How to sell more to existing customers

If growth is your primary goal, take note of these two essential sales strategies: cross-selling and upselling. Why?  Because it’s much easier to sell to existing customers than to acquire new ones.  According to Marketing Metrics, the probability of selling to an existing customer is 60 to 70 percent, while the likelihood you’ll sell to a new prospect is just 5 to 20 percent. Some entrepreneurs use the terms “upselling”…  Read more

Finding money within your business

Most small businesses experience cash flow problems from time to time and urgently need working capital.  Many business owners immediately think of the bank or loans when they’re short of money. But there are other resources you can tap before you ask for that expensive overdraft or overdraft extension.  The money you need might already be there—locked up in inventory, assets or your debtors’ book. You can often free up…  Read more

Money Saving Tips – 5 Times When Buying Used Makes Sense

If you are trying to save money, switching from brand new goods to used items can make a lot of sense.  Buying used does not always make sense, but exploring the pre-owned market is one of the best ways to save on many different classes of products.  These 5 types of consumer goods are particularly good candidates for the used market. Cars Buying a brand new car rarely makes financial…  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

Business health check

Things to do this month By now you should be thinking about whether you have all the information you need to give us to complete your annual accounts. If you haven’t, put getting the information together to give to us at the top of your to-do list. Run your eye over all your compliance activities – not just FBT.  Are you recording all income accurately and paying the right amount…  Read more

ACC announces changes to CoverPlus Extra

If you’re applying for an ACC CoverPlus Extra policy, it’s worth noting that the policy no longer starts on the date of the application, but when you sign the offer letter.  So if you have such a letter in your in-tray waiting to be signed, now’s the time to get onto doing that. ACC has also issued a reminder that CoverPlus Extra policies are being cancelled when invoices are not…  Read more

Changes to Families Package

If you receive the Families Package (formerly the Family Incomes Package), you may be affected by three changes coming on 1 July.  They include: a Winter Energy Payment to help older people and low income families heat their homes a Best Start tax credit for families with young children increases to Working for Families tax credits Because the changes will be made automatically, you don’t need to do anything.  Anyone…  Read more

Thinking of exporting? Don’t just think – act!

New Zealand’s is an export-led economy, driven by a handful of major industries like dairy and wine. But more and more smaller players are also conquering offshore markets with smart, innovative products and services in every sphere. If you’ve ever contemplated trying your hand in international markets, remember that you don’t have to be a Fonterra to make it.  With the right preparation and support, even a small business can…  Read more

The fringe issue

Given the importance of keeping your PAYE and GST record-keeping and payments in order, it might be tempting to think that Fringe Benefit Tax, or FBT, is a relatively minor thing. But don’t be fooled.  In 2017, Inland Revenue created a dedicated audit team to focus on this issue. One of the team’s aims is to ensure employers have the right business structures and documentation in place.  And it turns…  Read more

So you’ve launched your business – now what?

Good news for small business owners: according to the US Small Business Administration, nearly 80% of small businesses survive their first year. However, that number begins to drop as time rolls on. Only half of small businesses pass the five year mark, and a mere third celebrate their tenth anniversary. Taking steps to create a good foundation in the early days of your business is essential for a sustainable and…  Read more

Starting a business is the easy part – now let’s talk about your exit strategy

It takes guts to start a business. But to succeed also takes a strategic mindset. What does that mean, exactly, and how would you know if you’re thinking strategically enough or not? One way is to imagine you’re about to put your business on the market. What would a potential buyer hope to see in your business? What would you add or take away to make it more attractive? Rob…  Read more

Free online training on employer obligations and rights

Employment New Zealand (as part of the Ministry of Business, Invovation and Employment (MBIE)) has created a free interactive website where you can learn about your responsibilities and rights as an employer or employee. Employers can access free employment learning modules and learn essential information about: Working arrangements Different types of working arrangements and the importance of getting it right How to identify the correct type of Working Arrangement for…  Read more

Parental leave puts an onus on employers

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern probably won’t take 18 weeks’ paid parental leave when she has her baby this autumn, but New Zealand law says she’s entitled to it. Staff who’ve worked for you or any other employer for an average of at least 10 hours a week for any 26 weeks of the year preceding the birth or assumption of care of a child can take paid parental leave so…  Read more

What shape are your end-of-year accounts in?

The end of the financial year can be either stressful or a seamless part of what you do. Ideally, your end-of-year accounts will confirm what you think your business has been doing for the past 12 months. Be a good Scout to avoid end-of-year migraine Being prepared is the key to avoiding end-of-year financial drama and stress. First make sure you have all the documents we’ll need, such as PAYE…  Read more

Safe as houses: Stop Press!

Revenue Minister Stuart Nash has confirmed the bright-line test on residential property sales will be extended from two years to five years. At present, income tax must be paid on any gains from residential property sold within two years of acquisition, with some exceptions (such as the family home). The extension means that profits from residential investment properties bought and sold within five years will generally be taxable. To make…  Read more

Business health check

With the end of the tax year approaching, check your systems and documentation now and plug any gaps. A good approach is to dig out the EOY checklist you got from us last year and use it identify any information you need to start gathering now. That way, you won’t be rushing frantically later when we need the information. Take Rob Young’s advice and check that your business is fit…  Read more

Income tax returns about to get easier

In April, IRD will also introduce payday reporting of PAYE information – that is, employers will need to report employee payments to Inland Revenue (IR) every pay run. To give you time to put systems in place, businesses will have a year before it becomes mandatory. Hand in hand with that, IRD will begin collecting PAYE info for the 2018/19 year to allow pre-population of income tax returns. That should…  Read more

What are the new Government’s tax priorities?

One of the first questions business owners ask when a new government enters power is what changes, if any, are coming in the area of tax. Revenue Minister Stuart Nash provided a good steer on that when he addressed Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand last November. The biggest question, he said, is whether our current system is fit for purpose. A week later, the government demonstrated its commitment to…  Read more

New law will make dirty money easier to spot

Money laundering is big business in New Zealand. Every year $1.35 billion of fraud- and drug -related money is laundered through seemingly legitimate businesses. In response, the Government introduced specific Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism legislation to address this risk. Previously, only a few types of organisation had to comply with the legislation. Following amendments to this legislation passed last year, it is now confirmed that this legislation…  Read more

Succession Planning for Small Businesses: An interview with Platform 1 Partner Rob Young (February 2018)

Rob, what are the biggest mistakes people make around succession planning? Not starting early enough. Generally, an owner will wake up after New Year’s and say “I’ve had a gutsful, I’m going to sell it,” and they will ring a broker on the 3rd of January and expect to have the business sold by the middle of January! It just doesn’t happen. Planning needs to start two to four, even…  Read more

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