On 29 March 2022, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg delivered the 2022-2023 federal budget in parliament. It’s bound to bring joy to some and ruffle a few feathers for others.
There is good, bad, and ugly information in the document and. For some it will offer a small windfall, and for others it will fall short of the mark. Pensioners and job seekers will get a lone-off cost of living payment, childcare is set to become more affordable, and we’ll be spared some pain at the petrol pump for the next six months. But there is more to the budget than a few small measures to stimulate the market.
So, what does the budget have in store for you, your practice, and your approach to marketing for the next year?
The big bonus is that our economy seems to be back on the up after two years of COVID-19 setbacks. Employment is up, and wages are likely to grow.
As a practice owner and employer, the government is looking at you and expecting you to pay your staff more money. This will let the government collect more taxes, creating a path towards a debt-free Australia.
But to pay your staff more, you will need to make more money. That means you need to grow your practice.
The budget and the health industry
For small clinics and practices, the budget delivers tax benefits aimed at training and education for staff members.
Clinics and practices with an annual turnover below $50 million will be able to increase their digital landscape. Up to $100,000 is available to replace and upgrade depreciating digital services, including subscription services such as cyber security and cloud-based programs.
The government will spend an additional $99.3 million over the next four years to train doctors and nurses in rural areas. Plus, over the next five years, they will invest $230.7 million toward providing primary care and dental services.
An additional $547 million will go towards mental health programs over the next five years: all an indication that the government is looking out for the healthcare industry.
Other benefits for small businesses
- $8 million for the Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman and their service providers to improve small business financial capabilities.
- $5.6 million over four years for the Fair Work Commission to create a dedicated small business support unit that includes issues such as unfair dismissals and general protections disputes.
- $4.6 million over two years to support Beyond Blue’s NewAccess for Small Business Owners The program will deliver free, accessible, and tailored mental health support to small business owners.
- $2.1 million over two years to run the Small Business Debt Helpline, providing financial counselling to small businesses facing monetary issues.
- $146.5 million to reignite the Australian tourism sector.
- $80 million supporting small to medium exporters, especially in securing Commonwealth contracts.
- The Department of Defence has been directed to accept more small tenders from SMEs.
How to act on these benefits
Doctors and practice managers should make full use of the government incentives When planning and strategising for the next financial year.
Tax benefits and government incentives are there to help you grow your practice, become a better employer, and grow the economy. The better you do, the more people you hire, and the more taxes they pay… all the better for the economy.
Now is the time to upgrade your business, set up a cloud-based operation, and make sure your intellectual property is safeguarded from hackers, malware, and other online risks.
Use this opportunity to plan for the future. Set up convenient online booking systems or a virtual store, and improve your online capabilities all over. Speak to your business consultant, accountant, and digital marketing company to see how you can maximise these benefits to boost your business in this post-COVID era.
Marketing opportunities for your practice
- Increase referral marketing and build your relationship with GPs and other referrers.
- Create an online platform to handle bookings, telehealth consults, and online sales.
- Update your marketing strategy to help you grow in these unique business circumstances.
- Start a marketing campaign that increases your online presence via strong SEO and online advertising.
- Strengthen your patient relationships through better online communication, including email & SMS campaigns, and social media posting.
- Protect your brand equity through trademarks and IP protection.
- Generate regular online touchpoints such as in-person dinners and webinars or podcasts to grow your referral base.
An opportunity not to be disregarded
All federal budgets can be hit and miss, but this one seems very friendly towards small and medium sized businesses. The time for growth is now.
Australia is still facing a major deficit and uncertainty surrounding the war in the Ukraine, particularly with COVID-19 is still hanging in the air. So, plan for the future; take advantage of the current circumstances to boost your practice to the next level.