Brains of Business A collaborative business newsletter, focussing on practical and useful information that benefits you and your business. In this issue our contributors look at “HOW TO TAKE YOUR BUSINESS TO THE NEXT LEVEL”.
Issue 21 ISSN
March 2012 1834-2728
Ensure you have the bestt system for following-up and supporting your clients. By Julie Misson, Simply Access.................................................................................................................Page 2
Identify and remove the barriers that are preventing your business from achieving success. By Paul Henshall, Master of Business .......................................................................................................Page 3
Wouldn’t you like to spend more time on holidays? Clare shows you how to find the energy to make this happen. By Clare Fountain, Sorted Business Administration Services....................................................................Page 4
Create a better business and look after our planet at the same time. By Ian McBurney, Live Ecological..............................................................................................................Page 5
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Taking your business to the next level
WHAT WE OFFER:
• Individual database development
• Microsoft Access problem solving
• Data management
• Client management systems
• Microsoft Access training
Okay, you have dabbled in your business, quite happy with how it is going; now you are thinking of taking it to the next level. A couple of questions you need to ask yourself are: Is my database (contact management system) up to scratch? Am I as automated as I can be? It is very important if you wish to take your business to the next level. Have you got systems for following up or supporting your clients?
If possible, it is best just to have one place. Sometimes this is not possible as the lists have quite different emphasis. For example, I have a list of people that subscribe to my Newsletter; my Newsletter is about learning Microsoft Access. Whereas my clients who I build databases for have no interest in learning Microsoft Access, they just want a database that works. The lists have quite different purposes, so I keep them separate.
It is more of a concern if you have the same client’s information in many A couple of database/automation type different databases. It is a waste of time items you will need keeping them all up-toto consider if you date, and if you don’t Top Tip wish to take your keep them all up-tobusiness to the date, which database Is your Contact Management next level: has the correct and System ready to take your business has the most up-toDo I have a to the next level? date information? system to collect Once again, there are information about always exceptions my clients that is to the rule. If, for some reason, you do relevant to my business? need to keep your customer information Does my staff routinely collect this in more than one place, decide which information? database is the MASTER database. Keep that one up-to-date and only store How is this information stored? the minimum information about the Paper, electronically, etc. Electronically customer in the other. is preferred as you can then automate Do I back up my client contact how you use the contact details to follow information? up your clients and specifically meet their needs. I hope that is a YES. Is the information stored in one place or do you have multiple places that stores, either different customers, or the same customers in many different places?
Note: The above is the bare minimum that you require in order to take your business to the next level. If you have not put the above in place, then do so, NOW!
For more information contact Julie Misson
0400 906 942
Paul Henshall, Master of Business
4 simple steps to take your business to the next level...
WHAT WE OFFER:
• Results based one-toone business coaching • Intensive “group” sessions • 2 day business “boot” camps • 1 day Workshops in marketing, sales, team building, & customer service • One off business “boost” sessions for any size business
Whenever I meet with a business owner to discuss their business there are always 2 mandatory questions I ask; “Where do you want your business to be in 5 years time?” and “Why aren’t you there already?” The answers reflect the VISION the owner has for the business and gives a sense of his/her perceived constraints.
right now? If it’s knowledge, what do you need more knowledge IN and how could you get it? If it’s investment funding, how much do you need and why? If it’s the right people, what skills, experience and/ or attitude do you need and how could you get it, recruit or train?
The third part of the process is developing a plan to overcome the constraints. Think of it like the person who wants to be healthier. They’re clear on their goal weight, their ideal cardio To take YOUR capacity, their ideal business to the clothes size, etc. next level there are Top Tip They’re honest about 3 areas you need EVERY business has the ability the barriers; they don’t to be crystal clear to achieve success, they just want to give up certain on: need to identify the barriers and foods or get up earlier. systematically work through removing 1. A picture of what So, the plan might be them. ‘the next level’ to enroll in a nutritional looks and feels course, shop weekly like; and prepare meals in advance. Maybe even put out a Facebook call for a gym 2. What YOU believe the constraints to buddy! overcome are; 3. What you’ll need to do to overcome those constraints (aka, your plan). Firstly, a vision is a picture of what success will be at a particular time in the future. What does your organisation look like? How big is it? What are you famous for? Why does anyone care about what you do? How do people who work there feel about their jobs? How do you, as the founder, feel about the business? What’s your role in it? Complete the visioning process and you’ll have a clearly articulated end for your organisation. Secondly, identify the constraints. What’s stopping you from achieving your vision
You see, my belief is that EVERY business has the ability to achieve success; they just need to identify the barriers and systematically work though removing them. Oh, of course there IS one more thing you’ll have to do! The 4th Step - Take Action. The first 3 steps are actually the easy part. It’s the persistence and diligence to stick to the plan that’s the toughest one. If you’d like help in achieving any of the steps listed above please call me on 5441 6740 for an appointment. The first discussion is FREE!
Paul Henshall, Master of Business
For more information contact Paul Henshall
196 High Street, Bendigo 3550
5441 6740 / 0418 302 057
Sorted Business Administration Services
The next level and YOU!
WHAT WE OFFER:
• Practical workshops - Time Management; Find Your Desk Under the Mess; Roles & Goals
• In-house training
• We get your business organised so you can enjoy the important things in life
‘How to take your business to the next level’ will mean something different to each of you, depending on where you and your business are up to.
traditional ways. This tells me that their desire for growth is weaker than their commitment to change.
These changes often require the business owner to learn new skills and change their traditional ways of working.
include learning how to maintain your personal energy levels and ensuring you have accountability tools in place – mentors, friends, coaches, etc.
I invite you take a step back from running your business on a day-to-day level Over 12 years of working with small and review how much energy you are business owners I have noticed a pattern prepared to put into growing it – now and around growth. Each business owner into the future. If you want to see it grow has the ability to take their business but don’t have the energy, then work out comfortably to a certain level and then your options and make smart choices. they are forced to make a decision regarding growth. Do they continue as For those of you who they are or do they are inspired to step make changes outside of your comfort Top Tip such as employing zone and invest the more staff, opening Spending more time on holiday than energy into growing at work requires you to change another showroom, your business, make make sure you have the energy to expanding their sure you look after make this happen. product range, yourselves along the opening new way. In the knowledge markets, etc., etc. that you seek out,
For those who do decide to take their business to the next level, knowledge is required. This might be found by talking to people, reading books, on-line information and appointing specialists in the relevant areas. A key ingredient to the success of this knowledge is the commitment of the business owner. Are you prepared to step outside your comfort zone and develop new habits?
My final suggestion for taking your business to the next level is to work out how to make it operate without you so that your role becomes redundant. This is, of course, my area of expertise! If you want to learn how to have the time and money to holiday more than you work, let me know!
I have worked with clients who say they want to change and learn new ways of doing business but, when the crunch time comes, some default back to their
Sorted Business Administration Services
For more information contact Clare Fountain
1300 667 554
WHAT WE OFFER:
• Business Mentor program
• Speaker/ Master of Ceremonies
• Business Green Team training/ Culture Change workshops
• Local expert for your project, event, etc.
Ecological sustainability = better business
twenty years since world leaders decided carbon dioxide emissions must fall. Old and out-dated ideologies are always trumped by new ideas when the new ideas are just better a better way of doing business. Just ask Kodak.
I wonder how much ‘old Greenie’ prejudice costs business and society. I can imagine many managers still saying “Nah mate, the Green Thing is what tree huggin’ hippies do! Holdin’ up Creating a sustainable business means progress!” We see this ideology versus lower power costs, waste costs, water new ideas battle every day. And boy costs, paper costs, fleet costs and has the definition of progress changed. raw material costs. All of these costs Lego just invested $500m in a wind are rising. It also means new market farm as a ‘good long term investment’ possibilities, better and so they can products and services put ‘wind made’ and increased on every Lego Top Tip productivity. packet. Meanwhile, Change takes courage, effort and our Victorian The added bonus creativity, but a better business is government is is that these better just, well, better isn’t it? blocking wind businesses are also power and looking after the hundreds of planet. That amazing millions in wind investment has left the home that gifts us free air, water and soil state. and beautiful wild places. The federal opposition is blustering about how a Carbon Tax will cost a certain print shop $2000. Hang on! A price on carbon is exactly the trigger that business needs to invest in efficiency, which will lower costs and open its thinking to new economy ideas that will improve the business. Green inks? Sustainable papers? Water and toxin free processes? A green change of logo and marketing? These will increase market share, increase competitiveness and attract 21st century customers. If businesses get caught out by the Carbon Tax it means they have had their ideological head in the sand in the
Have a think about what your business can do to win in the 21st century economy. How can you reduce your environmental impact and save money? How can you green up your products and services and make money? While we’re talking print shops, check out what’s possible: Vega Press http://www. vega.com.au/ A book: Betterness, by Umair Haque, economist at the Harvard Business Review.
For more information contact Ian McBurney
URL Address: http://www.liveecological.com.au
0408 512 234
Welcome to the first edition of Brains of Business for 2012. Once again the group have concentrated on doing what they do best and that is t...