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.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

The Purpose of Your Business


by Dr Greg Chapman


Most the business plans I see read like novels, and if they were in libraries, they would be classified as science fiction. At some time, most business have prepared a business plan. Often at the early stages, and are filled with the optimism of the inexperienced, but once exposed to the reality of the market place, these plans regularly get forgotten on the shelf gathering dust.

I point out, that none of these possibly worthy goals is the purpose of your business. It might be the reason you went into business, but not its purpose.

The purpose of your business is to make a profit. If it’s not, you are running a charity. Nothing wrong with charities, which are non-profit, or even loss making organisations, but that is not the purpose of a business.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Managing a Star Employee with an Attitude


by Dr Greg Chapman


In any business there are 4 types of employees. If you understand these types and their key attributes, how you manage them becomes much easier.

The first attribute is the person’s Ability. How capable are they in doing their job? They may have low ability, or be highly capable, with their ability (good or bad) recognised by others in your business.

The second attribute is their Attitude. This may vary from poor, just there for the pay cheque, to enthusiastic and willing to do whatever the job requires to make your business a success.

When we combine these attributes, we get a clearer picture of the employee and the management strategy for them. For those with a poor attitude and low ability, the solution is simple. These individuals appear unwilling to improve and they constantly disrupt the business causing problems for others to fix. If they are not removed from the business, the people who do the fixing will leave.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Business Plans - Essential or Useless?




Most the business plans I see read like novels, and if they were in libraries, they would be classified as science fiction. At some time, most business have prepared a business plan. Often at the early stages, and are filled with the optimism of the inexperienced, but once exposed to the reality of the market place, these plans regularly get forgotten on the shelf gathering dust.

General Truman once said “Planning is essential but plans are useless”. Perhaps this thought was prompted by a 19th century German Field Marshall von Moltke who said “No plan survives contact with the enemy.”

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Ad of the Month – Free Publicity

by Dr Greg Chapman


So you have a fairly boring product in a crowded market, how do you get attention? One way is to do something controversial, but that carries some risk, unless you can pick on something that everyone dislikes, and is unlikely to fight back.

That’s what Country Time, a supplier of lemonade (cordial for Australians). Their target, bureaucrats. No one likes them, no one knows who they are, and if they did say something, who would pay attention anyway?

In the US, the traditional kids Lemonade Stand is being threatened by these bureaucrats and the killjoy neighbours who report the kids. If you don’t have a permit, beyond the reach of most kids just trying to make a few bucks, you can face a fine of $500. This is where Country Time saw an opportunity.

Monday, June 11, 2018

Scam Alert: Online Technologies


by Dr Greg Chapman


From time-to-time, I provide alerts to scams that may affect small business, this one from OnlineTech. There are two aspects to this scam, their service and their billing practices. This is what they do.

Thursday, June 07, 2018

How to build million dollar business relationships


by Dr Greg Chapman


The world’s best known marketing secret is Word-of-Mouth. To make this work for your business, you must build strong relationships with others so they will trust you and refer to you. Not just once, but over and over again. However, too many business owners treat this as a passive strategy.

In this expert interview, learn how to develop million dollar relationships for your business.

Wednesday, June 06, 2018

It’s all in the Pipeline


by Dr Greg Chapman

How is the best way to increase your sales? Should you advertise more? Perhaps a new website is needed. Is there some product improvement necessary? Or should you reduce your prices? Does your staff need sales training? Which should you do first, or do you have to do everything at once?

The answer to all these questions is in your Sales Pipeline. Every Sales Pipeline has a bottleneck, and often more than one. The first step is to identify the biggest bottleneck which is where you will get the biggest bang for your buck.

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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Tuesday, June 05, 2018

7 Steps to a Customer


by Dr Greg Chapman

Whether someone is walking past your store or discovers you online, there are seven steps that a person takes to become a customer. While it is not possible for a business to control all these steps, there is much they can do to smooth the journey.



1. Discovery

Before Discovery, a person will not know you exist, let alone what it is you do. They may not even be currently in the market for what you have to sell but still have the potential to be once they know more. So, before any sale, you have to be discovered. This means, a business has to make it easy to be discovered, even if the person is not yet ready to buy. What are you doing to make Discovery easier for potential customers?

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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Monday, June 04, 2018

Too Busy for Marketing?


by Dr Greg Chapman

Business is good. You’re busy and making money. Yes, not all customers are equal. Some are better than others, but overall, you’re doing ok.

When you have time, you check the bottom line and notice that while turnover is good, profit is tightening. You look at your costs and think, if I’m busy, do I need to spend as much time and money on marketing? To be honest, its more the time than the money because you don’t really spend much on marketing.

So, you wind back your marketing to spend more time with your customers, a good thing. A better service, more customers. But more customers doesn’t mean better customers. It might instead mean smaller margin customers. More price sensitive customers. It might mean more needy customers.

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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Friday, June 01, 2018

Marketing Moments – Scripts- Words that Sell


by Dr Greg Chapman


How well do you and your team deal with your current and potential customers? Do you leave contact with your customers to chance, or do you have a set, uniform approach, especially when dealing with enquiries from those who haven't dealt with your company before? Using scripts is a low cost way to increase your sales.

In this podcast I discuss the most important reason how using scripts is a low cost way to increase your sales.

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Marketing Moments – Educate Your Customers


by Dr Greg Chapman


Few companies get the most they can from their sales potential with their current customer base, yet most are preoccupied with getting new customers. This happens because there isn't any allowance in their marketing program to keep current and prospective customers well informed. Customers need to have a constant stream of information about the products and services you provide. Otherwise they will assume that you cannot fulfill their needs and will look for other businesses that can.

In this podcast I discuss promoting your less well known services to your existing customers.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Importance of Technology in my Business Coaching business


by Dr Greg Chapman


The following question was asked by an Australian Small Business Blog reader:

“How important is technology in your business and which is the most important for your success?”

Technology is important in any business, but it’s all too easy to get distracted by the latest bright shiny object that becomes available with suppliers insisting it’s essential for your business. As my business, Empower Business Solutions, is largely an online business with most enquiries generated in that environment with a mixed online/offline conversion, I am regularly tempted by the latest fads. However, I resist this by stepping back and thinking carefully about how the application might help my business, and researching how others are using it, running trials, and quickly dropping it if it doesn’t live up to promoters’ promises.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Let’s Make a Meal Deal


by Dr Greg Chapman




One of the most overlooked strategies for increasing sales is the package deal - and yet any business can do it to instantly add to their turnover and profitability.

Package deals are different from upselling in that, when upselling you or your team member offers the extra product to the customer after the initial purchase decision, a package deal already has a number of products combined. The customer then has the option upfront without the need to be asked if they'd like to make the additional purchase.

In this podcast, I reveal how you can use packaging to increase your sales.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Business Owners – It’s Always Your Fault

by Dr. Greg Chapman

Wouldn’t it be great if everything always went smoothly in your business and nothing ever went wrong? But there always is something. A supplier sends you the wrong item. A member of staff orders the wrong item. Your team are fighting amongst themselves. A staff member never turns up on time. Customers walk away without buying anything. The computer system breaks down in your busiest period. Your warehouse gets struck by lightning and burns down.

I’m sure you can think of one hundred other things that can go wrong in your business, and while it is tempting to blame someone else for all the problems (in the last case, God!), in fact it’s always your fault.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Predicting Your Business' Future


by Dr Greg Chapman

Wouldn’t it be great to have a crystal ball so you can see what’s going to happen in your business in the next few quarters? If you did, you would know if you should hire that new employee you have been thinking about for some time. Perhaps you could finally decide on that expansion interstate or whether to invest in that expensive system that could increase your productivity by 50%.



But you don’t take these decisions because you don’t have a crystal ball, or your old one is just filled with smoke. 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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Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Do penalty rates kill profitability?

by Dr. Greg Chapman

There was recently some controversy when a restaurant posted on their menu board that they couldn’t open on public holidays because of the mandatory 2.75 times penalty rates in South Australia, claiming that they would have to increase their menu prices by the same amount. Another article a few days later revealed the same situation in Canberra, and now it is being raised in the Australian Industrial Relations Commission by the Government. There has been a lot of ill-informed and abusive commentary by some patrons in social media (how unusual!), so what is the reality?

First let’s deal with the claim that their prices would have to increase by 2.75 times to cover their costs. As many rightly pointed out, labour is not their only cost.

Monday, May 21, 2018

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.



Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Because You're the Expert


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.



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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To send this article to a friend, click on the envelope below.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

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.

Monday, May 14, 2018

Ad of the Month – Selling the Sizzle

by Dr Greg Chapman


There is an old saying in advertising: Sell the Sizzle, not the steak. This refers to the anticipation we all feel about buying an appealing product, which of course may not always live up to expectations.

An almost literal example of selling the sizzle is this month’s ad. McDonalds have released a series of ads doing exactly that for it’s burgers with actors, in this case John Goodman, describing the sensations that a customer is experiencing as they eat their burger.

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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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