Engineers still in short supply

Engineers in short supply; employees looking for career progression as an incentive
ENGINEERS continue to be in short supply across Australia, according to the The Clarius Skills Index for December

Clarius chief executive Kym Quick said that although overall there was a skilled labour surplus, shortages in some areas have moved into a critical phase and will hinder Australia's competitiveness.

Ms Quick said that as the economy transitions from growth led by the mining sector to growth from the non-mining sector, movement across occupations and industries was likely to increase. She said economic indicators show that consumer confidence had reached a two-year high and with US employment figures improving and growth in China stabilising there should be more job opportunities opening up in Australia as the year progresses.

"Post GFC, world macro events led to depressed local sentiment but positive economic signals are now reversing poor business sentiment and this should lead to increased hiring activity."

Ms Quick said employers were currently seeking effective retention strategies to head off a senior talent drain when the job market really opens up in mid-2013.

Employees are looking for learning and development opportunities, career progression, flexibility and work life balance as incentives to stay.

Could a skills shortage in your industry be limiting your business potential?
This week BRW reported a drop in engineer salaries for the first time in ten years stating, "Despite the fact that we've seen a decline in engineer salaries, we do need to ultimately have more engineers in Australia." Read more…

Business Planning

Succession Planning
Key questions to be considered in the business planning review process relating to Succession Planning

  • Have you considered what would happen if directors/executives/staff were "hit by a bus" and were no longer involved? Who would take their places?
  • Do you have sufficient key man insurance cover (if any). Would it be sufficient to give the business the funds to pay key suppliers, reduce debts on assets (that might no longer be available) as security, hire new staff?
  • Has your business developed a contingency plan?
  • Have you identified team members who could be promoted in the event of the unavailability of key executives?

In ensuring the long term success of your business, It is critical to establish a well-designed succession plan. Coordination of the transition of your business to your successors can be an arduous process. However, with our years of experience we can address the complex issues of business continuation, taking the stress off your shoulders. 
Contact us for more information on forming a plan that allows for a hassle-free continuation of your business.

Business Mentoring

Find Mentors To Help You Grow Your Business
Try and learn from other people, including your advisers. Use them as mentors and coaches to help you in your business.

Sometimes being in business can feel like you're Robinson Crusoe on a desert island. Remember that a CEO of a public company has the benefit of having input from a range of individual experts including: 

  • marketing
  • sales
  • product development
  • international markets
  • chief financial officers
  • information technology professionals

Small business people do not have this luxury, but you'll still need the input from these types of people. Identify experts in your community and come to some type of business arrangements with them whereby you can "learn from them".

Employ people who are very capable and maybe smarter than you, especially in areas of particular specialities. You don't have to be the "expert" in everything. The owner's or CEO's role is to provide overall leadership, mentoring and coaching for the team. It's a bit like being the conductor of an orchestra... every musician has their own individual skills and talents; the conductor's role is to bring them altogether to produce outstanding music. That's a CEO's/owner's role in a small business. Know what you're doing and where you're headed in the market. Be humble and patient and realise that a business is not a sprint.... it's a marathon.

Collins Hume offers a range of business planning resources which we can apply to your own circumstances. Tap your hidden business potential by calling us on 02 6686 3000 for a limited time to arrange your obligation-free Strategic Business Review and get the most out of 2013. Or join the discussion at

Client Case Study Feb 2013

Life is the sun upon your roof and the twitching of the fish in a pan, with ATO thoughts furthest from your mind
Rick Ledingham retired from his roofing business eight years ago to pursue a career as a full time share trader and professional speaker. Success came fast as he travelled nationally and internationally as a key note speaker and mindset coach for one of Australia's largest global trading companies.

As a business owner, the global financial crisis did not overlook Rick – a close call with bankruptcy led him across the border and on a mission to heal his fiscal malaises.

Rick and his family then returned to NSW bringing with them a large capital gains liability from property they had bought years ago which had to be sold to ride out the GFC, triggering some hefty CGT debts.

Rekindling his relationship with Collins Hume, Rick sought out the expertise of Ian Wunsch to get their affairs back in order. Ian began by bringing their finances up to date and, as their tax lodgements had fallen behind, establishing exactly what their tax liabilities were to get them back on track.

The next step involved Ian's skilful negotiation with the tax office to have these not insignificant liabilities waived. Ian's deft negotiation enabled Rick and his family to keep their house and start over with a clean slate with the ATO.

These days, the Ledinghams are successful business people having pioneered one business on the Central Coast and two businesses in the Northern Rivers. They love to inspire and assist people to succeed in whatever pursuit they have in life.

"We like working with Ian because he's friendly and easy to talk to," says Rick. "There's never any rush; he relates the information to us simply and effectively, and asks us what we're trying to achieve (rather than stating what we should do)."

"Our relationship goes beyond just business; Ian has become a trusted friend. He has sorted out and streamlined our finances by going the extra mile." Read more…

Business technology

"Small businesses are falling behind in technology", Ita Buttrose
We reckon Cold Chisel got it right when they sang, "She got wholesome news for the family, I believe, I believe, in what she says, Yes I do."

Ita ButtroseComputerworld Australia reported how Ita Buttrose stood up for Australian SMEs recently when she addressed an audience of IT professionals at the Internet Industry Association's 16th Annual Gala Dinner in Sydney, saying that small businesses are falling behind in their uptake of technology.

She said, "In today's world, anyone in a business leadership role must be ready for change… When you think of change as something that offers opportunity then I think it becomes something that needs to no longer be feared. If you are not looking around for opportunities, you won't find them." 

"Having a website, social media presence and an app are 21st century business fundamentals and no-one serious about business success in this country can afford to be without them."

"Your industry is keen to work with and encourage small businesses, indeed all businesses, to embrace technology and what it can bring to a business. But the fact is not all small businesses have a website – around 50 per cent of them don't – and many of them don't transact business online either."

Even though the upfront costs of technology investments may seem more real and challenging for small businesses, Buttrose said it needs to be seen as part of a company's long-term strategy and sustainable business plan.

Read the whole article at Phone Collins Hume on 02 6686 3000 if you would like to discuss the adoption or upgrade of technology in your business, quite often which granting funding may be available to help you.
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is a CPA Business