Click on any of the topics here to tap into our resources. If there is anything you would like to discuss, please feel free to contact us.
As a founding member of the Fast Company magazine team, Polly LaBarre has seen her share of successes—and failures—in the business world. Now the cofounder and director of Management Lab, she helps businesses and entrepreneurs succeed. She starts by asking them a single question: Are you capable of changing as fast as the world is changing?
Secretly, my ultimate goal is an empty inbox. I create folders and subfolders and diligently file emails away as soon as possible, or delete anything I no longer need. The thought of my inbox growing massive in number kind of scares me - an irrational fear that if it grows beyond a certain amount, it’s too late to be saved, and I’d just have to give up and let it run wild. Some might call it OCD, I just like to call it ‘organised’.
If you’d asked anyone 10 years ago about how important technology was in running a successful café, they probably would have responded: not at all!
But today, we are increasingly seeing small businesses embrace technology to grow and be more relevant to their clients.
Raw data describes the facts and figures that a business processes every day. Over time, every business hoards a certain amount of data and it only becomes information to a business after it has been processed to add context, relevance and purpose.
New Zealand’s Consumers Price Index for the March 2015 quarter fell 0.3% compared with last quarter, but the prices for fruit, rental housing, and newly built housing all went up. With the basic costs of living and housing all consistently rising, saving money for your retirement becomes less of a focus, and seemingly less achieveable.
As your business begins to grow, when the workload increases and the time commitment too, you may start to think you need some help. If getting the kids to stuff envelopes for pocket money come invoicing time just isn’t cutting it anymore, it might be time to think about formally hiring some staff.
I've learned a number of valuable marketing lessons over the last few weeks and I thought I'd share three of these with you.
In more than 20 years of writing for and about a wide variety of companies, I’ve noticed something important. The businesses that flourish are the ones that truly understand their customers – who they are and what they want.
As a merchant or a person acquainted with ecommerce, you might have heard such terms as “cross selling” and “upselling”. But if you think these are some sort of sophisticated novelties – they are not. These techniques have been used by many generations of traditional retailers and are still considered to be the keys to profit generation.
Are you a retailer (or retail sales associate) who’s struggling with how to approach shoppers? Worried that you lack the magic touch, or that you’ll come off as an annoying salesperson? Would you rather be awkwardly staring at your store’s point of sale software screen than actually talking to the customer in front of you?
The beginning of a relationship is always the best. You laugh at each other’s jokes, you look forward to every phone call, and you truly enjoy getting to know one another.
This guest blog is by Tim Campbell, the first winner of BBC TV’s The Apprentice and co-founder of the Bright Ideas Trust, a charity that helps people start their own businesses.
What ‘simple things’ can you do to improve sales?
Regardless of what is going on in the economy there are always simple things many businesses can use to improve their sales and profits.
Sometimes making more sales is as simple as talking to more potential customers about what you sell.
You offer a valuable service, a skill set or a must-have product. Whatever your business, your customers obviously turn to you for a reason. And when it comes to sharing a little knowledge, your customers will be ready and waiting to read something from you, in your own voice.
Back in the day, retail pricing was relatively straightforward. Customers would walk into a store, browse products, look at their price tags, and if they like what they see, they would move on to checkout.
When deciding how to price your products, you need to understand how – and where – your business fits into the economy.
In the past, having honest scales were key to doing good business. Today, for many service-based businesses, our scales are our timesheets. Keeping our timesheets honest is not only good for our customers, but necessary to grow your business.
A popular topic these days is how to hire the perfect candidate for your business. Many industries seem to be suffering from a candidate shortage. When you can’t hire a quality candidate with a lot of experience, the focus quickly turns to hiring people straight out of school. So, how do you identify the diamonds in the rough? How can you give them what they need to grow and turn them into the best they can be?
Making your office a little greener is not just a great way to do your bit towards a healthier and more sustainable planet, it can also give your business a point of differentiation, while also helping your bottom line.
Job Management Software is a new market. Anyone using it is ahead of the game. Those that have adopted it name three key reasons for abandoning their old ways. ‘ Needless extra admin’, ‘Scheduling the workforce was painful’ and ‘We have had poor visibility of job progress’ are the top three.
A cloud inventory solution is one of the most important tools for an ecommerce business. Cloud inventory is the core of your operations, providing the infrastructure and technology needed to manage goods. There are many great cloud solutions which integrate with multiple marketplaces, shopping carts, and accounting platforms.
The Government this month handed down the 2015 NZ Budget with a few surprises in store. This Budget continues to deliver on National Government’s pattern of fiscal responsibility. This is a positive thing for New Zealand business as it creates an environment of certainty and stability for businesses to invest.
It’s no question that data is a godsend for many retailers. Analytics can help you get to know your business better and can enable you spot trends, identify problems, and plan for the future. Data also empowers you to make more reliable decisions in just about every area of your business, including sales, inventory, staffing, and more.
Congrats! You just finished setting up your online store. You’ve created winning product pages, put up some killer product photos, and you’re ready to start selling to the world.
We live in a social world. As much as some of us hate to admit it, social media plays a significant role in our everyday lives – from news updates to obscure selfies – the world is documented through social feeds.
You started your own business to do something you love and make money. But how much should you pay yourself? Too little and you may struggle to survive. Too much and your business might be at risk. So how do you strike the right balance?
Small businesses often start out using Excel – but that’s only doable up until a point. Like every teenager eventually becomes an adult, your business needs to evolve and grow. Find out why the smartest organisations are using online accounting software instead.
Accountants can help out at various stages during the growth of your business. They can handle much more than just your payroll and tax returns. So when should you consider hiring an accountant for your small business?
If you want your business to work smarter and faster, cloud accounting software is a wise investment. Working in the cloud will give you a better overview of your finances, and improve collaboration with your team.
One of the marketing e-zines I find particularly helpful is called ‘The Likeable Expert’. It is written by Michael Katz the owner of Blue Penguin Development.
One of the big opportunities for many businesses is the huge ‘hidden market’ for what they offer.
Invoices are a necessary evil. It’s what your agency needs to get paid! As your agency’s financial manager, ownership of this monthly responsibility falls to you.
While this likely isn’t news to your agency, as with any service business, there is a constant struggle to retain and grow long-term client relationships.
With the digital age in full swing, it’s no surprise that your employees’ personal and professional lives are becoming more and more intertwined.
Starting out afresh – either creating your own accounting practice or regenerating one from within – can be a daunting venture. It is a leap of faith, but also a tantalising opportunity to journey down a different path.
The traditional argument about Intellectual Property has always been whether it is a sword or a shield
In the desktop world that we are rapidly leaving behind, updates are infrequent and painful. If there was something you didn’t like or didn’t quite work in your accounting software it could be years before you got a fix for it.
What’s the word customers most use to describe your brand? Don’t do any fancy research or hire any consultants. Just go listen. Listen with an ear to the words they use in the first sentence. Then keep score.
There is no question that an IP strategy should be aligned with business strategy.
But, what needs to be better recognised is that IP issues can actually drive most strategic considerations in an organisation
Do you know who an incredible advocate for hard work was? Mary Poppins.
If there was an option to make things easier for yourselves…would you take it?
Inventory management can be hard for any business to do well. Whether you're in manufacturing or retail, your business can suffer if you have too little stock – or too much. Here's how to get it right.
Busy offices can generate a lot of paperwork. But too much paper can reduce the efficiency of your business – and cost you money. So what steps can you take to cut the amount of paper your business uses?
We understand that SEO can be a bit of a mysterious beast. So we reached out to our friends from Alpha Digital, to share some of their best practice tips to help you make your product descriptions SEO friendly.
Women all over the world are becoming entrepreneurs and building successful businesses. What lessons can they teach the rest of us? Here, seven famous female entrepreneurs share their tips for success.
Human beings are overwhelmingly visual. How could I say that? 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual, and visuals are processed 60,000X faster in the brain than text. Why are high-quality photos important for online retail?
There a simple creative thinking system that you might like to use to increase your sales fast. It’s called the 20 idea method.
It’s very rare for consumers to make purchase decisions without doing any research. Save for impulse buys, people generally take their time and consult several sources when they’re trying to decide what to buy and who to buy from.
What is your ‘Unfair Marketing Advantage Strategy’ going to be for the next 12 months?
In other words, what will you change (or do differently) so you get much better business results in the next 12 months with a lot less effort?
Successful agencies are constantly on the hunt to attract and retain top talent through recruiting and networking. But making a hiring decision isn’t easy, and it’s important to hire the right person—the first time around.
Agency-life can be a whirlwind. With client requests, impromptu projects, and ever-looming deadlines, simply retaining your sanity can be tough. But all hope is not lost.
Getting organized is the second most popular New Year’s resolution, according to a study conducted by the University of Scranton. Are you still sticking to yours?
Xero is pleased to announce New Zealand Payroll has been released so you can get ready for processing payroll from the 1st April. Now is the time to make the change in time for the new financial year.
We all know the colleagues we love working with every day. They usually have a few common characteristics, including…
No industry is exempt from change. Change is inevitable. It affects everyone within a business, from the CEO and director through to front line employees. It’s important to keep in mind the implications of change that can occur if it isn’t managed appropriately.
Change. Whether you’re someone who welcomes it with open arms, or you’re the type who tries to maintain the status quo as long as possible, change is inescapable. As the cliché goes, change the only constant thing in the world. And in retail, this statement couldn’t be more true, especially in the last few years!
From cupcake-crazy home bakers to fitness addicts and artistic dreamers, more and more entrepreneurial Britons are turning passions and pastimes into money-making enterprises. In fact, latest studies show there are 600,000 more micro businesses in the UK today than there were during the onset of the financial crisis in 2008*.
We live in a globally connected, digital economy. In this world the all-pervasive force is data. So much so that is has become to the digital economy, what oil was to the industrial. There has never been a better time to use data to drive your business performance.
There’s some truth to the saying “You have to spend money to make money.” When you’re running a business, shelling out without seeing an immediate return is part of the territory.
I’m sure we all remember using acrostic poems growing up. This week we’ve chosen to discuss the topic of customers in acrostic form!
The Government’s campaign for health and safety reform has made it clear that there is an increased focus on high risk industries such as forestry, agriculture, manufacturing and construction.
Xero accounting software is designed to revolutionise the way small businesses manage their finances.
WorkflowMax is a web based workflow management solution used by creative agencies, accounting and consulting practices and even tradesmen to manage their businesses from quoting and job costing, through to invoicing and reporting.
Here in the goRoster office we’re all about helping others. So, in keeping with that theme we’ve put together some useful tools that all of you can use no matter what type of hospitality business you work for!
“Data, data, data. I cannot make bricks without clay.” So said the irrepressible Sherlock Holmes in one of Arthur Conan Doyle’s classic stories, and so echoes thousands of business analysts and statisticians the world over.
For more than 85 percent of males and 66 percent of females in the United States, the workweek extends longer than 40 hours.
Why is it that in our always on, always connected world where we take fully automated self service consumer experiences for granted – everything from online shopping, to banking, to theatre and movie ticket reservations – that we’re happy to function in manual mode in the workplace?
Replacing paper based forms with Paperless Onboarding Systems and Paperless Induction Systems is the fastest and easiest way to make employment administration more efficient and cost effective.
The level of employee retention within a business is always a good testament to the management team.
One of the most difficult decisions for any business owner – professional service or otherwise – is how best to effectively price his or her product or service. And with good reason, too.
Many small and medium business in the trades and services sector such as plumbers, electricians, cleaning organisations and maintenance and repair services to mention a few, express the annoyance that they spend far too long performing menial tasks that bear little or no relation to the core process of the service that their business actually offers. For new owners, it’s particularly challenging as they’re suddenly expected to become accountants, HR managers and advertising specialists all at the same time.
Embracing new technology can be difficult for many companies.
They want to make sure that it will be easy to integrate into the workplace and that it is a value added alternative to existing ways of performing tasks or producing items.
Expenses are a hassle and they cost time and money to process. To help you with the paper war we’re expanding the choice of providers that integrate with Xero and sort this problem for you.
Our latest add-on Receipt Bank is a receipt and invoice processing service that gathers together your receipts and invoices, scans them, converts the receipts into useful data and then sends them directly into Xero.
80% of success is showing up – Woody Allen
He’s right, don’t you think? So much of our success—and failure—hinges on simply showing up. And the same goes for your business. When a potential customer searches for your product or service, your business needs to show up. How? Google Places for Business. It’s a powerful tool that ensures that your business shows up on a nearby customer’s radar.
The parties to this arrangement are commonly known as the “franchisee” (the party obtaining authority to use the developed business model), and the “franchisor” (the party granting authority to use the developed business model).
In return for payment by the franchisee, the franchisor will provide initial advice, equipment and guidance, as well as ongoing support and other things such as products and packaging. Ideally, out of the franchise arrangement the franchisee obtains much needed support from industry leaders.
You’ve got a promising business model, the resources to make it work and somewhere along the way you’ve created intellectual property rights through innovation, branding and an earned reputation. This IP is a key part of the business’s growth, and a core asset. Structuring the business with IP in mind can prove critical in realising the complete benefits of IP. So how do you go about ensuring this?
With the spotlight on agribusiness and food technology sectors, we're leading the conversation about the life cycle of innovative ideas.
Presented by Senior Associate Jonathan Lucas and Catalyst Ltd Director, Janes Lancaster, this video highlights how to develop products and services with a long term vision, ensuring sustainable success.
Whether you’re employing staff for the first time or have taken over a business with current employees, the information and suggestions in this free Employer Guide will help you understand your obligations.
Payroll law in NZ is complex and there are a lot of grey areas that cause confusion. Sometimes what seems logical and fair is not right and good employers get into situations that cost them dearly.
Debtor Daddy is a brilliant credit control app that works alongside Xero to help you get your invoices paid faster. It's an automated reminder system that sends up to 5 email reminders to your customers if they don't pay their invoices by the due date.
Receipt Bank allows you to add in details of your bank accounts and payment methods in order to help us categorise your receipts and invoices even more efficiently!
This tutorial gives a quick overview of how to set up your business or a new organisation in Xero accounting software. Once you've made the switch to Xero, you can be up and running within minutes – and it's a pleasure doing business.
This video tutorial walks through the setup guide for Xero accounting software. The step-by-step process shows you how to make a full conversion to Xero – from your old accounting software, paper-based accounts, or if you're a new businesses starting from scratch.
One of the frequent requests we get at Float is for daily cash flow forecasting. A lot of businesses are interested in more granular forecasts to get better insights into how their available cash changes day by day. And with good reason: Even if you have a big invoice being paid to you in a couple of days, if you reach your overdraft limit today, you may still be in trouble. It’s worth keeping on top of your cash flow!
You started your own business to do something you love and make a living. But how much should you pay yourself? Too little and you may struggle to survive. Too much and your business might be at risk. So how do you strike the right balance?
A successful, solid sales process is crucial for small businesses. But seeing your cashflow through to completion is just as important. To achieve this, it’s vital that you have a strong invoicing process and an accounting system that’s intuitive, easy to use and complements your sales process.
You’re the new agency in a town with a few of the big firms. Your team is young, hip, and talented … but how can you convince clients to give you a chance when there are already established agencies who have that guaranteed “safe bet”?
This is a placeholder article that should be replaced with a real article before sending