Dealing better with money

Since I work for myself I earn less, but it seems like I can do more. Not only do I have more time for fun things, there is also money for it.

Earn less and do more

I started to work more and more with the profit first idea. I already appeared to do it in part without knowing the term. I started making a budget for my company. At the time I knew what I had to earn to cover my fixed costs for Databeet. By also making a budget for private and including it in the Databeet budget, I had an idea what my fixed costs are for both private and Databeet and how much I have to earn.

Put aside

I didn’t leave it at that. I also started saving how small the amount was at the start of my career as an entrepreneur. That is why I built a buffer for myself and my company, Databeet.

Paying yourself

After reading profit first I also started paying myself a salary. I did not leave it at that I started a savings account for each type of cost I had. Every invoice that I sent and was paid, I divided the invoice amount among the various saving accounts according to a fixed percentage per cost category. So I made one regular business account, 1 private account and 7 savings accounts. The 7 savings accounts I gave the following names:

  • Study: From this account I pay all the studies I want to do.
  • Marketing: With this I pay all the marketing stuff for my company.
  • VAT and Taxes: This account pays all my VAT and taxes
  • Travel costs: I sometimes travel for business. This is paid by this account.
  • Crowdfunding: With opening this account I am trying to work on my retirement money. I invest in crowfunding and bonds to make more money.
  • Profit: This account is my profit account. I am building a buffer with this account. So my company can survive difficult times and also buy special things.
  • Fixed charges: All the (fixed) cost of my company are paid from this.
  • And the Account named Guiselaine is my private account. The money in this account is to use on my private costs and savings.

As you can see in the picture each cost has a fixed percent of the invoice I earn going to it. I tried this for a year. I liked it and changed the fixed percentages till I found the right one for me. And when I noticed this was working I wanted to do this also for my private account.

Cost savings accounts for Business

Private Account

So now I am the proud owner of several private accounts, so that I also have a better grip on my money there. The accounts I made for the different costs look like this:

  • Fixed charges: Cost like rent, municipal taxes, water, electricity and heat, etc are paid from this account.
  • Savings: On this account I save to have a buffer and also special things I want.
  • Groceries: With this account I pay the groceries.
  • Travel: Yes I love to travel so I make sure an fixed amount is going to this to me important item.
  • Clothes: Yes, I need some clothes during the year so I make sure I have to money for it when needed by having a account for it.
  • House & Balcony: The house needs stuff like plants or when things break. With a separate account for this I know that when I need the money for it, it will be there.

In the table below you see how I a located the percentages. This works for me, for you it might be slightly different.

Private account

With doing this I am a proud owner of retirement money, a buffer and money to dedicate to my costs. I know what I have and what I spent. And I think I spent it smart.

If you whant to do this too. You can download the Excel Sheet I made especially for this. There is an English and a Dutch version!

Try it for yourself and be happy!

Using the Excel

Excel sheet for dividing money

As you can see I made an example for you in the picture above. If I earned 100 euros with my invoice I fill it in the yellow box below earnings and Excel divides the money for me to the different accounts with the fixed percentages I decided before.

The only thing left for me to do is transfer the money from my regular account to the different accounts. I do this with each invoice that is paid to me. You can also do this once a month if that suits you better.

In the second part of the picture you can see how the money is divided on my private account to my private costs and savings.

Have fun using this Excel. Let me know if you have any questions or suggestions.

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Why I always say yes when someone asks me if I want to participate in a survey

Survey

‘Madam, would you like to take part in a survey about your recently taken out subscription?’

This question is often asked in all kinds of ways on your way to work, home, groceries, via e-mail, etc. Most people walk on or say no, but I do not. As long as it is not about sales but about surveys, I will stay and do it!

Surveys or polling

Survey is a method to obtain information by asking questions. A small survey is often called a poll. Maurice de Hond often holds polls during the election period. The answers to these questions will then be analyzed later. That analysis of the questions has been my work since 2005. So you can say that I’m almost celebrating my second decade doing this. I will not elaborate on how to analyze in this blog, let’s go back to my confession that I participate in surveys.

Participate in survey

Most people think that surveys are a waste time and walk by and continue doing what they were doing before asked to participate, but survey is one of the methods that retailers, organizations, government bodies or others can use to find out how their customers think about a certain topic. The civic duty is not the main reason that I participate, because I am curious about how they have built up the survey. Do they comply with the survey rules? There are 10 rules when setting up a survey:

  1. Determine what the purpose of the survey is
  2. Define the target group, ie the population you want to investigate
  3. Choose the type of survey; and when and over which period it is held
  4. Provide honest and clear explanations about the purpose of the survey
  5. Formulate the questions
  6. Take a sample from the population
  7. Run the survey
  8. Follow-up, follow-up and follow-up
  9. Process and analyze the data
  10. Draw conclusions

I walk through these 10 rules in my head during such a survey. The funny thing is that you can always find something that you think I would had done better and differently. Also with your own surveys by the way.

Target audience

I also always look around to whom they are surveying or that they have questions to define a group to survey. Things like in which year were you born, what is your education, etc to define a group.

Type of surveys

In addition to the street surveys I am talking about, there are also the following types of surveys:

  • By phone; You are called to ask if you want to participate and the questioner asks you questions via telephone. Not my favorite.
  • Written; You will receive the questions on paper at home. Often with a reply envelope to return the survey free of charge. My favorite, because then I can study the survey in peace.
  • Home to home; This is what the Statistics Bureau Netherlands does once in a while to collect population data.
  • E-mail; Here are two types of surveys of: You will be sent a link where you can fill in the survey. You can answer questions in the mail itself.
  • Websites; Often when you visit a website you get a pop-up asking if you want to participate in poll about the service of the company or finding your answer on their website.
  • Addressing random people; These types of surveys are often used by companies in their store to gauge their service. Often the surveyor is at the door with a tablet or paper version survey.

Neutral survey

This is the biggest challenge in a survey, namely to ask your questions as neutral as possible, but in such a way that you get an answer to your question. Many survey compilers are missing out on this, creating bias in the surveys. These are often suggestive or directed questions to provoke certain answers. An example of such a bias question is: Do you find 3% an acceptable tax increase? Herein the answer is already locked in the question. This question should actually be: What do you think is an acceptable tax increase?

  • 0%
  • 3%
  • 5%

The more neutral the question, the less chance of bias in your survey.

Response ratio

There is another reason why I participate, namely the response ratio. It gets less and less with years. The response ratio can be calculated by dividing the number of people who have responded by the total number of selected people who could participate in the survey. Nowadays you have to be happy with a response between 10-30%. Often one tries to stimulate the response by:

  • To send reminders to the respondent once or twice (by written or mail)
  • Distribute written surveys with printed envelopes to a reply number, because post to a reply number is free for the respondent
  • Hand out small gift
  • Raffle certain prices

Okay, I confess there is one more reason

I suffer from professional deformation when it comes to surveys. I sometimes let myself be hired by Inview to play for a day’s interviewer. For one day I am the extrovert Guiselaine who surveys people and a fun I have … ..So do not be surprised if you hear me say:

“Madam / Sir would you like to participate in a survey?”

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I won’t start using shortcuts

Shortcuts

Keyboard shortcuts are key combinations that allow you to perform a function on your computer without having to use the mouse. The addition quickly is because using this key combination is often faster than performing the corresponding mouse function. Each program often has its own combination of keys that are used as shortcuts. This does not make it easier for the user and often even scares users off. In addition, Windows and Apple do not have the same key combinations. In spite of this, it is worthwhile to delve into, though it is a number of shortcut combination of programs that you often use.

Benefit shortcuts

  • It works faster than a computer mouse (saving time)
  • Fewer actions required, so more efficiently
  • Less concentration (effort) is required (Mouse must be “search” and exactly “aim” in the menu)
  • Ergonomically it is also better because you use your mouse arm less one-sided
  • Has a preventive effect on RSI and can promote recovery through less stress
  • By using shortcut keys you develop your motor memory (with this you also remember pin codes) :-).

How do you discover the shortcut keys

They are often indicated as an alternative to the functions in the menu. Another option is to enter “Keyboard shortcuts” in Help in the program and you will get a list of shortcuts for the program in question. So do you want to save time, sit at the computer healthier and train your memory? Then learn some shortcuts for the programs that you use the most.

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It’s in the data so it’s true!

Data-analysis

Everyone uses data to make their point or prove something. Often this is done by interpreting the data the way it suits you as a writer without taking into account a number of factors. Think of: Do the figures give the right picture? A good example of this is described by Renée Romkes in her July 2013 blog about the limitation of the data collected and the conclusions that are attached to it. She rightly points out that the figures on violence against women do not indicate the extent of the violence, but only the number of women who dared to report. Yet we read this number everywhere as THE NUMBER that indicates violence against women.

Is the collected data correct?

A good example of distorted images is the measurement of new visits in Google Analytics. According to the graph, a large proportion of the visitors to my website in the month of August 2013 were new visitors (read = Never visited my site). It would be nice if this were true, but I know that some visitors to my website always disable their cookies. They are therefore always seen as new visitors by Google. So just drawing the conclusion based on this graph that my website only attracts new visitors is not a correct conclusion.

In addition to collecting the wrong data and collecting data incorrectly, it can also go wrong when interpreting data. Data only measures and we connect this data on the basis of our conclusions.

Another example from Google Analytics. Based on statistics, it is possible to look on your website at which places there is a lot of clicking. This is very interesting for web stores, for example bol.com. With these statistics you can see through the color variation what visitors click on the most. By following this data over a longer period you can make statements. For example, that the products in the upper right corner are always clicked on. This means that they go to a deeper layer of the website more often. In this case the explanation of, for example, a book. Is this important yes? The visitor stays on your website, but do they buy the product? Mostly not. So you have a lower conversion from click behavior to revenue.

A better measurement would be that like Amazon and also bol.com use to classify the website according to your interests. Which products did you last buy or view that come on top. Quite annoying if you’ve already bought them before and don’t want to buy the same dress again. But when it comes to books in the same genre you can be tempted to make a purchase if there is money left over. Read larger sales.

Is this a good predictor of sales?

For web stores, but there are more variables that count. Another big one is customer satisfaction, service. This is measurable by putting a survey at the end that the customer fills out, but this is a snapshot. This is only mass data and at large companies BiG Data. But do not forget to occasionally hold an interview or a focus group to find out more about your client. Data alone never gives the answer to the needs of your customers and therefore your revenue growth, because they are just figures to which we attach a statement or conclusion. With this you miss the individual explanation of the explanation behind the data.

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Management tools

Management tools

When it comes to numerical things to support management policy, a number of programs are useful as management tools. Here I will discuss Excel, SPSS, Tableau and infographics as management tools.

Excel

Excel is a relatively cheap program that comes with Office and therefore has everyone. In Excel you can do the following:Create graphsCreate pivot tablesFilteringUse formulasExcel is easy to combine with Word or PowerPoint for a report or presentation.

Downside Excel

A disadvantage of Excel is that if you want to use complex formulas to calculate something you have to understand those formulas in order to apply them. While this is not necessary in SPSS if you want to do analysis with SPSS. With SPSS, you only need to know where you have to enter which number and what you can explain.

SPSS

You do not have to be a math expert to analyze the formulas in SPSS. As long as you understand which data you put in the formula and where in the formula and what comes from the calculation. This makes SPSS less time-consuming than to calculate statistical formulas with Excel. The disadvantage of SPSS is that it is a very expensive program.

Tableau

A newer program in the field of analysis is Tableau. Tableau is a cross between Excel, SPSS and GIS (GIS is a program with which you can display data on geographical maps). This is ideal because you now only need a program to make both charts and maps. In addition, Tableau has the option to tell a story with your data. In Story mode you can paste different graphs one after the other and have them play automatically so that, for example, the progress of sales figures over the years becomes clear. Tableau works well with Excel by linking it.

Infographics

Image is becoming increasingly important for people to understand things, but also because we have too little time. With an infographic you can overcome that by making it possible for the reader to understand the statistics / figures in a picture. You can create infographics yourself by using existing figures / images or by having a designer make drawings from scratch. Keep a close eye on whether the drawing still meets the proportions statistically if you do not want distortions or spread “false” information.

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Why I always say yes when someone asks if I want to participate in a survey

Survey

“Madam, would you like to take part in a survey about your recently taken out subscription?”

You are often asked this question in all sorts of variants on the way to work, home, shopping, by e-mail, etc. Most people walk on or say no, but I don’t. As long as it is not about sales but about surveys, I will stand still! Please join in!

Surveys or polls

Survey is a method to obtain information by asking questions. A small survey is often called a poll. Maurice de Hond often conducts polls during the election period.The answers to these questions are then analyzed later. Analyzing the questions has been my job since 2005. So you can say that I am celebrating my first decade this year. I will not elaborate on how to analyze in this blog, let’s go back to my confession that I participate in surveys.

Participate in survey

Most people are wasting time and then continue to run fast, but surveys are one of the methods by which retailers, organizations, governments or others can find out what their customers think about a certain subject. Civil duty is not the most important reason that I participate, because I am curious about how they built up the survey. Do they meet the survey rules? There are 10 rules when creating a survey:

  • Determine the purpose of the survey
  • Define the target group, so the population that you want to investigate
  • Choose the type of survey; and when and over which period it will be held
  • Prepare honest and clear explanations about the purpose of the survey
  • Formulate the questions
  • Take a sample from the population
  • Perform the surveyFollow-up, follow-up and follow-up
  • Process and analyze the data
  • Draw conclusions

I walk through these 10 rules in my head while completing such a survey. The funny thing is that you can always find something you think I would have done better and differently. Also with your own surveys, by the way.

Target audience

I also always have a look around who is taking the survey or if they have questions to define a group. These are check questions such as in which year were you born, what is your education, etc.

Type of surveys

In addition to the street surveys I am talking about, there are also the following types of surveys:

  • By phone; You are called to ask if you want to participate and the interviewer asks you the questions over the telephone. Not my favorite.
  • Written; You will receive the questions on paper at home. Often with a reply envelope to return the survey for free. My favorite, because then I can study the survey in peace.
  • Home to home; Statistics Netherlands does this, for example, once in a while to collect population data.
  • E-mail; There are two types of surveys of this:
    • You will be sent a link where you can complete the survey.
    • You can answer questions in the email itself.
  • Websites; Often when you visit a website you get a pop-up asking if you want to participate in a poll about the service of the company or finding your answer on their website.
  • Addressing random people; Companies often use these types of surveys in their stores to gauge their service. The interviewer is often at the door with a tablet or paper version.

Neutral survey

  • This is the biggest challenge in making a survey, namely asking your questions as neutral as possible, but in such a way that you get an answer to your question. Many survey authors go wrong here, creating bias in the surveys. These are often suggestive or directed questions to provoke certain answers. An example of such a bias question is:

Do you find 3% an acceptable tax increase?

The answer is already contained in the question. This question should actually be:

What do you think is an acceptable tax increase?

  • 0%
  • 3%
  • 5%

The more neutral the question, the less chance of bias in your survey.Response ratio

There is another reason why I participate, namely the response ratio. That gets less and less over the years. You calculate the response ratio by dividing the number of people who responded by the total number of selected people who take part in the survey. Nowadays you have to be happy with a response between 10-30%. People often try to stimulate the response by:

  • Sending reminders to respondent once or twice (by written or e-mail)
  • Distribute written surveys with printed envelopes to an answer number, because mailing to an answer number is free for the respondent
  • Handing out a small gift
  • Raffle from certain prizes

Okay, I confess there is one more reason

I suffer from professional deformation when it comes to surveys. Occasionally I hire Inview to hire an interviewer for a day. For a day I am the extrovert Guiselaine who surveys people and I have fun… ..So don’t be surprised if you hear me say:

“Madam / Sir would you like to participate in a survey?”

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Purpose of an Annual Report

Annual report

The first goal of an Annual Report is to inform your supporters about the past year. You should think of figures that are summarized, the activities that have been undertaken and what you want to do in the coming year. The fixed components in an Annual Report are:

  • Chairman word
  • Report of the board
  • Activities last year
  • Activities for the coming year
  • Organization
  • Financial Statements
  • Budget

Message from the chairman

This is comparable to a preface and reflects the view of the board on the activities of the past year and policy. Under what circumstances were these activities carried out, were there special circumstances and was the budget sufficient?

Report of the Board

This piece looks back at the past year. Have the goals been met and have expectations been met? Which parts have been implemented and which are not and why?

Activities Last year

For each activity or goal, it is shown here how they were carried out and whether the intended goal and target group were achieved. Which activities were not satisfactory and what could be improved in the future with regard to the implementation of the activities. Do not forget to mention the subsidies for activities that have received a specific subsidy.

Activities for the coming year

Here expectations for the coming year are expressed. Keep it limited to the coming year, because the Policy Plan contains the long-term objectives / vision. Be concrete and straightforward, but not as extensive as in an Annual Plan or Project Plan. Here you speak from Activity or objective depending on whether the objective consists of one or more activities. Describing activities is easier for your followers to understand than describing the objectives. For activities do not forget to mention the subsidies that finance it if there is one.

Organization

With organization you put down the data of the organization, think of:

  • Chamber of Commerce
  • Fiscal Code
  • ANBI status
  • Approvals
  • Memberships
  • E-mail
  • Mailing address
  • Visiting address (optional)
  • Board members with their duties and the division of work among themselves
  • Board change
  • Remuneration of board members
  • Employees if employed
  • Volunteers if the organization uses it
  • Hiring if the organization has hired external personnel for a specific activity
  • Don’t forget to mention both the FTE and the allowance for employees, volunteers and external hiring.

Financial Statements

This is drawn up by the Treasurer and approved by an accountant. This may be included briefly if you also publish the Annual Account separately. These financial figures are especially important for donors, investors and the tax authorities.

Budget

In the budget you state what you expect in terms of income in the coming year and what the money will be spent on.

An Annual Report is a bit of work and can even be considered boring by the organization. Yet the Annual Report is increasingly the marketing tool for an organization. In the Annual Report, donors, fans and others can see what your organization is doing and how the money is being spent. This can just pull them over to work with your organization. In recent years, the design and form in which the Annual Report is presented has also changed, it used to be a boring black and white document. Nowadays it is equipped with photos, videos, interviews, tables, graphs quotes, etching. Make use of this, because this document must still be produced. So why not fly two birds with one stone by also making it into a marketing expression form.

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Stay with data

Eyelize

The thing I did most in my career is going through data, analyzing it. The eyes are the most important assets in this. Playing with words when you can’t sleep is the way I came up with Eyelize.

I like the challenge of going through data, but at the same time I hate it. It’s one of the most tiring thing to do in life for me, but also one of the most full filling in finding the one odd thing that set apart the advice/conclusion for the client/ consumer/ the 0,001% change the world needs.

Going through the data you see a whole new world. The world of the survey, the interview or the observation. These three are the ones I also use in my daily life.

With 26 years of work experience it’s time to leave being a data-analyst behind and grow vertically and horizontal to new opportunities in entrepreneurship or in a part-time job. As data is the most important thing to use to make your point. Data and I won’t be too far from each other!

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