Good day and welcome to the Business Made Easy Podcast where we make
business easy. Jason, your host here again for another episode of the podcast
2019. It is a new year. Happy New Year to you all. Thank you for joining me. I
hope your Christmas festivities have been exciting and fun and relaxing and I
know mine certainly have ready for a break. Actually everything has been,
eating and drinking and you know, socializing all that sort of things so much
ready for, okay. I’ve got another couple of weeks off work. So, I’m gonna have a
bit of a well-earned rest. Now, I give my body a rest and get back into some
health and fitness I think [chuckles] and start following those New Year’s
resolutions that, everybody makes.
And ironically resolutions are what we’re going to be talking about today. It just
seems such a fitting time this time of the year, the first podcast episode of the
year. So, before I do though, if you do have or remember if you do have any
business questions or anything you’d like answered in the show, something that
could set your year up for success, something that could make you all year
better that I could help you with, by all means, feel free to drop me a line at
[email protected] or go over to the website
businessmadeeasypodcast.com. Hit that red record button and you can fire your
question away there. I will get an audio of that and I will certainly help you and,
yeah, answer your question as best I can. If I can’t answer it I will get an expert in
on the show especially for you to do that. I’ve got a world of experts I should say
that are going to be joining me over the next 12 months.
We’ve got some fantastic interviews lined up and some great content coming up
along the year as well. I’ve been doing my planning over this break and mapping
out for you, content that I hope you’ll find valuable and that will help you to
accelerate your business growth and help you just to grow your business and
that’s my whole purpose of putting this podcast together and my drive, my wife
if you like is to help you to succeed in your business, and make it easier. So, that’s
the name of the podcast.
So, yeah. if you do have anything feel free to drop me a line, as
I say, at [email protected] And we will get you sort of the
quickest and fastest best possible way to help you accelerate that growth. And I
hope you’ve actually had some time to actually put some resolutions in place to
basically have a think about where– what you want to 2019 to be for you. How
you want it to shape up for you and how you’re going to shape it and how you’re
going to drive your business forward.
So it’s a perfect time of the year. Just tell me if I may use this like heading a big
reset button just like this big red button with New Year written on it. I just hit
that reset button and basically get– I don’t know what it is– I’m sure it’s just
psychological. absolutely sure it’s psychological but nonetheless it works for me,
and I just find, yeah, I just find a great time you just– I think it’s because I get
such a good solid break away from things as well which is good. It’s always good
to put down the tools and you know, have a bit of a reflection and think about
your direction and all that sort of thing for the new year which is a great thing to
And that is what we are going to be talking about today, New Year’s resolutions
but not like you would think. But before I get into them, New Years, did you
know that basically 80% of all New Year’s resolutions made, have been failed by
February? That’s a staggering statistic isn’t? 80% of what people say they’re
going to do in the New Year they have failed by, they fail by February which is
just crazy. But anyway, that’s not going to be us. We’re not going to do that
because we’re going to be a tribe of doers and we’re going to actually take
action and implement which is what, we want to do.
And so, I thought it we might put a bit of a different slant on New Year’s
resolutions this year and I want to talk about New Year’s new business
resolutions. We thought we often put in place, resolutions for our personal lives
and what we want to achieve and certainly we may have had to think about the
business but these are particular things that I’m going to share with you that you
can do and resolution you can potentially make in your business in the new year
that are going to drive your success and help you to grow your business.
So, really they’re important points that I think every business owner should be
thinking about. And I guess just being on top of them and if you are on top of
these things already, fantastic and congratulations. I’m glad you are but there’s a
number here that actually I think I’ve got about nine different points of
resolutions that you can make this year to help you grow your business which is
what we want you to do.
Alrighty. So, let’s get into them and they’re not difficult. They’re not,
complicated or anything like that but the things that I think that business
owners do actually overlook and do get untidy with. And you know, a lot of the
mark don’t necessarily lights you up and say, “Oh, I don’t wanna do it. I wanted
to do that.” But I’m gonna share with you in the content coming up on ways you
can implement these things as well. So, this will form a bit of a framework for the
content for the year ahead as well but the very first thing that I think that I
would be doing and I’m actually doing myself is to get on top of my financial
position for the year. Actually really review, prepare review my financial
statements, for the past six months or the past 12 months. See where I am, see
we’re I am in the business, see what’s going on. Get a good feel and
understanding of what my current financial position is. other things that I’ve got
to look at why I’m paying for subscriptions and things that I don’t really need. am
I overspending in any particular area of the business? How’s it looking into my
budget? Are we on track with my budget setting process? you want to get a
really good feel I guess and then it’s going to give you a starting point for the
Okay. We’re gonna start off fresh with having our house in order basically
everything basically, yeah. You know, in order good you’ve got an
understanding, a lot of business owners don’t do regular financial reporting.
They’ll just leave till the end of the year, take it into the accountant and then you
know, hope that they made it, the hope that they did okay. But really not
understanding where they are tax wise, not understanding where their profit is,
where their money’s going, what their cash flows like.
So, this is a real opportunity when you start back in the business or if you
already have started back in business, you can do this still too. But prepare a
good set of financial statements and get a good clear overview of that. Now, a
lot you will know I am an accountant. so, numbers are my thing and doing this
other thing is my thing. If it’s not your thing you can drop me a line at
[email protected] and I’ll certainly help you to get started
in that and show you ways that you can help your ways to get on top of those
financial positions and actually if you stick around for episode number 73 which
I’m just currently recording shortly. the topic is really on preparing financial or
software and things like that you can use in your business to, make this process
easier for you. A bit of a spoiler alert there but yeah,, check that one out when it
comes out. That’ll be episode 73 next week.
But if we, look at that, yeah, so, the very first point I want to make the area’s
prepare and review your financial position and see exactly, get an understanding
clearly of where you are and not just number wise. They look at things that don’t
necessarily show up in your financials. So, you could look at things like what are
my customer numbers like? What sort of numbers am I doing in terms of, you
know, volume through the door and in terms of customers, or leads coming into
the business, look at all those things as well and see what your conversions like
of those leads coming in.
All that stuff really matters and is important because that’s going to give you
again, your starting point for the New Year. Once you’ve got that down path
then I would look at setting and reviewing clear stretch revenue and business
goals and targets, okay? You want to basically set some stretch targets for the
year and look at I guess ensure your building, designated times along the way
during the year to test and measure, “Hey, you’re going well.” So, what I would
typically do, the way I would approach this would be to work out exactly where I
am as a setting point one and then I’d look at, “Okay. What sort of result, what
sort of numbers am I wanting at the end of 2019?” So, what are my targets that I
need to hit and then at what points along the way? So before, I’ll just do it
quarterly. I prefer monthly but quarterly is a minimum that you should be doing
What points along the way should I be checking? You know, where should I be
after the end of January? Where should I be at the end of February? Etcetera. So
you want to build in some checking places along the way. It’s no good finding out
where you are, setting a path for the end of the year and then not looking at
again till you get down to the end of the year. Because you’re not going to know
whether you made it or not. the time to make corrective action. Each time you
do these mini reviews, you take corrective action to put yourself back on course,
so it’s very, very important that you do this. As I say, I do prefer monthly at a
minimum but certainly wouldn’t do any less than quarterly. An actual fact in my
business, we look a lot of these numbers on a weekly basis.
That’s how granular we get down to because things costs blow out, you’ve got to
keep your finger. So, I have a little dashboard that I prepare and well, I don’t
prepare it but my team prepare and I basically get to see what’s going on a
business, much like you can look at the dashboard of a car and see what’s going
on in with the car engine and speed and all that sort of stuff. We do the same
sort of thing with the business and as I say I do that weekly. But you can do it
quarterly at a minimum or monthly would be even better.
So, set and review clear stretch revenue, goals and business goals.
The third business resolution I would be making would be to make sure you stay
up-to-date with all your regulatory requirements, reporting, filing, make it all let
— get your house in order and just make sure that you’re up to date with all that
stuff. You don’t want to be, going along and then all of a sudden you know, you
get a fine or a late lodgment penalty or notices. You know, something from one
of the authorities to say, “Are you having a sore and now you owe this money.”
Because if you get surprised bills, and you haven’t factored that into your
budgeting then you’re going to be in a world of pain.
So, we want to avoid that. So, make sure you’re up-to-date with all your
regulatory, housekeeping, all your filing is done. A great way to do this, and I’m
not saying this because I am an accountant but a great way to do this is to
actually get in touch with your accountant and have a meeting with them and
map out the calendar for the year in terms of what’s going to be due, when
roughly what amounts you’re gonna need. How much you should be putting
away? You know, get really organized with that and don’t sort of — a lot of
people react, are reactive in this space. They don’t go and seek advice and get
the knowledge upfront. They wait to be told that, “Hey, you need to do this. You
need to do that.” I want for you to be in front of the game, in front of what’s
coming up so you’ve already know, when we get there to that due date, we’ve
already got that money put aside.
We know what we’re doing. And it’s going to smooth out your cash flow to
remove surprise bills and reduce costs for you big time in your business. So, as I
say, grab an appointment with your accountant and map that out, yeah. If you
haven’t got an accountant that you can do that with, by all means I’m more than
happy to talk with you and you can get in touch with me and I can certainly help
you out with that process to get you in front of the game of when things are
going to be due for you, for sure.
Alrighty, number four is revise and make sure you’re doing all your book work
and financial will work the most efficient way. So, look critically at the processes
that you’ve got in terms of collating and putting all this information together. Is
it manual and clunky and takes time to do?I would suggest that a lot of people in
a lot of cases put off doing this sort of work because it is clunky and laborious
and they don’t quite understand it. It’s just not an appealing thing to do but if
you can streamline the process which there are many tools that you can use
these days which again stick around for Episode number 73 next week, just
another spoiler alert. we’re going to be talking about a lot of those tools that you
can implement to streamline your processes in your accounting and
bookkeeping. So, if you’re using manual systems spreadsheets to keep track of
things, not ideal. You want something that’s dynamic and fairly automated and
there’s a lot of those. So, make sure you got all that stuff cleaned up. Look at
what you’re gonna stop doing and look at what you’re gonna start doing. Now is
the time. Now is that the time to do that.
Number five, I would review my top 10 customers and make sure that they are
not representing a disruption ‘it amount of my total income. Very important
concept is I want you to, picture this. Imagine you’ve got a customer and a big-, a
largest customer. You’ve just won them and they’re and it’s so big that they’re
gonna represent sort of 90% of your income. They’re going to bring so much
business to you and you’re gonna grow and you’re going to buy new vehicles and
expand the factory or premises or expand the warehouse, whatever it is because
to take on, it’s just a huge win for you.
You’ve worked hard. You’ve got this brand new customer and they’re super big.
You scale up. You incur all this cost and I’ve seen this happen so so many times.
They’re biggest customer but you know what? They are also your largest liability
because you’ve just scale up to, to accommodate them and all that but what if
they leave? So, you get proportionate amount of revenue represented by you
know, a small group of customers because particularly you might get two
customers that know each other and they represent a massive part of your
Well, what if one leaves and gets disappointed with and the other you know,
gets in the other ones here and they all go? you’re really putting yourself in a
liability situation there by having it. So, I want you to review your top ten
customers that you have on your list. Now, if you’ve got millions of customers
this is probably not so relevant. If you’ve got millions of customers that small
type transactions, I’m talking about where you’ve got, larger type, sales or it
might be a group. You know, think of it this way. There might be individual of
little individual transactions but they represent a group or a subset of your
customers. So, look at that and see whether that’s at a disproportion to your
total sales. And the easy way to do it is just add up what the tip, that the sale
value is of your top 10 customers and divide it by your total sales overall and
that will give you a percentage and if you’re up over 50% that’s too high. I wanna
see that right down low, you wanna, you wanna have a good spread across your
customer base because that builds in protection for [inaudible] and your
revenue is not going to be at stake when you do that. So, a good time to do that
is the style of the year.
It’s a fresh year. We’re going to — and then when you do it, if you do have that
problem, then you want to identify what it is you’re going to do to adjust that
customer mix? It might be that you have to go out and get some more customers
or you might have to find a different market segment to operate in but you need
to build in that redundancy that if something goes wrong that you’re not going
to be left holding the can with all these costs and the like. So, check number five
is review your top 10 customers. I want you to do that. If you need help, again,
with any of these points if you need help with any of it, you just let me know at
[email protected] and I’m more than happy to help you,
work through that just to protect you.
Alrighty. So, number six is survey your customers. I want you to survey your
customers and get an idea of what they’re up to work out whether they’ve got
fairly, whatsoever. they’ve got optimistic um, views of where the 2019 is going
to go for them, what they’re looking at doing. Are they optimistic that they’re
going to have growth themselves and they’re going to need or are they ramping
up or are they pessimistic. Are they seeing that there’s going to be a decline in
their industry because if they’re going to have a decline you’re [chuckles] you’re
going to have a decline too unless you’ve got some sort of necessity type
product. But you know, you’ve really got to look at that and say just get a feel
from your customers as to what’s going on and what their perception of the year
ahead is going to be. Also get an idea of what their needs are like are they happy
with the with the services that you’re providing? Is there anything else they’d
like to see? Are there any other products and services that you can offer to
complement what you’re doing already?It’s a really good idea to do that.
Now, there’s free tools you can use to do. This one, this one called Survey
Monkey and I’ll put a link to that in the show notes for you but Survey Monkey is
a free tool. You can create a quick survey. Don’t make it too long. You won’t get
a very good hit right [chuckles] with that. So, just keep down to sort of five
questions, five pertinent questions that someone can answer and give you
information that’s sort of going to help you to get a better picture of what you
need to do in your business going forward in the new year. And what you need
to stop doing more importantly as well in the New Year.
So, Survey Monkey is a great way to do that. However, my preferred method to
be honest is to pick up the phone, just pick up the phone and have a chat and ask
the questions if it does a few things. It gives you more information, in the sense
that you can get a deeper understanding of what your customers are
experiencing or looking at. And the other thing is to build your relationship with
the customer. It shows you care.
So, picking up the phone and having that chat with them is my preferred
method., you might have millions of customers that you don’t even know. pick a
sample size you know. if you’re an online business, you can still do this. Basically
what I would do in that case I would hook up a Zoom call. I’d email them. You’d
have their email address and say, “Hey, Jerry. you’ve been a customer of our
business for a long time now and I’d like to touch base with you just to say thank
you and have a chat and find what’s going on with you right now and, here’s that
here’s the link to my Zoom.” And basically, you can have a Zoom call with them.
And that just create a, “Well, if I did — Well, I do actually care.” You know. So,
pick up the phone and, and have that chat. It’s, it’s a great time to do it. Uh,
people are getting back into things this time of year.
So, you know, they’re not getting to be you know, strapped in onto pressure and
I hope they’re not but you know, most people act under pressure so, yeah, it’s a
good time to set that resolution and gives you so much information to direct
your course you know, things you’ve got to do um, moving forward over the
New Year and check [inaudible] survey your customers or contact your
customers and ask some helpful questions.
Alrighty. Number seven is look at outsourcing your bookkeeping. If you are
doing the bookkeeping yourself at the moment, I know a lot of people, I know a
lot of business owners who do do this. It is a great idea, uh, to look at
outsourcing that task. And the reason for it is that with the tech that we have
available now, it’s super easy to do, super easy for you to keep checking in and
seeing what’s going on but you don’t have to be the one doing the bookkeeping
role. If you’re doing that in your business, you’re using a lot of dead time.
So, I would look at outsourcing that to a reliable bookkeeper that just free up
your time and keep you up-to-date and that’s the thing you’re gonna do too. If
you’re doing it yourself you may not be keeping up to date with it as regularly as,
um, you’d like to or needed. So a bookkeeper, having someone to do that is going
to do that for you and going to help you to stay on track with those activities. So,
I would certainly look at doing that and remember it’s time, saved in time. We’ve
got to look at working on the big rocks not keeping track of the history. We need
to be making history and that’s why I look at bookkeeping. You know, in
bookkeeping, you’re keeping history. If you’re working on your business and
putting the big rocks in you’re making history aren’t you? So, look at it that way
if you like.
Number eight, following on from outsourcing bookkeeping. I want you to look at
other tasks on you to do this jobs you do regularly that you can outsource to
other people. We discuss this at length in Episode 61, uh, and I’ll put a link to it in
the show notes for you but look at outsourcing. What tasks your to do list
outsource them to someone else who will do them a lot better than you will a lot
more reliably than you will and you can free up time to work on again the big
feature items because we want to be saying we want to be the conductor of the
orchestra not the one playing all the instruments, really, really important to
remember. So, check that out at Episode 61 was again and I’ll put it in the show
notes for you.
And number nine, this is a biggie look at improving communication in your
business communication systems in your business communi–, internally and
externally I’m talking about here now. If you’ve got people, how can you improve
the communication systems and communication of the team? Improve that
culture and improve that teamwork. Get that working together. If you don’t
have a team and you, and you’re on your own but you obviously have customers.
Well, I certainly hope you have customers, you know, how can you improve your
um, your communication with your customers? How can you put systems in
place which communicate um, uh, better with your customers? You know, how
can we set clear expectations for our customers so that they understand what’s
going to happen next? They understand how you’re adding value to them. They
understand when you’re gonna deliver such-and-such or when this is going to
happen? What events are going to happen? So, certainly this is uh, a resolution
that I think every business owner should make is really looking to how are we
going to improve communication in our organization in 2019 so that we get
better at it and we can really build the relationships with our customers.
And in the digital age that we are in now, what I’m finding is people don’t
practice this skill. They don’t actually look at communication. They don’t look at
how they’re communicating or what they’re going to do or how they can
improve communication. We tend to hide behind emails and, and this digital
internet wall these days and you know, we’re just sort of uh, well, it’s, it’s the —
let’s get done electronically or whatever.
Your big corporations are guilty of this. You know, how many times you pick up
the phone and you got to spend half an hour talking to a computer before you
actually get to talk to human. The fact is we still want human to human contact.
As humans we still want to be able to talk with humans and interact with
humans and have relationships with humans.
So, look at your business process. I’m all for automation. Absolutely we need to
automate wherever we can but I want to look at how can we communicate
effectively as well, and have a mix of both that delivers that seamless wow
experience with you, with your customers. So, that’s what we would want to try
and do is get to that point where the customers are gonna, “Wow! I love these
guys.” And um, “I love this business.” Or, “I love, love buying off this site.” Or, “I
love getting my lawn mowed by this guy.” So, um, certainly look at
communication. One thing that I do myself in our business um, is we have team
planning days uh, at the start of the year. So, every January, we’ll close the office
for a day and uh, it’s a typically quiet time of the year. So, so no one’s
inconvenienced uh, but we basically um, have a day where we will just turn up
together and we talk things like communication.
How can we improve our communication? How can we improve our processes?
What can we stop doing? What can we start doing? What new technology can
we implement? All to build the team from an internal, uh, basis and bring
everyone together and focused on what the goal is for the year ahead, what our
tasks are but also too, how they can then go out into the world and confidently
deliver on those expectations and those necessities that the business needs to
be doing. So, great ideas that have a team planning day and then basically from
there each week we have a team planning meeting so follow-up meeting each
week of the year that builds on that on those core, um, outcomes from that day.
We stay focused. That’s how we stay focused is we keep bringing everyone back.
Remember we all agreed this. Yes, we did. Let’s go. Is it working? Is it not
working? What problems are coming up? What are we gonna, what are we going
to address? And you can do that quickly on a weekly basis. If you haven’t got a
team and you’re just on your own um, that’s okay too. I would still do a team
planning day [chuckles]. You’re the team but you’re just wearing all the hats at
the moment but you need to have a team planning day. So, you need to get a
whiteboard with you know, columns marketing, administration, product
delivery. You know, what things have I got to address this year?
Do I need to actually uh, do I have to actually um, employ somebody who like to
actually need to start building my team to start help me getting uh, some of
these things done. So, it’s very very important that you um, that you look at that
and again, a team planning day at the start of the year could be a good resolution
for you to have as well.
Alrighty. So, there you go nine resolutions for you that uh, that I think you could
implement in your business. I know I’m certainly implementing in my businesses
this year and at the start of the year in 2019 because I want to go into the year
with absolute clarity and no doubt and uncertainty about what it is that I’m
going to what I’m going to do this year and achieve and I want that for you too. I
want you to achieve absolute best your business can be and how you want it to
be for 2019. I want you to make it your best year in business yet. I want to hear
your story too along the way. So, feel free to write to me,
[email protected] then tell me what you’re up to in your
business. Tell me what’s going on for you and what areas you’re going to focus
on this year? What big, big-ticket items you’re gonna uh, focus on this year in
your business?I’d love to hear from you uh, and share that story for sure.
Alrighty, just to recap those nine things, prepare and review your financial
position. Get clear about that. I want you to get clear where you are financially
in your business, understanding of all your numbers and, and what your starting
point is. Number two is set and review your clear stretch goals for the year your
targets. What is it that you’re going to achieve? Revenue wise, customer
satisfaction, all sorts of staffing was what are you going to achieve this year?
What is it that you’re going to um, to implement and take action on? Number
three is make sure you stay up to date with all your regulatory requirements, get
ahead of the game. So, we want you to plan critical dates, a big wall calendars a
great idea. I got to be whiteboard in my office that I use for this sort of thing but
get clear about that stuff. Talk to your accountant, get an understanding of what
future obligations and costs, and etcetera are coming up. Um, be on the
proactive front foot with that not the reactive front foot back foot I should say.
The reactive back front foot or doesn’t make sense. Alright.
So, number four is revised, make sure all your book work and financial systems
uh, are being done the most of the way. So, you know, if you’re doing
spreadsheets manual systems look to automating and getting electronic with all
of that stuff. Number five, importantly review your top 10 customers do it and
work out what sort of percentage of your total revenue they represent. Are you
in a particular um, danger category because you’re too overweight with your top
10 customers? They represent too much of your overall revenue. Um, and also
to remember what I said. If it’s not cus-, if you’ve got to you’ve got means of um,
smaller customers, look at your market segments. Am I overweight in one
market segment as opposed to another because all our eggs are in one basket.
We may have a potential liability there. So, I want you to have an understanding
of that risk um, in your financial um, mix of it of your customers etcetera in your
business. Number six, remember to survey your customers. Pick up the phone.
Ask them. Send out a Survey Monkey, survey if that’s easier but pick up the
Build those relationships. Communicate with your customers. Can’t stress that
enough and you’ll learn a lot I guarantee you. And look at outsourcing number
seven, uh, your bookkeeping. Look at outsourcing, get rid of that, uh, history,
keeping uh, exercise and job that you, you do and look at uh, freeing up time to
become a history makeup. And number eight, again, furthering on from
outsourcing bookkeeping, I want you to outsource any other tasks. Look at
outsourcing other tasks that you can get rid of and remember you can go back to
episode 61 at businessmadeeasypodcast.com/episode61 and you can get a feel
for, how to do that. I’ll walk you through, through that step by step, that process.
So, identifying task can be outsourced. And number nine, look to improve
communication and communication systems in your business internally and
externally. Very, very important that we do this.
I want you to be able to have a good clear, path of communication with every
aspect of your business, your suppliers, your customers, your team, you know,
everyone that’s involved um, your professional advisers. You want to have a
good clear path of communication uh, to maximize the efficiency uh, of your
business as well. So, and build those relationships.
Alright. So, there you go. Nine business– New Year business resolutions that
you can implement now. Uh, the time is now. It is the New Year. Um, you’ve got
the whole year ahead of you to, really kick some butt and um, and, and you
know, go hard and I want you to, I want you to get the best you can out of the
efforts that you you’re putting in and I really want the growth for you. So, I hope
you found that valuable um, and if you’ve, again, if you want to share your story
of what you’re planning to implement this year, by all means, just drop me a line
at [email protected] I would love to hear from you or join
the free Facebook group at businessmadeeasypodcast.com/community and uh,
I’ll see you over there and you can share you, share your story over there as well.
So, uh, plenty of opportunities for you to um, to get support and help you to
grow there. Uh, we’re all here for you to help you.
Alright. So, that’s it for me this, uh, week. I hope you have a fantastically
prosperous New Year, safe, happy, healthy um, and uh, you do achieve your
resolutions. You do set them and I want you to achieve them as well. So, until
next week I’m going to hand you over to Mia and she’s going to take us out for
the first episode of 2019. Take us out, please Mia. Thanks. Here’s your success,