Is it better to buy or lease a company vehicle?

If you need a car to operate your business, you may wonder whether it makes more sense to buy or lease a company vehicle. On the one hand, if your business owns the car you’ll have a long-term asset and may qualify for more tax deductions. On the other hand, buying a car is a huge expense and monthly lease payments tend to be lower than car loan payments; they…  Read more

Inheritances: 15 things that might cause a fight over a will

Article published with special thanks to Janine Starks (except for ‘Special Note’ section). OPINION: As the old gag goes “money isn’t everything, but it sure keeps the kids in touch”. Inheritances seem so simple. You make a will, you die and any wealth you didn’t spend gets split between your family, friends and charities as you see fit. Yet the word “inheritance” is loaded with emotion, because you decide who wins and…  Read more

Don’t let heart surgery be your business exit strategy.

Succession Planning & Business Exit Workshop II. Our first workshop was a great success – but we had more interest than seats – so we’re doing it again! Many businesses represent the owners lifetimes work – and the price they sell for dictates the quality of retirement that can be achieved. Every business should be sale ready. You never know when you may need to exit in a hurry –…  Read more

Two important reasons to have an up-to-date will

  No one likes talking about their death. This fact makes updating or even writing a will an unpleasant experience. Often, people put off thinking about their will for another day, assuming they have a lot of time to deal with it. Having an updated will, though, is vital for ensuring others follow your wishes after you die. It makes the process of sorting through your life much easier and…  Read more

International Tax

International Tax Obligations More of our transactions are done over the internet with less concern about where the items/services/work is coming from and more about providing what your customers need at a competitive rate. However, the Inland Revenue is concerned that the tax man is getting what they are owed, and international tax is no exception. It pays to know where you stand with your particular setup. This blog is…  Read more

Financial Planning – What it is and how to do it

To many people, financial planning sounds like something for the very rich. The wealthy take their piles of money to someone who tells them where to invest it so they can make even more. The rest of us focus on saving what we can and paying off debt and hoping we become financially stable. What though, is financial planning really about? It is about having long and short-term financial goals…  Read more

Growth Hacks for Small Business

Small business growth hacks are great; they are affordable ways to nurture steady, sustainable growth. And deciding on an online marketing plan can be overwhelming. With time in short supply, the key is to find one or two growth strategies that will get results at minimal cost. These proven growth hacks offer business owners a few simple, cost-effective ideas for attracting new customers, increasing brand awareness, and ultimately, getting more sales.…  Read more

Great reasons to shorten your workweek

Okay, there probably aren’t a lot of people who need to be convinced that a shorter workweek is a great idea. Small business owners, however, might be on the list of people who need a little encouraging. After all, every day they take off could mean a longer day to make up for the missed hours. There are some very real benefits to working a shorter week and those benefits…  Read more

17 ways to get repeat business

Q. I am finding it tough. Sales are slowing but I can’t figure out exactly why. No-one seems to be unhappy with what we do, and no competitor has entered the market.  People don’t repeat their purchases. They seem to be buying less often and in lower numbers. Your existing customers are your most valuable asset. Repeat business is easier and far less expensive to get an existing customer to…  Read more

10 Productivity Tools to Help You Do More at Work

In today’s fast-paced world, everyone wants to be more productive. Fortunately, there is an ever-increasing number of tools, many of them available online and across multiple devices, that promise to help us achieve our goals. The challenge then becomes how to know not just which tools will live up to their promise but which tools are right for our business. Choosing the best productivity tools depends on a number of factors,…  Read more

5 Cheaper Ways to Advertise Your Business

Advertising is an essential component of success for any business. Proper advertising ensures more sales, but if you choose the wrong options, it can be a very expensive proposition. Let’s look at five ways you can reduce your business’s advertising expenditure without affecting your results. Referrals A referral program encourages your current customers to send their friends to your site, and to earn rewards for their efforts. It’s a great…  Read more

3 Mistakes That Strangle Growing Businesses

Businesses want to grow and help a larger audience, but too many make mistakes that cripple their growth. Even worse, they keep repeating them! Don’t do the same; avoid the blunders outlined below. Mistake 1: Hiring Toxic Personalities Businesses hire more staff as they grow. But if they expand too quickly, they will feel pressure to fill positions on their team, even if the job candidates have a few personality…  Read more

Tips for choosing a business credit card

Why might you need to choose a business credit card? It can be a challenge for new business owners to find a bank that will approve them for even a small business loan. Most will see a young company as too high a risk to qualify for corporate lending. A credit card can serve as a short term solution for small scale financing, offering entrepreneurs a “foot in the door”…  Read more

Protect Yourself and Your Data – Proactive Steps for Living Safely in the Digital Age

How can you protect yourself in our digital world? These days your personal data is everywhere, and that information is valuable to marketers, hackers and everyone in between. If you want to prevent the unauthorized use of your personal information, you need to take a proactive approach to protecting yourself and your identity. You can no longer afford to be blasé about your data security – if you are not…  Read more

4 ways to make your business easier to sell

Perhaps you’d always planned to build a thriving business to eventually sell for a tidy sum – or maybe for unexpected personal reasons it’s best to let your company go sooner rather than later. No matter what the reason for selling your business, experts agree: it’s best to be prepared well in advance as it can take years to complete a successful sale. These four tips will help you get…  Read more

Is business insurance worthwhile?

If you’re like many small business owners, your business insurance might not be adequate in the case of a fire, flood, natural disaster, theft, or personal injury. Often home-based business owners assume they are covered under their homeowner’s policy. Other entrepreneurs, working long hours and pulled in too many directions, may never get around to talking to an insurance agent about their business. If you’ve been procrastinating on business insurance,…  Read more

Lean canvas – a new way to do business planning

Few business owners have extra time to devote to a lengthy business planning process. But every entrepreneur needs a solid blueprint to get their business successfully up and running. The Lean Canvas—designed by Sparks59 CEO and Running Lean author, Ash Maurya—is a simple, effective planning tool that helps entrepreneurs assess and test their ideas before investing too deeply in building a product. For the small business owner, the Lean Canvas…  Read more

Yellow pages vs Facebook ads – should you cancel your print listing?

If you’re a small business owner with a modest marketing budget, every dollar you spend has to be worth the investment. For decades—before the web, Google, and social media transformed the nature of marketing—buying an ad in the local Yellow Pages was a reliable way for people to find a business. The fact is, these days most consumers across the globe use the web and review sites like Yelp, TripAdvisor,…  Read more

Encouraging word of mouth

If you have any doubt that word-of-mouth referrals are important, consider these recent stats: According to Neilson, 92% of shoppers trust recommendations from friends and family more than traditional advertising 20% to 50% of consumer purchases are made because of a word of mouth recommendation 81% of buyers are influenced by their friends’ social media posts. So how can you encourage positive word of mouth for your small business? Try…  Read more

Wealth the Warren Buffett way – a short guide to value investing

Wealth through value investing is the stock selection strategy famously used by business magnate and third wealthiest person in the world, Warren Buffett, whose total net worth exceeds $91.5 billion. Developed in the 1930s by Columbia University professor and economist, Ben Graham, wealth through value investing involves screening securities to find stocks undervalued relative to peers and the market. Stocks are then assessed for their intrinsic value, determined by a…  Read more