Apr 14

Biking and COVID-19

Posted by Craig Weston at Tuesday, April 14, 2020


What a change.

6 weeks ago I was out with my 3 old scouting mates doing our annual 4 day run of mountain bike trails - this time we biked the Waikato trails - really good, challenging and much more interesting that I first expected.

The first day was easy - biking beside the gentle flow of the Waikato river - life was good.  Until day two - much different terrain - hilly, demanding, unusual, needed the team to stay focused, needed to watch out for each other.  What a contrast.

And now 6 weeks later here we are..... it's lockdown.

Most people are prohibited from usual activities.  Most businesses have ground to some kind of halt or a radically changed level of activity.  A bit like day's hilly, demanding, unusual, we need to stay focused, and watch out for each other.

What do I as an accountant make of all this?

I am heavily influenced by the interactions I have had with my clients.  Many like me were initially stunned by the turn of events and wondered what this would mean.

As time has gone on good practical help has become available:

  • There has been lots of help out there from various industry groups, individuals and Government.  I have been particularly impressed by a group that I am a member of - the Franchise Association of New Zealand.  This represents 37,000 individual franchised business in New Zealand and accounts for $27.6 billion of turnover (11% of GDP).  The Association has run a series of webinars for members focusing on what local franchisors are doing to help their franchisees, with experts in law, accounting and banking giving good advice.  Good down to earth advice from people wanting to help people.  Love this.

  • As accountants we are part of a group of 400+ other accountants based in NZ, Australia and the UK.  This group is known as GAP. Good solid advice and help coming from this group too as we seek to help our clients get to grips with that they can do to make the most of this time and beyond.  Through this group we were able to circulate our Business Continuity Plan resource and a number of our clients have used this to help them plan out their futures.

  • Cash Flow - this is the key to staying in business.  We have been assisting clients with simple forecasts for the bank - predicting what their bank balances will be for the next 12-36 months.  This Service is registered with the Management Capability Development Voucher Fund.

There are still lots of unknowns out there but lots of help available.  Its Kiwis helping Kiwis.

Biking? - as I reflect on the above, life was relatively smooth and easy up to COVID-19, like the "gentle flow of the Waikato river" ..... and now it's hilly, tough, and we need each other.

So, I'm looking forward to my annual bike trip next year and looking back and thinking, yes we all did the best we could together and while there are still big challenges ahead.... for the most part we as a country are succeeding!


Dec 17

We're predicting a happy and healthy holiday season

Posted by Craig Weston at Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Pour the sav,

Serve the pav,

And activate holiday mode!

The Inspired team would like to wish all our clients and colleagues a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

We've put together some light reading to help you reflect on 2019 and start thinking about your goals for the coming year.

Here's to 2020, we're forecasting an epic year!

Click here to download our Christmas eBook

Our office is closed from Friday the 20th of December and reopens on Monday the 13th of January 2020.

Sep 26

Craig and Nick talk best business advice for business owners

Posted by Craig Weston at Thursday, September 26, 2019

Craig Weston recently sat down with Nick Giles, Head of Hospitality New Zealand at Link Business Broking.  Really impressed with Nick and his team and what they do.  See our short video where we talk about the important things to keep in mind when looking to buy and run a business.

Video Craig and Nick

Nov 21

Franchising in NZ

Posted by Craig Weston at Tuesday, November 21, 2017

It's quite amazing how big Franchising is in New Zealand right now.

Some recent key stats show that:
  • There are 631 Franchised brands operating in NZ
  • There are 37,000 Franchise businesses in NZ
  • Annual Turnover is $27.6 billion! (this excludes motor vehicle & fuel sales)

So it's BIG!

Our firm has been privileged to be involved in working with the Franchise Community for the past 12 years.  We assist would-be franchisees to make their decision as to whether to buy a franchise business or not and we help the head owners (called Franchisors) with advice in operating their businesses.  And as well as that our firm is the external accountant to the peak body for Franchising in NZ - the Franchise Association of NZ Inc.

It's an important part of what we do at Inspired.  If you want to know more about this growing business format called Franchising, just let us know.

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.



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.


May 07

Going into business for the first time

Posted by Craig Weston at Wednesday, May 07, 2014

We wanted to share a great story…

We assisted a lady to buy a new franchise (for her) in a new location. She found the idea of starting a new business both quite exciting and a bit daunting. In her case the Franchisor was very experienced and helpful and the process was greatly simplified.

Our role at Inspired was to assist our client with financial forecasting to give her, the franchisor, the bank and her lawyer sufficient information to reduce the risk by showing (based on certain assumptions) that the business could achieve its financial goals and a reasonable return on investment.

After much planning, in depth training, and determination she is now up and running and it is a joy to see her working with her team, and implementing lots of great marketing ideas. Her numbers are slightly ahead of budget and it all seems to be going well.

But as we all know, a great start does not always mean long term success. Business is dynamic and business owners have to be on top of the activities that produce the numbers. We are working closely with her to ensure business keeps booming!

This type of partnering with our clients is the kind of work that we love doing. We get a buzz out of helping people and businesses succeed. If we can be of help give us a call (09) 969 7450.