Contributing to our position as Australia’s premium Financial Risk Management resource, our management globally explores and surveys relevant and valuable articles published by respected professionals, academics and organisation. The articles offered here are suggested reading for any Business Owner and Financial Risk Management professional.
9 Jan 2015
Technology offers wonderful applications and tools for use in our business. One of the more interesting concepts is the use of cloud based products.
Peta discusses the possible benefits and negatives of using cloud based accounting systems. However many of the issues raised by Peta apply across all cloud based products and services.
If you are still wondering about using cloud based products, Peta's blog is worth reading as a start.
9 Jan 2015
If your business completes projects on a regular basis, you will probably already be aware of the importance of taking out an insurance policy on the major projects.
On the other hand, if you are a business owner or manager with little experience of the possible pitfalls of projects, you may not have thought of taking out an insurance policy for your next project. After all, not all projects are equal and many include significant risks for the unwary.
This blog raises a number of issues associated with projects which are worth considering. For instance, the importance of seeking professional assistance in understanding the terms of conditions of the contract associated with the project.
If you are inexperienced with the risks which may occur when planning your next project, this blog is worth a read as a starting place to begin the process of understanding project risk. You would also be wise to consider the benefits of obtaining insurance if there is any possibility of a material loss if the project does not go to plan.
28 Nov 2014
Knowing your competition is one of the keys of operating a successful business.
Colin Porter in this article explains how you can learn about operating a better business from your competitors. In his view, you can learn a great deal about works and does not work in your marketplace.
Colin also provides his 5 tips for staying competitive.
I suggest this article is worth a read as a starting point for understanding why studying your competitors can help you operate and grow your own better business.
27 Nov 2014
In business, there are times when we have to interact with organisations which may not always our favourite business partner. In truth, most business people would argue the ATO as a party which does not add value to their business. Obviously many business people would not disagree with the previous sentence.
Unfortunately, whether we like it or not, the ATO is a serious player in our business affairs. As a result, Peta encourages us to take a proactive approach to our dealings with the ATO. Unless the circumstances are exceptional, the ATO is usually willing to work with you to resolve a problem rather than fight you (notwithstanding the ATO will probably always win).
There is also another business message you can take from this article. If you work with your suppliers and customers in a reasonable manner, many short-term problems can be resolved and so enable you to continue with the business relationship.
21 Oct 2014
The point of entering a trading relationship with a customer is to make a profit. Unfortunately, too many business people are seduced by the concept of raising an invoice. Therefore when a new customer comes along they too often think of raising an invoice, not the nature of the future relationship and whether a profit will result.
However as Jacqui James points out, not all customers lead to a profitable trading relationship. Jacqui's list of what makes a good customer combined with her second list of what makes a bad customer, are therefore worth reviewing. You will be surprised how valid these lists are when you study the behaviour of your own customers.
I heard a quote many years ago which said "every mistake is a fruitful learning opportunity". Therefore I do like Jacqui's comment of "Even a bad client turns out to be a good client. They teach you what it is you don't need."
The fact is, despite our best efforts, we all still get caught with an occasional bad client. When this happens, it is a good reminder; not all customers will add value to our business. However, these bad clients also teach us something more about our business process, if we take a positive perspective.
If you are interested in doing good business with the right type of customer, I suggest Jacqui's article is worth a read.
9 Oct 2014
When a dispute occurs in a business relationship, it is important to maintain a focus on the issues. Unfortunately however, these disputes can escalate into arguments. In these situations it is not unusual for emotions to rule the discussions rather than common-sense and then nobody really wins.
Dean Kaplan provides a number of strategies to avoid your disputes becoming the arguments. Whilst Dean is talking about his approach in the debt collection environment, his strategies apply across all areas of business.
It is probably worth remembering, amongst the most stressful work environments, where emotions can run wild, is in debt collection. Therefore I suggest, if Dean's strategies work in this environment, they are going to probably be effective in most business situations.
Inexperience business people or those with vested interests in the outcome, sometimes find it a struggle to keep focused on the issues during the initial stages of a dispute. Consequently these disputes sometimes become full-blown arguments. If you find yourself in these arguments and find it hard to create a win-win outcome, I suggest Dean's article is worth reading.
1 Oct 2014
Bitcoin has been with us for some time now. There are people who are really enthusiastic about its use, whilst others are less than impressed. Lately, there have been a number of articles about Bitcoin, almost as though it is the current flavour of the month.
I will not make a comment on whether Bitcoin is an appropriate payment methodology or not. However I suggest, this article is one source of information for you to update yourself on the current status Bitcoin.
Once have read the article you can make your mind up whether to do further research and ascertain whether it is a suitable payment methodology for your business.
15 Sep 2014
Vesna Grubacevic discusses the concept of people sabotaging their chances of success. She defines self- sabotage as occurring any time we want to achieve an objective and then our actions or lack of action prevents us from achieving the objective. It is not unusual for business people, at times during their business lives to subconsciously sabotage their chances of success. There are many reasons why this happens and we may not always understand how and why we take such actions.
The author presents seven reasons on why we might be sabotaging our chances of success. These reasons might be:
1. A lack of clarity
2. A lack of clear priorities
3. Limiting beliefs
4. Internal conflicts
5. Unresolved emotions
6. Being a worrier
7. Negative self talk
As they become more mature, some people may begin to realise they are sabotaging their own efforts to succeed. However they may not do anything positive to resolve the situation because of a lack of confidence and support on how to resolve their issues.
The solution is not a simple one and professional help is always recommended. If you are interested in finding out more about this subject, Vesna's article is a good start in identifying the issues involved.
10 Sep 2014
In this article, Steve Freztin presents his top 10 business lessons after 10 years in business.
Every lesson presented by Steve, can be applied to any business profession or business organisation.
I would write more, but that may confuse the message. So I will simply say, it will only take a few minutes to read the article and I suggest it will be time well worth spent.
24 Aug 2014
Many years ago, when I first became involved with lending and advancing credit, I was advised that a reasonable level of bad debt write offs, was sign that you had maximise selling and profit opportunities. This case was put to me during my years involved with both consumer and business to business lending.
An open slather policy on advancing credit, is usually a good way of going broke and is not advocated. However a balanced approach about why you are in business, what it takes to succeed and how you should extend credit are questions should lead you to understanding why a level of bad debts is not always a sign of a business in trouble.
Therefore Dean Kaplan's article raises a valuable business question; "Is your credit policy costing you money?"
On that basis, Dean's article is worth reading as start for re-evaluating your credit policy and or learning about advancing credit.
21 Aug 2014
Learning is an on-going part of life. The strength of Judith's article is as a reminder that we continue to learn about ourselves from the most unlikely of sources.
In Judith's story, we see the mentor learning about themselves from the very person she was mentoring.
Irrespective of roles in life at any one time, I believe we can take a lot of positives from Judith's Lessons of Success illustrated below.
Lessons for Success
My mentors are teaching me to...
In fact, the article itself is worth a read if you are interested in learning more about the world around you.
5 Aug 2014
Natalie Walker illustrates a number of issues which can cause problems for the business owner who uses a dodgy debt collector. Her observations are based on a recent case brought by the ACCC.
Today there are strategies and tactics which are no longer acceptable and might be used by debt collectors in an effort to collect the debt. The dodgy debt collector will often employ such unacceptable tactics which are now illegal. In turn, if such illegal tactics are discovered, the ACCC may well take action, which allows become public at some stage.
Often, and what is often not realised by many business people, is that they can also be included in any action initiated by the ACCC. In addition, if the alleged behaviour is serious enough, the police may also become involved.
If you wish to avoid the unpleasant repercussions and bad publicity of using a dodgy debt collector, Natalie's article is worth reading.
24 Jul 2014
As the authors of this article so wisely articulate, managing a company’s working capital isn't the sexiest task in business. However as they also point out, it is extremely important in maximising the opportunities of improving cashflow without increasing sales or reducing expenses.
The most important part of this article is the authors' explanation of the cash which is tied up in a company's accounts receivable operations. In studying their work more closely, you will begin to realise the benefits of reviewing your accounts receivable operations.
We also find out why management and CFO's, particularly in the larger corporate companies of the world, do not concentrate on the receivables to the extent that they should.
I suggest this article is well worth reading if you are interested in improving your company's cashflow, profit and efficiencies, irrespective of the size of your business.
22 Jul 2014
Jason Smith has provided three handy hints about managing your time wisely.
What makes Jason's remarks valuable is that they come from a business owner who struggles with time management as do many of us.
Jason's three main hints are to (i) plan your day, (ii) take control over your emails they don't control you, and finally (iii) keep track of your daily achievements.
Tracking your daily achievements is as important as any other task. Tracking provides evidence of your daily work which in turn, gives you a level of satisfaction at the end of a business day when you may doubt you have doen anything worthwhile. In addition, you have the information to assist in preparing a more efficient working day in the future.
A quick look at Jason's Blog may help re-evaluate and refresh your own work behaviours so you gain better value of your own time.
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