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Firstly what IS a purchase order?


It’s a wripo imagetten record of types, quantities, and agreed prices of any goods or services that you buy in for your business from external suppliers.

When the supplier accepts the purchase order, it forms a contract between you. This means clarity for both you as the buyer and the supplier as seller because:

You, the buyer have clearly and specifically communicated your requirements and intention to buy

The seller is then protected in terms of recouping money owed for goods or services supplied.


Here’s 5 good reasons to use them:

1. You are organised – instead of trying to remember phone conversations or search through various emails, both you and your supplier can find all the details relating to your purchase in one document such as prices, quantities, contact details and delivery address etc.

2. More efficient – especially if you have electronic versions of your purchase orders, you can easily manage your expenditure on your computer rather than rifling through reams of paperwork, which may or may not have been filed in the right place!

3. Avoid mistakes! There should be minimal mix ups or misunderstandings relating to what you ordered or the prices agreed if it’s all there in writing for everyone to see. It’s a legally binding document.

4. Easily keep track of orders – as each purchase order has a unique number, your supplier can quote this number on their delivery note so you can match up the goods with your order when you receive them.

5. Keep in control of your accounts – you will have the figures for all your purchase expenditure at your finger tips. If you use accounting software, you can transfer this information into your accounts at the click of a mouse. This will help you be in control of the money which has gone and is due out of your business and help keep on top of cashflow.

The example above, illustrates the kind of information you should include on your purchase orders. You can create your own templates or use simple accounting software to automatically create and edit your purchase orders.

Give Your Promotions A Lift!

 elevator-upPromotions, marketing, advertising, selling – they’re all about the same thing: getting your  message across.

 The easiest way to start promoting your business is to create your LIFT SPEECH. Have you heard of this? A LIFT SPEECH (or elevator speech) is another name for a concise description of you and your business. The idea is that when you first meet someone, you have a very short amount of time, say 10-15 seconds,  in which to tell them about your business and hopefully interest them in what you do. So, it’s the equivalent of meeting someone in a lift and making an impact in the time it takes to travel between floors. No pressure then!

 If you take a little time to plan what to say in advance, you can reap the benefits over and over again. You can also use the description in written form for your website, social media and advertisements.

 Here’s the key things to include in your LIFT SPEECH:

 1. Your name

2. Your business name

3. Where you’re based

(this can often be left until later depending on the situation. It may be relevant to mention if you are at a local meeting or if overseas, to mention your business base country)

 4. What You Offer

Don’t get bogged down in details of the features of your product or service. The key thing is you are just giving a brief summary, allowing the other person to ask you for a card or more information if they’re interested. Also try and think of what you do solely in terms of how it can benefit the listener. This will need to be tailored according to the situation and type of audience. In a business networking environment, bear in mind that the main concerns that business managers have are:

  • How to save money
  • How to increase income
  • How to save time

 Frame your description with these things in mind.

 So, an example for an invoicing software product might be: “Helping small businesses sort out their finances simply and quickly.”

 When you’ve had a go at writing yours. Try reading it and asking “so what?”. This sounds quite harsh but it’s a good way to guage whether the content of your speech will strike a chord with it’s relevance.


5. Engaging ending

A great way to end with impact is to ask the other person an open question (ie. not one that requires a yes or no answer). The obvious is “and what do you do?” but if you’re at an event you can also ask what they hope to get out of the meeting, or what they are interested in. Hopefully the conversation will flow and you and your business will have created an impression.

Here’s some other tips for getting your LIFT SPEECH right:

  • Stick to the KISS rule – “keep it simple stupid!”. Make every word count. No waffling or you’ll lose people’s attention. Being concise will portray your competence. And short statements have much more oomph. Aim to keep it to 20 seconds maximum length.
  • When delivering your lift speech, be confident and speak clearly. It helps to have a positive, upbeat tone and convey your passion for what you offer. Couple this with sincerity to create a good impression.
  • Make eye contact with the other person. Also keep an eye out for their body language. You may pick up signs that they’re interested in a particular point you’ve made and you can then follow this up with them.

Please feel free to share your LIFT SPEECHES here and let us know what works for you.

Setting the Default Email Account in Outlook

If you have several email accounts set in Microsoft Outlook then when you create a new email, or a program like SliQ Invoicing launches Outlook to send an email, Outlook will use your default email account as the account from which the email is sent. If you are emailing invoices from a program like SliQ then this can be inconvenient since your default email account may be a personal email whereas you’d prefer to use your business email by default.

To change the default email account in Outlook, do the following:-

1. Run Microsoft Outlook.

2. From the Tools menu, choose Account Settings.

3 In the E-mail tab, select the email account you want to be the default.

4. Then press the Set as Default button as shown in the picture below.


5. Press the Close button.

SliQ Article Submitter

SliQ Article Submitter version 1.4 has now been released. For version 1.4 a number of performance improvements have been included making SliQ and even better means of submitting your articles to directories.

SliQ Article Submitter includes support for all the major article directory scripts including Article Dashboard, Article Setup, Article MS and PHPLD. With support for WordPress, SliQ can not only post to WordPress-based article directories but can be used to post to your own private blogs.

SliQ supports creation of unlimited author accounts at directories and will automatically create or sign up for the author accounts as well as handle any confirmation emails returned. SliQ’s ability to extract passwords from the directory confirmation emails alone can save hours of your time.

For each author account, SliQ will let you write and submit unlimited numbers of articles making SliQ an ideal way to increase exposure for your website, services or products. To save you even more time, SliQ also includes a scheduler that can be used to spread article submissions over days or weeks. With the scheduler you can line up as many articles as you like to be submitted over a period you specify on SliQ’s intuitive scheduler tab.

To try out a free trial of SliQ Article Submitter before deciding whether to purchase, please visit and download a copy. SliQTools’ article submitter is available at a very reasonable price (starting from $24.99) and can also be purchased in a package deal with SliQTools’ directory submitter, SliQ Submitter Plus, for an even more affordable way to help you build links to your website.


Improvements in Version 1.4

SliQ Article Submitter is now much quicker to load if you have added your own custom directories. Some users had added several 10s of thousands of directory URLs into their own custom article directory lists which could cause loading times to get fairly long. We have improved and optimised loading times so that SliQ is now quick to starts even with very large article directory lists.

We have also improved the processing of adding custom article directory lists so that SliQ makes large lists more manageable, requiring less user interaction to delete unwanted URLs.

Small Business Accounting Tips

Keeping on top of your accounts is vital for any small business. Take a look at our top accounting tips for SMEs to see how you can make sure your business is in the best financial shape it can be.

accounting tips

1. Open a business account

When you start your small business you should open a separate bank account for it. This will make it far easier for you to keep track of your finances and will help you reconcile your bookkeeping figures with the amount in your account.

2.    Keep up-to-date with your bookkeeping

Reconcile your books and accounts regularly to avoid any accounting errors. Try to check your books on a weekly or monthly basis. If you’re using online accounting software, make sure you regularly back up your financial information. Keep your paper accounts in good order – it may even be worth scanning any paper records to keep electronic versions. Make sure you log every expense and every piece of income

3.    Produce a monthly cash flow statement

By producing a regular cash flow statement, you will be able to see exactly what state your accounts are in. This will make it far easier when you come to submit your Tax Return as you will have all your figures and documents in place. It will also help you to keep track of how much you are spending and whether you are overspending in any area, as well as helping you to see trends such as seasonal increases and decreases in profit.

4.    Research whether you’re entitled to pay less tax

Find out if you are entitled to any tax relief as a small business owner. There are some circumstances in which it may be possible for you to pay less tax. These are if you are entitled to Working Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit, buying equipment to use in your business, research and development tax reliefs and direct investment incentives.

5.    Look into accounting software

Consider using accounting software to help you keep your accounts in good order. This can often save you time and money.

6.    Think about hiring an accountant

Consider hiring a business accountant. Do your research and make sure whoever you use is registered to an official accountancy body or organisation.

7.    Invoice as soon as possible

Ensure that you send an invoice out within 24 hours of a service being delivered, as some businesses have a 30 day or even 60 day payment cycle. If you delay sending an invoice by even just a couple of days you may face a long wait to be paid, which can impact the rest of your business.

8.    Have a range of payment options

Try to make things as easy as possible for all involved by having a range of payment options available to your clients. Consider introducing online payments, such as PayPal, and credit cards, which may incur a small cost, but could help prevent cash flow problems.

Do you have any small business accounting tips? Leave a comment and let us know. For help managing your finances speak to SliQTools ( for our easy-to-use invoicing software.

[Photo credit: FreeDigitalPhotos.Net]

Business Start-Up Checklist

business checklist 1

 When it comes to starting up a business, there are various things you should do to make sure you are as prepared as you can be. Take a look at our checklist to find out some of the things you need to consider.

Find a name for your business
As well as thinking of a catchy name for your business, you’ll need to decide whether you are a sole trader, limited company or a partnership. Have a look at HMRC’s advice for registering as self-employed to find out all your need to know about setting up and naming your new business. If you want to use a corporate name, you will also need to check it is not already in use.

Create a business plan
A business plan will help you focus on what you want to achieve with your business and how you plan to do it. It will also be what you’ll use to convince financial backers and initial customers to invest in your business.

Find premises
Ensure you find the right premises for your business, whether that’s at home, at a hot desk or shared office space, in a rented office or a commercial property.

Sales and marketing
Start promoting your business with marketing. This might include social media, sales letters, email marketing, adverts, leaflets, local press, etc. Think about whether you can do these things yourself, or whether you will need the services of a professional to help you out.

Manage your finances
Ensure you keep on top of your cash flow for your business by managing your accounts. Consider employing a bookkeeper and/or accountant, and look at ways of organising your invoices and keeping your accounts in check.

Look into legalities
There are various things you will need to look into from a legal perspective – licenses, business insurance, health and safety, data protection, intellectual property, employment law.

Understand tax
Make sure you know what is expected of you when it comes to filling out a tax return. Consider employing a tax advisor.  Find out about income tax, corporation tax, national insurance and VAT.

Get your business supplies
Identify suppliers for your business and find out how they work – will they need to be paid in advance, for example? Stock up on the essentials for your office, including business cards, stationery, filing systems, etc.

• For more information for starting a business check out Business Link, the Government’s online resource for starting up, improving and growing your business.

What are your top tips for starting up a business? Leave a comment and let us know. For help managing your finances speak to SliQTools for a no-fuss way to raise and track professional invoices, quotes and credit notes.

Picture courtesy of

Purchase Order Software

One of the main things added to version 3 of SliQ Invoicing Plus was the ability to create purchase orders. The new purchase order feature lets users create POs in a similar way to invoices and quotes. As well as storing a list of purchase orders already raised, version 3 also lets you store a list of suppliers with their addresses and contact details. When adding items to the purchase orders, you can optionally choose to add the items as standard products into SliQ’s product database. When items such as suppliers and products are stored in SliQ’s database, they can easily be reselected when editing a new PO – just enter the first few characters of a supplier name for example, and SliQ will autofill the remaining part of the supplier’s name as well as include the correct address details on the PO.