NEW ZEALAND 2018
GOOGLE MAPS LISTING for your business
HOW TO GO
Mobile and be open 24/7
What are they saying about you?
To the writers, dreamers, speakers and adventure seekers. To the innovators, creators and action makers. To the entrepreneurs who strive to be different and make a difference. To those who have unparked their business, by asking for help or finding fuel to get back on the fast track. To all those brave enough to take it up a gear. We salute you.
e l tt Li er! Zoom
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on the COVER
Zooming around New Zealand
Book Reviews p26
Your attitude determines your altitude.
Get a Google Map listing for your business p11
ss is 80% ess – remember busine the product ut ations and 20% abo
NEW ZEALAND 2018 are your
Comp ce and push yourself. Zoom in Business®w magazine is published in Australia. Olympian. Ho dal me d gol a of o that Website: zoominbusiness.com ? EDITOR
F*** - the most powerful four letter word in business! p20
time. Think ART DIRECTOR tive thinking – it wastes the veWilliams: sol ck, Kellie email@example.com blo d roa e. If you hit a move nASSISTANT the and g Ebony Dunn rrin ccu reo vent it from
11 Zoom Tutorial: How to get a Google Maps listing for your business 12 40 Fabulous Strategies to Increase Revenue 16 How to Go Mobile - Why your website NEEDS to be compatible with a mobile device 19 Which business is right for me? 20 F*** - the most powerful four letter word in business!
24 Improve the way you sell 27 Busting the Myths: Our experts give their advice on 5 major business myths
FRONT COVER PHOTO Meaghan Confait - Pretty In Pictures
28 Why are small business sold for less than they are worth?
DISCLAIMER All material that appears in this edition of Zoom in Business is printed at the discretion of the publishers, but does not necessarily reflect the opinions of the publishers. We endeavour to maintain a high standard of credibility in the quality of articles published and our articles are intended as informed contributions to people seeking to pursue a rich and rewarding experience in business. Readers are advised to always use their discretion in using any product, service or approach either advertised or written about in Zoom in Business. The publishers can take no responsibility for individual outcomes of any such choice and readers should always be guided by their own business professionals.
what you cannot change
engage with her Pinterest and Twitter to online customers our h wit d a strong buy-in al experiences such as ng some of my person ebook,” she laughs. ugar-free month, via Fac e numbers of larg en amazed she was wh port and sup ring offe ts ard via their pos ople don’t “Pe ue. log dia t res inte eal human-
06 Cover Story: Travelling opens up a miriad of possibilities - one of these is finding inspiration for your business, and giving you a fresh start when you get back
22 First Impressions Count
Kirsten Lowis: firstname.lastname@example.org
nity but be y things, seek opportu stone of tion nda fou Faulure is the – quite the ma stig no ries car ccess. It ng hout falli over? Be ver learnt to ski witCOPYRIGHT All material and in this edition of Zoom in Business is copyright under the normal live y not ve macontent copyright laws in Australia. No part may be reproduced by any process without prior Branson said “The bra written permission of. the publisher. all” at d live not cautious have © Zoom in Business 2018.
30 There’s never a good time to park your business 32
Annah Stretton: “Dressed for Business Success” p32
Dressed for Business Success
Follow us on Twitter and Facebook www.twitter.com/zoominbusiness www.facebook.com/zoominbusiness
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Your most unhappy customers are your
t s e t a e r Gurce of so g n i n r a e L – BILL GATES
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“Don’t finish today until you plan for tommorrow.”
A wise man once told me that change is the only constant in life and often with change, fear follows. No business can survive if the leader is afraid. My question to you this issue: What do you fear? First, let me share my story about fear with you. Back in 2009, I had an idea for a business magazine. It was all I could think about - it was so powerful and compelling a business idea that I devoted my days and nights thinking about how to bring this idea out of my mind and into my working life. The possibilities were burning and beautiful and driven by an entrepreneurial force I could not control. And then I scored a meeting with my talented bestie (Kellie) who patiently listened to me verbally unpacked my idea from my briefcase announcing, “I want to start Townsville’s first business magazine”. The moment the words left my lips, the excitement turned to fear but we both believed the idea had merit. So, together we mapped out a plan on ‘how to make this magazine a reality’. Even though fear has been everpresent, it kicked into focus when my life took an unplanned detour. Change creates fear, and fear really sucks. That’s what this issue of Zoom in Business is dedicated to. If you’ve ever experienced fear, it’s like kryptonite to our super powers. It is the number one idea-crippling, experience-crushing, successstalling inhibitor of success, and it’s the one raw emotion will invade your body and convince your mind to forget you ever had any strength at all. Fear stands between you and greatness. Fear is the reason that we didn’t… Didn’t do more. Didn’t do less. Didn’t say no. Didn’t say yes. Despite the fear, I’m proud to say that it’s been 8 years since that meeting of the minds with Kellie, and you’re now reading our 24th publication and at every stop, I refuse to unpack fear from my luggage. So, my friends. 2018 has just arrived, and although it’s easier said than done, I’m going to give you some first-hand advice anyway: Stop being scared! Fear is only dangerous if you focus on it. Otherwise, it’s a choice. You got this. Finally, I hope that the message you read on every page in Zoom in Business is simple: the truth is all that matters. So, against the backdrop of our society, never let fear define or defeat you in business, in life, in anything.
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It was the perfect mix of business and a winter escape when we zoomed across the Tasman to New Zealand’s beautiful Queenstown.
itting magnificently in the shadow of the snow-capped Remarkables on the bank of Lake Wakatipu, there was no better haunt than Queenstown for three bungee-jumping adrenaline-junkie, ski-bunnies to help me celebrate my 40th birthday. Anyone who has ever flown into the windy corridor of Queenstown will sympathize with me when I say that the jaw-clenching experience of our 747 bumbling through the strong gusts of wind on descent was my first taste of fear. The moment my feet hit the tarmac, the minus degree wind chilled my veins. I was finally on holidays, and it was time to breathe in this crisp alpine air and “let go”.
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It was just after midday when we zoomed up Fernhill Road and arrived at our luxurious Platinum Villa penthouse with a stunning schist stone gas fireplace blazing to warm our frozen bones. There was no time to waste, so we rugged up and headed for some action. The town was surprisingly trendy and every second door was either a restaurant or bar. Business was booming, but I reminded myself that this was a seasonal town, and when the snow melts so will most of these businesses. With that in mind, there was no holding us back for the experience. The first stop was the funky Havana Rum Bar on Searle Lane, with a sign saying “even Australians are welcome!”. Good to see some healthy cross-Tasman rivalry still in play! We strolled to the famous Speights Ale House for a hearty schooner of beer while watching the footy and then across the street to the Pig N Whistle for a bite to eat, washed down by an appropriately matched beer and some stargazing. Before we knew it, it was already morning and much to do. Firstly, it was a ride on the Gondola to reach the Queenstown Skyline complex where we had spectacular panoramic, breath taking views of Coronet Peak, the Remakables mountain range, across Lake Wakatipu to Cecil and Walter Peaks. Unfortunately, the wind was too strong for our first adrenalin-filled activity of hang gliding off the side of a mountain, but we got a rush catching the chairlift to the Luge where us three grown professional women had an 800m blast of what I consider bloody dangerous, downhill fun. Then it was off on a Sunday drive to the nonchalant streets of Arrowtown. My sister insisted we visit The Chop Shop Food Merchants, so that was our first stop. It did not disappoint. On arrival, the headwaiter Rex welcomed us and was accustomed to letting his patrons know “we currently don’t have a table available. Would you mind taking a seat?”. This place was packed with diners. So, we nestled into an old leather couch, giving us time to drink in the charming fit out of recycled and upcycled wares such as chandeliers made from bike wheels and chains and door weights made from shifter
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spanners. This place oozed a vintage-industrial charm – just what we were looking for. After a short wait, we were ushered to the outdoor terrace overlooking Arrow Lane, and although it was chilly we toasted with a bottle of top shelf French Champagne, poured by a vibrant, free-spirited, quirky waitress. “Do you own this place”, I asked to which she replied, “well, yes I do. My name is Fiona Whiting”, she pulled up a chair and began telling us how it all started. It’s business moments like this that I want to bottle. Fiona passionately shared her story about how both her and husband (Chris) decided to bite the bullet and start their own business. Yes, it’s true – the entrepreneurial spirit can capture just about anyone. And like most entrepreneurs, this young couple started with a bright idea, bunch of hope, burning passion, teeny-tiny budget and also a baby on the way. But despite the challenges, the couple have created a recipe for success. The Chop Shop Food Merchants now have a 5-star rating on Trip Advisor and show no signs of slowing down. After the obligatory “selfie”, Fiona steered us to the menu which was bursting with clean, fresh and healthy food. The Turkish Eggs sent me into a food coma and I can’t recall what the girls chose. This place was that good – it started with a recommendation from my sister, that lead us to a warm welcome, great service, friendly convos and heartwarming food. That’s business at its best. We then decided to take a drive to Coronet Peak for sunset. The snow season was late this year, so we were lucky enough to be able to drive without chains up to the resort and get a taste of the snow. Even though the three of us were exhausted, we had plans… and those plans involved living the last day as a 30-something to the limit. So, we frocked up and dined at the Crown Plaza and then migrated, as many do, to the Botswana Butchery for dessert. Needless to say, the roaring log fires on the entrance to this luxurious restaurant offered a decadent farewell to my 30’s. We stuffed the following day with as much birthday adventure as possible – Jet Boat ride on the Shotover River, Flying Fox and Bungee Jumping. Later in the afternoon, we made for the Amisdale Winery, for a nerve-steadying beverage. It was there that we paid it forward to a young couple on holiday, and told them they must visit The Chop Shop in Arrowtown. And there you have it – we inadvertently became salespeople for Fiona! In the end, though, we ended up hopping around six restaurants before a plump for Winnies Niteclub where we danced the night away. On our final day in Queenstown, we enjoyed some downtime in the Hilton Day Spa, dawdled around the Black Cat Bookshop, Fergburger and ended up in the Gibbston Valley Winery and Terra Mia Café. The world suddenly became very small when I said to the waitress “you sound like an Aussie”, begging us to realise that her parents had recently sold their business on Magnetic Island (where we lived) and opened Terra Mia Café. More ironically, the waitress went to school with one of our daughters. The world is a small place indeed. It took us 4 days to tuck into the top shelf wine, amazing breakfasts, hangover food and the best coffee on the planet. To my surprise I found that the real danger was not my appetite for adventure, but the indulgent culinary seduction at every turn.
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I am the left brain.
I am a scientist. A mathematician. I love the familiar. I categorize, I am accurate. Linear. Analytical. Strategic. I am practical. Always in control. A master of words and language. Realistic. I calculate equations and play with numbers. I am order. I am logic. I know exactly who I am.
I am the right brain. I am creativity. A free spirit. I am passion. Yearning. Sensuality. I am the sound of roaring laughter. I am taste. The feeling of sand beneath bare feet. I am movement. Vivid colours. I am the urge to paint on an empty canvas. I am boundless imagination. Art. Poetry. I sense. I feel. I am everything I wanted to be.
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How to get a
GOOGLE MAPS LISTING Drive local customers in your direction by signing your business up for this useful and free Google tool
P ut some time aside t o do t his t oday! business If you already have a he day listing, make t oday t o-date t o check it’s al l up-t and wor king.
In the last couple of years Google Maps has become and indispensable tool for internet users searching for business information. It makes sense then, that Google Maps should also become an indispensable tool for you, the business owner, to make sure that those customers can find you. In this step-by step guide, we’ll show you how to get your business listed on Google Maps, so that customers searching for businesses in their local area can see what you have to offer.
1. Start by heading to www.google.com/ local/add/businessCenter (make sure to use a capital C). You will land on a login page and once you’ve logged in click on ‘List your Business’ or ‘Add a New Listing’.
2. Select your country, type in your business phone number, and then click the ‘Find business information’ button. If the number you entered has no business info already associated with it, you can then go ahead and fill our the Basic Information section. You must also select a ‘Category’ that will best describe your business - choose wisely, as this will help Google direct the appropriate customers towards your listing.
3. As you continue your way down the page, you’ll have the opportunity to fill out other information about your business. The more information your provide here, the better the chance of your business appearing high in local search results. In particular, we recommend entering hours of operation, providing payment details and also adding a photograph or video. When you’re done, click the ‘Submit’ button.
4. You’ll now be given options for validating your listing. If you select ‘By phone’, you’ll receive an automated phone call at the number you listed in your Google Places account. Have a pen and paper ready, as you’ll be given a pin number for verification. If you select ‘By SMS’. you’ll receive a text message at the same number - once again, a pin will be provided. The third option is the ‘By Postcard’, where a pin will be sent to your specified mailing address in two to three weeks.
5. When you receive your pin number, log back in and you will see your Dashboard. Enter it here (at the page shown above) and click ‘Go’. You’ll then be taken to a page confirming that your listing has been validated. If you have multiple businesses or locations you should enter them individually. You can manage them all under the one account.
6. Now that your business is listed, you should be able to locate it on Google Maps by simply typing in the business name. If the business name is a common one, you may also need to specify your city in the search request. A basic listing will look something like what you see above. As you add more information and improve your web presence with strong SEO practices, users will begin to find your business using common search terms as well.
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FABULOUS STRATEGIES to increase revenue There are only four ways to increase revenue: increase the number of customers you have; increase their average transaction size; increase the frequency of transactions per customer; or raise your prices. Here are 40 ways to do the first three, so you donâ€™t have to resort to the fourth.
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Did you know that selling to existing customers is much cheaper than finding new ones? The process of selling more, and more often, to a customer base you already have is called database marketing. Database marketing is becoming the number one form of business communication because it is SO simple to do and it’s cost-effective, and it can create leads and generate sales, while reducing your admin time and costs at the same time. SO WHAT IS DATABASE MARKETING? Database Marketing is direct marketing using a database of customers. You could easily increase your revenue by getting your existing customers to buy more from you, more often. It can be quite expensive to find new customers so this is a much more economical option. Your customer database is one of the most valuable things your business owns, so why not use it? All of the following strategies showcase the amazing potential of database marketing, but they can all equally be applied to ‘offline’ marketing (e.g. you could print out a paper format of your newsletter and post it out to your clients). The benefit of using electronic database marketing is, of course, the low cost. You save on time, printing and postage and you save the environment! Grab a highlighter and pick out one or two of these strategies to do tomorrow, or maybe aim to fit in a handful by the end of next week. NEWSLETTERS Newsletters are a great way to position your business as a leader in your industry. You can be the expert that your clients, alliances and prospects refer to. 1. A monthly newsletter sent out to your database is a simple way to keep your business TOM (Top of Mind). 2. Target your newsletters to different groups. When the content is more relevant to the reader, they are more likely to respond. 3. Create an industry newsletter/produce a combined newsletter with your alliances. 4. Advertise your business in other newsletters, or contribute an article in other newsletters or magazines (like Zoom in Business!). (See ‘Newsletter Tips’ on opposite page) PRODUCTS To boost sales to new clients and get your existing clients to buy more from you more often, you can do some special product or service promotions. 5. If you have a new product, release an immediate promo introducing the product. Make sure you sell the benefits as well as features and include an incentive for the reader to act (this could be a ‘find out more’, or ‘try it free’ or simply a ‘buy now’ link). 6. Organise a special event that only your clients are invited to, such as a VIP closed door sale they can bring a friend along to. 7. Hold a seasonal sale, holiday or occasion sale, or play off special events like the State of Origin. 8. Run an End of Line promotion. People see sales of discontinued lines as a great way to get a real bargain. 9. Hold a container or warehouse sale. You could even hold a ‘snap container sale’ and promote it via SMS. This makes it a little bit different and creates an urgency of the sale. 10. Use a particular date to theme and promote your sale, such as midweek or end of the month, and get that stock moving! 11. Birthday promotion – promote your business’ birthday or give your clients a special offer for them to use a birthday gift. This is a great way to make your customers feel appreciated. 12. Send an offer to existing customers to refer subscribers. A referral is often the best form of advertising. People feel comfortable doing something their friends are doing. 13. Send your clients a thank you or a special deal on the anniversary of them becoming your customer. FULL RANGE In many cases you will find your clients/prospects don’t know your full range of products and services. A great way to increase revenue is to promote your full range to your current clients. Best of all, it costs far 14 © 2018 zoominbusiness.com
less to work with your current customers than it does to attract new ones – research suggests up to 6 times less! 14. Promote different parts of your product range regularly. 15. Explain your other products and services. 16. Use case studies to inspire your clients with examples of what you’ve done for other clients! EDUCATION Informing and educating your customers on your industry and services will help you to position yourself as the expert/leader in your industry. 17. Create ‘How to’ guides for your products. 18. Educate customers in your area of expertise, demonstrate your skills and be the expert. 19. Work with alliances to provide advice. 20. Create news updates aligned to your industry. 21. Make your clients feel welcome and keep them excited about doing business with you with an automated series of welcome emails. If your database marketing system allows you can automate this whole process. 22. Send out an inspirational quote. 23. Email a tip of the day, week or month. E-CARDS Research says that close to 7 out of every 10 customers will leave a business because they feel like you don’t care. So, in order to maintain and grow that relationship there are a number of strategies you can employ to make your clients feel appreciated. 24. You could email or SMS your customers on their birthday. Make sure to add a special offer as a way to celebrate. 25. Sending an email to clients on the anniversary of them becoming your client. 26. Send out a ‘Thank you for your purchase’. 27. Thank your clients for their referrals (very important). It also encourages them to send more referrals your way. 28. Invite your clients to seminars, workshops, client evenings, tradeshows or promotions. TIMETABLES The internet is such a simple tool for sharing your business’ schedules and timetables. 29. Send reminders to your clients about topics that are relevant. For example, an accountant could send out an end-of-year tax reminder, or a dentist might send out a 6-monthly check-up reminder. 30. Email your clients a calendar of upcoming events. 31. Align your promotions with important dates throughout the year like Valentine’s Day and send your clients a reminder. 32. Email your clients the details of your schedule. For example, a gym could send their members a class timetable, a retailer could send out trading/open times.
NEWSLETTER TIPS • Make sure you personalise every newsletter with the recipient’s name (and other details where possible) • Make your subject line count – focus on a BENEFIT or a hook to get them to open the email • Have a ‘printer friendly’ version easily accessible • Include a ‘send to a friend’ link to increase your reach • Include links to your website for more information • Make sure you are compliant with the spam laws of the country you are working in (and always have an ‘unsubscribe’ option easily available)
25 05 01
36 23 38
37. Does your business have a loyalty program? 38. Competitions - Everybody loves to win something, or think that they will! 39. Encourage Facebook likes and Twitter followers. 40. And last, but not least – send out videos – you could have training videos or promotional films. Once you’ve made your video and it’s uploaded to youtube or your website you can create an email campaign to promote it. And don’t forget the all important ‘send to a friend’ link – a video that goes viral is gold for your business!
SURVEYS Surveys are a great way to get feedback which can be the lifeblood of your business. Feedback helps you understand more about your customers so you can improve your business. Best of all, with the internet it is now fast and easy to send surveys and collect the results. No more printing, posting, collecting and tallying! 33. With a poll you can gather the opinion of your target audience and report it back to them in your newsletter or other forms of marketing. 34. A customer satisfaction survey is great for getting feedback from your clients. 35. A marketing survey will give you and insight into what your customers think about your products and services and what you could potentially improve on.
We hope that you have gained at least one or two good ideas here that you can apply in your business straight away. The next step is up to you – take action in your business today to implement some of these strategies.
OTHER STRATEGIES 36. Ask your customers to refer a friend or colleague by providing your clients with an attractive professional looking email message that they can forward on for referrals.
What’s possible with a website by Jasper Design? Our websites have all the tools you need to get more leads, convert those leads into customers and then turn those customers into raving fans! It’s a single login toolbox for small business that manages your website, email marketing, CRM, plus much more.
If you would like to learn more about database marketing and a system that can help you will all of the above strategies and more, please email me at email@example.com
Flexible Content Management System
Website Add-on Tools
Email & SMS Marketing
Integrated Customer Database
Search Engine Optimisation
jasperdesign.com.au GRAPHIC DESIGN n WEBSITES n PRINTING
Phone 0400 270 806 Email firstname.lastname@example.org
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Mobile web design is different to its desktop brother. Even though you might have a website, it may not be friendly for your visitors who are using their smart phones when theyâ€™re on the road, or want to fill their free time. Going mobile with your website is about function and speed, rather than pixel-perfection.
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5 QUICK TIPS
As more and more people have access to the internet on the go, it pays to tailor your site with mobile devices in mind. In fact, the statistics show that if the trend continues, in the future more people will be viewing your website via a mobile device than desktop or laptops. DELIVER CONTENT QUICKLY The best mobile sites are elegant and clean. Investigate what people visiting your mobile friendly website actually want to see – ask clients what’s really important to them and consider what information users will want to access quickly, such as reservation information, menus and location maps on a restaurant website. People who use the internet on the go are typically looking for specific information – and they want it quickly. They want to know how to find you (get your mobile website to interact with their phones GPS), be able to easily call you (again with one click and the phone rings), and search your website and browse the menu. To achieve this, your mobile website needs to be different to your normal desktop website. MINIMISE CONTENT ... Sites with articles that regularly get shared should try to keep their work intact for those with smaller devices, but for most other businesses it pays to trim content. The attention span of users on a phone is shorter than for computer users, so it’s worth getting to the main points quicker. ... BUT KEEP CORE CONTENT THE SAME Most users expect an equal and continuous journey across devices, so there is a strong argument that your mobile website should be a reflection of your desktop version. Ideally your mobile website should be able to be managed through the same Content Management System (CMS) as your desktop website, with the option to use the same content or change certain pages to adjust to the different medium. People will click the ‘desktop version’ link, particularly when served with a very limited mobile website, or a site that is substantially different structurally or visually to what they are used to, so try to keep the core content the same. Keep in mind how the user will move from one device to another and what that should mean for their experience. TECHNICAL DETAILS As discussed, there are instances when someone will need access to your full site, so include a ‘desktop version’ link at the bottom of each page. To make your site performs well on a phone there are a number of technical considerations. The first is that your site should automatically recognise when a mobile phone is being used to access it so the user can be redirected to a mobile version. You also need to think about elements like screen resolution, making buttons and links bigger than normal and removing some features, such as Flash, that do not work on most smartphones. KNOW YOUR TARGET AUDIENCE AND WHAT THEY USE Knowing what type of device people are viewing your mobile website on is key for guiding the design process and your mobile website strategy. Though many people have smartphones, don’t assume that everyone does, or that they all have an iPhone or Android phone. Instead look into what devices your target audience actually are using with the help of analytics or research. And while you do need to be mindful of the fact that not everyone is using the same device, don’t get too hung up about it. The technology used on different mobile devices is fairly similar. Just remember that not everyone has the same screen resolution or input and your site will look different on different devices. With all the different platforms out there, it’s practically impossible to test on every possible combination of smartphone and operating system; new devices ship almost weekly, not to mention operating systems! But it is important to test across a general cross-section of devices, and you should aim to make this an ongoing process. There’s nothing worse than designing for iOS alone, and discovering at the end of your build that Android devices won’t render your page as intended. UNDERSTAND MOBILE WEBSITE USAGE AND BEHAVIOUR PATTERNS Another thing to consider is how your target audience use their phone, as well as if they have a reliable internet connection. The latter is 18 © 2018 zoominbusiness.com
• Keep it Simple Think of how you can take the basic essence of your existing website and simplify it to allow for the best user experience on a mobile device. • Rethink Your Content Hierarchy Assume that users are visiting your site with a very specific task in mind that they want to achieve very quickly. Take a critical look at your website and decide what content is the most important to a mobile user. • Design for a Smaller Screen Size This can be one of the most challenging components of designing for mobile. Inevitably, this goes back to rethinking your mobile website’s content. It may involve rethinking not only the text, but the graphic design as well. • Remember: Users Don’t Have a Mouse A good rule of thumb when designing graphics is to make sure all clickable items are at least 44×44 pixels. At 44×44, most users should not have a problem clicking your links with their fingertips. • Respect Slower Connection Speeds To be safe, always assume your mobile device internet connection is not as fast as your traditional computer and scale your file sizes appropriately. particularly important if, for example, your users will fill in forms on their mobile devices. There are a range of misconceptions regarding mobile website usage that can lead to misleading design decisions. One of the most common ones are how mobile users are always rushed and on the go, or that they’re only interested in certain things when they use their mobile phones. In fact, a big portion of mobile website usage happens when we have time to kill or when we’re at home on the couch, and that impacts how you should approach things. It’s better to base your design decisions on the theory that phones are used increasingly for the same tasks as a desktop, as this is actually what’s already happening. But as much possible do research into the specifics for your target audience to understand what’s true for them. TRY TO AVOID A BESPOKE MOBILE SITE Limitations with your current website, like a lack of CMS, may make building a bespoke mobile website necessary, but if possible try to avoid building separate sites. In the long run these will be more costly and time consuming to maintain as it means doing changes twice. Building something which works on as many devices as possible will provide you with the best setup for focusing your resources and budget on the content rather than maintenance. DESIGN FROM THE USER’S VIEWPOINT Try to learn to use a device from a user’s point of view. Test your design on that device and ask your clients to test it too, so you can see if there’s any information that shouldn’t be there or if anything’s missing. User testing is always really important as well. ACCEPT AND EMBRACE THE LIMITATIONS It’s tempting to try to cram every last bit of functionality into a mobileorientated website, but you need to accept that some things are better suited to desktop machines than portable devices. Conversely, mobile devices are far better at some things than desktops. Location-aware content, for example, is an ideal application for mobile. DON’T INCLUDE TOO MANY IMAGES Every image that gets added needs to get downloaded by the user. Because performance is so important on the mobile web, make sure the images you include are relevant to the user and will help them achieve their goals. DESIGN FOR TOUCH Interacting with the web through touch requires care and attention. You can’t count on the precision of a cursor and instead need to accommodate for people’s fat fingers! Make sure buttons, forms and other elements are large enough to interact with without fear of accidentally tapping/swiping on an adjacent element. Mobile internet access is now a huge part of your customer’s everyday life. As such, any business with an online presence should think carefully about having a thumb friendly mobile website for their business.
“It’s one thing deciding that you want to go into business, it’s quite another deciding on the best way to do it.”
Which business is RIGHT FOR ME?
Buying or starting a business may be one of the biggest decision’s in your life, but the decisions don’t end there. Determining what sort of business best suits you is key in understanding the probability for success, and it is important to ask yourself these questions: • Do I buy a business that is already running? • Do I start one from scratch? • Do I buy a franchise that is already running? • Do I start a franchise? • Do I convert an existing store into a franchise? IT’S YOUR CHOICE Although it is often a personal preference, what ultimately suits you may come down to factors such as: • How much capital you have to start with • How much profit you would like to make • Your level of knowledge or expertise • Do you want the business to run under management
• How many hours you want to work • What systems are in place • Exit strategy EXISTING BUSINESSES Buying a going concern (a business that is already running) as opposed to starting one from scratch is often a better way to go. There is no denying that buying a business outright is the quickest way to enter the market. On the surface, it also looks to be the easiest option, and certainly your workload will be less compared to starting from scratch. BUYING A FRANCHISE Alternatively you may choose to buy a franchise which has its benefits. Franchising is an exciting and massively leveraged way to operate a business. Millionaires have been made through franchising because it allows you to buy, grow and sell your business over and over again. At the end of the day, any business requires a combination of time, experience, skills, planning and human capital to create a winning combination.
EXISTING BUSINESS Benefits of buying an existing business: • Existing customer base • Established cash flow • Established reputation Pitfalls of buying an existing business: • May have old equipment • Could have a bad reputation • Might be in a bad location • May be losing money
FRANCHISE Benefits of buying a franchise: • Proven business model • Recognised product and reputation • Bulk buying power • Back up support and training • Bank confidence • Higher turnover than the same business that is not a franchise Pitfalls of buying a franchise: • Someone else makes up the rules that you have to follow • Franchise fees and charges • Marketing fees • Bad management of other stores affect your reputation • Franchisor doesn’t have to renew your agreement
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Turning fear into
ROCKET FUEL Fear is one of the most powerful 4-lettered words in our lives. We identify with it as that hollow feeling in our gut or a vice grip on our heart that sends chills down our spine. As parents, we are confronted every day by the fear of what could happen to our kids…the economy…disease…accidents…terrorism…the list goes on and on. But, as business owners, our fear is amplified because our business success or failure is on public display. Fear is a natural part of my business and my life, even though my battle cry is “no fear allowed, Kirsten!” The truth is, none of us can escape fear. It serves as a way to propel us forward, and it is this natural ‘fight or flight’ instinctive response that can sometimes steer us into serious trouble and sometimes gets us out of it. As powerful as fear is, it lives only in the mind. Fear is not real, however it has defeated more people than any other single thing in the world. Way back when I started my business, it felt like I was taking teenytiny baby steps toward my big dream of being a business owner: I was born for this. Nothing was going fast enough (I’ve never been a picture of patience!). Renowned for being a big thinker, I naturally attracted a higher degree of risk, more challenges and inevitably, more fears. In the first couple of years, my business was moving fast, and I was running on empty – trying to do too much, with too little – time, money, skills, support and love. It was a scary time in my life. Now looking back over my twelve years in business, fear has always steered me this way and that. Even though every day for the first two years of business was terrifying, quitting was not an option. I just had to keep going regardless of the hard lessons I had
to learn. Take it from someone who has been there and done that: it was all worth it. First things first… Fear equals feedback. If you’ve read this far and you’re feeling worried, scared or lacking in direction, these feelings are strong cues that you need to do something. STOP. Listen. Evaluate. Our thoughts truly are at the root of our results. Those voices that are rattling around in your head will trigger words that shape your actions that, in turn, make things happen in your life. Before you go any further, ask yourself “if you weren’t afraid what could you achieve?” I had been a business owner for a couple of years when I had an idea for a magazine: It made me giddy, it was all I could think about and it was so powerful and compelling a business idea that I devoted my days and nights thinking about how to bring this idea out of my mind and into my working life. The possibilities were burning and beautiful and driven by an entrepreneurial force I could not control. And then I scored a meeting with my talented bestie (Kel) who patiently listened to me verbally unpack my idea from my briefcase announcing, “I want to start Townsville’s first business magazine”. The moment the words left my lips, the excitement turned to fear but we both believed the idea had merit. So together we mapped out a plan on how to make this idea a reality, and eight years later, you’re reading our 24th issue of Zoom in Business Magazine. Even though fear has been ever-present along my business journey, it really kicked into focus when cataclysmic personal
As powerful as fear is, it lives only in the mind. Fear is not real, however it has defeated more people than any other single thing in the world.
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change arrived; it was like kryptonite to my super powers – shock, denial, anger, bargaining, anxiety and acceptance made me numb to the core. All of the sudden, I was to start over from scratch. I was in limbo – unable to go back or forward – I couldn’t’ stay here or stay put. This essential experience in my life became an idea-crippling, experience-crushing, success-stalling inhibitor of my success, and it invaded my body and convinced my mind to forget I ever had any strength at all. My fear stood (temporarily) between myself and my greatness. It became the reason that I didn’t: Didn’t do more, didn’t do less, didn’t say no, didn’t say yes. But, my positive attitude, guts and determination turned my darkest fears into my rocket fuel to drive my purpose, passion and mission: to make a positive difference in the world, one relationship, one sale, one failure at a time. These are my top 10 tips to turn fear into your rocket fuel: BE YOURSELF It’s an age-old cliché, but don’t let other people define who you are. This is so important in your ability to send fear packing. Embrace who you are. We are all born wild and free, and then we are moulded by environment to “fit in”. So, it’s up to us to pick and choose our own adult behaviour and decisions in the light of our circumstances. I have grown to trust in my heart and gut when it’s time to walk away from one journey and start the next. Most importantly, seek out like-minded people who are interested in your career and appreciate your value and your worth. DEFINE YOUR OWN ADULT SUCCESS Don’t let your fearful inner child define your adult life. Would you give a 6 year old child the balance of money in your bank account? No way. So why would you hand over the emotional balance sheet of your life to a younger version of yourself? The rules, and exceptions to the rules have changed since you were young, particularly when it comes to success. Working hard, focussing on succeeding, striving to be the best can keep you focussed can make you successful, but is not likely to win you friends or companionship. Define your own success as an adult, and determine how much value you have in today’s calculations.
dressing up, there are ways to dress consistently in a style that makes you stand out; shoes, colour and accessories. Distinctive people usually comment on one or all three. Be fearless in your pursuit of style. THERE’S NOTHING SEXIER THAN CONFIDENCE Confidence is the most attractive quality we can possess. I have always balanced my business hustle with my desire to learn, grow and (in my mind) become more informed. For me, confidence is about being happy, genuine and knowledgeable, and doesn’t have a lot to do with my dress size or designer shoes. Self-confidence starts from the inside, and for me it was always about soaking up new information. One entrepreneurial skill I have is to ask for help from people smarter than myself. To this day, I still march up and announce, “I want to learn from you.” Being relentless in my pursuit of knowledge has served me well, in fact it has become an odyssey. “Sharpen your skill continuously”. FIND YOUR ARMY OF CHEERLEADERS Move beyond fear and make a positive impact on your own life by ridding yourself of negative and narcissistic people; the ones who have strong, controlling opinions and think they are always right – all of the time. When you find the courage to do this, you will attract your most loyal cheerleaders who you will link arms with and skip to each other’s success. When you build your army, you will become aware of your willingness to make a positive difference in the lives you touch, and the business that you own.
Watch your thoughts; they become your words. Watch your words; they become your actions. Watch your actions; they become your habits. Watch your habits; they become your character. Watch your character, for it will become your destiny.
YOUR KIDS ARE WATCHING I am at my absolute happiest when I can help my daughter work through her problems. I am certain that communicating with children in a positive and constructive way is the secret to parenting success. Remember that our kids notice the psychological state of us – whether we are aware of it or not. There are so many parents who are so busy working towards their own mission that they get lost in the twists and turns as a parent. Remember to always put your own oxygen mask on first as your children mimic your behaviour. IT’S BUSINESS, NOT PERSONAL Some words of wisdom here are: Never take anything in business personally. Whether you are an entrepreneur, employee or even the boss, remember most of the time it’s not about you; it’s always about your customers. Customers come and go, change their mind, cancel and reschedule and if it has a start, it can as easily come to an end. This is the reality of human nature, life and business. It’s something that we must all accept and prepare for. Control what you can control. Business is a continuous cycle with no ending point. Remember, by letting go of trying to control the uncontrollable, you ironically increase the probability of getting exactly what you want. TRULY DRESS FOR SUCCESS If there’s anything that dispels fear, it’s simply confidence, comfort and style. If you want to do business with someone, dress the part you want to be known for. Whether you’re dressing down, or
TAKE OFF THE “I KNOW” HAT While you’re courageously ousting the negative people in your life, give them your “I Know” hat to wear on their way out. I’ve seen and heard of far too many business owners who think they know it all, have seen it all and are the worlds greatest in their field. There’s no such thing. “I Know” kills new information. The truly authentically great success stories in business are about individuals who refuse to quit learning and seek out someone with more knowledge and experience to help. BE A WORKAFROLIC
Anything you enjoy, you’re naturally going to excel at and devote yourself to. Not every day needs to be a load of laughs from start to finish, but strive to be happy and satisfied in your work so that when tough times arise – and they always do – you can sail through. If you work from home, design your workday to suit your energy levels. Every successful entrepreneur I have met works long hours, however some may take an unconventional approach to their workday working early mornings or late afternoon and evenings so that they have time to enjoy their lives. A good guideline is to have an 80/20 split, with 80% of your work enjoyable with 20% the not-so-fun, serious stuff. The more connected and engaged you feel the more fun you will have. HAVE PASSION There is one easy question to ask yourself to work out whether you’ve found your passion: “Would you do it for free?”. If the answer is yes, then you have likely found it. Remember also that your state of your body reflects your state of mind. High achievers tend to have good posture, correct breathing, positive movements and are usually in good physical condition and a passion towards improving themselves. What could you do if you weren’t afraid? Alright, I’ll come clean: I still have a long way to go in dispelling my fears and worries, but I’m working through them, and so will you. That’s why you’re going to love Zoom in Business Magazine as much as I do. Remember that your courage is not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. *If you liked this article, please let us know by emailing editor@ zoominbusiness.com. © 2018 zoominbusiness.com 21
Phone numbers should be repeated back to the caller to confirm that no numbers have been transposed.
22 ÂŠ 2018 zoominbusiness.com
IMPRESSIONS COUNT I called the solicitor’s office of a friend of mine and I have yet to figure out what her receptionist said when she answered the phone. As the caller, I wondered whether I had called the right business...
That is not the first impression I would want to leave with a caller. If you mumble or speak too quickly, you’re going to be misheard or misunderstood. Having a strong script, voice and tone when answering the phone to a first time caller is particularly important for mature/senior customers/clients who may have difficulty hearing and understanding. I also had the chance to overhear one of our team talking to a client today. A couple of things I noticed; firstly, she referred to our fees as prices, and also indicated we would call them back “at our earliest convenience”. This could sound a little pretentious and perhaps not in the callers’ best interest. So I suggested an alternative script would be call them back “at our earliest opportunity today”, giving it a more positive and time-based approach. If there’s one thing we learn in business, words matter. We have to choose our words carefully or risk conveying an unintended or misunderstood first impression. HERE ARE SOME TELEPHONE DELIVERY SUGGESTIONS FOR RECEIVING AND MAKING CALLS: • Ok, you’ve heard it a million times - smile before you answer the phone. Your smile will be conveyed in your tone and manner. Use a confident, cheerful and professional voice. • Try and open your mouth when you speak so your words come out clearly, slowly and in a normal conversational tone. When a person can only hear you and not see you, what you say and how you say it becomes very important. • Golden rule: never eat, drink or chew gum when answering or talking on the phone. • Avoid using slang, poor language or curse words eg. “yeah”, “yep”, “jus (sic) a minute”, “hang on”, etc. Instead say “yes please” or “no thank you” as appropriate, and “may I place you on hold?” • All first time callers should be addressed professionally using Mr or Mrs and their last name. Use ‘old school’ to your advantage. • Listen and transcribe messages very carefully. Remember we have two ears and one mouth and it is extremely important to listen first to avoid having to ask for information again. Your job when answering the phone is to be focused when the headset/handset is to your ear. Try and ask each and every person to verify the spelling of their name, even if their name is Sue Smith. You never know when that person will be Soo Smythe. You don’t necessarily have to ask them to spell their name, but confirm the spelling as you are taking the message. If using
a manual message taking system, your handwriting should be easy to read. Remember to jot the date and time on each message just in case it ends up in a file and referenced in the future. • Clearly state the purpose of the call in your message taking, so the person returning the call is prepared well. There is nothing more embarrassing or frustrating than grabbing a stack of phone messages only to discover you have no idea what the call was about. At our office, we say “I’ll just transfer you, however can I just give Kirsten a brief description/headstart as to what your call is regarding?” • Patience and courtesy are sweet virtues. Most of you will experience an upset caller - please don’t react negatively. Just listen carefully, take notes and get them off your line and to an appropriate decision maker who can help them. You shouldn’t try to solve the problem for them unless you have the authority to do so. • Do your best to monitor and minimise the incoming caller hold time. I don’t know anyone who likes to be put on hold. So, make sure if you’re using on hold music or messages that they are properly toned and tuned in. • Always focus on the caller. If you are interrupted while on the phone, put the interrupter on hold, not the caller - they had your attention first and deserve to be served first. If you work in a busy office and often answer multiple lines at once, you will have to put a caller on hold if you don’t have a routing system. In our office, the phone is not permitted to ring more than twice before another team member answers the call. Calls only go to voicemail during lunch hours, after noon on Friday, nights and weekends. • When you make an outgoing call, clearly identify yourself and your business. Instead of “Is Mrs Smith there?”, say “Hello, this is Kirsten Lowis from Zoom in Business, is Mrs Smith available please?” • When you leave a message, particularly on messagebank, speak slowly! State your full name clearly, and if necessary spell your first name and say your phone number slowly and twice. Most people speak too fast on a recorded message. And don’t even mention the (often hilarious) translation of voice to text messaging! Saying your phone number twice gives the recipient time to listen and write information down. • Finally, keep your messages short and succinct. No one wants to listen to an endless message when inevitably all that information will need to be repeated when the call is returned. © 2018 zoominbusiness.com 23
y t i r a Culmps n tr o i s a u s r e P – DR FLINT MCGLAUGHLIN
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THE WAY YOU SELL This case study zooms in on Paul, who is a Tourist Operator. Over a ten year period, Paul developed a series of brand values which enabled his business to reflect improvements in service provision. The task almost broke him and his business. As most of us who have a successful brand know well, it takes time and consistency to penetrate the market. In the process, the brand values provided Paul and his business with a unique personality which, through its appeal to its local and international leisure seekers (customers), created a distinct advantage over their competitors. Regardless of the country, the tourism industry is highly competitive. Paul knew that he needed to introduce unique and innovative products to the business. For example, the business has become the preferred company for many Travel Agents and Airlines because of its overall consideration to customers needs, whether they were locals or international customers. This factor alone has become not only the hallmark of the service values of Paul’s business, but of the tourism industry as a whole. In the early years of the business, introducing the principles of customer care and value for money was a cutting edge service delivery strategy – Paul knew that many weren’t paying attention to what travelers really wanted and an experience that they will never forget. Paul and his team’s mission was to provide the highest quality innovative service, at excellent value for money, for all classes of travelers both local and international. Before long, Paul used branding to develop perceptions of a corporate personality, offering customers a unique combination of service elements and attributes, which served to set his business apart from the competition. In other words, Paul developed a ‘service brand’ symbolising both individualistic attributes and quality of service. This meant that even consumers with limited opportunities for international travel who might not have yet experienced his brand, would choose Paul’s business if they were given a choice of operator, as the values represented through his brand would have influenced their choice. The branding process became a combined delivery and marketing tool of considerable strength. However, before identifying the business’s brand values, we helped Paul and his team understand how brands generally appeal to consumers by: THINKING We showed Paul that his brand needs to have a rational appeal which is logical and relates to what his business and team delivers. For example, they had to perform to the level of expectation on the basis of points of difference.
The features and benefits provided by the business actually reflected the core values of the brand.”
SENSES Paul knew his brand needed to appeal to senses. So, we did a SWOT on the search-ability and design features of his website and how accessible the actual brand was searched online. Also, we helped Paul undertake an appraisal on how the brand looks, how it is placed in the market by his alliances and the opportunities his business provides new experiences for travelers.
FEELING Paul’s business brand needed to go further than logic to deal with emotion. He needed to aim to appeal to the innermost feelings of the customer. INTUITION People in general react instinctively to brands that are credible and which they feel are for ‘people who are similar to them’. Paul had created a reputable brand locally, but he needed to find better ways to connect with international audiences more. The foremost brand value Paul created was to provide the best possible service at the best possible value by guaranteeing the customer that they were foremost at all times. After surveying his past customers, he discovered that they regarded his business as a distinctive, fun-loving and highly innovative business (not just a Tourist Operator) which was, and still is, admired for its qualities of friendliness, intelligence and integrity. In developing a distinct and memorable brand, it was important that the features and benefits provided by the products and services the Paul’s business offered actually reflected the core values of his brand. In other words the brand values had to symbolise a level of quality which the business would build into the product itself, rather than on his personal contributions. This was a difficult feat for Paul as he was the business up until he had a heart attack and needed a month off work. He realised that replacing himself, and his image in the business was imperative to continuing the success of the business. The winning formula came when Paul put his money where his mouth is and implemented a media strategy to promote his brand, including television, newspapers, online, travel promotions and direct mail to build confidence in his target audience. Of course, he backed it up with exceptional customer service standards.
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Where there is information that creates a need or a trend, it serves someone’s own agenda.
Within these 280 pages, I began the funny, weird and chaotic journey with these two rogues by stripping a layer or two from the surface of modern life to explore the hidden side of everything. There’s something pretty awesome about getting a general worldview idea of econometrics where we practically measure jobs, real estate, watch the stock market breathe in and out, or predict what’s going to happen next with the growth or decline of our economy, deflation, inflation, taxes etc. These are all calculations of our everyday life. But when we can dismiss science and religion to its most primal aim, our ecomony is really about explaining how people get what they want, so that they can be happier. The western world thrives on this premise. However, when you bring morality into the mix, as Freakonomics tells, is where economics represents how it actually does work. In a nutshell, I dig the theme that “the dependability of data meets the randomness of life”. HHHH
WILFUL BLINDNESS For a book that was too heavy on the problem and too light on the solution, I still enjoyed opening the eyes of my eyes to the wide range of factors and events that we, as a society and as individuals, are wilfully blind to. The truth is, we are naturally biased and we cannot help it. We ignore things because we fear for our survival. Does our life depend on technology? Or is technology dependent on our lives? Technology is everywhere, and it is over-stimulating our brains and we are finding it more and more difficult to cope with all the inputs. As a result, we often fatigue, break down or compromise the quality of any decision making. To wrap it up, we tend to focus more on about money and technology, and care less about people - which is the greatest tragedy of being wilfully blind. HHH
BO O K Reviews
“ R e ading is to t h e m ind w hat e x e r cise is to t h e b ody.” Our editor Kirsten shares her professional experience and knowledge with over 12 years as a franchisee, retailer and start-up business owner. Kirsten helps our members improve awareness, understanding and confidence in buying, growing, valuing and selling a business.
MASTERING THE ROCKEFELLER HABITS
“If you can’t afford the people to run your business, then all you have is a job.”
In a nutshell, The Rockefeller Habits are to decide two things: 1. Where you plan to be 10 25 years from now 2. What you have to do in the next 90 days Now, you may do ok at planning, but the question is...are you faltering at execution? (yep, I’ve been there, done that too!). If so, it’s usually because the planning has no long-term vision, and is extended over a period of time without people, rules and discipline governing them. Just as Weetbix is the breakfast of champions, “Mastering the Rockefeller Habits” is only for champions who are willing to put in the practice and execute using the habits of discipline (to follow rules), consistency (to keep on track) and the guts (to align and execute). I’d also like to add that every champion realises that investing in a great Business Coach can make all the difference. I’ll wrap with one of my favourite Bucky Fullers quotes, “If you want to teach people a new way of thinking, don’t bother trying to teach them. Instead, give them a tool, the use of which will lead to new ways of thinking.” HHH
Kirsten Lowis Editor
To have your book reviewed email:
editor@zoomin business.com 26 © 2018 zoominbusiness.com
Busting THE BUSINESS MYTHS
Unfortunately, some small business owners believe a lot of myths about how to run their business. These are things they assume to be true, but when put into practice, simply don’t work. Here are 5 common business myths, and the truth about each of them.
I’m a good cook, so I should open a restaurant. There is more to running a restaurant than having a good recipe and being able to cook. You will also be involved in buying, budgeting, payroll managing employees, and paying tax... just to name a few. SOLUTION: Buy an established business rather than starting from scratch and read “The E-Myth Revisted”.
We’re good friends and work well together. We’ll form a good partnership. There are certain reasons that your friends are your friends and they don’t necessarily go well with conducting business. For one thing, friends usually don’t have the same work habits. SOLUTION: Before you consider forming a partnership, get a really good solicitor who will remind you that people act funny when money is involved.
Knowledge is power. If knowledge is power, then librarians must be the most powerful people in the world. Certainly no disrespect to librarians, they’re great and valuable, but unless knowledge is applied, it’s just potential. SOLUTION: Do or do not. There is no try.
Profit is all that matters in business. Revenue is vanity. Net profit is sanity. Cash[flow] is king! Profit can just be a trick of accounting whereas cashflow controls whether you can stay in business. Many businesses go out of business due to cash flow challenges, even though they are profitable. SOLUTION: See your accountant about ways to improve cashflow. A Cash Flow Forecast is a must-do before starting a business.
Businesses that look successful, are successful. It’s easy to look at a business and assume that, because the owner drives a big, black 4WD and their website is plastered with testimonials from extremely happy clients, they go home and swim in a pool full of money. The fact is, it’s impossible to tell how a business is doing from the outside. SOLUTION: Before you consider purchasing a business, get a detailed due diligence report from the broker and get your accountant and solicitor to go over it. © 2018 zoominbusiness.com 27
Why are small businesses
SOLD FOR LESS THAN THEY ARE WORTH? Working long hours as a business owner, you’ll know that the stresses and sacrifices are plenty!
eing your own boss can also mean that your family and social life are sure to suffer unless you are constantly mindful of prioritising a work/life balance.
and experience try and sell the business yourself. On the other hand, you may seek out a professional such as a business broker to sell your business as soon as possible.
The truth is, most business owners that don’t take sick leave or extended holidays and it’s rare they don’t get confronted with a major issue every month – this can be from an upset customer, employees not turning up for their shift or simply not having too much to do in not enough time. Most business owners are wearing more hats than anyone else and are perform at the speed of 5 people. Sound familiar?
In either case, you will end up with a list of information requirements that you will need before starting the sales process.
SO, WHY DO BUSINESS OWNERS TAKE ON SUCH A CHALLENGE? Perhaps it’s because deep down there is a feeling of intrinsic satisfaction and achievement being the master of your own destiny. After spending years and years building your business, you decide to sell. It could be based on a building frustration with the constant pressure and headaches, which results “just wanting out.” Or perhaps it could be stem from unplanned divorce, debt, depression, dissolution or death. Or, it could be because you want and need a change lifestyle. Unfortunately, like many other business owners, it’s likely that you will only receive a fraction of what your business is actually worth. Why? It was only after seeing hundreds of business sales and working with many buyers that I found out why so many businesses fail to sell for as much as they are potentially worth. No matter what the reason, when you decide that the time is right to sell, you usually want it sold as soon as possible. It is at this stage that you realise that there is a huge gap in your knowledge and preparation. Questions such as the following will spring to mind: • How do I sell the business? • Who would buy it? • How do I advertise the business? • How much do I sell the business for? • What information do I need to prepare? • How do I keep the sale confidential? • What do I say to my employees? • How do I stop my employees from finding out? It’s very tempting for you to quickly put together an advertisement, and depending on your knowledge, background
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• Three years tax returns • Certificates of registrations and licences • Management accounts WHAT NOT TO DO! Scott owns a manufacturing business. He decides to try and sell it himself and advertises it as a “bargain with a turnover of $1,000,000, reasonably profitable with loads of potential – asking price $500,000”. Scott has never sold a business before, but he feels that with his experience in sales, and knowledge of his own business, he is confident that he can do a good job himself. Within 2 weeks, he receives some serious enquiry from a potential buyer named Rich. On inspection of the premises Rich asks for a copy of the lease and the sales and management reports. The lease expired in 2 years without an option to extend and the sales reports don’t seem to add up to the $1,000,000 turnover advertised. Scott tried to explain the difference between the management and accounting reports, but because he didn’t really understand accounting, he failed to adequately interpret the reports. Rich still expressed serious interest and asked for a report to show Gross Profit as a percentage of sales. Once again, Scott’s reports didn’t add up. Rich then requests for the 3 year historical Profit and Loss reports, including tax paid. It took Scott over a week to get the reports from his accountant (who hadn’t completed the last year’s tax return). On analysis, the tax returns show a loss and Rich started getting concerned. Scott explains that the accountant does this on purpose to avoid paying too much tax. He told Rich that the official numbers will be ‘adjusted’ to show profit of $250,000. This confused Rich and at this point withdrew his interest in Scott’s business. RESULT: Rich decided to purchase another business. After 12 months of advertising, Scott sold the business for a discounted price of $180,000. LESSON: Scott did not adequately prepare the business for sale in advance and he failed to execute a well thought out plan that would consider price, strategy and process to achieve his asking price.
BUSINESS VALUATION ACTIVITY: How much is your Net Profit for the past financial year?___________ How much do you want to sell your business for?_______________
SALE PRICE NET PROFIT
= PROFIT MULTIPLIER
If your profit multiplier is higher than 3, then your business is most likely overpriced based on today’s market.
• Budget forecasts • List of employees, wages. • Confirmation that tax, GST and superannuation has been paid • Original certificate and company association documentation • Other records, due diligence Even if you have diligently collected this information and spent the last six weeks making sure it is thorough and exhaustive, this still does not mean you will be able to sell your business for what it could be worth.
fully extract value. If you’re considering selling your business, you must put yourself in the buyer’s shoes and look at the underlying areas of value, risk and potential in your business. In the current market, the benefit of this approach cannot be overstated. IS YOUR BUSINESS: • in a growth market; • has a product that is selling extremely well in one region/ location market and can be easily adapted to a wider market; • has invested or owns the technology or Intellectual Property;
WHY DO YOU NEED ALL THAT STUFF? Because the buyer is purchasing the business based on future profits that they will be able to make from the business. The more profit the buyer they can earn in the future, the more attractive and valuable the business is.
• has patented the processes;
IS YOUR BUSINESS READY FOR SALE? The primary reason someone would buy your business is to get a return on their investment of time and money and the price they will pay will be judged on what level of future profits they believe they can generate.
• is in impressive premises in an ideal location;
TICK THE FOLLOWING BOXES THAT APPLY TO YOUR BUSINESS: n RISKY – rely on a certain qualification, skillset or personality. Is there certainty that a buyer can continue to make the income that you have. n READY - you have all the documentation, forms, systems and processes in place prior to negotiation n ATTRACTIVE - The lower the risk of the business to the potential purchaser, the higher the attractiveness of your business.
Find your mojo
PROFITABLE - The value of a business will generally be n based on how much profit it makes, and how much risk the potential purchaser will associate with earning this income. Balance sheets and financial statements rarely represent the true value of your business. You need to think about how the buyer will exploit the potential of the business so that they can
• is on the verge of signing a new contract; • has developed a unique concept; • is the market leader; • has a great brand name or any other number of factors ? Improving and focussing on these criteria one to three years before deciding to sell may exponentially improve the value and selling price of your business. As a final note, I do believe that your business is a reflection of your mindset. If you’re run down and struggling with time, team or money your business is most likely suffering from the same ailments. If you have to get out quick, you must be prepared to discount your sale price, or close the doors. But if you want to sell your business for what it’s worth, you need to build value in the business. Now, in terms of value, I have talked to numerous people who are planning the sale of their business, and who are totally frustrated with the valuation formula used by their professional advisors. The fact is that the current methods of business valuation are nothing short of backward looking. So, if you are serious about selling your business, I honestly believe that it will not be about valuation, rather it’s about creating a compelling opportunity for a buyer. The better the business offering, the higher the reward you will receive.
“Most people go so far in life, and then they park.” Mia Angelo
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Thereâ€™s never a good time to PARK YOUR BUSINESS Driving a car is like owning a business; both require a vehicle and a driver. Have you ever considered the difference between a high performance race car driver and a high performance business owner?
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ZOOM IN BUSINESS ACTIVITY Think about how you spend your 8 to 10 hours during the workday. What are your five top time-wasters? _________________________________________________ _________________________________________________ _________________________________________________ _________________________________________________ _________________________________________________ How much time is wasted on each of them every day? _________________________________________________ What can you do to eliminate this drag on your time, energy, and enthusiasm? _________________________________________________ _________________________________________________ _________________________________________________
High performance business owners generally place a high value on their time and they rarely waste it. These people realize that ‘drive’ time is the most valuable asset they have, so they do everything they can to get maximum results. This issue, we are sharing some of our time-saving tips, techniques, ideas and strategies from the Zoom in Business community that will help you become a high performance driver in your small business. BUSINESS IS LIKE A GRAND PRIX RACE TRACK Now, go back in your mind. Remember driving for the first time in your car. Was it as slow and stressful as it was for most of us? And if you had an accident, did it stop you from driving even though it cost you with repairs or insurance? No, you would have kept on practicing and learning to drive, because driving a car was a MUST, because otherwise you’ll be relying on others to drive you around. Formula 1 cars are fundamentally no different than the car parked in your shed. They have the same set of principles to get from start to finish, but driving each requires a completely different set of skills. Picture this… You’re sitting in poll position in a Grand Prix Formula 1 race. There’s only one seat, no passengers. Unless you know how to drive, you will more than likely stall or even crash. Although driving the business ‘vehicle’ doesn’t require a formal license, all business owners need to learn and apply the skills, experience and nerve to handle the tight corners without crashing and burning. This isn’t a practice session. Prepare your entry before you exit. INCREASE THE VALUE OF YOUR TIME Have you noticed that time is getting faster. Today’s technology and tactics are moving us in quantum leaps, and there is only so much time and it is running out FAST. Think about this… When you are 1 year old, 1 year is your entire life. But when you are 50 years old, 1 year is 1/50th of your life and it feels like nothing. That’s a reality check! How old are you? Does time seem to be getting faster? Ask yourself this question: “How much value do I put on my time? The more value you place on your time, your skills, and your talents, the more you will accomplish in your day. Utilisation of your time is the key that will turn your business into a Formula 1 machine. In order to accomplish more value in your business, you need to perform at a higher level and develop super charged system. Yes, I know there are only 24 hours in a day, and you spend somewhere between 8 and 10 of them working. (And if you add travel time, you’ve probably got a 10-, 12-, or even 14-hour day.) So I’m not asking you to put in any more hours, just want to asking you; “How do you spend those 8 to 10 working hours?” The Zoom in Business community is designed to help you improve the way you spend your time so that you’ll accomplish much more every day.
Just for fun, this is a cool exercise we do with our new members. Pretend that someone is willing to pay you $300 an hour for your skills, talents, knowledge, and experience. Do the math. Eight hours a day is $2400. Five days a week is $12,000. And 50 weeks a year (you do get a holiday) is $600,000. Now we’re talking real money. And, since I’m sure you work 10, possibly 12 hours a day, and maybe even Saturdays and Sundays, these figures are on the light side. But the goal isn’t to work more hours, it’s to get more out of the hours you work. Let’s break it down further; $300 an hour conveniently works out to $5 a minute. So, to take a $5 note out of your purse or wallet, put it on the table, and look at it for a minute. At $5 a minute you can really start to see time. At $5 a minute your employees and colleagues can see time. At $5 a minute, you won’t waste your valuable time sitting on hold, or waiting in a reception area for the person you’ve scheduled a meeting. Instead, you’ll make it a point to confirm all your meetings and appointments before you leave your office so you can adjust your schedule if others are running late. And, speaking of meetings, you’ll insist that they start on time, end on time, and they accomplish the things they were set for. At $5 per minute, multiplied by a crowd in a meeting, you just can’t afford to waste time. It’s just too expensive. Once you begin to realise that your time is so valuable, you’ll start spending it differently. You’ll do only the things that are really important and you will start to eliminate the things that keep you busy and waste your time. Remember: The way you spend your time is a result of the way you see your time and the way you see your priorities. Give yourself a raise - in your mind - increase your level of performance, and you’ll travel much faster down The Success Track. You’ll also make more money than you ever dreamed. GIVE YOURSELF AN EXTRA HOUR EACH DAY What time do your feet hit the floor in the morning? If you’re searching for more time in your day, consider waking up an hour earlier. A high performer makes sound and restful sleep a priority, and makes every waking minute powerful. I’m sure you will also find ‘another world’ of wonder, beauty, and opportunity before the sun comes each day. Finding an extra hour in your day needs to be a long term decision. We live in a circulatory world and it’s too easy to default to comfort, so don’t try waking up early for a week and expecting to be a high performer. This is a new long-term habit that you must activate so you can be bright and alert, you will have lots of energy, and at this time your concentration level is high, and most importantly, you will be highly motivated. In business, you’re either driving or exiting – there is no time to park. Go to zoominbusiness.com today and get on the fast track today!
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BUSINESS SUCCESS The fashion industry brings to mind the glittery decadence and style of
catwalks and runways. But for every successful fashion designer or retailer, there are unfortunately countless others facing the bottom line decisions in a fickle and competitive industry.
or iconic New Zealand fashion designer Annah Stretton, everything has passion and purpose. With a fashion design and retail career spanning twenty-one years, we zoom in on Annah’s new collection of lessons on the creative and logical elements of a successful business. With an enviable public profile in the international fashion industry, Annah has learned first hand what it takes to create a successful business model, and shares with us the often overlooked critical roles she has learned along the way. Annah tells us that “Creative flair, while important in any business, needs to be matched with a healthy dose of business acumen. The fashion industry alone is so complex; the designs, models, makeup, textiles, retailing, graphic designing, photography, publicity and marketing of beautiful frocks are the creative aspects of this industry. But these outputs are only 20% of a successful (fashion) business, and the other 80% is about the internal processes of time, team and money, in particular collecting the payment and managing the administration”. And the inputs and outputs are no different in any other industry. Whilst keeping a sharp eye on the bottom line, Annah explains that it is the great team of people she surrounds herself with, coupled with a desire to build a business, that has helped her enterprise go the distance. “I have always loved to learn, and started my tertiary life at a fine art school in Dunedin where I learned painting, drawing and sculpture. Ironically, I also studied to become a qualified accountant which has been incredibly liberating. Having the left and right brain fully functioning, whilst one intrinsic and the other trained, I 32 www.zoominbusiness.com © 2018 zoominbusiness.com 6
continue to upskill, network, speak, write and constantly improve. Academically, my job (as is the case with most of us who are in business) will never be done, but the secret is to keep on learning and improving.” Annah and her partner Tony have built an empire on innovating and evolving. As well as operating over thirty Annah-S retail outlets, they
“You will never be great if you don’t love what you do.” have added the iconic Café Frock and publishing Her Business Magazine to the mix. “The magazine was an opportunity that presented itself and certainly supported the voice that I wanted to have around women’s business capability. Publishing was (and still is) an incredibly difficult platform of operation and is undergoing such huge change that we have only recently decided – after almost ten years – to move to a digital platform where our engagement is enormous. The café was all about creating the complete space for me at head office. All the food is free-range and organic and constantly changes, so I continue to enjoy it (and yes, it’s busy and profitable too!).” As a busy mum and now author of three books, Annah has been awarded many honours for her contribution to the fashion industry and business. Along with working on boards and charitable campaigns, we asked whether she has holidays or did her success require a seven-day commitment, she laughs “yes, I do have holidays
although I’m not great at them. I have never been good at doing nothing, however technology has certainly made it a whole lot easier to take a break or simply work away. My secret to success is to mix work and play. I am naturally very spontaneous and like to action things as quickly as I can. I spend time with girlfriends, my family and have three pilates sessions each week. Balance is critical to embracing the next opportunity.” Whilst it takes an often bold, ambitious and confident person to start or buy their own business, Annah explains that along the way she has witnessed many casualties, by force or by choice, of some capable and talented businesses destroyed or erased in a matter of seasons. When we asked if she ever wanted to ‘quit’ during her twenty-one years, her immediate response is, “No. Quite the opposite, but yes there have been difficult days which I now reflect on as the growth days. These are the days that make your business model so much more robust. As a business owner, I will always tackle the tough stuff – the difficult conversations and moments – we all will. But going the distance requires me to be enabling and seek new pathways forward with the team, rather than becoming exhausted by their own battles within their own environments that continually play out on the bottom line; in many ways it can be just like 50 first dates!” she jokes. While Annah’s two children have been obvious recipients of the many benefits of her success, she has always been committed to the success of others. “Charitable contributions have become a major part of our my life and our company culture, with connections to The Asthma Foundation, The Heart Foundation and various breast cancer initiatives to name a few.
This network has allowed me to connect with so many people with influence, and I’m now paying it forward by setting up my own annual charitable project – Million for a Million, an initiative in support of the Heart Foundation.” Annah explains how important how our collective health and wellbeing deteriorates under growing waistlines and poor choices in diets. “I always believe that it is the job of a successful business operator to leave a legacy and to help others in their industry to succeed,” she tells. And with this approach to business, Annah’s philanthropic endeavours and generosity are extraordinary. “With my Bigger Birds of a Feather stores, I have collaborated with synergistic retailers working under one roof creating a ‘favourite space for women’ – similar to a business incubator. As each of these retailers grow their business within mine, it’s offering a win-win result. I’m also working with other small creative businesses in a similar way by offering an ongoing connection to achieve some very real and tangible outcomes. I will never stop connecting and supporting.”
“Failure can be a stunning success.” Online shopping and the digital platform have impacted every business on the planet. Annah explains the importance of embracing change and being the one out in front leading change. She admits that most nights, she logs into Photo: Amanda Bransgrove
email marketing websites
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Success Tips from Annah Stretton: 1. Attitude equals Altitude 2. Learn about business – remember business is 80% about internal operations and 20% about the product and service 3. Work hard, practice and push yourself. Compare your business efforts to that of a gold medal Olympian. How do they compare? 4. Remove the emotive thinking – it wastes time. Think in black and white. If you hit a road block, solve the problem and prevent it from reoccurring and then move on. 5. Do not dwell on what you cannot change 6. Embrace risk, try things, seek opportunity but be prepared to fail. Faulure is the foundation stone of your eventual success. It carries no stigma – quite the opposite. Whoever learnt to ski without falling over? Be brave. Richard Branson said “The brave may not live forever, but the cautious have not lived at all”. Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Twitter to engage with her customers. “I’ve had a strong buy-in with our online customers by simply announcing some of my personal experiences such as ‘Dry July’ and my sugar-free month, via Facebook,” she laughs. Annah tells how amazed she was when large numbers of people came on board via their posts offering support and advice to her in a real human-interest dialogue. “People don’t want to just be sold to anymore. They want to be inspired and engaged, and be part of the (success) story.” On international trading, Annah firmly believes that the future belongs to those who are using the global network to their advantage. “Our ability to trade in China is now as close as trading with our Australian cousins. Flights to China leave daily from Auckland at midnight, and arrive in Guangzhou twelve hours later. We are now operating on a much more global, inclusive and multifaceted business model and the accessibility and speed of trade have transformed our entire industry.” According to Annah, experts are forecasting a 30-40% reduction in shopfront leases over the next three to five years. “This is not a happy space for landlords to be in”, she tells. “I firmly believe that any business that does not have a website runs the risk of not being relevant. It is now a fact that Google is now your new business card, and business owners need to understand the buying habits of the so-called ‘millennial generation’ or Generation Y. This group buy because of what they can do with the product, what they can tell others about it, and what it says about them. These are all vastly different to the baby boomers who responded to the old ‘browse and transact’ model of selling.” The Annah-S plan for the future is to be collaborative, think differently and build a voice from her personal brand. “My books and digital platforms are being nurtured to mentor individuals and philanthropic organisations, and I will continue to enable others through my writing. I also plan to transition my daughter to take the helm of this company within the next ten years, which is an exciting journey that has already begun.” Annah Stretton is living proof that acting on passion can lead to success. She has been ‘Rocking the Boat’ both privately and publicly, and most importantly in a way that has profoundly changed not only her own life, but thousands upon thousands of others. 34 www.zoominbusiness.com © 2018 zoominbusiness.com 8
We have 5 copies of “Rock the Boat” to give away this issue: “Rock the Boat” is a must read manual for all employers of women and for all women that drive daily for that elusive business and life success. Rock the Boat brings together Stretton’s hard won experiences in life and leadership.
Email “Zoom rocks!” to editor@ zoominbusiness.com for your chance to win.
Postcards from NEW YORK
Thereâ€™s no place like the Big Apple for some shopfront inspo!
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get zooming ...with the Zoom in Business community
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