Update your business plan for a new year

As another year winds down, it’s a good time to reflect on your recent business successes – and consider what you’d like to achieve in the coming twelve to fifteen months. These tips can help you with the process of making plans to help guide your business to greater success. Set priorities Entrepreneurs are typically highly creative and optimistic; as a result, they often have difficulty narrowing down their ideas…  Read more

Ideas for business goals this year

The start of the year is the perfect time to dust off last year’s business plan and set some new goals for the future. While some entrepreneurs love planning, others feel overwhelmed by the process. How do you decide on just a handful of goals that take priority, with so many moving parts that make up a business? These tips can help you get started brainstorming how your company can…  Read more

Workable New Year resolutions

New Year resolutions – we’ve all made them, and broken them − often before the end of January. There’s something about New Year celebrations that makes us yearn for a fresh start, but is there a way to make that desire for change more permanent? Here’s a twist that can make your resolutions more durable, more beneficial and less prone to that embarrassing quick fade. Align goals to your business…  Read more

Enjoying a stress-free holiday

As a business owner it’s important to take time away from work. But worrying about whether staff are meeting deadlines and suppliers are happy translates to more stress and less time enjoying your holiday. With a little staff communication and planning beforehand, you needn’t worry that your business won’t be able to cope in your absence. If you really can’t switch off from work mode or something urgent pops up,…  Read more

3 Tips for Working Smarter and Gaining Personal Time

You’ve probably heard the maxim that it’s better to work smarter than harder. Working smarter means allocating your time, energy and money so vital tasks get done more efficiently, freeing up your personal time. Too many business owners think they must keep working harder—taking on more responsibilities and working longer hours—to be successful. It makes sense, because you’re responsible for your business, but that route leads to work overload and…  Read more

How Much Cash Does My Business Need?

Your business needs cash. Cash is what keeps your company in operation and enables it to grow, so you should know how much cash your business needs to survive. Although many people think the answer is linked solely to operating expenses, this isn’t the case. There is no single factor that determines how much cash every business needs to have on hand. Somewhere between 3-6 months of operating expenses is…  Read more

4 Tips for Encouraging Repeat Customers

There’s a lot of data supporting the idea that it’s less costly, easier and more efficient to encourage repeat customers than bring in new ones. Among the stats Hubspot lists are that a 5% increase in customer retention is responsible for more than 25% increase in profit; repeat customers are 9 times more likely to convert than first-time visitors; and a 2% increase in customer retention has a similar impact…  Read more

Questions to Prepare for When Pitching to Investors

If you’re looking for people to invest in your business, be prepared to answer some important questions. Investors look for smart investment opportunities—that means they want to find out as much as they can about you and your business before they make a decision about whether or not to invest with you. It’s vital to have well thought-out answers to investors’ questions. Give them evidence you’ve thoroughly examined your business…  Read more

Top 3 reasons start-ups fail and how to avoid them

The start of a business is an exciting time. You’ve got a great idea for a business and are enthusiastic to get started. It’s important to plan ahead to give your business the best chances for success. Planning ahead means anticipating challenges and developing ways to successfully address them, so they don’t upend your start-up. Here are three reasons why start-ups fail and ways you can avoid them Lack of…  Read more

4 Reasons Your Business Should Consider Digital Receipts

Receipts are vital to successfully running a business. You need receipts to track your purchases and expenses. Your clients need receipts for their tax purposes and to manage their finances. Paper receipts have been around a long time, so many people are used to them and may even be resistant to moving away from them. Thanks to technology, paper receipts are becoming more a thing of the past. There are…  Read more

How to Hire the Right Bookkeeper for your Business

“Outsource your weaknesses.” So says start-up guru, Sujan Patel, when advising small business owners to get outside help for tasks like payroll and bookkeeping. And when you consider that 70% of businesses fail due to poor in-house financial management, Patel’s advice seems spot on. Unfortunately, many small business owners seek to keep costs low by doing everything themselves— unwittingly sabotaging the financial stability of their own company. If numbers aren’t…  Read more

Cash Flow Advice for Small Businesses

Solid cash flow management is vital to ensuring your business survives, but not everyone understands what cash flow is or how to manage it. That’s likely what makes it a leading cause of stress for small business owners. In fact, a Capital One study found that 42% of small business owners say cash flow management is a major concern for them. Cash flow refers to the movement of money into…  Read more

Three Ways an Accountant Can Save You Money

Many small business owners think they’re saving money by handling their financials themselves. While it’s a real asset to learn bookkeeping basics, cash flow management and your tax obligations, hiring an accountant to oversee your finances has many benefits. Leaving your books to a pro will free up time so you can focus on serving your clients and implementing plans for growth. Here are a few ways an accounting professional…  Read more

5 Common Bookkeeping Pitfalls — and How to Avoid Them

Although most entrepreneurs recognize the importance of careful financial management, few want to spend their time dealing with numbers. Unfortunately, not keeping a close eye on your income and expenses can be very costly for a business. Here are five of the most common bookkeeping pitfalls, and some simple tips for getting back on track. Mixing business and personal All too often, entrepreneurs adopt a “buy now, sort later” approach…  Read more

Improving cash flow: How to get paid faster

Maintaining positive cash flow can be challenging for small businesses, whether you’re just starting out or have been running your company for years. The difficulty often comes down to waiting for clients to pay their invoices. One or two chronic late payers cost valuable time and money when you have to chase them down; if reliable clients also fall behind one month, the result can be devastating. These tips will…  Read more

6 Vital Money Management Tips for First-Time Entrepreneurs

Financial management is a vital part of running a successful business, but often entrepreneurs start their business with little understanding of how to make solid financial decisions. Managing your finances is about more than bookkeeping and paying taxes—although those are also important to a sustainable business. It’s about managing cash flow, preparing for income fluctuations, and having the resources to take advantage of opportunities. Here are 6 money management tips…  Read more

5 Xero Mistakes Business Owners Make and How To Avoid Them

If you’ve just started working with Xero, it is normal to make a few mistakes while you’re learning. We see mistakes that are quite common – and unfortunately costly – so you should be aware of them if you want to get the most out of Xero’s powerful cloud accounting system. 1. Not connecting all the bank and credit card accounts dedicated for your business Make sure that you keep…  Read more

Use your Accounting Software to Boost Sales

If you think accounting software is just for tracking expenses and generating financial reports, you’re losing out on an opportunity to improve your bottom line. By taking advantage of insights provided by your software solution, you’ll benefit from a more informed approach to marketing and customer service – and by making the most of all the ways your software can improve productivity you can take meaningful action to increase profits.…  Read more

3 Consequences of Avoiding Your Bookkeeping

If you ask 100 business owners what they like least about running a business, chances are good that bookkeeping will rank high on the list. It’s an annoying and frustrating chore that takes up a lot of time and is easy to put off until tomorrow. Avoiding your bookkeeping is dangerous, however. Not knowing your company’s financial situation can result in a series of missteps that could ultimately cost you…  Read more

Avoid These 5 Costly Accounting Mistakes

A Canadian bank recently surveyed over 500 small business owners about what they love and hate most about owning their own business. Unsurprisingly, flexibility and feeling in control ranked first in the “love” category. Meanwhile, almost 60% said bookkeeping was hands-down their most hated task. Most business owners understand that effective financial management is key to their success. But lack of knowledge, frustration, and even avoidance can add up to…  Read more

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