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By Greg Logue

We all know the importance of cash in any business! It’s the lifeblood of what you do and without it, the doors close. Simple concept.

As business owners, you need to be thinking differently. In addition to the daily grind, you need to understand what’s happening behind the scenes. How is the business performing? Am I compliant with government and industry requirements? What do I need to do to push my business in the right direction? Why am I so exhausted and there’s no money in the bank?

A fundamental aspect of running any business is knowing the numbers. And I don’t mean knowing just what’s in the bank account! It goes beyond that. It’s understanding concepts like income, expenses, profit, assets, liabilities, equity, tax….the list goes on! To help you with this, it’s important that one of the first things on your business ‘to-do list’ is get some accounting software, and one of the best business accounting packages on the market is Xero.

We live in an age where technology is constantly changing. What we use today is out of date tomorrow. Gone are the days where a cashbook and receipts were used to track the finances of a business. We need real-time data to make real-time decisions. Without that you may miss an exciting opportunity. Xero is an amazing cloud based bookkeeping tool which gives you everything you need to know about managing your finances and understanding how your business is truly performing. As business owners, the key to making the most of your software is understanding it’s capabilities and working with your accountant to better educate yourselves on financial reports. I look forward to presenting on this topic at the 2018 National Home Staging Symposium – see you there!

Greg Logue is a Senior Accountant at DFK Crosbie and an advisor to business owners across a range of unique industries. Focusing on business growth and peace of mind for his client’s, Greg has over 10 years’ experience in providing solutions to everyday business problems. Whether it be getting a business off the ground, taking it to the next level or working towards a long-term goal, Greg tailors his approach to suit your needs. Using reliable financial data, Greg and his team can provide strategic advice to drive your business in the right direction.

If you would like to see Greg live, secure you place at the National Home Staging Symposium for 2018!

The post Making the Most of Xero Accounting Software appeared first on International Institute Of Home Staging.

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By Bernadette O’Connor

Have you felt the calling?

The call to retreat, the call to switch off, the call to go within.

How often have you pushed through and ignored the calling, just kept going because it wasn’t the right time to shut down, to switch off, to disconnect?

You silence that inner voice that says it is time, and you continue to hustle, push, strive – because that’s what everyone else is doing and you fear what would happen if you stopped. It’s not a risk that you’re prepared to take – you’ve worked too hard to get where you have just to see it collapse because you’re tired!

Right?

You tell yourself that you will stop when you are on holidays, after you’ve take months to plan everything meticulously, working overtime for weeks, so that your time away won’t impact on the day to day running of your business.

The truth is to ignore this inner calling to pause, is so much more damaging to you and your business than briefly stepping away from it. Of course, we like to convince ourselves otherwise, and that is why there are so many burnt out women in business, who are ready to walk away from their business, feeling like they have been sold a big white elephant. That whole ‘work for yourself and reclaim your freedom’ concept feels like one big fat lie, because you now feel more trapped than you ever did before – a slave to your own business.

Many moons ago, as an up-and-comer in the corporate world, I would listen to this calling to step away. I was wiser than I realised back then, because I innately knew that once every couple of months it was imperative to my own wellbeing and to my success in business that I step away from my work. It became a guilt free practice of mine, when I felt the calling to switch off, that I would listen and gift myself a ‘mental health day’. That is what I called them back then, because I thought it was all about maintaining the integrity of my mental health. These days, with a deeper wisdom of myself and the depth and needs of my energetic being, I regard these days as imperative reset / reboot / recalibration days.

I choose to claim these days and retreat when I feel the calling, rather than being forced to stop with illness. Sure, when we are unwell we will finally stop, but the energy body is working so hard to just heal the physical body that it doesn’t utilise this time of rest to grow and expand and reinvigorate itself with a renewed passion for life and business.

To function optimally the energy body must be nourished and tended to in the way that it needs. The energetic body is very similar to a computer and if it is pushed to its limits, with too many tabs open and not enough time to reboot and restart, it will start to slow down and eventually shut down, inhibiting clarity, confidence, creativity and calm.

To be clear, confident, creative and calm are paramount to the success of your business. A depleted energetic body, also known as a starved soul, cannot thrive and as you are at the core of your business, if you do not nourish yourself and fill your soul, then you will not thrive and your business will suffer.

Do you wonder why your business becomes stagnant?

Why despite the long hours and the hard work, you cannot get the clarity you need to pull off the new strategy?

Why you lack the confidence to pitch to new clients?

Why your creativity feels stilted and lacklustre?

Why you are in a constant state of stress and anxiety?

What was once exciting, inspiring and fulfilling now feels like a constant struggle and you begin to wonder why you are bothering to work so hard, for seemingly so little return?

And then a strange thing happens, you walk away from your business, you take a holiday and you come back feeling refreshed and excited about new ideas and opportunities. You jump in with vigour and enthusiasm and you start to see results flowing in – new clients, great testimonials, more referrals. You are feeling the groove of your business, and you believe in the vision that you once had, you go into meetings clear on your objectives and confident in reaching your outcome. You are astounded that it is all flowing, that all the pieces are falling into place – this is how it is meant to be.

And then, you fall back into old habits. Burning the candle at both ends, convincing yourself that you don’t have time for the gym or that yoga class, or that walk with a friend – and before you know it your self-care goes out the window AGAIN, and as you begin to jam up because you are not tending to your needs, you notice that your business starts to jam up again. The flow stops, so you work harder to get things done, convincing yourself that if you don’t make things happen nothing will get done – you force your business to be what you need her to be.

It is now, that you will hear that calling – the calling of your inner wisdom to switch off and switch in. Before it all starts crumbling once again, it is the time to switch off and give your business some space to breath – and give yourself space to reboot and restart.

When you give yourself this space and sit in solitude you can connect to your inner wisdom. This is a practice that has been done by women since the beginning of time, the purpose of which is to ask questions and for the soul self to provide advice.

Many people run from this practice because they are convinced that they do not know how to connect to this aspect of themselves. That they cannot silence their mind, that the whole mindfulness and meditation thing just doesn’t work for them. The truth is there are many ways to connect – meditation, writing, painting, gardening, running, drumming, singing, prayer, yoga…..the list goes on, yet intentional solitude is most easily achieved simply by tuning out to distractions.

And as women we are good at this – we innately do this when we tune out from the noise of a house full of needy children, from a screaming baby in the middle of the night, from a self-indulgent friend who bores you with tedious details of her daily life. We know how to tune out and go within to seek refuge from a world that is overwhelming. The knowing how is not the challenge, it is remembering to do it, especially in a world that that feels that such time spent being in solitude is time wasted.

There is power in the solitude, and for so long in women’s tradition, the cycles of moon and menses were the natural cycles for women to go within to inquire into the state of one’s being – seeking to understand what is needed of the soul / the self to bring the whole being back into a balanced state. The assessment used to ascertain where the self is at, is simple and achieved by asking two questions:

What needs more and what needs less?

The question is being asked of the innate instinctual self, not the logic rational mind. The answer comes from a knowing, not a thinking. A knowing of what within the self / business needs adjustment, loosening or emphasizing; what is on course and what needs to be brought back into alignment. What needs love, moving, changing, disposing? Who or what are you holding that needs to be let go?

It is a constant refinement of the energy of you and your business. A beautiful balancing act to keep the magnetic attraction between your business and the vision you have for it, in alignment.

What raises the vibe of your business? What lowers the vibe of your business?

What needs less? What needs more?

Who needs to stay? Who needs to go?

Those who work in your business, and on your business, contribute to its energy. And assessing the energy that each person – you, partner, investor, employee, associate, contractor, client – brings into your business is essential to its overall vitality.

Ask questions of all aspects of your business – your book keeping; your website; your contracts; your storage facility; your business name; your office; your social media; your filing system; your inventory. The time spent in solitude seeking guidance from within about all aspects of your business and constantly refining yourself and your business so it remains in alignment with the bigger vision, is pivotal to your success.

Remember….Stay In Your Own Lane.

Ignore what is going on around you, what others are doing, what others want you to be a part of, what others are saying about you…. that is none of your business!

Your business is your business, so focus there and there alone!

Listen to your inner calling to retreat and become accustomed to looking within for how to build your unique business instead of looking outside of yourself, listening to ALL the shoulds and trying to replicate other people’s businesses. To go within is a recipe for long-term business success. To look outside is a recipe for inauthenticity, inadequacy, stress and burnout.

Are you ready to honour your inner calling and build the success of your unique business?

If you would like to see Bernadette live, secure you place at the National Home Staging Symposium for 2018!

The post The Power of the Pause in Creating Your Successful Unique Business appeared first on International Institute Of Home Staging.

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Networking is absolutely essential in running a successful business. While technology has made networking easier, this does not mean that you don’t have to work for success in business. Networking is a great way to get your name and business name out into the world, find new clients and expand your affiliates. Regardless of the type of business you run, networking is achieved in similar ways.

Putting yourself out there and going to events is a great way to network. Not only does this lead to new clients but it also has the potential to lead to affiliates and possibly even partner brands. Being around like minded people is great as it allows you to meet other inspirational people, expand your knowledge and your ideas.

Carrying around business cards is still a great way to network, especially at events. Dropping business cards off at cafes and restaurants is another great way to network as it means you have the potential to reach a wide range of demographics! Putting your key social media site usernames, phone number and email on business cards are absolutely essential nowadays. People want to be able to research your business without having any direct contact with the business first, hence the importance of social media sites.

Networking through social media is another great way to network without spending excess time out of your day chatting to people. This can be achieved through paid advertisements, using scheduling programs so you always have content going live across all platforms and live chats. These techniques will allow you to seemingly directly connect with your audience without leaving the comfort of your home! Social media networking allows you to reach completely different audiences depending on what site you are using. This will result in you reaching a much larger audience than what you could when dropping business cards off at a coffee shop or going to an event. Having the flexibility with different audiences on social media also allows you to trial different ideas and techniques on different sites to figure out what works best!

The post The Perks of Networking and how to do it appeared first on International Institute Of Home Staging.

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I wanted to share something with you today that I was reading on my phone earlier, so you’ll see me looking at it a little bit. It’s about clutter and money.

Clutter and Your Mindset - YouTube

https://s3.amazonaws.com/iihs-blog-audio/iihs-clutter_and_your_mindset.mp3

There’s an amazing, good friend of mine, as well as an amazing business woman, called Denise Duffield-Thomas from LuckyBitch.com. Go over and check her out. You’ll find the stuff that she does absolutely amazing.

I was reading the morning about this really great piece she wrote about decluttering. I see a lot of home stagers doing some of the things that she talks about in her blog.

You’ll see in here that she talks about clutter and decluttering is great for money manifesting. She goes on to talk about all the different things that maybe we are doing with our clutter.

For example, in our office spaces, are we holding onto a desk someone gave us when we first started our businesses because we feel that we need to have more money or be a bigger business before we then give ourselves another desk?

A little like – and this is a phrase that Denise talks about, as interesting as it sounds – beggars can’t be choosers. “Someone gave me this when I first started business, so I’m going to keep using it.”

I really want you to head over and read this blog because this is absolutely amazing. It speaks about if we’re holding on to some of the things that we were gifted and we feel we have to be grateful for in our businesses, we aren’t opening up opportunities for new energy, new money and new abundance to come in.

I see this a fair bit in home staging. I see it with people’s stock. When I first started and I was getting stock in and I was like, “Wow! My business is growing!”

Then, as I got more and more stock and I wanted to turn it over, there was this ridiculous attachment to the stock that I had first because, “Oh, gosh. I need that. I need to be grateful. That’s where I can from.”

It wasn’t until I had the most epic garage sale that suddenly my business started to flourish. I got rid of all that old stock that was tying me down and that I wasn’t even really using. I was getting a warehouse full of clutter.

This is something that’s really important in home staging.

Look at your stock, look at your inventory and avoid it becoming clutter. It is the main commodity for many home stagers who have higher for making money.

  • Why do we allow a money making item to become a cluttered item?
  • Why don’t we cut it loose and allow more space in our warehouse, more space in our energy, more space in our business for abundant stock, customers, clients and agents coming in.

This is one way that I find a lot of the home stagers that I mentor and that are on our memberships are a bit attached to clutter. But I want to share with you from my phone here. I love reading Denise’s stuff.

She had some other great top tips and I wanted to read you some of my favorites about decluttering in the business because it’s so important; just as it’s important in life, it’s essential in business.

  1. The first one is a really great one about unsubscribing to emails that you don’t want anymore. Deleting old contacts out of your phone.
  2. Backing up and cleaning off your computer. If your desktop looks like a mad woman’s breakfast, clean that up. You’ll be amazed at how good it feels.
  3. Shred old documents. Old documents that you don’t’ need, get rid of them. There is no need to have that clutter and store them.
  4. This is a really interesting one: clean up your Facebook feed. It doesn’t mean you have to defriend people or unlike people, but if there’s someone that’s on your feed and you just don’t want to see their stuff anymore, make sure you remove that from your feed.
  5. The other one that I love, which is really interesting is deleting websites and getting rid of the histories in your browsers. That can be really interesting.
  6. Then, one of the last ones that I want to read to you – and this is a great one – is say no to networking groups that have become an obligation and not a joy.

I believe massively, guys, in the five people that we surround ourselves in are the people that we’re going to become and the people that we’re going to be the biggest reflection upon us.

That could also be said for networking groups. Many of us got involved in networking groups, which can become clutter in our calendar and clutter in our life.

Take Denise’s massive inspiration. Head over to LuckyBitch.com. I want you to get on and read this because it’s a really amazing blog.

I want you then to have a look in your warehouses for cluttered stock; I want you to look in your offices for all those things that you feel you should be entitled and that you’re really gifted to have and you need to keep and I want you to look in your computers and in your phones.

Rid yourself of that clutter and that will open up the energy for abundance and more business, more wealth and more opportunity to come your way.

Thanks so much for listening, guys. I’ll be back again soon.

The post Clutter and Your Mindset appeared first on International Institute Of Home Staging.

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When you reach a certain point in your home staging business, acquiring stock and inventory is an essential step up. At first purchasing this stock might seem like a bit of a leap, and depending on what stock you purchase it might be. However, if you are smart about what stock you purchase and how much of it you purchase it could make all the difference to your home staging business.

When it comes to stock there is typically two types of stock, soft furnishings and hard furnishings. Soft furnishings include items such as pillows, linen, lamps and small accessories. The way I like to think about soft furnishings is that, if I needed to, I could pack them in a box and put them in my car. On the other hand, there are hard furnishings. Hard furnishings are big items such as lounges, arm chairs, dining tables, coffee tables, and so on. These are the items that can’t be packed into a box and loaded into your car.

Depending on what level of your business you are in you could be thinking about acquiring one of these two types of stock. Logically, soft furnishings should be acquired first, and then later down the track hard furnishings can be acquired. However, as everyone is at different stages in their business, it is important to be able to look down the track and consider what sort of stock you should be acquiring.

SOFT FURNISHINGS

When it comes to soft furnishings, these items can be purchased relatively cheaply and in bulk.

  1. Pillows: sure, pillows can be expensive, but purchasing pillows that work well in a wide range of environment is a great way to get the most out of your money, and add texture in a range of environments. Purchasing pillows in a few colours and designs is a great idea as they can be used on their own or grouped together.
  2. Faux flowers and plants: Faux flowers and plants are great as, when the right ones are purchased, they can look amazing, can be used in a range of spaces and styles, and can last a long time.
  3. Books: there doesn’t have to be a theme to this, and they can be purchased from a op shop, but books are a great way to add texture and a lived in feeling to any space. These are the most cost-effective soft furnishings and can be used in any environment, from a study, a bedroom to a lounge room or even an outdoor setting.
  4. Knick-knack accessories: by this I mean small accessories that can be used in a variety of environments, anything from vessels, small bowls, candle holders, or any other small accessories.
  5. Linen packs: this isn’t absolutely necessary, but having at least coverlets and toppers is necessary as it can transform a room from something dull to something amazing.
Image via immyandindi.com.au

HARD FURNISHINGS

As for hard furnishings, these items are more expensive, and it is beneficial to go for quality over quantity.

  1. Mattresses: often times clients do not have enough beds for how a property can be staged to show off the best of the space, or they have moved and have taken their mattresses with them.
  2. Dining chairs: not all dining chairs go with tables, or look good with them, so having some neutral dining chairs that work with a range of colours is a great idea so you can use the clients dining table and your businesses chairs.
  3. Bedside tables: bedside tables have the potential to open up the bedroom and transform the space into something amazing. Having bedside tables that are unique, yet work well in a variety of environments is essential.
  4. Lounges: when used everyday, lounges can easily begin to look old, worn and unpleasant. Having lounges in stock that are a neutral colour is a great idea as they can be used in a range of spaces in a range of different styled homes.
  5. Coffee tables: Coffee tables are great ways to show off the space in a lounge room and add an element of homeliness into the space. Not everyone has a coffee table, and if they do it might be old and worn, having new, amazing coffee tables as part of your stock can transform and fill a space amazingly.
Image via southernliving.com

The post Must-Have Home Staging Stock appeared first on International Institute Of Home Staging.

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