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Being an entrepreneur is a challenge from the moment you decide to be one and what makes it more challenging is keeping up with this ever changing world of business. But if you really want your business to thrive, you need to constantly make changes to stay productive and profitable. So, how can you do it?

Online Productivity Tools

Here are some online productivity tools that can help ensure business growth:

1. Google Drive. File backup and share files in the cloud easily and securely. You can also create folders for collaborative file sharing among your team members.

2. Cloud Accounting Software. This is a must have for all business owners to make your life easier. You can manage and monitor your business finances anywhere, anytime and on any device securely. It will make your day to day accounting simpler. One easy to use cloud-based accounting system is Xero, designed especially for small to medium sized enterprises.  Read more…

New Zealand Shares IncreaseLed by A2 Milk Co, the New Zealand share market rose after $40 million was raised in a share placement. It jumped to 78 cents to aid the funding for the development of its infant formula products. According to the Grant Williamson, Director at Hamilton Hindin Greene, there are some disappointed investors who were not able to join or got scaled since the placement got away very easily.

The energy companies which include Contact Energy, Meridian Energy and Mighty River Power (MRP) advanced too. Williamson said that the demand for electricity generators has certainly come in again and he thought that investors are going to chase yields . Contact Energy rose by 1.3 percent while Meridian rose by 0.5 percent and MRP went higher by 0.4 percent.

Companies which are paying higher dividends but at a low interest rate make it more attractive and the yield stocks grow in the local trade.  Read more…

Research and Development by 2025The New Zealand government has a national science plan to take effect by the year 2025. This 10-year plan is about spending more on direct research grants for businesses. The target of this plan is to double private research and development spending over the next 10 years.

However feedback from the business community appears half-hearted on this type of spending as in general they would rather receive tax breaks.

The plan was launched at Royal Society of New Zealand in Wellington by Science and Innovation Minister Steven Joyce. Minister Joyce made a commitment at the launch to raise the government's spending on research and development (R&D) which is presently at 0.65 percent, to 0.8 percent of gross domestic product. This percentage is considered particularly low compared to other economies which are also small and advanced.  Read more…

Xero Cloud Accounting

Xero is a cloud-based accounting software designed for small and medium sized businesses. With Xero you can manage your business' financial transactions easily and efficiently.

Here are some guidelines on navigating Xero cloud accounting:

Xero Home Dashboard - Just like other cloud-based tools, Xero has a dashboard. It shows an overview of your overall business performance. It summarises the business' financial position which includes business performance, account watch list, invoices owed to you, bank activity, bills that need to be paid and total cash in and out. 

Accounts – Under the accounts tab you have bank accounts, sales, purchases, inventory, expense claims and fixed assets. It is important that you fill out the information needed on your settings to get accurate information from these sections. By using Xero, it is easier to access data and match transactions through its different components particularly with your banking activity which includes bank reconciliations, live bank feeds, cash coding and expense claims.  Read more…

Five Tips to Cloud Migration

Cloud AccountingMoving to the cloud can be daunting particularly when you are a non-IT person and the cloud is a new concept to you. However, before you get cold feet, make sure you understand what the "cloud" is and have an open-mind on how it can help your business thrive in today's digitised world.

So, what is the "cloud" or cloud computing? Cloud computing consists of shared computing resources accessible via the internet that enable users and enterprises to store and process their data using third-party data centres. Sharing storage and computing power in this way is more convenient as it becomes available anytime, anywhere.

Here are the tips to make your cloud migration seamless:

  1. First, ask yourself, "Is my business ready?" Although it may sound easy, cloud migration takes a little bit of planning and preparation. Understand your organisation's capability around IT system requirements including internet connection and computer specifications. Another thing to understand is that cloud computing does have a cost including acquiring the technology and maintaining the application to training your entire staff. Do you have the resources to support it? Make sure your business is prepared for all these considerations.  Read more…
Do it now rather than later to give you more time for your business.

AccountingDay to day accounting is an important part of running a business. It should be done with care and on a regular basis to ensure that everything is up to date. If you disregard the importance of accounting and finances, your business may not survive. As a business owner you need to constantly know where the business is at financially and if proper records are not kept this will be difficult. It is much better and easier to track your finances from the start of the business operation and everyday afterwards. Of course there are many different balls you need to juggle as a business owner. To help make it easier, here are some tips that will help you to be able to manage your accounting and finances and save you time that can be spent working on other things that need to be done in your business.

Get an accountant. As a business owner, you could do your own accounting and bookkeeping. But most people find this takes them away from doing what they love working in their business and interacting with their customers. There are many Auckland accountants available to do the numbers for your business. You can pass them the burden of managing your bookkeeping and finances. They can also set you up on a cloud accounting system such as Xero or MYOB Essentials which are conveniently based online. Hiring an accountant to help manage the finances of your business will not only reduce your workload but also provide professional service and financial advice for the company.  Read more…

Strategy is important to keep your businesses afloat. As Joel Ross and Michael Kami, authors of "Corporate Management in Crisis: Why the Mighty Fall" said , "Without a strategy, the organisation is like a ship without a rudder, going around in circles. It's like a tramp; it has no place to go." However, it's not enough that you have a business strategy. It is also important that you keep your strategy aligned with current business technology.

Business GrowthAs a Small and Medium Enterprise (SME), you are constantly seeking progressive strategies for business growth. Here are some of the proven strategies that have helped businesses thrive in this new era:

1. Choose the right market. We'd all like to find a huge market big enough to make us a billion-dollar company. Being able to solve that market's problems with the right products or services would be a gold mine to success! There are tools that can help you choose the right market. One is the Product-Market Fit Model which Sean Ellis, Founder and CEO of Qualaroo, popularised. Research and learn from your market's feedback to know the perfect solution they are looking for. By doing this, you can increase the odds of your business succeeding.

2. Develop your value proposition. One of the most effective business strategies of all time is having a unique offering that will stand out from other businesses in your industry. Keep in mind that your product or service can be anything but ordinary. Differentiate your offering from your competitors by adding that value your target market can't help but patronise. Once you have defined your value proposition, continuously innovate a strong product or service that can withstand any competition.

Read more…

A business crisis is a challenge for entrepreneurs to overcome.

Business CrisisAccording to a recent Business Monitor survey by MYOB, the economy is expected to go down in future years. A majority of small business entrepreneurs in New Zealand answered the survey with less positivity for the economy in the years ahead. The survey which was conducted with 1000 businesses nationwide, showed 51% of small-to-medium sized business owners are expecting a decline in the economy. ANZ's Business Confidence report also mirrors the MYOB survey result. It indicates that 29% of businesses felt that the general economy is not that good. The dairy industry in some rural areas is already feeling the effect of this decline in the economy.  Read more…

We read a lot about the ageing population and its potential impact on the economy but what does it mean for small business?

In business, typically, it takes a lot of energy and planning to get started and a lot to keep going and keep growing. Very few business owners start a business with exit in mind. It seems completely counter-intuitive. You start with a dream and the tenacious passion to make it real and then you just want it to grow. But when do you start thinking realistically about what you want to happen when you retire?

Business for SaleFor some, it's too hard to think about. Many business owners might talk about funding a lifestyle but actually work has been their lifestyle. Straight up, they'd rather go with their boots on. But then what happens to the business? Economically it's a waste – a waste of the business' assets, client base, employees; it's a waste of the dream and the hard work it took to make it real.

What's your plan? What do you want to see happen? How much money do you need to retire? How do you start even thinking about all this?

In search of success(ors)

Are there family members working in the business who are interested in taking the business on? Do they have all the training and experience they need? What about your team or franchisees? Do any have management and leadership potential which could be developed further? It doesn't have to be a single individual – there might be a couple of key people motivated to form an effective partnership with some serious buying power. Is this a good time to start a conversation?

Alternatives to exit

If the idea of selling the business and retiring to a beautiful lifestyle bores you to snores, don't think about it in terms of complete cessation. If you find the right people, it might be feasible to keep an interest in the business and a slice of the decision-making. It could free you up sufficiently to discover more of the great lifestyle you could have had, if you'd ever had time to have a life. At the same time, you'll be able to share the rich business knowledge you've built up and you'll have the added satisfaction of seeing the business continue to grow.

Ready to sell

If selling is your best option, is your business 'sale ready'? To achieve the best possible price, you need your business to be in the best possible shape when it goes up for sale. You need to analyse your business from the point of view of a potential buyer. Is there clear documentation on business processes and performance? Is your business performing at peak? What would it take to be ready for sale and what is the most realistic timeframe to achieve it?

These are all things we can help with. At the very least, we can help you to start the conversation and work out a plan. Contact us today for more information or request an appointment online.



 

Spring Newsletter now available

Our Spring Newsletter is now available. Included are a range of articles to relation to tax and business compliance, including:

  • Health and safety
  • Timely tax reminders
  • Employment standards
  • Double tax agreement with the United States
  • ACC CoverPlus Extra
  • Business perspective - Drapers Fabrics

Please click here to subscribe to our quarterly newsletter by email and contact us with any questions in relation to the topics covered.

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