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8 Tips to balance cash flow for seasonal business

Managing cash flow and adequate financial planning are important in any business, and every business has seasonal peaks and low periods. Seasonal businesses that do most of their business during one season and may even close at another time of year need to take extra care when creating a reliable financial plan to help carry them through the low season. Christmas is a slow period for many businesses (aside from retail of course!) as companies close for the holidays and customers take to their homes to spend time with family – so what better time of your to look at some useful cash flow tips?


There are various ways to create a financial plan, and depending on your business, whether your business operates for 12 months every year or it is closed for part of the year, your financial plan should be customised to your business. Consider the following tips when creating your business’ financial plan.

Cash flow management


Running a seasonal business means that you already know that some of the time, you will have more money coming in, while other times there will be less coming in. Budget yourself, and always plan for the future by looking at either your own financial history, or research from other companies. Understand your fixed and variable costs, and know when you can cut back on variable costs. Make a potential forecast, budget your spending accordingly, and save enough to cover your expenses at the low points.


If you know that you have a low season, you will have both less work to do, and less money coming in. Instead of taking a vacation or twiddling your thumbs waiting for business to pick up, take the time to strengthen your business. Work on your marketing plan, build a financial plan, try new products or services that might help your business bring money in during the low season, or take classes to increase your know-how.


No matter how much planning you do, there is always the chance that you may need to take out a loan. Make sure that you pay your bills on time, keep open lines of credit, and do not build up a large amount of debt, especially during your high season.


If you are trying to save money on purchases, find one company with whom you work well. Pay your bills on time, and ask about discounts for buying in bulk. You can also negotiate the terms of your payments with suppliers. Rather than paying a lump sum, try arranging a payment plan with a supplier.


Make sure that your invoicing process includes a partial payment up front, or that you don’t send out products until you have received payments. Minimise the risk of giving out free products or services to your business by planning ahead.


Similar to building relationships with suppliers, if you have loyal customers, offer rewards for things like paying bills on time or early, loyal purchases, or buying in bulk. Maintaining your customers is just as important to your business finances as is saving money on your expenses.


If financial planning is not your strong point, it is important to hire someone who excels at it, outsource your financial planning, or find a DIY financial planning software that can simplify the process for you. Software like the Exo Finance – Core Module allows you to run your business’ finances, accounting, stocks, analytics and performance, and more, even remotely.


If it comes down to it, and a loan seems like the best option to cover low periods of cash flow, discuss your options with a financial planner, and know what your loan is for. Make sure your loan fits your financial plan, you will be able to pay it off in the high season, and that you stick to a budget or use financial software to help you control spending, collect balances due, and maintain relationships with both clients and suppliers.

5 Tips to increase the conversion of Quotes into Sales

Conversions are the bottom line of business – the end goal.

Granted, there are no shortcuts. You have to produce well-structured quotes and tenders that provide compelling reasons to choose your company, and you have to do it consistently over the long haul.

But no matter how well prepared your quotes and tenders are, they never hit the mark 100% of the time, so there’s always room for improvement. There’s also the issue of prospects taking their time to sign on the dotted line and make your proposal less than a pressing priority.

So, how do you strike the right balance, and increase the conversion of quotes into sales? Here are five tips to boost your trustworthiness and your conversions.


A good knowledge of your prospects enables you to develop quotes that target their specific need, but where do you get, store and sort information about your contacts? A customer relationship management system can be a powerful tool in your quote-to-sale armoury.

MYOB EXO CRM Module and other similar solutions can offer you complete visibility and let you record your prospect’s quote likes and dislikes, their location, their spending patterns, age and gender, tastes, needs and buying habits. This will give you a detailed picture of their spending power, giving you the opportunity to modify your quotes and devise them according to their liking.


An article published in The Harvard Business Review pointed out that leads addressed within the first sixty minutes are seven times more likely to develop into meaningful conversions. Prospects may have questions about quotes, product features, the stock available, etc. These need to be addressed quickly if you want to see an uptick in conversions.

Doing all this requires a unique customer management solution, such as the one found in EXO finance. Companies can use it to manage all the customer contact details to manage quotes, invoices, orders, stock, inventory and more, along with sales and marketing activities. Such solutions can help you comprehensively understand your customers and manage your companies and quote contracts; the sales staff will love the real-time stock updates as it will enable efficient addressing of prospect queries.


You can manage the profitability of your projects and jobs in real time by providing direct visibility of all your process, input and time costs, including labour hours, materials, equipment hours and consulting hours.

This is possible through job and project costing solutions that enable you to identify any variances and make appropriate quotes. And by reviewing previous jobs in areas like job resources, cost types, cost groups, job types, job resources and, most importantly, quote terms, you can save time on complex projects.


Integrate marketing and sales messages into your proposal. Since quotes are a part of the sales process, you need to reinforce the reasons to choose your company versus one of the competitors.

If you don’t provide them a reason to choose you, you could end up being a textbook example of a poorly handled sales proposition. So ensure that your prospects don’t simply base their decision on the quoted price.


Once you identify who key decision makers are, talk to them and involve them in the sales process in order to expedite the quote for the prospect. This also lets you handle any avenues for buying objection with the prospect involved.

Once there is an agreement, send the quote document promptly in a professional manner. Talk it through with the person who is responsible for the ultimate decision. While it’s not always possible to do this, it doesn’t hurt to try getting input of key decision makers.

How to successfully implement a change of Accounting Systems

Your accounting system effectively documents all the activity in your business and provides critical information to make good business decisions. If you’ve outgrown your accounting system and you’re moving to a new and improved model (like MYOB Exo!), it’s absolutely necessary that the transition is as seamless as possible so no information falls through the cracks.

To successfully transition to a new accounting system, you need to consider these factors:


A smooth transition starts with preparing your staff for change and guiding them through the process. First, communicate why your firm is moving to a new accounting software system. While the transition might require a lot of work on behalf of some key staff members, explain that your business will benefit from the new system in the long run.

Once you’ve explained why you’re making the transition, train your staff to implement the change. Schedule some time and verify that your current accounting procedures are documented. Work with your software provider to create a plan of conversion. Ensure that all stakeholders (accounting and finance staff, operations, senior management and even sales if your accounting system is linked to your inventory or job costing functions) are involved in planning the conversion.


Your company has processes that are unique to its particular industry. A retailer, for example, accounts for inventory. On the other hand, a manufacturer must account for raw materials and work in progress. You need to consider your unique business processes and how they link to your accounting structure in order to implement a smooth software conversion.


Ideally you should have a transition period in order to test the new system is tracking data in the same way as the old system and avoid missing anything out. Run a set of transactions concurrently through your current and new system and review the results to ensure they are accurate.

Consider a denim jeans manufacturer for example. They decide to run transactions through their new system, at the same time, they process data through their existing (live) system. If their new software is operating properly, they should get the same accounting results as their current system produces. In this case, that means that the same dollar amount of denim is moved into production using both accounting systems. Both programs also post the same number of units, the same sales intake, same profit figure etc.


Before you implement your new system, generate a set of adjusted financial statements at the end of a particular period. That “clean” set of financials will be your starting point for a new system. At the end of October, for example, you print a trial balance and post your accounting adjustments. Once you’re satisfied with your adjusted trial balance, you generate October financial statements (balance sheet, income statement, etc.).


Say you decide to go live with your new accounting software on November 1st. You’ve communicated the November conversion data to your staff. Each person in the organisation has provided his or her input on the implementation process. Your staff has a new operations manual and has trained on the new software.

At various points after software implementation, you analyse the results that are generated by the new software. You use your October 31st accounting data to ensure that November accounting activity is posted correctly.

These tips can help you have a smooth transition to your new accounting system.


Consider working with an accounting software expert to help you with the implementation process. We are available to talk through your particular situation with you and provide advice to help make your software switchover seamless. Contact us at (08) 9328 1678 or via our contact form and we’ll get in touch!

5 reasons you need a Mobile CRM

As a business owner, two of your main goals will be to improve communication with your customers and to streamline your business practices. If you want to succeed in business, then you need to be able to contact your customers quickly and effectively, while at the same time making your business more efficient.

Luckily, there is a new technology that helps you to do both. Its name? Mobile customer relationships management software – or mobile CRM for short.

Mobile CRM takes advantage of the fact that clients are now on smartphones or tables, and wish to communicate quickly immediately with suppliers – they want to know the status of their order or your stock levels there and then – mid-meeting, not once you’ve travelled back to the office to check it out.

If you’re looking to grow your business or to improve your customer communications, then you need to consider mobile CRM, and here’s why:5 reasons you need a mbile CRM

Increase your revenue quickly
As a first benefit, you can quickly increase your revenue and bottom line. With mobile CRM you can give customers the answers they require quickly – finalise projects and deals before you even leave a meeting.

You can access the information straight away, rather than waiting to get back to the office. The faster you can communicate with customers, the faster deals get done. Simple!

Faster response times for clients
Fast response times to clients equals good customer service. Mobile CRM means that no matter where you are or what you’re doing, you can respond to a client. What’s more you can also solve urgent or important matters instantly.

Clients don’t like waiting for you to get back to them. If they have a problem and you don’t respond, it’s often not long before they consider taking their business elsewhere.

Don’t lose clients because of avoidable delays. Embrace mobile CRM and start providing outstanding customer services that your clients will rave about.

Stronger relationships with clients
Fast response times by themselves are not enough if you don’t have the right answers. When you respond you need to have all relevant information about the client at your fingertips. This way you can go into detail about their account, and also discuss current issues or projects that they have.

It’s customer service 101 – when you provide these two elements together you show your customers that you care about their business – you’re up-to-speed on their account and your business processes are tight and controlled.

Mobile CRM allows you to do this by giving you quick access to your client’s full account history right there on your mobile or tablet app! You could be at a trade fair in Perth CBD and your colleague could be on the road making a sales visit in Bunbury. No matter where they are, all staff will have access to customer account info.

Improved organisational skills
The beauty of mobile CRM is that you don’t actually have to be that organised to use it!
Not only does it help your clients via excellent customer service, it also helps you run your company, and improve and integrate your procedures.

Mobile CRM options – such as our mobile CRM plugin for MYOB Business Process Software – allow you to integrate your existing accounting practices and business practices with mobile CRM.

If you have staff in multiple offices or staff out in the field they can undertake their accounting, stocks and ordering while on the road. This improves effectiveness and efficiency of your business dramatically.

Improves your sales force effectiveness
If you have sales managers who are constantly on the road, you can see amazing benefits from mobile CRM.

Rather than coming back into the office to process sales, they can do them automatically from location. This means faster processing times for clients, and more time for your sales staff to be out their making sales. Win-win!

In short, every business is constantly looking for ways to improve business practices, customer service, and increase sales. With mobile CRM you can do all three!

Contact us today, to learn more about what our mobile CRM solution – Exo-on-the-go – can do for your business.

Time to upgrade your business accounting software?

The decision to change from manual accounting systems to an umbrella system depends on the same criteria that influence people to upgrade residential infrastructure: old systems are inefficient, cost-prohibitive, appear old-fashioned and need frequent troubleshooting.

Current systems and spread sheets work fine but manual accounting systems generate payroll expenses for office staff, increased accounting fees, inefficient inventory-ordering practices and lost opportunities to optimise leads, leverage social and business trends and uncover waste, theft and fraud.

Clues that you might benefit by replacing your existing system include:

  • Reports and documents contain frequent mathematical errors.
  • Inventory-carrying costs generate cash-flow problems.
  • Loss of data and slow response times scuttle business opportunities.
  • Poor analysis of business trends, contract terms and unavailable contract templates limit sales staff’s ability to close deals in the field.
  • Crucial business data gets lost due to a lack of storage capacity and databases contain out-dated information.
  • Figuring profitability by department, product and employees requires authorising dedicated research projects.
  • Expense creep cuts into profit margins.
  • Security breaches cause you to lose money, customers and the time needed to address the problems.
  • Incomplete or disorganised records trigger financial audits.
  • Incomplete records that fail to match best business practices make it difficult to get financing for expansion. A new system that offers comprehensive management solutions generates substantial investment costs, but your current system probably costs more in lost profits, waste and inefficient uses of resources.

Upgrading the accounting system helps you position your company for accelerated growth, meet the challenges of global marketing and integrate your business with the current financial practices of most vendors, clients, social agencies and tax authorities.

Before choosing a new system, consider the following points:

  1. Take time to study what you need to do the job. Most systems offer scalable modules that you can add as your business grows, so you need not buy more than you really need. Talk to your production, sales and office staff to get their input on what they need to do their jobs more efficiently.
  2. A complete business audit justifies the time and expense by identifying current needs and IT solutions for immediate growth.
  3. Remember that some accounting systems might require staff training, new or updated hardware and technical advice about implementing them into your business with minimal disruption.
  4. Your wish list should not only include the new features you want but also preserve the bits of the old system that perform well. New systems often cause problems that the old system handled perfectly well.

Your accounting solution will impact every department in the company, so choosing software solutions works better when you make it a group effort. Involving each department manager in the decision will help you find the best solution and encourage loyalty among employees, who often resist changes to systems that have always worked adequately in the past.

The new software should meet the following criteria:

  • The system should improve cash flow by streamlining inventory, empowering collection efforts, reducing fraud and waste and eliminating duplicate work.
  • Accounting software facilitates custom reports that let you track profits, costs, closing ratios, employee efficiency, seasonal performance and other financial information. Choose software or systems that give you complex reporting tools.
  • Programs with cash-management software create more options for revenue-generating ideas and taking advantage of investment opportunities.
  • The system should provide analytical data that helps you and company managers make better decisions.
  • Businesses trade on timely information, so make sure you choose a system that strengthens your intelligence-gathering abilities.

Contact us to find out how MYOB EXO, MYOB Advanced and Horizon Business Systems can help your business achieve all of the above (and more!) today.