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Developing an IP strategy

There is no question that an IP strategy should be aligned with business strategy.
But, what needs to be better recognised is that IP issues can actually drive most strategic considerations in an organisation

Android 2.6 released

Last week we released version 2.6 of the Android app. It’s been a staggeringly long time since I put out a blog post about Android – for the Files release for expense claims, way back in July. A lot has happened since then. This post wraps up the five major releases we’ve done over that time, and gives you an idea of what we’re working on now. While we haven’t made a song and dance about Android for a while, we have released a steady stream of small but significant improvements.

Starting your business

Starting a business is a big decision, and needs careful research and planning well before you start trading.

Claiming website development costs

If you pay for a website for your business, here are some things to remember about claiming the costs…

ATO Mobile App

The ATO app puts tax and super help in your hand, making it easier for you to conduct your tax and super affairs on the go.

You've Got Data - Now What? Making data meaningful to your business

We live in a globally connected, digital economy. In this world the all-pervasive force is data. So much so that is has become to the digital economy, what oil was to the industrial. There has never been a better time to use data to drive your business performance.

This Week in Retail: Beating customer expectations, increasing per-ticket sales, and more

What do modern customers expect from retailers? How can you increase revenues per transaction? How can you ramp up word-of-mouth for your business? Our latest retail roundup answers these questions and then some.

Rust (and debt) never sleeps

Rust never sleeps’ was supposedly the tagline for a 1970s advertising campaign for a rust-inhibitor product called Rustoleum. Although the phrase found far more traction as an album title for legendary Canadian rocker Neil Young, it resonates with us here at Debtor Daddy because it echoes one of our favourite sayings that “Debt never sleeps”.

Kitchen table entrepreneurs – turning your hobby into a business

From cupcake-crazy home bakers to fitness addicts and artistic dreamers, more and more entrepreneurial Britons are turning passions and pastimes into money-making enterprises. In fact, latest studies show there are 600,000 more micro businesses in the UK today than there were during the onset of the financial crisis in 2008*.

Got a Blog? These 10 Blogging Trends Could Impact You in 2015

Over the last five years, blogging for business has become an industry unto itself. With numerous companies all over the world vying for the top talent and the most pageviews, it’s no surprise that the top business blogs are those which can adapt and respond to the changing landscape of the digital world.

Five tips to create sales quotes that get accepted

Small businesses win work by using sales quotes (also known as price quotes). Yet they often don’t realise that how they prepare and create quotes can cost them business. Many lose revenue by not following up on quotes or turning quotes around fast enough.

Five rules for managing small business cashflow

Cashflow management is vital for a growing business. We spoke to Ed Castaño of BlueVine, a provider of working capital to small businesses, to find out how to manage cashflow. Here are his thoughts.

Don’t Get Left Behind: 6 Ways Retailers Can Adapt and Evolve along with Customers

Change. Whether you’re someone who welcomes it with open arms, or you’re the type who tries to maintain the status quo as long as possible, change is inescapable. As the cliché goes, change the only constant thing in the world. And in retail, this statement couldn’t be more true, especially in the last few years!

Digital Storage: The Efficiency Advantage

If you're running a small business - and there are nearly 30 million of you in the U.S. alone - then you know the old adage rings true: Time really is money.

Change Management: How To Help Employees Cope With Change At Work

No industry is exempt from change. Change is inevitable. It affects everyone within a business, from the CEO and director through to front line employees. It’s important to keep in mind the implications of change that can occur if it isn’t managed appropriately.

5 Trends that could affect your ecommerce store in 2015

When Heraclitus said “the only thing constant is change” in the 5th century BC, he probably didn’t have the internet in mind, but his words couldn’t apply more closely to any other field than to this one.

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5 Interview Questions to Find the Right Hire

We all know the colleagues we love working with every day. They usually have a few common characteristics, including…

3 Ways To Overcome The Management Blues

Often it’s easy to get stuck in a rut. You begin to doubt yourself and your ability to perform your job at a level that you see fit. But you know what? It’s okay.

10 steps to perfect small business payroll in 2015

This is a good time of year to review various parts of your business. Payroll is sometimes neglected in reviews, yet it's an important topic. So here's how to make payroll work perfectly for you this year.

How to Collect Data in Your Store and Four Ways to Use It

Retail stores have long been collecting basic details (i.e. name and email) on their customers. Now, with the help of some nifty retail cloud solutions, it’s possible to collect so much more.

4 Smart Investments Retailers Can Make in 2015 (and How to Minimise Risk)

There’s some truth to the saying “You have to spend money to make money.” When you’re running a business, shelling out without seeing an immediate return is part of the territory.

Digital Tips to Attract Clients Online This Tax Season

Your website or LinkedIn profile will often be the first thing about your company that a prospective client sees, and as we all know, you only get one chance to make a good first impression.

Health and safety in the white collar workplace

The Government’s campaign for health and safety reform has made it clear that there is an increased focus on high risk industries such as forestry, agriculture, manufacturing and construction.

5 Key Ingredients of a Winning Loyalty Program

Retailers and consumers alike are huge fans of loyalty programs, and for good reason. For merchants, loyalty programs drive repeat spending and encourage customers who buy once to return again and again.

7 Reasons Why You Might Be Losing Customers

Take a moment to imagine you’ve been given the task of being a mystery shopper for one night. Your job is to go in and assess multiple aspects of a venue: its employees, its food and beverage, the decor, the atmosphere – the works.

Always On and Agile: The Growth of Social Recruitment

In the race to attract the best staff, and always have a talent pool ready to fill any immediate gaps at short notice, more employers are turning to non-traditional recruitment channels, using social media.

50 Online Tools That Small Business Owners Can't Blog Without

Is THIS the year that you are going to concentrate on your inbound marketing and commit to creating a blog that generates results for your business? Great news!

Marketing Trends in 2015 Your Agency Needs to Know About

As an agency working with brands to create engaging marketing and digital content campaigns, it’s important to keep up-to-date with the trends in the market.

Tips For Attracting New Customers To Your Business

I’m sure we all remember using acrostic poems growing up. This week we’ve chosen to discuss the topic of customers in acrostic form!

10 reasons HR Needs To Think Like Marketing

No matter what products or services they produce, businesses need two essential things to succeed: employees and customers.

Welcome to Xero software

Xero accounting software is designed to revolutionise the way small businesses manage their finances.

Omni Channel is now real

Omni-channel: The new way for retailers to grow sales and reduce accounting costs. It seems customer demands have outpaced technology over the past few years, particularly when it comes to seamless retailing across in-store, online and mobile channels.

5 things that could be letting your online store down

The e-commerce landscape has and will always be in a constant state of evolution. With the change in technology and behaviour, online retailers have had to factor in user experience not just from a store browsing point of view but also from an order fulfillment and customer service perspective.

Workflow Management Software - WorkflowMax

WorkflowMax is a web based workflow management solution used by creative agencies, accounting and consulting practices and even tradesmen to manage their businesses from quoting and job costing, through to invoicing and reporting.

How much diversification is too much?

When it comes to investing, one of the basic pieces of advice given to investors – large and small – is to ensure their portfolio is well diversified to help protect their investments against volatile markets.

3 Totally Preventable Causes of Stockouts (and How to Avoid Them)

Stockouts almost always make it to the “worst nightmare” lists of retailers, and for good reason. Not only do they lead to lost sales, out-of-stocks also result in poor customer satisfaction and lower loyalty levels.

Solving The Procrastination Problem

Many of us procrastinate, but how many of us are chronic procrastinators? Negatively affecting not only our own performance but the people we work with.

Legal essentials for business

One of the first things you need to find out when you're starting out is what laws apply to your new business. As a small business owner, you'll know that being legally compliant relies on being aware of rules and regulations.

Tattoo you! Do employers have the right to ban body piercing and visible tattoos?

Back in the day, tattoos were the province of sailors, prisoners, truck drivers and goths. Nowadays it seems like every twenty-something has one. But does one have the right to display one’s body art at work?

How ASIC Registry makes doing business easier

Just what are we talking about when we refer to ASIC's Registry?

4 Friction Points Every Retailer Should (and Can) Eliminate from the Shopping Experience

We don’t need a crystal ball to see that the future of retail involves frictionless shopping experiences. Today’s consumers (and those in the near future) want not only to shop across multiple channels (i.e. online, mobile, brick-and-mortar), but to do so quickly and seamlessly.

Don’t Fall into the Trap! Three Myths About Finding Great Leaders

So much reading on the internet today revolves around what makes a good leader, what characteristics a good leader has, and ultimately, how to be a good leader.

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5 Ways to Help Your Team Master the Work-Life Balancing Act

For more than 85 percent of males and 66 percent of females in the United States, the workweek extends longer than 40 hours.

Deducing Your Customers: The How & Why of Conducting Market Research

“Data, data, data. I cannot make bricks without clay.” So said the irrepressible Sherlock Holmes in one of Arthur Conan Doyle’s classic stories, and so echoes thousands of business analysts and statisticians the world over.

Work less and get more done

Why is it that in our always on, always connected world where we take fully automated self service consumer experiences for granted – everything from online shopping, to banking, to theatre and movie ticket reservations – that we’re happy to function in manual mode in the workplace?

Why You Need to Stop Feeling Guilty About Charging For Your Time

I had a conversation with a good friend last week that got me thinking. She has recently started some contract work after having a baby. She’s working from home; juggling motherhood and meetings, feeding and phone calls, and managing suppliers in between managing nap times.

Twelve and a half reasons to use a Paperless Onboarding System

Replacing paper based forms with Paperless Onboarding Systems and Paperless Induction Systems is the fastest and easiest way to make employment administration more efficient and cost effective.

Try This Simple, 8-Step Strategic Plan Template for Small Business Owners

When you first start a business, you’re often not thinking more than a couple of years ahead. Your motivation might simply be, “I need some work to put food on the table,” or “I don’t want to work for someone else, so this is what I need to do.”

10 Tricks You Didn't Know to Improve Your Use of Gmail

More than just a search engine, Google offers a whole host of free tools for using the web. By far one of its most popular is gmail - Google’s free web client that allows users to choose their own email address and send and receive unlimited messages.

5 Helpful Tools For Everyone In The Hospitality Industry

Here in the goRoster office we’re all about helping others. So, in keeping with that theme we’ve put together some useful tools that all of you can use no matter what type of hospitality business you work for!

Real Cloud Accounting

What makes a real cloud accounting product?

Top 10 Tips For Happy Employees

The level of employee retention within a business is always a good testament to the management team.

The Biggest Management Mistake You Don’t Want To Make

At the risk of sounding like a broken record…Bad rostering will hurt your business. A lot.

How To Solve The Biggest Problems Associated With Employee Conflict

As a manager, how you deal with employee conflict is crucial and it’s important that you have processes in place that set a standard.

5 Ways Cloud Technology Will Spring Clean Your Office Systems

Spring has arrived down here in the southern hemisphere, but wherever you are in the world, now is as good a time as ever to give the office a seasonal spruce-up.

How to Improve Revenue at your Agency Without Taking on More Clients

You’ve got a little creative agency, and it’s doing quite well. You’ve landed a few high profile clients, and your reputation in the community is growing. You’re even in line for a couple of awards this year.

Transporting bulky tools and equipment

Tax information for employees that need to transport bulky tools and equipment between their home and work. There are rules that you need to check and records you need to keep.

MyTax makes taxes less taxing

Find out how the ATO are making taxes less taxing with the introduction of myTax. Visit for more information and to check if it's right for you

Introduction to rental property and tax

This short video is an introduction to what you need to know when buying, owning, and selling your rental property.

Protect your personal information

Did you lock your front door today? Protecting your personal information is just as important. So do you know what you need to protect and how? Watch our video and make protecting your personal information part of your day.

Get your deductions right

If you are an employee you may be able to claim a deduction for some costs related to your job. There are rules that you need to check and records you need to keep.

15 Potent Ways to Confront Employee Turnover

As the economy recovers, employers are beginning to see more employees leaving again. According to the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey..

Everything You Need to Know About Value-Based Pricing

One of the most difficult decisions for any business owner – professional service or otherwise – is how best to effectively price his or her product or service. And with good reason, too.

Life in the Cloud

I had another Xerocon attendee ask me today what cloud add ons we use. I struggled to answer. Not because we don't use any, because we use them without thinking about it. It would be easier to ask what do we use that isn't cloud based.

The Leadership Leap – Foster Talent and Develop Emerging Leaders

Are the next generation of leaders equipped with the right skills and qualities to confidently handle the unique challenges of the future workplace? Read on to get EI’s tips for fostering talent and developing emerging leaders.

Measure What Matters

“The average human has one breast and one testicle” – Des McHale

This cheeky quote sums up the value of data when data means everything without insight. Big data is everywhere – but too much data, with too little insight, results in little impact. Research is now showing us that the “big data” trend is struggling to demonstrate a return on investment for this very reason.

The Very Real Difference Between Policies & Contracts

A decision in the Federal Court this week serves as a timely reminder to all employers to ensure workplace policies are drafted in ways that do not unwittingly create exposures to legal claims by staff.

Protecting Your Franchise Brand – What Can We Learn From Recent Legal Investigations

Your brand is a symbol of your reputation. In the past month two well-known brands have been dragged through damaging claims of underpaid worker entitlements and unlawful actions against employees.

Penalties Change for Restaurant Industry

The change to Sunday loadings in the Restaurant Industry: what does it all mean?

Many of you would have already seen news reports that a Full Bench of the Fair Work Commission has decided to reduce Sunday penalties for casuals covered by the Restaurant Industry Award. But what exactly does it mean, what impact will it have on your business now and in the future, and does it suggest similar changes to other modern awards moving forward?

Directing Employees to Attend Medical Assessments

Is a direction for further medical assessment lawful and reasonable?
A recent appeal decision by the Full Bench of the Fair Work Commission re-emphasises the rights of employers to direct their workers to attend medical appointments to determine their fitness for work, while highlighting the more straightforward path for doing so when employers have well drafted employment contracts in place.

The Way Employment is Managed Has Evolved

Employment management has evolved rapidly in the past few years. Its changed so much in fact that what you think you know about how to manage employment is probably already wrong.

Want to Increase the Productivity of your Business?

Many small and medium business in the trades and services sector such as plumbers, electricians, cleaning organisations and maintenance and repair services to mention a few, express the annoyance that they spend far too long performing menial tasks that bear little or no relation to the core process of the service that their business actually offers. For new owners, it’s particularly challenging as they’re suddenly expected to become accountants, HR managers and advertising specialists all at the same time.

10 Tips – Growing a successful Trades and Services business

With Trades and Services businesses being so relied upon and necessary, we’ve put together some tips on how as a business you can stand out and run your trades and service business effectively. The tips apply regardless if you’re a plumber, electrician, cleaner, repairman or a security services provider.

Should you stop charging by the hour?

A recent article came to our attention which got us thinking. This article was written by Ryan Lazanis of Xen Accounting, a virtual accounting firm based in Quebec, Canada.

As a business owner, Lazanis understands the importance of providing exceptional service. He has also seen the frustration of his clients when faced with paying for his services at an hourly rate. If providing the best customer experience is important, then why not apply customer-first thinking to pricing?

3 Tips for Preparing Your Small Business for the Unexpected

Unfortunately, when a business owner is always in “firefighter” mode, it’s impossible to work hard on winning new clients or tackling more providing that extra special service. By working with your team to put an infrastructure in place to deal with future issues, you’ll have help in dealing with the issues that emerge each day. Once your team is able to respond to problems without escalating it to you, you’ll be able to gradually shift your focus to building your company. Here are three tips on how you can make that happen.

3 reasons why your Business can benefit from Cloud Computing

Embracing new technology can be difficult for many companies.

They want to make sure that it will be easy to integrate into the workplace and that it is a value added alternative to existing ways of performing tasks or producing items.

Receipt Bank and Xero

Expenses are a hassle and they cost time and money to process. To help you with the paper war we’re expanding the choice of providers that integrate with Xero and sort this problem for you.

Our latest add-on Receipt Bank is a receipt and invoice processing service that gathers together your receipts and invoices, scans them, converts the receipts into useful data and then sends them directly into Xero.

Expenses of an oligarch…

Welcome to the world of the super rich…

From superyachts to champagne – get inspiration from the oligarchs on how to submit your receipts this summer!

"My best discovery since starting my business!” – Testimonial by DeAnne Bennett of Blessed Lotus

Blessed Lotus is a women’s apparel company focusing on fashion forward casual and resort wear. DeAnne founded Blessed Lotus on the principles of social entrepreneurship. Blessed Lotus’ purpose, beyond providing chic clothing to modern women, is to financially support the mission of bringing education to impoverished and oppressed children around the world. The sales of Blessed Lotus apparel fund Rippled Purpose, a 501(c)(3) designated charitable organisation.

Google places for business

80% of success is showing up – Woody Allen

He’s right, don’t you think? So much of our success—and failure—hinges on simply showing up. And the same goes for your business. When a potential customer searches for your product or service, your business needs to show up. How? Google Places for Business. It’s a powerful tool that ensures that your business shows up on a nearby customer’s radar.

Genuine Conversation is the Best Social Media Strategy

Imagine you ran a coffee shop with great coffee, a cool vibe, comfortable seating… and no customers. Not an uncommon problem, and the classic solution promoted by social media experts would be something like:

“Create a Twitter handle and offer discounts to customers who follow. Broadcast weekly events and promotions via Twitter and engage with your audience to encourage them to come and bring their friends. More discounts to people who get their friends to follow. Create a mailing list; Tumblr; Facebook page; etc, etc.”

Minimum Viable Employee

It’s widely repeated that “great people are 100x more productive than average people.” But while everybody says it, most companies just hire 100x more average people. At Expensify, we try very, very hard to hold the line and only hire people we think are truly great.

This means that despite ample resources and more than enough work to go around, we hire extremely slowly — and spend an enormous amount of energy doing it.

How to survive a “flat management” mutiny

Flat management structures are all the rage, and with good reason: innovation is the lifeblood of a startup, and nothing kills innovation like micromanagement. But scaling a flat management structure is harder than it seems.

Fire Your Bosses and Promote Your Leaders

Everybody loves to rave about the bossless workplace, but it’s far more easily said than done. I’ve already written about the perils of the “flat management mutiny” — which comes as you emerge a leadership structure out of flat chaos — but it’s even harder going the other direction: dismantling an over-managed “top-heavy” structure and getting back to its roots.

Keep It Simple: How to Organize Just Enough

With so many tools and apps that claim to increase organization or productivity, how do we find out which tools will actually help and not hinder our workflow? At Expensify, our approach is to keep it simple; forget the apps and stick to what’s tried and true. Here are a few core principles that help us stay productive; try them out and let us know what you think!

How Do You Expensify: Forming Habits with Expense Reporting

Whether you work at a startup, a large corporation, or something in between, the end of the month always means one thing: it’s time to get those expense reports in! People often consider expense reporting to be a pain in the elbow, and that’s why we’ve made it our mission to make expense reports suck less.

Top IP Tips when growing your business

You’ve got a promising business model, the resources to make it work and somewhere along the way you’ve created intellectual property rights through innovation, branding and an earned reputation. This IP is a key part of the business’s growth, and a core asset. Structuring the business with IP in mind can prove critical in realising the complete benefits of IP. So how do you go about ensuring this?

Innovative Concept Development: the Life Cycle Series video

With the spotlight on agribusiness and food technology sectors, we're leading the conversation about the life cycle of innovative ideas.

Presented by Senior Associate Jonathan Lucas and Catalyst Ltd Director, Janes Lancaster, this video highlights how to develop products and services with a long term vision, ensuring sustainable success.

Franchising: What do I need to know?

The parties to this arrangement are commonly known as the “franchisee” (the party obtaining authority to use the developed business model), and the “franchisor” (the party granting authority to use the developed business model).

In return for payment by the franchisee, the franchisor will provide initial advice, equipment and guidance, as well as ongoing support and other things such as products and packaging. Ideally, out of the franchise arrangement the franchisee obtains much needed support from industry leaders.

You've become an employer... so now what?

Whether you’re employing staff for the first time or have taken over a business with current employees, the information and suggestions in this free Employer Guide will help you understand your obligations.

Is it time to move your payroll to the cloud?

Payroll law in NZ is complex and there are a lot of grey areas that cause confusion. Sometimes what seems logical and fair is not right and good employers get into situations that cost them dearly.

Receipt Bank: Adding Bank Accounts

Receipt Bank allows you to add in details of your bank accounts and payment methods in order to help us categorise your receipts and invoices even more efficiently!

Debtor Daddy - Set & Forget Credit Control

Debtor Daddy is a brilliant credit control app that works alongside Xero to help you get your invoices paid faster. It's an automated reminder system that sends up to 5 email reminders to your customers if they don't pay their invoices by the due date.

Xero: The Quick Start Guide

This tutorial gives a quick overview of how to set up your business or a new organisation in Xero accounting software. Once you've made the switch to Xero, you can be up and running within minutes – and it's a pleasure doing business.

Xero: Full Setup Guide Walkthrough

This video tutorial walks through the setup guide for Xero accounting software. The step-by-step process shows you how to make a full conversion to Xero – from your old accounting software, paper-based accounts, or if you're a new businesses starting from scratch.

Forecast Frequency - Daily, Weekly, Monthly or Quarterly?

One of the frequent requests we get at Float is for daily cash flow forecasting. A lot of businesses are interested in more granular forecasts to get better insights into how their available cash changes day by day. And with good reason: Even if you have a big invoice being paid to you in a couple of days, if you reach your overdraft limit today, you may still be in trouble. It’s worth keeping on top of your cash flow!

Streamline Sales and Invoicing with Cloud Accounting Software

A successful, solid sales process is crucial for small businesses. But seeing your cashflow through to completion is just as important. To achieve this, it’s vital that you have a strong invoicing process and an accounting system that’s intuitive, easy to use and complements your sales process.

How much should you pay yourself?

You started your own business to do something you love and make a living. But how much should you pay yourself? Too little and you may struggle to survive. Too much and your business might be at risk. So how do you strike the right balance?