What makes a business successful?

 

Ideas to help you succeed in business

Business Success Tips

 

Short messages to help you run your business (and your life) better.
After all you spend 61% of your awake time in your job. If you are not a success, life will be less than optimal.

Dissolving Self-Sabotaging Beliefs

 

Many owners in business come very close to success and yet somehow do not cross the finishing line. I have observed this with clients many times and I have wondered is there a reason. On the reverse others seem to effortlessly achieve goals.

Sometimes it is simple a belief factor, that you are worthy of success. Yes, not taking shortcuts that will cause you grief is part of it, having your “t’s” crossed and “I’s” dotted are a must. But I must say that feelings of self worth play a key part.

To solve this is actually simple. Firstly recognise that maybe your belief’s and upbringing are holding you back. Secondly do some research on why you have those beliefs. Is it a teacher or a parent that said you will never amount to anything. Recognition is the first step to dissolving the issue. Then back up your belief that you are worthy by again researching others who you consider are worthy and aligning yourself with them. Affirm your self-worth to a point where that if they can do it, so can you. Surround yourself with positive people and don’t allow negativity to influence yours beliefs.

Treat self education as a business. After all what better way to spend your time than educating yourself on how to be a success. Business is a key part of life, being successful is also a key part. So don’t leave it to chance.

Removing Clutter – Why It Holds You Back

 

It is important to have a clear focus on your work and what you need to do. Clutter makes that focus harder. By clutter I mean all those superfluous things that are hanging around that take your focus away from the things that are important. Most people that know me, know that I am a tidy person. I like order., not because I am a tidy freak, but because I do so many things that I could never be on top of everything if I did not have order.

By removing clutter everything, I remove everything that is not relevant to the task at hand.

It may come as a surprise but many years ago filing cabinets were invented. Computer have directory structures to organise and store data. But many people still have files everywhere, can’t find saved documents and spend more time stressing than actually doing the job.

I once knew a client that had a desk so cluttered you could not see the top of the desk. She said she knew where every piece of paper was. Imagine carrying around all that information in your mind. Why not focus on more important things like getting more customers, advertising or planning.

You can’t drive a motor car from the back seat. You can’t drive from point A to point B looking in the rear view mirror all the time. Look forward, take the wheel and focus on the road ahead, not the road just traveled.

How To Solve Procrastination – Do More In Less Time

 

The hardest part of doing anything, particularly something new, is actually getting started.

Where do you begin? Many people I know talk about writing a book, but never actually do it. The key is to start, start anywhere, just start. The same applies to anything you do, the dishes, the bike ride, the business plan. The greatest amount of time is spent on the pre-dawn chatter rather than the action itself. The thing that holds you back is the mental dialogue that goes on in your mind. Maybe this, maybe that. When you actually start the mental chatter goes away. You now focus on the task.

So the answer to procrastination is often not to think about what may go right or wrong, just start some action, a doing function. I find this works well particularly with something I am not sure about.

Why Are You In Business?

 

A business is meant to create life, yet why in many cases does it destroy the life it was meant to create. How can the dream of being a business owner turn into the nightmare you currently have. Doing the same things over and over again, for less and less money, no time off and destroying your family life.

If the above is you then in reality you do not have a business you have a job and there is a substantial difference between the two. Running a business means organising and managing others, not doing all the work yourself. If you have the belief that no-one can do things as well as you can then you are wrong. It is simply not true. What is true is that you don’t know how to select the right staff and train them to help you. If this is you, then your skills are limited to what the business does (plumber carpenter, electrician).

If you want to get off the mouse wheel of doing the same thing over and over again then something must change.

You guessed it, the change is you. You need to educate yourself on how to run a business so that it will give you the life you want rather than take it away from you.

An Important Key To Being A Success

 

I have said this many times, but it is worth repeating. What you do as a job consumes over 71% of your awake time. If you do not like what you do for a living then your life will be less than optimal. In fact it will be a misery. This will reflect on every aspect of your live including your family life.

I cannot stress how important it is to love what you do. In fact, if you don’t, I strongly urge you to change vocation. In my book, Business Bullseye, I devoted an entire chapter on “How to work out if you are in the wrong job”. Some of the feedback from those who have read it has been life changing.

We all love different things. I love creating order out of mayhem. I love helping business owners be more successful, pay less tax, and when requires finding that rabbit to pull out of the hat. I encourage you to find your passion and then go for it. That is when work is fun and you never work a day in your life.

Appreciation – The Key To A Successful Business

 

A management survey has revealed that 61% of employees leave because they feel they are not appreciated by their boss. The same applies to customers, 46% of customers that left, when surveyed, revealed they left because of poor service.

In the 70’s, I attended a seminar by Winston Marsh that was delivered to accountants in practice. At that seminar he stressed the “love your client” rule. Ring your clients and show them that you care. Don’t just ring when a bill is due, or you need to ask a question, but ring them from time to time just to say hello. For no real reason. Also if you see something in the paper that affects their business, tear it out, affix a hand written note and send it to them.

In today’s age of emails, texting, and fast communication we sometimes loose sight of the human element. I need to look at between 50 and 100 emails per day and answer around 30. And that is without doing any work.

Businesses are run by people. People have an emotional side that is often not rational. Decisions are often made based on this irrationality. Hence sometimes we need to interact as human beings rather than machines.

As an accountant, I sometimes have trouble with this, due to the analytical nature of what I do. But is it necessary. If you love what you do, are passionate about it, then “loving your customer” is easy. If you have trouble with this then maybe you are in the wrong business.

Hidden Treasures In Your Business

 

Every business you talk to seems to want/need more cash. Whether it is to fund new investment, provide additional working capital, undertake research and development or acquire another business. There is always a need.

When seeking this cash, two main sources are usually highlighted first – borrow from a bank (overdraft, loan, invoice discounting etc) or bring in a new investor.

However, as we all know from hard-bitten experience, both banks and investors can bring their own onerous costs and demands. And the cost to the business can be too high. Interest, loan covenants, improved reporting requirements, legal compliance issues, shareholder agreements, investor relations demands and more. Some business owners have lost control of their companies or have their decisions vetoed by new investor directors. Working within these companies can become very challenging (and unpleasant) indeed. Of course, there is one source of cash that does not introduce such onerous burdens. Internal funding. A review of the current business cashflow and the balance sheet of most enterprises can unlock a wealth of cash for the business and may even make the need for external funding unnecessary. There may could be a treasure chest sitting right under the business owner’s nose!

Debtors – Actively chasing up all outstanding debts, review and improve credit terms (eg reduce them from 30 to 14 days net). By managing debtors better good finance teams can bring thousands into the business.

Creditors and Suppliers – Reviewing creditor terms. Will the suppliers give extended terms? Can the inventory be purchased on consignment?

Costs – Continuously reviewing where the cash is being spent. Can these costs be trimmed? Make you contractors more accountable by telling them how much has been allowed for a job, and request a quote that does not allow your costs to blow out.

Banking – What interest rates are earned on the working capital? Is the bank paying 6.5% interest or less than 1% on the account? And what about those bank charges! Can they be reduced? Sometimes it’s just a matter of asking.

And of course Accounting & bookkeeping – can you do more to reduce these costs. Is there a cost benefit for these services?

How To Achieve More Of What You Want

 

Many people ask how do you get the time to write articles, attend networking, and also run a business. Well, the answer is simple. Don’t waste time on things that are not important (to you). Too often we spend our time doing what others think is important and not enough on what is important to you. Be intelligent about what you do and don’t waste your time being reactive to others’ needs if they are not aligned to yours. We all have the same amount of hours in a day, yet some people seem to get more done. Why is that? The answer is they prioritise and do things accordingly these priorities.

Want more in your life? Whether you want more time, more money or more holidays, if you want to fit more in, you need to take something out by prioritising what is important to you.

How do you prioritise? That requires having a plan (or goal) for both your life and your business. And then do those things that are aligned to those plans.

Pay Less Tax

 

Over the last year with the new clients to our practice, I am surprised as to how many clients were paying more tax than they needed to. Simple things were missed and in one case a client in the prior year overpaid tax in excess of $50,000. He felt like suing his prior accountant for being slack. We got it back, but the lesson is that it pays to look. If you have a feeling that things are not right you are probably right. You should trust your gut feeling.

It is not how much money you make that is important, it is how much you keep.

The lead up to the end of financial year is a time when you can really plan. Now is the time to look at your interim results to ensure the unexpected is not around the corner. If you have a benevolent view on life, and wish to contribute to consolidated revenue then read no further.

However if you want to plan for your own retirement and be in control, it pays to check. Give us a call if you need help.

Success According To Albert Einstein

 

I recently listened to a DVD titled The Mind of Einstein where Einstein explained the formula for success. He had a habit of defining everything in accordance with a mathematical formula. He said success = x + y + z, where x = work, y = play and z = keep your mouth shut.

Work means you need to be a hard worker and a good time manager.

You must play – have a hobby, take you mind off the day to day problems to give you perspective.

Keep your mouth shut – ask questions of others, listen to other people. Dale Carnegie in his famous book “How to Win Friends and Influence People” said when you are talking to people, the most important person to the other person is himself. The moral of the book was that you could make more friends in 5 minutes by becoming interested in others than you could make in 5 years of trying to get others interested in you. He stated two important money making facts – everybody’s favourite subject is themselves and the sweetest sound to anybody is their own name. So be a good listener.

There is an old saying – we have two eyes, two ears and one mouth. Communication should be in that proportion. If anyone in the world could have impressed you with their knowledge and intelligence it was Albert Einstein. Yet he was a good listener. He cared enough about people to listen to them, hear what they had to say, not to talk over their head, not to dominate the conversation with his intelligence. He asked questions, he listened to others and he shut up.

Do You Have Problems That Never Seem To Go Away?

 

We have all experienced this. We think we have solved something and then back it comes. I see it with clients all the time, they get up to date with the BAS and are travelling well. Then again they fall behind. Start losing money and fall right back to where they were initially. Oddly enough this is quite common.

The solution is in fact very simple. You have a lesson to learn and you haven’t learnt it. In other words you haven’t solved the initial problem, you have simply avoided it.

The only way to solve a problem is head on through it. Let me give you an example. Suppose you have a fear of public speaking. If this keeps coming up then you must solve it by actually confronting the fear. Let’s say it seems there is always events that you are requested to talk at, yet you keep turning them down. But you know this is a great opportunity to stand out, be a leader, show you care or express an opinion.

Recognise the problem and find a solution. Join toastmasters, use every opportunity to practice being on your feet. You will find in no time at all the fear will be gone. You have solved the problem.

Now let us go back to business. Suppose like many your business is see sawing from success to failure and back again. Then the problem is you. I have a saying I picked up from another accountant and that is that a fish stinks from the head down. As a business owner it is you that controls the business. If things are not working guess who is to blame. So go back to basics and find out why things are not working and find a solution. It is as simple as that.

You are the captain of your ship, take control of the rudder.

Confrontation – Why Most People Hate It

 

As I mentioned above the only way to handle a problem and that is front on. Maybe it is something to do with lessons to learn, but if you continue to avoid an issue, it just keeps coming back to haunt you. When a situation is fully resolved, you have a sense of relief. A little like a puff of smoke and the mental anguish is gone.

If a person is ill they must and do confront the problem. If there is a big rock in your driveway you handle it.

But confronting an angry or reactive person for a few minutes … best to avoid that, you think.

To have a viable and expanding business you need not only to have good people but you also need to get rid of those who are holding you back. I have observed that often people are reluctant to do so. A lack of confronting drags on to become a bigger problem. You work around it make excuses, help them at your cost in both time and money. It is a lack of confronting, an inability to handle emotions, and mis- emotions. Your ability to move forward is hampered by this wrong focus.. This inability makes you unable to face and handle many situations in life because you cannot confront the consequences of “people”.

You never quite see it like that at the time. The problem is something else, it’s the situation, it’s other people, it’s that particular person. It is what other people might think – so it’s the mob rule. It’s nothing to do with you. So you work around it, never quite handling it.  The problem is YOU. Your inability to stand firm in your own beliefs and desires. Your inability to be forceful, your inability to confront situations and move right through them. This is why people who spend half their life studying academically, end up working for those who never went to university who started the business. One set of skills was much more important than the other. You be the judge on that.

The Strangest Secret

 

A survey was conducted of university students who were all asked what their ambitions were and where they expected to be financially by the time they reached 65. All 100% said they wanted to be financially secure, that they did not want to be dependent on welfare or a pension. The sad fact is that in reality, 4% were financially secure, 5% were still working because they could not afford to stop and 90% were broke and would need some form of financial assistance.

Why is it that for every 100 people only 5 will make the grade and achieve their ambitions. This is a truly sad fact of life and society today. Dreams shattered, being dependent on some-else to even exist.

We learn to make a living by the time we are 25, yet by the time we are 65 we haven’t learned to be financially independent. We are still depending on others. Why? Because we conform. We conform to the wrong percentage or group of people. Why? Because people simply don’t think. What is the key, well it is simple? Take charge, set some goals, and act. We all have goals but unfortunately to most people, they are only dreams. You must make a decision and act to put those goals into action. The word “decide” comes from the Latin decidere or to cut. In other words to stop doing one thing and do something new.

The strangest secret is that “You need to decide what you want to do, decide whether you will be a success or a failure”. Decide and act rather than follow the masses ….like a switched on a robot. People with goals succeed. People with goals have a spring in their step. People with goals constantly think about what they want. The Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius said, “a man’s life is what his thoughts make of it”.

I challenge you to consider what you think of day to day and you will see the reflection of those thoughts in the mirror of your life. Do you want to change the reflection, then change the thoughts.