What Can Engaging A Business Adviser Do For You?
Business | 06 14th, 2021|

Feel like your business is stuck in a rut? Unable to solve a problem that you know is going to cost you in the long run? It might not be financially tanking, and it’s highly likely that your revenue stream isn’t down, but if you’re not sure what direction to take, it could also mean that you need a fresh pair of eyes to take a look at particular issues that your business is facing to deal with them.

Business advisers can be engaged across many fields with specially focused advice or strategies to a specific area (such as accountants, business bankers or commercial lawyers) or be a business adviser who is dedicated to considering the overall goals and long-term ramifications of your business’s strategies.

A business adviser can be hired on either a one-time basis (to deal with one-off problems your business is set to face) or on an ongoing basis to provide continued support.

Suppose you’re only looking for a particular solution to a problem. In that case, one-time advice from a business adviser can be an easy and cost-effective solution to solve that particular problem. However, suppose you’re looking for long-term ongoing support that’s backed by years of experience and a perspective that’s looking to preempt these issues. In that case, ongoing advice may be more appropriate for your needs.

Engaging a business adviser can provide your business with fresh ideas based on an objective analysis of your business’s current performance and situation.

As an example, contracting an accountant in a business adviser role means that you are looking for strategic and financial advice like profitability improvement, tax planning and advice regarding business performance.

An adviser who can offer timely and relevant advice to your financial situation can make a huge difference to your business in the long run.

If you’re looking for assistance in plotting out the financial future of your business, you can come and speak with us. We’re well-equipped to assist you in mapping out your business’s plan for the future, so start a conversation with us today to see how we can help.

Planning For Your Business’s Future For Next Financial Year
Business | 06 9th, 2021|

With the end of the 2020 financial year rapidly approaching this month, many businesses will be reflecting on how they managed to navigate and meet the challenges of a turbulent time (namely, the COVID-19 pandemic).

By taking what they have learned, what worked and what failed, businesses should be able to plan for their future for the next financial year and understand how to take their learnings from the previous year forward with them to create preventative strategies and coping measures.

A good business plan recognises these periods of change as opportunities to innovate, challenge the business and engineer a plan that allows them to take chances but remain safe at the same time.

Planning For Your Business’s Financial Future This Financial Year

  • Ensure that you are legally compliant with your approach to your employees by conducting an audit of all employment contracts.
  • Plan out and undertake a risk-management plan to identify vulnerable areas and what strategies you can employ to mitigate their effect. Include potential exit strategies for the business and a succession plan for worst-case scenarios.
  • If there were any excellent habits or innovations developed throughout the pandemic, retaining them should be a priority
  • Manage financial obligations, such as commitments to leases, staff, debt etc., and see how those can be managed in the event of volatility or turbulence. Revisit grants and support packages and see if these are still available/useful to you
  • Plot out guaranteed, likely and potential projects or income and your expenses, taxes, overheads, wages and subsidies that should be accounted for ahead of time.
  • Surplus cash generated can be used to pay down debt or take advantage of opportunities through reinvestment in areas such as hiring new staff or purchasing equipment (especially with the instant asset write off scheme being extended for another year)
  • Consider implementing reliable financial software (such as e-invoicing) to ensure everything from expenses and invoices to taxes and analytics are meticulously organised.

We are here to help you plan out your business’s future for the next financial year, including how to prepare financially for any eventualities, what might be the best path forward to deal with potential or existing debts, and what schemes or grants your business could be helpful to your business. Contact us for an appointment today.

Taking Advantage of Free Marketing With Blogging
Business | 06 1st, 2021|

To gain a foothold in the online community, it is becoming more and more important that small businesses take advantage of and develop a web presence that they can use to engage and communicate with their customers.

Blogs are among the primary three forms of media used in most content strategies today. By consistently using blogging as a tool for building your business’s online brand and raising awareness, you’re using a cost-effective method of content creation and directing more traffic towards your website. Doing so also enables you to provide your target audience with relevant content that they might find helpful and establish yourself in a niche as an authority.

Reportedly, 89% of content marketers used blog posts in their content creation strategy in 2020. It’s a marketing strategy that over 86% of companies are employing as their primary form of online marketing distribution.

Here are some reasons why you should consider employing blogging as your next marketing move.

Search Engine Optimisation Boost

Blogging allows you to provide search engines with fresh, relevant content straightforwardly and cost-effectively. When you create content through a blog post for your business, you’re providing major search engines with new content to refer back to in search results. You can also insert keywords that pertain to your business into your content that you know your customers use to search for what you’re offering them, and which will then flag your blog in their search results.

Strengthen Relationships With Customer Base (Old And New)

Engaging with your customers is an element of online marketing that you do not want to neglect, as they have the power to make or break your business. Blogging allows you to engage and connect with your customer base informally and builds up trust between you and them as a reliable source of high-quality and particularly relevant information.

Make Your Business The Industry Leader In Information

By providing your customer base with trusted, high-quality information that you know they’ll find relevant, you can establish credibility for your business and yourself as a “knowledge expert” in the field or niche you’ve carved out for yourself. Writing regularly about helpful and informative topics will make you the point of call within the industry, leading to more inquiries and higher conversion rates (clickthroughs, purchases, etc.).

Connect People To Your Brand

Blog posting allows you a more informal, conversational platform to create a dialogue with your customers and show them a more personal side to your business. You can establish a brand message and voice, engage existing and prospective customers, and show them a sense of your business’s corporate standard, character, vision, and personality.

Create Opportunities For Sharing

Sharing the link to your blog is something that your customers who engage with your content can do, which creates the potential for viral traffic and exponential growth in the market. It’s free and as easy as a simple click.

Blogging is essentially a must for any small business looking to increase its outreach into the digital landscape. Suppose you don’t have the time, resources or necessary expertise to write blog content. In that case, you can outsource the posts to a digital marketing agency and have them begin your company’s blogging journey.

Preparing For Your Employee’s Performance Review
Business | 05 28th, 2021|

The performance review process is an integral part of a business that ensures that all staff (old and new) know their roles and responsibilities and perform them satisfactorily. It allows employers to directly give feedback to their employees in a formal setting that employees can then direct back into and shape how they perform their role.

Performance reviews may include praise about performance, suggestions for improvement or raise professional concerns, or assist in their career development and growth by planning for a future with clear strategic goals.

To be sure that the performance reviews conducted benefit you and your employees, It is essential to make sure that you are fully prepared and able to articulate your feedback. It’s important to have a plan, and a well-organised agenda of how you want the meeting to go can be a valuable tool to employ.

Make a note of any critical issues or points that you wish to discuss with your employee, as having the physical prompt should assist you in keeping the meeting on track and examine all of the relevant points that you want to pursue with the employee.

Essentially, you should cover in the performance review:

  • Each employee’s goals or KPIs, and how well those goals are being met/achieved
  • Areas where they have excelled
  • Places where they may need more improvement

You can also ask your employees to assess their performance and see what they may identify differently from what you have highlighted. You can do this by simply having them conduct a self-analysis on how their performance has been in reaching (or not reaching) their goals

If you are after a more formal approach to a self-analysis, you can ask employees to complete a more formal SWOT analysis, which identifies their strengths and weaknesses, opportunities they’ve taken advantage of to enhance their performance and any threats that may have impacted or may impact their performance.

Performance reviews can also identify and highlight areas for improvement in the business that may have otherwise gone unnoticed.

Typical Things To Address In A Performance Review

  • The employee’s quality of work and ability to meet particular metrics
  • Dependability and punctuality
  • Leadership, communication and team skills
  • Progress made towards personal career goals
  • Innovation and problem-solving skills

Performance reviews should be conducted periodically and methodically to ensure that you get the most benefit from them. It will also keep you informed about progress and issues within the business. It is recommended that you conduct performance reviews every three or four months, but half-yearly reviews are also perfectly suitable.

Using Feedback As A Tool For Your Business’s Growth
Business | 05 19th, 2021|

Feedback is an essential element within the business sphere. It can be used to improve your business as a whole or help identify where you may make further improvements. It can be internally or externally driven and may not always be positive. Essentially, feedback is a driving force behind a business’ growth and should be sought out and given by you to create a direct line of communication that the feedback is being received and put back into the business.

It is crucial to consider the following when you ask for feedback:

  • Who you are requesting feedback from and why
  • How to use the feedback effectively after receiving it
  • How your business can improve as a result of the feedback
  • What is/isn’t working for your business, and how you can address it

You can request feedback from:

  • Those who report to you (you can go down a few levels)
  • Those above you (you can go up a few levels)
  • Colleges in the same team/group
  • Colleges in other teams/groups
  • Vendors, suppliers and external contractors
  • Customers

As a business owner, it is crucial that you receive honest and constructive feedback while also providing it to your employees. To do so, one needs to ensure that the feedback is:

  • As specific and as close as possible to an event
  • Given and received in a safe place in an appropriate setting and time
  • Not judgemental or personal
  • Constructive and actionable

When receiving feedback, try to listen, reflect and respond.

Listen

Listen to the feedback provided to you, even if it makes you want to react immediately to it. Delay defending yourself, and listen closely to what exactly is being said. Internalise the feedback, and ask questions to clarify what they are saying to give yourself a concrete understanding.

Reflect

After receiving feedback, reflect on what was said with an open mind and understand the context in which the feedback has come from. Is it helpful feedback that you can use to improve or change accordingly? Rather than think “that wasn’t my intention” about the feedback, consider how it could have been perceived differently from the other’s view.

Respond

Giving feedback, particularly when it is negative, can be a daunting task. Respond with a thank you to the feedback, as it promotes a positive response irrespective of the nature of the feedback.

Using Feedback As A Tool For Your Business’s Growth
Business | 05 19th, 2021|

Feedback is an essential element within the business sphere. It can be used to improve your business as a whole or help identify where you may make further improvements. It can be internally or externally driven and may not always be positive. Essentially, feedback is a driving force behind a business’ growth and should be sought out and given by you to create a direct line of communication that the feedback is being received and put back into the business.

It is crucial to consider the following when you ask for feedback:

  • Who you are requesting feedback from and why
  • How to use the feedback effectively after receiving it
  • How your business can improve as a result of the feedback
  • What is/isn’t working for your business, and how you can address it

You can request feedback from:

  • Those who report to you (you can go down a few levels)
  • Those above you (you can go up a few levels)
  • Colleges in the same team/group
  • Colleges in other teams/groups
  • Vendors, suppliers and external contractors
  • Customers

As a business owner, it is crucial that you receive honest and constructive feedback while also providing it to your employees. To do so, one needs to ensure that the feedback is:

  • As specific and as close as possible to an event
  • Given and received in a safe place in an appropriate setting and time
  • Not judgemental or personal
  • Constructive and actionable

When receiving feedback, try to listen, reflect and respond.

Listen

Listen to the feedback provided to you, even if it makes you want to react immediately to it. Delay defending yourself, and listen closely to what exactly is being said. Internalise the feedback, and ask questions to clarify what they are saying to give yourself a concrete understanding.

Reflect

After receiving feedback, reflect on what was said with an open mind and understand the context in which the feedback has come from. Is it helpful feedback that you can use to improve or change accordingly? Rather than think “that wasn’t my intention” about the feedback, consider how it could have been perceived differently from the other’s view.

Respond

Giving feedback, particularly when it is negative, can be a daunting task. Respond with a thank you to the feedback, as it promotes a positive response irrespective of the nature of the feedback.

Using Market Research To Boost Your Business
Business | 05 12th, 2021|

Market research is an effective tool that can be used to boost your business in terms of sales, customer engagement and how your competitors may be performing. It allows you to make well-informed decisions that can potentially add value to your business.

When conducting market research, ensure that you are covering all of the potential areas that may affect how your business has been performing. This may include:

  • Customers
  • Competitors
  • Products or services
  • Suppliers
  • Business location and local area
  • Industry

Products & Services

Researching what your customer is looking for when it comes to your business’ products, services and interactions with them can be a simple way to get ahead of your competition. It can also provide you with an understanding of where you fit into the market for your customers, and how you differentiate from what your competitors are offering.

Market research can also assist in figuring out where you are positioned in the market in terms of your products or services being considered as high-end, competitive or a low-cost alternative to what your competition is offering. It can also aid in determining the anticipated demand of products by customers, so that you can adjust accordingly.

Suppliers

Conducting market research on suppliers can assist you in working out pricing of your products, whether or not you are getting the right price from your suppliers with regard to your orders and the overall quality of what suppliers deliver.

Customers

Collecting customer data through feedback, be it online (such as email, surveys) or analog (talking with customers, feedback forms), can be an invaluable insight into what your customers want from you. This style of direct customer research can assist in learning about what their needs are, what they’re willing to pay and the anticipated demand for your products. It can also assist in giving more information that you can use to better target your marketing efforts.

Competitors

Investigating your competitors in business can assist you in understanding your position in the marketplace in comparison to them. This can assist in developing your marketing plan by understanding your strengths and weaknesses, opportunities and threats and planning for how you can better use them. You can obtain this data through observation of your competitors marketing practices, networking with your competitors and through researching their presence on the internet (via websites, blogs or other social media).

Market research, when used effectively, can be a turning point in a business’s marketing plans, and assist them in planning their business’s future direction.

Using Market Research To Boost Your Business
Business | 05 12th, 2021|

Market research is an effective tool that can be used to boost your business in terms of sales, customer engagement and how your competitors may be performing. It allows you to make well-informed decisions that can potentially add value to your business.

When conducting market research, ensure that you are covering all of the potential areas that may affect how your business has been performing. This may include:

  • Customers
  • Competitors
  • Products or services
  • Suppliers
  • Business location and local area
  • Industry

Products & Services

Researching what your customer is looking for when it comes to your business’ products, services and interactions with them can be a simple way to get ahead of your competition. It can also provide you with an understanding of where you fit into the market for your customers, and how you differentiate from what your competitors are offering.

Market research can also assist in figuring out where you are positioned in the market in terms of your products or services being considered as high-end, competitive or a low-cost alternative to what your competition is offering. It can also aid in determining the anticipated demand of products by customers, so that you can adjust accordingly.

Suppliers

Conducting market research on suppliers can assist you in working out pricing of your products, whether or not you are getting the right price from your suppliers with regard to your orders and the overall quality of what suppliers deliver.

Customers

Collecting customer data through feedback, be it online (such as email, surveys) or analog (talking with customers, feedback forms), can be an invaluable insight into what your customers want from you. This style of direct customer research can assist in learning about what their needs are, what they’re willing to pay and the anticipated demand for your products. It can also assist in giving more information that you can use to better target your marketing efforts.

Competitors

Investigating your competitors in business can assist you in understanding your position in the marketplace in comparison to them. This can assist in developing your marketing plan by understanding your strengths and weaknesses, opportunities and threats and planning for how you can better use them. You can obtain this data through observation of your competitors marketing practices, networking with your competitors and through researching their presence on the internet (via websites, blogs or other social media).

Market research, when used effectively, can be a turning point in a business’s marketing plans, and assist them in planning their business’s future direction.

Keeping Business Costs Down Without Sacrificing Your Goals
Business | 05 3rd, 2021|

If a business cuts costs, it’s usually to save on the money that is being spent. However, cutting costs too deeply may actually impact employee and customer satisfaction, and overall harm the success of the business that has been built thus far. In saying that, if cost-cutting measures aren’t employed enough, that can also be a threat to the business’s very viability.

There are a number of ways through which businesses can attempt to optimise and achieve a balance in their cost-cutting strategies, without sacrificing or reducing their overall success.

When beginning the cost-cutting process, align with what the business strategy actually needs to be cut. Rather than approaching the budget with a hacksaw method of reducing the most expensive items, consider optimising the cost against what the business strategy requires from it, and consider the inherent value of what could be cut. Is it something that adds value to the business, despite the cost? Will this cost return on investment against what the strategy purports?

Similarly, do not simply approach cost-cutting with a reduction in staff as a solution to the issue. Reducing staff is merely a short-term approach to cost-cutting that may have a long-term impact on the resources that the business will have available for use.

Instead, aim to optimise the staff available in the business. Consider the expertise that the business will require in moving forward, and plan accordingly. Retain the talent from the existing pool of staff, fill any existing vacancies and consolidate roles where people may be being underutilised. If people involved in the business are underperforming, consider culling these specifically.

Ensuring that employee satisfaction is being fulfilled by the business can assist in cost-cutting, as higher employee satisfaction leads to lower turnover for employees. This measure should cost businesses far less in the long run.

Similarly, in this constantly changing business environment, the impact of COVID-19 has furthered the question of whether or not the way that businesses can operate should remain the common practice. If housed in an office (and it is practical to do so), consider employing remote work as an option or alternative for employees. It can bring down the rent, energy, and other office expenses significantly, while also potentially give you better access to talent.

The overall finances of the business should be looked into as well, to ensure that the costs of financing are not severely impacting the business. Simple measures that can be employed include changing banks to a more cost-effective facility, consolidating credit cards into one with a lower rate, or other changes that may reduce fees and improve access to capital. Similarly, paying bills early or switching to a monthly fee can also improve financial performance, as it can assist in getting the cash flow of the business under control.

Removing non-essential expenses (such as gifts and entertainment) can also be a cost-cutting measure to employ in business. Going paperless, becoming more energy efficient in the office or negotiating with suppliers for more cost-effective alternatives are other similar, simple measures that can be made use of in the cost-cutting approach to business.

Cost-cutting for your business does not have to be a particularly painful process. By looking at your business with a critical, and strategically aligned eye, you can optimise the cost-cutting process to suit what your business needs. For assistance with business planning, cost-cutting, or other business-related advice, speak with us today.

Employing A Talent Acquisition Strategy For Your Business’s Employment Needs
Business | 04 19th, 2021|

It’s a daunting task, seeking someone who can fill a specific position that your business needs filled. It’s important that irrespective of how the economy is performing, the state of the workforce and what your business currently consists of, the employees that you hire are the best and most-talented people that you can get.

Though often we think of recruitment as a valid strategy of employment, it often seeks to fill gaps or vacancies that might be caused by staff turnover or insufficiency. This is still a valid strategy for businesses that need immediate solutions to staff/skill shortages.

However, hiring for your business shouldn’t just be about filling an immediate need – it’s about ensuring that your business attracts and retains talented employees for the long-term, to help your business grow to its full potential. A talent acquisition strategy should be put in place by your business to assist in addressing this issue.

Essentially, a talent acquisition strategy should be tailored to reflect and suit your business goals over the course of the next five years. It’s important to consider how the business is going to expand in the future, and what employees you need to join you in journeying towards that goal. Investing in the right talent now will pay off dividends for your business in the long term.

It’s all well and good to know what you need for your business in terms of talent – but how do you convince them to join you? Just as marketing campaigns are important for selling whatever your business produces, it’s important to consider how to market your business towards the talent you want to acquire.

There are plenty of ways to use data to strengthen your strategy, such as figuring out where your current top talent came from and using that information to focus your talent acquisition efforts on certain academic programs or professional networking sites. Data can also be used to refine job descriptions, career pages, emails and more, as it can eliminate in the application process any questions or phrasing that could be deterring qualified candidates.

Identifying where to find the majority of your top talent is an important step in the process of acquiring talent. It’s also important to ensure that you are utilising and expanding on our sourcing strategies when trying to find better talent.

Sometimes to recruit a skillset, you have to be a little adventurous in where to reach out to. Diversify your talent searching approach by looking outside of the usual LinkedIn profiles, and seeking out talent at specialised job boards, academic programs or networking events.

Above all, ensuring that your business has a reputation that draws potential talent is critical to engaging with those you want to acquire. Promoting aspects of your business that could draw in potential talent through multiple channels could be what convinces them to sign up with your business. Drawing attention to perks, the company culture and other work-life balance benefits or growth opportunities could be a way to highlight what sets you apart from the rest.

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