• Google AdWords — Ad Extensions

    | Categories: Business Tips

    Blog by Fuel Accountants

    I mentioned last month how important ad extensions are when using Google AdWords (in my opinion, Google AdWords should be compulsory for any company trying to advertise a presence online).

    Whilst ad extensions have been around for a number of months, it’s surprising how few advertisers use them, so it’s a big opportunity for you to dominate your keywords. You see, ad extensions make your ad at least twice as big, meaning your competitors’ ads get ‘pushed’ further down the page.

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  • Using Social Media to Grow Your Business

    | Categories: Business

    The stats, for once, don’t lie… Digital marketing giant eMarketer estimates that social media platforms boast over 1.73 billion users worldwide. A number that’s expected to climb to 2.55 billion by the year 2017. What’s more, according to a recent Nielson study, 46% of consumers turn to social media to help with purchasing decisions. This means that your prospects are most certainly out there, and they’re relying on the social aspect of the web more and more to help them decide who to do business with. So how can you tap into this incredible opportunity to gain more leads for your own business? Let’s take a look.

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  • Online Marketing — Google AdWords (part 2)

    | Categories: Business

    Last month I gave you an overview of how to create a successful Google AdWords campaign. This month I want to give you a masterclass on creating your Google AdWords ads.

    Over the years, I’ve spent hundreds of thousands of pounds and dollars on AdWords. Right now we spend several thousand pounds every month on our AdWords campaigns.

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  • Now you can print cheques from within Xero

    IMPORTANT: This post is specific to Canada. If you are not a Canada business/taxpayer then it is probably not applicable to you.

    Xero just released a Canada-only update today!! They have enabled the cheque-writing tool (previously only in the US edition) for Canadian users. This is a great addition for us Canadians, given our banking systems complete lack direct payment functionality (we are so behind the times!). BTW, I think that this is the only time Xero have release a change for one country only within the Global edition – it bodes well for us, and I hope that it will lead to a Canadian edition this year. Anyway – to read more about the Cheque Register and Cheque Printing functions within Xero, please visit the Cheque Payments screen in the help system. Here are some basic pointers:

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  • Love Your Customers And They’ll Keep Buying

    | Categories: Business , Business Tips

    February was the month of ‘LOVE’ so I thought I’d open this month’s issue by focusing on your customers, clients or patients. More importantly, why we need to make them feel ‘LOVED’! (it was timely while I was preparing!) On average, and for a variety of reasons, most businesses will lose between 10% and 20% of their existing customers each and every year. Customers come and go. It’s simply a fact of life. Some of the reasons for customer attrition are unavoidable but others are in complete control of the business. Interestingly, according to a recent survey by the Sales and Marketing Executives International, customers stop buying for the following reasons:

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  • How I get world-class Business Coaching FOR FREE!

    | Categories: Business , Business Coaching

    Recently I was asked ‘what is the best piece of advice you would give to a business owner for staying inspired?’. I could list stacks of ideas that would cover all the usual things like, getting a mentor, reading good books, going to conferences etc etc. But the truth is that business owners are incredibly busy and often to do these things comes at the cost of stopping something more important to fit it in.

     

    The thing that has been the number one regular source of inspiration for me in my business life has been listening to great Podcasts.

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  • Use Taxes in Xero

    | Categories: Sales Tax

    Use Taxes are often reverse Sales Tax that businesses self-assess. This is common in US States and Canadian Provinces with PST (BC, SK & MB) which require businesses to self-assess Use Tax on out-of-state/province purchases. Xero goes a great job of managing Sales Tax we charge on our invoices, and even on Input Tax Credits for countries with a GST/VAT style tax. However, managing Use Taxes are a little more tricky.
    Xero will not calculate the Use Tax for you, but it can help you accumulate the raw data. The trick is to be able to flag the eligible transactions. The trick here is to create a Tax Code with a 0% rate, and then to apply this all eligible transactions. If you have more than one form of Use Tax then you should set up more than one code.

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  • Skin Care Tips

    Summer can be the harshest of seasons on our looks with greater exposure to the elements, especially sun, having an ageing effect on our skin. So it is especially important that you have a professional aesthetician analyse your skin at the beginning of the season to provide you with the correct information to treat your skin according to your specific needs both in home care and in-salon treatments. Choose a salon that has staff qualified in the use of an electronic skin scanner and who will write you a prescription report explaining exactly what you should be including in your home care regime. At this time of the year most people require products high in anti-ageing anti-oxidants, especially Vitamins C, E, F and A.

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  • Xero announces (another) massive US$100m capital raising

    Xero has just announced that Accel, one of the top US tech investors, has invested $US100m into the company. Xero have always raised funds well ahead of the need – and with half a billing in the bank they are strongly poised to continue their development and rollout in North America. In addition, they have just appointed a new US President. While Xero have yet to make any Canadian changes to the system or put staff in Canada, these new announcements will have positive spin offs for Canada over the next year. Stay tuned for more!!
    Fuel Accounting is founded by Xero’s only Canadian award-winning accountant. We are Canada’s Xero Expert!

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  • Why Are You Making It So Hard?

    | Categories: Business

    One of the things we like to explore with clients is an area of their business that rarely gets much attention—but IS ALWAYS CLOSELY SCRUTINIZED BY CUSTOMERS — and that’s the buying process. In other words… how can you make it EASIER for customers to buy from you?
    In their excellent book “WAYMISH: Why Are You Making It So Hard For Me To Give You My Money?” authors Ray Considine and Ted Cohn identify several areas where businesses actually make it more difficult than easy to deal with them. And like virtually everything else we recommend to clients and other business owners, it’s very easy to put this right.
    Now, before we look more closely at this, I strongly advise you to walk through your own buying process.
    Doing this will immediately identify ‘sticking points’ in your sales process that you’ve so far probably taken for granted.
    So here are the four main elements of WAYMISH that you need to focus on to make doing business as easy as possible for your customers…

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  • Why my small business switched to Xero

    | Categories: Small Business , Accounting , Bookkeeping , Online Accounting , Xero

    This article is re-posted from the xero.com blog.
    I’m not a huge fan of the Super Bowl, but I love seeing the ads. They’re always the highlight of the whole event for a lot of people. This year there was a great ad by BMW that showed a clip of two TODAY show hosts from 1994 who was reading an email address out loud. It was obviously the first time they’d done so. They didn’t know how to pronounce an ‘@’. This led to the perplexing duo questioning “what is the internet anyway?”

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  • Supplier Statements in Xero

    It is easy to create a statement for your customers/debtors in Xero, but at present there is no easy way to create a statement to reconcile your suppliers/creditors. Here is a quick way to simulate a supplier/creditor activity report:

    1. From the Account Transactions report, generate a report for the month for the Accounts Payable account and export it to Excel.
    2. In Excel delete rows 6 and 8 (these are blank and will prevent the filter from working)
    3. Switch on the auto filter.
    4. Now search the filter for column C for your contact – accepting “Payment: contact” as well.

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  • Toronto Meetup for Xero Users

    IMPORTANT: This post is specific to Canada. If you are not a Canada business/taxpayer then it is probably not applicable to you.

    Payment Evolution and Fuel Accounting are hosting a breakfast meetup for Xero users on Feb 26 2015 (8am – 9:30am) at MaRS Discovery District. It’s free. Please register at http://www.eventbrite.com/e/xero-online-accounting-toronto-meetup-tickets-15800650170

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  • Recent Changes in Xero

    | Categories: Accounting , Xero

    The last eighteen months has seen some HUGE changes in Xero—our preferred online accounting system. Let’s run down just a few of the significant ones:
    Files
    About 18 months ago Xero added the ability to attach files to any transaction. You can email files in to a designated “inbox” and then move them to existing transactions or initiate a new transaction and have them attached automatically. In our office, and with many of our clients, we now scan all incoming bills and upload them to Xero. We don’t keep the originals anymore!
    Purchase Orders

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  • Future-Proofing Business Info

    | Categories: Business , Saving

    Plain language in business is a global move. It’s seen as a human right, given legislation, and supported by case law. Some judges have dismissed accurate contracts in favour of Joe Public in breach, saying that the onus is on businesses to make rules clear if they want them followed. This essentially ends loopholes built on complexity, with one judge calling them “deliberately misleading”.
    Human-speak
    Apart from good old fashioned honesty, plain language is decent. Founded on cognitive science, it addresses lower education, English as a second language, dyslexia, time pressures, and other tricky issues. Busy executives and Government Ministers alike cry out “less is more”. No-one has the energy to wade through what’s known as ‘ego-speak’ and simple words can literally halve the size of documents.

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  • Online Marketing — Google Adwords

    | Categories: Business

    Without question, Google AdWords is one of the best marketing tools to use for your business.

    Since it really is one of the strategies you should be using, I’ll use the time we have this month to give you a general overview of how to get results, and in a later issue I’ll do an advanced session on it.

    But remember, before launching an AdWords campaign (or any other, for that matter), your website must be ‘FIT FOR PURPOSE’. In other words, it must already churn out enquiries for you—otherwise AdWords won’t work. Yes, it will generate you a ton more traffic, but traffic that doesn’t convert is pointless and a complete waste of money.

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  • How To Take On Your Competition And Win Big. If These ‘Guys’ Can Do It, So Can You…

    | Categories: Business

    Blog by Fuel Accountants

    In June we travelled to the USA (New York City) to meet with our North American members.
    I’m constantly on the lookout for business ideas, things that can be transferred to our business and that of our subscribers and members. So
    wherever I visit, I always take time to read the press, watch the news and keep my eyes wide-open for any business that does things differently. (As an aside, this is something I urge you to do as well.)
    There was one significant thing I came across, which can have a big impact on your business. Let me explain…

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  • Office Energy Boosters

    | Categories: Business

    Is there a dead spot in your day? It’s probably a good time to look at boosting your energy. Lack of energy is a motivation crusher for you and those around you. It’s unhealthy too – it leads to bad posture which in turn can cause workplace injuries. And of course lack of energy shows up in your office output or, rather, lack of output.

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  • Party party party

    | Categories: Business , New Zealand , Tax

    Blog by Fuel Accountants

    IMPORTANT: This post is specific to New Zealand. If you are not a New Zealand business/taxpayer then it is probably not applicable to you.

    p>Are you planning a Christmas function for special clients and/or suppliers and business contacts? Be aware that this will come under the entertainment regime for purposes of tax deductibility. Any expenditure on food and drink
    that your business provides off your business premises will be 50% deductible. This extends to any incidental expenditure on things like hireage of crockery, glassware or utensils, waiting staff, and music or other entertainment provided for the function you’re planning.

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  • Creating A Systems-Based Business

    | Categories: Small Business , Business Tips

    Blog by Fuel Accountants

    One of the business philosophies I’ve adopted for a number of years is that to be ultra-successful, your business must be SYSTEMISED. Even before I read Michael Gerber’s brilliant ‘E-Myth Revisited’ (if you haven’t read it, you need to—it is required reading) I realized the importance of systemization and what it can do for a business.

     

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