The Australian Small Business Blog

The Australian Small Business Blog

This Blog has been providing 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 for over 10 years. 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.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

2017 Small Business Articles of the Year


by Dr Greg Chapman


With 75 posts this year on the Australian Small Business Blog, it is now time to reveal the top post as ranked by Google for page views.

3. The Mathematics of Profit

In this article discover how a tiny bit of math can be used to reveal the right Profit Strategy for Your business.

2. Business Owners – It’s Always Your Fault

It’s all too easy for business owners to point the finger of blame towards others, but perhaps the real culprit is staring back at them from a mirror.

But the number one business article, rated by views, is:

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

2017 Ad of the Year


by Dr Greg Chapman


Each month over the past year, the Australian Small Business Blog has presented ads or items about advertising which illustrated specific strategies that are critical for success. Now, as voted by the number of views as recorded by Google, here are the top three ads of 2016.

3. DIY This was actually a template that shows you step-by-step, how to write a great add headline.

2. Values This ad was for fans of a product which is the constant target of criticism by people who know what’s best for you. but the number one Ad of the Year article, rated by views is:

Thursday, December 07, 2017

Benchmarking Franchisee Performance: Comparing Apples and Oranges

by Dr Greg Chapman

Even though comparing the performance of your franchisees can be a minefield, it is still best practice to do so. How else do you know which franchisees are leading the way, and which need further support? What better way to discover the new ideas that have proved to work and should be spread across the whole franchise?

However, comparisons between franchisees can be like comparing apples with oranges.

Tuesday, December 05, 2017

Microsoft Scam Alert


by Dr Greg Chapman

Recently I was contacted by a business claiming to be ‘Microsoft Authorised’ regarding a malware notification they had received from my computer network. The sophistication of the approach was quite convincing, but there were warning signs that I will expose here to protect others who may be contacted by this group.

The person ‘Mark’ claimed to be a Microsoft certified technician tasked with contacting users whose systems had sent automatic notification of their vulnerabilities. The purpose of the call was to show me how I could remove this dangerous malware which would infect all other computers on the network.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

What happens when a dog chasing a car catches it?

by Dr. Greg Chapman



Have you ever watched a dog chase a car? It gets very excited, a lot of tail wagging and yapping, usually to no avail. The car always outpaces the dog, and the dog is left behind continuing its barking at a fast receding vehicle.

Just imagine what would happen if the dog caught the car. What do you think would happen next? I’m not sure I know, but one thing is for certain, I don’t think the dog knows either.

When we market, it’s like chasing the car as we pursue leads. It can be fun and exciting while pursuing the prospect. But what do you do when you have the prospect in front of you. Is it all yapping (selling) at the customer? Is there actually a thought out plan?

More…


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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, providing 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.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Google vs Facebook

Dr Greg Chapman

Google and Facebook are competing head to head for our advertising dollar, which is a good thing. It’s a pity that the other channels are so far behind these two behemoths who dominate because of their audience sizes. As a result, both have become expensive, unless you aren’t a mug advertiser, but there certainly differences between the two platforms.


A starting point to consider is the different natures of the two platforms. Google is used by people looking for answers. These answers could be just information or solutions to problems they are experiencing. Facebook, on the other hand, is a place where people go to socialise. So Google users may be searching for people who sell products like yours. The best you can hope for as an advertiser on Facebook is that people are talking about products like yours. More often than not, they aren’t.

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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Thursday, November 23, 2017

The Extra Dollar More


by Dr Greg Chapman


"Upselling", or the "add-on sale", is an opportunity open to every business, yet most business owners and their staff don't ask for the extra purchase.

Fact is, once the customer has made the decision to buy from you, they have entered into a relationship of trust. And once the initial buying decision, or trust in you, is made, then they will more readily say yes to an additional offer. So why not make it?

In this podcast I reveal how to get that extra dollar more for zero cost.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Ad of the Month – Dissing the Competition

by Dr Greg Chapman


It’s usually not good form to knock the competition when advertising, at least not overtly, if for no other reason that it raises consciousness of alternatives to your product. Sometimes you can do it by emphasising strengths that you know are weaknesses in the opposition encouraging customers never to buy a product with such weaknesses. In other words, subtlety is the traditional approach.

This is not the approach that Samsung used for its latest phone, with outright mockery of its major competitor.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Can You create a Perpetual Motion Marketing Machine?


by Dr Greg Chapman

Several centuries ago inventors tried to build perpetual motion machines. The idea being, you just kick started it, and it would go on for ever and could potentially be a never ending source of energy. We now know that such machines are impossible, and they always run down due to the presence of friction. Perpetual motion machines would violate the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics, colloquially described as “Things fall apart”.



It doesn’t matter how clever the design of the machine is, external factors will cause the machine to slow down until it stops. However, once you start the machine, overcoming inertia, only a small amount of energy may keep it running.

The 2nd Law of Thermodynamics also applies to Marketing. You might have a strong flow of customers from referrals, but over time there are external influences such as the changes in the, competition, innovation, customer needs, the economy or other reasons, that create a source of friction that can cause that steady flow to dwindle to a trickle. 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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Wednesday, November 15, 2017

How to Drive Your Business forward with a 1 hour Business Plan


by Dr Greg Chapman


Owners avoid writing out a business plan because they believe it will take a long time for little benefit. But what if you could create your own plan in an hour and have a simple process with which to update it? Dr Greg Chapman shows you how.

Tuesday, November 07, 2017

The Mathematics of Profit




For many people, math is hard, but I promise this post won’t be! (Perhaps I should have changed the title of this post?) Really the mathematics of profit are pretty simple. Where confusion occurs is treating turnover as a surrogate for profit.





Just focusing on Gross Profit, which includes ALL your variable Cost of Goods Sold, including labour, there is a pretty simple equation. More...



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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Wednesday, November 01, 2017

Good, Better, Best: Which would You choose?


by Dr Greg Chapman

Unless you are selling a commodity product or service, such as petrol where all prices displayed on roadside boards where you can compare 3 or 4 stations’ offers before you have to stop to refill, you need to give your buyers clues on the value of your services. Even brands may be treated as a commodity in this respect. You have decided on a particular brand and model of plasma screen TV and now you browse the internet for the cheapest price.


The fuel example is a commodity product and the TV screen example is a commodity service (a retail distribution service of a non-commodity product).



So even if you aren’t selling a commodity product, the first question many people ask is: “How much will it cost?” and if you tell them, it could be a very brief conversation, unless you are the cheapest. 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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Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Five Steps to Grow Your Business


by 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.


Tuesday, October 24, 2017

How to Use Your Guarantee to Increase Your Sales



Why do people buy? There have been many studies that have been undertaken on this most important topic for any business. Too many people think price is the major reason people will buy from them.

Here are the results of one survey, which replicates the results of many before it on why people buy. It may surprise you to know that Price is only the fifth most important reason people choose to buy.

Here are the top 5 reasons people buy:

5. Price
4. Selection or range of offers
3. The level of service provided
2. Quality of the product or service you provide
The number one reason that a buyer will chose you over someone else is:

Thursday, October 19, 2017

How much should you pay for your brand?

by Dr. Greg Chapman

There is much hype talk about branding, but how much should you pay for your brand development. Below is a list of nine well known brands. See if you can guess the most expensive and the cheapest.


Monday, October 16, 2017

Ad of the Month – Trying too hard to be different?

by Dr Greg Chapman


This month’s Ad of the Month is not really an ad, or is it? You go to the trouble and expense of having a massive product launch. You invite all the influencers to be there to promote your product, and during the presentation, there is a fail of its major feature. Well that’s what happened to Apple. What happens next?

Thursday, October 12, 2017

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.


Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Best Small Business Blogs in Australia 2017

by Dr Greg Chapman

As we approach the tail end of the year, the Australian SME Blog Awards for 2017 have announced the Top 10 Blogs for Small Business in Australia , with the Australian Small Business Blog ranked #1. Congratulations to all the other worthy finalists. Make sure you also put them into your favourites.

As always, let me know your feedback, what you liked, and what could be improved.







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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Wednesday, October 04, 2017

Getting Started in Business


by Dr Greg Chapman


It’s always daunting for anyone starting their first business. Making the transition from working for someone else, where things just seem to happen. The customers appear, and you serve them. Surely it can’t be that difficult. However, within a few days on your own in the big wide world, it doesn’t appear at all easy, and hardest of all is knowing where to start.

Friday, September 29, 2017

Avoiding the HR Minefield



by Dr Greg Chapman




One of the most daunting things for a small business is taking on new employees. It’s a major commitment. Will the cashflow support the new employee? What must the new employee do to pay their way?



When small business owners do recruit, they often do this themselves to avoid the costs of agencies. There is nothing wrong with this, but it’s easy to make mistakes, particularly if you don’t recruit very often. I’m not just referring to following the latest rules, of which there are way too many, but also just knowing what best practice is in managing people. If you are intent on doing this yourself, there are free resources available to use from Fairwork Australia at their new Learning Center. This includes free online courses on topics such as Hiring New Employees, and Managing Performance. What I particularly like about the Learning Centre are the tools, checklists and letter templates that are provided to help you do everything from hiring to firing employees.

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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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