Using Tech for small businesses

 Business productivity can usually be traced back to an organisation’s ability to successfully execute on overall strategy. Execution on that strategy or goals aligned to those strategic objectives is also key to a successful business. Technology offers the opportunity for all businesses, including small businesses to execute goals faster and easier. The ministry of business has some great ideas on how you can incorporate technology in your business. Cloud-Based StorageCloud-based storage allows data to be stored on computers or servers located anywhere and be accessed online. This way information can be shared among different locations that employees can access in a safe, secure way.For example OneDrive, Google Drive and Dropbox Online Document ProductsBusinesses can create documents, spreadsheets and presentations online so that employees can access and update at the same time, thus allowing real-time collaboration.For example Office 360, Google Docs and Google Sheets PlanningKeeping up to date task lists, where you can create sort and prioritise tasks/activities and share them with other employees or clients.For example Trello and OneNote Add-Ons or Plug-InsSoftware that can connect with current systems or additional systems your business can use to automatically update and talk with each other. There may be options for inventory management and keeping track of costs or even recording your receipts electronically making it easier to manage expenses.For example Xero and Receipt Bank, Stripe, and Roll. To read more about this, and read the full original article please click here.​

Entertainment expenses

​If you provide entertainment for staff or clients, some of these business entertainment expenses are tax deductible. Here is a summary of the main expenses & their deductibility. If you need a bit of help with entertainment expenses or coding any expenses, get in touch. Call us at 033795338 or send us an email. 

how to handle outstanding invoices

 Getting paid is essential to your cash flow, so don’t let unpaid invoices build up. Here are Xero’s top 8 tips for getting those payments sorted in time.1. Write a payment request letter or email.2. Send an invoice with a “past due” stamp on it.3. Send a statement of accounts.4. Make the dreaded phone call. This is what the experts suggest to do first.5. Charge a late payment fee on your invoices. This needs to be clearly communicated up front in your payment terms.6. Cut them off until outstanding invoices are paid.7. Hire a debt collector.8. Call in the lawyers. To reduce your chance of getting caught with unpaid invoices in the future, consider doing credit checks on prospective customers before agreeing to work with them.Want to know more? Have a look at the full article here.If you need a bit of help with debt collection or business credit checks, get in touch. Call us at 033795338 or send us an email. 

Case Study: Friday Creative

"Friday specialises in all that lovely brand development stuff that helps your business look good and do well. You know – design, creative and left-brain/right-brain tactical communications. Online and offline. "

Monitoring your key performance metrics

 Monitoring your key performance indicators, numbers and metrics are an important part of running a successful business. It’s not all about measuring profit and loss either. Which you use, and how you track them will depend on your industry and business model. A business advisor will be able to help you work this out. The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment has a great article on Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s), here are a few from it. Or check out the full article here. Revenue - How much money your business has made.Expenses are not included in this figure — just your income. Your revenue is all the money you make from your products or services, as well as any other income you earn, e.g. interest on savings and income from investments.Net Profit - Revenue minus your expenses “Bottom Line”.While profit is almost always a good thing, a loss isn’t always bad. It’s about context — it’s common to operate at a loss if you’re just starting out or if you’ve made an investment with a plan for it to pay off later. But you’ll need to make some changes if your business is continuously losing more money than it’s making.Net Profit Margin - Net Profit as a percentage of your Revenue.This figure will tell you how successful you’ve been at making a profit vs covering costs.Operating Costs - How much it costs to run your business each month.This is the amount of money you spend on keeping your doors open. It includes everything from staff salaries and rent, to the money spent on topping up coffee supplies in the staffroom.Utilisation Rate - The level to which your people and assets are in use.There are a couple of ways to calculate this metric. A common way to measure the utilisation rate of your employees is as the percentage of billable hours each person clocks compared to the total number of hours they work.For your assets, it’s the percentage of how much each asset is in use compared to its full capacity — or the percentage of how much revenue each asset earns vs its maximum earning potential.Employee Engagement - The level to which your people are engaged with their job and the business. Engaged and enthusiastic employees are more productive, while unhappy staff often have a negative impact on the bottom line. It can be difficult to get a specific measurement of engagement, but it’s important to check in with your people on how satisfied they are with their job and the business.Current Customers - The number and value of your customers. It’s a good idea to keep track of how many customers you have, and how often and how much money they spend. The more you know about your customers, the more you will be able to maintain good relationships, create great customer experiences and drive your marketing.If you need any advice on how to keep a pulse on your accounting KPI's, give us a call on 033795338.  

Working from home? How much can you claim?

Did you know all self-employed people, including contractors and sole traders, can claim expenses against their income. When working from home you do not need to have an area set aside however if you do then you can make a claim for this area as long as you keep a full record of all expenses you wish to claim. You can claim 100% of expenses that are solely for business purposes for example a business phone line. For the rest, you can claim the proportion of your house that you use for work. Whatever you claim, remember to keep a record of each item.  For example Sally works from home. Her house is 100 square metres and the office is 10 meters - 10% of the total area. So Sally can claim 10% of expenses not solely for business like a power bill. Here's some more examples from IRD that relates to Sally: - 10% of Security Alarm Bill- 10% of Power and Gas (Sally could claim more if she can prove she uses more for her business)- 10% of Toilet Rolls and Hand Soap- 100% of Magazine Subscriptions for the Business- 10% of Mortgage Interest Payments (not the principal portion)- 50% of Domestic Phone Line- 100% of Mobile Phone Costs ( for business use only)- 10% of House Insurance- 10% of Rates If you're working from home, make sure you claim the expenses you can. If you need any advice on expenses, what you can claim or even what to code them with give us a call on 033795338.

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