Life Cycle - Startup

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

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 periods after holidays or short trading months can be extra tough on the cashf 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.

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( Posted in: Cash Management )

Why you should focus on your Customer Market

Why you should focus on your Customer Market

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.

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( Posted in: Business Performance )

Business Risk during the Festive Season

Business Risk during the Festive Season
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 finish, but….there is another group who are gearing up for a busy holiday season.
 
This group, would officially be on the “naughty list”, as this group have only one objective - to rob you.
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( Posted in: Risk Mitigation )

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 )

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 )

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 )

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 )

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 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 )

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 )

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 )

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 )

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 )

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 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 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 )

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 )

What is your product or service worth?

What is your product or service worth?

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.

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( Posted in: Business Performance )

Fail to have a Business Plan is Planning to Fail in Business

Fail to have a Business Plan is Planning to Fail in Business

"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".

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( Posted in: Business Management )

Business Marketing - "Shark" versus "Anemone"

Business Marketing - "Shark" versus "Anemone"

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.

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( Posted in: Business Performance )

Sure Fire Business Killers

Sure Fire Business Killers

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.

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( Posted in: Business Management )

3 Strategies to Energise your Bottom Line

3 Strategies to Energise your Bottom Line

There are three key strategies available to energise your bottom line, with then an infinite number of tactics which can be used to support them - customised to your business and its circumstance.

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( Posted in: Business Performance )

It's never the Message in business - always the delivery!

It's never the Message in business - always the delivery!

How many times have you been given some news and reacted badly; triggering a sudden or violent reaction, not gaining an understanding or getting the full message?

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( Posted in: Communication )

7 Reasons Why You Should Know Your Cash Cycle

7 Reasons Why You Should Know  Your Cash Cycle

You often hear throw away comments such as “Cash is King” and “Cash is the lifeblood of business” – but what do these really mean?

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( Posted in: Cash Management )

The Financial Shopping List for Business

The Financial Shopping List for Business

With countless finance products in the market - which one should I take? This is an FAQ from most businesses at some point, so this simple shopping list should take some pain out of the process.

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 )

More Fees for Business than Service

More Fees for Business than Service

Ever noticed that some bill accounts are so complex that it takes a master’s degree to work them out? Put simply.....it's an illusion to justify a larger cost and/or mask the value that is being charged. 

I call the language used in these accounts "bill speak", so once you understand how to translate it - you will never be fooled again.

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( Posted in: Cash Management )

Business Decisions - play them forward three hands

Business Decisions - play them forward three hands

Many strategies and decisions are made "in the moment" - considering only todays issues with little thought given to the flow on effects or impacts.

Consider for a moment what this could look like in a practical business context;

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( Posted in: Business Management )

5 Avoidable Banking Mistakes for Business

5 Avoidable Banking Mistakes for Business

As with most things in life - learn the lessons of those who have gone before you.

Over my years working with businesses and lending money, I have seen a number of simple mistakes that have cost people a lot of money. To save you the cost of these, I have jotted down 5 of the most common mistakes that I have seen, along with simple yet effective suggestions to avoid them.

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( Posted in: Banking )

Moths in your pocket

Moths in your pocket

Successful businesses have a strong handle on where they spend their money.

There is no point putting in all of the effort in running a business, finding clients and generating sales if at the end of the day - you have nothing left to show for it. Every dollar you spend must deliver tangible value to you and your business.  If it doesn't, then it makes no sense to pay it.

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( Posted in: Cash Management )