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Is there any benefit in doing formal business plans?

01 January 14

Well, that depends. If it’s to justify to the bank that you know what you are going to do and why, or the business isn’t paying you more than a wage you could get in employment then yes. If, however, it’s going to take two weeks writing it and during that time you could have focussed on changes to how your business actually works then really don’t bother.

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Which is the best accounts software for running my small business - Quickbooks or Sage?

01 November 13

Neither. Despite these both being well-known packages, there is a revolution going on in small business accounting. So much so, that I am predicting the end of bookkeeping as we know it within three to five years.

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Luke, are my annual accounts as costly and pointless as I think?

01 October 13

Annual financial accounts are only really ever needed by third parties - the bank, potentially customers and suppliers and usually the tax office. Other than that, they are often completed so far after the end of the period to which they relate, that their usefulness as a tool for running a business is close to nil.

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Proper planning prevents poor performance!

01 July 13

Over the past few issues of Connect, I have highlighted different strategies for growing business organically; but I recognise that this is extremely challenging in the present economic climate. I have not yet asked whether buying a business, or merging with someone else, could generate efficiencies and improve profitability.

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Is it you, or your team, getting in the way of profits?

01 June 13

Why do small businesses frequently fail to deliver growth or profit as expected, when hardworking, intelligent owners dedicate all hours to deliver the best possible service or products?

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Put your prices up, you must be joking?

01 May 13

Last month I described the relationship between profit, price and sales volumes and suggested that reducing prices to gain market share was a more risky strategy than putting prices up and differentiating your service in the current climate.

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