Business - Outsourced Finance

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Every business has its own vision, mission, and core values. Regardless of your area of specialization, you want to see where your business will be in years to come. As an entrepreneur, you set targets that can help you to achieve your desired growth and success in your business. Time and money are critical, which makes it challenging to achieve the goals you have set for your business all at once. However, your business may experience small victories on a regular basis. This shows that you are doing something right and your business is on the right track. For this reason, every small deserves a celebration.

 

Importance of Celebrating Wins

 

Motivation

Noticing even the small wins is essential for the success of your business. Motivation is closely connected to your mindset because you are motivated by successes. Therefore, you should give yourself multiple opportunities to move closer to your success.

 

Unifying Your Team Around Positive Results

Achieving every win requires sacrifice and hard work. Sometimes, there could be employees who struggle to get along. Celebrating their hard work and reminding them what they have achieved can help bring unity among them.

 

Building Momentum

When you celebrate success, your team is reminded that their hard work to reach a specific goal is an indication of how close they are to achieving more and bigger goals.

 

Focusing on The Positive Rather Than the Negative

Your business has taken some hits especially when establishing it. This can get you and your employees focusing on problems that your business face. Expressing gratitude for a victory in your organization ensures that you recognize when your business is in a good place. This way, it can help amplify the time your employees spend in a positive mindset.

 

Reminding You That Setting Goals Works

While achieving goals is challenging, it is also achievable. It also feels great when you hit the goals you have set. Celebrating for the achievement of a goal that you had set motivates your team to set and reach the next goal.

 

To Reward Employees

A celebration is a chance to reward employees who outperform other employees. This mechanism can help create and reinforce ideas from your team. It can also encourage healthy competition, which can increase productivity and better results from your workforce.

 

To Remind Your Team That They Work for A Winning Company

As a business owner, you are a leader that your team follows and believes in. most people love and look forward to working for an organization that is growing and winning. Therefore, you are building your employees’ morale by acknowledging success in your business.

 

In Conclusion

Recognizing and celebrating wins is an essential and powerful motivator for you and your team. This is because it shows that you appreciate your achievements and reinforces the meaning behind working hard. In turn, it motivates and builds your confidence to take the next step towards accomplishing the overall goal. Part of celebrating your business win is recharging and reflecting on what worked well and what did not work well in achieving the business milestone.


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No one likes to see a loyal and hard-working employee go. Especially if they are a key player in your business. Though you may feel let down, there may be more to their resignation than meets the eye and, in many cases, negotiations and changes can be made to encourage them to stay on.

 

Ultimately, it’s your employee’s decision whether to stay or not, but here’s how to negotiate a win-win situation, or, at the very least, part on the best of terms:

Talk to your employee

This should be an obvious one but often it’s not done. Find out why they are considering to resign. When you understand your employee’s underlying motivation to leave, you have a better chance to map out a response strategy. Understand if they are leaving due to better compensation, new opportunities, or if there are aspects within your company that make them not want to continue.

 

Meet or beat their offer

While money may not necessarily be the reason why an employee is quitting, increasing their salary can motivate them to stay. You can raise their salary according to your salary scale without over-committing. It goes without saying that increasing their salary can act as much-needed leverage for you.

 

Check on the benefits

A critical consideration when you are making a counter-offer is the kind of benefits you offer your employees. It could be possible that your employee is leaving because their new job offers full medical aid, incentives, or more paid leave days. It may be a good idea to review the benefits that you offer your employees and identify where to improve.

 

Improve your workplace’s environment

Time is valuable, professionally and personally. If your employee is resigning based on work schedule, create a flexible working environment for them so that they are not working more than they should. This is especially important if your employee has young children. Consider allowing them to tele-commute or work from home one day a week, flexi-hours to avoid traffic, and adding on incentive-based half-days.

 

Follow up

Your employee might accept your counter-offer and decide to continue working for you, but to prevent them from handing you another resignation letter it’s important to make sure that you touch base with them regularly to ensure they’re happy.

You may make a compelling case and offer an amazing package of benefits, but your employee might still decide to quit. Knowing when to stop trying and moving on is also important if your counter-offer negotiations fail. Respect your employee’s decision and focus on making a business environment where employees want to stay and thrive.

Want to up your SME game (so that employees stay, and not leave you in the lurch?). Contact Outsourced Finance today.


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The success of many a start-up often comes down to blood, sweat, tears – and self-discipline. While running your own business can mean more freedom, it also means that you need to be able to manage yourself: for some, self-discipline comes naturally, but for most of us it’s an uphill battle.
A business doesn’t run itself, and, in a world full of distractions, how do successful business owners follow through to get things done?

Here are some tips that can help you manage yourself – so that you can manage your start-up:

Set achievable goals

Set yourself a specific target. This can involve anything you want to do, whether it’s getting up earlier or finally doing your tax return – but be realistic: start small, and set a reasonable deadline so that it’s not open-ended. When you achieve a goal, reward yourself.

The more milestones you reach, the easier it’ll be to hit those big goals – like increasing turnover, or landing that big client. Keep yourself motivated by tracking your progress (use a goal-setting app or a simple journal).

Change your perception of willpower

Most people give up before they even begin by claiming they have no willpower. But it’s not something that you have or don’t have: it’s a behaviour you can learn. Understanding that willpower is something that needs to be practised is half the battle won.

Like goal-setting, you need to start small – and you need to implement an “if X happens, I’ll do Y” approach. For example, want to wake up earlier? Don’t leave it up to willpower to get out of bed, rather set your alarm 10 minutes earlier at first (and put the alarm out of arm’s reach so you need to physically get up to switch it off). Keep doing this for a week, then set it 15 minutes earlier, and so on. That way you practise – and then instil – an early-rising habit.

Remove distractions

It makes it much easier to remove distractions so that they don’t add to temptation in the first place. This takes willpower, but as we’ve already mentioned, you’ll need to put a plan in place in order to guarantee success.

For example, if you are working on a desktop, you can use an app blocker to block the websites that distract you (try Google Chrome’s Stay Focused extension), or if you have a habit of checking your social feed on your phone, simply delete all the social media apps. Need to get more work done in the evenings? Cancel your Netflix subscription, and put your phone on Do Not Disturb mode.

Prioritise

There are many tasks that we would rather do instead of others, but those tasks may not be as important. Start by writing down what you need to do and when it needs to be done by. Next, rank your tasks in order of importance and urgency. You will find that some may be important but not urgent or vice versa. Start with tasks that are both important and urgent and then work your way through to tasks that are less urgent and/or less important. You’ll have a visual representation of all the tasks at hand, so it’s easy to see how far you’ve come and what still needs to be done (pro tip: try keep your top to-dos to a maximum of three).

Effectively managing yourself will help you manage your business. Contact Outsource Finance to get you started on your path to success.


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Without customers, your business wouldn’t exist. Customer service is important, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that the customer is “always right”. In fact, here are a few reasons why difficult customers are actually bad for business…

They demotivate your employees

No matter how hard you try, chances are you’ll have to deal with customers that are less than pleasant.

If ever you need to make a choice between your employee (especially if they are not at fault) and a really difficult customer, remember that your employee has helped you make your business what it is today. And, employees who feel supported by their bosses are far more likely to give more to the business. It may even come down to either having to cut a difficult customer loose – or find a new hire. We say, keep the employee!

Sometimes they are more trouble than they’re worth

Jumping through hoops for unreasonable customers could run your business into the ground. They use up time and effort which could better be spent on others who appreciate and value your business – and who are more likely to return for repeat business in future.

As a small business or start-up, it feels as though every rand matters – even those from relentlessly irksome customers. However, by setting the precedent early on that the customer is always right, you may as well put a sign up welcoming more rude and demanding customers…

Learn from each experience, no matter how unpleasant it may be. For example, if you are working on a project and the customer constantly goes back and forth, insist that any further changes be charged for. This forces customers to make final decisions and not change their minds on a whim. We know you want to be seen as someone who goes the extra mile but you need to consider if that extra mile is worth it (or have become several extra miles, when the customer is only paying for a quick Uber ride).

Customers don’t always know best

You are the professional. That’s why people come to you for your product or service. The fact is that your customers often don’t know or understand the processes behind what goes into your product or service. Never assume anything when it comes to customers. The number-one reason a customer relationship (or any relationship for that matter) turns sour is because of poor communication. Communicate clearly and often. This helps to set realistic expectations and build trust.

None of this is to suggest that you throw customers out at the first sign of a disagreement. Both you and your customers are human after all, and misunderstandings are a part of life. Deal with, and learn from, each situation as it comes – but keep these points in mind when making decisions going forward.

Do you need help putting systems in place to mitigate any problems that may arise in the future – customer-related or otherwise? Contact Outsourced Finance. We are here to help.


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As an entrepreneur your business is your baby, and a work-life balance can seem like an impossible feat.

You are the main driver behind your business’s development and delivery, and with that comes a fear: a fear that if you step away for just a moment, everything will collapse.

Plus, today’s always-on tech means that you’re accessible day and night to unrelenting clients.

Working too long and too hard can lead to serious health issues, too; in Japan ‘death by overwork’ – karoshi – is a major problem, and has resulted in people literally working themselves to death.

That’s not to say that putting your all into your business will kill you, but if left unchecked burnout can have significant consequences. So here are our three tips for a better work-life balance:

1. Build a business that runs itself

Your business needs to be sustainable, so that it requires minimal input from you to grow it in the long term. Develop strategies to implement processes and hire the right skills to ensure your business is a working machine.

And please delegate: we get it, it’s hard. Our experience is that many entrepreneurs do not like letting go of control, but at a certain point it must be done.

2. Manage client expectations

Unrealistic deadlines will keep you working ridiculous hours. Manage client expectations and set doable deadlines. Consider giving yourself a ‘time buffer’ where possible. Rather under-promise and over-deliver than the other way around.

It’s also important to communicate with your clients when there will be a possible delay. The right client will appreciate the honesty.

3. Outsource where you can

Many entrepreneurs try to be a one-person show – HR, finance, marketing, IT, they do it all. This might save costs in the beginning, but it’s not sustainable. Outsource where you can, and where you feel like you don’t have a handle on things.

A work-life balance is essential. There’s nothing wrong with taking time off to refresh and regroup – trust us when we say that everything won’t fall apart. In fact, it’ll benefit your business, because you’ll be able to look at things with fresh eyes, not feel so overwhelmed, and take your dream to the next level.

Want to find out how you can balance your time between work and play, and let go of the reins a little, especially when it comes to your business’s finances? Contact Outsourced Finance for honest advice.


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We’re heading to year-end – and fast. As a small business, you’ll need to be prepared for the December/January break. Planning ahead will help ensure that your business runs smoothly – and remains competitive – during this slow time of year. Most small business owners are aware that things go quiet, but it can be incredibly stressful if you haven’t covered all your bases. Here’s how you can get ahead (and minimise cash-flow anxiety).

1. Mark your calendar

The best way to secure your business before year-end is by looking at your calendar. You may need to ‘double up’ now with work (including admin) to keep you covered over the quiet time – especially if you’re planning on taking a break yourself. Ideally you should factor this in at the beginning of the year, especially when it comes to your budget, as you’ll need to bring in extra clients before the holidays to make up for the lack of cash flow during the shutdown.

2. Hold an event

Holding an event during the run-up to the festive season can play a critical role in attracting new customers before everything closes. Events offer opportunities to engage with potential new customers, give some client-love to existing ones, and increase sales through specials. The event should be geared to secure new clients, and ensure their continued engagement with the brand into the new year. For instance, a yoga studio can hold a free class during the last week of the year to encourage January sign-up. Throw in some gift certificates too to spread the word about your business.

3. Get social

While it may be tempting to log off completely, staying active on social media during the December holiday season can help your small business gain much-needed attention (if you do need a break – we understand! You could also outsource this role to a marketing intern as a temporary solution). Again, you’ll need to plan ahead for this, so create that social media content plan now; keep it relevant to your industry and schedule a few fun posts, too. Even better, let your customers know via social before the season hits if you have any special offers coming up. While social is great, email is even better. Start targeting existing customers now by creating an email newsletter campaign geared towards the end-of-year period – you can use software like MailChimp to design and send out a campaign (free up to 2 000 email addresses).

Provided you’ve done some prepping, you’ll get through the December slow-down unscathed. As a small business owner, it can be very stressful during this period as everything grinds to a halt (unless you’re in retail, of course!). Need expert advice on how to cover all your bases for a seasonal slow-down? Contact Outsourced Finance; we’re here to help.


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Running a business isn’t easy. Customers, invoices, suppliers, and cash flow often have you running from pillar to post without time to take a step back. Balancing client demands with keeping your team happy can be tricky too, and often leads to bad decision making.

Knowing when to say ‘yes’, and more importantly, when to say ‘no’ can have a long-lasting impact on your business. Avoid decision fatigue by making the hard choices early on in your business that set you up for success. While there is no exact formula for making the right decisions every time, there are some steps you can take to help make the best possible decision at the right time.

Not sure what to do? Try the following five steps when making a tough decision:

1. Accept there is no one right answer

This is important as people often get stuck trying to make the right decision, which results in unnecessary delays, which could cost you money.

2. Separate the heart from the head

It’s important to admit whether you’re making a decision based on facts or emotion. It’s not always bad to make decisions based on emotion, but this needs to be clear from the start, otherwise you may end up in a situation that you don’t want to be in.

3. Consider alternatives

Weigh up your pros and cons, and understand the impact and risks associated with alternatives. Do your research, speak to people who’ve had similar experiences. But, as per point 1, don’t get too hung up on this step.

4. Make decisions timeously

Take some (but not too much) time to think about your decision. Sleeping on it often helps. However, it’s important to wake up in the morning and MAKE the decision. Waiting too long often results in a decision being made for you.

5. Be agile, but don’t chop and change

Be open to suggestions and improvements, but once you’ve considered all options and made up your mind, stick to your guns. Changing course too often makes you seem less confident and it hampers consistency within the business.

Making tough decisions can be a stressful and emotional process. Speak to people you trust, and think long-term before making important decisions that may be critical to the sustainability of your business.

Need a different point of view before making a tough decision? Contact Outsourced Finance to get honest, professional advice.


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So many employees are wary of taking on someone fresh out of university. Their degree says that they have all the theoretical knowledge, but how will they handle the ‘real world’ for the first time?

At Outsourced Finance, we know the struggle of trying to get experience when no one is willing to give you a chance in the first place, so we decided to take on an intern. This is what she had to say about her first experience in the corporate world:

“Graduating from university does not automatically guarantee you a job. It took more time and effort than I had expected: finding a job became a job!

With all the interviews I went to, I never felt that spark of connection with the companies or even the position. That was until I got my interview with Outsourced Finance. From the moment I walked in the door, I knew this was the opportunity that I was waiting for – and so much more. I finally got to put everything I learnt to work, and I am now exposed to new people and situations every day so I can sharpen my skill set.

There is no time to get comfortable, and that’s what is great. You don’t grow when you are comfortable. Every day is a learning experience where I am pushed to take the initiative, which is a great skill to acquire on its own.

Although Depo and Malusi are always willing to help and support me, they encourage independent problem-solving, which I admire because it allows all of us to learn and grow.

Working in this environment inspires me each day. I get to meet and work with people from all walks of life, which helps me further expand my knowledge.

Outsourced Finance has been a great platform for me to gain valuable skills and experience to build my career and work towards my goals and aspirations.”

Outsourced Finance strongly advocates for job creation and giving people the ability to learn and grow. Plus, we’ve often seen interns themselves bring plenty of fresh perspectives to the table: new ideas spark inspiration that creates a positive ripple-effect throughout the entire team.

Are you looking for a new perspective on strategies to grow – and sustain – your business? Contact us to find out how we (and our intern!) can help you.


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You might think that all you need to spend on a new hire is ‘cost to company’, aka CTC. Think again. Have you ever stopped to consider what else you’re paying for, beyond your employee-to-be’s salary package? Here are five things to consider before signing someone on:

1. Recruitment

Let’s begin at the beginning: just finding the right person for the job can cost you. It takes time to do the admin of advertising for the position, sifting through hundreds (or thousands!) of CVs, and conducting interviews. We know that time is money, so it’s not surprising that many business owners would prefer to pay an agency to do all of that for them – and that doesn’t come cheap.

• Our pro tip: Bypass an agency and use word-of-mouth or the power of networking – it’ll save you time and money, and you’ll get much better candidates.

2. Rent

Most businesses need a proper space to perform their job, whether it be an office, studio, or workshop. But this costs money. The more employees you have, the bigger the space you need, and the bigger the space, the higher the rent or bond. If you’re working from home, this may not be an issue for you… yet. But the more your business grows, the more space you’ll likely need.

• Our pro tip: Many small business owners think that having an office of their own makes their enterprise seem more legit. This is only partially true, and it can be a massive waste of money. If you’re still finding your feet, consider a shared co-working space – it’s a lot cheaper, and it’ll open up opportunities for collaboration.

3. Leave

South African employees are entitled to 15 working days of annual leave and three days family responsibility leave per year. Don’t forget about the 12 public holidays and additional 30-day sick leave in a three-year cycle. That’s a whole lot of money that employees are entitled to, even when they’re not at work, and it’s something that definitely needs to be factored in.

• Our pro tip: If you’ve just started an SMME, think about whether or not you actually need full-time employees just yet. Can you do the bulk of the work yourself, or make a few hires who work less than 24 hours per month (then public holiday and annual leave pay don’t need to be factored in). Even better, make hires that are virtual, like (ahem!) a digital accountant.

4. Consumables

Small costs build over time, but tea and coffee is a non-negotiable. Even though these costs aren’t that significant, they’re recurring and frequent. In addition to cleaning consumables and stationery, these general office supplies often get overlooked when working out the cost of an employee.

• Our pro tip: Read our top three tips to manage your business budget (spoiler alert: tip number-one talks about doing a consumables audit!)

5. Equipment and resources

As a business owner, you need to provide the resources and equipment for your employees so that they can do their jobs. Items that need to be replaced or upgraded periodically, like computers, laptops, and specialised software, could result in a high cost per employee per year. And don’t forget about insurance on valuable equipment.

• Our pro tip: Unless you’re in the design industry, your office probably doesn’t need to be kitted out with the latest iMacs; a VOIP system can be a lot cheaper than fixed phone lines; and look into paperless set-up.

Employees are an investment and we’re all about job creation, but being informed about all the potential costs that come with a new hire is essential, otherwise you could get a few nasty surprises…

Don’t like surprises? Contact Outsourced Finance to find out exactly how much your employee(s) are costing, or will cost, your business.


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Many business owners don’t know the first thing about crunching numbers. Luckily there are people out there who do – like bookkeepers and accountants. A question you might be asking right now is: ‘Huh, aren’t they the same thing?’

The short answer is no, they’re not. They’re different and your business might need one or the other, or even both.

Let’s take a doctor and a nurse, for example. Both work in the medical field, yet their roles are not the same. The situation is similar to bookkeepers and accountants. Yes, they both with work with finances but in two very different ways.

As a business owner, it’s really important to know the difference between the two, because chances are, you’ll need either need a bookkeeper or an accountant on call (or both!). Let’s break it down…

The bookkeeper

Bookkeepers are the masters of keeping business financial records up to date, like receipts and invoices. They track all the transactions to and from the business, which include:

• Income

• Expenses and bills

• Generating and sending invoices

• Managing debits and credits

They take all the data from these transactions, capture it, summarise it, and make sure it’s organised so that future bills can be paid and reports can be pulled. This helps business owners know exactly where their cash flow is coming from and going to. Think of them as paper-trail ninjas.

The accountant

Accountants carry a weightier role in that they are responsible for managing the company’s accounts; they also analyse financial data so that they can report on how the business is performing. This helps to forecast how the business could – and should – perform. Think of them as calculator fortune-tellers.

A good accountant should be able to:

• Prepare financial statements

• Complete and file tax returns

• Forecast any financial challenges and opportunities

• Analyse business operation costs

Because accountants need to know how every aspect of money works within a business, they have to complete at least a four-year degree. You wouldn’t let someone who claims to be a doctor operate on you if they weren’t qualified, neither should you let someone operate on your business without the proper qualifications.

Which one do you need?

Deciding whether you need a bookkeeper or an accountant will depend on how big your business is, what industry it’s in, and the level of expertise needed. A bookkeeper is less expensive and is ideal if you just need help in organising your daily transactions. However, if you need someone to take charge of the financials and be able to guide and advise you, getting the help of an accountant would be a very wise choice.

Whether you need help with bookkeeping, accounting, both, or anything in-between, Outsourced Finance can help you, wherever you’re based.