Is your business plan due for a facelift? Maybe it’s been a while since you last looked at your plan or maybe your business has been going through significant changes recently.
Retailers in various industries—be it fashion, homeware, or food—are reaping the benefits of Instagram.
As we mentioned in a previous post, putting on new staff comes with a mountain of onboarding paperwork. But, that certainly doesn’t mean your new starter’s first day should be all about filling in forms.
Dennis Yarrow began Yarrow Plumbing back in 2003. Before that, he cut his teeth in the plumbing industry working in Papua New Guinea where he learned how to manage a team of 50 (and some other life skills he hadn’t bargained for).
What is cashflow management? In its simplest form, cashflow management is doing everything possible to ensure that money flows into your business as quickly as possible, and leaves the business as slowly as possible.
Many businesses use trade discounts to simplify variable pricing, protect a market recognised price point, stimulate sales or reward customer loyalty.
In any business, large or small, good teamwork is essential for morale, productivity and efficiency.
Brewery inventory management can be done in a variety of ways. Often, companies will rely on a combination of methods, including web apps, written notes and spreadsheets.
When I designed the first Spotlight Reports, I usually included an Action Plan to close the circle between great data analysis and goal-setting.
Have you ever heard about the parable of the boiling frog?
Aside from efficient inventory management, teamwork is an incredibly important component of the ‘successful business’ recipe and if left out, the result can be a real flop.
These days, managing HR in a growing business is a constant task. As an HR manager, you’re probably overloaded with work and you never seem to get to the bottom of it all.
Forecasting is the process of estimating the effects trends, costs and external factors will have on your business in order to give yourself time to prepare.
Whether you’re trying to bridge a cash gap or secure funding to grow your business, the Xero marketplace offers a suite of apps that can help
Let’s get straight to the point: ecommerce is NOT killing brick-and-mortar retail.
At a certain point, every growing business needs to take a leap and invest in new technology. It can be daunting and expensive, but the rewards can greatly outweigh the costs and stress.
There are many reasons why you may want to improve cash flow in your business. Maybe you’re looking to free up some cash to put towards growth, or maybe you’d like to build up your cash cushion to protect yourself from any bumps in the road.
How do you know which Xero Accounting Add Ons to use?
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?
Inventory management can be overwhelming. There can be an incredibly large amount of tangible inventory, which can translate to a huge amount of responsibility and pressure to manage this inventory properly.
We live in a data-driven age - so why not use data in your business to solve problems, be more efficient and invent new products?
Choosing a pricing strategy is a difficult decision, but one that every business needs to make. Pricing strategy affects most aspects of a business, including its revenue, market share and profitability.
With global recessions, increasing oil prices and increasing competition, saving money wherever possible and thereby maximising profits is the name of the game.
The role of a tax accountant has been continuously changing over the course of the last 50 years, and it is currently undergoing yet another transition period with the growing popularity of cloud accounting.
To be successful in business, you need to be organised, have a clear plan for where you’re headed and be confident with the processes you have in place.
Mobile technology has revolutionized the way modern society does business and permanently changed the retail landscape.
There are a multitude of things that can go wrong throughout the supply chain, exposing the firm to different kinds of risks.
More than just dispatching machines, handhelds have become as ubiquitous to field service as the screwdriver and wrench.
Millennials – young people born between the 1980s and early 2000s – make up an increasingly large proportion of drinking-age customers. It’s important that good hospitality businesses understand that.
We have spoken to hundreds of business owners and thousands of their employees over the last twelve years.
There are many factors to consider when you’re selecting an ecommerce platform, and when you first start selling online, it can be hard to find one that’s the right match.
No one ever starts a business with the intention of spending most of their time tied up in the administrative tasks that come with operating one.
More and more manufacturing companies are beginning to use cloud-based manufacturing systems to improve the way their business functions.
Advances in technology over the last two decades have shrunk the world; travel is inexpensive, cross border payments are fast and businesses communicate in real-time.
Many small business owners don’t give a second thought about the need for clear communication.
If you’re in business, making decent money is important. Sometimes, though, it doesn’t always work out the way you’d planned...
You need to keep track of transactions for the tax office, lenders, but most importantly for yourself, as a business owner.
Helpful and informative retail books abound everywhere you look these days.
The thing is, employee wellbeing and happiness isn’t just about nap rooms, onsite massages, and cafeterias serving healthy food and snacks (though that would be nice!)
Every business owner knows that as soon as you start hiring people, there’s a whole heap of important and must-do HR related tasks and compliance requirements that goes with them.
Machine learning has the power to change how we look at field service – what it means to contractors and customers alike.
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.
Have you ever sat back and wondered how giant companies such as Apple, Walmart and Ikea became so successful both in their reach and their inventory turnover?
Over the past five years, mobile devices have begun to dominate the consumer landscape around the world.
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.
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.
It’s the Holy Grail of business: increasing the number of profitable hours in a day.
Have you been following the news about retail recently? If you have, then you may have noticed that the retail news outlets have been filled with doom and gloom lately.
Inaccurate information about your company’s expenditure can greatly inhibit your capacity to make and maintain a successful business.
Retailers have historically dominated the commerce landscape. Several years ago, industry trends and top products were set by the stores selling them.
When a visitor spends time browsing your online store or bricks-and-mortar outlet, they’re looking for something. And when they find it, they’ll be tempted to buy it.
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).
How do you know which Xero Accounting Add Ons to use?
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 doesn’t matter how large or small your store is, or how many of them you’ve got—if you’ve got a point of sale (POS), you’ll see big benefits in switching from a simple cash register to a full-featured, cloud-based POS platform.
Staff training is one of the best investments you can make for the future success of your business.
Picture this: You’ve just about closed a sale, and the shopper made up their mind to buy a product. What do you do?
Are you equipped to handle retail theft and robberies? Whether you answered yes or no to that question, keep reading.
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.
In April this year, Elon Musk (CEO of Tesla and SpaceX) publicly announced that his company, a startup in California, Neuralink, is developing a neural lace technology that will enable human beings to communicate with devices through their thoughts alone.
Knowing what your payroll costs are – daily, weekly, monthly and yearly – is an important part of running a successful business.
The idea of starting your own business and being your own boss has become more popular in recent years.
If you’re an accountant or professional advisor, take heed of a recent decision by the Federal Circuit Court. You may be at risk of accessorial liability for your clients’ breaches of the Fair Work Act.
The homeware and furniture industry has been doing well for the past couple of years, and we expect this trend to continue. The annual expenditure on furniture per US consumer was $502 in 2015 (up from $386). Meanwhile, a report by Furniture Insights found that furniture orders for February 2017 were up 4% from last year.
Running a business is hard and it often feels like there aren’t enough hours in the day to get everything done that you want (or should) do. By the time you pay your bills, invoice customers, return calls, put the final touches on that big proposal, and get the stock order out, the day is over and it’s time to pick up the kids.
Firing employees is probably one of the hardest things you’ll ever have to do as a business owner. It’s also one of the most litigious.
The short answer is patent trolls. The long answer is that using cloud computing to do business may get you sued by patent trolls in the District Court for the Eastern District of Texas.
Striking the right balance between maximum and minimum hours for your part-time or casual staff can often be a difficult process. But getting the balance wrong can have serious and long-lasting ramifications for your business.
Some brick-and-mortar merchants see ecommerce as the force that’s grabbing market share and taking customers away from offline stores. We don’t think this is the case. The way we see it, physical and digital retail aren’t rivals — they’re allies.
I’ve heard it said that it’s a sales rep’s job to promise the moon to customers, and it’s a service rep’s duty to bring customers back to earth.
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.
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.
The Isle of Skye Candle Company’s first batch of candles was made in a converted croft on the Isle of Skye in 2006, and since then the company has been lighting up across Scotland and the UK.
It can be unwelcome news that the success of your business is, in part, out of your control. If your business involves importing or exporting inventory, it pays to be aware of and be prepared to mitigate potential impacts of trade policy on your business.
Collaboration is the key to success for every business—that’s what 75% of CEOs believe. It’s a way of bringing together diverse minds and ideas and sharing resources to create something bigger and better than individuals could achieve alone, and it’s gradually becoming the status quo for modern businesses in all sectors, including retail.
The field of marketing never stops evolving. Outdated strategies lose popularity and are soon overtaken by innovative approaches that pair tried-and-tested techniques with new technology. One of the latest strategies is influencer marketing, which takes word-of-mouth advertising and amplifies it through the huge social networks of high-profile individuals. Two-thirds of marketing professionals worldwide are pairing with influencers who can create original content to promote the brand to thousands or even millions of social media followers.
The web is loaded with articles that promise to help you market your ecommerce store, but there’s one really important fact they usually leave out: it takes time to see results from your marketing efforts, even when you’re doing everything right. How come?
Over the past decade, social media platforms have grown in popularity and digital marketing has become one of the dominant ways for brands to interact with their customers. But digital marketing is more than just social media and, after all these years, email marketing is still one of the best ways to keep your customers informed and interested in your brand.
I recently overlooked a GST bill.
The taxman is not okay with that. He wants his money. And fair enough; I want free healthcare and the other benefits of being a taxpayer.
China-watching is mandatory for many people in business.
The world’s most-populous nation looms large on the global stage in politics, commerce and sport. Its 300 million aspiring middle class citizens – still a small part of the total population - are increasingly sophisticated in their consumer activities, travelling a lot more and further, and pursuing business interests on all continents and the South Pacific region.
You almost certainly started your business for one of two reasons: you can do something better than anyone else, or you have a burning passion so deep you cannot focus on anything else. And if you’re lucky, it’s both. You didn’t start your business because you wanted to track cash moving in and out of your bank account. Nor to complete complicated forms for the government. You hadn’t even contemplated how business software could help you do these tasks, mostly because you didn’t know you need to do them.
Many small business owners start out with a good business idea but little concept of what it takes to manage and grow a business.
The good news is that you can definitely learn and improve your management skills as your business grows.
And while there isn’t a definitive list of skills, the ones we’ve listed below could help you to build your initial vision and develop your business to its full potential.
It’s time to address a subject that a lot of companies fail to notice or incorporate into their business planning – the costs of carrying inventory. Inventory costs money to purchase, this much is a given; however the cost of the inventory goes far beyond that. Typically, (if accurate values are not calculated on a case-by-case basis) the total carrying costs of a product are 25% of its value and composed of capital costs (15%), storage costs (2%), servicing and handling costs (2%) and the cost of risk (6%). Let us look at these different components of inventory carrying costs more closely.
If you had just one minute to talk to a prospective customer in your store, what would you say? Would you help them find what they were looking for? Tell them about your current promotions? Encourage them to stay a little longer and take a look around? After all, the more time they spend in your store, the more likely they are to make a purchase.
From today Australian retailers will have more choice in the way they run their business and sell to customers. Vend and Square’s market-leading POS and payments integration, first launched in the US late last year, is now available in Australia. This collaboration brings together two of the best systems for retail today, and provides more options for advanced retailers, those with multiple locations, and complex operations.
A perpetual inventory system is also known as a continuous inventory system. The premise of this type of inventory system is that is allows businesses to keep a real-time account of what inventory they have in stock.
Social media is a great tool; it’s a route to new and different customers and a direct way of communicating with your existing customers. It’s also a free way to build brand recognition and create a name for yourself in your field.
So it’s surprising that many businesses still don’t have a social media presence. Sometimes this is a conscious decision, but quite often it’s due to people not always understanding the benefits.
The reality is that social networks can bring a whole new dimension to your business – and they’re definitely a marketing tool worth using to your benefit.
Attracting new customers to your ecommerce store is a must if you’re going to make a profit, especially in the early years of running your business. It’s one of the best ways to boost your sales in the short term, and grow your store. But there’s a lot of effort involved in acquiring new customers—it can cost six times as much as retaining your existing customers—so it seems like a shame to let them disappear off the face of the earth after just one purchase.
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.
Investing is all about risk and return: get the balance right and be handsomely rewarded.
The structure of percentage-based fees often tips those scales in favour of investment platforms and fund managers. Once their asset base grows large enough to cover operating costs, natural market growth and guaranteed inflows create enormous profits, no matter what the outcome for investors.
Your digital presence as a business is absolutely crucial. If you want consistent work, to build trust in your brand, and the opportunity for growth, you have to know how to gather feedback, and how to embrace it.
Here, we’ve laid out the most important things you need to know about doing just that.
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.
Colour-coded job sheets on clipboards. Customer details stuffed in manila folders. Rooms full of grey filing cabinets overflowing with clip-lock files. Cardboard boxes bursting with service manuals arranged in rough alphabetical order. Handwritten notes, 8am sales meetings in sweaty city offices and well-thumbed street directories in company-car gloveboxes.
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?
Your online store is set up and ready to go. You’ve got an attractive site design and helpful product pages, and you’ve promoted your launch through social media and email marketing. Now all you have to do is sit back and enjoy…but you’re still not seeing the traffic you hoped for. What’s going on?
We recently joined the thousands of businesses headed to the Xero Roadshow, an annual exploration of what’s happening in the world of cloud accounting. Much more than just a showcase of Xero’s features, the Roadshow is one of the best ways to learn about the ecosystem.
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:
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.
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.