The Australian Small Business Blog

The Australian Small Business Blog

This Blog is a Forum where Australian Small Business Owners can exchange Ideas old & new and get Advice from experts in Australia on how to Improve their Businesses through better Business Management, Planning & Strategy, Business Systems and Marketing Strategy and Systems. They will also learn about the Small Business Best Practice Benchmarks that are critical for their success. Our Ultimate Objective is to help Australian Small Business Owners take their Business to the Next Level and achieve their Goals whatever they may be.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Getting a referral from a Psychic


by Dr Greg Chapman


Have you ever received a referral from a psychic? I have. How did you manage that you might ask?

Recently I was contacted by a business owner needing assistance, and after a short introductory conversation, where we agreed a further course of action, I asked her (as I hope you ask all your enquirers) “How did you hear of me?”

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Ad of the Month - Keeping Your Attention


by Dr Greg Chapman


In this fact paced, instant everything world, attention spans are measured in nanoseconds. Keeping an audience’s attention long enough to demonstrate your product is becoming an ever greater challenge. So if your product is bigger, lighter or faster, you have to think of innovative ways to demonstrate this in 30 seconds or less.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Laser Marketing - Butcher, Baker or Candlestick Maker


by Dr Greg Chapman


So you have designed a widget for red headed, left handed Candlestick Makers with size 7 shoes. You know they will love it, but how will you find them without spending large sums of money, most of which misses the target.

You could put an ad in the Candlestick Makers Monthly, or exhibit at their annual trade show, but since most Candlestick makers aren’t left handed redheads who wear size 7 shoes, you are paying for the privilege to market to the 99% of candlestick makers who aren’t your customers just to find the 1% who are.

But that’s the old way of doing things.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Are all Your eggs in one basket?


by Dr Greg Chapman

Where are all your enquiries coming from? If it’s just from one or even just two sources, this may become a majorissue for your business. One colleague I know was getting 90% of his business from a single department of a telco, then they got a new CEO who sacked the whole department. This person didn’t really have a business, he had a job with overheads and wasn’t in control of his destiny.




Supermarkets often source their home brands from small business for whom the supermarket provides most theirbusiness and to whom they are hostages. Other businesses I know depend on one or two referral sources. What happens if a competitor comes and forms a better relationship with the referrer?


More...




May You Business Be - As You Plan It!

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Dr Greg Chapman is the Director of Empower Business Solutions and is Australia's Leading Advisor on Emerging Businesses and provides Coaching and Consulting advice to Australian Small Business Owners in Marketing & Business Strategies Planning & Systems. He is also the author of The Five Pillars of Guaranteed Business Success and Price: How You Can Charge More Without Losing Sales.



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Friday, September 09, 2016

Forget the 80/20 rule...


by Dr Greg Chapman


The 80/20 principle, also known as the Pareto principle, has been an extremely useful means of focusing on what matters. General examples of this principle are:

“80% of wealth is owned by 20% of people”
“80% of traffic is on 20% of our roads in our city”
In business, this principle is also useful:

“80% of your profit comes from 20% of your sales”
“80% of your complaints come from 20% of your customers”
“80% of sales come from 20% of your clients”

No doubt you are nodding your head with these examples, and could come up with many more besides.

Now there is another principle: 120/20 principle which implies 20% of your effort produces 120% of your results. The other 80% is actually a loss to you. In other words, the 20% subsidises the remaining 80%.

Tuesday, September 06, 2016

Family Business - How to Make Them Work


by Dr Greg Chapman


Around 70% of businesses in Australia are family businesses, from the humble cafe or B&B to some of the biggest businesses in the country. While it sounds great to work with your family members, only 17% of family businesses make it past the third generation with over 79,000 ceasing trading in every year destabilising Australia’s social and economic fabric. Management/strategy, succession and conflict management are just a few of the issues that face every family business.

In this expert interview, learn about best practice in managing the issues that arise in family businesses.

Friday, September 02, 2016

The Five Pillars of Business Success


by Dr Greg Chapman


This is an interview by Business Victoria with Dr Greg Chapman

Whether you are responding to an external opportunity such as new customers or grappling with internal pressures, you can grow your business successfully. By building key foundations, it is possible to continually increase your profits for several years. Whilst good general management can produce organic, steady business growth, you will need to update and refresh your business with these five foundational steps in mind to see quantum leaps that are sustainable.

1. Have a vision and work towards it

Understanding where your business is and where you want it to be is the first step in planning. Make sure your plan:
• is simple (even if it's just one page)
• is not just ‘in your head’ or ‘in your bottom drawer’
• has any vision you choose but it must have one
• includes goals and steps to be taken to reach those goals
• aligns your business with family and lifestyle aspirations
• has mitigation strategies to cope with change - both in good and bad times.

Whether you prepare it yourself or use a business professional for an objective outside view, remember the thinking that goes into a plan is as important than the document itself.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

To Outsource or Not Outsource, that is the question


by Dr Greg Chapman

As a business grows, so does the need for additional support. The question businesses then ask is how to source that support. There is a natural temptation to jump to the obvious solution of hiring another employee, but other options should also be considered, depending on the circumstances and the role.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

The Third Profit Driver - Increasing Average Value Per Sale


by Dr Greg Chapman


In earlier articles I described The Five Profit Drivers marketing system as well as the first two Profit Divers.The third of the Five Profit Drivers is Increasing the Average Value per Sale.

When they ask: “Do you want fries with that?” McDonalds knows that about a third of their customers say yes. The marginal cost of the fries is small. Their overhead costs, which are quite considerable, the restaurant, staff and equipment have not changed because of this additional sale. The cost of the fries, the potatoes and packaging, is a small fraction of the selling price of the fries, so almost the whole price of the fries goes straight to the bottom line, all achieved by asking a simple question at the time they were making a sale.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Are Timewasters wasting your time and costing you money?


by Dr Greg Chapman

In too many small businesses, owners work longer hours, often taking home less pay than their employees. They are in fact the last to be paid.

In any business we see them, the timewasters. Of course you can never be sure which enquiry is a waste of your time, and which could be a buried gold nugget. And of course, you don’t want to be rude, because even timewasters may seek to damage your reputation if not handled the right way.

I recently had such a situation, with a surprising result.


Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Ad of the Month- Made You Look


by Dr Greg Chapman


In the modern media world, advertising is usually sold by “Impressions”. That’s not the number of people who have read your ad, or even seen your ad, just the number of people who had the opportunity to see your ad.

I think we have all evolved the ability to narrow our focus to the content we want so we can ignore the ads in the side panels. Even most direct mail ends up in the bin unopened, so getting people not only to see your ad, but also read it is becoming an ever greater challenge.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Buying an existing small business : smart or not?


by Dr Greg Chapman

You have just decided that you don’t want to work for someone else anymore and build their dream, you want to build your own. You know the kind of business you want and are not afraid of the hard work it’s going to take. The question you are now asking is whether to buy an existing business to avoid early growing pains. Here are threekey issues to consider before you buy.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

The wrong time to Increase Sales


by Dr Greg Chapman

Whenever you read an article about business growth, it almost always comes down to a push to increase sales, but there are times when this may have totally the opposite effect that was intended.



The big mistake businesses make is using Sales as a proxy for growth. When economists speak about growth, they look at profit, which is not the same Sales. In certain circumstances, increases in Sales can reduce profitability, but people continue to use Sales as an indicator of growth because it’s easy to measure.


More...




May You Business Be - As You Plan It!

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Dr Greg Chapman is the Director of Empower Business Solutions and is Australia's Leading Advisor on Emerging Businesses and provides Coaching and Consulting advice to Australian Small Business Owners in Marketing & Business Strategies Planning & Systems. He is also the author of The Five Pillars of Guaranteed Business Success and Price: How You Can Charge More Without Losing Sales.



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Friday, August 12, 2016

Price Comparison Websites


by Dr Greg Chapman


To list, or not to list, that is the question, as Hamlet probably never asked.

There are numerous websites now offering customers the ability to get multiple quotes for a service. This is great for the customer because they are able to find the best service at the lowest cost in a side-by-side comparison- but is it the right thing for your business?

The attraction for businesses listing on such sites, if they have been properly promoted, is that it will be another channel for referrals of business that you may not have otherwise received. Unfortunately, this business will likely be won on price.

While such comparison websites offer a convenience to customers, there is limited capability to interact with the businesses. This is necessary as these websites don’t want to be cut out by either customer or the business with them dealing directly, and so losing their commission. This means that it’s difficult for businesses to demonstrate their point of difference and speak with the customer directly. Usually, they just have a text box to describe their offer with limited ability to link to their own website, if at all.



Thursday, August 04, 2016

Managing Your time requires Small Business Brain Surgery


by Dr Greg Chapman


What do you have in common with Bill Gates and Richard Branson? You have the same 24 hours in a day. It’s what you do with those hours that produces the difference. Often business owners are working longer hours and taking home less than their staff. If this is you, maybe it’s time you learnt what Brain Surgeons do.

Most business owners are micro-managers. They have learnt from experience if they give work to someone else, they mess it up, and then they spend twice as long fixing things. But this is not what Brain Surgeons do. When they operate on a patient, they are not in charge of the theatre- the theatre nurse is. They don’t open up the patient, or close. They leave that to a junior surgeon. Everything is prepared for them, and someone else mops up the blood later. All they do is the brain surgery. With a little bit of marketing beforehand (client needs), and a little bit more marketing afterwards (client satisfaction).

How is this possible?

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Case Study: How to Transform a Business


by Dr Greg Chapman


Changing a business is not easy. The first step has to come from the owner. Hear how one client took his business from nowhere to receiving an award from the Governor General of Australia whilst increasing his prices by 400% in 12 months. In this podcast, Dr Greg Chapman interviews his client who explains how he transformed his business.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

The Second Profit Driver – Increasing Conversion to Sales


by Dr Greg Chapman


In an earlier article I described The Five Profit Drivers marketing system. The second of the Five Profit Drivers is Increasing Conversion to Sales.

Sales should be considered as a process like any other key part of a business. It is in fact the most important part because without sales there is no business. This step in the Five Profit Driver Marketing Model converts the leads created with the First Profit Driver into sales.

At this point in the marketing process, the prospect has called you, they have walked into your store, or you have the appointment with them. While the types of sales processes can appear quite different in different businesses, every sale goes through seven steps. For different businesses, some steps might appear to be almost missed, while in others, there might be a very long time spent within a single step.

Friday, July 22, 2016

I’m sorry, I have to double my prices


by Dr Greg Chapman

That’s what a friend of mine said just recently to all his clients. Would you be brave enough to do that? And was this truly an act of bravery on his behalf? This is his story.



Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Australian Small Business Blog Ranked In Smart Company’s Best Business Blogs



While this only happened a while ago, we have just become aware that Smart Company ranked this blog as one of Australia’s 20 BestBusiness Blogs for 2016. Thanks guys for the recognition.



Dr Greg Chapman




May Your Business this Year be - As You Plan It.


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Dr Greg Chapman is the Director of Empower Business Solutions and is Australia's Lea ding Advisor on Emerging Businesses and provides Coaching and Consulting advice to Australian Small Business Owners in Marketing & Business Strategies Planning & Systems. He is also the author of The Five Pillars of Guaranteed Business Success and Price: How You Can Charge More Without Losing Sales.

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Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Is Search Engine Optimisation Dead?


by Dr Greg Chapman

If you have websites, you will no doubt be contacted daily by someone who will promise they will put you at the top of Google with their Search Engine Optimisation services. In fact if I don’t receive several offers a day, I think my email must have stopped working! But does SEO still work?



Because it wants to make more money, Google has decided that it wants to make it harder for your website to get a free ride in the organic search listings when you are trying to attract new business, so you will spend money with them with Adwords. (Fancy a business wanting to reduce freeloaders and make more money.) So Google has increased the number of ads it puts on a page and made them a little more difficult to distinguish from organic searches while cracking down on some SEO techniques that used to work.
More...





May You Business Be - As You Plan It!

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Over to You. What do You Think? Post Your Comments Below. [Note to those seeking a free ride on our google ranking, blog spam will be deleted,but genuine contributions will be happily published.]

Dr Greg Chapman is the Director of Empower Business Solutions and is Australia's Leading Advisor on Emerging Businesses and provides Coaching and Consulting advice to Australian Small Business Owners in Marketing & Business Strategies Planning & Systems. He is also the author of The Five Pillars of Guaranteed Business Success and Price: How You Can Charge More Without Losing Sales.



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Dr. Greg Chapman is also the author of
The 5 Pillars of Guaranteed Business Success

The Five Pillars of Guaranteed Business Success

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