Business Things to do over the quiet New Year period

For many businesses, the Christmas / New Year period is either a time of absolute mayhem or a time of complete and total quiet with tumbleweeds blowing through the office.

I’ve put together some tips on what to focus on over the festive period so that you can use your time more effectively in 2019.

Rather than panicking on how you’re going to pay the bills or questioning your entire life purpose, I recommend using this down-time to get your business more efficient. The goal being that in 2019 you’ll be wasting less time on manual tasks, freeing you up to develop business and generate revenue.

To Do List Item 1

Processes & Systems

You may all be a little sick of hearing me prattle on about processes and systems, but that’s only because I know from assisting businesses again and again that a good system or process can save you heaps of money in wages and lost revenue. So much so that on average companies lose 20 – 30% in revenue due to inefficiencies related to paperwork or daily processes that can be easily automated.

Some GREAT systems that can help your business become more efficient are listed below:

  • Xero – if you’re a small business and aren’t using Xero then seriously look into implementing it as your accounting package. Why? Because Xero is unlike any other accounting package on the market. Just like Apple and their App Store which revolutionised how we use phones and technology, Xero has an App Marketplace of add-on cloud software apps that seamlessly integrates with Xero. This means that if you have an app for say project management, job invoices and timesheets are automatically imported into Xero without double handling. If you’re using a CRM for tracking client leads, your staff can see who is up to date with their bills and easily manage their client interactions. There are apps for just about anything, from inventory to marketing, to timesheeting and project management, to trade specific apps which can GPS track work vans and distribute jobs to those out in the field. If you want help setting up Xero, you can contact Natalie from Two Sides Accounting who is a Xero Silver Champion Partner & Advisor, BFAA Accountants or Jen from Sullivan Dewing who are both Certified Xero Advisors.
  • Capsuleprobably my favourite Customer Relationship Management System (CRM) on the market. I have Vanessa to thank for getting me into Capsule as she’d used it in her previous job. Capsule captures your emails to clients and stores them in one system under the client’s name and business name. You can create tags to separate clients into industry, type or whatever you need, and can also create tasks which are added to your email calendars. It integrates with Xero, Gsuite and Mailchimp, as well as various websites meaning you will never miss a potential customer or forget to follow them up. You can create sequences of tasks so that if you kick off for example a “Hot Lead” it will program in and remind you to conduct tasks automatically from the time you tag the customer, so you can ensure you send follow up emails or proposals within a reasonable time frame. And if that wasn’t enough, the integration you can connect with MailChimp can mean that depending what you tag your customer as in Capsule will result in them being placed in a certain email list in MailChimp allowing you to be more effective with your email marketing. You can trial Capsule for free by clicking here. You won’t be disappointed.
  • Another favourite of mine is Gsuite. Yes, google are probably akin to Skynet from the Terminator movies, but their business emails, storage and app integrations are just too good to ignore. For just $11 per month per user, you can get Gmail to host your emails, and with that comes cloud storage with Google Drive, and an entire app marketplace that you can use to integrate with your email. If you have Capsule, you can install an add-on to Gmail that automatically captures clients emails and creates tasks for you without leaving the Gmail screen. You can add Calendly to your emails so clients can click a button, get access to your calendar and book appointments with you all without you having to lift a finger. You can create filters and rules much more easily than you can with other email systems and most importantly it integrates with pretty much every important cloud app in existence. You can sign up to Gsuite by clicking here and entering the codes MDG7MTFJ7QNAMJP for 20% off the GSuite Basic Plan OR MCFYUGATYCJX6GK for 20% of the GSuite Business Plan
  • Employment Hero – if you have employees or are planning to in the future then Employment Hero is a fantastic option for you and your business. You can avoid having to get employment lawyers to write contracts for you costing $1000’s by using their library of standard employment contracts, policies and procedures. Having been working in the HR industry for many years I can tell you this is the best employment app on the market. It even has a feature called Hero Shop which gives all your staff access to online shopping with major retailers at discounted prices. These retailers include Coles, Woolies, JB HiFi and more which allows you to give them perks without it costing you extra. You can also put money on their accounts as a bonus or thank-you which they can spend within the app. In terms of on-boarding, its simple and easy and allows you to add induction videos, information and procedures into the system so that before they start work they receive a digital contract, induction info and are prompted to agree and view all the businesses policies. They fill out their bank, super and visa information which is synced with Xero, and you can do Visa checks directly through the app. It takes the boring bits of HR and automates them, and is compliant with all FairWork and HR best practice guidelines. Employment Hero must be setup and implemented by an Employment Hero partner of which my consulting company has been for many years, so do email me at if you want to learn more. Costs are from $6 per user per month.
  • MailChimp – mailchimp is more than just a newsletter or email system, you can integrate it with over 300 apps! You can configure landing pages for your website, integrate it with Facebook, Instagram and Google Ad’s, and configure it to provide order notifications to customers, segment your customers and conduct A/B testing in your marketing campaigns. You can setup automated abandoned cart emails or target customers who have specific interests, ensuring you never miss a potential lead. Check out MailChimp here.

To Do List Item 2


Did you know the best time to look for new staff is in the new year? People spend all of the Christmas break thinking about how much they hate their current job, and how they need to start fresh. Our jobs pages have high traffic in the new year so if you have jobs available now is the time to place your job ads. Also, think about how you treat your current staff – they may be thinking of leaving you come January! Members – you can place job ads at no additional cost as part of your membership and can place an ad by logging into the Members Portal and going to the Post a Job tab. Non-members click here to place an add or here to view our current jobs.

To Do List Item 3

Marketing and Branding

Does your logo, marketing and branding need a refresh?

Most businesses have little traffic until after Australia Day, so it’s the perfect time to fix up your website and do a brand refresh. Our members who can help you with this are listed below, and note we start our Coffee & Connect event series this year with Marketing. At our first meeting on 1st February we’ll hear from Kelly – the Director of The Marketing Bungalow, then on 1st March we’ll hear from Emily – Creative Lead (Branding) at Emroy, and in April we’ll be talking about Websites (speaker to be announced). Check these events out and get tickets by clicking here.

  • Marketing – strategy, implementation, advice, branding – The Marketing Bungalow
  • Branding, Logos & Printing – Emroy
  • Websites – Wordpress specialists – Queenie
  • Websites – ecommerce / online shops (Shopify & Ebay) – Owl & Monk

To do List Item 4

Strategy & Planning

For those of you who have a Strategic Plan, Marketing Plan and Business Plan – revisit them, update them and compare your P & L and reports for 2018 with 2017. Create a 12-month budget based on your growth between 2017 and 2018. You’ll find a budget template in our Members Portal under Members Resources > Finance, and a Strategic Planning template in Members Resources > Strategy & Planning for those that don’t have one.

Plan your goals for 2019 – what do you need to achieve, by when and how?

Add your goals to your calendar to keep yourself accountable.

If you need help and advice with Strategic Planning and you’re a ShireWomen Business Member, you can access Business Coaching, Advice and Strategy for $110 + GST per hour. Non-members can access this for $220 + GST per hour. If you need help, get in touch here.