A strong business mindset doesn’t come easily to everyone. Fortunately, there are things that business owners can do to ensure their business succeeds. We’ve put together a list of 16 key things you can do to create a successful business mindset.

16 Tasks to Help You Create a Successful Business Mindset

To build a successful business, you must think strategically and from the head, not the heart. That’s having a business mindset: something many of us may initially struggle with. We’ve put together a list of 16 tasks which can help you:

  1. Believe in yourself and your business, you need to be confident as confidence breeds success.
  2. Set your products or services apart from your competitors. Specifically, ask yourself what separates the value of your goods from a rival business?
  3. Analyse the market to look for trends where the industry is headed.
  4. Be a passionate, charismatic leader, that can inspire employees to work to their fullest.
  5. Be open to finding a mentor. You can’t know or learn everything; a mentor can bring a wealth of experience and insights to you and your business.
  6. Use networking to build your business and meet people online, at trade events, through customer and supplier relationships.
  7. Ensure quality control over your products, services and marketing messages.
  8. Focus your energy on what you and your business does well.
  9. Have an ultimate vision for where you want to be in the long-term. Set small goals to reach that vision.
  10. Don’t be afraid to let other people help you, whether it’s an employee or a mentor. New ideas or perspectives can reinvigorate your decision-making processes or break mental blocks.
  11. Celebrate success in your business decision-making both overall and individual achievements.
  12. Practice discipline in your business; great success takes a lot of time and effort.
  13. Be proactive, don’t wait for opportunities to come to you, reach out to new challenges with confidence for example; Opening an online store, opening a new branch, diversifying your product range etc.
  14. Think outside the box, don’t try and do what everyone else is doing. Challenge the status quo.
  15. Keep learning there are always new technologies and processes that come out keep up with the latest trends by having staff training, and workshops.
  16. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes, use them as an opportunity to learn.

Creating a successful business takes time, money and a lot of effort especially on the owner or the Manager. If you adopt some or all the above points to help grow your business mindset, you can look forward to a bright future. Our business development services can help make starting and running a business much easier.  Book a time with us to chat about your ideas and let’s get cracking!

How will you get the money out of your business when it’s time for you to move on? A business exit strategy will give you the knowledge in advance of how you will wrap up your involvement in your business. It can also help increase the amount of money you will be able to recoup too.

No one has a crystal ball and we can’t see what the future will hold. There are many reasons why you may need to leave your business, including health, family, a need for money, a change in interests and retirement.

Developing an exit strategy includes the creation of a detailed plan which identifies the steps to be done for you to leave your business. To identify the most suitable exit strategies for your business, an assessment of both you and your business should be done, along with a review of the implications the strategies would have.  This then provides you with a documented plan which states what the options are, the pros and cons of each and the amount of cash you could expect with each option.

Regardless of the length of time your business has been operating, the creation of a business exit strategy is a must. In this article, we will explain the benefits of having a strategy, what your options are and how to develop an appropriate strategy for your business.

What Are the Benefits of Having a Business Exit Strategy?

The benefits of having a strategy in place to exit your business include:

  • You can mould your business into the best shape for your chosen exit option. This will give you the best possible value from it.
  • It allows you to groom successors from within the business to make the transition flow smoothly for everyone.
  • You can leave the business at a time which suits you and when the market conditions are advantageous.
  • A protection plan for your financial assets will be in place.
  • The value of your business remains protected and buyers see this as a positive feature.
  • Informing strategic decision making by keeping the end goal in site.

You’ve worked hard to build your business, so why not do everything you can to protect your investment? Next, we’ll look at some exit strategy options you can choose from.

What Are My Business Exit Strategy Options?

To develop the most appropriate exit strategy for your business, you need to lay all of your options on the table first. To maximise the value of your business, your chosen strategy must be flexible and appropriate to meet your needs and requirements. Your options include:

  • Liquidation – basically this is the closing of your business and selling all of its assets. For many small businesses, this is often the only option. The advantages are that it can be done quickly and easily, with the biggest disadvantage being that you’ll receive only a low return on investment.
  • Merger or Acquisition – your business is purchased by a larger company who then merges it into their operations. Advantages are that it is highly beneficial for the purchasing company, and that you are likely to receive a fair sale price.
  • Initial Public Offering – this is when you sell your shares in the business to the general public. It requires a lot of pre-work to get this up and running.
  • Passing to Family Members – your business is kept in the family, and you are able to groom your family successor. You also may still retain a say in what happens with the business too. However, it’s easy for families to fight over the ownership and management of the business, and they may not even want it.
  • Selling to Employees – you may have a manager or a group of employees who would like to purchase your business.
  • Selling to an outside buyer – you could advertise and sell your business to someone who is not currently connected to it.

This then leads to the question; what should you do next?

Creating Your Business Exit Strategy

We recommend having a chat with us before you develop your exit strategy. Not only can we assist with a valuation of your business, but we can also help you identify the key data you need to collect to make the best possible decision.

This can include collecting information about:

  • Appearance of premises
  • Condition of assets including machinery and software
  • Accounting systems are current and appropriate
  • Customer files are up to date and easily accessible
  • Policies and procedures are documented
  • Employees are fully trained and efficient

You will also need to consider:

  • Who your target buyer is and where you will find them
  • How long you are prepared to allow the leaving process to be when it’s time for you to get out
  • You have at least two years of financial records available to share with the purchaser. You should also be prepared to answer questions regarding your expenses, revenue and historical cashflow.
  • That your business can run without you being there. This may mean training up employees and stepping back from your role, as well as having regularly reviewed written processes for employees to follow. Aim to step back at least several months before the planned exit
  • The value of your business as it stands, and what improvements you could make which would increase its value
  • How you will promote your business to buyers, also known as your sales pitch
  • What your family’s wishes are, if you are considering creating a succession plan for them to take over the business
  • Goals for your business in the future, including what your role will be and when you want to leave the business. Do you want to remain a stakeholder and continue to have a say in how the business will run? Or is a great financial exit more appropriate for you?
  • When is the optimal time to leave your business? This can include data regarding the historic revenue of your business, periods of growth and busy times of the year.
  • That your website is updated, easily modifiable and you can arrange training for the new owner.
  • All debts must be paid in full and any existing personal finances removed from the business.
  • All outstanding invoices are paid in full.
  • Non-core assets are sold off and the business is streamlined.

As business advisors and accountants, we can help with the creation and documentation of your exit strategy. We’re only too happy to help; get in touch with us today.

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!

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.