Resolutions for Small Business Owners

Resolutions for Small Business Owners

Resolutions for Small Business Owners

Spending time setting some goals for the year ahead is just as important in business as it is personally. For business owners, making new years resolutions can make a huge impact both for your motivation when you start back at work as well as during the year.

New year – new leaf

As a business owner, the start of a new year is a time to regather your vision for the business, take time for yourself and spend time with your family. Spending some time setting goals and plans for the year ahead is just as important in business as it is personally. For small business owners, resolutions can make a huge impact both for your motivation when you start back at work as well as during the year. Read further for some inspiration to get you started setting goals for 2021.

1. Prioritise Balance

The 9 to 5 that most employees enjoy, is often not the same balance that business owners enjoy. That’s why it’s important to prioritise balance. To continue to be a successful entrepreneur you must take the time to recharge your batteries, otherwise you risk burning out or making errors. Take time for you, try a yoga class or go for a walk along the beach. Promise us and yourself that you’ll make the time for balance this New Year.

2. Remember to put on pants

Ok, we are certainly pro a non-traditional workplace – no high heels or pencil skirts at Nurture! A less serious resolution on the surface, but one this author is going to attempt in 2021. “Putting on pants” each day includes taking pride in oneself and how you present to the world. Being confident in yourself, your skills and what you can provide to your clients or customers. COVID19 working from home although challenging at times, provided a safe and pant free environment for this little worker. Moving into 2021 it’s time to break those bad habits and function fully back in the world. A morning ritual is key, and is currently being planned out. Watch this space! 

3. Make Work Fun

Own a business they said, it’ll be fun they said. Okay, we’ve all been there – the questions of “why did I start this” and “I have no time anymore” are common questions business owners ask themselves. And if you’ve asked yourself these, it’s time to a) prioritise balance like we firstly recommended, and two start making work FUN! Create a happy place at work by creating happiness boosting traditions – yes you heard us right! Whether that’s a daily joke, watching a funny youtube video or making your workspace more invigorating. It’s important to have fun!

4. Be authentic

This is something we work really hard on as a team at Nurture. In a nutshell, we describe being authentic as being open and honest with the people around you, in a tactful and professional way. You will be surprised how much easier day to day life is when you simply focus on authenticity. Keep in mind it doesn’t always go down well, with some others not appreciating the honesty! Just remember you cannot control how other people respond and behave, but you can control your own actions and behaviour. 

Louise Duce, director at Nurture set a professional resolution of being brave. Being authentic is being brave. Telling people what they need to hear (again, professionally) not what they want to hear. Yes, upsetting the apple cart is inevitible – but you are doing everyone an injustice not being authentic. Being able to see and deal with the truth enables growth – personally and in business. 

5. A goal without a plan is just a wish

Setting goals and plans for the year ahead is really important in small business. Running a business without goals is like flying a plane with no idea where you want to land. Even if you have short and long term goals in place, they need to be reviewed regularly and have plans in place with acheiveable steps to ensure the goals can be attained. January is the perfect time to grab a coffee and get started with goal setting.

Need some direction? Here are some basic tips to help you get started setting goals.

  • goals must be yours and mean something to you
  • goals must be specific and measurable
  • goals must be flexible
  • goals must be challenging and exciting
  • goals must be in alignment with your values
  • goals must be realistic
  • goals must be supported (but those around you)


6. Learn to Delegate

Now, this is crucial. If you want to make work more fun, prioritise balance and have time to set goals you’re probably going to have to delegate. You’re smart, you’ve accomplished a great business and you’re probably not great at delegating because you trust yourself to do the job right. So, stop that and start to delegate some of your tasks to the employees that you’ve carefully selected and hired to help. Alternatively, outsource to your trusted tribe or professionals and focus on the elements of the business you are not only good at, but enjoy. Shifting the work to someone else is an adjustment, but once trained and confident you’ll have more balance in your life!

But don’t delegate the goal setting and planning – that’s all on you.

“Our goals can only be reached through a vehicle of a plan, in which we must fervently believe, and upon which we must vigorously act. There is no other route to success” – Pable Picasso

About the Author.

Lisa Hooton is the founding director of Nurture Accounting in North Lakes QLD. She has 25 years experience in Public Practice with a passion for Small Business Compliance. Lisa is dedicated to Nurture’s clients and team, always learning, fun and spirited individual. 

Lisa is a guru in time and workflow managment. She is also an advocate for the development and implementation of automation and cloud systems in small business. Lisa is a supporter of women in small business and an active volunteer in the local community. 

Lisa lives with her husband of 24 years and 3 amazing daughters in Murrumba Downs QLD. She spends her downtime writing blogs and courses on business administration and management, is an avid gamer and loves a good road trip. 


BBus (hons). BArts (hons). CPA. MIPA.
Registered Tax Agent. Registered ASIC Agent.
Xero Certified Advisor and Xero Gold Partner.




Still have questions?

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Nurture Accounting XERO GOLD Partner – what does it mean for my business?

Nurture Accounting XERO GOLD Partner – what does it mean for my business?


We’ve got some great news

Now here’s some great news you’re going to want to stay tuned for, because it could mean money back in your pocket, thanks to, well – us. Hot off the press, it’s official – Nurture Accounting has just been awarded GOLD Partner status by Xero.

We’re confident that the Xero brand needs no introduction to savvy small business people such as yourselves. However, just in case you’ve been living under a rock, they boast that “online accounting with Xero opens up a world of opportunities to increase efficiency, streamline the way you manage your business, and add moments of beauty into your working day”.

Now, it’s no secret that the Nurture Team are Xero junkies. We fell head over heels, it was love at first reconciliation – and the relationship is still going strong 7 years later. And now, Xero has finally proposed to us – with our shiny new GOLD status.

“Online accounting with Xero opens up a world of opportunities to increase efficiency, streamline the way you manage your business, and add moments of beauty into your working day”

GOLD status doesn’t just mean discounts for you

Yes, we know, a 25% discount is AWESOME. But you should also know that it’s pretty much the same as saying that as far as accountants go – we’re the bees’ knees. GOLD status basically means we can get you set up and running with Xero easily and efficiently. It also means we can help you with learning the software, as well as support you if you come across any issues along the way.

We can also help with advice about implementing and integrating the incredible range of add-on software apps available to Xero users. In short; we can help take your business to the next level and beyond.

“The reason emailing can take us so long is because we need two different mindsets – processing & thinking”

Hurry up and tell me how this benefits ME?!

The main benefit is as a Xero Gold Partner, we have access to a 25% discount on the Xero subscriptions we control (Xero Business Plans). What’s more – we’ll be passing on 100% of this discount to ALL our clients new and old.

We decided it’s about time we put Xero’s money where our mouth is – and show you that we really do care about you guys.

Oh yeh, so what’s the catch?

No catch, no up-sell, no special fine print. Our only requirement is that fees are set-up to be paid monthly OR your subscription is paid 3 months in advance. That’s it!!

Existing business edition clients will be receiving communication from our office later this month about how this will impact them.

Existing partner edition clients (Xero Cashbook) will also receive communication from our office on if upgrading to a Business Edition plan with the discount may be of benefit to them.

How did Nurture become a Xero GOLD Partner?

Through blood, sweat and tears. Ok, but seriously, Xero GOLD status basically reflects our level of experience with Xero, and the success we have achieved for our clients. It’s an achievement we are not too shy to boast about, because we have been intensely working towards this goal as a team for quite some time.

At Nurture, we have not just one, but an entire team of Xero certified advisors. This means there is always a team member available to guide you in how to use the functions in Xero, to better understand how your business is performing.

A 25% discount still hasn’t convinced you to switch to Xero?

As I always say, real-time figures are your secret weapon – your best friend. Xero delivers on this and more. So why don’t we share with you just a few of the reasons why we think it’s the best thing since sliced bread.

Main pro’s to Xero:

  • Run your business anytime, from any internet-connected device – phone, tablet or computer
  • Understand your real-time cash position
  • Collaborate with your accountant, bookkeeper and team in real-time
  • Get paid faster for better cash flow
  • Protect your business data

“Real-time figures are your secret weapon – your best friend”

Not using Xero and want to know more? Using Xero but not getting the love and support you are seeking? New to business and need help?

Your inbox – who manages who?

Your inbox – who manages who?

Imagine going to check your home letterbox, only to find 300 unread items of mail sitting there, waiting for your attention. This may send a shiver down your spine, however, having 300 unread emails seems to have become the norm.

Most of the research on email efficiency suggests batching and checking emails 2-3 times a day at most. Scheduling in a regular email management time, instead of letting it take priority over your to-do list is vital.

The following is the most common methodology for getting emails under control:


  1. Turn off your email notifications
  2. Have calendar/task list on a second screen
  3. Close your inbox (however hard this may be)

You may like to take advantage of some technology apps and programs which can help alleviate your email-to-task-list nightmares. A fan favourite for turning emails to tasks is Trello. The beauty of Trello is its ability to sync with Outlook, G-mail and most of other popular emailing systems. This means importing the entire email into your task list – without taking up valuable space.


Whether you’ve worked out a way to sift through your emails efficiently or not – it’s clear we’ve become email junkies. From checking several times per hour, to late night emailing. It’s become an issue which is taking over our lives. We become too used to butterflying with our emails, checking one without actioning it. Only to then butterflying to another – without doing much on that either.
Poor email management creates stress, wastes time and reduces our performance. An important email which could have been done quite easily can become a big crisis if left undone. Deadlines can be missed, delays can be created and stress builds up.

“Poor email management creates stress, wastes time and reduces our performance”

If you feel like you can identify with more than one of the above sentiments, it may be time for an email detox. When starting your email cleanse, why not consider the following items:

  1. Don’t spend too much time on non-value adding emails. Set a timer for 5 minutes to make sure you’re not wasting your precious time, and delegate wherever possible
  2. Unsubscribe from mailing lists, they will only waste your time
  3. Create a rule to ensure any emails you are CC’d in, go to a separate folder.


Creating a rule to automatically move all emails you are CC’d in to a specific folder. This means you are then able to prioritise other emails, and come back to check CC’d emails all at once. Alternatively, have a conversation with the people who tend to CC you in a little too often. Take the opportunity to discuss curbing their habit to only those items you really want to see.

When the time comes to check your inbox, be sure to caffeinate prior. Aim to process as many emails as possible during a set amount of time. The reason emailing can take us so long is because we need two different mindsets – processing & thinking. With your inbox, add any emails which will take more than 5 minutes to action to your task list.

Also make sure your task title includes enough information for you to be able to prioritise it accordingly. An example of this may be “Email Lydia about her new accounting software purchase”.

“The reason emailing can take us so long is because we need two different mindsets – processing & thinking”

Once you have sifted through the emails which need to go on your task list, go back and reply to all the quick 5-minute emails, ensuring you keep an eye on the time. Once those are done, you now can return to your task list, make sure the emails you’ve added are ordered alongside your current to-dos, and then get cracking on the most important item next.

Last but definitely not least – if you are finished with an email – be sure to delete it or move it to an appropriate folder. This is so that you can get the dopamine release related to completing a task, and perhaps even one day soon, the beautiful reward of an empty inbox.


  • A filing system
  • A task management system
  • A contact management system
  • A bin


  1. Emails should be short and to the point, otherwise you’re just perpetuating the system
  2. Leave the subject line until you have completed your email, and be sure to label it with the most accurate subject title
  3. Leave white space so that your recipient can easily scan to the items which they are most interested in
  4. Be clear on the purpose of the email, and what you are expecting in return (if anything)
  5. Avoid CC-ing the whole world, keep it on a need to know basis only
  6. Proof-read your email before sending, including checking you’ve attached everything and labelled it with the right recipient.

    Sick of wasting time emailing your accountant – only for them to ignore you? Why not experience the Nurture difference, with support you can access when it suits you.

    Employer Guide to Christmas – Part 2

    Employer Guide to Christmas – Part 2

    Dear Santa, all I want for Christmas is deductions!

    Okay, so we don’t have to be Santa to know what’s on every business owners list this year – deductions.

    Each Christmas business owners big and small ask us what they can deduct from work Christmas parties and gifts. Sound like a question you have? We thought so, keep reading!

    So here’s what you need to know.


    FBT stands for Fringe Benefits Tax and it’s important to understand that there is no independent fringe benefits tax (FBT) category for Christmas parties. However, certain aspects of your Christmas party may be exempt from FBT if they can pass as a minor and infrequent benefit.

    A minor benefit is defined by the ATO as a benefit that is ‘less than $300 in notional taxable value’ and ‘unreasonable to treat as a fringe benefit’. Under this definition, you may be eligible for relief from FBT as long as the cost per head does not exceed $300. To calculate this simply divide the total cost of the party by the number of attendees.

    “Always remember that if an item is exempt from FBT then it is not tax deductible nor can you claim the GST credits.”


    The $300 limit also applies to Christmas gifts you provide to your staff however the deductibility and GST treatment is based on whether the gift is “entertainment” or “non-entertainment”. To get the best outcome we recommend providing “non-entertainment” gifts (e.g. skincare & beauty products, flowers, wine, perfumes, gift vouchers and hampers) costing less than $300 and you will be able to claim a tax deduction plus claim the GST.


    For the entire cost of a Christmas party to be a deductible expense the Christmas party must meet the following criteria:

    • Held on your business premises
    • Held on a working day
    • Held for current employees, volunteers, customers, and suppliers only
    • No alcohol
    • Only finger food or a light meal provided
    • No employee associates (e.g. spouses, children, etc.) present

    If a Christmas party includes any of the following elements, the entire cost in non-deductible:

    • Alcohol is served
    • Employee associates (e.g. spouses, children, etc.) attending
    • Held at a location other than your business premises

    The Christmas Deduction Wrap-up

    In summary, you can avoid FBT during the festive season by keeping the per head costs below $300 but the expenditure will be non-deductible entertainment.

    Some may argue that ensuring your Christmas party is tax deductible by complying with the above criteria is not in the best interests of staff moral and certainly not inductive to building strong relationships and fostering a positive work culture within your business.

    Employer Guide to Christmas

    Wanting Jingle Bells to sound more like Jingle Coins? Sounds like you need a good accountant! Speak to Nurture about Christmas Deductions Today!

    Employer Guide to Christmas – Part 1

    Employer Guide to Christmas – Part 1

    Dear Santa, all I want for Christmas is well-planned payroll!

    As a business owner, it often feels once November hits, time just flies and before you know it, you are locking the doors for Christmas. Among the talk of parties, and which in-laws you are having to spend Christmas with, there are many things that must be planned when it comes to payroll for your staff.
    Here are a few points to consider which may help you in preparation for the silly season.

    Awards check

    Check the relevant Award your team fall under. Some Awards state that annual leave cannot be deducted for the non-public holidays your business is closed for. Most of the Awards state that annual leave can be deducted when adequate notice is given to employees. It is imperative that the Award is followed and that you are familiar with the rules.

    Did you know that some Awards state that annual leave cannot be deducted for the non-public holidays your business is closed for?

    Calendar check

    Whilst it may sound basic, have a calendar in front of you and look at when the public holidays fall. Highlight what would be the normal days for payroll to be paid. You may choose to prepay before the Christmas break, or schedule the payments to be transferred during your closure. A little bit of planning can ease the stress.

    Christmas bonus check

    Take a look at the numbers. Whether you are shutting shop for a few days, or just closing for the public holidays, a little bit of a reward can go a long way. Perhaps you have new employees with minimal annual leave accrued or casual employees with no entitlements to be paid public holidays.

    Consider paying your team for what would be the two normal working days between Christmas and New Years Day. These dollars may be a small amount to pay, yet be very rewarding, increasing productivity and motivation.

    The Christmas Payroll Wrap-up

    In summary, Christmas is stressful enough as it is, especially for small businesses trying to keep their books balanced during the slow-down period. By planning ahead, employers can gain some much needed control over their ghosts of Christmas payroll’s past. They can also ensure their employees come back happy, rested and with enough spare change in their pocket that they’re willing to work as hard as ever in the new year.

    We wish you all a safe and happy Christmas and New Year!

    Employer Guide to Christmas

    Wanting Jingle Bells to sound more like Jingle Coins? Sounds like you need a good accountant! Speak to Nurture about Christmas Payroll Management Today!