Once again New Zealand’s holiday season media has brought the unpleasant news of the demise of a well-known business – Dick Smith electronics.
It seems to be a common occurrence as businesses head into a new year and no one likes to see a business fail; least of all those who are owed money by the company.
When building a business, it is important to learn as much as possible from industry leaders and people with experience. Fortunately, many of these people have written about their experiences and distilled their most influential and successful ideas into books. There are thousands of business books, each claiming to teach you something vital to your success. Below are some of our favourites and ones we find genuinely enlightening.
So you’ve made a New Year's Resolution. Several in fact. You’ve declared next year is YOUR year. Your business is going to triple, you’re going to be more productive, manage your teams better, nail time tracking on its head, and finally learn all those collaboration tools and apps you’ve been meaning to. You’ve got it sussed...or so you think until February rolls around, you’ve started none of the above and the year is about to slip past as it’s always done.
In today’s competitive marketplace, there is little room for error for owners and operators in the field services industry. Businesses are under more pressure than ever to deliver an exceptional service that aligns with what customers expect.
Christmas is a time when many companies give gifts to staff members, clients and many also make donations to charities.
Business Buddy was impressed to read in Philanthropy New Zealand’s December 2015 report that Kiwi are generous givers and we rank third in the world for making donations to charities.
One of my favourite marketing experts is my good friend Troy White in Calgary Canada. 7 years ago Troy had an epiphany. He realized that the best marketing promotions he had done for his clients involved some wacky themes.
If you come up with a bright techie idea over the holidays, Vodafone xone could be just what you need to get the app functioning.
The latest you need to know.
The end of year is nearing and it’s that time when you are probably planning a staff Christmas party.
Every employee is a potential sales person and at every new meet and greet, there is a potential client.
Sometimes an employee will ask you to make tax or student loan deductions from salary or wages that are not at the standard rate.
Good debtor management can make a real difference to cash flow in your business.
Poor debtor management can be a major roadblock.
Everyone is completing vital end-of-year work while squeezing in social events to prove you're not a complete workaholic but businesses must consider IT plans for the holiday season.
What would you do if the unexpected happens while you’re on the beach giving it some Christmas cheer?
Social media isn’t just about viral videos or selfies. For consumers, sites and apps such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are playing an increasingly large role in their path to purchase.
This is why it’s so important for retailers to invest in social media marketing. Having a strong presence in relevant social networks not only gives you an avenue to communicate with your audience, it also allows you to stay in the radars of your customers. This in turn, increases the likelihood of a shopper choosing your brand when they’re ready to buy.
Most government agencies close down over Christmas and in early January. Here’s a list of who will be open and who shuts down for holidays.
Viv Brownrigg tells it like it is and at the latest Business Buddy seminar she cut to the chase.
If businesses keep doing the same as they’ve always done, they can expect less in a rapidly changing market.
Almost everyone must have clicked on something or shared something that arrives in the inbox or pops up on the screen when using the Internet and then regretted a moment of naivety.
The new health and safety legislation has passed and we all need to start planning.
Your business needs to be compliant by 4 April 2016, when the new Health and Safety at Work Act takes effect, replacing the Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992.
After a long winter Labour Day is often the first break from the daily toil for many business owners and their team but how many entrepreneurs will completely switch off?
Xero recently announced they would increase their pricing as of December 1, 2015.
Does your trust have an IRD number?
From October 1, 2015 trusts will need an IRD number if buying, selling or transferring a property, whether it is a residential or commercial property
At Business Buddy Chartered Accountants, we are committed to supporting local businesses achieve growth. This month we are holding a seminar to help you understand the most important things you can influence to achieve growth in your business.
Building an empire from a home office can be as exhilarating as Bathurst – one minute you’re in front and the next you wonder how you smashed into the barrier.
On 17 September 2015, the Revenue Minister, the Hon Todd McClay released an issues paper, GST – Current issues, that provides options to improve the way certain GST-related rules operate in practice.
Great opportunities to grow your business are actually all around you.
Technology marches on and now your smartphone or tablet can easily receive payments from customers – before you have climbed back into your ute.
Don’t panic if you have been asked to provide extra information about company directors – a new requirement of the Companies Office from July 1, 2015.
Starting a business doesn’t need to be the next great new idea. New businesses are doing well, simply by sticking to proven products and services.
If you have changed your bank account, please let us know before we undertake your tax return, otherwise you might miss out on your tax refund.
VEHICLE sales are heading towards record highs in New Zealand and commercial vehicle sales are leading the way.
This year ACC has cancelled unpaid CoverPlus Extra policies that were overdue. In July they had cancelled about 2,600 policies and expected to cancel the remaining 1,600 policies with unpaid CoverPlus Extra invoices in August.
The Employment Standards Legislation Bill has been introduced to parliament, proposing changes to strengthen enforcement of employment standards. This will introduce tougher sanctions for breaches and greater accountability for people and entities associated with the employer — such as directors, senior managers, legal advisors — if they are knowingly involved when an employer breaks the law.
The Health and Safety Reform Bill, which started its slow progress last year, took another step forward in late July with its second reading in Parliament.
SHAREMARKETS boom and bust, Auckland property prices are like a runaway train and the price of milk is more variable than the weather – but what impact will this have on small to medium businesses?
Here at Astill Hawke we work hard with you to try to plan your tax payments and minimise the compliance costs associated with the provisional tax system.
We’re pleased to announce the biggest release since the native version of our Xero Android app. Every pixel of the dated Android 4.x ‘Holo’ look is gone! Xero now follows Google’s ‘Material’ design guidelines. We’ve revisited every single screen with an eye on consistency and #beautiful design. We think you’ll find it a vast improvement.
The Commissioner has announced the result of the review for the 2015 income year for persons whose business travel is 5,000 or less in an income year.
AS the number of older workers in New Zealand grows the time has come for the construction industry to look at how to incorporate mature workers into the workforce.
DETERMINATION and dedication are paying off for the newest Business Buddy, Rupinder Kaur.
Whether in a large corporation or a small retail store, implementing a new piece of software can be a daunting task. One of the largest mistakes an organization can make is overlooking the training investment required with new software.SoftwareInsider recently conducted a survey of potential software buyers and asked what the most important buying factor was when choosing a product. Here were the results:
MOST email scams seem so obvious but every now and then we can all get caught out – especially with a new one that uses good old snail mail.
WHEN a Business Buddy is immersed in numbers they can be taken aback when they learn that not everyone in business is quite so enthusiastic about the ups and downs of numeric tales.
It may be hard to see an epic adventure emerging from a page of numbers but ask any accountant and they will tell you how digits can dish up the dirt or divulge exceptional deeds.
Business Buddy is sending a friendly reminder to you about what is due when in August.
We read a lot about the ageing population and its potential impact on the economy but what does it mean for small business?
You've put in all the hard work. You’ve marketed the product or service, established a relationship with your client and you've worked through the early negotiations.
Now, you have to seal the deal. Aside from the initial contact, this can often be the hardest step to take. It's about asking the big question and not being afraid to follow through.
Whether you’re negotiating a large deal or something on a smaller scale, here are some pointers to help you see your client over the line.
Practise these simple tricks, if you catch yourself in a negative mind set:
We all have an Achilles heel. Sadly, negativity can take us unawares. Negativity is productivity cancer. Heavy words but, in truth, it can hugely hinder success. It saps your energy and the team’s. It’s deadweight in all your dealings with customers. And if you never want to have a great idea again, negativity’s the way to do it. But by being mindful of negative thoughts, we can change our thinking and prevent the effect it has on how we operate.
Here are some of the biggest hindrances to our thought patterns.
Much like cold calling, asking for referrals can seem daunting. However unlike cold calling, referral business usually comes off the back of having done a good job for someone, so you’re already on the front foot. The first step is asking for the referral. Before that you need the confidence to ask and, of course, to know how to ask for it and who to ask.
Here are some top tips to keep your team happy when coughs, colds and a siege of bugs seem to be taking out staff faster than a Business Buddy can calculate your GST with Xero.
Earlier this year Victoria Crone from Xero threw out the challenge to businesses to get up to speed by developing an app and Business Buddy has nailed it.
That’s right – you can download the Business Buddy NZ app from App Store or Google Play and have a tinker with the nifty functions.
A friendly Business Buddy reminder about what is due when with the IRD throughout July.
Put reminders in your smart device to keep everyone happy.
Opening additional retail stores is always an exciting endeavor. When implemented correctly, expanding to new locations enables you to tap into new communities, create more jobs, increase revenues, and more.
In other words, opening additional stores can catapult your business to higher levels of retail success. But in order to achieve that success, you need to plan your expansion thoroughly. Rapidly sprouting up new stores can do more harm than good if you don’t think things through.
The next 2016 provisional tax payment for most tax payers are due on 28th August 2015.
Typically defined as: ‘the accomplishment of an aim or purpose.’ (1)
Success means a lot of different things to different people. Success may mean wealth, or it may mean happiness. It may mean fame, and for others it may mean power. But can revenue be a true predictor of success?
Sometimes work must not be all about work.
In the middle of winter, when everyone seems to leave home in the dark and come home in the dark it’s up to the boss to keep the Business Buddies feeling chipper.
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.
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.
If you have a company, we’ll let you into a secret. We know, each year when we speak with you about what you want to do about dividends, that the minute we start to talk about imputation credits and the imputation credit account, we watch your eyes glaze over and we know the ‘la la la la la la’ soundtrack is playing in your head. It’s okay. Almost everyone finds them hard to understand. And really, that’s okay with us because… that’s what we’re here for, right?
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.
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?
New Companies Office Requirements
Most of us loathe the sound of those two words, ‘cold calling’. It can be labour intensive and takes a fair amount of courage. We worry that it can often be seen as annoying to the receiver, putting us at a disadvantage from the beginning. However, if you’re willing to put in some effort, there are some top tips to help you to make cold calls effectively.
It’s a bit of a Murphy’s Law principle that businesses often don’t really come to grips with their risk management plan (or the lack of one) till some random accident takes out a key manager or lead hand and it hits everyone what it will mean for the business.
We’ve all heard the saying, ‘the customer is always right.’ Behind closed doors, this may not always be the case but as a business owner, manager or customer services representative, it’s the number one rule you need to follow. By doing so, you can try to defuse a potentially tricky situation and, if you don’t succeed, you can at least walk away with your head held high and your dignity intact.
What possesses someone to wear a device that tells them how many steps they’ve knocked off and how many calories they’ve burned in a day seems beyond many people.
However, the producers of Fitbit are onto a winning formula because the nifty gadget is being adorned by those who get a buzz out of seamless technology that boosts motivation.
The Business Buddy team loves to soar with the eagles and the annual Xerocon gig in Auckland is definitely where the highest fliers are winging their way to success.
Almost all of the Business Buddy team attended Xero’s annual conference at the Viaduct Events Centre and immersed themselves in two days of add-ons, updates and awesome speakers.
We love sharing our stories via our blog and we are finding our clients are doing the same, so we thought it would be great to showcase some of our clients stories here. If you are a client, and would like to showcase your story via your blog, please let us know. This week we would like to share a blog from Claire at Bliss Revolution.
Being your own boss is exciting, challenging and sometimes, frustrating.
Learn from successful local businesses how to give your own enterprise a great start.
Use of money interest rates on underpaid and overpaid tax will change on 8 May 2015
There is a saying that the best customers are the ones you already have. So once you’ve schmoozed and wooed someone into your client base, how do you go about keeping their business? Establishing trust and maintaining rapport in your business will be critical to building strong client relationships.
Money, money, money – it is one factor that can make or break a business, especially when it ceases to be available.
The Business Buddy team spent many hours investigating systems that bring in the money owed to businesses with minimal fuss.
It can be awkward picking up the phone to get payment from a good client who may have overlooked paying your invoice but Chaser is a whizz at speeding up the process and is never embarrassed.
Every manager has been there – lost under the pile of receipts and invoices and wondering if there is any way out of the endless task.
The same frustration exasperated Michael Wood when he ran his own business and his accountant constantly chased him to get things in order so they could “do the books”.
We love sharing our stories via our blog and we are finding our clients are doing the same, so we thought it would be great to showcase some of our clients stories here. If you are a client, and would like to showcase your story via your blog, please let us know.
This week we would like to introduce Amy from Powerhoop NZ – This is her story.
Do you realise that customers are evaluating your business every time they buy from you, use your services, or receive an email, phone call or even an invoice? Do they speak positively about your business? Do they talk about you at all? Or even worse, do they bag you to other potential clients?
Haven't yet attended one of the Attaché Software Business Renovations events yet? Attaché are running an event that has been created to help put start-up energy back into business.
Here at Astill Hawke and Associates Ltd we understand that the time you spend on your bookkeeping and expenses could be better spent building your business.
Therefore, we would love you to join us for a free presentation to hear about these efficient and easy to use products.
We love sharing our stories via our blog and we are finding our clients are doing the same, so we thought it would be great to showcase some of our clients stories here. If you are a client, and would like to showcase your story via your blog, please let us know. This week we would like to introduce Scott from The Alternative Board.
EVERY parent has that moment when they wish their kids would get off the damn computer and go and play outside – but are all games as bad as older generations think?
Minecraft is an international phenomenon that anyone younger than 25 with a computer or smart device has probably played – if not been obsessed with for a period.
The computer game may look like it is little more than digital Lego but the experts argue there is a lot of learning happening, especially about the fundamental principles of trading and economics.
Find out how you may be affected by changes from the 1st April 2015.
Are you worried about paying your terminal tax bill on 7 April?
Trying to tidy up receipts, chase bad debts and track down that one bank statement that has gone to a dark space where only lonely socks hide can be a giant pain in the proverbial.
And, when it is the end of the financial year and your accountant wants to know how many square metres of bench space you use for business in your home workshop – it can be the final straw.
Never fear because help is at hand, especially for those who have never ventured into the world of cloud software to improve business efficiency.
Every business goes through that “bugger” moment when they quote for a job and the client happily accepts the price without batting an eyelid.
Then, you walk away kicking yourself that you could have quoted a slightly higher price.
The Business Buddy team feels your pain and they recently worked with a client to determine pricing that worked for the business’s profitability and met market rates.
Business and technology is moving faster than it ever has and it’s only going to get faster. The BNZ team wants your business to thrive in these exciting times.
We would love you to join us for an informative session about the wonders of Xero and how BNZ Internet Banking for Business works with it.
The coolest thing about business in New Zealand is that people at the top are very down to earth.
Victoria Crone, managing director from Xero New Zealand is just that – accessible and prepared to chat with the people who use the cloud-based software, or maybe are thinking about it.
When she spoke at an event with Business Buddy and ASB, Victoria focused on the future – not only for Xero but also technology in general. The stuff we don’t know, we don’t know yet.
Thinking of hiring staff to get more done, but worried about the cost? Business.govt.nz’s new “Employee cost calculator” helps small to medium businesses make confident hiring decisions.
The calculator uses data from government agencies and “Trade Me Jobs” to tailor employment costs to your industry and the type of role you’re looking at. You simply click on a couple of boxes to quickly estimate the fixed and discretionary costs of taking someone on.
"This year, I'm going to work for myself" - is this a New Year's resolution for you or someone you know?
There's a lot to consider before you start a new business, such as what business structure you'll use, do you need to register for GST, will you be an employer and which records you'll need to keep.
Retail stores have long been collecting basic details (i.e. name and email) on their customers. Now, with the help of some nifty retail cloud solutions, it’s possible to collect so much more.
Need to know when tax is due?
Outbound marketing: marketing that is based on outbound messages to potential customers, using media such as advertising, commercials and billboards.
Being aware of body language in your interactions with customers and colleagues can help you communicate more successfully. Reading others is important but it's also vital to be aware of when you might be sending out signals you don't intend to. For instance, before you've even said 'hello', do your clients perceive you as confident and open, with your head up and shoulders back? Or does your slouchy posture let them know you're not very sure of yourself and maybe they should be speaking with someone else?
It is time for growing businesses to meet and greet a dynamic business woman who is at the helm of one of the nation’s most significant rising companies.
Victoria Crone became managing director of Xero New Zealand in 2014 and she is taking time out to meet the business-users of the cloud software that has revolutionised the accounting industry.
How well do you know your market? Do all your customers just walk in off the street? Or do you carefully build up relationships over time so your customers know the full range of what you can offer them? If it's the latter, how do you first come to know them? There are lots of answers to this but they mostly boil down to: do you contact them or do they seek you out? And, once contact is made, how will you engage them?
Many people kick start the New Year with a myriad of resolutions, from keeping fit to losing weight or achieving financial goals. However, many of those resolutions fail to embody anything remotely close to working life. The first week back is usually a slow one; clearing out the inbox (usually spam as most other people were also on break) dusting off the keyboard and restocking the cupboard with fresh new stationery.
• If your home was destroyed, do you have copies of all of your essential documents?
• Do your family know where to find your insurance polices, vehicle ownership papers, etc?
• Do you have your phone, electricity and other household service suppliers’ details all in one place?
• Have you documented your funeral wishes?
We all know we need to have our affairs documented and in order, but as it seems such an onerous task how many of us get around to doing it? We have developed the Life Organiser to help you make this happen.
The last few years have seen a new wave breaking in the marketing world. You may be aware of it under different labels, but 'inbound marketing' is an umbrella term for the change.
Our New Year resolution was to completely renovate our Business Buddy website and we have done it.