Challenges and Strategies in 2015

Across sectors, small businesses face the same challenges in 2015; namely increased competition from global chains, technology-driven commoditisation of products/services and consumer comfort with online sales. For some, trying to compete against this changing world and its economies of scale seems unsustainable.  Yet, challenges are also opportunities and in 2015 the winners will be those who differentiate themselves in the market, by delivering highest quality ‘personalised’ service and products by…  Read more

The Home Business

When asked about what costs can be claimed as tax deductions when running a business from the home, my first response is don’t overdo it. There are certainly home running costs that can be converted into tax-deductible business costs. These range from heating and lighting to rates, repairs and maintenance on the business space used, depreciation on air conditioning, security alarm systems, furniture, carpets, curtains, etc. But it all depends…  Read more

New Rules for Expat Pension Transfers

This may seem like an odd topic to launch into when the dust has hardly settled on the New Year celebrations, but for anyone with a UK public sector pension wanting to transfer these funds to New Zealand – you need to act now or it may be too late. The UK has changed their pension rules which will mean anyone with a public sector benefit scheme will not be…  Read more

Four Focuses for 2015

I’ve spent years encouraging Rotorua’s small business owners to grow their networks, get out and talk to other businesses, learn and listen and open doors to new business and collaboration. It doesn’t cost anything and the benefits are wide-ranging. Yet, as I’ve found and as  research shows, a lot of businesses prefer to do it on their own, not share their ideas, plans and progress and by the time they…  Read more

Taking a holiday in the family bach, understand the tax facts

If you are thinking about taking a holiday in the family bach which is usually rented out over this summer period, ensure you understand the implications and how the relatively new mixed-use asset rules may apply to your situation. From the 2014 tax year (1 April 2013 for most) Inland Revenue has made some significant changes to the mixed use of assets. Expenses are only deductible to the extent of…  Read more

Future Proofing

When preparing for a Family Business Succession presentation I was giving recently, there was no way of avoiding the ‘Death’ topic.  Isn’t it funny how something we all know is inevitable creates such a feeling of being a taboo subject?  There are plenty of titles for this sort of work such as Estate Planning, Succession Planning and Exit Strategies and, I know it is only semantics but don’t these titles…  Read more

Taking on Casual Employees for the Holiday Season

The holiday season is fast approaching, certainly not a holiday for many Rotorua businesses now ramping up to cope with demands of Christmas and summer – including taking on casual staff. Staff employed on a casual agreement are an important resource in Rotorua’s economy driven by industries such as tourism and forestry with seasonal workflows. However, it’s important to understand the tax and employment law implications of hiring ‘casuals’. While…  Read more

Building on Positivity

Reading the Daily Post Business Extra section recently, you’d think that things were ‘looking up’ for Rotorua.  All these people setting up new businesses or expanding existing businesses!  What are they thinking!  Back in my day, you got ahead by having a good stable career. Had you fooled, bet you thought you were reading the ‘Letters to the Editor’. I have previously written about an ANZ privately owned business survey…  Read more

9 Reasons You May Consider Switching to Cloud Computing

Don’t be left up in the air by traditional IT solutions. Check out the top 9 advantages for small businesses switching to cloud computing. Cloud computing is fast becoming the norm because storing information and using software hosted on the Internet has many advantages. 1. Save money Traditionally, a small business spends money licensing software or buying packages to install or download onto individual computers. Cloud computing, on the other…  Read more

Pulling the Crowd

Social media and the internet have created a seismic shift globally in the way we market our products and services and now, even more so, the way we raise money. I am talking about crowdfunding, the powerful online tool that matches organisations needing support with people willing to give. Initially a donation-based platform for personal and charitable projects – most of us know about or will have donated via PledgeMe,…  Read more

Optimizing Your Website for Local Searches

Local search engine optimization (SEO) is an important part of any online marketing strategy for traditional businesses which service a specific geographical area. Local SEO works in much the same way as normal SEO, although there are some important differences to consider. Taking the time and trouble to optimize your website for local is essential due to the fact that about a fifth of desktop queries and more than half…  Read more

The Importance of Getting Back to Basics

Working with people on the very harsh edge of poverty is a powerful reality check when it comes to realising what matters in life – and in business – as I was reminded during a recent break in Fiji. Rather than lounging in a Fijian tourist resort walled off from reality, I was at the coalface working as a volunteer with the NZ Aid Koroipita Rotahomes Project which is providing…  Read more

How to Attract and Retain Top Talent

The best companies attract and retain top talent. Finding the best people takes time, but it is an investment that can save you money over the long haul. The more effort you put into finding the right people, the less likely that they will move on when another opportunity arises. Here are some strategies for attracting and retaining top talent. Give Yourself Time A senior manager has quit, leaving a…  Read more

Cranking up for Crankworx

Extended hours, extra staff, more space, more equipment, more food … just a few of the factors Rotorua businesses need to consider in cranking up services for Crankworx. Business is expected to surge with Rotorua selected as the Southern Hemisphere venue for this major mountain biking event for the next three years – starting on March 25-29 2015. Are we ready? Skyline’s on to it already, as reported in a…  Read more

8 easy ways to promote events online

Online marketing tools make it inexpensive and easy to promote your events online. If you want to expand your business and offer webinars or offline events, these eight tools will create online buzz about your event to a worldwide audience. When interacting with people on the Internet, remember to always act in a polite and courteous manner. Don’t spam invitations or promotions about your event 24, 7. Use common sense…  Read more

To the Little Guy

I wrote in April this year about the need for main contractors in the building industry to complete due diligence on sub-contractors when entering into building contracts in order to ensure the completion, and financial viability, of the contract. Now for some balance to that story. Soon after writing that column, a Christchurch sub-contractor dug up an entire carpark out of frustration for not being paid by the main contractor.…  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

What Does Success Look Like For Me – Plan To Succeed!

Between 50% and 75% of small businesses fail within three years of commencement, an unfortunate statistic that could be significantly reduced if more businesses were asking themselves a critical question – what does success look like for me? Identifying this factor is a big part of developing a business plan and once in place, that plan can help you avoid becoming part of these statistics because, quite simply, failing to…  Read more

An Opportunity Exists for Similar Businesses

Having recently been at the heart of a merge of two accountancy practices – BDO Rotorua with ReSolve Accountants – I can confirm that what we have been actively advising some clients to consider really does work. A merger is different to a takeover, typically involving two relatively equal businesses making the mutual decision to become and operate as one entity. A takeover is where one typically larger business absorbs…  Read more

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