Posted on

Small Business is about Doing

It's time to roll your sleeves up: our Small Business Management Course gets you working on a real life business idea.
It’s time to roll your sleeves up: our Small Business Management Course gets you working on a real life business idea.

As Australia’s leading provider of online training courses, we deliver all kinds of different training courses – and we’ve recently branched into providing online induction training courses to business. But where EzyLearn’s flagship course, the MYOB training course, teaches practical skills in using one of the most popular accounting software packages, it is a completely different kind of course to our Small Business Management Course – and for good reason.

Thinking as if You Own A Business

Our Small Business Management Course is designed to make you think like a business owner. Where our other software-based courses are designed to systematically guide you through a particular software package, our Small Business Management Course needs to be different.

As a business owner, you’ll be thrown curve balls from many directions – especially when you first start out – and the key to surviving them is being able to think objectively and without bias.

You’ll need to be able to problem-solve and sometimes develop new approaches to existing business practices or activities. Running your own business means having a plan, but not always operating to it.

To complete the course, you need to be able to demonstrate that you possess the required skills to successful operate your own business – by researching, thinking and writing.

A Real Business Idea with Tutor Feedback

The Small Business Management Course is deliberately structured so that as you work your way through the course content, you’re applying the exercises and skills you’re learning to a real-life business idea. Then, once you’ve complete the course, you’ll go live with this business idea.

The course gives students an unusual and unique advantage over other soon-to-be business owners because our students get feedback from a tutor that they can then apply to their business strategies.

***

This is what makes our Small Business Management Course so popular – because you’re learning with your real business idea, where other business courses merely have student complete exercises or answer questions in relation to hypothetical business scenarios.

If you would like to learn more about our small business management course, visit our website or enrol here.

Posted on 1 Comment

Why The Business Name You Choose Is So Important: Interview

Choosing a business name that is Google-friendly is important.
Choosing a business name that is Google-friendly is important.

Our Small Business Management Course teaches students everything they will need to successfully start and operate their own small business, which includes how to write a business plan. Throughout the duration of the course and particularly, when it comes to writing your business plan, you’ll need to think about what you’ll name your business. So what does make a good business name?

What’s In a Name?

For this post, we spoke to a business owner whose business has a rather distinctive name: CIA OPS’s Principal, Robert Crane. CIA — or Computer Information Agency — OPS is a Sydney-based technology consultancy firm, which focuses on assisting businesses and individuals improve their productivity using technology and smart business practices.

The name CIA OPS perfectly encapsulates everything Robert’s business does — provide his clients with information about computer-related technology, such as how to streamline a business’s processes for use with cloud-based software or training in Microsoft Office 365 — but at the same time, it’s also a conversation piece.

“Everyone’s heard of the CIA, as in the USA’s Central Intelligence Agency,” Robert says. “So when they hear CIA OPS, they immediately ask me more about my business and what we do.”

Interesting – and Easy to Remember

But because the name CIA OPS has already aroused people’s curiosity, they’re more engaged and interested in what Robert has to say. The fact CIA OPS is also easy to remember is another added bonus.

“Even if they forget the ‘OPS’ part,” Robert says, “They always remember the ‘CIA’ part and the fact we work with computers, which makes it really easy for them to find me Google.”

Is it Google-Friendly?

Which brings us to another important consideration you need to make when it comes to thinking of a business name. Thinking of something quirky and interesting which also represents what your business does is one thing, but ensuring it’s Google-friendly is another altogether.

Google has, in many ways, fundamentally changed the way we do business — and as a result, it has changed the way people select their business name, too.

If your business name is too obscure that it becomes too hard to remember, then it won’t work; if it’s too common that it returns hundreds upon hundreds of Google results, it won’t work, either; if it’s too long, too short, too boring — won’t work, won’t work, won’t work.

“You really need to think about what you’ll call your business, because that is one thing that’s hard to go back and change later,” Robert says. Make sure you check to see if the business name you’re thinking of using is being used already, or is too similar to someone else’s — which could land you in hot water, as you will lean in the intellectual property and general law module of our Small Business Management Course.

Robert’s advice: “Avoid names that include the words ‘solutions’ or ‘networking’ — they’re boring, too common, and pretty obvious — you know, all businesses hope to provide some sort of solution, for instance.

“Be original, give your business name some real thought, and test it out on your friends and family first,” Robert advises.

Being that your business name is so important, we recommend that our small business management students start thinking about potential names as soon as they start the course, so than when it comes time to finishing their business plan, they’ll have something in mind.

***

If you would like more information about our Small Business Management Course, click here. For information about the other courses we offer at EzyLearn, click here.

Posted on

The REAL Benefits of Cloud-Based, ‘Real-Time’ Accounting Programs – A CASE STUDY

Having access to real-time info about their business helped Cheryl and Jim climb from just breaking even to owning two stores.
Having access to real-time info about their business helped Cheryl and Jim climb from just breaking even to owning two stores.

So you’re thinking of starting your own business in bookkeeping — or perhaps a small business in another industry? Cloud accounting programs like MYOB Account Right Live, Reach and Xero can make it much easier for you to start a bookkeeping business from home; these accounting programs can also help existing business owners operate and grow their businesses. And the great news is that EzyLearn now offers courses in all three.

MYOB Account Right Live

Today we’re blogging about MYOB Account Right Live. We recommend this in all of our MYOB training courses — not because it’s the latest version of the hugely popular MYOB software — but because it gives business owners the kind of data they need to run their business efficiently and securely. This was no more evident than in the case of Cheryl and Jim; business owners who discovered that they were literally throwing money away by using an outdated version of MYOB. With the recent addition of our new real-time accounting programs to our suite of products, we figured it’s an apt time to revisit this popular case study.

The Blessings of ‘Real-Time’

Perhaps the biggest bonus with cloud accounting software is that you have access to information about your profits and expenses in real-time. This is enormously useful for small businesses to constantly track how they’re going and make any necessary changes.

We decided to take a look at how one business owner grew a moderately successful business into a totally thriving one by using cloud accounting software to track their expenses.

From a Break-Even Bakery — To Owning Two Successful Stores

Cheryl and her husband, Jim, operated a small neighbourhood bakery in a busy block of local shops. Jim was the baker and pastry chef in residence, while Cheryl, who had previously worked as an account executive at an advertising firm, managed the office side of the business.

“I was used to budgets and targets, so it made sense that I would handle the admin side of the business,” Cheryl tells us. “But, coming from a large-scale ad agency, I had been spoilt for choice in the way of CRM and other software that tracked my sales in real-time,” she says. “I didn’t have any of that with the bakery. Just an outdated version of MYOB!”

Cheryl and Jim estimated that it would take them about a year before they would start to see any real traction with the bakery, but a year had come and gone, and they were still just breaking even.

“Jim would come in and go ‘we had a great day today, heaps of customers’ but at the end of the month we were still struggling with all the expenses, paying our staff and trying to pay ourselves a wage too,” Cheryl says. “Finally I asked my accountant what was going on and he just said ‘update your MYOB.’”

Cheryl comments that having access to data they had previously only received once it was too late was a game-changer. “This sounds funny, but I could see we were spending all this money on flour, but our sales didn’t reflect a need for it,” Cheryl laughs.

“Finally I asked my accountant what was going on and he just said ‘update your MYOB,’” Cheryl says.

“I asked Jim if he was over-ordering because that seemed like the logical answer, but he said he only ordered what was needed,” she says. “This led me to do some investigating.”

What the Data Revealed…

Jim would bake an average of 75 loaves of bread a day, but sales records in MYOB showed they old sold an average of 40 loaves a day; Jim was baking twice as much bread as he needed and all left-over stock was thrown out at the end of the day.

“We were literally throwing our money away,” Cheryl says. “But it was a learning curve.”

Before long Cheryl and Jim implemented various other systems to track their stock, so they could better manage their expenses. Within a year, Cheryl and Jim had completely turned their business around.

“Now we have two shops,” Cheryl says. “Where before we struggled keeping just the one going. Being able to see what we were spending as we were spending it — that changed everything.”

***

Basically you’re running blind if you’re not able to see your accounts in real time. The use of cloud accounting software like MYOB Account Right Live, Reach and Xero grants you this, safely and securely. Want to get up to speed with everything MYOB? Our MYOB training courses will equip you with the information you need. Enrol today.

Posted on 1 Comment

Is the Death of the Bookkeeper Imminent?

Happy New Year to all our readers! And take comfort in knowing that we think the death of the bookkeeper is FAR from imminent! Read the post to find out.
Happy New Year to all our readers! And take comfort in knowing that we think the death of the bookkeeper is FAR from imminent! Read the post to find out.

All right, so it’s not the most joyful heading we could have gone with on New Year’s Eve, but it’s not actually meant to conjure up doom and gloom! We have  researched and developed new online training courses for Reach Accounting and Xero, which have now been added to our suite of training courses that include the flagship MYOB training course. In the process we’ve spoken to a number of accountants to see what software they’re using, to ensure we’re providing the training courses you need to get a bookkeeping job. This is good news because you can then rely on us to inform you what more you may need to offer clients.

Throughout this process, we’ve come across a number of accountants who are using BankLink, an accounting service we’ve written about previously, which streamlines and automates the data entry portion of managing a client’s account.

The ‘In-House’ Extra Employee

For many accountants the BankLink software, which was acquired by MYOB in June of this year so they could further extend their reach into the accounting space, is being billed as an “extra employee” that never makes mistakes and is comparatively cheaper than the additional in-house bookkeeper or admin person headcount.

The big question for us is: Does this spell the end of the bookkeeper? For instance, think of the way personal computers did away with the need for the office stenographer working in a steno pool? The answer is that this is indeed possible — but this is only if data entry is the sole service you offer. Like most professionals today, the more specialised you are and the more services you can offer, the more likely you are to experience career longevity.

At the end of the day, software is only as good as the person who uses it. If you’re a highly experienced bookkeeper in a particular industry or possess a number of highly sought-after accounting skills, you’ll find BankLink a dream come true in that it eliminates the tedious, time-consuming data entry from your job.

BankLink: Giving You More Time

With more time on your hands, you’ll be able to grow your client-base — a goal for most small businesses and previously only available if you miraculously grew a spare set of hands, or employed a spare set of hands, at least. You may even be able to move your business out of the narrow bookkeeping space into the small business management space.

With the number of new small businesses increasing, the key to their individual survival in a highly competitive marketplace is good management — and who’s more suited to that job than someone with a thorough understanding of account keeping?

***

So while BankLink may spell the end of tedious, time-consuming data entry, for the experienced bookkeeper it presents more business and career opportunities — not less. Upskill and enjoy greater career success as a result.

Posted on

Introducing Our Reach Accounting Course – The Low Cost Alternative to MYOB

Reach Accounting is giving small business owners a cheap accounting software solution.
Reach Accounting is giving small business owners a cheap accounting software solution.

Ever since we started offering online MYOB courses, we have been encouraging our students to start their own home-based bookkeeping businesses. We’ve also introduced new courses along the way, like our small business management course to encourage our students to become virtual assistants. Now we’re pleased to introduce our latest Reach Accounting Course to provide small businesses with a low-cost alternative to MYOB.

Finally! A Cheap Small Business Accounting Solution

For many small business owners operating fairly simple businesses (say, virtual assistants or teleworkers)  the need to invest in rather expensive accounting software like MYOB has probably never existed.

It’s not uncommon to find a sole trader who still uses Excel to create their invoices, and still keeps a shoebox-full of receipts that they then enter into another Excel spreadsheet, or else endure the wrath of their accountant if they don’t.

This is generally because there’s never been any low-cost accounting software available to them — that was until Reach Accounting, a division of Net Registry, entered the fray a little while back.

Because we’re constantly looking to help small business owners, we’ve partnered with Reach Accounting to offer small business owners a low-cost Reach training course, which includes a free trial of Reach to use while you’re taking the course.

In our new Reach Accounting course, we cover the following subjects:

  • DIY Accounting
  • Set up
  • Daily Transactions
  • Bank Reconciliation
  • Payroll

So if you’re a small business owner and you’re looking for some low-cost accounting software, Reach Accounting could be the solution. 

***

You can take a closer look at how Reach compares to MYOB. Want to know the honest opinion of a small business owner? We asked a freelancer to test-drive Reach for 30 days; see how it works for them.

Posted on 4 Comments

Want to be a teleworker? The Australian Government wants it too

Telework-work from homeSince we closed our Sydney-based training centres in Dee Why, Gordon and Parramatta in 2006 and went 100% online we’ve been able to offer more for a lower price.

For the same price we use to charge for a one day training course in MYOB we are now able to offer ALL 5 MYOB training courses AND provide lifetime course access (INCLUDING updated course content).

You might also recall that our online support team comprises remote workers who operate their own virtual assistant business from all over Australia and even internationally so we are thrilled to be part of the new revolution in remote workers.

We are also very proud to be a Partner of the Australian Government Telework week in the SME (Small Business Sector) and look forward to helping more and more students find work as well as run their own businesses from their own homes.

Remember that we even offer the opportunity to start your own online training business using our established infrastructure AND if you are looking to start your own business as a bookkeeper (or any business for that matter) we now have the Cert IV in Small Business Management on our Learning System.

Posted on 1 Comment

The Virtual Business: Transitioning from the Real World to the Digital World

If you prepare and test first, then the transition from physical to virtual office should be smooth sailing.
If you prepare and test first, then the transition from physical to virtual office should be smooth sailing.

There are many benefits to be had by operating a virtual business — both to yourself as a business owner and to your clients — and in our last post about closing your bricks and mortar office doors to create a virtual one, we discussed the importance of getting the timing right.

But once you know the timing is right, how do you make the transition? Continue reading The Virtual Business: Transitioning from the Real World to the Digital World