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Time To Go Back To The Basics

Apr 14, 2020

With our business worlds turned upside down, it’s time to go back to the basics.

Time to learn or review core concepts and re-build our financial foundations. Not only build them literally but also to really know what they are and what they mean.
Core financial concepts are the basics that savvy business owners use every day to make decisions.
 
Whether you’ve recently started out in business or been operating for a number of years, unless you’ve taken the time in the past to truly learn about the core financial concepts you’ll have been missing out on important data about what’s been happening in your business.
 
Invariably, when business owners approach me for assistance, they’re feeling out of control. They are usually overwhelmed and inwardly admitting their inexperience.
 

From Inexperience to Understanding

The lack of experience usually results in poor cash flow and low profits. You can’t focus on the numbers...
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The Haves and The Have Nots

Apr 06, 2020

The requirements of businesses to shutdown or convert to team members working from home has created a new social divide between the haves and the have nots.

 

The Haves

There are those who still have work to do. They are working from home, often in cramped and difficult situations. Some are working from their laptop whilst sitting on their beds in order to create a quiet space away from the rest of the family.
Others are dealing with children at home, learning how to homeschool during the day and then sitting up late at night doing their work.
 
Some have dedicated offices already, others are using the kitchen or dining table.
Those business owners are the lucky ones. They still have work to do, clients to invoice and money, hopefully, coming into their bank accounts to pay the wages and the bills.
 
But are they really the lucky ones? Maybe. Maybe not. It's a case of setting up new systems, learning new management skills and how to keep in touch with and...
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The Financial Needs of a Modern Business

Mar 29, 2020

The modern business has a different set of financial requirements to a traditional business.

Modern businesses may have lumpy cash flow where they run a campaign to sell a service. And then spend the next few months delivering without any further income.

But like every business, the modern business owner needs:
  1. to understand the core financial concepts,
  2. to develop focused management skills, and
  3. to create a planned growth strategy.
Knowing how to do the bookkeeping is a useful skill to learn; but what's more important is to understand and interpret the numbers. Use the numbers to tell the story of the business. Interpreting the numbers provides further insights into the business helping you to make good business decisions.
 
A profitable modern business requires the owner to have a broad range of skills and knowledge.
 

Core Financial Concepts

Core financial concepts are the foundations of business numbers. The basic building blocks on which everything else is...
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Time to Batten The Hatches for Your Business Survival

Mar 22, 2020

There are new initiatives are being announced by governments on a daily basis. Wherever you are, find out what they mean for your business and act accordingly.

There are also a number of measures you can take irrespective of how the initiatives may impact your business.

1. Think outside the box

How can you do business differently and keep your doors open for business survival?

I was talking to a client who sells products in the disability sector. They are already finding opportunities to provide online services to their customers which previously would have been provided in a face-to-face environment by health professionals who are faced with isolation requirements.

We talked about what would happen if one of the staff in the office became infected thus requiring the entire team to self-isolate. I suggested finding someone they trusted who wasn't on the team who could go into their office. Then whilst they were there instruct them on what to do to send out orders.

If there's a...

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7 Tips to Deal with Cash Flow during Coronavirus

Mar 15, 2020

Now more than ever, we need to be smart about how we do business. Here are my top 7 tips for dealing with cash flow to ensure business success:

1. Review your expenses.

Firstly, let's look at your business costs. For each items ask yourself these questions:
  1. Is it essential?
  2. Is there a less expensive alternative that will provide the same result
  3. Can we do without this for a period of time whilst we ride out the current challenges?
Secondly, do the same with your personal/living costs. By reviewing both business and personal expenses, the aim is to reduce their drain on your cash flow.

2. Aim to put 10% of your income aside into a savings account to build a stash of cash.

This is difficult to do and a bit like the mantra of "pay yourself first before you pay your bills". If 10% is just too hard as your cash flow is already very tight, start with 5% or even 2%. It may not be much but every dollar saved, may save the day in the future.
 
Do you remember the Christmas...
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Is Modern Business the Goal for Traditional Businesses?

Mar 08, 2020

Do you have a traditional business where you are tethered to your office, shop or workplace? A business that serves the local community but you dream of growing bigger and serving a larger market?

Marketing gurus spruik the benefits of having an online business where you can make money while you're sleeping. Whilst there's a degree of hype in their messages, the underlining model is where the future lies.

Example

A good friend of mine owned a retail shop for many years. She sold it some years ago to focus on manufacturing, importing and direct selling. Over time, as online product sales became the way her target market was buying, she moved her business online.
 
Imagine waking up in the morning to find sales processed overnight. Her business evolved from waiting for someone to walk into the physical shop to having her business open 24/7 online. Having an online shop doesn't guarantee sales. You've still got to do the marketing to get people to your online shop for them to...
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Modern Business rising from the ashes of Traditional Businesses

Mar 03, 2020

The types of businesses operating today have changed significantly from the traditional businesses we all know.

 
You know the ones; the ones with a bricks and mortar presence, whether it's a shop, a workshop, a factory unit or an office. Businesses traditionally were location specific and served the local community. Their incomes are directly linked to the size of the community around them and those who pass through or come for holidays.
 
In Australia, those traditional businesses in areas impacted by bushfires have been badly impacted. There are those whose businesses were engulfed in flames losing everything. There are others where the business premises were saved from the flames, but the community around them is in crisis. Holidaymakers were ordered to stay away or go home.
 
The livelihoods of these business owners has been damaged beyond belief.
 

Small Business

Small business is a term that has multiple definitions depending on the context in...
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Why People Don't Need to Avoid Looking at the Numbers

Jan 30, 2020

People avoid looking at the numbers for many reasons.

I explained my top list of reasons why people avoid looking at the numbers in a previous article. But I believe that you don’t need to avoid looking at the numbers, so let me dispel those reasons for you.

1. LACK OF UNDERSTANDING AND LACK OF KNOWLEDGE

This one makes sense. If you’ve not had some basic training on the core financial concepts then you don’t have the knowledge or understanding. The challenge is to understand the importance of seeking out that training. 

There are many skills required in business. The key is that you don’t have to be an expert in all areas. As the business owner and leader, what is important is to have an overview and general understanding of them all.

When you started in business, did you have all the skills you needed from the get-go? Perhaps yes, perhaps no. If no, did you learn about those areas as your business grew? You may have learnt through trial...

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Why do People Avoid Looking at the Numbers?

Jan 09, 2020

What is it that makes business owners avoid looking at the numbers? I’ve been pondering this question for some time, because, to me, it is a choice. It may be a choice by default, but it is still a choice you make.

There are some business owners who have made an effort to understand the core financial concepts. Yet there are others who shy away from any mention of the numbers.

Some time ago, I remember the head of a woman’s group putting up a post on social media, asking about why is it that women don’t talk about finances and money. 

The funny thing was, no one responded! Well, it’s not funny, really. But I did think it was interesting that even the question about why was met with stony silence.

So why is it?

My theories on why you may avoid looking at the numbers are:

1. MATHS WAS NOT YOUR FAVOURITE SUBJECT AT SCHOOL

Maths was not your strong subject at school, so you avoid anything that is number related. I believe this is fundamentally a...

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How do you Choose who you Learn from?

Jan 06, 2020

How Do You Choose Who You Learn From?

As business owners, we need to continue to learn to improve. We need to learn skills we weren’t taught earlier in life. We need to learn new skills based on changes in technology and the way businesses operate in today’s’ world.

There are three levels of learning when it comes to business skills. This includes both soft skills and hard technical skills that are industry specific.

LEVEL 1 – ENTRY LEVEL

When you’re looking to learn the basics of any skill, you need to find trainers that cater to your lack of knowledge in the area. They need to explain the concepts in simple, easy to understand language and allow you time to absorb the information.

LEVEL 2 – DECISION-MAKING LEARNING

Once you’ve got the entry level learning under your belt and feel reasonably proficient with it, it’s time to add another layer to that knowledge. This will provide you with the tools to apply it to different...

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