RSS Feed

People

Entrepreneurial DNA

Lessons learnt from growing up in a family business.

Managing Your Agency's Virtual Team

Ah, freelancers. As an account manager, they are either the light of your life, or the bane of your existence. Freelancers can save your ass when a project scales beyond your team's capacity, or they can cost you dearly when they suddenly decide to go on holiday with your urgent work still sitting unfinished on their desk.

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?

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.

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.

9 Tools That Support Better Agency-Client Relationships

While this likely isn’t news to your agency, as with any service business, there is a constant struggle to retain and grow long-term client relationships.

Are your best brand champions sitting just down the hall?

With the digital age in full swing, it’s no surprise that your employees’ personal and professional lives are becoming more and more intertwined.

Read more

Do or Do Not - There is No Try: Working with a Business Mentor

When I first started out as a copywriter working for myself, I felt a bit lost. There were so many different directions my career could go, and I wasn’t sure which one to take. I’d never worked for myself before. It was daunting, and I wasn’t sure where to begin to find answers.

Read more

A Guide to Social Media in the Workplace

Social media is changing, advancing and evolving, so it’s difficult for employers to know where they stand legally.

Read more

Australia knuckles down on Employers who underpay Staff

The Fair Work Ombudsman has been unusually proactive in pursuing underpayment claims in the courts recently. This may have been prompted by several widely reported cases of large supermarket chains mistreating and underpaying their staff. Regardless, this impacts small to medium size employers who may have genuinely underpaid staff due to naivety or a human error and who are now prescribed to the same serious consequences.

Read more

What Employee Perks Means For Business

It’s no secret that providing employee perks to your staff is a key way to keep motivation and happiness levels high, and to increase productivity across the business. However, for many small to medium size businesses, it can be difficult to compete on a level playing field with large companies. Big corporate players have access to the funds to spend on developing programs at a much higher scale than SMBs can afford.

Read more

Customer Love: The True Story

Customers. Without them, you wouldn't be in business. But sometimes they are the sole cause of all our stress and woe. That's especially true during busy times of the year, which for many industries is the leadup to the holiday season.

Read more

The Top 10 HR Tech Trends To Look Out For In The New Year

Where to in 2016?

Read more

Why You Should Treat Employees Like Your Best Customers

In a competitive market, customer loyalty is everything. Keep your customers coming back for more and encourage them to become loyal brand advocates, and profitable growth is a given.

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.

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.

Read more

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…

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.

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*.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Read more

4 Tips for Training Your Staff on How to Use New Technology

Whether in a large corporation or a small retail store, implementing a new piece of software can be a daunting task. One of the largest mistakes an organization can make is overlooking the training investment required with new software.SoftwareInsider recently conducted a survey of potential software buyers and asked what the most important buying factor was when choosing a product. Here were the results:

Read more

Out of the Office? What to Monitor For Complete Agency Management

Whether you’re on vacation, attending a conference, or simply working from home, being out of the office can feel stressful.

Read more

Teamwork Makes the Dream Work: Advancing Collaboration for a Dispersed Workforce

Flexibility and the ability to work from anywhere are increasingly becoming the driving forces behind many career goals. FlexJobs (a leading job search site) has reported a 26% increase in remote jobs advertised from 2013-14. Workers are looking for companies that allow them to set their own schedules, work from home or while travelling, and not stay tied to one company.

Read more

8 Unexpected Benefits of Business Networking

Have you been told that you should use business networking as a tool to grow your business? You should; it’s an awesome way to expand your brand’s reach and find new clients through referrals, particularly if you’re just getting your business off the ground. But, there is SO much more to be gained from business networking - both professionally and personally - if you put the effort in.

Read more

Do you know yourself as a business owner?

According to Greek mythology, the temple of Apollo at Delphi was inscribed with the words “Gnothi Seauton.” This translates to “Know thyself” – and it’s a useful maxim for business owners today.

Read more

Happiness is the key to success

What is it that makes us truly successful? Renowned psychologist, best-selling author and happiness guru Dr. Robert Holden believes our definition of success has changed over time.

While many of us were brought up to believe that success will make us happy, Robert says we’re now looking at success differently. “In fact, I think many of us today believe happiness actually increases our chances of success,” he says.

Read more

Polly LaBarre’s Maverick Manual for Success

As a founding member of the Fast Company magazine team, Polly LaBarre has seen her share of successes—and failures—in the business world. Now the cofounder and director of Management Lab, she helps businesses and entrepreneurs succeed. She starts by asking them a single question: Are you capable of changing as fast as the world is changing?

Read more

The Top Three Reasons To Switch To Outsourced Payroll

We’re quickly approaching EOFY, the moment that businesses often dread. Time consuming, admin heavy tasks begin to really start to gather momentum, which often means reconciling the entire year’s payroll. However, it shouldn’t be a burden or a time of concern. Instead, it’s an opportunity to draw a line in the sand and begin a new financial year with a clean start to payroll and perhaps a focus on what you’re really in business for.

3 Monetary Basics You Should Continuously Be Reviewing

Do you know who an incredible advocate for hard work was? Mary Poppins.

Read more

Make the Right Hire: 3 Tips for Agencies to Consider

Successful agencies are constantly on the hunt to attract and retain top talent through recruiting and networking. But making a hiring decision isn’t easy, and it’s important to hire the right person—the first time around.

How to understand your customers

In more than 20 years of writing for and about a wide variety of companies, I’ve noticed something important. The businesses that flourish are the ones that truly understand their customers – who they are and what they want.

Read more

Secret Tips for Agencies to Improve Client Relationships

The beginning of a relationship is always the best. You laugh at each other’s jokes, you look forward to every phone call, and you truly enjoy getting to know one another.

5 ways to boost productivity using timesheets

In the past, having honest scales were key to doing good business. Today, for many service-based businesses, our scales are our timesheets. Keeping our timesheets honest is not only good for our customers, but necessary to grow your business.

Top tips for hiring recent grads

A popular topic these days is how to hire the perfect candidate for your business. Many industries seem to be suffering from a candidate shortage. When you can’t hire a quality candidate with a lot of experience, the focus quickly turns to hiring people straight out of school. So, how do you identify the diamonds in the rough? How can you give them what they need to grow and turn them into the best they can be?

Read more

9 Seasonal Staffing Tips to Help You Build a Winning Workforce for the Holidays

Being the busiest shopping season of the year, retail sales during the holiday months can account for as much as 20-40% of a retailer’s annual sales. That’s a lot of revenue–and it takes a lot of additional work to achieve. That’s why the holiday season always brings about a spike in temp hiring.
If you’re one of the many merchants looking to hire seasonal employees in the next few months, it’s high time that you start looking, vetting and training people. Remember, you’re competing with a lot of other retailers for talent these days, so the sooner you get started, the better.

Read more

Are Brand and Culture Interchangeable?

Culture is recognised as the ideas, customs, and social behaviour of a society. When it comes to business, it’s importance can carry even more weight. When we think about a business’ culture, we think of the values, behaviours and attributes of your people.

Read more

Find out what type of entrepreneur you are

Entrepreneurs come in different shapes and sizes. Which type are you?

There’s an old saying attributed to Mark Twain: “History doesn’t repeat itself, but it does rhyme.” That’s certainly true of business. Time and again I’ve read that the most successful entrepreneurs are the ones who left school in their early teens and set up their own businesses.

Read more

How to nurture your top talent and keep them for the long haul

You’ve got all this amazing talent, ideas are firing, business is thriving, you wake up every day feeling really lucky to be doing what you do. But one day it all starts to go downhill. People are leaving, HR is in overdrive and unfamiliar faces are springing up left right and center as freelancers start filling in the gaps...

Read more

Put yourself in their shoes

I’m sure you’ve heard the saying many times. But what does it actually mean? How does it really help? Does it help at all?
According to the Wiktionary, to put oneself in someone’s shoes means ‘to try to look at a situation from a different point of view, as if one were the other person. To empathise’.

Read more

The Future of HR is...

What do you think when you think of HR?
Administrative? Transactional? Boring?
Yep, the traditional human resources department hasn’t got the best rep. And for good reason – it’s where the business dots the i’s and crosses the t’s, where policies and processes are fine-tuned. It’s not exactly thrilling stuff.

Read more

This recruiter, who had never run a business before, shares how he quickly learned to be a boss

At Xero, we use the power of technology to foster innovation, connection and entrepreneurialism. To create beautiful work that makes a difference. This is why, each month, we speak to business leaders within our like-minded community. We want to see how they apply similar values to shape their businesses, and their future.

This month, we speak to Stephen Borg. He’s an experienced executive recruiter who, together with his two business partners, started Miller Leith. The firm aims to turn the recruitment industry on its head. They’re creating a more personal, community-minded and supportive experience for businesses and candidates alike.

Stephen tells us in his words why genuine connections make all the difference, how you can innovate work to be a force for good, and how a value-driven service can transform business challenges.

Read more

What Every Retailer Needs to Know about Running Multiple Stores

Just like most organizations, the success of a retail business relies on the unity and alignment of three critical elements: people, process, and technology. This is especially true when you’re running several retail locations. With multiple moving parts, stores, and teams, it’s essential that you keep every component in sync to ensure that your business runs smoothly.

Read more

Why Counting Your Chickens Before They Hatch Is A Good Idea

“Counting your chickens before they hatch” is an idiom that’s thrown around a lot in day to day conversation. Little do people realise its relevance to business strategy. In a nutshell, it means to ‘plan how you’re going to utilize the good results of something, before those results have actually occurred.’

Read more

Money musts before you die

It might be hard to imagine now but what if something were to happen to you? Would your loved ones be taken care of or would they face a tough financial future?

The greatest gift you can leave your family is having your affairs sorted out before you go.

If you have made plans, do your loved ones know where to find them? Would they know what assets you have, what insurance policies are in place or how to access your superannuation or life insurance?

Here are some simple steps you can take to protect the important people in your life.

Read more

Uniforms in your business

If you require your employees to wear a uniform, you may need to pay them a uniform allowance or provide them with a uniform at no cost.

Read more

How Culture Plays a role in Engaging Millenials

If you don’t already work alongside Millennials, the chances are that you will soon. Allianz recently posted that are those born between 1980 and the early 2000s, the eldest Millennials are in the workplace now and by 2025 will make up 75 percent of the global workforce. While they’ve got the numbers in force, it’s easy to find negativity towards hiring Millennials, primarily due to their fickle nature when it comes to job-hopping. A greater understanding about what makes Millennials tick is an easy way to build a culture that’s likely to keep them engaged.

Read more

Using the force to create a positive company culture

It seems as though everywhere you look nowadays you’ll see something related to ‘culture’ and the benefits of a good company culture and of course the disadvantages of a bad one.

So what is this ‘culture’ I speak of?

Read more

Keeping in touch with your customers

Whether you’re running a cafe, a landscaping business or you’re a virtual assistant, repeat customers and positive word of mouth are important to your business’s success. Here are some great ways to make sure your customers remember your business and recommend you to their friends.

Read more

How to Prevent Payroll Fraud

Unfortunately, payroll fraud is a reality for many businesses across Australia. The average payroll fraud amount has shot up thanks to some large instances, including the Clive Peeters case when a single employee stole 19 million and a Canberra Catholic Education case which saw a single employee rob the system of 1.2 million.

6 Celebs You Didn’t Know Were Business Owners

Think about the stars of Hollywood’s red carpets and you probably have in mind a certain sort of person. Someone who embodies the glamour of the silver screen, effortlessly suave, confident and full of panache… Or maybe you just see someone who’s made it lucky and never done a proper day’s work in their life.

Following these rostering tips will help drive business efficiency

A robust rostering system is essential in any hospitality or retail business. Ensuring you have the right number of staff rostered on will keep your customers happy, and your wage cost looking great.

On the contrary, building rosters inefficiently can be a real time-waster. So, how do you get maximum results from your roster?

Prevent the ‘lone wolf’ attitude

Many years ago, I was on lunch with two other techs when one asked, 'Have you seen Tom around lately?'

Tom was a bit of a 'lone wolf' so it wasn’t too strange that we hadn’t run into him, but our manager had also requested a few times that we take his service calls.

I decided to call Tom to find out why he had been MIA for the past few weeks.

How to reduce staff no-shows

It’s Saturday night and dozens of people are starting to stream into your restaurant for a bite to eat. Your staff are ready and everyone’s looking sharp… except Dave, who was supposed to be there 15 minutes ago. Turns out he didn’t realise he was meant to be working and is away for an epic skiing weekend. Awesome for him – not so much for you.

SuperStream is now compulsory for all employers

However there's extra time and help available to you if you need it…

A Retailer’s Guide to Corporate Social Responsibility: Why Giving Back is Good for Business

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is becoming an increasingly popular concept in the retail world. More and more merchants are realizing that giving back doesn’t just make the world a better place, it’s also good for business.

Be authentic, and discover what your customers really want

Over the last few years we’ve been able to get a pretty good handle on your biggest pain points as a business.

Why you shouldn’t give up on the ‘slackers’ in your company: 5 ways to re-engage your staff

We’ve all worked with them at some point – the employees or coworkers who are chronically late for work but who are the first ones to head home at the end of the day.

When they’re on the job, they do the minimum that they can get by with without getting fired. Many label them as ‘lazy’ or ‘slackers’ and quickly write them off as a potential layoff candidate.

Xero Gravity: How to hire your very first employee

When Fortune tabs you as the #5 Best Workplace in Retail for 2015, you’re on to something good.

This week Xero Gravity host Elizabeth Ü chats with Anthony Bucci, Founder & CEO of online motorcycle retailer RevZilla. Anthony’s passion for hiring the right person is undeniable. He shares his learnings from those first handful of hires made at RevZilla and offers invaluable insight into how to grow your best team.

Following these rostering tips will help drive business efficiency

A robust rostering system is essential in any hospitality or retail business. Ensuring you have the right number of staff rostered on will keep your customers happy, and your wage cost looking great.

Read more

The Art of Change Management

Change. It is the one crucial element an organization needs to be able to execute if it wants to remain relevant and profitable in an increasingly dynamic and challenging global economy. It is also the one vital element that generates the greatest amount of resistance, and throws up the largest number of obstacles to success, than any other business necessity.

Read more

[Video] Benefits vs Salary. What Employees Say..

Read more

10 Goals for the HR Department in 2016

As the saying goes, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results. So if 2015 was a busy, challenging or downright insane year, it might be time to re-think a few workplace habits as we tear another page off the calendar and hurtle headfirst into 2016.

Read more

A manager’s guide to constructive employee performance reviews

Effective and supportive management is a key ingredient in making sure your employees love their jobs. And one of the most important aspects of being a good manager is giving clear feedback to your team members. This is something you should be doing consistently throughout the year. But yearly performance reviews are the perfect opportunity to reflect holistically on what went well and what could use some work. Here are some tips for how to conduct constructive and effective yearly performance reviews.

Read more

Building tech-savvy staff

Businesses that boost the technical skills of their employees lift their productivity and profits, as well as improve worker satisfaction. Despite knowing this, most firms still suffer from skill gaps.

A recent survey in the UK found that while most companies accepted the business benefits that would flow from improving their staff’s digital skills, only 14 percent felt their staff training was adequate.

Read more

Voice of the customer: the human side of business

Surveys are great. They often provide you the down and dirty data needed to develop or validate a hypothesis.

Market research is another fantastic tool. It provides the broad net needed to understand the intricacies of who your target customer is, and what their pain points and needs are.

Read more

Xero Gravity: How to keep your staff happy and motivated

Does your business have a story? The kind of story that demonstrates your business is committed to upholding its values? This may be key in retaining staff and making them happy.

Read more

Does your age determine if you’re going to be a successful entrepreneur or not?

What do Elizabeth Holmes, Sara Blakely, Linda Avey and Arianna Huffington have in common? They are all female entrepreneurs who have successfully built billion dollar businesses. But what does differ dramatically is their age.

Empowering your managers to create autonomy

If you’re seeking to achieve business growth and expansion, it’s likely you’ll look to leverage the passion and talent of your employees. This might mean looking to your star performers, and it might mean looking for new hires.

The ultimate outcome here is to create autonomy within your workforce – you’re seeking to create a capability that works as if you were controlling it but with little need for your input. Think about that for a moment.

How to attract, create and keep exceptional employees

Great employees are made up of two foundational elements: enthusiasm and teachability.

The former denotes a passionate individual, while the latter is one who wants to develop and progress, who is hungry to learn, and who evidences the trait of humility.

If you can find an individual with these two traits as well as highly developed skills, then you’re on to a winner. And, even if the skill levels are less than required, their rise to skill mastery will be much faster if they already have these two foundational traits.

What makes your workplace culture fun?

“This is our breakout area. As you can see, we’ve got a pool table, an ironic Space Invaders machine, several broken Apple Macs hanging on the exposed brick wall, craft beer on tap, though I think the keg’s empty… Oh, and that khaki tent in the corner is for meetings. Of course, there’s nobody in here at the moment as we’re all so busy working.”

Xero Gravity: Effective communication matters in small biz

You may walk the walk, but can you talk the talk? Public speaking, pitching, talking, listening. Communication is integral to every aspect of business ownership and is a skill that directly impacts success.

Ladies Who Launch: successful entrepreneurs (who happen to be women)

Earlier this week, Square and Startup Week 2016 presented Ladies Who Launch: a panel featuring some of Australia’s inspiring business owners – who just happen to be women.

Around 200 of us gathered at 524 Flinders Street to hear from four successful founders: Sarah Hamilton ofBellabox, Simone Clark of Butterbing Cookie Sandwiches, Sheryl Thai of Cupcake Central + the League of Extraordinary Women, and Jacqui Bull of Sidekicker.

The panel was hosted Josh McNicol, Head of Marketing and Communications for Square Australia.

Overstaffed or understaffed? Here are the signs

When it comes to building rosters you want to be as accurate as possible when forecasting future staffing requirements. Time again, we’ve seen rosters being created based on instinct and manager experience.

Workplace bullies and how not to be one

The issue of bullying at school is well-known and reasonably well understood. But workplace bullying is just as big a problem. In the US, for example, 27% of employees have experienced bullying, and managers are the main cause.
Wherever you find people who are driven, ambitious and strong-willed, there’s potential for bullying. Unfortunately, there’s a good chance that some of the people reading this are workplace bullies.

Employee or contractor – do you know the difference?

As an employer, it's important you understand the difference between employees and contractors. You're responsible for getting it right!

8 Employee Engagement Trends For 2016

Engaged employees are the secret weapon of successful organisations of any size. If your people are happy, committed and empowered, they’ll stay with your business. Your customers will get a better experience, you spend less on recruitment and re-training, productivity soars and absenteeism plummets.

Xero In: Creating and maintaining culture

“We selected our 12 best managers and we psychometrically profiled them. From that profile we were then able to build what we saw was an ideal person that would fit our culture.” - Angus Kennard, non executive director and third generation leader of Kennards Hire.

Get Ready for the Big Shifts in HR Tech

There are fundamental shifts taking place in HR. In these times of critical skills shortages, everyone has woken up to the fact that employees are the most important company asset. And using the right HR Tech will help you get the best out of them.

Using the force to create a positive company culture

It seems, nowadays, that everywhere you look you’ll see something related to ‘culture’ and the benefits of a good company culture — and of course the disadvantages of a bad one. So what is this ‘culture’ I speak of?

Xero In: Building your collaborative A-team

“The people that embrace technology of course are the ones who are going ahead. The ones who see disruption not as disruption but as a challenge to develop new processes and new products.”
– Steve Vamos, non executive director, Telstra and Fletcher Building

How to Spend Less Time Rostering Staff

Staff scheduling is the heartbeat of any SME, and should never be taken on half-heartedly.

20 Innovative Ways To Keep Your Employees Motivated And Ultimately More Productive

As the company owner, you have that entrepreneurial streak, that will to succeed. You can see the big picture and have a clear view of where you want the company to be in 5 years time.

The big problem comes when you can’t seem to translate that enthusiasm and drive to your team. They’re qualified and hardworking, but they just don’t really seem that fussed what happens to the company. You want them to be resilient, driven and – above all else – as motivated to succeed as you are.

4 ways to adapt to the changes that come with starting a business

In the world of small business, the changing nature of competition requires us to constantly adjust and adapt, succeed and remain grounded. Everyday business decisions can be a continuous battle between the urge to stand still and consolidate, or push to achieve more.

So how do you strike the right balance? Multi-medal winning swimmer Michael Klim shares four top tips.

Are we there yet?

How many times have you been on a road trip with children and heard that constant question that gratingly gets on your nerves: ‘Are we there yet?’

If you’re like me, you want to answer with, ‘Of course not or we’d be… there.’ Kids, knowing the potential fun to be had at the destination, get weary in the waiting of the journey itself.

Changes to the way employees can cash out annual leave

If you haven’t heard already, there are some big changes around the corner for workers covered by modern awards, which are has kicked in at the start of August 2016. Importantly, there are some big changes in the way employees can cash out annual leave.

How to deal with change in your business or industry

Change is a normal and essential part of business. It’s an important step in improving your staff performance, enhancing goods or services and expanding.

It takes a village to run a business

They may stand alone on the podium, but gold-winning medallists always thank the team that made them. So how do you build the right team around you when you’re only just off the blocks – and why should you bother?

Resolving a dispute with your supplier

Having a good working relationship with your suppliers is vital to ensure your business runs smoothly. Although it’s likely you’ve taken the time to find the right suppliers for your business and build up a good supplier relationship with them, it’s still important to know what to do if any issues arise.

9 Tips For Hosting Awesomely Effective Meetings

Ah, meetings. With their almost universally hated status, running one can be tough going. You can almost *hear* the groans as you schedule one in the team’s shared calendar (and heaven forbid you try and make it a regular weekly occurrence). Given the enormous amount of pressure you – as the brave meeting organiser – face, it’s easy to default to a boring Powerpoint deck and read off the slides word-for-word. Unfortunately it’s also a great way to send everyone to sleep or to seek solace in tea breaks and lunch.

Take control of your business without losing sight of yourself

When you own a business, it’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day: from ensuring jobs get done, to checking employees and customers are happy. That’s before we even factor in our families, let alone ourselves.

But when we don’t take care of ourselves too, it can take a toll on the quality we operate at, affecting business productivity and ultimately profitability.

8 ways to better manage your staff

Good managers can make or break a business. They're essential to developing a positive and productive workforce, which, in turn, improves employee retention levels and ensures everybody in the business is working in line with the company’s strategy and objectives.

How to cope with difficult people in the workplace (or anywhere else)

Several years ago, I had a customer who would glower at me as soon as I entered his department. He would say, ‘Fix it right this time, or get it out of here,’ no matter what the problem was.

If I was even one minute later than my ETA, he would be on the phone with my boss, complaining about the horrible service he was getting.

Because he would place a service call for the slightest imperfection or hiccup of the machine, I was going there almost every day.

How to grow your family business

Working with family members presents unique advantages, and unique challenges. If you've built up your own business, now might be the time to bring in other family members. Here’s how to avoid some of the pitfalls.

What You Really Should Look For When Hiring New Staff

Hiring the right person for the job isn’t always a straightforward process. There are many variables to consider and whether you are a startup looking to hire your very first member of staff or already have a few team members on board and are looking to expand, the right person with the right skills can really enhance your work environment and have a positive impact on production. Hiring the wrong person does just the opposite and can not only be a costly exercise, but it can also be time-consuming and even have a negative impact on employee morale.

7 Reasons Why Your Business Needs a ‘Work From Anywhere Week’

Are your staff turning up late, grouchy and stressed? Do they have a distant look in their eyes (like they’d rather be anywhere else)? Is your turnover rate on the rise?

7 Common HR Mistakes you can't afford to make

If you’re like most small business owners and managers, you probably wear many hats and are responsible for many areas of your business. You’re the CEO, bean counter, marketing whiz, sales guru, lead developer, and more.

So you’ve typically got your hands full developing growth strategies, optimising the cash flow, managing customer relationships, product and service innovation, not the mention the human side of running your business.

Effective tips for training small business employees

A big mistake made by small business managers is not providing adequate staff training. It doesn’t matter if a business is bringing in a new employee or the latest piece of specialist machinery or mobile technology, staff who aren’t trained properly will cost time and money. In the long run, businesses who don’t make training a priority will likely lose good staff, too.

Employee or contractor? We help bust the myths!

As an employer, it's important that you understand the difference between employees and contractors. Employing someone under the wrong arrangement could put your business at risk of penalties. Things like your tax and super obligations are also affected by your workers’ arrangement.

Are Millennials Worth the Risk?

Mention the word ‘millennial’ and the first thing that comes to mind for a lot of employers is ‘risky’. Today’s university graduates are looking to fast-track their career, and are not afraid of jumping from employer to employer to achieve advancement.

Dealing with clashes in the workplace

As a manager, it’s important to do your best to keep your workplace from becoming an episode of the Real Housewives. Here are some tips for managing conflict.

HR for Small Business, Is It Really Needed?

A recent study focused on identifying the current issues and trends facing Australian SMEs has found that 38% of small businesses pick Marketing & Advertising as the primary strategy for growth.

With more than a third of small business competing in the open market it will mean that it’s going to be harder and harder for your prospective customers to differentiate your business to your competitors. This often means that with a limited budget, as an owner of a business you would rather hire new sales or marketing personnel than HR. Or invest time in prospecting new business rather than increasing employee engagement and other people management strategies.

Make sure your customers keep coming back

Small businesses will often say that their number one goal is business growth. But where does business growth come from? An easy answer to this can be “attracting new customers”. But attracting new customers can come at a very high price. Marketing has become increasingly difficult with online advertising and social media offering. Competition is fierce. Every other small business is online competing for potential customers. On the other hand, you could rely on word-of-mouth, but that is going to be a very slow process.

Make sure your employee happiness survey ticks all the right boxes

Happy employees are engaged employees. It’s the HR holy grail. So gaining a measure of employee happiness in your business makes good sense. But all employee happiness surveys are not created equal. An employee happiness survey is only as good as the questions you ask and how you follow through on the responses.

The Best Practices for Conducting a Performance Review

Do you feel like it might be time for a change in your office environment? Perhaps the productivity isn’t as good as it use to be or there are a handful of employees who just don’t seem to be performing at their best. Conducting a performance review can greatly help you manage your employees and make sure that your workplace stays strong, efficient, and goal driven.

The Elusive Work Life Balance: 7 Ways to Avoid Burnout

You’ve had a hectic day at the office. A last minute crisis occurred and you worked 2 hours overtime to get everything done. When you finally arrive home you’re too exhausted to cook dinner (and substitute with greasy takeaways and a cheap bottle of wine).Your ‘quality time’ with your spouse consists of a few muttered sentences before doing the laundry and other crucial tasks, then rolling into bed exhausted.

Are you ready for a rethink?

In contemplating what to write about in this post I turned to the bevvy of online news sites for inspiration. Every second headline seemed to shine a spotlight on the issues our organisation deals with every day: minimum wage increases, penalty rates, protecting Australian jobs, childcare affordability and superannuation. Federal elections certainly have a way of getting people focused on employment services topics!

Flexible working arrangements for employees

Are you looking for ways to ensure your employees are happy at work?

With the right approach, flexible working arrangements can help your employees achieve a work-life balance and benefit your business.

Is your emergency management plan up-to-date?

Do you know what your business would do during a natural disaster? Planning for emergencies and natural disasters is essential to help protect your business against the worst.

Help make sure your business is prepared for extreme weather conditions this summer, and create an emergency management plan.

How to go from self-employed to successful business owner

Seven vehicles on the road. Ten electricians in the field. One business owner working overtime, all the time...

Such was the norm for L&L Electrical, a versatile electrical services company in Campbelltown, Victoria, and proud owner John Libroaperto.

Proud and successful owner he was, yes – but at a hefty cost in a most valuable currency: time.

Reminder on Zero Hour Contracts

In April 2016 the Government passed the Employment Relations Amendment Act 2016 which saw a number of changes in employment law, including legislating against the use of “Zero-hour” contracts in employment agreements.

Support available for young Australian entrepreneurs

Learn more about the Encouraging Entrepreneurship and self-employment initiative!

Are you a young Australian with a great business idea? If so, our friends at the Department of Employment have launched the Encouraging Entrepreneurship and Self-Employment initiative to help young Australians start and run their own business!

5 Practical Ways to Curb Employee Turnover in Your Café or Restaurant

Staff turnover always seems to be a struggle for businesses in the hospitality industry.
By its nature, working in cafés, restaurants, and even take-away food outlets is a high-stress occupation. Add to this, relatively lower pay rates, long shifts, or erratic schedules, and it’s not surprising that many employees suffer burnout.

Four tips to help minimise disruption caused by employee leave

An efficient, hard-working and friendly team is often the making of a successful hospitality business. So it can be quite disruptive when employees need to take leave.

Field Service Management – Out from the Shadows

Colour-coded job sheets on clipboards. Customer details stuffed in manila folders. Rooms full of grey filing cabinets overflowing with clip-lock files. Cardboard boxes bursting with service manuals arranged in rough alphabetical order. Handwritten notes, 8am sales meetings in sweaty city offices and well-thumbed street directories in company-car gloveboxes.

Key management skills to grow your business

Many small business owners start out with a good business idea but little concept of what it takes to manage and grow a business.

The good news is that you can definitely learn and improve your management skills as your business grows.

And while there isn’t a definitive list of skills, the ones we’ve listed below could help you to build your initial vision and develop your business to its full potential.

Review of TSheets – Employee Time Tracking Software

Struggling to keep on top of employee timesheets? Want to offer employees a simpler way to clock in and out? Keen to track remote workers’ location throughout the day? Eager to make payroll easier? TSheets, a mobile employee tracking software, is here to help.

4 Legal Minefields to Avoid When Terminating Employment

Firing employees is probably one of the hardest things you’ll ever have to do as a business owner. It’s also one of the most litigious.

7 Common HR Mistakes Every Business Owner Can Avoid

Running a business is hard and it often feels like there aren’t enough hours in the day to get everything done that you want (or should) do. By the time you pay your bills, invoice customers, return calls, put the final touches on that big proposal, and get the stock order out, the day is over and it’s time to pick up the kids.

Accountants and Advisors at Risk of Accessorial Liability

If you’re an accountant or professional advisor, take heed of a recent decision by the Federal Circuit Court. You may be at risk of accessorial liability for your clients’ breaches of the Fair Work Act.

How Isle Of Skye Candles Reinvested For Growth With Float

The Isle of Skye Candle Company’s first batch of candles was made in a converted croft on the Isle of Skye in 2006, and since then the company has been lighting up across Scotland and the UK.

Warning about misleading R&D tax schemes in the wine industry

Are you a grape grower and wine producer or tax advisor who advises grape growers and wine producers on the R&D Tax Incentive?

While most businesses and tax advisors do the right thing, the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) and Department of Industry, Innovation and Science (DIIS) has issued a warning to tax advisors who have been improperly advising businesses on the R&D Tax Incentive.

When sales and service team up, profits go up

I’ve heard it said that it’s a sales rep’s job to promise the moon to customers, and it’s a service rep’s duty to bring customers back to earth.

5 tips for becoming your own boss

The idea of starting your own business and being your own boss has become more popular in recent years.

HOW IMPROVING EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT CAN BOOST YOUR BOTTOM LINE

Look at a company with a reputation for strong employee engagement and you’ll find a high performing business. We’re not making this up.

How to Prevent and Handle Robberies and Theft in Retail

Are you equipped to handle retail theft and robberies? Whether you answered yes or no to that question, keep reading.

Investing in staff training is an investment in your business

Staff training is one of the best investments you can make for the future success of your business.

THE HAPPINESS FACTOR: 6 TACTICS FOR IMPROVING WORKPLACE PRODUCTIVITY

Remember the old (and slightly misogynistic) phrase Happy Wife, Happy Life! ? Well, it turns out there is a workplace equivalent: Happy workers, productive business! (and no – we couldn’t make it rhyme).

4 employee wellness ideas that your employees will love but don’t cost a fortune

The thing is, employee wellbeing and happiness isn’t just about nap rooms, onsite massages, and cafeterias serving healthy food and snacks (though that would be nice!)

Let’s make it clear – Good mobile staff communication is vital

Many small business owners don’t give a second thought about the need for clear communication.

No dedicated hr team? You need these essential hr tools and solutions

Every business owner knows that as soon as you start hiring people, there’s a whole heap of important and must-do HR related tasks and compliance requirements that goes with them.

4 tell-tale signs you need an HR manager right now

No one ever starts a business with the intention of spending most of their time tied up in the administrative tasks that come with operating one.

Five ways to build a happy team

We have spoken to hundreds of business owners and thousands of their employees over the last twelve years.

Get ready! The millennials are coming…

Millennials – young people born between the 1980s and early 2000s – make up an increasingly large proportion of drinking-age customers. It’s important that good hospitality businesses understand that.

4 Tell tale signs that you need a new HR system

These days, managing HR in a growing business is a constant task. As an HR manager, you’re probably overloaded with work and you never seem to get to the bottom of it all.

Teamwork: A Key Ingredient For A Successful Business

Aside from efficient inventory management, teamwork is an incredibly important component of the ‘successful business’ recipe and if left out, the result can be a real flop.

You gotta dig the No Dig method

Dennis Yarrow began Yarrow Plumbing back in 2003. Before that, he cut his teeth in the plumbing industry working in Papua New Guinea where he learned how to manage a team of 50 (and some other life skills he hadn’t bargained for).

Get your HR processes sorted with these 4 easy HR hacks

If the business you work in is anything like other small businesses, then your role of office manager means you handle just about anything!

Get your new employees off to a great start with this onboarding checklist

As we mentioned in a previous post, putting on new staff comes with a mountain of onboarding paperwork. But, that certainly doesn’t mean your new starter’s first day should be all about filling in forms.

Workplace training – what’s in it for the company?

Workplace training is an important part of company work life which, as expensive as it may be, is a necessary means to a skilled workforce.

Make sure you don’t overlook this critical step in your employee onboarding process

So, you’re doing your homework on employee onboarding and preparing new starter kits infused with your company’s values. You also want to mastermind an onboarding process that even the tech giants would be proud of.

Why, How and When To Use a Fixed Term Contract

Many businesses in the building, civil and mining and professional services industries in particular, underestimate the benefit of a well-constructed employment contract.

The Value of Workplace Training

Training in the workplace is a very valuable and important component of running a successful business.

4 Essential employee engagement trends for 2018

Creating a highly-engaged workforce and a thriving workplace continues to be a major focus for all HR managers. And the reason is simple.

Are employee benefits the key to attracting and retaining employees?

Free healthy meals at work, discounted travel, opportunities for personal development and study, flexible working, and paid time off for volunteering – these are just some of the compelling employee benefits that leading company’s offer.

Handle conflict like a pro: essential team conflict management examples and tips

Conflicts are inevitable, even in the most engaged of workplaces. Regardless of the source of the conflict, if they are left unresolved, conflicts can quickly impact employee morale and productivity.

How to Deal with Difficult Customers: Nine Proven Tips for Retailers

Dealing with difficult customers can be… well, difficult, but it doesn’t have to be. With the right attitude and action steps, you can effectively navigate these tricky customer situations and emerge (hopefully) unscathed.

The Power of Customer Success

Customer Success is one of the most important strategic priorities at Spotlight Reporting. The more we learn about Customer Success principles, strategy and practice, the more we can see the powerful resonance this could have for accountants in practice.

How to recognize and prevent sexual harassment in your office

The Harvey Weinstein scandal is back in the news this week – and it’s a reminder that we should seriously think about how we recognize and prevent sexual harassment in the workplace.

Learn how to create business values in just 5 simple steps

When it comes to creating a vibrant company, values are absolutely foundational – in fact, they’re one of the most visible aspects of any company culture.

Women in Tech – It All Adds Up!

Recruiting more women into roles within the technology sector continues to be to a major challenge for employers. In the UK technology sector, only 15% of people working in STEM roles are female, and women hold only 5% of tech leadership positions.

7 Examples of Good Customer Service in Retail (and How to Apply Them to Your Stores)

While there are many things that can affect the in-store experience (e.g. products, prices, store environment, etc.) customer service is always going to be one of the top factors that impact how shoppers perceive your brand.

How to Prevent and Handle Internal Theft in Retail Stores

When thinking about threats to your retail store, shoplifting is probably number one, right? The idea of someone swiping hundreds of dollars of products into a giant bag and walking out with them is horrifying, isn’t it? (post by Cara Wood)

How to Train, Manage and Motivate Part-Time Retail Staff

There were almost 5 million retail sales jobs in the U.S. in 2016. Those workers, both full- and part-time, represent a sizeable chunk of the workforce, and they’re also a key component to every growing retail business. (post by Alexandra Sheehan)

The Retailer’s Guide to Cashier Training: Getting People up to Speed with Your POS

Perhaps the most important part of retail is the moment of the transaction — when money transfers from the customer to the cashier. (post by Cara Wood)

Get Your Staff Ready for Cloud-Based Software

Shifting data, systems and the inner workings of a business onto the cloud can be a big move. However, it’s hard to stay away from the cloud these days; the applications of cloud-based software are seemingly endless.

How to Start a Private Label: A Chat with Sarah Ferrence of Mod. Merchant

Have you ever considered selling private label products? If so, keep reading. For this post, we caught up with Sarah Ferrence, the founder of Mod. Merchant, a firm that helps retailers and wholesalers adapt and grow their businesses in the new era of retail.

8 Reasons Why You Should Outsource

Outsourcing ‘business as usual’ tasks can bring focus and efficiencies your business needs in order to succeed in today’s fast paced environment. A new level of agility and access to quality analytics and expertise can be brought into your business. To get ahead of the competition, consider outsourcing.

Tips for managing seasonal workers

During the Christmas holiday season, businesses of many types employ seasonal or casual workers to meet extra demands. Often these workers are hard-working young people who have travelled from overseas, bringing with them their own language and culture. This international melting-pot makes for a fun and productive work environment, although it can also present challenges.

Why thinking negatively isn't always a bad thing

Contrary to what you've always been told, thinking negatively can very much be a good thing.

Top 10 Tips For Happy Employees

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

My take on bookkeeping/BAS agents myths!

So does your bookkeeper need to be a BAS agent?

Staff Changes

To be the best our staff need to be the best

Boost Employee Productivity: 10 Secrets Your Staff Want Managers to Know

Are you struggling to motivate your employees? Do you constantly chase after them to get their timesheets in on time or wonder why they aren’t more focused or driven? Is absenteeism, poor morale and failure to meet targets a common occurrence?

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?

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.

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.

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.

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..

Is your business SuperStream compliant?

SuperStream, the new electronic reporting and payment for superannuation, starts for all businesses with employees from the 1 July 2016. Do you understand what you need to do to avoid a hefty ATO fine? This article will make it clear.

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.

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.

Read more

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.

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.

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 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.

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.

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.

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.

Tracking training for business success

It’s no secret that businesses with a culture of training are seen as quality organisations. The right training is a key element in the business strategy and it’s the lifeblood of most successful businesses. A true training culture continuously challenges its own methods and ways of doing things. This ensures continuous improvement and the capacity to change.