Enjoy the self-employed lifestyle

Whether you like to work hard, play hard, or just want to fit your business round your everyday life (or the other way round), being your own boss is not always what it's cracked up to be. We can help you ensure you get the best of both worlds
Being self-employed is great. You set your own salary and have the freedom to do whatever you want, whenever you want. Yeah, right! Running your own business can also be very stressful, it can be hard to find enough time in the day, juggling family and work responsibilities can drive you round the bend. This section of the site will help you regain your sense of control and find ways to enjoy what your business should be about - your lifestyle!

Make the most of being your own boss

Whether you're a baby-boomer looking to exit your business in the next decade, or simply planning prudently for your retirement, Alan Clarke suggests you have options if the figures aren't adding up to quite the lifestyle you thought you'd have.

They tell us you can live on government super (just) but let’s look at other options first.

How to get 5 years out of 2

If you are getting close to retirement age, but it appears you don’t quite have enough money, consider working for two more years past age 65.

While you are working you can live off your wages or salary, and  save your government super. You might even save more money if your wages or salary exceeds your expenditure.

After two years you might have... more

Isn't it friggin annoying when you get charged full fees even for a partially completed job? Here's why...

Imagine if you are booked for surgery to remove your appendix(a totally useless organ – if you must know). The operating room, clean white sheets, warm glow of bright lights, loads of weird metal devices, an anaesthetist, a nurse and an expensive surgeon.
All looking down at you with their false smiles, ready to cut you open. And then suddenly. You have this urge. An urge to stop it right there. Abort. Abort. Terminate this mission. You’ve suddenly developed a liking to your... more

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Is your break going to be a REAL holiday? Robbert Gerrish steps you through the structures you need to put in place to make sure you can get away from it all without having a guilty conscience spoil the fun!

For many solopreneurs, the lead-up to a holiday can be a period of heightened pressure and stress.

A backlog of work brings longer days; forgotten actions disturb sleep and before long plans are afoot to smuggle the laptop and mobile phone into the luggage. Worse still is the attempt to move the holiday by a day or two or in extreme cases, shelve it altogether.

Enough! These conditions and behaviours have a detrimental effect on our wellbeing (at the very least, days lost... more

Retire in style
No matter what your age or stage of life, every business owner needs to be preparing for a happy, healthy and well funded retirement. Duncan Balmer has some tips on where you can start

Business owners can sometimes get so caught up in the day-to-day management of their businesses that they find no time to step back and make broad, long-term plans for their retirement years. This article discusses the basic issues that must be addressed when planning for financial security in retirement.

First of all, there is the question of how long you are likely to live. Everyone knows that males and females are living well into their 70s and 80s on average, and many people are... more

Here's some sound advice from Rober Gerrish that will not only see you enjoy your home business more, but make it more likely you (and it) will last the distance

1. To succeed, you have to work long hours
There's no doubt that starting and growing a business takes commitment and involves time and effort. Working long hours, however, is often not the answer.

If you're working without taking a break, you'll not be working effectively and you'll soon become exhausted.

To be productive; to think clearly about where your business is headed and to serve your clients well, you need to keep your own well-being at the top of your list of... more

The finalists in The David Awards 2013: heroes in small business have been named.


The David Awards, now in their sixth year, recognise the unsung heroes in home and small businesses throughout New Zealand – the Kiwi Davids taking on the Goliaths of the New Zealand business landscape.

Organizer of the Awards, Heather Douglas, says, “There are many business awards which recognise businesses which have a significant number of staff, which are exporting, which show enormous year-on-year growth or which work within specific industries. The intention of The... more

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In a tighter economy we are all generally looking for a way to lower costs - and those insurance premiums seem to be costing a bit. Stuart Wills explains what you need to consider when deciding if you are getting value for money.

I have been working in the insurance industry for just over 15-years but more importantly have had my own insurance policies since leaving school. I therefore both earn money from insurance companies and pay money to them personally.

Over the years I have dealt with many claims on behalf of clients and also had claims myself and within my family. I have also seen programmes like Fair Go that have some seemingly shocking stories where it looks like insurance companies are wiggling out... more

After the intellectual investment in your profession or vocation the capital investment in your home is likely to be your next largest investment. The fact that your home is your office as well means that its maintenance is doubly important.

Currently the media is featuring, very colourful articles on the rotting timber framing of houses and that house are in danger of collapsing. Now, we all know how accurate the media can be. Not only are these stories greatly exaggerating the problem that exist, in some cases they are completely wrong in their conclusions.

I would like firstly to give the history of the problem and what to look for when inspecting your home/office and then follow up with articles... more

Sweat breaks out on your forehead. You know that insurance people are trained to sniff better than bloodhounds. “Oh, I’m sorry, I really can’t remember, I’ll have to get back to you” you whine quietly.

So when was your roof completed, sir?” the nice insurance lady asks. Gulp. “Um, um, just two or three years ago, I think” you mumble. “Perfect, that should still be under warranty, so what was the name of the roofing company?

Sweat breaks out on your forehead. You know that insurance people are trained to sniff better than bloodhounds. “Oh, I’m sorry, I really can’t remember, I’ll have to get back to you” you whine quietly.

The above could be a conversation someone who has... more

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If you want to take time off over the holiday season, you need to start planning for it now. We've got some tips that will help you have a great break - and a business to come back to in the New Year

For some businesses, the festive and summer season is their really busy period, while for others it is the time of the year when work slacks off and they can take a well-deserved holiday.

If you choose to take a break, it's critical that you manage this professionally and effectively so that you don't compromise your business. What's appropriate for some businesses is not appropriate for others, so you will need to decide what's right for you. These pointers might help.

... more