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What is accounts receivable and where can it go wrong?

How do you get paid for goods or services? Accounts receivable is the short answer. Here’s your introduction to one of the most important functions in a business. What is accounts receivable? Accounts receivable is the money you’re owed by customers. Once you send an invoice (or bill), it becomes part of your accounts receivable – until it’s paid. Accounts receivable is the name given to both the money that’s owed, and the process of collecting it. So the accounts receivable process includes things like sending invoices, watching to see if they’ve been paid, taking steps to chase payment, and matching payments to invoices (also known as invoice reconciliation). The accounts receivable proces

How to regain control of your business

Not all business owners want to grow their business. Some may just want more control. Afterall, your business is there to serve you; you shouldn’t be a slave to it. So, how do you regain that much needed control? There are three essential tools all businesses must have: An annual Business Plan. An annual forecast. Ongoing reporting and accountability. The annual Business Plan Your Business Plan shouldn’t be a lengthy document living in a dusty drawer. It should be on one page and displayed somewhere highly visible so you can review it regularly. Best developed using an independent facilitator, your Business Plan should articulate exactly what you want from your business; the hours you want t

The Social Media Giants of Today, and The Business Models Behind Them

The garage-to-glory stories of social media big names aren’t foreign to most. Perhaps less enthused about though, are the actual gears behind these tech behemoths. What keeps these multi-billion dollar businesses running and thriving despite seemingly taking little from the end user’s wallet? How do they permeate both our work and personal lives while generating revenue almost imperceptibly? (Key word: almost) With all the hubbub on the state of Pinterest’s IPO earlier this year, while Facebook was slapped with its biggest fine yet, we examine the social media business models behind a few of the biggest names today. Facebook Monthly Active Users: 2.41 billion Business Model: Advertising Mod

What’s in the forecast?

“Planning is bringing the future into the present so that you can do something about it now.” - Alan Lakein When we set out on a fishing trip or hike, we always check the weather forecast. It’s no different in business. The forecast tells us if there’s bad weather (poor cashflow) in store based on the direction we’re heading. Your forecast will tell you: Whether you have enough sales in the pipeline to give you the desired level of profit you want for the year. Whether your margins are appropriate. If you need to review your pricing or production processes. If your business is running as efficiently as it could be. Where savings can be made. Whether you should invest more to get a better ret

How to manage your finances and cashflow

Money management matters The first few years for any new business are crucial to its long-term success, with many challenges to overcome and lessons to be learned. Cashflow problems and mismanaged finances are major causes of business failure in the early years. Some companies fail to plan properly, some set their sights too high or low, some don't keep track of costs, some fail to chase payment. You can maximize your chances of business success by being aware of the pitfalls. Then you can manage your company's finances carefully and keep a close eye on its cashflow. Taking sensible, practical steps will help you control spending and grow your business without taking excessive financial risk

E-commerce inventory management checklist

How to improve ecommerce inventory management Making sure you have the right quantity of product in stock to meet demand can take a fair bit of number-crunching and forward planning. You need to allow for seasonal changes. You also need to account for new spending trends. Use this 14-step list as your guide for improving the way you manage inventory. Start with these steps. Look at your historical annual customer order numbers. Break down the figures into daily, monthly and quarterly volumes to help you identify the peaks and troughs of customer demand. Will you, for example, need extra stock in early December to meet Christmas demand? Identify how much additional stock you are likely to nee

Food, drink, ambience – and cashflow

To succeed in the competitive restaurant industry, you’ll need a firm grip on the finances. One of the major reasons why restaurants go out of business is badly-managed accounts. With transactions going through on a daily basis and razor-thin margins, it’s important to manage cashflow well and keep an eye on inventory, costs and revenue. So it's wise to think about restaurant accounting software before you open your restaurant. You'll need a system that is: online – you can access it anytime, anywhere on your laptop or smartphone accurate – you’re able to make business decisions with confidence easy to use – you can hit the ground running smart – you’re able to see the health of your busines

What is depreciation and why you should take note

What is depreciation? Depreciation is what happens when a business asset loses value over time. A work computer, for example, gradually depreciates from its original purchase price down to zero as it moves through its productive life. There are techniques for measuring the declining value of those assets and showing it in your business’s books. This area of accounting can get complex so it’s a good idea to work with a professional. Purpose of depreciation Depreciation accounting helps you understand the true cost of doing business (because wear and tear is an expense) and estimate the value of your business. Depreciation as an expense (cost of doing business) To understand how profitable

Choosing a new business bank account?

A business bank account is an essential requirement for any business. But with so many banking providers out there, how do you know which business account to choose? The key is to know what you require from a bank account, and to choose a bank that understands the banking, financial and funding needs of your business. Choosing an account that fits your business needs Whether you’re a new sole trader or an established limited company, it’s advisable to maintain a clear divide between your personal and business money. So it’s vital to open a business bank account, giving you a separate account to handle your business transactions. The choice of available accounts can be baffling, with the big

How to do a market research

Good research can improve your service or product, and it will make you a better marketer. Why wouldn’t you do it? Here’s a practical guide to help get you started. What’s the point of market research? You want the market to spend money with your business – repeatedly. Make that an easy decision for them by finding out precisely what they need from you. Market research helps you ensure: your product or service meets your target customers’ needs your marketing connects with target customers in the right way Market research is your chance to find out who you’re selling to and learn what they value, how they decide what to buy, and even what they think of your competitors. Where to start? Onlin

Know your customers. Define your target market.

What does it mean to define a target market? From the moment you came up with your business idea, you probably had a specific customer in mind. When you tweak your service or product, you do it with them in mind. When you write your promos, you highlight the features that will interest them most – and use language that they get. This is a great way to think. It gives focus to everything you do. But you’re probably making a lot of assumptions about what your target customers really want, and how much they want it. When you define your target market, you’re doing a little research to make sure you’re not misleading yourself about who’s going to spend money with you. When to do it It’s a good i

MALAYSIA TAX UPDATES

IT'S OFFICIAL! TRAVELLERS WILL HAVE TO PAY TAX WHEN THEY FLY OUT OF MALAYSIA Effective from the 01 September 2019, anyone flying out of Malaysia will have to pay a departure levy ranging from RM8 - RM150 depending on the destination. Source: Media NO EXTENSION TO THE 30 SEPTEMBER DEADLINE FOR SVDP The Special Voluntary Disclosure Programme by the Inland Revenue Board was extended earlier from its initial date set at 30 June to 30 September. It is said that the federal government is not likely to extend its 30 September deadline for Malaysians. Source: Media

Before taking on a franchise, ask these questions

If you're thinking about taking on a franchise, I recommend that you ask yourself the following questions to check the fit of the franchise with your personal and financial goals. What level of support do I need? You may decide that working through the setup process on your own and learning as you go is best, or maybe you want to choose a franchise that will give you an in-depth setup process and more support. How much risk am I comfortable with? If you need to take on debt to setup the franchise and pay staff, will you be able to comfortably manage that debt? Do you trust the franchisor? Do your research into the franchisor to ensure you’re happy with them as a business person. Chat to othe

Dividends and paying yourself as a director

As the director in a limited company, dividend payments are the usual way for you to take money out of the company – and see a financial return on your investment into the company. Dividends are payments made to the company’s shareholders when the business has made a profit. What’s not re-invested into the company can be paid out as dividend payments to your shareholders, of which you’re one. But what’s the most effective way to do this? Dividends as a part of good wealth management As a company director, the company’s finances aren’t your only concern – you also have to make sure you’re managing your own personal finances in the best way possible. Good wealth management is essential as a di

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