Every month we send subscribers our basically business newsletter. Each newsletter contains easily implemented business tips and advice as well as an interview with a small business owner. To ensure you receive your copy first sign up here
Are you getting smashed by goal setting emails at the moment?
The more emails I receive the bigger the failure I feel.
I even took time out to spend on identifying the things I want to do, be and have in 2018, and I still feel inadequate.
So, I decided enough is enough. It’s time for goal setting on my terms.
And that’s what it should be. YOUR TERMS!
All those free downloads and the checklists are someone else’s process for goal setting and sure you might find one that works for you among the multitude of web pages but ultimately you have to trust yourself to know what is right for you.
Last week I spent some time reflecting on a year that was, in simple terms, uncomfortable. Further pondering has led me to accept that there were positive times and that if I didn’t learn the lessons thrust upon me, I can at least acknowledge the awareness of them. I read an article that reminded me not to dwell on the mistakes I had made during the course of the year as I had probably already beat myself up enough at the time and that there was no point in doing so again. That was freeing!! So, I give you permission to dump it all too – RIGHT NOW!
Setting goals is a journey that we take control of, rather than letting life and circumstances control us.
I acknowledge that the scientific facts and the blind tests and whatever other mind-altering experiments all prove that goal setting works and the clearer you are in determining your goals the more likely the chance that they will come to fruition. But like most things in life it doesn’t have to be complicated. Unfortunately we have been led to believe that the more complex and convoluted it is the better the outcome. And while SIMPLIFY is not my word for 2018, simplifying should be a process we all undertake, daily. (By the way my word for 2018 is CONNECT)
The entire process can be as simple as 1 – 2 – 3.
1 – Start with an idea – something better for ourselves.
2 – Choose to have it make an impact on our lives.
3 – Create the plan.
Ideas will never come to pass without us taking some action towards their implementation.
We write it, we read it, we take steps to make it happen. The more we write it and read it and take steps the more likely it will happen. Logical and simple!
And then comes the kicker!!
It’s here where we start to get ahead of ourselves – if it’s that simple why not create 10, 15 or more goals.
All of a sudden our journey is hijacked, we get overwhelmed and nothing is achieved. I know I’ve been here before, I have the templates and guidelines to prove it.
So this year, along with my word of the year, I created simple statements for the major areas of my life where I am looking to improve. And upon review, these statements already included specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely actions – who would have thought?!
The final step for me now is to set reminders in my calendar (and phone) to check in and review both my plans and myself to keep on the right track.
Enjoy the journey, and if goal setting just becomes all too hard – keep in mind that you are enough, just as you are, right now.
Let me know your successful goal setting processes.
As an online business manager I am mentoring a small number of business owners during 2018 so if you are seeking assistance or accountability, connect with me to ensure your success.
Branding is more than just a logo – when people hear your name they conjure up a set of impressions that influence how they think and buy.
What are people saying about you?
SO what is BRANDING?
Branding is everything!
It’s the process involved in creating a unique name and image for a product or service in the consumers’ mind that signifies and differentiates itself from others.
Branding is a perception.
And in the words of Darryl Kerrigan – it’s the vibe.
Many businesses assume that putting together a logo and a tagline is enough to encourage customers to come running but it is SO much more! When done right your brand is your promise to your customers.
Defining your brand story is the first step towards creating the impression that you wish your customer to perceive. It’s your why that becomes the starting (and ending) point and it is from here that taglines, logos and colours are created.
Graphic designers will use your story to create a mood that will resonate with potential clients. Knowing what colours stirs which emotions helps in the process but choosing 3-5 colours will avoid confusing customers. Research now also shows that fonts can create certain moods.
Foe example, using pale pink colours with a curly script for a defined target market of 40-50 year old males is not a good branding decision even if, as the brand owner that is your favourite. Or using dark browns and blues with block font for 14-16 year old girls.
Additionally creating a logo that quickly identifies your brand is not always easy. It should be able to be replicated in all print formats including screen and embroidery. A logo doesn’t have to define your business name – that is what a tagline is for.
Your logo, font and colours make up your design pallet and by sticking to this pallet across the various social media and online platforms you display consistency with your messaging. If you choose to use traditional forms of print advertising/marketing these same details come into play.
The aim is to protect and project your brand through every representation of your business in the marketplace. Eg emails, voice messages, website. This also applies to members of your team.
Branding is also how you dress when meeting (potential) customers/clients. If you are a professional brand or relaxed and casual will determine the choices you make in presenting you and your brand. If you make and sell surfboards meeting a client in thongs is acceptable, not so if you are presenting to a Board of Directors.
It’s how and what you say in public and online. Are you well-spoken or is slang a part of you and your brand?
Branding can be about the value you add in every exchange. Some brands include notes or samples when posting orders to customers. It can be as simple as “Is there anything else I can help you with today?”
A well-managed brand will create a strong emotional connection within the marketplace, and a strong emotional connection attracts and fosters loyal customer behaviour.
Make sure that at every moment your brand conveys the message you want to be sending.
Marketing is what you do
Branding is what you are
Contact us for a free 15 minute consultation to discuss ways of conveying your brand message to your customers. Book now
Every month we send our subscribers our basically business newsletter. Each newsletter contains easily implemented business tips and advice as well as an interview with a small business owner. To ensure you receive your copy first sign up here
In order to maintain cash flow in your business it is important to invoice your customers promptly and ensure that the payment process is easy.
This process should begin from the first customer transaction by including your terms and conditions at the proposal/quotation stage.
You should take steps to obtain all your customers business (and if necessary personal) information to set up their account.
Your invoice should have all the information your customer needs to know to pay you on time and as well as details for your own bookkeeping.
Business details to include
- business name and if applicable trading name
- postal address and or email address, website address, contact telephone and facsimile numbers
- Australian Business Number (ABN) or Australian Company Name (ACN)
Customer details to include
- customer’s contact details including mailing and/or email address and phone number
- customer number (if applicable)
- details of the person that placed the order
- name of the person responsible for paying the invoice. Addressing the invoice to the right person may help in getting faster payment
- a purchase order number (if applicable) or contract agreement dates. A PO is your customers reference to the account and may be required when talking with your customer about the order.
- The date you raise and send the invoice. This is especially important if your invoice has payment terms such as ’30 days from invoice date or 30 days from End of Month’.
- Invoice number. This is useful for your bookkeeping records, as a reference if talking to your customer or when following up unpaid invoices.
- Job number (if applicable).
- Goods and Services Tax (GST) If you are registered for GST you must include this on your invoice. The document must be called a Tax Invoice. The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) requires specific company and sales information to be included to issue a valid tax invoice.
If you are not registered for GST you can only issue an invoice.
- amount due
- description of goods. List the products or services provided.
Itemising can help if referring back to the invoice at a later date.
- payment terms
- payment due date
- payment options, standard options are direct deposit, credit card, EFTPOS, cash
- direct banking details, BSB number and bank account number, bank account name. The bank and branch may be included but are not necessary.
- reference detail to be included in the transaction to identify their payment. This will assist with bookkeeping records.
Using accounting software
There are many paid and free accounting software packages that will generate invoices from the business information that you completed in the set-up process. Ensure that all customer information is recorded correctly.
Basic processes for fast payment
To encourage your customers to pay your invoices on time your business should:
- invoice in a timely manner. For ongoing/recurring services invoice on the same date each month or at regular intervals. For goods and services invoice when the order is completed.
- consider invoicing at the start of large projects by obtaining a deposit.
- stay in contact with customers, good customer service will go a long way to resolve any disputes early. It is also a good opportunity to ensure client information is kept up to date.
- include your payment options and details on all invoices.
- follow up promptly if payments are over the due date.
It is not necessary that you pay for or use online software accounting packages. Many businesses can and do operate on sending invoices from templated word documents and updating their record keeping on spreadsheets. What is necessary is ensuring that the correct information is recorded on all documentation.
If you need assistance with your bookkeeping or would like a basic spreadsheet to keep your records out of an old shoebox, contact Baillie Admin Services
Do I really need a Virtual Assistant?
Think about this –
You have no life outside of your business
You are in constant overload
You’ve missed important milestones in your business and personal life
You have an admin pile – not a file
You’re spending too much time on tasks you don’t understand
You’re doing things you don’t love in your business
Your routine tasks are boring you
You have no time for business development
You’ve blown a business opportunity because you missed a deadline
You no longer have time to be creative
You’re missing the fun part of your business
Did you find yourself answering yes to these statements?
Download the Checklist Do I need a Virtual Assistant?.
You thought that when you started your business you could have that work/life balance that everyone talks about. You would spend dedicated time on your business and then be able to make the transition to home life – clean and simple. You would even be able to see the kids’ performances at school. However without knowing just when it happened, you have found that the majority of your time is spent working and you are now spending very little time relaxing, socialising, enjoying family time, etc. Chances are, even when you do take time for yourself you are still worrying about all of the things that aren’t getting done.
You started your business because you had a passion or a great idea, you probably didn’t realise that the administration side of your business could and would take over from what you are actually trying to achieve. You know that there are so many administrative tasks in your business that you can’t, you won’t, you shouldn’t and you don’t do – that your time is better spent working on the revenue raising aspects of your business so why would you spend that time on Google and YouTube trying to educate yourself on a task or wasting your precious time on those routine tasks that are so boring. You know the hourly value of your time why use it doing something you hate – usually anything to do with your accounts. Sure all these tasks must be completed but is it really necessary that they are completed by you.
Now that your business is booming you have a list of all these wonderful ideas in your head that you would like to implement into your business. Unfortunately unless you are taking time out to consider strategic planning as well as business development, which includes attending networking events, your business will not continue to grow.
It’s also possible you’ve become so overwhelmed with doing business that you are no longer following your passion for your business. It all started out as fun but somewhere along the line it’s become a chore. You are probably alternating between feeling like you are in constant overload and feeling guilty that you are not giving your attention to the situation at hand.
These are sure signs you are in need of someone to take a bit of the burden – a virtual assistant can be handling your everyday tasks while you work on what’s important. Imagine knowing that even when you’re spending time with family and friends or taking a vacation, or attending client meetings that things aren’t going undone. That’s the peace of mind working with a virtual assistant can give you. A virtual assistant can help you implement those new ideas. And, if you’re still not sure, try keeping a log of what you do for a week and see where you are spending your time (and perhaps where you are losing the opportunity to make money).
Baillie Admin Services is available for your outsourcing needs for one off or ongoing projects. Call today to discuss your particular needs.