If you’ve been told you need to complete an organisational review, or are now wondering if you need one, read on. An organisational review is a great tool to help you:

  • Improve the way your business is structured.
  • Solve any performance issues.
  • Change the culture of your business.
  • Fix any relationship or communicational problems.
  • Increase productivity.
  • Catch up with fast moving external changes.

Completing an organisational review involves collecting data to process, organise, share and interpret in relation to your business. The ultimate goal: improve the way your business works. You will be looking at three key areas:

  • Strategic – developing insights on how things are working now, so you can make informed decisions, and goals in the future.
  • Foundational – collate the information needed to achieve your new strategic direction.
  • Improvement – identifying what you will do to improve the way your business works.

Each business should complete an organisational review at least once per year. We’ll explain how to do this next.

How to Complete an Organisational Review

Analyse Your Business

Once you’re ready to start your review, take time to gather some tools which can make the entire process easier. Some of the tools you may use include:

  • SWOT analysis – evaluate your business’ strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.
  • PEST analysis – identify the external factors impacting upon your business; political, economic, socio-cultural and technological.
  • Competitor analysis – what are your competitors doing well? How are they placed against you?
  • Balanced scorecard – compare your past figures with your current ones, and your future predictions. Are they balanced? You are looking at things such as marketing, finances, impact, growth and operations.

Examine Your Business

Once you’ve gathered your review tools, then you’ll need to examine:

  • How your business is structured – Who does what? How are your tasks allocated?
  • Procedures and processes used by your business? How do people know what to do? How do different teams work together?
  • Your finances – do you have a budget? What are your main expenses and types of income? How can you improve things financially for your business?

From here you will have the information you need to make recommendations of what your business should do moving forward. You don’t have to do any of this alone though; we can help. Part of our job as business advisors is to help our clients understand where they are, where they’re going and how to get there. When you’re ready to take the next step and improve your business’ organisational processes, give us a call. The coffee’s on us.

Your considering turning your hobby into a profitable business but have a few questions you’d like answered first. We’re guessing they include questions such as:

  • How do I know if it will be successful?
  • What steps do I need to take to set up a new business?
  • Should I quit my job and do my business full time?
  • How do I know if I’ve got what it takes to run a profitable business?

As you’re thinking seriously about turning your hobby into a profitable business, you must already be passionate and reasonably confident about it. So, let us help you understand what steps you will need to take to turn your hobby into a business.

Am I Ready to Take the Next Step with My Hobby?

Before you jump into making any big decisions, there are a few questions you should be asking yourself first:

  • Will I enjoy my hobby when I have to work to a deadline to fulfil orders?
  • Do I like my hobby enough to live and breathe it 24/7?
  • Am I happy with the quality of the goods I produce and know that my customers would be satisfied too?
  • How much are you prepared to sacrifice to start up this business (emotionally, physically and financially)?

If you are happy with your answers, then the chances are that now is a good time for you to start looking into turning your hobby into a business.

Can a Hobby Become a Profitable Business?

Yes, absolutely! There is a catch, though; it requires plenty of hard work and determination. A hobby is something you do because you enjoy doing it. A business is when you sell products (which you could make by doing your hobby) for a profit.

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (along with the IRD), clearly state that if you sell goods regularly online or in person, you are in trade. This means that you are in business if you:

  • Buy and resell goods
  • Intend to make a profit selling goods
  • Are creating goods to sell for a profit
  • Offer your goods to others to sell on your behalf
  • Receive payment (cash or otherwise) for goods

If you already are or want to be selling what you make for a profit, then it’s time to get serious!

First Steps in Turning a Hobby into a Business

A profitable business is one which receives more income than it has expenses. That sounds simple enough, but it is the biggest thing new businesses struggle to achieve. A business is more likely to fail in its first two to three years, making planning and preparation before starting a business vital. To successfully turn your hobby into a profitable business, you will need to do the following:

  • Research your industry – who else is making products like yours? What do they sell them for? Is there a market for your type of products?
  • Investigate your own products – what is the time and cost involved in making each product? What can you realistically sell them for? How much profit will you make, and is it enough? What makes your products different from those sold by your competitors? Do some product testing in that you ask your target audience what they think of your product, if they would buy it, and how much they would pay. Check out how others promote products similar to yours.
  • Create a business plan – this is your blueprint which contains all of the steps you will need to take over the first year. It also lists your goals, where you will go for help if needed, your additional resources and how you will sell your products. We can help you with your business planning – just ask!
  • Investigate the rules and regulations for your industry – there are some industries including clothing, food and toys which have many compulsory regulations to follow. Not meeting these can result in huge financial penalties against you.
  • Apply for a business IRD number
  • Decide upon your business structure – sole trader or company – and set it up
  • Register for GST if necessary
  • Open a business only bank account
  • Organise your business’ resources including domain name and website, logo and graphics, social media accounts and products
  • Seek advice from a business advisor. Yes, it will cost you money when things may be tight. However, it is best to pay a small amount now and get things right from the start, than to be out of pocket for huge expenses if you make bad decisions.

You’ll also need to decide if you are going to treat your business as a supplementary income and keep your existing job. Or if you are willing to resign and work on your business full-time. There’s pros and cons for both options, and it all comes down to the level of risk you are prepared to take.

We are more than willing and able to help get your new business off on the right foot. Our business planning services team can help you create realistic goals and identify the steps needed to achieve them. Get in touch with us now, and let’s have a chat over coffee: our shout!

Taking the Next Steps in Turning Your Hobby into a Profitable Business

Most likely you’ve got a website up and going and are busy building a following on social media. Creating an online presence is an affordable way for a new business to sell and promote its products. Other activities you’re involved with should include networking both in person and online with other small business owners, following helpful business blogs (like ours), and keeping up to date with the latest developments in your industry.

It’s also essential that you keep financial records for your new business. This includes keeping receipts for expenses, details of all income received, bank records, credit and debit notes, details of wages and PAYE if required. A company structured business will have different financial reporting requirements than a sole trader, so make sure that understand what they are.

Each year you will be required to create financial statements for your business. The bare minimum of information you must include in these are:

  • Balance sheet detailing assets, liabilities and net assets
  • Profit and loss statement, or income and expenditure
  • Statement of accounting policies
  • Details of this year’s results against last years

If this seems completely overwhelming and is not the reason why you wanted to start a business, we understand. Not everyone wants to be a bean counter and spend hours drooling over columns of numbers. But we do, except we don’t drool – just drink plenty of coffee!

Our team of accountants and bookkeepers can handle your businesses’ financial paperwork and obligations for you. We love diving into tax returns, completing financial reports and identifying ways our clients can reduce their tax obligations; legally, of course.

We offer a range of tailored business accounting packages for all businesses, including start-ups like yours. We’d be honoured to help support you as you make your way in transforming your hobby into a profitable business. Get in touch with us today, and let’s chat!

If cyber security isn’t on your business’ list of top priorities, should you be worried? We think so. As cyber attacks grow in number and severity, keeping your business’ information safe is essential. Even if you’re not super technically minded, there are some key steps you can take to secure your data. We’ll explain what they are and give you a brief overview of what cyber security is.

What Is Cyber Security?

The term cyber security refers to the protection put in place to prevent online attacks from others of your information. You can think of a cyber criminal as an online burglar. They try to gain access to your information using internet connected systems. This can be done in multiple ways, including:

  • Ransomware – you are stopped from using your computer system by malicious software unless you pay a random
  • Scams – you are tricked or manipulated into giving away money, personal or financial information
  • Unauthorised access – someone deliberately accesses your online information without your permission
  • Phishing – an email scam where they pretend to be someone else to get you to share personal information with them
  • Online identity theft – when someone gets personal information from a source and then uses it
  • Insider threat – when someone from inside your business uses insider knowledge to get access to your information
  • Malware – software which harms a computer system
  • Credential dumps – someone takes passwords and email addresses, then publishes these online to be used by others

It is the responsibility of an individual business to put cyber security systems in place to prevent unauthorised access and use of all information.

7 Cyber Security Business Tips

If you leave your doors unlocked and windows open, people will take advantage of you. The same goes for cyber security. Without protection in place for your business, you’ll leaving your business vulnerable to cyber-attacks. However, by taking a few steps, you can secure your data and reduce the likelihood of things happening:

  • Keep software up to date. Automatic updates make this a breeze
  • Use two factor authentications when accessing data, such as needing a password and a code sent by text
  • Do regular back-ups of your data, so if an attack does occur, you’ve still got access to your information
  • Use unique passwords and update them regularly
  • Install antivirus software and scan your devices regularly
  • Never send personal details or passwords through unsecured emails
  • Avoid clicking on links or downloading attachments in emails unless you completely trust the source

CERT NZ is a website run by the NZ Government which offers plenty of advice on implementing cyber security practices, as well as what to do if you fall victim of one. When working with us, you can rest assured in knowing that our cloud based accounting systems offer two factor authentications, keeping your information safe and sound. Get in touch and let’s chat!

Your brand identity is what makes your business unique. More than just a logo, it’s how the world, or more specifically your customers, see your business. A strong brand identity gives your business power and a way to differentiate itself from your competition. Without one, well, let’s just say, things may not go that well …

Part of our job is to help businesses discover what makes them tick, what makes them unique and what makes them successful. While we don’t offer graphic design services, we do help you identify the specifics as to what you want your brand identity to be and help you achieve it. So, today we’re sharing just a snippet of what you can expect from our business planning, development and coaching services.

What is a Brand Identity & Why is it Important?

Your brand identity is your business’ face to the world. It’s what it looks like (colours, logo), what it says (emotions, values, words, trademark) and even what it smells, tastes and sounds like, depending on your business type. In essence, it is the personality of your business and what you promise your customers or clients.

A great brand identity helps:

  • Build credibility and trust with your target market
  • Develop instant recognition of your brand
  • Bring in new customers and keep existing ones
  • Get your business noticed

If you have a logo, awesome: you are on the way. If you are just getting started, that’s awesome too. Read on and we’ll explain what you need to do to create a stellar brand identity.

Steps for Creating a Strong Brand Identity

To create a strong brand identity, even if you already have a brand, start right back at the beginning.

  1. Do your research – find out who your target audience is and what they like, and who your competition is and what they offer.
  2. Focus on your brand – be specific in what your brand will offer and why customers should choose you over your competitors. Write a mission statement which states your goals and vision. Identify the personality your brand will have, the language and colours it will use and any taglines.
  3. Work with a graphic designer – now is the time to get your logo created or reassessed if you already have one. From the colours, shapes and fonts, they can help you choose the best ones to fit with your identified brand identity. Your GD can also help with suggestions for branding your stationery, website and product packaging too.
  4. Use it – once you’ve got a brand, use it and we mean everywhere. Having a document which you can share with others within your business, as well as referring to it yourself, ensures you remain focused. It should say what graphics to use where, the types of images and language to use, and where you can share information about your business.

We’d love to help you create or reassess your brand identity. Get in touch with our team today to explore the many ways in which our business services can grow your business.

With all work and no play making Jack a dull boy (plus stressed, unhappy and exhausted), is having great work-life balance necessary? Today we look at understanding what having a work-life balance means, plus five simple tips on how you too can achieve one.

What is a Work-Life Balance & Do I Need One?

Feeling like you never spend quality time with your kids anymore? Are you only home to sleep and eat nowadays? Finding that socialising with others just doesn’t rank on your to-do list anymore? Well, you may have joined the ranks of many business owners who suffer from a poor work-life balance.

It’s the ability to live well and work well which many of us struggle with. A work-life balance is about feeling fulfilled and successful both in your working and private life. It’s doing the things you feel are important: having meaningful enjoyment and achievement every single day at work, with family, with friends and for yourself.

In other words, it’s about winning.  Sometimes winning at everything just seems like too much work, and you take a loss at something to achieve something else. Those losses add up over time though, creating guilt, high-stress levels and even relationship problems.

Do you need a balance? Yes, we think so, and we’ve got five tips to help you achieve it.

How to Achieve a Successful Work-Life Balance

You’ve decided you want to improve your work-life balance (or are at least thinking about doing so). Here are five tips which can help you get started:

  1. Identify your goals – what will make you feel great about your work and your personal life? These are the things you need to aim to achieve.
  2. Set your boundaries – you know what you want to achieve, now it’s time to decide what you will and won’t do. This includes saying no to people and things when they don’t fall within your ideal plan.
  3. Communicate – get all involved parties on side by explaining what you will and won’t do, plus the reasons behind them both.
  4. Rethink things through – is a spotlessly clean home really that important to you? Do you need to visit the supermarket to shop, or could you order online? Identify what is important and what is negotiable.
  5. Get active – you’ve already got a busy life but adding exercise to it will make it easier. Endorphins, increased energy and improved concentration are all benefits of daily exercise and can help you achieve more.

There’s one more thing we need to add. You don’t need to do everything and be everyone for your business! Our team of business advisors and accountants are here to help you take the load off by working with you and your business. Learn more about the services we offer here on our website, and then give us a call to get started today.