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We all have tasks that get in the way of our business moving forward. It’s all these tasks that we tend to procrastinate, that we would rather void doing and that just suck up too much of our valuable time. Time that we should be spending on our businesses. Thankfully, there are lots of businesses, like MBP, that exist to help you identify what to outsource and take over completing those tasks for you. Get back to what you do best, what you enjoy doing and outsource the rest.

When looking to identify what to outsource in your business, we have a few simple questions you should ask yourself. What are the things you hate doing? What are the things you can’t do or struggle to do yourself? What are the things that you just shouldn’t be doing?

What Are The Things You Hate Doing?

It seems like common sense the the stuff you hate shot be what to outsource, right? You’d be surprised how many business owners don’t realise that there are people who love doing the things you hate. For example, that weekly payroll, bookkeeping and copywriting are all ideal things for you to outsource. These are the things you either push aside or neglect as you simply don’t have the passion to do them. The things you stress about but that aren’t really worth the stress. These things are the things you hate that are perfect for you to outsource.

What Things Can’t You Do Yourself?

None of us know it all. As much as us small business owners like to wear all the hats in our businesses and do everything, there are a lot of things that we simply don’t know how to do. There is absolutely nothing wrong with not knowing everything.

“Knowledge is everything you have learnt. Wisdom is knowing what you don’t know.”

It would be nice to know everything. It certainly helps to have a working knowledge of absolutely everything that goes on in your business. However, there simply is not enough time for you to be an expert in everything from payroll and bookkeeping to marketing and SEO. In order to run your business properly, you need to focus on what you know and do best. The rest is what to outsource.

Outsource the tasks you aren’t completely confident on to an expert. You can rest assured they will be done properly and in a much quicker time-frame than you could do. You can then sleep easy having avoided the stress of worrying about doing the task correctly and invest more time into the things you do best, further developing the expertise that makes your business thrive.

Are There Any One-Off Tasks You Need Done?

Every now and then, a job pops up that we don’t necessarily have time for. The job isn’t large enough or ongoing so there isn’t an option to hire an employee to complete the job. Even if it is a job that may take a few months, the added costs and delays of on-boarding anew employee can make the job unprofitable or considerably reduce it value to your business.

It could be something as simple as a few hours of data entry or something as complex as a transition to a new database or the implementation of a new software system. These are the perfect things to outsource. Especially with implementation of new systems as the experts you use can manage the change management process, implement the system and train you and your staff on everything you need to know. Outsourcing also allows you and your team to keep going with business as usual while the one-off tasks are completed. It’s a no-brainer really.

What Are The Things You Just Shouldn’t Be Doing?

Whether you are just starting out in business or you’ve been running a successful business for many years, the business landscape is constantly evolving and you need to be able to keep up. So focus on keeping up. As a business owner you need to be focused on your business and its growth. Everything that distracts you from that focus is something that should be outsourced.

These tasks aren’t necessarily business tasks. What to outsource can also include your cleaning, grocery shopping and anything else that sucks up your valuable time and distracts your from your business.

If you’re not sure where to begin, book in a free chat with an MBP Business Support Advisor. They are experts at assessing what tasks you can outsource to others. At MBP, we are expert Certified Bookkeepers, Accountants and Business Development Advisors but there is a lot of stuff that we don’t do. We outsource to experts ourselves and can put you in touch with our most trusted experts for whatever it is you are looking to outsource.

You’ve been chomping at the bit to create your own elevator pitch (or have been told you need one so many times you’ve finally got around to it). Whichever one is you (no judgement), we’ve put together a list of steps to take to help you create your own elevator pitch.

Why Would I Need an Elevator Pitch?

Aptly named as an elevator speech or pitch due to the amount of time you have to talk to someone in an elevator, it’s supposed to be a quick summary of you and your business. The aim of this short blurb is to create interest in what you and your business offer, hoping to get the person to remember and contact you when the right opportunity arises.

Ideal as an icebreaker or for when you’ve been asked to introduce yourself to a group, it is a handy tool to have in your repertoire. Even better, it’s one you can prepare ahead of time and use repeatedly.

Step By Step Guide to Writing Your Elevator Pitch

An elevator speech is around 30-60 seconds long, so writing one isn’t hugely time-consuming. What’s challenging though, is knowing what to put into it and where. Knowing that remember you need to answer the questions about who you are, what you do and what you want to happen after giving your speech.

Spend some time jotting down notes before moving onto the next steps below:

  • Introduce yourself – your name is a given, but also remember to smile and shake hands too.
  • Explain what you do – if you have a job title, here is where you would share it. Also now is the time to explain what you and your business offer. Your mission statement should help guide you here.
  • Discuss how you solve problems – explain the value you and your business offer and how you solve problems.
  • Unique selling proposition – what makes you and your business better than others in your industry?
  • Question time – here you can bring your audience or person into the discussion. Ask them a question related to the problems you can solve.
  • Give a call to action – ask for what you want to happen next. Often this is to contact you but could be to sign up to your newsletter, follow your business on social media or take your business card.

Writing your pitch down on paper lets you get your thoughts together. Doing so also gives you the opportunity to take it with you when you go networking, and also to practise reading it aloud (but not to your audience!).

If you’d like to run through you elevator pitch, reach out to your MBP Business Advisor for a chat. Don’t have an MBP Business Advisor Yet? Book in a chat with the team here.

Want to reduce some of your business admin burden but not sure where to start? Here is our list of the Top 10 things we think you can outsource to get started.

1. Outsource Your Payroll

Nothing makes your staff angrier than not being paid properly. Payroll is a lot more complex than just paying your staff their hourly rates or salaries. The Holidays Act is the bane of many businesses, large and small. Its a part of your business that needs good systems and great, highly skilled people so that your business can avoid the bad publicity and expense that comes with screwing it up.

A Certified Bookkeeper or member of the Payroll Practitioners Association are your best options when looking for an expert to help you get your payroll sorted.

2. Outsource Your GST Returns

GST Return processing is a regular and time consuming process. It is also a very easy thing to outsource if you are new to outsourcing. Get in touch with a Certified Bookkeeper and use their expertise to help ease the burden of regular GST compliance.

It is important to use a Certified Bookkeeper or Tax Agent to ensure you don’t create more headaches for yourself in future.

3. Outsource Your Accounts Receivable Management

Cash is king. From drafting quotes to reconciling payment, your accounts receivable process is the core of your business cashflow and will make or break your business. If you don’t have an accounts receivable process, you really need one. Outsourcing the process to an expert can be a great way to get an effective process in place.

Outsourcing your accounts receivable management can help to streamline the process and make sure you keep on top of your debtors. Working with a bookkeeper on your accounts receivable process will help you with:

  • Drafting quotes to potential customers,
  • Managing deposits for jobs,
  • Raising interim and final invoices,
  • Managing debtors and chasing late payments.

Outsourced to a professional, a proper accounts receivable process will help you to keep the cash rolling in while you focus on serving your customers and doing the things you love.

4. Outsource Your Accounts Payable Management

Keeping on top of all of your accounts payable can be a bit of a mission. You don’t want the accounts departments of your suppliers to be getting in touch with you all the time, its just not good business.

Most business owners seem to fall into one of two categories with their payables. You either avoid them and pay them in big batches once a month, or you pay them as soon as they come in. Neither option is desirable and both are bad for cashflow in different ways.

The best approach with your payables is to simply pay them when they are due. You expect your invoices to be paid on your terms. You should pay your suppliers bills on their terms.

Follow a simple process:

  • Review each bill you receive for accuracy and payment terms.
  • Record the bills as you review them into your accounting system.
  • Plan payment dates and set up batches in advance.
  • Set a certain day each week to process batch payments.
  • Send a remittance after making payment.
  • Allocate and reconcile payments in a timely manner.

5. Outsource Your Software Implementation

Software is a great tool to improve your business efficiency. However, for the automation that software offers to have the best benefit, it has to be implemented properly. Unless you’re an IT and implementation expert, it may be best to get someone in to help walk you through the process and make sure it goes off without a hitch.

There are a number of tech savvy professionals that you can use to help you select and implement software solutions. Selecting the right solutions is the first important step. Implementing properly is the make-or-break step. The overall change management process will also be able to overseen by the implementation team. Effective change management can help to avoid issues with your team having to learn new systems and processes.

Implementation experts are also going to be able to train you and your team on the software your are putting in place. Their end to end solutions will help to make what can be a nightmare into a smooth process that boosts your bottom line.

6. Outsource Your Email Management

More and more communication is happening electronically. Getting some help with your emails can help to free up a lot of your day.

A virtual assistant can help to manage your emails, delete spam and filter out the most important communications that require your attention. This means that when you jump into your emails, you’ll only have to deal with the most important communications form customers and suppliers.

7. Outsource Your Marketing Management

Marketing is the life blood of your business. Even successful and established businesses need to undertake at least some marketing to maintain their market position. If you are looking to grow, marketing is even more important.

The marketing activities you can outsource vary from your graphic design through to your Google Adwords management and everything in between.

Get in touch with a few suppliers of these services. It’s important that you find someone who thoroughly understands your business so that they can easily and seamlessly communicate with your target market and have the greatest benefit to you.

8. Outsource Your Social Media Management

Social media is a total time-suck. An hour can disappear in the blink of an eye. This is what makes it a really good task to outsource to a professional.

Getting a professional to handle your social media can help you to avoid the time-suck. You’ll be able to keep up regular posting, engage with your customers and deal with everyone in a personal manner, all while focusing fully on your business.

9. Outsource Your Copywriting

Getting a professional to handle your copywriting can be a real benefit. From SEO to blogs and proofreading, a professional copywriter can have a number of benefits to your business. They will also free up a lot of time for you to focus on value adding activities in your business.

We recommend you get in touch with the team at Spotty Lizard to have a chat about your copywriting needs.

10. Outsource Your Cleaning

Cleaning is one of the main things we recommend business owners outsource. Its a great way to relieve a weight off your shoulders by getting rid of a task you probably hate. Its an outsourced activity that has a great benefit to you personally and professionally as its something that wastes a lot of time and energy and is something that almost no one enjoys doing. The added benefit is that office cleaning is fully deductible for tax purposes while getting your home cleaned can be a part of your use of home claim if you work from home.

It doesn’t have to be business related tasks that you outsource. Anything that helps to make your life easier will free you up to focus on your business and the things you actually enjoy doing.

If you are keen to discuss the things you could outsource in your business or life, have a chat with an MBP Business Support Advisor.

A business mentor can help you take your business to new heights: but only if you choose the right one. From offering advice, support and a listening ear, business mentors understand and really ‘get it’ when it comes to the struggles a business owner faces. Like everything though, all business mentors are different, with varying strengths, experiences and interests. Therefore, choosing the right business mentor becomes your first task in your search for business support.

What is a Business Mentor?

Business mentors are experienced business professionals who have made the decision to give back to newbie (or relatively new) business owners. They’ve been where you are now, understand the ups and downs of business life and want to help you develop your business.

A great business mentor will aim to:

  • Build a longterm relationship
  • Share their experience and knowledge
  • Support you
  • Offer new ways of doing and looking at things
  • Introduce you to their business network
  • Analyse where your business is now and identify where you want it to be
  • Help you clarify your business goals and objectives
  • Assist with business planning
  • Offer solutions to solve business-related problems
  • Provide constructive feedback

Many people have heard of Business Mentors New Zealand, which are a not-for-profit organisation which pairs up volunteer mentors with mentees. They work with clients throughout the country and it’s fair to say are the most well-known mentoring organisation. Many new or developing business owners have used their service with great success, but there are other options which can provide a service which is as good or even better.

Our team of business advisors can also provide business mentoring services. The benefit of choosing us is that we can provide a more in-depth and overarching service, including:

  • Working with you to write and assess your business plan
  • Help you to create your businesses core values
  • Improve your bookkeeping and accounting practices
  • Assist with an organisational review
  • KPI coaching
  • Business coaching services

Let’s now take a look at the reasons why you should work with a business mentor this year.

Why Should I Work With a Business Mentor?

A business mentor will not do the work for you. They’re not going to tell you what to do either, but rather make suggestions based upon their experiences and knowledge. This offers you plenty of benefits, including:

  • Reducing the level of risk you face when making decisions
  • Helping you focus your attention on the details which really matter
  • Challenging you to step outside of your comfort zone
  • Holding you accountable for your decisions by setting and following up on goals and milestones
  • Support you to leverage a range of networking opportunities
  • Being a sounding board for new and rehashed ideas
  • Helping you to step back and take another view of your business
  • Assist with understanding the legal and tax obligations of running a business
  • Providing a fresh perspective
  • Helping to implement business changes
  • Support with marketing ideas and implementation

A business mentor helps to stimulate new ideas and support you as you implement them. They are someone who really ‘gets’ what you are going through, having been there and done that themselves. Providing a service which cannot be offered by well-meaning friends and family, they are highly valuable business professionals – if you choose the right one.

Key Questions to Ask When Choosing a Business Mentor

When using the Business Mentors New Zealand service, you are matched with a mentor of their choosing, not yours. While this can and has worked successfully in the past, it doesn’t always. Other than the application fee, their service is free though, which is a big plus.

On the other hand, when you have the option to choose between different mentors or different companies which offer mentoring services, you hold the power. You are able to pick a mentor who has the specific skills needed within your industry and has a personality you feel comfortable working with.  You’ll also have more say in what areas you receive help with, when and where you meet, as well as choosing the level of support and assistance you require.

Therefore choosing a mentor can be a bit like holding an interview. You want to do enough research before you approach them to ensure they will potentially meet your needs, as well as ask questions to them directly. Some of the key questions to ask a potential business mentor include:

  • What is something you wish you should have done differently? Why?
  • What used to be your biggest weakness?
  • What are you most proud of?
  • How do you stay connected within your industry?
  • What could you offer me and my business?
  • What type of communication would you prefer we used?
  • How would you move my business to the next level?
  • How do you rebound from failure?
  • What did you like best when you were just starting out in business?
  • Where do you find inspiration from?
  • How do you balance work and home life?
  • What key values do you hold close?

The answers to these questions will help you gauge more of an understanding of who they are and what they can offer. That way you can pick the mentor who is the best fit for you and your business.

Tips On Finding the Best Business Mentor for You & Your Business

A great business mentor will be around for a while, making spending time picking the right one well worth your time. To help you select the best possible mentor, here are some tips to help you:

  • Be sure you understand the role of a business mentor – know that they will be able to support and provide direction to you, but will not do the work for you.
  • Take time to find the right one – it is well worth spending time researching and then interviewing prospective mentors. Feeling comfortable with your decision is vital, as you will relying on their advice and skills. Make sure you feel you can trust them.
  • Choose a compatible person – this will be someone with similar values to you, who you are happy to work with, find their personality works well with yours and is totally committed to building a positive working relationship to help your business succeed.

Then let’s talk money. If you are paying for the services of a business mentor or advisor, understand what the costs will be. Are you charged per hour, meeting, month or each time you contact them? If you are signing a contract, be sure to check out the clauses regarding the cessation of services too.

Our team provides business development services to people like you all throughout New Zealand. Whether you want to visit our Taupo office, fill up our email inboxes or meet regularly online, we’ll work in whatever ways suit you best.  Get in touch with us now and together we’ll help you move your business to where you want it to be.

A business is only successful when it has the best people, processes and data. Without accurate, reliable data, a business has no solid base on which to make any informed decisions regarding sales, marketing or people. This is why making a decision to outsource your bookkeeping can be a beneficial and profitable thing to do.

Accurate Data Relies on Accurate Bookkeeping

Bookkeeping is so much more than just running invoices and clicking ‘OK’ to reconcile transactions. Many business owners like to do their bookkeeping themselves, they often shouldn’t. Most business owners are no more expert at their bookkeeping than an accountant or bookkeeper is at building a house or fixing a car.

Bookkeeping feels easy. It feels like you’ve got your hands on your business finances. It feels like you’re saving money by doing it yourself.

In our experience, it’s best to outsource your bookkeeping to an expert.

Why You Need to Outsource Your Bookkeeping to an Expert

Better Data, Better Decisions

Bad bookkeeping leads to bad data. When you are looking to make informed decisions for your business, you need the best data possible. When you make decisions based bad data, you make bad decisions.

Outsourcing Your Bookkeeping is Cheaper than DIY

Yes, you have to pay for bookkeeping. However, a Certified Bookkeeper is quicker than you. This means far fewer hours spent by outsourcing your bookkeeping. You can then better invest your time in the activities that you love and that increase your turnover and profitability.

Expertly Implemented Automation can Streamline Your Business

When set up properly, there is a lot of great modern tech solutions that can help to automate your bookkeeping and streamline your business. An expert bookkeeper can help to highlight solutions that can best work for your business and implement them properly to automate parts of your business. Automation drives accuracy and helps to keep your data up to date.

Your Outsourcing Bookkeeping Questions Answered

Surely my software does my bookkeeping for me?

Software like Xero is an awesome tool for bookkeeping. But that is all it is, a tool. Bookkeeping (and accounting) is a lot easier with the use of tools like Xero. However, there is still a real need for quality control and insights from experts.

Software can be a dangerous and messy trap for DIY Bookkeepers. The ‘OK’ button in Xero, for example, can be addictive and misleadingly easy. Just because the ‘OK’ button has popped up doesn’t mean that the suggestions that the software is making are correct. Modern accounting software has good and improving AI ability to learn. However, it learns from its users so it and its suggestions are only ever as good as its users. If the users are making errors, the software will suggest that you continue making these same errors. This saves you time but compounds your errors and can create quite an expensive mess to clean up.

How can outsourcing my bookkeeping be cheaper than doing it myself?

It might seem impossible that paying someone else can actually be cheaper than doing your bookkeeping yourself. An expert, Certified Bookkeeper can often actually save you both time and money while boosting your bottom line.

Your time is one of the most important assets you have. Your time is best spent being invested on productive, value adding activities. Bookkeeping is not a good use of your time. A Certified Bookkeeper is going to be a lot quicker than you, meaning a fraction of the time it takes you to do the same tasks.

Let’s run some numbers. In 2019, the average salary in New Zealand was around $76,397.00. This translates to about $39.00 an hour. As a business owner you should be aiming to be above average to compensate you for the added risk of being self employed, but lets stick with the average. We find that a professional bookkeeper is capable of processing data two to three times faster than a DIY bookkeeper and with no errors. This highlights an average DIY time cost of $97.50 for each hour of professional bookkeeping time. The errors that DIY bookkeepers often make are generally fixed by accountants at end of year at accountants rates. If we assume three hours of accountant clean-up per year, this is likely to be around $345.00 at least.

Most small business owners can save at least 20 hours of admin time a month by outsourcing their bookkeeping. This equates to $808.75 a month in average DIY cost per month. If the work is then done on average 2.5x faster by a Certified Bookkeeper then the cost of outsourcing is likely to be roughly $520.00 a month, plus gst. This equates to savings of at least $288.75 per month, or $3,465.00 per year.

These savings can be even greater with MBP. Our bookkeeping service pricing decreases the longer the work takes us. Our entry-level plan to outsource your bookkeeping can help you to save an extra $80.00 a month plus gst.

The added value from having quality, reliable data to make informed decisions is priceless.

Why would a bookkeeper do themselves out of a job by automating my business admin?

Some don’t. You shouldn’t be working with these bookkeepers. It is important that you are working with a tech savvy bookkeeper who can advise and leverage technology to streamline your business.

It is also important that your bookkeeper is able to comprehend your overall business strategy. With this understanding, they will be able to best advise on the solutions to best automate your admin and free up your time to move towards your goals quicker.

What is automation?

Modern software like Hubdoc, Zapier, Receipt Stash, Fergus, and many others can make manual data entry a thing of the past. This saves you time, money and improves the accuracy and reliability of your data. These software solutions are like your silent assistants, working quietly for you 24/7. They help to keep your business books tidy and up to date and streamline the processes for your bookkeeper.

In order to benefit from automation, you need to select the right solutions and implement them properly. An expert MBP Business Support Advisor will be able to help you identify and implement the right solutions for you. No solution is set-and-forget.

Outsource Your Bookkeeping for Better Data and Reliable, Accurate Bookkeeping

To find out more about the benefits of outsourcing your bookkeeping to an expert, get in touch with the expert ICNZB Certified Bookkeepers at MBP. The great thing about working with MBP is that the longer it takes us, the less you pay. We therefore have a vested interest in working for you in the best, quickest way possible. Our fixed price bookkeeping packages start from just 45 an hour plus gst.

One of our Business Support Advisors will be in touch with you for a free consultation. They will review your business processes and identify activities you can outsource to boost your bottom line. They will also look for opportunities to automate processes using leading technology solutions. Click here to book in a chat with an advisor at a time that is convenient for you.