The Australian Small Business Blog

Thursday, December 20, 2007

The Year in Review


As the year draws to a close, it is an opportune time to have a look at the scorecard for your business. You know, the one you prepared at the beginning of this year with your 2007 goals? Did you have a scorecard with goals? How did you go?

If you did not have goals, the chances are, your results were much the same as last year and your business is pretty much where it was in 2006 and next year is looking like more of the same. This tends to be the result when you don’t set goals.

Maybe you did set goals. Did you have a plan to achieve the goals? If the answer to that question was no, the chances are you made some, but not all of your goals. The very fact that you wrote out your goals will have made a difference, because goals create a focus. However you also need a plan. That is, the steps you would take to achieve your goals. What strategies you would use, and the tactics you would employ to turn your goals into reality.

So, you had the goals, and a plan but still did not get the results you wanted? Did you actually carry out the plan? Did you track your performance against your plan? When you regularly refer back to your plan, you are far more likely to achieve your goals as this forces you to step back from the coalface and work on your business. When performance was less than expected, did you adjust the plan? While persistence is a virtue in business, the same cannot be said for hitting your head against a brick wall. Perhaps there was an easier way? Did you seek advice when things were not working? While there is a cost to getting advice, even if it is just your time, the cost of trial and error is many times higher, and very demotivating.

If you did not achieve what you wanted to achieve in 2007, when look back on the year, and the goals, the plans, the actions, the tracking and the revisions is there something you didn’t do that would have made a difference? If you want 2008 to be different you must do something different.

The definition of insanity is to do the same thing over and over again, and expect something different to happen. Make 2008 different. Find out how in:

The Five Pillars of Guaranteed Business Success

May Your Business in 2008 be as You Plan It!

Dr Greg Chapman

Over to You. What do You Think? Post Your Comments Below.

Dr Greg Chapman is the Director of Empower Business Solutions and The Australian Business Coaching Club 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.


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The Australian Small Business Blog

Saturday, December 08, 2007

The King is Dead....


So you woke up last week and found that what was arguably the most business friendly government in living memory was gone. You may even have thought the sky was going to fall in. It might, or it might not. It almost doesn’t matter, if you know what you must do.

Yes all boats float on a rising tide, but the boats that move to deeper waters will avoid running aground if the tide turns. Whenever there is a change of government, some of the rules always change. Some for the better, and some for the worse. However, as long as they are the same rules for everyone, even a change for the worse can be an advantage.

In any business environment, each business must continually fight to attain and keep its position in its marketplace. You need to continually justify your value to your customers, and that they should continue to use your products and services rather than those of your competitors.

You should continually look at your offer, your prices and your costs. If there is a change of government, how will the changes they have proposed impact on your business? Will it affect your costs or your productivity? What can you do to reduce the impact on your business? If you can put in place a plan to be ready for these impacts, which might mean you change the way you operate, when the changes finally become evident, and the tide is turning, you will be safe in deeper water whilst most of your competitors spend all their time waiting for someone to bail them out when they hit the exposed rocks. You will have turned a potential negative into a competitive advantage.

The business environment is changing all the time. It could be due to technology, the drought, interest rates or a hundred other things ranging from global to local. While government policy changes are important, they are just one of many changes. A good business manager will be constantly surveying their environment for both the threats and opportunities. Funnily enough, the threats are also often the opportunities.

May Your Business be as You Plan It!

Dr Greg Chapman

Over to You. What do You Think? Post Your Comments Below.

Dr Greg Chapman is the Director of Empower Business Solutions and The Australian Business Coaching Club 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.


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The Australian Small Business Blog

Friday, November 30, 2007

Small's not so beautiful


AUSTRALIAN small business, in many respects, is recognised as the backbone of the economy. According to government statistics, there are more than 1.88 million small businesses, employing 3.6 million people. Their combined capitalised worth is $4.3 trillion -- more than four times that of the Australian Securities Exchange.

Yet the statistics mask the reality that most small businesses are very small, with many being home-based, and most of these micro-businesses never manage move to the next level, if they survive beyond the first few years.

"Running a business is a challenge: it's an emotional, financial and mental merry-go-round and it has become even harder with red tape, tax and professional standards being so much more complex," says Tony Steven, chief executive of the Council of Small Business of Australia. "However, the basics remain the same."

Getting back to the basics of business is one of the key themes explored by business coach Dr Greg Chapman, in a book he has just released, The Five Pillars of Guaranteed Business Success.

Chapman, who is also a Telstra Business Awards judge, says a high percentage of businesses stay small because their owners lack the vision, passion and skills to take them ahead. "What happens to most small businesses is nothing. They just stay small," he says. "Up to 98 per cent of small businesses are effectively 'micro-stayers', trapped inside a microbubble with little prospect of escaping, because they don't know how to grow."

Chapman says there are basically five reasons why micro-businesses don't move to the next level, with a lack of vision by the owner as to where the business is going to be in the future being top of the list.

"Without any direction, you really don't have any strategy, and strategy is the lever that lifts you from where you are today to where you want to be in the future," he says.

A second key reason is a lack of passion in their business, with many owners not having the commitment to take their business to a higher level. "You need the right vision to give you the passion, the commitment to stay the course and overcome the obstacles that do appear," Chapman says.

He says another reason why businesses stay small is that they don't plan, and therefore don't have the confidence to take the risks they need to take to achieve better results.

"It's not enough to have a vision and a passion; you actually need a plan to take you there. It's the roadmap; without a plan, all you really have is a dream, and we know how often they come true."

Chapman says the fourth reason why businesses stay small is that business owners don't value their time and are often working in their business rather than on their business, by performing tasks that can be delegated or outsourced.

Lastly, Chapman says business owners who fail to invest in education are also greatly limiting their growth potential. "When you value your time, you will also understand the value of knowledge," he says. "If an owner is not willing to invest in their own education and sees that as a cost instead, they have just resigned themselves to the school of hard knocks."

If business owners don't address these key factors, Chapman says, "they will be unable to grow beyond a certain level. The owner becomes frustrated and ultimately resigned to being a micro-stayer."

He says owners need to be open and honest that they are caught in a trap. "It's as if you've got a medical problem; you've got to diagnose the problem before you can do anything about it. Business owners have to be committed to really addressing their problems and doing something about it".

Over to You. What do You Think? Post Your Comments Below.


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The Australian Small Business Blog

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Anyone Can Do It


How often have you seen the advertising for a great new opportunity:

For $99.95 (plus gst) I will show you how you can be a Millionaire.

Then they say:

It is so easy, Anyone can Do It. All you have to do is follow my simple system.

Then you put your money down, and you find out the system revolves around you putting ads in newspapers just like the one you read, and selling a ten page manual for $99.95 describing this strategy to others more gullible than yourself.

OR

The system is so vague and general that you cannot implement the information unless you buy the “Tell You Everything” $995 Pak and the $9990 “All My Secrets Exposed” seminar etc.

OR

The information is so technical and requires knowledge most people don’t have and is too hard for most people to implement.

OR

It requires you to do things you have never done before, such as cold calling, and which you will not persist with and will give up on before you gain any skill.

If anyone can do it, and it is such a great deal, why isn’t everyone doing it? It might be technically true that “Anyone can Do It”, but it is also true that Most People Won’t!

Where the occasional opportunity arises that indeed “anyone can do it”, for example some home business jobs you can buy, another issue arises. If anyone can do it with this system, everyone will be doing it the same way. So, why should they buy from you?

If you are making something that anyone can and is producing, you are producing a commodity. Typically, commodities have low margins.

To charge a premium for your products and services, you need a Unique Selling Proposition. Now the guy selling you the opportunity might have a Unique Selling Proposition in order to get you to buy, but do you really believe it is possible to BUY a Unique Selling Proposition? Especially if the opportunity seller is selling them as if there were no tomorrow?

Beware of those promising instant success. Invariably success is attained through discipline, perseverance and the taking of measured risks. If it wasn’t for these three factors, I am sure Anyone could Do It!

May Your Business be as You Plan It!

Dr Greg Chapman

Over to You. What do You Think? Post Your Comments Below.

Dr Greg Chapman is the Director of Empower Business Solutions and The Australian Business Coaching Club 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.

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The Australian Small Business Blog

Friday, November 09, 2007

First Impressions always Count


Does your branding link your business cards to your letterhead, to your displays and packaging, to your banners and to your Website?

Does each component of the brand come together to give a consistent message no matter what the situation?

If the customer does not connect the dots then how long does it take to loose someone if the branding is not giving the right message?

Consider the message below and then consider the speed with which potential customers make up their minds to connect to or leave your brand in any medium. Studies show Internet users make up their minds about the quality of a website in the blink of an eye. Researchers found that the brain makes decisions in just a 20th of a second of viewing a webpage. They were surprised, as they believed it would take at least 10 times longer to form an opinion. The study, published in the journal Behaviour and Information Technology, also suggests that first impressions have a lasting impact.

Speedy conclusions
The Canadian researchers showed volunteers glimpses of websites, lasting for only 50 milliseconds. The volunteers then had to rate the websites in terms of their aesthetic appeal. The researchers found that the speedily formed conclusions closely tallied with opinions of the websites had been made after much longer periods of examination. Gitte Lindgaard, lead researcher, of Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada, said, "My colleagues believed it would be impossible to really see anything in less than 500 milliseconds, Judgments were being formed almost as quickly as the eye can take in information".

Lasting impressions
The researchers also believe that quickly formed first impressions last because of what is known to psychologists as the "halo effect". If people believe a website looks good, then this positive quality will spread to other areas, such as the website's content. Since people like to be right, they will continue to use the website that made a good first impression. This will further confirm that their initial decision was a good one. Gitte Lindgaard warned "unless the first impression is favourable, visitors will be out of your site before they even know that you might be offering more than your competitors".
Richard Gill is the director of The Banner Lady.

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The Australian Small Business Blog

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Selling a Business









The real test of business success is to see the value others place on your business. That is, how much they are prepared to pay you to own it. However, few owners see the return on their money and time spent building their business when they try to sell it.

Someone buying a business has similar considerations to someone buying a home. If the home is new or well maintained, and little expenditure is necessary to make it they way they want before moving in, the buyer will pay more. If the house is run down, and requires substantial renovation, they will insist on paying much less. Taking the analogy further, if buying a vacant block, they will have to also budget for the house to be built.

When buying a business, the comparison is between taking over a going concern, building up a run down business or starting a new business from scratch. Buyers will consider the saving in time and effort through buying a going concern that provides predictable incomes and operates smoothly when compared with one that has been managed poorly, or the effort of creating a new business.

Unfortunately, most businesses are totally dependent on their owners. When they aren’t there, nothing happens or sales drop. When a buyer looks at such a business, they will value it on its physical assets and its existing customer base. The value of the customer base may be heavily discounted if it is believed that the customers have a strong personal connection with the owner. Little or no value will be placed on the future growth potential of the business as the owner has basically done nothing to tap it. Why should a buyer pay for value that the current owner has missed. The buyer must put in the effort to unlock that potential and take all the risk if they are to be a success. They will also discount the value where it is possible key staff may leave soon after the existing owner. If there are no systems, all they are really buying is a customer list of dubious value, plus a few used assets.

Compare how a buyer values a well managed business. Along with the assets and the existing customer value, the buyer will see a marketing system which has allowed the existing owner to grow their business. They may see year on year growth in sales and profit. They will see systems in all areas of the business so if staff leave, they can bring in new staff and train them to run the business in the same way. The buyer in this case may pay 3 or 4 or even more times the annual profit of the business in addition to its other assets. (Highly successful listed companies sell for 20 times their annual earnings or more).

The difference between these two scenarios is business systems that ensure that the business runs smoothly, that there is a marketing strategy that provides predictable sales growth and systems that manage the people within the business. These systems make the success of the business independent of ownership. Whenever risk is reduced, price can be increased. The time to put in these systems is not when you are trying to sell the business. You can’t fatten a pig on market day, as one politician is regularly quoted as saying. These systems should be put in place now. They are part of your Exit Strategy.

The best time to prepare your exit strategy is when you start your business, but it is never too late.

Find out more about these strategies at:


This book, which has a forward from Tony Steven, the CEO of COSBOA, the peak small business organisation in Australia, comes with a $100 of business tools, and provides an easy to understand, step-by-step approach on how to improve your business, starting with your goals, right through to systems and sales.



Please visit Five Pillars for more information on “The Five Pillars of Guaranteed Business Success”

May Your Business be as You Plan It!


Dr Greg Chapman

Over to You. What do You Think? Post Your Comments Below.

Dr Greg Chapman is the Director of Empower Business Solutions and The Australian Business Coaching Club 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.





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The Australian Small Business Blog

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Golden Rules of Websites - Rule 6 in a series

By Ron Stark


Picture yourself wanting to enter a supermarket, only to discover there's a guard standing there who won't let you go in unless you are driving a particular make and model of car. In disgust, you go to another shop, only to find that they won't let you in unless you're wearing a particular brand of shoes. The next one you visit insists that you first watch a video that consists of little more than five minutes of their logo in various poses. Would you upgrade your car, change your wardrobe, or find a shop that will accept your business regardless?

Why is it then that so many businesses make it difficult to visit their website for the most important thing you're likely to want - to get information?

We've all experienced it, of course. Those sites that insist that you go no further unless you upgrade to the latest version of Flash. Those sites that inexplicably appear to hang your computer. Those pages that take an eternity to download because some massive image or movie. Those menu buttons that take two or three clicks before they respond.

If you're like me (and many others), you are more likely to simply abandon the site in question and go to one that has no impediment to you doing business with them.

To put the question of technology into perspective, over the last four weeks visitors to just one of my websites were using 16 different versions of Flash, 19 different screen resolutions, 8 different operating systems, 21 different browsers and browser versions.

Those statistics alone guarantee that were I to build a website using just the latest technology, a significant proportion of my visitors would be unable to view it the way I intended; many would be unable to see it at all, or would be so irritated that they'd go to my competitors instead.

Only web developers and programmers get excited by "the latest technology" for websites. Nobody else cares, least of all your customers.

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The Australian Small Business Blog

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Where to Start?









When looking at your business, is it like looking at one of those houses that real estate agents love to call: “a renovator’s delight”? You know, it is basically sound structurally, but the paint is peeling, cracks are showing and the garden is a mess. It does not need a huge amount of effort, just a bit of love and attention, some elbow grease and a bit of know-how. Or is it like a sapling with shoots growing everywhere but with no clear growth direction and shallow roots?

Whatever your business looks like, when seeking to renovate or prune it into shape, the question is where to start? Should it be on your marketing or your systems, or perhaps your website or sales? The correct answer is to re-look at your goals so that every effort you make is taking your business in the direction you want it to go. Otherwise you will waste considerable time and money with unfocused strategies- scarce resources in small business. This is the difference between a light bulb and a laser beam which can cut through steel.

A systematic approach to renovating or pruning your business into shape is provided in the NEW book:

This book, which has a forward from Tony Steven, the CEO of COSBOA, the peak small business organisation in Australia, comes with a $100 of business tools, and provides an easy to understand, step-by-step approach on how to improve your business, starting with your goals, right through to systems and sales.

When you truly understand where your business is going, the job of defining a marketing strategy and putting in place systems becomes much simpler. Without this understanding, every day is a battle for survival, a hand to mouth existence. With it, every strategy you implement is about creating an unassailable position for your business in the marketplace.

Please visit Five Pillars for more information on “The Five Pillars of Guaranteed Business Success”

May Your Business be as You Plan It!

Dr Greg Chapman

Over to You. What do You Think? Post Your Comments Below.

Dr Greg Chapman is the Director of Empower Business Solutions and The Australian Business Coaching Club 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.




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The Australian Small Business Blog

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Why Most Businesses will Stay Small










This is the Preface from “The Five Pillars of Guaranteed Business Success” by Dr Greg Chapman, to be released shortly.

While many business advisers seem to preach doom and gloom for small business survival, based on my research they do not have to be so pessimistic. While there is a high attrition rate in the first few years of a business’ life, most do survive this period. A far bigger issue for most small business is not that they fail, but that they stay small. They stay micro-businesses, or Micro-Stayers.

Being a Micro-Stayer leads to its own problems. Disenchantment, and frustration are just the start, but there is another course. There is a small group of businesses that are emerging from the Micro-Stayer cave. This book is about what these Emerging Businesses have discovered, and the steps that any Micro-Stayer can take to join them.

In the Five Pillars of Guaranteed Business Success, you will learn why most businesses stay small, and the steps you must take to avoid the Micro-Stayer fate. You will learn how to utilise each of the Five Pillars in your business to enable you to increase your profits, to make it run without you, and to turn it into a saleable asset.

There is, however, one step between the business know-how contained within this book, and success. So The Five Pillars of Guaranteed Business Success also reveals what stops most business owners applying this knowledge, and how you can overcome this major obstacle.

The steps contained within this book have already been successfully applied by many small business owners, and I would love to hear how this book has helped you.

May Your Business be as You Planned It

Building a successful business is more complex than ever in the 21st century, the five pillars: planning, marketing, systems, motivation and discipline are built on the foundation stones outlined in this book.

Greg Chapman gives you the business owner a real insight into each of these areas and begins the realisation that you should not be your business, but rather you should let go and enable your business to grow without you.

Leadership is more than management and using his advice your business can serve you, assist you to live a better and less stressful lifestyle, after all you are the one who has taken the risks, put in the hard work and created your dream, you deserve it.

TONY STEVEN- CEO Council of Small Business of Australia

Please visit Five Pillars for more information on “The Five Pillars of Guaranteed Business Success”

May Your Business be as You Plan It!



Dr Greg Chapman

Over to You. What do You Think? Post Your Comments Below.

Dr Greg Chapman is the Director of Empower Business Solutions and The Australian Business Coaching Club 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.



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The Australian Small Business Blog

Sunday, September 09, 2007

What it Takes To Succeed in Business









This is an edited extract from “The Five Pillars of Guaranteed Business Success” by Dr Greg Chapman, to be released shortly.


Before we look at the Five Pillars of Business Success, we will take a look at what causes business failure. And it is always one or more of the following:

· No clear business objectives established
· An unachievable or inadequate profit objective
· No sales and marketing systems
· The business is run tactically (that is day-to-day)
· No staff training programs

But by implementing the Four Pillars of Business Know-How, these five reasons for failure can be eliminated. Does that guarantee success? If you implement these Four Pillars, and you are absolutely determined to succeed- the Fifth Pillar, I can guarantee you will! To succeed, you need a certain amount of knowledge, but you don’t have to be a genius. You can hire them. In fact, they are not that expensive. You also need total commitment to your vision. When the two are put together, you will be unstoppable.

In order to succeed in business, you must first understand what makes successful businesses work. Successful businesses don’t just happen by accident. It is all very deliberate. And they all share these features:

· They have a laser-like sales and profit focus
· They use systems throughout their business
· They sell products and services that people actually want

While this sounds quite soulless, ask yourself:

Why am I in business?

Whether you are a baker, builder or broker, if the answer is not:

“To make a profit”

what you own is not a business, it is a charity.

Now there is absolutely nothing at all wrong with charities, but they have different objectives to businesses. You may also strongly feel that you are in business for some higher moral purpose- to raise funds for a charity, for example. But unless your business makes a profit, you are reducing your ability to contribute to that cause while you are trying to keep your business afloat.

The next question to ask yourself is:

What Business am I in?

Your answer should be:

“The Selling Business”

Nothing happens in business until a sale is made.

Your profit will depend on four things:

· Your available market (potential customers)
· Your ability to create selling opportunities from that market
· Your marketing & sales skills
· Your ability to make profitable sales

For most businesses, there is no lack of market opportunity, but there is a lack of strategy, plan and systems.

The old saying:

Work Smarter, Not Harder

means developing skills in each of these areas which will ultimately enable you to achieve more with less effort. Like the difference between a learner swimmer thrashing around in the water, and the Olympic swimmer who seems to glide effortlessly to the finishing line leaving barely a ripple in the water. The beginner wastes all his energy in making waves. The Olympic swimmer puts all her energy into moving forward.

In an ideal world you would attack all Five Pillars together, but owners usually don’t have the time (or patience) to do that. So if you can only do one at a time, understanding which area you should tackle first is essential.


Please Contact Dr Greg Chapman at www.GregChapman.biz for more information on “The Five Pillars of Guaranteed Business Success”

May Your Business be as You Plan It!


Dr Greg Chapman

Over to You. What do You Think? Post Your Comments Below.

Dr Greg Chapman is the Director of Empower Business Solutions and The Australian Business Coaching Club 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.


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The Australian Small Business Blog

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Five Reasons Businesses Stay Small







This is an edited extract from “The Five Pillars of Guaranteed Business Success” by Dr Greg Chapman, to be released shortly.

The biggest risk for most businesses, if they survive the first year, is not whether they will fail. Most won’t. The biggest risk is that they will stay small. Whether by design or not. Recent ABS data show that 98% of micro-businesses stay that way. That is, they are Micro-Stayers.

There are a number of reasons that businesses may stay in the Micro-Stayer group. It could be a lifestyle choice. Work-Life balance is becoming more and more important to many people. It may be because they don’t have the knowledge to take their business to the next level, and become frustrated Micro-Stayers. Or they may have progressed from frustrated to resigned Micro-Stayers and have adjusted lifestyle and ambition in recognition of this.

Businesses that involuntarily stay small, the Micro-Stayers, do so for five key reasons.

1. No Vision for their business. Without a vision, it is not possible to create a plan. The business becomes directionless. Without a vision it is impossible to work out which opportunities to say yes to, and just as importantly, which ones to avoid. Owners without a vision find decision making difficult. They are fashion followers. They expend a lot of time and money trying different things then dropping them when they don’t get immediate results.

Without a vision, you cannot have a strategy. Strategy is the lever that lifts you to the next level. A strategy focuses your efforts and resources to where you will get maximum value. A Laser Beam rather than a Light Bulb. Strategy gives you the biggest Bang for your Buck. This is particularly important when you don’t have too many bucks.

2. No Passion or Commitment. Passion comes from the right vision, and creates the Commitment that will drive you to achieving your goals. If you are passionate about your business, you will be prepared to make the sacrifices in time, money and effort to achieve your goals.

Passion infects others. Your staff, your suppliers, your customers. If you have no passion for your business, why would anyone else around you? And when others believe as you do, you can turn mountains into molehills.

Commitment will drive you to persevere. Any plan will have flaws. But without commitment, you can be diverted by even the smallest obstacles to achieving your goals.

3. No Goals or Plan. On its own, vision is not enough. Your vision may be that you will be best in town, and to be the dominant player, but if you don’t set goals and plan, your vision will remain a dream, and we all know how often they come true! As you create your goals and plan, you will start identifying opportunities. Many people believe that they don’t get the opportunity, but if you don’t know what an opportunity looks like, it will pass you by.

If you continue to miss opportunities as they are presented, the chances are that your business will not grow.

Plans also create a belief in your success. If you have no plan, how can you realistically believe you can be a success? What creates belief is a great plan backed up by knowledge. If you have both of these, why wouldn’t you have the confidence that you would be successful?

4. Owners not Valuing their Time. You only have 24 hours in the day, and how you spend those hours will dictate whether you will be able to achieve your goals. It is not possible to work on your business when you are spending all your time working in it. If you are spending a lot of time doing tasks that you could pay others to do, you will never be able to grow.

But owners don’t pay others to do work because they don’t have the vision of how their business will be and the belief that their business will be a success. If you know your business will be successful, employing others to undertake work for you is just part of your plan.

5. Lack of Business Knowledge. This may be obvious, but it does not mean you have to be an expert at everything. But the fundamental business knowledge such as the concepts in this book, will enable you to seek out advice and support in those areas in which you are not expert.
When you value your time, you will also understand the value of knowledge. After all, the right kind of knowledge can greatly increase the speed at which you reach your goals. If you achieved your 2 year goals in one year, how much would that be worth to you? How much would you be prepared to invest to attain such knowledge?

Even so, people are concerned about the price of knowledge. But you can get knowledge in many ways. From buying a book. Can’t afford a book? Go to the library! Courses are fairly low cost. Individual advice is, of course, more expensive, but it is much more specific to your business and is likely to produce faster results.

If an owner is not willing to invest in their own education, and sees that as a cost instead, they have just resigned themselves to the school of hard knocks which usually extracts a far higher cost than any of the previously mentioned ways of gaining knowledge. Lack of knowledge creates a ceiling for your business.

If business owners don’t address ALL of these key factors, they are unable to grow beyond a certain level, and the owner becomes frustrated, and ultimately resigned to being a Micro-Stayer. Successfully implementing the Five Pillars will ensure that you will address all of these reasons businesses stay small.

Please Contact Dr Greg Chapman at www.GregChapman.biz for more information on “The Five Pillars of Guaranteed Business Success”

May Your Business be as You Plan It!

Dr Greg Chapman

Over to You. What do You Think? Post Your Comments Below.

Dr Greg Chapman is the Director of Empower Business Solutions and The Australian Business Coaching Club 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.

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Sunday, August 12, 2007

The Fifth Pillar








Most readers of this blog will already be aware of the

Four Pillars of Guaranteed Business Success

The first version of this, as my longest and most loyal subscribers know, was only 10 pages. It was, to be honest, a piece of marketing hype. Then I created a new version of this book which was a 10,000 word marketing brochure, although it contained some real content, unlike the first version. Many subscribers have complimented me on the quality of the information of this eBook, which if you have not received your own copy, can be downloaded FREE from the link above.

Some have told me they have taken the eBook as a blueprint for their business. Maybe I provided too much information to these successful people, as they never actually engaged me as their coach, relying only on the information in the eBook. However, I am always very happy to share what I know. My philosophy has always been the more you give, the more your receive.

While the feedback from this eBook has been extremely positive, I have been dissatisfied to the extent, that while the information was very highly valued, it did not result in action by owners to improve their businesses as often as I would have liked. So this year, I decided to move from the virtual world with a physical book that describes in some detail, the action Business Owners need to take. This book is called:

The Five Pillars of Guaranteed Business Success.

One extra Pillar! The Fifth Pillar is the missing piece in the puzzle. The piece that makes the difference between thinking about success, and being successful. The book is several times the length of the original and provides a step-by-step plan for Business Success. It is due to be published in September.

To find out more about the book, you can either watch out for further information on this blog or contact me directly.

May Your Business be as You Plan It!

Dr Greg Chapman

Over to You. What do You Think? Post Your Comments Below.

Dr Greg Chapman is the Director of Empower Business Solutions and The Australian Business Coaching Club 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.

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The Australian Small Business Blog

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Take Your brand and Network It



A brand is not a logo, but it shows the way.

Is not a product, but it addresses a customer need.

Is not an identity, but it contributes credibility and a sense of quality.

OK, What is a brand? It's the way it makes the customer feel. It's the gut feeling, the emotion created, the buzz you have when you own the feeling, all created by the product, service or organization.

Consider in your own life what gives you this feeling and can you create a way to have others feel the same way. When you achieve this people say you have a personal presence and charisma.

So in your business and business life what will allow you to develop a presence and charisma, can you create an emotion that people feel when they do business with you. When you achieve this you have a brand or you are the brand.

We have understood this from the beginning and has joined a multitude of networking organisations and attended other like-events to create The Banner Lady brand. We recommend the following Organisations where you can learn and practice the skills of creating and developing a brand.

Business Network International (BNI)
FBI Institute
Networx
Network Central
Wealthnet Entrepreneurs Program
Business Mums
Nationwide Networking
Australian Business Women's Network
Club 3004
International Women's Federation of Commence and Industry
Speed Networking
Paragon Club
n-Liven
Family Business Australia
BarterCard
Westend Business Association

You can use these types of events to drive the brand in the direction which is most beneficial to the business, taking your brand to a new level of awareness and using your brand to its advantage. The brand is not what you say it is, but what the customer says it is!

More Reading: The Brand Gap by Marty Neumeier is an exceptional book on branding.

Over to You. What do You Think? Post Your Comments Below.

Richard Gill is the director of The Banner Lady.

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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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