As a small business owner, you should take any edge you can get when it comes to being successful. You never know what piece of advice is going to be the key to breaking your business wide open.
That’s why we launched our Make or Break? report,which looks into what makes businesses more likely to succeed or fail, in honor of Global Entrepreneurship Week. We want to give you all the information you need to make an informed decision about your business.
Here’s a quick flow chart to help you decide how to take the next steps in your business.
In honor of Women’s Entrepreneurship Day, we want to celebrate women who are out there working hard on their businesses. We know starting and running your own business presents new challenges everyday. From getting funding, to keeping on top of your cash flow, to trying to be more productive. Every day it’s something new.
We asked 500 small business owners about how the run their business and the things they think about every day. We found that the women in our survey are constantly hustling for their business. Not only that, they tend to only turn to their accountant during tax times. We know that having a great advisor can be the key to maintaining a healthy business.
Take a look at some of the other findings from our survey:
Entrepreneurs will often say you’ve got to fail fast and learn faster if you want to succeed. It’s these learnings which not only make you a better business owner but also increase your chances of establishing a successful business.
As a business owner, you can generally decide who you want to do business with, but in some circumstances you could be breaking the law if you refuse.
Whether you’re a supplier, manufacturer, wholesaler, or distributor, it’s a good idea to understand when refusing to supply is allowed and when it’s against the law.
With the summer holidays approaching, now is the time to think about how you’ll fill staffing gaps quickly. Casual employees could be the answer.
Unexpected events, such as a staff member calling in sick, can potentially derail your business day. So having casual staff available is very useful.
But tread carefully – if you treat casual workers like part-time staff, eg give them regular hours, this is a breach of employment law.
Bestselling author and business coach James Kerr hosted a dinner with Xero to discuss the overlap in the philosophy of sport and business.
James makes a living coaching high performing teams and organisations, with experience inside environments including the All Blacks, Australian Kangaroos, Formula One, Team GB, Premier League Football and the US Navy Seals. This is especially relevant today as the All Blacks prepare for the Rugby World Cup final on Saturday.
From 28 October all New Zealand companies must have at least one director who lives in New Zealand, or who lives in Australia and is a director of an Australian registered company.
New Zealand companies that don’t comply risk being removed from the Companies Register.
If your company doesn’t have a New Zealand-based director, you will need to appoint one who lives in New Zealand or in Australia immediately.
There’s also additional information about directors you’ll need to provide when filing your Companies Office annual returns.
I bet we can all agree that we don’t need anything else to be stressed out about. Unfortunately, new research shows that being stressed can affect your health.
We’ve known for a long time that stress and health are closely correlated and it’s easy to put one above the other, but now it seems that they are both of equal importance for day-to-day health.
You’re a business manager or owner, sitting in a room with 10 employees. Have a good look at them. What do you see? Do they all look like people who are happy and keen to show their talents and make a difference to your bottom line?
Chances are that this is unlikely. Alarmingly, statistics show that six of those 10 aren’t engaged in the business at all and another one, maybe two, are “actively disengaged”. If you’re lucky, two or three of them will understand what you and your business are really trying to achieve.
So, what’s the real reason the Holiday season is considered so difficult for hospitality businesses down under?
With the end of the year nearing, it won’t be long now until most Australian and New Zealand companies begin winding down, planning their summer holidays and organising what they’re going to do over the long break. However, while most people are winding down, hospitality businesses are gearing up for their busiest period of the year.
Employers know the importance of keeping their teams engaged. Engaged staff are more motivated. They collaborate more effectively, driving your business to success. Combined with work-life balance, engagement is the path to retention, productivity and, ultimately, competitive advantage.
Being the busiest shopping season of the year, retail sales during the holiday months can account for as much as 20-40% of a retailer’s annual sales. That’s a lot of revenue–and it takes a lot of additional work to achieve. That’s why the holiday season always brings about a spike in temp hiring.
If you’re one of the many merchants looking to hire seasonal employees in the next few months, it’s high time that you start looking, vetting and training people. Remember, you’re competing with a lot of other retailers for talent these days, so the sooner you get started, the better.
Culture is recognised as the ideas, customs, and social behaviour of a society. When it comes to business, it’s importance can carry even more weight. When we think about a business’ culture, we think of the values, behaviours and attributes of your people.
Entrepreneurs come in different shapes and sizes. Which type are you?
There’s an old saying attributed to Mark Twain: “History doesn’t repeat itself, but it does rhyme.” That’s certainly true of business. Time and again I’ve read that the most successful entrepreneurs are the ones who left school in their early teens and set up their own businesses.
You’ve got all this amazing talent, ideas are firing, business is thriving, you wake up every day feeling really lucky to be doing what you do. But one day it all starts to go downhill. People are leaving, HR is in overdrive and unfamiliar faces are springing up left right and center as freelancers start filling in the gaps...
What do you think when you think of HR?
Administrative? Transactional? Boring?
Yep, the traditional human resources department hasn’t got the best rep. And for good reason – it’s where the business dots the i’s and crosses the t’s, where policies and processes are fine-tuned. It’s not exactly thrilling stuff.
At Xero, we use the power of technology to foster innovation, connection and entrepreneurialism. To create beautiful work that makes a difference. This is why, each month, we speak to business leaders within our like-minded community. We want to see how they apply similar values to shape their businesses, and their future.
This month, we speak to Stephen Borg. He’s an experienced executive recruiter who, together with his two business partners, started Miller Leith. The firm aims to turn the recruitment industry on its head. They’re creating a more personal, community-minded and supportive experience for businesses and candidates alike.
Stephen tells us in his words why genuine connections make all the difference, how you can innovate work to be a force for good, and how a value-driven service can transform business challenges.
Just like most organizations, the success of a retail business relies on the unity and alignment of three critical elements: people, process, and technology. This is especially true when you’re running several retail locations. With multiple moving parts, stores, and teams, it’s essential that you keep every component in sync to ensure that your business runs smoothly.
“Counting your chickens before they hatch” is an idiom that’s thrown around a lot in day to day conversation. Little do people realise its relevance to business strategy. In a nutshell, it means to ‘plan how you’re going to utilize the good results of something, before those results have actually occurred.’
It might be hard to imagine now but what if something were to happen to you? Would your loved ones be taken care of or would they face a tough financial future?
The greatest gift you can leave your family is having your affairs sorted out before you go.
If you have made plans, do your loved ones know where to find them? Would they know what assets you have, what insurance policies are in place or how to access your superannuation or life insurance?
Here are some simple steps you can take to protect the important people in your life.
If you require your employees to wear a uniform, you may need to pay them a uniform allowance or provide them with a uniform at no cost.
If you’ve ever had to fire an employee before then you know first-hand that the termination process can be as traumatic for you as it is for the person losing their job. It’s one of the most stressful situations for company managers and owners, and over the course of running your business you’re probably going to have to do it at least once. While disciplining staff comes with emotional strain for everyone involved, you also have to consider the legal ramifications involved in the process. If you follow the right protocol when dealing with problem employees you can ensure the safety of your business. Better yet, if you make your employees feel like valued members of your company you can avoid disciplinary problems altogether.
Businesses must always consider first whether they can reasonably eliminate risks. If not they must take reasonably practicable steps to minimise risks under new health and safety laws that take effect next year. But what might this mean for your business?
There is a lot of misinformation and confusion about what reasonably practicable means.
The knockout stages. The final reckoning.
At this point, one decision can define lives, one mistake can devastate nations, one moment can deliver immortality.
As we approach the deciding phases of the Rugby World Cup, how do the teams perform under pressure on the paddock? How do they keep their heads while people around them are losing theirs? And what lessons can we learn from them about dealing with our own business pressure?
I’m sure you’ve heard the saying many times. But what does it actually mean? How does it really help? Does it help at all?
According to the Wiktionary, to put oneself in someone’s shoes means ‘to try to look at a situation from a different point of view, as if one were the other person. To empathise’.
If you don’t already work alongside Millennials, the chances are that you will soon. Allianz recently posted that are those born between 1980 and the early 2000s, the eldest Millennials are in the workplace now and by 2025 will make up 75 percent of the global workforce. While they’ve got the numbers in force, it’s easy to find negativity towards hiring Millennials, primarily due to their fickle nature when it comes to job-hopping. A greater understanding about what makes Millennials tick is an easy way to build a culture that’s likely to keep them engaged.
It seems as though everywhere you look nowadays you’ll see something related to ‘culture’ and the benefits of a good company culture and of course the disadvantages of a bad one.
So what is this ‘culture’ I speak of?
Whether you’re running a cafe, a landscaping business or you’re a virtual assistant, repeat customers and positive word of mouth are important to your business’s success. Here are some great ways to make sure your customers remember your business and recommend you to their friends.
Unfortunately, payroll fraud is a reality for many businesses across Australia. The average payroll fraud amount has shot up thanks to some large instances, including the Clive Peeters case when a single employee stole 19 million and a Canberra Catholic Education case which saw a single employee rob the system of 1.2 million.
If you provide personal protective equipment (PPE) to your workers, here’s how to stay compliant when new laws take effect in April 2016.
Pre-dawn kick-offs. Mid-week games. The men in black may play havoc with getting a full day’s work out of your staff.
Automatic enrolment of employees into a workplace pension will affect every employer over the next couple of years.
Every employer has a legal duty to enrol all eligible employees into a pension scheme. They also need to assess their employees according to certain criteria to find out who is ‘Eligible’.
When I first started out as a copywriter working for myself, I felt a bit lost. There were so many different directions my career could go, and I wasn’t sure which one to take. I’d never worked for myself before. It was daunting, and I wasn’t sure where to begin to find answers.
Social media is changing, advancing and evolving, so it’s difficult for employers to know where they stand legally.
The Fair Work Ombudsman has been unusually proactive in pursuing underpayment claims in the courts recently. This may have been prompted by several widely reported cases of large supermarket chains mistreating and underpaying their staff. Regardless, this impacts small to medium size employers who may have genuinely underpaid staff due to naivety or a human error and who are now prescribed to the same serious consequences.
It’s no secret that providing employee perks to your staff is a key way to keep motivation and happiness levels high, and to increase productivity across the business. However, for many small to medium size businesses, it can be difficult to compete on a level playing field with large companies. Big corporate players have access to the funds to spend on developing programs at a much higher scale than SMBs can afford.
Whether in a large corporation or a small retail store, implementing a new piece of software can be a daunting task. One of the largest mistakes an organization can make is overlooking the training investment required with new software.SoftwareInsider recently conducted a survey of potential software buyers and asked what the most important buying factor was when choosing a product. Here were the results:
Whether you’re on vacation, attending a conference, or simply working from home, being out of the office can feel stressful.
Have you been told that you should use business networking as a tool to grow your business? You should; it’s an awesome way to expand your brand’s reach and find new clients through referrals, particularly if you’re just getting your business off the ground. But, there is SO much more to be gained from business networking - both professionally and personally - if you put the effort in.
Flexibility and the ability to work from anywhere are increasingly becoming the driving forces behind many career goals. FlexJobs (a leading job search site) has reported a 26% increase in remote jobs advertised from 2013-14. Workers are looking for companies that allow them to set their own schedules, work from home or while travelling, and not stay tied to one company.
According to Greek mythology, the temple of Apollo at Delphi was inscribed with the words “Gnothi Seauton.” This translates to “Know thyself” – and it’s a useful maxim for business owners today.
What is it that makes us truly successful? Renowned psychologist, best-selling author and happiness guru Dr. Robert Holden believes our definition of success has changed over time.
While many of us were brought up to believe that success will make us happy, Robert says we’re now looking at success differently. “In fact, I think many of us today believe happiness actually increases our chances of success,” he says.
As a founding member of the Fast Company magazine team, Polly LaBarre has seen her share of successes—and failures—in the business world. Now the cofounder and director of Management Lab, she helps businesses and entrepreneurs succeed. She starts by asking them a single question: Are you capable of changing as fast as the world is changing?
We’re quickly approaching EOFY, the moment that businesses often dread. Time consuming, admin heavy tasks begin to really start to gather momentum, which often means reconciling the entire year’s payroll. However, it shouldn’t be a burden or a time of concern. Instead, it’s an opportunity to draw a line in the sand and begin a new financial year with a clean start to payroll and perhaps a focus on what you’re really in business for.
As your business begins to grow, when the workload increases and the time commitment too, you may start to think you need some help. If getting the kids to stuff envelopes for pocket money come invoicing time just isn’t cutting it anymore, it might be time to think about formally hiring some staff.
In more than 20 years of writing for and about a wide variety of companies, I’ve noticed something important. The businesses that flourish are the ones that truly understand their customers – who they are and what they want.
The beginning of a relationship is always the best. You laugh at each other’s jokes, you look forward to every phone call, and you truly enjoy getting to know one another.
In the past, having honest scales were key to doing good business. Today, for many service-based businesses, our scales are our timesheets. Keeping our timesheets honest is not only good for our customers, but necessary to grow your business.
A popular topic these days is how to hire the perfect candidate for your business. Many industries seem to be suffering from a candidate shortage. When you can’t hire a quality candidate with a lot of experience, the focus quickly turns to hiring people straight out of school. So, how do you identify the diamonds in the rough? How can you give them what they need to grow and turn them into the best they can be?
While this likely isn’t news to your agency, as with any service business, there is a constant struggle to retain and grow long-term client relationships.
With the digital age in full swing, it’s no surprise that your employees’ personal and professional lives are becoming more and more intertwined.
Do you know who an incredible advocate for hard work was? Mary Poppins.
Successful agencies are constantly on the hunt to attract and retain top talent through recruiting and networking. But making a hiring decision isn’t easy, and it’s important to hire the right person—the first time around.
This is a good time of year to review various parts of your business. Payroll is sometimes neglected in reviews, yet it's an important topic. So here's how to make payroll work perfectly for you this year.
Often it’s easy to get stuck in a rut. You begin to doubt yourself and your ability to perform your job at a level that you see fit. But you know what? It’s okay.
We all know the colleagues we love working with every day. They usually have a few common characteristics, including…
No industry is exempt from change. Change is inevitable. It affects everyone within a business, from the CEO and director through to front line employees. It’s important to keep in mind the implications of change that can occur if it isn’t managed appropriately.
From cupcake-crazy home bakers to fitness addicts and artistic dreamers, more and more entrepreneurial Britons are turning passions and pastimes into money-making enterprises. In fact, latest studies show there are 600,000 more micro businesses in the UK today than there were during the onset of the financial crisis in 2008*.
No matter what products or services they produce, businesses need two essential things to succeed: employees and customers.
In the race to attract the best staff, and always have a talent pool ready to fill any immediate gaps at short notice, more employers are turning to non-traditional recruitment channels, using social media.
Retailers and consumers alike are huge fans of loyalty programs, and for good reason. For merchants, loyalty programs drive repeat spending and encourage customers who buy once to return again and again.
The Government’s campaign for health and safety reform has made it clear that there is an increased focus on high risk industries such as forestry, agriculture, manufacturing and construction.
Many of us procrastinate, but how many of us are chronic procrastinators? Negatively affecting not only our own performance but the people we work with.
Back in the day, tattoos were the province of sailors, prisoners, truck drivers and goths. Nowadays it seems like every twenty-something has one. But does one have the right to display one’s body art at work?
For more than 85 percent of males and 66 percent of females in the United States, the workweek extends longer than 40 hours.
So much reading on the internet today revolves around what makes a good leader, what characteristics a good leader has, and ultimately, how to be a good leader.
At the risk of sounding like a broken record…Bad rostering will hurt your business. A lot.
The level of employee retention within a business is always a good testament to the management team.
Did you lock your front door today? Protecting your personal information is just as important. So do you know what you need to protect and how? Watch our video and make protecting your personal information part of your day.
If you are an employee you may be able to claim a deduction for some costs related to your job. There are rules that you need to check and records you need to keep.
As the economy recovers, employers are beginning to see more employees leaving again. According to the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey..
Is a direction for further medical assessment lawful and reasonable?
A recent appeal decision by the Full Bench of the Fair Work Commission re-emphasises the rights of employers to direct their workers to attend medical appointments to determine their fitness for work, while highlighting the more straightforward path for doing so when employers have well drafted employment contracts in place.
“The average human has one breast and one testicle” – Des McHale
This cheeky quote sums up the value of data when data means everything without insight. Big data is everywhere – but too much data, with too little insight, results in little impact. Research is now showing us that the “big data” trend is struggling to demonstrate a return on investment for this very reason.
The change to Sunday loadings in the Restaurant Industry: what does it all mean?
Many of you would have already seen news reports that a Full Bench of the Fair Work Commission has decided to reduce Sunday penalties for casuals covered by the Restaurant Industry Award. But what exactly does it mean, what impact will it have on your business now and in the future, and does it suggest similar changes to other modern awards moving forward?
Are the next generation of leaders equipped with the right skills and qualities to confidently handle the unique challenges of the future workplace? Read on to get EI’s tips for fostering talent and developing emerging leaders.
Employment management has evolved rapidly in the past few years. Its changed so much in fact that what you think you know about how to manage employment is probably already wrong.
Flat management structures are all the rage, and with good reason: innovation is the lifeblood of a startup, and nothing kills innovation like micromanagement. But scaling a flat management structure is harder than it seems.
It’s widely repeated that “great people are 100x more productive than average people.” But while everybody says it, most companies just hire 100x more average people. At Expensify, we try very, very hard to hold the line and only hire people we think are truly great.
This means that despite ample resources and more than enough work to go around, we hire extremely slowly — and spend an enormous amount of energy doing it.
Everybody loves to rave about the bossless workplace, but it’s far more easily said than done. I’ve already written about the perils of the “flat management mutiny” — which comes as you emerge a leadership structure out of flat chaos — but it’s even harder going the other direction: dismantling an over-managed “top-heavy” structure and getting back to its roots.
Whether you’re employing staff for the first time or have taken over a business with current employees, the information and suggestions in this free Employer Guide will help you understand your obligations.
Payroll law in NZ is complex and there are a lot of grey areas that cause confusion. Sometimes what seems logical and fair is not right and good employers get into situations that cost them dearly.
You started your own business to do something you love and make a living. But how much should you pay yourself? Too little and you may struggle to survive. Too much and your business might be at risk. So how do you strike the right balance?
Ah, freelancers. As an account manager, they are either the light of your life, or the bane of your existence. Freelancers can save your ass when a project scales beyond your team's capacity, or they can cost you dearly when they suddenly decide to go on holiday with your urgent work still sitting unfinished on their desk.
It’s no secret that businesses with a culture of training are seen as quality organisations. The right training is a key element in the business strategy and it’s the lifeblood of most successful businesses. A true training culture continuously challenges its own methods and ways of doing things. This ensures continuous improvement and the capacity to change.