? I’d love to hear 🙂 

“I pay my respects and acknowledge the people of the Yuin Nation, traditional custodians of the land on which I live and work. I also pay respect to all Elders — past, present and future.”

Do you want support as you create and grow your business?

The Group Program might be right for you. I support people on their business journey with courses, weekly calls and accountability (and love). 

Does that sound appealing?

Easy tools to run an online business: Zoom

Easy tools to run an online business: Zoom

What do you REALLY need to start serving clients online?

I have talked about this a bunch in a couple of other blogs – like “Do you need a website” and “Easy tools to run an online business: Acuity” so today I’m going to talk about Zoom.

If you aren’t familiar with Zoom now I would be very surprised.

Before the global lockdowns, I was using Zoom daily and running my business online with people having a variety of experience with Zoom.

But now we have all been connecting digitally a bit more, even my in-laws can use Zoom!

I do still want to talk about it in the online business context though. Because I really want you to know how I ran my business in the early days particularly without a website. 

And I want to give you my opinions about Zoom 🙂

Zoom is an online video conferencing software service. Basically: this tool lets you meet up with people online. Yes! There are loads of other ways you can do this: Facebook calls, Facetime, Google hangouts and on and on. 

I actually use the free plan of Zoom for 1:1 calls and LiveWebinar for group calls because I don’t like monthly payments. I managed to buy LiveWebinar with a single payment for lifetime access. It’s worth checking if that deal is still available with AppSumo if you are interested (it says sold out but just search in their search bar in case there is a different version of the offer – valid till November 26 2021). 

So the steps I recommend for setting up your business to serve people online are:

  1. Get your ABN 
  2. Create a bank account just for your business
  3. Create a PayPal business account
  4. Get your Acuity set up 
  5. Get your Zoom set up
  6. Choose a Social media platform
  7. Creating content
  8. Doing some market research 
  9. Starting to share offers

You can go deeper with setting up your Acuity in this blog.

LISTEN ON THE PODCAST

At some point you hopefully find yourself setting up your Acuity emails that are delivered to  your client by the robot to confirm the appointment/session. This is a great time to share information about how to connect with you on Zoom for your session. 

The ability to pop your Zoom details into the Initial Confirmation email  is only available on the paid plans of Acuity. If you only pay for one tool, let it be Acuity at first. It will let you take payments, synchronise your calendar and customise these emails. In my opinion, it’s worth it.

Two things I’ll address here are:

1. What kind of Zoom plan do you need? 

and 

2. What info goes into that Acuity email confirmation? 

Zoom has a perfectly good free plan if you only want to do 1:1 sessions. So you can get away with the free plan for a very long time. 

You might like to upgrade your plan if you want to deliver group calls that last more than 40 minutes. This would be helpful for webinars, live course calls and group program calls.

There are loads of other options for what Zoom can do for you but for now, let’s keep it simple. And affordable. If you are just wanting 1:1 sessions, stick with the free plan. 

Now that you have your account you can create “Meetings”. My favourite thing to do is create “recurring” meetings so that I can have a URL I use to access the meeting space. I can also give that URL to clients so they can join the meeting with me. 

You can do that following the instructions in this video

Now you have the URL of your recurring meeting, it’s time to pop back into your Acuity and tell the client what they need to do to prepare and how to join you on the call.

On the free plan of Acuity, you will only get the immediate email sent out to confirm the appointment at the time of booking and you can’t customise your emails. If you’re sticking with the free plan, you will need to send an email the hour before your meeting with this info manually. 

If you are on the paid version you can customise your initial confirmation and send an email an hour before using the robot.

Here’s an example of the default email that gets sent out to clients once they book: 

You can find it in Notifications > Client Email > Initial Confirmation 

I recommend that you pop in and edit that email. You can include your Zoom link, and any other specific preparations you would like them to have done like sign terms & conditions or do a specific journaling practice. I show you how to do that in this video

The beauty of this is: now you have a URL you can share with people so that they can book, and get automated information for how to see you in the session. 

BOOM.

You are ready to share your Acuity booking link on social media now. So the next step is to decide which social media platform you want to play on for now. 

Here’s a quick tip on that: where are your people and where are you happy to create content? 

Start with one social media platform at a time. 

Facebook business page: share your Acuity booking link in the spot called “website”. You can also pop it in the blue call to action button.

Instagram account: share your Acuity booking link as your “Website” in your bio.

Zoom settings

I recommend going into your Zoom settings and seeing what you want to change. The main things you might like to change are: 

Turning off that woman that announces the session is being recorded 🙁

Checking whether you want a waiting room or password protected 

And just have a poke around and see if there are things you want to change to make it suit you better. 

Do you have more questions about Zoom and setting up your online business? 

I’d love to hear them – hit me up in the comments 

If you found this helpful and you like, you can make a small donation.

“I pay my respects and acknowledge the people of the Yuin Nation, custodians of the land on which I live and work. I also pay respect to all Elders — past, present and future.”

Do you just want to talk to me about your business and website?

I’d love to chat. You can book a free chat and we can discuss website set up and all of the other things I mentioned here. We can even set it all up of ryou and save you the headace. 

Go ahead and book a free chat here: 

Take a week off your business

Take a week off your business

When was the last time you had a day off from your business?
What about a week off?

And I don’t mean school holidays – because if you are a mum you know that is not a real holiday.
I haven’t had a week off. Ever.

Every time I have holidays it means time away from work but I’m still thinking about meals, and other people’s well being

And once a year I go to Vipassana for 10-days of silent meditation. 

But if you’ve ever done that, then you understand that meditation is work too. Facing up for 10 hours a day of sitting and then no breaks as an older student is actually quite a task. It does bring amazing fruits and I wouldn’t swap it for anything.

So since I was a youth I have had no time where I just do things in my own time with a total disregard for the needs of others.

I finally had a week off.
Just for 5 days between 9 and 3. 

But it was good. I got to really release the endless tension I subtly hold on to and just BE on a time frame that suits me and what I want. 

It was delicious actually – the bliss and pleasure that is available just sitting quietly in the sun for that minute or two extra without having to answer someone or worry about someone or give anything to anyone at all.

I am feeling a bit self conscious saying all of this.
Even as I write this I’m having some internal dialogue about being selfish and how great mothering is and blah blah blah. 

That is all true. 

I love my kids. 

But I really needed a rest and to reset my adrenals. 

If we never have a deep reset, we are going to burn out. I have burned out several times in my business. I have given it all up. Called it off. Broken up with her. 

And after a day or 5, the little spark has kindled back into a flame and I’m ready to fall back in love with it. 

So I know from my own experience that space is helpful, and I’ve done school hols + Vipassana but this was a new epiphany. And I highly recommend that you create space in your business for your business fire to burn.

One dilemma I had before the week off was: what was I going to do with all my time. 

I was well aware that I could too easily slip onto the laptop and start working.
Because I really do enjoy my work.

Mostly, I find it fun and I love creating stuff in my business + I get really nourished from connecting with other business women as I support them on their journey. 

So I knew I was going to need a strategy to stay away from work. 

I asked my people.

I did have a few ideas already, and there are a number of things they mentioned that I already do in my working days. So they didn’t feel quite as meaningful. But I thought I would share a mega list of week off ideas – partly to remind myself and also to inspire you when you have a week off. 

So here it is:

The Big List of Things to Do on Your Week Off

Nothing.At.All

Day bath

Naps

Laying in the sun

Watching movies

Bush walks

Time in nature

Tea with friends

Reading books

Painting

Phone chats

Make kombucha

Meditation

Play the yes/no game and feel into your intuition for every choice

Yoga

Smell flowers

Dance in the moonlight

Beach time

Bake

Get a Massage

Swim

Play with a cat or dog

Download and print this fun week off planner.

I have some tear off ideas and I left space for you to add your ideas!

No need to sign up – just click the button and get it planned! 

If you found this helpful and you like, you can make a small donation.

“I pay my respects and acknowledge the people of the Yuin Nation, traditional custodians of the land on which I live and work. I also pay respect to all Elders — past, present and future.”

Those days when you want to throw your laptop at the wall

Those days when you want to throw your laptop at the wall

Do you have those days when you are working on the tech stuff in your business and you get to the point where you’re so frustrated that you want to throw your laptop? 

I certainly do. 

And because I spend so many hours of my working time laptop dealing with tech I have had to develop some tools to help me in those moments. 

These are kind of like my rules of play or my rules of engagement for working with tech and how to deal with those moments of complete frustration. Those moments of just hitting the brick wall, being in some horrible vortex loop and hating it.

This can happen any time when using technology. 

You know the scenario:

You are trying to do a “simple” thing and it either hits the brick wall.

You want to save something and it just won’t save.

You want to edit something and it just won’t work

or something like that. 

Or you end up in a vortex – you want to do one simple thing and suddenly you’re being asked to sign up for another thing and then you have to pay for something else and then you need another tool to link those two up to each other and you don’t even really know what they do. Your head is spinning and the rage is rising.

So here are 3 things I adhere to when it comes to tech frustration:

  1. Watch the narrative
  2. Space clearing mist
  3. Set a timer

1. WATCH THE NARRATIVE

It’s so important to be aware of the stories you are telling yourself as you work on the tech stuff in your biz. 

If you are trying something new like setting up a website, running ads to Facebook or creating images in Canva and it isn’t working. What are you making this mean? What is your inner dialogue? Are you thinking thoughts like: “I am not techie”, “this is hard”, “Facebook sux” “this is not my zone of genius” {insert yours here}. 

It happens to me when I’m learning something new. I get to the wall or the vortex and I don’t like it. 

I am pretty tenacious and sometimes I think I can just push through and “make it happen”. 

And sometimes I do. 

And sometimes I get really frustrated and get totally disheartened. I get rejective and start wanting to tell a story about the whole thing being a really bad idea.

Once a story is running it’s important to consider how that narrative informs and dictates other realities in your life.

For example, if you try to run ads on Facebook and they get rejected, do you then say that “you just don’t understand” and “Facebook is crap”.

What do you say?

The same thing can happen to 100 people and there are probably 1000 stories you could be telling about that same experience.

One person might make it mean that they are learning something new and that is sometimes uncomfortable where another person might make it mean they suck and tech and can’t move forward in their business.

What you make it mean is the ONLY thing that is within your control.

If you can’t understand what I’m saying here or you find it hard to be aware of your thoughts I recommend meditation and a good life coach.

Those 2 things have helped me find the spaces between my thoughts and my awareness.

This is a powerful development that will help you in all areas of your life, as well as how you feel about tech.

I personally love Vipassna meditation and try to go for a 10 day retreat every year as well as meditating daily as my home practice.

Do you have a meditation practice?

It’s a business tool and a life tool you won’t regret acquiring.

2. SPACE CLEARING MIST

I have 2 space clearing mists I love. I have the Australian Bush Flower Essence Space Clearing mist and the Anima Mundi Palo Santo Protection Myst.

Sometimes, if I am having tech gremlins or even just working with a client and we are getting a bit tense with our progress over a tech fart, I will spritz the heck out of my space with one of those 2 and just take a moment.

Traditionally, Palo Santo is for warding off evil spirits.

But what are “evil spirits” if not our own mental tensions, negative thought patterns and bad mental hygiene?

Sure, maybe your neighbour did put a hex on you.

Or maybe you just need to breathe and become aware of the  magic inside you.

Either way, I find that somehow, space clearing mists help. Even if they only smell good and there’s a placebo effect.
By the time I’m that pissed off I don’t really care what is helping if at all. Bring the nice smells and hex removal.

3. SET A TIMER

The other day I was working with a group of clients on Facebook ads. As well as creating and publishing ads for clients myself, I was mentoring a small group of women to set up their own ads accounts. 

I had a client with a pressing deadline and a decent budget and 5 ads rejected due to misleading claims with another client whose account was disabled due to circumventing Facebook ads policy. 

Then I had one of the students who I was mentoring have her catalogue rejected and another one whose Squarespace site stopped connecting to her Instagram as soon as she followed my instructions to set Instagram up in Business Manager. 

So as well as my own ads failing, and possibly failing my clients I was also failing to support students. 

I could have made this mean that I’m no good at ads and that I am not fit to teach others ads either. And then I could decide that Facebook ads are crap. And I might even decide that I’m not cut out for online business. 

What I did was contact support, and they told me there was a glitch which was making ads rejected when they shouldn’t have been. 

This gave me a red flag that Facebook’s servers might be having other glitches too and that it just wasn’t the day for working on Facebook ads. 

This is so often the case. 

As well as the old “turn it off and turn it back on” trick, I find this third approach a sanity saver. 

How long are you going to swirl in a vortex or headbutting a brick wall before you walk away? 

Some days, it’s better to just walk away. But how long should you try? 

I usually allow about 30-minutes maximum to headbut/swirl and then I walk away. Because most times I have those moments, I find out a week later that “Oh yeah there was a {XYZ} issue that day and everyone was {effected in some way}”.

So just choose a timer, do as much as you can and then walk away. Come back a day or 2 later. 

I actually just checked all of those disapproved ads now (24 hours later) and they are all approved! 

Oh Facebook…

If you found this helpful and you like, you can make a small donation.

“I pay my respects and acknowledge the people of the Yuin Nation, traditional custodians of the land on which I live and work. I also pay respect to all Elders — past, present and future.”

Do you want to make sure you hear about more blogs like this?

You can jump on the newsletter where I email the crew every week or so about upcoming events and the altest content. You can pop on here:

How to create content intuitively AND productively

How to create content intuitively AND productively

This blog is intended to share a simple, practical structure to support wild, rule-defying creatrix women to create content.

What???

I mean: I work with a lot of women (and I myself am one) who dislike norms. Women who need to pave their own way. Who have a lot to share but say “f*&# you” to shoulds. 

Or maybe they’re not quite that shouty but they find it hard to follow a regular set of rules about content creation. 

I have been there. I thought I knew how to create content and I would just go with the flow. I would just pop into Facebook and post a bit there and then pop to Instagram and do a bit there and then pop to LinkedIn and then POP – the day was over and I wasn’t sure what I’d really achieved and where the time had gone. 

Plus, I wasn’t sharing my gold. 

I was kind of splatter gun promoting, not really building an audience around my deeper soul work.

Sound familiar? 

The thing is: I am SUPER creative (and so are you) but I didn’t realise how deeply this runs in the veins of content creation and entrepreneurial life. I could embrace cooking amazing meals, sewing fabulous garments, or painting and drawing as creative pursuits – but business?? 

After I read Big Magic, I had a strong sense that my business was a creative endeavour. But writing and content creation? They were just for marketing and business and “getting” clients weren’t they? 

The artistry of content creation was lost on me until I started working with my 2021 mentor, George Kao.

Through working with George and following his Authentic Marketing  approach I have realised how much content creation is about me and my service to humanity and how little it is about “getting” clients – although that is a lovely outcome sometimes. 

And over time I’ve learned to apply some of the things I’ve learned through making art to creating content. I did the Artist’s Way process with the divine Aesha Kennedy a few years ago and since going deeper with creative practices I’ve realised 2 key things: 

Content creation and creativity in general flourishes when there’s a regular practice 

Creativity flows when there is space to feel free and unhindered

These 2 things seem to be in conflict though don’t they? 

Let’s unpack that a little.

When I make something every day, whether it’s a painting or a piece of content for my business, I just get more relaxed and comfortable. I make more and from that more means there are more wins. Not that the ratio of “happy with this” to “this is balls” changes, but rather, because I made 100 in total instead of 10 in total, the number of “happy with this” is 10 rather than one (if that were the happy:balls ratio). 

DId I lose you in the maths? 

I just mean, there is always some content/creations that we are happy with, that resonate with others and that really “work”. But if we only make content two times a year, it will take us 20 years to even have 40 pieces of content. If we make one a week we have 40 pieces of content in under a year and if we do it every weekday, we have it in 8 weeks. 

Not that 40 is a meaningful number. 

It’s just that out of 40, you might have a few that you are happy with, that resonate with other people, that really “work”. 

And further to that: as you create more, you will naturally get better. Because creativity is like a muscle and when you work it out – it gets stronger. You get clearer on what it is you’re trying to say and how you say it. You get better on certain formats, like video or (if you’re like me) writing. 

So, I wonder if you feel inspired to do a little creating each day? 

Or if that’s too much once a week? 

I used to try for one a week and that was great for a couple of years. I really didn’t think once a day was for me. But since I’ve been doing daily content, it’s become a lovely and heart warming practice that I miss when I can’t do it. 

But how does that work – when creativity needs to feel free + unhindered to flow?

The trick is: knowing where to constrain and where to be free.

A simple practice that I recently shared with a client is to use Google calendar for 2 things:

  1. Collect the ideas I have for upcoming blogs
  2. Create the space and time for content creation 

Basically, you can create a new Google calendar if you need to or use an existing calendar and make some repeating Content Creation events. 

I go to the Google calendar and create an event. Call it Content creation and allow about 1hour for writing a blog and around 15 minutes for a simple piece of content. 

In the date and time of the event, I set it to either recurring weekly for a blog or recurring every weekday for general content creation. In the description I gather together my content ideas that I have on bushwalks, in the bath or wherever they strike me. I might have to write them down till I get to tech, and then pop them in my collection spot when I get to it. 

Then, when it comes time to sit down and create, I don’t make myself work through the list. This is when I leave it to my inner compass to guide me. I trust my energy and intuition to decide what to post about on that particular day. 

This is the balance of structure + flow. This is knowing when to constrain and when to flow. 

The commitment to your growth and the commitment to sharing your brilliance is the constraint. The time that you lovingly set aside to dedicate to humanity and your business is the constraint. Your loving commitment and service. 

The choice of what you will create content about and what format is the freedom and intuitive aspect. What is lighting you up today? What is alive in you? What is ignited today? If it’s definitely NOT a video day (we all have them) maybe it’s a writing day. If you feel sparkly, then maybe it’s a video day. You get to decide + be free. 

What do you think? Could you experiment with this method and start to share your brilliance? 

If you found this helpful and you like, you can make a small donation.

“I pay my respects and acknowledge the people of the Yuin Nation, traditional custodians of the land on which I live and work. I also pay respect to all Elders — past, present and future.”

Do you just want to talk to me about your business and website?

I’d love to chat. You can book a free chat and we can discuss website set up and all of the other things I mentioned here. We can even set it all up of ryou and save you the headace. 

Go ahead and book a free chat here: