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Accounting for the Cycling Industry
Running a retail bike shop can be like cycling into a strong headwind. You have to contend with extended trading hours, inflated rents and seasonal trade not to mention the usual small business challenges of GST, BAS and PAYG compliance.
Not only that, the traditional bike shop is under attack from on-line stores and the increasing competition from importers including cheap Chinese carbon imports. The volatile Australian dollar is another issue while technology is also having an impact on the bicycle industry. Carbon fibre wheels and bike frames plus the explosion of GPS monitoring devices has changed the landscape forever.
The industry is evolving with the emergence of mobile bike shops, private labelling and spin-off bike rentals. The product range is expanding and you have to embrace the shift towards online shopping and have a website that is more than just an electronic billboard. It doesn’t matter if you import or manufacture bikes, inner tubes, helmets or accessories, establishing and running a cycling business can be an uphill battle.
Cycling is a growing industry and our mission is to help our clients grow their business. We believe, having an accountant who understands your industry, the trends and key financial indicators can give you a serious competitive edge.
MARKETING YOUR CYCLING BUSINESS
Marketing your business in the digital age can be the difference between boom and doom. While most cycling business owners rely on their reputation and referrals to grow their business, in the digital age you need to adopt an online presence to take your business to top gear. Word-Of-Mouth now happens online via social media and spreads faster than ever so giving customers positive experiences with your cycling business is important. By taking your business online you can actually engage with customers and get feedback on their experiences with your business and in turn work to perfect your service and reap the benefits of the rapid spreading positive public relations that social media affords.
While these ingredients remain important, in the digital age you also need to focus on your online marketing. Increasingly local searches like ‘cycling Melbourne’ are driving traffic to your website and in effect, your website is your silent salesperson that works 24/7. Often it is the first touch point with a potential new client and you only get one chance to make a good first impression.
One of our biggest points of difference compared to traditional accounting firms is our marketing expertise. We can assist you with your branding (business name, logo and slogan) and corporate brochure plus 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.
If you need advice and direction with content or video production we can help you. Not only that, 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 site. We'll make sure your website is responsive to smart phones and tablets (click here to check your current website) and we strive to give our clients a serious competitive edge.
If you aren’t using some of these marketing techniques in your business then it's probably not going to reach its full profit potential.
STARTING AN CYCLING BUSINESS
When starting or buying a business there are numerous issues to consider.
It can be a minefield but as business start-up specialists we can assist you with everything from your branding through to your business structure, site selection, commercial lease, corporate brochure, marketing plan and website. We have developed a number of tools specifically for new business owners including a comprehensive checklist of start up expenses.
It breaks down your potential establishment costs and splits them into categorises like leasehold improvements, IT costs, marketing, equipment, racks and stock. These figures then automatically feed through to our integrated cash flow budget template to help you identify any finance requirements plus they also tuck neatly into the business plan template we have created for our clients.
Experience tells us that bookkeeping and business administration can be hurdles for business owners and cycling retailers are no exception. Apart from providing assistance with compliance issues like GST, BAS, PAYG and superannuation, we’ll advise you on the most appropriate tax structure for your business. When making recommendations regarding business structures we always take into account income tax considerations, asset protection, family structures and eligibility for future discount capital gains tax concessions.
Our services to the cycling industry and start-up businesses are both broad and deep. We can assist you with your commercial property lease and also help you source funding for your new van and equipment (chattel mortgage, lease etc.). Through an affiliate group you also have access to fleet pricing on new cars and light commercial vans that could save you thousands of dollars. We recognise you also want to grow your profits and your wealth which explains why a number of our clients have a self-managed superannuation fund (SMSF) as part of their business structure. If you want to know more about starting a SMSF download our e-booklet, Thinking of Starting a SMSF?
As a busy retailer often caught up with repair work we understand you are busy working in the business and bookkeeping often doesn’t get the attention it deserves. As such, we will help you select the most appropriate software for your business taking into account your business needs (bookkeeping, payroll, invoicing etc.) and level of accounting skill. Where required we will train you or your staff to use the software because historically many retailers and manufacturers purchase accounting software that is beyond their business needs and level of accounting skill. This leads to ‘computerised shoebox’ records and extra accounting costs which conflicts with our mission of helping you minimize the cost of compliance. We are an advocate for cloud accounting solutions and work with a number of programs including MYOB, Xero and Cashflow Manager.
We strive to help you ‘know your numbers’ and that includes understanding the four ways to grow your business. Once you understand the key profit drivers in your business we can talk you through profit improvement strategies and even quantify the profit improvement potential in your business. Of course, this is just the beginning because as accountants we can prepare some ‘what if’ scenarios so you know your best and worst case financial scenarios. Preparing a cash flow budget and projecting your profit and loss is all part of our service offering and we use industry benchmarks to analyse and compare the relative performance of your business against your peers so you understand what is working in your business and what needs working on.
Our services to the cycling industry include:
- Start-Up Advice for Retailers, Importers, Manufacturers and Bicycle Hire Businesses
- Advice and Assistance to Establish Your Business Structure
- Advice and Assistance with the Purchase or Sale of your Business
- Spreadsheets and Tools including a Start Up Expense Checklist
- Tax and Business Registrations including your ABN, TFN, GST, WorkCover etc.
- Preparation of a Business Plan, Cash Flow Forecasts and Profit Projections
- Accounting Software Selection and Training – Bookkeeping, Invoicing, Payroll etc.
- Preparation of Finance Applications for Banking Institutions
- Site Location and Advice Regarding your Commercial Lease
- Preparation and Analysis of Financial Statements
- Bookkeeping and Payroll Services
- Tax Planning Strategies
- Industry Benchmarking and KPI Management
- Marketing Advice including branding, brochures, website and social media strategies
- Advice and Assistance with the Development, Content and Website SEO
- Wealth Creation Strategies, SMSF’s and Financial Planning Services
- Vehicle & Equipment Finance
- Monitoring Labour Costs & Advice regarding Workplace Laws
- Advice regarding Claiming Motor Vehicle Costs
- Business and Risk Insurances
- Business Succession Planning
In summary, we are more than just tax accountants and describe ourselves as ‘business and profit builders’. If you’re looking for strategic advice and practical business solutions that could give you a serious competitive edge talk to us today. We work hard to understand your business and over the past decade the cycling industry has become a niche area within our firm.
If you're an ambitious business owner looking to boost your current results or if you're looking to get your cycling shop off to a flying start we invite you to book a FREE, one hour introductory consultation. You can expect practical business, tax, marketing and financial advice that could have a profound effect on your future business profits. Simply contact us today on (03) 9575 3800 or complete your details in the box at the top of this page and we will be in touch.