Effective job scheduling is one of the most important but least understood disciplines of business management.
UX (User Experience) is at the heart of every good design. It’s the difference between your customers groaning in wretched frustration, or grinning with enjoyment; with them shaking a defeated fist at your site and hastily clicking away from it, or completing a satisfying purchase and wanting to return for more.
For most of us the internet is an intrinsic part of our lives. We rely on it to get us where we are going, connect us to friends and family and answer all of our questions, no matter how banal. It has also quickly become an integral part of most businesses, enabling them to complete business transactions in mere minutes as well as connect to their customers and a global network.
Ten years ago, the accounting industry looked very different but new technology is evolving. Cloud-based software is becoming more prevalent everywhere you look; accountants have had to adapt their mode of operation. These changes to the industry will create so many opportunities for accountants. Yet, there will also be notable challenges to face with this level of change.
The cloud – what is it and why is it important? Like the name suggests, the idea of the cloud feels lofty and hard to grasp. Simply put, cloud computing is the practice of using a network hosted on the Internet, or “the cloud,” to store, manage, and process data. This means you won’t have to maintain or own any hosting equipment.
Christmas is here and more than anything, it’s usually referred to as the season of love. Love is expressed by giving, and many employers hope to express this love to their employees by giving gifts.
Business negotiation is a world of contradictions. You’ve got to be firm but flexible open and sharing, but a little cagey. There’s a lot to get your head around. But your state of mind might be the most important thing. Aim for a mutually beneficial outcome, and you’ll find the whole exercise more comfortable. Follow these five tips to prepare for your next negotiation.
When a customer asks you for a quote, they're giving you a golden opportunity. With the right response, you can close the deal quickly and win new business. Here's how to make the most of price quotes.
Offices used to be essential for most businesses. But mobile technology and new working practices mean that many small businesses don't need any office space. Here's what you need to know about having a mobile office.
Business plans help define goals and help you achieve them. If you take time to set concrete and achievable goals, you can then chart a plan to reach these goals successfully. Having tangible goals can make a business thrive.
Almost every small business struggles through ups and downs on their journey to funding business growth.
Strategic planning is the blueprint for your business. It’s an aspirational and practical plan for your future that can give you an exact outline of where your business is, and where it should be.
Grow your business by strengthening its eCommerce capability. eCommerce is one of the most rapidly growing ways to sell products to customers in most countries globally.
You may have come across two terms which are often confused – Business-to-Business (B2B) retail and Business-to-Consumer (B2C) retail. In this article, we outline the key features of each model so that you know the differences between the two.
The proliferation of e-commerce has been a game changer in the world of retail, and if adopted correctly can be hugely beneficial for manufacturers too.
Working from home is becoming increasingly common as many employees look for flexibility and work-life balance.
The Asia-Pacific region has seen an online boom over the past decade, particularly in eCommerce. This part of the world has the largest online market globally and high levels of growth in the Australian eCommerce market have had a lot to do with this.
The manufacturing industry is changing and new trends are shifting the way manufacturing companies operate their facilities. In addition, manufacturing companies are looking to become more sustainable in their operations.
The world of accounting and bookkeeping is changing. It was a decade ago that I decided to upgrade our small business from spreadsheets and Word documents to a proper accounting system.
As passionate believers in the healing power of flower essences, Scott Harris and his co-founder Jayne Tancred established Tribe of the Tree in Sydney seven years ago.
Seasonality might make you think of the holiday season but seasonality is not exclusive to Christmas, Easter or Halloween! Seasonality also encompasses the summer seasonal boom.
In an ideal world, your business would never have excess or obsolete inventory. However, this can and often does happen when demand for certain products decreases and supply remains steady or increases.
There are many factors that can contribute to business success or otherwise. When first starting out, business owners can be focused solely on serving customers that they forget to check out the competition.
Managing seasonal pressures in the automotive industry is an ongoing struggle for car dealers, repair shops and others in the auto business.
One of the major differences between brick-and-mortar and ecommerce retail is the ability (or inability) to create a physical customer-product interaction.
When it comes to quality control as a manufacturer, it’s important to remember the role inventory management has on your ability to moderate quality. In terms of running a business, your aim will be to make quality products that will sell, with as little waste as possible.
There are many lessons to be learned through failure. Each time something does not work in a business, there are endless reasons and factors that could culminate to cause the failure.
Controlling a supply chain can be a very difficult exercise. Businesses can struggle to control what is going on in their supply chain and this can result in failure.
Working remotely or freelancing has its positives— working in your pyjamas being one of them— but when it comes to self-motivating and staying productive, it can be an uphill battle.
No entrepreneur or business startup sets out to fail, yet in every industry, there are those companies that grow and dominate their markets, while others stagnate or ultimately fail.
Gift giving is a major part of the holiday season. As a result, the holiday seasons is hectic, not only for the consumers, but also the retailers and manufacturers supplying the gifts.
Picture this — you find yourself in an industry that is dominated by big chains at the top and crowded with online stores that keep popping up. How do you stay competitive?
Highly successful retail businesses don’t just happen overnight, nor does it (usually) occur because of one big, bold action.
Stockouts almost always make it to the “worst nightmare” lists of retailers, and for good reason. Not only do they lead to lost sales, but out-of-stocks also result in reduced customer satisfaction and lower loyalty levels.
Global sourcing occurs when companies go beyond their home borders for sourcing goods and services.
It is a difficult task to gauge customer satisfaction without some form of survey to do so. However, understanding the extent to which your customer base is happy with your services is integral to your company’s success.
Strategy lies at the heart of most successful businesses. Businesses that plan and have clear objectives or goals, robust accountability and a shared sense of purpose should always outperform those that just show up and go through the motions.
The success of a business, amongst other things, is largely dependent on their ability to supply their product or service to a customer exactly when and in what quantity they require.
As industries increase in globalisation, establishing trading relationships with suppliers further and further afield, there is a concurrent and rather ironic push for consumers to support local entities and ‘shop small’.
How much money do you lose to stockouts and overstocked items every year? The answer might surprise you.
As some countries ring in the new financial year, now is the time to reflect and make New Year’s resolutions for your SME for the financial year ahead.
Every seasonal business – whether it’s a haunted house attraction open on Halloween or a summer souvenirs shop on the beach – dreads the off-peak season.
Sales numbers are not the only factor that influence a business’ bottom-line. Inventory management is just as important, and managers need to be wary of a few common inventory management mistakes to avoid.
Working from home is becoming increasingly common as many employees look for flexibility and work-life balance.
Online purchasing has not-so-slowly and very surely become the way people shop. It is efficient, convenient and best of all can be done without any concern for traffic or trying to find dreaded car-parking at a mall.
If your business is doing well and you’re looking to expand, that can be a sign of success. However, moving to the next stage of business development can be a risky endeavour.
Holiday seasons are often just as exciting for food manufacturers as they are for consumers. Holiday seasons are big business for food manufacturers.
Managing your business’s impact on the environment is not only good for the environment but it can also help to improve your business’s reputation and reduce business costs.
It’s the Holy Grail of business: increasing the number of profitable hours in a day.
In any business, large or small, good teamwork is essential for morale, productivity and efficiency.
We have spoken to hundreds of business owners and thousands of their employees over the last twelve years.
You’ve done the hard work by setting up your business and establishing solid foundations with a good client base – congrats! So how do you expand, and do so profitably?
Even if a business has some other, high value, assets such as factory plant, inventory is likely to essential to the business’ ability to trade profitably.
More than just dispatching machines, handhelds have become as ubiquitous to field service as the screwdriver and wrench.
Many small business owners don’t give a second thought about the need for clear communication.
Businesses today are quickly adopting cloud software as the benefits become more apparent and even necessary to keep a competitive edge – benefits like less paperwork, greater efficiency, and time savings.
Due to the nature of the distribution model where distributors profit by selling inventory to their customers, failing to manage inventory well can be a major liability for distributors.
Look at a company with a reputation for strong employee engagement and you’ll find a high performing business. We’re not making this up.
Knowing what your payroll costs are – daily, weekly, monthly and yearly – is an important part of running a successful business. It allows you to forecast future wage costs, ensures you don’t have any surprises come pay day, and gives you confidence in the stability of the business.
But do you know the TRUE cost of your roster?
Remember the old (and slightly misogynistic) phrase Happy Wife, Happy Life! ? Well, it turns out there is a workplace equivalent: Happy workers, productive business! (and no – we couldn’t make it rhyme).
Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SME) are companies that are independently owned and managed with less than 250 employees in their ranks and bringing in less than 50 million euros per year.
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.
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.
As a small to medium business owner, getting your inventory management right can sometimes seem like a daunting endeavor. Fortunately, most of the stress involved in developing good inventory practice can be resolved by identifying the right inventory management strategies for your business. That’s not to say that there’s an immediately obvious solution for every problem – there are some tricky issues in inventory management however there are well-documented strategies to help you get the basics right.
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.
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.
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.
Campbell Parker is one of the brains behind two of Christchurch’s must-eat restaurants.
Opening in March 2015, Bootleg BBQ is an inner-city destination providing the city’s meat and craft beer lovers with a real taste of American cuisine. The Old Vicarage, which Campbell has owned for the past 10 years, is an iconic restaurant on the outskirts of Christchurch.
Safety doesn’t happen by accident. As a business owner or director, you need to be deliberate to make sure everyone who comes to work goes home healthy and safe.
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.
Most business owners face a constant struggle to get everything done in the course of their working week, while looking for ways to keep costs low and sales high. Optimising your supply chain is a must for achieving this goal, and it requires careful management of your suppliers or manufacturers. But that’s no easy task when they’re also busy and can’t always respond to your requests as quickly as you’d like.
Launched in 1985 for Mac and two years later for Windows, the first version of Excel was an advancement in spreadsheet technology. A great new tool to help sort, manipulate and present data; one that supported the automation of repetitive tasks.
Thirty years is a long time in technology. Using spreadsheets to manage inventory, financials and business reporting is costing your company time and money. Here’s five reasons why:
Don’t get stuck in your own Groundhog Day: 4 easy changes to re-energise your business
Just-In-Time (JIT) inventory is a strategy used to increase efficiency and minimize waste in the manufacturing process. The overarching concept of JIT is relatively simple, with a JIT approach, when an inventory item is in demand, it is delivered and as a result this system does not have high inventory levels. By receiving goods only as they are needed in the production process, it minimizes inventory costs. There are many factors that must work in harmony for such a system to be successful. Below are some of the key highlights of a JIT inventory system.
Hospitality is a complex – and often fickle – business. There are so many factors that can affect the need for staff, and therefore the overall turnover of the business. There are far too many to mention, but can include: changes in weather; local events; public holidays; what your competition is doing; what deals are running; and how you’ve marketed the business.
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?
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
Everyone makes a plan at some point in their life. Whether it’s for their wedding, family, business – or even just the weekend. Spontaneity is fun when it comes to road trips and skinny dips, but successful businesses need to think about the future and how to work smarter, not harder.
Working with family members presents unique advantages, and unique challenges. If you've built up your own business, now might be the time to bring in other family members. Here’s how to avoid some of the pitfalls.
The types of failures that led to the Pike River mine tragedy can be found in many businesses and in many industries, says Rebecca Macfie, the Listener journalist who spent a year investigating the disaster and wrote the book Tragedy at Pike River: How and Why 29 Men Died.
If you’re a shop owner, new rules mean your council may let you open on Easter Sunday. However, you can’t make your employees work that day.
Job sheets, whiteboards, clipboards, filing cabinets … these are the communication and information storage tools of old-fashioned, inefficient small businesses. For owners and managers of trades and services companies who are only familiar with these traditional ways of working, and systems that may have been used for decades, it can seem like a difficult task to move to modern, cloud-based job management software.
Have you ever wondered what makes successful business owners tick? Do you share their good habits? We surveyed 2,000 business owners to help you find out.
Not too long ago, customers walked into retail stores without knowing much about their products. They’d browse the merchandise to discover items they liked, relying on store associates for more details and information.
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.
‘I love deadlines…. especially the whooshing noise they make as they go by!’ That’s one of my favourite “Dilbert” quotes about business but it flies in the face of what motorsport stands for. Motorsport is a business of hitting deadlines because it doesn’t matter what reasons or excuses there are, the race will always start on time…. Whether you are there or not.
How did trust, that fundamental building block of human behaviour, become a cornerstone of modern business? Once something that required significant time and investment to build, maintain and yield results, trust is now being made and broken by strangers at speed – and that shift is being commoditised.
Freelancing and gigging are gaining popularity fast. Not only do you get the flexibility to work when and how you want, a lot of these jobs let you work from home. However, if you’ve never worked from home before this can be a challenge.
Treating your home like an office can take practice, especially if you don’t have enough space for a dedicated home office. If you’re freelancing and want to work more efficiently, here are some tips to help.
Much like finding an old $20 in those jeans that you’ve had away since last winter, or like realising you’ve ordered your pizza on cheap Tuesday when you go to foot the bill, figuring out that just a small change to the way you work can save you time and money is gold.
Sometimes, it’s the minor details that matter. It might seem like a small win at the time, but it’s one that can make a big difference to your business.
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.
Ah, meetings. With their almost universally hated status, running one can be tough going. You can almost *hear* the groans as you schedule one in the team’s shared calendar (and heaven forbid you try and make it a regular weekly occurrence). Given the enormous amount of pressure you – as the brave meeting organiser – face, it’s easy to default to a boring Powerpoint deck and read off the slides word-for-word. Unfortunately it’s also a great way to send everyone to sleep or to seek solace in tea breaks and lunch.
How many times have you been on a road trip with children and heard that constant question that gratingly gets on your nerves: ‘Are we there yet?’
If you’re like me, you want to answer with, ‘Of course not or we’d be… there.’ Kids, knowing the potential fun to be had at the destination, get weary in the waiting of the journey itself.
According to world-class athlete and Olympian Sally Gunnell, as well as adapting to change, sustaining excellence in a new business is one of the hardest parts of the journey. In both business and sport, people ask and expect you to consistently perform at a massively high level with challenging deadlines. Sally’s advice in this regard is to stay focused on your goals and remember that they can of course be tweaked when they’ve been achieved or part achieved.
While the similarities between olympians and entrepreneurs may be few and far between, they do share one unifying cause: both strive for gold. Seeing the dedication of the athletes at this year’s Olympic Games in Rio reminds us of the long and hard path they forged to get to the Olympic arena.
For former Olympic athlete Michelle Roark, the transition from freestyle skiing to business owner was a no-brainer. Roark started skin and haircare company, Phia Lab, and with this came the realization the skills she had developed as a professional athlete were more than transferrable. Her inspiration for the brand was even inspired during training.
When you own a business, it’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day: from ensuring jobs get done, to checking employees and customers are happy. That’s before we even factor in our families, let alone ourselves.
But when we don’t take care of ourselves too, it can take a toll on the quality we operate at, affecting business productivity and ultimately profitability.