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Life at Xero - Working for New Zealand's Hottest Tech Company

by Monica Shepherd on Aug 21, 2014 in Technology (The Cloud, etc.)

I’m now two months into my new role with WorkflowMax at Xero, and with the rate that the company is hiring, that practically makes me an old-timer.

Xero is the golden child of Kiwi startups, headed up by every budding business person’s entrepreneur-crush, Rod Drury. Since starting here I’ve received lots of interest from friends and associates around what it’s like to work at New Zealand’s hottest tech company. They’ve suggested it must be akin to working at Microsoft in the early 90s and asked whether I use a Segway to get around a hip, Facebook-esque office.

Not quite, but close...


Architects: Do You Have A Succession Plan?

by Steff Green on Aug 20, 2014 in Architects

If you’ve built your firm up from nothing, how do you ensure it lives on in the future? Succession planning is one of the most neglected areas of business strategy, yet it’s also one of the most vital. After all, we’re all mortal (sssh! Don’t tell my boss), and at some point we’re probably going to want to retire or move on to other challenges. But if you’re the director your name, and your legacy, remains attached to that firm, so it’s important you think about where you want the company to go after you leave.

While other industries have a solid track record of succession planning, architects are often out-of-the-loop. Because the business is inherently creative, architects are often so busy chasing the next client, they don’t have time to think about a succession strategy.

Well, that should change. Here are some thoughts on how architects can plan for the future of their firm.


Ten Tools & Tips for Working Remotely from the Ski Slopes

by Steff Green on Aug 19, 2014 in Architects, Agencies & Creatives, Technology (The Cloud, etc.), Job/Project Management, Engineers, Building & Construction

In my last "working remotely" article, we talked about some cool devices, tools and tricks to help you work remotely from the beach. Well, in this article we’re looking at the other weather extreme. When it gets cold and wet, many of us crave a bit of time on the slopes.

It’s Ski season here in New Zealand right now, and I’m definitely feeling the urge to “strap planks of wood to my feet and hurl myself off a mountain” (my husband’s words). My husband, being more sensible, is keen to sit by a fire in the chalet and read some good books.

But how will you get your fix of skiing and fire-sitting with all the work that has to get done? Well, one option is to set yourself up to work remotely from the slopes. That way, you can fit your skiing in around your meetings and enjoy the season without the office falling apart.

Here are our top ten tips and tools for working remotely from the ski slopes.


11 Ways an iPad Can Mobilise Your Engineering Business and Make You a Time Ninja

by Monica Shepherd on Aug 18, 2014 in Technology (The Cloud, etc.), Job/Project Management, Engineers

With the growth in cloud software solutions and access to web-based services, iPads and tablets are becoming an essential tool to mobilise your workforce and run a business that isn’t restricted by the limits of geography.

The ease-of-use, convenience and portability of iPads make them an ideal addition to any engineers toolbox. New apps are continuously being added to the market that are specifically designed for the demands of engineering, as well as apps that streamline your daily administration tasks.

As someone who works on job sites, in the office and everywhere in between, an iPad can help you do your job with ninja speed, from anywhere. Here are 11 ways that you can use your iPad to become a time ninja in your engineering business:


FREE London Event: How to Reduce Admin & Free Up Time for Your Creative Agency - Sept 16

by Steff Green on Aug 16, 2014 in Agencies & Creatives, Events

Calling all Creatives: Do you want to reduce admin and free up more time for the creative side of projects?

  • Do you want to streamline your processes?
  • Do you want complete visibility on every stage of a job?
  • Do you want to manage and coordinate creative projects with ease?
  • Do you want more time for pursuing creative work?

Why not come along to Maxama / Xero / WorkflowMax's FREE event - Learn How to Reduce Admin & Free Up Time for Your Creative Agency - on Sept 16, 2014 in London, UK.


The Benefits of Online Software for a Creative Agency

by Maree Maxfield on Aug 15, 2014 in Agencies & Creatives, Events

Having lived in the UK for four years, I admit I started assuming that everyone lived in London …

However, after working with a range of creative agencies who employ subcontractors and staff spread geographically across the country (even the world), I’ve been forced to amend my views.

Think about the benefits of running your business like this;

  • Everything is online on a package like Xero and WorkflowMax. You can have access anywhere, anytime, with anyone:
  • Run your business from home, cut the overheads and office politics.
  • Employ the best staff for your team, no matter where they reside.
  • Have multiple "satelite" offices, expanding your agency's reach.

So you've got your "dream team" in place, but now how do you manage them? Here are a few tips of how to make Xero and WorkflowMax work where you have a geographically spread business.


Agency Owners: How to Find and Reward Profitable Clients

by Chirag Ahuja on Aug 15, 2014 in Agencies & Creatives

As agency owners, your client portfolio probably includes both ideal  and nightmare clients:

  • Ideal clients are a pleasure to work with, pay bills on time and allow your account teams to work efficiently, giving you greater opportunity for profits.
  • Nightmare clients on the other hand send a million emails a day, require a billion revisions and take a trillion days to pay.

Obviously, as you look to build and grow agency, you want more ideal clients than not. Well, your first step to profitability and sustainability must start with identifying who those ideal clients are, and then making sure they stick around for the long haul.


How To Attract and Retain Great Engineering Talent

by Monica Shepherd on Aug 14, 2014 in Engineers

The market for quality engineering candidates has tightened. With a shortage of good talent and an increase in the demands of construction and manufacturing - in particular within civil and geotechnical engineering - it can be hard to find and keep experienced and skilled workers.

Here in New Zealand, engineers are considered the most in-demand employee, according to a November 2013 skills shortage survey conducted by ManPower. And globally, engineers are ranked the second most difficult role to fill:


Construction Firms: Harness The Power of Social Proof

by Steff Green on Aug 13, 2014 in Building & Construction

Do you know why clients chose your company for their construction project?

I didn’t think so.

Most construction companies don’t pay that much attention to where their clients come from or why they chose one firm over another; it’s just assumed a client gets several quotes and chooses the most competitive. And to a certain extent, this is true. But this discounts one of the most powerful forms of marketing your firm has available; social proof.

In this article, we talk about what social proof is and how your construction company can use it to gain new clients.


6 of the Top Agency Management Technology Resources

by Chirag Ahuja on Aug 12, 2014 in Agencies & Creatives

The tools and technologies available to help agencies manage and grow their businesses are expanding rapidly. Three of the last four years, Scott Brinker (@chiefmartec) has published a marketing technology landscape supergraphic. In 2011, this supergraphic included about 100 companies; version 3, published in 2014, includes approximately 950. 


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