TRANSCRIPT from conversation recoreded Wednesday, 29 April 2020.
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Disclaimer: The following content is for informational purposes only and should not be taken as legal business tax or investment advice or be used to evaluate any investment or securities and is not directed at any investors or potential investors. Listeners are advised to take their own independent qualified advice before implementing anything hearing herein.
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Andrew: I'm Andrew Zappavigna CEO of Evolve Your Business, marketing and business strategist, Coach and host to the ‘Evolve With Andrew’, where I present conversations with business owners, entrepreneurs and ideapreneurs, sharing behind-the-scenes secrets success stories and some failures we can all learn from along the way helping you become more strategic with your marketing and business efforts.
Join me as we hone strategic thinking beyond the ordinary so you can benefit from real-world actionable strategies and tactics.
In this special COVID-19 broadcast I'll be presenting an emerging new business and employee saving strategy delivered to the Australian Prime Minister's office in direct response to the code of pandemic which is ravaging local and global economies.
Today's guest has created what is being dubbed one of the greatest freedom building strategies for Australian home business people and entrepreneurs and corporations of our time.
He has a number one best-selling book Deduct Your Home, and in April this year he reached out to the Australian Prime Minister's office ahead of their recent call to action seeking new proposals to help alleviate the negative impact on employers and employees in the wake of the corona virus outbreak.
Welcome Frank Genovesi!
Frank: Well thank you and its pleasure to be on show
Andrew: This is a very special episode actually of involve your development Andrew it's our it's COVID episode, so just before we kick off …What's your sentiment, for the benefit of the broader business community, on the (COVID-19) situation, particularly in terms of either your business or your clients businesses? What are you experiencing?
Frank: Okay well for my business it's just killing me extremely busy no downturn for me I'm constantly feeling a call some clients are some persistence as to what they should be doing in these times, how there should be a longing towards government initiatives regarding job keeper and cash flow boosts and the like, and so for me, it's just all guns blazing. Some of my clients, however, had to close their businesses, laying off staff, and you know, other people are doing it tough, so it depends on what industry.
Andrew: Yeah. I understand this, having a similar sort of experience. That's an interesting insight. Thank you for that Frank.
Now Frank, I was reading an article and I'm going to read from my notes here given the gravity of the situation if the articles by the World Economic Forum and the headline went: “How Are Company's Responding To The Coronavirus Crisis”.
So they open by saying - (and this is on COVID) - organizations around the world including the forum and its partners, are coming together and finding innovative ways to minimize the impact on public health and the economy's global economies”
And in the article they give several examples of how companies are achieving this.
Most are talking about the need to spend lots of money and invest lots of money in the fight to solve COVID-ravaged economies - and pondering where it's all going to come from - But one story stood out, to me anyway, and that was Astra Zeneca’s - a British Swedish multinational pharmaceutical company).
They talk about the need for PRACTICAL support, not just financial support.
Quoting again from the article: “In an interview with the World Economic Forum AstraZeneca CEO Pascal Seriot said a number of companies are GIVING money. That is not sufficient.”
Pascal says governments need to help with the supply chains capability skills and expertise, and that it remains CRUCIAL for companies to partner with others in order to scale their efforts.
Now thinking about the article by the World Economic Forum - and this is relevant - I'm going to bring our attention to another article - this time in Australia’s ‘The Age’, published the 22nd of April, in direct response to COVID, with the headline:
“Government Looks For New Tax Ideas As Business Press For Corporate Corporate Tax Cuts” This araticle was authored by three seasoned contributors, with one Eric Bagshaw, who's stationed at parliament house Canberra.
In it they highlight the Government have drawn a line in the sand on entertaining corporate tax cuts, and an increase in the GST is ruled out.
Also in order to help us deal with our COVID-ravaged economy, quoting from the article”
“Cutting company taxes and increasing the GST are NOT on the Morrison Government's plans to recover from the coronavirus, with the man appointed to guide the recovery instead pushing for fresh incentives within the top levels of government. There is a belief that NEW IDEAS will have a better chance of winning the communities support, rather than old ones.”
Also from this article ,the Australian Industry Group Chief Executive, Innis Wilcox, also directed the following to the Government:
“To enable the Australian economy to successfully navigate out of the current crisis, increased workplace flexibility is essential.”
Now with the World Economic Forum and as partners, and our own industry leaders, AND our Australian Federal Government themselves, calling for new ways to tackle the pandemic’s economic fallout, what are your views on the matter?
Frank: Okay. My views are fairly simple and hopefully succinct. The Government's, speaking of the public purse, Governments have been throwing a lot of money at the problem. And here in Australia as well now we’re probably all aware, Jobkeeper payments are $1500 a fortnight for six months. That equates to something like $19,500 per worker. And that's interesting because that's one in all in - so if you're paying one worker on your staff - you've got to offer it to all. And the cash flow boosts, where the Commonwealth Government has offered between $20-$100k to businesses depending on their PAYG tax history. These are immense amounts of money for an economy to dish out in a short period of time. So what I think is that the burden of paying for it all is probably not going to rest with you and I so much Andrew. It’s the children of the current generation of adult taxpayers, and probably their children as well. Australia will be saddled with debt for generations. At least one, if not two, generations paying it off. And that is unsustainable. And the thing is, when the [JobKeeper] payments stop, perhaps in six months from now, what then? The government can't just keep throwing money at it.
Andrew: So it’s short-sighted approach, or knee-jerk reaction, in terms of what they're saying in the Economic Forum’s article, that it’s all about throwing money at it.
Frank: Well it is, because throwing money at it immediately arrests the hemorrhage of job los etcetera. And that's good. But it's not sustainable. There has to be something beyond this.
Andrew: And that's really relevant, because I think the point about what the Government is saying, and this is a deliberate call to action to industry, that they are entertaining NEWER ways of solving the problem, again, as opposed to the constant cry to cut corporate tax and also increase the GST. Now you have made me aware that, I think this is foresight on your behalf, you actually reached out to the Federal Government yourself BEFORE that article on The Age on the 22nd of April this year.
Frank: That’s right.
Andrew: So, could give us an idea of what you actually proposed to the Government, and again, this was before their call to action.
Frank: Yes, so a couple of weeks ago, I guess, I contacted my local federal member for Parliament, and I effectively gave a proposal. Mdy local member, who happens to be the Assistant Minister to the PM and Cabinet. And that proposal outlined that if employers could take a view of how many of their staff would be well suited to working from home in a permanent capacity, but not as employees but rather as contractors, where the employer now becomes a client of this new newly recharacterized worker, is now a contractor, as such the employer can alleviate themselves of a lot of additional costs. Which one of the burdens of being an employer is, it's not just the salary and all the additional costs costs, and I won't go into them now, but there are layers and layers of extra costs that you must bear just to have a worker on or on a payroll. If a lot of those costs can be offloaded or reduced, the worker doesn't necessarily cop a pay cut, and the business is better off. And so, by and large, the proposal addresses the sustainability of a lot of businesses that might otherwise falter, and some of them may well close, and these workers would lose their jobs anyway. So it's a long-term plan for keeping people in the workforce, albeit as contractors rather than employees. And I think that's a good thing.
Andrew: So if I'm hearing this correctly, and for the benefit of our audience, what I'm hearing is the nexus of your idea is to have that employment continuation, and a relationship with the employer continuing, but not in an direct employee a situation as we know it today, but as in a contractor situation i.e. they have to register an ABN
Frank: Precisely, yes.
Andrew: An Australian Business Number
Frank: So the employer transitions to that of becoming an independent contractor, and the previous employer is now a client.
Frank: And that employee, who is now contractor, would be encouraged also to look for other clients.
Frank: Now why not?
Andrew: If that's in their duty/roles to do so. Life, if they're say in admin they may not necessarily have to look the new clients?
Frank: Well you see, the premise of being a contractor is that you are supplying your goods and services, or whatever as you do, to the marketplace. If your previous employer is able to be enough work that you have no need to go elsewhere, well that's well and good. But we have to bear in mind that some businesses will have a reduced capacity because their turnover has dropped. So they may not be able to keep those ‘x’ employees fully working as contractors. So those contractors may, some of them, need to find another one, two or three clients so, that they fully employed.
Andrew: I understand, because A) some jobs are not coming back and B) some jobs will have a reduced capacity.
Andrew: And so, in terms of your reach out to the Federal Government on what you proposed to them, have you actually got a response from the Prime Minister's office?
Frank: No not as yet, no. So, I'm not holding my breath, but …
Andrew: I know they’re busy, but they have specifically asked for new proposals, so it will also be interesting to see …
Frank: I've been assured by the local member’s office that the package I delivered, is, we this is some time ago now, they promised me they would send it off office so that's all I know. I’m not in the business of hassling people. Hopefully they get back to me and we’ll engage in robust dialogue.
Andrew: Just circling back a little bit - and again I'm restating that this is about employees transitioning to becoming businesspeople in a sense.
Andrew: And because people are now finally understanding that productivity can be maintained, if not increased working from home, because most people now have a taste of it, how open do you think the Australian public would be, particularly current employees, to the idea of their employer suggesting to them they have this opportunity to become a business person with their own ABN, and run their own company from home, but maintain the commercial relationship with their employer
Frank: OK, well I think the general public would be very open to it, by-and-large. I guess the success of the idea would depend on how well the proposal is put to the current workforce. If it's done in a method and a method and manner that’s sloppy and not well thought through, just haphazard, rushed, and then all those sorts of things, then you know, it's probably gonna sink. But if it's done well, and it's carefully presented and without, you know, telling lies or being silly about it – if the benefits are shown - why wouldn't the employee want to look at something that could potentially change their life - and what I think, in many ways, will be for the better.
Andrew: Yeah, now that's very true. And now I just want to pick up on something you mentioned, you mentioned about “if the benefits were made clear”. Now can you tell us about a little bit of those benefits. So I do understand that you have book out called “Deduct Your Home”, and we have had a previous conversation on that, and I'll leave the details of that in the show notes,for people who want to go and take a look at it, I'll provide the link, so the idea is that they look at your ‘Deduct Your Home’ service, that you would be working with current clients on. So it's an active service. You have clients enjoying the benefits of the service, and again, we go into this in another conversation in greater detail, but can you just give us a brief explanation of what Deduct Your Home is, and this is what the employers would be looking at benefiting from.
Frank: Okay. ‘Deduct Your Home’ is a series of guidance steps to assist anybody, anyone at all, who would like to create or improve an existing home based business. Okay? And what it does, it effectively teaches them how to recharacterize existing expenses that are unavoidable, that are all to do with their home. So anybody's home has to pay for in essence. Your either paying rent or you're probably paying off a mortgage. If you happen to be a homeowner, and if there's no debt there is still a significant advantage in doing ‘Deduct Your Home’ but I won’t go into it now, but it’s actually for anybody with a roof over their head. So when the expenses, and we’ll use say someone with a mortgage as an , when the mortgage interest, the council rates, the water rights, the building insurance, even the depreciation on the building itself, which is an emotional expense, its quite a big cash outlay. But when all these things are added up and declared to the extent that you can justify under the tax laws or the rulings, as administered by the Australian Taxation Office. When these things are all done properly, in most cases, many tens-of-thousands-of-dollars of expenses will now go on that contractor’s profit and loss statement, regardless of the business structure; sole trader, partnership, company, trust. So, you‘ve now got tens-of-thousands-of-dollars of new deductions. But these are not new expenses. So, therein lies the financial advantage to the individual who wishes to do it.
Frank: And the money is save by having additional contractors, via the tax system, you can spend, save or invest as you choose. And to answer the other part of the question Andrew, the advantage to the employer and we’ll leave most of the details to later on in this conservation, but the advantage, very briefly, is the cost of having that person perform that function for you as a contractor, is far less than it is an employee. So you're still getting what you need to have done, done, at a lower cost. So, the employers business becomes far more profitable - depending on how many people within their employee ranks are doing it.
Andrew: Understood. And look, there are the some very complex, and not so complex, scenarios in that description, so again there'll be plenty of them links the resources in the show notes, so in terms of the basic simple premise, that is, more employers becoming, I suppose, entrepreneurial and businesses in their own right getting their own ABN’s and running their businesses from their homes.
Frank: Yeah, you said ‘Employers’! I think you might have meant ‘Employees’.
Andrew: Yes, thanks for correcting me.
Frank: That’s fine.
Andrew: Yes so that's the simple premise.
Frank: Spot on. Yes.
Andrew: Right, okay. Say I’ve grasped the concept, and that sounds like an exciting concept for myself, as an employer, what would I do in terms of, not necessarily everybody would have the, I suppose, inbuilt desire or capacity to run themselves as a as a business.
So what do you think in terms of the population, or people open to the concepts, putting their hands up and saying “that sounds like a great idea, I'm up for it, I know I can do it”, versus “that sounds really nerve-racking, I’m used to go to the office all day and reporting to my manager.”?
Frank: Yeah, ok, well you raise two elements, desire and capacity.
Frank: Desire comes from within, right? I can't enforce my values and my desires upon others.
Frank: But what I can do, and what we can all do, is encourage those around us to see things through a wider view scope and to hope for a better tomorrow. Okay? You know the old saying “you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink”. That's always going to be the case. But if the horse doesn't know there’s water there, right? So my job is … I can show them the pool.
Frank: Yes. Alright, so if you want to nourish and refresh yourself at the pool, I can show you how to get to the pool, and what the pool’s got to offer you. Ok? So I think it's important that employers understand what's in it for their employees, so that the employer, with all the best of intentions, can show their employees why it's in their best interests to have a really good look at this, okay? And that doesn't diminish the fact, that if the employer gets a benefit out, there should be no ill feelings from employees to employers saying “oh you only want to do this so you can cut costs!”. No. It’s a win-win.
Andrew: Yeah, it’s like currently now when they offer JobKeeper, it's like it's up to the employer to decide whether they want to take part in it.
Frank: That’s right.
Andrew: So I see it would potentially be the same decision left to the employer
Frank: That’s right, but …
Andrew: Which is what currently being done now with job keeper.
Frank: Yes. And if you care for your employees, most employers do, why wouldn’t you want you to, if you can get your head around it, and you honestly believe “gee, I think this is really good “, why wouldn't you show it to them?
Andrew: Yeah, so I just want to actually make a more blatant, I suppose comparison … so what we’re really talking about is providing a new option, a new idea, that has not been discussed by the Federal Government, and the Industry leaders, in actually giving them another option besides Jobkeeper. So if we wanted to put JobKeeper versus Deduct Your Home for employers, say face-to-face to “battle it out”, how would you compare the two, as an option
Frank: I’d say Jobkeeper is far and away the best option in the short-term. If you have to have one and not the other, and I was a struggling employee, I’d say ‘put me on Job Keeper because it’s $1500 a fortnight. I get that. And that's a band-aid which is desperately needed. But it’s not sustainable.
Andrew: And I do believe employers are having to pay for the for Jobkeeper amount out of their own pocket, and then may-or-may not get reimbursed, if they got it right, in terms of ….
Frank: Correct. There’s a risk that some of your employees, for some reason, do not qualify, good luck with clawing that back from your employee … but Andrew, I do want to go back to your point …. and there were two elements. One was desire, which I did address, and the other one was capacity.
Frank: Capacity will depend upon someone's personal living arrangements. What is the state of their property? Can they physically run a business from their home? So it will really depend on the makeup of the floor plan and how the building will be positioned on the allotment of land etc. etc. and also, to some degree, their financial capacity, that if it requires them to inject in capital to start a business. Like, maybe at their current occupation, everything they need is provided. They may not have a computer and desk at their home for all I know. It may mean they have to put in a few bucks, right, and purchase, because a contractor has to supply their own tools, and their own equipment etcetera. That's one of the defining characteristics that separates a contractor from an employee.
Andrew: Sure, sure.
Frank: But these things are not particularly expensive or difficult to do.
Andrew: Yeah, just like with anything, and everybody knows this, and not just with entrepreneurial people or people who own business do this, everybody does this in their life, they, essentially people make checklist to go through, to say “well, is this, does this work for me?”. No matter what you're doing. When you're buying a high-ticket item for your home … I suppose what I’m hearing is it's just a matter of checking off your suitability from a self-driven mindset, but also from a practical perspective as well.
Frank: Yes, and you did say from earlier on, that I do have some clients doing it already. Yes I do. I have quite a few. Now there's no way, there's just no way I would encourage anyone to do this if they weren’t cut out for it. So part of the process for anybody, is to have a good look at their circumstances, assess their own psyche, their mindset, and their physical and financial capability to have a go.
Andrew: Yeah. You’re also a numbers man, and I know this for a fact. So say I was looking at a, say a medium-sized employee, sorry – employer - and I have say 200 direct employers on my books …
Frank: Employees …
Andrew: Employees on my books … apologies … no say I worked out that 10% of my workplace, my direct (sic: employees) a) have the desire and b) have the capacity.
Frank: Yep ...
Andrew: What would they look like, in terms of numbers, for the employer, as in terms of costings and savings. Because what I’m understanding is, it’s a cost savings not and investment of funds, which, as we talked about in those two articles, everybody's investing and throwing money.
Frank: Well, this is not investment, this is, for the employer, it's a cost-cutting exercise. And it's also an employee care program. So, in terms of the numbers … well you’ve sort of thrown me by saying if someone's got 200 employees and 10% do it … can I … I actually worked out an example on an employer with 130 employees and 28 of them did it … as I know those numbers …
Andrew: That’s fine …
Frank: Basically, if 10, 20, 30 percent do it for example, what's going to happen is the employer is going to save money on things like, potentially things like, payroll tax, less desks, chairs, computers, photo copiers required, less costs the things like lighting, air conditioning, heating, car parking, fringe benefits tax for things like car parking. There’s a whoel range of things, so I could go on and on … and it may well be … and that example I did on, and also a big one might be the actual premises where the employer operates … let's say they're in a lease, there in a commercial or industrial property, or whatever … they might be able to scale down and move out of that location and go somewhere smaller … save himself 10, 20 grand a week in rent, or whatever it might be, depending on how big that business is … these are massive numbers.
And I work out on that example of 130 employees, where 28 now become contractors … a business was going to save in the order of, it was pushing upwards towards $800K per annum of savings - it was like $780 thousand …
Andrew: Considerable …
Frank: That's a lot of money. And then you sort of, you look out 10, 20 years plus …
Andrew: That's right …
Frank: And if that if that business owner is kind of switched on, and they take those savings, they can use those savings to grow their business in any number of ways.
Andrew: Understood. Okay that's interesting. So again, the message I’m hearing is, it's a cost-saving exercise
Andrew: And it's around employee care, essentially. It's just the idea of becoming a contractor or a business owner, but the relationship and, you know, the nature of work is essentially the same, it's just a new way of looking at it.
Frank: Yes. And talking about employee care, in this day and age, all around the world, not just here in Australia, a lot of employers are saying to their staff ‘you have to do reduced hours’, or ‘you have to take a pay cut – because if you don’t we may not survive – there will be no job’. And even for the ones who do that, there's no guarantee that the business will survive anyway. And so it is employee care, because what you're saying to them is “by doing it this way, we know we can survive because we've done our numbers - and if we survive you can contract to us and you will still earn money from this relationship”. And the federal government is really strong on that the whole Jobkeeper thing is about maintaining the relationship. All I'm saying is there is another way of doing it. That relationship is imperative and can be maintained, and it could even be … people can go on long term contracts. They don't have to be job to job, week to week …
Andrew: And I think that's the important thing to understand here is that it is a whole new entire fresh approach to keeping people employed and directly affecting the economy at a very profound level. So again it's not as simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’, ‘this sounds great’. It's going to take a little bit of conversation to the industry and for people to start understanding exactly what this is about. But not just from an employer and employee leveln, but from the Federal Government level, I believe, need to start understanding the concept to be able to have this, you know, the support behind what you're talking about, embraced by the broader corporate/commercial community.
Frank: Well any support is always welcome. If the Federal Government get behind it, it could be accelerated and rolled out via a, just an enlightenment program. All they’ve got to do is get the word out. My resources are limited. I can't get the word out as well, or as fast or as rofoundly as they can ...
Andrew: That’s right …
Frank: So that's really where they can help because were not asking them to change any laws. Everything exists. It works, and I can think of a few things that could help, but, it doesn't matter. This will work just fine given what we've got.
Andrew: That's interesting … you did talk about the fact that you do have clients who are who actually were employees previously but have now, they actually have ABN’s, and they are working from their homes with your ‘Deduct Your Home’ retail product …
Frank: Yes ...
Andrew: No, I just think, because that is at the core of this solution, and there is information that we will leave down in the show notes on how to find more about Deduct Your Home, but we won't go into all the details here, however, that is that their crux of this solution for the nation. But again it's not about unpacking that here, there will be more information provided.
Frank: No. It’s about knowing how to do it really well.
Andrew: Yeah, but, and I'm sorry, I think the reason I was bringing that up is, and there may be a few people in the audience, if they understand the concept, are asking “well, okay, what proof have you got,” that and a lot of people may be nervous about the fact that, you know, the perhaps the Australian Tax Office may want to take a good hard look at this … so have the tax office had a good hard look at Deduct Your Home previously?
Frank: They've gone through it with a fine-tooth comb. The ATO is fully aware of Who I am and what I do. They have copies of Deduct Your Home. They have copies of the prior manuscript that the this book Deduct Your Home’s based on. The ATO have interviewed twice, for about two hours at a time, at my request, I asked the ATO to formally investigate me under the promotor penalty laws, to ensure that Deduct Your Home was not an illegal tax exploitation scheme. As you can imagine, they took me up on it. They did launch a formal investigation. It lasted about four months … perhaps hundreds of e-mails back and forth, interviews all sorts of things ensued that culminated with a letter issued to me, indicating they had to concluded the formal review and that I was free to carry on.
No action was taken.
Andrew: and hence your working productively with clients now …
Frank: The long and the short of it is, totally legal … and they know it, and I know it.
Andrew: Ok. That’s interesting. Say I was an employer listening to this, and I’m really starting to absolutely understand this is a new opportunity for me … who would I need to be as an employer, in other words, who is this for and who is this actually not for?
Frank: As an employee or employer?
Andrew: Well, as an employer … who is this for?
Frank: Well it's for employers who care for their workers, they don't want to see people put off who they can’t rehire. They would like to reduce their expenses, most large businesses that are listed companies, their primary obligation is to deliver, and continually enhance shareholder value. That's their reason for existence, is to deliver returns for shareholders. If a listed entity can do that, and if this can help them do that, they would be very wise, in my view to look at it, and very foolish not to, because they have an obligation at the board level, and CEO’s should be looking at everything presented to them possible etcetera. For non-listed entities, every business is owned by somebody. It's for employers who want to reduce expenses, improve their bottom line, and so that the owners of those private companies or trusts or partnerships, or whether they may be, and all have better lives themselves …
Andrew: That’s right …
Frank: So on a very simple level - it's to make companies more profitable in hard times without employees being laid off and being left behind. We don't want winners and losers.
Andrew: That’s right. We’re trying not to leave anybody behind, I suppose …
Frank: And this is about everyone becoming a winner
Andrew: And I also read an article this morning, I read a lot of articles, it’s something I start my day with, and some [sic: 200,000 businesses] in the country have actually deliberately decided not to apply for Jobkeeper as well. They don’t I consider it a viable option for them and their business, and a lot also are taking a political stance about the debt, and the generations that will inherit that debt, so some people are making an ideological decision and also a confused decision because they don't know what they're going to come up against. So 200,000 minimum it may even be higher
Andrew: That's right, it may be even higher, I’ll check thenumbers later, but the people have either made the decision, or not taken action because they're confused or they don’t want it.
Frank: And it's expensive. It's a cash flow hit. If you've got employees and you don’t have the money in the bank to fork out, basically, 3-granda month … well, what if you’ve got 20 employees? So if you haven’t got a lazy 60k lying around, and you can't you can't pay them their first two fortnights, then you've got to wait for the ATO to reimburse you … the governments saying ‘go to the bank – banks are ready to help you’ … I have a client, who I just had this conversation with in the last couple of days, and he went to the bank … the bank wants to hit him for 7.08% … and making him jump through all these hoops, and he ended up borrowing money off of family.
Andrew: Yeah, so again, this sounds to me it's not about throwing money at things it's about cost savings and using the law in the public domain, the rules, the tax rules, the business rules that exist our reality, and just package them up and using them appropriately
Frank: That is correct. And if I may say, there are most people in business are switched on. They’re smart cookies, right? So for the employers watching this, a lot of them may well think, and it’s completely understandable, “this is all the information, I think I'll just figure it all out and offer it to my employees, because so far it's not rocket science.
Andrew: No, that’s right.
Frank: I would however say, that the devil is always into the detail. And the Deduct Your Home retail product, for want of another word, which their employees will be using, that is where the detail is enormously important, because anybody can work from home and get some sort of a result. A favorable result. But the results that the Deduct Your Home program delivers are way, way beyond the norms that the accounting and tax profession routinely, have I suppose, told the community, are available to them.
Andrew: Yeah, and gain, there’s be more information on your Deduct Your Home, as you say, retail package, for want of a better word, available in the show notes .. but I just want to be careful not to …
Frank: no, but what I’m saying … the point I’m trying to drill here, is that if the Deduct Your Home program is what makes it work
Andrew: Yes, yes, I appreciate that, and again they'll the opportunity to talk to Frank directly about that specific program, so there will be links freely available … but back to the original question … we talked about who this is for and who this is not for, in a sense …
Frank: For employers …
Andrew: Yes, for employers …
Andrew: and there will be some listeners listing today saying “I manufacture food in a factory, this is not for me”. Is there ways, potentially there could be ways for them that they're not thinking about at deeper level … it may be a knee-jerk reaction to say this is not for me … but it may well be from a portion of their business, maybe not all of their business.
Frank: Yeah, good point, Andrew. People who have to be in a workplace controlled by an employer because they're working on a specific machine, they're on a factory line … it is what it is. They can't do their job from home. If you drive trucks on a mine site, you can't do that from home. But, you could be a contracted truck driver on a mine site, the problem being you're not using your equipment …
Andrew: Right, we can get into the detail on that later …
Frank: so those things get a bit …
Andrew: The question can be reposed to say well, say you might be in manufacturing, and you may have staff that are in administration or HR …
Frank: Exactly, which is where I was going. So, that people who could do their employee work at home as many people are currently doing, I mean right now, globally, we just witnessed, and it's still ongoing, the largest socio-economic experiment in human history, where I don’t know how how many hundreds of millions of people, maybe a billion people are currently working from home, and all at the same time, and thus far … it’s working!
Andrew: And I suppose, if you’re sitting there listening to this, you could say “well, where am I now?”
Frank: All of those all of those people, or maybe not a good chunk of those people, have just proven to us all, that stress can be done anywhere … as long as you've got an internet connection and a phone line, if that's what you need to do your job, you can see that the beach and do it and sit in an arm-chair with a mobile phone …
Andrew: the beaches are closed but when they re-open …
Frank: I know … ok , os if you can do it at home now, you could do it as an employee or as a contractor. And that's the point.
Andrew: Yeah, yep.
Frank: And I know a lot of people would need to, as employers, just really think about … it's not what we've always done, it's what could we do. How could we do it better? And this is innovation.
Andrew: That's right.
Frank: If it's the sort of thing that you have always thought needs to be done here, and I'm not talking about admin, but can it be done at home … it might be some sort of manual labor, someone like, I might be a diesel mechanic and my job is to service the diesel generators at a factory … I don’tknow …
Andrew: or a site …
Frank: Okay, now I'm not supplying the trucks and the diesel engines
Frank: But I can turn up to work every day as a contractor, wear my own tools with me, and do that job and go home, at the end of the week or the month I invoice my client, who used to be my employer. I'm responsible for the work I do. I can delegate it to someone else, but if I don’t do the job properly it's up to me come back and fix it on my dime, no one else's … and so on and so forth. That's what contracting is.
Andrew: Okay understood. So, interesting, and again if I'm an employer listening and I'm thinking “well this concept sounds very interesting to me and I would really like to know more” what would be the first place I started … so what would be the first step to progressing down a path of a) learning more or b) perhaps even getting started
Frank: Okay, well if someone wants to speak with me the best thing would be to send me an email, email@example.com, as in ‘solve a problem’, and they say ‘Hi Frank, I saw the conversation you had with Andrew, I’d love to find out more, here’s my number, give me a call.
Andrew: And that’s all good information, but I suppose what I'm thinking about is, say I'm running had company and I’m in a team of people we make a decision about, you know, “what are we going to do in response to COVID: and this is now starting to look like an option for me, where would I start? So, say I'm part of a chamber 3 and something …
Andrew: we we’re going to talk about how to get in touch with you later. So what would be my first step, in terms of “Okay, how do I float this? Do I float this idea with my colleagues?
Frank: ah, okay …
Andrew: What do I do? Do I ask myself more questions about ‘is our business right for this?’ or …”. I mean, where do I start inside my business?
Frank: Alright, well I think then, if it we’re me and I had a workforce that were employed by my firm, I would be thinking “okay what sort of jobs could be done from home instead on a contract basis”. And I would start thinking about who could possibly do their job from home, like all the time. And then I’d look at the people within my organization I think, given what I know about these people, and what my HR department knows about them, we would profile them and figure out who do we think is cut out for it. And if I know that John and Phil and Mary would never do this in a million years, and I already know that …
Andrew: you wouldn’t know unless asked them I suppose. Some people …
Frank: I might have an inkling … but either way, I'd like to think that I'd be open-minded enough to offer to everyone and let them make their own decisions. Give them a profiling exercise to complete so that people are doing it for the right reasons for them. And then those people could come out the other end of that profiling exercise as, you know, suitable candidates, we then get them and we give them more information and we help on board them into this transition. And that's probably when we would seek expert advice they’d need.
Andrew: Now, so say again, say I want to draw this real world example … so I am a CEO of my own business, but I know that to get a decision over the line I need to speak to my CFO and my HR manager …
Frank: Yep …
Andrew: I would need help communicating this with them, even explaining what the base level idea is. Do you have some clear information available to …
Frank: Yes …
Andrew: ... anyone listening in the audience that would be able to just say, “Okay Frank, how do I get this communicated inside my organisation.
Frank: Well we could we can provide your organization with some materials that clearly outlines what's in it for the organisation, what's in it for the employees, and what are the actionable steps that would need to be taken to get, you know, to make this happen … easily and effectively.
Andrew: So, you have a lot of support and a lot of collateral ready to go to be able to give, for support in terms of helping them communicate, and in understanding a deeper level you know exactly all the nuts and bolts and how this all hangs together.
Frank: Correct, then until such time as I personally overwhelmed and can't field any more inquiries, you know, I'm personally available to speak with decision-makers within organisations.
Andrew: Now, I also understand that in readiness, you have prepared a expressions of interest page on the internet which we'll display in the show notes, so we’ll make sure that is made available … so it will be an expression of interest, where employers can come and register their interest and you can get a feel for how many people may be interested and then you can communicate directly with them (essentially).
Andrew: Ok, alright. So, we’ve talked about what can I do as an employer the in terms of ‘Okay, this sounds very interesting to me. I'm intrigued, I'd like to know more. Now what if I was an employee? What would I do? What would be my first step? What would be my first step if I was an employee – thinking this sounds good for me?
Frank: Well if you're the employee, in this context you've probably have the concept introduced to you by and employer.
Andrew: Say I’ve heard about this without my employer hearing about it.
Frank: Oh, well in that case, no, I would recommend you go to deductyourhome.com.au (deductyourhome.com.au) and register to receive a whole bunch of very descriptive materials that you could consume. Once you understood what's on offer, if it resonates and you want to find out more, obviously make contact with me and I'll help you. But beyond your own personal circumstances, I would then go back to work, or contact my work colleagues, if you were still isolated from them because of COVID-19, and just let them know that you found something that you think could help your fellow employees And your employer.
Andrew: So don't be afraid to put your hand up for something that could be of interest to you …
Frank: Tell your boss, tell you work mates “hey I think I've discovered something that can help us all - everyone … get on board and have a look … check it out.” Make it go viral.
Andrew: Yeah, absolutely. Okay this looks very profound and compelling from where I’m sitting, and if we just go back to the beginning of the conversation where talked about the news articles, and again this isn't just necessarily an idea, it’s something that you know that that this has challenged world governments and they're looking for new proposals. So and it sounds like that this fits the bill essentially, so ...
Frank: I think it does.
Andrew: So in terms of just wrapping that up to bring things to a close … do you have one last message for the audience listening today?
Frank: Okay. I think the message really is simple: Let's stop and have a good look at this. It's unlikely you'll be disappointed because the benefits are far-reaching and everybody gets something good out of it. It's good for the business, it's good for the employees and it's good for the community. This is actually in the national interest. There are no losers. The tax and business and financial systems that we're all dealing with, will actually support what this is about. They have no choice because everything I do is done within the law. The existing laws, structures and processes, as in the way that we all these things integrate, will support a successful outcome. The only reason it won't work is if people are any combination of lazy and/or stupid. But if people are diligent, and careful, and motivated, and they have a good work ethic and they go about their business with determination … because remember, everyone ends up being in business except those employees who need to remain with employers …
Andrew: yeah, when I last worked at a large corporation we will continually told, even though we are direct employees, we had to act like we are salespeople - everyone's a salesperson for the business …
Frank: And an ambassador, yeah
Andrew: That’s right.
Frank: But basically when people are in business it's like, they’ve taken that decision, in a sense, to step up. It is the next level. You step up, because you are now the CEO of your own little mini-enterprise, you’re micro-business, and the buck stops with you.
There's none of this I'm gonna knock off at five o'clock and forget about until tomorrow - that doesn't really happen. And some people will be put off by that and so be it. But many people will be excited about the prospect. I’m now in charge of my own business of my own volition.
Andrew: Yes, and that could be a very exciting prospect for some people that may have potentially sometimes been limited within their say “job description” as well so …
Frank: I dare say for many people who will be life-changing.
Andrew: I’ve got one last question for you Frank … so say I wanted to turn this on in my business tomorrow …
Frank: Yep …
Andrew: because also, you know, I'm waiting, you know, we’ve been told about all these recovery packages weeks and weeks and weeks ago, and a lot of businesses are still waiting. And a lot of businesses are still hurting.
But say this sounded attractive to me and I wanted to turn it on in my business tomorrow … is that possible?
Frank: I don’t know if you could do it in a day … there's a process involved … but you could certainly start tomorrow. I don’t want to big note myself but I would advise you to speak with me at short notice. I can get you track incredibly quickly …
Andrew: Say, I said ‘yes’ to this … from point a to point b, so I’ve got 10 employees saying ‘yes’ and they’re starting to work from home – how long would it take us to be feeling like we’re reaping the benefits of it?
Frank: Ah, I don’t know, a couple short weeks. A couple of short weeks, these people could easily, maybe lets, maybe within days, it depends how long it takes to speak to each of those 10 people.
Andrew: So you have the capacity to make yourself available ensure that there's a soft landing, if the decision is made around to pursue this option, you're available to offer soft-landings for people who make decisions along these lines.
Frank: Absolutely. Because this all new (sic: COVID) and we we're all operating on the fly, I would need, and in the process of, quickly skilling up others to create a team who can replicate my processes
Andrew: So, you're working hard on scaling …
Frank: Yes, but I can’t click my fingers and have that ready tomorrow - but over the next few weeks, I will have others at my disposal who can do what I can do – and these are professional people.
Andrew: That's right, and a lot of business owners will understand, this concept when I talk about an agile approach, so this sounds like a very agile approach to me, where as you’ll scale-up depending on the demand.
Frank: Yes. When the demands within my capacity I will do it. When it outgrows my - I anticipate it outgrows my, I anticipate it will outgrow my capacity, which is why why I have already started sourcing suitable people who I will train to deliver the service.
Andrew: And I suppose that people want to get used to the idea of transitioning for an employee to a contractor, so I suppose that's a concept that they need to get used to, I mean that’s how you run a small business.
Frank: And if I may add, if any employers out there have got very good, smart accountants either on staff or who may contract there business’ needs too, I’m happy, if they wish to put those accountants in touch with, as you know I am an accountant and a registered tax agent, and I can, under a non-disclosure agreement, I can brief that firms accountant on what they need to do, and on how they need to assist that firms employees - and that way maintaining that relationship with that firms existing provider, I can upskill that provider very quickly - and their staff - and their team can assist that employer and its employees to get the results they require.
Andrew: Now I suppose they could utilise the same expression of interest website which we’ll be posting and include a link in the show notes to that as well. So
Frank: That’s fine, yeah.
Andrew: Right. Now we’ve covered a lot of ground we've covered a very deep, and as I said, a very profound topic, and again I think a lot of people may need a little bit more time to either digest, or to understand what you're putting on the table to the Australian public, to the private sector - and also the Australian Federal Government. So, I'd like for you to keep me in touch with the news on how the Scott Morrison is processing your request.
Frank. I’ll keep you in the loop, Andrew.
Andrew: Alright, well look, thanks again for your time Frank. I really appreciate it and keep us up to date on how you're traveling with it.
Frank: Good on you. Thanks. Thanks for having me on the show.
Andrew: Join us in our next episode where we talk again to Frank this time we plan to get an update on the response from the government and industry from his proposal and we're going to take a closer look at the government's job keeper package alongside Frank's deduct your home cost and job saving solution so make sure you tune in for that.
Plus, if you haven't helped yourself to my Lead Magnet System: Learn the secrets to doubling your lead sales and sales … with three simple tweaks you can do today!” just click on the links in the show notes and get your hands on a copy.
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Thanks for listening and until next time:
Know you're Why.
Know your market.
Pick a strategy.
And implement like hell!
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