Why you should have Xero in your business

It’s so important to have an accounting system in your business. It doesn't matter how small you are or how big you are, everything is made easier by having an accounting system.

I am Xero certified because I love it, and I highly recommend Xero. I find QuickBooks really clunky, so if you're choosing between QuickBooks and Xero, I'd say Xero every time.

Why do I need an accounting system?

Having an accounting system will save you lots of time in the long run. It will also save you time in the short term by having all your invoices sent from the system, help you collect money via GoCardless and seamlessly match it all. Plus If you have an accounting system like Xero, you can connect up your bank, Stripe and PayPal. This makes it very easy to keep track of your numbers, because every business needs to know what their numbers are.

You can also take photos of your receipts when you are out and about (when that can happen again!) and then all receipts and invoices are in one place...

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Which product or service makes you the most money in your business?

Which product or service makes you the most money in your business? Do you even know this?

If you have lots and lots of products and services in your business, you need to really think about focusing that down, and knowing which ones really make you money. But do you know how much money they each make?

If you offer one to one consultancy, is that actually worth doing? If you do a course, is that worth doing?

I want you to think about how which products and services in your business make the most money. And then you can make some conscious decisions about the best way to manage your business.

Revenue information

Start by looking at the split of your revenue.  Look at your revenue for the last 12 months ideally, but whatever you can pull out.  Look at how much you made from each of your products, how much time they took you take you to deliver each time.

Let's say you have one to one consultancy. Look at how much one to one time you actually spent and how much revenue you...

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What is a power hour and why should you have one?

I think all service businesses (and some product ones too!) should have a power hour as part of their portfolio. It's a chance for people to work with you at relatively low cost, and you can get a result in an hour for the client.

It also deters time wasters who just want something for free.

What is a power hour?

A power hour is an hour of your time where you solve a specific problem for that client. So for me, it is pricing a specific thing, or increasing your profit in a certain area. I can't solve all of your pricing problems in an hour, so it's best to pick a topic and be really clear about what you can (and can't) cover in an hour.

Why do I need a power hour?

Do you often get people "tyre kicking" or saying "can I pick your brains about....."? It can be hard to say no, but you can end up spending a lot of time for free and giving away lots of your hard won experience by doing this. And people will push your boundaries all over the place if you let them!

Is it difficult to set...

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Do you use value based pricing?

Do you price by the hour? Or do you price based on your hourly rate?

Pricing by the hour really undermines how efficient you are and how quickly you can get a result. If you can get the same result in less time, why should you be paid less for it?

You have to work out what the value is to the client of your work. For example, if you are in HR, can you deal with employee disputes quickly and efficiently with minimum stress on each side? That's worth a lot of money to a client.

Are you saving someone time, money, or providing peace of mind? An accountant might save all three, but the main pain is making sure you are paying the right tax and not missing anything.

Think about the problem you solve and what results you get for the client. Why should they hire you and not someone else?

Ask clients different questions when you talk to them. Not about what they want doing but about why they need it - why now? Why you? What are they looking to get?

This is tricky to start with but with...

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Apps to make you more productive

I talked in my previous blog about productivity and in this one I want to talk about more tools you could use in your business to make you more productive

 

Toggl - perfect for tracking your time on projects and knowing how long things take you to deliver a project or retainer. The free version is fine, but I use the paid version to give me billable vs non billable amounts.

 

Asana - I have everything in Asana these days - documents, workflows, projects and I love it. I can set due dates, share information and tasks with people and generally organise my life. Amy Mitchell has a great free training on getting started. Get it here.

 

Kajabi - I love Kajabi because it houses my website, courses and email marketing in one place. When I was looking at it, I thought it was expensive (I pay around £130 per month) but because I was paying for web hosting and an email list separately, plus having somewhere to host my courses, it wasn't much...

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5 ways to improve your productivity

We all want to improve productivity in our business but how can we do this? It's so easy to get overwhelmed in your business (it happens to me at least monthly!) but I've been putting in some things to help

  1. Use the right tools

  2. Outsource some of the work

  3. Use workflows & canned emails

  4. Time blocking

  5. Boundaries

Tools to use

Having the right software tools in place in your business makes a huge difference. I recommend the following ones that I have used successfully in my business

Toggl for time tracking

Asana for task and project management

Kajabi  for email lists, membership sites

Smarterqueue for posting to social media

Xero for your accounts

Canva for social posts

Calendly for getting people to book with you.

Zapier for linking up different apps

More on this in next week's blog post.

 

Outsource the work

Another thing to do is to outsource the work. The easiest way to do this is to outsource part of the client work you have. Or outsource a small...

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How to look after yourself - Guest Blog by Wendy Griffith

Uncategorized Dec 08, 2020

How to look after yourself, especially when you have no time.

Time for me?  How will I manage that?  This is a subject close to my heart, as we all get wrapped up in our work, family life, commitments, appointments, and we end up feeling as though there isn’t’ any time left for us.  

I have definitely struggled in the past with trying to meet everyone’s expectations resulting in feeling burnout and being over stressed.

And I know I’m not alone.  This is something I hear a lot from my busy mums’ community. 

So how do we make simple adjustments to our lives that we will stick to? 

Whenever I find myself feeling overwhelmed, it’s usually because I’ve over committed, and I haven’t been managing my time effectively.  This inevitably means there’s “no time” for self-care in amongst all the other demands of the day.

Recognising what changes to make isn’t always easy when you feel...

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5 ways to stop discounting your services

So today I want to talk to you about five ways to avoid discounting when talking to a client. 

Picture the scenario, you send a proposal to a client and the client says they can't afford that. And the And you immediately offer to discount with no reason to do so.  Instead, take a deep breath and do one of the following 5 things:

  1. Ask the client what the most critical thing that they need doing is.  If they are a new client, it might be that they haven't seen what you can do yet, they might be worried that they're spending money they won't get back. And so ask them what their most critical items are, and which ones you can start with. You could also start with what the budget is, and this would guide you as to what to start with and how they can get a result with a smaller budget.
  2. Packaging your services.  I believe this gives people more options, plus makes it clearer.  It avoids awkward pricing conversations before they even start, so having conversations...
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Do you have good boundaries?

Growing your business into a six or seven-figure business is something that takes discipline, focus and boundaries. The problem is COVID came along and changed our working habits, our routines and our focus! So do you still have good boundaries in place, or is it something you need to work on a little more?

Those good boundaries have become a little blurred!

COVID has really blurred the boundaries between work and home for many of us. It’s something that many initially saw as a short-term problem, but the reality has been quite different. For parents, in particular, childcare plans have changed or been interrupted, as you are now seen as being ‘at home’. This means you’re often seen as available and able to juggle work and home life.

Working from home often means it’s tempting to be always in work mode. The boundary between your working hours and downtime has also blurred, further compounded by the changing environment and working patterns of others.

...

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Should you run Black Friday discounts?

Black Friday sales have been around since the 1960s. But it wasn’t until Amazon bought it to the UK in 2010, that it really took off. Although Black Friday (and Cyber Monday) sales do lead to an upsurge in sales, many online business owners are asking if they should run Black Friday discounts too.

Because a lot of smaller businesses tend to only take part in Black Friday, through a fear of missing out.

And personally, I don’t think you should run Black Friday discounts.

As a business owner, you’re not going to lose out on anything, by not having a Black Friday discount. And let’s face it, there’s no need to discount for the sake of it. 

Know when Black Friday discounts work for your business

Black Friday discounts can work if you have something specific to promote. Your customers are primed to go shopping during Black Friday, and many will hold off until this day, to ensure they get the best deal.

And this is good news for you if you want to...

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