Tag: Life Cycle – Mature

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 […]

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 […]

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 / […]

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 […]

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 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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 – […]

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 […]

What do I need to prepare my business for sale?

Author: Stewart Clark

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 […]

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 […]

10 Mistakes to avoid when Selling your Business

Author: Stewart Clark

With lots of blood sweat and tears, you have built a business over time which is worth something…. and now you want to sell it. Some would say that the hard work has been done, but you can’t take your eye off the game at this crucial time – as it could blow up in […]

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”, […]

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 […]

My Business is Up for Sale!

Author: Stewart Clark

The sale of a business is typically an emotive situation for the business owner…… and in the majority of cases, something that they are very unfamiliar with. So if you are thinking of selling your business, then consider the following 6 ingredients for a good business sale experience. Clarity on why you are selling This is normally an “ice-breaker” question […]

Business Finance – On the Hook!

Author: Stewart Clark

For those who have borrowed money, you would be aware that financiers are always looking for a primary exit (repayment) source – normally via the repayment from business operations AS WELL AS a secondary exit just in case everything turns sour.  Most people get the simple fact that if they default on the loan, the financier will look to […]

It’s never the Message in business – always the delivery!

Author: Stewart Clark

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? In finance, most bad news revolves around loans – the words that most clients don’t want to hear from their Banker include; No! Declined.  …there’s a problem…. These are of course simple words – nothing more, but […]

But I didn’t see it coming!

Author: Stewart Clark

All too often this is the catch cry after a major incident…..a show stopping incident…..a business crippling incident… But after the dust has settled and the emotion has been removed from the discussion, the real question is “WHY didn’t you see it coming?”  Show stopping incidents in business – the ones that have the ability to cripple […]

The Factor of Time

Author: Stewart Clark

Time is a precious commodity and one not to be squandered. Often time…..is the critical factor between success and failure. In prior blogs I have made references to how important time is in finance, and then more generally – to business viability. If your business is running tight – with losses or cashflow gaps starting to show, then this article […]

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 […]