Phenomenal leaps in technology often polarise people, with some loving the new developments whereas others prefer a more tried and true approach.
The America’s Cup yacht racing is a great example of bold innovation that people either embrace or reject – even if they couldn’t care less about sailing.
The Isle of Skye Candle Company’s first batch of candles was made in a converted croft on the Isle of Skye in 2006, and since then the company has been lighting up across Scotland and the UK.
Collaboration is the key to success for every business—that’s what 75% of CEOs believe. It’s a way of bringing together diverse minds and ideas and sharing resources to create something bigger and better than individuals could achieve alone, and it’s gradually becoming the status quo for modern businesses in all sectors, including retail.
Winter is here and BUSINESS buddy needs you to help battle childhood illnesses that no tiny tot should have to endure.
Snuggling up at home in a warm pyjamas can be all it takes to keep little ones out of Kidz First Children’s Hospital, at Middlemore in South Auckland.
It’s no debate that the world is becoming increasingly globalized. Despite some barriers to entry into international business, geographical expansion and the use of imports and exports has become easier and more prevalent. Regardless of the size of a business or where it chooses to operate, one necessity remains constant, and that’s the need for accurate costing.
It can be unwelcome news that the success of your business is, in part, out of your control. If your business involves importing or exporting inventory, it pays to be aware of and be prepared to mitigate potential impacts of trade policy on your business.
Another New Zealand Budget has come and gone and there was not much to excite tax payers or small and growing business owners.
The Minister for Small Business, Jacqui Dean is reported as saying there are plenty of stimulants that will put more money in people’s pockets – hence increasing their expenditure, which may help the retail sector.
Many small business owners start out with a good business idea but little concept of what it takes to manage and grow a business.
The good news is that you can definitely learn and improve your management skills as your business grows.
And while there isn’t a definitive list of skills, the ones we’ve listed below could help you to build your initial vision and develop your business to its full potential.
You almost certainly started your business for one of two reasons: you can do something better than anyone else, or you have a burning passion so deep you cannot focus on anything else. And if you’re lucky, it’s both. You didn’t start your business because you wanted to track cash moving in and out of your bank account. Nor to complete complicated forms for the government. You hadn’t even contemplated how business software could help you do these tasks, mostly because you didn’t know you need to do them.
BUSINESS buddy is proud as punch to have provided 3,385 doses of vitamin C injections, 25 days of bookkeeping, with another 10 days pending, and supplied 2,310 medical items for less fortunate four-legged friends.
In June 2016, our head honcho, Kirsten Hawke signed BUSINESS buddy up to B1G1 – a global philanthropic programme businesses can join to support people in developing countries.
Working at home has its advantages. The commute is negligible, it’s much cheaper, you can bring in the washing if it looks like rain and work around children schedules and nap times.
On the other hand, there are negatives. Client meetings may require a tidy up and a vacuum, taking on employees means having them in your private home, isolation from the rest of the world, no handy coffee shop next door for your caffeine fix.
Your digital presence as a business is absolutely crucial. If you want consistent work, to build trust in your brand, and the opportunity for growth, you have to know how to gather feedback, and how to embrace it.
Here, we’ve laid out the most important things you need to know about doing just that.
Struggling to keep on top of employee timesheets? Want to offer employees a simpler way to clock in and out? Keen to track remote workers’ location throughout the day? Eager to make payroll easier? TSheets, a mobile employee tracking software, is here to help.
The construction industry is a boom or bust business sector and many innocent people are left financially stung when a company goes under.
At the moment, Auckland construction companies can’t keep up with demand and staff members are being poached every day, which is pushing pay scales up.
The cost of materials is also rising and some companies that provide fixed-priced quotes with little room for cost increases are going under or abandoning contracts that are running at a loss.
It’s time to crack open the bubbly and pull the party poppers because according to some political beings – New Zealand celebrated Tax Freedom Day on May 8 this year.
Did you even know such a thing as Tax Freedom Day existed? And, what the heck does it even mean?
The BUSINESS buddies were quite intrigued by the concept of Tax Freedom Day and did some digging to find out more.
There are now over 500 time saving Xero apps that are designed to help your business work more efficiently. But which are the best Xero apps for your business?
From advanced reporting and time tracking tools, through to tools that make managing inventory and orders in real-time easy, there are a vast number to choose from.
The craft beer revolution has sparked a unique production for breweries both small and large. Beer drinkers everywhere are seeing an emergence of eccentric flavors and quirky names fill the taps at their local pub. Not only are beer drinkers seeing this emergence, they are demanding it and as a result craft beer has become increasingly popular over the past few years. This popularity has sculpted the way breweries are operating. Craft beer may be infused with peculiar hues, notes and suggestions of ingredients we never would have thought to be vaguely compatible with beer, yet a few staples remain intact in the beer brewing process.
With loyal customers being worth up to 10 times as much as their first purchase, it pays to keep in touch even after you’ve made the sale. After all, they’re not easy to replace—new customers are in limited supply, significantly less likely to buy, and up to six times more expensive to sell to than your existing customer base. So it’s important for retailers to retain their customers by building authentic relationships that benefit both parties.
When you’re the boss it can be challenging to let go of the reins and make someone else responsible for managing a role.
But, if you want your business to grow you have to share the load, and if you do it well, there will be business advantages that you may not have anticipated.
Cloud software is fast becoming the way to do business. The reason for this? Everything becomes easier, more accurate and more accessible – which, at the end of the day, is the direction a company should be going in. Cloud-based software is basically where everything to do with the program is online. We will look at a few ways that cloud software can help you achieve good inventory management and manufacturing control.
An efficient, hard-working and friendly team is often the making of a successful hospitality business. So it can be quite disruptive when employees need to take leave.
We recently joined the thousands of businesses headed to the Xero Roadshow, an annual exploration of what’s happening in the world of cloud accounting. Much more than just a showcase of Xero’s features, the Roadshow is one of the best ways to learn about the ecosystem.
Keeping productivity levels buzzing is proving problematic for a lot of small to medium Kiwi businesses and the nation lags behind other countries for getting lots of stuff done, efficiently.
Several different factors improve productivity including keeping up-to-date with technology, investing in research and development and connecting with other businesses.
Whether you’ve just opened up shop or you’re expanding your ecommerce empire, one of the biggest ongoing challenges you’ll face is finding a way to increase traffic to your online store. Your high-quality products and stellar customer experiences are a good start, but if you want customers to find you, you’ll need to find a way to stand out in the crowd of competing businesses vying for their attention. In this post, we’ll take you through a collection of digital marketing strategies that will help you attract and retain a customer base that’s both engaged and loyal, so you can get ahead of the competition.
Manufacturers and inventory obviously go hand in hand, it’s not like you can manufacture anything without the necessary parts. However, even with simpler manufacturing jobs, there are a lot of moving parts, and managing the supply chain can become a complex business. It’s one big juggling act, and if you drop one of the balls it can send it all spiraling out of control. However, with inventory management and modern software a lot of the worries of old can be controlled.
Here’s how inventory management can help a manufacturers business performance.
The 2016 budget had a few changes to tax laws that come in effect April 1, 2017. Yes, it is April Fool’s Day.
The BUSINESS buddy team has looked at the nuts and bolts and come up with a few pointers.
Being young and aspirational has established a great career pathway for BUSINESS buddy’s youngest accountant, Amy Posthuma.
Following her internship at BUSINESS buddy’s East Tamaki office, Amy was offered a fulltime position as their junior accountant.
Grow your business through marketing and advertising!
Whether you’re a personal trainer or a large computer repair shop, if you want to grow and build your business, you’ll need to attract new customers and keep them coming back for more.
Effectively marketing your business is one way to grow your brand and your business.
It’s often how you say something that determines whether you get the result you want. This applies in financial services, marketing and even tax collecting.
In one experiment by the Nudge Unit they improved the payment of vehicle taxes by using simple plain language, “pay your tax or lose your car”. In fact HM Revenue & Customs attributes the recovery of an extra £210 million a year from taxpayers by using behavioural insights in its letters i.e. changing the words to influence behaviour.
Don’t get stuck in your own Groundhog Day: 4 easy changes to re-energise your business
While most of us have alarm bells ringing when we receive phone calls from people claiming to be from Microsoft, there are also scammers who target businesses.
There are thousands of people sitting at the other end of a computer screen, actively trying to trick the unwary into sharing their bank account details or send sums of money offshore.
And the winner is…. Oh sorry, no it’s not.
What a clanger the big announcement was at the 2017 Academy Awards, when the wrong envelope was handed to Warren Beatty and he incorrectly announced La La Land as the supreme winner.
I was catching up with a friend over the holidays who was telling me about one of his friends getting made redundant from a small family business just before Christmas. The basic premise of the story was that the bank had told them they needed to make cutbacks, and as part of this they had to reduce staff numbers. They didn’t want to do this, but they had no choice…
As an SMB, you’ll never have a shortage of sources for tips and insights. From retail websites (such as this one) to mentors and fellow retailers, there’s always somewhere to turn to for business advice and best practices.
Effective job scheduling is one of the most important but least understood disciplines of business management. Assigning the correct employee to the right job at the right time is crucial for business success, especially for companies with a mobile workforce. So why don’t some managers give it more of their attention?
We know what it’s like to be a startup; we were one. That’s why we’re excited to launch the 2017 Xero Entrepreneur Scholarship, designed to help UK students afford the rising cost of education and help them along the road to success on their entrepreneurial journey.
It’s no secret that smaller retailers face the challenge of their lives against ecommerce giants such as Amazon — and in Britain, this fight has recently been compounded by Brexit and its potential effects on the retail and trade industries.
But there’s hope yet. A recently launched organization called SaveTheHighStreet.org aims to give the power back to high street retailers and local shopkeepers by endowing them with the tools, skills, and digital capabilities they need to compete in the modern age.
Let’s face it, concepts like paperless office and cloud computing are not ‘new’ concepts anymore. It still surprises me when I encounter businesses that are not paperless and in the cloud. It just makes sense. I’ve been running businesses as ‘paperless offices’ since I co-founded Business Fitness back in 2001. My current business, PARADOX, has been ‘paperless’ and had 100% cloud-based IT and business systems from day one, almost 8 years ago now.
You’ve put yourself out of your comfort zone and tried something new with your business, with less than spectacular results.
Now’s the time to brush yourself off and try again.
Marketing. *Cringe*. You can think of a million things you’d rather be doing. The ice bucket challenge in the middle of winter. A half marathon with your ridiculously fit niece, a Toastmasters table topics competition in front of 100 unknown people.
Having worked with several trade contracting businesses, I’ve observed a very common, but inefficient, behaviour: going after big contracts before thinking about the fit.
Often, companies will spend months preparing a proposal only to see it rejected.
Peer-2-peer lending is a form of debt financing that allows businesses to borrow money without going through traditional lending routes such as a bank. P2P lending platforms connect individuals looking to lend their money with businesses looking to borrow.
These days, cultural fit is an important part of the recruiting process. The prevailing wisdom is that you train for skills, and hire for attitude and fit.
We spend most of our lives working rather than with the ones we love, so it seems only sensible to ensure the relationships we have at work with our colleagues or employees are healthy and happy, as well as professional.
Well that’s the holidays done and now there is an arbitrary line drawn on the calendar that demands we contemplate, plan and decide the future of many things – including work.
This quandary is most pressing for many baby boomers contemplating retirement as well as businesses in industry sectors that are rapidly changing with a rush of innovations.
Do you take regular cash drawings from your business profits to meet personal living costs? You need to be aware of how your personal drawings sit with your tax position.
We have long known we’re a nation powered by small business. And that lends itself to highly personalised ways of doing business, strong relationships going back a long way, teams that feel like family.
That’s why it’s so devastating when a business finds out someone they’ve trusted has cheated them, sometimes over a long time: a so-called ‘person in a special relationship’.
Proposals to change the rules governing look-through companies (LTCs) and closely held companies are currently going through parliamentary hearings and consultations.
A wee reminder while you are in holiday mode. These dates apply to those clients for whom we prepare tax returns. Different dates will apply for those clients for whom we don't prepare returns.
If there’s one phrase found on the lips of finance-conscious small business owners more often than any other, it’s surely this old chestnut: “Cash flow is king”.
But how often does the average small business owner actually walk the talk of ‘cash is king’? Could it be that the simple distinction between ‘cash’ and ‘profit’ is actually unclear for many SMBs? And just what is the difference?
With the holidays about to kick off, companies that don’t close for the break may need to employ extra people over the holidays.
Business owners and managers need to consider the kind of help required and broadly, what kind of employment contract is best suited to the situation.
Hark the BUSINESS Buddies sing
"Glory to our accounting!”
Peace with Xero and don’t get wild
Debits and credits reconciled."
Changes to tax law around buying and selling property might affect you.
Now that the changes are in operation and the bright line test is being applied to determine tax liability, an issue highlighted only recently might leave you exposed.
Who is responsible for fixing a product if it breaks after the manufacturer’s warranty or an extended warranty has expired? If you answered “the customer”, you should read on — the good reputation of your business may depend on it.
It’s easy to take for granted the innovative technology we have at our disposal today. For small businesses, something as simple as email has completely revolutionized the way you communicate with customers.
In order to run a modern business, you need to utilize modern technology. Doing so means that you can run your business as efficiently as possible, hire staff that are best-suited to the job and retain them.
You’ve had a hectic day at the office. A last minute crisis occurred and you worked 2 hours overtime to get everything done. When you finally arrive home you’re too exhausted to cook dinner (and substitute with greasy takeaways and a cheap bottle of wine).Your ‘quality time’ with your spouse consists of a few muttered sentences before doing the laundry and other crucial tasks, then rolling into bed exhausted.
Yippee it's December and we are feeling the Christmas spirit.
It’s the Holy Grail of business: increasing the number of profitable hours in a day. Short of asking staff to do more overtime or take shorter breaks, how do owners and managers coax more revenue-raising activities out of every employee and every subcontractor on every shift? And how do they become more effective at making decisions that will boost business efficiency every week?
We all know that cash flow is king. But just how much sway does it have? Well, you might want to ask the nine out of 10 small businesses that have failed because of cash flow problems. That’s, right, according to D&B, 90% of small businesses close their doors because of poor cash flow management.
Happy employees are engaged employees. It’s the HR holy grail. So gaining a measure of employee happiness in your business makes good sense. But all employee happiness surveys are not created equal. An employee happiness survey is only as good as the questions you ask and how you follow through on the responses.
The earth has performed a tap dance, the power is out and access to the office is impossible. How do you continue to function as a business?
It is easy for businesses to think “it will never happen” but when disaster strikes it is too late to plan how to survive both physically and commercially.
Whoot, whoot, our lovely Deidre has reached double digits!
We are very pleased to announce that we have had the pleasure of Deidre’s company here at BUSINESS buddy for 10 whole years.
In an ideal world, the growth arrow of every business would always point up, with no flattening out or dipping.
In our more realistic world, business growth fluctuates significantly, due to both internal and external factors.
Unsurprisingly, some of the early-adopters of cloud software were the IT, Communications and Financial Services industries. The many advantages of using cloud Software are beneficial to a broad scope of businesses.
Since Henry Ford built his first assembly line in 1913, automation has revolutionised manufacturing industries. Similarly, manufacturing can greatly benefit from the multi-functional nature of cloud software and services, improving forecasting, inventory management, sales support functions, HR, product development and life cycle management.
One of the most overlooked and under-practiced habits in today’s businesses is creating annual profit and loss budgets. But why is this so critical for your business?
With a profit and loss budget, you’ve considered and developed an understanding of the key areas in your business that really make your profit and loss come to life.
You’ve found the perfect business to buy, it’s been up and running for a while and the current owners say they’ve been really successful.
It’s in your budget, you like the concept, you are willing to take the dive but before getting overly enthusiastic, you need to do a spot of fact checking.
Several years ago, I had a customer who would glower at me as soon as I entered his department. He would say, ‘Fix it right this time, or get it out of here,’ no matter what the problem was.
If I was even one minute later than my ETA, he would be on the phone with my boss, complaining about the horrible service he was getting.
Because he would place a service call for the slightest imperfection or hiccup of the machine, I was going there almost every day.
Emergencies that force you to stop trading, like earthquakes, floods or fires, come with little or no warning. To give your business the best chance of survival, you need a contingency plan. Make sure it includes what happens after disaster strikes, when less — or no — money might be coming in.
Starting your own business can feel like scaling Mt Kilimanjaro. You dig your feet in, climb, and pray for the best. It’s an exciting, chaotic, and hope-filled journey… But what happens when you reach the top of the mountain? Is there anywhere to go but downhill?
Unfortunately many small businesses grind to a halt - or even start to decline - after climbing their first mountain. This is known as the small business profit plateau. Your company is finally up and running smoothly, but its exponential growth suddenly stops. Your profits start to flatline. It feels like your team is working twice as hard just to maintain the same ROI.
Xero was born to achieve a simple but bold purpose: to build powerful, relevant and beautiful cloud accounting software that would change the lives of its global accounting partners and small businesses.
That’s why we consider it our greatest achievement to know that small business owners and key decision makers have named Xero the most-loved accounting software for a second year in a row, beating MYOB and Intuit Quickbooks, through independent research.
Business is heading into the final quarter of the year and the challenge of employing someone right now or waiting until the New Year is on a lot of people’s minds.
The BUSINESS buddy team has made it into the finals of the 2016 David Awards in two different categories and we are mega excited.
We have just heard we are in the running as the most outstanding established business and the Bizbuzz most community minded business.
Whether you’re an architect or a personal trainer, you’ll know the importance of using the right tools for the job. When it comes to running a thriving business, cloud-based apps are becoming an increasingly essential item in a small business’ toolkit.
Providing access to real-time information on the go, as well as reducing time spent on manual data-entry are just some of the benefits apps can provide busy small business owners.
In the pursuit of standardising service so every customer receives the same message or deal, many companies are producing staff who cannot sort out the simplest problem.
One size does not fit all and when someone throws a spanner in the works, can your team handle the situation?
Believe it or not, the super organised of us have actually started our Christmas shopping by now.
But there is another list that business owners should be ticking off on the run up to Christmas, and that is your business plan.
We like to think we are one of the David’s of the world, punching above our weight, using innovation to help us run rings around the Goliaths out there.
There is even an award for it, and voting closes today, so no dilly-dallying.
Applying for funding from a bank can be daunting. It’s a lengthy process which involves jumping through hoop after hoop with no guarantee of success.
But it doesn’t have to be that way, follow our guide to ensure you go into the loan process with the correct information and watch your chances of approval soar.
Research suggests it costs a business between 4-10 times more to acquire a new client than it does to retain a current client. As a business owner, you will do well to look for ways to nurture these clients who’ve used you once into not just returning, but spreading the word about your company.
Going to conferences is a much-loved activity for BUSINESS buddy and the team recognises the importance of being at the top of their game to get the most out of the experience.
Training like All Blacks ensures they are sharp as tacks – even in the after-lunch-I’m-ready-for-a-snooze time.
No we are not standing in the local body elections but BUSINESS buddy has entered the David Awards.
The team thought long and hard and we thought we had what it takes to be a true David – heroically taking on the big guns in the world of accounting and business advising.
You put a lot of work into gaining your customers.
So once you have them, you don’t want them to simply buy from you once, and then leave you to go out acquiring new customers.
That’s exactly what might happen if your customer has a bad experience with your customer service.
A robust rostering system is essential in any hospitality or retail business. Ensuring you have the right number of staff rostered on will keep your customers happy, and your wage cost looking great.
This week on Xero Gravity, Xero’s very own Rod Drury joins us to divulge what inspires him as a leader. Rod knows all about the importance of thinking globally. A Hi-Tech New Zealand Entrepreneur of the Year winner and stand-up paddleboard enthusiast, he joins Elizabeth Ü in studio to discuss the parallels between Tesla’s plan to make the world better, and how small businesses can innovate and grow beyond their community.
Like many other Kiwis, our head honcho, Kirsten Hawke, has been watching Olympic highlights, sharing in the highs and lows of our athletes as they battle it out in the worlds most ancient arena. But not everyone is so keen.
Since the recession in 2008, there have been many complaints that the banks aren’t lending to SMEs. As a result businesses are increasingly seeking out alternative finance routes to access funding.
Many years ago, I was on lunch with two other techs when one asked, 'Have you seen Tom around lately?'
Tom was a bit of a 'lone wolf' so it wasn’t too strange that we hadn’t run into him, but our manager had also requested a few times that we take his service calls.
I decided to call Tom to find out why he had been MIA for the past few weeks.
This year, Business Buddy took the plunge and entered the Westpac Auckland Business Awards – South, which was a little bit nerve-racking for us.
However, we are super-excited to shout to anyone who will listen that we made the finals for two categories; Excellence in Innovation and Excellence in Strategy & Planning.
Juggling a multitude of roles is the bane of many business owners and when the heat goes on, it can feel like most of the day is spent putting out fires.
Of course, there are going to be times when the unexpected happens and the boss must plonk on the fire chief hat and start extinguishing but with a bit of planning – those days should be reduced.
I believe that a useful goal in marketing is to have people remember us positively. In other words we want them to be thinking and saying good things about our business as often as possible.
A recent High Court case shows companies need to take extra care when claiming their products are New Zealand made, an intellectual property expert says.
The first year in business is often both the toughest and most rewarding time. It’s when you start to figure out who you are as a business owner, and whether there really are people out there who will pay for your product or service.
The experts tell us New Zealand’s economy is dominated by the basics – farming and tourism.
The economies of many developing countries are much the same and some economists argue that these low-tech sectors do not bode well for the future.
Do you spend a lot of time entering invoices? At Xero, they're committed to helping you shave hours off your invoicing workflow. Here’s a grab-bag of ways you can use Xero to speed up your invoicing. Some ways might not suit you, it’s a case of picking the ones that make sense for your business.
Whiteboards took up half of Wendy Fallow’s office. The operations manager of Clear Concepts, a customised glass design business, said her working life consisted of sticking cellotaped magnets on pieces of paper and talking on the phone to her seven mobile installers and sales reps.
“The cheapest trainer in the world is too expensive if the client isn’t yet sold on your value” – Jon Goodman, Ignite the Fire.
Anyone who lives in Auckland knows about the traffic. In fact, anyone who lives in New Zealand knows about Auckland traffic.
There is a familiar pattern happening across Auckland and BUSINESS buddy is taking affirmative action – work from home Friday.
Here at Business Buddy, we like to give back to the community and now we’ve gone global.
Our head honcho, Kirsten Hawke, heard a B1G1 speaker at the Panalitix conference and she was keen to include Business Buddy in the philanthropic programme.
Give Business Buddy a call today, and get started with planning the success of your business.
All it takes is a ONE PAGE business plan, which keeps you on course for success.
Learn about getting payroll right, meeting MBIE requirements, health and safety compliance, Holidays Act, employment agreements, annual leave.