Category Archives: Budgeting

EXAMINING THE VIBRANCY OF YOUR BUSINESS

EXAMINING THE VIBRANCY OF YOUR BUSINESS

Akin to a healthy body demanding routine checks and examinations, so too does a vibrant business in order for it to thrive.

No matter what phase your business is in, to keep it going you must examine its systems, pay attention to any ailments and prevent early attacks.

For any new business, the goals and system checks are relatively simple. Simply staying active and maintaining your sanity is a measure of accomplishment at this point in development.

The systems within any new business are very limited in the start-up stage.

Panalitix Pty Ltd, a business improvement and consultant entity, explain this is because there are usually only a handful of people working to increase capital, expand its cliental while at the same time trying to deliver a superior product.

Panalitix’s also describe the three most common causes of mortality at this stage of the business as being:

  • Atrophy—all capital and funds are exhausted, often due to the business being started underfunded
  • Brand Disregard— the marketplace has neglected to recognise your company’s product or service, as there is often discord between your branding and your company name
  • Stress—often the business owner has gone into business as a lifestyle choice not realising the implications and commitments required of running a successful business. All too often, the business owner wants to be the seller, the doer, and the book keeping all in one, which results in the business owner no longer able to handle the pressures of running a business resulting in sale or closure. The key message here is do what you do best and outsource the rest.
Why not call Murray Your Chartered Accountant and Accountability Partner at Insight CA on 09 3093222 or email murray@insightca.nz to commence your journey today

 

As your business evolves, basic survival is the next measure of success. However, hoovering on the edge of just making enough to survive is dangerous to anyone’s health, including a business. The systems and employees within this phase of the business are still limited, and while expenses are often covered, profit is marginal and cash flow can and should be projected.

Further, at this stage of the business, it is not uncommon for many businesses to get stuck, and failure to thrive is often attributed to lack of vision and professional financial assistance, insufficient funds, owner burnout and marketplace factors. It is these businesses that simply closedown when the owner has had enough or are unfortunately sold at a loss.

To prevent such demise, every business should endeavour to obtain optimal and vibrant health by training your business body, assessing and rigorously attacking the businesses weaknesses and making critical decisions, optimising the businesses strengths while simultaneously making critical decisions including how best to grow and expand your business and how to reinvest in its success.

To increase your business success and improve its potential of achieving optimum vibrancy constant examinations and monitoring of the business vital systems and procedures, will require constant monitoring.

Historically, Insight CA Limited has discovered that when business owners work with us to understand their business (specifically KPI’s, revenue, margin, overheads and cash in their business) and to establish extended targets, while concurrently monitoring both their business financial and non-financial key performance indicators every single month, healthier results are achieved.

Here at Insight CA Limited, we would be delighted to work with you, as your Accountability Partner, to check the vibrancy of your business or assist you in implementing any of the ideas reviewed in this blog. Please do not hesitate to contact us for forward thinking advice.

Call Murray at Insight CA Limited on 09-309-3222 or email murray@insightca.nz

SIX WAYS TO PROFIT FROM YOUR VACATION THIS SUMMER

SIX WAYS TO PROFIT FROM YOUR VACATION THIS SUMMER

Summer is just around the corner, and although it may seem strange, now may be the perfect time to increase the value of your company.

 

The most valuable businesses are the ones that can survive without their owner. A buyer will pay a premium for a company that runs on autopilot and levy a steep discount for a business that is dependent on its owner.

This Summer

Consider taking an extended break from your business to see how things will run when you’re not in the building. It’s likely that some things will go wrong, but use those errors as the raw material for making your business operate more independently of you.

Here is a six-step plan for profiting from your vacation time this summer:

Step 1: Schedule your vacation plus one day

Whatever day you plan to start working again after your holiday, tell your staff you’ll be back one day later. That way, you’ll have a full day of uninterrupted time to dedicate to understanding what went wrong in your absence.

Step 2: Bucket the mistakes

When you return, make a summary of the things that went wrong and categorize them into one of three buckets:

  • Mistakes: errors where there is a right and wrong answer;
  • Bottlenecks: projects that had difficulties because you weren’t there to provide your feedback;
  • Stalled projects: initiatives that went nowhere while you were gone because you’re the person leading them.

Step 3: Correct the mistakes

The first and easiest place to start is to simply correct the mistakes that were made. Usually mistakes are due to a lack of training rather than outright negligence. The right answer may be crystal clear in your head but not immediately obvious to your staff. Write up some instructions for next time the employees face the same situation. Make sure your instructions are clear, and share them with your team so everyone has them. A file sharing service like Google Drive or DropBox can be a helpful repository for your instructions.

Step 4: Unblock your bottlenecks

If you’re being asked for your personal input on projects, there’s probably going to be a bottleneck if you’re not around. Make sure your staff is clear on the projects where you need to have a say and the projects where you don’t. Some employees may wrongly think that you need to approve all decisions. Make it clear when you want them to act alone and when you still need to have a say.

Step 5: Re-assign stalled projects

The hardest part of making your business less dependent on you is dealing with projects that get stalled when you’re away. Start by asking yourself if you’re the right person to lead the project in the first place. As the owner of your business, projects often fall in your lap by default, rather than because you’re the best person to lead them. Categorize your stalled projects into two groups: a) strategic projects you need to lead; and b) non-strategic projects you are leading by default. Hang on to the strategic projects, but delegate the non-strategic projects to someone on your team who is better suited to drive them forward.

Step 6: Give every employee a blank check

At Ritz Carlton Hotels, they give every employee discretion to spend – without approval from their general manager – up to $2,000 on a guest. The $2,000 figure is a large enough number to make the message clear: front line employees should act first, make the customer happy, and ask questions later. Many employees know how to make a customer happy but lack the confidence to act. Giving employees some spending authority will speed up the resolution of customer issues and empower your team to do the right thing when you’re not there.

The sunshine is beckoning, so go ahead and plan that vacation – if you follow the six steps here, you may end up having a great holiday and a more valuable company.

HOW YOUR ACCOUNTABILITY PARTNER CAN HELP YOU ACHIEVE YOUR GOALS

HOW YOUR ACCOUNTABILITY PARTNER CAN HELP YOU ACHIEVE YOUR GOALS

The benefits of having an accountability partner

Does Your Accountability Partner really cost you that much?
Have you set goals and measurable budgets for your business as yet?

 

Let’s face it, we all have a goal or two that we set every year, but somewhere along the journey, the goal becomes less and less of a priority.

With so many distractions and the occasions in which life gets in the way, meeting your personal and professional goals can seem nearly impossible to achieve. Whether you are looking to lose a few extra kilos, launch a new business, or save to purchase a new home, Your Accountability Partner can help you stay committed and focused. Reach out for that help

Connecting with Your Accountability Partner will help you to:

Prepare your measurable goals in writing

Yes, one of the first tasks would be to critique the past, and set up the forward looking sales, cost of sales and overhead budgets and then implement them into a cash flow budget as well. Remember achieving your profitability goals also requires knowing where the cash is coming from and where it will be spent to ensure you operate within your existing cash resources and knowing when situations might be tight and need to seek external funding in advance of the reality.

Keep Your Momentum

Sometimes, the journey to accomplishing your goals can mean a bumpy and hard road. It can be easy to lose interest when the road gets tough. Your Accountability Partner can help you stay committed and work toward slaying your goals by conducting regular meetings.

Bounce Ideas Off of Each Other

Four eyes are better than two, right? Your Accountability Partner can be an ear and a set of eyes to help you discover a new perspective that may not have been obvious to you. For example, when to recruit or retrench staff, when it is more cost effective to replace a fixed asset than to incur the constant repair bills

Provide Support

There are going to be times when you just want to vent or need someone to talk to about your specific needs. It’s good to be able to have a partner that can empathize with you because they are familiar with your journey. For example, I recently had a client considering relocating premises within the same industrial area, so we were able to objectively consider the pros and cons of such a move and whether that should be that they remain tenants or become landlords

Challenge Yourself

No one ever accomplishes their goals by staying stagnant! You should strive to be a better version of yourself each and every day. Your Accountability Partner can help you see beyond your current circumstances. Remember, if it were easy, you would already be doing it!

This is a big one! Staying focused is one of the hardest things to accomplish these days. With social media and endless entertainment on streaming sites like You Tube, you can easily slip out of focus. How many times have you sat at your computer to send an important email and found yourself on Facebook, scrolling and liking pictures for hours? YourAccountability Partner can make sure that you use your time wisely.

Connect with Murray of Insight CA Limited as Your Accountability Partner on 09-309-3222 or by email: murray@insightca.nz and start that journey.

PROTECTING THE BUSINESS AND FAMILY ASSETS

PROTECTING THE BUSINESS AND FAMILY ASSETS

In the last of the series of “What is keeping you awake at night”, based on the research of Bstar, a research house based in Australia., we will address the subject of Protecting the Business and Family Assets.

“We need to reduce reliance on key shareholders. My wife and I plan to retire in 5 years, and my daughter is already involved in the business. She will want to have a family, and we are unsure how this will work and impact on the business.” “

As indicated inprevious blogs, very few business owners have taken steps to address business succession issues or protect business assets through planning or insurance. When asked, business owners made it clear that they have also not taken steps to protect their personal assets.

“I don’t have much superannuation, so I should probably start to plan for retirement. Mind you, I am expecting a bequest from my parents and in-laws prior to retirement, and that will help”

When asked by Bstar, 61% had no understanding of Estate Planning. additionally only 46% of the business owners interviewed within the research survey’s had wills in place, similarly, only 22% of owners had made estate plans and only 29% had enduring powers of attorney.

“The only thing I have is a Will, and that should probably be updated. I have a bit of life cover through Super, but nothing else!”

Business owners have clear needs for advice and assistance with these issues. They have not taken steps to fill these gaps despite the majority (69%) indicating that they have a trusted professional adviser. As with other areas, business owners regularly indicate that they are aware of the need to plan in these areas, but have not got around to it.

“I don’t really know if my business is saleable, or if it has a value – it is mostly personal goodwill. I’d like to retire by 55, if possible, but at this point I am not really sure if it is possible, or how this might be achieved.”

Consistent with the lack of business planning, business owners have generally not thought about their retirement, 88% wanted to know the income and assets they would need at retirement; while 70% wanted to know the value that their business that would be required to fund their retirement, howeveronly 20% thought that sale of their business would be able to fund their retirement.

“In this industry, people don’t sell their businesses. I have to build up capital to fund my retirement as I go along, I won’t get anything from selling the business”

Adding to personal stress, business owners sometimes report that they need to make choices between their obligations to family, or their business.

“Right now I am focused on family, rather than building business value. I am happy where we are now. The kids are growing up. Growth is a consideration for the future (1-5 years)”

Many business owners know how to run their business, but at times lack sufficient skills to run it efficiently, to improve it or grow it to the next level. They often require additional information, in relation to estate planning, key man insurance, succession planning as factors to consider when considering estate planning and protectingthe business and family assets. They know that they need assistance, and they want advice and assistance that is relevant to their business, and focused where they need it. They need professional assistance from an adviser they trust.

So why not reach out to Murray at Insight CA Limited as Your Accountability Partner and Trusted Business Advisor either at murray@insightca.nz or 09-309-3222 and commence your journey to reducing those awaking hours during the night.

IS YOUR BUSINESS SHOWING “WARNING SIGNS” OF A BUSINESS IN TROUBLE?

IS YOUR BUSINESS SHOWING “WARNING SIGNS” OF A BUSINESS IN TROUBLE?

IS YOUR BUSINESS SHOWING “WARNING SIGNS” OF A BUSINESS IN TROUBLE?

The benefit of hindsight is a wonderful thing. It often helps to get the perspective of a Chartered Accountant or Business Advisor. An insolvency practitioner (liquidator) came up with a list of warning signs of trouble in a business.

We all want to stay positive and not talk ourselves into a recession, but it pays to be realistic. These signs are not meant to alarm, but to alert you to the need for some proactive steps, rather than waiting until it’s too late.

Here are the ’Business-in-Trouble’ Signs

  • Your overdraft is near or at its limit for a significant period of time.
  • Difficulty meeting your suppliers payment terms.
  • Your staff are spending time on telephone with suppliers about outstanding payments.
  • Your suppliers are threatening COD terms or stop supply.
  • Your suppliers are putting your business last for service priority.
  • Your cheques start to become dishonored by your bank or if using electronic payment methods, your payments do not process due to being at your bank limits.
  • Your suppliers issuing demands or threatening legal action.
  • Your Creditors balance increasing whilst debtors and inventory/WIP remaining static.
  • You experience difficulty paying GST and PAYE tax deductions to the Inland Revenue Department.
  • You have hesitation in lodging GST returns when they fall due as funds being required elsewhere in business.
  • You start to receive correspondence from Inland Revenue Department about outstanding GST lodgements or overdue payments.
  • You are needing to sell capital assets to fund ongoing trading.
  • You are unable to place orders for stock due to cash constraints.
  • Staff morale down due to perception of Cash flow difficulties.
  • Higher than normal staff turnover as a result of above.
  • Bank requiring more information or security in order to maintain credit facility as you have now triggered warning signals at the bank.
  • You start to put off costs of maintenance on equipment which could cause an interruption to running your business.
  • Your bank has suggested refinancing.
  • You become behind with insurances e.g. Accident Compensation payments, product and public liability.

 

If you are experiencing some of these problems then consider reaching out for an initial chat with Murray of Insight CA Limited: email murray@insightca.nz or call the office on 09-309-3222

Why knowing your break-even point is so important

Why knowing your break-even point is so important

Today in business it’s important to get off to the right start, know what you are doing and what is required to generate a profit. To this end one of the first measures of business performance is to understand what your break-even point is.

 

The break-even point is essentially your minimum target to attain. Once this target is reached, and assuming your mix of fixed and variable costs hasn’t changed, any additional sales will generate a profit. To understand at a high level what that number is, is important, because it can then be broken down into units, products or service packages that are need to be produced and sold to cover your costs.

By default, it forms the basis of your first and ongoing plans. It’s a disciplines all business owners should master.

Why is Break-even point so important?

  • It gives you a point of focus, your minimum financial & operational performance level.
  • It provides an insight into the characteristics of your true cost base, which costs are fixed and which vary depending on your level of income or production.
  • It provides an opportunity to review what optimum mix of products or services works for your business.
  • It highlights the financial performance standards that need to be reached to start making money.
  • It forms the basis for key pricing decisions and volume considerations in running your business.
  • Its an important consideration when looking at new investment and the opportunities that may bring. (more…)

WHY WOULD YOU USE A VCFO?

WHY WOULD YOU USE A VCFO?

As An SME Business Owner Why Not Use An Accomplished Chief Financial Officer To Assist You In Guiding Your Business Decisions?

 

Larger businesses have a Chief Financial Officer (CFO) on staff. But what can small and medium sized businesses do in this regard?

Clearly, larger businesses can afford an in-house CFO. But it goes beyond an affordability issue: Large, successful businesses also understand how crucial the CFO role is to their business performance.

The CFO keeps an eye on the numbers, helps management create sound forecasts, ensures the cash inflows and outflows are managed well, reports on revenues achieved compared with targets, gives solid information on a range of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to the business decision makers, and also helps with decision making.

This is management input that all businesses require regardless of their size. So how can I as a small or medium sized business have these same skill sets in my business to manage the financials, assist with the growth of my business and provide governance, all at an affordable price?

The answer lies in outsourcing this function to a Virtual Chief Financial Officer (VCFO). You get a part-time, outsourced VCFO until you can afford one full-time, all for an agreed fixed monthly fee.

That’s Where We At Insight CA Limited Can Play A Pivotal Role

At Insight CA Limited, we work closely with our clients to understand your business and what you need. We become part of your core business team, providing expert advice for more informed decision making, timely and accurate reporting, and reduced operating costs

At Insight CA Limited we roll our sleeves up and work with you in regular monthly management meetings throughout the year as Your Accountability Partner on:

  • Cash flow – Efficient management of cash flow to provide cash for saving or growth
  • Profitability – Identifying key drivers of profit and focusing on these, while at the same time implementing and measuring against budget forecasts
  • Business Strategies and improvement advice
  • Structure management – Staying on top of risk and taxation issues

As business owners we all know we need to measure and monitor Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). That is, the handful of numbers that really matter in running our business.

It is also important that you have a ‘KPI dashboard’ to display your KPI targets compared with your current KPI performance. This helps tremendously in monitoring and managing your business performance and ultimately hitting your targets.

As your VCFO, we will bring to each meeting that we conduct with you clear financial reports, easy-to-understand KPI information, as well as our commercial experience to interpret the information, make suggestions and help guide your business decision making.

Items We’ll Discuss Each Meeting Include

  • Profit (historical and future)
  • Cash flow (historical and future)
  • KPIs: A mixture of focusing on Lead Indicators which drive performance and Lag Indicators that measure the outcomes
  • Marketing activity and effectiveness
  • Operational efficiencies such as work-in-progress or workflow
  • Financial indicators such as debtor turnover
  • Team efficiencies, knowledge management, morale and safety.

By helping with your forward planning for achieving the next period’s targets, and by being a sounding board for you as you strive to meet your targets, our VCFO service and support gives you a crystal clear focus for what needs to be done to achieve the goals of your business.

Your Next Step

CLICK TO CONTACT US FOR A NO COST AND NO OBLIGATION MEETING TO DISCUSS HOW WE CAN WORK WITH YOU AS YOUR VCFO. CALL 09 309 3222 OR EMAIL MURRAY @INSIGHTCA.NZ

Planning – Why it should be one of the first things you do!

Planning – Why it should be one of the first things you do!

For some business owners who have run their business for the last 10, 15 even 20 years, it’s sometimes hard to break the mould of cruising from one year to the next. New years’ celebrations are over, resolutions have been set, with some already broken. For businesses it’s not that much different, it still involves reflection and it still involves thinking about the future as you see it. It needs to be an annual ritual, but should be taken further than that and seen as an opportunity to either reaffirm previous goals that continue to provide focus, or maybe it’s time for change.

Planning affects all aspects of business, from business start-ups, to overcoming difficulties associated with growth or survival, to a desire to do things better and more efficiently, through to adventuring into new horizons with new products, services or markets, and on to setting up new projects and even planning to exit your business.

Why should it be the first thing you do?  Because it provides focus, it provides an opportunity to assess the status quo and whether that still fits with your business, it provides an opportunity to evaluate the landscape and identify potential risks or opportunities you hadn’t identified in the past, it provides an opportunity to change things, realign, redirect or discontinue.  It provides a platform to think through the pros (more…)

7 reasons why you should create a business budget right now

7 reasons why you should create a business budget right now

Create a business budget right now

When it comes to business, you’ll do a lot better if you have focus and direction rather than just meandering along aimlessly.

And what can help give you that focus and direction? A good business budget.

(more…)

3 Reasons Your Business Needs A Budget Now

3 Reasons Your Business Needs A Budget Now

Business Image

For many, the word ‘budget’ is about as appealing as the word ‘diet’.
It seems to imply what you will go without, rather than what you will achieve.
To a successful business owner, however, the word ‘budget’ has a very different meaning.

It’s more like a map than a diet. It’s an outline of where you want to take the business, and what you need to achieve to get there.

(more…)