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Sugarcoating Is your business staying financially viable in the long-term or are you sugar-coating underlying problems in your business with short-lived successes?

First, what are short-lived business successes? They may have different meanings depending on who is involved. Short-lived business success may refer to a new business project, a completed goal, or maybe it is just the feeling of triumph over adversity. 

You might be feeling good having implemented a new project or overcoming a big issue. But problems with cashflow, creditors and debtors and other issues beyond the metrics prevail and won't go away, stopping you from maximising your business' potential. If this situation is familiar to you, then your short-lived successes may be sabotaging your business viability by sugar-coating underlying problems.

Like a house, your business needs more than just a nicely painted wall. All aspects need to be solid from the foundations up. It has to survive a competitive market and be ready for change and challenges.

To be sure your business is in good shape, first take an honest look at your business and learn, learn and learn more about it. Regularly conduct a business health check with the help of someone you trust like a Chartered Accountant. Follow the three R's to thoroughly evaluate your business.   Read more…

Business MetricsIn today's world, managing and monitoring your business performance is much easier with the right tools and methodologies. The advancement in technology has allowed business owners and managers to analyse and monitor metrics of business success. Over the last few years, hundreds or maybe thousands of applications and online programs have been developed for business monitoring alone providing more efficiency analysing data for business operations improvement.

To leverage business growth, business owners and managers must know their business' strengths and weaknesses and understand their customers' needs and wants.

How is this possible?

What are the key performance indicators (KPIs) that businesses need to measure to determine the future risks and areas for improvement in their businesses? Below are some of the key metrics to consider:   Read more…

3-Step Guide to Holiday Readiness

NZ Holiday Pay and Leave EntitlementsChristmas is coming! Is your business holiday-ready?

The Christmas season is a time of opportunity and challenge particularly for business owners. During this season there may be company events, promotions, bonuses and gifts to prepare and organise before everyone takes their summer holidays. Below is a 3-step guide to prepare you and your business for this holiday season.

Step 1 – Take time to calculate and pay your employees what they are entitled to

As a business owner, you have obligations in relation to holiday pay, bonuses and entitlements of your employees. Take time to prepare your employees holiday pay before you get caught up with the busy season. If you offer performance-based bonuses or gifts make sure they are cost-effective. Consult with a Chartered Accountant to get professional advice about company bonuses and gifts and any tax implications.  

Here are some important reminders about the upcoming festive season:  Read more…

Restructure Your Medical PracticeEverything in today's world is fast evolving, particularly how businesses operate and communicate with their clients. The reality is we are in a digital age where everything requires a more flexible structure to match current technological advancements. As a medical practice owner you need to look at every aspect of your business, from your business operations to your business' finances to stay up to date.

At some point, you need to step back and really look at your medical practice from a different perspective - not as a medical practitioner but as a business owner. You should adopt a multipronged approach to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of your medical practice. What are the indicators that you are doing well with and what needs to be restructured to get abreast of today's digitised approach?  Read more…

Five Ways to Future-Proof Your Business

Future Proof Your BusinessThink about the future to ensure your business is still intact tomorrow.

Innovate your business

The business world today is fast changing and your business needs to evolve to stay in touch. As a business owner there is a need to develop and use new business strategies, technologies, and ideas in relation to the current business trends to ensure your business survives. 

Also, in today's world, ease and convenience are key to surviving a demanding marketplace. Business owners and managers nowadays are lucky to have hi-tech business tools like Xero, a cloud based accounting system designed for small to medium sized enterprises. It is a useful tool for managing and tracking your business finances. With Xero cloud accounting the financial health and activities of your business are in real-time allowing information to be updated and monitored easily. Since data is stored in the cloud, you can access your account anywhere and anytime on any device for as long as you have an internet connection.  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…

Last year changes were made to the requirements for financial reporting for companies with balance dates after 1 April 2014. Therefore companies with accounting years ending 31 March 2015 are the first to be affected by the new rules.

Financial ReportingThe changes introduced under the Financial Reporting Act 2013 and the Financial Reporting (Amendments to other Enactments) Act 2013 stated that not all entitles need to prepare general purpose financial statements in line with New Zealand Generally Accepted Accounting Practice (NZ GAAP).

However in reality, even if your company is not required to prepare financial statements under the Financial Reporting Act 2013, you are still likely to need to prepare company financial statements for IRD purposes. Exemptions do apply for some non-active and small companies.

So actually very little has changed! For most it simply means the applicable legislation has changed from Financial Reporting Act 2013 to the Income Tax Act and the need to prepare company financial reports remains.

Minimum company financial statement requirements for IRD purposes:

  • A balance sheet stating the assets, liabilities and net assets of the company for the stated income year
  • A profit and loss statement showing income and expenditure during the income year; and
  • A statement of accounting policies explaining the policies and assumptions that have been used in the preparation of the financial statements and a description of any material changes in accounting policy from prior years, along with Notes to the Accounts including various additional disclosures the IRD now require.

For assistance with preparing your financial statements, please contact us today or request an appointment online.

Defining your value proposition

If someone asks you what your business is, can you tell them in a nutshell?  Or will they be bored and confused before the elevator reaches the 2nd floor…

Your value proposition should sum up why a consumer should buy your product or use your services over someone else's. 

You need to understand your prospective clients so you can differentiate your offering from others.  Provide clear reasoning why the client will benefit by buying your product or service - and why it will add more value or solve a problem better. 

Creating a value proposition:

Value Proposition1. Research what motivates your prospective buyers. What environment do they live in?  What problems do they face?  Ask yourself how your product or service meets their needs.

2. Define what makes your offering desirable and unique. How can potential clients obtain better value by doing business with you instead of your competitors?  You'll need to provide evidence.

3. Test your message - is it clear? Step into your customers' shoes and ask yourself: what is actually being offered?  Can someone get it cheaper/ easier/ quicker somewhere else?  Does the offer convey trust?  Does the value proposition make YOU want to buy it?

4. Balance your objectives. If your message is clear but lacks persuasion or it makes people want the product but doesn't convey that it's exclusive to you then you'll need to tweak the message.

5. Boil it down. Remove unnecessary words, keep it simple - it should read clearly on a web page and you should feel confident reciting it to potential clients.

6. Test your proposition. Keep it current so that it constantly reflects your position within the industry.  Talk with close clients - ask them what appeals most and what sums up their buying experience.

If your value proposition doesn't roll off your tongue then you probably don't have one. It's time to define how the value of what you're offering far outweighs the perceived cost.

For assistance developing all aspects of your business strategy, contact us today or request an appointment online. 

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