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One of the hardest things about being a small or home business owner is that often there is no-one else to ask for input or advice.

Our Bizbuzz experts are standing by as a sounding board or to guide you through business challenges you are facing. Between them, they have lots of experience, significant expertise and hands-on skills across all the main areas of business.

For legal reasons, they are unfortunately unable to provide you with specific recommendations for your particular situation (you might need to consult your own professional advisor), but they can certainly give you some direction and may have ideas and suggestions which you can apply to your own situation.

The more detail you can provide, the easier it will be for them to make their comments relevant to your question - but please remember, you are sharing information in a public forum, so you might prefer to state your issue in more general terms and keep your valuable intellectual property under wraps.

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What our experts say ...

Below are some of the questions our experts have already answered. Use the search box to find questions which might be relevant to your situation, or ask a question here. Our experts try to answer questions the same day they are asked.

Question: I am wanting to set up accounts support for small businesses what is the best way to market myself

Either working from my office or theirs, keeping rates reasonalbe but getting their books ready for the accountant to sign off.
Asked in: Marketing

Our expert replies:

Hi there. Usually the best way to market a service business such as yours would not just be one way. Word of mouth is usually cost-effective and referrals can bring in the best quality business leads - so get out there and network! That alone is usually not enough for a startup, so add to it... more
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Question: What accounts do you use when a limited liability company has to pay tax to the IRD?

Obviously the cheque account is used but what is the other account that is used when the company must pay taxes on the end of year profit?
Asked in: Tax

Our expert replies:

I'm assuming you're meaning accounts in a general ledger sense - not as in bank accounts with IRD etc. I'm also assuming "tax" means income tax - there are all sorts of taxes collected by the IRD - so I just have to clarify that. Unfortunately there's no golden rule. Really it probably depends on... more
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This question was answered by Phil Astley

Question: How do you get in front of people re insurance??

The most difficult part of my work is getting in front of enough people that are target market. Any ideas on how to do this successfuly??
Asked in: Marketing

Our expert replies:

One way people offering services such as yourself reach a number of prospects at the same time is to offer seminars or workshops on a relevant topic. This needs to be high value for attendees, giving them an insight into what can be achieved through, in your case, a good assessment of their... more
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Question: What is your opinion regarding whether it is OK to show a street address as a business mailing... more

As I work from home, I have my private street address on my website. Someone commented that this compromises my security as well as gives an unprofessional impression. However I am reluctant to get... more
Asked in: Administration

Our expert replies:

We actually agree with your friend that the best solution is not to advertise your home address. Apart from security, which can definitely be a concern, have you thought about the possibility of customers turning up on your doorstep uninvited, and possibly outside business hours? While we believe... more
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Question: How do I get my first clients?

I am a newbie to this site, but would appreciate any advice that people could offer on how I can start to build my home-based bookkeeping business. I have been in the accounting clerical and... more
Asked in: Startup

Our expert replies:

That's a bit of a broad question - but a good one as it can be quite intimidating starting up from scratch, and once you have clients on board they can refer more business, etc. The best strategy is to "fish where the fish are". In other words, your most effective use of time and money is to... more
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Question: How can I link my blog to the blogs on Homebizbuzz?

Asked in: Internet

Our expert replies:

That's a great question - one which strictly speaking isn't an expert question but we'll answer it here as it's likely to be of interest to a lot of other users. There's good news, and bad. The bad news is you can't do it - yet. The good news is that it is actively on our development list and... more
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This question was answered by Bizbuzz Team

Question: Marketing - Where do we start?

Hi there, we have had our website for a while, but can't seem to get any traffic there, we would also like to market ourselves to the wider NZ, perhaps by using flyers or the newspaper, but costwise... more
Asked in: Marketing

Our expert replies:

It can take time to get good traffic to any web site, especially if the domain is new, as Google won't index brand new sites for a while - but that doesn't mean you shouldn't make a start. When you do get into Google's index, you'll have a head start - and besides, much traffic can come from... more
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Question: What is the best way to handle the GST transition?

Are there diffent ways for different business types?
Asked in: Tax

Our expert replies:

This question has so many aspects to it - and many variations on specific issues - so the first thing I'd say is to look at IRD's website. They know people won't get everything 100% right - so talk to advisors and IRD about this - and record the fact. In my opinion IRD is more likely to let minor... more
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This question was answered by Phil Astley

Question: I am a sole trader and need to purchase a new (used) vehicle. What is the most tax efficient way... more

Am I able to borrow on my mortgage and then make monthly repayments from my business? Would these payments then go through my cash book as monthly expenses? Or can I only borrow money from a third... more
Asked in: Finance

Our expert replies:

There's no restriction on who you can borrow from. But there are some catches you need to be aware of. First, loan payments aren't deductible - only the interest is. The cost of the vehicle covered by the loan is of course depreciable. Of course this is one of the areas under review - probably to... more
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This question was answered by Phil Astley

Question: I have created several products, packaging,information etc but I am no good at marketing

I would really like to find a business partner who is a good marketer. How do I do this? Would they need to be in close vicinity to me? I am an 'older woman' but with plenty of product experience.
Asked in: Marketing

Our expert replies:

You are not alone! Many business owners find they are good with product or service development but not the marketing side of things. It can be a good idea to split off this function and bring in someone else to handle it - but bringing in a business partner can also be risky. Like marriage, a... more
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