In my view, most business owners do not read enough. I read approximately one book every fortnight. My reading choices include a mixture of business, sports, fiction and biographies, and I learn something from all of them. I particularly enjoy the odd fiction book, as they really help with creative thought — important for me, as my business role encompasses innovation and product development.
In our business, we have a monthly book club: each month, we rotate the ‘chair’, and the nominated team member chooses the next book. We allocate one of our weekly team meetings per month to ‘debrief’ on the book and, based on the ideas in the book, we pull together a concise action plan to implement in our business. I strongly recommend you consider doing the same thing (perhaps start quarterly).
Being a sole trader or a freelancer can be a lonely reality. You’re essentially on your own, steering your own ship. Some people operate beautifully in this environment — I work predominantly with accounting firms, and I know of many sole practitioners who have come out of partnerships and would never go back.
But others struggle when there is no one to bounce ideas off. Whichever camp you fall into, one thing is for certain: If you love what you are doing, you’ll have a more fulfilling existence.
With the introduction of credit scores, the playing field around obtaining credit has changed dramatically in the last year here in Australia. Many people were concerned about the move — and possible restriction of credit — but a surprise outcome has been the ability for you to actually use your credit score to look for better deals for your loans and finance arrangements.
Small business people are among the most likely to seek credit (and unfortunately be refused) so the ability to review and actively manage your score is a great step forward. Until now people have only dealt with credit bureaus when they get rejected for credit. They had to pay for a credit report from companies like Veda Group, one of the main credit reporting agencies, in order to see what defaults or other adverse information was on their file.
More often than not, business owners are oblivious to the problems brewing in their company. If you are quick to spot the warning signs, then you can take a proactive approach to manage your business through difficult times. Here are the five most common warning signs for any small business.
Working from home is expected to become increasingly prevalent over the coming decades, as is already a commonplace option for small business owners and the self-employed. But unless you are Hugh Hefner, pyjamas may not be the ideal daywear of choice for the productive self-employed worker or business owner. Here are five basic tips to stay on top of your game as a home-stationed operator.
It’s a familiar story… how does a business owner create a more holistic service for their customer? Do they extend the existing business offering (and possibly lose focus on what made the company successful), or do they start another business?
Ryan Miller of accounting firm Steven J Miller & Co chose the latter and hasn’t looked back since.
Ryan was keen to provide services over and above the typical accountant practice remit - he wanted to help small businesses on a day-to-day basis; not just once a month, a quarter, or a year. With his new business Keeping Company, Ryan and his team now offers secretarial, bookkeeping, and v …
The concept of the office of the future has been kicking around since the 1940s and is something that futurists and technology guys like me love speculating on. At the most basic level, it’s about running a paperless office. Since then, it has evolved into something so much more. If you remember Microsoft’s video from 2009, they presented an office where every surface was a screen — where every device you owned was connected and could transmit data from wherever you put it, from your desk to the kitchen bench.
But now, in 2014, where the ubiquity of smartphones and tablets has shown that a world of screens has truly come to pass, w …
You may have heard the term backlink in your marketing dealings or discussions with digital companies around search engine optimisation (SEO), and you’ve probably got a vague idea what everyone is talking about. So what is a backlink, and why are they so important to your business?
By Rhys Roberts
If you’re like most small business owners, you probably find yourself constantly switching hats between doing the books, managing staff, running a sales and marketing campaign and doing the day-to-day admin tasks, among many things.
Automating or streamlining any of those tasks is one of the best decisions you’ll ever make, giving you back valuable time to grow your business or hang out with your family and friends. Consider these four steps you can take to get out of tedious and time consuming bookwork.
By Rhys Roberts
For a majority of businesses, the saying “cash is king” has never been more true than it is today. According to a recent Dun & Bradstreet survey, Australian businesses now wait an average of 54 days to receive payment from their customers after issuing an invoice.
If your business is turning over $400,000, those 54 debtor days equate to almost $60,000 of your cash that is still sitting in your customers' bank accounts! Getting paid 30 days after you issue an invoice instead of 54 days would add an instant $28,000 to your bank balance.
The situation is even worse for small businesses, with customers taking 60 d …