The language of business is money – and if you cannot talk this language you are financially illiterate. Studies of business failures show half of all new businesses are wound up within three years and three quarters close within five years. Getting the right advice from the start makes you think about your proposed business plans and prevents you from making a bad investment or becoming a business fatality.

Most businesses fail because of poor management, inadequate cash resources and poor cash control. You should not go it alone unless you really understand the world of accounting and finance. A good accountant will be as committed as you are to making the right choices for your business.

Even if maths is not your strength, it is most definitely in your interests to learn how to cost your product, calculate profit margins, prepare budgets, and analyse and interpret financial statements – profit and loss statements, balance sheets, and tax returns. The effort will pay off in a much deeper understanding of the dynamics of your own business, and you will be in a strong position to manage your finances day to day and plan for growth.

Who can help?

The Business, Industry and Trade Information Gateway is provided by the Government of South Australia to enable anyone to locate and access a range of advice and support services for small businesses principally through the Department of State Development, Business Enterprise Centres and Regional Development Australia.

The Australian Government provides assistance to small businesses through AusIndustry, and can also help with general information on budgeting, business planning, cost control, maintenance and prevention, and advertising and promotion.

Government grants

A number of grants are available for small businesses, many can be found on GRANTSLink which provides a central access point for individuals, businesses and communities for ideas on developing solutions, funding advice and assistance. Food South Australia provides a list of food related grants also.

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