MYbookkeeping Musings

The Time Has Come To Say Goodbye

posted 13 Aug 2016, 18:07 by Dean Allan   [ updated 13 Aug 2016, 18:10 ]

This has to be up there with one of the saddest days in my life, because the time has come to call it a day with the MYbookkeeping Musings blog 8=(

For those of you who have been following my blog all these years you will know that a heap of my time has been taken up on the BookPals project - well, the time required for me to work on BookPals has literally just tripled (you'll hear more about that over on the BookPals Blog if you're interested) so I have had to rationalise what I'm doing - and where I'm doing it - to meet these extra demands on my time.

This is why this is the last post you will be reading on the MYbookkeeping Musings blog.

Thank you all for following me here for all these years and for all of you who have commented or shared these posts I will be forever grateful.

Don't think I've gone away though - come on over to the BookPals Blog and the BookPals Business Sanity Podcast for heaps of information on how to drive your business to greater levels of success and - as you'll be finding out in the coming weeks - there are some really exciting things happening at BookPals that I'm sure will be of interest to you, so why don't you join us over at BookPals and lets continue the journey together? 

Au Revoir to you all and I wish you all the best in both your businesses and your lives.

Who Ever Thought Politics Would Get A Mention In This Blog?!!!

posted 3 Jul 2016, 02:56 by Dean Allan   [ updated 3 Jul 2016, 02:58 ]

What an interesting weekend.

For those of you reading this who are not based in Australia, we had an election here this weekend and to say that it was peculiar is an understatement!!!  

Let me explain - I have been voting for more than 30 years now and there has never been a time that I did not know who I was going to vote for well in advance of the election - until this weekend!!!

I went to the polling booths yesterday and did not have the faintest idea on which party was going to get my vote.

For as long as I can remember I have always been interested in what the political parties are saying about how they will help small businesses because I am the son of a small business owner and I have been giving my vote to the party that provides the most incentives to small business ever since I started my own business back in 2006, but on this occasion there was little to no indication from any of the candidates on how they were going to help small business owners. 

All the lead up to this election seemed to be was a "slanging match" between the two major parties and it looked more like a school ground fight between two brats from where I was sitting!!!

Anyway, I head off to the polling booth to find that the representatives from one of the major parties were nowhere to be seen and the representatives from the other major party were so timid that when they approached me, sheepishly extended their hands and nervously muttered "Would you like one of our brochures" I was less than impressed.

Grumbling to myself, I walked straight past this lot in disgust and a short time later I nearly got "run over" by some representative of the "tree hugging" party who looked like they were a cross between a lunatic on speed and a reject from a Punk Rock concert.

This boofhead literally came running up to me yelling "VOTE FOR US, VOTE FOR US" and actually ran past me before I even had a chance to take his brochure!!!

By this time I am starting to think to myself "What a waste of time" when I was approached by a pleasant, well dressed person who was representing an independent candidate and this person quietly and politely asked if I would like to look at one of their brochures.

Needless to say I happily accepted their advertising material and after looking at it for a minute I immediately made my decision on who I was going to vote for.

Let me explain why I decided to vote for this candidate - 

When you receive these brochures they usually tell you not only who to vote for, but they also show you how to vote for other party's candidates after they have made "deals" with them in the lead up to the election.

The brochure from this independent candidate was different - this brochure showed you how to vote for their member and gave no instruction whatsoever on who else you should vote for after you had chosen their member.

In other words, all they were interested in was me voting for their representative and they did not care what I thought about the others.

That was it - my mind was made up - and off I went and voted for this independent candidate.

There must have been many others who were also suitably impressed by this party's strategy because they received a large increase in votes from the electorate.

Why am I telling you this and what has this got to do with business? 

I think this is a wonderful example for what all small business owners out there should be trying to do when promoting and marketing their business.

Who cares what your opposition is doing - back yourself - let the world know how good you are and if you're true to your word you'll get "voted in" by your customers!!!

Who Said Location Location Location Isn't Everything?!!!

posted 15 Jun 2016, 04:57 by Dean Allan   [ updated 15 Jun 2016, 05:02 ]

Isn't it great when you are associated with a business and you see them go from strength to strength?

Cafe Sia is a wonderful cafe here in Gawler South Australia and I started helping them with their bookkeeping late last year.

The cafe was originally set up in a different location - and under a different name - about five years before and to say that it was struggling is an understatement.

The problem had nothing to do with the menu and the service - both were great because I had dined there on numerous occasions when I had business meetings in the local area - it was just that it was located away from the main streets of Gawler and people just didn't know it was there.

Needless to say, something had to be done, so when the new Gawler Green Shopping Centre opened up a couple of years ago, the business relocated and things have been looking up ever since. 

This Friday - the 17th of June 2016 - marks Cafe Sia's second anniversary at their new address and to celebrate this milestone they are having a birthday party with thousands of dollars in giveaways to its patrons.

If you're in the Gawler area this Friday and are looking for somewhere to have a delicious breakfast, lunch, or dinner, drop in to Cafe Sia and say hi to Gaby, Danny and all the team there - you won't be disappointed. 

Time To Stop For A "Proud Dad" Moment!!!

posted 15 Jun 2016, 04:16 by Dean Allan   [ updated 15 Jun 2016, 04:19 ]
I'm just working away here with a big smile on my face because I have just received advice that a podcast where my son and his mate were interviewed after winning a judo competition has just been released.

The podcast was conducted by the Gawler Broadcasting Association - a local community group here in South Australia - and it is a wonderful example of how you can highlight the achievements of people in your local community.

Both boys conducted themselves wonderfully (there wasn't one WHAT during the whole conversation!!! LOL) and it was a pleasure to sit in on the discussion. 

Well done Ben and Philip - you've done yourselves and the Gawler Judo Club proud.

Why? Why? Why? Why? Why?!!!

posted 21 May 2016, 16:50 by Dean Allan   [ updated 21 May 2016, 18:42 ]
Isn't it funny how things present themselves just when you need them to?

A couple of days ago "Evil Dean" came out of retirement due to pent up frustration over an ongoing problem we have had inside the BookPals project.

The problem has been that we cannot get one particular report inside BookPals to work properly and I made a comment to our developer about his inability to fix the problem that ended up in a heated discussion which served no positive purpose at all to the business. 

I have been mulling over this discussion and how it could potentially hurt the project and then I listened to a podcast episode of Think Act Get by James Schramko and Ezra Firestone called Mistakes.

Think Act Get is a fantastic podcast based around the premise what you Think is how you Act which results in what you Get in life and in this episode James and Ezra were discussing how to think about mistakes when they happen and what to do to work through them.

During their discussion, James introduced a concept called The Five Why's where when you and/or your team make mistakes you analyse the mistake by asking "Why?" while stepping through each stage of the process that led to the mistake. 

After listening to this episode I started thinking about the problem we have in the BookPals project and how I had reacted to it by asking myself Five Why's.

Let me share them with you - 

Question - "Why are you angry?"
Answer - "Because we can't get the report right"

Question - "Why can't we get the report right?"
Answer - "Because the numbers won't display correctly"

Question - "Why won't the numbers display correctly?"
Answer - "Because the totals from previous months aren't being captured in the report"

Question - "Why are totals from previous months not being captured in the report?"
Answer - "Because we are using the wrong date range filter to run the report"

Question - "Why are you using the wrong date range filter to run the report?"
Answer - "Because you haven't told the developer that we are running the wrong date range filter!!!"

Needless to say, after looking at the problem in the context of the Five Why's it was very easy to apologise to the developer and get the matter resolved - particularly when it identified that I was the problem!!! LOL

Have a listen to the Think Act Get podcast episode about Mistakes to see if it can help you work through issues you are dealing with and thanks James and Ezra - this episode could not have come at a better time.

Living Proof Why The Outsourcing Question Is A Resounding "Yes"!!!

posted 15 May 2016, 07:03 by Dean Allan   [ updated 15 May 2016, 07:06 ]
If you have been following these musings - and my previous blogs - for even a short period of time you will know the I am a huge advocate of outsourcing non-core aspects of your business.

The reason why I am so passionate about it is quite simple - by "palming off" those aspects of your business that you don't really have to do it gives you back time to source more clients or - just as importantly - it frees up time for you to spend on those things in life that are most important to you.

One thing about the outsourcing argument that does "bug" me at times, though, is when the only reason given for doing so is because you can get outsourcing services cheaper from countries where the cost of living is not as high as ours.

Don't get me wrong, I am all for cutting costs in your business whenever you can, but the reason this argument "bugs" me a bit is because you can end up in a situation where you can be wasting the same amount of time - if not more - clarifying aspects of your business to your outsourced team because of language - or cultural - differences. 

That's why - when I found Amanda Reed of it was a breathe of fresh air because Amanda provides outsourcing services from the USA, so language and cultural barriers simply disappear!!!

And that's also why I asked her onto BookPals Business Sanity to talk about how her outsourcing services can help you.

Make sure you have pen and paper handy when you are listening to this discussion because it will be a very good idea to jot down some points and some numbers during our chat and I can assure you that after doing so, you will see how the services of an outsourcing agency can seriously help you increase your "bottom line".

A Guaranteed Way For Keeping Your Customers

posted 14 Mar 2016, 15:10 by Dean Allan   [ updated 19 Mar 2016, 18:22 ]

Sorry that I've been away for a while but the BookPals project has been taking up a heap of my time lately - we are currently working on its phone app and are just about to release Help tutorials and it has been "head's down/bum up" to get these enhancements completed!!!

Saying that, something happened the other day that had memories flooding back to me about a discussion I had with my father almost 30 years ago and I want to share it with you because it guarantees that you will keep your customers coming back for more of your products and services.

Last week I took my son to his annual dental checkup and when we were greeted by his dentist this is how the conversation panned out - 

Ben (my son's) Dentist said - "Hi Ben, how are you today?"

Ben said - "Good" (they're real conversationalists at 14 years of age!!! LOL)

Then Ben's dentist said - "And how's your judo going - are you still competing?"

I was just sitting there listening to them and this last comment stopped me dead in my tracks because it brought back memories of a conversation my father had with me more than 3 decades ago.

If you have been following this blog for some time now you will know that my father was a self employed hairdresser.

The one thing that always impressed me about Dad's business was how loyal his customers were - just to give you an example, for years after my father passed away (cancer got him at the ripe old age of 62 back in 1992) Mum was still getting phone calls from customers asking why the shop was shut from people who had moved away from the area years before and now that they were back, the only place that they would get their hair cut was at "Harold's" (my father).

I questioned Dad about why his customers were so loyal many years ago and his answer surprised me - it went something like "It's not the haircuts I give them - they can get that from any hairdresser - it's because I always remember their name and something "special" about them. If you can remember your customer's name and something special about them you'll have a customer for life".

That's why this memory came flooding back to me when I took Ben to his dentist the other day - sure, it's easy for the dentist to remember a name because his client's name is on their client card, but remembering that my son was a judo player from a short conversation they had 12 month's ago really impressed me and needless to say, this same dentist will be Ben's dentist for as long as we live in the area.

Are you taking the time to form these kinds of relationships with your clients and how much more business does doing so bring you?

Time To Profile A Business Having A "Red Hot" Go!!!

posted 14 Feb 2016, 00:22 by Dean Allan   [ updated 14 Feb 2016, 00:24 ]

I received an email from one of my clients the other day and I have to share the details with you because what these guys are doing epitomises small business owners out there having a "red hot go"!!! 

Ben and Angela Gibson run a business in South Australia called Lovin It Fresh and it's one of those businesses that everyone thinking about starting their own small business should have a good hard look at. 

What they've done is identified a niche in the market that all us "city slickers" take for granted but is sorely lacking in many remote areas of Australia - the supply of fresh fruit and vegetables. 

So here's this young couple who've employed a small team and are working their guts out (excuse the expression, but these guys really do work hard) to deliver fresh fruit and vegetables to people in remote areas of South Australia and let me say right here and now that it is a pleasure to be associated with them and watch as their efforts bear fruit (excuse the pun!!! LOL). 

What has always impressed me most about Angela and Ben is that they are constantly looking at ways to make the experience of purchasing fresh fruit and veg from Lovin It Fresh easier and more seamless, so when I found out that they have launched a new website I just had to let you know about it. 

If you're based in rural South Australia and long for fresh fruit and vegetables get in contact with Ben and Angela at Lovin It Fresh because you won't be disappointed with their service and the quality of their produce. 

Now's The Time To Decide Over At BookPals

posted 7 Feb 2016, 14:47 by Dean Allan   [ updated 7 Feb 2016, 14:51 ]

Yes, it has been quiet here at MYbookkeeping Musings over the past couple of months - but I have a very good reason why!!!

No - it's not because we have been lazing around over the Christmas/New Year break.

No - it's not because we have run out of things to say (I don't ever remember a time where I've run out of things to say!!! LOL)

The reason is quite simple - it's because we have been working like mad on the BookPals project!!!

You would remember that the BookPals beta version was released in October 2015 and ever since then, John Judd of Codeboss and I have been working tirelessly to get the "full" version of BookPals up and running for you to use.

Well, last Friday we reached that goal and BookPals is now what we call Release Ready!!!

What does this mean for you?

You now have a bookkeeping solution that is more intuitive and easier to use than anything that is out there on the market.

You now can get your bookkeeping done without having to understand all these accounting principles to do so.

You now have all your receipts in one place - and easy to access - instead of being spread out around the house in every shoebox, filing cabinet, nook and cranny you can find.

You now are able to get the help of a Bookkeeper when you need it without ever having to wait around for this person to turn up and do your bookkeeping.

That's right - bookkeeping has just become much MUCH easier and it gets even better - 

The price of BookPals stays at the Beta Release price until 1 March 2016!!!

That's right, until the 1st of March 2016 you get to use BookPals for the grand old price of $5.00 per month - and the price does not go up for you when it goes up for everyone else at the beginning of March!!!

Just so you know, BookPals is going to cost $15.00 per month as at 1 March 2016 so if you like the idea of a 66% saving on top of a system that will allow you to get your bookkeeping sorted quickly and easily, now is the time to start using BookPals.

Oh - I nearly forgot to say - the first month is absolutely free of charge so you can work out if BookPals is right for you without it costing you a cent to do so!!!

It's Time To Decide - do you want to keep using a bookkeeping system that you neither like nor understand, or do you want to start using a bookkeeping system that is quick and simple to use and allows you to get back to doing what's most important in your life? 

Do It Now Before You Go Insane!!!

posted 17 Jan 2016, 00:52 by Dean Allan   [ updated 17 Jan 2016, 00:57 ]
Happy New Year To You All!!!

I want to get in early this year because as many of you would already know, I started this business back in 2006 (does that mean I can go and ask the boss for long service leave this year? I bet he says "NO"!!! LOL) and the one thing that has never ceased to amaze me is the number of calls I get in January and February each year from small business owners who have been trying to do their own bookkeeping - without success - for years and are finally at a point where they are looking for a bookkeeper to help them because if they don't get their records sorted they are going to get into trouble with the "Tax Man".

Look, the simple fact of the matter is that tax returns are a fact of small business life, so why stress yourself out all year by putting something off that you neither like - nor understand - until it gets to the point where if you don't get your financial records in order you're going to get into trouble for not doing so?

You know I've been harping on about this for ages now, but this is the exact reason why we put BookPals together and now that the New Year is here, you really should have a good think about joining us before this aspect of your business starts driving you insane - again!!!

Come on over to BookPals and find out how it will help you with the financial reporting aspects of your business or - if you're not quite ready to make that "leap of faith" yet - join us inside BookPals Business XLerator and start interacting with financial professionals to see if there's one there who's just right for you.

What have you got to lose - except stress, anxiety and stomach ulcers right through 2016?!!! 

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