There are many factors to consider when you’re selecting an ecommerce platform, and when you first start selling online, it can be hard to find one that’s the right match.
No one ever starts a business with the intention of spending most of their time tied up in the administrative tasks that come with operating one.
More and more manufacturing companies are beginning to use cloud-based manufacturing systems to improve the way their business functions.
Advances in technology over the last two decades have shrunk the world; travel is inexpensive, cross border payments are fast and businesses communicate in real-time.
Many small business owners don’t give a second thought about the need for clear communication.
If you’re in business, making decent money is important. Sometimes, though, it doesn’t always work out the way you’d planned...
You need to keep track of transactions for the tax office, lenders, but most importantly for yourself, as a business owner.
Helpful and informative retail books abound everywhere you look these days.
The thing is, employee wellbeing and happiness isn’t just about nap rooms, onsite massages, and cafeterias serving healthy food and snacks (though that would be nice!)
Every business owner knows that as soon as you start hiring people, there’s a whole heap of important and must-do HR related tasks and compliance requirements that goes with them.
Machine learning has the power to change how we look at field service – what it means to contractors and customers alike.
Due to the nature of the distribution model where distributors profit by selling inventory to their customers, failing to manage inventory well can be a major liability for distributors.
Have you ever sat back and wondered how giant companies such as Apple, Walmart and Ikea became so successful both in their reach and their inventory turnover?
Over the past five years, mobile devices have begun to dominate the consumer landscape around the world.
Businesses today are quickly adopting cloud software as the benefits become more apparent and even necessary to keep a competitive edge – benefits like less paperwork, greater efficiency, and time savings.
Even if a business has some other, high value, assets such as factory plant, inventory is likely to essential to the business’ ability to trade profitably.
It’s the Holy Grail of business: increasing the number of profitable hours in a day.
Have you been following the news about retail recently? If you have, then you may have noticed that the retail news outlets have been filled with doom and gloom lately.
Inaccurate information about your company’s expenditure can greatly inhibit your capacity to make and maintain a successful business.
Retailers have historically dominated the commerce landscape. Several years ago, industry trends and top products were set by the stores selling them.
When a visitor spends time browsing your online store or bricks-and-mortar outlet, they’re looking for something. And when they find it, they’ll be tempted to buy it.
Remember the old (and slightly misogynistic) phrase Happy Wife, Happy Life! ? Well, it turns out there is a workplace equivalent: Happy workers, productive business! (and no – we couldn’t make it rhyme).
How do you know which Xero Accounting Add Ons to use?
Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SME) are companies that are independently owned and managed with less than 250 employees in their ranks and bringing in less than 50 million euros per year.
It doesn’t matter how large or small your store is, or how many of them you’ve got—if you’ve got a point of sale (POS), you’ll see big benefits in switching from a simple cash register to a full-featured, cloud-based POS platform.
Staff training is one of the best investments you can make for the future success of your business.
Picture this: You’ve just about closed a sale, and the shopper made up their mind to buy a product. What do you do?
Are you equipped to handle retail theft and robberies? Whether you answered yes or no to that question, keep reading.
Look at a company with a reputation for strong employee engagement and you’ll find a high performing business. We’re not making this up.
In April this year, Elon Musk (CEO of Tesla and SpaceX) publicly announced that his company, a startup in California, Neuralink, is developing a neural lace technology that will enable human beings to communicate with devices through their thoughts alone.
Knowing what your payroll costs are – daily, weekly, monthly and yearly – is an important part of running a successful business.
The idea of starting your own business and being your own boss has become more popular in recent years.
If you’re an accountant or professional advisor, take heed of a recent decision by the Federal Circuit Court. You may be at risk of accessorial liability for your clients’ breaches of the Fair Work Act.
Are you a grape grower and wine producer or tax advisor who advises grape growers and wine producers on the R&D Tax Incentive?
While most businesses and tax advisors do the right thing, the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) and Department of Industry, Innovation and Science (DIIS) has issued a warning to tax advisors who have been improperly advising businesses on the R&D Tax Incentive.
Are you wanting to start a small business or looking to expand your existing small business?
To help you find government initiatives and support that can drive growth and success in your small business, check out the newly launched online tool. The tool lists a full range of initiatives and support available for your small business all in one place.
The homeware and furniture industry has been doing well for the past couple of years, and we expect this trend to continue. The annual expenditure on furniture per US consumer was $502 in 2015 (up from $386). Meanwhile, a report by Furniture Insights found that furniture orders for February 2017 were up 4% from last year.
Running a business is hard and it often feels like there aren’t enough hours in the day to get everything done that you want (or should) do. By the time you pay your bills, invoice customers, return calls, put the final touches on that big proposal, and get the stock order out, the day is over and it’s time to pick up the kids.
Firing employees is probably one of the hardest things you’ll ever have to do as a business owner. It’s also one of the most litigious.
The short answer is patent trolls. The long answer is that using cloud computing to do business may get you sued by patent trolls in the District Court for the Eastern District of Texas.
Striking the right balance between maximum and minimum hours for your part-time or casual staff can often be a difficult process. But getting the balance wrong can have serious and long-lasting ramifications for your business.
Some brick-and-mortar merchants see ecommerce as the force that’s grabbing market share and taking customers away from offline stores. We don’t think this is the case. The way we see it, physical and digital retail aren’t rivals — they’re allies.
I’ve heard it said that it’s a sales rep’s job to promise the moon to customers, and it’s a service rep’s duty to bring customers back to earth.
It’s no debate that the world is becoming increasingly globalized. Despite some barriers to entry into international business, geographical expansion and the use of imports and exports has become easier and more prevalent. Regardless of the size of a business or where it chooses to operate, one necessity remains constant, and that’s the need for accurate costing.
As a small to medium business owner, getting your inventory management right can sometimes seem like a daunting endeavor. Fortunately, most of the stress involved in developing good inventory practice can be resolved by identifying the right inventory management strategies for your business. That’s not to say that there’s an immediately obvious solution for every problem – there are some tricky issues in inventory management however there are well-documented strategies to help you get the basics right.
The Isle of Skye Candle Company’s first batch of candles was made in a converted croft on the Isle of Skye in 2006, and since then the company has been lighting up across Scotland and the UK.
It can be unwelcome news that the success of your business is, in part, out of your control. If your business involves importing or exporting inventory, it pays to be aware of and be prepared to mitigate potential impacts of trade policy on your business.
Collaboration is the key to success for every business—that’s what 75% of CEOs believe. It’s a way of bringing together diverse minds and ideas and sharing resources to create something bigger and better than individuals could achieve alone, and it’s gradually becoming the status quo for modern businesses in all sectors, including retail.
The field of marketing never stops evolving. Outdated strategies lose popularity and are soon overtaken by innovative approaches that pair tried-and-tested techniques with new technology. One of the latest strategies is influencer marketing, which takes word-of-mouth advertising and amplifies it through the huge social networks of high-profile individuals. Two-thirds of marketing professionals worldwide are pairing with influencers who can create original content to promote the brand to thousands or even millions of social media followers.
The web is loaded with articles that promise to help you market your ecommerce store, but there’s one really important fact they usually leave out: it takes time to see results from your marketing efforts, even when you’re doing everything right. How come?
Over the past decade, social media platforms have grown in popularity and digital marketing has become one of the dominant ways for brands to interact with their customers. But digital marketing is more than just social media and, after all these years, email marketing is still one of the best ways to keep your customers informed and interested in your brand.
I recently overlooked a GST bill.
The taxman is not okay with that. He wants his money. And fair enough; I want free healthcare and the other benefits of being a taxpayer.
China-watching is mandatory for many people in business.
The world’s most-populous nation looms large on the global stage in politics, commerce and sport. Its 300 million aspiring middle class citizens – still a small part of the total population - are increasingly sophisticated in their consumer activities, travelling a lot more and further, and pursuing business interests on all continents and the South Pacific region.
You almost certainly started your business for one of two reasons: you can do something better than anyone else, or you have a burning passion so deep you cannot focus on anything else. And if you’re lucky, it’s both. You didn’t start your business because you wanted to track cash moving in and out of your bank account. Nor to complete complicated forms for the government. You hadn’t even contemplated how business software could help you do these tasks, mostly because you didn’t know you need to do them.
Many small business owners start out with a good business idea but little concept of what it takes to manage and grow a business.
The good news is that you can definitely learn and improve your management skills as your business grows.
And while there isn’t a definitive list of skills, the ones we’ve listed below could help you to build your initial vision and develop your business to its full potential.
It’s time to address a subject that a lot of companies fail to notice or incorporate into their business planning – the costs of carrying inventory. Inventory costs money to purchase, this much is a given; however the cost of the inventory goes far beyond that. Typically, (if accurate values are not calculated on a case-by-case basis) the total carrying costs of a product are 25% of its value and composed of capital costs (15%), storage costs (2%), servicing and handling costs (2%) and the cost of risk (6%). Let us look at these different components of inventory carrying costs more closely.
If you had just one minute to talk to a prospective customer in your store, what would you say? Would you help them find what they were looking for? Tell them about your current promotions? Encourage them to stay a little longer and take a look around? After all, the more time they spend in your store, the more likely they are to make a purchase.
From today Australian retailers will have more choice in the way they run their business and sell to customers. Vend and Square’s market-leading POS and payments integration, first launched in the US late last year, is now available in Australia. This collaboration brings together two of the best systems for retail today, and provides more options for advanced retailers, those with multiple locations, and complex operations.
A perpetual inventory system is also known as a continuous inventory system. The premise of this type of inventory system is that is allows businesses to keep a real-time account of what inventory they have in stock.
Social media is a great tool; it’s a route to new and different customers and a direct way of communicating with your existing customers. It’s also a free way to build brand recognition and create a name for yourself in your field.
So it’s surprising that many businesses still don’t have a social media presence. Sometimes this is a conscious decision, but quite often it’s due to people not always understanding the benefits.
The reality is that social networks can bring a whole new dimension to your business – and they’re definitely a marketing tool worth using to your benefit.
Attracting new customers to your ecommerce store is a must if you’re going to make a profit, especially in the early years of running your business. It’s one of the best ways to boost your sales in the short term, and grow your store. But there’s a lot of effort involved in acquiring new customers—it can cost six times as much as retaining your existing customers—so it seems like a shame to let them disappear off the face of the earth after just one purchase.
Struggling to keep on top of employee timesheets? Want to offer employees a simpler way to clock in and out? Keen to track remote workers’ location throughout the day? Eager to make payroll easier? TSheets, a mobile employee tracking software, is here to help.
Investing is all about risk and return: get the balance right and be handsomely rewarded.
The structure of percentage-based fees often tips those scales in favour of investment platforms and fund managers. Once their asset base grows large enough to cover operating costs, natural market growth and guaranteed inflows create enormous profits, no matter what the outcome for investors.
Your digital presence as a business is absolutely crucial. If you want consistent work, to build trust in your brand, and the opportunity for growth, you have to know how to gather feedback, and how to embrace it.
Here, we’ve laid out the most important things you need to know about doing just that.
Safety doesn’t happen by accident. As a business owner or director, you need to be deliberate to make sure everyone who comes to work goes home healthy and safe.
Colour-coded job sheets on clipboards. Customer details stuffed in manila folders. Rooms full of grey filing cabinets overflowing with clip-lock files. Cardboard boxes bursting with service manuals arranged in rough alphabetical order. Handwritten notes, 8am sales meetings in sweaty city offices and well-thumbed street directories in company-car gloveboxes.
Knowing what your payroll costs are – daily, weekly, monthly and yearly – is an important part of running a successful business. It allows you to forecast future wage costs, ensures you don’t have any surprises come pay day, and gives you confidence in the stability of the business.
But do you know the TRUE cost of your roster?
Your online store is set up and ready to go. You’ve got an attractive site design and helpful product pages, and you’ve promoted your launch through social media and email marketing. Now all you have to do is sit back and enjoy…but you’re still not seeing the traffic you hoped for. What’s going on?
On 31 March 2017, the Fringe Benefits Tax (FBT) year ends. The ATO will be reviewing whether all employers who should be paying FBT are, and that they are paying the right amount.
To help you meet your fringe benefits obligations, we’ve put together a list of essentials every employer needs to know about FBT and review every year, such as:
We recently joined the thousands of businesses headed to the Xero Roadshow, an annual exploration of what’s happening in the world of cloud accounting. Much more than just a showcase of Xero’s features, the Roadshow is one of the best ways to learn about the ecosystem.
Launched in 1985 for Mac and two years later for Windows, the first version of Excel was an advancement in spreadsheet technology. A great new tool to help sort, manipulate and present data; one that supported the automation of repetitive tasks.
Thirty years is a long time in technology. Using spreadsheets to manage inventory, financials and business reporting is costing your company time and money. Here’s five reasons why:
Cloud software is fast becoming the way to do business. The reason for this? Everything becomes easier, more accurate and more accessible – which, at the end of the day, is the direction a company should be going in. Cloud-based software is basically where everything to do with the program is online. We will look at a few ways that cloud software can help you achieve good inventory management and manufacturing control.
Most business owners face a constant struggle to get everything done in the course of their working week, while looking for ways to keep costs low and sales high. Optimising your supply chain is a must for achieving this goal, and it requires careful management of your suppliers or manufacturers. But that’s no easy task when they’re also busy and can’t always respond to your requests as quickly as you’d like.
Tax Planning Starts Now
There are 5 key things all business owners must consider right now. Some of them are brilliant wealth creation ideas. Please read on…
In honour of International Women’s Day, we’re pleased to support Rails Girls Wellington – a free two-day workshop offering a friendly and supportive environment for women of all ages to learn the popular web application framework Ruby on Rails.
Just-In-Time (JIT) inventory is a strategy used to increase efficiency and minimize waste in the manufacturing process. The overarching concept of JIT is relatively simple, with a JIT approach, when an inventory item is in demand, it is delivered and as a result this system does not have high inventory levels. By receiving goods only as they are needed in the production process, it minimizes inventory costs. There are many factors that must work in harmony for such a system to be successful. Below are some of the key highlights of a JIT inventory system.
Hospitality is a complex – and often fickle – business. There are so many factors that can affect the need for staff, and therefore the overall turnover of the business. There are far too many to mention, but can include: changes in weather; local events; public holidays; what your competition is doing; what deals are running; and how you’ve marketed the business.
The craft beer revolution has sparked a unique production for breweries both small and large. Beer drinkers everywhere are seeing an emergence of eccentric flavors and quirky names fill the taps at their local pub. Not only are beer drinkers seeing this emergence, they are demanding it and as a result craft beer has become increasingly popular over the past few years. This popularity has sculpted the way breweries are operating. Craft beer may be infused with peculiar hues, notes and suggestions of ingredients we never would have thought to be vaguely compatible with beer, yet a few staples remain intact in the beer brewing process.
When considering a business loan, most people will evaluate affordability based on the advertised interest rates. But the truth is that if you compare only the interest rates, you could waste money, or end up with a deal that isn’t the best fit.
Whether you’ve just opened up shop or you’re expanding your ecommerce empire, one of the biggest ongoing challenges you’ll face is finding a way to increase traffic to your online store. Your high-quality products and stellar customer experiences are a good start, but if you want customers to find you, you’ll need to find a way to stand out in the crowd of competing businesses vying for their attention. In this post, we’ll take you through a collection of digital marketing strategies that will help you attract and retain a customer base that’s both engaged and loyal, so you can get ahead of the competition.
This is the second article in a series of posts about RADAR, a new debtor analysis and cash flow advisory tool for accountants from Debtor Daddy. This article focuses on two pieces of information available in RADAR, Debtor Days and Cash per Day.
Almost every product or service imaginable these days has a website where anyone with an opinion can rate or comment on the product they purchased or service they received.
And thanks to the smartphone, this can be done instantaneously.
An efficient, hard-working and friendly team is often the making of a successful hospitality business. So it can be quite disruptive when employees need to take leave.
With loyal customers being worth up to 10 times as much as their first purchase, it pays to keep in touch even after you’ve made the sale. After all, they’re not easy to replace—new customers are in limited supply, significantly less likely to buy, and up to six times more expensive to sell to than your existing customer base. So it’s important for retailers to retain their customers by building authentic relationships that benefit both parties.
Staff turnover always seems to be a struggle for businesses in the hospitality industry.
By its nature, working in cafés, restaurants, and even take-away food outlets is a high-stress occupation. Add to this, relatively lower pay rates, long shifts, or erratic schedules, and it’s not surprising that many employees suffer burnout.
Overstocked? Don’t worry, this negative can be turned positive.
Being overstocked by nature isn’t normally a great problem to have. You basically have too much stock that you haven’t been able to shift – somewhere along the line something has gone wrong, be it a large order falling over, incorrect forecasting or stock mismanagement. However, let’s not look at this as a negative, but focus on turning this opportunity into something beneficial for your business. So, why is too much inventory a positive thing for you?
Manufacturers and inventory obviously go hand in hand, it’s not like you can manufacture anything without the necessary parts. However, even with simpler manufacturing jobs, there are a lot of moving parts, and managing the supply chain can become a complex business. It’s one big juggling act, and if you drop one of the balls it can send it all spiraling out of control. However, with inventory management and modern software a lot of the worries of old can be controlled.
Here’s how inventory management can help a manufacturers business performance.
‘There are just not enough hours in the day!’ you cry with a desperation rivalling Tom Hanks’ Wilson-I’m-Sorry and fall to your knees in despair.
Okay, maybe that’s a little dramatic. But if you’re a business owner, I’m sure that sentiment or something like it has at least crossed your mind before. Maybe more than once.
And when you’re working crazy hours six or seven days a week just to get everything done, sometimes a deserted island with only a volleyball for company doesn’t actually sound so bad...
For a number of years, advancements in technology have been the driving force behind most of the recent innovations in business and business management. Our systems are continually being optimized, our processes streamlined and our use of automation made more precise and more intuitive.
Getting out of the cashflow trap for good: The first step is to admit your clients have a problem (with debtors)
This is the first article in a series of posts about Debtor Radar, a new debtor analysis and cash flow advisory tool for accountants from Debtor Daddy. If you’re an accountant you’ll be able to learn more here.
Our goal with Debtor Radar is simple: Help more small businesses solve the cash flow troubles caused by debtors.
Effective job scheduling is one of the most important but least understood disciplines of business management. Assigning the correct employee to the right job at the right time is crucial for business success, especially for companies with a mobile workforce. So why don’t some managers give it more of their attention?
There are now over 500 time saving Xero apps that are designed to help your business work more efficiently. But which are the best Xero apps for your business?
From advanced reporting and time tracking tools, through to tools that make managing inventory and orders in real-time easy, there are a vast number to choose from.
Learn more about the Encouraging Entrepreneurship and self-employment initiative!
Are you a young Australian with a great business idea? If so, our friends at the Department of Employment have launched the Encouraging Entrepreneurship and Self-Employment initiative to help young Australians start and run their own business!
In April 2016 the Government passed the Employment Relations Amendment Act 2016 which saw a number of changes in employment law, including legislating against the use of “Zero-hour” contracts in employment agreements.
As a business owner, it’s important to learn how to protect yourself and your business from scams. Many scammers will imitate government departments to try and lure you into giving them valuable information and paying false payments.
Don’t get stuck in your own Groundhog Day: 4 easy changes to re-energise your business
If you’ve just appointed your first fresh-faced Gen Zeds to your staff (anyone who’s just out of school and are aged 15-19), you could have up to five different generations to manage at work. In fact, these days, it’s not at all uncommon to have a wide range of generational diversity.
Grow your business through marketing and advertising!
Whether you’re a personal trainer or a large computer repair shop, if you want to grow and build your business, you’ll need to attract new customers and keep them coming back for more.
Effectively marketing your business is one way to grow your brand and your business.
As an SMB, you’ll never have a shortage of sources for tips and insights. From retail websites (such as this one) to mentors and fellow retailers, there’s always somewhere to turn to for business advice and best practices.
We’ve all been there before. You’ve called about those overdue invoices once, maybe twice, maybe three times, and payment still hasn’t been made.
What to do next? Throw up your hands in despair? Give up on it as a lost cause? No way, Jack. Not in this economy.