3 WAYS YOU CAN AVOID BUSINESS FAILURE & IMPROVE FINANCIAL CONTROL

Australia is home to over 2.1 million small businesses, which accounts for around 90% of all businesses. According to Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), more than 300,000 new startup businesses enter the Australian market each year; a new small business is created from a startup idea every 100 seconds.

Success often means different things to different people. One thing is certain between the alternative orientations, everyone in business can agree that the starting point to success of an operating business is “having adequate access to finances”.

This point has been widely acknowledged among business leaders, and more recently echoed throughout major media with the 2017 release of the Small Business Insights research where Xero Australia managing director Trent Innes said: "The biggest cause of failure of small business is still small businesses running out of cash”.

Lack of adequate access to finance is not only one of the major survival threats to business, it is also a barrier to expansion.


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Business is defined as having a profitable enterprise. Thereby, if you are lacking sufficient revenue, relying on credit to stay afloat, do not have instant access to working capital investment, suffering from low borrowing capacity and/or low funds in the warchest, struggling with cashflow to pay your operating expenses, chances are you will be finding the game of “getting ahead in business” very challenging and there is no shame in that - we all have to start somewhere, there is no equality of starting position.

Although a small business fails in Australia every 2 minutes (according to research conducted by Indeed), the great news is:

  • as long as the concept of your business is validated (addressing a problem worth solving) with market-fit traction (whereby your target market have explicitly demonstrated or expressed interest) and people are willing to pay for your solution, there is no reason it needs to be hard to take your business to the next level. You can protect your business from financial stress, hopefully without making any compromise to accept startup investment from a third party.

Each case will be different depending on the type of business, however, the financial struggle could be for a number of reasons:

1. ACCOUNTING

Splitting hairs into why business run out of cash - one of the biggest causes is poor financial management, and with that comes poor financial control leading to insufficient finances and poor cash-flow.

It’s also interesting to note that reasons given for poor cash flow include lack of good records and trading at a loss.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, more than 60% of small businesses in Australia close within their first 3 years of establishment. While there are many reasons for both the failure and longevity of a small business, having sound accounting practices is a major key to survival.

Investing in the right small business accounting software program could save you a ton of time and money. It will also help you ditch all those paper receipts, calculators and the endless paperwork.

Whether you're considering getting started with a program to help manage your business accounting or searching for a better solution, the internal consensus here at Driven Digitally is that we recommend you start with QuickBooks.

Since poor record keeping is a major segment of poor financial management causing business failure, according to statistics released by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), that is why it is so important to use the right accounting program to manage your records well.

QuickBooks will not only help you get on top of your record keeping, budgeting, payroll, quoting and invoices, it will also ease the burden around tax time - helping you get your finances into shape, enabling you to avoid a tax audit.

The best part is: Driven Digitally can get you started with QuickBooks Online Plus Package for only $15 per month for the first year - and then you will pay no more than $20 per month thereafter for life (save $15, normally valued at $35 per month)

2. CONTENT MARKETING

Content Is King. The RIGHT Content helps to engage and generate new opportunities from your customers.

If you are you neglecting what should be at the forefront of your marketing strategy, then:

  • Lack of or No Content Marketing is absolutely a reason for your financial struggle - I don’t care what type of business you have.

Research, like the 2016 Pew Research Center study, shows that more people are regularly turning away from TV as the main source of their news and information. Instead, they’re logging onto the internet.

At a time when Social Media, Facebook, the News Feed dominates as a source of daily digest; clearly we are in the “digital consumption age” of information. You don’t necessarily need to be at the centre of it, but you need to be apart of it.

While playing the game, keep this in mind: more than 615 million devices now have ad-blocking software, according to PageFair 2017 Global Adblock Report. This number will only grow!

Differentiate yourself from “ad happy” businesses; aim to be helpful rather than promotional.

Sharing only relevant and quality content that adds value is important to keep your customers and target audience engaged, and your brand front of mind - you need to position yourself to start conversations and build relationships.

Because if you are not doing it, your competitors are... and the result for your competition with this strategy is: they open the floodgates AT WILL for new business, which means they are getting new leads that you otherwise could have attracted.

Rather than invest massive amounts of time and/or money into your blog articles like other businesses that are still losing financial control, do things differently - play the game smart, leverage technology!

Here is a great tool I've been using for many years that may help you save time and a ridiculous amount of money.

Sniply makes it possible for you to customise the links you share with your customers. With this tool, the link you share will open to an external website, however a custom call to action will pop up at the bottom of the page, inviting the reader to visit your site - like this.

This is like giving a famous celebrity a shirt with your brand on it to wear! People are excited to see the celeb but they can’t help but notice the shirt, especially if it has a message which suits what they are looking for.

The result of your clever content curation and your use of Sniply is more leads, more customers, thereby more “access to finances” as a result of sales… and more of an opportunity for growth!

Furthermore, if you want to see 126% more lead growth in your business than your competitor that does not Blog, start Blogging - because 77% of internet users read blogs. Thank you for being one of them that has considered to give me your time day!😄 be sure to collect your free gift. *pay only for shipping

3. PRODUCTIVITY

Productivity often comes at the expense of workers.

Today, automation is transforming the way business can humanely produce more results, faster, per worker and keep operating costs low - while keeping staff happy and creating a culture that embraces better efficiencies.

Time is money. Time spent doing things in such way where there is a faster and more feasible alternative option available, is money wasted.

Business owners need to think about the way in how they are completing tasks as well as working with their peers and staff. This must include realising the benefits and opportunities in a mix of technologies that will improve productivity and minimise time achieving outcomes.

For outcomes to be sufficiently achieved, productivity through technological automation needs to be broken down into fundamental key values

  • Collaboration

  • Agility

  • Integration of Systems

Collaboration in an organisation must first of all be embraced as an infrastructure to have any objective impact as a strategy.

What is Collaboration? It is a function of people communicating and working together, to be more productive in the way they achieve outcomes and complete tasks at hand.

New Australian research from Deloitte for Google shows that - and as mentioned:

1. "collaboration in the workplace is helping institutions meet their productivity and innovation challenges."

2. "Companies that prioritise collaboration are 5 times more likely to experience a considerable increase in employment, twice as likely to be profitable, and twice as likely to outgrow competitors."

3. Collaboration helps Managers and Employees work faster, with survey participants acknowledging that collaboration improves the quality of their work.

4. "Firms that collaborate become more efficient in the way they operate, and develop more innovative processes and products."

"In addition, stopping Australia’s slide in productivity is one of the nation’s biggest challenges with productivity falling at an average of 0.6 per cent a year since 2007-08, according to the Productivity Commission. Chairman Peter Harris said our performance had been significantly worse than that of most other developed economies for more than a decade."

So it only makes sense for businesses to explore a range of collaboration opportunities that could lead to both improved productivity and performance.

To get started with collaboration, there first of all needs to be a defined infrastructure strategy where you will need to decide

a) what software you need to perform specific tasks - aligned with your business processes; and

b) how should these individual software work together (talk to each other) to create an automated system

Confused yet? Let’s make this simple.

One way you can minimise your confusion and easily embrace Collaboration, aligning this area with your business process in a clean technical workflow where everything is accessible in one place - is by using GSuite (formerly known as Google Apps for Work).

 
 

GSuite is a suite of productivity tools from Google that lets a business of any size perform common business tasks ‘in the cloud’.

What that means is GSuite helps teams communicate (inclusive of video and instant chat), collaborate (like work on documents at the same time and comment on points of interest to discuss progress with the team), and get things done from anywhere, on any device (you are not locked down to an office environment to work together).

Millions of organisations around the world already count on GSuite for professional email, file storage, video meetings, online calendars, document editing and more.

It's simple to setup, use and manage, so your business can focus on what really matters. *though, if you do find you require configuration and system integration assistance, Driven Digitally is an approved Google partner so we can help you get setup and equipped to take your business to the next level, with a package that suits your budget.

Whats is great about Google is, if you can’t afford the custom tailored support services from Driven Digitally (and you have both the time of day and technical head space to learn), they provide ample help and support options, including: 24/7 phone and email technical assistance, customer forums and a comprehensive learning centre for users including, training videos, FAQs and more....

The Standard package comes with a 30 day Free Trial and thereafter is only $5 per user per month or $50 per user per year if paid annually - what you get is:

  • Business email addresses (name@yourcompany.com)

  • Hangouts – Video and Voice Calls (max video call participants 25 people)

  • Drive – 30GB storage for file syncing and sharing

  • Integrated online calendars

  • Online documents, spreadsheets and presentations

  • Security and admin controls

  • Compatible with Microsoft Office

  • Access to GSuite Marketplace with hundreds of business apps

  • 24/7 Support by phone, email and online

That's not all....

  • Access from any location or device! Check email, share files, edit documents, hold video meetings and more whether you’re at work, at home or in transit. You can pick up where you left off from a computer, tablet or phone.

  • Enterprise-level management tools! Robust admin settings give you total command over users, devices, security and more. Your data always belongs to you, and it goes with you if you switch solutions.

The best part?

GSuite delivers a true cloud experience and a lot of value for the money. It boasts unparalleled mobile access and allows you to create and store any type of file you want. In addition, there are a large number of third party web applications which integrate neatly with GSuite and enhance its functionality.

Eliminate the risk of business failure and improve business productivity by embracing collaboration and using GSuite.

*Packaged with a Chromebook device, the power of GSuite truly comes alive.

If you would like to:

1. Learn more about how GSuite can help improve your business, and/or

2. Request a Discount, Assistance or Service Package with GSuite or a Chromebook.

3. Not be one of the small businesses that fails in Australia every 2 minutes.

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Joel Basedow