Encouraging word of mouth

If you have any doubt that word of mouth referrals are important, consider these recent stats: According to Neilson, 92% of shoppers trust recommendations from friends and family more than traditional advertising 20% to 50% of consumer purchases are made because of a word of mouth recommendation 81% of buyers are influenced by their friends’ social media posts. So how can you encourage positive word of mouth for your small…  Read more

Insights from your Profit and Loss account

Most small business people would agree that their Profit and Loss account (now more correctly called a Statement of Financial Performance) is among the easier – if not the easiest – financial document to understand. It’s typically presented in two parts. The top half of the statement reveals the various sources of income the business has received for the period covered, such as a quarter, half year or full financial…  Read more

Strengthening your balance sheet

Your balance sheet (now more correctly called a Statement of Financial Position) reveals a great deal about your business, including the total value of your assets – the things you own; how much you owe to others – your liabilities; and the level of your solvency. These three aspects will be studied carefully by lenders and investors − and by buyers if you intend to sell your business. But they…  Read more

4 tips for getting your business through tough times

If you’re a small business owner whose company hasn’t gone through hard times, that’s great but it’s likely to happen at some point. As much as we dream about being brilliant enough at business that we’ll never face slow times, there are many things beyond our control that can negatively affect our business. Here are four tips for getting your business through difficult periods so you can look forward to…  Read more

Why you should be using two factor authentication

For small business owners, the risk of data breaches and fraud is high, so taking all the necessary steps to protect your sensitive data is a must. Unfortunately for many entrepreneurs the decision to increase their company’s data protection comes too late – after they’ve been victimized by a malicious hacker. The good news is, simple and inexpensive steps can be taken to avoid being hacked. According to a recent…  Read more

Cybersecurity tips for business owners

It’s natural for small business owners to think that they won’t be victims of cyber attacks. Most of the news surrounding hacking and data breaches involves large corporations, but that is because that’s where a high number of victims are affected. Hackers may find they have an easier time going after small businesses and start-ups that aren’t prepared for a security breach. So while they might get less information from…  Read more

Three signs you’re addicted to work

Running a small business is hard work. Entrepreneurs know they have to put in long days and give up personal time in pursuit of success. There’s a line, however, between putting in some extra time and becoming addicted to work, and it’s important to know the difference between them. Being addicted to work—sometimes referred to as being a “workaholic”—can have serious negative consequences for your personal life and your health.…  Read more

Three ways to speed up invoicing

Everyone likes making money, especially small business owners. Invoicing, however, is typically one of the tasks that small business owners like the least. Chores like creating and sending invoices get set aside for other duties that are seen as more enjoyable or even more urgent. You tell yourself you’ll get around to it tomorrow, but tomorrow becomes next week, next week becomes next month, and suddenly you realise your client…  Read more

D to the Power of 4 – Four steps to better time management

Time management skills are increasingly important in a world where people seem to rush headlong from one crisis to another. Add in the effect of social media and addictive computer games that can be accessed from anywhere at any time and it’s no wonder that some people struggle to fit everything into their days. So what can be done about it? How about invoking D to the Power of Four?…  Read more

Cashflow: the No. 1 thing you need to know about your business

When you own a small business, it’s vital you understand how money flows into and out of it. At a basic level, you need to know where your income comes from and what your expenses are. At a deeper level, knowing how money moves through your business can help you make strategic decisions about growth, invoicing, and debt management. The consequences of not understanding money can be drastic—poor financial management…  Read more

Three reasons to focus on fantastic customer service

Small business owners know that to find a loyal customer base, they have to stand out from their competitors. One of the best, and easiest, ways to do that is to have outstanding customer service. How you treat your customers reflects your entire business. People think positively on companies that treat their customers and clients well. Unfortunately, many small business owners focus a lot of attention on their products and…  Read more

Eight characteristics of successful small businesses

We now look at eight characteristics important to successful businesses. International researchers who have studied many small businesses have found that these characteristics consistently play a part in the success of small companies. The eight characteristics are: Owners leading by Example Having a simple business structure Information sharing among employees Staff are carefully chosen Staff commitment and loyalty A unique product or service A specific Customer focus Prompt follow up…  Read more

Planning the year ahead

The turn of the year usually prompts most people to think about some business planning for the year ahead. Here are some tips to make the planning more productive. Get your team involved Business planning works best when it’s a team effort. Involve your key staff and your advisors, such as your accountant, your mentor (if you have one), and others who can contribute meaningfully to the planning, such as…  Read more

How your small business can attract top talent

Often small business owners worry unnecessarily when it’s time to hire employees. They fear because they can’t offer the same high salaries and impressive benefits of a large company, they won’t be able to attract skilled workers. Fortunately, for many young workers these days, the ideal job doesn’t necessarily come with a big salary. Often it’s the opportunities and experiences a smaller company can offer that will pique their interest…  Read more

Main causes of stress for business owners and how to counter them

Many entrepreneurs believe that hard work and dogged determination are all it takes to build and sustain a successful business. But when you consider the pressures of running a company, it seems wise to add effective stress-management to the list. Left unchecked, stress can erode your passion and undermine performance – not to mention, take a serious toll on your health. Research compiled by Office Vibe reveals that over 70%…  Read more

Tips for keeping your business data secure

It’s no secret that data loss can be a costly nightmare for a small business, with recent estimates citing the total cost of data breaches exceeding $2.1 trillion by 2019. Unfortunately, cyber attackers increasingly target small businesses because they are less likely to have security protection in place. Accidental loss or loss due to a natural disaster can be just as harmful to a business, with recovery efforts and delays…  Read more

How to get your life back in a seven-day-a-week business

Small business owners already have a difficult and time-consuming job running their business. If their business is open five days a week, they usually need the weekend to catch up on paperwork, pay bills and manage any tasks they didn’t get to during the week. For those with a seven-day-a-week business, there’s even less time off. They often feel the need to be onsite any time the business is open,…  Read more

Is a business mentor worthwhile?

“Mentoring is a brain to pick, an ear to listen, and a push in the right direction.” — John Crosby The opportunity to learn from a mentor can do more for a small business owner than any course, educational program, or degree. Being a mentee means you get the benefit of first-hand experience, without having to make all the mistakes yourself. There are, in fact, a host of reasons why a…  Read more

Why hiring a bookkeeper is a great investment

As a small business owner, you’re likely concerned about every penny you spend. That’s a good thing, because you need to keep track of your income and expenses. It also means, however, that you might be less likely to hire people who can help your business. People like bookkeepers, who are great investments for any small business. So what does a bookkeeper do? Bookkeepers take care of the daily financial…  Read more

Could a four day week help your business thrive?

The “overwork epidemic” is a serious problem world-wide. In Japan, there’s even a word for it; to die by karōshi is to suffer a heart attack or stroke brought on by unrelenting overtime and occupational stress. In addition to the negative impact on health and well-being, working too much is bad for productivity. According to a US study, employees who put in more than 50 hours a week – as…  Read more

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