14 Things to ask your accountant NOW!

Can you give me good ideas on how to improve my cash flow? Can you establish my breakeven point so that I have more financial awareness? Can you create an improvement action plan? What are the key profit drivers in my business? Can you advise on pricing strategies to increase my profitability? Can you provide cash flow forecasts so that I do not get into financial difficulties? What sales improvement ideas do you have that I can act on to increase sales? How do I reduce my tax bills to the minimum legal requirement? What do […]

Consumer Psychology and Pricing

You should be aware of the following pricing effects and apply them to your own business or be aware of them when you are next a customer. Thomas Nagle and Reed Holden in their book The Strategy and Tactics of Pricing detail nine factors that influence how a consumer perceives a given price and how price-sensitive they are with different purchasing decisions. They are:   Reference Price Effect A buyer’s price sensitivity for a given product increases the higher the product’s price relative to perceived alternatives. Difficult Comparison Effect Buyers are less sensitive to the price of a […]

Growth Drivers and Your Business

If you wish to grow your business you need to understand what your main growth drivers are and how they will impact on your business. The following brief note concentrates simply on 6 key growth drivers to land more business rather than the profit or cash flow consequences of this. Bear in mind that “turnover is vanity, profit is sanity, while cash is reality”. Get your customers to buy more from you. The easiest way to increase your sales is simply to sell more to your existing customers. They are already in a buying relationship and […]

How To Approach Business Meetings

It can be difficult to get the most out of business meetings. When you are busy they can feel like an additional time pressure you could do without and at other times they can be frustrating and leave you feeling like nothing has been accomplished. Below is a list of ways to ensure your meeting is efficient and productive: Start and finish on time – if needs be appoint someone to keep an eye on the time. A lot of business meeting can run a lot longer due to time wasted simply waiting around for the meeting […]

West Point Military Problem Solving Process

West Point, the famed U.S. military educational academy, has distilled the problem solving process into a beautifully simple process with seven guidelines to stay rational. This process is drilled into the military so that in times of extreme stress they have a proven process they can rely on. You must:   Recognise and Define the Problem. Gather Facts and Make Assumptions. Define End States and Establish Criteria. Develop Possible Solutions. Analyse and Compare Possible Solutions. Select and Implement Solution. Analyse Solution for Effectiveness.   Simple, effective and useful. PDF

How to Improve What Matters Most With the 80/20 Rule

A problem many of us have is too many measures and, consequently, too much to improve. We need to prioritise, but we somehow don’t do it well enough. Here’s a method to focus on what really matters most, that has over 116 years of proof that it works… In 1897, over a century ago, an Italian economist called Vilfredo Pareto made the discovery that 80% of the wealth of a population was owned by 20% of that population. The Pareto Principle, or 80/20 rule, is a pattern of predictable imbalance that keeps popping up in all […]

How to Save on Printing Costs

Very simply just use compatible ink and toner cartridges. For over the past two years we have used compatible cartridges and have experienced no problems or loss of quality with our printed materials. The price differences can be substantial. For personal printers the ink cartridge costs us €5 whereas the average shop price is about €11 – 120% higher. For shared printers the toner cartridge costs us €80 whereas the average shop price is about €210 –210% higher. The above comparisons exclude VAT. Feel free to call John Lane of JDC Media Europe Limited on (083) […]

15 Marketing Tips for Business

    1.Set daily marketing actions. 2.Get testimonials and use them. 3.Ask for referrals immediately after a great performance. 4.Always carry business cards. 5.Treat mistakes as opportunities. 6.WOW existing customers. 7.Network always everywhere. 8.Contact ex customers. 9.Market a new product/service to existing customers. 10.Analyse what is working and do more of it. 11.Surprise your best customers. 12.Sell an additional product/service when a sale is made. 13.Link up with non-competing businesses with similar clients. 14.Send regular emails to clients and prospects. 15.Set specific exclusive offers (e.g. Solicitors, Farmers, Restaurants). PDF

12 Great Startup Questions

  Am I really committed to doing this? Is this better than the competition? What will make customers buy? What is the target market? Why will customers want it? Can a trial run be done easily and cheaply? How will I market it? What are the resources that are required? What am I trying to achieve? How can I appeal to customers emotions? What are my measurable metrics/KPI’s? Where are the failure possibilities? PDF

Analyse And Improve Your Business With Financial Ratios

Ratios measure the relationship between two or more figures in the financial statements. They are used most effectively when results over a number of periods or years are compared. You will see trends or inconsistencies that might need to be addressed. The following are the main financial ratios to measure the financial health of a business. Leverage ratios 1. Debt-to-equity ratio • Total liabilities/Shareholders’ equity Measures how much debt a business is carrying as compared to the amount invested by its owners. This indicator is closely watched by banks as a measure of a business’s capacity […]

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