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Let’s Talk Business

Let’s Talk Business Back To Basics Business Solutions - Support for Small Business

Issue 07 September 2013

A New Government! What it Could Mean for Small Business Australia now has a new Government and a new Prime Minister, and Australian small business has a new Small Business Minister. After six years in government, the same amount of small business ministers have come and gone – but the Coalition’s likely man for the job wants to change that. Bruce Billson, who has been the opposition spokesman for small business for several years now, won his marginal seat of Dunkley with a 3.94% swing to a two-party preferred vote of 54.98% It has to be a slightly nervous, slightly exciting aspect for small business. Abbott’s government has promised a strong mandate to focus on the needs of small business and the small business people in Australia. COSBOA (Council of Small Business of Australia) has already stated that they are looking forward to getting rid of unnecessary red tape, confronting the issues of bullying by the big landlords and the damaging domination by the ColesWoolworths duopoly. What we can say with confidence is that we are all tired of listening to the repeated rhetoric - from all sides of government - about the immense Web:

COSBOA (Council of Small Business of Australia) has already stated that they are looking forward to getting rid of unnecessary red tape, confronting the issues of bullying by the big landlords and the damaging domination by the Coles-Woolworths duopoly.

importance of small business, the role we play in the economy and the number of people we employ. But, says COSBOA “The last eighteen months has seen many positive changes and announcements. After Julia Gillard appointed Brendon O'Connor as the Small Business Minister and also made him a Cabinet member we saw a greater emphasis placed on small business as people. The Treasury department created a Small Business Tax Division and many other Departments started to focus on small business.” But, there is no doubt in my mind, that the lack of uncertainty, the roulette wheel for Labor leadership, the continued bickering within the Government (and that’s on both sides), was, in the end, not sustainable and had a huge impact on the loss of confidence from every-day Australians. For the sake of the economy and Australia, change was almost inevitable. The coalition promised a root and branch review of competition policy as well as changes to contract processes to make sure there is transparency and fairness for the small business person. These reviews and changes should not be sullied by interference from Email:

the duopoly or the likes of the Franchise Council of Australia and the Shopping Centre Council, two organisations that know the negative impact of poor competition policy and poor contract law but fight to maintain unfairness and the capacity to bully without recourse for the small business person. Too many people have lost everything because they were optimistic and trusting of the giants of industry. It will be pleasing to see the protection afforded these unworthy members of the business community removed. However, the Sydney Morning Herald reported earlier in the month (before the election), that: “Small business owners say the coalition's plan for $1.1 million fines if price cuts are not passed on once the carbon tax is abolished is "ridiculous". So, it is bound to be a slightly nervous, slightly exciting aspect for small business.  Mobile: 0451 184 599


Let’s Talk Business

Australians Enjoy Pretending to Understand News Australians are bombarded with information, and nobody wants to look like an idiot. A new study suggests most of us think we know more about what's going on in the news than our friends do. It also suggests that sometimes we fake it. People Really Do Walk Underneath! On a recent trip to Hong Kong, Manager Business Services at Master Builders, Lyn Cameron couldn't believe her eyes. There before her was a type of scaffolding she'd never deemed possible, but she said it was everywhere throughout Hong Kong. "I only thought this was used for small shacks, but it's also used for huge developments," she said, amazed. "It is secured with black plastic strips, and most of it sits on the bitumen or concrete footpath and in some cases the scaffolding is also tied onto a traffic light, signs (see the sign to the left of the photo) or small railing for extra support. "These are also busy thoroughfares, and no-one thought twice about walking underneath them." From The Atlanta Daily: SINGLE BLACK FEMALE seeks male companionship, ethnicity unimportant. I'm a very good looking girl who LOVES to play. I love long walks in the woods, riding in your pickup truck, hunting, camping and fishing trips, cosy winter nights lying by the fire. Candlelight dinners will have me Web:

eating out of your hand. Rub me the right way and watch me respond. I'll be at the front door when you get home from work, wearing only what nature gave me. Kiss me and I'm yours. Call (404) 875-6420 and ask for Daisy.

the substance was red wine being delivered to the staff restaurant. Saving Water? Sign in a toilet block in Bankstown (NSW) shopping centre

Over 15,000 men found themselves talking to the Atlanta Humane Society about an 8-week old black Labrador retriever. Safety film - Report A company trying to continue its five-year perfect safety record showed its workers a film aimed at encouraging the use of safety goggles on the job. According to the Health and Safety Council News, the film's depiction of gory industrial accidents was so graphic that twenty-five workers suffered minor injuries in their rush to leave the screening room. Thirteen others fainted, and one man required seven stitches after he cut his head falling off a chair while watching the film.

Clever Advertising Implants



Sign in the Local Watchhouse On the noticeboard in the dining room: “Will the person who took a slice of cake from the Commissioner's Office return it immediately. It is needed as evidence in a poisoning case.” Toxic Shock Red-faced fire fighters who evacuated a chemical plant in Ludwigshafen, Germany after discovering a toxic leak, cancelled the alert when they discovered


Seen on the outside wall of a bowling alley. Who Do You Feed? Sign in a small zoo just out of Sydney: “Please do not feed the animals. If you do have food, please give it to the keeper on duty.”  Mobile: 0451 184 599


Let’s Talk Business Dennis Chiron Marketing Means Business 0451 184 599 Skype: dennis.chiron2

Customer referrals are one of the most powerful selling and marketing tools available. In fact, the best source of new business is a referral from a satisfied customer. According to recent research 73 percent of online shoppers read reviews before buying. Other studies also show that customers also say that referrals are of the utmost importance in determining who they buy from and what they buy. If you’re like most busy small business owners, you’re always looking for fast and easy ways to market your business and get new customers. One of the fastest and easiest is right under your nose: Your existing, satisfied customers can be a great source of referrals to new business—provided you handle the referral process right. “Process” is the key word here, because getting referrals haphazardly and contacting them without having a specific plan in mind can be just as bad as not getting them at all. Yes, it will take a little work on the front end to set up a referral process, but it will ultimately pay off in a continuous pipeline of qualified new business. Isn’t that every business owner’s dream? Keep in mind the importance of word of mouth as you focus on making the buying process effective and enjoyable – before, during, and even after the sale. Make sure you understand expectations in great detail and Web:

Referrals: A Quick and Easy Way to Market Your Business

follow up after the sale to ensure that your customers are seeing the results they should expect. If the customer is pleased with how they have been treated and served, and with the value they've received, they certainly will be more willing to attach their name to you and your solution. They will be proud to be seen as the source of a great idea. 1. Firstly, you have to ask your customers for referrals. So, develop a system where you gather referrals at a set point in the sales process. Typically, you’ll want to do this after the sale is complete and you know the customer is satisfied. For a retailer, this might be at the point of purchase, or you might send a follow-up email asking for a referral. 2. Get digital. Email and social media make it easier than ever to ask for a referral. You can put requests for referrals on your social media sites, ask for referrals as part of your email outreach, or create a contest for the customer who refers the most people or the referral that generates the most business. 3. Offer a reward. Speaking of contests, we’re all more motivated to do something if there’s a reward involved. When developing rewards for referrals, take into account the value of the referral.

4. Keep it simple. People want to help you out, but not if it’s a huge hassle. Make referrals as easy as possible with tools like prepaid referral postcards customers can drop in the mail, referral forms enclosed with your invoice so they can mail it back with their payments, a form they can fill out while paying the bill at your restaurant or a simple form on your website they can fill out with a few keystrokes. 5. Follow up in a timely fashion. Once you get a hot referral, follow up before it has time to cool off. Two weeks should be the maximum time you wait to get in touch. Build the time frame into your referral system, and use tools like CRM software to set reminders of when referrals should be contacted. 6. Deliver on your promises. Make sure your interactions with the referred customer are professional and that, if he or she buys from you, you provide outstanding service. Otherwise, you could end up embarrassing the person who provided the referral, and not only will you fail to land the new customer, but you might just lose the old one.

If you’re asking a shopper on your ecommerce cosmetics site to share a friend’s information as part of the checkout process, that’s pretty low-value.

Remember; Your best source of new business is referrals from happy customers or clients. You cannot receive a better lead than one that has been sent your way with a strong referral.

Appropriate rewards could range from a dollar-off discount code, to a free product or service, to a percentage off the next invoice. (Rewards can escalate in value depending on whether the referred client actually makes a purchase.)

You cannot have a more motivated prospect arrive in your store or restaurant than someone sent there by a devoted fan. 


Mobile: 0451 184 599


Let’s Talk Business

Dr Tim Baker Managing Director WINNERS AT WORK Pty Ltd


Telephone. +61 7 3899 8881

Editor’s Note:

were $69,165 per annum in 2012

Tim is an international consultant, successful author, keynote speaker, master trainer, executive coach, university lecturer and skilful facilitator.

(according to the Australian Bureau of

In a nutshell, he has conducted over 2,430 seminars, workshops and keynote addresses to over 45,000 people in 11 countries across 21 industry groups.

Statistics). That amounts to an hourly rate on average of just over $33. $33 times 384 hours is $12,672 of costs associated with meetings per employee on average. Photo from

Let's say that you are working in a SME of 150 employees. Based on






meetings that counts.

Most meetings are a waste of time.

these figures meetings are costing your

As a business owner or manager, have

organisation $1.9M a year.

you ever calculated the cost of meetings

If that expenditure was a line item in

in your organisation? Are you getting a

the balance sheet as a sub-heading

good return on investment for your

under payroll, any manager worth his


or her salt would question that item on

Consider this: the average employee

the basis of whether the company was

Anyway, the bottom line is that we

probably spends four hours a week in

getting a good return on investing in

all attend too many meetings, that

meetings of some kind. Based on a 40


the meetings often add little value

hour work week, that's 10% of time

What's the answer?

spent in meetings.

Well there are two possible answers,

In actual fact it is 20%. While attending these meetings, employees can't be doing





someone else is doing their work for them. So every hour in meetings is potentially two hours lost. Take four weeks for holidays out of the equation, that's 48 weeks working times eight hours in meetings per week; a total of 384 hours in meetings every year. Average full-time earnings in Australia Web:

or a combination of the two. One is to reduce the number of mindless meetings in your department or organisation. Another answer is to make sure that those who run these meetings have the necessary skills to make the meetings as productive as possible. However, making meetings productive is a misnomer. Meetings themselves

Many employees send emails on issues that should be discussed in meetings. And many meetings are a procession of reports that could be communicated via email.

and are often poorly run. You are probably reading this article between meetings, or worse still, during a meeting. As a business owner or manager, I suggest you have a serious look at the meetings you have in your organisation as means of increasing productivity. I have to scoot, I have a meeting to attend ... 

cannot be productive. Email:

Mobile: 0451 184 599


Let’s Talk Business

Principal/Business Improvement & Implementation Specialist

Here is the five step test you should put all your marketing and advertising through.

Business Optimizers

Does it:

Mobile: 0414 943072

  


Fax: 3036 6131 Email: Skype: business.optimizers1

 

The Recession Survival Kit Times are still pretty tough out there but now is the time to steal market share from your competitors. After all we survive in spite of politicians, economists and the media, not because of them. Firstly, real success is sustainable and happens in any economic climate, in spite of external influences. Businesses that survive and thrive the tough times are those who adopt an attitude of discovery rather than resistance. More importantly, they focus on their customers With the global economic crisis, media is predictably focussing on negative. Negative stories newspapers, but they do nothing people’s confidence.

the the sell for

Negativity creates a sense of resistance, and while resistance to unpleasant situations is an expected human response, it also stymies a business owner’s capacity to focus. The reality is that in tough times there are just as many opportunities as there are in good times – maybe even more. A lot of it has to do with mindset and education. You must start with a clearly defined goal in sight and remember the cost of education is always going to be cheaper than the price of ignorance. Here are some suggests to help you focus on what is important in your business in the current climate. They focus on how you attract, retain and develop your relationships with your clients, and obviously need to be looked at in conjunction with the othe major areas of your business such as Web:

retaining profitability and cash flow, strengthening your supply chain and looking after your people. However, there are some very valid points here: Put your efforts into your existing clients – Relationships are everything It sounds obvious, but losing clients through neglect or sloppiness is especially painful in tough times. The cost and difficulty in replacing them is greatly increased. Regardless of the economy, your client list and prospects are your greatest asset. Even more important is your relationship with them and what you’re known for. The truth is that most businesses fail because of an inability to keep customers coming back, rather than an inability to attract customers, Grab your customer’s attention – Be innovative Most people in business have unreasonable expectations about the results they will achieve with plain vanilla advertising and marketing. The one thing your clients and prospects won’t put up with is being bored. Your advertising people’s attention



If you can’t make a compelling case in your advertising to choose your business over your competitors, you have no business spending a cent on advertising. Email:

Get attention; Arouse interest and emotion; Tell an interesting story in a believable way; Offer an incentive to take action now; and Ask for action and make it easy to do what it is you want them to do.

Make appropriate adjustments to services, payment options and products David Ogilvy, one of the greatest advertisers of all time said ‘All advertising should be news. Find ways to present what you do, the services you provide, or the products you sell expressed as news.’ Find ways to use what is in the news and on their minds about the economy to your advantage. This does not necessarily mean slashing prices. It may be message related or it may mean arranging better or more financing options. Better still, focus only on the products and services you sell that produce the bulk of your turnover, and then do it better. Only run offer-based advertising – Accept change There is little point of advertising without an offer to respond to. Contrary to many famous advertising and copyrighting gurus who maintain that the headline is the first thing you write, I suggest the most important thing to create is the offer. The reason the offer is important, is that it breaks down the major barriers to business – lack of trust and scepticism. In tough times you can’t afford to be boring. Avoid blame – You are the answer  Mobile: 0451 184 599


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Dan Buzer Profit Mechanics 0414 567 188

“7 Reasons Why NOT to Have a Business Partner, Coach or Mentor” This is a tongue-in cheek-rant. It’s been written with people in business in mind, however it could apply to many areas in life, such as sports, personal development and more. I hope you enjoy it and would appreciate any feedback or comments . If you have had the pain of having a Business Partner, Coach or Mentor involved in your business affairs, I’m sure you will relate to this rant! “7 Reasons Why NOT to Have a Business Partner, Coach or Mentor” 1. You’re constantly wondering about things like “Is my activity being productive” or “What actual results am I aiming to get, currently getting and did I finish up with?” It can be really annoying constantly thinking about whether or not you're wasting time! 2. They’re always, constantly, neverendingly asking for a score of some sort! Like a Profit & Loss, or a Cashflow Forecast, or the number of inquiries that converted into sales. JEESH! Although these things don’t take long to tally up (once they’re set -up), it still forces you to look at “The BIG Picture” (in whiny groaning voice). 3. It makes it really hard to distract Web:

these people with personal emotional stuff. It was much easier to divert attention from the real issue (especially my spouse) when I could use emotional excuses like “I know I should have, but Johnny was on school holidays”. It’s annoying not being able to cloud the real issue with personal life stuff! 4. Then there’s the cost! If you don’t do what you said you’ll do, you still have to pay for their time! It makes much more sense to just not have that accountability at all and the added bonus is there’s one less bill to pay. It’s pretty simple really. Just like working more hours in the business to reduce the wages bill. Duh! 5. They never seem to let the small stuff go! Like insurance, intellectual property protection, putting money aside to pay an upcoming tax bill, etc, etc, etc. It’s like they have this list that they never forget and keep bringing your attention to until you do it! Seriously, it can bug the heck out of you! 6. When you have a bad day, the Email:

WORST of the bunch seem to have this 'Jedi Mind Trick'. They just let you get it all out and then when you're finished they ask for a positive way to solve the problem! Now, that might seem to make sense, BUT the problems give you something to stress about and this in turn makes you feel like you’re doing something. So it may seem like they’re being helpful but it makes it really, really hard to have a pity-party! 7. They can give you different options and ideas from their way of life, personal experiences and network of connections. This makes you think outside your box which sucks because it feels so good to be the smartest person in your business. Do you seriously have to ‘open your mind’ (in over-exaggerated whiny voice).  Rant over. Dan Buzer Profit Mechanics Mobile: 0451 184 599


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Peter Athey Specialized Management Services 0405 318 449

How Do You Handle Customer Complaints? We should value complaints and use information from them to help us improve our services. If something goes wrong or you are dissatisfied with the service or product that you purchase, you have every right to complain about it.

dealing with call centres, and the automated menus. When, in 2011 Service Science asked 200 randomly selected people what is the one area of customer service that frustrates them the most, the most common answer (38%) was about the difficulty of getting to speak with a human being on the phone.

What is a complaint? A complaint is regarded as any expression of dissatisfaction about an action or lack of action, or about the standard of service provided to you that you are believe is not as it should be or of a lower standard that it should be.

The media tell us we should complain. The increasing number of consumer watchdog programmes on television have educated the public in the art of complaining and sticking up for their rights.

What can I complain about? You can complain about many things such as:  

failure to provide a service the standard of service you might receive  dissatisfaction with a service you receive  treatment by or attitude of a member of staff Your complaint may involve more than one of service. Factors affecting complaints In considering why people complain, there are a number of factors to take into account. It is easy to complain. Organisations are more accessible nowadays making it easier for their customers to complain, whether it is in person at a guest relations desk, via the Internet, or by telephone. On the subject of telephones research overwhelmingly indicates that the area that generates the most customer dissatisfaction is the frustration of Web:

The ease of global travel. People’s expectations increase as they get exposed to more and more instances of good practice in customer care. This has lead to a cultural change, and the demise of the timid Briton who, although unimpressed by his meal replies “Lovely, thank you” when asked by a waiter if he/she is enjoying it. Whether you're a large company or small business, you’re likely to have to deal with a customer or client complaint at some point. It’s not always a reflection on your business approach; if you’re juggling several clients at once, the odds are that there will be at least one person who isn’t completely satisfied at any one time. While it's easy to play the blame game when things go wrong, if you want to keep the client the best thing is to remain professional and tackle problems quickly and methodically. Solving a problem effectively can also be a great opportunity for your business to create happy clients and Email:

perhaps even referrals.



Once you receive a complaint, don’t leave it. Reply to the letter, email, phone call, blog post or tweet as soon as possible, no matter how outrageous you might think it is. Try and be open-minded and understanding about the situation. Write down anything you feel is important and ask questions. Regardless of your opinion, offering some form of apology can help. While in some cases it may not be legally advisable to apologise, you can still say ‘I’m sorry you feel that way’, ‘I’m sorry that wasn’t our intention’, or ‘I am sorry for your inconvenience’. This shows your sympathy and may help to calm the situation. Be composed: In high stress situations it’s easy to become irritable, but if you allow this to happen you might say something you regret which could have repercussions for the business. If find yourself becoming irritated, suggest that you’ll call the client back and try to take some time out for yourself to calm down. Think of your business: Whilst you are dealing with a complaint, show genuine concern. This could help turn the situation into a positive outcome, helping with future business dealings and ultimately aiding your reputation as a company.  Mobile: 0451 184 599


Let’s Talk Business

Peter Nicol Wisdom Marketing & Management Services 0417627097

YOU HAVE TO INFORM IN ORDER TO PERSUADE Over the last three years I have mentored about 195 small business owners in my role as a Small Business Mentor for the Qld State Government. If there be a common denominator, owners of small enterprises need someone to talk to over their issues and, then be provided with advice that is practical, can be clearly measured, and most importantly be affordable. Finance never comes easy to most small business owners (including me). Yet, the most important thing that any business can do is to have a close working relationship with their accountant. My observations from the mentoring work I have done and, my career as a consultant shows you HAVE to understand how your business is performing by a number of fiscal KPI’s. Owners have to realise that business is about making a profit. It is not about “feeling free” or being your “your own person”. That quickly passes as the realities of being selfemployed are gone usually within days of the business coming into being! Nonetheless, it can still be fun and, loving what you do plays a big role in being self-employed. Putting in place dashboards that Web:

allow you to measure the business is vital. Your accountant will no doubt give you the key ones that the banks like to see and, help you better understand how you are travelling. My belief is that gross profit retention is the cornerstone of a good business. Many people I have mentored have misunderstood Gross Profit (GP) versus mark-up. Calculate GP by various profit centres. Once you understand what products are returning good GP then you can start to drive your business. With costs rising almost daily (especially electricity) the erosion of your GP can be done by stealth. This is why GP has to be monitored. Recognising the tight markets we all have to contend with I have begun to try and analyse how some of these issues can be mitigated. It is an over simplification but I have been taking my clients through the basics of selling and; it is working. The last decade or so has been one of the most bountiful we have known in Australia. I think we are in a tough time and it will get tougher before it gets better. Most businesses have experienced organic sales; that is customers have been reasonably plentiful. Not many business owners drive their sales. A website, social media, and other digital tools Email:

are simply that, they are tools. It is persuasive selling messages that talk of benefits that are needed in face to face calls and copy on websites and, social media. Little effort is spent on developing selling techniques. Knowing the difference between features and benefits is a core culture that has to be developed. The suites of marketing tools at our disposal (Websites, Facebook, Twitter, Emails etc.) have no doubt helped many businesses grow as money was around and these low cost tools have helped commerce like no other time in history. However, the current market needs more persuading, the market is bombarded with choice. The market is cynical. Therefore, the old adage of “you must inform in order to persuade” has never been more relevant. You have to work harder to get your share. Ask yourself these questions.    

Do I monitor my GP by product groups monthly? Do I speak about my products in terms of benefits? Do I write my website content in terms of benefits? Do I really sell or just represent?

Hope this helps.  Mobile: 0451 184 599


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Janelle Macpherson BBusInfMgt, DipMgt, Certified NLP Practitioner , Cert MHSS, Accred Life Coach. Business Owner/Life Coach/Consultant emPOWERful Solutions Sub Company – Express Life Coaching Brisbane North ABN 76 594 335 474 Blue Card: 1161688/1 0409728579

Mental Health Issues and the Workforce Everyone has their own values and beliefs, which is why we don’t always see things the same way as others. When you have a mental health issue this can be exacerbated as sometimes the person can over-feel their emotions. The first part of the article is directed to employers and their Managerial / Supervisor staff. Do you have anyone working for you with a mental illness? Are you aware about the different types of mental illnesses? Do you think that you should care if your staff member has a mental illness? A most important fact to remember is that there are discrimination laws out there to protect people with mental illnesses. Let’s look at depression since I can talk about this from personal experience. I have major depression but I run a business and I am studying full time in my second Bachelors degree. Just because a person has depression or a mental illness doesn’t mean that they can’t be an effective employee. Many people with depression get turned away from jobs. I personally believe it is because the illness is misunderstood. In the early stages of my diagnosis I was seeing a psychiatrist and even though my employers had a meeting Web:

with him and me about my illness, they bullied me in the workplace. My psychiatrist had to write them a letter but the bullying did not stop. Then I was made redundant from the Queensland Government. My previous employers had made my depression worse. It took some time to get where I am now emotionally. The reason I am talking about this, is because on Friday 13th September is the annual R U OK day. Take the initiative to ask your employees are they OK. I can imagine that none of you would like to make someone’s mental illness worse. There is also a great organisation called Beyond Blue http:// They have some great information on their website to download. The most important thing to remember is to communicate openly and honestly with your staff (whether they have a mental illness or not). Encourage them to explain how their mental illness might (if at all) affect them at work. Depression can be described as being crippling but if you have the support of your employer then it can be less crippling. Some tips: Avoid words such as “you’re useless” if you are not happy with their work. These words should never be said to anyone. Try something like this: “Janelle, I have noticed that you didn’t do any ‘up selling’ with that last Email:

“Janelle, I have noticed that you didn’t do any ‘up selling’ with that last customer, why was that?” “Janelle I noticed that you put the product on the shelf but in the wrong place, are you aware that you did this? These two examples are being factual but non threatening. If a person feels like they are being attacked then they will get defensive. Imagine you said this—” Janelle you are useless, you put the product up in the wrong place” or “Janelle how many times have I told you to up sell”? There would be a big difference in how the employee will respond and at least with the first examples you were being professional and maintaining both your and your employee’s dignity. Now to the employees who may be reading this article. If your mental illness is being affected by your work then you owe it to yourself and your employer to tell them. Organise a time to discuss your issues with them. Have some information booklets handy so that you can give them more information. Most importantly keep taking any prescribed medication! People with mental illness can be functioning members of society. As like most employees, you treat them with dignity and respect and you will get great productivity out of them . Anyone who has done a Leadership course will tell you: “People leave companies.”



 ©Janelle Macpherson 2013. Mobile: 0451 184 599


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Ron Court, AMC Dip (Funerals) MQJA JP

Promote Team Effectiveness

OH&S Advisor 0419679619

In all businesses we must have something called team work weather we know it or not, the fact remains team work is very important to achieving targets. Do we really know how to build a team or even know the difference between having a group of people or a team working with us? The difference between a team and group What is a team, and what makes it different to a group? A group of people become a team when the members: 

have a common purpose

have specific performance goals

cooperate to achieve the common purpose

are accountable to each other.

In the 1950’s, better education for workers, greater access to information, competition, customer expectation and a greater understanding of human motivation led to the decentralisation of management and the growth of teams. All team members need to believe that the team has a worthwhile purpose, and team members need to know what is expected of them. The purpose of the team is the reason why the team is together in the first place. Goals describe what the team want to achieve. Often a goal may be broken down into objectives that are shorter-term achievements and serve as clear measuring posts as the team progresses towards the ultimate goal. Web:

Effective teams require goals that are clear, significant and embraced by all members.

of people – or because it is socially enjoyable to get together with likeminded people.

A popular way to remember what should be in your goals and objectives is to use the SMARTT method:

In other words, groups act to assist people in fulfilling their needs.

Specific and concise (the goal is not long-winded, that is, people can understand it)

Measurable (there's a way of knowing whether or not we've achieved the goal)

Achievable (the goal is do-able, that is, it's possible with the resources we have available)

Related to results (to the overall department and organisational goals, that is, the goal is part of a bigger picture)

Time-framed (we know when the final date for the goal is)

Trackable (we can easily monitor how we're going — daily, weekly or monthly) Some groups have common goals but do not necessarily work together to achieve them. They might have common interests and ideas, but not necessarily objectives. For example, many management teams are seldom groups because they work independently to achieve their objectives. At some workplaces where teamwork is not a focus, people will interact with one another during meetings, but will have apparently different goals. Group or team? It is normal for people with common interests to form groups. Such groups might form due to necessity — a goal or objective that requires the contribution and support of a number Email:

Early in human history groups of people cooperated in order to fulfil basic needs. It was apparent that a group was more efficient at food gathering, providing water, security and shelter than individuals on their own; hence the eventual evolution of towns, cities, states and nations. Within these large groups today are smaller groups to which people gravitate for various reasons. The need for belonging, developing relationships and for social interactions that support self-esteem and, to a certain extent the desire to reach full potential can be catered to by belonging a group or to different groups. Groups might be culturally-based, have a religious foundation, be related to sporting or political interests, work or hobbies, friendships or family interactions. Many groups develop around special skills, roles, responsibilities or beliefs. The evolution of society is mirrored by the formation of groups of remarkable distribution, size and diversity, each intended in some way to help fulfil human needs. These needs are usually depicted in an order of prioritisation with the basic needs of food, shelter and water first, followed by the need for safety and security, and then belonging, selfesteem and finally, self-actualisation (reaching full potential).  Mobile: 0451 184 599


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Paul GILLMORE DFS Founder and Director Southern Cross Financial Services 07 5429 5561 0402 685 032

New Government – what does it mean? A new way for Australia is about to unfold with a new federal government but what does it mean for you? Will things improve for businesses and families? Red Tape One thing we small to medium business enterprises (SME’s) know about is regulation and compliance. From being unpaid tax collectors for GST revenue to administering the distribution of superannuation guarantee contributions for each employee, compliance with Federal, State and Local governments often on the same issue (eg the environment), to the over-regulation of industries such as the food and finance industries, our economy wilts under the weight of over and mindless regulation. Each regulation may not seem unreasonable and politicians usually frame changes this way. It is the cumulative effect of regulations. It reduces the time that can be spent on business and time people can spend with their families. It raises costs of providing goods and services which simply raises the cost of living, reduces productivity and prosperity. Stability Families and businesses need stability to plan for and invest in the future. Web:

When ‘knee jerk’ reactions from governments are carelessly implemented, there are ramifications in the real world. My colleagues in the motor vehicle leasing industry tell me that there has been a dramatic reduction in the purchase of lease vehicles particularly from relatively low paid community workers who stand to lose a substantial part of their salary package. We were told that only greedy BMW driving business owners would pay but clearly that’s not right. Hopefully this amongst many other damaging regulations will be repealed which will also save many manufacturing jobs Roll of the Reserve Bank (RB) My view is that RB governor Glen Stevens has been out of synchronisation with the real world since the start of 2008 when he raised interest rates three times in a row at the beginning of the biggest economic downturn since the Great Depression, then was forced to reduce only to increase rates in 2010 only to be forced to reduce them again in 2011/12. This created a lost opportunity to support the economy (particularly manufacturing) facing significant headwinds. The result is many Australian manufacturing jobs have been exported. In defence of the RB they had little help from the federal government who expected the RB to shoulder the responsibility. That said, Email:

for the RB to increase interest rates in the 2007 election AND reduce rates in the 2012 election is a blatant political move from an organisation who should be apolitical is nothing short of reprehensible. My view of interest rates is that we remain in a low rate environment because of rising unemployment and sluggish economic activity with perhaps another rate cut to come later this year or early next year. Confidence Hog tying SME’s with mindless regulations, telling us that the economy is ‘honky dory’ when we know it’s not, failing to support Australian industry, allowing manufacturing jobs to be exported, rising unemployment and the closure of over 700,000 businesses since 2008, ill-conceived, knee jerk policy changes for nefarious reasons are all reasons that investors and business people have lacked confidence. In fact, it broke many people’s hearts. A change of government creates the opportunity for all this to change. We, the small businesses of Australia, are the engine room and the drivers of employment and economic prosperity and it will be up to us to get things going again. My message to the incoming government is to make it easier for us to do what we do best, to grow Australia’s prosperity, to care for our families and to be careful of the environment in which we all live. Mobile: 0451 184 599


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Cloud Computing What is it and how can small business utilise it? CLOUD COMPUTING



What is the cloud? Have you ever heard about "the cloud" and wondered what it meant? Although relatively new, it's not too hard to understand. In fact, you've probably used the cloud many times without knowing it. The cloud is where you can put all your data, all your files and even your software so you can access it all from any computer or device, anywhere, anytime. With cloud computing you can write, edit and share documents online. You’re not limited to using the office computer - you can use any computer, or even any mobile device, anywhere, anytime. When you watch videos on the web, they’re actually stored in the cloud, so people all over the world can access the same video, at any time, from any device. Using cloud based software means you can invite any number of people to login and access the same data, from any device, anywhere in the world. All the emails you have been sent via webmail are stored in the cloud. This means you can access your emails, even when you’re away from your desktop computer. When you’re using the cloud, you have direct access to your financial data online. You can pay immediately and it can be effective in real-time. Web:

Isn’t cloud computing just the internet? You use the internet to connect your device to the cloud, but the internet is just the connection – the cloud is where your data lives.

Isn’t it possible to lose your data in the cloud? Your data is actually much safer in the cloud than on your computer. Your computer can be stolen or corrupted quite easily, but cloud companies spend millions on systems and experts to protect your data. See the difference the cloud can make in how you work, communicate, sell and buy, bank, file, and store.


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Security Concerns? The beauty of cloud computing lies in the easy access you have to your data using any Internetconnected device.

 When working in the cloud always have a plan ‘B’. Outages do occur. If your working life relies on cloudbased systems and services, it's probably shrewd to have an alternative in place such as as having a local file store synched to your cloud storage, and another method for accessing your email.

 Finally, be aware of what computers

But without proper security precautions, you could be leaving yourself open to trouble.  Reusing passwords -- or using weak passwords -- makes you an easy target for identity theft. Remembering multiple passwords can be a pain, but there are Web services that can help.

Traditional Banking Your financial data is only available at the bank. Internet Banking Your financial data is available anytime, anywhere, on any device.

 Use different passwords for different sites. Make absolutely sure you don't repeat a password across sites that have your credit card information. Your e-mail password is the most important. Keep it secure and don't use it for any other sites.

Traditional Mail Your correspondence is only available at the post office. Web Mail

 Use difficult to remember passwords. The best passwords combine letters, numbers and symbols into an unusual configuration. Once you have a good password, don't’ spread it around.

Your email is available anytime, anywhere on any device. Traditional Shopping Your business is only open at limited times and places. Online Shopping Your customers can shop anytime, anywhere on any device.

What else is moving to the cloud? Software (eg. MYOB, Microsoft, Adobe), music, movies, education, books, photos, accounting, payroll, taxes, healthcare...

Uses in Small Business BACKUP SOLUTIONS gives you peace of mind that your is safe, secure and restorable. Web:

you're logged into. Browsers will often ask to save your login information and keep a login session alive as long as the browser is open. If you log in to Facebook or your e-mail account on a friend's laptop and then leave, you'll likely still be logged in to those sites. If they're trustworthy, that may not be a problem. But what if you're using a public computer? Stay logged in to one of those and anyone could gain access to your account. Unless you're using your own computer, remember to log out and never save your password and user information.

Back up your data. A power surge, faulty hard drive platter, robbery or other unexpected system failure could happen when you least expect it, and if your data isn't backed up you'll beat yourself up over it for weeks.

 Protect your computer from virus, spyware and malware. Internet hazards like viruses are, mostly easy to avoid. Shady Web sites usually look shady; e-mail attachments from spam addresses are never worth opening. Antivirus software is always a smart precaution, but smart browsing is an even greater ally. What does this have to do with protecting your data in the cloud? Make sure the site is trustworthy.

Do you need a responsive design make over? Want to add a Mobile App to your Website? FREE Website Analysis and Review

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Specialist Training for Small Business Owners and Their Staff Our services are primarily for small business owners and their staff who wish to complete training whilst still on the job. So our service involves coming to your place of work, and providing training and assessment in conjunction with daily work practices, which allows us to keep our rates highly competitive. What is Recognised Prior Learning (RPL) Having formal qualifications increases your knowledge and skill potential. But why waste time studying what you already know? Brisbane Career College recognises the skills and experience you have gained through work and life experience - reducing or even eliminating your study time. We can help you and your staff gain a qualification, taking into account the value of your skills acquired outside of formal learning, through the Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) process. Our programs combine work with a structured training program, developing an employee's skills and knowledge as well as providing them with a Nationally Recognised Qualification. Our qualifications may entitle the employer to State and/or Commonwealth government incentives and rebates to help offset or pay for the cost of training. Brisbane Career College also provides a number of short courses in business and management, designed to equip you with subject specific skills that you may need at different times in your career and to assist with your professional development. These business courses are short, ranging from a half day to full week training programs and are available in Brisbane and Sydney, both as part of our general training delivery, and through customised in-house corporate deliveries. Approved Qualifications CODE


BSB40207 - Certificate IV in Business BSB40807 - Certificate IV in Frontline Management BSB50207 - Diploma of Business BSB50407 - Diploma of Business Administration BSB51107 - Diploma of Management BSB60207 - Advanced Diploma of Business BSB60407 - Advanced Diploma of Management

Brisbane Career College Pty Ltd, 180 Logan Road, Woolloongabba Web: Email: National Code: 32303 ACN: 143 846 093 ABN: 96 143 846 093 Web:


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LTB September 2013  

Welcome Once Again to Our Dynamic Business Networking Community and “Let’s Talk Business” (attachment) is our Monthly eNewsletter which is d...

LTB September 2013  

Welcome Once Again to Our Dynamic Business Networking Community and “Let’s Talk Business” (attachment) is our Monthly eNewsletter which is d...