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, 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.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

How Anchored are Your Prices?




Ever been to a fancy restaurant, where the staff are dressed in black and white? There are pure white linen table cloths on the table, silver cutlery and crystal wine glasses. The décor is sumptuous and all the customers are dressed in their finest.





As the waiter formally greets you at the table, and hands you the parchment menu, you open it with trepidation, and your eyes fall on the price list and you feel your wallet tremble. As you gaze down the list, each dish looks as if it had been described by an English Literature professor, but highlighted above all the others is their signature dish, their most expensive dish, and there is a quick intake of your breath as you mentally decide which of your children you will need to sell to pay for this meal.

More...

May Your Business this Year 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 approved.]

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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Thursday, September 21, 2017

Lessons for Small Business from Big Business – Appointing General Managers


by Dr Greg Chapman


It’s the dream of many small business owners to one day appoint a General Manager to their business so they can step back and enjoy life. In this dream world, the GM sends the owner regular reports, and a monthly cheque with little need for involvement from themselves except an occasional guiding hand.

Reality is somewhat different as I observed while watching the biopic on Steve Jobs. By all reports, he was not the easiest person to work with, in spite of (because of?) his genius.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Ad of the Month – Glitch?

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, September 14, 2017

Sales Strategy- The Best Known Sales Secret in Business

by Dr.Greg Chapman



In any business, there is usually one person who outsells everyone else. You wish that all your sales staff were as good as this person. Often this person is you, the owner, but it doesn’t matter how much training you give the sales staff, or even if you increase incentives, little seems to change. What you have stumbled across is the best known sales secret in business.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

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, September 07, 2017

What I learned about Marketing from our Dog and Cat


by Dr Greg Chapman


While our dog is getting on in years, and suffers from arthritis and is almost blind, there is nothing wrong with his sense of smell and he loves his food. If you give him top grade steak, or just plain dog food from the can, he gulps it down the same way he did when he was a puppy. He will eat what our cat doesn't finish from her bowl. In fact if she throws any of it up, he will eat that too. He is just not that fussy. In fact the only thing we have found he won't eat is brussel sprouts. (I can't say that I can blame him.)

Monday, September 04, 2017

How much are Your Sales costing You?




When businesses look at their different products and services, they usually have pricing strategy. For products they may, for example, double the wholesale price to cover their overheads and deliver some net profit. For services, they may look at how long the component tasks take, the cost of the employees delivering the tasks, and again add a factor for overhead to determine their prices.

What few do is consider the cost of a sale. Now some sales are transactional, for example when you order a cup of coffee at a café. The barista isn’t spending a substantial part of her time convincing the customer to buy the coffee as the customer has already made a buying decision when he walks in to the café.



If, however, a person works at a car dealership, all their time is spent making the sale, and quite often there is no sale. In other businesses, employees spend time on both selling and delivering. These costs need to be considered when pricing products. More...

May Your Business this Year 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 approved.]

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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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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