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If you’ve planned birthday parties for your child before, you know how exhausting it is. If this is your first time, and if you read nothing else, you want to stick one rule: you want it to be about your child. No matter how tempting it would be to have a full-blown Frozen themed birthday, if they are not into it you have to drop the idea.

No matter how daunting the idea may seem at first, being organized and putting some time and energy into planning the party is the key. It’s the secret ingredient to making the day in smiles!

1. Pre-Planning the Party

Before you can start the planning process, get a notebook or open an excel sheet and prepare a checklist and a tracker. You will input all the necessary information so you have everything you need in one place. The more organized you are, the easier this will be.

2. Prepare a Budget

On that excel workbook, add a sheet and determine how you are willing and how much you can afford to spend on this party. While you want your child to have the best birthday ever, money might be tight. The budget helps because it sets limits from the get-go. Based on this, you already know what you must cross off from your list.

3. Choose a Date

Even if you want to throw the party on the day of their birthday itself, things won’t always work out the way you want. Between other children’s birthday parties, school holidays and days on which you are not allowed to throw parties (Yes! This is really a thing! Some schools have rules about this – remember to check with your child’s school just to be on the safe side.), you might not be able to do that. So, take all these factors int consideration when setting the date.

4. Set the Time

This will depend on your child’s age. The younger they are, the better it is to keep the party short. 2 hours minimum should be good – they have enough time to have fun but it is not too long that they get sleepy, tired and cranky. If they are older though, your child might prefer to have a sleep-over. So, plan your activities accordingly.

5. Sit Down Your Child and Discuss the Party with Them

Do not tell them to plan their party because let’s face it – they are children. Do you really think you’ll be able to do everything their imagination comes up with? No. So instead, ask them about the theme and their favorite food. If you want to have them more involved in the process, take them shopping with you.

6. The Guest List

That will depend on the age of your child and sometimes their schools. Some schools have rules that stipulate all the kids in their class should be invited. Also, decide if you want the parents to stay or not.

7. Invitations

Now that you’ve gotten everything sorted out, it’s time to send out the invitation. You need to give parents enough time to prepare, so, we would recommend sending the invites at least 4 weeks before the birthday party. You can also involve your child by having them help you with the design of the invitations.

8. Enlisting Helpers

Birthday parties for children are never easy or simple. You will be unable to manage the children, supervise the games and pour drinks all on your own. If you have an older child, then ask them to help you out. Otherwise, talk to another parent, a friend of yours or hire a babysitter.

9. The theme for the party

Generally, your child must already have an idea for the theme. Whether it’s a Disney, Harry Potter, Naruto or Spiderman, the theme gives you the blueprint you need to start the planning. From decorations to the cake, activities and entertainment, ensure you adapt them to the theme. If your child is too young to choose the theme, you can pick one of the following and go with it:

  1. Princesses
  2. Pirates
  3. Fairies
  4. Superheroes
  5. Toy Story
  6. Ninja turtles

If you are not having the party at your place, you can let the location dictate the theme. Popular birthday locations include:

  1. Swimming pools
  2. Skating rinks
  3. Cinema
  4. Pottery classes
  5. Soft Play Centres
  6. Paintball park

10. Entertainment

There are several things you can do to entertain your guests. The least expensive option (read more tiring) is coming up with games yourself and setting them up. If you already have too much on your plate, hire someone else to do it for you. Ensure you have everything they will need and, if you want it to be extra special, talk with them to see if they can come up with something that fits your theme.

There you go! As simple as that! You are now ready to start planning! Happy planning!

Income Tax Return for Small Businesses

Regardless of where you are located, if you own a business, you have to ensure you lodge your tax return in a timely manner. This activity has to be performed each year, even if you record a loss or don’t meet the tax threshold. But lodging tax returns vary from one company to another. It is your job to make sure you know the rules that apply to your business structure.

Different business type

Procedures also vary from one country to another. Just so you have an idea of the procedure, below you’ll find a list of requirements for each business type based in Australia:

  1. Sole trader
    If you are a sole trader, you’ll have to lodge an individual tax return. Use a separate business schedule to include all your business income on your tax return. You won’t have to file a separate tax return for your business.
  2. Partnership
    Even though the partnership is required to lodge a partnership return under its own TFN (short for tax file number), the partnership doesn’t have to pay income tax on the profit it earns. Instead, each partner must report their share of the partnership income in their own tax return.
  3. Company
    If you are the director of the company you will have to file two returns. Since the company is seen as a separate legal entity, you will have to lodge a company tax return as well as your personal return. You’ll then have to pay tax on both the company’s income and your personal income as well.
  4. Trust
    Trusts also have their own tax file number and are expected to lodge a trust income tax return.
  5. Not-for-profit organization
    Non-profit organizations are sometimes eligible for tax concessions. On the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) website you’ll find a table that lists the tax concessions that are available to NFP organisations.

Income that has to be declared

When the time comes to file your annual tax return, you will have to declare the income you have received for each financial year. This means including all your sources of income. If you’ve decided to hire a tax agent to help you out, you’ll have to list all your income sources so they include it when lodging the tax return.

Your income sources are typically split into two categories: gross income and other business income. Gross income refers to the money you receive from your everyday business activities, such as sales (can be cash, electronic or over the internet) and foreign income. All other business income, on the other hand, concerns income outside of your everyday business activities. Capital gains, changes in the value of trading stock and cash prizes fall within this category.

These sources of income typically include:

  1. Capital gains made by your business
  2. Cash payments received
  3. Income from other business activities
  4. Income from other business investments
  5. Any income that has been paid into a different account, such as PayPal
  6. Income you earn through the sharing economy
  7. Interest from your business bank account
  8. Payments through gift cards, coupons, and vouchers
  9. Rent from business assets

Income that has to be excluded

  1. Goods and services tax
  2. Earnings from a hobby
  3. Prizes not related to the business
  4. Betting and gambling wins
  5. Money borrowed
  6. Money that the business owner has contributed
  7. Disaster recovery grants

Decreasing Your Tax Payables: Tax Avoidance

It is important that you do not confuse tax avoidance with tax evasion. Unlike tax evasion, tax avoidance is completely legal. Individuals and companies are offered tax reliefs under specific conditions. Knowing how to use those tax reliefs to decrease tax liability is what tax avoidance is about.

If you are unaware of these conditions, don’t know about the tax reliefs or don’t know how to claim deductions for expenses that are directly related to your income, you will end up paying for more than you would have otherwise.

To claim deductions on certain expenses, you first have to ensure that these expenses are directly involved in running your business and with earning your income. The expenses can’t be for personal use. If ever the expenses were partially for business use and partially for personal use, you will only be able to claim deduction on the part meant for business use. Ensure you keep records of all these expenses as you will have to substantiate what you claim.

Common deductions include:

  1. Workers’ salaries and wages
  2. Super contributions
  3. Repairs and maintenance expenses
  4. Replacement expenses
  5. Other operating expenses
  6. Depreciating assets expenses
  7. Other capital expenses
  8. Carbon sink forest expenses
  9. Home-based business
  10. Motor vehicle expenses
  11. Business travel expenses

Property owners, businesses and governments contract or employ security guards to maintain a high visibility presence on-site to deter and discourage any illegal activity, such as damage to property, theft and other criminal or unsafe activities. To protect property, equipment, personnel and money, security guards are expected to patrol the area to act a visible deterrent to unauthorised and criminal behaviour.

However, their jobs do not consist of only patrolling. Which is why prospective security guards have to ensure they complete the training requirements of the state they wish to work in. In addition to getting training from a registered and accredited training organization, you will also need to get relevant licences.

Before diving into the steps required to become a security guard, this blog will cover the job description of a security guard, what employers look for and skills and attributes that will make you a successful security guard. At the end of the post, we’ll also include additional training you can undertake to have more employment opportunities.

If you think you have what it takes to be a Security Guard, keep reading!

Security Officer: Job Description

While it’s true that the primary responsibility of a security guard is to protect the employer’s property and assets from theft and vandalism, their tasks and duties are not restricted to just that. Below is a list of things that will be expected from you, as a security guard:

  1. Have the ability to work in a variety of settings, including universities, banks, public buildings, private -properties, and retail stores.
  2. Monitor security systems and surveillance equipment, including closed-circuit television (CCTV) systems and computer alarm systems.
  3. Act in a timely manner to prevent hazards or damage to property and/or personnel.
  4. Check gates, doors, and windows for signs of unauthorised entry when patrolling.
  5. Respond to alarms personally or communicate with mobile units by radio to attend alarms.
  6. Prepare reports for:
    • times of inspections
    • presence of authorised persons incidents
    • events, irregularities and problems that may have occurred on sites,
  7. Liaise with emergency services, including police and fire department, if any incident occurred.
  8. Perform first aid if required.
  9. Apprehend and detain trespassers until the arrival of the police.
  10. Issue security passes.
  11. Make security arrangements for authorised visitors.
  12. Report any activity that may seem fraudulent or suspicious, even if these activities have been performed by employees or supervisors.
  13. Provide reception services.

What Are Employers Looking for?

  1. Assertive with good communication, negotiation and interpersonal skills
  2. First aid certification
  3. Ability to work under pressure and retain one’s calm under all circumstances
  4. Holder of a security licence
  5. Honest, responsible and trustworthy
  6. Observant and alert, with good common sense
  7. Be able to think on their feet
  8. Ability to make fast, accurate decisions
  9. Be physically fit (a medical examination may be required)
  10. Good hearing and eyesight (may be corrected)

Steps to Becoming a Security Guard

Step 1: Complete basic training

Since security guards are expected to know safety awareness, crowd control, self-defence techniques, staff professionalism, and legal rights and obligations, we would recommend you complete the following courses if you want to become a security officer:

  1. Senior Secondary Certificate of Education
    • VCE
    • QCE
    • HSC
  2. Certificate II in Security Operations (CPP20212)
  3. Basic training in first aid
    • You can also choose to complete the additional training, such as cardiopulmonary, basic emergency life support and management of asthma.

Remember to check if the training organisation is a Registered Training Organization (RTO) that is accredited by the state’s police.

Step 2: Get a security guard license

Once you’ve completed the relevant training with an accredited security training course from a Registered Training Organisation (RTO), you are ready to apply for a security licence.

Since, licencing requirements vary from one state to another, check with the regulator in the state you plan to work and see if you’ll require any additional documentation. If you’ve respected all the guidelines, you should receive your security license and be on patrol in no time!

Step 3: Start applying for work

Since there are lots of employment opportunities for security officers, you can start working right away! Update your resume and consider applying in the following sectors/industries:

  • Schools
  • Government buildings
  • Transport companies
  • Retail stores
  • Office buildings

Step 4: Upskill and specialise for better employment opportunities

As with any other jobs, the more qualifications and licenses you possess, the more employable you will be. There are two ways to go about this: you can sign up for additional courses, or choose to specialise in one area only.

Areas in which you can take additional courses include:

  1. criminal justice
  2. conflict resolution
  3. event management

Or you can specialise in the following:

  1. air security officer
  2. protectives service officer
  3. bodyguard
  4. crowd controller

5 Things You Want to Avoid Doing at All Costs

1. Not Ordering on Time

One of the worst mistakes is waiting too long before ordering production yardage, especially if you plan to sell wholesale. After having sourced sample yardage, you can then go back to the supplier to purchase production yardage.

Imagine having included specific materials in your collection, shown your line to retailers, taken orders, only to find out you can’t order more yardage now that production is starting? That would not only be disheartening but can also be catastrophic for your business. You risk losing potential clients over mistakes like this.

It’s even harder for small businesses that usually order small yardage. To ensure you have the exact print you need for production, you need to understand the importance of ordering on time and being rigorous when it comes to sourcing and procurement processes.

2. Buying Fabric Before You Need Them

While it’s true you want to have the right amount of fabric for the production stage we are not telling you to buy it before you even know how you plan to use it.

No matter how billowy, breathable or gorgeous the fabric may be, you can’t order any fabric you love only on the basis that SOMEDAY you’ll use it. If you don’t need it for anything now, don’t buy it.

Purchasing fabric that you won’t use immediately have several drawbacks, such as:

  • It ties up your cash for very long.
  • The fabric will occupy crucial space in your studio.
  • The material can go out of fashion, and you might not be able to use them in the foreseeable future. This will only create unnecessary stress for you.

3. Presume that the Same Dye Lot Will be Used for Production Yardage and Sample Yardage

Pro tip: Do not try to perfectly match fabrics. Just as mentioned above, even if the samples and the fiber contents match, you can still run the risk of getting a production yardage that is not quite the same color as the sample. Instead of a matching ensemble, you’ll get the exact opposite of what you wanted: colors that clash.  

If you are lucky enough, you may have ordered a production yardage that is easy to sell wholesale. If not… Yep, you got that right: business lost. On top of that, you may lose money for ordering the wrong color. Not ideal if you have just kicked off your company or if you are a smaller business.

4. Not Doing a Quality Check

We can already see you scrunching your eyebrows at this. But we are going somewhere with this – checking for quality is not only about taking a swatch from one of the fabric rolls. What you need to do is check the whole fabric rolls. That’s right, open all of them and ensure you check them well. If it’s too much hassle to roll them open and re-rolling them, consider paying your cutting house an extra fee and ask them to do it for you once they receive the production fabric.  

While you may think it’s just an unnecessary additional expense, bear in mind that if too much time passes before you start cutting the rolls for production, you will not be able to return the rolls to your supplier even if there are issues or flaws in the fabric.

5. Looking for the Perfect Fabric

You might be tempted to decide on the ideal type of fabric and then start browsing. The problem with this method is you might waste a lot of time looking for that fabric, pay too much for it or find out the quantity available is just not enough for your particular needs.

What You Must Do Instead

For a reliable fabric sourcing strategy, designers should work backward:

  • Go to fabric vendors and just browse around.
  • See if they have fabrics that will fit your price range.
  • Confirm if they have enough for you.
  • Design your collection around those fabrics and trims.
  • Order samples

Questions to Ask Your Supplier

To make fabric sampling and ordering easier, we’ve come up with a list of questions you can ask the vendor you plan to do business with:

1. Quantity

Ask the vendors if they have minimum quantity imposed on all orders. If your business is a start-up it will be hard for you to estimate the amount of fabric that will be needed for production. Vendors that allow for smaller orders will be helpful in this case.  

2.Lead time

Lead time for production and delivery is key to planning your production schedule.

3. Availability

Remember to check stock availability and continuity in advance. You don’t want to find out that the supplier discontinued the fabric you wanted only when you are about to start production.

4. Price

Whether you are ordering small or large quantities of materials, you want to choose a supplier that offers wholesale and tiered pricing.

As most experts will tell you, ‘cuts’ and ‘shapes’ do not mean the same thing when comparing diamond types. They cannot be used interchangeably. While the ‘shape’ refers to the outline of the stone, the ‘cut’ refers to the stone’s facets arrangement. Virtually all diamond cuts sold for use in jewelry are one of ten round or fancy diamond shapes. The most common diamond shapes on the market include round, princess, oval, emerald and more.

These diamond ‘shapes’ can be ‘cut’ in a wide range of ways. The most common cut is called a brilliant cut. This brilliant-cut has 57 to 58 facets and consists of a top flat surface, 16 kite‐shaped facets, and 40 triangular-shaped facets.

Knowing the various cuts and shapes used when designing diamonds is the first step to purchasing a piece of jewellery or ordering a custom-made one. Below are more details about the ten most popular cut shapes:

Diamond Shape: Round

  • This cut has been around since the 18th century and is one of the most popular diamond shapes.
  • Round shaped diamonds are usually superior in quality when compared to the other shapes. 
  • It looks good as a solitaire in an engagement ring, a pair of earrings, or in a pendant

Diamond Shape: Princess

  • This cut was first created in 1980 by Betzalel Ambar and Israel Itzkowitz.
  • The princess diamond shape is a fancy design used mostly in engagement rings.
  • Its square shape design creates the illusion of a larger diamond.
  • This cut is versatile and can suit any style of ring.

Diamond Shape: Oval

  • Although it exists since the 1300s, the oval-shaped diamond became popular only in the 1960s. The most famous oval-shaped diamond is the Koh-I-Noor.
  • Like all round cuts, this shape is a modified brilliant-cut and has a unique brilliance to it.
  • Its elongated shape can make the finger look longer and slimmer as well as create the illusion of greater size.

Diamond Shape: Marquise

  • The marquise cut diamond got its name from the mistress of Louis XV of France, Marquise de Pompadour, in 1745. It is said to have resembled her mouth.
  • Its football, symmetrical shape has a modified brilliant cut.
  • Carat for carat, it has one of the largest surface areas of any diamond shape.
  • Additionally, its long and narrow shape makes it seem like it’s even larger than its real size.  

Diamond Shape: Pear

  • This diamond cut traces its history to the 15th century,
  • It looks like a combination of a round and marquise shape and has a tapered point at one end
  • In addition to having a unique design, it is also very symmetrical.
  • Its teardrop shape is very appealing.
  • Tradition dictates that the point should never be directed inwards, but that it needs to point out towards the fingers of the wearer.

Diamond Shape: Emerald

  • Although the emerald cut was created specifically to highlight the features of emerald stones, it transfers exceptionally well to diamonds.
  • This cut has a cropped octagonal shape with chiseled step cuts and straight linear facets. These facets are usually parallel down the stone.
  • Unlike the previous shapes, it does not have the sparkle of a brilliant cut. Instead, its cut produces a hall-of-mirrors effect.

Diamond Shape: Cushion Cut

  • Also known as old mine cut diamond, this cut has been around since the mid-1700s. Until the 1900s, this cut was the most popular diamond shape.
  • Much like a pillow, the cushion cut diamond has a square cut with rounded corners
  • This cut can retain as much diamond weight as possible.

Diamond Shape: Asscher

  • It was first designed in 1902 by the Asscher Brothers of Holland
  • Similar to the emerald cut, the Asscher is square in shape. But compared to the emerald cut, its step facets are larger, its crown is higher, and its table is smaller.
  • This cut has more sparkle than the emerald cut.
  • It gained popularity in the early 2000s after modifications were made so it is more brilliant than in the earlier cuts made by the Asscher Brothers.

Diamond Shape: Radiant

  • It is a relatively new cut and is the first rectangular cut to have a complete brilliant-cut facet pattern applied to both the crown and pavilion.
  • With this design, the right balance was struck between a cushion and a princess cut.
  • This cut looks beautiful with both rounded and square cornered diamonds.

Diamond Shape: Heart

  • This is the perfect shape to buy for your significant other.
  • Its shape symbolizes love and romance and is very popular in solitaire pendants, engagement rings, and promise rings.
  • Symmetry is a fundamental characteristic in this shape as the two halves of the heart have to be identical.

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