Tag: Life Cycle – Startup

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 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. […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

What is your product or service worth?

Author: Stewart Clark

Pricing… pricing… pricing… it’s all about the 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. So what is the right price, who determines this and how is it calculated? To answer these questions I normally discuss two concepts – “Cost” and “Value”. Cost – is the cost of delivery […]

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 […]

3 Strategies to Energise your Bottom Line

Author: Stewart Clark

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. The three key strategies are; •    Revenue – increase •    Direct costs – control •    Operating costs – reduce Each of these strategies has relevance […]

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 […]

7 Reasons Why You Should Know Your Cash Cycle

Author: Stewart Clark

You often hear throw away comments such as “Cash is King” and “Cash is the lifeblood of business” – but what do these really mean? “Cash is literally King” – as it is arguably the most important aspect of the financial health of any business and essentially “rules” over what happens. The other fitting analogy is that “Cash is […]

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 […]

More Fees for Business than Service

Author: Stewart Clark

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. Regrettably the […]

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 […]

Moths in your pocket

Author: Stewart Clark

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, […]