You might have heard that the Australian minimum wage has increased by 3.5% effective July 1 2018. For small businesses around the country, this could mean that hiring new staff is out of the question, and many will be looking for an alternative way to meet their growing business needs.
This isn’t any regular adjustment, either. The 2018 Annual Wage Review increased the minimum wage by a greater percentage than any other year. It brings the minimum hourly rate to $18.93 per hour for anyone on a modern award.
It’s all in response to what the government says is a healthy national economy—inflation is sitting at a strong 1.9%—but the 3.5% increase (or $1263.60 per year, per employee) sits well above the rate of economic growth, meaning inflation doesn’t quite cover the costs of hiring new help.
Similar increases are looking likely for the year ahead, too. In fact, this year the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) was pushing for a huge 7.2% increase, more than double what was decided in the end.
If you’re an employer, you want the best for your employees—doing right by them will have a positive impact on the work they do for you—but for some it will be hard to continue to support their employees (current or future) as labour costs increase.
For large, well-established companies, the changes are a minor inconvenience; a few changes made to payroll, and a nominal skim from the top of their margins. It’s small businesses that will be the most affected—those who are only just in a position to hire help, not to mention the ones who need it most.
It can take years before a small business finds true success in its niche, and in the lead up there is a constant struggle between having the time to do everything, and having the money to hire somebody to assist.
You yourself may be considering bringing someone onto your team to take some of the pressure off when it comes to the day-to-day running of things. Between building your company strategy and pinpointing areas for growth, administrative tasks are a pretty unwelcome distraction.
So what do the changes to the minimum wage mean for your business? Can you still justify bringing on a new team member, or will the financial implications be too great a barrier?
Before you rush back to your books to triple check the budget, maybe what you need is a totally different approach—allow us to introduce one.
A virtual assistant bridges the gap between not having the time and not having the money. They are equipped with all the skills needed to carry out administrative and technical tasks, tasks that take those much needed hours out of your day—that could be spent working on your business.
We have seen first hand how virtual assistants can reduce the impact of staffing costs on small business. They are also supported at every step by a devoted them, to ensure they have everything they need to work best—which means less time spent training, delegating and being otherwise distracted from your own work.
If bringing on new staff in Australia is no longer an economically viable option for your growing business, a virtual assistant may be the just the solution. At Outsourcing Angel, we have an expert team of consultants dedicated to finding the perfect VA for your business. We provide them (and you!) with ongoing assistance, while you work on making your business grow.