Understanding who your customers are is essential for your business
Successful businesses really understand their customers.
Knowing your target audience is half the battle when it comes developing successful marketing activities.
When you understand the specific characteristics and needs of your customer base, you can deliver your solution at the right price, in the right place and in their language.
Learn more about your customers and you will be ahead of your competition in no time. This will save you time and money in the long run. It’s about going slowly now to go quickly later. By answering the following questions, you will be able to both identify and unlock the potential of your customers.
What types of customers do you want?
Analyse the different types of buyers for your products and determine which are likely to be the most valuable to your business, these are the customers you will want to focus on.
What revenue do you want them to bring?
Project the likely revenue so you can set a reasonable cost to acquire them.
Understanding your customer and the role your product plays in their lives
- Use surveys and questionnaires
- Look at comments or frequently asked questions
- Use social media
- Segment your customers based on buying behaviour
How do you reach them – What channels are they using every day?
Different demographic groups tend to favour different types of media, so detailed knowledge of your customer base will help you in devising a marketing campaign to reach them.
How do you acquire them as customers?
Your marketing goals will determine what approach you take for campaigns. Consider the following factors:
- Campaign timetable
- Campaign budget
- Relevant audience
Knowing and understanding your customers is key to successful business and can give you a profitable advantage. Take some time to understand your valued clients and you’ll be more likely to succeed in attracting more.
Read more about understanding and attracting new customers here.
What do you need to do to get ready for the New Financial Year?
For many the 31st of March feels like a huge milestone on the calendar. It can be a busy and frenetic time, and can feel even more stressful for business owners. Add to that Easter and it feels overwhelming! However the end of financial year process need not be a painful one! Read on to find out how.
A recent US study found 69% of adults attribute their stress to “money-related” issues and, as the End of the Financial Year (EOFY) draws near, it is typical for thoughts of money and dreaded taxes to dominate our mental space and drive us to despair.
To help take some of the pressure off GoFi8ure has prepared some simple steps for you to follow in your accounting software so that EOFY feels more manageable:
Step 1: Gather your paperwork aka “source documents”
The more information/paperwork you give to your Accountant, the less time they need to spend chasing you (which costs time and money).
Go through your files and emails and collate your source documents (Statements, Invoices, Receipts etc) for your accounts.
Paperwork includes at a minimum bank, credit card, loan statements as at the 31.3.2019, copies of all fixed asset invoices purchased during the last financial year, GST work papers and returns/receipts to IR, year to date payroll records, ACC invoices, insurances and premiums, legal, repairs and maintenance, lease expenses, finance agreements, use of home office, out of pocket expenses and year to date personal tax information if you are a shareholder. Depending on the complexity of your accounts you may need to provide more examples of source documents. Your Accountant will ask for these so be prepared.
Tip: Use Xero’s File Library to upload all of your paperwork/source documents as PDFs. It is really easy to do and your Accountant will love you for it.
- On the top left hand side click on the company name
- Click on the Files option
- Create a new folder called EOFY2019
- Label each file with a clear name. For example: 00 Savings Bank Statement 31.3.2019 or ACC Levy Invoice etc
- Upload labelled files into the electronic folder – it is that easy! This will keep everything your Accountant needs in one easy to view/access location in the cloud
Step 2: Complete a Stock Take / Stock Valuation
If you are carrying stock, you are required to do a stock take to record how much and the “value” you have on hand as at the 31st of March 2019. The figures should be at cost, excluding GST. It is important when you are dealing with stock that you use the best tools available. Whatever tracking system you use, make sure you have the right software to support it. If you are currently using Excel spreadsheets to manage your inventory, you may want to consider moving to a cloud based inventory system like Unleashed.
An effective, easy-to-use inventory system eliminates human error that can occur whilst using Excel. Inventory software gives you real-time inventory control and reporting. It also helps you to understand your product margins and provides you with important information to help you make better decisions based on real-time, accurate profit reporting.
Step 3: Round up those overdue invoices and debt collect
Review your Aged Receivables detail report and identify all invoices that are 30+ days overdue. Once this has been done make one final determined effort to collect the debt before the 31st of March. If you have exhausted all avenues for collecting unpaid invoices and do not envisage collecting them at any point in the future, you can write off the outstanding invoices to a bad debt expense. Contact us to find out how.
Tip: If you are going to write off any outstanding invoices; make sure to apply a credit note against the invoice owing. We do not recommend using the “void” option in your accounting software.
Step 4: Review Creditors entered and reconcile to Supplier Statements
Do you have outstanding supplier invoices showing on your ledger? Are you confident that these are correct? GoFi8ure recommends that you reconcile all creditors to supplier statements and balances before the 31st of March to ensure any missing invoices are received and entered into Xero. You may find that some suppliers have in fact been paid, however, the payment was not allocated against the supplier invoice. If this has happened it is important to correct it soon as possible.
Need help actioning a creditors reconciliation? Send us a message so we can help.
Tip: If you are disputing an account or are no longer paying an invoice then you should apply to the supplier for a credit note and once received reconcile the credit note to the invoice in your ledger (creditors reconciliation). If you would like accounting support please contact us.
Now is the time to make the conscious decision to take action with steps 1-4. If you would like GoFi8ure to take your end of year stress away and do these steps for you, get in touch with us today via email or call us on 0800 463 488 and quote End of Financial Year Help.
Women in Business on Fire
Lisa’s key messages are that when goal setting there are always further goals to achieve and that self-actualization is important to try and achieve. On digital disruption within the accounting industry, she is riding the way with her firm offering innovative products. Lisa understands the reason why for her business as well as the importance of goal setting! What goals are you setting for your business? We can help! please a comment and we will be in touch! #communityovercompetition
Congratulations to GoFi8ure’s Managing Director Tania Hayes on completing the Taxation Toolkit through the Career Academy
At GoFi8ure we pride ourselves on consistently up-skilling and staying at the forefront of tax and accounting legislation and compliance. Another KPI ticked and achieved!
Check out this amazing feedback Tania received from her tutor.
Tax Fundamentals – Introduction
Hello Tania, thank you for submitting your Tax Fundamentals assessment for grading. You have done an excellent job at this assignment and I am impressed with your knowledge in this topic. I have left a few comments in your feedback files about a few extra information not in the course material if you want to go deeper into residency and DTAs. Keep up the awesome work and we look forward to your next assessment.
Tax Fundamentals – Income & Deductions
Hello Tania, thank you for submitting your Allowable Deductions assessment for grading. You have done an excellent job at this assignment and I am impressed with your knowledge. I have left a few comments and some of the situations in this assessment in terms of tax planning. Keep up the awesome work and we look forward to your next submission.
Tania, this is a brilliant submission. All the income and expenses transactions were accurately captured under payments basis. Along with that you successfully managed to calculate GST payable. I am pleased with your progress in your course. Keep firing the assessments in to us!
Tax Fundamentals – Tax Calculation & Return Preparation
Hello Tania, thank you for going over my comments and amending your assessment. I am very impressed that you sorted out couple of those issues. Now I can see that you understand Provisional Tax. Keep up the awesome work and we look forward to your next assessment.
Grade: Pass with Distinction
Phenomenal work Tania and thanks for completing your assessment. From your submission, you have provided excellent calculations and I can see that you have put in a wonderful amount of effort into this assessment. Additionally, your work demonstrates that you have an in-depth understanding of this topic. Congratulations on passing your assessment and keep up the amazing drive throughout your course. I look forward to seeing another awesome submission from you soon.
Look Through Companies
Grade: Pass with Distinction
Well done with your submission for LTC’s Tania – it was interesting for me to read how simple you made this sound whilst still being accurate. You really broke down the fundamentals of LTC’s whilst displaying very good knowledge of the basics of this concept!! Great work on your part and I look forward to further work coming through from you as you progress towards your qualification with us!
Grade: Pass with Distinction
You have a definite style in your explanations Tania that makes it clear to the reader that you are sure of your facts – it is easy to see your application of the theory in your explanations and you take it to the next level by providing examples throughout your answers which is really nice to see. Thanks for your efforts here Tania and again it is my pleasure to be able to provide you with your passing grade!
How to create a transformational strategy for 2019
How was 2018 for your business? Did you have a great year and achieve all your goals? Or did you just stay afloat? If you would like a more successful year in 2019, now is the time to think about implementing a transformational change strategy.
In the business world, transformational change requires a business making radical changes in their business model, often requiring changes in company structure, culture and management. Companies may undergo transformational change in response to crisis, or in order to re-position themselves in the market. Transformational change also occurs in response to changes in technology, or as companies adapt to take advantage of new business models.
Truth is, when a dramatic shift in consumer behaviour or a new competitor enters the market, transformational change becomes a matter of survival if a business is going to be able to keep up with competition and move forward. As we all know, many business transformations fail. In a recent McKinsey Quarterly survey, only 38% of leaders believed their transformation had a “completely” or “mostly successful” impact on business performance.
There are 3 core parts to achieving a successful, effective transformational strategy. They are:
3. Process of Change
The way in which change is planned, designed, and implemented, how it unfolds, its road map, governance, and course corrections.
So you want transformational change for your business, where do you start? Here are a few things to consider and think about when creating the business you want:
- Magic wand time – If you were to achieve the business or personal goals of your dreams, what would that outcome look like? Your business should be able to provide you with the lifestyle and business you desire. Be very specific as you imagine exactly what your outcome would look like in terms of work, health, family, love life, finances, and also in fun.
- Entry points – These are the means of moving away from the “find it, fix it” modes of solving problems and moving towards the first steps that would advance you towards a new goal. For example, saying “I’ll get fit when my business is thriving and profitable” is a “find it and fix it” approach. But what about finding a way to begin steps in the right direction towards greater health and fitness right away, beginning today?
- The driving force of your values – What are the values that define you most heavily when you run into a stumbling point or a roadblock? Which ones represent your finest and highest priorities and goals? It is important to use these values as a roadmap for your desired destination, the author maintains.
- Speedbumps, detours and roadblocks – Many times on the path to dramatic achievements we feel stopped or entirely stuck. These are chances to cast our occurrences into a broader light for further reflection on what these experiences are meant to teach us, and how we can use these obstacles to help us instead of slowing down or preventing our ability to achieve remarkable goals.
- The power of your vision – The expression “If you can’t see it, you can’t be it” holds strong weight. It is vital to understand exactly what your outcome will look like. Using a Vision Board can be a useful exercise for this. Have you ever sat down and thought about what you really want your business to look like? What do you desire?
- Acknowledging where the gap is – What is out of alignment that is standing between you and your goal? How could you reconcile this chasm? Instead of fearing or resenting the space between you and your desired achievement, learn to “lean in” to that empty space and take steps, knowing that you will require time and help and even without the exact knowledge of how you are going to get to the goal. Now it becomes achievable. What are your gaps and what can you do to fill them?
- Software and tools that add value – This one is an important one to consider. There are always ways to be more efficient and effective with your business by having the right software and processes in place. Take your accounts for example – are you able to get the right data and information from them? Are your accounting processes seamless or are they causing you stress? According to Xero, there was a 24.9% growth in New Zealanders getting onto Xero. Image how well your business could do with the right tools in place.
Tip: Use a hybrid model – During a transformational change effort, acceptance hinges on hybrid methods that tailor the tactics and solutions to the people, processes, tools and infrastructure components.
To find out more about how GoFi8ure can help with your internal accounting processes, systems and software requirements, send us a message or call us on 0800 463 488.
Donating to charity not only supports the vital work of an organisation but also has positive side-effects when claiming tax deductions.
Donating to charity not only supports the vital work of an organisation or group, but it can have positive side-effects when it comes to claiming tax deductions. To be eligible for a tax credit, you need to make sure that your contributions meet certain conditions, and that you’re making a legitimate claim.
In general, when a charity is an approved donee organisation or registered as a ‘deductible gift recipient’ (DGR), and you donate over a certain amount, you can claim a tax deduction. You can find out if a charity is a DGR organisation by checking their website, calling them, or searching the register for charities.
But, be careful. There’s a difference between making a donation and making a contribution. When you’re making a donation, you must be doing so willingly, without receiving any ‘material advantage’. This means that you can’t be getting anything in return for your cash. So no chocolate bars, no raffle tickets, no movie tickets and no fancy dinners. If you receive anything after handing over your cash, then this is considered a contribution, and you should not claim this as a tax deduction.
Other situations which are commonly misunderstood to be donations are membership fees, expenses incurred by providing volunteer work (or the value of the time spent doing that work), donating gift vouchers, or money donated through a will.
The last two things you need to know are that a tax deduction for most gifts is claimed in the tax return for the income year in which the gift is made. However, in some circumstances, you can spread the tax deduction over five income years. And, just like any other tax deduction you’re hoping to claim, you’ll need to get and keep the receipt for your donation.
The tax department sometimes demands repayment for ineligible deductions. So, as with all things tax, it’s best to avoid penalties by checking in the with the experts.
Talk to us about your charitable donations and ensure you keep receipts for the payments you have made.
The key function of a Director is to maximise shareholder value. How much time are you dedicating to working ON your business? And, who is holding you accountable to fulfilling this role effectively?
Most business owners know that every member of their team needs a Job Description, which should include:
- Clearly outlined responsibilities and tasks
- Some specific and measurable KPIs (Key Performance Indicators)
- A set of clear expectations around core competencies and behaviour
When a Job Description is clearly documented, it’s much easier to monitor and measure performance. However, as logical as this seems, many business owners fail to do this for their own role as Director of the business.
So, as Director, what should be in your Job Description?
The most important function of a Director is to maximise shareholder value. This means carrying out activities that drive up returns and business value; by working smarter, not harder.
Your key responsibilities include setting the vision and strategy, managing and mitigating risks, growing the business, establishing the right business structure and holding the CEO (who may also be a Director) to account.
How much time are you dedicating to working ON your business?
To give a general indication… as Director, you should spend an hour or two every week working ON the business. In addition to that, every quarter you should dedicate half a day to ongoing strategy planning and take one to two days every year for an annual off-site planning session or retreat. This is to remove yourself from day to day distractions to do some serious ‘blue sky thinking’.
As Director, you still need accountability.
Appoint someone independent to ensure you adopt best practice as a Director. There are several ways to get accountability. You could establish a quarterly advisory board (with an independent chairperson). Or, you could engage an experienced facilitator to coach you regularly to ensure you’re meeting your objectives. Having an independent accountability process in place will ensure better planning, better decision making and faster progress.
Remember, you’re not exempt from meeting the requirements of your Director role. Like every other role in your business, you need a Job Description for your role as Director, and it should have clear responsibilities and tasks with KPIs so that you can monitor and improve performance.
So, if you do not already have a Job Description, set that as an important task, with a due date, and start thinking about who will hold you accountable.
When choosing an Accountant, it is important to check if they belong to an industry association. GoFi8ure are proud to be a member with ATAINZ. All members of the Accountants and Tax Agents Institute of New Zealand promise to professionally, ethically, and willingly look after the taxation needs of their clients.
You can find out more about ATAINZ here.
#values #bestpractice #awardwinning #industrystandards #brandequity
GoFi8ure able to help with Xero training for the New Financial Year
It is generally accepted that preparation for the financial year can start from as early as February, to as late as July or August. Getting a head start can help businesses avoid rushing and making miscalculations.
The end of a financial year is a great time to take a look at business from a broad perspective, and see what worked and what didn’t. Companies have the chance to do activities such as segmenting expenditures and revenues into separate groups. Reviewing tax returns and other related processes is also a great step toward getting prepared for the new financial year.
Creating a calendar is also a common tactic to help businesses flourish instead of flounder at critical turning points. This includes creating deadlines, and sorting tasks by their priority. Such tasks could include creating a system for dealing with batch emails, creating templates for sending replies or inquiries, and delegating bank processes to automated accounting software.
Another great practice is to settle the cash flow system early. As one of the most important facets of a business, keeping a healthy cash flow is important, in order to avoid funds bottlenecking at a time a company needs them the most. Xero training can help a company’s employees track and manage their cash flow better.
Budget checks are another important stage for monitoring business’ finances. After designing a cash flow stream, companies need to allocate their resources intelligently. Creating a budget plan for the business will ensure that a lot of important sectors of the business are covered.
Technology is ever-changing, and a good business should stay up-to-date. Budget plans usually include spending for good software and new technologies, like digitising their transactions and accounting processes. It could also be used to purchase new hardware for accounting software – investing in this is a big help to companies in taking their business to the next level.
Let GoFi8ure help you set up new processes like Xero training to get ahead! Visit our website at https://gofi8ure.co.nz/ and find out how!