Monday, 24 December 2012

Merry Christmas

We would like to take this opportunity to wish all our customers and contacts a very Happy Christmas and prosperous New Year.


Our best wishes to you for a successful 2013.

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Bookkeeping software in the cloud or in your office

We have just returned from the annual conference of the Institute of Certified Bookkeepers. Amongst the speakers were a number of bookkeeping software providers speaking about their product and the pro's and con's of cloud based software.


The requirement will be different for each business and who in the business needs to use the accounts software and why. But two questions we would encourage you to consider before making a commitment in reaction to a sales message is:

1. Does your accountant or any accountant easily support the new software and is it compatible to their system?

2. Do you really need a cloud based / online accounts system? Especially if you are outsourcing your bookkeeping, as the information each day will only be as up to date as the last visit by your bookkeeper

Friday, 14 December 2012

For all businesses with First Aiders

Late in 2010, the HSE announced that it strongly recommended that all first aiders should refresh their knowledge on an annual basis.


Our experience is that very few businesses are aware of this notice, as there was no formal notification to all businesses. Were you aware?

The recommendation is to avoid the natural knowledge fade, as the certification is still valid for 3 years, and therefore keep the basic skills up to date. There was talk of making this compulsory, but much lobbying resulted in this just being a strong recommendations. However many consider a 'strong recommendation' by the HSE to be as good as a compulsory requirement!

So we have developed 3 products to help your first aiders refresh their knowledge on a more flexible basis that attending annual training courses, whilst of course saving the cost of covering their position and travel expenses.

Our DVD
A cloud based version of the DVD
An elearning version to provide greater administration and tracking (elearning room)

For more details, then please contact us at A1 First Aid.

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

The intelligence in your data

There is no lack of data which we can use to analyse our business. If your business relies on online traffic, then we would suggest you have an understanding of a web analytics programme that provides data to suit your product or service and helps with the understanding of your underlying business. However, if you are not online or work as much offline, then what is your system for understanding your data?


Data can tell us so much about our customers, suppliers and staff. For example, gaining an insight or profile of your ideal customer, trends, being able to predict your future sales patterns, knowing the point when a prospect changes from a cold to a warm lead, maximising your resources, testing a product launch or knowing the cost of your recruitment efforts, are to name a few. But how do we ensure we are measuring the right things. Owner of A1, Mike Foster, speaks on the topic of 'The top 5 numbers in your business'. This is not saying you can only have 5, but don't have too many focuses and more importantly know what activity truly drives the success of your business.

Friday, 7 December 2012

Google advertising - a step too far?

We recommend the use of Google advertising, pay per click, to our clients if their business suits this medium, but has the latest addition to the Google income stream gone a step too far?


Were you aware that a competitor can now tag a sponsored advert onto your Google places listing? So your potential customers find your listing, thanks to your marketing efforts, but are shown an attached advert beneath it which will usually carry more benefit statements than your place contact listing will allow.

So is there a balance that Google should be considering? Many business owners are voicing their concerns that this is not perhaps the most professional approach, but, of course, it will drive income for Google so we guess it is here to stay. Some will be embarrassed to use it as it is so direct, but we have seen quite a bit of activity in this area over recent weeks with our customers placings.

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

The value to your organisation of different behaviourial styles

We enjoy working with Thomas International as an accredited provider of the personality and behavioural analysis reports, using D.I.S.C. profiling.
So what value to your organisation does someone who has a High D, I, S or C profile provide?
Please read more from our recent blog to discover the value to an organisation of someone who has a high dominant factor of:

D - Drive
I - Influence
S - Steadiness
C - Compliance

www.entrepreneursmentor.co.uk

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Creating and building trust

How often do you hear the phrase 'people buy from people'. When we completed a research project into why people do buy from people, then 'trust' was the most important factor required before a buyer decides to buy from you or not.
Trust is much deeper than a gut feeling of whether you will be ripped off or not, so what can we do to make ourselves more trustworthy with our prospective customers?

Deliver on your promises - perhaps obvious, but it is where so many fail
Remove the risk - offer a guarantee and show your belief in your product or service

Position yourself with authority, expertise and recognition
Have proof of delivery such as testimonials, articles, awards and case studies
Tone down the selling but still solve the problem

Friday, 9 November 2012

Focus on your ideal customer and resist trying to market to everyone

You may argue that your product and service can be purchased by anyone, but if you want to make the most of your marketing resources in terms of money and time, then we suggest that you look to focus your activities on attracting your ideal customer. So why?
  • Your ideal customers usually make up most of your profits
  • Working with ideal customers is much more rewarding and enjoyable
  • You can concentrate your marketing efforts more efficiently
  • You can better understand the need and how you match your benefits
  • You will be able to better identify any expectation gap
  • You can easily adapt as you know your environment
So the best ways to identify your 'ideal customer' is:
  1. Customer profiling - review the trends of your top 20% of customers
  2. Segmentation - use demographics, classifications, life cycles, psychographics and contextual marketing to focus on your ideal prospect
  3. Market research - ask your ideal prospects, not your friends, some key questions such as what they expect, where they are buying now, why, and how often they buy.
www.a1-marketing.co.uk

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Mike Foster to speak again at this years ICB conference in London

We are pleased to announce that A1 owner, Mike Foster, will again be speaking at the conference of the Institute of Certified Bookkeepers. Mike will speak at the Savoy Place venue in London on the 7th November on the subject of growing a business.

www.a1financials.co.uk

Friday, 19 October 2012

High C brings Compliance to the organisation


We enjoy working with Thomas International as an accredited provider of the personality and behavioural analysis reports, using D.I.S.C. profiling.
So what value to your organisation does someone who is High C profile provide? 

Compliance with exacting standards to avoid error, trouble or danger.

Concentrating on detail
Operating under controlled circumstances
Being diplomatic with people
Assessing trouble and risk
Enforcing quality and directives
Monitoring and controlling
Fault finding
Analysing in depth
Improving standards
Fact finding

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

High S brings Steadiness to the organisation


We enjoy working with Thomas International as an accredited provider of the personality and behavioural analysis reports, using D.I.S.C. profiling.
So what value to your organisation does someone who is High S profile provide? 

Steadiness in performing work to consistently produce in a predictable manner.

Developing specialist skills
Concentrating on the job in hand
Stabilising excited people
Completing tasks thoroughly 
Maintaining consistency
Persistence
Adhering to procedure
Supporting others
Providing a service
Listening attentively


Wednesday, 10 October 2012

High I brings Influencing to the organisation


We enjoy working with Thomas International as an accredited provider of the personality and behavioural analysis reports, using D.I.S.C. profiling.
So what value to your organisation does someone who is High I profile provide? 

The influencing of people to act positively and favourably.

Making favourable impressions
Verbalisation
Motivating people to act
Generating enthusiasm
Entertaining people
Radiating optimism 
Cultivating relationships
Gaining commitment
Boosting morale
Demonstrating concern for others

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Customer aquisition - the challenges of the current climate


The current financial climate brings many challenges in running our businesses. Not more so than with our marketing efforts to aquire new customers.
Three big challenges presented in this climate are (1) The prospects reluctance to spend more money (2) It's more expensive as a result to recruit each customer and (3) Your pricing will see much more pressure.
So how are you proactively approaching these challenges? Those that are not and think it is business as usual are those we are seeing hit hard with recruitment and revenue both down.
Consider your value proposition, know and target your ideal customers and position your offering with benefits different to your price points.

www.a1-marketing.co.uk

Monday, 8 October 2012

High D brings Drive to the organisation


We enjoy working with Thomas International as an accredited provider of the personality and behavioural analysis reports, using D.I.S.C. profiling.
So what value to your organisation does someone who is High D profile provide? 

Drive to accomplish results in spite of opposition or antagonistic circumstances.

Getting results
Expediting action
Accepting challenge
Venturing into the unknown
Making decisions
Questioning status quo
Trouble shooting
Challenges self and others
Assuming authority
Creating instant solutions

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Optimise your marketing

When working with our clients in A1 Marketing, we first establish what they are doing well and optimise this activity before introducing too many activities into the marketing mix.
Yes, often you need to have a diverse approach to the market considering all forms of marketing that are most approriate for your market place and communicating consistently. However if you do something well and it gets results, we would recommend that you maximise this area first and do really well before moving onto a new area of activity.
Too often we see business owners trying anything and everything, but not doing one thing especially well. So take a marketing activity, review the successes and areas for development, improve, systemise into your everyday work as if a daily habit, then test and measure your future outcomes.
So, for example, having a web site will cost you the same to set up whether you drive traffic to this or not.
Take advertising. It may be working, but could it give you an even better return? Is the headline a hook? Does the copy read well? What is your effective call to action?
So, optimise what you do before trying too many new activities
.

www.a1-marketing.co.uk

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Real Time Information for your Payroll

Are you preparing for the changes that are looming for your payroll? From April 2013, although for many this will be later, the government are introducing the plans for real time information. This will involve you submitting your payroll payment information as at the actual pay date (e.g. weekly, 4 weekly, monthly etc) and not waiting until the year end. It will also have to include every person you employ, even if you currently do not include them on your payroll due to their circumstances.
The concept is so the real time information can improve the current benefits system.
If you are using Payroll software, such as Sage, then keep an eye out for their news to ensure it is updated to meet the RTI requirements.
For more information, please see the HMRC web site

Thursday, 20 September 2012

Sage reporting and tips


Do you have the need to print the same reports each month from Sage? For example for your management information do you print the profit & loss, balance sheet, debtors, trial balance etc?
If so, then look to set up Batch Reporting, where you can select those reports you desire and from one set of selection criteria you will produce all these reports. To set up, go to tools / batch reporting.
Speed up you your inputting on Sage by using the tab and arrow keys, but also the F keys, such as:
  • F6 – Repeats the row above
  • Shift + F6 - Repeats the row above but adds 1
  • F7 – Inserts a row
  • F8 –Deletes a row
  • F9 – Nets down VAT
  • Shift and tab goes back one field
Does it frustrate you that Sage never opens on the screens you desire? Take a look at the Tools / Options and view tab, to specifiy which page opens for the different modules in Sage.
Do you get frustrated by posting a journal the wrong way, then the latest versions have the 'reversal' option.
Do you have customers that are also suppliers and they settle their account using Contra's? See the Tools / Contra's to save some time and confusion.
Other time saving uses of Sage include the use of 'Bank Recurring Entries' and 'Memorise'. You can memorise journals, payments, receipts and even invoice templates that are repetitive for you.

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Create a multi step sales process

Much research is telling us that our prospective customers are unlikely to buy from the first or even second time that they touch us. Some research is pointing towards between 5 and 7 touches before the prospect will buy. Obviously this will be different for different sectors, but it does tell us that we can no longer rely on the first or second contact, which is when most people give up.

Our own research tells us that most people give up after one follow up to an initial meeting or telephone conversation. However can we encourage you to have a 'Multi Step Sales Process' to build a relationship with your prospect and respect that they may not be ready to buy immediately.

So firstly have excellent methods of generating leads and the collection of a prospects contact details. Then create a systemised approach to contacting your prospect at least 5 times with information that can help them with their problem or need and ensure that these touches are not solely your sales messages.

The objective of your communications should be to remind them you are here, what you have to offer, how you can solve their problem or reduce their pain and answer their need.

You can use email marketing systems, like our InTouch software, to create Autoresponder campaigns that simply send emails one after each other at a specified time. However remember different people will engage in different ways, so mix up your emails and include direct mail and telephone plus perhaps a face to face meeting to build that relationship and engagement with you.

Monday, 17 September 2012

The Oxford Marketing Conference

This years Oxford Marketing Conference in Oxford will be on Tuesday 17th October at Oxford Thames Four Pilllars Hotel. For more information, please see www.oxfordmarketingconference.co.uk 

Friday, 14 September 2012

Marketing at low cost


In the current climate, we are all looking at the best ways to market our business with no direct cost to our budgets. Here are our top 7 ways to market your business on a small budget.
  1. Build relationships with your existing customers and network of contacts and ask for business
  2. Go networking, but where your ideal customer, or those that also touch them, meets
  3. Public speaking to increase your profile with a qualified audience
  4. Press coverage by sharing your story, your knowledge, expertise and niche
  5. Have an upselling strategy to maximise your customers 'buying mode' at the point of purchase
  6. Email more, but not just newsletters, more personal communication and offers
  7. Joint ventures with like minded businesses and naturally increase your sales force
www.a1-marketing.co.uk

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

What is your Motivation?


There are a number of personal reasons why people start their own business. Some see an opportunity, some suffer a personal situation such as redundancy or unemployment, whilst others have a family history of self employment or consider it as a way of earning their living.

What has made you decide to work for yourself? What are your motives?

Thinking about your motivations can help you think about the goals you may set yourself and provides a measurement for success as defined by you and not as defined by others looking at your business externally.
Understanding your motivations will help you identify the real purpose of your business and its aims and objectives. So for example, if it is a bigger house for your growing family, then how will the business generate the cash for this?To help you think about your true motivation for starting your business, we have created a downloadable document available via our web site at
http://www.startyourownbusinessdvd.co.uk/images/stories/templates/t2_what_is_your_motivation.pdf

Friday, 7 September 2012

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

T.E.A.M.


Together Everyone Achieves More. Well I am sure you have heard this before, but what does our research into effective teams tell us really helps an effective team perform?

Training - Not just effective training for the individuals role, but also your business systems. Where each team member is supportive of each others development. Where people embrace change and are even visionary to be ahead of the competition with their skills and knowledge. A team that regularly undertakes training gap analysis.

Engagement - the power of a team working with you as much for you. A unity of purpose, commited to each other and the cause. Shows initiative as empowered to do so. Demonstrates the creation of reliability.

Atmosphere - where everyone is involved and interested. There are good communication levels, given in a constructive manner. Informal, comfortable, relaxed and the allowance to express their feelings and ideas are key factors to a conducive atmosphere. Where strong direction for the right people in the right roles is a given. Collaborative working supports interaction. Awareness of possible conflicts, which are resolved quickly.

Motivation - Motivated by a leader that listens. Not just the yee ha of follow the leader but a personalised approach that demonstrates what is important to each individual team member. Appraisal and reviews undertaken regularly and recognition given in private and in public. Success is shared by all.

A1 Director, Mike Foster, has recently spoken on this topic at a regional meeting of the ICB.

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Minimum wage increases

October is the time of year that we see the annual rise in the level of the national minimum wage. This year there is no increase for those aged 16 to 20 years. The 21 year old + rate will increase from £6.08 to £6.19 with effect from 1st October.

Thursday, 30 August 2012

Employee vs outsourcing functions in your business


Of course we are an external support to businesses, but quite often we are not seen this way and are asked about roles that can be outsourced instead of adding people to the payroll.

So why would you consider using an external resource to support your business rather than employing someone?

  • Your business finances and payroll are sensitive information to protect
  • It provides access to a specialist skill that you in effect add to your team
  • Perhaps frees up time of someone in the business who does not specialise in this area
  • No holiday pay
  • A comparable cost considering Employers NI contribution, sick pay, maternity pay and likely pension contributions from 2013
  • More easily replaced if not performing
  • Less red tape
  • Less cost of ongoing development and training as the providers responsibility
  • And event potentially less desk space

Of course there will be other considerations such as the relationship, management and briefing the specification of work, but outsourcing is now a very real option for business.

www.a1-group.co.uk

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Working with Influencers for your business

A key marketing strategy for many businesses is to gain new customers from referrals.
So when meeting key business influencers for your business, remember to:
1. remind them what you do and why you can help their contacts
2. engage them with your trust, excellence and results evidence
3. ask! but focus on your ideal customer

Ways to raise finance for your business


We know that raising finance is not easy in the current economic climate, however good financial information will improve your chances of success.

To support your finance application consider analysing your financial accounts (as per our last email), produce a financial forecast and consider providing a forecast of your business that shows how it would still perform if external factors were to impact your business, such as an interest rate rise or reduction in customers or price.

Your business could be financed in a number of different ways and quite often a combination is used. You can consider:

  • Your own personal monies
  • Conventional bank finance – overdrafts, commercial mortgages, business loans, commercial investment mortgages
  • Asset finance – hire/lease purchase, finance lease, operating lease, contract hire, sale and leaseback
  • Invoice discounting and factoring
  • Equity finance
  • Private investors – business angels
  • Grants

We would suggest that you explore the appropriate options for your business and from our experience the key considerations in relation to your choice of finance should be:
  • Speed of decision
  • Price – interest rate and fees
  • Security required
  • Convenience
  • Flexibility
  • Quality of service

Friday, 24 August 2012

Up to date financial information will help your decision making


More than ever we are finding that business owners want to keep a closer eye on their finances. To measure the financial performance of their business as they go rather than waiting until the financial year end.

Many of our clients are more regularly requesting turnover and profit figures, but we encourage businesses to look deeper than just the black and white resulting figures in your accounts and understand the true numbers in your business that can therefore help you make the numbers work for you.

Ratios and trends are a key focus that we provide when supporting our clients and just some of the ratios we measure are:

Gross or Net profit margin
Debtor days
Stock turnover ratio
Productivity - Staff costs vs income
Liquidity
Return on investment

Some of the patterns or trends we measure are:
Number of customers
Number of sales in month
Average sale value
A specific cost vs income

It is also likely that your bank, lender or funder will be analysing your financial information in this way and from experience it can only help your application for finance if you can talk confidently about this type of detail in your finances.

But more importantly on a day to day basis, good financial information can better support your key decision making.

Thursday, 23 August 2012

Prospecting with a plan

When you are prospecting for your sales pipeline, then this should be a process and have a plan.
What is your goal, what is your edge, how is your attitude and what is your key activity for an action plan?
We suggest to all our clients to keep a record of activities and measure against your objectives, especially around the areas of size of pipeline, number of resales, referrals received, referrals met, introducer meeting and events held or attended.
Keep your prospecting strong and pipeline flowing.

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Investment opportunities for smaller companies

£500 million of Government investment for small and mid-sized businesses is open for applications. The Government is asking for applications to manage the investment available through the Business Finance Partnership (BFP).


The BFP aims to ease the flow of credit to small and mid-sized businesses in the UK by diversifying their sources of finance and making them less reliant on bank lending. To read more please click here

Thursday, 16 August 2012

Mike Foster: Enjoying his new role at A1

As the A1 team continues to grow across the various businesses, Mike has taken a step back from day to day fee earning to Chair the group of A1 companies, providing greater leadership, planning, sales and promotion.


This has also enabled Mike to follow his passion of working with start up businesses and now regularly speaks to audiences on topics related to this market and coaches a small number of new entrepreneurs.

Mike said; "I am passionate about working with Start Ups, as this market has been in my blood ever since I was the area manager for the Barclays business start up team. Sharing peoples ideas with a passion to make them the success they desire and by sharing my experience is a truly rewarding part of my role now at A1." A1 has also set up a start up foundation to support new business owners.

For more details please see our web site.

Mike has also partnered with Concept Filming to offer a 'must know' guide for start ups on DVD www.startyourownbusinessdvd.co.uk

www.a1-group.co.uk

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Closing the gap between knowing and doing

We are delighted to have co-sponsored the Pathfinder Club in Oxfordshire for the last few months.


The Pathfinder club has been designed for business owners to obtain access to proven knowledge and tools that will help you work on your business success and personal goals.

The meetings blend the content from individual business coaching with peer group learning.

For more details, please see our new web site at www.pathfinderclub.co.uk

Friday, 10 August 2012

Clean up your social media lists

It is with interest that we study the social media links of our clients. So one recommendation is to make sure you are connected, liked and followed by the right people for you and your business.


If you are not, then we suggest a clean up. For example:

• Who is connected to you simply to be very proactive with your connections? We have even seen examples where people have contacted a connection having suggested that our client recommended a contact, when they had not!
• Who have you connected with because they asked, but you have no actual connection with?
• Who is following you on twitter with no interest in you, but simply to raise awareness of themselves with your followers?
• Who likes your facebook page, simply to post on your wall messages to your followers. We even saw a posting recently started 'we hope you dont mind us promoting a competitor.........'!

We suggest it is better having a smaller list of those interested in you than a large number of followers, likes or connections to look good!

Monday, 6 August 2012

Which Accounting Software is Best for You?

We are regularly asked which is the best accounting or bookkeeping software for our business? Especially as there are so many options today.


At A1 financials, we are a Sage preferred practice, but the answer really depends on your business needs.

To help you choose the best package for your business, here is an insight to our thinking:

• The size of your business. Micro, Small, Large, Corporate all have different needs.

• Your budget to purchase the software etc

• The needs of your business and requirement to integrate with other software or systems.

• The industry you're in and if any specialist software would help.

• What features and reporting information do you need as a minimum. Make a 'desirable' list before you research.

• How good are the support and training options.

• Ease of use.

• Any recommendations. From other business owners, professionals, press....

• What software does your accountant support? Using a program they don't support could cost you more in the long run.

• And finally, please don't just listen to the sales messages. Try and test the software.

Thursday, 2 August 2012

Leading with integrity

2012 appears to be the year when many people and large corporations are being questionned about the way they do business and their integrity. So how do we lead our business with integrity?


Perhaps our key performance indicators should be around the 3 P's of People, Purpose and Passion.

The two key areas of behaviour that are considered to support our integrity are:

1. Deliver your promises – but make only those you want to and can actually deliver

2. Conduct yourself by the values you talk about – have key values, live by them, believe them and make decisions around them.

So how does integrity work with your reputation? Well you always need to tell the truth to maintain integrity, as one small lie will ruin everything.

Why is this proving to be so important in the current climate?

Many new relationships are being formed as old suppliers have perhaps ceased trading or had to change their terms, so integrity is a key part of any relationship. Looking internally, then trusting and well directed employees will be more engaged, so find a style of leadership, lead with integrity and then stick with it.

Monday, 30 July 2012

The Oxford Marketing Conference

Once again we will be organising the Oxford Marketing Conference.


We are just finalising the venue and date, but if you want to gain the latest knowledge to help you market your business product or service, then follow us to keep updated.

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

A dozen focus areas for any business start up

There are many areas for a new business owner to focus upon and of course there are many views or opinions on what could be the most critical areas to support the initial survival and later growth for success.


Each business is perhaps different and has different priorities, but from our work with start up businesses, we believe the top dozen areas for focus are:

1. Work to establish the right foundations from the start

2. Manage your time effectively with a focus on your high pay off activities

3. Know your target market

4. Create great opportunities to take your product or service to market

5. Maximise your lead conversion to sales

6. Make the financial numbers in your business work for your future success

7. Understand your key performance indicators

8. Create and develop strong relationships with customers, employees and referrers

9. Understand the 7 steps of effective business growth

10. Undertake the 8 actions that the UK's successful businesses do every year

11. Know the top 5 numbers in your business

12. Remember the Work / life balanced approach

A1 Director, Mike Foster, works as a coach for business start up owners.

His background is from an area manager for Barclays business start up team, before joining SOLL Leisure, a start up leisure business. He then started his own various companies nearly 10 years ago.

If you are a start up and would like to join Mike for one of his breakfast meetings to find out more and see if you could work with Mike, then please email him for more details.

The A1 Group also offer services such as bookkeeping and marketing support to help business owners manage the ever increasing work load. For more details, please see http://www.a1-group.co.uk/

Monday, 16 July 2012

Business Start Up DVD

The initial sales since its launch in May have gone very well with purchases from individuals thinking of starting a business to companies, such as accountants and advisers to start ups, looking to distribute the DVD as a value added giveaway.


We are also talking to representatives from the Prison service and the Ministry of Defence in reference to supporting the people leaving their service and thinking of starting a business.
For more details and samples, please see www.startyourownbusinessdvd.co.uk

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Bookkeeping - is it just about number crunching?

The majority of business owners that employ a bookkeeper intially consider the support as simply completing accurate records to enable the business to meet its legal obligations of filing accounts and paying any tax due. But is a professional bookkeeper more value to your business?


Of course this is the primary role of a bookkeeper, but what is literally at the bookkeepers finger tips that can make a difference to your business?

• Their knowledge of what makes up a good financial system

• A systemised approach to your work that can integrate easily into your day to day working

• Their experience of other businesses and how they operate or analyse financial information

• The know how to get the most from your financial software package

• The passion for numbers and getting it right first time

• The relationship with local accountants, knowing what they want from you and when

• An understanding of your business financials to support your decision making

• A knowledge of your business, more than just the financials, as a trusted partner

• Your happiness, as you are no longer doing it!!!

At A1 Financials, our bookkeeping and management accounts business, we are practice members of the Institute of Certified Bookkeepers and shortlisted as Bookkeeping Practice of the Year in 2009 and 2011, because we offer more than just the crunching. Local accountants also tell us our fees are also very reasonable.

If you would like to discuss how we can help with your bookkeeping requirements, then please contact us.

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Our Pathfinder Pyramid

What are the top 5 numbers in your business?


Is it your turnover target or your margin percentage? Is it the number of leads you want each month or thenumber of new customers? Is it the maximum number of times the phone should ring before answered? or is it the maximum number of hours to which you will reply to an enquiry?

These numbers will be very personal to you and if achieved will help drive the success of your business.
So are you measuring these 5 numbers on a monthly basis in your management information? Are they on every meeting agenda looking at ways to improve them or simply focus on them?
If not then why not, as you have identified them as your top 5 numbers.


A1 Director, Mike Foster, speaks on this very subject. To read more, please see our web site

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Free workshop: Make time and have a system to grow your business


at Milton Park Innovation Centre, 10th July

Are you looking to grow your business?

Do you have plans, but not enough time to take action?

This free half day workshop has received some great feedback such as

“the best thing I have done this year…”

“the content was really good”

“now I know what I need to do and how”

Well for just the cost of a cup of coffee, you can attend this morning workshop on Tuesday 10th July from 9am, at Milton Park Innovation Centre, nr Abingdon OX14 4RY.

For more details and to see what is included plus what you will take away, please see http://linkd.in/LlZdlT

To Book please email us at info@a1-events.co.uk or call 01865 378559. Limited to 30 places.

Friday, 29 June 2012

What can we expect from the Olympics

Exceptional committed individuals in strong teams with a common goal.

If we relate this to our own businesses and replicate this then perhaps our desire, vision and action can lead to the same success?

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

7 ways to deal with a price objection

How many times have you discounted your price simply because the price objection was raised?
Here are our 7 top ways to approach this common objection:

  1. Target the right 'ideal' customer to sell to, as they are less likely to be price driven
  2. Define value from the customers viewpoint not your own
  3. Ask powerful questions to establish what is 'important' to your buyer
  4. Remove or reduce the risk for the buyer by offering a guarantee
  5. Use strong benefit statements, not features, and position from as if you were in their shoes
  6. Know and rehearse your responses to the common ways such an objection is raised
  7. Have reasons why you hold a price rather than being able to discount to create empathy from the buyer

Just one of the areas we cover at the Pathfinder Club www.pathfinderclub.co.uk

Friday, 22 June 2012

week inc spoke at Oxford Business Network, welcoming Jenny to our team & meeting 3 new clients plus 2 great events with B4 & Barclays Ignite

Maximise your networking & generate referrals

Today I was asked to speak at the Oxford Business Network by the members on the subject of How to maximise your networkiing & generate referrals.

I decided to present my thoughts based on my years experience in networking, whilst highlighting that networking is not simply about the next breakfast meeting.

I took the members of OBN through a short workshop where they looked at who is in their ideal network, what does their business really offer, their 60 sec pitch and ways they can be proactive in generating referrals.

Average email campaign performance


The 2012 UK email marketing benchmark report shows a modest increase in email open rates.
Across all industries the average results for UK SME email marketing campaigns were:

  • Open rate: 18.35%
  • Click-through rate: 2.95%
  • Unsubscription rate: 0.15%
  • Click-to-open rate: 15.42%
  • Unsubscribe-to-open rate: 0.97%

How do your email communications perform? What helps your 'open' rates?
 

If you do not know yours, then please give us a call about our InTouch email marketing software
Only £17.99 + vat per month