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ISSUE 45 / MAY 2014

FRANKSTON / MORNINGTON PENINSULA / DANDENONG

TONY MURRELL KEITH PLATT MARG HARRISON DAVID HILET MELANIE LARKE SIMON BROWN Design MARLON PLATT

Publisher / Director Editorial Director Sales Director Managing Director Material production / Prepress

Columns

Inside

www.businesstimes.net.au

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COUNCIL RATES: Municipalities look at how much you’ll pay in 2013-14.

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Networking: Ivan Misner 10 Social Media: Jessica Humphreys 16 Excel: Neal Blackwood 16 Health: Mike Ellis 18 Markets: Richard Campbell 19 Managing: Hamish Petrie 22

WOMEN BLOOM: Networking gives entrepreneur some valuable confidence.

Email: General: inquiries@businesstimes.net.au Editorial: news@businesstimes.net.au Advertising: sales@businesstimes.net.au Artwork: production@businesstimes.net.au

BusinessTimes is published 11 times a year by BusinessTimes Pty Ltd and printed by Galaxy Print & Design, 76 Reid Parade, Hastings, Victoria 3915. Postal: PO Box 428, Hastings, Victoria 3915 Tel. 03 5979 3927 Fax. 03 5979 7944

Make sure every business knows your business. For advertising, contact Marg Harrison on 0414 773 153 or marg@businesstimes.net.au

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COVER: Adrian Brown liked the switchboards so much he bought the company. PAGE 12 Background photo: Welder at work at DaRa Switchboards.

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Check updates online at www.businesstimes.net.au

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DISCLAIMER: Information in BusinessTimes contains general advice only. No article or column has been prepared taking into account any individual reader’s financial situation, investment objectives or particular needs. Readers should personally consult professionals for advice on any matter, including investment, health and the law. While all care is taken, BusinessTimes accepts no responsibility for errors or omissions in the published material. Views expressed are not necessarily those of BusinessTimes Pty Ltd. All content is copyright.

may 2014

business

2 | BusinessTimes Frankston / Mornington Peninsula / Dandenong | May 2014


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BusinessTimes | 3


news

n Bizzquiz: David Sarfaty

them to the sale of the Lazy Duck. The time was ripe to buy the business that now, four years later, operates as ‘the local’ at 62 High St, Hastings. I dreamed of being ... Better, stronger, faster. My first paid job was ... Dagging fleece when I was 11. In 10 years I will be ... More enlightened. Our business planning entails ... Looking at our market and trying to stay relevant. Tip for success ... Know your product. I am inspired by ... The tenacity of industry peers. Anyone starting a business should ... Jump in with a parachute. I'll know I'm successful when ... I no longer require the parachute. My mother and father always told me ... To be honest, I don't think they were on song with the big message. I wish I had ... More hours in the day. I wish I had not ... Taken the long road to being in business.

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David Sarfaty and Bernadette Taylor bought the “underperforming” Lazy Duck cafe and takeaway at Hastings in 2010. They had been looking at starting a business since they met and married in Byron Bay in the late 1990s. At that time David had worked in various Sydney establishments, including a few stints with one of his mentors, Louis Loizia. When they met, David was working for the famously idiosyncratic icon of Japanese cuisine on the north coast, Hideki Tagaki. Eki, as he was known, had “a devilish sense of humour” and demanded complete loyalty and obedience from his crew. “After lunch service, when he said clean down and put your board shorts on,

he meant it. A refreshing swim or body surf at Main Beach was mandatory.” David describes leaving Byron as “a wrench but, as the saying goes, one door opens and another slams shut in your face". Once back in Sydney Bernadette managed a delicatessen and cafe in Darlinghurst while David held various positions in CBD catering operations as well as behind the stoves at a couple of ‘cook-by-numbers restaurants”. When expecting their second child they realised that four people in a tiny flat might be a tight so they decide to emigrate south as Bernadette had close family in Melbourne as well as many school and life friends. David was relieved to be “shot of the Sydney-sized mortgage”. They soon settled in Frankston and Bernadette was busy with a baby and David found work at a luxury B&B in Moorooduc. After a few more years behind the stove, a former colleague alerted

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BusinessTimes Frankston / Mornington Peninsula / Dandenong | May 2014


local government

Rates well above inflation Frankston and Greater Dandenong councils are aiming for a 5.5% rate increase while Mornington Peninsula is seeking 5.9%. While residential property owners in Frankston will pay an average of 5.2 per cent more on their rate bills next financial year, owners of vacant land will be hit with a 35.4 per cent hike. On the peninsula rates will increase 5.9 per cent next financial year – more than double the rate of inflation – according to the shire council’s draft budget. The council says the rise is coming off a low base and that, in dollar terms, the hit to ratepayers’ hip pockets would be small. Meanwhile, Greater Dandenong Council is considering amending its rating strategy so that “all major rating categories pay close to the overall 5.9% proposed rate increase”. It also plans to drop the municipal charge.

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The proposed differential rate strategy is on public exhibition until 28 May and will be considered for adoption at its 23 June meeting. Under the amended strategy industrial premises will face a 157% surcharge (up from 150%) and commercial properties a 78% surcharge (up from 75%). The council has also given notice that it will investigate the legitimacy of properties claiming the 20% farm discount. Frankston says its projected rate rise is a “moderate rate increase and significant capital investment”. For the city’s 53,403 residential property owners, rates will rise an average $75, based on a median residential property value of $373,651. In addition to the rate hike, the draft 2014/15 budget proposes a 5.5 per cent increase in waste collection fees, while ratepayers will also

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pay more for the fire services levy. Capital expenditure for the 2014/15 financial year is estimated at $50.73 million, borrowing $5.72 million for capital works projects, leaving an underlying operational surplus of $7.56 million. The most significant projects in the proposed 2014/15 budget are $6 million for the development of the Frankston Yacht Club and $4.25 million for the $50 million Peninsula Aquatic Recreation Centre. On the Mornington Peninsula the bi-annual review of property prices during the 2014-15 financial year could significantly affect the rise ratepayers face, particularly steep real estate price increases in some towns. During early to mid-2013, peninsula towns which saw steep property prices have since bounced back. Across Melbourne, median home prices grew in the March quarter to $652,500, reflecting annual growth of 13.7 per cent.

May 2014 | Frankston / Mornington Peninsula / Dandenong BusinessTimes | 5


BUSY BITES

both outside and inside the organisation. “As a result, we believe a new security approach is needed – one that’s embedded in the fabric of software, governing access to every application and protecting every device, both inside and outside a corporate network.”

Missing the family A survey by “global workplace provider” Regus shows Australians travelling for business list their family (73 per cent) and home (49 per cent) as the things they miss most while away. Home cooking (26 per cent), pets (18 per cent) and their pillow (16 per cent) came next on the list of what they missed most while on the road. Just eight per cent said they missed the weather.

working at finding a job

Manufacturing jobs

we’re slow on cyber breaches Despite being the most technology confident globally, Australian businesses are the slowest to react to cyber security breach – taking an average of 10 hours to identify the source of a breach. More than half of Australian businesses (58 per cent) have experienced a security breach in the past year, while 30 per cent of companies remain unsure of their ability to fight cyber threats More than a third of Australia’s employees access company databases through a personal device, increasing the risk of a security breach. When asked about the root cause of their latest cyber attack, 40 per cent noted it was an outsider attack while 24 per cent experienced a malware or virus intrusion. One fifth reported their latest attack was a result of mobile device vulnerability. Ian Hodge, general manager of Dell Software Australia, said that traditional security solutions could defend against malware and known vulnerabilities, but were generally ineffective in this new era of advanced, previously undetected threats from

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Greater Dandenong local government area provides 22,800 jobs in manufacturing , representing 30% of all jobs in a city renowned as the manufacturing hub of Victoria. Other sectors providing a significant proportion of jobs are the wholesale trade (8000), health care (6800), and retail trade (6900). The municipality has a population estimated at 147,000 in 2014 This is forecast to increase to 160,000 by 2024. Recent population growth is mainly in residential developments in Keysborough South and central Dandenong. Dandenong’s median house price in 2012 was $383,415 compared to the metropolitan Melbourne median of $440,295. Sixty per cent of the population of the city was born overseas.

Job matching network OneShift says more most people have looked for a new job during work hours. Of 2659 workers surveyed, 52 per cent said they had taken time out of their work day to look for a new job, with 10 per cent admitting to being caught in the act. “You’d think getting caught would be a fairly strong disincentive, but apparently not. More than half of the people we asked openly admitted to looking for work on their bosses watch. To me, this suggests job-hunting while at work is becoming common practice,” OneShift CEO, Gen George said. “The emergence of online job boards, professional networks and recruitment services like OneShift, means new jobs are being posted online all of the time and made available for browsing at any time of day.” Of the respondents, half (51 per cent) said they had been approached by another employer while at work, suggesting employers and recruiters are becoming more brazen in their attempts to secure talent. George said the modern worker was more receptive to job-hopping and trying something new. “There’s much more fluidity in today’s job market and far less loyalty. Gone are the days of sitting in a job for 10, 20 or 30 years. “While you might not be able to stop them browsing online for new jobs, and there’s not much you can do to stop them being approached by recruiters, with the right mix of benefits, culture, opportunity and remuneration, you can make the decision to leave your organisation incredibly difficult.”

6 | BusinessTimes Frankston / Mornington Peninsula / Dandenong | May 2014


BY DANIELLE MCCREDDEN*

Substantial amendments to the Privacy Act have come into effect with the introduction of new privacy principles. The Privacy Act first began to regulate the way that private organisations collect, store, use and disclose personal information in 2001. The amendments to the act have introduced Australian Privacy Principles to replace the previous National Privacy Principles. The new principles are in many cases similar to the previous requirements, but the requirements for compliance have been changed. For example, the new principles give increased emphasis to issues including using information for direct marketing and the way that individuals can access and correct information held by an organisation. New concepts in ‘...New provisions the amended Privacy ... assist individuals Act specifically deal dealing with suspected with an organisaidentity fraud tion’s obligations in relation to unsoDanielle McCredden, partner, White Cleland, Frankston licited information – information that a person volunteers which is not specifically requested. It is important to know whether you can keep a record of that information and for how long. The most substantial changes to the act relate to credit reporting. The changes in the rules affect the type of information which might be available to credit providers, such as repayment history. The rights of individuals for access to and requests for correction of information in credit reports have been increased. There are new provisions which are designed to assist individuals dealing with suspected identity fraud. This may affect whether a credit provider can report or rely on defaults and activity which may have taken place under a stolen identity. Perhaps most importantly, the consequences of

getting it wrong have increased. The Privacy Commissioner has increased powers to order fines, conduct privacy audits and investigate complaints, so it is important to make sure that policies, procedures and training is complete and up to date. *Danielle McCredden is a partner at White Cleland working in the areas of litigation, insolvency and dispute resolution. She provides advice to businesses in issues of compliance in relation to privacy, employment and workplace policies.

TIME TO REASSESS YOUR BOOKKEEPER? If your bookkeeper fits any of the four following characteristics, it might be time to consider looking for a new one: 1. Your bookkeeper never seems to have time for you. Nobody wants to work with a bookkeeper that is always behind on work. When you ask for information, you want it as soon as possible. You need to work with a motivated, efficient bookkeeper that promises clear communication. 2. They never make suggestions. It’s not enough to fill out forms and hand you reports when you ask for them. Your bookkeeper needs to be honest, telling you when there are problems and bring ideas to the table. You should feel trust with the person managing your finances. 3. They don’t appear to be doing anything at all. If you can’t explain to somebody in one sentence what your bookkeeper has done for you, it might be time to start looking around. Staying involved in the process also ensures that there is no theft going on. 4. Poor communication skills. Think about the way you respond to clients – do you leave them hanging? No. Once you express your need to have regular discussion regarding your finances, your bookkeeper should make an effort to call or email regularly to check in. – Dale Wyatt, Managing Director, Nova Bookkeeping

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What leaders lack Research indicates that many Australian business leaders don’t highly rate the ability to inspire and motivate. While they have plenty of technical and professional expertise and the ability to drive results, they lack the ability to inspire and motivate others. Global consultancy rogenSi asked 630 Australian clients to rate the importance and their ability across 16 core leadership competencies. The results show that “inspires and motivates others” was the second last skill on the Australian rating. However, leaders themselves rated “inspires and motivates” as the most important leadership competency. Terry Reynolds, rogenSi ‘s regional Asia Pacific managing director, said “two out of three Australian leaders just will not cut it”. There was some good news from the survey, with Reynolds saying leaders could attain missing skills. “I have seen technical experts, with no inclination to take the stage, grow into highly accomplished speakers and – through this and other platforms – become extraordinarily inspiring from what they would concede was a very low starting point.”

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May 2014 | Frankston / Mornington Peninsula / Dandenong | BusinessTimes | 7


NETWORKING gallery

1. Accountancy group R J Sanderson hosted the April Dandenong Chamber of Commerce networking event at the Chifley Doveton. Sjaak and Joy Kusters, of Joy Voice, with Roy Sanderson, principal of of R J Sanderson Accountants. 2. Rose and Charlie Visic, of Visic and Co Builders, Lyne Stuart, of Training Plus and David Luca, of banking products and services group, CUA.

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3. Geoff LeCornu, of ALS, and Lyne Stuart, of Training Plus. 4. Emmillia Riley, of Pitcher Partners, Souzan Adfour, Diane Hem, of Wise Employment. 5. Mt Eliza Business Networking group met at Mornington bar Brass Razu hosted Mt Eliza Business Networking’s April get together on 9 April. Paul Collier, owner of Brass Razu, Jerome Buultjens, of Loyality Program, and Tony Sambell, owner of Spicy Web Design. 6. Roger Simpson, of By the Bottle, Jenny Williams, of Delphinus Cruisers, and Andy Cavarra, of Cavman Productions. 7. Balnarring networking lunch: Heritage Tavern Balnarring owner Gail Loveridge hosted the village’s monthly lunch on Friday 4 April. Pictured from left are Debbie Dmooy, of Rad Bookkeeping, guest speaker Marg Harrison, of Business Times, and Renee Gould, of Big Day Event Styling.

8. Gavin Smith, of Wootons Accountants, Gail Loveridge, owner of Heritage Tavern, and Darren Forsyth, of Woottons Accountants, with Mike Walls, of B&C Capital Group.

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 8 | BusinessTimes Frankston / Mornington Peninsula / Dandenong | May 2014  

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 


9. Peninsula Business Network’s breakfast at Barmah Park, Moorooduc, on 1 April attracted more than 80 members and guests. Alan Marion, of Trainex Systems, was guest speaker. Craig Robertson and Sue Voss, of Robertson-Voss Accountants, Mt Eliza,

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10. Alan Marion, of Trainex Systems, was a popular choice, speaking about the sales process. 11. Paul Basso, director of Aussie Home Loans Mornington, with Chris Watson, manager of Mt Eliza Community Bank. 12. Small Business Minister and Dunkley MP Bruce Billson was guest speaker at Peninsula Business Networking’s breakfast at Mornington Racing Club on 23 April. Pictured with Peter Rawlings, of Rawlings and Associates financial planners, are (left) Lauren Wilson, of Mornington Racing Club and racing club manager Angela Cleland (right). 13. Michael Paxton and Kerrie LallyJolles, of Job Futures. 14. Bruce Billson with Peninsula Business Network president Elizabeth Wells, of Evolution Recruitment, and Jeff Griffiths, managing director of Endeavour Petroleum.

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15. Mornington MLA David Morris with Smart Business Solutions owners Nadia Hughes (left) and Shannon Smitt. 16. Tony Papadopoulos , of TPGD, with Brass Razu owners Loredana and Paul Collier.

email marg@businesstimes.net.au if you have something to share.

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May 2014 | Frankston / Mornington Peninsula / Dandenong BusinessTimes | 9


NETWORKING

Purposeful meal meetings So, what exactly is a purposeful meal meeting? First, I’ll clarify what it is not. It’s not a way to escape work; it’s not a time to have three martinis; it’s not a romantic date; and it’s not about critiquing new restaurants or reviewing fine wines.  Dr lvan Misner*

Networking specialist

results oriented. They provide high value for your invested time. Let’s begin by considering the average workweek of five days. There are three meals usually eaten in a day. Barring the usual hindrances to daily scheduling, this gives you 15 opportunities each week to have a purposeful meal meeting. That’s 780 opportunities in a year. Now, dining with 780 people could not only put a hole in your pocket, but it could tear a hole in some of your personal relationships as well. Let’s be realistic … imagine what your significant other would begin to think if

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All these things can be great fun; I’m not arguing that. But none of them are focused on, or maybe even conducive to, productive networking. A purposeful meal meeting is nothing more than a meeting that includes a meal and a specific, meaningful purpose. And the specific purpose I want to talk about is networking.  When networking at a meal meeting, your networking purpose might be to further develop the relationship, to help a colleague solve a problem, to learn how to refer someone in your network, to introduce your colleague to someone significant, or to teach someone how to talk about your business to his own network members. These meetings are strategic and

instead of eating the majority of your meals with the family, you were out eating each meal with a different person. You certainly don’t want to stay away from home so much that your children and/or pets no longer recognise you.  So, let’s say half of your meals are spent eating with your family – you still have an estimated 390 opportunities for purposeful meal meetings. The point is, the potential exists for a substantial amount of networking over meals. No one capitalises on this concept better than my friend Keith Ferrazzi. In his book Never Eat Alone, Ferrazzi states: “I’m constantly looking to include others in whatever I’m doing. It’s good for them, good for me, and good for everyone to broaden their circle of friends.”  This level of networking increases his productivity and helps him connect with people from different parts of his community. Ferrazzi believes that his strongest links have been forged at the table. He has learned how powerful the art of throwing a dinner party can be in creating memories and strengthening

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10 NICH404_BusinessTimes127x185.indd | BusinessTimes Frankston / Mornington Peninsula / Dandenong | May 2014 1

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relationships. Something magical and companionable happens when friends break bread together.  Ferrazzi is quick to mention, however, that if you continue to have dinner parties with the same people, your circle will never grow. His solution is to identify and invite “anchor tenants” to your party. These are people who are related to your core group but who know different people, have experienced different things, and thus have much to share. They tend to be the people who have had a positive influence on your friends’ lives. It’s akin to inviting the CEO to the manager’s table, as Ferrazzi says. Soon, other executives will want to be there too. I had the opportunity to experience one of Keith’s networking parties first hand, and the anchor guest that night was legendary author Gore Vidal. Providing the entertainment was America’s oldest collegiate a cappella group, the Whiffenpoofs of Yale. Now, clearly, not all of us will be able to get Gore Vidal and the Whiffenpoofs

at our networking party, but I’m guessing that Keith didn’t have them at his first party either. However, the strategy is sound, and I encourage you to try out the concept as a way of building your visibility in the community. Keith has paid close attention to how a meal can most appropriately be leveraged for a business networking opportunity. The primary focus should always be on developing the relationship. Learning about each other, helping one another with problems, and giving of ourselves that’s what defines a purposeful meal meeting. Why not start now – begin to plan some purposeful meal meetings or dinner parties where you can make memorable, beneficial connections.  *Dr Ivan Misner is a New York Times bestselling author. He is founder and chairman of Business Networking International (BNI), the world’s largest networking organisation. Dr Misner is also senior partner for the Referral Institute, an international referral training company. Email: misner@BNI.com

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COVER STORY

FROM SOUTH AFRICAN CATTLE TO SWITCHBOARD MANUFACTURE KEITH PLATT TALKS TO ADRIAN BROWN, WHO REBADGED AN OLD U.S. ELECTRONICS COMPANY OPERATING IN MULGRAVE

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unning a cattle farm in South Africa while managing an electronics firm in Mulgrave sounds poles apart. But, according to Adrian Brown, “it’s no problem really”. South African-born Brown plans to soon take out Australian citizenship, a decision he’s made because of a love for his adopted country rather than it being a legal requirement.

Brown established the electronics company DaRa Switchboards after he bought the assets of Heinemann Electric, a company that began in the United States in 1888 for which he had worked in South Africa since 1987. Sent to Australia to manage a large part of Heinemann’s operations at its Mulgrave plant, Brown watched as its business steadily declined. He was in charge of 110 of the 130 staff, “but not marketing or accounts”. A mechanical engineer, Brown grew up in South Africa and started working at Heinemann’s head office in Johannesburg in the mid-1980s. He was responsible for taking work to plants in outlying areas which was “far more efficient” and economical. He was also sent in to help businesses bought by the parent company. In 2004, Heinemann’s sent him to Australia in a bid to stem losses of a company originally set up independently by a co-owner of Heinemann. “They knew I had ideas and so I went back and forth between South Africa and Australia.” Eventually, Heinemann’s appointed an Australian general manager and asked Brown to stay on. He agreed, moving here 12 | BusinessTimes

THE POWE with his wife and daughter. The losses continued, the “blame game began” and Heinemann (acquired by CBI-Electric, South Africa in 2004) decided to pull out of Australia. Brown made an offer based solely on the value of the assets, which led to what was seen as a management buyout. In doing so he beat a separate offer to buy the company put together by another Heinemann executive. Something of a trouble shooter for Heinemann’s, Brown knew the industry – making switchboards – and felt it had a future in Australia. Since beginning DaRa on April Fool’s Day (1 April) 2010 Brown has weathered the after effects of the global financial crisis (GFC) and is hoping there is truth in Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s promise of better times to come. In fact, Abbott’s elevation to power after a drawn out election campaign had also been

a lesson to Brown. He was surprised that Australian businesses seemed to adopt a wait and see attitude once the election was announced by then Prime Minister Julia Gillard. “In South Africa everything stays the same; business is not affected by election campaigning.” Brown says demand for switchboards has dropped markedly following the downturn in the building and mining industries. He is optimistic, but says spotting and filling niche markets and making sure orders are delivered on time will be the key to DaRa’s success. His analysis of the company’s performance: first year difficult; second year $1 million profit; third and fourth years bad. Profits from the second year were ploughed back into the company and during a tour of the factory Brown points out plant and equipment that has been added to that


LEFT: Adrian Brown, an owner of DaRa Switchboards, Mulgrave. BELOW: Welder John Popco. BOTTOM: Chaminda Ranaweera wires up a switchboard.

ER SWITCH

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Remaining optimistic, he sees part of DaRa’s future lying within the niche market of servicing transformers – basically, removing oxygen and hydrogen from the oil inside a transformer to extend the life of coated cables. To carry out this task DaRa will take a $260,000 oil filtering system into the field to clean the oil, which is then re-used. The move is being made in conjunction with Taiwanese oil immersed distribution transformer manufacturer Shihlin Electric. Brown hopes the “handshake type of deal” will see his company servicing transformers supplied to Shihlin’s Australian customers. “Shihlin is an investor, they bought the equipment and we will operate it,” he says. “They can give very good back-up to customers. They’ve got the science; we do the tests for them and provide the labour. “We’re battling, but will keep looking for

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which came from Heinemann. Neighbouring factories have been rented to provide extra space. Brown’s investment was financed “basically by using my pension and retrenchment money”. Three other financial partners – all former Heinemann employees - were chosen and added for their expertise in the switchboard industry. The name of the company behind DaRa - Brown-Denarusha Pty Ltd - is a combination of the partners’ names: managing director Adrian Brown; manufacturing director (electrical fitting and wiring), Aruna Wanasundara; manufacturing director (sheet metal), Densil Hickman; and director (product quality and engineering), Shanaka Unantenne. Once he had bought the assets and had found his three partners Brown started out with 12 staff. This rose to 75 but has now dropped to 40 “because of the economy”.

May 2014 | Frankston / Mornington Peninsula / Dandenong BusinessTimes | 13


cover story

Beating the ‘fear factor’ of offshoring

POWER SWITCH

Accountants Jason Bertalli and Ian Raspin, owners of BNR Partners, travelled to the Philippines to study outsourcing opportunities. Bertalli explains his journey from sceptic to convert. BNR is now using staff in the Philippines for offline administration support.

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Addressing the “fear factor”

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more of these niche markets. “Any successful switchboard company has a niche market that no others are involved in.” Brown cites a job for Melbourne Water as an example of DaRa’s ability to act quickly for a customer. The problem arose when the water utility was unable to lower a transformer through a pump hole after deciding it should go underground rather than as originally planned above ground. Experts in making the heavy duty casing that covers transformers, DaRa agreed to the job at midday on a Friday, worked all weekend and delivered a design by 3.30pm the following Monday. The transformer was disassembled, taken underground and then fitted with its new 3.5 metre by 2.5 metre stainless steel case within three weeks; a second one was in place one week later. “We have a reputation as specialists and I can’t think of another company that could have done that in a month: design, manufacture and installation.” Brown says he has been told 17

switchboard companies have closed down in Queensland alone as a consequence of “the whole economy being down”. He says supplying switchboards for the mining industry, once 100 per cent of DaRa’s business, is down to 15 per cent. “I started the company for my own survival, providing jobs for all those people. But I soon realised there is no one out there helping you. “Tax is a permanent annoyance and there is no protection from people who import switchboards from Asia. “I wanted everything we did to be Australian made. We could get switchboards from Sri Lanka where one week’s pay is one hour here. “We need a bit of protection – it’s better having people at work instead of being on the dole. “What is going to happen to Australia? Somehow we have got to survive.” Brown says DaRa is “hanging in, but selling boards, basically, at cost price”. Rather than throwing in the towel, Brown is adamant about staying in business, providing efficient, dependable service: “I am going to fight.”

14 | BusinessTimes Frankston / Mornington Peninsula / Dandenong | May 2014

It’s OK to experience the ‘fear factor’ – or at least a feeling of trepidation – when considering off-shoring some of your business activities. I felt the same way. With two children under 10 my first thoughts on the topic of “outsourcing” were about their future employment prospects. (Actually, my first thoughts were of tiny sweatshops with poor abused children hunched over computers in an updated and mildly corrupted version of a scene from Oliver Twist). I wanted to find out first hand about “outsourcing”, also called BPO (businessprocess outsourcing) and off-shoring. My business partner Ian Raspin and I paid to fly to the Philippines and take a BPO industry tour in September, 2013. The tour After three days visiting 15 sites and hearing 35 presentations, it was obvious what was happening. The Philippines has a population of around 103 million, with a workforce of 41 million and an average age of 22 years. There are already 850,000 people working in the offshore support industry, and the industry is growing exponentially. This is now a $13 billion enterprise, the second biggest contributor to the national GDP (the first is Filipino workers flying


off-shoring

LEFT: Jotham Austria working for BNR in an office at Clarke in the Philippines.

What to do?

offshore to work, and sending money home, but that’s another story). Offshore support is expected to become the country’s biggest contributor within 18 months. One of the surprises to us was working conditions. Offices that we saw, not just on the tour but also in passing, were of similar quality and comfort to our own. Standards are quite high because the better places get the better workers. Employees work with dual monitors and VOIP phones. They have award conditions, like medical cover for themselves and direct family, and regular holidays. We did not see a country of computerised sweatshops. Also surprising was what the foreign business people using these services saw as major benefits. While most assume that off-shoring is to save money, most people we spoke to were talking about the increase in customer service as the dominant benefit. Here was my light bulb moment – instead of saving money and sacking the local workforce, these businesses are using a cheaper but highly educated workforce to enhance the customer experience. An example is a Queenslander in real estate who has increased local staff by 25% and is using the Filipino staff to impress current and potential customers with exceptional service via VOIP calls and Google maps. What about our local jobs? This is always the hot topic in the “outsourcing” discussion. Australians are very openly loyal to “Buy Australian” and “Keep the jobs here” campaigns. I

had concerns for the same reasons. Being raised in a small Victorian country town, I have this inbuilt aversion to issues such as foreign ownership and control. Back then it was almost a sin not to drive one of the two Australian brand cars. Two things changed my mind. First, most business people using these resources are actually growing their workforce in Australia. This sounds illogical, but if you consider customer service being the focus, as opposed to cutting costs, it makes sense. Having some admin support staff members in a similar time zone (the same as Perth) who speak very agreeable American English, these businesses are able to free their local teams to work on higher end tasks. Their processes and procedures are improved and at the same time they are blowing away their opposition. Second, and this didn’t hit me until after returning home, these businesses are generating local profits, spending the money earned with other local businesses, and actually helping the economy. A bigger fear for me was raised in an email weeks after I arrived home. It was a report by the Indian Consulate, promoting my industry as a healthy target for Indianowned firms. My brain went into overdrive. If my industry loses business to offshore firms, those profits – all that income in its entirety – is lost. Australia loses the recurring spend of this cash. Our economy loses the benefit of all this money. It’s gone. Now, that does scare me.

As business owners we have a few options. We can choose to do nothing. This process doesn’t seem to be an issue for the government. Our businesses have not yet been affected in any material way. We can just carry on as usual. And depending on your personal situation – and that of your business – this “while” may well be long enough to see you out to retirement. But if it’s not, you may be in trouble. We can complain and yell at our local politicians. Have referendums; vote with our feet. Make the government legislate against people sending work overseas stop internationals from working here. Charge a tax or a duty or a tariff. Hopefully that will stop it. Or slow it down. But really, how could that work? We all want to buy Australian, until it’s cheaper to buy something else, and the something else is better. Remember the customer service focus. That leaves embracing the change. Human nature is to resist change, even though we know that change is the main impetus for positive growth. The perception was that the industrial revolution would lead to mass unemployment, but it lead to growth. The perceptions were similar with other major events such as the advent of the motorcar and the accelerated take up of the internet, neither of which modern society would choose to live without. The trend will continue to grow. The world is becoming a much smaller place in which to do business. Technology makes it just as easy to have a PA in the office next door or thousands of miles away. My suggestion is to at least look at this option without preconceived notions and armed with a bit of knowledge . Don’t be the business that missed the boat.

May 2014 | Frankston / Mornington Peninsula / Dandenong BusinessTimes | 15


blogging for your business How do you decide which social Jessica Humphreys* platform is right for you? Social media consultant There is an abundance of choice when it comes to social media these days – Google +, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn and so on. It can be overwhelming to decide which ones are right for your business and if you should occupy multiple spaces. Many businesses feel they have to be across as many platforms as possible and often end up doing an average job on all. Unless you are willing to invest a large amount of time and resources into social media it’s best to pour your energy into just two or three social media platforms. First, identify who your target audience is and what platforms they engage with regularly. For instance, you might be a B2B business looking to create content for other businesses so LinkedIn might be a platform most suited to you. Next, establish your reason for being on social media. Is your business product based? Maybe sharing images of your content would be a good place to start. If so, Instagram or Pinterest might be suitable platforms for you. If you have a lot of text you would like to share then platforms like Facebook, Google + and Twitter may be more suited. These

platforms enable you to share a mix of content. It may also be worth taking a look at the number of people on each social platform – socialmedianews.com.au publish monthly Australian statistics which show which platforms rank the highest in order. Currently, Facebook is topping the list. After you have established what platform is right for you give it a try! For more social media tips and advise check out www. socialconceptsconsulting.com *Jessica Humphreys operates Social Concepts, a social media consulting business. Send questions to Jessica@socialconceptsconsulting.com

exception reporting in excel When creating reports in Excel Neale Blackwood* it can be necessary to apply a Business software specialist format if certain measures are outside acceptable parameters. For example, you might have a variance report that compares actuals and budget figures. On a line by line basis it might acceptable if actuals are within say, 5% of budget. The 5% figure is arbitrary and it could by 3% or 10% depending how tightly you run your business. Of course the percentage variance alone isn’t always justification for investigating, the dollar value may be too low

Do you own a franchise? Thinking of buying a franchise? We understand you have special business needs BNR Partners are part of the Franchise Accountants Network; a national group dedicated to helping both Franchisors and Franchisees. Talk to us about how we can help you: • Assess a franchise opportunity • Set up your business wisely • Improve your financial position Jason Bertalli, Director of BNR Partners and leads the firms’ Business Service and Franchise divisions. Having over 15 years experience as Business Advisor, Jason and his experienced team work closely with businesses across Victoria bringing practical solutions and an easily understood approach to enhance the development and growth of his clients’ businesses.

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16 | BusinessTimes Frankston / Mornington Peninsula / Dandenong | May 2014

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CONTRIBUTOrs

to worry about. Excel has a built-in feature called Conditional Formatting that allows you to automatically apply different formats if certain parameters are met, or not met. Hence, favourable variances can be highlighted as green and shown with a tick symbol and unfavourable variances can be shown as red, with a cross symbol. This can make it very easy to scan a large report and identify those lines that need more investigation. The percentages used to identify different variance levels can also be flexible. They can be linked to a cell. This allows you to see the impact of using different percentages simply by changing a cell value.

We’re here ... to help you achieve your business goals.

*Neale Blackwood owns and operates A4 Accounting. He does Excel consulting, webinars, training and coaching. Mobile: 0402 882122

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Successful Business Matters is the theme for a business expo at Woodlands Golf Club, Mordialloc, on Tuesday 3 June. The expo, sponsored by Your Business Matters, will feature presentations and exhibitors Presentations include: •10 Key tips to maximise financial success – Alex Stewart, principal, Maggs Reid Stewart, business and tax advisors. • Accelerate your business growth – Don Gregg, Advice4Growth, business strategy expert. • Key HR & OH&S things that could trip businesses up: what do you need to do to ensure your business is compliant? – Cheryl Disher and Kerrie Canning, Founding Partners at HR Advice OnLine. • Is bad branding damaging your business credibility? – Jacqui Hine, graphic designer and owner, No Grey Creative. • Finding the story within your business – Linda Reed-Enever, principal director ThoughtSpot PR and the founder of Media Connections. • How to Create a High Performance Culture in your Workplace – Warren Howard, business director, Howard Co Business and HR Solutions. • Key fundamentals your business must have – Ronen Atzmon, Atzmon and Co, • Hold it! Why print is the missing link in social media – and how to use it effectively in a digital world – Viv Kane, marketing manager and director, Exciteprint • Ready, Set, Grow! 7 Easy Steps to Confident Closing! – Chandell Labbozetta, NLP trainer and author Book online now on www.yourtimematters.com.au

May 2014 | Frankston / Mornington Peninsula / Dandenong BusinessTimes | 17


HEALTH

Why happiness is no lottery Which would make you happier: becoming paraplegic or winning Tattslotto? Go on, pick a destiny – it’s your choice. No legs … or a bucketload of cash? Need more time? No, you’ll take the money? Me too. But funnily enough, research with lottery winners and paraplegics shows that you will end up equally content either way. Those millions of dollars may seem exciting but the data is clear: 12 months after winning the lottery, and 12 months after becoming quadriplegic, people are equally as happy with their lives. As it turns out, we are extraordinarily poor at predicting how events – good or bad – will impact on our emotional state. When things go wrong for us we don’t feel as bad as we expect to. Similarly, when things go right we don’t get the high we expected. (Like all right-thinking people, I was delighted when Collingwood won the 2010 premiership, but the euphoria didn’t last more than an hour or two. OK, a week. Yes, all right, it was a couple of months!) But in general the highs are not that high and the lows not that low – and the effect does not last. Most of us have a baseline emotional level to which we quickly return, no matter what (within limits). It actually makes you wonder why we need to be deluded about this because there must be some evolutionary advantage to it. If we realised that not getting what we desire would make us just as happy as getting it, what kind of society would we have? Would our economy work at all? I digress. Psychologists call this tendency to over estimate the effect something will have on our future happiness “impact bias”. It led to a clever experiment at Harvard University, in which photography students were asked to take pictures as mementoes, but then forced to choose between their two favourites. They got to keep one but had to give the other to the university. No copies were made. One group had five days to change their minds and swap. The other group’s choice was final. Once they had chosen, the students were asked how they thought they would

Michael Ellis*

Chinese Herbalist

So 66 per cent of people went willingly down the path that led to dissatisfaction.

feel later about the pictures they kept. All predicted they would like them increasingly more than the pictures they gave up. Did that happen? Yes – but only for one group. Both at the time of the decision and five days later, those who had no option to change their minds liked their pictures and remained happy about their choices. And, you guessed it, those who had the option to swap were not satisfied. They didn’t like their pictures, and even after the opportunity to change their minds had expired they still didn’t like them. So somehow this state of free choice, and the dilemma it created, was not conducive to happiness. (Harvard followed this up with a new group, telling students that after taking the two pictures, they could choose which group to join: the one that had five days to change their minds, or those who had to make up their minds right away. Two thirds chose the opportunity to change their minds. So 66 per cent of people went

18 | BusinessTimes Frankston / Mornington Peninsula / Dandenong | May 2014

willingly down the path that led to dissatisfaction and unhappiness.) I find all this interesting for what it says about the effect on us of having choice between multiple desirable outcomes. Those who were trapped into one irreversible situation found a way to be happy with it. Those with a temporary “out clause” did not. As the 66 per cent of students demon-

strated, this seems counter-intuitive. Wouldn’t you prefer the chance to change your mind? Is it possible that the epidemic of unhappiness in the aspirational culture of the West is due to our impression of choice between multiple desirable options for our lives? The more we wonder whether we chose right – the right job, the right house, the right partner – and the more alternatives we see, the less happy we will be. Can we have too many choices, too much temptation, too much of the conviction that the grass is greener over there – in that job, in that relationship, in that other person’s life? Eastern philosophers like the Daoists of ancient China worked this out a long time ago. They said the only way to happiness was to “empty the heart of desires”. It is ironic that both our unmet desires and our unrealised worries are overblown anyway – that we will be wrong about the long-term impact of either coming to fruition. Maybe I can do without that Tatts ticket. *Michael Ellis is a registered Chinese herbalist in Mt Eliza. Visit www.mtelizaherbal.com


MARKETS

If Japan restarts several nuclear reactors soon Australia’s beaten up uranium sector may stagger to its feet. In the absence of nuclear power, and lacking fossil fuels of its own, Japan is almost totally dependent on imported energy. Now the Ukraine crisis adds a new urgency to resolving Japan’s energy deficit. The high cost of imported LNG is hurting. Its April trade deficit blew out by 400% as the result of higher LNG prices, more volume and a weak Yen, so the last thing it needs is a gas crisis in Europe. While the EU-Russian stand-off is more likely to simmer than explode, as of late April Russia’s “cash for gas” demand had mafia-like undertones. For years Russia has provided Ukraine with discounted gas and now when it has turned its back on Russia, Putin is suggesting that the Ukraine should ask its new allies to pay the $17 billion of gas it received at a discount as well as the $18 billion it didn’t use under take-or-pay agreements. If the EU doesn’t pay, Mr Putin has declared, he will have to turn off Ukraine’s gas and because much of the EU’s gas passes through the country that means the EU’s gas as well. Bluff or not, this throws into relief the fragility of the EU’s energy supply network. Three years ago this month Germany felt confident that its mix of solar, wind, coal and Russian gas allowed it to shutdown nine of its 21 nuclear reactors, but now this policy looks foolish. The new generation of politicians seem to have forgotten that Russia supplies Germany and the EU with large volumes of oil and coal as well as gas. (They also forgot that Russia lost 8-26 million

Richard Campbell* Stock Analyst

soldiers and citizens fighting German armies only 60 years ago). Russia’s gas supplies 35% of Germany’s total energy, a strategic amount when renewables fluctuate. Even France with a nuclear fleet providing 75% of its power is still dependent on Gazprom as is Italy, Switzerland, Austria and all of middle Europe. Gazprom is an arm of a government that the US State Department believes it little better than a criminal clique. Europe has had a mild winter and so gas supply is ample for the moment, but the EU’s lame response to the annexation of the Crimea seems to have convinced Putin that he has the west snookered. Faced with this situation Japan has little choice but to start its reactors. Even assuming Russia will only toy with Europe, the reality of economic aspirations combined with climate insurance requires emission-free base load power to support today’s seven billion people and the two more billion coming. Europe, South Africa, Mexico and many more grasp this reality. The UK has bi-partisan legislation supporting an independent climate authority and as mid April China did its bit by adding 20 more reactors to the 28 currently under construction. So, putting this together, the battered ASX

* Richard Campbell is Executive Director of Peninsula Capital Management, Tel. 9642 0545. rcampbell@peninsulacapitalmanagement.com.au

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Uranium and the Ukraine

uranium sector should lift its head, but for a number it may all come too late. Cash is often running low and deeply depressed prices mean that share issues and placements will be highly dilutive. This leaves the few who have got past the costly approval stage as the ones to benefit from improving uranium prices later this year or next. One of the few ASX listed companies in this category is Peninsula Energy which chose to re-explore an abandoned uranium project in Wyoming. Peninsula won its final approval just a fortnight ago. It can now proceed with “in-ground extraction”, a low impact method of dissolving ore with an alkaline solution. Peninsula has proved up 50 million pounds but will target another 100-150m across its large permits in the Powder River Basin. It has cash and undrawn debt of $20m and even at current low uranium prices margins will be attractive. Of course mining is a minority taste and uranium mining even more so, but the world is also full of half developed thoughts and delusions. It is fantasy to believe that solar will power cities at night and delusion to believe that the combustion of seven billion tonnes of coal a year and 30 billion barrels of oil does not contribute to the rapid melt of the Greenland ice cap. The canary for all to see is the shrinking of the Arctic summer ice cap, now thin and 40% of its size in 1980. The greater worry is the Canadian and Siberian permafrost. A methane belch from this vast half frozen swamp would change life on earth for generations to come.

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May 2014| Frankston / Mornington Peninsula / Dandenong BusinessTimes | 19


ROSEBUD ROSEBUD COUNTRY COUNTRY CLUB CLUB ROSEBUD COUNTRY CLUB Mornington Peninsula women networking

Mornington Peninsula Mornington Peninsula Business Breakfast Women ‘blooming’ in business Business Breakfast Business Breakfast FRIDAY FRIDAY 23 23 MAY, MAY, 7AM-9AM 7AM-9AM By ANDREA ROWE* For many women their professional lives define and reward them, but finding a forum to connect with other like-minded women can be a challenge. That’s where Bloom Networking has found its niche, helping women to find and refine their professional passion and project it in a professional manner. The Mornington Peninsula-based networking forum was co-founded by naturopath Jo Schutt, the driving force behind events like Peninsula Health And Wellbeing Expo and Peninsula Pregnancy, Bubs and Kids Expo. Schutt founded Bloom networking in 2012 with fellow businesswoman Renee Williams, when the mums were looking for a professional outlet to connect with others. “Bloom recognises the daily demands that many women juggle to keep up with,

When I first joined Bloom I didn’t have a ‘business’, but I had a vision, a plan, and a great idea I was sure could be a success. – JANELLE ATKINSON

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while striving to be satisfied, inspired and challenged professionally,” Schutt said. Bloom evolvedare into monthly morning Tickets limited meet-ups for women back Tickets arestepping limited into business, women looking for local Tickets limited connections, andare those looking to find their professional spark again after workforce absences and access to professional development opportunities and speakers. Now running Bloom solo, Schutt says she “loves the unique opportunity” it offers for members to be a part of a community of entrepreneurial women. “Many of our members enjoy growing together in business and learning from each other’s business stories,” Schutt said.

A A not not to to be be missed missed opportunity opportunity A not to be missed opportunity for any business for any business owner owner for any business owner We’ve got you covered! Jo Schutt , right, co-founder of Bloom Networking, with presenter Jackie Mitchell , of Brandstorm, at a Bloom Networking function in Mornington in March.

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Rosebud Country Club, 207 Boneo Road, Rosebud 20 | BusinessTimes Frankston / Mornington Peninsula / Dandenong | May 2014 Rosebud Country Club, 207 Boneo Road, Rosebud

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“Along the way they have gained tips and advice from other women in business and expert speakers, felt the support of others through the ups and downs of their business journey and increased business opportunities through referrals and alliances with other local businesses.” Schutt said members enjoyed the chance to share knowledge and experiences with other women encountering similar challenges. For evolving businesswoman and member Janelle Atkinson Bloom was as much a place for connecting with others as it was for refining her work direction after shifting focus to accommodate motherhood. “For me, the road to having my own business has seen some twists and turns, but reinventing and reassessing is all part of the journey,” Atkinson said, “A lot of the gutsy and often hard-tomake decisions were made after listening to others’ stories and inspiration. “When I first joined Bloom I didn’t have

a business, but I had a vision, a plan, and a great idea I was sure could be a success. What I felt I lacked was the knowledge to make it happen. In reality, the only thing I lacked was the courage and I found that in incredible support from Jo and fellow Bloom members who I am now proud to call friends. “Joining a networking group when my business was still just an idea seemed wrong – like I was promoting myself to be something that I wasn’t. “Surely I was going to stand out as a fake or a try hard? Surely there would be people at this event much more successful than me? Well there were, but no way did I ever feel like a fake or like I had nothing to offer. And those successful businesswomen started out just like I did…these were the women I drew inspiration and knowledge from. Bloom helped transform my idea, gave it wings and helped it to fly.” Bloom members see the access to speakers and mentors as a bonus. Normally they would trek up to Melbourne to see

high profile speakers – and pay considerably more money for the experience. In the past year the group has welcomed speakers such as Trevor Young, the PR Warrior; past Australian Telstra Businesswoman of the Year Marcia Griffin; Sarah Prout, of Adventures in Manifesting and Verbii Publishing; and Danielle Storey, of Million Dollar Relationships The group also stages two full-day business building workshops a year. Bloom Networking meets on the third Tuesday of every month at Mornington Golf Club, with tickets available through eventbrite. Bookings are essential. Contact: savvy@bloomnetworking.com.au website: www.bloomnetworking.com.au *Bloom member and peninsula business chick Andrea Rowe is director of boutique Copywriting, PR and Social media business Your Coastal Connection and a regular blogger for Little Melbourne, ABC Splash and Parent’s Jury. Contact www.yourcoastalconnection.com.au

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May 2014 | Frankston / Mornington Peninsula / Dandenong BusinessTimes | 21


MANAGING

Investing in your people One of the most challenging issues for any SME is finding the right people with the right skills to support your business plan. Often, the first choices are made from a small population of family and like-minded friends, but the time comes when this pool of talent is not sufficient for your next stage. So where do you go then? A key step in the formation of any business is to identify the specific skills that are needed to implement your business plan. Every business needs a range of specific technical skills and these can be assessed at increasing skill levels from an entry-level knowledge through to sophisticated in-depth knowledge. These technical skills are usually defined as hard skills, but every business needs a range of soft skills as well. The soft skills include behavioural competencies or people skills, including such areas as personality, confidence, strategic thinking, learning ability, communication and team building skills. These soft skills are crucial in most business roles and will often be more important that the hard skills in driving long term success. There are potentially hundreds of skills that could be needed, so it is important to focus on just the top few strategic skills that will ensure success, otherwise this process can become tedious. Ensure that you keep a balance between hard and soft skills so that you build some diversity into your skill set. Once you have identified your strategic skill needs, then consider how you can find each specific skill. Look for the skills that you will need on a full time basis because these should be embedded in your team, and then look for the skills that you can hire from an outside specialist. For more strategic skills, make sure that you have several people with that skill in your team. Once you have clarified these skill needs, you can then examine how well your current people meet these needs by developing a skill inventory for each person based on their training, prior work roles and experience. This inventory is best developed by having an open dialogue with people about their skills and expertise in each strategic skill area. By comparing your skills needs and the collective skill inventory, you can identify significant skill gaps. This gap analysis is the most important outcome of this process as it defines your best people investment opportunities. Investment in

Hamish Petrie*

Business Consultant

people can take many forms including formal training programs, job assignments, temporary task roles, mentoring programs, or other actions that are designed to take people out of the comfort zone of their usual job. Just like capital investments, people investments should provide a return to your business, so it is important to create an expectation that there will be a bottom line benefit from all of these activities. Too often, businesses have invested in people with the hope of improved performance, but then buried them in the daily workload to the extent that any hope of meaningful change is dissipated. A critical step towards getting real benefits from people investments is to create the capacity to take people out of their normal job for a period of time to allow them to learn. This cost can be significant, so it is important to allow the full implementation of new ideas derived from the investment. Every business needs to have a way of planning for job absences through vacations or illnesses, so extending this process to cover for training and development assignments should be a simple, yet often overlooked step. One rule that I used for most of my career was to expect that every person should be taking at least two weeks a year to develop themselves and I believe that this is a valid guideline for every business. Coverage during periods of leave is also a valuable opportunity to broaden skill development by being creative in selecting the person to cover a planned absence. Thinking outside the box and moving people around your team can help by creating a stronger overall understanding within your team. Perhaps you have someone who is critical of an aspect of your operations. Maybe they could really benefit by being given that responsibility during periods of leave.

22 | BusinessTimes Frankston / Mornington Peninsula / Dandenong | May 2014

Accountability for personal development should be a shared responsibility between the business leader and the individual. The individual will have a concept of how they would like to grow and their plan may be to do this either within your business or by swapping into another one. Particularly for more talented people, they will have a career plan that spans several organisations. Your challenge is to keep your best people sufficiently engaged and challenged so that they grow their skills within your team. One of my favourite processes was to accelerate skill development by treating mistakes as learning opportunities. Mistakes can be costly, but treat them as an investment where you want to get the best possible result. Instead of covering up the mistake, make it as public as possible and ensure that you spread the learning from the mistake as widely as possible. This can be a sensitive subject when you first start, but once your team recognises that this is designed to help the whole team, then it can be some real fun. Obviously, it is best to learn from the mistakes of others so stimulate discussion about mistakes and errors that other businesses have made and adapt their lessons to your own situation. Investing in people can be the most rewarding of all business investments, but it requires an on-going commitment that, in both good times and tough times, will remain towards the top of your agenda. Leadership by example is a great process, so when did you last take time out of your normal job to develop your skills? Action Planning Questions: 1. Do you understand the strategic skill gaps that currently exist in your organisation? 2. Have you created an expectation that there will be a bottom line benefit from investments in people? 3. Do you have a process to cover work absences for personal development? 4. Do you have a process to treat mistakes and errors as investments? 5. Do you lead by personal example and invest in your own development? *Hamish Petrie had a 37-year corporate career including 25 with Alcoa Inc. His latest position was VP People and Communications for the Global Alcoa Corporation based in New York. He can be contacted at hamish@nitroworld.net or on 0404345103. Š Hamish Petrie 2014


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