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Xero In

Xero In helps business leaders realise their dreams with practical insights and growth strategies that work. Co-hosts Jeanne-Vida Douglas and Xero evangelist Rob Stone host this weekly podcast for Australian and New Zealand small business leaders who aren’t content with ordinary. Join them to discover practical insights that help you stay in control, find new customers and keep your accounting books in order. Each week you’ll hear interviews with the best minds in small business, covering topics from world-class accounting practices to digital marketing, cashflow management, and business strategy. Check us out at xero.com/podcasts

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Ep: 26 - People first: The importance of people management

People. They’re at the centre of everything you do in small business, which is why people management and culture building should be a top priority for any leader or manager. This week Steve Vamos joins Xero In hosts Rob Stone and JV Douglas to share insights from his three decades of experience in leadership roles across companies including IBM, Apple, Microsoft and Ninemsn. "The mindset of leaders, the way that leaders think and the people around them think defines an organisation’s fate," Steve said. Tune in to find out how to frame your leadership approach for the current, turbulent times, and why people management should always come first.


11 Apr 2016

Rank #1

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Ep: 24 - Google is the new landlord

With the increasing convergence of bricks-and-mortar and online retail, it’s now more pertinent than ever to think about how your location might be impacting your business - for better or worse. This week Xero In hosts Rob Stone and JV Douglas chat to James Stevens, founder of Roses Only. James sheds light on his experience, moving from the world of physical shopfronts to the internet to eventually building a successful, global ecommerce brand. “The biggest online landlord now would have to be Google,” James said. “I look for media where my brand is going to stand out, we haven't put a whole bunch of flower shops next to each other in a shopping centre called Google.”So is Google the new landlord? And what are the alternative locations businesses should think about in order to remain relevant in an increasingly online world? Tune in to find out.


29 Mar 2016

Rank #2

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Ep: 23 - Creating and maintaining culture

Creating culture is easy in the early, heady days of your business. When you're making all the decisions and sharing them directly with staff, your culture is often improvised and ad hoc. The challenge comes when you need to choose those elements of culture you want to pass on. In this episode of Xero In, We speak to Angus Kennard, non executive director and third generation leader of Kennards Hire, about how to distill those values, and the mechanisms that pass them indirectly on to others.“We have this reverse pyramid that we talk about with our people, where our customers sit on the top of the pyramid and the family and the Board actually sit at the bottom of that pyramid,” Angus said.


21 Mar 2016

Rank #3

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Ep: 20 - Better with friends: why mentors are important

For most of the paths we walk, there’s someone who has walked them before us. But where do you find your very own business Yoda - and how can they help on your quest? In this episode, hosts Rob Stone and JV Douglas talk to Jo Burston, MD at Job Capital and Rare Birds, about her journey from mentee to mentor, author and entrepreneur. “I think for me the gold nugget moment was that I saw someone who I identified with personally,” Jo says. “I can say that with hand on heart probably would not have been as successful without a mentor.” Jo explains how her business success led to a wider realisation about the power of mentoring and spurred her on to form the entrepreneurial movement Inspiring Rare Birds. We find out how she’s encouraging up and coming entrepreneurs to find out exactly who it is that they want to become - and how.  


29 Feb 2016

Rank #4

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Ep: 17 - Advice you wish your accountant could give you

Once upon a time your relationship with your accountant was mostly about tax returns. But small businesses today want much more, making tax the least interesting part of what a great accountant can do for you. Business technology journalist Sholto Macpherson says a combination of new technology, improved customer service and niche services has changed the shape of the modern accountancy practice. More than ever before, great accountants are offering coaching services to help grow your business, and acknowledging that your success is theirs, too.Sholto talks to Xero In about the intimate relationship small business owners can have with a great accountant, and how it can propel you further, faster. He gives us an insight into the skillset of the modern accountant, and the three key questions you should ask before getting involved.


8 Feb 2016

Rank #5

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Ep: 14 - Improve yourself, improve your business

Most small business owners and entrepreneurs don’t have the time to step back from work and assess their goals and their lifestyle, much less take a holiday. So what would your business look like if you also made time for yourself? In this episode of Xero In, hosts Rob Stone and Jeanne-Vida Douglas chat to Brett Kelly, senior client director at Kelly + Partners, about why taking time out and reflecting on your personal goals is as important as working on your business. Brett also shares his thoughts on how to set a positive example and why he takes 16 weeks of leave every year, at the same time as running a thriving business. “If you’re not energetic you’ll attract people that aren’t energetic,” he said. “Your employees are a read out on who you are. So, if you don’t treat people well, you’ll attract people that don’t treat you well.”


18 Jan 2016

Rank #6

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Ep: 13 - Taking a business from startup to grown up

When you’re taking a business from startup to grown up, there’s a lot of processes and moving parts to consider. So how do you grow successfully at the same time as retaining some level of control? And how do you implement large scale processes to streamline your workload and keep your business moving forward? This week Rob and JV are joined by Declan Lee, co-founder and facilitator of stuff at Gelato Messina. Declan shares insights about implementing new processes, growing from a startup to grown up, and how technology and cloud accounting have changed the face of gelato in Australia. “We make gelato. It’s really what we do in the end and it’s the one thing that we’re really really good at. I like businesses that don’t try and be everything,” he said. “Even at that high level we’ll bring in people that we just think are really good people, have some skill in the area, and then we try and work it out together.”


11 Jan 2016

Rank #7

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Ep: 10 - How to eliminate, automate and delegate

We all do a lot of things in business, in our lives, in our everyday working that we actually don’t need to do. How can you identify what needs to change - and then change it? Growthwise Founder Steph Hinds reckons you eliminate, automate and delegate, starting with an investigation into how your business is doing, and how it’s being done. In this conversation with Steph, Xero In hosts Rob Stone and Jeanne-Vida Douglas talk about her unique approach to helping small businesses make better use of process and technology to fulfil their potential.


7 Dec 2015

Rank #8

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Ep: 5 - Achieving scale and profit with Glen Carlson

Building a business that scales and stays profitable is easier said than done - just ask this week’s guest Glen Carlson. Digging through the accounts he found out why his company wasn’t profitable: unchecked spending. The entrepreneur and MD of a growth accelerator had made a habit of buying organic macadamia nuts instead of white mints for his events. As the business grew, the annual nut tally hit $15,000. Xero In hosts Valerie Khoo and Rob Stone talk to Glen about how Key Person of Influence expanded across the globe and why it’s important you find a great accountant. He also reveals the keys to success for small business owners looking for growth beyond the early “struggle zone”.


27 Oct 2015

Rank #9

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Ep: 3 - Set up your startup for long term success with Aleisha Haselmore

How do you set up your thriving startup business for long term success? Aleisha Haslemore, four-time world championship figure skater turned entrepreneur, reveals how she’s learnt from mistakes, developed business systems in the cloud, and drawn inspiration from volunteer work in Cambodia. The New Zealand-born founder and managing director of Ultimate Edge Communications chats with Xero In hosts Valerie Khoo and Rob Stone about the benefits of paying it forward, her passion to succeed, and the value of working with a business coach.   Tune in to learn about the tools she’s using to make the switch from Excel to the cloud.


9 Oct 2015

Rank #10

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Ep: 34 - Overcoming tax paralysis: How to talk to the tax office

Tax season could easily be a small business owner’s most dreaded time of year. So how do you set yourself up ahead of time to avoid tax paralysis? And how do you overcome it when it does set in? This week on Xero In Rob Stone and JV Douglas are joined once more by Peter Strong, CEO at the Council for Small Business Australia (COSBOA) and a strong advocate for small businesses when it comes to getting through the tax season. “A small business is a person,” Peter told Rob and JV. “And most of the time if there’s a problem with a small business it’s because of confusion or they’re going through some life crisis or some business crisis, but it’s certainly not dishonesty that causes the problem.” Tune in to find out what you need to know when it comes to working with the tax office, and how to prepare your business ahead of time.


6 Jun 2016

Rank #11

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Ep: 33 - Chain reaction: Everything you need to know about franchising

Good business idea? Check. Great sales record? Check. Plans for world domination? Check. In this episode of Xero In we track the process from good idea to franchise success, and what it takes to get there. This week on the show, Rob and JV are joined by franchising expert and founder of the Franchise Relationships Institute, Greg Nathan. With experience on both sides of the table, Greg debunks some of the myths around what it takes to build a thriving franchise empire. “At the end of it all, if the franchisees are not profitable then you’ve got to ask yourself, ‘Why would I want to invest a whole lot of money in a business concept and barely make a wage out of it?’ I might as well go and get a job.” Tune in to find out whether franchising could be the right fit for you.


30 May 2016

Rank #12

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Ep: 32 - Needle in a haystack: The secret to recruiting a great team

Advertisement, application, interviewing – it’s the tried and tested method for recruiting based on education and experience. But how do you measure potential employees for cultural fit? And how can you update your recruitment process to make sure you find the perfect person for the job, every single time? This week on Xero In, hosts Rob Stone and JV Douglas are joined by Dr Glyn Brokensha, founder of Expr3ss and all-round expert when it comes to recruiting the right people for the right roles. “The first thing you have to do is turn the whole recruitment thing on its head and say to yourself who cannot possibly do this job? Ask yourself, ‘Who doesn’t have the essential criteria that we actually must have for this job,’” Glyn said. Tune in to find out how you can improve your recruitment process today.


23 May 2016

Rank #13

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Ep: 31 - To hire, to fire: Building your collaborative A-team

Hiring, firing: They’re two of the most dreaded words among leadership teams everywhere – and rightly so. What exactly should you look for when you’re building your dream team? And how do you know when it’s time to let employees go? This week on Xero In, Rob and JV are joined once more by Steve Vamos to talk about building a collaborative work culture that will last. With many decades of experience in leadership and management roles, Steve shares insights that will help you when it comes to the recruitment and HR process. “I think that probably the biggest thing you can do in hiring people is spend time with the person you’re about to hire and find a way to get them to help you on a project,” Steve said. Tune in to discover how to build, and keep, your ultimate collaborative team.


16 May 2016

Rank #14

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Ep: 30 - Small business, disrupt thyself: How to make disruption work for you

Disruption is a fact of small business, but how do you ride the wave when you don’t see it coming? What can you do to keep your small business going strong in an industry that’s failing? This week on Xero In, we speak to Peter Strong, CEO at COSBOA and former bookstore owner, about his many successful years in retail and overcoming the downturn in printed book sales. “The people that embrace technology of course are the ones who are going ahead,” Peter said. “The ones who see disruption not as disruption but as a challenge to develop new processes and new products, they’re the ones who are going ahead.” Tune in for tips on embracing disruption to make your small business thrive.


9 May 2016

Rank #15