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    5 Business Tips For Being Business Smart

    We have all heard the cliché that you should work smarter and not harder. Which generally revolves around not working yourself to death while you try to juggle small business, family and the real world. Despite the fact that this is really good advice, there isn’t usually much attention placed on being business smart.

    Why is that?

    We all need great business tips to make our businesses run smarter. So, we have put together our 5 favourite ways for being business smart. 

    5 Business Tips For Being Business Smart

    1: Check People Out

    Not in a creepy way, but make sure that you can trust a business before you trade with them or hand over any of your own stock.

    Often us kiwis are happy to judge people by our own standards. We like to see the best in people, but that is how you and your business can get burnt. Before sending any stock to be sold on consignment, or offering any line of credit, conduct reference and credit checks.

    You could use an online service like www.centrix.co.nz to check a business’ credit history, financial stability, and risk of late payment. Also, if a business requests to sell your stock on consignment, conduct a reference check. You can request references directly from the business themselves. Make sure you ask for 3 references in case you receive one bad and one good response, the third will help you decide.

    Also, don’t discount a good old Google search, or a sneaky squizz around social media. If people have had a bad experience with a business, then chances are they have posted it online!

    Once you decide that you want to work with a business, protect yourself by having a signed agreement that stipulates all the terms of your business relationship. It is also prudent to have business insurance in place in case anything does go wrong. Seek advice on what is the right kind of insurance for you.

    2: Protect Yourself And Your Brand

    You have to be very conscious of all your business assets. That doesn't just mean your assets and your stock, but it also means the things that make your business your own. That includes your…

    • Business Name - Apply to trademark your business name so that you have exclusive rights to use that branding here in NZ and grounds to act on others that might attempt to use it.
    • Domain Name - Make sure that you buy your domain name personally, don't let your web developer buy it or they will have control over your web domain
    • Website - Ensure you build your website on a platform you can control and that you have full access to the CMS and control panel from your web developer - WordPress, Shopify and Squarespace are all great platforms to try 
    • Terms & Conditions - Protect your practices, payments and business with a set of solid T’s and C’s 
    • Copyrights - Protect your original work so that no one can reproduce it or claim it as their own - that can include books, artwork, apps, software or programs, music, films etc.
    • Secure Social Media Links - Take steps to secure your social media accounts and protect your business assets. Change your passwords regularly and limit the number of people who have access to your accounts.

    3: Choose The Right People 

    Sooner or later, you will get to a point when you will need some help in your business. This is an exciting stage as you know you must be doing something right. But don’t let it all collapse by bringing on the wrong people. Here are some things to consider…

    1. Employer, Contractor, or Outsource?: It is important to assess your needs before hiring anyone. An employee is a large commitment and can be a major cost for your business. Perhaps you might be better starting with a contractor until you are sure of your requirements, or outsourcing to service professionals.
    2. Expertise: Whoever you decide to engage for your business, it is important to ensure they have the right level of expertise for the situation
    3. Your Kind Of Person: It has to be someone that you can work well with, that you trust and gel with. Don’t try and force a relationship that isn’t working.
    4. Look After Them: Once you find the right people for your business, make sure you hold onto them by showing them gratitude and respect. Pay them on time, be open with your communication, and give them the support they need.

    4: Don’t Keep Your Business A Secret

    It can be daunting putting yourself out there, but the only way that you can make your business a success is by telling people about it. Here are the essentials you need to cover:

    5: Know Your Numbers

    Finances can be scary, but they are a necessary part of your business. That is why you should keep your finger on the financial pulse. Here is what you should do… 

    • Engage an accountant - you don’t want to get on the wrong side of the IRD!
    • Send your invoices out on a regular basis to keep your cash flowing in
    • Monitor your bank account and chase up on outstanding payments
    • Reconcile your accounts regularly, or engage a bookkeeper to do it for you
    • Have a budget and a cash flow forecast so you can keep track of your incomings and outgoings
    • Know how to read your Profit and Loss statements to monitor your profits

    It is hard to be an expert in every area of business, which is why we have an amazing collection of experts at your disposal in Network NZ. They are all specialists in their own fields and can help you with the above and more! If you ever have a query, feel free to post it one of the Network NZ Facebook groups and the power of collective knowledge will see that you get the feedback you need.

    Not a member of Network NZ yet? Then grab yourself a 14-day FREE trial of our popular Breakthrough Membership TODAY!

    Don't forget to also join our FREE Network NZ Business Community Facebook group to experience the amazing community and wealth of shared knowledge for yourself.