MYOB has prepared a useful 16-page guide for small business owners on the Carbon Tax.
With a great deal of heat and not much light being applied to the issue by politicians and the general media, The Carbon Tax: A Toolkit for Business, an easy-to-understand document addressing the main points and offering practical advice, is most helpful. (Though there is a lot of unnecessary preamble re-stating the Federal Governments’ arguments as to why we should enjoy the Carbon Tax.)
The suggestions contained within the 16-page digital document are sensible and inexpensive. With power costs inexorably increasing, and photo specialists (especially those running wet minilabs) tending to use more power than most retail channels, a guide to reducing eneregy consumption is handy regardless of where they are coming from.
In short, the five practical suggestions are:
– Review your current expenses and those incurred over the past year, identifying energy intensive costs that will be affected by the inevitable energy price rises. Direct costs may be fuel, electricity and gas, and indirect costs may be business travel, freight and waste removal.
– Gain a deeper understanding of where additional costs may be incurred by asking suppliers about the effect on their business and when they will be able to tell you their price impacts.
(For instance, silver halide paper should be stored in climate-controlled environments – will suppliers need to pass on some of those costs?)
– Consider locking in contracts with key suppliers now, at current rates.
– Review your important business processes and identify areas where you could be operating more efficiently by, for example, changing processes, upgrading equipment and re-training staff.
– Analyse your current pricing and assess how the additional costs may impact your profit margins. You need to justify any price increases not only to your customers, but also to the ACCC if you are unlucky enough to be bailed up by them.
Not surprisingly, MYOB also suggests that businesses ensure their accounting software is up-to-date, ‘so that the Carbon Tax changes are seamless’.
Retailers who want to protect themselves from an ACCC on the hunt for a small business or two to make an example of, should also absorb the ACCC publication, Carbon Price Claims – Guide for Business.