Preserve Your Cash In a Downturn By Raelene Rees

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Health is wealth- How to protect the most valuable asset in your business? By Rachel Marks from All Active

The biggest income generator in your business isn’t your intellectual property or programmes, it’s not your website – it’s YOU! So, it stands to reason that we as small business owners need to do whatever we can to protect our income by keeping our bodies in great working order! Below is an article contributed by Rachel Marks where she discusses specific tips we can use to take care of ourselves and safeguard our physical ability to generate income.  Read the article and consider sharing with your group YOUR strategies for staying healthy OR one thing you know you can improve.


When you think about your business, what do you consider to be the most important asset? Many will think first about their staff, their premises, their car or perhaps any equipment they require daily to operate their business effectively.

But, the most important and irreplaceable asset is you. Have you considered how your business could continue to operate if you were too sick to work? Are you neglecting your health because you don’t consider it a priority or are just too busy? Often, it’s not till we lose that thing we take for granted that the penny drops.

Health coach and Personal Trainer Rachel Marks strives to be the best role model for her clients and other business owners. She is passionate about supporting other women to maintain great health whilst operating a thriving business.

  1. Your Motivator: Firstly, you need to know your why and your perfect outcome. If you were fitter, stronger, and more energetic what else would you be doing that you don’t have the energy for now in your business?
  2. Move: Exercise doesn’t have to be just a solid 30-60 minutes per day. Bouts of movement frequently throughout the day are just as effective. Perform a few squats while you are waiting by the printer or balance on one foot whilst on the phone. Take a walking meeting during the day and climb the stairs instead of getting in the lift. Standing desks are helpful too as you could march on the spot while you are working. Exercise makes you smarter which is a great asset to have in your business.
  3. Hydrate: If you are living on coffee and sugary drinks that can have a negative effect on your sleep and your thinking. Every system in the body needs water to function well. Try warm water with lemon and even herbal teas. A good test for hydration is by midday your urine should be light in colour.
  4. Manage stress: Develop some strategies for lowering stress by practicing diaphragmatic (belly) breathing and meditation. If you are chasing the metaphorical tiger all day, chances are your body is in a sympathetic state. This means your body won’t be rejuvenating and digesting properly. Our bodies are not designed for long bouts of stress and failing to address this can lead to burnout.
  5. Sleep is everything. We all need to get between 7-9 hours and the exact time will vary between body types. It’s important to ensure you switch off screens at least 60 minutes before sleep as the blue light reduces the hormone melatonin or your sleep hormone. Do something relaxing before sleep such as meditation, reading a book, or offloading some thoughts into a note pad. Whatever you do never take any work into the bedroom.
  6. Avoid high sugar and salty food or cut them down substantially. They will actually cause inflammation and stress in your body, deplete your mental and physical energy and raise your risk of developing a wide range of diseases. Eat a variety of fresh foods with lots of colour.

To find out what your unique body needs to be in its best health, visit Rachel’s website:



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Preserve Your Cash In a Downturn By Raelene Rees

As the old saying goes, ‘Cash is King’. That phrase is never more relevant than in an economic downturn. Thinking outside the square when it comes to protecting your available cash will be one of the keys to coming through the next several months unscathed OR better off than you are now! Read the article below and identify 1 or 2 strategies you’ll implement this week to help yourself. 

Preserve Your Cash In a Downturn By Raelene Rees

In the current financial climate, it is important to free up as much cash (accountants call it ‘working capital’) as possible. I’m sure you know the old saying ‘cash is king’? As someone who has worked with countless small businesses, I’ve seen it all! And here are a few of my thoughts around how to maximise your available cash:

  1. Sell off any excess assets, whether business or private. If you’re not using it, and aren’t likely to, this will free up not only cash but space as well. Also considering leasing assets, that way you are up-to-date with the latest technology and not stuck with out-of-date equipment ie: photocopiers and computers.
  1. Align yourself with another complementary business to share overheads, space, client databases – ie: hairdresser & beautician;  mortgage broker & lawyer. This would have the added bonus of increasing sales as well as reducing costs, a double win!
  1. Sharing overheads is a great way to reduce costs – have you got excess space you can sublet?
  1. Review all overheads, as there are bound to be some costs that can be eliminated. ‘Subscriptions’ is generally a good one to review, as you may find apps or software that you no longer use.
  1. Insurance premiums should be reviewed annually. Having insurance is good business practice; however, premiums can be reduced by increasing your stand-down period and also the amount of your excess. Discuss this with your advisor, and ensure the cover you’re paying for is still relevant to your business.
  1. Keep on top of your Accounts Receivable! Don’t become a ‘bank’ for your customers. Review your credit policy – perhaps cash on delivery or 7 day invoicing works better for your business than 20th of month following. Can you ask your clients for deposits in advance?
  1. Monitor your stock. Carrying too much stock means too much cash is tied up and could create the opportunity for some stock to become obsolete/out of date. If your suppliers can give you the product you require quickly, perhaps this is a better option to lower your stock levels. Be mindful though that you may lose out on quantity discounts and reduce your buying power.
  1. Automate more in your business. Xero is very powerful accounting software with hundreds of add-on applications. This could reduce many excel spreadsheets you are currently using and also means all relevant staff in your business can easily access the data they need.
  1. Investigate available assistance from Government – national and local, as well as local enterprise initiatives to help you with your business. Are you taking advantage of all that is on offer?
  1. Keep in contact with your bank and IRD. IRD will accept a payment arrangement as long as debt is repaid within 12 to 24 months and you are current with your ongoing taxation commitments. They will charge interest, but their debt isn’t secured which gives you an opportunity to get more secured debt with your bank. Consider other avenues of borrowing ie: Prospa. While not a mainstream bank, they will charge you higher interest, but can offer you short-term borrowing to see you through a rough patch.

At all times do keep in contact with your Accountant as they are there to HELP you, and you are not alone – lots of clients are currently looking at all these options as they navigate the economic downturn.

Raelene Rees is a Chartered Accountant based in Christchurch. You can find out more about her here:

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