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Business Tips – Get moving again when feeling stuck in business

Business Tips – Get moving again when feeling stuck in business

Business Tips – Get moving again when feeling stuck in business

Here’s a 5 step process to get moving again when you are feeling stuck with problems or your business, from Flying Solo’s Jayne Tancred.

When you’re in one of those situations where nothing seems to be working or the best way forward is distinctly murky, it’s easy to fall into a state of paralysis or reluctant resignation.

If you want to be the master of your own destiny, however, neither staying stuck nor admitting defeat is an acceptable option. So, over the years, I’ve worked out a nifty little approach that helps me sidestep the roadblocks and find my momentum. I hope it helps you too.

Step 1: Do nothing

When you’ve been doing everything you can to get things going, and you just aren’t seeing any results, there’s no point continuing to beat your head against a brick wall.

Instead, schedule a block of time in your calendar to dedicate to the issue, and then declare a holiday from the whole catastrophe until that time arrives.

Your goal is to return to the issue with a fresh perspective, renewed energy, and a different attitude, so if the topic crosses your mind in the interim, gently remind yourself that there’s an agenda set for this to be revisited later and in the meantime do something completely different…

Step 2: Go macro – revisit the big picture

Often when we’re stuck, it’s because we’re concentrating on the obstacles rather than on our objectives. With that in mind, the first thing I do upon re-entry is to re-familiarise myself with why the issue at hand is important to me, and what my goal is in addressing it.

I always find that when I stop thinking about how I’m going to make something happen and instead focus on my best-case scenario outcome, I shift out of a defeatist mindset and into a can-do one….

Step 3: Go micro – zoom in on what you can do

If your big picture review has confirmed that you’re on the right track and the issue you’re trying to push forward is one that you really are committed to, you may still be stalled by not knowing all the steps it’s going to take to create the breakthrough you need.

Whenever there are lots of unknowns, it’s easy for me to fall into the trap of thinking that I don’t know anything at all, but that’s actually rarely the case. I almost always have some idea of what’s needed, even if I don’t yet have a handle on everything there is to know.

At this point in the process, it always seems to help to step away from the computer and go old-school with paper and pen to create a list or (better still) a mind map of all the tasks and milestones that might need to be completed in order for my big picture goal to be achieved….

Step 4: Make it fun

If everything’s still feeling really overwhelming or as though you’re not gaining any traction, try turning parts of it into a game.

My business partner and I did this recently when we decided to pursue an opportunity we hadn’t budgeted for but really wanted to take up. The first time we ran the numbers, the cost of participation was so far outside our reach that no-one would have blamed us if we’d walked away. But from a big picture perspective it was a no-brainer, so we set ourselves the challenge of coming up with the cheapest way possible to achieve our goal.

Once we made the decision that we were going to go ahead regardless of cost AND that we were going to do so in a way that was affordable for us, momentum came as we amused ourselves coming up with wild and wacky ways that we could achieve our objectives while spending a minimal amount of money….

Step 5: Rinse, repeat and learn along the way

None of the processes above work unless you commit to learning everything you can about yourself, your business and what’s effective every step of the way, and applying what you learn.

Often a project that’s big enough to make you feel stuck in the first place will also be big enough to involve many layers or moving parts. Applying the steps above in an on-going loop has helped me get unstuck so many times that I’ve lost count, and might be just what it takes to help you move forward too.

For the full article and more on each point go HERE

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Business Tax Tips – GST Error Correction – How to put it right

Business Tax Tips – GST Error Correction – How to put it right

Business Tax Tips – GST Error Correction – How to put it right

The Australian Tax Office (ATO) site has information on what to do when you find you have a GST error correction to make – and how to put it right in a way that is easier than revising a prior statement, as well as you can save penalties (see how the ATO is really NOT your business enemy!) –

“If you made a GST error on an earlier activity statement, you can choose to correct that error on a later activity statement if you meet the conditions set out in this guide.

The benefits of correcting GST errors on a later activity statement are:

  • you are not liable to any penalties or general interest charge (GIC) for any GST error you correct on a later activity statement provided you meet the conditions to correct a GST error on a later activity statement
  • generally, it is easier to correct a GST error on a later activity statement rather than revising the earlier activity statement.

Alternatively, you can correct any GST error by revising the earlier activity statement that contains the error. You can revise an earlier activity statement online or obtain an activity statement revision form by phoning us on 13 28 66.”

Here are a series of links about correcting GST errors –

Get a FREE 30 min answer to your query, and FREE ongoing email or phone support – No-one offers as much!

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Business Finance 101 – What does accounting equation mean?

Business Finance 101 – What does accounting equation mean?

What does accounting equation mean?

The Accounting Equation is used by small and large business, and gives a financial position of the business – ie its value (also known as equity), after debts/liabilities. The Accounting Equation or financial position is calculated from three items – assets (what it OWNS), liabilities (what is OWES) and equity (the difference between assets and liabilities, or owner’s equity).

The accounting equation is a simple way to understand how these three amounts relate to each other, and written –

Assets – Liabilities = Equity

It is also reported another way (eg USA)

Assets = Liabilities + Owner’s Equity for a small business sole proprietor

The accounting equation for a company/corporation is:

Assets = Liabilities + Stockholders’ Equity

Assets are the company’s resources —what the company owns of value – cash, accounts receivable, inventory, prepaid insurance, investments, land, buildings, equipment, and goodwill. From the accounting equation, we see that the amount of assets must equal the combined amount of liabilities plus owner’s (or stockholders’) equity.

Liabilities are the company’s obligations—what the company owes – notes or loans payable, accounts payable, salaries and wages payable, interest payable, superannuation, and income and payroll taxes payable.

Owner’s equity or stockholders’ equity is the amount left over after liabilities are deducted from assets:

Assets Liabilities = Owner’s (or Stockholders’) Equity. It also reports the amounts invested into the company by the owners plus the cumulative net profit/income of the company that has not been withdrawn or distributed to the owners.

With accurate records, the accounting equation will always be “in balance,” meaning the left side should always equal the right side. The balance is maintained because every business transaction affects at least two of the company’s accounts. As an example, if a company borrows money from a bank, the company’s assets will increase and its liabilities will increase by the same amount. When a company purchases inventory for cash, one asset will increase (inventory) and one asset will decrease (bank paid for the stock). Because there are two or more accounts affected by every transaction, the accounting system is referred to as double entry accounting.

A company keeps track of all of its transactions by recording them in accounts in the company’s general ledger. Each account in the general ledger is designated as to its type: asset, liability, owner’s equity, sales/revenue, expense, profit, or loss account.

Balance Sheet and Profit & Loss

The balance sheet is also known as the statement of financial position and it reflects the accounting equation. The balance sheet reports a company’s assets, liabilities, and owner’s (or stockholders’) equity at a specific point in time. Like the accounting equation, it shows that a company’s total amount of assets equals the total amount of liabilities plus owner’s (or stockholders’) equity.

The profit and loss or income statement is the financial statement that reports a company’s sales/revenues and expenses and the resulting net profit/income. While the balance sheet reports one point in time (the FINAL Balance at a date), the profit & loss covers the total amount over a time interval or period of time (eg a month). The profit and loss will explain part of the change in the owner’s or stockholders’ equity during the time interval between two balance sheets, as the profit or loss is reported on the balance sheet.

Understand the Balance Sheet HERE

Understand the Profit & Loss HERE

Learn why Profit does not equal Cash HERE

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Cashflow Tips – Helpful tips for managing your money in your business

Cashflow Tips – Helpful tips for managing your money in your business

Cashflow Tips – Helpful tips for managing your money in your business

Here are some exerts from a great resource for managing the money in your business, at the Queensland Govt site at:

http://www.business.qld.gov.au/business and under the Running a Business then Making and Managing Money –

Managing Cashflow

Your cash flow is the money you have coming in from revenue and going out for expenses. Good cash flow management will ensure you always have money available for paying your expenses when they are due.

Even profitable businesses can fail if cash flow is not managed properly. If you don’t have enough money available to pay your lenders or suppliers, banks may foreclose and suppliers could cut supplies.

There are many areas in your business that can impact on your cash flow. It is important to understand how customer payment terms, supplier payment terms, loan payments, future spending decisions and other items can affect your cash flow.

This guide will help you to manage your cash flow and understand how to use cash flow analysis to inform business decisions.

Plan and Monitor Cashflow

Planning and monitoring your cash flow is one of the most important things you can do when running your business. This should also include how you will address cash shortfalls or surpluses if they occur.

Forecast cash inflows against cash outflows

A cash flow statement will help you forecast your money coming in and going out. Forecasting your cash flow is usually done annually and broken down into monthly amounts. Always record the amount in the month it is expected to be spent or received. For example, electricity is usually paid quarterly so should be recorded in the month it is due.

You can use a cash flow template to forecast your annual cash flow. You will need to estimate and record the following amounts for each month:

  • Total monthly cash inflow – includes sales, sales of assets, capital injections from borrowings or owners funds, interest revenue and any other sources
  • Total monthly cash outflow – includes items such as purchases, loan payments, supplies, telephone, electricity, wages and any other bills
  • Net cash flow – take the total outflows from the total inflows to see if there is more money in or out
  • Opening balance – record your cash available at the beginning of the month
  • Closing balance – calculate your funds available at the end of the month by adding the net cash flow to the opening balance. This will become your opening balance for the next month. Note: If your net cash flow is negative, this amount will be reduced.

Include GST when inserting amounts for some cash inflows (particularly sales) and many cash outflows (particularly purchases). Calculate the difference between total GST inflows and total GST outflows and insert this as GST payments.

Different businesses are subject to differing GST requirements, so you should seek specific advice from your tax adviser. Learn more about working with business advisers.

Monitor actual inflows against outflows

As each month passes it is important to record your actual cash flow. This can be compared against your forecast to see if you are tracking as planned. You may find you need to review and adjust your forecast as amounts change over the year. Always make sure your payments received match invoices issued, and receipts and payments match.

Invest surplus cash or arrange loans

If you forecast excess cash for some months, it can be worth putting it in short-term investments to maximise your income. If you anticipate any shortfalls in cash, you may want to plan to use this invested excess, or seek for an appropriate loan to temporarily cover your costs. Don’t forget to include these extra payments or receipts in your cash flow forecast.

Related links

Watch recorded webinars to learn about financial management: back to basics and financial management: the how to.

Need help? Not sure? Call for FREE 30min advice / strategy session today!

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Business Tips – Focus on your ideal client – Tips on how to define them

Business Tips – Focus on your ideal client – Tips on how to define them

Focus on your ideal client – Tips on how to define them

Like most small business owners, we offer our service or product usually for anyone and everyone, as we need to make sales and ANY sales! But as time passes the value of focusing on a niche area and an ideal client should become your strategy – why? Let me ask – is it better to be Jack of all trades and Master of none?” – Being an expert  means becoming a specialist – only 3-4 products or services, or having staff who are  expert in 1-2 products each which allows you to widen your offer, but still maintain expertise – no-one knows it ALL!

Consider the thoughts of Sandy McDonald in How to know your ideal client. It’s so much more than demographics.

Your ideal client – Embracing the process by which you get to know your ideal client is just so much more than demographics; their age, gender and location. Yes, who are they but what do they most need, what are their problems, how would they solve them without you, how could you better solve them, how can you better serve them?

Fostering that attitude earlier would have been a great lesson for older me. Not that my business wasn’t successful, but riding on the coat tails of an era in which business owners needed my expertise more than I needed their business made the next era a difficult one to navigate…..

Up until then, I’d been asked to do work, I’d done the work and been paid. When my client’s wanted more work, they came back, I didn’t seek them out.

Now we did business in a culture where to know your client, care for and nurture them had become the very essence of a successful business.

The trouble is it’s not innate. You can say ‘know your clients’, but what does that really mean? When I talk to most business owners, they have a generic picture of their clients. They can rarely describe their perfect client. They are vague about the value that a particular client represents in their business.

Sandy goes on to give 5 steps to work toward finding your ideal client and how you would serve them. Read More.

At Entrepreneur, Stephen Sheinbaum presents an interesting approach to find your ideal client is to begin with a study of yourself –

How many times have you said, “My business could get really big if I could just find the right clients”? If you have, you’re not alone: There’s not an entrepreneur that I know who hasn’t had that thought, at least once.

The good news is that there are many ways to find the right clients. Here are five strategies that can be universally adopted to help you find them –

1.     Know who you are – A clear simple elevator pitch that invites interest

2.     Know your competitors – Sometimes you can discover a gap in the market

3.     Do your homework – Read and listen to what the industry is dealing with

4.     Ask – Survey all the time, customers, potential clients, formal surveys

5.     Be seen – Join networking events and chambers, speak when given the chance

Read More.

At Duct Tape Marketing, John Jantsch has 5 steps for business owners who want to grow –

The 5 steps below can put you on the path to discovering your ideal target customer-

1.  Start with the Smallest Market Possible – This may feel counterintuitive to many just starting a business, but you have to find a group of customers that think what you have to offer is special. When you’re just getting started you may have very little to offer and in many cases very few resources with which to make sufficient noise in a market for generic solutions….

2.  Create an Initial Value Hypothesis – In the step above I mentioned the idea of finding a narrow group that finds what you have to offer special. Of course, this implies that you do indeed have something to offer that is special

You must create a “why us” value proposition and use that as you hypothesis for why us. If this is starting to sound a little like science that’s because it is. You must always stay in test and refine mode in order to move forward….

3.  Get reality in Discovery Test Sessions – Established, thriving businesses have the ability to learn a great deal every day from customer interaction. Since start-ups don’t have any customer interaction they have to create ways to test their theories initially and on the fly

The key to both making and affirming your initial assumptions is to set-up what I call Discovery Test Sessions with prospects that might easily fit into your initial smallest market group. These are essentially staged one on one meetings….

4.  Draw an Ideal Customer Sketch – Once you’ve trotted out your hypothesis and tested it with your narrow group, you’ve got to go to work on discovering and defining everything you can about your ideal target group that is making this easier to do than ever.

5.  Add Strategy Model Components – The final step is to apply this new ideal customer approach to other elements of your strategy.

Read the full article HERE

Have you struggled with an ideal client?

I certainly have – and when calls come in I have to decide if they are core to my specialty, or do I know a trusted colleague who has the expertise they need if it is not mine.

What is YOUR experience?

Need help? Not sure? Call for FREE 30min advice / strategy session today!

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