4 Dec 2016

Yo Ho Ho - Here We Go!!!

Well, it's that time of the year again - time to start stressing out like crazy while you think of unique Christmas gift ideas for family and friends!!! LOL

What is it about Christmas - we spend so much time mulling over interesting and unique gift ideas for our family and friends and how often do we hand over a gift to someone after spending hours searching for that gift that is "just right for them" only to get that fake "This is fantastic - thank you so much!!" comment in return and you leave the Christmas party knowing that your gift is going to be stuffed in to a drawer - never to be seen again - until the cupboards are rummaged through some time next year when the person concerned is looking for "junk" to get rid of in a weekend garage (car boot) sale?

Now, if you have a family or friends who run their own small business and you know that they spend hours doing their bookkeeping while all the time hating it because they neither like - nor understand - this aspect of business, how's this for an idea -

Why don't you give them BookPals for Christmas?

Have a think about it for a minute - instead of giving them some trinket that they are going to think about for no more than thirty seconds after you have left their house, you could give them something that will make their business lives easier, because once they start using BookPals they will be able to get their bookkeeping done quickly and easily so that they can get back to doing those things in their lives that are most important to them.

Better still, an annual BookPals membership is probably going to cost you less than that same trinket that's going to get thrown in a drawer as soon as you leave because it costs the grand total of $5.00 per month to use BookPals AND the first month is free!!!

Have a think about it - would you prefer that small business owner friend or relative of yours to give you that fake "This is fantastic - thank you so much!!" comment or would it be better if you gave them a Christmas gift that just keeps on giving all year every year and they will be forever grateful to you?

If you want to give them a gift that will truly be of benefit to them long after the Christmas turkey has been devoured, sign them up for a BookPals membership at www.bookpals.biz - they will appreciate it and will be thanking you for it long into next year.

29 Nov 2016

Why Those One Percenters Make All The Difference

If you've been following the BookPals rollout you will know that we have started the BookPals Video Series where we are showing you how simple BookPals is to use and how it is going to make your business bookkeeping so much easier.

Well, the latest video in the series is well worth checking out because it highlights one of those little "one percenters" that we - as small business owners - long for because we know that they give us much more than a one percent gain in our business productivity.

This video shows you how simple it is to relay messages to people that need to have access to - or provide information on - your financial records.

We call this part of BookPals the Pals section (now you know why we are called BookPals!!!) and when you see how it works, you'll quickly begin to get a clear understanding of how this simple little function will give you back hours and hours of wasted (and unbillable!!!) time over your working year.

Check out the latest BookPals video and let us know what you think.

Oh - and while I think of it - after you've had a look at the video, come on over to BookPals and start getting some freedom back into your life.

9 Nov 2016

When Stupid Is Not Stupid!!!


If you're wondering why there is a picture of a Hercules C-130 cargo plane at the top of this post, just bear with me for a minute, because it will become very clear shortly!!!

If you're a long time reader of the BookPals blog you will know that I have had the privilege of speaking with Mark Horstman of Manager Tools several times in the past on the BookPals Business Sanity Podcast.

You will also know that I connected with Mark after listening to the Manager Tools podcast for several years and earlier today I was listening to an episode of Manager Tools called No Surprises In Reviews when Mark said something that nearly knocked me off my feet!!!

Let me set the scene - part of the discussion focussed on the importance of implementing management strategies that are counter-intuitive to what managers have learnt in the past through what many of us know as "traditional" management training methods.

It was during this part of the discussion that Mark made the following comment -

If It's Stupid - And It Works - It's Not Stupid!!!

This comment stopped me dead in my tracks because the implications of this one sentence are so far-reaching for small business owners trying to differentiate themselves from their competitors.

How often have you - as a small business owner - tried to do everything that every other small business owner is doing to attract more potential customers to your business?

What if - just once - you tried something that seemed "weird" compared to what all your competitors are doing and - as a result of this "weirdness" - more potential customers found out about your product or service?

If you're not attracting more customers to your business through your current marketing efforts, what have you got to lose?

Oh - and the reason for the Hercules cargo plane at the top of this post - way back in the 1980's when I was in the Army I remember being told about how a Hercules should not be able to fly "theoretically" because of the way it had been designed - I wonder if the same people who suggested that the design of this plane was "stupid" are now eating humble pie seeing that this same "stupidly designed" aircraft has transported millions of troops and tons of cargo over millions of kilometers (and/or miles) around the world for decades now?

Food for thought ----

7 Nov 2016

Now You Can See What BookPals Is All About














Have I told you about the new BookPals YouTube channel yet?

Now that BookPals is here for you to process your business receipts quickly and easily, we thought it a good idea to create a YouTube channel so that you can actually see how easy BookPals is to use.

There are already several videos up on our YouTube channel that shows you just how easy it is to upload and record your receipts into your BookPals account and in the coming weeks and months we will be releasing a heap more videos so that you can see first hand just how easy bookkeeping has become now that you have BookPals as an option.

Head on over to our new YouTube channel and see how BookPals is going to make your business life so much easier and let us know what you think.

Now You Can See What BookPals Is All About














Have I told you about the new BookPals YouTube channel yet?

Now that BookPals is here for you to process your business receipts quickly and easily, we thought it a good idea to create a YouTube channel so that you can actually see how easy BookPals is to use.

There are already several videos up on our YouTube channel that shows you just how easy it is to upload and record your receipts into your BookPals account and in the coming weeks and months we will be releasing a heap more videos so that you can see first hand just how easy bookkeeping has become now that you have BookPals as an option.

Head on over to our new YouTube channel and see how BookPals is going to make your business life so much easier.

30 Oct 2016

The Opportunities Are Everywhere - Even When You're Not Looking For Them!!!




Yesterday was one of those days that started out like it could be a real "bummer" and ended up revealing so many business "gems" that I have to share them with you!!!

I'm not sure if I have mentioned this before, but my wife runs a business called Krondorf Trading Co and when we checked her stock out at Rockford Wines on Friday we found that her Apricot Jam and Apricot Almond and Grand Marnier Jam supplies were almost out.

Saturday morning Annie - my wife - gets up early and heads off to her supplier of dried apricots to restock the jam supplies only to find out that her supplier has removed the majority of their supplies from their shelves during renovations and there are no dried apricots available for sale until next week.

What are we to do?!!!

In a last ditch effort to find some dried apricots we packed up the family and headed out to the Barossa Farmers Market in the hope that there may be a stall there that was selling dried apricots - and we hit pay dirt!!!

Not only were there numerous local suppliers selling dried apricots there, but we also met a farmer who has a ton of second grade apricots that they are trying to sell prior to the next harvest of apricots which starts in a couple of months.

I'd better explain something here - second grade apricots don't mean that they don't taste as nice as the first grade - they taste exactly the same only they don't look as "pretty" and because of this they can't be sold at the same price as the first grade apricots.

Now, I'm sure you have already worked out that the "prettiness" of the apricot is not a consideration with jam - because it's turned into jam!!! - so the fact that Annie had found a supplier of delicious apricots for a substantially reduced price is great for her business.

It gets better - we're walking around the market feeling all chuffed about our "apricot win" when we come across a stand run by Paul of Barossa Coffee Roasters.

Now, Annie loves coffee so we head on over to check out what's on offer and while Annie is talking to Paul, I am fascinated by a little electronic device Paul has on his table with a PayPal sign on it.

I asked Paul what this device was and he explained that it is called PayPal Here and is an alternative to processing credit card card payments at a fraction of the cost to having a traditional merchant account.

My ears immediately prick up - Annie has resisted setting up a merchant account for as long as she has been running Krondorf Trading Co because the fees to do so are obscene and when Paul explains to us that you pay a small fee for the "Tap N Go" reader - and then the only fee you get charged is the regular PayPal fee - Annie and I look at one another, smile and say "This is it!!!"

Paul then explains that his coffee is on sale at a small coffee stall over on the other side of the market, so we head on over to this stall, Annie buys a coffee, gives me a sip and when I taste how nice the coffee is (and I'm a tea drinker!!!) we head straight back over to Paul's stall and buy a large bag of his Mexican De Angel Albino Corzo coffee - and I pay for it using his PayPal Here reader to see how easy it is to use!!!

By the end of the day, not only did we have cost of goods for Annie's Jam at a substantially reduced price, but we had also found a cost effective way for Annie's clients to purchase her products with nothing more than a phone call to her.

How many opportunities to increase your business are sitting there in front of you and are being missed simply because they are not being noticed?

26 Oct 2016

Are You Encouraging - Or Discouraging - Customers?



I want to share a trend with you that I have recently seen emerging because I can't for the life of me work out why small business owners are doing this.

Over recent times I have seen a marked increase in small business owners - in particular takeaway food outlets - adding a credit card fee to sales when customers pay using the old "fantastic plastic"!!!

I don't know about you, but this really "erks" me - I know that these same small business owners get hit with a merchant fee based on the amount of each sale, but when the business owners say "Are you ok with the 50 cent credit card fee?" it just seems so trivial in the overall cost of the meal.

Using my family as an example, an average cost for takeaway food for us is around the $30.00 to $40.00 mark so being asked to pay some trivial "credit card fee" seems to me to be a bit of a slap in the face when you take into account the total cost of the meal/s.

I was chatting to a business owner who is doing this to his clients (me being one of them) the other day and I suggested to him that instead of asking for a credit card surcharge, why didn't he just add 10 cents to the cost of everything on his menu.

As I pointed out to him, it is very rare that customers buy less than five "things" from his menu, so if he added 10 cents to the price of everything on his menu he would recoup the credit card fee and then some, because (often) people are buying more than five things at a time.

His reply astounded me - "I couldn't do that - my customers wouldn't be too happy about me putting everything up by 10 cents" to which I replied, "but they're happy having you ask them for an extra 50 cents every time they come in to buy something from you?"

I must have been speaking too fast because he just stood there looking at me with a blank stare, so I collected my order and walked out of his shop shaking me head!!!

This little incident got me thinking about how much we encourage - or discourage - customers to buy our products or services.

Have a think about the interactions you have with your customers and spend some time thinking about whether of not the process to buy from you is quick and easy, or are there a multitude of obstacles that your customers have to "climb over" before they can buy your "stuff"?