Tuesday, 11 August 2009

Business survival tips from Xero

This set of slides from Xero: "Six Tips for your Business Survival and Success in 2009" contains a lot of useful material.

There's a couple of points I'd like to draw out of the slides.

Slide 4, "Spend every dollar like it's your last", has as its second point, "Spend, don't hoard". I agree with that up to a point - but saving is not the same as hoarding, and saving is very important. I think it's always a good idea to make sure you have enough cash in a readily accessible bank account to pay important bills like wages, VAT and corporation tax.

Also on slide 4 is "Don't carry dead wood, it costs you", and that dead wood can be products, clients, staff or services.

That's very true. A product or service that won't sell, or a bad customer, or an underperforming team member, can be a real rotten apple in the barrel.

Time spent trying to sell a product or service that nobody wants is time that could have been spent making or selling something that your customers do want.

When you've spent time trying to help a bad customer, you often feel aggrieved, upset and cross, and then when a good customer phones up you're still in a bad mood - and that could rub off on your good customer. Bad news.

And we've all seen or heard stories about team members who don't pull their weight. The rest of the team then don't have the same motivation to perform, because they say "Well, she isn't, and nobody's pulled her up about it, so why should I?"

Slide 6 of Xero's presentation, "Get help", makes the very important point that you shouldn't try and do everything yourself when you're in business.

This is something I talk about on my other blog for home-based business owners, particularly in this article about legal contracts.

Remember Emma Jones's maxim - "Do what you do best, and outsource the rest!"

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