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19-Jan-2015 Kirsten Hawke

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Business Buddy website renovation

Our New Year resolution was to completely renovate our Business Buddy website and we have done it.

17-Jan-2015 Kirsten Hawke

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Tax Talk

Don't Forget

14-Dec-2014 Mayla

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Due Dates in January 2015

1/7/2015

12-Dec-2014 Mayla

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Tis the season to be… on call

Do you have situations where some employees will be on call during a public holiday?  If so, they are usually entitled to a contractual on call payment as well as at least time and a half rates if they are called out. Whether or not they are also entitled to an alternative holiday depends on whether the public holiday falls on what would normally be a working day:

10-Dec-2014 Mayla

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Risk and Reward

A way to solve Christmas cashflow issues

08-Dec-2014 Mayla

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Party party party

Are you planning a Christmas function for special clients and/or suppliers and business contacts?  Be aware that this will come under the entertainment regime for purposes of tax deductibility. Any expenditure on food and drink that your business provides off your business premises will be 50% deductible. This extends to any incidental expenditure on things like hireage of crockery, glassware or utensils, waiting staff, and music or other entertainment provided for the function you're planning.

06-Dec-2014 Mayla

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Director’s fees

If a person receives directors’ fees, which are payable to the business he/she works for, the fee forms part of the taxable activity of that business and GST must be charged by the business. This includes a person who accepts a board position, offered to him/her as part of carrying out a taxable activity. The rule was effective from 30 June 2014. If the employer is exempt from the withholding regulation, E G it is a company, there is no need to deduct 33% withholding tax from the fee.

01-Dec-2014 Mayla

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Due dates in December 2014

12/5/2015

01-Dec-2014 Mayla

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Renting out your own home short term

There’s a demand for temporary rental properties in Canterbury because of thousands of families needing accommodation while they wait for earthquake repairs on their homes. Some homeowners are meeting this need by offering furnished homes for short-term rental. If you rent out your own home, even for a short time, any income you receive is liable for income tax, so you must include it in your tax return.

29-Nov-2014 Mayla

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Do your employees get perks?

If you give your employees benefits or perks you may need to pay fringe benefit tax (FBT) on the value of that benefit. FBT replaces the PAYE that you would deduct from the employee if you were to just give them cash instead. Common benefits that may attract FBT include:

26-Nov-2014 Mayla

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The Importance of Shareholders Agreements

When anyone is buying into an existing company, or setting up a new company with colleagues, friends or even family, it is essential to document how the relationship is going to work and set ground rules for what happens in the unfortunate event of a dispute.

22-Nov-2014 Mayla

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Boarding Service Providers

19-Nov-2014 Kirsten Hawke

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Team Training

Our entire team will be out of the office Thursday 27th and Friday 28th November at team training.    Any deliveries can be made to Prestige Bike Shop downstairs.

09-Nov-2014 Mayla

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Due dates in November

11/5/2015

09-Nov-2014 Mayla

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Marketing Toolkit

Stuck for ideas?  Think about different ways to market your business.

09-Nov-2014 Kirsten Hawke

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Talking sense on telly

Mondayitis is not an option when the working week starts with a TV interview with the successful motivational speaker – Cath Vincent.

05-Nov-2014 Mayla

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All together now

Make your team part of the solution in your cost control programme.  Let them know keeping costs under control is a priority and how costs affect the business.  Involve them in ongoing review and development of your systems for reducing waste and managing costs without compromising on quality.  Their commitment to trimming business expenses will make all the difference.  If the numbers are large enough, it might even be economical to introduce an incentive scheme based around identified savings.  Here are some ideas you might use to start the conversation.

03-Nov-2014 Mayla

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Overheads - under control

Cost management is not the most glamorous aspect of the business by any means.  We know you'd much rather be laying plans to grow the business and secure more leads and opportunities.  But keeping an eye on costs and tweaking as needed can help you free up your cashflow to do more of the exciting stuff.

02-Nov-2014 Mayla

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Signed Tax Returns and Annual Accounts

Many of you will have now received your 2014 tax returns from us. If you have not signed and sent these back can you please do so before Christmas.  We cant file these with IRD until they are signed.

01-Nov-2014 Mayla

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Office Energy Boosters

Targeted reach - fine-tuning Facebook

When you market your business, product or service on Facebook, you have a number of different options.  If you write a post and leave it at that, this post will only go as far as your organic reach (the total number of people who see your post through unpaid distribution).  You can look at taking this a step further though and branch into paid advertising.

22-Oct-2014 Mayla

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Turning business aspirations into reality

I am delighted to invite you to our seminar that’s especially designed for aspiring business owners and CEOs.

20-Oct-2014 Mayla

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Latest Changes to GST

A raft of amendments to GST came through in June, clarifying grey areas and closing loopholes from some of the major changes of the last few years.  In broad brush, these include:

18-Oct-2014 Mayla

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Minimum Wage Heads Up

After the government increased the minimum wage rates earlier this year, it made a further amendment to the Minimum Wage Order, issuing a new fortnightly rate.  The fortnightly rate is $1,140 for adult employees and $912 for starting-out workers and trainees.  If you’re an employer already fully compliant with minimum wage requirements and your employees’ hours don’t vary from week to week, stop reading here.  For you, nothing has changed.

15-Oct-2014 Mayla

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Interest Rates Rise - Employee Loans

Do you provide low interest loans to employees?  If so your FBT returns need to reflect the new interest rate of 6.13% for return periods from 1 July onwards.  This is the FBT prescribed interest rate used to determine the fringe benefit value of low-interest loans to employees.

13-Oct-2014 Mayla

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Parental Leave

On 1 July, the rates for paid parental leave increased.  If you're self-employed or an employee and eligible for paid parental leave, you may receive up to a maximum of $504.10 a week before tax.  If you're self-employed and make a loss or earn less than the minimum wage, for at least 10 hours work a week, the payment is $142.50 each week before tax (equivalent to 10 hours each week at the current minimum wage rate).

11-Oct-2014 Mayla

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Tax Talk

Making payments to IRD – what’s changed

07-Oct-2014 Mayla

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Evaluating Employment Changes

A new report by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment looks at outcomes of key changes to employment law made in 2011 to see if they are working as intended.

Netiquette - Do's and Don'ts for Facebook

DO

01-Oct-2014 Mayla

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Facing up to customers

When you're doing your market research, where are you drawing your data from?

Is Facebook right for your business?

The world of social media has come a long way in recent years and Facebook, in order to stay at the top of its game, has taken the phenomenon one step further. Offering strategic marketing solutions, paid advertising and even the option to sell retail online, Facebook has created a portal for businesses to get their name out in the marketplace with ease and in real-time.

27-Sep-2014 Mayla

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Efficiency gains

When it comes to working efficiently, everyone has some idea of what works for them and what could work better.  As a business owner, you can get stuck and find yourself working harder than anyone else, for longer hours, without seeing that next level of growth in your business.  Here are some simple reminders to help you stay on task and get more done.

24-Sep-2014 Mayla

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Networking: what's your elevator pitch?

Do you look forward to networking events or would you rather tidy your sock drawer?  For some people networking is a lot of fun while for others it's an ordeal.  Yet it's a given that networking helps you put your business out there and keeps you in touch with leads and new ideas.

Netiquette – More do's and don'ts for Facebook

Devise a strategy for your Facebook page and keep it up.  When you sit down and devise a plan you can also establish what your social media marketing voice might sound like.  It can be consistent with your marketing in other media or be more tailored to a particular group.  If you're concerned that keeping up a Facebook page on a regular basis is not feasible, elect someone from within your team to help out.  Most employees see social media as 'fun' and are, more often than not, willing to participate.

20-Sep-2014 Mayla

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Cost of Sale & Overheads

Cost of sale and overheads affect your profit.  Understanding how they inter-relate and keeping track of them can really have an impact on your business success.

17-Sep-2014 Mayla

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Bolster your bottom line

For new businesses in that critical early period, cashflow is a vital part of staying afloat to establish and grow the business.  Established businesses also know the importance of cashflow to help you keep everything running while you grow the business.  If you can't reach your targets for income, reining in your costs can help give you a little extra head room to manage cashflow while you're planning your next move.

15-Sep-2014 Mayla

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Eliminate Distraction

If social media sites are a concern, there are programs that can be easily installed on your computer to avoid such distractions.  Turn off your cell phone if it means that text messages won’t deter you from the job at hand, and only check your phone when it’s break time.  These rules would apply at work, so should also apply at home.  Avoid particular rooms in the house that may entice you to start on a cleaning frenzy or a spot of DIY.

15-Sep-2014 Mayla

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Inland Revenue Cheque Payment Changes

From 1 October 2014 you’ll need to make sure Inland Revenue receives your payment on or before the due date to avoid penalties and interest.

13-Sep-2014 Mayla

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Think about your team

Be it your business partner, colleagues or boss - think about the people you should be respecting and, potentially, would be letting down by being lazy.

10-Sep-2014 Mayla

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Dress code

It would be oh so easy to slink from the bedroom to the home office space in your pajamas.  But this is not a good idea on so many levels.  You may have surprise visitors or be called to an appointment unexpectedly and it pays to be prepared.  More importantly though, dressing appropriately can be motivating and will assist in putting you in the right frame of mind for the day ahead.  You will be less likely to lie on the couch in your pencil skirt or suit pants.

08-Sep-2014 Mayla

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Make a plan

If you were heading into an office environment each day, it’s most likely you’d make a list of the tasks that need to be achieved.  The same rule should apply when you’re working from home.  Do it the night before or even the morning of, but either way, establish some structure and stick to it.  Ticking the items off will give you a sense of accomplishment and provide some direction and goals to ensure you stay on track.

06-Sep-2014 Mayla

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Working at peak in the home office

The washing pile is getting higher, the dishwasher light is flashing and the cat is crying for another bowl of milk.  Thoughts flick through your mind about the feasibility of doing some of the jobs now, leaving them until later or when exactly you might decide to knock off for the day.  These, along with a long line of others, are just some of the temptations that lure you to procrastinate when working from home.

03-Sep-2014 Mayla

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Be positive

This one almost speaks for itself.  Before posting anything, think about your social media marketing voice.  What kind of character or persona are you trying to portray?  What's the tone you intend to use?  Be mindful of the language, whether it be playful, savvy or a tad more formal and ensure you always post with a purpose.  Is your post to inform, entertain or sell?

02-Sep-2014 Mayla

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Due Dates in September

9/5/2015

01-Sep-2014 Mayla

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Be available

Let your fans know you're there for them.  By encouraging interaction and responding to this, you are providing access to your brand.  Think about different ways your fans can interact with you whether this is through forums, or other social media platforms such as Twitter and Instagram.  Perhaps look at running competitions - even if it's for a bottle of wine or a movie voucher.  Each of these ideas will help you expand your organic reach and potentially gain a wider following.  Everyone likes to win stuff!  Don't be daunted by the idea of other forms of social media either.  It's actually quite simple.  Most programmes now are linked together in a way that allows you to simply tick a box to send the information update across various platforms.  The initial setup only takes a few minutes and once you've done this, these updates can be sent directly from your website or blog.  The added benefit is a larger organic reach and higher rankings in search engines.

30-Aug-2014 Mayla

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Be open

There is no better way to build trust with your audience than to be open.  By making your brand and team relatable by posting real photos, updates and information about what goes on in the company (within reason) you can truly gain trust with readers.  This nurtures brand loyalty and familiarity, encouraging post likes and comments which promote your post and display it more frequently in Facebook feeds.  Create an element of transparency by posting work outings, team events, birthday shouts or awards won.  (A good photo would be a group of people out to a restaurant dinner or on a team building activity)

27-Aug-2014 Mayla

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So what is organic reach?

This is the total number of people who see your post through unpaid distribution, generally those who have chosen to follow or like your business page.  But if they're not online at the time of your post, it may be missed altogether.

25-Aug-2014 Mayla

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Facebook for Business - Reaching out with ease

You may already be running a Facebook business page and if not, chances are you're thinking about it.  Having a Facebook page for your business is a great way to maintain rapport with your clients, build a bigger audience and help raise awareness for your brand, product or service.

23-Aug-2014 Mayla

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PPL maximum entitlement rate increases

The paid parental leave (PPL) weekly maximum entitlement rate increased from $488.17 to $504.10 (before tax) from 1 July 2014. This rate applies to employees and self-employed workers who are entitled to receive the maximum PPL rate.

23-Aug-2014 Kirsten Hawke

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Taking a Holiday

I am a taking a long planned holiday from 18 Sept - 11 October.  I will be out of the office during this time but we have made sure that everything has been covered for when I am away.

19-Aug-2014 Mayla

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No change to 2014 mileage rates

The motor vehicle mileage rate is reviewed every year and the rate for 2014 will remain at 77 cents a kilometre for both petrol and diesel fuel vehicles. You can choose to use the actual costs rather than the mileage rate. If you do this, you must keep records to support any expenditure you claim. The mileage rate doesn’t apply to motorcycles.

17-Aug-2014 Mayla

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New phone scam

We’re warning our clients of a very aggressive phone scam. Scammers are targeting our customers for money and threatening actions such as deportation and prison if they don’t pay.

13-Aug-2014 Mayla

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IRD payments at Westpac

From 1 October 2014, you’ll only be able to make cash or eftpos payments at Westpac counters. Westpac will no longer accept cheque payments, forms or returns.

11-Aug-2014 Mayla

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Important changes for residential building contracts

• The Consumer Guarantees Act 1983 (“CGA”) contains implied consumer guarantees for goods and services but does not apply to a completed building.  From 2015, this gap will be remedied by the Building Amendment Act 2013.  It inserts a new Part 4A.  It does not override the CGA (or the Fair Trading Act 1986) but enhances consumer rights and remedies in relation to residential building work.

09-Aug-2014 Mayla

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Fringe Benefit Tax - Interest rate on low interest loans

The prescribed rate of interest used to calculate fringe benefit tax on low-interest, employment-related loans is 6.13%. This is an increase from the previous rate of 5.90% which applied from the quarter beginning 1 April 2011.

06-Aug-2014 Mayla

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Payments by Post

From 1 October 2014 taxpayers who post payments to IRD need to ensure that their payments are received by IRD on or before the due date to avoid late payment penalties and interest.

04-Aug-2014 Mayla

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Tax Pooling Rules to be Amended

The Minister of Revenue announced on 3 July 2014 that the Government intends to introduce legislation to change the current tax pooling rules.

02-Aug-2014 Mayla

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Taxation Bill Now Law

The Taxation (Annual Rates, Employee Allowances, and Remedial Matters) Act 2014 received Royal assent on 30 June 2014.

31-Jul-2014 Mayla

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Due dates in August

8/5/2015

28-Jul-2014 Mayla

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Holiday homes Oh dear!

If you’re registered for GST and rent out your holiday home, you will pay GST on the rental income. This is because the only exempt rental income is where a person lives, permanently. IRD was suggesting that for this type of situation you would be able to opt out of GST but they appear to have changed their mind.  Important? As well as paying GST on net income, you will pay GST on the property when you sell it. Input tax can be claimed on the purchase of the property, based on cost with a deemed acquisition at 1 April 2011, provided the property has been bought after 30 September 1986. The recent GST apportionment rules and/or (from the 1 April 2014) the new GST mixed-use asset rules will apply, unless the owner has no personal use of the asset.

26-Jul-2014 Mayla

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Cash is King

“Number one, cash is king... number two, communicate... number three, buy or bury the competition”. Jack Welch

22-Jul-2014 Mayla

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4 Areas to review to keep your customers satisfied

“It takes less effort to keep an old customer satisfied than to get a new customer interested” Anon

20-Jul-2014 Mayla

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Cheque duty repealed as of 1 July 2014

On 5 June 2014 the Inland Revenue released a Special Report, Cheque duty repeal.

16-Jul-2014 Mayla

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Commissioner’s mileage rate for expenditure incurred for the business use of a motor vehicle — 2014 review

The Commissioner has reviewed the mileage rate and confirmed that the rate will remain at 77 cents per kilometre for both petrol and diesel vehicles for the 2014 income year.

14-Jul-2014 Mayla

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Due dates in July

7 July

13-Jul-2014 Mayla

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Turning business aspirations into reality ... Quickly

I am delighted to invite you to our seminar that’s especially designed for aspiring business owners and CEOs.

12-Jul-2014 Mayla

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Family Trust Management

It's common for people involved in family trusts to underestimate the ongoing management and administration requirements.

08-Jul-2014 Mayla

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New team member required

We need a new accountant. Check out the add on Seek and let me know if you know someone who may fit the bill. http://www.seek.com.au/Job/26767085/?cid=emailafriend

05-Jul-2014 Mayla

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IRD Health Check

Are you concerned that you are not quite getting it right with the IRD?  If so, talk to us about our IRD Health Check.  We will come to your office (if appropriate) for a 1-2 hour meeting and look at the following areas:

02-Jul-2014 Mayla

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Depreciation determinations from 2014 tax year

i-pads, i-pods and phones

01-Jul-2014 Mayla

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Donations

IRD is getting upset about “donations” which are really in the nature of fees for services. In Revenue Alert 14/01 they list the criteria for a donation as:

25-Jun-2014 Mayla

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Jammies for June

SERIOUS number crunching indicates more than 2,000 tiny tots could avoid a trip to hospital this winter if every local business purchased one pair of pyjamas.

24-Jun-2014 Mayla

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Parental Leave payments to increase

On 27 May the Minister of Labour announced that parental leave payments will increase from 1 July 2014. The maximum payment for eligible employees and self-employed persons will increase from $488.17 per week to $504.10 gross per week.

23-Jun-2014 Mayla

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New-look student loan calculator

Inland Revenue have redesigned their student loan calculator to help borrowers better manage their student loans.

22-Jun-2014 Mayla

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Information-sharing agreement signed with Inland Revenue to fight serious crime

The Minister of Police and Minister of Inland Revenue have announced that a new information-sharing agreement has been signed between the Police and Inland Revenue to help combat serious crime.

21-Jun-2014 Mayla

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Due dates in June

5 June

18-Jun-2014 Mayla

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Inheritance Trusts

Contributed by NZ Trustee Services Limited

17-Jun-2014 Mayla

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The Grey Advice

Contributed by Lisa Mackay, HRtoolkit

16-Jun-2014 Mayla

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Cash is King

"Number one, cash is king... number two, communicate... number three, buy or bury the competition". Jack Welch

15-Jun-2014 Mayla

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4 Areas to review to keep your customers satisfied

"It takes less effort to keep an old customer satisfied than to get a new customer interested" Anon

14-Jun-2014 Mayla

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10 Resolution Ideas For Your Business

Limiting your alcohol and eating healthier might be on your personal resolution list for

11-Jun-2014 Mayla

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The Two Types of Forecast: lucky and wrong

"It is far better to foresee even without certainty than not to foresee at all. "

10-Jun-2014 Mayla

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Customers

4 Areas to review to keep your customers satisfied

09-Jun-2014 Mayla

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Content for Consultants and Accountants

Sales and Marketing

08-Jun-2014 Mayla

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Employing Family - 7 things to think about

"Blood is thicker than water" is a common saying about families and working with family members can be a great idea. Family members can very often be more dedicated to the job as they may have a vested interest in the business, and as you know them well they can be an obvious choice to join the team. But before you employ your uncle Jack or your wife Lucy, ask yourself these 7 questions:

07-Jun-2014 Mayla

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Get smart: Your business depends on it

Has the sharing economy touched your business?

An emerging trend is both disrupting and creating business.  It’s the sharing economy, sometimes referred to as collaborative consumption.  Put simply, it gives people the option to hire access where before they could only buy a product.

02-Jun-2014 Mayla

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Six of the best ways to increase productivity

Do you often wonder why successful people seem to have so much spare time?  Enough time to exercise, share holidays with family and yet, to still be completely relaxed and stress free?  Those people probably have the balancing act right and are efficient at managing time.

01-Jun-2014 Mayla

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Customer experience: what’s your first impression?

We’ve all heard it: first impressions count.  But what does it mean for your business?  What do new customers notice about your business that will persuade them to return?  And tell their friends?

31-May-2014 Mayla

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The perfect (brain) storm

Planning a new product or event, or just wanting some direction? It might be time to brainstorm! Effective collaboration is harder than it sounds. Avoid another meaningless meeting and consider ways to get the most from brainstorming:

28-May-2014 Mayla

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Dealing with a dissatisfied customer

A complaint is an opportunity to turn a disgruntled customer into a loyal customer.

27-May-2014 Mayla

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Business Plans - Questions to Consider

Staff Development

26-May-2014 Mayla

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Netiquette – a focus on e-newsletters

Used correctly, e-newsletters are a wonderful marketing tool for your business, but there are a few things to keep in mind to ensure you do it right.

25-May-2014 Mayla

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Productivity Killers

One of the most important elements to business growth comes from managing productivity.  This can be done by being aware of your habits and making basic changes to the way you work.

24-May-2014 Kirsten Hawke

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Breaking free from idle mode - top tips for business growth

It’s easy to sit back and enjoy the fruits of your labour and become comfortable with your current business position.  But don’t become too comfortable.  Isn’t that why you got into business in the first place?  To step away from that zone and challenge your way of thinking?

24-May-2014 Kirsten Hawke

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Xero Coffee Morning

Pop in for a coffee and learn more about xero.  Last Friday of the month in our office.  Pop in between 8.30 and 10 and talk to one of our team.

23-May-2014 Kirsten Hawke

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Xero TV - Aged Reports in Xero

Learn how to get the best out of the aged receivables and payables reports in this overview of the powerful reporting features available in Xero accounting software

21-May-2014 Mayla

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So, where do you start? How to put together an induction programme

Putting together an induction programme doesn’t need to be tricky.  There may be specific elements that relate to your company that you’ll need to outline, but here are some basic things you should include to get you started:

20-May-2014 Mayla

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Welcoming new staff on board... the importance of a good induction

The recruitment process is often one that takes its toll on your time and your wallet, making it a fairly daunting task.  So once you have found the right one and hired that desirable employee who fits the mould, you need to ensure they’re not left flailing and sent unknowingly into your workplace vortex.