Back in business: How you can make the most of 2022

Pent-up consumer demand promises a strong economic return, which bodes well for small businesses hoping for a return to normalcy in 2022. But that doesn’t mean business as usual will see you succeed – use these tactics to give your business a lead over the competition.

Tactic 1: Take. A. Break.

The pandemic has made for a bumpy business ride, so make sure your head is in the game.

COVID fatigue and mental exhaustion has been very real as business owners navigate gruelling lockdowns and often-changing trading rules. It’s important to allow yourself to mentally catch up, says Eric Tjoeng, CEO and founder of business growth strategy firm BGES.

“Rest over the break and come into the new year with the right mindset so that you can be more strategic and holistic about approaching business,” Tjoeng says. This healthy mindset will enable you to make the most of the opportunities that present themselves, and help you deal with ongoing uncertainty.

And while the new year may bring busy times, business owners should spend more time setting the strategy than running the business, given the vast number of changes in consumer behaviour, Tjoeng adds.

Tactic 2: Get out of the weeds

Accept that business won’t just snap back to pre-COVID times. Be holistic by thinking big picture and long term about issues such as supply chains and staffing requirements, Tjoeng says.

“COVID has changed certain consumer behaviours, so business owners need to accept that their own expectations and behaviours must catch up, because there’s no going back to the way it was,” he says.

This means understanding new buying behaviours and how they relate to your business, and accommodating what people want rather than how you want to operate. On top of this, ensure that suppliers, contractors and employees understand your business strategy and how they contribute to its successful implementation.

“There are opportunities out there for the right product or service, which will find enough volume and margin to sustain itself and grow the business,” Tjoeng says.

Tactic 3: Work out your greatest value

Time has often felt elastic during the pandemic. More time at home and less time doing the things we love may have left some with an altered perspective.

From an administrative point of view, it’s important that business owners understand what their time is worth and how they’re spending it. And importantly, whether it’s ultimately resulting in sales, says Bill Lang, executive director of Small Business Australia.

Where you should spend your time will vary. But start by making sure you have a deep understanding of your customers, what they value, and how they research and buy your category of products and services, Lang says.

“Increasingly, the use of simple and integrated digital tools that are rented by the month can save owners and employees hours of time each week,” he says. “Investing in these tools and processes can increase value to the customer, employees and business owner.”

Tactic 4: Secure your own financial future

If you dipped into your superannuation during the pandemic or haven’t been topping it up due to economic uncertainty, now is the time to get back on track.

The Super Guarantee is 10 per cent, meaning that 10 per cent of what you earn every single week should be hitting your super account. That way, the wonders of compound interest will help get your retirement plans back on track.

The best way to achieve this is to set up a direct debit, so that the cash hits your super account without you having to think about it. Depending on your age and stage of life, you might want to consider increasing your super deposits above 10 per cent, particularly if you’re closer to retirement age.

Tactic 5: Stay nimble

In this ‘new normal’ world, there will need to be new normal ways of operating a business, so it’s time to recalibrate your plans.

Major changes to consumer behaviour, such as less foot traffic in CBDs and huge growth in ecommerce, have changed the ballgame, explains Bruce Billson, Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman.

These are seismic shifts across the economy that are impacting how businesses need to operate. “Some have been well equipped to navigate the economic challenges that have stood in the way of small businesses and have weathered the COVID storm, while others have not,” Billson says.

Businesses that have been in a holding pattern need to accept change will be required, anticipate what that might mean for business, and recalibrate their plans, he adds.

“There’s still a possibility that there will be further COVID-related impacts on the economy, even in terms of changing expectations from consumers. Things won’t just bounce back to where they were.”

Tactic 6: Become a digital ninja

Digital marketing became even more crucial during the pandemic, so setting up the systems to ensure you’re nurturing those connected relationships with customers even as they return to your store is important, Billson says.

“Businesses have nurtured a more connected relationship with customers during COVID, with stronger connections through social media,” he says. “These conversations have been really helpful guide to stay close to changing customer preferences.”

Being able to fine tune your offering and identify new opportunities can grow sales as well as build strong relationships with customers, Billson says. For example, he’s seen examples of florists using digital marketing to reimagine themselves as the antidote to social isolation.

“Sending flowers as a source for addressing social isolation and conveying affection in a much deeper way, given people haven’t been able to have that contact, was really clever,” he says.

If you have questions and would like your financial situation to be evaluated, please email us on with your contacts, for an exploratory meeting, at our cost, not yours.

Article source: MLC


Working from home tax deductions: COVID-19

It’s hard to see the good in COVID-19. One of the few upsides is that you may be able to claim some tax back for the expenses incurred from running your make-shift home office.

With lockdowns forcing many more people to work from home, the ATO has introduced a new shortcut method for claiming work-related tax deductions. The temporary shortcut method was initially applied from 1 March to 30 June 2020, however it can now be applied until 30 June 2022.

Under this method, you can claim 80 cents per hour for your additional running expenses that you have incurred. This covers a whole range of expenses:

  • Electricity and gas expenses associated with heating, cooling, and lighting.
  • Cleaning expenses, phone costs, and internet.
  • Home office furniture, stationery, computers consumables, laptops, printers and tablets.


The shortcut method is simple. All you need to do is calculate the total number of hours you’ve worked from home due to COVID-19 and multiply those hours by $0.80. The final amount is your tax-deductible expense claim for the financial year.

If you decide to sell your home, you may also need to consider any impact that making a working-from-home claim could have on your main residence capital gains tax exemption later.

What you can’t claim

If you’re working from home because of the COVID-19 lockdown, you generally can’t claim:

  • Occupancy expenses such as mortgage interest, rent, insurance and rates.
  • Coffee, tea, milk, and other general household items.
  • Costs related to children and their education.
  • Time spent not working.

Records required

You’re not required to keep receipts or calculate the specific costs of items you may have bought during this period, but you will need to keep records of the number of hours you’ve worked. This could include your Outlook calendar, a timesheet or diary.

Note: when you complete your tax return, you’ll also need to include the reference ‘COVID-hourly rate’ if it is lodged through myGov or your tax agent.

Multiple people working in your home

If there are multiple people working from a single home, they can each claim 80 cents per hour for additional running expenses that they each incur. This includes both members of a couple living together.

More details are available from the ATO.

Case study example

Ben is a full-time employee who started working from home because of the COVID-19 lockdown and needed to buy a new laptop, desk, chair and printer.

Working from home means he’s also spent extra money on gas, electricity, phone and Wi-Fi internet.

Under the shortcut method, Ben can now claim a deduction at the rate of 80 cents per hour for the expenses he incurred as long as he has timesheet style evidence to prove how many hours he’s worked.

Other methods for claiming work expenses

You can still make a claim for working from home under the existing methods, where you calculate all or part of your actual running expenses.

Fixed-rate method

This is known as the 52 cents per work hour method for claiming items such as heating, cooling, lighting, cleaning, and a decline in value of office furniture. The method is available if you have a dedicated work area in your home.

Separately under this method, you can claim the work-related portion of actual phone and internet expenses, stationery and a decline in the value of a computer, laptop or similar device. But you’ll need to keep records of the expenses and be clear about what the personal versus deductible work-related portion of usage is.

Actual cost method

With this method you can claim the reasonable actual work-related portion of all your running expenses.

Unlike the new shortcut method, you’ll need to keep records of all your expenses along with the number of hours you’ve worked from home.

Case study example

Anna is a full-time employee who’s been working from home as a result of the COVID-19 and decided to buy a new laptop and desk chair, and dedicated a spare room at home for work. She also wants to claim some additional gas, electricity, phone and internet costs due to working from home.

Under the fixed-rate method, she can claim the desk chair, gas and electricity under the 52 cents per hour rate. She would then need to work out the decline in value of the laptop, and calculate the work-related portion of the laptop, phone and internet.

Which method?

As you can see from the examples above, there are now three ways of claiming working-from-home expenses. To simplify the terminology, there’s the 52 cents fixed-rate approach, the fixed cost method and the shortcut 80 cents approach.

Which method best suits you—and results in the maximum tax deduction—may depend on variables like how long you’re working at home, the amount of your expenses, and the quality of your record keeping and whether you have a dedicated work space at home.

It may be worth discussing this issue with your tax agent to make sure you get maximum tax benefit with minimal admin workload.


Important information and disclaimer

This article has been prepared by NULIS Nominees (Australia) Limited ABN 80 008 515 633 AFSL 236465 (NULIS) as trustee of the MLC Super Fund ABN 70 732 426 024. The information in this article is current as at November 2021 and may be subject to change. This information may constitute general advice. The information in this article is factual in nature and does not take into account personal objectives, financial situation or needs. You should consider obtaining independent advice before making any financial decisions based on this information. You should not rely on this article to determine your personal tax obligations. Please consult a registered tax agent for this purpose. Opinions constitute our judgement at the time of issue. In some cases information has been provided to us by third parties and while that information is believed to be accurate and reliable, its accuracy is not guaranteed in any way. Subject to terms implied by law and which cannot be excluded, NULIS does not accept responsibility for any loss or liability incurred by you in respect of any error, omission or misrepresentation in the information in this communication. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance. The value of an investment may rise or fall with the changes in the market.

Source: MLC

The road ahead for global listed infrastructure after a difficult Covid landing

In this video, the Magellan GLOBAL Listed Infrastructure team lead byGerald Stack, Magellan’s Head of Investments & Infrastructure share their insights on the current state of the global listed infrastructure sector, including the recent performance, outlook, and future opportunities for investors as we move into 2021.

Viewing time: 60 mins.



New SA COVID restrictions

Dear All

In response to the COVID-19 advice and restrictions announced by the State Government, we will be working remotely for most part.

Due to the high level of agility with our technologies, we will remain fully operational.

Most of our meetings and events will now occur via telephone or via GoogleMeet, with only business-critical meetings taking place in our office.

If you are due to attend in our office but feel unwell, please advise us asap, so that we can instead meet with you via telephone or video conferencing.

Please email for any questions, support or enquiries.

Stay safe and well.

From all of us at BlueRocke.

InReview: Perspectives on the future of the global economy (video)

Hamish Douglass, Magellan’s Chairman and Chief Investment Officer, spoke with Janet Yellen, the most recent former chair of the Federal Reserve, and an adviser to Magellan, about the covid-19 health and economic crisis.

The pair discuss the response of the Federal Reserve and how the crisis of 2008-09 has given guidance to the response. They talk about the economic impact and Janet explains why a Nike swoosh-like recovery is more likely than a V-shaped bounce back. They discuss the struggles of emerging markets, the risk of inflation and end on what they find to be optimistic about.

Watch the 46 minutes video here.


Managing the COVID-19 crisis–an update on Government policies that might affect you

The ongoing Coronavirus crisis is all over the news and while the reports from Victoria are concerning, it’s good to remember that in absolute and global terms Australia is still managing the medical crisis exceptionally well. That said, the lockdowns, border closures and general loss of consumer and business confidence have affected the economy and so the Government has stepped in with massive support measures.

The massive cost of those measures—and better data about the crisis—means the government has recently proposed some changes to the conditions of some of their main measures.

Here’s a summary.

1. JobKeeper Payment

Under the JobKeeper payment, businesses that meet certain criteria can get a subsidy from the Government to continue paying their employees. Eligible employers need to apply to the ATO for the payment on behalf of their employees.

By keeping employees ‘tied’ to their jobs, JobKeeper is designed to maintain employment. Typically getting people back into the workforce is one of the most difficult economic problems caused by recessions.

JobKeeper was due to cease on 27 September.

The Government has proposed to extend the JobKeeper program with the payment to be reduced over time and paid at two rates. The two rates relate to whether you’re considered to be a full-time or part-time worker for this purpose, and is intended to be determined based on the hours you worked in the applicable test period. Depending on your circumstances, this test period will be either February or June 2020. Full-time workers are those who have worked more than 20 hours in the applicable test period.

From 28 September 2020 to 3 January 2021:

  • the payment rate will fall to $1,200 each fortnight for full-time employees, and
  • $750 each fortnight for part-time employees.

From 4 January 2021 to 28 March 2021, the JobKeeper payment rate will be:

  • $1,000 each fortnight for full-time employees.
  • The rate for part-time employees will fall to $650 each fortnight over this period.

To find out more, including whether you’re an eligible employee, visit the Federal Government’s JobKeeper payment web page

2. Income support for individuals

The Government has implemented some temporary measures to enable more people to access some social security benefits and concessions. This includes temporarily relaxing some of the eligibility criteria for certain payments.

The Coronavirus supplement also temporarily increases the total payments available to eligible social security recipients.

  • Payment of the Coronavirus supplement of $550 per fortnight for those already receiving a qualifying income support payment continues until 24 September 2020.
  • The Government has proposed to extend payment of the supplement to 31 December 2020 at a reduced rate of $250.

The supplement is taxable and is paid automatically to people receiving an eligible payment or benefit. The list of qualifying income payments is available here.

If you’re receiving JobKeeper payment from your employer, this must be declared as income if you’re applying for or receiving any payments or benefits.

You can register online via MyGov or by phone for social security payments and other concessions.

3. Economic support payments for pensioners

Two payments of $750 each were made to people receiving certain social security payments and eligible concession card holders. The first payment was made from 31 March 2020 and the second payment was paid around 10 July 2020.

Importantly, these payments are not taxable and don’t count as income for the purposes of social security, Farm Household Allowance and veteran payments.

Contact Services Australia at to discuss the full range of benefits and concessions that may apply to you.

4. Access to your super

Whilst your super is designed to provide for a better lifestyle in retirement (via long-term investment), the Government is allowing temporary early access to super for certain people who are in financial difficulty as a result of COVID-19’s impact on your finances.

Eligibility rules apply to determine whether you’re able to make a withdrawal under this temporary measure.

From 1 July 2020, you can submit one request for an early release of up to $10,000 of your super—this is the second stage of the Government’s early release of super program, with an amount up to $10,000 also being available for release up to 30 June 2020.

Originally, applications for an additional lump sum in the current financial year needed to be submitted by 24 September but the Government has proposed to extend this date to 31 December 2020.

To apply for a release of your super under this temporary measure, applications need to be made online via MyGov. The ATO will then contact your fund to process the release.

It’s important to remember that any money you take out of super now leaves you less money invested for retirement. While it may make sense to draw on your super now if you are in financial need, a chat to a financial adviser may help you balance your current cashflow worries with your long-term lifestyle needs.

We are here to help you navigate your finances during COVID-19. Contact Dev Sarker at 1300 717 136 today!

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