29 Dec 2015

Is There Any Other Name For This But Insanity?

I have to share something with you that happened to me today because - as a small business owner - it really did make me ask the question "Why?".

We are in the Great Ocean Road area of Victoria, Australia for the Christmas period  at the moment and decided to have a look around at some display villages because we are interested in moving to this part of the world at some stage into the future.

For those of you who are not familiar with this part of the world, let me first set the scene - this area is primarily a summer tourist destination where - between the months of December and March - the population basically triples with tourists wanting a "sea change".

Many of these tourists fall in love with the place and over recent years there has been a dramatic increase in the number of people who move to this region to live permanently.

Now - with this in mind - if you owned a business where you were building houses in this area, do you think that this time of the year would be a good time to have your display home doors open each and every day so that people could find out the kind of house you could build for them when they decide to move to this part of the world?

Well, guess how many display homes were open today?

None - that's right, absolutely none!!!

I could not believe it - and I was not the only person astounded at what was happening - because we bumped into at least 20 other people all walking around the "barren wasteland" display village grumbling that they were here on holidays and were thinking about moving to the area but could not speak to anyone about house and land prices.

On further investigation I found out that many of the display homes are re-opening the day that many (most?) tourists will be returning home after their holidays are over and - if these same tourists are really serious about moving to the region - they will have to be inconvenienced by coming back to the area to speak with the builders in the area at some other time.

What happened today really drove home how important it is to be where your target market is.

Sure, we all like to be on holidays when those around us are having a break and sure, it would be great to have the luxury of "shutting our doors" whenever we felt like it but it is so important to remember that as small business owners we have to be there when our leads are looking for our products and services so if this means we have to "jiggle" our time off to fit in with the "quieter demand times" that's simply the price we pay as small business owners.

Are you there when your clients need you?

28 Dec 2015

Christmas Classic 1 - You Don't Need To Be A Fisherman!!!

As you would know if you have been listening to the BookPals Business Sanity podcast series we are re-releasing our most favorite podcasts episodes as voted by you - our listener - over the Christmas period while we have a well earned break before getting straight back into the BookPals rollout early into 2016.

We have called these episodes Christmas Classics and today - in Episode One of the Christmas Classic series - we welcome back John Logar of MakeEveryDayAPayday.com.

We have spoken to John on numerous occasions and he has provided many business gems on how to better promote and market your business, but the episode that resonated with you the most was when John spoke about niching down when targeting your ideal prospect and customer.

With 2016 just around the corner we - as small business owners - are constantly thinking about ways to increase our profits into the New Year, so this discussion with John could not come at a better time because it shows you that you don't have to be throwing "big nets" out to "catch" your target market!!!

Drive your business to greater success in 2016 after listening to this Christmas Classic BookPals Business Sanity podcast episode.

21 Dec 2015

Ok - So We Told A Little Fib!!!

I know - I know - I said in the last BookPals Business Sanity podcast episode that we were having a break over the Christmas period, but after a discussion with a business owner friend of mine the other day I've changed my mind!!!

It's a simple fact of life that we - as small business owners - never really "turn off" from running our business.

How can we? - unlike all the "Corporate Dudes and Dudettes" out there that have the luxury of someone filling their positions while they go on holidays, us "small business owner lunatics" - who are responsible for everything from getting more customers right through to ensuring that the business toilets are clean - cannot afford the luxury of "turning off" over the festive season because if we do, the bills simply don't get paid.

With this in mind, I started thinking about ways in which BookPals Business Sanity can continue to provide you with value over the festive season and what we've come up with is a series of podcasts that we have called the BookPals Business Sanity Christmas Classic series.

The Christmas Classic series is a selection of our "best of" podcasts to help you drive your business forward and best of all, we haven't decided on which episodes are the best - you have, because the episodes chosen for the Christmas Classic series are the ones that have been downloaded the most by you - our listener.

Have a listen to this short podcast that we have created introducing the BookPals Business Sanity Christmas Classic series and we hope that our Christmas Classics help you drive your business forward into 2016.

15 Dec 2015

So - What's Ahead in 2016?

Christmas is nearly here (where did that year go?!!!) and as small business owners, now is the time that we start thinking about what's ahead for us in 2016 and things we can do to make running our businesses easier and more straightforward (remember when all we used to think about was catching up with family and how full our bellies were going to be the day after Christmas?!!! Oh well, the price you pay for starting your own business ah?!!!).

And this is why we have released this BookPals Business Sanity episode - firstly, to wish all of you a very Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year, but also to let you know that in 2016 we will be making one aspect of your business life - the bookkeeping part of it - so much easier and more straightforward.

Enjoy this episode of BookPals Business Sanity and we look forward to your company again in 2016 (if we don't have speak to you beforehand - you just never know!!! LOL)

5 Dec 2015

A Christmas Gift That They Will Appreciate Long After the 25th Of December!!!

I had a discussion with a long time friend of mine earlier today and he made a comment that has made me really start thinking about the importance of giving "true value" in the gifts that you hand out at Christmas time.

Our discussion was centred around my father - a small business owner who passed away over twenty years ago now - and we were laughing while we reminisced how unsettled he became when he shut down his shop at Christmas time.

Don't get me wrong, our family always went on a wonderful holiday at Christmas time and spent some great times away together, but we often laugh about the fact that after about 2 weeks away from the shop, Dad started getting really "toey" about getting back to work. 

I questioned him about this one day many years after I had moved away from home and was working myself as an employee for a large corporate company and his response was quite blunt and to the point (which was very much my Dad!!!) - 

"Look mate" he said "it's ok for you blokes who work for big businesses not to worry about having time off because you get paid regardless of whether or not you're there, but if I'm away for too long my clients start looking elsewhere to get their hair cut (he was a self employed hairdresser) so after about two weeks I needed to get back to the business so that the bills could get paid and I kept my customers happy so that we could have more of those holidays the next year".

It's only now - almost twenty years later - that I really appreciate his comments back then - it is great to be able to spend quality time with your family at this time of year, but as small business owners we all have those nagging concerns in the back our our minds - 

Will my clients be ok about me shutting down for a while at Christmas?

Will I be able to pay all my bills if things are quiet over the holiday period? 

Will the business run smoothly if I leave it in the hands of a manager while I'm away?

So what has this got to do with BookPals?

One thing that is not going to go away over Christmas - next year - or for as long as any of us are around - is our financial reporting to all the statutory bodies. 

If you're a small business owner you know that as soon as you get back to work after Christmas you'll have all those end of calendar year reports that you need to lodge and all those budget forecasts that you'll need to start thinking about for the year ahead.

If you're the spouse of one of those small business owners and you're saying to yourself "What can I get them for Christmas that I know they'll appreciate?" why not think about giving them a BookPals subscription?

That's right - why don't you give them a BookPals subscription for Christmas?!!!

Before you say "You've got to be joking" answer these couple of questions - 

How many hours are they going to be stuck in their office putting their paperwork together for their accountant next year?

How many times are they going to grumble because they can't find all their business receipts next year?

How many times are they going to be in a bad mood because they have to use some "accounting program" to do their bookkeeping that they don't understand or like? 

Does a BookPals subscription for the grand total of $60.00 per year sound so bad now? 

All you need to do is enter a name and an email address - and they even get to use BookPals for the first month for free to see if they like it!!!

BookPals really is the Christmas gift that will keep on giving to small business owners - do it for them - they will appreciate it.

3 Dec 2015

It's Time To Take Off Those Rose Coloured Glasses!!!

How clear are you on your business direction, purpose, Vision and Mission?

What I mean by this is are you laser focussed on what your business is all about and how you can help potential clients, because if you're not, how then can you benchmark what you're doing in your business against these laser focussed goals?

It is imperative that you have a crystal clear understanding of what you and your business is all about, how you can help potential clients and the road you are going to take to reach your business goals and this is why we invited Cate Richards of trueentrepreneur.com onto the BookPals Business Sanity podcast to have a chat with us.

Cate helps business owners achieve their business dreams by teaching them about what she calls The 7 Clarities Of Entrepreneurship and after listening to this discussion with Cate you will understand the importance of being laser focussed on your business Vision, Mission and Purpose.

Get ready to throw away those rose coloured glasses after listening to this episode of BookPals Business Sanity!!! 

2 Dec 2015

I've Finally Been Dragged Out Of My BookPals Business Sanity Cave!!! LOL

If you've been enjoying the BookPals Business Sanity podcasts and your interest in BookPals has been piqued in any way you may be interested in a presentation that I am giving at the Adelaide Hills Business Centre next Wednesday, the 9th of December 2015.

The presentation is a Table Talk called Bookkeeping now made easy with BookPals where we will be discussing the struggle many small business owners have with completing their financial returns because of all of the "accounting stuff" that they have to work through with the bookkeeping systems currently on the market.

These Table Talks are a great idea because they're not these "stuffy" formal presentations where everyone sits around trying not to yawn and fall asleep while someone "preaches" to them - Table Talks are group discussions between likeminded business owners who get together to help each other work through the insanity that we call running our own small businesses!!!

If you are based in South Australia - or you're visiting this wonderful state and have 90 minutes to spare next Wednesday the 9th of December 2015 - it would be great if you could join us up at the Adelaide Hills Business Centre and be a part of the Bookkeeping now made easy with BookPals Table Talk.

Here's a link to where you can book a seat - I hope to see you there.

Told You BookPals Was Making Your Bookkeeping Easier!!!

As a small business owner, how many times has your Accountant or Bookkeeper said to you "I need your bank statements to complete your returns"?

Well, look what's just been released inside BookPals (check out the bottom left hand book) - now you get to store all your bank statements inside BookPals!!!

All you do is log into your BookPals account and upload your bank statements into your Bank Book and you never have to worry about being asked for your bank statements again 'cause there right there for your Accountant and/or Bookkeeper to check over.

Here's what it will look like for your Accountant and/or Bookkeeper -

All your bank statements sitting there just waiting for them to open and examine if they need to verify any details in your Sales and Purchases Books - dead easy ah?!!!

We told you we were going to make your business bookkeeping easier and more straightforward - and the Bank Book is more proof that we mean what we say - join us!!!

28 Nov 2015

Phew - That Was Close - We Nearly Missed A Week Of BookPals Business Sanity!!!

To say that the past week or so has been hectic is an understatement!!!

The BookPals software has launched and already we have business owners using it and raving about how much easier it is making their business bookkeeping. 

We haven't been resting on our laurels though - there have been numerous updates and enhancements in the few short weeks that BookPals has been available for you that is making it more and more easier for you to do your business bookkeeping.

It is because of these enhancements that we nearly missed out on bringing you your weekly BookPals Business Sanity podcast episode, but ironically, it is also because of the work that we have been doing on BookPals that this week's episode has been created!!!

What I mean by this is that we received an email from a bookkeeper last week concerned that BookPals had the potential to reduce the number of customers that they would have access to and there were a number of emails - and a phone conversation - to explain that this could not be further from the truth - in fact, we believe that BookPals will actually increase the number of potential clients that bookkeepers have access to!!!

After these emails and our phone conversation I decided to put a podcast episode together about our discussion to show you how BookPals is going connect more bookkeepers to more business owners so that both can get on with working on those things that are most important to them.

Have a listen to this episode of Bookpals Business Sanity and let us know what you think ---

16 Nov 2015

Finally - A Place For Quiet Conversation!!!

Let me run a couple of scenarios past you and tell me whether or not you have found yourself in this situation in the past -

You're a Business Owner who knows there are a ton of messages waiting for you from your business associates, but every time you log in to your email or your social media account to read these messages you get inundated by "Special Offer" this and "Hashtag" that!!!

You're a Bookkeeper who can't finish your client's bookkeeping until they send you some missing receipts but whenever you call them you go to their voicemail and they have not responded to your emails even though you have been sending them emails for this documentation every day for a week!!!

You're an Accountant who needs proof of one purchase from your client to complete their financial returns but every time you call them they are "busy" and "away from their desk" and never seem to get back to you with the information you require to finalize their returns.

We're all busy - and with all the "noise" of emails and social media posts around us it's little wonder that people have trouble connecting with each other to work through the dynamics of running businesses - and that's why BookPals has created a safe haven - away from all this noise - so that you can focus on getting your financials sorted.

Because now you can have quiet conversations inside BookPals!!!

Here's how it works -

See on the right hand side of your BookPals account you can now invite your Pals to hold conversations with you - and best of all these conversations are private discussions between you and the other person concerned!!!

The best part about having these conversations inside BookPals is that when people are using BookPals they're not there to find out what their mates have been up to over the weekend - or to look at funny pictures of the antics that some people get up to when they know someone around them has a camera - they're reading your message while they're in a "business" frame of mind, processing or uploading their receipts.

Do you think that there's more chance of people responding to you promptly inside BookPals compared to when they are sifting through emails and social media posts "outside"?

We do - and that's why we have included this functionality inside BookPals - because the quicker you can attend to these kinds of messages the quicker you can get back to doing those things that are most important in your life.

Join us inside BookPals and start getting those business conversations attended to quickly - and quietly - so that you can get on with your life.

Are You Ready For Some Laser Focussed Social Media Marketing Advice?

If you're a B2B - or Business to Business - business owner, how effective are your social media marketing efforts?

Are you one of those B2B business owners who is spending hours on Facebook and Twitter for what seems to be absolutely no return on your time investment?

Well, what about LinkedIn?

If you're saying "I'm not wasting my time on LinkedIn - that's where you go when you're looking for a job", I'm sorry to say that you couldn't be further from the truth because LinkedIn has evolved into a place where you - as a B2B business owner - now have a wonderful platform in which to promote your business to potential partners and customers.

And that's why we asked Alex Pirouz - Founder of Linkfluencer.com - back to BookPals Business Sanity to give us further insights into how you can use LinkedIn to better promote and market your business.

In this episode we shoot 10 rapid fire questions at Alex on the Do's and Dont's of promoting and marketing your business using LinkedIn and after you've listened to this episode you'll have a much better understanding on how to use LinkedIn more effectively when promoting your products and services.

Get ready for some laser focussed marketing strategies on this episode of BookPals Business Sanity.

9 Nov 2015

So - What's Your Dream?

What's your dream when you think about your business?

What I mean by this is what do you dream about doing when your business gives you the freedom to live this dream? 

Is it travel?

Is it taking up a particular sport or hobby? 

Is it spending more quality time with your family?

Why is it then that you can't do what you dream about, even though your business has reached a level of success where you have the income to support your dream?

Is it because you're still stuck doing all those "back office" tasks like financial and compliance reporting? 

If it is, then now you can free yourself from these chores - because BookPals has now created a solution where you can use the services of a bookkeeper - based anywhere in the world - Without Them Ever Coming To Your Address Again!!!

That's right, as part of your BookPals membership, now you can invite two other people to help you with your books - at no extra cost to you or them!!!

Perhaps you'll invite your Accountant so that they can regularly check up on what's being done.

Perhaps you'll invite a Bookkeeper to do the bookkeeping for you.

Who knows who you'll invite, but one thing's for sure - YOU - the Business Owner - stays in control of your financial information when you start using BookPals instead of sitting at home - crossing your fingers - hoping that others are doing the right thing by you with your financial reporting. 

Come on over and see what BookPals is all about - it really is the solution you have been looking for in business bookkeeping.

30 Oct 2015

All You Bookkeepers Out There - This One's For You!!!

If you have been following the BookPals rollout for some time now you would know that a big part of the reason why BookPals has been created is to allow small business owners to connect with bookkeepers who can help them with their bookkeeping.

The reason why we are so committed to connecting small business owners with bookkeepers is quite simple - we know that there are many small business owners out there who hate doing their bookkeeping but they're not the least bit interested in having to wait around all day for bookkeepers to come to their address to do their bookkeeping for them.

Well, NEWS FLASH for all you small business owners out there - there are many bookkeepers would be happy to do your bookkeeping from the comfort of their own home or office if there was some way for them to do so!!

And that's where BookPals can help you both, because now that BookPals is here, bookkeepers can provide more small business owners with their quality bookkeeping services without ever leaving their own home or office.

For all you bookkeepers out there, we've created a page specifically for bookkeepers so that you can get a better understanding of how you can use BookPals to provide your bookkeeping services to more clients from the comfort of your own home or office.

Check out the BookPals page for Bookkeepers now and see if it helps you.

28 Oct 2015

Lets Address The Elephant In The Room!!!

Ok, unless you have been hiding under a rock for the past week you would know that BookPals has launched!!!

So I was talking to a friend of mine yesterday and he came out with the following statement -

"Your bookkeeping thing looks great - but how do I process staff pays?"

I just stared back, smiled and asked -

"How do you process pays now?"

To which he replied -

"I just "times" the hours my guy works by his hourly rate - then I check how much tax I have to keep out of his pay - and then I pay him the rest."

I just looked at him and said "That's it!!!"

Here's the thing - for years we have had bookkeeping systems being created that have all these fancy payroll option things attached to them and my question is - WHY?

You know how to pay your staff - 'cause you've been doing it for years - so why do you need to turn into some kind of "computerised payroll expert" when you start using bookkeeping systems?

And the answer is YOU DON'T!!!

That's why BookPals has taken the mystique out of running pays.

Have a look at the image below and tell me if it looks familiar to you -

So what have you got - you've got "Dean's Weekly Pay" where Dean gets paid $1000.00 gross a week and you hold $183.00 in PAYG Withholding (that's the name of the tax that gets withheld from gross wages to anyone outside of Australia reading this) and $817.00 gets withdrawn from your bank account and paid to Dean (it can either be paid to Dean's bank account or given to him in cash - whatever is best for you and/or Dean!!!).

That's it - you've just run your staff's pays!!!!

"Where do I find out how much tax to keep from Dean's pay?" I hear you say and my response is
"Where do you now?"

Do you have a copy of your country's tax withholding tables in your office drawer?

Is Dean on a set wage (i.e. salary) and you found out how much tax to withhold from his wages from your Accountant at the beginning of the financial year?

Do you look it up online each pay period?

The thing is, you're doing something to work out how much tax to withhold from Dean's wages now - so you just keep doing the same thing!!!

"But hang on" - I hear you say - "What about his superannuation?"

Have a look at this image -

This is as hard as adding two new lines to Dean's pay above - you already know how much super you have to pay your staff (in this example it is 9.5% of Dean's gross wages) so you get your calculator out and you "times" his gross wages ($1000.00) by his super rate (9.5%) and presto - you get $95.00!!!

"But why have you got $95.00 listed twice - I'm only paying him once?"

Ok, so this is the closest you'll get to an accounting lesson in this whole thing, but let me make it easy for you - you need it there twice because you haven't actually paid Dean's super yet - you've just put it away in safekeeping until it comes time to pay it - in other words it's sitting in that little "piggy bank" (probably your business bank account) and you're just showing this in your bookkeeping records on the bottom line of that image above.

"So what do I do when I pay Dean's super?"

That's easy - have a look at the image below -

It's as simple as taking the money out of the "piggy bank" and paying it into Dean's super fund from your bank account -

That's It!!!

There is nothing difficult about paying your staff - and when you start using BookPals you can either do it as easily as I described above - or if you aren't interested in doing it, get a bookkeeper inside the XLerator Community to do it for you and you can do all the rest of the bookkeeping yourself.

Start using BookPals - it really is going to make your business bookkeeping easier and more straightforward.

26 Oct 2015

What's That On The Horizon --- Success?!!!

As small business owners we are constantly searching for new tools and techniques to make our marketing "stick out" from the crowd and I have recently found out about a software solution that I think can really help you achieve this goal.

The software is called Periscope and the person who told me about it was Ellory Wells of ellorywells.com.

After listening to Ellory explain what Periscope was all about, I was so impressed with its potential to promote and market small businesses that I contacted Ellory immediately and asked him back on to BookPals Business Sanity to explain how you can use Periscope to better promote and market your business.

Get ready to add another weapon to your arsenal of marketing tools after listening to this episode of Bookpals Business Sanity.

22 Oct 2015

Ok - Now All The Hoopla Is Over -----

Ok, so for the past 5 years you've been reading these blog posts - and listening to the BookPals Business Sanity podcast - and hearing me "bang on" about this upcoming thing called BookPals - and now it's time to find out exactly what BookPals is all about and how it can help you.

Before I explain what BookPals is all about, I just want to recite the start of the video on the new BookPals Homepage (if you listen to it carefully you may even recognise the voice!!!)

While I'm reciting it, have a think about what's being said in the context of your own daily routine -

  • Wake Up
  • Breakfast
  • Feed The Kids
  • Off To School
  • Bookkeeping
  • Shopping
  • Bookkeeping
  • Home From School
  • Evening Meal
  • Bookkeeping
  • Time For Bed
  • Start Again

Ok, now how many of you are sitting there saying "Hang on - that's me!!!"

As small business owners we know that our daily routine is not simply "going to work" "getting paid" "coming home" and "knocking off for the day" - you have to find some way to jam everything else that happens in your day into the chaos that you call your life.

Then - on top of all this - you also have to find time to get your business bookkeeping and compliance reporting done, because taxes and all the other business reporting that we have to do is not going away - not in our lifetime anyway!!!

When you think about it, if we put someone else through the abuse that we put ourselves through, we'd probably end up in court!!!! LOL 

As small business owners who love what we do and we grin and bear this chaos as it unfolds around us while at the same time quietly whispering to ourselves "How can I make things less chaotic?"!!!

And this is exactly why BookPals has been created.

As a "start up" business owner, the idea of using the services of a bookkeeper to help you with your bookkeeping is often the last thing mind - 
  • There's customers to find
  • There's staff to recruit
  • There's product to purchase
  • There's taxes to pay
  • The list goes on - and on - and on!!!

So what do you do?

You decide to do the bookkeeping yourself to "cut costs", or worse still - you get your partner or spouse to do the bookkeeping for you - and of course their life is not as hectic as yours, is it?!!!

To add insult to injury you are forced to use these bookkeeping systems that demand you learn this "double entry accounting" thing and accounting principles make about as much sense to you as skinny dipping in Alaska!!!

"I'm good at what I do - why do I also have to learn all this accounting stuff as well?"

We agree - and that's why we've created BookPals for you.

What we've created in BookPals is a simple to use bookkeeping solution - and you don't have to understand the first thing about accounting principles to use it.

Once you've set up your BookPals account all you have in front of you are two options -

Sales and Purchases (there's actually another option called Journals, but to be truthful, I wouldn't even worry about that at this stage - we'll get to that a bit later!!!). 

Ok, now have a think about this in the context of your own small business and answer this one simple question - 

What are the two things you do in your own business? 

Hands up if your answer is - 

I Sell Stuff and I Buy Stuff!!!

That's it - you sell stuff and you buy stuff - so what more do you need than somewhere to record how much stuff you sell and how much stuff you buy? 

I can already hear some of you out there yelling "What about paying my staff?" and I hear you - yes, you do have to record your staff's wages, but what if I said to you that recording your staff's wages is nothing more than a big number minus a little number and takes about 30 seconds to work out?!!!

When everything is said and done, if you have a place where you can capture all the stuff you sell, capture all the stuff you buy and capture how much you pay your staff, what else do you need in a bookkeeping system? 

And that's exactly what BookPals is - a place to quickly enter all the stuff you sell (your Sales Book) - a place to quickly enter all the stuff you buy (your Purchases Book) and a place to quickly record things like your staff wages and the like (that's that Journal Book thing I made mention of earlier - I'll explain that another day!!!).

BookPals has taken the mystery out of business bookkeeping, so come in and see what BookPals is all about and start taking some of the chaos out of running your own small business.

16 Oct 2015

Animations Can Make You Smile For More Than One Reason!!!

As a small business owner, how often do you think to yourself "Am I doing exactly the same as everyone else out there in promoting and marketing my business"?

If your answer is "Yes" have you thought about using animation to supercharge your marketing message?

With the launch of the BookPals software almost here we have been thinking of different ways to get our marketing message out to more potential customers and we decided to include a short animation on our new Homepage to introduce visitors to the new BookPals software.

We used the services of Simon Kneebone of simonkneebone.com to create the animation for us and we were so happy with the work that Simon did that we asked him onto BookPals Business Sanity to talk about how you can use animation to drive your business forward.

After you've listened to this episode go and have a look at the animation that Simon has created for us and start thinking about how you can use animation to differentiate yourself from your competitors.

We hope you get some more great ideas on how to drive your business forward after listening to this episode of BookPals Business Sanity.

20 Sep 2015

For When You Find Yourself Standing There Saying "What Else Can I Do?"

As a small business owner, how many times have you found yourself just standing there in a daze saying to yourself "What else can I do?"

You market your business online.

You put advertisements in the local newspaper.

You get on the phone, cold calling prospects.

In fact, you do everything you can think of to make more people aware of your products and services and you're now at a loss on what else to do.

Well, I listened to a BookPals Business Sanity podcast guest have one of those discussions with a client of his not so long ago and after hearing how they worked through the pain that this person was going through I arranged for my guest to come back on our podcast to share this experience with you.

And that's why on this episode of Bookpals Business Sanity we welcome back Ellory Wells of ellorywells.com.

After listening to this episode, think about what was happening to Ellory's client in the context of your own business and let us know how you worked through your situation to make it a success.

I hope this episode of BookPals Business Sanity provides you with great ideas on how to drive your business forward.

13 Sep 2015

It's Time To Take The BookPals Quiz

Ok, BookPals is close - REAL CLOSE - to launch, so now it's time to find out if it is just what you need to make your business life easier and more straightforward.

It's all well and good for us to think we know what you need in simple business bookkeeping software, but at the end of the day, you are the only person who really knows whether or not this product is exactly what you are looking for.

And that's why on this episode of BookPals Business Sanity you get to take part in the BookPals Quiz to make sure it is just what you need to make your business life easier.

In this episode you get to answer a few quick questions and your answers will determine whether or not BookPals is exactly what you need, so get ready to find out if BookPals is just right for you after listening to this episode of BookPals Business Sanity.

6 Sep 2015

A Chat That Is Well Worth Listening To!!!

Have you ever been to a business meeting, convention, or presentation and after the guest speaker finished their talk you've had the chance to sit down with this same person to get a whole heap more information on ways to drive your business to greater levels of success?

Well guess what - that's exactly the opportunity you have here today, because on this episode of BookPals Business Sanity you get to listen to the chat I had with Sean Kaye of RapidActionCentral.com after I spoke with him about his new Course Crushers program.

This is one of those discussions that is raw, unedited and will get many of you saying "Hang on - that's me!!!" and this is exactly why you need to listen to this chat - because it will give you further hints, tips and ideas on how to drive your business forward.

Get ready for a harsh dose of business reality after listening to this episode of BookPals Business Sanity.

1 Sep 2015

Learn How To "Crush" The Competition!!!

Are you one of those business owners who longs to learn tactics and strategies to become the industry leader in your area of expertise, but you don't have the time to find the resources you need to get you up to a level where you can "crush" your competition?!!!

Well, we've found the solution for you - because on this episode of BookPals Business Sanity we talk with Sean Kaye about his Course Crushers program.

Sean has create a place where you can source all the training you need to drive your business to the level of success that it rightly deserves and when you hear about the quality of the complimentary training you get simply by joining Course Crushers, you'll realise that you will have a serious advantage over your competitors by joining the Course Crushers program.

Sit back and get ready to "crush" the competition after listening to this episode of BookPals Business Sanity.

23 Aug 2015

This Discussion Could Not Have Taken Place At A More Appropriate Time!!!

Isn't it weird how discussions take place at exactly the time that you need to hear them?

I say this because I had a discussion at a sporting event today and it backs up exactly why we have made available some free training for visitors to BookPals.

Earlier today I was at a judo competition with my son and got chatting to one of the other parents.

During our discussion he made mention that he ran his own business and I asked him what kind of business he ran.

Let me share with you - verbatim - our discussion:

Me: "So, you run your own business?"

Him: "Yep."

Me: "What kind of business is it?"

Him: "Oh, it's just a small business that I run myself."

Me: "What kind of work do you do?"

Him: "It's just trade stuff."

Me: "What kind of trade stuff?"

Him: "Just the normal stuff."

Me: "Any particular trade?"

Him: "Yeah - I'm a carpenter and a builder."

"Why is this important?" I hear you say - it's important because only yesterday I was talking to a mate of mine who is looking for a carpenter to help him with a renovation that he is doing - I have now put this guy and my mate in contact with one another, but this guy could so easily have missed out on this lead because of how difficult is was for him to simply tell me the kind of work he did!!!

What happened today is not unusual - all too often small business owners struggle with how to tell people about their products and services - and this is why when my friend Kristin Thompson told me about free training that she has created on how to better sell your product and/or service on stage I had to get it up on our website straight away to help you better promote and market your business.

I think a lot of small business owners forget that they are always "on stage" when it comes to promoting and marketing their business because they can be asked anywhere - at any time (even at their children's judo competitions!!!) - to talk about their business, so having a talk ready for when you're asked "So, tell me about your business" is imperative if you want to turn more leads into paying customers.

Check out Kristin's training now and get ready for the next time someone says to you "So, what kind of business do you run?"

22 Aug 2015

What Do You Think?

I want to share with you a comment about business that I heard the other day because it stopped me dead in my tracks!!!

I was listening to one of Chris Ducker's podcast episodes where he was talking to a guy called Brad Burton about - among other things - the entrepreneurial mindset.

During this discussion, Brad Burton made the following comment -

Anyone who has a Plan B is not fully committed to their Plan A.

Have a think about this statement for a minute because I think it is by far one of the most powerful statement I have ever heard about being fully invested in your business idea.

As small business owners, all too often we tell ourselves that we are 100% "in" on creating a successful business - why is it then that almost always we have a "Plan B" in the back of our minds, just in case things go "wrong"?

I'm a firm believer that you can achieve anything if you are totally focussed and committed to whatever it is you wish to achieve and this is why I found Brad's comment so powerful.

Thank you Chris and Brad - not only for the comment above but also for the whole discussion in general - it was a wonderful insight into the entrepreneurial mindset and I got a great amount of value out of your chat.

19 Aug 2015

Successful Sales Strategies - Nature Or Nurture?

Are you one of those small business owners who keeps saying to themself "I know I have to get more sales, but I'm just not a good salesperson"?

What if you were shown that effective sales techniques have nothing to do with how "fancy" or "flashy" you are, but are determined by a proven scientific process that attracts people to your product or service?

Well, on today's episode of BookPals Business Sanity you meet someone who will show you the proven science behind effective sales, because on today's episode you meet David Hoffeld of www.hoffeldgroup.com.

David shares proven scientific techniques that actually help your customers make a buying decision and after listening to this discussion you'll begin to understand what you need to do to help more customers say "Yes" to your product or service.

Get ready to increase your "bottom line" after listening to this episode of BookPals Business Sanity.

13 Aug 2015

This Is What A Real Business Discussion Sounds Like

You would remember that I recently spoke to Dan Norris about his Black Hops Brewing project on BookPals Business Sanity.

Well, the Black Hops Brewing team have created a podcast that they've called Operation Brewing and this is a must listen to podcast if you are interested in starting a business - and that's any kind of business!!!

The podcast is only two episodes in as at time of this blog post, but already the content being provided there will seriously help you if you are thinking about starting - or expanding - your business because the discussions taking place on this podcast are those real "down in the weeds" discussions that people have to have when they make a decision to start a business or drive an existing business to its next level of success.

What I like most about the discussions is that they are raw and to the point (get ready for numerous "F" bombs throughout the episodes as well - these are real discussions by real people serious about creating a successful business) and you will learn the no-nonsense processes required to create a successful business.

I hope that the Operation Brewing podcast gives you an eye-opening insight into what goes into creating a successful business - enjoy!!!

3 Aug 2015

What Does The End Of Your Rainbow Look Like?

Think back to when you first started your business and think back to what your idea of the "end of the rainbow" looked like.

What I mean by this is what was your idea of having "made it" when your business had reached a point where it allowed you to do the things in life that are most important to you. 

Well, on today's episode of BookPals Business Sanity we welcome back a previous guest who has reached a point in his business journey where he is now able to work on a little "pet project" because his business has now reached a point where he can free up time to work on "fun" projects, because on today's episode we welcome back Dan Norris of blackhops.com.au.

You would remember from previous podcast episodes that Dan is running a successful business called WP Curve and the success of WP Curve has now allowed him to start a "not so little" side project with a couple of mates called The Black Hops Brewery!!!

Sit back and dream about what your "end of the rainbow" is going to look like while you listen to this episode of BookPals Business Sanity.

25 Jul 2015

It Was Always Going To Happen - Wasn't It?

I am certain that many of you are reading this post after connecting with me on LinkedIn because I have found LinkedIn to be a great place to connect with people specifically focussed on business..

In the past, the ability to be able to export your LinkedIn connection's contact details (in particular their email address) into an auto-responder email sequence has been a great way to start putting together a list of people to reach out to and make them aware of your products or services (have any of you received an email from me telling you about XLerator this way before?).

Well - like all the major social media platforms - good old LinkedIn has changed the rules so that it is no longer a simple process of downloading your contact list - now you have to send them a request to do so!!!

How it works is that you have to send LinkedIn a request to get your connection's details and it takes up to 72 hours for them to send it to you - call me a cynic, but do you reckon that very soon they are going to start charging money for the privilege of connecting with people on their platform?!!! 

This "erks" me a bit because it takes the "social" out of "Social Media" and - like all the major social media platforms - it shows that there is nothing "social" about them - these platforms are just a group of people (full disclosure, like all of us!!!) working out ways to make more money. 

I am making you aware of this because if you think that LinkedIn is a place where you will be able to connect with potential customers for free forever I think that what has been done now with exporting their list is going to prove you wrong and I would encourage you to start thinking about alternatives.

20 Jul 2015

How You Turn Passion Into Pay Dirt!!!!

Think back to when you first started your business and take a moment to reflect on why you started your business in the first place.

Was it created as a result of a burning passion you had with an interest in your life?

If it was, you're not alone, because many of us are attracted to the things that we love - or are familiar with - when we decide to start out on our entrepreneurial journey.

The problem is that it doesn't matter how much you know about the "nuts and bolts" of your business, there are aspects of every business that have to be taken care of and you may have neither the knowledge - nor the desire - to attend to these aspects of your business.

So what do you do? 

Well, on today's episode of BookPals Business Sanity you meet someone who found themself in this exact situation, because today you meet Mick Tucker of micksmotorcyclesgawler.com.au.

Mick made a decision to turn a passion he had for the motorcycle industry into something that would generate an income for him and after doing so, he came face to face with the "down in the dirt" realities of what it takes to create and run a successful business.

Mick discusses the realisation of what is involved in starting a business and shares with you the strategies he used to take his business from a "back yard" operation into a thriving success.

Hold onto your seatbelt and get ready for the ride of your life after listening to this episode of BookPals Business Sanity!!!

19 Jul 2015

A Stark Example Of The Tail Wagging The Dog

I have to share with you a conversation that I had with a business owner this weekend because I think it highlights just how people in business can really miss opportunities that are right under their noses!!!

I took my son to one of those play venues yesterday - you know the ones where the kids have all this stuff to climb and jump over and "whack" one another with those rubber staffs and what not?!!!

Anyway, there were about 200 people there - that's right, the place is jam packed - and almost half of the visitors are the parents of the kids playing there.

My son is off running around with all the other kids so I decide to get a coffee - only to find that the only coffee available is in a cheap coffee dispensing machine that you have to drop coins into to buy.

I - as is often the case - have no coins with me (I'm one of those weird people who doesn't see much sense in carrying cash around these days when I have a card that I can pay for things with - do you know anyone similar?!!!), so I ask the staff how am I able to buy a coffee to which they reply "You can't unless you have cash".

Needless to say, I don't get a coffee and sit back down and start listening to the other parents around me who are commenting on the fact that you can't get a coffee unless you have cash.

Before I go on, it's probably a good idea to let you know that I do have some knowledge on the subject of these kid's play centres because about 10 years ago I went very close to buying one (we didn't proceed because the insurance costs on these places is incredible) and while we were completing our business plan to purchase a centre, guess where we identified where the biggest income stream was going to come from?

That's right - food and beverage purchased by the adults!!!

Think about it for a minute - the only way the kids get to these places is when an adult takes them there - the kids run around for 2 hours and occasionally come back for a drink before heading off to play with their mates again and while this is happening, what to do the parents do?

They sit there, chatting to one another!!!

Isn't this the perfect opportunity to sell things like coffee, tea and adult "stuff" to them?

I thought so - and our business plan backed it up - so I spot the owner and decide to go up and have a chat to him about it.

So I go up to this guy - have the usual "chit chat" - then I say to him "Want to know how to double your income in this place?" to which he replies "Sure do" and when I say to him "Think about providing the parents with better eating and drinking options" his reply is -

"Why? The parents aren't our customers - the kids are."

It took every piece of self control I had not to laugh in his face!!!

Here's a couple of questions that I would have loved to have asked him -

Who brings the kids to your place?

Who pays for the kids to get in?

Who sits here for two hours bored stupid while their kids run around (that's right, it doesn't cost anything for the parents to be there - only the kids pay for the privilege!!!)?

There were a couple of other not so pleasant things I would have loved to have said to him as well, but my lad was enjoying himself and I didn't want to be asked to leave, so I politely said "Ok" and walked away shaking my head.

If you are looking for ways to increase the revenue in your business, take a moment to make sure that you are really serving your customer and not people who "appear" to be your customer - you could be leaving a heap of money on the table by not doing so!!!

6 Jul 2015

This Is One Mathematical Formula That You Will Want To Remember

Think back to your days at school where you had to learn all of those boring mathematical formulas - weren't they a drag?!!! LOL

Well, there are some formulas that can help you drive your business to greater levels of success, so grab a pen and paper and get ready to learn one such formula, because in this episode of BookPals Business Sanity you meet Debra Angilletta of anewviewllc.com who will introduce you to the mathematical formula for business success.

Debra teaches business owners how to create the business they want while still being able to live the lifestyle they deserve and she knows what she's talking about when she provides you with her formula for business success because for more than 15 years she worked in the financial capital of the world - Wall Street!!!

Break out that pen and paper to jot down the formula for business success after listening to this episode of BookPals Business Sanity.

3 Jul 2015

The First Real Look At The New BookPals Website!!!

I must say that things are getting really exciting at BookPals with the launch of our business bookkeeping and business reporting software getting closer every day.

Check out what the new look website will look like on launch!!!

We have to give John Judd of Codeboss a HUGE shoutout for the work he has put in on the BookPals development and launch so far and we also have to thank Simon Kneebone of simonkneebone.com for the fantastic animations he has created for us (aren't they great?).

There is no better time than now to join us in the BookPals Business XLerator community because now's the time to start making those connections with the people who can help you drive your business to further levels of success.

Come in and join us - your business life is going to become easier with the introduction of BookPals.

30 Jun 2015

Time For A HUGE Shoutout!!!

Unless you've been hiding under a rock recently you'll know that the BookPals rollout is in "full swing"!!!

Part of the rollout includes an animation that will explain how BookPals allows you to get back to those things that are most important in your lives and to help us with this animation we are using the services of Simon Kneebone of SimonKneebone.com.

To say that we are impressed with the work that Simon has provided is an understatement - we met with him a few weeks ago and spent an hour or so explaining the marketing message that we wanted to convey and we have been most impressed with how quickly Simon "got" what we wanted and then put together a storyboard of animations for our consideration.

If you think that animations could help you and your business with your marketing message, I would highly recommend Simon's services.

21 Jun 2015

Do You Have An Amazon.com Account? Then Grab Hold Of This One Quick Smart!!!

Are you thinking about starting your own business - or perhaps you're in the process of starting your own business - and are you sitting there saying to yourself "How do I get everything done to get this thing going as quickly as possible?"

Well, I read a book recently that is the best book I have read so far to show you what you have to do to get this idea of yours up and running.

The book is called The 7 Day Startup - You Don't Learn Until You Launch and the author of the book is Dan Norris of wpcurve.com.

You will remember Dan from a previous BookPals Business Sanity podcast interview where he explained landing pages and opt-in forms and I was so impressed with his book that after reading it that I contacted him straight away and asked him to come back onto BookPals Business Sanity to have a chat about it with you.

This is one of those discussions that you must listen to if you want to get a really good understanding of what you have to do to launch your own business because it is a real "down in the trenches" discussion about business and product launches and after listening to this discussion and reading Dan's book you'll get a real appreciation of what's ahead for you.

Sit back and thoroughly enjoy this "no nonsense" BookPals Business Sanity discussion.

7 Jun 2015

What Does The Word "Brand" Mean To You?

What images does the word "Brand" conjure up when you think about this word in the context of your business?

Does it conjure up quality images on your website?

Does it conjure up the perception of reliability in your marketing message?

Does it conjure up a feeling of trustworthiness in your interactions with clients and potential clients?

Associating images like these are important when creating a successful business, but creating a trusted brand requires much - MUCH - more than this.

And this is why we asked Chelsey Marie of iamchelseymarie.com back to BookPals Business Sanity because Chelsey Marie as a definition of brand that will simply blow you away when you hear it.

Have pen and paper at the ready and be prepared to re-evaluate your whole understanding of the word "Brand" after listening to this episode of BookPals Business Sanity.

3 Jun 2015

Proof That Long Distance Partnerships Work!!!

Today was a really interesting day because I met someone for the very first time who proved to me that the whole concept of outsourcing non-essential parts of your business really works.

The person I met was an electrician called Frank - and Frank has been one of my bookkeeping customers for three years now.

The reason why this was so interesting was because today was the first time we had ever met!!!

Let me explain - about three years ago I was asked if I could take over looking after Frank's books by a person I was doing bookkeeping for because this person's daughter was Frank's bookkeeper and she was taking maternity leave to have her first baby. 

Of course I said I would help and was given a "handover" of Frank's data by his then bookkeeper, but Frank was not there at the time because he was out "on the tools".

I received a phone call from Frank a day or so after this handover so that he could introduce himself to me and we tried and tried to arrange our schedules so that we could meet one another and it finally happened today - only "today" is three years later!!!!

Don't get me wrong, we speak to one another several times a week, I issue sales invoices for him most weeks and once a month his data is sent through to me, but until today there was never a pressing need to meet each other so it just hadn't happened.

In fact, we hadn't even arranged to meet each other today - we literally "bumped" into each other because I was at a client's address who is a friend of Franks (in fact Frank referred him to me as a customer) and Frank had just dropped by to see this mate of his without even knowing that I would be there!!!

Today really hit home to me the fact that outsourcing really is the way to go because it really is so easy these days for people to stay connected - even when they are never "near" each other - and now that BookPals is almost here the inconvenience of "posting", "couriering" and "faxing" your data to a bookkeeper who may be in a different town, state - or country for that matter - will simply disappear. 

Oh - I nearly forgot - and it was great to (finally) meet you Frank!!! LOL