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.

Xero Reporting: Drilling down into your numbers

Xero Reporting: Drilling down into your numbers

Knowing the status of your finances is a vital part of running your business successfully – and with Xero reporting it’s incredibly easy to run key financial reports at any time.

With a wide range of standard and custom report templates, you’ll get a better view of your profit margins, your cash position and how expenses are affecting your bottom line.

Real-time reporting at your fingertips

Cash is king when it comes to business success, so having Xero’s real-time reporting at your fingertips means you can control your cash flow, your aged debt and your profitability.

With Xero’s easy reporting tools you can:

  • Run a Profit And Loss report and see how your business is performing over time
  • Review your Aged Receivables so you can understand who’s not paying invoices
  • Dip into the Cash Summary and get more control over your operating expenses

Talk to us about getting more from Xero Reporting

If you are want to get in real control of your numbers, we can with you to set up simple, customisable reporting templates – giving you the key financials you need. Find out more by sending us a message.

Why use Xero? The benefits of cloud accounting

Why use Xero? The benefits of cloud accounting

Xero offers your business a simple, yet powerful, way to manage all your finances in the cloud.

With Xero as your core finance system, you get real control over every element of running your business, from basic bookkeeping right through to efficient online invoicing, live bank feeds and detailed financial reporting. And that’s not all…

A beautiful business platform

Xero is also a fully functioning business platform, with an open architecture that lets you plug in online payment solutions, time-tracking apps or job-management tools. So whatever sector you are in, there is a range of apps to customise your Xero system.

With Xero as your cloud platform you get:

  • A mobile way to check your numbers 24/7 – with online access from any device
  • A paper-free office environment – with secure storage of your documents in the cloud
  • An all-in-one cloud platform – with a host of features, apps and third-party solutions

Find out more about the benefits of cloud in this Xero TV video

Talk to us about switching to Xero

If you want an accounting system that is also a highly flexible business platform for running your company in the cloud, talk to us about switching to Xero.

 

External Solutions for Inside Opportunities

External Solutions for Inside Opportunities

Outsourcing is where a business contracts out a business process to a third party. Often though, outsourcing is simply thought of as a way to save costs – that is, outsourcing allows us to produce a good or service cheaper than we can produce it ourselves. However, that is not the ONLY value, or opportunity you can tap into, that outsourcing provides.

Outsourcing is not a new solution, but it is one that is either not used due to fear the job will not be done right, or is used with overseas suppliers as they charge $2 an hour. However, higher outsourcing costs are still far cheaper than employee costs (which we will discuss in more detail later) and, you pay for what you get. So, make sure you research local New Zealand outsourcing providers first who, yes, do charge more than overseas suppliers, but will provide a much superior result – and to a standard which meets New Zealand laws and regulations.

At GoFi8ure, instead of offering “outsourcing”, we offer “External Solutions for Inside Opportunities”. Why? Because it really highlights the services and value that we can add for a business from the outside in “external solutions”, AND we work alongside our clients “inside” their business to drive best results and open the door to many new “opportunities” for their business.

When you and your current employees are unable to manage the day-to-day business of your company, whilst still working on building the business satisfactorily, it may be time to consider finding an external solution for your accounting functions. So, let’s look at the real benefits an external solution can provide.

The right company can offer you:

Expertise at your side. External solution providers give you full-time knowledge on your team without having to pay for a full-time employee.  By putting your books into the hands of highly-skilled external providers, who understand the best practices and how to properly staff for certain tasks, your job becomes a whole lot easier – and more effective.

Focus on your business. Delegating your business’s accounting functions frees up valuable time that can be put into building and bettering the company.  Back-end office functions can be a heavy distraction from the day-to-day running of things, and having your bookkeeping in-house can lead to a conflict of interests.  Hence, the time-wasters and distractions need to go – out of sight, out of mind.

Reduce the risk of fraud. Most external providers have two sets of eyes reviewing each step, with different levels of staff working on one account. There are steps taken for one employee to review the others work to ensure there are no discrepancies or errors. This also means proper internal controls are set-up to ensure that the flow of information into the accounting system is accurate, timely, classified correctly, and entered into the right accounting period. It also provides a series of checks and balances that help reduce the risk of getting ripped-off.

Quality and efficiency. Efficiency plays a key role in making a great impression towards your clients. Efficiency should be so sharp that your clients should never hesitate to assign major projects to you, as they know the project will be completed to the highest level, but also with a short turn-around. Remember, when it comes to getting an external solution provider on board it is important to remember that quality is always a winner; without quality, good accounting work is never possible.

Save money. The bottom line is that by delegating your accounting operations to a company that lives and breathes those services, you save money, as you are only paying for what you need and the company will not take a week to do the work like an employee might, simply because they are on the payroll and do not want to have nothing to do by having finished the task too quickly! Also, by not using an employee for the job, you will save on paying full-time or part-time wages, as well as save on the lost productivity costs that come along with hiring employees onto the payroll.

And last but not least… Save time! If you are thinking it is time to get an external provider to help with your accounts, it is fair to say accounting probably is not your business’s strength. Any time spent working out the finances could be better spent working on improving your products or services, and whatever it is that YOU do best. Good business people know that time is an asset, and it can be a scarce one for somebody trying to run a successful business. So, it is worth investing your time in doing the things you do well.

Making consistent improvements to make your business better is a conscious choice. Not only must you balance your time, but you must also choose the right area of business – the one which will make the biggest impact – to spend this time working on. If you would like GoFi8ure to help your business run more efficiently, send us an email or call us on 0800 463 488.

Creating More Effectiveness in your Business

Effectiveness in Business

 

 

 

 

 

Do you consider yourself to be effective at work? Although many of us like to think that we are 100% effective, the truth is that most of us have unrecognised weaknesses that impact our effectiveness.

Some businesses seem to barely keep afloat, fumbling from one day’s challenges to the next, whereas other businesses seem to crackle with energy, efficiency and vision. This is no accident – effective businesses use and rely on organisation, oversight and planning to minimise minor disruptions which reduce a company’s ability to grow and prosper.

To improve effectiveness in a company, a business needs to conduct regular performance reviews of both their employees and managers to determine if their methods and techniques are effective and producing results. Ineffective results could easily impact the quality of a company’s services or products, so it is important for any business to make sure that all of their employees and managers are filling their roles effectively.

So, what can you do to help your business run more effectively?

1. Use your time more effectively
In a nutshell, time is money – or the potential to make money. The more time you waste on inefficient activities, the less free time you have to spend doing productive activities that will help your business grow.

Michael Gerber, in his world-famous book ‘The E-myth revisited – Why most small businesses fail and what to do about it’, stresses that one of the reasons businesses fail is that the owners spend too much time on day to day tasks. So if you are a business owner, it is vitally important to spend enough time steering your ship in the right direction.

2. Consolidate tasks and remain focused
It is scientifically proven that you are more productive when you focus for an extended period on completing one task instead of multiple activities and tasks, as the “white noise” of a large number of tasks overlapping and interrupting each other is distracting. An easy way for business owners to accomplish this strategy is by consolidating, or batching, tasks that require similar processes and invest all their focus on this one consolidated task.

3. Automate processes and workflows
Small businesses often get bogged down with repetitive tasks. Did you know that you can likely automate many of your frequent tasks? Many small businesses fear automation because of the upfront expense or its possible effect on employee jobs. However, automating repetitive steps in your sales, production or distribution process can increase your bottom line and free up your employees to work on other, more critical areas.

Successfully running a business requires a great deal of time, energy, money, and other resources. If you want to increase your chances for success, focus on being as efficient as possible. If you would like to find out how GoFi8ure can help your business run more effectively, send us a message today.

 

 

Are you executing your business strategy?

Are you executing your business strategy?

Execution is an easy concept to talk about, but it can be a hard one to… well… execute. The main problem is that it is a real challenge to measure and manage a concept.

If we are honest about it, “Gut-level” decision making is a practice of the past. With so many amazing tools and software resources available, you can now have access to all the organisational data you would ever need to inform and guide your decision-making process.

When Warehouse Stationery asked their BizReward customers what they wish they had known about before going into business, almost half of the respondents said accounting and finances (49%).

This was followed by:

  • Marketing and advertising (39%);
  • Business development (38%);
  • Technology (33%), and;
  • Relevant regulations (25%).

Interestingly, when people were asked what they wish they knew more about now, the same top five appeared, just in a slightly different order; however, accounting was still number one.

There are two components that help with executing your business strategy:

  1. Having the right accounting software – set up, and working, and;
  2. Having the financial knowledge and information available to help make informed business decisions.

The better you understand your business, the easier it is to make decisions – therefore, the easier it will be to make more money. Management decisions rely on a sound understanding of the financial implications for a business. GoFi8ure offers a service which helps enable business owners to fully understand and interpret their numbers, so they have a strong foundation on which to grow their business.

How many of these questions can you answer, with confidence?

  1. How much profit have I made this year?
  2. Why has my profit increased, but I have no cash?
  3. Is my cash level increasing, or decreasing?
  4. What is affecting my cash level?

Any time is a good time to improve your understanding of your financial reports to improve business performance.  The sooner you start executing your plan, the sooner you will have a better understanding of financial results and their implications, and the more control you will have over outcomes.

Are you confident you have the right software and tools in place to help you achieve your strategic goals? Today’s technology provides advanced reporting and business analysis capabilities, to help you gain a deeper understanding of business performance, customer preferences and market trends. Your executives and business managers can access performance metrics and analytical reports, enabling them to use this information to work together to set or redesign strategy.

Remember: Failing to plan is planning to fail, and it is vital to plan-ahead to have a successful business. Contact us to book in your complimentary meeting, to discuss how GoFi8ure can proactively help you stick to your plan and achieve business success.

 

How having cloud accounting software can help your business

How having cloud accounting software can help your business

For those who are not very familiar with the concept, the cloud might seem like a scary, ambiguous place where information disappears. In reality, it is anything but that. Cloud computing has a massive array of benefits when it comes to the business world.

With the new Financial Year just around the corner, now is the time to start looking into how your current accounting system or software fits into your 2018 goals and business growth strategy. Getting organised now will help you manage the books faster and more efficiently than ever before.

To sum it up: cloud computing is a way for people and companies to access digital resources (files, music, photos, software, social media, etc.) over the internet. These resources are not stored on your personal or company hard drive. Instead, they are stored on the premises of a cloud computing company.

When it comes to how cloud computing can impact your business, the benefits are abundant. Here are some reasons why you may want to jump on board.  

• Multiple user access: Financial data is available to anyone with login credentials. The company accountant can access the books from their home or office and play a bigger role in the financials of the business.

• Data entry: Cloud accounting software connects to your bank account and other cloud based software. This allows data to automatically flow between the systems, removing the need for as much manual entry.

• Transferring data: You almost never need to transfer data out of the cloud since it is housed in a single location and can be accessed directly through the internet.

• Protecting data: Because the information is not stored locally, there is no risk of losing data in the event of a computer failure.

• Software update: The great thing about the cloud is the updates take place automatically. You always have the most recent version of the software, without being forced to pay extra or go through another installation process.

• Insights: Cloud computing gives business owners’ access to real-time data. This big data can help inform business decisions with real time information which will help you to grow your company in a more productive manner.

 

So what do you think? Do you have a better understanding of all the ins and outs of the cloud? And are you ready to use it for your business? If you are ready to move to the cloud get in touch – we are cloud integration specialists that can help make your transition to the cloud smooth and stress free.

 

GoFi8ure listed as Top 25 Most Popular Accounting and Tax Services for 2017

GoFi8ure listed as Top 25 Most Popular Accounting and Tax Services for 2017. 

Recently GoFi8ure were advised that we made the Top 25 Most Popular Accounting and Tax Services for 2017 through Search4Accountants. How cool is that!

If you are looking for an accounting firm that you can trust, check out our profile by clicking here.

GoFi8ure – in the business of helping you work smarter with better tools, information and advice when you need it.

 

 

 

How to avoid going insane in your business in 2018 eBook

"How to avoid going insane in your business in 2018" GoFi8ure eBook.How to avoid going insane in your business in 2018 GoFi8ure eBook.

As 2017 comes to an end, it is the perfect time to reflect on the year that has been and the new year that is coming.

Click here to download your copy of our complimentary How to avoid going insane in your business in 2018 GoFi8ure eBook. 

From the team at GoFi8ure, we wish you and your loved ones a Merry Christmas and much success for 2018.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Business expenses – are yours legit?

The second in a series of Small Business Basics by Lisa Martin, Executive Director of professional bookkeeping and accounting firm, GoFi8ure.

If you’re running a business you’ll have business expenses – that’s a given. Every so often, usually two or six monthly (to coincide with your GST returns), you’ll have to reconcile these expenses from your bank account to your accounting/bookkeeping software. That’s all fine. However, it might be worth double checking that everything you claim is legitimate.

Amongst your transactions there’ll likely be a good mix of petrol and parking receipts, office stationery, advertising and entertainment (that’s the round of sandwiches you bought at lunchtime when you met with one of your clients). But sometimes, personal expenses can slip through. It could be that you combine a business trip with a visit to see friends and you don’t adjust the business vs personal proportions of your travel claim. Or, you make a personal purchase with your company credit card by mistake and, in the name of keeping things simple, you just put it through under ‘general expenses’ anyway.

You might think these examples are just minor inconsistencies and that they don’t really matter. After all we’re not talking about the claims that some people make which are obviously un-related to business (the British MP famous for claiming to have the moat around his house cleaned springs to mind). But they do matter. You might not have a moat, and you might not be so silly or greedy to put something like that through, but you don’t want to get into the habit of being blasé about what goes through your books. You want every transaction to be a legitimate one.

The best way to keep your bookkeeping squeaky clean – remembering that your industry could be the next one to be audited – is to check, check and double check when you reconcile your expenses. If you know a purchase didn’t directly benefit your business then it’s not a business expense and you can’t claim it. If you are unsure, simply ask your Bookkeeper or Accountant.