If you’re a personal trainer and want to try running your own gym or you’re just a fitness enthusiast with an entrepreneurial mindset, this article will walk you through everything you need to know about how to start a gym. 

Step 1: Research and Validate Your Idea

Step one for any business venture should be to research and validate your idea. Gyms have a large upfront capital investment, so understanding why people will buy from you and not someone else is critical to making your gym a success. Here’s where to start.

Market Research

Begin with market research. What market need are you trying to meet? Analyse the local market, identify potential customers’ needs, and evaluate your competition. Stay updated with current trends. Familiarise yourself with local regulations. This information will guide your business plan (more on this later), cost estimates, and revenue projections. Proper research reduces risks and positions your gym for success. 

USPs (Unique Selling Points)

There are thousands of gyms across Australia, what makes yours different? It could be a boutique offering, with personalised service at a higher price point, or a budget-friendly option that caters to everyone. What specialist expertise do you bring to the table? Do you want to build a simple, no frills gym, or a holistic wellness centre? Drafting up and understanding your own USPs will guide all other aspects of your business. 

A good understanding of your USPs will also form the basis of your marketing plan. If you understand who you are trying to cater to, creating a marketing message becomes a whole lot simpler. You can identify communication channels and messaging opportunities with more precision. 

Operating Hours

Many gyms operate 24/7 in today’s market. This can be a bonus to potential customers, but will increase your operating costs significantly due to increased staff, security, and utility bills. Whether your gym should open 24 hours a day depends on your client base, location, and the type of gym. If you’re opening a gym that will make significant revenue from running classes, you probably don’t need to be open 24 hours a day. Conversely, if your gym will mostly be for basic weight training, opening 24/7 is wise to remain competitive. 

Location, Location, Location

Location is a vital consideration when opening your gym. The location determines the visibility, accessibility, and potential customer base of your gym. Here are some factors to consider:

  1. Size and layout: Enough space to accommodate equipment, workout areas, changing rooms, and potential classes.
  2. Zoning and permissions: The property must be zoned for commercial or business use and should allow for a gym or fitness centre operation.
  3. Accessibility: Easy access, proximity to public transport and major roads, and ample parking facilities are key. 
  4. Infrastructure: Adequate electrical, plumbing, and ventilation systems to support gym operations.
  5. Safety: A secure location with minimal safety hazards. Check for any structural issues or needed repairs.
  6. Future expansion: Space or options to expand if the gym grows in membership or services.
  7. Visibility: Located in a high footfall area or main road for increased visibility and potential walk-in clients.
  8. Lease terms: Understandable and favourable lease terms, including rent, duration, and any restrictions.
  9. Atmosphere: The overall feel of the property. Industrial spaces might offer a modern feel, while more traditional commercial or retail properties provide a polished look.
  10. Cost: Ensure the property fits within your budget, considering not just the rent but also renovation and maintenance costs.

A strategic location can greatly influence member acquisition and retention rates. It’s not just about finding a place; it’s about securing the right place for your gym’s success.

Step 2: Create a Financial Plan

There’s no getting around it: starting a gym costs a lot of money upfront. Creating a detailed financial plan makes you aware of initial costs and projects revenue and return in the future. Here is what to include. 

Initial Costs

Your upfront capital spending includes: 

  • Gym equipment
  • Fit out
  • Signage
  • Setting up the reception area 
  • Small consumables like towels, hand sanitiser, and wet wipes

Ensure you accurately estimate these initial costs to start your gym on a solid financial foundation. You may want to start considering financing options, including leasing and borrowing, to fund the initial purchase of equipment (more on this later).

Revenue Projections

Revenue is calculated as a function of the number of clients you expect to have, multiplied by the amount you charge. Your charges may be a recurring subscription package, a per gym visit, charges for classes, or a combination of all of the above. This will be driven by the research into your target market. A premium product may have less clients but charge a higher rate, whereas a budget product will be the opposite. You also need to consider your capacity limitations; what is the maximum number of people you can service at any point in time? Let’s look at a brief example. 

You project you will have 150 members at a membership cost of 20 dollars a week, then the monthly revenue from memberships would be 150 (number of members) x 20 (weekly price) x 4 (number of weeks in a month) = $12,000 

You will also run weekly yoga classes which are free for members but $15 per session for non-members. The classes are always full and are capped at 30 people, with a 50/50 split of non-members and members. So on top of memberships you also get 15 (dollar price per session) x 15 (number of non-members paying for the session) x 4 (number of classes per month) = $900

And finally, you offer one-off day passes to non-members at $10 a session. On average, in a month, you sell 20 one-off passes, adding an additional $200 to your monthly revenue. 

So, based on these calculations your monthly revenue from memberships, yoga classes, and day passes come to 12,000 + 900 + 200 = $23,000. 

This is of course a simplified version, but should give you some idea. 

Calculate Expenses  

Your direct expenses are those costs directly involved in running the business. For example, employing trainers to run a class is a direct cost of those classes. 

Your indirect costs (also called overheads) are the rest of the costs you will incur. The biggest of these will be rent and also includes electricity and water, administration costs, legal and accounting and don’t forget about insurance. This is especially important for a gym and to limit your risk.

So, if your direct expenses total $6,000 dollars per month, and your indirect costs come to $4,000 then your total expenses come to $10,000 per month. 

Calculating Projected Net Profit

Calculating your projected net profit is very simple, you just subtract your total expenses from your total revenue. So, subtract the $10,000 in total expenses in our example from the $23,000 in total revenue, and you’re left with $13,000 in net profit per month. This is the money you can use to pay yourself a wage and reinvest in the business. 

Always be prepared for unexpected costs; having a contingency fund is advisable. Understanding and managing your finances effectively is the backbone of any successful business. Contact JD Scott + Co to help with your financial planning today. 

Step 3: Write a Business Plan

It’s now time to bring together all your research into a written plan. A business plan outlines your vision, goals, and the strategies to achieve them. Detail the market research you’ve performed, USPs, and target audience. Include your financial projections, covering costs, revenues, and profitability. This document is not just for initial planning; it’s a reference to keep your business on track. 

If seeking external funding, a well-drafted business plan is essential to demonstrate the viability and potential of your business to investors or lenders. Not sure where to start? Download our free business plan template.

Step 4: Understand Your Legal and Financial Obligations

As with starting any business, you need to understand the legal and financial obligations with starting a gym. 

Choose Your Business Structure

Your choice of business structure influences your liabilities, tax obligations, and growth prospects. Here’s a brief overview:

  • Sole trader: This means operating under your personal name. This structure is straightforward and inexpensive but places all legal and financial responsibilities on you.
  • Partnership: If you’re opening the gym with someone else, this structure splits the responsibilities. Both partners share financial and legal obligations.
  • Company: This structure gives you liability protection and a lower tax rate of 25%. However, it also incurs more complex legal and tax obligations. If you choose this option, you’ll also need a Director Identification Number.

Dig deeper into choosing the right business structure.

Starting as a sole trader and transitioning later to a partnership or company is also feasible. For insights on this transition, refer to our PDF guide on switching from a sole trader to a company, which also highlights potential tax implications.

Tax and GST Foundations

Taxes are unavoidable. Key points to understand when starting a gym are:

Registering for GST: Should your annual revenue surpass a specified threshold, you must register for Goods and Services Tax (GST). This means adding an extra charge to your services and relaying it to the tax department. Find out more about the specifics of registering your gym.

Core tax obligations: Owning a gym means handling taxes like income tax, corporate tax, and, if you employ staff, payroll tax. 

Deductions: Many tax deductions are available, from gym equipment expenses to utilities. Capitalise on these to minimise your tax deductions.

Grasping the intricacies of tax and GST can be challenging, but being proactive ensures you steer clear of potential pitfalls down the road.

Step 5: Financing Your Gym

There are a few different ways to finance your gym. You do not need to choose just one; most people use a combination. 

  • Personal Savings: Using your personal savings means no interest, no paybacks. Yet, if things don’t work out, you’ll have nothing to fall back on. 
  • Bank Loans: Bank loans are the most common funding source for gyms. If applying for a loan, make sure you have a well-written and detailed business plan. 
  • Investors: Investors are also an option when opening your gym. This includes venture capitalists or angel investors. Remember, in return for their capital, they’ll usually want equity.
  • Grants: Australia offers many grants and financial programs, especially for small businesses. You can use the grants and programs finder to see if there’s one relevant to you.

Step 6: Getting Ready to Open

Once you’ve completed the above, you’re nearly ready to open. Here are some final things to do before opening your gym:

Define Your Team Structure

Employees or contractors: Decide between full-time trainers or specialised part-time instructors. Understand their legal and tax implications.

Legal hiring requirements: Meet all legal standards, including wage laws and superannuation. JD Scott & Co can assist with payroll specifics.

Market Your Gym

  • Branding: Define your gym’s identity, including mission and values.
  • Website: Essential for class schedules, trainer details, and member bookings.
  • Social media: Generate interest and share class information, health tips, and member promotions. 
  • Networking: Attend fitness events, collaborate with local businesses.
  • Direct mail: Send offers to local residents to increase membership.
  • Public relations: Engage local media for gym promotion and events.
  • Partnerships: Collaborate with related health and fitness entities for mutual benefits.

Always remember that marketing your gym requires a blend of showcasing facilities, expertise, and your USPs. 

Track your Progress

Once you’re up and running you need to continue to monitor progress.Some key things you want to keep track of include:

  • New customer sign-ups and customer churn. This also helps you measure the success of your marketing efforts
  • Basic financials, including revenue, and profit
  • Cashflow (how much cash is coming in and how much goes out)
  • Profit ratio (basically how much profit you make for every $1 of revenue. Measured at profit divided by sales for a given period).
  • Customer acquisition costs – how much does it cost you to acquire each new client?
  • How long before you become profitable. See our article on how to calculate your break even point

We Can Help Your Gym Succeed

If you follow the above steps, you’ll be well on your way to starting a successful gym. As with all businesses, continuous evaluation and adaptation are key to long-term success, and engaging a trusted accountant like JD Scott + Co increases your likelihood of success. Contact us today to find out how we can help you. 

In this article, we look at how to start a marketing agency – the right way. 

Starting your own marketing agency can be a rewarding endeavour, but doing it right is crucial to the success of your organisation. With years of experience in helping entrepreneurs start businesses in a variety of industries, we have the knowledge and expertise to guide you through the process.

The First Steps

Here are the first steps you should take when starting your marketing agency:

  • Market research: Who are your competitors? What’s the demand like in your chosen niche? These insights will inform your strategies and help you identify gaps in the market that your agency can fill.
  • Define a niche: If you want a successful marketing agency, standing out is key, and finding a niche is a good way to give you a headstart. Find a specific sector or service you excel at and aim to become the go-to expert in that area.
  • Create a business plan: This is your blueprint for success. Your business plan should outline your mission, vision, target market, competitive landscape, financial projections, and marketing strategies. Download our free business plan template to help you along!

Remember, thorough preparation mitigates future risk, and implementing these first steps when you decide to start a marketing agency can save you from a lot of headaches in the future.

Legal and Financial Preparations

Here are the basic legal and financial preparations you need to consider when starting your marketing agency. 

Chose Your Business Structure

One of the first decisions you’ll need to make on your journey to start a marketing agency is choosing the right business structure. This decision will impact various aspects, including your tax obligations, legal liabilities, and potential for growth. The common structures to consider are:

  • Sole trader: Trading in your personal name. Ideal for those looking to have a simple structure that is cheap to set up but with the risk assuming all legal and financial responsibilities.
  • Partnership: If you’re looking to collaborate with someone, a partnership could be advantageous. However, be prepared for shared legal and financial responsibilities.
  • Company: This structure offers liability protection and a lower tax rate of 25%, , but it comes with more complex tax and legal obligations. Bear in mind that if you choose this structure, you will need a Director Identification Number

Find out more about establishing the right business structure.

If you want to get started easily and cheaply, then you can first set up as a sole trader and then convert to a partnership or company later. Check out our PDF guide on how to convert from a sole trader to a company, including the potential tax issues.

Tax and GST Basics

Tax obligations are an inescapable part of running any business, and when you’re figuring out how to start a marketing agency, understanding tax basics is crucial. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Registering for GST: If your annual revenue is expected to exceed a certain threshold, you’ll need to register for Goods and Services Tax (GST). This involves charging your clients an additional percentage on your services and reporting it to the tax office. Find out more about registering your business
  • Basic tax liabilities: As a business owner, you’ll be responsible for various taxes, such as income tax, corporate tax, and payroll tax for any employees you hire. Learn how to keep up with tax payments
  • Deductions: There are numerous tax deductions available to businesses, like business-related expenses and home office costs. Make sure to take advantage of these to reduce the amount of tax you pay.

Understanding tax and GST is a complex task, and staying on top of it can help avoid any tax or financial troubles in the future.

Finding Your First Clients

Once you’ve taken care of your legal and tax obligations, it’s time to start building your client-base. The best starting place to find your clients is your existing network. Build upon the relationships you already have and don’t be afraid to ask for referrals. Other ideas to build a client base include:  

  • Online marketing: Implement the skills you plan to offer to your clients. Use SEO and digital advertising to make your agency visible to potential clients searching for marketing services. Create a useful tool for potential clients and push it out via social media.
  • Direct Engagement: Use your network of former clients and directly engage or re-engage with them. Even if they have changed roles or firms, it never hurts to reconnect. 
  • Freelance platforms: Websites like Upwork and Freelancer can be good places to start, allowing you to build a portfolio and get testimonials.
  • Offer free work: Although not sustainable in the long term, offering your services for free or at a discounted rate can be a good strategy for building a portfolio and gaining initial reviews.

The ultimate aim is to build a business that’s not just profitable but also sustainable in the long term. And as your trusted financial and business advisor, JD Scott + Co is here to assist you at every turn, ensuring you’re well-prepared for whatever comes next. Contact us today for more information.

FAQs for starting a marketing agency

aInitial costs can vary widely based on the scale and focus of your agency. However, some common expenses include website development, legal fees, software subscriptions, and initial marketing costs. Once you’re established you will need to pay rent for an office (unless operating remotely) as well as staff salaries, which will make up a significant portion of your spending. JD Scott + Co offers comprehensive financial planning to help you map out these initial expenses and create a budget that aligns with your business objectives.

Choosing a niche for your agency can help you stand out. Finding the right one involves understanding market demand, your skill set, and the level of competition. A thorough market analysis can offer valuable insights into what sectors or services have untapped potential. You can also remain as a generalist marketing agency, but finding a niche can help you to stand out. 

Having a physical office can lend credibility, but many successful agencies operate remotely, especially given the flexibility the digital age offers. The choice often depends on your client base, team size, preference, and the kinds of services you offer.

It’s crucial to consult with professionals for tax planning and legal compliance. JD Scott + Co can help you navigate tax requirements, including GST basics, and advise on the business structure that is best for your specific situation.

Effective networking, high-quality service delivery, and client-focused strategies are key. Utilising online marketing techniques like SEO can significantly improve your agency’s visibility. JD Scott + Co’s business advisory services can help you formulate effective client acquisition and retention strategies.

As your agency grows, you may face challenges in team management, service delivery consistency, and financial management. We offer tailored financial solutions and business advice to help you anticipate and mitigate these challenges, ensuring sustainable growth.

Wondering how to start a recruitment agency? Starting a recruitment agency in Australia offers a dynamic and rewarding path, where you become the pivotal connection between skilled professionals and their ideal roles, empowering businesses to thrive with the right talent. This venture is not only about enthusiasm; it requires detailed planning, in-depth industry knowledge, and a keen navigation of Australia’s regulatory and financial landscapes. 

That’s where JD Scott + co steps in, serving as your trusted advisor, ensuring your agency’s financial foundation is as robust and reliable as the services you aim to provide, setting the stage for a successful and impactful business journey. Contact us today to find out how we can help you.

Researching Your Recruitment Agency Idea

Before you dive into the entrepreneurial world of recruitment, it’s essential to understand the landscape you’re entering. Research the current trends in the Australian recruitment industry. Are certain sectors experiencing a shortage of skilled workers? Are there emerging industries where the demand for talent is skyrocketing? Understanding these dynamics will help you identify where the most significant opportunities lie.

Identify the Target Audience

As a recruitment agency, your clients will be twofold: businesses looking for employees and job seekers looking for work. It’s crucial to define who you want to serve. Are you focusing on a particular industry, such as healthcare or tech? Will you specialise in executive placements, or are you aiming to help companies fill more entry-level roles? Knowing your target audience in detail will inform your business strategy and marketing approach. Add comments in here around your current expertise. Do you have a network you can draw upon? If currently employed, do you have a non-compete that would prevent you from using that network?

Conduct a SWOT Analysis

A SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) analysis will provide you with a clear picture of where your agency will stand in the market.

  • Strengths: What will set your agency apart? Perhaps it’s your extensive network within a particular industry or your unique approach to candidate vetting.
  • Weaknesses: Are there areas where you have less experience or resources? Identifying these early on gives you the chance to address them proactively.
  • Opportunities: What are the unmet needs in the recruitment industry that your agency can fulfil.
  • Threats: What external factors, such as economic downturns or strong competition, could pose challenges for your agency?

Conducting this analysis will enable you to create a business plan that is both realistic and strategically focused on your agency’s success.

Leverage Your Current Contact List

When launching a recruitment agency, you’re not starting from scratch; you bring with you your experience, relationships, and reputation. Your existing contact list can be a goldmine for initial business, referrals, and testimonials. 

By focusing on this aspect, you’re essentially hitting the ground running, armed with a network that knows your capabilities and can attest to your expertise. This strategy also dovetails nicely with your broader marketing and relationship-building endeavours.

Creating a Business Plan

A well-crafted business plan is your roadmap to success when starting a business. It outlines your agency’s objectives, strategies for achieving those objectives, and the resources and actions needed to make it all happen. For a recruitment agency, this is particularly important as your operations will involve managing relationships with both employers and job seekers. Not to mention, a solid business plan is essential when seeking financing or investors.

Steps to Creating a Business Plan

  • Executive summary: A concise overview of your agency, summarising your mission, the market demand you aim to meet, and your business structure.
  • Market analysis: A detailed look at the industry landscape, target market, and competition, backed by data.
  • Service offerings: Clear definition of the services you will offer, whether permanent placements, temporary staffing, or executive search, and the industries you will serve.
  • Marketing strategy: Your plan for attracting clients and candidates, including digital marketing, networking strategies, and brand development.
  • Operations plan: How your agency will function day-to-day, including your staffing plans, technology needs, and processes for matching candidates with employers.
  • Financial projections: A realistic forecast of your agency’s revenue and expenses, giving potential investors (and you) a clear picture of your business’s financial potential. Use our projection calculator or read our blog on how much it costs to start your own recruitment firm to find out more.
  • Risk assessment: Identification of potential risks and your strategies for mitigating them.

Registering Your Recruitment Agency

Choosing a Business Structure

Another vital aspect when starting a recruitment agency is choosing a business structure. In Australia, you can operate as a sole trader, a partnership, or a company. Each has its own legal and tax implications. For a recruitment agency, operating as a company is often the most advantageous due to the limited liability it offers and its suitability for scaling the business. Find out more about setting up a company here

How to Register a Business in Australia

  • Choose and Register a Business Name: This is a name under which you will run your agency. It must be unique and not infringe on existing trademarks.
  • Get an Australian Business Number (ABN): An ABN is an 11-digit number that identifies your business to the government and the community. You will need this to register for GST and to invoice clients. 
  • Register for Goods and Services Tax (GST): If your agency is expected to have a turnover of $75,000 or more, you must register for GST. This is a crucial step, as it affects your billing and your tax obligations.

Find out more about when to register your business for GST.

Understanding Tax Basics

In the world of recruitment, fulfilling your tax obligations accurately and on time is essential. Key among these obligations are income tax, which is levied on your agency’s net earnings, and Pay As You Go (PAYG) withholdings, which involve setting aside specific amounts from payments made to employees and other business entities.

Deciphering GST: Registration Timing and Agency Implications

The Goods and Services Tax (GST), a standard 10% tax on most goods and services sold or consumed within Australia, is a significant aspect of your agency’s fiscal landscape. If your annual revenue surpasses the $75,000 threshold, GST registration becomes mandatory. This process entails incorporating GST into the fees you charge for your services and claiming credits for the GST included in your business-related purchases.

Fringe Benefits Tax (FBT)

FBT is a tax employers pay on certain benefits they provide to employees, associates, or family members in lieu of, or in addition to, salary or wages. This tax is separate from income tax and is calculated based on the taxable value of the fringe benefits. Examples of such benefits include company cars, paying for an employee’s gym membership, and entertainment like free tickets to concerts.

In Australia, the FBT year runs from April 1 to March 31, and it’s critical to assess and report any fringe benefits provided during this period. You’ll also need to lodge an FBT return and pay any tax owed for the period. Since FBT regulations can be complex and frequently change, consulting with a tax professional is advised to ensure that you’re compliant and making the most of FBT exemptions and reductions where applicable. Find out more about fringe benefits tax

Prioritising Precise and Timely Tax Record-keeping

Maintaining meticulous and up-to-date tax records isn’t merely a legal obligation – it’s a cornerstone of savvy business management. This practice allows you to closely track your business’s pulse, staying on top of your financial statements, income origins, and expenditures. Understanding the numbers involved with your business is invaluable for strategic tax planning and making informed decisions that drive your agency forward. Choosing the right accounting software is another vital aspect for the smooth management of businesses.  

Financing Your Recruitment Agency

Launching a recruitment agency demands an initial investment. From securing a professional space, scaling marketing efforts, to staffing and technological setups, the start-up phase comes with its costs. Here’s a glimpse at your financing avenues:

  • Personal Savings: An option free of interest rates and external stakeholders, but demands a substantial personal financial commitment.
  • Bank Loan: A prevalent approach, typically characterised by lower interest rates, although it necessitates a robust business plan and a commendable credit standing.
  • Investor Partnership: Here, you exchange a portion of your agency’s equity for capital, aligning you with a partner who may influence your business’s direction.
  • Government Support: Australia’s government extends various start-up grants and assistance, which are worth exploring through official channels.

Elevating Cash Flow Management to a Priority

Cash flow isn’t just numbers on a spreadsheet—it’s the heartbeat of your recruitment agency. Effective cash flow management is about vigilance: consistently monitoring the money coming in and out and ensuring there is sufficient liquidity to cover day-to-day operations. This entails routinely analysing your cash flow status and recalibrating your business tactics as needed to stave off financial challenges and sustain your agency’s vitality.

Choosing Your Location

In today’s interconnected world, a recruitment agency’s location isn’t just about a physical address – it’s also about your digital footprint. Whether you opt for a high-street office, a home setup, or a virtual space, each choice presents its own set of opportunities and challenges. Selecting the right location is a strategic decision that can significantly impact your agency’s success. It involves balancing several critical considerations to align with your business goals and client needs.


Will clients and candidates easily reach you? An accessible location can simplify interviews and client meetings, making your agency more appealing to both parties.


Is the location prominent or tucked away? A visible spot can attract walk-in business, while a more discreet location might offer a quieter, focused environment for your team.


Can your finances sustain the rental or purchasing costs? It’s vital to choose a space that aligns with your financial forecast and doesn’t stretch your budget too thin.

Market Proximity

Are you close to the industries you serve? Being situated near your client base can help establish your agency as a local expert and can lead to more organic networking opportunities.

Digital Reach

Is your online platform user-friendly and engaging? In our digital age, a robust online presence is as crucial as your physical location, serving as a virtual storefront that invites potential clients and candidates in.

Building Your Team

Employees or Contractors: A Strategic Decision

Hiring employees means long-term commitment and additional obligations, like superannuation and leave entitlements, you can even consider profit sharing to help retain talent. Engaging contractors offers flexibility but often at a higher immediate cost and with less control over their work. 

Legal Requirements When Hiring

When you’re ready to build your team, compliance is key. This includes:

Promoting Your Recruitment Agency

Building a Brand Identity

Your brand is more than just a logo; it’s the personality and promise of your agency. Crafting a strong, consistent brand identity involves defining your agency’s values, voice, and visual elements, all of which should resonate with your target audience and differentiate you from competitors. It’s this identity that will instil trust and loyalty in your clients and candidates.

Importance of a Website and SEO

In the digital age, your website is your storefront, and SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) is the path that leads clients and candidates to your door. A clean, user-friendly website showcases your services, while effective SEO strategies ensure that you’re visible and attractive to search engines.

Social Media and Digital Marketing Strategies

Leverage the power of social media platforms to connect with potential clients and candidates. A well-planned digital marketing strategy, encompassing content marketing, social media advertising, and email campaigns, can significantly expand your reach and engagement.

Establishing Your Business Operations

Operational Processes

Efficiency is key in the fast-paced world of recruitment. Establish clear, streamlined processes for tasks such as candidate sourcing, client communication, and financial management. This not only helps your agency run smoothly but also ensures that your team knows what is expected at each stage of the recruitment process.

Importance of Customer Service

In recruitment, relationships are everything. Prioritise customer service to foster long-term partnerships with both clients and candidates. This means responsive communication, transparency, and a genuine commitment to understanding and meeting their needs.

Navigating the Challenges of Starting a Recruitment Agency

Starting a recruitment agency in Australia is an exciting venture, but it’s not without its hurdles. These challenges can range from regulatory compliance and scaling effectively to managing client expectations and staying ahead of industry trends. A proactive approach—anticipating issues, seeking professional advice, and continually adapting—is key to turning these challenges into growth opportunities. Building relationships with mentors or industry peers can also be invaluable, providing support, guidance, and networking opportunities that can help your agency thrive in a competitive marketplace. 


No, Australia does not require a specific licence to operate a recruitment agency. However, you must comply with relevant employment legislation and standards. It’s advisable to consult with a legal professional to ensure that your agency operates within the bounds of the law.

The initial capital required can vary significantly. Costs may include office space, marketing, technology platforms, insurance, and staff salaries. It is essential to prepare a detailed business plan that outlines your startup and operating costs. Find out more about how much it costs to start your own recruitment firm. 

Building a strong digital presence, networking within your industry, and offering exceptional service are key. Consider joining industry associations, attending networking events, and utilising LinkedIn and other social media platforms to connect with potential clients and candidates.

Profit margins can vary, but typically range from 15-50% depending on the sector, level of service, and efficiency of operations. It is important to regularly review your financials and adjust your strategies as needed to maintain a healthy profit margin.

Consulting with a professional, such as a chartered accountant or a solicitor, is essential. They can guide you through the legal and regulatory landscape, helping you to establish processes that ensure your agency remains compliant with Australian laws and standards.

Have additional inquiries? Keep in mind, JD Scott & Co stands ready to assist you throughout your business venture. Don’t hesitate to contact us whenever you need assistance.

When I started the firm, I took a very different approach to hiring a workforce than the traditional model. We always wanted to build a firm that encouraged flexibility in where we worked. We also wanted to attract the highest quality staff who would serve our clients well. Given the shortage of accountants in what I call traditional career paths, we had to look elsewhere. So we looked to hiring a part time workforce.

Keys to success for a part time workforce

There are three keys to succeeding with a part time workforce.

We’re fully in the cloud, allowing us to operate from anywhere, anytime.
Process is critical – we use the right tools to manage our workflow
Communication – everyone hates it when they don’t hear back from their accountant. We make sure everyone understands what’s going on and what the expectations are.

Operating with a staff who work three or four days a week is more than possible. It means that you can tap a huge, highly skilled and highly motivated workforce of dedicated professionals. Once you have the systems in place and make full use of the available technologies, you can achieve anything. We were lucky – we set ourselves up on day 1 to manage a part time workforce. If you’re looking to transition, then the journey may be a little harder, but its well worth the effort.

Thanks to David Cristello and Jetpack Workflow of the oppotunity to discuss how we grew our firm. If you’re interested in finding out more about our firm click here or if you’re looking for a rewards career, then please get in contact.

Jetpack Workflow interview

B Corp certification is a certification that recognizes businesses that meet rigorous social and environmental standards. It is granted by the nonprofit B Lab, which evaluates companies based on their impact on workers, customers, communities, and the environment. In this blog post, we will discuss what B Corp is and how it can help small businesses.

What is B Corp Certification?

B Corp certification is a designation that is awarded to businesses that have met specific standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency. The certification process involves a rigorous assessment of a company’s impact on its employees, the environment, and the community. B Corp certification covers five main areas: governance, workers, community, environment, and customers. To earn the certification, a company must score at least 80 out of a possible 200 points.

How Can B Corp Certification Help Small Businesses?

B Corp certification can provide several benefits to small businesses. Here are some of the ways in which B Corp certification can help small businesses:

  1. Stand Out from the Competition: B Corp certification can help small businesses differentiate themselves from their competitors. It is a symbol of a company’s commitment to sustainability, accountability, and transparency. By displaying the B Corp logo, small businesses can show their customers that they are committed to making a positive impact on the environment and the community.
  2. Attract and Retain Customers: Consumers today are becoming increasingly conscious of the impact their purchases have on the environment and the community. B Corp certification can help small businesses attract and retain customers who are looking for sustainable and socially responsible products and services.
  3. Attract and Retain Employees: B Corp certification can also help small businesses attract and retain employees who are looking for a company that aligns with their values. Many employees today are looking for companies that have a positive impact on the environment and the community. B Corp certification can help small businesses attract and retain these employees.
  4. Access to Funding: B Corp certification can help small businesses access funding. Many impact investors are looking for companies that have a positive impact on the environment and the community. B Corp certification can help small businesses attract these investors and secure funding for their business.
  5. Networking Opportunities: B Corp certification can provide small businesses with networking opportunities. B Corp certified companies are part of a global community of like-minded businesses that are committed to making a positive impact on the world. This community can provide small businesses with valuable connections and resources.
  6. Improve Operations: B Corp certification can help small businesses identify areas where they can improve their operations and make a positive impact. The certification process requires businesses to evaluate their impact on their employees, the environment, and the community.
  7. Enhance Reputation: B Corp certification can enhance the reputation of small businesses. The certification is a symbol of the company’s commitment to sustainability, accountability, and transparency. This can help small businesses build trust with their customers, suppliers, and partners.

Our Journey to BCorp Certification

JD Scott + Co started our BCorp journey several months ago. While its a timing consuming and intense process, the results are well worth the effort. Read how we have tackled the BCorp certification journey in this artic`le in The Big Smoke.

In conclusion, B Corp certification is a symbol of a company’s commitment to sustainability, accountability, and transparency. It can provide several benefits to small businesses, including differentiation from competitors, access to funding, networking opportunities, and improved operations. B Corp certification can also help small businesses attract and retain customers and employees who are looking for sustainable and socially responsible products and services. If you are a small business looking to make a positive impact, consider getting B Corp certified.

Blog 4

Wondering how to start your own Pilates studio? Starting a Pilates studio in Australia can be an exciting and rewarding business venture. Pilates has become increasingly popular in Australia over the years, with more people recognizing the benefits of this exercise method. As with any fitness business, starting a Pilates studio requires planning, research, and dedication. 

Read on for a complete overview of the tax and accounting requirements for setting up a Pilates studio in Australia. You’ll learn about developing a comprehensive business plan, obtaining the relevant certifications and training, securing funding, setting up equipment and an appropriate location and finally, registering your business successfully. 

Need help on getting the accounting and tax set up for your business? Contact us to set up a free 30-minute consultation. You will walk away with three actionable steps to make you profitable, improve your cashflow or fix you tax.

woman doing pilates

Step 1: Develop a Business Plan

The first step in starting a Pilates studio is to develop a comprehensive business plan. A business plan is a written document that outlines your business goals, strategies, and financial projections. It should include details such as:

  • The target market: Identify the type of clients you want to target, their demographics, and their fitness goals. This information will help you tailor your services to meet their needs.
  • The services you will offer:  Outline the types of Pilates classes you will offer, such as mat classes, reformer classes, or a combination of both. Decide if you will offer private or group sessions and if you will offer additional services such as nutrition coaching or massage therapy.
  • The location: Choose a location that is accessible, safe, and convenient for your clients. Consider the rent, lease terms, and any renovation costs associated with the location.
  • The competition: Research the competition in the area and identify what sets your studio apart from others. Consider the pricing, class schedules, and quality of services offered by your competitors.
  • The financial projections: Determine the startup costs, monthly expenses, and projected revenue. Create a cash flow forecast to ensure you have enough capital to cover expenses until the business becomes profitable.

A business plan is a crucial step in starting a Pilates studio as it serves as a roadmap to guide your decisions and ensure your business is on track.

Step 2: Obtain Certifications and Training

To start a Pilates studio, it is essential to have the necessary certifications and training. The minimum requirement to become a Pilates instructor is to complete a Certificate IV in Pilates or equivalent. This certification is offered by many registered training organizations (RTOs) in Australia.

In addition to certification, it is also essential to have practical experience as a Pilates instructor. Consider attending workshops, seminars, and conferences to gain additional knowledge and skills.

Step 3: Secure Funding

Starting a Pilates studio requires a significant investment in equipment, rent, marketing, and other expenses. Consider the various options for funding your studio, such as:

  • Personal savings: If you have personal savings, this is an excellent option to fund your business. However, keep in mind that you may need to allocate these funds for other emergencies or unexpected expenses.
  • Business loans: You may consider applying for a business loan to cover the startup costs. Research and compare the terms and conditions offered by various lenders to find the best option for your business.
  • Crowdfunding: Crowdfunding is a popular way to raise funds for a business. Consider creating a crowdfunding campaign on platforms such as Kickstarter or GoFundMe to attract investors who believe in your business idea.

Step 4: Register Your Business

To start a Pilates studio in Australia, you will need to register your business with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) and obtain an Australian Business Number (ABN). You will also need to register for Goods and Services Tax (GST) if your annual turnover exceeds $75,000. 

Our guide on registering for GST may be helpful if you anticipate to exceed this threshold. 

For more information read our article on business registrations. 

Step 5: Choose the Right Equipment

The equipment used in a Pilates studio is a critical factor in delivering quality classes and ensuring client satisfaction. The following are some of the equipment required for a Pilates studio:

a) Pilates Mats: High-quality Pilates mats provide cushioning and support during exercises.

b) Pilates Machines: Pilates machines such as the reformer, Cadillac, and chair are essential for delivering Pilates classes and ensuring client satisfaction.

c) Small Equipment: Small equipment such as resistance bands, balls, and foam rollers are vital to ensure clients are able to warm up.

d) Decorative items: To deliver client satisfaction, building an aesthetically-pleasing atmosphere through plants, lighting fixtures or artwork will ensure they can unwind and reconnect.  

Step 6: Location, Location, Location

Choosing the right location for a Pilates studio is crucial for attracting clients and ensuring the success of the business. When selecting a location, consider the following factors:

a) Accessibility: Choose a location that is easily accessible by public transport, car, or foot, and that has ample parking.

b) Demographics: Consider the demographics of the area and whether there is a demand for Pilates classes.

c) Competition: Research the competition in the area and identify any gaps in the market.

d) Size: Choose a location that is spacious enough to accommodate the equipment, clients, and instructors.

e) Facilities: Ensure that the studio has the necessary facilities, such as a reception area, changing rooms, bathrooms, and storage.

Are you undercharging for your services? It can be hard to tell, particularly if you’re in a niche industry or you’re a contractor. Costs have been rising, so it may be time to rethink your own pricing.

Here are five signs that you might be undercharging:

  1. Nobody ever questions your quotes – Do all your new clients accept your quotes or charges without asking any questions, requesting a breakdown or wanting a discount? It’s possible they’re delighted to be getting such a great deal.
  2. You run off your feet but you can’t afford to get help – When you’re working yourself to the bone, but there’s not enough money left over to employ someone to help you, your prices are too low – or something else needs to change.
  3. Your prices have been the same for two years or more – In most industries, prices increase just slightly each year. Leave your prices flat for too long and you’re not keeping up with the market; make sure you review your fees annually.
  4. You’re overbooked – When business is booming and there’s no room for new clients, it’s time to raise your prices.
  5. Clients don’t treat you as well as they should – When clients think they’re paying peanuts, they’ll often take you for granted. They don’t see your time as valuable, so they feel free to mess you around.

What should you be charging?

Finding your pricing sweet spot could take a little time. You’ll need to do some research, maybe ask around a little, and find out where your competitors are pitching their rates.
We can help too. If we have clients in similar industries we might be able to give you some indication of typical fees. So give us a call or drop us a note. We’d love to hear from you.

Read here to find out how to get more cash from your business.

What are your business goals for the year ahead?

An annual business review is an excellent way to review the year just finished and reflect on what worked, what didn’t, what you’d like to change and new things you’d like to implement.

Last year, there were inescapable impacts on businesses, with some thriving, others failing, and others just getting by. So what kind of year was 2022 for your business?

Take the time to review the year and acknowledge all that has happened, good, bad or indifferent. Examining the year with an objective perspective can provide valuable insights to prepare for the next business year. Planning and goal setting will help provide a focus for your business year ahead.

Your Yearly Business Review

  • What were the most significant impacts on your business in 2022? How well did you meet the challenges?
  • What worked well last year? What systems, technology, products or services were successful?
  • What accomplishments can you celebrate?
  • What situation, event or experience provided the biggest learning opportunity?
  • What is the biggest challenge or frustration you face as you prepare for 2023?
  • What did you most enjoy during the year? Do more of it. What did you least enjoy? Do less of it!
  • Analyse your financial reports. Are you earning what you’d like to? Is the business sustainably profitable?

Get Ready for a Great Year

While there are many metrics you could evaluate to track business performance, we’ve given you just a few ideas to inspire your business planning for 2023.  Here’s some tips to help you get started on 2023 goal setting.

If you’d like to chat about what you can do differently this year to enable your business to thrive, book a time with us today.

Whether you want to grow your business or take more time for yourself, these goal setting tips can help you achieve your long-term plans. 

  1. Think big! – What do you want from your life – and how can your business help you achieve that? Think about next year and beyond; what does your business look like in 5 or 10 years? When you know what end point you’re aiming for, it’s easier to set goals that move you in the right direction.

  2. Pick something you can measure – Vague goals aren’t as helpful as those you can measure and monitor. Think about what you already measure in your business and how you’d like to see those metrics change. For example:
    • A 3% increase in net profit year-on-year
    • A 2% reduction in expenses
    • 1 new customer per month
    • Reduce average payment time to under 50 days
    • 4 weeks of holiday during which you don’t go into the office at all

  3. Make a plan to achieve each goal – Once you’ve picked a few goals, come up with ways to achieve them. It could just be back-of-the-envelope thinking, or have a brainstorming session with your team or your advisers (give us a call!). When you have a plan in place, do your best to follow through and make it happen.

  4. Keep monitoring your progress – Check in each month to see how you’re tracking with your goals. Set yourself reminders on your calendar or make it part of your invoicing cycle. If you’re not quite on track, you can make tweaks or come up with some fresh ideas to help you reach your targets.

  5. Plan a celebration! – Give yourself a good reason to keep striving for your goals. It might be a long lunch, a trip to the movies, a manicure, or a beer advent calendar next December. Something you’ll enjoy that’s not going to blow the budget.

We can help

Not sure what your goals should be or how to monitor them? We can show you where to find the information you need, how to check on it, or keep an eye on it for you.
Our team also has some fantastic ideas for how to reach your goals and build your business – get in touch!

Have you reviewed how you went in 2022? Check out our guide on how to do that here

Christmas is a great time to acknowledge and reward your employees and other associates by celebrating and giving gifts. But don’t get caught out by entertainment rules! Claiming entertainment and gifts as business expenses is not always straight-forward, as there are implications for GST, income tax and fringe benefits tax (FBT).

Is it Entertainment?

Entertainment is generally not a deductible business expense. Entertainment rules can be tricky, but in general, the more lavish the meal or event, the more costly, the later in the day and if alcohol is involved then it will generally be called entertainment. Fringe benefits tax may apply to entertainment benefits provided to employees, and if an event or gift is considered to be entertainment then you cannot claim a business deduction or GST. A Christmas party for employees, spouses, suppliers and customers may or may not be classed as entertainment. Check with us to see if any of the party costs can be claimed.

Keep it Free From FBT

  • If you give gifts to your employees keep them under $300 each. Benefits provided which have a value of less than $300 are exempt from FBT.
  • Give gifts to employees that they otherwise would have claimed as a tax deduction. For example, you could pay for a professional development course or give new tools.
  • Give gift cards or vouchers up to the value of $300. (Vouchers are not considered to be entertainment).
  • Avoid giving ‘entertainment’ gifts over $300, such as membership to clubs, tickets to events or travel.
  • Pay a Christmas bonus. Process through payroll like any other wage payment and withhold tax. Remember that superannuation applies to bonus wages.

Enjoy the Party

Talk to us when planning your Christmas gifts and events to check how much may be claimed as business expenses. Once you know the costs of throwing a party and giving gifts and bonuses, you can put your feet up and enjoy your own party! For more information on FBT here.
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