The Australian Small Business Blog

Thursday, August 30, 2018

The Extra Dollar More


by Dr Greg Chapman


"Upselling", or the "add-on sale", is an opportunity open to every business, yet most business owners and their staff don't ask for the extra purchase.

Fact is, once the customer has made the decision to buy from you, they have entered into a relationship of trust. And once the initial buying decision, or trust in you, is made, then they will more readily say yes to an additional offer. So why not make it?

In this podcast I reveal how to get that extra dollar more for zero cost.

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

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.

This restriction in communication encourages the customer to focus on price as asking questions, and waiting for responses takes time. From the customer’s perspective, if the job is straight forward, requiring little creativity, this may be quite acceptable, even efficient, but is this the sort of job you want to win?

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Are You Promoting the Right Products and Services?


by Dr Greg Chapman

Most businesses have a range of products and services they sell, and hopefully they all make a positive contribution to your bottomline, but this is not always the case. Too often marginal products and services are being promoted generating profitless turnover and therefore a loss when the cost of the sale is included.



It’s essential when deciding how to allocate your precious marketing resources, that they are focused on your most profitable products and services. The problem is that many business owners don’t understand the true cost of goods sold, and thus the profit for each of their products and services. While consumables are readily identifiable, the labor and other business resources are not properly allocated, resulting in a distorted picture of the profitability of each product and service. In addition, the true cost of the sale for each has not been calculated.


As a result of an inadequate understanding of the profitability of the individual products and services poor marketing decisions are made by the business. More...

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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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Thursday, August 23, 2018

Microsoft Scam Alert


by Dr Greg Chapman


Recently I was contacted by a business claiming to be ‘Microsoft Authorised’ regarding a malware notification they had received from my computer network. The sophistication of the approach was quite convincing, but there were warning signs that I will expose here to protect others who may be contacted by this group.

The person ‘Mark’ claimed to be a Microsoft certified technician tasked with contacting users whose systems had sent automatic notification of their vulnerabilities. The purpose of the call was to show me how I could remove this dangerous malware which would infect all other computers on the network.

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Married to the Business – Who’s the Boss?


by Dr Greg Chapman

Married to the Business is a series of posts about a couple who together run a building business. Mike is the builder and Lyn runs the office. (See earlier posts here.)

Up till now, Lyn had just ran the office. She would pay the accounts and issue invoices and pay the staff. She would balance the books and manage most the other office paperwork.

Mike met the clients, did the quotes, organised the onsite staff and contractors, co-ordinated the suppliers and oversaw the works. Almost none of this could be managed by Lyn as she did not have the technical background, but even she could see that things never seemed to go to plan. There was a lot of wasted time and fixing of mistakes, which Lyn believed should never have occurred.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Is Traffic Killing Your Business?


by Dr Greg Chapman


I live in Melbourne where the population has increased by 45% this century. Unfortunately, as anyone here who has travelled by road knows, the infrastructure growth that services the population is only a fraction of that amount. This means there is now no off-peak time when travelling. The traffic is always heavy. This is affecting any business that spends time on the road, and not just in Melbourne, but also in all big Australian cities.

Businesses that may been able to do 5-6 jobs a day can now only do 3-4, which of course means a hit to their turnover. Travel time is business dead time. How have businesses adapted?

It’s now common to see businesses that might have advertised to service customers Melbourne wide now just offering their services to people within say, a 20 minute travel time of their offices, but this travel time radius shrinks geographically as traffic inevitably worsens. How do such businesses survive?

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Professional Business Partnerships – Are Your Partners just there for the ride?


by Dr Greg Chapman


Partnerships are an effective business model for professionals such as lawyers and accountants. It is a great way of raising capital and provides an exit strategy for older partners as new partners buy in to the business. While partnerships can be a highly profitable, with partner turnover, the entrepreneurial spark can be diluted or even lost.

Consider how partnerships are founded. Usually 2 or 3 professionals get together to establish the firm. The early years are often a challenge while the business is building its reputation. Getting new clients is the focus of the business. The founding partners either are, or become effective sales people. This is critical to their survival.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Marketing Moments - Getting a Premium


by Dr Greg Chapman


The marketplace has never been more competitive, and it’s never been easier to compare. In fact some businesses, such as iSelect, are built of offering side-by-side comparisons. In such a marketplace, price shopping is the norm.

To win business without discounting, and to achieve a premium, it’s essential to be able to demonstrate the value you provide. This can be based on something the customer wants and can’t do for themselves, or something they don’t want to do themselves.

It’s important to understand the value chain in your sector. For example, some businesses are little more than intermediaries. They take the order, then contact someone else to fulfil it. The value they add is their contact list. They then find their margins being squeezed because their supplier wants more of the profit. The risk is, the customer discovers who the supplier is, and cuts out the middle man.

The value you add could be that you:

– Save them time
– Save them money or make them money
– Help them achieve a personal goal
– Make them look better to others

Monday, August 13, 2018

Ad of the Month – Innovation

by Dr Greg Chapman


Innovation is a great way of creating a point of difference. But what if you are producing a product that that is pretty standard, and perhaps not even your best customers want you to change? Why change the box it comes in!

Wednesday, August 08, 2018

Marketing Moments - A Going Concern


by Dr Greg Chapman

Accountants refer to a business as a going concern if it can function without the threat of liquidation for the foreseeable future, usually 12 months. That their current assets are greater than their current liabilities.

However, this doesn’t mean that the business is a going concern in the marketing sense. What would happen if you stepped out of the business? How long would it continue? Would the enquiries still come in? Would the sales still happen?

Monday, August 06, 2018

Being there when Your Customer Needs You


by Dr Greg Chapman

Ever been out walking, and you’ve felt a little peckish, and up ahead you see a convenience store where you know you can buy a snack for yourself. That’s why they call them convenience stores. They have predicted how you might feel, and where you might feel that, and voila there they are. Of course they are there whether you are there or not, but they are expecting you.

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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To send this article to a friend, click on the envelope below.

Thursday, August 02, 2018

Discounting or Average Pricing


by Dr Greg Chapman


Everyone (including me) says discounting is a bad idea if you are using it as a way to increase gross profit through sales volume. For example, if your gross profit is 30% and you offer a 20% discount, you will have to double your sales, just to break even. It also creates a reputation for your business that your prices are negotiable. Not a great strategy.

Most people discount when they see their stock just sitting on the shelves and then they panic, but what if you planned to discount from the start. What might such a plan look like?

Let’s say the product cost you $30. Keeping the arithmetic simple, you decide to sell it at $100, a 70% margin. You don’t expect to sell many at this price, perhaps 10% of your overall sales. Next you decide to announce a 15% discount to your customers as part of a ‘mid season’ sale. You expect to sell 30% of your stock at this price. Remember, by having priced it at $100 initially, the 15% discount seems like good value, with the initial price being an anchor point.

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