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Crunchers Accountants

Crunchers Accountants

Want to be more Productive? Go on Holiday

Archive for July, 2014

Want to be more Productive? Go on Holiday

I believe it was Miles Kington who said something along the lines of: ‘One of the symptoms of an approaching nervous breakdown is cancelling a holiday.’

Running a small business can be an all consuming affair.  Deadlines, financial difficulties, responsibilities to your team  and emotional involvement can create a unique form of stress for a business owner.

Like the Shire Horse, Boxer, in Animal Farm, we can be blinkered in a mantra that success is around the corner just so long as we ‘work harder’.

However whilst working hard often comes with the territory of a small business, it is rarely, if ever, the key to success.  What is more, too much hard work gives diminishing returns, with quality suffering and ultimately leads to ill health.

Instinctively we know the health benefits of a holiday.  At the risk of stating the obvious, a holiday gives your brain a chance to unwind, for you to sleep well, eat well, exercise, laugh, relax.

It is also an opportunity to have new ideas.  All creativity and innovation requires unstructured time, it is not something that can be fitted into a busy schedule.  Taking time off allows you to get what we are up to into perspective and something new to emerge.

So with the holidays upon us, pack up your bags secure in the knowledge that it will do your business good because it will do you good.  And don’t be tempted to cancel!

 

 

Your Personal Goals in Business – Seminar Report

Finding where and how one’s personal goals interact with ones business goals was the theme of Monday’seminar.  
Rarely if ever, is a small business just about money.  Usually a business owners motivations are very mixed and ultimately a business does not exist to make money it exists to fulfill the wishes of its owner.

We looked at our Primary Aim in life and the ‘Why’ of our businesses, before confronting our personal finances through the Bucket Concept, uncovering the amount of money we need to create in order to achieve our personal aims.  We explored setting goals and the way that aligning your business goals to your personal goals creates huge power in ones effectiveness.

We have come to expect good feedback from our seminars, and tonight was no exception with scores rating every aspect between 8 and 10/10, with overall value 10/10.

3 Years Crunching

Crunchers South London was 3 years old yesterday and to celebrate we had clients and partners over for drinks at the Palmerston in East Dulwich.

Bike at Palmerston 140708
 

It has been a highly productive three years, going from a standing start to recently employing our first member of staff, Joanna.

Thank you to everyone who came last night.  Thank you particularly to the Crunchers Team at HQ in Cornwall who have made a huge difference in the set up of the practice and finally thank you to Josie Viney who, being married to the Director, has had to put up with more than most!

Ahead in the Cloud

To tie in with our upcoming seminar on Xero bookkeeping we give you our ten favourite business applications in the cloud.

For each application we spotlight, there are dozens, if not more, competitors doing something similar and we recommend to try out a few before choosing.  Each one also deserves a lengthy review in its own right.  That said here is the overview of our favourites:

Google Drive and Docs.  Most of us have grown up using desktop applications such as Word or Excel or similar.  Google’s suite of applications packaged in with an alternative to Dropbox or other cloud storage, is a powerful alternative.  Whilst not all the functionality that we may be used to is matched, the cost and accessibility makes it a very attractive offer to start up businesses,

Xero.  More will be said at our seminar (see below) but this is an outstanding example of how the cloud allows interaction between services we use.

Xero is bookkeeping software but its power comes from using bank data and receipt processesing software such as Receipt Bank to automate some of our bookkeeping.  Simply put manual data entry is no longer required to do bookkeeping.

Basecamp.  One of the cloud’s great strengths is facilitating collaboration.  Basecamp is designed to allow team members to share documents, to do lists, meeting minutes, discussions, whilst adding members seemlessly.

Capsule This software is all about managing a sales pipeline, keeping track of conversations, tasks, emails and more from our existing and potential customers.  Again the ability for many users to access the same data and see all interactions with a particular person is its great attraction.

GoCardless.  Direct Debit from the cloud.  Whilst it is simpler for paying customers to use than Paypal and cheaper than Paypal to business owners (1% of the transaction) probably its greatest advantage lies in the control it gives business owners over collecting money.  Payment plans are agreed in advance with customers.  Once customers agree the payment plan, GoCardless simply collects payment without business owners needing to rely on anyone at the other end remembering and getting around to paying.

WorkflowMax.  Project Management software abounds in the cloud, because of the obvious opportunities for collaboration.  WorkflowMax is our favourite for its integration with Xero, versatility in setting up work plans and use of time sheets reporting functions.

LivePlan.  LivePlan is ostensibly a business planning software but since it integrates with bookkeeping software, it combines business planning with management reporting.  In other words having set a budget, the software sucks in bookkeeping figures and provides a comparison between the two.  This naturally tends to suggest tailoring the plan and transforms business plans from being static documents to being a plan that evolves and grows with the business.

Vend.  Fast becoming a market leader in Point of Sale and inventory software for retailers.  This software is a great example of how cloud computing is well set up to grow with your business, simply requiring new users to be added to existing accounts without having to install new software on new machines as operations expand.

Docusign.  For anyone requiring signatures, Docusign facilitates legally binding electronic signatures through the cloud in an incredibly easy to use way.

Survey Monkey.  Survey Monkey is one of the most established business cloud applications, facilitating customer feedback and market research.  Another of the advantages of the cloud is that it makes software available for a particular niche jobs that would not normally have been affordable to small businesses.   We still love it for the way it can effortlessly collate responses that at one time would have taken hours to combine.