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Do you know what a Deadline really is?

Sep 19, 2019

My work has historically consisted of one deadline after another. Mostly imposed by the government, but some imposed by clients.

I was looking at my “to do” list for today which is mostly made up of items that have to be done by a certain date, and it got me thinking about the origin of the word “deadline”.

So, I did what we all do in today’s’ world. I Googled it and got quite a surprise for my efforts.

It appears that the derivation may have come from the American Civil War. In the prisons, there would be a line or boundary called the deadline. If a prisoner went beyond it, they would be shot dead.

Makes sense, doesn’t it? Deadline.

According to Wikipedia, the word deadline was used in the early 1900s in the printing industry as the line in a printing press that delineated the end of the area that would print. 

It was also used at that time in the publishing industry for the time by which material had to be submitted to make it...

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How to React when Life Throws you a Curveball

Sep 12, 2019

A curveball can come in all shapes and sizes. There are the small ones that just throw you off track a little bit, and then there are big ones that come out of nowhere that rock you to your core. 

As business owners, we’re on the receiving end of a curveball all the time.


  • the client who doesn’t pay your invoice on time, 
  • a client who promises to pay your invoice on a particular date and doesn’t
  • the employee who demands a pay increase
  • an employee who resigns unexpectedly
  • notice from your landlord to vacate the premises or not extend your lease
  • major price increase from a supplier
  • a significant change in the exchange rate that impacts your purchases
  • your bookkeeper disappears without a trace 
  • a major client doesn’t renew their contract
  • you lose your biggest customer or client


In reality, we should be ready for curveballs. We should have thought about the various possibilities of what could go wrong and...

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The Value of Minimum Viable Income for Cash Flow

Sep 05, 2019

You may have heard of Minimum Viable Product, but what is Minimum Viable Income?

Firstly, let’s identify what Minimum Viable Product is.

The Wikipedia definition is “a product with just enough features to satisfy early customers, and to provide feedback for future product development”.

What, then, is the definition of Minimum Viable Income?

I define Minimum Viable Income to be the income required to pay all expenses of the business, no more and no less. In accounting-speak it is called Break-Even.  


Minimum viable income is essential when starting out in business. It is essential in those early days when you’re spending money getting started before your first sale. And then in those months when sales are starting, and you’re building the business.

Knowing your Minimum Viable Income figure becomes the very first goal in business — the goal to have sufficient income to pay all the expenses....

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Don't Believe what you Read on Social Media

Aug 29, 2019

What you read on social media can be misleading and frustrating information. 

Benjamin Franklin is attributed to the quote “… nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes”. I’d add to that, changes in tax laws. 

It seems like every year; there’s another change in taxes that impact business owners. Big changes took place with the introduction of the GST and Superannuation Guarantee.


The recent implementation of Single Touch Payroll (STP) is one of those changes that has crept up stealthily upon us. Businesses employing 20 or more staff had to comply with this legislation on 1 July 2018. 

From 1 July 2019, employers with 5 – 19 employees are required to report under the Single Touch Payroll system. There is a transitional period to 30 September 2019 by which time you have to be reporting.

For employers with 1 – 4 employees, there...

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Happy New Year – It’s Time for New Financial Goals

Aug 15, 2019

It’s time for new financial goals as you celebrate the old year and plan the new year.

Congratulations, you’ve survived another financial year and today is the first day of a new one. Is this year going to be different from last year, or will it be the same again… It’s time to review the past and reset your financial goals for the new year.

A new year is a great time for a reset of your business. However, I recommend a reset at least every quarter with a major reset at the beginning of a new year.


For me, it encompasses a few parts. Firstly, it’s time to reflect on what I’ve achieved. I review the last month, quarter, year and usually take a few minutes to go back a few years to consider just how far I’ve come. I take a look at what I’ve achieved, what I haven’t achieved, what I’ve done differently, and what new skills I’ve learned. Then I also take a look at what is still on my...

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Are your Financial Reports Giving you Useful Information

Aug 08, 2019

Do you look at your financial reports with bewilderment, frustrated that you’re not getting information that is useful for you to manage your business?

The answer may just be that your accounting system has been set up to make it easy for your accountant to produce financial statements, not for the easy production of management reports.

Management financial reports are fundamental to success in business.

If financial reports are set up to provide you with the information you want and need to be looking at, they are a fountain of information and insights into what’s happening in your business: the good, the bad and the downright ugly.  

Does your profit and loss statement show just a couple of lines for income and then the expenses listed alphabetically from A to Z? If the answer is yes, it’s time to shake up your reporting.



Think about the different income streams you have in your business,...

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5 Tips to End the Financial Year Strong

Aug 01, 2019

In the next couple of weeks, let’s make sure you end the financial year strong.

Another financial year is almost over, where did it go? How was the year for you, good, bad or downright ugly? With just two weeks to the end of the year, it may be too late to have a chat with your accountant to do some tax planning unless you already have, but there’s still time to take action on a few things.  



First of all, you need to know whether you’ve made a profit for the year or not, and how much that profit is. It’s worth having a good look at each line in the profit and loss, making sure it makes sense, and nothing looks out of place.

One way to do this is to compare this years’ figures against last years and look for the anomalies.

Unfortunately, though, the profit showing in your profit and loss statement may not be the figure that you will pay tax...

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The 3 R’s of Small Business – Routines Rituals and Rewards

Jul 25, 2019

What’s your plan to achieve your goals, does it include routines rituals and rewards?

Are you a planner or a go with the flow type of person? There’s no right or wrong here, it’s just a question of what works well for you and whether there’s an in-between where you get the benefit of both styles of living.  


I’ve always been a planner but in recent years, I’ve taken on a bit of the go with the flow style. When travelling, I’m the one who plans what we’ll do each day on the trip, and whilst sometimes the plan would change due to weather conditions, we pretty much did exactly what I’d planned.

More recently, I’ve not done the day by day plan but rather got a list of places to go and see and put them in priority order and if we don’t do everything that’s ok, or we might find something more interesting to do instead.

So, it should be no surprise that I also plan my...

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The Contradiction of Capacity and Flexibility

Jul 18, 2019

In business, we need both capacity and flexibility, but there are times when they just don’t mix.

Strategically in a serviced based business, we want to be highly productive and utilise the capacity we have available in the most efficient way possible to make the most revenue.

Whilst productivity at 75% or 80% sounds like there’s flexibility, the reality is that the other 20% to 25% is spent in admin tasks, internal meetings and a plethora of small tasks. And these aren’t considered specifically client delivery tasks.

Recently, I was asked to do some work which I knew would take me close to a day and a half. The challenge was that I already had work planned for the next day and then two full days of meetings. For me, there was no question about what to do.

The decision was simply to put off the work I’d planned for the next day and prioritise this new work. It needed to be done urgently and I would keep working until it was done, which on that particular...

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There's Money to be Found in the Differences

Jul 11, 2019

There’s money to be found in the unnecessary costs of your business.

Checking and reviewing your numbers is key to making decisions, but there are also benefits to looking at the numbers from the viewpoint of seeking out the differences.   

Differences can be found in several ways:


What numbers look the same, and what numbers look different? For those that are different, do you know why they’re different? If you can provide an explanation, that’s great, but if not, delve deeper into the numbers to see what caused the difference.


I was talking to the co-owner of several tourist accommodation properties, and she told me the story about when they’d bought a new property and got the first energy bill.

The energy bill was ten times the amount they were paying for another existing larger property they owned. Something was definitely...

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