Blog

Dec 17

As 2018 comes to an end

Posted by Craig Weston at Monday, December 17, 2018

It's almost the end of the calendar year - an opportunity to glance back at what the past year held, take a long breath over the break, and then look at what could be for 2019.

There is something about looking back that is positive - reviewing what went well and what went not so well.  It's an opportunity to learn from the past to give us wisdom for the future.

As we end this year, our wish for our clients and friends is that you will truly enjoy your Christmas break (whether that be short or long) and come back positively renewed for the new year ahead.



Mar 20

Alps to Ocean

Posted by Craig Weston at Tuesday, March 20, 2018

A2O (Alps to Ocean)

This stands for the bike/run trail that runs from Mt Cook to Oamaru. It's a (mainly easy) trail that winds along beside mountain lakes, rivers, open country, power stations, and small towns.  With 3 mates I biked the trail 2 weeks ago.  Took us a relaxed 6 days.

There is something about this area that easily draws me back.  The magnificent vistas easily calm the soul and put life in perspective.

A great place to think about the future.  I love to think about business and the next steps - its easy to do in this area - see the picture!

 

Oct 05

What's it like being virtual?

Posted by Craig Weston at Thursday, October 05, 2017

This is a question we get asked a lot!
You see, our accounting team of 6 people have been operating in a virtual space for the past 4 years.  This means we don't have a set office in a set location.  Each of our team works from their home office.

When we started this new way of working it was a bit scary but we had some great advice from the team at Xero and our IT advisors and this gave us confidence we could do it and do it well.

So 4 years on you may be interested in what we now know about it !

The Advantages:

We get to go to work without having to hit the Auckland traffic - the office is just down the hall!
We make use of modern technology - we use Skype for business a lot - we use it for team meetings and meetings with clients.
We use the Cloud for all our applications and file storage - no expensive and clunky servers any more.
For face to face client meetings - we get to stay out of the early morning and late afternoon traffic - it's great!
Our team have flexibility - if they have an unwell child at home from school, they can still do some work while looking after their child.

The Disadvantage:

Social interaction for the team - there are no conversations around the "water cooler" anymore - but we make up for this by booking in regular team meetings, on-line conversations, social events, dinners and conferences.

Summary:

We have proved to ourselves that it can work and that it works well.  So if you would like to know more about how this might work for you - give us a call - we would be happy to answer any questions.

 

Yvette Young - hard at work!

Aug 31

Inspired Team Conference

Posted by Craig Weston at Thursday, August 31, 2017

Omaha provided a truly Inspired location for our August team conference.  We brainstormed, discussed, collaborated and looked at the future of accounting.  We are excited about working with our clients on their business and helping them reach their goals.  The future is going to be fast paced, technology-focused, with real-time results, and we will always be there to support and inspire our clients.

We may look a small team in number but we quickly scale up as required using all the up to date ideas and resources that are now available.  We value our time together as we plan for the future, re-align our roadmap and take action to ensure we reach our goals and aspirations.

How do you plan and set your goals for the future? We often talk to our clients about the importance of having a business plan, a roadmap that sets out the future.  Give us a call if you want to discuss how to do this better (09) 969 7450.


Aug 09

Zones Conference

Posted by Craig Weston at Wednesday, August 09, 2017

Recently we presented to Zones Franchisees (Landscaping Specialists) at the Chateau Tongariro - our brief was to impart key accounting knowledge that Franchisees could use in the running of their business.  Some of the Franchisees are relatively new to running a Franchise so were eager to learn and develop their business.

Three key areas we looked at were:

  • Cash is King! Invoice weekly or monthly.  Collect your accounts receivable quickly!

  • Tax. It's a pain but it means you are making money.  Claim all the expenses you can.

  • Planning. A financial forecast for the next 12 - 36 months is key to know where you are going.

We also presented on Xero and how to best utilise it in your business.  Wow what a great session! Once you know xero and update it daily it's a very powerful tool.

We thoroughly enjoyed being part of a great Franchise and meeting all the Zones Franchisees.  If you need advice from us or training on xero, just ask. We are always happy to help.

Craig

   

Mar 31

Hello from the other side

Posted by Craig Weston at Friday, March 31, 2017

Well nearly! Tomorrow we venture into the new financial year.  It makes us at Inspired think about what we want to achieve over the next year.

What went well this year? What areas can we improve on?

Our roadmap is ready, our KPIs set in place and the year ahead is ready for us to grab with both hands.

We often ask ourselves what do our clients want? How do they feel? Look out for our short client survey coming your way soon as your ideas and thoughts are of great value to us.

Best wishes with your planning and execution over the next 12 months! We look forward to being part of your journey...

Craig

Jan 25

I've just got off the phone...

Posted by Craig Weston at Wednesday, January 25, 2017

I’ve just got off the phone with one of our great clients.

They run a really good business and are looking to buy another totally unrelated business to the one they already have.

They ran some numbers and asked me to tell them what I think.

The numbers themselves looked quite good BUT when I took a closer look I could see that there were some key things missing. Things like missed overheads, missed variable costs, Kiwisaver etc.

I think with any business purchase it’s important to get a second opinion. Often as a buyer one can get too emotionally involved to see things objectively. 

They have agreed to let us prepare a simple but comprehensive plan for the new business.

I’m glad because I want them to do well and the plan will help to de risk the venture and give them solid information on which to base their purchase decision.

Craig

Dec 20

Keep the Ball Rolling

Posted by Craig Weston at Tuesday, December 20, 2016

I’ve been involved in advising clients for more than 25 years and I have noticed a few things over this time.  One thing that stands out is that business success is never a given. In other words, we can’t rely on past sales, past performance and past success to see us through. We always need to have an eye to the future and what key activities need to be done to “keep the ball rolling”.

With the Christmas holidays almost upon us, I find it is a good idea to plan to make the most of this time. That can include doing absolutely nothing, spending quality time with family, and can also include some thinking time – maybe sitting under a tree with a notebook and pen for an hour or two and jotting down the key actions that will “keep the ball rolling” for 2017.

Have a safe and happy holiday time.

Our office is closed from 5pm on Thursday the 22nd Dec and opens on Monday 16th of January.

Oct 03

Flying away!

Posted by Craig Weston at Monday, October 03, 2016

I am writing this from the Hawkes Bay. We are down here for a Fly in Fly out weekend attending our niece’s birthday party.

Air NZ was the airline and I determined before we left to pay specific attention to how they dealt with their passengers. I have long been impressed with this iconic Kiwi company. They have recovered from disasters including near financial collapse but have survived and gone on to win awards around the world in a range of categories. This does not happen by chance.

I have to say I am impressed. We were dealt with in a very professional but friendly way - just the way we Kiwis like it.

How come they are so good?

I think it comes down to three things:

  • The culture that comes from the top and inculcates everything
  • A motivated and involved team
  • Systems that drive & monitor performance

As I look at my own organisation and the others I am part of, I am challenged to check each of them out in these three areas. There is always room for improvement and it always comes back to the question - what will I do to improve things?

Craig

Jul 13

Back to the Future

Posted by Craig Weston at Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Vision – I’ve been thinking about this. It’s important to have one.

It’s a view into the future – what we would like our business to be and what we want it to deliver to us in the next 1 to 5 years (or longer).

It’s easy (and sometimes not so easy) to sit down with a notebook and plot out the parameters of what we want to see.

  • Sales to grow at x% pa
  • Net Profit to grow at x% pa
  • Personal Income to grow at x% pa
  • Positively influence my community by ………
  • Retirement plan in place by 20XX
  • Retire by 20XX

These things represent what we want and that’s good. BUT to get there we also need to understand where we are now, and how we will get there.

Yes, it's not new – you have heard this before lots of times. My question is how many of us actually do this stuff?

I am really keen on helping people do “this stuff”.  We actually quantify the Vision – that is we put this into a holistic plan with detailed numbers and dates against which regular progress can be measured.

Lofty plans are all well & good but might as well go in the waste basket unless we actually do something and measure our progress.

So it’s back to the future – lets get started !