Three Reasons to Focus on Fantastic Customer Service

Small business owners know that to find a loyal customer base, they have to stand out from their competitors. One of the best, and easiest, ways to do that is to have outstanding customer service. How you treat your customers reflects your entire business. People think positively on companies that treat their customers and clients well. Unfortunately, many business owners focus their attention on their products and services, with customer…  Read more

Is a business mentor worthwhile – or is it like trying to find a needle in a haystack?

“Mentoring is a brain to pick, an ear to listen, and a push in the right direction.” — John Crosby The opportunity to learn from a business mentor “can” do more for a small business owner than any course, educational program, or degree. Being a mentee means you get the benefit of first-hand experience, without having to make all the mistakes yourself. There are, in fact, a host of reasons why…  Read more

Avoid These Costly Accounting Mistakes

A Canadian bank recently surveyed over 500 small business owners about what they love and hate most about owning their own business. Unsurprisingly, flexibility and feeling in control ranked first in the “love” category. Meanwhile, almost 60% said bookkeeping was hands-down their most hated task. Most business owners understand that effective financial management is key to their success. But lack of knowledge, frustration, and even avoidance can add up to…  Read more

Don’t let the fear of public speaking break you

When you own a business, any time you speak in public you are representing your business, your brand and your values. That’s a lot of pressure, especially when you consider that most people are already nervous about speaking in front of people. There’s no magic cure for fear of public speaking (and secretly we love it – we could talk numbers all day long), but do I still get nervous…  Read more

Finding money within your business

Most small businesses experience cash flow problems from time to time and urgently need working capital. Many business owners immediately think of the bank or loans when they’re short of money. But there are other resources you can tap before you ask for that expensive overdraft or overdraft extension. The money you need might already be there—locked up in inventory, assets or your debtors’ book. You can often free up…  Read more

8 reasons to switch your business to the cloud

20 years ago IT servers were a case of the bigger the better.  These days it is all about getting your business in the cloud. Check out the top 8 advantages for small businesses switching to cloud computing. Cloud computing is fast becoming the norm because storing information and using software hosted on the Internet has many advantages. 1. Save money (hell yeah!) Traditionally, a small business spends money licensing…  Read more

6 Common Employee Onboarding Mistakes

While most small businesses spend a great deal of time and effort in finding the right employees, they often fail to capitalise on their newly hired talent by ignoring (or not having) an onboarding process.   From long waits for workspace, equipment not being ready, non existent training to an overly negative recitation of ‘don’t do these things or you will be fired,’ employers consistently miss the opportunity to inspire…  Read more

Identify your break-even point

Without knowing your break-even point, you can’t make informed business decisions. Period.  But it can be quite daunting finding this break even point.  Will breakeven be possible, will it be reachable? To cover the costs of your business you need to sell enough goods or services to reach your break-even point. Knowing where that point is, and how long it will take you to reach it, can be fundamental to…  Read more

6 Ways to Improve Your Workplace Productivity

The success of any business, large or small, depends largely on nurturing an efficient and productive workplace. While improving employee productivity should always be a priority, this process is often easier said than done. Below are some of the most effective methods of managing a productive, happy workplace while increasing output. 1. Establish Accountability Productivity depends on every employee understanding that the jobs they do come with specific responsibilities, and…  Read more

Six inspiring marketing successes – from Apple to Avon:

From Mac computers to make-up, here are six examples of super-strong brands that have nailed their marketing.  So what can small business owners like us learn from their marketing success?   If you look at their histories and analyse the pivotal moments, you’ll find parallels and pick up tips on how your business  can follow in their footsteps and stand on the shoulders of giants. 1. Apple’s call to arms…  Read more

It’s time to “Marie Kondo”​ your finances

If I see another “I have Marie Kondo’d my wardrobe” after the recent release of Marie Kondo’s hit Netflix series I think I will lose my mind. So instead of taking that option (as it would be quite the contradictory reaction to the Marie Kondo rule of “Sparking Joy” phenomenon), if you can’t beat them, join them hey? So if you have the time to organise your activewear drawer and fold all…  Read more

Three Ways to Move Beyond a Job Interview

Most people are familiar with a job interview: a nervous candidate meets with an employer, answers a series of questions about their experience, strengths, weaknesses and education, and sometimes takes an aptitude test. Employers have used employment interviews to choose between potential candidates since, well since before I even got my first job which is a long time ago now. But there is only so much you can learn about…  Read more

5 Common Bookkeeping Pitfalls – and How to Avoid Them

Although most entrepreneurs recognise the importance of careful financial management, few want to spend their time dealing with numbers. Unfortunately, not keeping a close eye on your income and expenses can be very costly and stressful for a business owner.     Here are five of the most common bookkeeping pitfalls, and some simple tips for getting back on track.   Mixing business and personal All too often, entrepreneurs adopt…  Read more

How to set payment terms for freelancers and contractors

Following up on late, or god forbid non-paying customers, is no-one’s favourite task. Which is precisely why you need to set clear payment expectations up front – and in writing – before you work with a new clients. “The initial conversation might feel hard, or even icky, but chasing payment down the track with no proof of client acceptance, is even harder (and far more icky).” By communicating and agreeing…  Read more

So you’ve launched your business – now what?

Good news for small business owners: according to the US Small Business Administration, nearly 80% of small businesses survive their first year. However, that number begins to drop as time rolls on. Only half of small businesses pass the five year mark, and a mere third celebrate their tenth anniversary. Taking some positive steps in those early days to create a good foundation in your business is essential for a…  Read more

How to Nail Your Job Description

Too many businesses brush over their job descriptions, and then wonder why they get so many unqualified applicants. Don’t make the same mistake. Let me give you some tips so you can write job descriptions that attract the best candidates (ie. the ones you actually want on your team).   Rule Number 1. Don’t Exaggerate Companies know that attracting the best job candidates means they have to sell their company’s…  Read more

MYOB Partner Connect 2018 – Just Getting There Was A Challenge!

Attending a work related conference takes a lot of considerations.  It is not just the cost of the event itself, but also the time away from your business, the work you need to do afterward to play catch up, the time away from family, having someone change their schedule to look after the kids/pets and the most important thing for me – will it even be worth all the hassle…  Read more

What to do if you fall out with your business partners

A business partnership can be a lot like a marriage, and the comparison holds true when things go pear shaped when the end of a partnership can feel a lot like divorce. And generally not in an amicable way. When business partners fall out, the consequences can be quite drastic.  It will be stressful, friendships will be tested (and some will end) and you will start to question why you…  Read more

Family business – yay or nay?

Ever dreamed of starting a family business? Investing in a start-up opportunity with friends? Starting a business from scratch with your mates? Can a family business stand the test of time? Businesses owned and operated by families can have incredible staying power. Volkswagen, Samsung, and Nike – all family-owned companies – are among the world’s most successful, leading brands. “Working with family can be the best, but it can be…  Read more

Time for a business credit card – but where do you start?

It can be a challenge for new business owners to find a bank that will approve them for even a small business loan. Most will see a startup company as too high a risk to qualify for corporate lending. A credit card can serve as a short term solution for small scale financing, offering entrepreneurs a “foot in the door” with a lender. Think of it as a chance to…  Read more

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