Looking to improve business performance?

Looking to improve business performance?

Here are ten ways to make sure that you continue to drive through each business quarter with purpose, vision and the courage to super-charge your business.

1. Eliminate distractions: Time is the scarcest resource and biggest killer for most businesses. When we get busy we can also get distracted and focus too much time and energy on the wrong things. Be brave – slash standard meeting times, reduce unnecessary admin and delegate roles and responsibilities.

2. Say goodbye to bad customers: If possible in your business, get rid of ten time-wasters, bad payers, or customers who cause you pain. You will feel instant relief and spend your time better elsewhere.

3. Invest More: Having freed up time and headspace from deploying points one and two above, make sure you ring-fence time, key people, and money for some of the initiatives below. Redeploy with passion!

4. Get a Plan: You don’t go on a journey without a map or any idea of where you’re headed – so why fly blind with your business? Have a planning process, create a kick-arse plan – and execute. We can help you get started.

5. Surround yourself with positivity: Make sure the people in your business understand and share your vision. Bring them onboard, listen to them and give them ownership. Don’t let people who don’t get it, or don’t care, be a millstone around your neck. If they’re not right, do them a favour and free up their futures.

6. Use Technology: Technology can help you decrease admin, improve comms, improve reporting and accountability. Whether it’s for team communication or cloud accounting, slash paper and automate where possible.

7. Keep on top of the numbers: Do you have enough information to monitor business cashflow and see emerging trends? We can help you identify the metrics to track on a regular basis, in order to run your business efficiently.

8. Be Different: Break the mould and position yourself to attract ambitious, growing and engaged clients, and employees.

9. Deploy Marketing: Create a simple marketing plan to increase reach and penetration. Set aside a budget to treat this seriously. Start by making sure you really understand your customers. Existing customers are prospects too, keeping them happy is your first step. The more you know about them, the easier it will be to attract more of the same.

10. Take a break: Don’t underestimate the time you have away from your business. It can allow you to come back refreshed with new enthusiasm and inspiration for the way forward.

Lisa Martin Nominee for Top 50 Women in Accounting 2019

A MASSIVE congratulations to Lisa Martin on being named a Nominee in the Top 50 Women in Accounting for 2019.

We are so proud of Lisa and her achievements, not only professionally but personally. Lisa strives for excellence and wants to enable budding Accountants and Bookkeepers to deliver top quality, best practice accounting solutions to business owners. Lisa is passionate about providing change and really valuable information to business owners so they can make the best business decisions.

Congratulations again Lisa – you really are a top accounting superhero <3.

Do you know what you don’t know?

Do you know what you don’t know? 

The Knowledge Pie depicts the proportion of what we know, what we know we don’t know, and what we don’t even know we don’t know. What will you do this year to extend your knowledge?

There’s a simple concept called The Knowledge Pie.

This concept segments one’s personal knowledge into three key areas; what we know, what we know that we don’t know, and what we don’t know that we don’t know. You might want to read that again.

An example to better explain: Jane, a young qualified plumber and business owner, knows how to do plumbing. She also knows that she does not know how to do a Tax Return… or orthopedic surgery. However, she doesn’t know that she does not know that if she tightened her Terms of Trade and debtor management policy, she’d get paid faster and improve her cashflow, making her business life less stressful and more successful.

No-one knows what they don’t know.

Many people think this ‘cluelessness’ is a lack of experience thing that affects young people… but everyone, even experts, are completely unaware of what they don’t know that they don’t know.

Imagine the average pie for any person… it could be lemon meringue or steak and cheese – you choose. Now, cut your pie in half and cut one half in half again (creating two quarters). One quarter represents what you know, one quarter represents what you know you don’t know, and the half represents what you don’t even know that you don’t know.

How do I learn about what I don’t know even know that I don’t know?

Some ways to grow your knowledge this year:

  1. Join a new network.
  2. Do some volunteer work.
  3. Get a mentor or coach.
  4. Coach or mentor someone else!
  5. Collaborate with someone that brings different skills and knowledge to the party.
  6. Learn a new skill – it could be pottery, coding, or the ancient art of tai chi.
  7. Visit a new place, town, or country; immerse yourself in the history, culture, and language.
  8. Subscribe to a new magazine, publication or podcast.
  9. Read books on different subjects.

Growing your knowledge can grow your business.

The fact is that for all of us there is much more that we don’t even know we don’t know than what we actually know. Breathe. It’s ok.

Next fact: we will be more successful in life and business if we remain open to new learning, and learning extensions and distinctions on what we already know.

Avoid having an ‘I know’ mentality about the things you do know about.

Some people close their minds when hearing about a topic they have knowledge of. They may assume that they know it all. But we can always know more… and if we shut ourselves down to new learning, we could miss an important distinction that could make a big difference.

Get in touch if you’re interested in how we can help you extend yourself this year.

“Those who keep learning, will keep rising in life.” – Charles Munger

Understanding who your customers are is essential for your business

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.

Making the 2021 Financial Year the Best Yet With GoFi8ure

Making the 2021 Financial Year the Best Yet With GoFi8ure 

Most business owners would agree that the best accounting situation is wherein their financial statements are managed properly and tax returns are filed timely – all without expending long hours. With GoFi8ure, even small businesses can accomplish their mandatory, lengthy to-do lists without mentally taxing themselves with all the demands of financial management.

GoFi8ure ensures entrepreneurs a fast and efficient way of handling accounting tasks before starting the 2021 financial year.

Working alongside trained accountants, businesses’ administrative tasks and expenditures are cut in half. GoFi8ure can professionally take care of one’s invoicing, bank and cashbook reconciliation, GST, financial records management, expenses and creditor management, wages, periodic management accounts, and annual accounts for tax returns.

It is legally required for New Zealand businesses to file their tax summaries for the income earned within the previous financial year. And, understandably, even small businesses will lack the capacity and time to do these themselves. As reliable tax agents, GoFi8ure can take care of one’s filing requirements to make sure tax returns are filed on or before the expected date of filing.

More than just filing tax returns, GoFi8ure is capable to provide businesses valuable administration knowledge. As a Xero partner, GoFi8ure offers one-on-one Xero and bookkeeping training to businesses wherever they are located. GoFi8ure can travel to Wellington, Hutt Valley, Wairarapa, Auckland, and Dunedin for the one-one-one training using real-life data while also providing cloud-based services nationwide for those who are farther away.

Xero training is customised to suit a business’ specific requirements. This allows businesses to remain hands-on when it comes to running the business smoothly this coming financial year.

Achieving financial freedom

Achieving financial freedom 

Financial freedom means having enough money to live your desired lifestyle. Is your business allowing you to hit key financial milestones such as buying a house or taking a holiday?

When you started in business, what did you imagine your lifestyle would be? How does your current lifestyle compare?

Many business owners assume that after a few years in business they should be able to achieve another financial milestone such as buying a house, upgrading the car or taking the family on an epic holiday. Reality may be different.

Is financial stress common in your business?
You invested a significant amount of cash in the early days with the aim of getting a great return on your investment. Perhaps you’re busy focusing on profit, assuming that will mean more money in the bank, when what matters even more is cashflow. After all, you need enough cash to pay your team and suppliers, invest in new business assets and pay yourself.

Achieving financial freedom means having enough money for you to live your desired lifestyle. We can help you understand the difference between profit and cashflow and help you implement strategies to improve your cashflow so you’ll have more money in the bank – both the business’s account and your own!

What does financial freedom look like for you?
It might mean paying off the mortgage early, taking an extended holiday, or just having financial security in retirement. First, you need to define what you want financially from your business.

How much money does your business need to provide to you so you can live your desired life? Start with what you want over the coming 12 months. We can then help you break this down, so you know the revenue and sales targets you need to achieve to hit the magic number.

We’ll then help you develop a plan, so you know the actions you must take to achieve your targets. We can even hold you accountable to completing these actions so you achieve your overarching financial goals and desired lifestyle.

What will your lifestyle look like in 12 months if you continue with business as usual?
Compare this to what your lifestyle would look like if you implement a plan, with clear targets, and accountability to ensure you achieve your goals. Get in touch and try something different this year!

“Real wealth is not about money… real wealth is about freedom.” – James Clear

How to manage sustainable growth

How to manage sustainable growth

The differences between those that grow profitably and sustainably, and those that disappear without a trace, are usually clear. What may not be clear are the differences between the runaway success stories and those that get stuck.

Expansion for expansion’s sake is not sustainable. Deciding you want to grow by 14 or 20 percent a year means you’re chasing numbers, instead of chasing your core purpose. And if you’re not focusing on your core purpose, you will lose your way.

If a company grows at 15 percent pa, it will double in size every five years. A $10m company that grows at 25 percent pa for 12 years will have turnover of $144m. That’s a massively different company. To survive it needs to have a clear focus on what it’s doing, why – and how.

People

Everything rests on your people. If you don’t have the right people, your business will be consumed by personnel issues, making it difficult to focus on anything else.

Strategy

When revenue is not growing as you would like, or is slowing, it is time to re-address your strategy. What are you selling, who are you selling it to and where are you selling it? What is your core ideology? Why do you do what you do?

Execution

If revenue is increasing, but profit isn’t following suit, you need to look at how you’re executing your strategy. Do your annual plan, quarterly plan and personal plans align to your goals? Do they help your team align to the company’s priorities?

Cash

It may seem obvious, but too many would-be growth companies don’t have the cash they need. Growth sucks cash – will you have enough cash to grow? Cash is oxygen to a company; knowing your cash conversion cycles and improving them is vital to let your company breathe and grow.

GoFi8ure on Setting Financial Resolutions to Start the New Year Right

GoFi8ure on Setting Financial Resolutions to Start the New Year Right

Concluding the year means wrapping up tax returns and keeping financial statements up to date. This way, business owners can welcome the New Year with a brand-new slate. To help, GoFi8ure shares some important financial resolutions that businesses should stick to for an uncomplicated and stress-free New Year.

  1. Set realistic budgets

Business owners who are planning to expand in the new year should first look into their company budget. A good first step is to review expenses with a professional accountant, and see if expansion is even viable in the first place. There may be instances where one business needs to trim expenses and set a more realistic budget to improve cash flow first. Whether that is in the form of examining operations, inventory, or cutting unneeded personal spending, there are many ways to significantly influence a company’s cash flow and financial position.

  1. Become more organised

Accounting can be time-consuming and difficult to manage, especially when businesses don’t have great record keeping. This could easily lead to losses if one does not keep files and records organised. Losing cash slips and encoding the wrong data will influence profitability. GoFi8ure recommends investing in professional help. Professionals specialise in handling time-consuming accounting tasks, so it is a valuable investment that will likely outweigh the costs in the long-term.

  1. Always be one step ahead

Complacency will never work when running a business. Businesses that are planning to apply for a business loan will need to provide tax returns, and this means businesses need to file them early on to obtain a stronger position, in order to get loan approval. A major plus is also utilising a reliable accounting software—such as Xero—so one can review and keep financials up-to-date.

P is for purpose, not profit

P is for purpose, not profit

Why does your business exist?

Your purpose is roughly three to seven words explaining why your business exists for your customers. Your purpose should be about THEM, not you. It is a small statement, with immense power.

EXAMPLES:
Tesla: To accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy.
Walt Disney: To make people happy.
TED: Spread ideas.

These may be big company examples, but a clear purpose statement is just as important for small and medium sized business.

A defined purpose statement is the antidote to narcissistic by-lines of the past… because we know that consumers are wired to take a self-interest and therefore will engage your business if your why resonates with them. Thereafter, your purpose will drive alignment of values and loyalty.

If you don’t focus on purpose, you’re likely to focus on profit.

Guess what? Your customers aren’t interested in you making a profit. They’re too worried about their own profit. They’re more than happy for you to make a profit… provided you meet their needs first.

The correlation between a business’s ability to serve a higher purpose and stronger financial performance has been proven. So, defining your purpose is a smart business strategy.

It comes down to engagement; with your team and your customers.

Numerous studies have told us that a strong sense of purpose drives employee satisfaction, which will help to improve customer loyalty.

Articulating your business’s purpose to your team allows them to see that they are contributing to something bigger than themselves. Linking your purpose to their tasks and responsibilities allows them to see their connection to the outcome; how their role is attributing to the overall vision of the business – how they are impacting your customers’ lives.

If we focus on meeting (and exceeding) customer needs, better profitability will be a by-product.

It’s essentially internal marketing; to achieve buy in and alignment from the team; providing motivation to deliver on your purpose whilst breeding loyalty.

Getting clear on your purpose will also transform your other marketing. Being able to clearly articulate why you exist for your customers in your marketing will tie customers to your brand and make them more inclined to refer you to others. When that new customer does their due diligence, i.e. they stalk your website and social media, it’s more likely they’ll develop an emotional connection to your business and buy from you.

Your purpose must first be defined by the leaders.

Only when your purpose is crystal clear can you articulate to your team and then your customers and target audience.

Having a clear purpose is also about sustainability. There is mounting evidence that in these times of change and disruption, having a clear purpose will improve a business’s ability to transform and adapt.

So, what’s your purpose? Need help defining it? We can help.

“People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.” – Simon Sinek

Be, Do, Have

Be, Do, Have  

Are you grinding away in your business waiting for rewards that will enable you to be  a better parent/partner/friend? Stop! Be that better person now.

Our success in life depends largely on our mindset. Those who wait until conditions are perfect are unlikely to achieve their goals as they’re always waiting for the right time and never take that first step.

There are three small words whose order can heavily influence the outcomes we achieve: be, do, and have. After deciding on your goals, the next step is to consider who you need to be in order to achieve your goals, rather than what you need to do.

Compare the following sentences:

“When I have a more profitable business, I’ll do great things with my family and be a great partner and parent… first I need to work a bit harder to sort out my business and finish these projects, then everything will fall into place.”

“In order to be a great partner and parent, I need to work smarter so I can have more time with my family.”

Now, if this resonates with you, how can you work smarter?

When you focus on who you need to be first, you’ll start to prioritise doing things in a way which is consistent with that role. The things you’ll have as a result become the bi-product of who you are. In contrast, if we wait to achieve what we think we must have in order to be a better person, we risk never changing our habits.

So, who do you really want to be? Start being that person today. Think like that person, speak like that person, and act like that person.

Let the be drive what you do from now on. You’ll be amazed at how quickly you’ll get what you want (the have).

“You’ve got to be before you can do, and do before you can have.” – Zig Ziglar

Do you need perspective on how you can work smarter? We can help!