The Australian Small Business Blog

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

2016 Small Business Articles of the Year


by Dr Greg Chapman


With over 70 posts this year on the Australian Small Business Blog, it is now time to identify the top post as ranked by Google for page views.

3. Does Your business suffer from Growing Pains? 2. How to Increase your Sales to Existing Customers but the number one business article, rated by views, is:

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Ad of the Year – 2016


by Dr Greg Chapman


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

3. Showing Off 2. Proving Your Point but the number one advertising article, rated by views, and my personal favourite is:

Thursday, December 08, 2016

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.



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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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Friday, November 25, 2016

The Purpose of Your Business

by Dr Greg Chapman


I often ask this question at my live events; “What is the purpose of your business?” and get a variety of interesting answers. Varying from helping my customers solve their problems with my ‘superior’ service, making the world a better place to the ubiquitous, make money.

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.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Fundamentals of Debt Recovery in Small Business

by Wayne Davis


If you are not being paid for your work and the debt collectors are not having any luck collecting this debt, you may need to commence proceedings in Court to recover bad debts from a non-paying client.

This article explains the procedures and hits you with the realities of legal debt recovery.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Trust – The Small Business Secret Weapon?

by Dr Greg Chapman


One of the most potent weapons of big businesses is their ability to build a brand. A brand creates Top of Mind awareness that remains until you are ready to buy, building familiarity until it naturally becomes a safe choice. Which do would you trust more- a brand you have heard of, or one you have never heard of?

So how do you increase your prices?

Friday, November 11, 2016

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.

Tuesday, November 08, 2016

The Fifth Profit Driver – Increasing the Gross Profit per Sale


by Dr Greg Chapman


In an earlier article I described marketing system.The fifth of the Five Profit Drivers is Increasing the Gross Profit per Sale.

The easiest way to increase your Gross Profit per Sale is just to increase your prices. The beauty about this strategy is that the increase in price goes straight to the bottom line. A mere 10% increase in prices will double the net profit of most businesses.

Of course the reason most businesses don’t increase their prices is because they are concerned about losing sales, and if you just increase your prices without any other marketing, you will.

So how do you increase your prices?

Monday, November 07, 2016

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.

Friday, November 04, 2016

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.

Tuesday, November 01, 2016

Ad of the Month – US Election Bonus


by Dr Greg Chapman


No doubt you have seen many negative ads from the US election campaigns. Mostly negative, because fear works in politics. Not so much in business. Slagging off your competition is viewed poorly in business, for two reasons. You mention your competition, and secondly, you miss an opportunity to say something positive about yourself, which make people ask the question, ok the competition is bad, but are you any better?
Here is an election ad that is not negative, and will even make you smile.

Friday, October 28, 2016

Marketing Moments - Making a Buying Decision on Price


by Dr Greg Chapman


Recently there was a test with top concert violinists comparing Stradivarius violins with the best modern ones. The violinists were required to wear welder’s goggles, so it was literally a blind test. They were to decide on the basis of sound and playability, and ultimately, which violin they would prefer to take on a tour.

Surprisingly the cheap modern violins won out. (OK, not that cheap, at $30,000, but about 100 times cheaper than the average Stradivarius.) Do you think that this news will cause a crash in the price of the Stradivarius?

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Ad of the Month – Refresh


by Dr Greg Chapman


If a business has a campaign that has been running a long time, there is a temptation to replace it even if it has been successful. There are many examples where businesses have thrown the baby out with the bathwater because they, rather than their audience, think it’s showing its age, and feel it’s becoming stale, and regretted the change. (New Coke anyone?)

Friday, October 21, 2016

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?

Monday, October 17, 2016

How 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!



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, October 14, 2016

Big Enough to Trust

Dr Greg Chapman



When selecting a new supplier for a product or service, particularly for a more complex sale, there is always a risk that you might not get what you want. So you look for clues to give you confidence.

Who recommends them? Do they have a guarantee? What sort of after sales support will they provide? Are there independent reviews? Who else has bought from them? What is the quality, or does the low price indicate it won’t last? On the other hand, when you micromanage, you demotivate your staff, they won’t take any initiative, and you become the bottleneck. So what’s the answer?

Monday, October 10, 2016

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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Friday, October 07, 2016

Trust but Verify


by Dr Greg Chapman


There’s always a tension between empowering your staff and overpowering them with micromanagement. When you leave staff to their own devices, there is always a risk that they will make decisions you don’t agree with, or carry out tasks incorrectly.
On the other hand, when you micromanage, you demotivate your staff, they won’t take any initiative, and you become the bottleneck. So what’s the answer?
There are two essential steps that must be taken to get the balance right.




Tuesday, October 04, 2016

Getting the most from your people


by Dr Greg Chapman


One of the biggest impediments to growth in most small businesses is lack of people systems. When there is poor alignment between your staff’s and your business’ objectives, this becomes a major obstacle to your success.

In this Small Business Success Club podcast learn how to obtain peak performance from the most important assets in your business with good people management systems.

Friday, September 30, 2016

Does Your business suffer from Growing Pains?


by Dr Greg Chapman


Busier than a one armed wallpaper hanger? Don’t have time to scratch yourself? Have a waiting list for new clients? Has previous exponential growth rate has slowed to a crawl? If so, then it’s likely your business is experiencing growing pains.

Chances are you are working longer hours than any of your staff, and are the last to get paid. Your business is a victim of its own success.

If you do take any time off, when your return, you wish you had never left. It’s as if nothing happened at all when you were absent. Sure, work was done, but nothing progressed, and your inbox is full of unanswered enquiries. Your business has become its own version of groundhog’s day. While it feels like a trap, it’s also an opportunity.



Wednesday, September 28, 2016

The Fourth Profit Driver – Increasing the Number of Times a Customer Buys


by Dr Greg Chapman


In an earlier article I described marketing system. The fourth of the Five Profit Drivers is Increasingthe Number of Times.a Customer Buys from You.

It is six times easier to sell to an existing customer than to sell to a new one, yet businesses spend more time finding new customers than going back to their exiting ones to see if there was something else with which they can help them. The best place to find gold is in a gold mine!

One business owner told me how a client they hadn’t heard from in 3 years had called him. The owner thanked them for contacting them again after all this time, but the enquirer had not realised they had used him before. It was just luck that this customer had called him again, but how many others had forgotten him and gone somewhere else?

Friday, September 23, 2016

Getting a referral from a Psychic


by Dr Greg Chapman


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?”

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Ad of the Month - Keeping Your Attention


by Dr Greg Chapman


In this fact paced, instant everything world, attention spans are measured in nanoseconds. Keeping an audience’s attention long enough to demonstrate your product is becoming an ever greater challenge. So if your product is bigger, lighter or faster, you have to think of innovative ways to demonstrate this in 30 seconds or less.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Laser Marketing - Butcher, Baker or Candlestick Maker


by Dr Greg Chapman


So you have designed a widget for red headed, left handed Candlestick Makers with size 7 shoes. You know they will love it, but how will you find them without spending large sums of money, most of which misses the target.

You could put an ad in the Candlestick Makers Monthly, or exhibit at their annual trade show, but since most Candlestick makers aren’t left handed redheads who wear size 7 shoes, you are paying for the privilege to market to the 99% of candlestick makers who aren’t your customers just to find the 1% who are.

But that’s the old way of doing things.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Are all Your eggs in one basket?


by Dr Greg Chapman

Where are all your enquiries coming from? If it’s just from one or even just two sources, this may become a majorissue for your business. One colleague I know was getting 90% of his business from a single department of a telco, then they got a new CEO who sacked the whole department. This person didn’t really have a business, he had a job with overheads and wasn’t in control of his destiny.




Supermarkets often source their home brands from small business for whom the supermarket provides most theirbusiness and to whom they are hostages. Other businesses I know depend on one or two referral sources. What happens if a competitor comes and forms a better relationship with the referrer?


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 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, September 09, 2016

Forget the 80/20 rule...


by Dr Greg Chapman


The 80/20 principle, also known as the Pareto principle, has been an extremely useful means of focusing on what matters. General examples of this principle are:

“80% of wealth is owned by 20% of people”
“80% of traffic is on 20% of our roads in our city”
In business, this principle is also useful:

“80% of your profit comes from 20% of your sales”
“80% of your complaints come from 20% of your customers”
“80% of sales come from 20% of your clients”

No doubt you are nodding your head with these examples, and could come up with many more besides.

Now there is another principle: 120/20 principle which implies 20% of your effort produces 120% of your results. The other 80% is actually a loss to you. In other words, the 20% subsidises the remaining 80%.

Tuesday, September 06, 2016

Family Business - How to Make Them Work


by Dr Greg Chapman


Around 70% of businesses in Australia are family businesses, from the humble cafe or B&B to some of the biggest businesses in the country. While it sounds great to work with your family members, only 17% of family businesses make it past the third generation with over 79,000 ceasing trading in every year destabilising Australia’s social and economic fabric. Management/strategy, succession and conflict management are just a few of the issues that face every family business.

In this expert interview, learn about best practice in managing the issues that arise in family businesses.

Friday, September 02, 2016

The Five Pillars of Business Success


by Dr Greg Chapman


This is an interview by Business Victoria with 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.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

To Outsource or Not Outsource, that is the question


by Dr Greg Chapman

As a business grows, so does the need for additional support. The question businesses then ask is how to source that support. There is a natural temptation to jump to the obvious solution of hiring another employee, but other options should also be considered, depending on the circumstances and the role.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

The Third Profit Driver - Increasing Average Value Per Sale


by Dr Greg Chapman


In earlier articles I described The Five Profit Drivers marketing system as well as the first two Profit Divers.The third of the Five Profit Drivers is Increasing the Average Value per Sale.

When they ask: “Do you want fries with that?” McDonalds knows that about a third of their customers say yes. The marginal cost of the fries is small. Their overhead costs, which are quite considerable, the restaurant, staff and equipment have not changed because of this additional sale. The cost of the fries, the potatoes and packaging, is a small fraction of the selling price of the fries, so almost the whole price of the fries goes straight to the bottom line, all achieved by asking a simple question at the time they were making a sale.

Friday, August 26, 2016

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.


Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Ad of the Month- Made You Look


by Dr Greg Chapman


In the modern media world, advertising is usually sold by “Impressions”. That’s not the number of people who have read your ad, or even seen your ad, just the number of people who had the opportunity to see your ad.

I think we have all evolved the ability to narrow our focus to the content we want so we can ignore the ads in the side panels. Even most direct mail ends up in the bin unopened, so getting people not only to see your ad, but also read it is becoming an ever greater challenge.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Buying an existing small business : smart or not?


by Dr Greg Chapman

You have just decided that you don’t want to work for someone else anymore and build their dream, you want to build your own. You know the kind of business you want and are not afraid of the hard work it’s going to take. The question you are now asking is whether to buy an existing business to avoid early growing pains. Here are threekey issues to consider before you buy.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

The wrong time to Increase Sales


by Dr Greg Chapman

Whenever you read an article about business growth, it almost always comes down to a push to increase sales, but there are times when this may have totally the opposite effect that was intended.



The big mistake businesses make is using Sales as a proxy for growth. When economists speak about growth, they look at profit, which is not the same Sales. In certain circumstances, increases in Sales can reduce profitability, but people continue to use Sales as an indicator of growth because it’s easy to measure.


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 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, August 12, 2016

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.



Thursday, August 04, 2016

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?

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