Mind Your Business

Useful advice for SME's from the team at Business Success Partners

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Review the Positions in Your Business

The positions in most SMEs have evolved into their present form rather than having been created with specific objectives and duties. This means that the roles of team members often overlap or don’t incorporate everything the person could be doing. A thorough review of each position will clarify these vital details and put your business in a position to run more efficiently. The review should be done in conjunction with the person in the position so that both of you gain a clearer understanding...

August 17, 2018

Don't Let Others Waste Your Time

Most business owners find there’s never enough time in the day. Your time is valuable and the demands of your business usually dictate how you spend it. The last thing you can afford is to have your time wasted by others. Time-wasters are people who take up your time in such a way that it distracts you from running your business. You’re unable to manage because you have to spend your time dealing with people who just don’t seem to understand that you have more important things to do. Busi...

August 13, 2018

Profit from a Niche Market

Operating in a niche can be very cost effective as well as enabling your business to become a leading player in its field.  A niche market lets you target your sales messages with greater precision; the more specifically you define your niche the easier it is to cater to the shared interests and needs of the people or businesses in that market. A great example of niche marketing comes from an entrepreneur by the name of Frank Kern. He markets a product for parrot owners that he guarantees w...

August 6, 2018

The biggest business issue facing NZ business owners in 2018

Business owners in New Zealand face a lot of issues on a daily basis. We all know how challenging some of those can be, so it may come as a surprise for you to learn the results from a recent survey conducted by a business consulting firm, where NZ SME’s were asked what the biggest issue is in their businesses. 51% of the people interviewed, identified that achieving work/life balance was the main issue in their business and 41% identified their issue as time management. Both issues were seen...

July 26, 2018

How to Write a Winning Sales Proposal

The majority of sales proposals fail because they’re focused on the seller – not on the customer. Writing a sales proposal that’s based on the customer greatly increases the seller’s chance of success. Here’s how to do it. Do it with style Writing a successful proposal requires a sound understanding of the customer. What you’re trying to do is to point out that your product/service is the one that best fits in with their needs, so your proposal should read like the description of a s...

July 23, 2018

Cash Management Pays Dividends

Managing cash is one of the most important tasks for any business owner and even if it’s not as glamorous as sales and marketing it is the job that makes sure the bills keep getting paid on time.  The cash position of a business at any time is easy to determine if you know just three figures – the cash in the bank, the cash that’s going to be received by the business, and the cash that has to be paid out. It sounds simple, and it is, yet it’s amazing how many business owners don’t...

July 17, 2018

Saving on Business Travel

Travel is now a part of most business people’s lives at some time or other but travelling can be an expensive business and searching for convenience and value should be part of your initial preparation. Thanks largely to the ability to make bookings for flights and accommodation over the Internet, there are now a number of ways to search out opportunities that can reduce business travel costs. Airfares can be slashed It really pays to shop around for airfares instead of just making reservation...

July 17, 2018

Safer Internet Banking

Many businesses do their non-cash banking via the Internet. It’s convenient and fast, but it can expose the business to fraudulent operators that use a range of electronic trickery to loot online accessible bank accounts. There are a number of things you can do to protect your business from these con artists. Protect your passwords Make your password hard to guess. Don’t use things like birthdays, telephone numbers or street addresses as passwords and don’t use the same password for more t...

July 12, 2018

Sharing means Saving

Small businesses can achieve some pretty good savings by sharing with each other. On its own, a business turning over a million dollars or so might not have a lot of clout, but when two or three small businesses team together to share something they can collectively reduce their total costs. Share space costs Most businesses require office space plus additional space for storage, warehousing or some other purpose. As businesses grow they tend to require more space and this often becomes a factor...

July 10, 2018

A Strategy for Managing Business Bills

A business depends on its cash flow to pay its bills. Cash flow can fluctuate greatly in smaller enterprises and there are often times when payments have to be made selectively. This is a strategy to serve as a general guide for paying bills at any time; it is especially useful for times when extra consideration has to be given to which bills are paid and which are delayed. Prioritise every bill that comes in when it comes in. Maintain a register of all bills that shows their priority ranking, w...

June 28, 2018

Loyalty is Created, Not Bought

Loyal customers have to be created. This can take some time and effort but the ROI can be immense. "Not only do loyal customers provide incredibly valuable referrals, they also generate word of mouth that simply can't be bought through advertising," says Roger Hallowell, assistant professor at Harvard Business School.  When a customer buys from you it’s a signal that you have something they want. They’ve responded to the value proposition you offer and there’s immediate potential to c...

June 22, 2018

Upgrades are a part of life

Anyone with a PC will be familiar with the term ‘upgrade’. It seems like there’s a new version of Windows almost every year, and unless we do constantly upgrade our computers it’s likely their operating systems will rapidly become inadequate to the demands of new software and hardware. To remain competitive, businesses need to upgrade everything from their computer setups to their motor vehicles. There are ways to approach upgrading that will help keep costs down and increase the value r...

June 14, 2018

Surveys Show What Your Customers Dislike

Surveys of customers can be very revealing even indicating danger areas for your organisation. This article summarises findings from some recent surveys that show just what it is that customers dislike the most about their interactions with businesses. When they’re on the premises There’s one thing that customers dislike more than anything else – employees who are busily conversing with each other and just ignore them. This is unforgivable and also very likely to cost the business a sale b...

June 7, 2018

Cash Flow Quickeners

Cash flow is often called ‘the lifeblood of a business’, and for several good reasons. But the flow of cash into most businesses is uneven and there can be times when a constrained cash flow creates serious problems, even if the long term situation is positive. There are, however, ways to improve the cash flow of any small business and remove some of the worries about bills not being paid or not having enough on hand to pay wages. These mainly involve no more than adjustments to what you’r...

May 30, 2018

Become An Expert In Your Own Industry

Whether you sell to businesses or consumers you can increase your level of success by becoming an industry expert – someone who’s well known and acknowledged as an authority on matters concerning your industry. It takes work to achieve this kind of commercial stardom but once you’re at the top it’s almost self perpetuating. Get ready for recognition Prepare a clear definition of the industry you want to represent, whether it’s a broad one such as ‘retailing’, or very specific, such...

May 25, 2018

Develop The Art Of Being Small

Being small in business isn’t necessarily a bad thing. In fact, small businesses have a lot of advantages over their larger competitors. Small business collectively is the world’s biggest business. Small businesses have perfected the arts of travelling light, living frugally and being able to quickly change direction. Recognising the specialised nature of small business can help you appreciate and use some of the advantages you enjoy. The CEO is multifunctional The decision making powers of ...

May 8, 2018

Surviving as a Self-Employed Person

Self-employment has lots of advantages. You make all the decisions. You’re the one who determines your own success. And you can always be sure of having enough money in the bank to pay the bills – or can you? Being self-employed has its own set of challenges, not the least important of which is managing your money. How you handle the money you receive, and especially how you plan a budget and stick to it, will determine whether you stay in business.  Be prepared before you open the door...

May 1, 2018

Resolving Employee Conflicts

Intervening in employee disputes is a risky action and, often as not, ends up with the manager alienating both parties. A better way to proceed is set up a policy that will enable management to listen to any employee with a grievance, yet still encourage those with disputes to do everything they can to resolve it among themselves. This should be a formal policy, stated in writing and copied to everyone who is employed in the business. It should also become a part of employee orientation and be i...

April 24, 2018

How to Hold More Effective Meetings

Meetings are a part of business, whether it’s meetings with your team members, with your business associates, or with community groups. Here are some ways that you can make your next meeting a success as well as a pleasant experience for all those who attend. Provide sufficient advance notice Plan your meeting well ahead of time and make your invitations informative. Include details such as the meeting venue, the starting and finishing times, the agenda and what should be brought by those atte...

April 18, 2018

Develop a Profitable Pricing Policy

An organisation’s pricing policy can make a significant contribution to its success. Charging the right amount for goods and services means setting a price that makes them competitive within their market and at the same time allows them to generate sufficient revenue to cover their production costs and make a profit. Here are the issues you should be considering. Set prices according to your business strategy A company’s price objectives should align with its business plan. If the plan’s g...

April 10, 2018

Know the Personal Risks in Your Business

Many events can put a business out of business and it’s the responsibility of owners and managers to anticipate and plan for such events as far as possible.   You’ve probably insured your business for the most obvious risks – storms, fires and theft for example; but what happens if you lose one of the key people that keep your business going. Key person losses can be among the most damaging to any business, especially smaller organisations. What do you think would happen to your ...

March 28, 2018

Customers are only Human

As businesses of all sizes increase their uptake of technology and use equipment to save money and take over functions previously provided by people, they’re also running the risk of alienating their customers. Extensive ‘telephone trees’ intended to direct callers into the most appropriate channel to handle their enquiry require customers to go through a series of options even though they already know what they want to accomplish with their call. Something that is more convenient for the ...

March 20, 2018

Helping Customers Online

Finding just what you want on a website can be tricky. Even when it’s designed to be as shopper friendly as possible with clear navigation, lots of different ways to search for just the product wanted and a simple checkout process, there are still times when a shopper really wants to ask a question about the product before making that final commitment. Providing your telephone number and email is good but they involve delay in getting a response, sometimes stretching out to several days, and t...

February 22, 2018

Growing Pains: The Perils of Unplanned Expansion

When sales are increasing and new opportunities can be sensed, many a business owner’s thoughts turn to expansion. But unplanned expansion can be as detrimental to your business as no growth at all. Fast growth can destabilise a business giving its owners a false sense of well being while the additional revenues eat up more operating funds than expected. If expansion is on your agenda, keep these things in mind. Watch Your Overheads The biggest danger in expansion is the erosion of a low overh...

February 15, 2018

Improve Your Training ROI

Training is expensive, and businesses need to ensure they receive the maximum benefit from the training they pay for.  The value of too many training sessions and seminars is lost because of a lack of pre-training and post-training support, or because what is learned during the training is never fully implemented or becomes unused. Whether you’re training a member of your clerical staff in the operation of a new computer programme or a factory worker in the use of safety equipment, there ...

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