Life Cycle - Growth
Tips, advice and solutions for business owners wanting to grow or improve their business
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.... read more
There is a gold mine of new opportunity in your existing client base - you simply need to know where to look.
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...... read more
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.
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.... read more
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!... read more
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....... read more
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........ read more
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?... read more
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.... read more
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.......... read more
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.... read more
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.... read more
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.... read more
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.... read more
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....... read more
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.... read more
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….... read more
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.... read more
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.... read more
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.... read more
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?... read more
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.... read more
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.... read more
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!... read more
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“.... read more
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.... read more
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!... read more
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.... read more
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?... read more
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.... read more
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.... read more
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.... read more
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.... read more
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.... read more
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.... read more
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.... read more
Pricing... pricing... pricing... it’s all about getting the price right - so that your price point is not only accepted by the market.... but also delivers sufficient profit to your bottom line.... read more
"Fail to plan is planning to fail" - Winston Churchill.
Even though this well used line receives universal acceptance in conversation....... few businesses "walk the talk".... read more
At the heart of any successful sales program are a heathy number of leads generated by a well formulated marketing program. Equally, where sales or revenue levels are not hitting the mark – then generally there is no effective marketing plan in place.... read more
Operating a business has its challenges due to the many and varied issues drawing on the owners time – people, product, sales, collections, just to name a few. Thus it’s no wonder that many business owners operate “in” rather than “on” their business – which has its dangers.... read more