Making Your Business Profits (Boat) Grow (Go) Faster

Posted by: on Jul 6, 2012 | No Comments

At this months Entrepreneurs Circle meeting we had an inspirational presentation from Olympic gold medal winner Ben Hunt-Davis. I Know what you’re thinking – who the hell is he? Well I have got to say that was pretty much my reaction, however he comes with good credentials for helping business owners being one of the coxed 8 rowing team that won Gold at the Sydney 2000 Olympics.

Why is that relevant to business ? Well Ben described a typical business scenario of having several years not quite getting to the top of his trade before he started to changed his thinking. For 7 years his team of eight had regularly come seventh in major competitions. Coming seventh is like coming nowhere since only the top six qualify for the finals.

When the team for Sydney 2000 was assembled they did things differently. Every one of their habbits was linked to their driving force “Will this action make the boat go faster”. That included having a beer before training or a race (answer obviously no – so don’t do it). A favourite saying was “Today’s going to be a good day because I’m going to make it a good day”.

The team worked smarter not necessarily harder and in fact reduced the number of training sessions from 21 to 19 per week (ok 19 times a week requires major dedication which 99% of rowers would not match). They operated continuous improvement processes, literally analysing every training session and race to see how they could make improvement. On one occasion they actually had a physical fight in the boat, so plenty of improvement possible after that. Great detail was observed and terminology such is ‘separation of the hands’ defined carefully to make sure there were no misunderstandings, hence best performance was achieved.

All business owners can learn from these philosophies to do things differently, reaxamine the business, continuous improve, and have a single minded determination to achieve your goals. Ben’s mantra and title of his book was “Will It Make The Boat Go Faster” ? What is your equivalent mantra that will drive your business to achieve your Goals.

Should you Model your Business on The Queen ?

Posted by: on Jun 26, 2012 | No Comments

Now media coverage of the Queens Diamond Jubilee settles down it is good to reflect on what we can learn from the 60 year reign. The Queen represents a fantastic example of how you should run your business.

Firstly it is very clear that the Queen has a detailed plan that has been prepared months or even years in advance. The logistics involved in organising the 1000 boat Pageant on the Thames required meticulous planning. And the same goes for the faultless presentation of her other many engagements before and after the jubilee celebrations. Every business needs a plan with deadlines, and those deadlines mean you must achieve implementation which is the key to your success.

Clearly the organisation of these events requires the backing of a good team. Being crowned Queen at such a young age must have been a really frightening experience. Certainly I can remember how scary the first year in business was. You have to achieve sales to pay the bills. There is no better incentive than that. Business owners are well advised to make connections with experienced business associates who can help mitigate those initial challenges and indeed allow you to grow in future years.

In the accountancy professional each year we are required to follow programmes of continuing professional development. It is clear that the Queen knows who her customers are. By reading newspapers and relevant documents every day the queen is doing her continuing professional development so she can communicate to her target market in an informed manner. All businesses should do the same.

Fashions have changed dramatically over the last 60 years but The Queen has consistently presented a style and image that is recognised throughout the world. All businesses would benefit from consistently presenting their branding and message to their target market.

The Queen is respected and admired throughout the 54 commonwealth nations she represents, and indeed throughout the world. Her ability to continue to smile and wave at the attendees at the pageant on the River Thames while standing for several hours was amazing. Despite some difficult times over the years she has had the dedication and determination to continue to serve the nation. Any business owner who can emulate these characteristics will surely have a business to be proud of.

Sir Tax Accountants help small business owners minimise their taxes and also review how you grow business profits, in Camberley and surrounding areas.

The Royal Wedding Opportunity

Posted by: on Apr 27, 2011 | No Comments

Whether you are a royalist are not I sure you will have an opinion whether the extra bank holiday is a good thing or not.
Small business has been hit hard in the recent years with the statutory minimum for employee holidays increasing from 20 days to 28 days, so a further day is unlikely to be welcome from business owners already under pressure in a slow moving economy.
Businesses that sell products would have been well advised to seize the opportunity and release a royal themed product a few weeks ago. And creative service companies could for example have offered a free glass of champagne this week when clients attend a consultation.
Small business owners should check employee contracts. If the contract says staff are entitled to 28 days holiday there is no obligation to offer staff the extra day holiday. But you should also consider the effect on staff morale if you don’t offer the extra day off. So where is the opportunity for small business owners stuck with this dilemma. All too often staff take business owners for granted. So why not take the opportunity to have a team briefing with staff and explain the affect on the business from the lost time, and that you need a commitment from staff to increase productivity so that the lost time does not damage the viability of the company.
As Camberley accountants we offer clients business advice as well as tax planning. We hope it helps.
Looking forward to the street party on Friday – enjoy the day.

Marketing Is the Key to the Success of Your Business

Posted by: on Nov 8, 2010 | One Comment

Good accountants will look for all ways to save you tax, but just as important Sir Tax Accountants Camberley recognizes that you must drive the business forward through marketing.

If you are motivated to grow your business you must ‘work on, not in your business’. Key areas to focus on marketing your business follow:

• Successful business owners spend 60% of their time marketing their business. Every business should adopt a tag line similar to “Sir Tax Accountant Camberley are in the business of marketing and accountancy / tax planning services”.

• There are numerous approaches to marketing including: referrals from existing clients & associates; website (yours + free listings + Google local maps); mail shots; telephone marketing; directory adverts; networking; doing seminars / presentations; local newspaper / magazine adverts and PR; TV; radio; joint ventures; etc. What works for you inevitably is very much dependent on the type of business you operate.

• Postcards work well for start up businesses. They are easy to post and interested prospects may keep it for future reference. Thousands can be printed at very low cost. The more you deliver the more you sell. Use both sides or even offer the second side to an associate business. If you sell high value products/services deliver your advert to high value houses. Post between 5pm and 7pm if you want executives pick it up when returning home.

• Social media is becoming an increasingly powerful method of marketing and should not be ignored. Start by setting up a WordPress blog. Use for example Hootsuite.com to flow news posts down to a Facebook fan page, Twitter, and LinkedIn, to achieve maximum exposure at scheduled timeslots. Give useful information to prospects reading your blog to build trust that you are an expert in your field. Build relationships with friends/followers and, with patience, sales enquiries are likely to follow.

You must continuously market your business to grow your business.

Business Planning – Make Sure You Do Market Research

Posted by: on Oct 17, 2010 | One Comment

Before you start a new business or release a new product/service it is absolutely essential that you ask yourself the question:

IS THERE A MARKET FOR MY PRODUCTS AND / OR SERVICES ?

Clearly you will not make significant profits if consumers do not like or need your product.

It is essential that you do market research before you invest too much money in preparing the products / services for market. Some examples how to assess the market are listed below:

• To keep your costs down you can do face to face surveys. Make sure you choose the right location and sample of people. For example, if you want to research the public’s interest in a new design of suit carrier, standing outside a McDonald’s restaurant is likely to give inaccurate results. Whereas standing at the entrance of London Bridge railway station approaching city workers should give good feedback whether the market really wants your product. Take the opportunity to seek feedback regarding acceptable price, colour etc.

• If you are proposing to sell products an initial sale via eBay can be useful in evaluating demand and pricing before you purchase a large batch of stock.

• Search the internet, yellow pages, and local directories to get a feel for how many companies are already selling your chosen products or services.

• Visit competitors retail units as a mystery shopper to assess prices and level of service

• If you are offering a service search the internet to assess what your completion are offering and at what price. If that information is not published ring the competitors in your local area and ask questions as if you are a prospective customer. You can ask family or friends to help with this.

• To assess demand from prospective customers, telephone market research is commonly used. Make sure a suitable search database is used to select leads from the right demographic sample, otherwise high costs may be incurred for wasted calls.

• Social media websites such as Facebook, Twitter, and your blog can also be very powerful in eliciting feedback from an audience of literally 100s of millions of consumers at little or no cost to you. To make this effective it is likely that you would need to have built up a substantial following to achieve a suitable sample size.

Good market research will help reduce the risk of business failure.

Welcome to the Sir Tax Accountants Camberley Blog

Posted by: on Oct 14, 2010 | No Comments

The objective of this blog is to provide useful information to help small businesses grow and prosper.

Like all good accountancy practices we will always do our best to advise businesses how to save tax.
But just as important….
You need to implement strategies to increase business profits if you want to increase your wealth.

Marketing is crucial to the success of your business so we will regularly revisit this message.
For example:
What is the current trend in Social Media Marketing all about ?

My initial reaction was Facebook is only for kids,
But…..
having seen several case studies presenting success stories,
and viewing statistics for the huge audience (500 million plus) and to a lesser degree for Twitter, have come to the conclusion the potential opportunities are not to be ignored.

With regard to business tax

There are greater opportunities for tax savings within a Limited Company structure than a sole trade business. Some aspects of incorporating a sole trade business have become less attractive in recent years. To make to the extra administrative burden worthwhile we suggest this approach is most suitable for business owners who are motivated and committed to business growth.

Go For It………..