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How to achieve business success

The success of your business is in your hands. The path to success is a journey, you can chart your path by setting goals and tracking progress. Change may be the only certainty in business, but you still need to know where you’re going and how you will get there.To plan for success, write it down or create a visual image of what it looks like. Print it out, frame it, or put it somewhere so you won’t lose sight of it. If you can visualise it, you will be more focused on achieving it! Stay fo...

August 18, 2019

Building a better business in 10 steps

You’re in business, congratulations, that takes courage and commitment.It’s not easy, and at times you might find yourself questioning why you’re even doing it, but you’re here because you had a vision. You decided being in business was a better way to achieve that vision than working for someone else. And, you’re right; you just have to work on it. Good things come to people who hustle.You’re likely an expert in what you do… maybe you’re a mechanic and know the inside of a ...

August 18, 2019

Northland Bookkeepers leading the way for Small Business

Northland Bookkeepers were honoured this year, taking out three of the eight prestigious awards presented at the Institute of Certified New Zealand Bookkeepers (ICNZB) 9th Annual conference Award evening held in Christchurch recently.   “The high calibre of bookkeepers in our community is incredible, and the award sponsors had a very hard time choosing the winners” states the ICNZB President, Di Crawford-Errington, also a proud Northland Bookkeeper.  Haley Wilson of My Two Cents, b...

August 9, 2019

Struggling to sell goods or services to your customers?

Many businesses are grappling with the challenge of selling goods or services to their customers. Here are the top 4 reasons why you may be struggling:1. Selling the wrong thingOne of the biggest challenges when selling is accurately understanding customer needs. It’s all too easy to define your goods and services and try and flog these to your customers without any research to understand whether they actually need them. The easiest way to up sell to your customers is to help them buy somethin...

July 6, 2019

Working from Home? Claim your home office expenses

If you have a home office for your business, you should be able to claim some of the running costs. It’s important to be aware of what you can and can’t claim, and the record-keeping involved in making a claim.How does it work?In order to claim, the space you use must be used primarily for your business. This doesn’t mean setting up at the kitchen table from time to time, it means having a dedicated space that you work from. If you are selling online and storing stock, you may also be usin...

June 8, 2019

Teaching your kids about money

The money we spend each day tends to be invisible. When was the last time you withdrew your cash for the week and used it to make purchases? Rather than dealing in notes and coins, we tend to reach for our cards or shop seamlessly online. It’s entirely possible to spend money without even reaching for your wallet. This can give kids some confusing messages about how money is spent. The danger here is that they won’t develop financial literacy and will struggle to manage their own money later...

June 8, 2019

Keep on top of debtors with proactive credit control

Having a large amount of debt in your business is bad for cash flow, weakens your overall financial health and brings down your credit score as a business. Not to mention the rising stress levels when trying to manage your own creditors on limited cash flow. When customers don’t pay on time, that ‘aged debt’ is bad news for your finances. Aged debt can begin to stack up, adding to your liabilities and reducing the health of your overall balance sheet – so it’s important to tackle late ...

May 5, 2019

Keeping your tax and expenses in check when you are self-employed

Self employed, contracting or freelancing requires you to wear a lot of hats. Relationship-building, keeping track of your time, marketing your skills and actually doing the work. But one of your priorities should also be establishing how you handle your money and setting the groundwork for good habits and good record keeping. I always say "you should start how you mean to go on"! Understand your deductions Before you start, it’s essential to understand what expenses you can and can’t claim....

May 5, 2019

Forecasting cash flow

Why you need to forecast your cash flow Cash flow is the lifeblood of your business. And when it comes to cash flow management, preventing cash issues is far easier than trying to solve these issues after the event.Positive cash flow comes from balancing your income (the cash inflows) against your expenditure (the cash outflows). If you’re in control of this then the business will always have the liquid cash needed to cover your liabilities.Forecasting your cash inflows and outflows Forecastin...

May 4, 2019

6 secrets to getting prompt payment

If you’re struggling with late payments, and about half of small businesses are, here are some simple tips to try. Invoice without delay Your customer can’t pay until you've invoiced them, so make sure you send your bill promptly. Customers are also more open to paying when they've just received the goods or services that you delivered. Cash in on the goodwill by invoicing as soon as possible, there's no reason to delay. Include all the information Make sure your invoice has all the right in...

May 4, 2019

Five ways to save time with job costing software

For a lot of clients, doing job-costing calculations takes hours on spreadsheets and there’s a lot of room for error. Job costing software streamlines the process and automates the calculations, to make everything easier and faster. And saves you from endless spreadsheets!It allows you to:Price jobs accurately - By working out the specific costs for each job, you’ll have far more confidence in the final estimate.Avoid customer conflict - An accurate upfront estimate reduces the ris...

April 21, 2019

Is my accountant a cost or investment?

Accountants tell their clients to reduce their overhead costs as one of the seven ways to grow your business. One of your overhead costs is your accounting fees. So, is what you spend with your accountant an expense which needs to be reduced, or is it an investment?An expense is a necessary evil. It can’t be avoided and is a grudge purchase with very little value add.An investment is about the return on your spend - what you get back as the benefits of the service; more cash, more discretionar...

April 21, 2019

Profit vs Cash

There’s a massive difference between profit and cash. Let’s explore the differences to make a better plan to increase both. 1. Sales. Profit increases when you increase sales; cash increases when you collect the money from customers.  To increase both your profit and cash from sales: Delight your customersGenerate more leads and referralsConvert a higher number of quotes or proposalsIncrease transaction frequencyIncrease transaction value 2. Invoicing. Profit increases when you send an ...

April 21, 2019

2019 Law Changes Summary

A brief summary of law changes taking affect in 2019 - make sure you are up to date. For more info follow the link https://www.business.govt.nz/news/2019-law-changes/ Drop in ACC Work levies When: From April 2019 What: Employers and people who are self-employed will on average pay 6.9 percent less for their ACC Work Account levy over the coming two years. Why: This reduction comes after standard public consultation. What you need to do: Nothing. If you’re a small busin...

April 21, 2019

The pros and cons of hiring an independent contractor

Whether it's for a couple of weeks or a few months, hiring a contractor could help your small business to grow in a more flexible way. But contractors aren't suitable for every role. Here are some important points to consider before you decide whether hiring a contractor is the right move for you. What defines a contractor? A contractor is someone who works for you on a short-term basis, usually on a project. The most important thing to remember is that a contractor is not an employee. Contracto...

March 22, 2019

What’s the point of market research?

A successful small business needs to have customers making purchases, ideally over and over again. You can make that an easy decision for them, by finding out (and providing) precisely what they need.Market research is the way to do that. It will help you ensure that your product or service meets your target customers’ needs and that your marketing connects with target customers in the right way. Research is also your chance to find out who you’re selling to and learn what they value, how th...

March 22, 2019

NZ launches R&D tax incentive legislation - What’s in it for you?

From April 2019, your business could be eligible for a tax incentive based on R&D expenditure. The New Zealand Government launched the inventive program to boost (R&D) expenditure to 2% of GDP over 10 years.Under the scheme there will be a number of criteria and compliance obligations to meet.Here are the main features of the R&D tax incentive:a credit rate of 15%a $120 million cap on eligible expenditurea minimum R&D expenditure threshold of $50,000 per yeara limited form of refunds for the fir...

March 22, 2019

Keeping your tax and expenses in check when you are self-employed

Contracting or freelancing requires you to wear a lot of hats. Relationship-building, keeping track of your time, marketing your skills and actually doing the work. But one of your priorities should also be establishing how you handle your income and setting the groundwork for good habits and record keeping. Understand your deductions Before you start, it’s essential to understand what expenses you can and can’t claim. This means you’ll keep the right receipts and track the right expenses....

March 22, 2019

Setting the right growth goals for your business

If you’re going to grow your company in the right way, pinning down your goals and having a clear vision for the business from the outset is vital.You may want to increase profits and create an income that supports your lifestyle, or you are looking to increase market share and aim for hypergrowth. You may even be aiming to increase the overall value of the company to get the best return when exiting the business.So, how do you define the goal that’s right for you?Driving your performance ov...

March 22, 2019

6 ways to measure the health of your business

When you’re running a business, it’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day activity and lose sight of the big picture. Taking stock of the health of your business is important. Knowing where you’re allows for more effective planning, early warning about any issues, and the chance to better chart a course for success. There are some quick ratios that will help you in order to gauge the health of your business. We can help you to assess your business health and show you how to calculate th...

March 2, 2019

Xero Payday Filing - April 2019

From 1st April 2019 employers must send employee and contractor payment information to Inland Revenue each pay day instead of each month. One of the reasons for this change is to supply Inland Revenue with more accurate and up to date information about employees and their pays, in a more timely manner. Using payroll software will also simplify the process of filing for employers. Payday reports will be filed by Xero as soon as a pay run is posted each pay period. There will be no need to fi...

February 17, 2019

Invoices - What should you include?

When you’re running a small business or working for yourself as a freelancer or contractor, getting paid will generally rely on sending an invoice. And because getting paid, and on time, is essential to staying afloat, it’s important to make sure that you’ve got all the important info included.If a customer asks you for a tax invoice, provide one within 28 days. Your invoice needs to contain the following:The words ‘tax invoice’, ideally as a heading.Your business or trading name.The r...

February 16, 2019

B2B tips for working with big companies

Landing a large client is an exciting milestone but servicing them can be demanding. If you’re more used to working with smaller clients how do you make the transition to servicing larger ones?Don’t over-promise - Many small businesses are tempted to go beyond their core competencies to win a big contract. Avoid that if you can. Focus on delivering only the things you do really well.Be prepared to adopt their systems - You’ll probably need to change the way you work to fit with y...

February 10, 2019

The Five A’s of Change - a conscience process to achieve continuous improvement

Whether it’s a new focus, a new venture or a new year… consciously recognising the process required to change can vastly improve your outcome. The Five A's of Change breaks it down simply: 1. Awareness: First we must be aware of what needs to change. Perhaps we want to work smarter, not harder, so we can have more family time and better financial returns. 2. Acceptance: We have to accept that in order to work smarter we will need to do things differently. There is no magic bul...

February 10, 2019

Five accounting tips to give you more time to focus on creativity

While few people love the accounting aspects of their business, my creative clients dislike it more than most. That’s why I’d like to recommend a few ideas to keep your clients and suppliers happy while streamlining processes for yourself.Create realistic estimates. This will help you keep clients happy and expectations in check. Have a look at past projects, add up the costs, and compare to current requirements to get an accurate picture of how much to charge.Simplify time recording.&n...

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