Let’s Talk Business 1
Let’s Talk Business Back To Basics Business Solutions - Support for Small Business
Volume 2 Issue 14 January 2014
Unfortunately, some of our authors are still away, including Dr. Tim Baker. But they all assure me that they will “ready to fire up” for the next issue in February.
Inside this issue
Cover Story - The Australian Innovation Challenge
Australian Innovation Is Alive And Well Web: www.marketingmeansbusiness.com
What Are Your Goals For This New Year? Dennis Chiron ...........…………4
So! You’ve Just Bought a Business! Jo-Anne Chaplin………………….5
Biz Tips For Small Business Dennis Chiron …………………….6
Why Do Businesses Fail? Geoff Butler ……………………….7
Do Not Start Your Day - Until You Finish It! Dan Buzer …………….… …….….8
The Big Wheel! Peter Athey………..……………...9
DIY Websites: A Way To Go When The Money Is Low! Peter Nicol ...................…….10
Are Inductions Important? Ron Court…………………………11
Cyber Attacks - Are You Safe or Vulnerable? Miriam Battersby …..………..12
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Let’s Talk Business 2
Australian Innovation is Alive and Well (and Living in Toowoomba) Front page photographs http://www.theaustralian.com.au/innovationchallenge
One of our regular contributors Peter Nicol of Wisdom Marketing has invented a new type of gardening tool that is now about to go to market nationally and internationally. Peter was a Finalist in the recent Australian Innovation Challenge; It has been a long journey and I decided to spend some time with Peter asking him about the journey. It was my hope that he would share the highs and lows and perhaps provide some insights into bringing a product to market. Peter has kindly agreed to answer some questions I put to him. I hope you find this special report of value and interest. Dennis Chiron
Question. What is the product? The product is called the Prong and can be best described as a single tine garden fork with tremendous leveraging capacity. There are three models a Long Prong (Yellow) – Son of Prong (Blue) – Lady Prong (Pink). They are affordable, well made and have proven to be of invaluable help to gardeners and trades people. In fact many of the attributes are still being found, as their versatility is phenomenal. Question. What inspired you to invent it? The short answer is incandescent rage. The reason for the rage was I was in my garden and had just bent a tine on a relatively new garden fork that I had paid a fair price for. I had exerted almost no pressure on a submerged rock/root/ stone, (who knows) and the edge tine bent. I spent some time putting it back into shape and commenced re-digging only to find the tine kept on bending. I am not an overly practical man. (Motorised engines are alien to me). But, on the spot I had a vision of a leveraging digging tool that was strong and pointed at the tip that could engage the ground and then penetrate soil and clear a way
through roots or hidden rock debris and lever it out. Without breaking. Question. Many ideas just stop at that. What made you proceed? Well there are couple reasons I went on with it. As a Marketing Consultant I knew that gardening was a major hobby in Australia and around the world and it was a market of some size. I also asked around and found the same frustration with others who had experienced the same issues I had. It became apparent very quickly that I was not alone. So I guessed that if I went a bit further nothing could be lost and a lot could be gained. In effect I was hooked. Question. What happened then? For many years I had been consulting to a Toowoomba based Agricultural Machinery Manufacturing Company Gessner Industries. Gessner (the business) has since been sold but at that stage it was owned by two brothers Noel and Lindsay Gessner. I had undertaken numerous assignments for them over some years and is often the case I became good friends with both men. Their expertise was making from the ground up massive sized tillage equipment for broadacre farming. They had been in business for over 35 years and were renowned for quality and ingenuity. I spoke with Noel and scoped out what was needed. Initially it was a simple long iron bar with a slight angle of entry on the tine. A prototype was made for me to test. It was really a great first step. Next came a couple of footrests to get better penetration. This led to the development of the footrest that allowed the operator to push downward rather than “lift and drop” for penetration. Then I asked for a small V Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
to be placed into the front part of the tine. This allowed the tine to “snag” rocks and roots and “tear” them up as the tine entered or left the soil on leveraging upward. I then was inspired to make a shorter one with all the attributes of the long one but with a D-Handle. The love of my life Edna a really keen gardener a small woman said she would like one a little shorter. Thus was born the Lady Prong. Drawings were made and a search for a manufacturer undertaken. Why did you not get it made in Australia? Believe me when I tell you I tried but the cost of manufacturing a unit was about the price I could sell for retail. I did everything possible to do that but to no avail. So what did you do? A manufacturer with excellent credentials was found in China. I went with Noel to see them about quality, staff care, and capacity to supply what was shaping up to be a big market. Dyes were made and some product samples were made and flown to us. They were of first class quality, were strong, and met with great acceptance. What was going on behind the scenes? A patent was applied for. I set about doing a Trademark and developing a marketing plan for the introduction of the product into the marketplace. It posed several challenges. You see I work on the very simple principles of the 5P’s of marketing. Product, Price, People, Promotion, Position. I Mobile: 0451 184 599
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Australian Innovation is Alive and Well (and Living in Toowoomba)
had four of them nailed but promotion was the oxygen that was needed. It was here in this cluttered world of marketing that I needed a win to feed my invention with lots of oxygen and do it with little funds. So what did you do? I have as an ex newspaper man had a passion for reading the Weekend Australian. It is a key part of my keeping abreast and indeed entertained. In their Weekend Magazine about July 2013 I noticed a call for entrants into the Australian/Shell Innovation Challenge. I looked up the criteria to enter online. I did and then left it at that. A few weeks later I was asked for more information. I supplied it and again left it at that. In November 2013 I was on a caravanning holiday and was advised that I was a finalist. I think the caravan park will remember me for a while. I had to keep quiet about it until the finals were held in Canberra in December 2013. That was really very difficult as I was bursting with excitement. How did you go? Well I did not win the big one but being a finalist was the kick start I needed. Prior to the event I had an almost full page written about the product in the Weekend Australian. Within hours of it hitting the streets I had dozens of emails from all over the country from people wanting one or even more. I pride myself to this day that I responded personally to all of them. Did you do any other marketing related things? I think the most important thing I did was build my own website. www.prong.com.au I did it using a free template service and have used every bit Web: www.marketingmeansbusiness.com
of advice I give my own clients. It has a lot of detailed information about the who, what and why. Lots of good quality pictures. Some simple but very descriptive videos and a good reply service form. I as I have said and I mean it I replied with a heartfelt thank you for the interest. After such a long time and investment I felt that the time had come for the Prong’s place in the sun and their interest and support will always be some of the happiest moments of my commercial life. Why did you call it the Prong? Well the tines on a garden fork are prongs. But I am not unaware of the larrikin element in the name. It stands out and makes most people smile. I remember vividly a very gracious lady melting into the laughter at the Canberra cocktail party as she came up and try to say, “Please tell me more about your Prong”. I have learned to keep a straight face but if the other party has a laugh then I am glad as all Harry and join in. Yup I think I have backed a winner with this name. It is pretty universal. So where are you now with the Prongs? Prior to being told of being in the finals of the Innovation awards an order was placed for 600 units. 200 of each model. They will be here in Australia in midFebruary. Those folk who have expressed interest are being contacted to confirm they wish to have product. I am not asking for any money until they arrive. I like to keep things honest and transparent. In addition I am in discussion with a major hardware chain here in Australia. I have been asked to send in forms to become a supplier. A Company in the USA has also been in touch (this stemmed from the article in the Weekend Australian). It just Email: email@example.com
happened that the President of the company was in a plane in Australia heading to Canberra when he read it and sent off a quick email. Dumb luck or fate – you call it! There are a lot of balls in the air at the moment but is it is coming together. But a lot of hard but nevertheless enjoyable work. If anyone is reading this and wants one just get on to the website. Have you got any tips that you could give others? Never overlook the obvious. If you see an opening have a look at it. Might take a few minutes but nonetheless worth a try. Have a good look at what else is out there. If you have a real product get a patent. Costly but does provide some protection. Be prepared to invest in your idea. I have spent a fair bit but I think at my age 69 I can afford to spend a bit to make a bit. I hope that the success of the Prongs will enable me to do a lot of things for folk less fortunate than me. Last but not least you have to have a few folk believe in you. My thanks to Edna on that score. She is one in a million. Do not overly complicate things. Hiring people to do things for you that on reflection you can do yourself saves money for more important things. Believe in yourself.
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Let’s Talk Business 4 Dennis Chiron Marketing Means Business 0451 184 599 www.marketingmeansbusiness.com
firstname.lastname@example.org Skype: dennis.chiron2
What Are Your Goals For This New Year? Do You Have Any?
Financial, business plans, marketing strategies, customers’ needs, sales, staff, government requirements, purchases, business technology and communication are just some of the aspects that all business owners have to deal with on a day to day basis in running their businesses. It is important to have clear goals and strategies to enable you to run your business in a manner that is profitable, sustainable and workable. Yet, over 72% of small business owners admit that they either don’t set goals or, if they do set goals, they don’t monitor or measure them. Approximately the same percentage say they do not seek the assistance of the proper advisors to help them achieve their goals. Is this you? With the new year up and running, now is the perfect time to set the goals that will guide you to success in 2014 and beyond. It’s a fact that successful companies and successful people always set goals and then work towards achieving these goals. However, it’s also a fact that many people who are successful do not necessarily set goals. But how much more successful would they become if they did set goals? So, what are goals? There are numerous explanations, but, put briefly, goals are the things that you aim or aspire to achieve to enhance or enrich your life. Goals are established and pursued in Web: www.marketingmeansbusiness.com
order to achieve a desired result. Whether they are short or long-term, they provide a clear understanding of what the business (or person) is striving to accomplish. Often, the success of a business will depend on its long-range goals for sales, increased market share, profits, competitive position, development of personnel and industrial relations. To accomplish these goals, the business will need to identify short and intermediate goals that it can work toward each year. Why set goals? Setting goals for the future is the same thing as preparing a Cash Flow Forecast for your business. I say it’s the same, because in both instances you are projecting your business activities into the future, and predicting an outcome. Setting goals can be easy, and achieving the desired outcome can be very rewarding, both financially as well as psychologically. Many of us decide not to set goals because we are concerned that we might not achieve the desired result; and, rather than fail, we decide not to set goals at all. However, the mistake that many of us make is initially setting our goals too high. Take “baby steps” first When setting goals for your business (or your personal life) it is always a good idea to remember the S.M.A.R.T. approach, and set goals that can be realistically achieved. So, your goals must be: Specific Measurable
Achievable Realistic, and Timely What are some examples of business goals? Most small business owners have very similar goals, some typical examples are:
Increase Profit Become More Efficient Improve Customer Service Grow the Business
Increasing profit can mean different things to different businesses. For example: You might aim at decreasing costs by finding new premises that reduce your rent by $200 a week. Or your goal might be to gain 5 new customers every month. Become more efficient could mean that you decide to hold weekly staff meetings from now on. Or it might mean improving delivery times by sourcing a new courier Improving customer service in your business might mean setting a policy that all customer enquiries are responded to before the close of business on the same day. To another business it might mean developing a customer service card to keep track of their ongoing purchases. Grow the Business to one business might mean expanding to have two outlets by the end of 2014, to another business it could mean increasing your staff numbers to employ 2 more people over the next 12 months. Whatever your goals might be, please remember to adopt the S.M.A.R.T. approach, and you will find that they are achievable.
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Jo-Anne Chaplin Tax & Superannuation Professionals Pty Ltd PH 07 3410 8116 / Mobile 0457 960 566 Email : email@example.com Web: www.taxandsuperprofessionals.com.au
I am a qualified Accountant and will celebrate my 20th anniversary as a Registered Tax Agent this year. During my time in Public Practice I have assisted clients to achieve business growth and prosperity. My earlier career included positions in banking, manufacturing, construction and retail. My particular interest is in promoting a culture of using local industries and business in order to build a strong community.
So! You’ve Just Bought a Business! Congratulations! In the excitement of buying a business there is so much to do. Learn the procedures, setup new systems, introductions to customers & suppliers, meet staff, bank manager, solicitor, accountant…. Too quickly you’re in the thick of day to day issues without a thought to where you’re going. “Business Planning” has a bad reputation. It brings to mind hours of fruitless labour condensed into a large tome filed somewhere in the bottom drawer or on a dis-used shelf collecting dust. However, a business plan can be so much more and weigh so much less! Think of it as a Strategic Review that is going to guide you through the busy times and provide ideas for the not so busy times. Lets’ call it your “Strategy” and configure it just for your business. Did you know that your business is probably the most valuable asset you own after your home? To care for it, grow and maintain it, you must have a strategy. You expect your business to provide you with income for your family and lifestyle, provide wealth and retirement income. Keep this in mind as you drive to work every day. Your Strategy must following areas :
So! You’ve Just Bought a Business!
If you sell goods your pricing needs to cover the purchase of the stock, the transportation and warehousing and an amount to cover the fixed costs of the business, plus a margin for profit. To increase profits you must buy your stock at the best (lowest) price possible, and minimise the other buying expenses. A seller of services needs to be especially vigilant of the labour cost and investment in equipment of producing the service. This type of business should always be looking for ways to improve their workflow systems so repetitive tasks are done quickly and accurately. So what is your profit target? You could use the old adage of “better than bank interest”. However, with historically low interest rates, your profitability target should be substantially more than this to compensate you for the risk of running your business. GROWTH No business is static. There are cycles to the seasons, the economy and life itself. So there are with business. Consideration can be given to adding complimentary goods or services. Consider the takeover or purchase of a competitor to gain efficiencies of scale, or a wider market base. Sometimes growth and diversification are forced onto the business by factors outside its control.
PROFIT GROWTH ASSET PROTECTION RETIREMENT/ SALE/SUCCESSION PROFIT
Fashion trends in products, new technologies, changes in government policies or legislation may require a rethink of where the business should be headed.
You must make a profit to stay in business. Sounds Simple. In practice though, not so simple.
Make an evaluation of each idea you have. The pro’s, the con’s and the costs. This is exactly what large companies do
to keep their organisations alive. Your business is exactly the same, just on a smaller scale. ASSET PROTECTION Where do your threats come from? Workforce, creditors, customers, suppliers, regulations and laws? Examine all the possibilities and come up with a worst case scenario. From here decide on the likelihood of this event, and the outcome. How can you prepare or protect your business? SALE / SUCCESS/RETIREMENT It’s important to know where you want to take your business into the future. Even if you change your mind midway, you will still be achieving your goals. Your decision will depend on the type of business your have, your stage in life and the economic environment. You may wish to sell in a number of years, build the business for subsequent generations, or even just close it down. IN SUMMARY Write down your strategy in any format that is relevant and meaningful to you. A note book, a binder, your smart phone! Revisit it often and change or update it as necessary. Keep it simple! Meaningful notes, quotes and ideas are good. The detail can come later as you start to implement some of your strategies. Following this simple procedure will go a long way to helping your achieve business success.
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Let’s Talk Business 6 Dennis Chiron Marketing Means Business 0451 184 599 www.marketingmeansbusiness.com
Are You A Successful Business Owner? Let’s face it: Most people can start a business these days, but it takes a lot of hard work and knowledge to turn it into a profitable business. As the owner of a small business, can you be honest with yourself and say with 100% certainty, that you have a profitable business and you are a successful and competent business owner? Looking back over 2013, are there things that you could have done better? Would you do it all again, the same way? Or, are there some things that you may have done differently? Increase Your Sales in 2014 Make sure you don’t just keep it in your head …. Create a sales plan: Start setting some of your realistic goals now. What are you going to do in 2014 that’s different from what you’re doing now? Make it Simple: Try aiming at increasing your bottom line by a mere 2% per month .. if you realise this goal, then you will have increased your bottom line by 25% over the next year. Control Your Time Just a Little More This Year We all have only 24 hours in the day, and how we use that time dictates how much we value it and utilise it to our best advantage. Start to develop a Time Plan … but try it in “baby” steps first. Instead of developing a time management plan for the week – or even for the day – start by developing a plan for the next half-a-day …. And Stick To It!! … You will be surprised at the difference to your day.
This Year, Be A Leader!! This year, be determined to lead your competitors – not follow!!! It’s a fact that every market place has its gaps, and this is mainly because most of your competitors are simply following their competitors, which means that they are all doing the same thing. Dare To Be Different!! If you do the same thing as everybody else does, expect to get the same results as everybody else gets. Research your competitors thoroughly, and try being unique .. Set yourself apart from the mob. Make Customer Service Your Number One Priority In 2014 Firstly, I’m sure that you would agree that if you continually provide poor customer service you will find it difficult to grow a successful business. However, good customer service can help your business grow dramatically. You can establish a culture of excellent customer service in your business by planning, developing and sustaining a customer service program. Train your staff to give your customers the highest level of service. If You Say You’re Going To Do It .. Then Do It!!!! One of the quickest ways to lose your credibility with your customers is to not follow up with a promise. Trust can easily be lost when you say one thing and do another or do not follow through. If you are serious about your business, and genuinely wish to build solid relationships with your customers, staff, suppliers, and stakeholders, if you say
you’re going to do something, then make sure that you do it. Have You Achieved a Good Work / Life Balance? Are you Guilty? Work-life balance has gained increasing prominence in recent years, and excessive working hours emerge as one of the issues of great concern. As small business owners (and also individuals) we each have unique responsibilities, what happens if these are compromised with multiple roles? Some of the typical causes of the lack of a good Work / Life Balance are: Longer work hours Continued rise in the cost of living Financial constraints Changing demographics More time in the car Deterioration of boundaries between work and home Are You Guilty? What are you going to do about it in 2014???? Kick off the New Year With a S.W.O.T. Analysis of Your Current Position Start by looking at your Strengths; Write down those strengths that come to mind straight away … and then identify how you can build on these. Then identify your perceived Weaknesses; Be truthful with yourself, and then try to identify how you can avoid or overcome these weaknesses. Then point out the Opportunities that you can see that you can take advantage of. Finally, Identify the Threats in your business and try to identify how you can avoid or counter these.
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Let’s Talk Business 7 Geoff Butler FAIM AP, MAITD MACE Principal/Business Improvement & Implementation Specialist Business Optimizers Mobile: 0414 943072 Fax: 3036 6131 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Skype: business.optimizers1
There have been many attempts to define what makes businesses successful, and unfortunately no one has found the secret formula to guarantee success. Luckily there has also been a lot of research done on why businesses fail, and here there does seem to be a more quantifiable theme. Worldwide research indicates that approximately 60% of all new businesses will disappear within their first three years, and 90% in the first ten. This doesn’t mean that they all went broke, as many business owners simply give up because it’s all too hard and gone back to working for someone else. Others will have been taken over by their competitors or moved into other markets, but the cold, hard statistics are still very sobering for anyone considering venturing into the world of business ownership. This same research has found that 90% of business failure can be attributed to faulty management – more particularly, poor financial management. However if we can avoid these seven deadly sins, we may not entirely avoid the risk of failure, but at least we can maximize our chances of success: Failure to plan properly before start up. Otherwise known as errors of omission; it involves getting your structure right, having access to adequate capital, knowing your market, and determining your human and physical resource requirements. All of the things that a good Business Plan should tell you. The good thing about not planning however is that failure comes as a Web: www.marketingmeansbusiness.com
Why Do Businesses Fail? complete surprise, and isn’t preceded by a period of worry and depression. Failure to monitor financial position. Developing a profit plan and cash flow budget, and then monitoring performance to determine variance. Looking at ratios and benchmarking to determine stability and efficiency, against industry benchmarks and your own targets. Remember if you’re not doing so well and the rest of your industry is, chances are it’s your fault. Failure to understand the relationship between price, volume and costs. Understanding how each of your expense categories vary with sales so you can accurately determine your contribution margin and breakeven sales. Failure to manage cash flow. There is an old accounting saying that profit is a matter of opinion, but cash is reality. If you can’t manage your cash flow to maintain your liquidity, it doesn’t matter how profitable you are, your creditors will simply shut you down. Failure to manage growth. Growth is good but it can also bring you down if it isn’t controlled. It never ceases to amaze some people that the majority of businesses that go broke each year are actually highly profitable. They simply grow too fast and therefore run out of the ability to fund the uncontrolled
expansion. Failure to borrow properly. The golden rule of borrowing is to match the term of the loan with the life of the asset. Even bankers will agree that the worst product they sell is an overdraft, and yet many business owners put their cash reserves at risk by using this facility to make major capital purchases. Dealing effectively with banks and other finance institutions is critical to success. Failure to plan for transition. In the end for most owners there are only three ways to get out of their businesses. Sell it, shut it down or give it away (usually to your kids). With the emerging demographic bubble as the baby-boomer generation approaches retirement, and the majority of owners seeing their business as a major component of their retirement income, planning your exit strategy early will become crucial. Potential investors will target well managed, systemized businesses that do not rely on the current owner for their continued success. As I said before, there is no magic formula for success and avoiding the above will not necessarily guarantee you achieve it, but it at least gives you the best chance of realising your personal and business goals in the everchanging world of business.
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Dan Buzer Profit Mechanics
0414 567 188 www.profitmechanics.net/ email@example.com
“… Do Not Start Your Day, Until You Finish It …”
This article is being written at the beginning of the year. A notorious time for giving ourselves plenty of stick for not achieving enough last year, so we scribble down our plans and goals, hoping that they will be ticked off at the end of the new year that has just begun. This is also a time of year to get worldly advice from all the experts out there, who if you were to see behind the curtain shutters would probably learn they don’t get the same results for themselves that they declare. A rule that seems to make sense is …
Find someone who is getting the results you want Learn what actions they take to get those results Apply those actions to what you’re doing.
This process seems to work well for many people, because it’s based on actual and real outcomes. There is also room for customising the actions to fit your personal style, goals and situation. The key to making this simple and common sense strategy work is the difference between success and failure …
results they are getting and what strategies get the results they want, for other people. Think about something you are good at. Odds are, you have context that helps you see these 3 measuring criteria. Here are 3 simple ideas for you to consider applying to your list of wants for the New Year … 1. Put next to each goal a way of measuring how close you are to achieving it. 2. Write a brief description of your strategy to achieve the goal. 3. Write a list of people who you can learn from or collaborate with to achieve the goal. One of the most successful educators on the subject of selfimprovement is Jim Rohn. One of his most famous quotes was a part of his philosophy on getting results. He asked some common sense questions and gave the following answers … When should you start your day? Not until you have finished it. When should you start your week? Not until you have finished it.
take some time to plan their activities tend to pick up the prizes of success. Having the discipline to get clear on long term outcomes and short term outcomes takes some effort, but the results you desire are probably achievable if you would only take the time to follow a plan to get them. The Profit Mechanics Business Development System has a Personal Management System. This suite of easy to customise and implement ‘paper based’ tools help people to get clarity on what they’re aiming for, were they are now and what activity they have planned to get the results they want. If you would like a copy of a few of these tools to experiment with, just give us a call and we will email you something to get you started. Mention this article and you can also have a copy of the Profit Mechanics Sales & Marketing Diagnostic Questionnaire along with a 30 minute phone chat to help guide you through the tool and apply your business objectives to it. Remember … Business is More Fun, When There’s Profit!
“What we measure we manage and what we manage improves”
When should you start your year? Not until you have finished it.
For a chat about your business, call 1800 838 767. Mention the BBB and I’ll gift you a 30 minute conversation about YOUR business … Free.
It really is that simple. Successful people tend to be very aware of what results they’re aiming for, what
When should you start your life? Not until you have finished it.
Dan Buzer Profit Mechanics Business Mentor
Jim goes on to say that people who
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Peter Athey Specialized Management Services 0405 318 449 www.specializedmanagement.com.au firstname.lastname@example.org
“The Big Wheel!!” The Big Wheel? I have heard business described by many a metaphor but I particularly like this one. Imagine your business is a massive stone wheel, nice and wide and with a flat outer rim for stability. It won’t fall over but is too heavy to push by one person. You and your team all need to be pushing the wheel in the same direction with roughly the same amount of energy. If you have one member even slightly pushing left or right and the rest are pushing straight ahead, it can make the job so much more difficult. Similarly, if one member is pushing too lightly, the it is usually the owners or senior staff that need to take up the push. You can extend this metaphor in several directions and you will start to notice how members of your team and even you, fit in to it. For instance, there is always one pushing too vigorously, even though this is a good sign of enthusiasm, you as a senior person in the business, know that that person should be conserving their energy for a the hill that your experience tells to is just around the bend. In thinking about this metaphor it becomes clear that one of the primary roles of leadership in your business is to set the direction and the speed and then importantly monitor the rest of the team for direction and energy.
It’s a nice simple analogy that makes what you should be doing in business obvious but if you are like me, you will catch yourself all too often with your shoulder to the wheel, head down and grunting. Photo courtesy of www.perthnow.com.au
Don’t’ get me wrong, there is a place in business for grunt work but we must remember that by far our most important job is one of setting and monitoring the course and speed of the machine. Now, there is a nice easy way to get all of your team moving in the same direction. Most businesses in this area are best described and micro or small businesses. Invariably, there are one or more family members working in the business. Even if family members are not “in” the business, they often have a strong influence in the direction and the speed of the wheel. So how do you get family members, some with differing views and positions, others with different skills and expectations, all pushing in your direction instead of against each other? One method I have used successfully in several family business to resolve this type of what is essentially “conflict” is a tool called “Logical Level Analysis” Email: email@example.com
I will tell you in detail, how this works in the next issue, however if you can’t wait, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org om.au and I will be happy to send you an advance draft. Peter Athey Specialized Management Services www.specializedmanagement.co m.au 0405 318 449 call anytime for more information or how you can apply this business tool.
See more articles at www.backtobasicsbusinesssolutio ns.com
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Peter Nicol Wisdom Marketing & Management Services 0417627097 www.wisdommarketing.com.au email@example.com
DIY Websites – a way to go when the money is low As a consultant I have an obligation to help clients save and make money. A cornerstone of my business when working with clients is that we have no money. We have to use what we have at our disposal and see if we can make things better without massive amounts of money being poured into the project. There are a lot of people out there who will take your money for things that you can do yourself. In this story I was the client and my money was under a lot of stress. The product had been made and it was ready for launch. The lifeblood of any marketing these days requires a website. I wanted one that did all the things that I want for the clients I work for and, have briefed numerous web builders to achieve that for them. However, this time the budget was not available, as it had to be directed to patent attorneys and other pressing matters. A young man who does a lot of websites for me gave one big tip that I wish to share with you. For a long time I had heard of online web template providers who allow you to access their websites and choose a website template and from there make your own bespoke site. My friend recommended WIX. www.wix.com (there are many others) Web: www.marketingmeansbusiness.com
Wix provide a host of differing templates that are first class in design and relevance. You can choose by category and without spending any money make a website that looks very professional.
Capitalisation, fonts, sizing, colours, imbedding hyperlinks and, choice of template design are simple. I had a lot of videos to show my product. Uploading them to Vimeo or U-Tube was easy.
The fees kick in when you decide to host the website and put on some bells and whistles like shops and other applications that suit Mobiles and I Pads. etc.
It completely transformed my thinking on an area that I had little experience with. In addition they provide you with access to Facebook and from there you can easily develop a commercial Facebook page for extra social media exposure.
There are some fundamental ingredients. Good product knowledge of what you want to sell. An array of good photos of the products. I had the insight to get a professional photographer to take photos for me so I had a portfolio to show people long before the website was considered. I also had a good idea of how I would present the pages. I also had a number of videos. Not Hollywood mind you but did the job. I sat down one afternoon and in 3 hours had the basics right. The software that they use is as easy as. If anyone is used to using Publisher then I reckon you are more than half way there. Simple tool bars allow you to upload pictures and videos. Easy template manipulation for text to go in all the right places was easy to do.
I paid the amount required to go online per month and soon I will start a very strong social media campaign using Facebook and leveraging people back to the website. I guess the real test is how it works. I get about 2 leads a day without promotion. I have stock here in February so too much promotion now would be misleading. So in a few weeks I hope that the emails come pouring in. If you are interested it is a garden tool I invented. www.prong.com.au If you like it on Facebook I would be most grateful. Money is a very rare commodity in any business. This DYI approach has saved me a lot and I have discovered new depths in my 69 year old brain that had hitherto lay dormant. Try it and see. You might even want to buy one!
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Let’s Talk Business 11
Are Inductions Important?
Ron Court, AMC Dip (Funerals) MQJA JP
OH&S Advisor 0419 679 619
First I would like to wish everyone a safe and wonderful 2014. This is a great time for businesses when they take on new staff especially young people starting out for the first time since leaving school. These new people are eager keen to please and be excepted by their peers, so it is not wrong to think they don’t think or even to expect to do the right thing from the start, they need to be guided. Some things to bear in mind are:
New employees are a high risk group Work accidents are costly and can be traumatic New employees must receive adequate training and supervision
An employee's experiences in the first few days or weeks will shape their attitudes towards their work, fellow employees and the company. The time spent training an employee on safe work procedures will result in a productive workforce with fewer injuries. Employers should not assume that because a new employee has received prior education and training, especially those employees who have a trade, that they will know how to do the job safely. Contractors are also considered employees, it is being increasingly realised that there is a need to induct contractors and visitors, particularly in relation to security, health and Web: www.marketingmeansbusiness.com
safety matters. Employers should check relevant legislation to determine if they have any specific responsibilities in relation to ensuring the health and safety of contractors and others in their workplace. Even if there is no specific legislation regarding contractors, it is advisable that employers, for matters they have control of, ensure contractors are working in a safe manner so that their own employees and others in the workplace are not injured. We can use ON-THE-JOB TRAINING USING A TASK BREAKDOWN The aim of on-the-job training is to provide the employee with the necessary information and support to be able to be perform a task satisfactorily within a reasonable period of time. On-the-job training allows the employee to practice new tasks in a safe environment and helps to establish confidence and competence. The following information provides a systematic approach for supervisors when providing on-the-job training using task analyses. The supervisor should have some training in delivering on-the-job training so the best possible conditions can be provided for the employee to learn. The four steps of on the job training are: 1. 2. 3. 4.
Preparation Present to the trainee Try out Put to work
So a safety program should cover a
variety of instruction methods including written and verbal instructions and demonstrations. You should know the employee understands by: It is important that the new employee has understood and can perform the tasks. You can check for understanding by:
Having employees demonstrate what they can do; Observing employees on the job; Questioning employees about their understanding; and Having employees explain what they are doing and what they have learnt.
It is important to record the instruction and training that has been provided to the employee as it will help to provide proof of compliance with relevant occupational health and safety legislation. It will also be useful documentation for occupational health and safety audits and as documentation in a quality system. Induction is only the beginning of what should be a long-term investment in the training of employees. You can get information about your OH&S obligations and other valuable OH&S resources both in hard copy and online from their websites. http:// www.deir.qld.gov.au Always seek independent legal advice on what is applicable to your situation.
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Let’s Talk Business 12 Miriam Battersby, dip Multimedia, International Webmaster Certification-
Woorim , Bribie island ph 3410 1071 firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.online-biz.com.au
Like the Eagle we see the Big Picture
MIMBEE MULTIMEDIA (est 2002)
Online Business Website Consultants
Cyber Attacks You must re-think your password strategy. Gone are the days of using the same easily remembered password for everything! Stolen Passwords Recently hackers have stolen usernames and passwords for nearly two million accounts at Facebook, Google, Twitter, Yahoo and others. The massive data breach was a result of key logging software maliciously installed on an untold number of computers around the world, researchers at the cybersecurity firmTrustwave said.
Are you Safe or Vulnerable?
changed your passwords recently? Wordpress Many of our clients are now using Wordpress and not all of them want us to manage their sites. Webmaster management means that someone who know what they are doing and what is going on can safeguard you from Cyber Attacks. Recently an Indonesian IP attacked our server and some vulnerable Wordpress sites were entered and this malicious software was placed as a free Flash update download on their main page—their site was down and corrupted. It took several days to sort out everything that had been overwritten and disabled. If you manage your own Wordpress site beware! Security
The virus was capturing log-in credentials for key websites over the past month and sending those usernames and passwords to a server controlled by the hackers. On Nov. 24, Trustwave researchers tracked that server, located in the Netherlands. They discovered compromised credentials for more than 93,000 websites, including:
318,000 Facebook accounts
70,000 Gmail, YouTube
60,000 Yahoo accounts
22,000 Twitter accounts
8,000 LinkedIn accounts.
Was yours one of them? Have you Web: www.marketingmeansbusiness.com
very strong and changed regularly. Another type of cyber attack targets your email. They get in and use your account to send massive amounts of spam, many of which are to addresses which bounce the rouge email back to your account, quickly filling up your box on the server. This can lead to your email failing to come through and /or your account being blacklisted for spamming. Last Pass We are using free recommended software called LastPass. https:// lastpass.com/ The last password you will have to remember. It generates safe passwords for you, encrypts them and stores them in the cloud where you can access them from anywhere.
This all happened because the default login for WordPress is admin and the password admin!!! Too easy to guess. And the second most common password used is password!!!! Then 123456. Using passwords such as these is just asking for trouble. Never use admin for you Wordpress or any other CMS system login name or password. In fact we are now insisting on extra strong 12 character passwords consisting of lower and upper case alpha, numerical and symbol/ punctuation characters. These are impossible to remember and different for every access point, and need to be changed regularly. What to do? How can this be managed? Email Your email passwords should also be Email: email@example.com
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