The Australian Small Business Blog

Friday, December 18, 2015

Ad of the Year 2015


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 google views, here are the top three ads of 2015. 3. Try doing this on your website 2. Getting your attention but the number one advertising article, rated by views, is:

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Google’s New Strategy: All our advertisers must be mediocre

by Dr. Greg Chapman

Have you produced great results for your customers? Perhaps you have saved them lots of money. Don’t tell Google. Perhaps you have made them lots of money. Don’t tell Google. Perhaps you solved a problem that no one else could. Don’t tell Google.

If you have produced extraordinary results for your clients, Google doesn’t want you to tell anyone about them. Google only wants to advertise mediocre businesses.

Thursday, December 03, 2015

Business Plans - Essential or Useless?

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.

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.”

Wednesday, December 02, 2015

Get Your Free copy of the Small Business Best Seller

by Dr Greg Chapman, MBA

As the year draws to a close, I want to thank all readers of the Australian Small BusinessBlog, and by way of thanks, I am going to do something I have never done before. I want to offer you a free copy of my award winning, best selling small business book: “The Five Pillars of Guaranteed Business Success”. All I ask is that you cover the postage. You can request your own free copy at

www.FivePillarsBusinessSuccess.com/special-offer


This book has helped thousands of business owners, and I’m sure you will find it valuable too. (Note this is not the preview digital version, this is the complete hardcopy book, as you may have seen in bookstores, but only available until December 18th.

May Your 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, 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.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Managing Your time requires Small Business Brain Surgery

by Dr. Greg Chapman

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

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

How is this possible?

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

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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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.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Do You Own a Marketing Machine?


by Dr Greg Chapman


At some time in the future, you may want to sell your business. What would a buyer value? Even if you don’t want to sell it, and want them to carry you out of your office in a pine box, you might still like to know where the value truly lies for yourself, if not for anyone else.

A buyer will be brutally objective in looking at your assets. How do you think they will value your equipment which is starting to show the signs of wear, and certainly is not the latest model? How will they value your great location with a lease expiry in 2 years, and a potential big rent rise for a new lease? Will they value your staff who may leave when you do?

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

What is the oldest profession?

by Dr. Greg Chapman


The answer to the question of what is the oldest profession may not be what you think. One way of discovering the answer to this question is to and the name of the first person mentioned in recorded history. This person would have had some standing in their community and the record must have handsome value for it to have been written down in the first place and to have been preserved for thousands of years.


Thursday, November 12, 2015

Ad of the Month – Because the Internet is made of Cats


by Dr Greg Chapman


Christmas seems to come earlier every year, and when you are competing for everyone’s attention at a time when everyone is bombarded with ads, you need to have one for your product that stands out and will be shared by others. And it has to have cats, which is quite easy for this advertiser.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Circle of Price

by Dr. Greg Chapman


The Circle of Price:

1. The more you charge, the more you are respected

2. The more you are respected, the more your clients comply with your recommendations

3. The more they comply, the better the results they get

4. The more results they get, the more clients you get

5. The more clients you get, the more you charge


Thursday, November 05, 2015

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, November 02, 2015

Leveraged Marketing – How much are you missing?

by Dr. Greg Chapman

Do you have several marketing campaigns running simultaneously? Perhaps you run an Adwords campaign, have a joint venture with another business and an ad in the local paper. All quite independent campaigns you might think, that bring in a regular supply of enquiries.

Adwords sends leads to your website- possibly your most important piece of marketing collateral. Your JV partner emails you whenever they want to refer you to someone, and you then give them a call. Your ad in the paper encourages readers to call you.

If you were to link these campaigns, this this would enable you to leverage your marketing investment by connecting all your marketing collateral, resulting in both increased enquiries and sales. How might that look?

More…



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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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Thursday, October 29, 2015

Couples in Business - 5 Golden Rules

by Dr. Greg Chapman

When a business is run by a couple in a personal relationship, there is a very different dynamic compared with other business ownership arrangements. It can be wonderful, or not so much. One business owner said to me "It helps if you are only 4 ft tall, so it all goes over your head!"

There are Five Golden Rules for Couples in Business Together.


Friday, October 23, 2015

What kind of tie to wear in the Sahara?

by Dr. Greg Chapman

A man lost in the desert was wandering aimlessly becoming more and more dehydrated. After crossing endless empty dunes, he sees a dark shape moving in the distance. He started shouting and running toward the speck in the distance. After a few minutes, the speck seemed to have changed its course and started moving towards him. As it came closer, he could see that it was a man in traditional Arab attire apart, from a very colourful tie, on a camel. Within a few minutes, he was standing at the camel’s feet begging the Arab seated above for water.


Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Ad of the Month – Beguiling Them to Promote You


by Dr Greg Chapman


The best ads not only cause you to remember them, but are those that encourage you to tell lots, and I mean lots of others about them. This is a very clever strategy that encourages you to do just that.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Your High Performance Brain

by DR.JENNY BROCKIS

In our crazy busy lives where we hurtle through our days at breakneck speed, it’s easy to be lured into thinking that the best way to keep mentally sharp is by eating the latest touted super food, buying some expensive supplements or playing some brain games.

While these may have some moderate merit, the one thing that makes the biggest positive difference to how well our brain works, as shown by the research, is also the one thing that many of us choose to avoid, ignore or put off because we are too busy, tired or unaware of what we are missing out on.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

You just made a Sale

by Dr Greg Chapman, MBA
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The 5 most beautiful words in the English language for a business owner are probably “You just made a Sale”. It almost certainly puts a smile on your face whenever you get an email from your website, a call from your sales staff, or even hear it from a customer that you just made a sale. But do you hear those words as often as you would like? The road between an enquiry and a sale can often look more like a dirt track, rather than a 6 lane highway.

More…



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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 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.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Friday, October 09, 2015

Increasing Prices in a Difficult Market

by Dr.Greg Chapman



It seems there is never a good time to increase your prices, even if your costs have gone up. So it is interesting to see how it is done in one of the most competitive industries around- restaurants.

Tuesday, October 06, 2015

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.

Thursday, October 01, 2015

Sales Technique: Incisive questions at decision time to help you get the sale

by Jim Prigg

You have reached decision time in the sales process. What could go wrong? What have you done right? Is there anything else you need to do or need to know before you go in to that critically important meeting to confirm the positive outcome of the sale?

Ask yourself these questions to ascertain if there are any weaknesses or missing components that can deny you success.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Are You Using Your Points of Difference to Increase Your Prices?


by Dr Greg Chapman


When promoting their offers, organizations struggle with a strategy to set their prices. Too high, and nobody will purchase, too low, everybody will purchase, yet they won’t survive. So what is the right way to establish your pricing strategy?

Economic theory tells us that you ought to set your prices as high as your market permits. Yet, what does that mean?

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

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.)

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

The Best Marketing Advice You can get may be Free


by Dr Greg Chapman


For most businesses there is are 2-3 big players in their industry. These business are well known to people outside your sector. They have well defined niches which they dominate. They don't even know you exist, but you and your customers certainly know they do.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Ad of the Month – Making a Silk Purse out of a Sow’s Ear


by Dr Greg Chapman


From time to time, even the best products and services get lukewarm, or even bad reviews, but there is one industry that has become infamous for its twisting of such reviews. In fact they are often shameless. Even so, every once in a while you have to admire their creativity.

Wednesday, September 02, 2015

How much are Your Customers Costing You?

by Dr Greg Chapman, MBA
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Jenny runs an architecture practice. She does some advertising, and always asks how enquirers found her, so she has a good idea how well her advertising is working, and has a good estimate of the cost per lead. She also knows how many of these turn into clients, and has come up with a cost per sale, but is this the reality?

More.....



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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 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.

Monday, August 24, 2015

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.


Monday, August 17, 2015

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Ad of the Month – Try doing this on your website


by Dr Greg Chapman


With the focus on digital marketing, print is often regarded as so last century, but there are still some things you can do in print that you can’t do online, particularly if you have a physical product.

If your product is tangible, people are more likely to buy it if they can touch it, or better yet, see how it works themselves. Even better if you can make it a natural part of the print medium your potential buyers are consuming.

Tuesday, August 04, 2015

Getting a referral from a Psychic

by Dr Greg Chapman, MBA
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Have you ever received a referral from a psychic? I have. How did you manage that you might ask?

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


She then laughed, and blurted out, “From a psychic!”

More.....



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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 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.

Friday, July 31, 2015

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.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

The Snowball Effect


by Angie 'Speedy' Spiteri


What’s our number 1 front end PROACTIVE activity, that if you took on a consistent basis, would enable you to SMASH your monthly, quarterly and annual income goals?

You’ve got one… but do you do it on a regular consistent basis?… you know you should… but something always seems more important because the activity you need to take is NOT URGENT but it is IMPORTANT… and usually, it can be such a small action like a phone call, that when examined on it’s on it can seem insignificant… But it’s usually an action that you do in quantity like 5 a day, not 1 a day, and if done regularly, like every day, the accumulative effect can snowball into something that needs more than 1 person to manage.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

2015 National Small Business Summit – Part 2


by Dr Greg Chapman


The annual National Small Business Summit was held in Sydney last week. It was attended by peak body and regulator representatives as well as organisations that support small business. As always, the politicians were also there. Here is my summary of what I heard and my impressions from the second day.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

2015 National Small Business Summit - Part 1


by Dr Greg Chapman


The annual National Small Business Summit was held in Sydney last week. It was attended by peak body and regulator representatives as well as organisations that support small business. As always, the politicians were also there. Here is my summary of what I heard and my impressions.

Thursday, July 09, 2015

Ad of the Month – Getting Your ATTENTION



by Dr Greg Chapman


Ad of the Month – Getting Your ATTENTION

In a world of ever shorter attention spans, where novels are condensed into 140 characters or less (eg War and Peace: A man tries to kill Napoleon, but doesn’t), how does the poor marketing professional capture your attention for just 30 seconds?

Wednesday, July 08, 2015

What is Your Brand for?

by Dr Greg Chapman, MBA
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There’s a lot written about brands by branding experts which often descends into mumbo jumbo pseudo science designed to allow branding experts to charge 50-100 times what graphic designers charge. (I’m sorry if that sounds a bit cynical.) But here is a different, and easier to understand way of looking at your brand.

Consider what would happen if your market was so disrupted that your business was about to fail because the marketplace had changed so much. All that would be left is the essence of your business, what your old customers remember even when receiving the service in another way.


We don’t have to imagine, we can see real life examples.

More.....



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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 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.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Removing the Biggest Bottleneck in Your Business


by Dr Greg Chapman


A bottleneck is where a logjam occurs, allowing only a trickle to pass through the neck to the other side. Bottlenecks result in missed opportunities and impose costs due to underutilised capacity. While this is well known, little is done about the biggest bottleneck of them all.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Ad of the Month - Your Own Epic Ad



by Dr Greg Chapman


Ad of the Month – Your Own Epic Ad

In this era where we are bombarded by over 3000 advertising messages a day, you need to stand out. Dramatic images are a great way of catching people’s attention. Perhaps, shot’s from space, or epic environmental events. Here is an example of this genre, for a local renovator business.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Monetise Your Buyer Leakage

by Dr Greg Chapman, MBA
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You have done all the hard work. Someone has just found your website. Well done. Then some of them contact and buy from you. Even better, but what happens next to all those, usually many times more, that didn’t?

They may not have bought for a whole range of reasons. They only just discovered you. They are checking out your competition. They are researching. They just weren’t ready buy.
These buyers are leaking from your website. What are you doing to re-engage these people?

More.....


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, June 03, 2015

Why we should slash our company taxes


by Dr Greg Chapman


At the moment Australia’s company tax rate 28.5-30% is high compared with most of our competitors. Yes, dividend imputation complicates the comparison, but it also offers the government a unique opportunity to slash our rates.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Steve Job’s Top 10 Tips for Business


by Dr Greg Chapman


At a recent Australian conference, an associate of Steve Job’s, Guy Kawasaki, gave Job’s top 10 tips for running a business. I particularly like no. 3.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

5 Ways how to get rid of the client from hell

by Jim Prigg




Every small business has them. The client from hell. You know them.

The "look at moi" egotist.
• The late respondent to requests.
• The "can I add just one more item for the same price" schemer.
• The Pickypicky family.
• The drama detail king/queen.
• The late payer.


Friday, May 22, 2015

5 Step Formula Guaranteed to Double Your Profits and Put Your Marketing on Autopilot

by Dr Greg Chapman, MBA


The ideal for any business owner is to turn their business into a Profit Machine that can run without them. However, in order to achieve this, a critical step is to take control of their marketing.

Discover the 5 Step Formula Guaranteed to Double Your Profits &
Put your Marketing on Autopilot





Discover the simple steps at this free webinar training for small business owners, and get a copy of my Five Profit Drivers Toolkit & Instant Business Plan to put you in control of your marketing, just for attending.

May Your Business Be – As You Plan It!


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.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Ad of the Month - Words and Music



by Dr Greg Chapman


Ad of the Month – Words and Music

Music can be used in an ad to harness emotions and re-inforce a message and make it memorable. This UK political ad may be the most evocative I have seen. The ad is stringing together a series of predictions to create a negative narrative of their opponents. Normally you would expect that people would lose the plot with the joining together so many dots, but the music just carries you on.

Rather than mad slasher music which is what we normally hear when politicians try to scare us about their opponents, they use the marvellous classical piece Danse Macabre (often referred to as the Dance of the Skeletons).

Tuesday, May 05, 2015

Fishing Upstream

by Dr Greg Chapman, MBA
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It’s common in highly competitive markets, that it becomes a feeding frenzy when someone puts up their hand and says I’m ready to buy. Crocodiles are just waiting for the hand to be raised before they bite it off, and if you don’t move quickly enough, you go hungry.


Is that what it’s like in your industry?


More.....


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.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

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, April 07, 2015

Ad of the Month - Misdirection



by Dr Greg Chapman


Ad of the Month – Misdirection

In today’s world where the fast forward button is just a click away, keeping people’s attention through the whole ad is always a challenge. How do you get people to hear about all the features you want to promote without switching off?

Wednesday, April 01, 2015

Defending the Sharks


by Dr Greg Chapman


A recent article in the Small Business Section of The Age was critical the TV program, the Shark Tank. This is where 5 very successful business people receive pitches from small business owners for an investment from them in return for equity in their business. The journalist thought the sharks treated these people with ‘complete distain’ and hence she loathed the program. I don’t think they do, and that she completely missed the point.

The journalist compares the Shark Tank with other reality shows, and says that the sharks treat the pitchers far worse. Seriously, has she seen the talent shows which always have a judge who is paid to be nasty to contestants?

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