Creating Excellence in Business

Excellence in Business

 

 

 

 

 

It is very easy to get comfortable with just being good in the business world. Being good at what you do means all is well – things are moving the way they are supposed to, and everything is under control. The financial equivalent of this, known as “treading water”, does not equate to success but rather, stagnation. In business, just as in nature, it is always better to be proactive then reactive when striving for excellence. By focusing on constantly pushing yourself and your business to be in a constant state of growth, both yourself and the company you lead will be constantly evolving and improving ahead of your competitors.

Here are some thoughts to keep in mind for yourself and your business as you strive for business excellence:

1. Realise that there is always room for improvement
It is very easy to say “I’m good” and leave it at that. Google is famed for saying “We are Always in Beta”, and Business Insider once published an article “Always Be in Beta or You’ll Never Learn Anything New”.  The article mentions the value of learning, as learning keeps stagnation at bay. It also states, “in the early stages of learning a new subject, people feel as though they have nothing to lose, which makes them more likely to accept failure as part of the process.” This mentality will enable you as a business owner to add more power and range to your skill set, as well as become more comfortable with the risk that comes with learning curves.

2. Do not get too comfortable
Ignorance is bliss, but it is also dangerous, which is exactly what getting comfortable in the business world defines as. While you are sitting back being comfortable, others are advancing, strategising and closing in on any distance you have put between yourself and your competition. Strive to stay relevant and vigilant, and remember that success is not a destination, but rather a goal which constantly evolves and manifests with the company’s growth itself. Think of your business as an athlete; there is no such thing as a comfortable and effective workout.

3.  Do not give your clients a reason to go elsewhere
We are all human, and sometimes mistakes are made. However, there is no reason why you cannot apologise, provide feedback and agree on a solution to fix these mistakes with your clients to retain their business, and look for ways to improve. At the very least, you should make sure that you are doing a better job than your competitors. Even if you feel you are already doing this, it is worth asking yourself a couple of times a year, “if a competing company opened tomorrow, would I have any reason to be worried?”

If you would like to talk to GoFi8ure about how we can make your business more excellent send us an email.

Tips for Efficiency in your Business

Efficiency in Business

 

 

 

 

 

 

Efficiency in a business refers to how long it takes for a task to get completed. An employee may be effective at completing a task to a high level, but may take way longer than needed to complete the task, which is inefficient. 

Check out these top tips and techniques to make your business more efficient.

1. Set shorter time limits
The shorter the amount of time you allow yourself, the more you will get done. This is because when we know we do not have time to pause, wander around the office or stare into space and must use every second of the time we have, we do so because we do not want to fail. So, make sure the first 90 minutes of your day is focused on growing your business. Turn off your email and phones and concentrate only on that. Also, divide your working day into 45- or 30-minute chunks (use a timer to ensure you stick to this time limit!) and during that time think of doing (and do!) only that task.

2. Figure out how much money you are throwing away, then find a way to reduce it
How often do you lose money because of simple mistakes, like missing a job or sending out an invoice with incorrect details? How often are your invoices delayed or forgotten, and how often do you spend hours searching for information to answer a complaint from a customer?

Even if you accept that a certain amount of waste is inevitable, the fact is that lots of small costs can add up over the year, potentially taking a large chunk out of your profits. Take time out each month to analyse your business; look at your accounts to see what money is being spent and what costs could be reduced. Also, keep a note of mistakes you notice being made and jot down ideas on how to stop or limit these mistakes being made. Review these notes monthly also, and if the mistakes are still occurring at the same or similar rate, reevaluate your ideas on how to stop and/or limit these. With perseverance comes success, and with frequent review you will see your systems becoming more effective and your profit level rising. 

3. Use technology to speed up workflow
Technology plays an essential role in the efficiency and effectiveness of a company nowadays. Make use of computers, tablets or smartphones to improve the efficiency of the company, by using software or sharing tools for things like keeping different members of a team up-to-date with client and project information accessible anywhere, anytime. Look at areas of your business that are still being done manually (which is time consuming), and contact a professional who can help provide you with technology solutions to solve your day-to-day inconveniences.

Accounting software can be a business owner’s smartest investment. Software lets you easily manage your business data. One software example is Xero, which looks after your accounts receivable, expenses and taxes, and allows access to these anytime, anywhere, stored together all in one place – and with easy access to reporting tools for this data. Because most  business owners are not qualified accountants, finding the right tool that ensures your accounting is done effectively can save you valuable time, while also improving your financial visibility. It also alleviates a lot of headaches when it comes to looking at financial information to help identify areas in your business that needs assessing with features such as in-built reports which are easy to generate, understand and use.
 
As the great Bill Gates once said, “The first rule of any technology used in a business is that automation applied to an efficient operation will magnify the efficiency. The second is the automation applied to an inefficient operation will magnify the inefficiency”. 

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.

 

 

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.

 

What are the four most important areas you need to consider in your business?

What are the four most important areas you need to consider in your business?

As a business owner, you must be committed to constantly evaluating your business practices and making the necessary changes if you want to see growth. If your business is stagnant, or not as profitable as you would like it to be, doing the same thing repeatedly will not help your business move forward. Your success is the total sum of all the decisions you make!

So, what are the four most important areas you need to consider in your business? They are:

  1. People
  2. Strategy
  3. Execution
  4. Cash

Good decisions equal success. Even though most growing businesses face continual challenges in all these areas, the challenges in one area at any one time can impact the others.

Let us start with the “People” strategy.

In 2016, Warehouse Stationery conducted a survey of over 1000 of their BizReward customers. From that survey, 9 out of 10 customers were small businesses.

When asked about the personal challenges they faced in business, half of the respondents to this question (51%) selected work-life balance. Work-life balance was the most common concern, followed by time management (41%) – which is a necessary tool to achieve the sought-after work-life balance, by ensuring work does not take over every aspect of your life.

One of the most critical components of growing any business is working with the right people. Get it right, and your business’s growth trajectory is likely to continue, or accelerate. Get it wrong, and your tentative step forward might lead to the proverbial three steps back. The purpose of hiring staff or outsourced specialists is to free the business owner from some of their multiple “hats”, and the wrong hire can have the opposite effect as it can be costly, stressful and time-consuming to manage the consequences. Having someone who fundamentally understands their role, and what is required to do it successfully, is crucial for any business.

Where do you start? Ask yourself why you need to hire someone – and do not accept obvious answers such as, I am busy, tired or overworked.

Below are some core questions you should ask yourself:

  1. What do I expect the new hire to do in their first month, and in the months that follow?
  2. What can I reasonably expect them to achieve, how quickly, and what can I do to help them?
  3. What core skills and attributes are absolute necessities for my business?
  4. Is an employee the right way to go, or should I look at outsourcing?

The last question is an interesting one. There are advantages for either hiring an employee or outsourcing to a specialist. To make this a little easier for you, we have put together a list of steps that will help you determine which option is best for you:

  1. Identify what areas you can outsource.

Before you figure out whether to outsource, you need to identify what areas you can outsource, and whether any of these areas are where you need help right now.

  1. Identify business-critical functions.

If the function you need help with is not a core function of your business model, outsourcing will probably create fewer headaches for you.

  1. Assess the market availability of skills.

You may prefer having someone in-house, but if you cannot find the right talent, outsourcing may be your only option.

  1. Identify all the costs for both in-housing and outsourcing.

When you are considering the financial difference between the two options, remember to include the costs of your time and emotional energy.  While hiring in-house is generally cheaper on paper, there are a host of responsibilities that go along with managing a new staff member including holiday and sick leave, training, downtime, and so on.

Remember, when it comes to making the decision of in-house or outsourcing you do not need to choose either/or; it is pretty common that one part of your business may be better off with an employee, while another may be better off with an external company managing it.

If you are ready to outsource the financial side of the business come then you need GoFi8ure. This is what we do – it is in our DNA and we are passionate about helping ease the accounting pain that business owners face. Send us an email or call us on 0800 463 488 today.

Tip: Gazelles has a one-page “People” tool that will help you sort out these accountabilities and metrics.

 

Chasing debtors – 3 easy strategies that will help you get paid quicker

Chasing debtors – 3 easy strategies that will help you get paid quicker

Getting paid is always an exciting part of running a business. What is not as exciting however, is keeping on top of clients when they do not pay their invoices. According to the Commercial Collection Agency Association, after 30 days past due, the chances of being paid drop to 89.9%; after six months, there is only a 52.1% chance of being paid.

Below GoFi8ure has listed some simple strategies that can help bring payments in on time, whilst maintaining good relationships with your clients.

1) Regularly review your Aged Receivables detail report

Your Aged Receivables detail report should be your “go-to” credit control report for checking the total amount of outstanding invoices per each client and totals. Make sure to keep an eye on anything that is showing as 30+ days overdue. The longer you leave it, the easier it is for your client to forget or ignore your invoice.

Tip: Keep your bank accounts reconciled and up-to-date so that your debtor reporting is current and accurate. By following the steps below, you will see each invoice per client and how overdue it really is.

Go to Reports > Aged Receivables > Click on Show Invoices > Update

 

2) Save time by emailing all your client statements in one go

Statements are a great way to prompt your clients to pay you. By sending a statement your clients can see their outstanding invoices and payment history at a glance.

Go to Accounts > Send Statements > Select the “Activity” statement type > Choose the first day of the month prior to the current date > Update > Select the clients who have a balance owing

 

 

The great thing about Xero is you can send up to 50 client statements at a time. You can also customise your statement template should you wish to do so.

Tip: When sending bulk statements make sure to untick any contacts with a $0.00 balance. It is also important to ensure that all contact details are correct for each client. A statement can not be sent without an email address.

3) Use Automated Reminders

At times, even though invoices get earmarked for payment, they can still slip to the bottom of the to-do pile. Automated reminders may be the cure. They act as a gentle nudge that will help your chronic late-payers remember to pay the due invoice.

Xero has a feature that allows you to send automated invoice reminders, all you have to decide is when and how often the reminders are sent out.

Go to Accounts > Sales > Awaiting Payments > Click on the Invoice Reminders Off > Set up the reminder template and frequency

 

With Xero’s automated reminders you can customise the tone and timing of when the email will be sent. It can take a small amount of time to set up, but choosing this option will save you hours in the long run. To find out more click here to watch a quick video.

There are so many amazing features available, if you would like a Xero refresher training session please send us an email or call us on 0800 463 488.

 

Learn how to use Xero to run your business

Learn how to use Xero to run your business

There are various stages of what we call the “Xero journey”. The Xero journey is a pathway of learning about how to use Xero and the Add-On software products available so businesses can streamline their processes.

So, where are you on your Xero journey? What do you need to learn now?

1. You have never heard about Xero and currently spend hours entering data into a spreadsheet or other accounting software.

2. Heard of Xero but not confident about how “the Cloud” works but you do not want to be left behind.

3. You have recently started using Xero & are loving it! You are telling all your friends & feeling confident you can do this!

4. You have been using Xero for a while and have started looking at reports regularly, but things just do not look right and the numbers are not making sense. You need someone to help you understand the numbers and check your Xero to make sure it is accurate and up to date.

5. You have found an Add-On solution that you believe meets your business needs but you do not know how to implement it or use it.

6. You are telling all your friends about how Xero and the Xero Add-On’s have changed your life!

Getting the absolute best from your accounting software helps to make everything else in the business run like clockwork. Learning the best tips and tricks for using your Xero account to its true potential is a great way to improve your accounting, cut out a big chunk of admin and get a better view of your business health.

If you would like to talk about booking in some Xero training get in touch by emailing us on enquiries@gofi8ure.co.nz or call us on 0800 463 488 today.

 

Become Financially Aware in 2018

Become Financially Aware in 2018Become Financially Aware in 2018

The better you understand your business, the easier it will be to make more money. Management decisions rely on a sound understanding of the financial implications for a business. It is important when you choose an Accountant that they support you in other ways, not just preparing and filing your annual Tax Returns. At GoFi8ure we help to empower business owners so they can fully understand and interpret their numbers. This gives them a strong foundation on which to grow their business.

 

Who would benefit from Financial Awareness Coaching?
If you are passionate about your business and want to better understand your numbers so you can answer questions like:
• How much profit have I made this year?
• Why has my profit increased but I have no cash?
• Is my cash level increasing or decreasing?
• What is affecting my cash level?

 

So, when should you begin Financial Awareness Coaching?
Any time is a good time to improve your understanding of your financial reports in order to improve business performance. The sooner you start Financial Awareness Coaching the better your understanding of financial results and their implications, and the more control you will have over outcomes.

 

Interested to know what the benefits of Financial Awareness Coaching are?
It will…

• Enable you to better understand your business
• Iron out any existing errors to ensure accuracy in your financial reports
• Help you better manage and monitor your cash-flow
• Customise your reports to ensure you capture the right information
• Allow you to format your reports in a way that makes decision making easier
• Help you gain better understanding of the financial implications of decisions
• Give you the ability to make better informed decisions
• Allow you to review your reports and record actions to be achieved before the next meeting
• Help you be held accountable so you can achieve progress between meetings
• Identify any burning issues that need to be addressed
• Access the collective wisdom of our accountants, our systems, products and services
• Phone support to address any burning issues between meetings

 

Call us now on 0800 463 488 to further discuss how Financial Awareness Coaching can help you and your business.

 

 

 

What is your time worth?

As the age old saying goes, “time is money” – so what is yours worth?

Time is something that we like to think we have well managed. But the truth is, it is quite often the last thing we really think about. You have most likely heard, or even said, sayings such as “there aren’t enough hours in the day” or “I haven’t had time to do all the things I wanted” on more than one occasion.

Why do many business owners find themselves saying these things time and time again? Because they wear too many hats, for far too long. The role of the business owner should be to focus on tasks that help grow the business and be profitable – instead of tasks that can be outsourced or completed by a skilled employee.

Many business owners find it hard to delegate, or hire a skilled employee, in the beginning. But if you put this off for too long and continue to do it all yourself, you’ll burn out and the business will suffer rather than grow. So where do you start and what can you actually do about it?

First and most important step is to ask yourself the following questions and answer them honestly:
1) How much am I worth to my company?
2) How is the value of my time best determined?
3) How is the value of my time best invested?

Second important step is to work out where your time and strengths are best used.
“Work to your strengths” is a great saying, and outsourcing jobs which are in your “weaknesses” category is a great investment. For example, if numbers are not your thing, outsource your bookkeeping to a bookkeeping professional. They use their skills daily, so they will instantly be quicker and more efficient.

Third step: Delegate.

Focus on what makes you happy and what helps the business. Learn to delegate the tasks which you find do not utilise your strengths, or you just don’t enjoy. Delegating will allow you to concentrate on what makes you happy which will have a positive impact on the business long term and will help it to grow.
Now that you know what you need to do – come and chat to us about outsourcing your routine accounting and freeing up your precious time. Contact us on enquiries@gofi8ure.co.nz

Are you financially ready for the holiday season?

The holiday season is a hard time financially for businesses, so what can you to avoid being financial stress?

Get your Bookkeeper to calculate your GST as early as possible. Don’t risk a late payment (and penalties!) or stress of having to find the money just because you are unprepared.

Make sure you have a budget and cash flow forecast in place. This will help you cover costs and expenses over the holiday period and into the New Year without the worry of running out of money.

Make sure you are claiming right.  An important thing to remember is some expenses are 100% deductible while others are only 50% deductible.

Cash Bonuses for Staff – These must be included in the employee’s wages for the week and PAYE paid on them.

Gifts of Food and Wine to Associates or Clients – The cost of gifting food and wine to associates or clients will normally be 50% deductible for tax purposes.

Gifts to Staff – Each quarter there is a fringe benefit tax (FBT) exemption of $300 per employee – as long as your gifts are under $300 the costs will be 100% deductible. If they are over the $300 then FBT will be payable to Inland Revenue, however, the costs can still be claimed.

Other Gifts to Associates or Clients – The cost of gifts (other than food and beverages) to associates or clients will normally be 100% tax deductible for tax purposes.

If you would like to know where you could be financially on the 31st March 2016, GoFi8ure can help you with easy to understand cash flow forecasting and budgeting reports from one of our top reporting packages Spotlight Reporting. Find out more by emailing enquiries@gofi8ure.co.nz or call us on 0800 463 488.

Change the Way You Do Business

Did you spend 2014 overworked and overwhelmed? How many hats did you wear? The upside about being your own boss is you can decide the details of what you want to do. The downside is more often than not, you have to wear more than one business hat!

What if this year – you could wear the hats you wanted too not had to? Imagine what that could mean for you, your business and for those around you.

Here are some tips on how to “choose what you want to do and outsource the rest”

1. Delegate – Kiwis have the DIY attitude but that doesn’t always work in Business. If there is a job someone else can do then delegate – lessen your to do list!
2. Do the most difficult task first – A lot of us start the day by doing the easy tasks first but that often leaves you tackling the hardest tasks when your energy is sapped. Instead, do the most difficult tasks first.
3. If it isn’t your strength – give the work to someone who knows their stuff. For example, if you aren’t a numbers person, why spend your precious time doing the books when you could pay a certified Bookkeeper to get the job done in half the time.
4. Don’t multi-task – multitasking usually means doing a bunch of things poorly. You’re much better off giving all of your attention to one task that you really hit out of the park.
5. Have a daily plan – If you have a list for all your tasks that day, you will get through the list quicker and feel great about getting them ticked off the list!
6. Ignore your email when busy – It is hard to do but it will ensure you get a good stretch of totally focused work time.

For those who aren’t use to outsourcing, it is a great way to help ease the workload whilst getting the job done. Just remember – You don’t have to do everything yourself. So make 2015 a smarter year for working not harder!

If GoFi8ure can assist with your bookkeeping or accounts please get in touch by emailing enquiries@gofi8ure.co.nz today.