Most business owners start their businesses with dreams of becoming financially independent, spending lots of free time on tropical islands, and being their own boss. However, unexpected business problems and fierce competition are challenges that must be overcome to make your dreams a reality. But how do you successfully dominate the competition and achieve the results necessary to live the life you’ve dreamed of?

Sure, you have a great team, and you work hard—but so does the competition. Yes, you have great ideas—wonderful, so do most of your competitors. To truly dominate the competition, you want to put distance between you and them, with you firmly in the lead. Here’s your three-step guide to do just that.

Step 1. Take Stock of Your Business

The first step to dominate the competition is to do an analysis of your business, your competition, your budget and potential opportunities.

Your Target Market

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At Xero we strive to do better every day and we know that the only way we’ll achieve our business goals is by ensuring everyone who works at Xero feels they have all the support they need to do the best work of their lives. 

We are very pleased to announce some changes to our parental leave benefits. 

Parental leave payments: All primary carers, regardless of how they become a parent, are entitled to parental leave payments that are equivalent to 26 weeks. Over that time Xero will ‘top-up’ to 100 percent of their base salary any government allowance or other regional support. 

Partner’s leave: If a Xero employee’s partner has a child, or together they adopt a child or bring a child into their permanent care, they will be entitled to up to six weeks of paid partner’s leave. This can be taken in up to two blocks

If there’s one important message that’s come out of Xero On Air, it’s that cloud technology can make a real difference for small businesses and their advisors. Our Xero Small Business Insights special report: Pandemic Insights: Small Business Experience shows that small businesses using apps lost less revenue, and suffered fewer staff losses, compared to those not using apps during the peak of the pandemic’s impact. The benefits that apps can have are clear, but how can you see these same benefits in your practice?

During Xero On Air, Kaye Harding, GM Ecosystem Partner Experience, and Patrick Frigo, Practice App Specialist, joined me in our episode – The App Stack for Practice Success. Together we explored apps you can get started using to unlock greater success in your practice.

Our app marketplace has over 800 apps to choose from, and in this session we’ve taken out the guesswork

As a business owner, there are few things more unsettling than a high churn rate. Growth represents one of the most important metrics when it comes to success in business. So losing customers at a high rate is never something you want your company to be known for. That’s why customer retention is such a vital strategy to employ.

While acquiring customers was traditionally the primary means by which businesses sought success, the tides have changed in recent years. Retention marketing becoming the go-to strategy in most industries. Seeking to retain customers, rather than exclusively acquire them, has been shown to be more affordable and more lucrative. And it’s generally a more effective means of building a solid customer base.

So how can you go about retaining customers and lowering your high churn rate? Take a look at a few strategies below to revamp your strategy when it comes to

As we tentatively look ahead to the end of lockdowns in my home city of Melbourne in the not too distant future, it is encouraging to learn that small business looked a little more stable last month in New Zealand, Australia and the United Kingdom.

Today, we released our monthly Xero Small Business Insights (XSBI) data for August. These are monthly metrics showing analysis of the small business sector’s health, based on anonymised, aggregated data drawn from hundreds of thousands of our subscribers.

Since the start of COVID-19 and even before, we’ve been using these rich insights to brief government leaders and policy makers in Australia, New Zealand and the UK. Our in-depth look at the impact of the pandemic on small business was released at Xero on Air earlier this month.

We’re continuing to analyse the small business sector each month, paying particular attention to the impact of tightening

Financial literacy is important for everyone but it’s essential if you’re in business.

Most businesses fail due to lack of cash, not profits

One definition of financial literacy is “The ability to make informed judgements and decisions regarding the use and management of money”.

For business, it is understanding where your money is coming from and where it is going. It’s also knowing how to use this information to make informed decisions, resulting in better outcomes. 

So, it’s crucial you understand your cash flow and keep an eye on it every day.

Our purpose at Xero is to help make life better for people in business. So I want to highlight three tips for new business owners.

Bank reconciliation

A bank reconciliation ensures all your bank transactions are recorded and categorised in your business’ accounting system. 

If performed daily, or at least weekly, you’ll have an accurate and