Tag: Business Management

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 […]

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 / […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

12 Costly Risks for Business

Author: Stewart Clark

Murphy’s famous law about what could go wrong is just as applicable in business as for any other part of life – with the key learning being that you always need a Plan B! 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 […]

The Cost of being Tolerant

Author: Stewart Clark

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. The two questions I pose are why…….and…..what is the cost? In general terms, things are […]

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

Author: Stewart Clark

“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”. If fact, based on a number of recent business reviews it’s obvious that more planning goes into an overseas holiday, than many business owners put into planning for the success of their business. Few businesses were actively “not planning”, […]

Business Marketing – “Shark” versus “Anemone”

Author: Stewart Clark

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. Few businesses have the volume of sales or revenue that they want, with […]

Sure Fire Business Killers

Author: Stewart Clark

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. Heading the list of dangers is the loss of sight […]

The Financial Shopping List for Business

Author: Stewart Clark

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 […]

The Business Debt Trap

Author: Stewart Clark

Debt comes in two forms – Good and Bad. Successful businesses understand the difference and actively manage their position. Over the years I have seen many businesses struggle (and some crumble) under the burden of debt – with the debt load literally hanging over the business like a tree branch waiting to fall in a strong wind. Using a simple test before taking […]

Business Decisions – play them forward three hands

Author: Stewart Clark

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; Problem: Business is going well with a large volume of short term contracts driving the existing business resources very hard. Solution: Hire […]

5 Avoidable Banking Mistakes for Business

Author: Stewart Clark

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 […]