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electronic-signatures

"Signing on the dotted line." It wasn't all that long ago that phrase meant signing pen-on-paper. Increasingly these days it can also mean signing on-screen with a stylus-or even with your finger tip!-or by using your computer and keyboard.

So why have many businesses (including Paul Martin Chartered Accountant Ltd) moved to using electronic signatures? What are the advantages over using pen-on-paper for signatures on agreements?

In a word, efficiency. Electronic signatures provide efficiency gains at every point of the legal document process: from distribution, to storage, security and retrieval.

Why are businesses now finding the use of paper-based contracts and legal documents so inefficient?

Read more…

Isn't Twitter a waste of time? Isn't Facebook for the kids? 

Not anymore.

It's true that Twitter and Facebook started out with very 'non-business' objectives. The founder of Twitter actually did invent it so you could tell everyone you were going to the shop to get some milk; and anyone who has seen the movie The Social Network knows about the very lowbrow origins of Facebook.

Other social media platforms include LinkedIn, Google+, YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram, Snapchat, Foursquare, Quora, Tumblr, Vine, Flickr and MySpace, among others.

In recent years savvy marketers and business owners have worked out how to use social media VERY effectively for communicating with the market place, in a new way.

Traditional marketing, like advertising, is a monologue. A one-way conversation, coming from the advertiser. There's no interaction in a TV or newspaper ad.

Read more…

Small Business, Big Decisions: Why Savvy Business Owners 'Rent' CFO-Level Experience

Larger businesses have a Chief Financial Officer (CFO) on staff. But what can small and medium sized businesses do in this regard?

Clearly, larger businesses can afford an in-house CFO. But it goes beyond an affordability issue: Large, successful businesses also understand how crucial the CFO role is to their business performance.

The CFO in a business:

Why are business plans important for small businesses?
Some small business owners still seem a little confused about why business plans are important.

Well, our last two blogs discussed financial forecasting – in particular, how to get where you want to go and measure your progress along the way.

However, before you can start using them as a guide, there are two important things you need to know:

1. Where are you now?

2. Where do you want to be?

How do we answer these questions? We write a business plan.

Read more…

3 Reasons Your Business Needs a Budget Now

business budgeting

For many, the word 'budget' is about as appealing as the word 'diet'.

It seems to imply what you will go without, rather than what you will achieve.

To a successful business owner, however, the word 'budget' has a very different meaning.

It's more like a map than a diet. It's an outline of where you want to take the business, and what you need to achieve to get there.

Running a business without a budget is like a ship's captain setting off on a voyage without a map. Sounds ridiculous, doesn't it. Who would do that?

Yet this is, figuratively speaking, what many business owners do.

Successful business owners, on the other hand, not only set clear targets and budgets each year, they monitor them closely each month, even each week, and adjust them as they go throughout the year.

Read more…

personal-cash-flow-450pxMost people will quite literally earn millions of dollars in their lifetime. Yet many people struggle financially and live from one pay period to the next.

With the ageing population and many Baby Boomers now continuing to work-at least on a part-time basis-past the traditional  retirement age, people are working more years than ever. Even if a person works only 40 years, at average earnings, that's a lot of  money.

It is said, "Money talks", but for many, all it ever says is, "Hello, and Good-bye".

Have you ever found that the month lasts longer than the money? Or have you ever got your tax return and looked at all the money you have earned over the past 12 months and then thought, "Where has it all gone?"

You're not alone. And the good news is, now there's a simple solution. Read more…

How To Plan Your Exit Strategy

exit strategyStarting a business can be an exciting part of your life. From business planning, execution, to actual operation. But one day it will come to an end - you will need to retire and appoint someone to take the business, or close it down for good.

As trusted business advisors in Auckland, we help clients to create exit strategies for their businesses. Here are some of the things that you need to consider when planning an exit strategy:

1. Future funding

Just like your retirement plan, you should also set aside enough funding for your business after you are gone. If you own a big company, you should consider the hundreds of people that you employ. You can't just leave them behind if you decide to step down or close the business. But if you are a solopreneur, it is okay, since you only have yourself to consider. Your retirement plan is enough to cover you. Read more…

Tips To Better Understand Your Customers

understand your customersUnderstanding your customers is one of the major ingredients of a successful business. Business owners who truly know their customers and what they want are bound to flourish in whatever venture they undertake.

That is why, before starting a business, you need to know who your target market is and what they want. This needs to be included in your business planning and business strategy.

As an experienced business advisor in Auckland, here are some tips to help you achieve this.

Tip #1 - Know your customers

If you want to understand your customers, you first have to know who they are. This may seem a little difficult but in reality it is not. A simple way that you can know your customers is by looking at the foundation of your business. Read more…

Things that prevent you from getting richMost of us want to be rich - to buy the things that we want, to travel to different places, to perhaps build our own business and more. But for most getting rich is not that easy. Even though you work hard every day, the money you earn is still not enough to buy and do all the things that you want.

One of the reasons for this is due to our poor money habits.

As a trusted personal financial and business advisor in Auckland, we are sharing some of the common things that we notice people do that prevent them from building a strong financial position. So, what money traps can you fall into? Read more…

Ways To Improve Your Sales

ways to improve your businessOne of the main reasons for starting a business is to make money. But what if your business is not what you dreamed it would be? What if it is not earning enough? What if you have tried all kinds of marketing and sales strategies but your sales continue to drop and you are left with a negative cash flow?

What should you do?

As business advisors and chartered accountants in Auckland, we've seen many small and medium businesses struggle to increase their profit and business value. When this happens we assist them to get back on their feet and help them create a business strategy to improve their sales and performance.

So if you find yourself struggling to improve your sales, here are some tips that may help: Read more…

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