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We believe in passing on knowledge.

Do you know your break-even point?

All business owners need to be aware of their break-even point - that is, the number of units they need to sell in order to cover their operating costs. 

Once you've reached your break-even point, it's time to celebrate: your business is no longer in the red, and you are officially earning a profit.

This article will show you how to calculate your break-even point so you can make wise business decisions that support greater growth.

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How to turn your hobby into a business

Thinking about turning your passion into a paying gig? These steps will help you avoid some common mistakes as you set out to earn an income from your favorite pastime.

Do you have what it takes?

Unless you've run a business before, it's easy to get carried away with the idea of how perfect it will be to get paid for doing what you love. Reality check: the stress of needing to earn an income from your hobby can quickly take all the pleasure out of it.

Running a successful business isn't all hobby indulgence. Unless you can afford to hire someone to take care of the bookkeeping, marketing and sales, expect to spend a lot of hours on necessary tasks completely unrelated to your true passion.

Before you start investing in your hobby-to-business idea, take this
online quiz to see if running a business is right for you. 

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According to Google, which offers employees a course on mindfulness meditation, and Lululemon, a company that keeps a Director of Mindfulness on staff, the answer is a resounding yes.

Mindfulness, as American scientist Jon Kabat-Zinn defines it, is simply "paying attention in a sustained and particular way – on purpose, in the present moment and non-judgmentally."

Research has shown that practicing mindful meditation can lead to reduced stress, lowered blood pressure, increased brain activity, and improved immune response. It's also been shown to have measurable value for companies when their leaders and employees practice mindfulness, too.


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It didn't stop at the dog - the same (ex) client tried to convince us that his daughter's pony was required to entertain his clients' children. Other clients have asked to claim other day to day household items - the pot plant at the front door, Sky television, the weekly cleaner and even a new outfit for an important meeting.

Unfortunately for these clients, none of these items were able to be claimed as home office expenses. The rules are very clear regarding what you can and can't claim. However, making a home office claim if you conduct some or all of your business from home is still an effective and legitimate way to reduce your tax liability.

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Small businesses can grow in boom times as well as periods of difficulty by working smarter and taking advantage of opportunities. Put these following effective tips into practice to help grow your business.

1. Utilise new technology

Modern technology can save you time, improve productivity and reduce your operational costs. Make use of Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and other social media tools to market your business.

Dropbox is a cloud-based service that can be used for document creation and sharing, while Skype is commonly used for calling or video conferencing.

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These days your personal data is everywhere, and that information is valuable to marketers, hackers and everyone in between. If you want to prevent the unauthorized use of your personal information, you need to take a proactive approach to protecting yourself and your identity.

You can no longer afford to be blasé about your data security - if you are not taking proactive measures to prevent the use of your personal information, you are opening yourself up to all kinds of problems. Here are some tips you can use to protect yourself and your data in this age of data breaches.

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 If a business owner said to you that they run their business without a budget, what would you think? You'd think they were incompetent. Or perhaps lazy? Or both?

But what do most families do?

When you think about it, a family is actually a mini business. There is income, there are expenses and there is, hopefully, something left over to invest and to enjoy.

So why don't most families operate to a budget?

After all, a personal budget helps you to see your financial direction and helps you stay (or get back!) on track. It's a great comfort.

One reason some people don't put together a budget is the feeling of being  overwhelmed, of being too busy, of feeling like life is too complex to keep track of all that.

Well the good news is we can handhold you through the process and make it easy for you.

But before we look at the 'how' aspects, let's consider 3 more reasons why a personal budget is such an important tool to help you achieve your financial goals and dreams.

  1. Most of your money is already spoken for long before you get it

The money you earn has already been promised to keep the electricity on, make the loan repayments and pay for the insurance. Most of what many people think of as budgeting is really honouring the commitments you have already have.

Now since we are all honest people and plan to pay these bills, the first step is to track these bills and see what is left over for your day-to-day living.

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Cloud computing and web-based apps have undoubtedly improved business efficiency. But once you and your team start using various online apps, one aspect quickly becomes inefficient (not to mention downright annoying): having to repeatedly enter usernames and passwords to log in.

It's bad enough having to enter a multitude of login credentials when you first open the apps each morning. But many apps automatically log you out if you haven't been using them for a few minutes. And while it's a nice security feature, it means you have to repeat the entire process whenever you take a breather.

Wouldn't it be great if a 'master control' app could automatically enter your username and password whenever an app asked for them? Of course, you'd have to log into the master control app first, and that login process would have to be very secure. But just imagine how much time and frustration it could save.

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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?

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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:

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