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The post-Covid, globalised economy has created a number of challenges for the average business. Depending on your business purpose and strategy, you may need to either upsize, or downsize, to secure the long-term future of your company.

But what are the implications of scaling up, or scaling down, your operations? And how do you refine your business so it's fit for purpose and ready to take on your new aims and goals?

The answer is to look carefully at your forecasting and your future decision-making.

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Plenty of Kiwi businesses buy utes as company vehicles. If you're in the trades, for instance, a ute can be the perfect way to haul everything around and promote your brand at the same time.

However, the recently announced EV feebate scheme is likely to hit ute buyers the hardest, since these vehicles tend to have some of the highest emissions of any on our roads.

Here are three things to know if you're buying new utes in 2022:

The fee depends on the model

Only the highest-emission models will require you to pay the highest fees. For example, the Nissan Navara is a relatively low-emission ute model and the fee on a new Navarra is forecast at $810. That is considerably lower than the fee of $5175 expected to be incurred by the highest-emission Toyota Hilux model.

Use Driven's Clean Car Calculator to compare models.

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The Man on the Moon Principle

In 1961, President John F Kennedy famously announced his goal of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to Earth before the decade was out. As we know, in July 1969, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first people to walk on the moon, and were brought back to Earth safely, achieving JFK's goal.

At a time when most people hadn't even been on an aeroplane, landing on the moon would've felt unachievable and overwhelming. However, such a massive goal united people with a purpose; the story goes that even a cleaner mopping the floor at the space station said his job was to help put a man on the moon. 

So, how did they make the goal achievable? They broke it down into milestones, with each one taking them closer and closer to achieving their ultimate goal.

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Creating a winning business plan

Is your business plan up to scratch? Is it really doing its job as the blueprint to lead your business into the future? Let's look at some of the key points to be included.

The Mission
Upfront you need to describe what your business does and the goals and objectives you wish to achieve in your business – let's face it, you've got to have a dream or a mission and this is the place to state it.

The market
Researching your market and your competitors is important before you go into business. Information about market size and growth and whatever 'intelligence' you can find about competitors should all go into your business plan. This information can then help plan your marketing strategy – what segment of the market will you target?

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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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