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  • #979669
    nominal
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    I’ve been reading a really interesting article called “Why Customers Will Pay You to Restrain Them”. It talks about how sometimes some people need some help to help themselves. and how great if would be if businesses would take initiative and help their customers doing the stuff they need (but hate) to do.

    http://www.fastcompany.com/1209261/why-customers-will-pay-you-restrain-them

    This was written by the same guys that wrote “made to stick” so well worth reading.

    So although I develop accounting software, I still hate doing my books, and postpone it to the last minute. In fact most of the better features in Nominal (PayPal integration, Bank reconciliation, online banking) were developed to assist my lazy self in the same process.

    So here is an idea, what if I could “make” my customers use Nominal at least once a week to reconcile their bank accounts, that would have them “on top” of their business status at all times and make things like BAS a breeze !

    I could probably build in a feature that will allow them to “tick” the bank reconciliation for the week. the question is how can I convince them to do it? what can I give them to make them play along?

    I was thinking of free services (like our $99/year), as long as you reconcile your bank account you get it for free? but I tend to think that appealing to an “higher” motive might work better?

    Think about it, how can you help your customers do the stuff the “need” and not focus on the stuff they want?

    #1116187
    Anonymous
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    Hi Uri,

    I loved Made to stick, so will look forward to checking out that article.

    In the meantime, have you read Nudge, by Thaler and Sunstein? It might contain some thought provoking ideas for you.

    I’ll be interested to learn what you come up with!
    Jayne

    #1116188
    JacquiPryor
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    Think about it, how can you help your customers do the stuff the “need” and not focus on the stuff they want?

    – How does it save them money? Will it make end of month/quarter BAS preparation easier for their bookkeeper (if employing one) and therefore save X amount in hourly fees paid for BAS prep services?

    – I’m not familar with tax law by any stretch – but, something that ‘scares’ them into using it, whilst saving them money? (i.e. If you were to ever be audited you know you’d be 100% on top of it at all times by reconciling weekly etc)?

    I think, for me anyway, saving money & being ‘frightened’ of a consequence would motivate me more into using the feature than getting a service for free that I was perhaps not considering in the first place…

    Good luck with it :)

    #1116189
    TheGoldenGoose
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    I love your innovative spirit!

    I went to a CBA conference recently where one of the sessions was all about innovation. How can we change just one part of our business to be more innovative? Perhaps that is by inventing a new form, or streamlining the process… or perhaps pondering what would happen if we took the process away all together.

    This challenge is rather appropriate for me atm: “Norm Brodsky, an entrepreneur and a writer for Inc. magazine, runs a document-storage-and-retrieval business. He committed to taking four weeks of vacation a year, forcing himself to create systems that would allow his operation to run smoothly without him. He was successful, and since then, he has announced an even tougher commitment device: Now he’ll take four months of vacation per year.”

    Exciting times, exciting thoughts.

    Thanks for sharing!

    Love it :)

    #1116190
    Greg_M
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    nominal, post: 130346 wrote:
    I’ve been reading a really interesting article called “Why Customers Will Pay You to Restrain Them”. It talks about how sometimes some people need some help to help themselves. and how great if would be if businesses would take initiative and help their customers doing the stuff they need (but hate) to do.

    Think about it, how can you help your customers do the stuff the “need” and not focus on the stuff they want?

    Doing the books, is a great example, I’ve always hated it with a passion and have always fought with it, the advent of software to do the work hasn’t helped (yours might be different and I’ll try it when it goes to the web, or you port it to Mac) in fact most I’ve used made it worse.

    The trick I think is to make crap but critical processes simple to achieve or fun or both, as an eg. I hated invoicing and tracking accounts (pretty dumb if you work for your self) but I found an app that makes it so easy and verging on fun, that my accounts go out like clockwork and my billing has increased because I don’t delay on the timesheet, even my clients like it because its easy and intuitive on their end.

    It also gives me the stuff I need for simple quick reports, like who owes what, what I’ve earned, the rest is still a mess but it keeps my accountant in work.

    Doesn’t matter if it’s accounting or something else, it’s about creating processes that remove pain or resistance points, I think iPads and tablets are a perfect example of this, computers equal pain and stiff learning curves to many people, hand them an iPad and their hooked, same process just a different way of delivering it.

    #1116191
    nominal
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    FS Concierge, post: 130388 wrote:
    In the meantime, have you read Nudge, by Thaler and Sunstein? It might contain some thought provoking ideas for you.

    Added it to the list, I hope I can find it as audio book, driving is the only time I get to “read”.

    Today I noticed that whenever I have to do something “difficult” on the road like merge into a busy road or look for something I completely “turn off” my mind and cannot notice a word that is said, until I am back to cruising.

    Sounds obvious but it is very funny how our mind works (another book I actually read is called “change your brain change your life”). Women say they can multi-task better then men, I wonder if they are better at this specific task :-)

    #1116192
    nominal
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    TheGoldenGoose, post: 130413 wrote:
    I love your innovative spirit!

    I went to a CBA conference recently where one of the sessions was all about innovation.

    Thanks, what kind of conferences CBA run, is it a business thing or an employee thing? I love CBA (ANZ too) they keep at the edge, their next big thing is a new payment framework with iphone like app store. You will definitely see Nominal there

    Good luck on the 4months vacation. that’s my dream… 6 months at home and 6 months overseas.

    #1116193
    nominal
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    estim8, post: 130420 wrote:
    The trick I think is to make crap but critical processes simple to achieve or fun or both

    A point to consider, how to cut the processes. I try to do that all the time. For example I dropped almost all of the inventory functionality, it makes the lives of the rest of my customers so much better. I also made the payroll a very basic one. It doesn’t fit all but the ones that it does work for – makes it easier.

    When you compare this with MYOB payroll categories or even Xero new payroll acquisition, it makes life much easier – for the right kind of businesses (my customers)

    As for the web version, we’re at an early stage with it, we have an iphone (released) and an Android versions (testing).

    The way I see it soon all devices will kind of merge into a linear stream of screen sizes and hardware power, so the software should be the same for all. (using the best of each platform) – but what do I know.

    #1116194
    Greg_M
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    nominal, post: 130432 wrote:
    The way I see it soon all devices will kind of merge into a linear stream of screen sizes and hardware power, so the software should be the same for all. (using the best of each platform) – but what do I know.

    I think that’s a pretty good call, it’s where I’d put my money.

    #1116195
    James Millar
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    I think there are two real motivations for the SME accounting reporting cycle.

    1. They have to do it – i.e driven by a compliance deadline for BAS etc. If this is the sole motivation then it will invariably fall back to being done at the last minute. Not unlike the cramming for study – its put off as low priority.

    2. They want to do it – i.e driven by some form of value in the reporting and information it produces (which outweighs the cost of producing it). What is that value? One issue is that the vast majority of SME’s don’t actively manage their business or its finances. That complacency generally causes under achievement or worse, outright business failure. If you want to change this then you need to (a) find those operators that are more proactive in managing their business’s or (b) educate those that don’t as to the benefits of more regular reporting and financial management.

    Ask any SME / micro business owner and most know that they could and should do a better job of this. Its not unlike general health and fitness – you know you should keep fit and active to live a healthier life but most still neglect to get of the couch and so something about it.

    One thing is for sure. Those that work hard eventually get the rewards.

    Helping build better businesses and better lives with expert financial and taxation advice. [email protected] www.360partners.com.au 03 9005 4900
    #1116196
    TheGoldenGoose
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    nominal, post: 130430 wrote:
    Thanks, what kind of conferences CBA run, is it a business thing or an employee thing? I love CBA (ANZ too) they keep at the edge, their next big thing is a new payment framework with iphone like app store. You will definitely see Nominal there

    Good luck on the 4months vacation. that’s my dream… 6 months at home and 6 months overseas.

    It was a mix – New Frontier Women In Focus. It was amazing! They do seem to really be pushing boundaries.

    I have achieved 5 weeks in one year, not at once though! We’ll have to work our way towards 4 months… (or crawl)

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