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Get big wins by customising your financial literacy program

If you’ve just appointed your first fresh-faced Gen Zeds to your staff (anyone who’s just out of school and are aged 15-19), you could have up to five different generations to manage at work. In fact, these days, it’s not at all uncommon to have a wide range of generational diversity.

Do you want to attract more customers?

Grow your business through marketing and advertising!

Whether you’re a personal trainer or a large computer repair shop, if you want to grow and build your business, you’ll need to attract new customers and keep them coming back for more.

Effectively marketing your business is one way to grow your brand and your business.

5 Important Lessons SMBs Can Learn from Retail Giants

As an SMB, you’ll never have a shortage of sources for tips and insights. From retail websites (such as this one) to mentors and fellow retailers, there’s always somewhere to turn to for business advice and best practices.

How to write a Kick-Ass overdue invoice letter

We’ve all been there before. You’ve called about those overdue invoices once, maybe twice, maybe three times, and payment still hasn’t been made.

What to do next? Throw up your hands in despair? Give up on it as a lost cause? No way, Jack. Not in this economy.

How to Personalize the Customer Experience: 5 Quick Tips for Retailers

Personalization is one of the most important aspects of retail and one of the biggest industry trends for 2017. The key to building lasting relationships with customers, personalized shopping experiences generate satisfaction and loyalty on the part of the consumer — and increased revenue for the retailer.

How to go from self-employed to successful business owner

Seven vehicles on the road. Ten electricians in the field. One business owner working overtime, all the time...

Such was the norm for L&L Electrical, a versatile electrical services company in Campbelltown, Victoria, and proud owner John Libroaperto.

Proud and successful owner he was, yes – but at a hefty cost in a most valuable currency: time.

Four great ways to absolutely, definitely get your overdue invoices paid

It’s often how you say something that determines whether you get the result you want. This applies in financial services, marketing and even tax collecting.

In one experiment by the Nudge Unit they improved the payment of vehicle taxes by using simple plain language, “pay your tax or lose your car”. In fact HM Revenue & Customs attributes the recovery of an extra £210 million a year from taxpayers by using behavioural insights in its letters i.e. changing the words to influence behaviour.

7 Ways to Get the Most out of Amazon Sponsored Products

With more than 350 million products on Amazon.com it becomes more and more difficult for sellers to get their products in front of the customer. Thus, Amazon’s “Sponsored Products” ads (“Amazon PPC”) are becoming extremely popular among sellers as they offer an (allegedly) easy way to bring their products on the first page. The following tips will help Amazon sellers avoid some common mistakes and get the most out of Amazon Sponsored Products.

The Difference Between a Budget and a Forecast

While any time of year is a great time to pause and reflect, many people find January is a great opportunity to understand how well their business has performed for the past year and what their targets are for the year ahead. To do that, you need to understand the difference between a budget and a forecast.

Overstocked? Don’t despair! Tips for dealing with excessive stock

Time and again you hear that being overstocked is bad and a situation to avoid, however sometimes this is just not possible. And when it is not possible, you need to be in a position to handle it properly and turn the situation into something the company can benefit from. There are a number of ways to do this in fact, let’s look at them more closely.

How to stop debtors from eating your time and cash in 2017

We’ve worked with thousands of small businesses over the past few years and managed over $1B in receivables, so we’ve learned a few things when it comes to getting invoices paid earlier with less effort and stress.

“There’s more reasons for an invoice to be paid late than there are for it to be paid on time…” – Debtor Daddy Survey

The problem is that when it comes to getting paid on time there’s more reasons for an invoice to be paid late than there are for it to be paid on time. This means that you’re going to need great systems and great people to keep your receivables under control.

How to Implement a Killer Omnichannel Strategy

Efficient omnichannel strategies used to be the ultimate goal for retailers — a milestone to work toward on a continuous basis. But times have changed, and both shoppers and retail itself have evolved. Omnichannel is now the standard.

Can Inventory Management improve your Business Performance?

There are several things that go into managing a business and optimizing its performance. These are often reflected in the balance sheet, customer satisfaction and low staff turnover amongst other factors. One component of managing the business effectively and which has a big impact is inventory control. To better achieve inventory control, there are specialized software packages such as Unleashed. However, before purchasing a package, you need to be sure of the benefits to your company’s performance.

A New Year, New Outlook For Your Business

I was catching up with a friend over the holidays who was telling me about one of his friends getting made redundant from a small family business just before Christmas. The basic premise of the story was that the bank had told them they needed to make cutbacks, and as part of this they had to reduce staff numbers. They didn’t want to do this, but they had no choice…

7 Signs Your Business Systems Suck

Let’s face it, concepts like paperless office and cloud computing are not ‘new’ concepts anymore. It still surprises me when I encounter businesses that are not paperless and in the cloud. It just makes sense. I’ve been running businesses as ‘paperless offices’ since I co-founded Business Fitness back in 2001. My current business, PARADOX, has been ‘paperless’ and had 100% cloud-based IT and business systems from day one, almost 8 years ago now.

6 Steps to Success for Your Online Fashion Store

If you’re a fashion store owner looking to set your sales soaring in 2017, opening an online store might just be the best way to do it. Online sales of clothing, shoes and accessories are booming, with 43% of Australians aged sixteen and over now shopping online for these products, a 14% increase from the previous year.

Wake Up to the Huge Cost of Financial Stress on Your Business

You’re back at work ready to make your mark in 2017, and your employees are all rested, recharged and raring to go, right?
Wrong. The spectre of financial stress is wreaking more havoc than ever among the Australian workforce and crippling productivity levels in its wake.

Australia's Top Fund Manager Picks for 2017

Thanks to everyone who participated in our 2017 stock picking competition. We’re busy tallying the top stock picks from Sharesight members, Livewire subscribers and some of Australia’s top fund managers. As promised, we’ll create portfolios of the five most popular stocks from each group and share them with those of you who completed the survey (and opted-in to having the portfolios shared alongside your personal portfolios).

5 Ways to Create In-Store Experiences That Drive Traffic and Sales

Happy 2017, everyone!

In light of the new year, here’s one question you should think about: are you planning to bring anything new to the in-store experience? If your answer is “no” then 2017 could be a rough one for your physical stores.

3 Reasons to Prioritise HR Compliance in 2017

There’s nothing quite like starting the new Year with a clean bill of health on all your HR documents, systems and processes.
And in 2017, as if you needed further impetus, there are some new, and pretty compelling reasons to put HR compliance on the top of your to-do list!

The Fight for the High Street: An Interview with SaveTheHighStreet.org’s Lyndsay King

It’s no secret that smaller retailers face the challenge of their lives against ecommerce giants such as Amazon — and in Britain, this fight has recently been compounded by Brexit and its potential effects on the retail and trade industries.

But there’s hope yet. A recently launched organization called SaveTheHighStreet.org aims to give the power back to high street retailers and local shopkeepers by endowing them with the tools, skills, and digital capabilities they need to compete in the modern age.

Cloud software is the next step in manufacturing

Unsurprisingly, some of the early-adopters of cloud software were the IT, Communications and Financial Services industries. The many advantages of using cloud Software are beneficial to a broad scope of businesses.

Since Henry Ford built his first assembly line in 1913, automation has revolutionised manufacturing industries. Similarly, manufacturing can greatly benefit from the multi-functional nature of cloud software and services, improving forecasting, inventory management, sales support functions, HR, product development and life cycle management.

3 Mobile Trends Making Waves in the U.S. — and What Retailers Should Do About Them

We live in an increasingly mobile world. Pretty much everyone has (and spends a great deal of time on) a cell phone, and devices like tablets and smartwatches are prominent features of today’s society. It’s no surprise, then, that for several years now mobile technology has been one of the biggest and fastest-growing trends in the retail world — something that’s perhaps most true in the United States, where much of this technology is pioneered or widely tested.

Boost Employee Productivity: 10 Secrets Your Staff Want Managers to Know

Are you struggling to motivate your employees? Do you constantly chase after them to get their timesheets in on time or wonder why they aren’t more focused or driven? Is absenteeism, poor morale and failure to meet targets a common occurrence?

Why creating a profit and loss budget is critical for success

One of the most overlooked and under-practiced habits in today’s businesses is creating annual profit and loss budgets. But why is this so critical for your business?

With a profit and loss budget, you’ve considered and developed an understanding of the key areas in your business that really make your profit and loss come to life.

The Best Practices for Conducting a Performance Review

Do you feel like it might be time for a change in your office environment? Perhaps the productivity isn’t as good as it use to be or there are a handful of employees who just don’t seem to be performing at their best. Conducting a performance review can greatly help you manage your employees and make sure that your workplace stays strong, efficient, and goal driven.

Going Paperless: 6 Ways to Digitize Your Retail Business

What’s the first thing that comes to your mind when the word “paperless” is brought up?

Make sure your employee happiness survey ticks all the right boxes

Happy employees are engaged employees. It’s the HR holy grail. So gaining a measure of employee happiness in your business makes good sense. But all employee happiness surveys are not created equal. An employee happiness survey is only as good as the questions you ask and how you follow through on the responses.

Don't get beaten by your competitors

I am astounded by the number of times I search for a product online, click the option to purchase, only to find that I then need to phone the retailer to pay. In 2016, this kind of disconnected experience is not good enough. Connected consumers want the freedom to buy from anywhere at any time, with a recent Zendesk survey revealing that 67% of consumers use multiple channels to make purchases.

3 ways to tell you run a modern small business

It’s easy to take for granted the innovative technology we have at our disposal today. For small businesses, something as simple as email has completely revolutionized the way you communicate with customers.

In order to run a modern business, you need to utilize modern technology. Doing so means that you can run your business as efficiently as possible, hire staff that are best-suited to the job and retain them.

9 ways to squeeze more profit out of every business day

It’s the Holy Grail of business: increasing the number of profitable hours in a day. Short of asking staff to do more overtime or take shorter breaks, how do owners and managers coax more revenue-raising activities out of every employee and every subcontractor on every shift? And how do they become more effective at making decisions that will boost business efficiency every week?

The Elusive Work Life Balance: 7 Ways to Avoid Burnout

You’ve had a hectic day at the office. A last minute crisis occurred and you worked 2 hours overtime to get everything done. When you finally arrive home you’re too exhausted to cook dinner (and substitute with greasy takeaways and a cheap bottle of wine).Your ‘quality time’ with your spouse consists of a few muttered sentences before doing the laundry and other crucial tasks, then rolling into bed exhausted.

Dealing with clashes in the workplace

As a manager, it’s important to do your best to keep your workplace from becoming an episode of the Real Housewives. Here are some tips for managing conflict.

3 smart technologies you can leverage to help your business thrive

Small business owners today have an unprecedented opportunity to run their businesses better than ever thanks to improvements in technology. These smart technologies, ranging from on-the-go payment solutions to chatbots, are creating a boon for small businesses.

Xero U.S. President, Russ Fujioka, recently penned a column for Inc. where he highlighted some of the smart technologies taking the small business world by storm.

Avoiding the cashflow surprises that could kill your business

We all know that cash flow is king. But just how much sway does it have? Well, you might want to ask the nine out of 10 small businesses that have failed because of cash flow problems. That’s, right, according to D&B, 90% of small businesses close their doors because of poor cash flow management.

Make plans now to save time later

Everyone makes a plan at some point in their life. Whether it’s for their wedding, family, business – or even just the weekend. Spontaneity is fun when it comes to road trips and skinny dips, but successful businesses need to think about the future and how to work smarter, not harder.

HR for Small Business, Is It Really Needed?

A recent study focused on identifying the current issues and trends facing Australian SMEs has found that 38% of small businesses pick Marketing & Advertising as the primary strategy for growth.

With more than a third of small business competing in the open market it will mean that it’s going to be harder and harder for your prospective customers to differentiate your business to your competitors. This often means that with a limited budget, as an owner of a business you would rather hire new sales or marketing personnel than HR. Or invest time in prospecting new business rather than increasing employee engagement and other people management strategies.

2 minute tutorial: The difference between cash and profit

If there’s one phrase found on the lips of finance-conscious small business owners more often than any other, it’s surely this old chestnut: “Cash flow is king”.

But how often does the average small business owner actually walk the talk of ‘cash is king’? Could it be that the simple distinction between ‘cash’ and ‘profit’ is actually unclear for many SMBs? And just what is the difference?

Why a website is vital for a small business

With smartphones at our fingertips, customers are searching online more than anywhere else to research a product. As a small business owner, it’s critical that you have a website ready for customers who are looking you up. Understanding why it is important and figuring out where to start can be intimidating. Here’s what you need to know.

Make sure your customers keep coming back

Small businesses will often say that their number one goal is business growth. But where does business growth come from? An easy answer to this can be “attracting new customers”. But attracting new customers can come at a very high price. Marketing has become increasingly difficult with online advertising and social media offering. Competition is fierce. Every other small business is online competing for potential customers. On the other hand, you could rely on word-of-mouth, but that is going to be a very slow process.

Are Millennials Worth the Risk?

Mention the word ‘millennial’ and the first thing that comes to mind for a lot of employers is ‘risky’. Today’s university graduates are looking to fast-track their career, and are not afraid of jumping from employer to employer to achieve advancement.

5 Ways to Wow Today’s Savvy, Well-Informed Shoppers

Not too long ago, customers walked into retail stores without knowing much about their products. They’d browse the merchandise to discover items they liked, relying on store associates for more details and information.

7 Reasons Why Your Business Needs a ‘Work From Anywhere Week’

Are your staff turning up late, grouchy and stressed? Do they have a distant look in their eyes (like they’d rather be anywhere else)? Is your turnover rate on the rise?

Common traits of successful small business owners

Have you ever wondered what makes successful business owners tick? Do you share their good habits? We surveyed 2,000 business owners to help you find out.

How to prepare a small business for mobile job management software

Job sheets, whiteboards, clipboards, filing cabinets … these are the communication and information storage tools of old-fashioned, inefficient small businesses. For owners and managers of trades and services companies who are only familiar with these traditional ways of working, and systems that may have been used for decades, it can seem like a difficult task to move to modern, cloud-based job management software.

Track small business cashflow without spreadsheets

If you track income and expenses on a spreadsheet, you could be losing sight of how your business is performing and wasting a lot of time on data entry. There are low-cost alternatives that allow you to monitor business cashflow really simply.

How to grow your family business

Working with family members presents unique advantages, and unique challenges. If you've built up your own business, now might be the time to bring in other family members. Here’s how to avoid some of the pitfalls.

How to cope with difficult people in the workplace (or anywhere else)

Several years ago, I had a customer who would glower at me as soon as I entered his department. He would say, ‘Fix it right this time, or get it out of here,’ no matter what the problem was.

If I was even one minute later than my ETA, he would be on the phone with my boss, complaining about the horrible service he was getting.

Because he would place a service call for the slightest imperfection or hiccup of the machine, I was going there almost every day.

10 Tips For Marketing Your Business On A Shoestring Budget

Marketing. *Cringe*. You can think of a million things you’d rather be doing. The ice bucket challenge in the middle of winter. A half marathon with your ridiculously fit niece, a Toastmasters table topics competition in front of 100 unknown people.

Five tips on how to put your business in pole position

‘I love deadlines…. especially the whooshing noise they make as they go by!’ That’s one of my favourite “Dilbert” quotes about business but it flies in the face of what motorsport stands for. Motorsport is a business of hitting deadlines because it doesn’t matter what reasons or excuses there are, the race will always start on time…. Whether you are there or not.

Manage a cash gap in your business

One of the tougher challenges for many trade businesses today in terms of finance is what’s commonly referred to as a cash gap.

A cash gap is a lag which occurs between income and cost of goods sold (COGS); that is, cash inflows and outflows. Businesses that suffer from a cash gap may be profitable on paper, but have cash flow problems because they have to pay their suppliers (COGS) much earlier than they receive money from their clients (income).

Trust: The currency of the new economy

How did trust, that fundamental building block of human behaviour, become a cornerstone of modern business? Once something that required significant time and investment to build, maintain and yield results, trust is now being made and broken by strangers at speed – and that shift is being commoditised.

8 ways to better manage your staff

Good managers can make or break a business. They're essential to developing a positive and productive workforce, which, in turn, improves employee retention levels and ensures everybody in the business is working in line with the company’s strategy and objectives.

How to be more productive when you work from home

Freelancing and gigging are gaining popularity fast. Not only do you get the flexibility to work when and how you want, a lot of these jobs let you work from home. However, if you’ve never worked from home before this can be a challenge.

Treating your home like an office can take practice, especially if you don’t have enough space for a dedicated home office. If you’re freelancing and want to work more efficiently, here are some tips to help.

The 5 Ws of basic job creation

Much like finding an old $20 in those jeans that you’ve had away since last winter, or like realising you’ve ordered your pizza on cheap Tuesday when you go to foot the bill, figuring out that just a small change to the way you work can save you time and money is gold.

Sometimes, it’s the minor details that matter. It might seem like a small win at the time, but it’s one that can make a big difference to your business.

What You Really Should Look For When Hiring New Staff

Hiring the right person for the job isn’t always a straightforward process. There are many variables to consider and whether you are a startup looking to hire your very first member of staff or already have a few team members on board and are looking to expand, the right person with the right skills can really enhance your work environment and have a positive impact on production. Hiring the wrong person does just the opposite and can not only be a costly exercise, but it can also be time-consuming and even have a negative impact on employee morale.

What startups can learn from this year’s major tech deals

It’s been a huge year for M&A in the tech industry. For startups, there are many valuable insights that can be gleaned from this activity. By looking to organizations that have been around for a long time, entrepreneurs can learn what it takes to stay relevant in the coming years.

4 ways to adapt to the changes that come with starting a business

In the world of small business, the changing nature of competition requires us to constantly adjust and adapt, succeed and remain grounded. Everyday business decisions can be a continuous battle between the urge to stand still and consolidate, or push to achieve more.

So how do you strike the right balance? Multi-medal winning swimmer Michael Klim shares four top tips.

Hit a Profit Plateau? 8 Breakout Ideas for Small Businesses

Starting your own business can feel like scaling Mt Kilimanjaro. You dig your feet in, climb, and pray for the best. It’s an exciting, chaotic, and hope-filled journey… But what happens when you reach the top of the mountain? Is there anywhere to go but downhill?

Unfortunately many small businesses grind to a halt - or even start to decline - after climbing their first mountain. This is known as the small business profit plateau. Your company is finally up and running smoothly, but its exponential growth suddenly stops. Your profits start to flatline. It feels like your team is working twice as hard just to maintain the same ROI.

How to Approach Your Bank for Funding

Applying for funding from a bank can be daunting. It’s a lengthy process which involves jumping through hoop after hoop with no guarantee of success.

But it doesn’t have to be that way, follow our guide to ensure you go into the loan process with the correct information and watch your chances of approval soar.

9 Tips For Hosting Awesomely Effective Meetings

Ah, meetings. With their almost universally hated status, running one can be tough going. You can almost *hear* the groans as you schedule one in the team’s shared calendar (and heaven forbid you try and make it a regular weekly occurrence). Given the enormous amount of pressure you – as the brave meeting organiser – face, it’s easy to default to a boring Powerpoint deck and read off the slides word-for-word. Unfortunately it’s also a great way to send everyone to sleep or to seek solace in tea breaks and lunch.

8 Tips For Launching Your New Marketing Campaign

All too often a brand will launch a new product or service that flops because of a poorly thought through marketing campaign – so here are 8 tips for a successful marketing campaign.

Small businesses name Xero the most-loved accounting software for the second year in a row

Xero was born to achieve a simple but bold purpose: to build powerful, relevant and beautiful cloud accounting software that would change the lives of its global accounting partners and small businesses.

That’s why we consider it our greatest achievement to know that small business owners and key decision makers have named Xero the most-loved accounting software for a second year in a row, beating MYOB and Intuit Quickbooks, through independent research.

Find the right app to strengthen your small business’ toolkit

Whether you’re an architect or a personal trainer, you’ll know the importance of using the right tools for the job. When it comes to running a thriving business, cloud-based apps are becoming an increasingly essential item in a small business’ toolkit.
Providing access to real-time information on the go, as well as reducing time spent on manual data-entry are just some of the benefits apps can provide busy small business owners.

Are we there yet?

How many times have you been on a road trip with children and heard that constant question that gratingly gets on your nerves: ‘Are we there yet?’

If you’re like me, you want to answer with, ‘Of course not or we’d be… there.’ Kids, knowing the potential fun to be had at the destination, get weary in the waiting of the journey itself.

10 Things You’re Not Doing To Nurture Your Clients

Research suggests it costs a business between 4-10 times more to acquire a new client than it does to retain a current client. As a business owner, you will do well to look for ways to nurture these clients who’ve used you once into not just returning, but spreading the word about your company.

5 things you should consider when choosing a bank for your business

Choosing a bank is one of the most important decisions when starting a small business.

It’s as important as choosing where you’ll set up a brick-and-mortar store, developing a business strategy or deciding who you’ll partner with.

Choosing a bank should be the start of a long and fruitful business relationship.

Xero Gravity: Small business cyber security: the good, bad & funny

Corporate espionage… A sinister plot to a movie or a real threat to your small business? You’d be surprised by what you don’t know about your company’s cyber security.

This week on Xero Gravity we are joined by our very own Felix Shi. Felix is the product security specialist at Xero and has seen it all when it comes to cyber breaches. On this week’s episode, we explore the holes hiding in your business’ cyber security systems and offer some valuable steps you can take to protect yourself.

5 Classic Blogging Mistakes Small Businesses Make (And How To Avoid Them)

You’ve got a beautiful business blog, full of white space and full bleed imagery. It’s responsive, a pleasure to scroll through and sure looks a whole lot snazzier than what your competitors are pushing out on a regular basis. You know you’re getting traffic because comments are surfacing every now and again, “likes” are trickling from your social feeds – but all in all it’s not really converting to new business or opportunities.

What are you doing wrong?

20 Innovative Ways To Keep Your Employees Motivated And Ultimately More Productive

As the company owner, you have that entrepreneurial streak, that will to succeed. You can see the big picture and have a clear view of where you want the company to be in 5 years time.

The big problem comes when you can’t seem to translate that enthusiasm and drive to your team. They’re qualified and hardworking, but they just don’t really seem that fussed what happens to the company. You want them to be resilient, driven and – above all else – as motivated to succeed as you are.

How to sustain excellence in a new business

According to world-class athlete and Olympian Sally Gunnell, as well as adapting to change, sustaining excellence in a new business is one of the hardest parts of the journey. In both business and sport, people ask and expect you to consistently perform at a massively high level with challenging deadlines. Sally’s advice in this regard is to stay focused on your goals and remember that they can of course be tweaked when they’ve been achieved or part achieved.

This former Olympian shares how to succeed in sport and business

While the similarities between olympians and entrepreneurs may be few and far between, they do share one unifying cause: both strive for gold. Seeing the dedication of the athletes at this year’s Olympic Games in Rio reminds us of the long and hard path they forged to get to the Olympic arena.

For former Olympic athlete Michelle Roark, the transition from freestyle skiing to business owner was a no-brainer. Roark started skin and haircare company, Phia Lab, and with this came the realization the skills she had developed as a professional athlete were more than transferrable. Her inspiration for the brand was even inspired during training.

Take control of your business without losing sight of yourself

When you own a business, it’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day: from ensuring jobs get done, to checking employees and customers are happy. That’s before we even factor in our families, let alone ourselves.

But when we don’t take care of ourselves too, it can take a toll on the quality we operate at, affecting business productivity and ultimately profitability.

Which Social Media Channel is Best for My Small Business?

Is your small business on social media yet? I’m sure you’ve heard of the great potential social media holds for marketing your company, so I won’t preach to the converted. Everyone knows about the 6 big players - Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Google+ and LinkedIn - but trust me, not all of them are right for your small business.

Get paid faster with these 6 invoice tips

No one likes late payments from their customers. Late payments have a negative effect on cash flow. Chasing customers for payment takes valuable time. Prevention is better than cure when it comes to getting your invoices paid on time. Here are some tips to make your invoices highly likely to get paid quickly.

Quiz: How Well Do You Know Sales Tax?

How much do you really know about sales tax? We made a quiz so you can test yourself

10 Examples of Outstanding Customer Service That Fuels Loyalty

You put a lot of work into gaining your customers.

So once you have them, you don’t want them to simply buy from you once, and then leave you to go out acquiring new customers.

That’s exactly what might happen if your customer has a bad experience with your customer service.

Following these rostering tips will help drive business efficiency

A robust rostering system is essential in any hospitality or retail business. Ensuring you have the right number of staff rostered on will keep your customers happy, and your wage cost looking great.

On the contrary, building rosters inefficiently can be a real time-waster. So, how do you get maximum results from your roster?

Spend time on your business: simple tips for strategic time management

As a small business owner, could getting too embroiled in the day-to-day work of your business harm its overall development?

Often, your time is spent working in the business and not on the business.

Yet, in order to grow from a small outfit to a successful, profitable company, and to make the transition from owner-worker to managing director or CEO, you need to invest time managing your business.

Below are a few tips to help you make the transition.

How to reduce staff no-shows

It’s Saturday night and dozens of people are starting to stream into your restaurant for a bite to eat. Your staff are ready and everyone’s looking sharp… except Dave, who was supposed to be there 15 minutes ago. Turns out he didn’t realise he was meant to be working and is away for an epic skiing weekend. Awesome for him – not so much for you.

3 things successful mobile service businesses do well

The major issues facing service businesses with a predominantly mobile workforce are universal. They tend to be all about controlling costs and effectively managing job schedules and staff.

The major issues facing service businesses with a predominantly mobile workforce are universal. They tend to be all about controlling costs and effectively managing job schedules and staff.

A recent US survey of 100 small- and medium-sized business managers showed that the biggest challenges when managing a mobile service workforce were keeping operational costs in line (25.7%), scheduling and dispatching (20.8%), managing workflow and processes (17.8%) and hiring and retention (11.9%).

Prevent the ‘lone wolf’ attitude

Many years ago, I was on lunch with two other techs when one asked, 'Have you seen Tom around lately?'

Tom was a bit of a 'lone wolf' so it wasn’t too strange that we hadn’t run into him, but our manager had also requested a few times that we take his service calls.

I decided to call Tom to find out why he had been MIA for the past few weeks.

It’s not me, it’s you: How (and when) to fire a bad customer

Some customers are simply not worth having – they cost you more than the revenue they bring in. They consume a disproportionate share of time and money, and create stress by paying late. They disrespect your people, complain often, and expect the earth, yesterday, and all at a rock-bottom price.

6 Celebs You Didn’t Know Were Business Owners

Think about the stars of Hollywood’s red carpets and you probably have in mind a certain sort of person. Someone who embodies the glamour of the silver screen, effortlessly suave, confident and full of panache… Or maybe you just see someone who’s made it lucky and never done a proper day’s work in their life.

Avoiding the awkward: How to talk to your customers about debt payment

From freelancers to fencers, techies to electricians, if you issue invoices as part of your day-to-day business, you will have experienced the frustration of not having those invoices paid on time.

And the part that really blows? The cringing follow-up phone call where you try to coax payment out of the client while not damaging your relationship.

Alternative Finance Options for Business

Since the recession in 2008, there have been many complaints that the banks aren’t lending to SMEs. As a result businesses are increasingly seeking out alternative finance routes to access funding.

10 Tips for Coming Up With a Killer Business Name

“A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.”

In one of Shakespeare's most famous lines, he reminds us that a name really is just... a name.

But is a name more when it comes to business?

Let’s for a moment look at some of the perks of a smart business name.

How apps can help you become the master of all trades in your business

If you’re a small business owner, it’s likely that time is one of your most precious commodities, especially if you’re taking on multiple roles within your business. You may be the CEO, bookkeeper, financial controller, chief marketing officer and sales manager all rolled into one.

The 3 positions you need to hire to take your company to the next level

There comes a time in every growing business where an entrepreneur has to make some key hires to ensure the health and longevity of their operations.

Our survey of 2000 small business owners showed successful small business owners don’t pretend to have all the answers. Instead, they establish a strong network of family, advisors, and mentors, including an accountant or financial advisor.

Tackling your tax in 2016

It's tax time again. Follow our top tax tips to make tax time a breeze.

Claiming the costs for your business website

Your business website costs may be claimed as a tax deduction...

Are you searching for an Australian Business Number (ABN)?

We’ve recently added an ABN search feature to the new business.gov.au. This feature is similar to the ABN search feature you may have used on our site previously.

Ladies Who Launch: successful entrepreneurs (who happen to be women)

Earlier this week, Square and Startup Week 2016 presented Ladies Who Launch: a panel featuring some of Australia’s inspiring business owners – who just happen to be women.

Around 200 of us gathered at 524 Flinders Street to hear from four successful founders: Sarah Hamilton ofBellabox, Simone Clark of Butterbing Cookie Sandwiches, Sheryl Thai of Cupcake Central + the League of Extraordinary Women, and Jacqui Bull of Sidekicker.

The panel was hosted Josh McNicol, Head of Marketing and Communications for Square Australia.

Home-based business owners: are you aware of these tax deductions?

Close to one million businesses in Australia are home-based – a significant portion of the nation’s business community.

Running a home-based business offers a number of advantages including flexibility, convenience, freedom and cost savings. And when it comes to tax time, operating a business at or from your home means you may be eligible for a number of tax deductions.

How to eliminate paper in your service business

Whiteboards took up half of Wendy Fallow’s office. The operations manager of Clear Concepts, a customised glass design business, said her working life consisted of sticking cellotaped magnets on pieces of paper and talking on the phone to her seven mobile installers and sales reps.

Build a business while still working full time

Starting and sustaining a small business requires a lot of time and dedication. It also requires money. For many people, the one thing holding them back is the capital required to start a business and endure a lean period when it is getting up and running. People fall into debt or end up giving up on their dream and returning to full-time work for a steady income.
However, it is possible to prevent this heartache by hanging on to your full-time job while your business gets off the ground. It will mean long hours that don’t end once you get home from work and the sacrifice of every minute of free time, but it can be the difference between having the security to forge ahead with your dream, or having to abandon it when you can’t sustain it any longer.

8 Simple Strategies for Measuring Productivity at Your Company

The world of business has entered the Age of Data. (It’s like the Age of Aquarius, except instead of a catchy song we have a smartphone app). Now, business owners can record, track, and report on every facet of their company.

How to attract, create and keep exceptional employees

Great employees are made up of two foundational elements: enthusiasm and teachability.

The former denotes a passionate individual, while the latter is one who wants to develop and progress, who is hungry to learn, and who evidences the trait of humility.

If you can find an individual with these two traits as well as highly developed skills, then you’re on to a winner. And, even if the skill levels are less than required, their rise to skill mastery will be much faster if they already have these two foundational traits.

Empowering your managers to create autonomy

If you’re seeking to achieve business growth and expansion, it’s likely you’ll look to leverage the passion and talent of your employees. This might mean looking to your star performers, and it might mean looking for new hires.

The ultimate outcome here is to create autonomy within your workforce – you’re seeking to create a capability that works as if you were controlling it but with little need for your input. Think about that for a moment.