The Australian Small Business Blog

Friday, March 30, 2018

Can You create a Perpetual Motion Marketing Machine?


by Dr Greg Chapman

Several centuries ago inventors tried to build perpetual motion machines. The idea being, you just kick started it, and it would go on for ever and could potentially be a never ending source of energy. We now know that such machines are impossible, and they always run down due to the presence of friction. Perpetual motion machines would violate the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics, colloquially described as “Things fall apart”.



It doesn’t matter how clever the design of the machine is, external factors will cause the machine to slow down until it stops. However, once you start the machine, overcoming inertia, only a small amount of energy may keep it running.

The 2nd Law of Thermodynamics also applies to Marketing. You might have a strong flow of customers from referrals, but over time there are external influences such as the changes in the, competition, innovation, customer needs, the economy or other reasons, that create a source of friction that can cause that steady flow to dwindle to a trickle. More...




May You Business Be - As You Plan It!

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Dr Greg Chapman is the Director of Empower Business Solutions and is Australia's Leading Advisor on Emerging Businesses and provides Coaching and Consulting advice to Australian Small Business Owners in Marketing & Business Strategies Planning & Systems. He is also the author of The Five Pillars of Guaranteed Business Success and Price: How You Can Charge More Without Losing Sales.



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Tuesday, March 27, 2018

The Purpose of Your Business


by Dr Greg Chapman


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

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

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

Monday, March 26, 2018

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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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.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

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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Share this article: Good, Better, Best: Which would You choose?



Over to You. What do You Think? Post Your Comments Below. [Note to those seeking a free ride on our google ranking, blog spam will be deleted,but genuine contributions will be happily published.]

Dr Greg Chapman is the Director of Empower Business Solutions and is Australia's Leading Advisor on Emerging Businesses and provides Coaching and Consulting advice to Australian Small Business Owners in Marketing & Business Strategies Planning & Systems. He is also the author of The Five Pillars of Guaranteed Business Success and Price: How You Can Charge More Without Losing Sales.



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Wednesday, March 21, 2018

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.


Tuesday, March 20, 2018

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.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

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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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, March 14, 2018

Daddy, where do jobs come from- Big Business or Small?

by Dr. Greg Chapman

While the media tend to ignore small business, politicians of both major parties will say that small business is the growth engine of the economy, although organising them to support their policies is like trying to herd cats. Even so, with 47% of private sector employees producing 30% of our GDP, together they are a powerful force in our economy.

When a big business such as an auto manufacturer shuts down, it makes big headlines with union bosses, who have been sabotaging the company’s profitability and ability to manage for years, complain how unfair it is and demand government intervention to protect jobs and even bigger handouts. Unfortunately several thousand jobs will go when this happens, and just as importantly small business suppliers are also hit.

While big businesses such as car manufacturers receive billions of dollars, with taxpayer support for each auto job of around $50,000, small business owners have to manage on their own. Suppliers to failing big businesses have to innovate and seek other markets for their skills to survive. They won’t get handouts.

Monday, March 12, 2018

The Difference between Cost and Price

by Dr. Greg Chapman

What is the most critical input to your business, without which, your business would shut down? Consider this for a moment, and think when you next tender for supply of that input, would you go for the lowest cost supplier?

That’s what KFC did in the UK. It changed its distributor for the supply of fresh chickens into its 900 restaurants because they thought they could save a few bucks. What happened next was a total failure of the delivery chain by the new supplier, causing the shut down of most of its restaurants. It turns our that the supply of chickens is critical to the operation of KFC restaurants. Who knew?

Friday, March 09, 2018

Business Owners – It’s Always Your Fault

by Dr. Greg Chapman

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

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

Thursday, March 08, 2018

Making Your Business Run Without You

by Dr Greg Chapman, MBA



Imagine for a minute. You are on a tropical island, laying by a pool on a banana lounge. Your biggest concern right now is whether you will have another swim, or order another drink. Your mobile trilling the James Bond theme interrupts your resolution of this most vexing issue, and you see you have just received a text.

Curiously, you check out the text and it says $30k has just been deposited into your bank account. Then you check your messages. You have also received an email from your office. It is your monthly report. When you download it, you can see an activity report, with highlights of the month, the sales figures, and profit analysis for the time you have been away. You can see a list of current issues and the plans to address them along with forecasts for the next month.

You consider for just a second, whether you will call your office, and then think to yourself “Nah, they are doing fine without me.” You then attract the attention of the pool waiter, and order a pina colada.

Tuesday, March 06, 2018

Marketing Moments – The 80-20 Rule


by Dr Greg Chapman


The 80/20 rule appears to be ubiquitous. That's the rule that says 80% of the result comes from 20% of your effort. You will also find that 80% of your new business will come from 20% of your marketing effort. The key is to measure what you are doing with your marketing so that you can then identify that 20%. In this podcast I discuss how you can use the 80-20 Rule to get the most out of your marketing budget.

Monday, March 05, 2018

Ad of the Month – Redemption

by Dr Greg Chapman



So you had a big promotion coinciding with an event day, such as Valentines day, which didn’t go as well as it was planned. This CEO admits he was disappointed with the outcome and is prepared to give his customers a second chance to redeem themselves.

Thursday, March 01, 2018

The Known Unknowns that Business Owners Face



by Dr Greg Chapman, MBA
When someone starts a business, it’s typically doing something for which they have the knowledge and training and enjoy. They may be a tradie with a trade qualification or professional with a relevant degree. When starting their business, they focus on that skill and delivering to their clients the best service they know how based on their training and previous experience working for others.

As the business grows, however, they find there are other issues for which their professional or technical qualification left them unprepared. Often the business stagnates as it hits a glass ceiling. Even though they may be doing well, they find there are just not enough hours in the day. Much of the time is spent firefighting and following up staff. This distracts them from stepping back from the coalface to work on their business rather than just being trapped within it, like running in a hamster-wheel.

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Dr. Greg Chapman is also the author of
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