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Staying Optimistic When It’s All Too Hard

Aug 05, 2020
Staying optimistic is easy when things are going well. But when business is hard, staying optimistic is hard too.
 
I’m a positive person by nature. Throw me a challenge and I’ll accept it with relish. Put a difficult situation in front of me and I’ll deal with it. But when business is tough, I’ve found it tough to stay positive.
 
Remember when you started out in business and you just hustled all day long to get business, make sales, sign up clients? Your sole focus was on sales and getting money in the bank account.
 
Whether you knew how much you needed to pay the bills or not (and I suspect not), what you did know was that you needed to sell, sell and sell.
 
That same thought process kicks in when business is tough. In 2009 after the Global Financial Crisis, my business income plummeted. I thought back to my early days and figured the solution was to sell, sell and sell.
 
But this time it was different. I was...
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Cash Flow Post JobKeeper support

Jul 21, 2020
What will happen to your business when JobKeeper payments cease?
 
Payments are due to continue to end of September. There may be a change in the eligibility requirements that requires a re-set of eligibility before then.
 
Then there is the question of whether it will continue beyond that date and whether that will be industry specific rather than all types of business.
 
No matter what the circumstances, the fact remains that JobKeeper won’t be here forever.
 
Making JobKeeper work for you
 
The key to maintaining your cash flow is making the JobKeeper payments work for you. Check how much of your fortnightly wages bill is being funded by JobKeeper. Then consider whether the JobKeeper payment is freeing up cash flow in your business. It may be only a small amount. If possible, try and put some funds aside to help with your cashflow post JobKeeper support.
 
One of the ways to get value from JobKeeper is to find ways to keep your...
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Three Tips To Get The Most From Your Accounting System

Jul 15, 2020

There are three common mistakes I see regularly when I’m reviewing the set up of accounting systems. If you who want useful management reports, follow these three tips.  Read more...

Originally posted on Inside Small Business 

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Why I Purge My Client List Each Year

Jul 07, 2020
At the end of each year, I review my client list.
 
As a Chartered Accountant, there are rules around how to do this and there is a requirement to ensure no conflicts of interest and not acting for clients where you know they aren’t complying with legislation.
 
But for me, it’s more than that. These are the factors I use to decide who to purge from my list each year:
 
1. Do they pay their bills on time
 
Now, with the Covid-19 lockdowns and businesses taking a beating, I’m not going to consider delayed payments over the past few months as a factor.
 
What I am looking for, though, is the consistent, regular late payers. More particularly, those clients who don’t seem to make any attempt to pay their bills at all and that’s been the case for multiple years.
 
There are clients I’ve had who befriended me and then draw on my good nature to do the next piece of work because they need it for the bank or to...
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Commitment vs Complaining

Jun 30, 2020
 

I’ve recently been investing time in training to improve my skills for the future. What’s different about this is that whilst I was supposed to have been in the US for the training, the sessions have continued, in US times.

Commitment

Thus it’s meant going to bed at 5pm, getting up at midnight and being focused and present through the wee hours of the morning until the days training concluded around 9am.

Then, because I’m a glutton for punishment, I’d then work until around 4pm before heading to bed again (with appropriate breaks for breakfast and midday dinner).

Complaining

What I found interesting about this has been those who complain about the hours. Particularly UK attendees complaining they have to stay up to midnight or 1am. Well, then again, perhaps I shouldn’t have been surprised to hear whinging Poms. How much easier it would be to stay up late and then sleep in a little the next day. So much easier than having to be up through...

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When To Call It A Day

Jun 02, 2020

Calling it a day is the last thing you want to do. It’s your business, it’s your baby and you have no doubt not only poured your heart and soul into it but also your savings too.

Whether you’re re-opening your business doors following lockdowns, you’ve kept the business going with remote working or business has continued on without too much disruption, if you’re having cash flow challenges and have limited sources of funding, it may be time to look at when to call it a day.

There are two factors that will impact the decision:

Financial

This is the obvious one. Some people think it’s as simple as asking the question “when are you going to run out of money?” But I beg to differ.

Consider the situation where you have accumulated savings. You lent money into the business in the early days to get it up and running. Then, over time, it may have been self-supporting, and then business starts on a downturn, for whatever reason.

The right...

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Why Focussing on Revenue Won’t Make You Profitable

May 26, 2020

Too many times I’ve met business owners whose only focus on the numbers is checking their revenue. Whilst revenue is fundamental for all businesses, focusing on this alone doesn’t give enough information to know whether you’re making a profit or not.

Revenue goals are important, don’t get me wrong. There’s nothing more exciting than getting to that first 6 figures revenue figure, or the half a million dollar mark or the million dollar revenue line.

And like all goals, they serve an important purpose for something to aim for and to then celebrate when achieved.

My issue is that revenue of itself isn’t enough. There’s no point having revenue of say $ 100,000 if your costs are $ 120,000.

That’s where another number comes into play. Break even or what I like to call minimum income. It’s also what is needed to fulfil the key element of presence. Without a business that is at least meeting its costs, your presence in business is at...

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The Shifting Sands Under Our Feet

May 11, 2020
Do you feel like there are shifting sands in your business world right now? Does every day feel like a new game with a different set of rules.
 
Confusion
 
It’s normal to feel confused at this time. We’ve got deadlines that weren’t there before. We’ve got questions as to who, what, when and how. There are situations that just don’t fit in the list of eligibility or then again they might.
 
Even as a qualified professional who has taken the time to read the legislation, I’m finding it confusing. Some of the questions I’m asked, I just can’t provide an accurate answer for.
 
I’ve lodged BAS returns that should have the Cash Flow Boost Payment processed automatically against but haven’t. I’ve had to go back through the legislation again to check the eligibility requirements. Now to work out where to lodge the request to have it reviewed.
 
I’ve had a bookkeeper completely stuff...
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3 Tips When Cash Flow is Tight

May 05, 2020
Cash flow is tight in businesses and in some cases is non-existent in today’s Covid-19 world. But chances are you’ve had tight cash flow in the past when business was “good” or “normal”.
 
Like any situation you can choose how you react to it. You can bury your head in the sand or throw your hands up in the air and give up.
 
Or, you could choose to think differently.
 

1. Is this an opportunity?

Is this a chance to re-think your business model? Is this an opportunity to re-consider what you do and how you do it? Does this help you to pivot your business to be stronger in the future?
 
Perhaps the opportunity is in reviewing the way you invoice your clients or customers. Do you do the work, invoice for the work and then wait for your client or customer to pay you? Is this the time to re-consider that? If you think about most retail type businesses; you don’t walk out of the shop or their premises with your goods...
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5 Cash Flow Tips For Today

Apr 20, 2020

Cash flow, the lifeblood of business, is often a challenge when business is going well. It’s even more of a challenge during these current circumstances with lockdowns, shutdowns and people staying at home.

 
My 5 tips for today to help you through the next few weeks:
 

1. Make lists of what you need to buy

My parents are both 94 years of age and between my sister and my husband we’ve been doing their food shopping for them. They have always written shopping lists for as long as I can remember.
 
But what’s really interesting, is they told me the other day that they are spending less money than usual. Why? Because even though they’ve shopped with a list, when they’re in the shops themselves, they’ll see something that wasn’t on the list. It may be something that they need. Or it may be something they think they could have that for lunch one day for a change. So each week, they’d buy more than was on their list.
By...
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