Welcome to our resource library

Over the years we have put together a collection of business improvement blogs which speak to a particular business issue or circumstance. Typically, these were written for a specific client, so their origins stem from a real business need.

Please feel free to browse the collection and use those that can assist you with your business improvement journey. If however you can’t find what you need, then contact us as we may have something in our internal resource library which can assist.

The characteristics of successful leadership in business

Author: Stewart Clark

Leadership is one of the many buzzwords used in business today. Yet, when you challenge someone to define what they call leadership, often there is nothing but silence. When you look around the world at some of our pronounced leaders, leadership is perhaps the last word you would use to describe them. Unfortunately, this is […]

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10 Ways to Drive extra Business Cashflow

Author: Stewart Clark

Cash is critically important for business, with many operators finding that periods after holidays or short trading months can be extra tough on the cash front. 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. So, if […]

Why you should focus on your Customer Market

Author: Stewart Clark

Who is your customer (or client), and what do they want from you?  These are two simple questions which many businesses struggle to be able to define. If you don’t know who your customer is, then it is impossible for you to maximise your business potential, because you won’t fully understand their needs and you could […]

The 5 life-cycle stages of a business

Author: Stewart Clark

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; Start-Up Growth Established / […]

How to gain Sustainable Client Referrals

Author: Stewart Clark

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 […]

Business Risk during the Festive Season

Author: Stewart Clark

As we take the run into Christmas, most business are focused on getting things finished so they can wind down for a bit of R ’n‘ R over the Christmas & New Year period. Naturally, those in Retail are still geared up until after the post Christmas sales and Hospitality, will run hard until the holidays […]

Removing phone barriers for greater Business Success

Author: Stewart Clark

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 […]

Top 10 elements for successful brochure design

Author: Stewart Clark

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, with […]

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

Author: Stewart Clark

I want to run my own business, so 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 […]

Increase your sales effectiveness with quality collateral

Author: Stewart Clark

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 […]

Compelling Copy Which Sells

Author: Stewart Clark

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. Both examples are Compelling Copy. […]

The Optimal Business Staffing Structure

Author: Stewart Clark

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 […]

Business Sale Values

Author: Stewart Clark

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 […]

The Danger of being a SMALL Business

Author: Stewart Clark

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 […]

The benefit of Honest and Timely Performance Appraisals

Author: Stewart Clark

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, my genuine desire to improve things (people and businesses), or it might simply just be my objective to see a […]

Critical Components of a Good Job Description

Author: Stewart Clark

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 clarity around the role, what the core responsibilities are, outlines the accountabilities/delegations and shows the associated performance criteria. For the employer, it provides important boundaries for the staff members to operate […]

Sale of Business Value – every business is saleable

Author: Stewart Clark

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; Sale […]

Web site mishaps which will cost your business money

Author: Stewart Clark

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 […]

Business Sales Activity in your Prospect Pipeline

Author: Stewart Clark

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 […]

Business Efficiency in Small Business

Author: Stewart Clark

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 – […]

Cash relief for stressed business owners

Author: Stewart Clark

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 […]

The Wallet Size Multi-Tool for Business

Author: Stewart Clark

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 […]

Business Data – “is it a valuable asset or an expensive handicap?”

Author: Stewart Clark

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 […]

Business Improvement for the year ahead

Author: Stewart Clark

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 […]

Business security – thieves won’t be taking a holiday

Author: Stewart Clark

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. […]

Who is your business communication written for?

Author: Stewart Clark

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 […]

Effective Business Reporting

Author: Stewart Clark

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 – where […]

5 Steps for better Business Financing

Author: Stewart Clark

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 […]

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

Author: Stewart Clark

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. My point – and the point of this article, is that if you […]

The value of continual education in business

Author: Stewart Clark

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, whether it is directly such as with a new piece of equipment or product, […]

Why you should consider more than just the Easy Option

Author: Stewart Clark

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 one put forward – whereas there is generally many ways to skin a cat. Now whilst I have no issue with a […]

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

Author: Stewart Clark

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 […]

Communicating your Close line for Impact and Results

Author: Stewart Clark

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. The reality is that there are a number of factors at play, however good preparation is able to guide you to the right time for optimal success.  There is […]

Is Business Change possible?

Author: Stewart Clark

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 […]

Making Sound Business Decisions

Author: Stewart Clark

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 […]

What information should I use to run my business?

Author: Stewart Clark

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? These are the questions which are being raised more and more with the rise of technology, as we tend to have […]

What if I didn’t read the business contract?

Author: Stewart Clark

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. Experience has shown me […]

Maximising your Business Time Management

Author: Stewart Clark

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. Perception, because busy is how we see our collection of activities – for some, 8 hours of engagements is […]

In Business – Cashflow is King

Author: Stewart Clark

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! I have seen mortally wounded businesses survive, simply because they had sufficient cashflow coming in the door to provide options. In some cases, the key objective […]

Business Margins – Improve your Financial “Short Game”

Author: Stewart Clark

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“. Underlying profitability and the associated free cash available for debt servicing are focal points for a Banker with any finance proposal – as this shows whether there is […]

Succeed with Business Succession

Author: Stewart Clark

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. It is important to recognize that succession can be a very difficult and sensitive issue for the business owners to confront. Regardless […]

Clear Business Process + Strong Execution = Great Savings

Author: Stewart Clark

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. For a minute, let’s consider the more trivial of these two examples and look at the world through the lens […]

Business – when Good Times go BAD

Author: Stewart Clark

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 which have made the business successful, suddenly go wrong – and often….very wrong! Perhaps a clearer or simpler description of operational […]

10 Banking Essentials

Author: Stewart Clark

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 maximising their banking relationship. Assess whether your business has these as you go (Yes/No responses) and be honest – pass/fail thresholds are at the end. a contact (or preferably three) […]

Business Growth Costs….

Author: Stewart Clark

Often the objective of most businesses is SALES GROWTH, but it 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 […]

The One More Thing for business success

Author: Stewart Clark

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. A few qualifiers; – know your competition as this will provide some form of benchmark. This is […]

10 Commandments of Business

Author: Stewart Clark

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.  Aptly named the 10 Commandments of Business, these are 10 activities which will add bottom line value […]

New Years Resolution for Business

Author: Stewart Clark

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. So in lifting the bar for a better outcome, why not make some positive differences for your business at the same time – […]

Is my Business Viable?

Author: Stewart Clark

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. So the better question is really; is my product or service viable? Running a successful business is all about having a […]

Marketing for Small Business

Author: Stewart Clark

90% of businesses want more sales….. and for the vast majority of these businesses – this is exactly what they need. Many businesses can make a better margin out of their existing sales, but overall a greater level of sales is what is required to allow a meaningful increase to the bottom line. Effective marketing is the […]