Business Blog

Tips, advice and solutions for business owners wanting to grow or improve their business

How to gain Sustainable Client Referrals

How to gain Sustainable Client Referrals

There is a gold mine of new opportunity in your existing client base - you simply need to know where to look. 

 
Business is very much about sustainability – the sustainability of new client opportunities/leads along with good sustained profit and cash flow. Drawing these together makes for a very profitable business operation in the short term, and fosters strong enterprise/business value over the longer term.
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( Posted in: Business Performance )

Removing phone barriers for greater Business Success

Removing phone barriers for greater Business Success
In business, the humble phone is such an important tool - yet many business owners will not dial a prospect or debtor. The reasons for this span from; a simple lack of purpose, through to a real phobia or fear, however the outcome is the same - the call is not made - and this is what costs business.
 
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( Posted in: Business Management )

Top 10 elements for successful brochure design

Life Cycle - Startup, Life Cycle - Established/Expansion, Life Cycle - Growth, Sales Collateral

A well designed brochure will stack the “sales” deck in you favour and drive deeper profit returns. When you are selling, you want your prospect to see as much compelling and relevant information as possible, to both provide critical product/service information and to support your sales process.

Brochures come in many shapes and forms.......
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( Posted in: Business Performance )

The 5 life-cycle stages of a business

The 5 life-cycle stages of a business

Businesses are not static beasts, they change and evolve over time - and as they do, their needs vary. By understanding the different life-cycle phases of a business, owners have the ability to position themselves differently and focus on different facets which will drive enhanced returns.

Broadly, there are 5 distinct life-cycle stages...

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( Posted in: Business Management )

I want to run my own business, so now what?

I want to run my own business, so now what?
I want to run my own business, now what?
 
I've heard this line on many occasions over the years. Bright eyed and highly energised potential business owners with a concept for a business that they want to run. Of course, as every experienced business owner will tell you, it's actually not that simple to run a business - successfully and profitable.
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( Posted in: Business Management )

Increase your sales effectiveness with quality collateral

Sales, Business Performance,

Selling is about showing your customer in a convincing way, that your product (or service) is worth the value you are asking and….. that it meets their need or desire. Naturally, this point is not rocket science, albeit the way in which you show them or prove up the value of your product can have many layers of skill to it.
 

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( Posted in: Business Performance )

Compelling Copy Which Sells

Compelling Copy Which Sells

If someone said to you, “you’re going to want that Kidney..” - would you pay attention? I did. How about if someone said, “if left alone, it will continue to devour the cells around it” - do you think you would listen to what they said next? It got me.

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( Posted in: Business Performance )

The Optimal Business Staffing Structure

The Optimal Business Staffing Structure
As every business owner will have heard, the greatest asset in your business is your staff... In many ways I support this comment – having benefited from having some truly exceptional people work with me, and for me, over the years. However, the evolution of business over time has meant that the traditional staffing structures now are getting questioned........ 
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( Posted in: Business Management )

Business Sale Values

Business Sale Values

Increasingly with the transition of the Baby Boomers into retirement, more and more business owners are considering the sale of their business. This is a very important event, as it allows them to unlock the investment which they have built up in their business over time and assists with funding their retirement. The key question is generally – “how much is it worth?”....

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( Posted in: Sale/Succession )

The Danger of being a SMALL Business

Business Viability, Marketing

Being seen as "small" can cost you business.

That’s not saying that the service or the quality of a small business product is poor - (often it is the exact opposite), but a common perception encountered by small business is that "big" is better or safer. In a world where you are competing with “the bigger guy”, then this perception can easily cost you business - especially in the initial marketing phase.

So the answer is simple...... don't "look" small!

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( Posted in: Business Management )

The benefit of Honest and Timely Performance Appraisals

The benefit of Honest and Timely Performance Appraisals
Staff can be the greatest asset in your business, but for any service based business - they typically will be the greatest expense - whether they are an asset or not.
 
Perhaps its my corporate background, or my genuine desire to improve things (people and businesses), or it might just be my objective to see a larger number at the bottom line - but regardless.....
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( Posted in: Communication )

Critical Components of a Good Job Description

Critical Components of a Good Job Description
Job descriptions are a valuable tool for both staff and employers and unfortunately, they tend to be absent in many businesses.
 
For the staff member, a good job description provides ....
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( Posted in: Business Management )

Sale of Business Value – every business is saleable

Sale of Business Value – every business is saleable

Essentially every business is saleable; it’s simply the sale value and terms which vary. The issue faced by many business owners is that the sale value/terms available, are significantly lower than they had hoped for.

So if you are seeking a sale exit from your business - you really have the following options available....

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( Posted in: Sale/Succession )

Web site mishaps which will cost your business money

Web site mishaps which will cost your business money

The web site of today is like the business card of 20 years ago - no serious business would be without one. It provides your name and contact number, but is also a window into the business, with your design, logo and flair. As with a business card, you can tell a lot about a business with even a quick look at their web site - but…as with business cards, not all web sites were born equal.... 

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( Posted in: Business Performance )

Business Sales Activity in your Prospect Pipeline

Business Sales Activity in your Prospect Pipeline

Businesses with strong consistent sales, typically are the same ones who have a deep prospect pipeline. Regardless of the type of business or product, those who have the depth of opportunity in their sales pipeline, are also the ones who have less stress and typically better margins.

When you only have one or two prospects in your sales pipeline..... 

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( Posted in: Business Performance )

Business Efficiency in Small Business

Business Efficiency in Small Business
Improvement in efficiency has been an age old quest in business, as it has enabled either more to be achieved with less effort, or for the same amount of effort, but faster.
 
For many reading this article, the phone or tablet you are using provides you with a more effective use of your time......
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( Posted in: Business Performance )

Cash relief for stressed business owners

Cash relief for stressed business owners
Cash is one of the top few stress triggers for business. Not having enough, not knowing where it will come from, or simply..... a puzzle around the best way to use it. In a physical situation - cash is pretty well understood, but when it hits the virtual, electronic or theoretical - I find that eyes start to glaze...
 
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( Posted in: Cash Management )

The Wallet Size Multi-Tool for Business

The Wallet Size Multi-Tool for Business

If you admire gadgets or clever design, then you will most likely have one of those nifty little tools’ which have dozens of attachments enabling you to; cut, bend, clamp, squash, saw or sew. They come in a range of colours and sizes, from pink micro versions to hang off your keys to the bulkier silver numbers designed for a holster on your belt….but….have you ever considered the value of the super thin plastic version?

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( Posted in: Banking )

Business Data - “is it a valuable asset or an expensive handicap?"

Business Data - “is it a valuable asset or an expensive handicap?"
It's well recognised in many corporate environments that data quality is a large and expensive issue. 
 
For banks & insurance companies with risk data, retailers with stock, marketers with poor lists, and countless others who rely on accurate financial info - poor data quality is an issue as it breeds inefficiency, increases expense and robs capital. 
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( Posted in: Risk Mitigation )

10 Ways to Drive extra Business Cashflow

10 Ways to Drive extra Business Cashflow

Cash is critically important for business, with many businesses finding that January can be extra tough on the cash front following the Christmas/New Year period.

Staff leave payments, a short close down, penalty rates for public holidays, slow debtor collections or even extra stock holdings, will all have drained cash from your business over the festive season.

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( Posted in: Cash Management )

Business Improvement for the year ahead

Business Improvement for the year ahead

Christmas Day has been and gone and New Years is settling in, but when you sit back in the comfy chair – wherever that may be, on the beach, by the water, camping or even just at home……now is the time to take a quick “stock take” of the year that has past.

For those in business, often there is little respite as you....... 

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( Posted in: Business Management )

Business security - thieves won’t be taking a holiday

Business security - thieves won’t be taking a holiday

With just on a week to Christmas, businesses are generally finalising last minute sales, delivering product orders, sorting through end of month accounts, preparing for New Year sales, confirming the staff leave roster, and even.... finalising the details for a staff Christmas break-up!

What's normally left off the pre-Christmas “to do list" is security - physical and virtual.

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( Posted in: Risk Mitigation )

Who is your business communication written for?

Who is your business communication written for?

Have you ever read a business note, perhaps an email or a letter and thought – huh, what’s that about.....as the tone or content of the note is as if its been written for someone else? Well perhaps it has!

In business I have found that the principle of writing for a “third party” audience, is actually not that uncommon. 

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( Posted in: Communication )

Effective Business Reporting

Effective Business Reporting
To run a business efficiently and profitability takes more than just luck. In addition to having a good service or product, successful businesses typically have a strong management information framework in place to ensure all of the critical elements of the business are running correctly.
 
I often liken this information to the dashboard instruments in a car ...
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( Posted in: Business Management )

5 Steps for better Business Financing

5 Steps for better Business Financing

With countless business finance products in the market – is can be daunting for some businesses to decide which option to choose. The frequently asked question is “which one should I take?”, so to take some of the pain out of this point – we have provided 5 simple steps for better Business Financing.

To start, it's not so much a case of which product you should take, it's more a question of which one do you need and realistically, what is available.

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( Posted in: Banking )

Business Trends & Patterns – a simple game or is there more to it?

Business Trends & Patterns – a simple game or is there more to it?

Business trend analysis is a serious analytical technique used in countless different forms of analysis. Yet for most business owners, finding the time to complete a simple Sudoku puzzle is hard enough – let alone undertake any form of formal business review.

If you do have the time to complete a simple Sudoku puzzle, then you also have the ability to transfer some Sudoku disciplines into a more effective business management process.

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( Posted in: Business Management )

The value of continual education in business

The value of continual education in business

At some point - and we have all done it, we get to a point of knowledge within our business or industry were we feel……. comfortable. It is at this very point; you can guarantee that you have just fallen BEHIND the game.

Business is ALWAYS evolving....

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( Posted in: Business Performance )

Why you should consider more than just the Easy Option

Why you should consider more than just the Easy Option

In a world where speed appears to be everything, often the compromise that is made is to take the generic or easy option. This has become so common in business, that the generic option is often the only option put forward – whereas there is generally many ways to skin a cat.

Now whilst I have no issue with a simple, cheap option when you can get it – the critical point is ensuring that it is the right option.

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( Posted in: Business Management )

9 Point Test to evaluate if a new Product Idea is Viable

9 Point Test to evaluate if a new Product Idea is Viable

We have all had them, the “business epiphanies” or “golden ideas” which come to us over the weekend whilst swinging a golf club, doing laps in the pool or just mowing the grass. In the moment….. these new product or service ideas are the perfect combination of simplicity, profitability and marketing brilliance.

By Monday morning these moments of creative thinking have….started to tarnish….

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( Posted in: Business Management )

Communicating your Close line for Impact and Results

Communicating your Close line for Impact and Results

In business, communicating your "close" line for impact is often a crucial factor in success or failure.

The right timing for a marketing advance, to lodge a finance application or even enter a queue......all appear to have timing influencing the outcome.

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( Posted in: Communication )

Is Business Change possible?

Is Business Change possible?

Is business change possible - absolutely unequivocally yes…but it takes action. A great man once said, “If you always do what you've always done, then you will always get what you've always got” (Henry Ford) – so…..if you don’t like the outcome you’re getting at the moment…..then you have to change something!

It’s at this point that that the problems normally start.

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( Posted in: Business Management )

Making Sound Business Decisions

Making Sound Business Decisions

In all businesses, small or large, actions are often taken in the moment – reacting to a symptom rather than making a fully informed decision based on the cause.

Symptom management is a very frequent occurrence, with the management decisions based at a superficial level to arrest what is the perceived cause - which in the bulk of cases is not the true underlying driver.

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( Posted in: Business Management )

What information should I use to run my business?

What information should I use to run my business?

It’s that moment where you are sitting amongst a pile of information – numbers, graphs, returns, production numbers, stock levels, customer surveys…….all with seemingly important information……but what does it all mean......what information should I use to run my business?

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( Posted in: Business Management )

What if I didn’t read the business contract?

What if I didn’t read the business contract?

Have you ever heard, “…what if I didn’t read the business contract before I signed it?” Unfortunately I have, with my default response being, “the devil is always in the detail”. So if you have not read your document, then the chances are that the “detail devil” will cause you trouble.

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( Posted in: Risk Mitigation )

Maximising your Business Time Management

Maximising your Business Time Management

How many times have heard the immortal catch cry, "I don't have enough time" and then....the more scary question - how many times have you been the one to utter it?

The lack of time is really the combination of our perception and tolerance.

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( Posted in: Business Management )

In Business - Cashflow is King

In Business - Cashflow is King

A well-used line in business - and for good reason, as without cash (or cashflow) in a business, it delivers the same result as a having a body without blood - SUDDEN DEATH!

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( Posted in: Banking )

Business Margins - Improve your Financial "Short Game"

Business Margins - Improve your Financial "Short Game"

Finance has shown me many things over time, but perhaps one of the more powerful concepts is “profit versus turnover”. For the golfers out there, I liken this to “driving for show VERSUS putting for dough“.

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( Posted in: Business Performance )

Succeed with Business Succession

Succeed with Business Succession

Succession is an inevitable bridge that needs to be crossed for all businesses. For some, the decision is made in a millisecond – whereas for others, it can be an all-consuming dilemma. This article is to help those struggling with this dilemma.

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( Posted in: Sale/Succession )

Clear Business Process + Strong Execution = Great Savings

Clear Business Process + Strong Execution = Great Savings

Regardless of whether you are selling burgers to a young family with three tired kids or producing “O” rings for the space program – there is always a cost when your process fails – it’s just the magnitude that varies.

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( Posted in: Business Performance )

Business - when Good Times go BAD

Business - when Good Times go BAD

How much risk are you carrying in your business - do you know......and what are you doing about it?

Someone once explained Operational Risk to me as the classic, 'good times gone bad' situation, where one or more of the things that have made the business successful, suddenly go wrong - and often....very wrong!

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( Posted in: Risk Mitigation )

10 Banking Essentials

10 Banking Essentials

You would not skydive without a parachute, so don't do business without these.

From a banking perspective, every business should have these 10 items in their kit bag to either save, make or protect money - whilst maximizing their banking relationship.

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( Posted in: Banking )

Business Growth Costs....

Business Growth Costs....

Often the objective of most businesses, SALES GROWTH comes at a cost - so the real question is-  how growth ready is your business?

A basic principle of business is to generate sales (product or services) to return a profit. The natural flow on from this is to generate more sales to achieve a greater profit - but...what does this take and how prepared is your business for growth? 

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( Posted in: Business Management )

The One More Thing for business success

The One More Thing for business success

Whether it be in sport or business, the difference between success and failure can often be simply doing one more thing than the competition. The extra phone call, one more prototype, another sales approach, an additional quality check, a larger focus group, an extra tier of service etc etc.....any of these can be the secret ingredient to business success.

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( Posted in: Business Performance )

10 Commandments of Business

10 Commandments of Business

Many business owners are time poor and simply don't find the time to read the more comprehensive articles. So if you are looking for a bunch of potent tips for your business - then this short article is for you. 

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( Posted in: Business Management )

New Years Resolution for Business

New Years Resolution for Business

The start of the new year is traditionally when we pledge resolutions for the New Year ahead - resolutions around how we are going to do things differently...do things better and often…..change a bad habit from last year.

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( Posted in: Business Management )

Is my Business Viable?

Is my Business Viable?

This question comes in various forms from concerned business owners – but for me, it’s not so much a case of whether the business is viable - but more of whether the product/service they are selling is viable.

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( Posted in: Business Performance )

Marketing for Small Business

Marketing for Small Business

Effective marketing is the ultimate answer for increased sales opportunity, with many different marketing methods available, BUT….. a critical aspect which is frequently overlooked in the assessment of marketing effectiveness is the time and cost of the activity.

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( Posted in: Business Performance )

12 Costly Risks for Business

12 Costly Risks for Business

The majority of risks in business can be predicted and quantified as part of an assessment of the business and how/where it operates. For most businesses however, stopping to undertake this type of assessment is rare - let alone implementing mitigation plans. 

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( Posted in: Risk Mitigation )

What do I need to prepare my business for sale?

What do I need to prepare my business for sale?

Business Sale Building Blocks - The prospect of selling a business, or at least positioning it so it can be sold, will be confronted by all business owners eventually. It may be for 20 years down the track (rare) or to sell now (more common), but the simple reality is that all businesses will have a change of ownership at some point.

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( Posted in: Sale/Succession )

The Cost of being Tolerant

The Cost of being Tolerant

Business owners tolerate a lot, whether it is poor performing staff, process problems, cash flow, IT and the like. In doing this, the level of stress or pressure on the owner (and in many cases - the business) rises in direct proportion.

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( Posted in: Business Performance )