The Australian Small Business Blog

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Attention Small Business Owners – You can check out any time you want – but Can You Ever Leave?

by Dr Greg Chapman

Owning a business is a 24/7 job. Even when you are away from the office or store, it is hard to switch off. Almost everything you see somehow reminds you of something you need to do in your business.

You might be reading a book, and the hero enters a store that is selling in a way that gives you an idea for your business. The author may not own a store, but is likely to be very creative and wants to make their hero’s time in the store memorable in some way. Of course you would like that for your customers.

It is like the science fiction writer who dreams up all sorts of new devices to create a wonderland for avid science fiction fans. The funny thing is many scientists and inventors like science fiction, and are often inspired by the creativity of the science fiction writer who may have little or no science training. The scientist who reads about the idea then becomes intrigued by it, then obsessed, until they actually work out how to make it happen. There are numerous documentaries on inventions inspired by programs such as Star Trek.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

How One Business Spends 50 cents to Make $100

by Dr Greg Chapman

The best earning marketing dollars are spent on your customers rather on advertising where the money goes to some media mogul. Consider this example:

Coles is currently offering to pay the GST on feminine hygiene products under the banner “Why should you be taxed for being a Woman”. Why are they doing this and will it work?

This is a fairly emotional appeal, but as a male I can be objective on this (he says quickly ducking to avoid sharp objects being propelled at him by the females in his life).

Clearly many women feel this is an unjust tax. It was very controversial when first introduced, although the then opposition and now government has done nothing to remove it.

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

2018 Ad of the Year

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 2018.

3. Local Ads When you have a local business, and there are far fewer people you are likely to offend if you mock well known people.

2. Innovation If you have a product which is basically the same as your competitors, perhaps you can change the packaging to create a point of difference.

Thursday, December 06, 2018

Do Your Customers Fight Like Cats and Dogs?

by Dr Greg Chapman

One of the most popular articles I have ever written was Are Your Customers Cats or Dogs? In it I warned that businesses can have both Feline (High Value Customers) and Canine (Budget Customers) but you need to ensure that you keep them apart. After all, we know what happens when you put Cats and Dogs together. (I am talking about market segmentation!)

If your segmentation is poor, you find that your customers are looking over the fences and seeing that the grass appears greener on the other side. Perhaps your budget offer might appeal to the customers you previously thought to be premium.

In market segmentation, I often like to compare Qantas and Jetstar. Both, of course are owned by the same company, but one is cheap and cheerful, and the other is focused to the business traveller. While the business traveller is still cost conscious, they want reliability and flexibility. Jetstar does not offer this, with delays far more frequent.

Wednesday, December 05, 2018

Ad of the Month – Deceit?

by Dr Greg Chapman

This month rather than an ad, I am going to lift the veil on how they are made. Obviously you want to show off your product in the best way possible, so here are some tricks people use in food advertising to enhance the appearance of their products.

Tuesday, December 04, 2018

The Value of Your Big New Business Idea

by Dr Greg Chapman

I am often approached by people with a big business idea who want someone to pay them for it. How much is your big business idea worth?

Back in the early eighties, I worked for a year in the US for another company. Whilst there, I noticed that they had home delivered pizza. This was especially great in the winter when there was snow on the ground and I did not want to go out. It was when I first heard the Domino’s pizza slogan – delivered in 30 minutes, or its free!

This service was so taken for granted, that they talked of those dreaded areas in town which were pizza delivery no-man’s lands- outside the delivery area for any pizza shop. You wouldn’t want to buy a house there!

So what has this to do with great business ideas? This was before the time there were any pizza home delivery stores in Australia. They didn’t exist. So I came up with the idea that pizza home delivery would work in Australia… if only I knew how to implement such a scheme. I was sure this idea was worth a lot of money. Then I came back to Australia, but what do you think I did next? If you said nothing, you would be absolutely right. At that time, I had no idea how to implement such an idea, and there was no way I was going to quit a well paid job to risk everything on this great idea. Clearly there was one big impediment for me: I was not convinced that I had the ability to make this idea work. It was safer for me to keep on doing what I had always done. It was about 3 years later, Dino’s pizza home delivery started in Australia, which grew to be a national franchise which was within a few years sold for millions. I had the idea 3 years before Dino’s started up. I had a first mover advantage, except for one thing…. I didn’t move! You can’t patent an idea. Someone else can have the same idea.

So how much is your great new business idea worth?

Nothing unless you do something with it. Prove the concept works. Set up a pronto franchise or a pilot. Once you prove the concept works, then the people with money will come along. People with money to invest in business are inundated with opportunities, and they would not invest in one without a track record, except with their own efforts and resources because that way they can capture most the value.

If you aren’t prepared to invest in your own idea, why should anyone else?

It’s not the idea that’s worth the money, it is the person implementing it, and if they aren’t implementing it, it will just remain an idea.

May Your Business this Year be - As You Plan It.

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Dr Greg Chapman is the Director of Empower Business Solutions and is Australia's Lea ding 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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