Why you must set SMART goals

“A goal should scare you a little and excite you a lot.” - Joe Vitale You’ve probably heard of SMART goals and, spoiler alert, they’re not rocket science… but they do work. SMART goals are an excellent filter to maximise planning outcomes. With the SMART acronym comes five simple parameters; that any goal (if you truly want to achieve it) must be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound. When thinking about goals vs SMART goals, consider the difference between “I want a healthier diet” and “I want to eat less than 2,000 calories a day, 6 days per week to lose 7 kg within 3 months and reduce my LDL cholesterol to 80”. Which goal compels you to act? Let’s break it down: 1. Is

Understanding Your Profit and Loss Statement

Your profit and loss statement (P&L) helps you understand your business performance and profitability over time. It’s sometimes called an Income statement and its main purpose is to list income and expenditure. Whereas a balance sheet is a snapshot in time, the P&L shows transactions over a specific period of time. This can be a month, quarter, financial year or any other period, and it can be a stand-alone report or a comparative period report. Together with the balance sheet, these two reports provide a comprehensive understanding of the financial position and performance of a business. The profit and loss statement has two main sections: income and expenses. These may be further subdivide

Understanding Your Balance Sheet

To understand the financial position of a business at a specific point of time, look at the balance sheet. The balance sheet may also be called the statement of financial position. Together with the Profit and Loss Statement, and possibly other reports such as the Statement of Cash-flow, these reports provide a complete understanding of the financial position and business performance. So what’s involved? - The balance sheet has three sections: assets, liabilities and equity. What are Assets? Assets are things and resources that a company owns. They have current and/or future value and can be measured in currency. Assets may be subdivided on the balance sheet into bank accounts, current asset

What are KPIs and how can your business use them?

Using KPIs can give you better business insight Doctors use KPIs to measure our health and wellbeing. Our body mass index (BMI), blood pressure and cholesterol level are all KPIs that have a specific medical meaning. In the same way, business KPIs carry specific meanings too. Debt/equity ratio, debtor days and gross profit percentage are all measures that have specific meanings in a business context. Key performance indicators are used by businesses of all sizes. KPI measurement uses data to show how well your business is performing. They will be different for each business, but the basic idea is the same. That is, to measure the important features of your business. On its own, your blood pr

Key things to get right when starting a business

Starting your own business is a BIG leap of faith. Will you find any customers? Will you make enough income? These are questions that any founder will ask themselves. But with the right planning, preparation and support, you can set the best possible foundations for your new enterprise, and take some of the guesswork out of becoming a business owner. Building the right foundations So, if you’ve got a great business idea and you’re eager to get your company off the ground, what are the key foundational elements you need in place? To get your new company trading smoothly: Define your vision and goals – so you know WHY you’re in business, what success will look like and who your target customer

Tips on looking for fundings

Applying for funding is tough. Ensure you have all the data to prove the viability of your business, in order to secure the support. Top tips for successfully securing funding for your business The key enabler for success for many startups and small businesses is securing funding. Even with the growing support around the world for investing in entrepreneurs, many businesses still struggle with the preparation required when applying for funding. Here are our top tips: Network - get out there and build your network. This is invaluable not only to build the business, but also to get invaluable support and information from other businesses, including finding out how they went about raising finan

P is for purpose, not profit

“People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.” - Simon Sinek Why does your business exist? Your purpose is roughly three to seven words explaining why your business exists for your customers. Your purpose should be about THEM, not you. It is a small statement, with immense power. EXAMPLES: Tesla: To accelerate the world's transition to sustainable energy. Walt Disney: To make people happy. TED: Spread ideas. These may be big company examples, but a clear purpose statement is just as important for small and medium sized business. A defined purpose statement is the antidote to narcissistic by-lines of the past... because we know that consumers are wired to take a self-interest and the

How to manage liabilities

Challenges for small businesses coping with debt Risk is part of running a business. You can't easily plan for recession, natural disasters or other negative events, because if you take a too-cautious approach then you'll never succeed. But sometimes the odds will go against you. If you find yourself unexpectedly further in debt than you'd like, don't panic. There are options available but they require action. If you sit back passively and wait for the worst to happen, it just might. So take action. Manage what you owe before it becomes unmanageable. Here are some useful tips to help you take control of your liabilities. Understand your situation and take action If you’re facing increasing d

Does your business need a mobile accounting app?

Small business owners work hard and are often on the move. You may be out meeting clients, working on-site or travelling between jobs. If you have an office – at home or anywhere else – you probably don't spend a lot of time in it. Mobile phones, tablets and laptops have made working on the go much easier. You can check emails, manage appointments and edit documents. But did you know you can also manage your accounts on the go? Mobile accounting apps (sometimes also called mobile bookkeeping apps) let you manage expenses, send invoices and track your cash flow from anywhere. There's no need to wait until you get back to the office at the end of the day. Mobile bookkeeping app or mobile accou

Cool things online billing software can do for you

You already have a lot of software in your life, do you really need more? This guide looks at what good billing software – also called invoicing software – can do. 1. Beautiful invoice templates Invoicing software should make you look good. Check there’s a selection of well-designed templates ready to go. You should be able to drop in your logo, add your payment terms, and start pumping out invoices . 2. Simple quote-to-invoice conversion Get online billing software that comes with quote templates. Customers should be able to accept those quotes simply by clicking “approve”. You can then convert the accepted quote into an invoice, without any more work. 3. Learn your prices How nice would it

An introduction to cloud security

What is the cloud? You might have heard about ‘the cloud’ and wondered what it meant. In simple terms, it’s a way of describing data and applications that are stored online. As little as a decade ago, programs were run directly from people’s computers. Users installed the software themselves onto the hard drive, usually from a CD-ROM. The data created by that software was also stored on the hard drive. But as internet speeds have increased and data storage costs dropped, all of that is changing. Now many applications run at least partly online, from remote servers. And the data they generate is also stored on those servers. How is the data stored? One of the common questions people have abou

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