The Australian Small Business Blog

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

2019 Top Small Business Articles of the Year

by Dr Greg Chapman

With 48 posts this year on the Australian Small Business Blog, it is now time to reveal the top post as ranked by Google for page views.

3. Great Strategies for Increasing Your Prices In this post Dr Greg Chapman reveals some of the best strategies for increasing your prices.

2. How does Your Business Compare? _Free Performance Benchmarking While owners work away in their business every day, they would love to know how they are doing compared with their competitors. Wouldn’t it be nice if they let them have a peak at their books, but that ain’t gonna happen!

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

2019 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 2019.

3. Reverse Engineered If your product is an input where the final outcome is multiple steps away, your contribution to the ultimate benefit could be lost to potential buyers.

2. When Points of Difference don't matter You have a service might not be that different from others, so what do you do? Perhaps make a comparison with what life would be like without any of these services, and then highlighting your own.

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Where is the best place to find Gold?

by Dr Greg Chapman

When you are looking for new customers, it is like exploring for gold. And when you find one, like the gold miner you shout out Eureka when you have discovered the gold. But what does the gold miner do next? He has spent a lot of time and effort in finding this mine. He doesn't, after picking up the first nugget, walk off and look for a new mine somewhere else. When you are looking for new customers, it is like exploring for gold. And when you find one, like the gold miner you shout out Eureka when you have discovered the gold.

But what does the gold miner do next? He has spent a lot of time and effort in finding this mine. He doesn't, after picking up the first nugget, walk off and look for a new mine somewhere else.   More...

Thursday, November 14, 2019

What are the Entitlements of a Small Business Owner?

by Dr Greg Chapman

It can be intimidating for a small business owner visiting their corporate clients. They take the lift to the 41st floor and in a marble clad reception, they ask to speak with the executive with whom they have an appointment. They wait in a plush chair in a reception lounge with a magnificent view where they are served a cappuccino in a fine china cup. Finally, the executive assistant ushers them into the executive suite in a corner office, beautifully furnished with expensive artwork on the walls.

This is not the office of a small business owner, as they know they have a choice.

Monday, November 04, 2019

Ad of the Month – Loyalty

by Dr Greg Chapman

That it’s 6 times easier to sell to an existing customer than a new one is a well known statistic which is why businesses expend a lot of effort in encouraging customer loyalty. And loyal customers tend to be far more price insensitive.

So what do you do if you want to attract some of those rusted on customers to your business? In this ad, they expose and mock the loyalty tactics used by their competitors.

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Predicting Your Business' Future

by Dr Greg Chapman

Wouldn’t it be great to have a crystal ball so you can see what’s going to happen in your business in the next few quarters? If you did, you would know if you should hire that new employee you have been thinking about for some time. Perhaps you could finally decide on that expansion interstate or whether to invest in that expensive system that could increase your productivity by 50%.

But you don’t take these decisions because you don’t have a crystal ball, or your old one is just filled with smoke.   More...

Monday, October 21, 2019

Ad of the Month - Solving all problems in your life

by Dr Greg Chapman

Most businesses have products and services that solve particular problems or serve certain needs. But what if you could be really creative about what else they could do? This humorous ad for a well known furniture company highlights their huge product catalogue that can solve any problem in your life.

Friday, October 18, 2019

Is this Your Experience of Performance trends in Business?

by Dr Greg Chapman

A non-authoritative survey predicts picks out one factor and looks at the different impacts on Sales, Technical and Managerial staff. Does this align with your experience?

Monday, October 14, 2019

Wednesday, October 09, 2019

Communicating with Your Mobile Staff

by Dr Greg Chapman

Interview with Peter Gearin of GeoOp.

Today I want to discuss the importance of clear communications when a business has a predominately mobile workforce. I'm referring to trades and services businesses in particular.

Monday, September 30, 2019

How to Create a Marketing Plan to Double Your Profits

by Dr Greg Chapman

Tactical marketing used by most businesses, often a simple advertising campaign with Adwords, perhaps some SEO for the website plus some social media just produces incremental results. That is a number of largely unconnected campaigns generate enquiries, some of which turn into sales adding to the bottomline but leaving the business back at square one, once completed.

To achieve dramatic long lasting results, a strategic approach is required. Sophisticated businesses use leveraged marketing, where the results are multiplicative rather than additive.   More...

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Why Most Businesses Stay Small and What YOU can Do about YOURS

by Dr Greg Chapman

This is the Preface from my award winning best seller, “The Five Pillars of Guaranteed Business Success

While many business advisers seem to preach doom and gloom for small business survival, based on my research they do not have to be so pessimistic. While there is a high attrition rate in the first few years of a business’ life, most do survive this period. A far bigger issue for most small business is not that they fail, but that they stay small. They stay micro-businesses, or Micro-Stayers.

Thursday, September 19, 2019

BREAKING: Top 10 Australian Small Business Blogs 2019

by Dr Greg Chapman

The Australian Small Business Blog has been voted as one of the Top 10 of Australian Small Business Blogs for 2019 by Small Business Loans Australia lender review site.

You can check out the other top blogs here.

Thanks guys for the recognition.

Dr Greg Chapman

Share this article: BREAKING: Top 100 Australian Small Business Blogs 2019


Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Ad of the Month - Schadenfreude

by Dr Greg Chapman

Schadenfreude is a great German word meaning joy on hearing of an opponent’s misfortune. Can this be used in advertising? This following, rather cheeky, print ad was distributed to attendees at the Lord’s test match a few weeks back advertising Marmite as part of its promotion campaign for the ‘MarmyArmy’.

They handed out sandpaper with the headline “Love it or hate it, we won’t be tampering with it’ rubbing salt into the wounds of the Australian cricket team whose reputation is still suffering after the suspension of key plays after a ball tampering scandal.

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Selling Smarter not Selling Harder

by Dr Greg Chapman

Are you and your staff people who could sell ice to Eskimos? Not everyone is a natural salesperson, but in business, nothing happens until a sale is made. So what do you do if selling is unnatural for you, or you can’t find staff to sell for you?

You can create a marketing strategy that does not rely on strong sales skills. Imagine someone just comes into your business and when you ask:

How can I help you?”, they say: “I want to buy that and here is my money.”

Does that sound too good to be true? Well it happens all the time.

Friday, August 23, 2019

Become Reassuringly Expensive

by Dr Greg Chapman

When someone is enquiring about your services for the first time, they may ask “How much do you charge?” But if you tell them, the focus is just on price.

A buying decision is generally an evaluation of the Value/Price ratio, often expressed as Return on Investment. However, for many services, the return is an intangible.

How much more beautiful will a beauty product make you look? And what is that worth?

If you start with value and ensure that the buyer fully understands the benefit they will receive, even if it is intangible, that is where their focus will be even after you reveal the price.

But, what about your competition?  More...

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Calculating the Risks for Small Business Success

by Dr Greg Chapman

Business is all about confidence. Confidence that the risks you must take will have a high chance of success. The reason this is essential is that you must provide all the resources (time and money) to make the strategy succeed. Too often, businesses are timid with their actions, and are looking for a 2-way bet.

More tightrope walkers fall while using a net than those that don’t.

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Discount Price Wars

by Dr Greg Chapman

When competition is stiff or times are tough, and businesses experience a slump in sales, the natural response of business owners is to reduce their prices. In response to this, they find their competition starts to do the same, and before you know it, you are in a price war.

Price wars are like trench warfare. You may gain a few meters in territory here, whilst the other side gains a few meters from you around your flank. And both sides incur large losses. In this type of battle, it is a war of attrition, and the last person standing wins while bleeding red ink. They also inherit a decimated market landscape with their buyers educated to expect discounts.

A number of negative impacts occur to your business when you discount. The most obvious one is the loss in margin, which you hope to make up with increased sales. In most cases, this does not happen.

Monday, August 05, 2019

Ad of the Month – Over the Top

by Dr Greg Chapman

We often hear that less is more, but done correctly, more can be even MORE! There is no subtlety in this ad, with a well known star, Sean Bean, better known for storming the ramparts, who has somehow been seconded to the human resources department to train new recruits.

The theme here is that this company’s commitment to doing things the right way WILL NOT BE COMPROMISED.

Friday, August 02, 2019

Increase Your Prices by Packaging Value

by Dr Greg Chapman

In any buying decision, this is question that must be answered by the buyer: “Is the product or service worth it?” Or more generally, is the offer made by the seller is equal to the dollars that they are asking for it.

Let’s take a simple example, water. If you wanted a drink of water, and you went to a pub, and they served you water from a tap, what would you expect to pay? It would probably be free. If you went to a kiosk, you could buy bottled ‘mineral water’ in a basic plastic bottle, and it might be $2-3.

If you were at a boutique restaurant, you might be able to get water from the Greenland icecap, presented in a special designer bottle with a stunning label, a bottle that you would like to take home as a souvenir. It might cost you $87.

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Let Others Tell Your Small Business Story

by Dr Greg Chapman

We’ve all heard the saying “A picture tells a thousand words”. Well, a simple twist on that could be “A third party testimonial tells more about you than you could ever say about yourself – and with more credibility!”

Testimonials from satisfied clients must be an integral part of your sales kit. They present an independent view from a third party, and in many cases, can be the difference between getting the business or not.

If you currently have a conversion rate of two sales for every ten presentations, and a testimonial increases that to three sales for every ten presentations, then you’ve just increased your business by 50% – and yet most sales presentations don’t have this simple, yet powerful, tool included.  More...

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Has Search Engine Optimisation become a Scam?

by Dr Greg Chapman

If you have a website, you will no doubt be contacted daily by someone who will promise they will put you at the top of Google with their Search Engine Optimisation services. In fact if I don’t receive several offers a day, I think my email must have stopped working! But does SEO still work?

Because it wants to make more money, Google has decided to make it harder for your website to get a free ride in the organic search listings when you are trying to attract new business, to make you spend your money on Adwords. (Fancy a business wanting to reduce freeloaders and make more money!) So Google has increased the number of ads it puts on a page and made them a little more difficult to distinguish from organic searches while cracking down on some SEO techniques that used to work.

Tuesday, July 09, 2019

Ad of the Month – Annoyances

by Dr Greg Chapman

There are stereotypes in every sector that really annoy people in their marketplace. For tradies, it’s not turning up on time, for telco’s it’s their call centre ‘customer service’ and for used car dealers it’s high pressure salespeople. Some of these stereotypes may be unfair to the majority of businesses in the sector, but it also creates an opportunity.

One ‘popular’ sector everyone likes to bash is the banks. Even though this is a US ad, it seems the proliferation of fees with banks is universal.

Tuesday, July 02, 2019

BREAKING: Top 100 Small Business Blog Global Awards 2019

by Dr Greg Chapman

The Australian Small Business Blog has been voted once again as one of the Global Top 100 Small Business Blogs, for 2019 by Feedspot, the international blog aggregator.

Thanks guys for the recognition.

Dr Greg Chapman

Share this article: BREAKING: Top 100 Small Business Blog Global Awards 2019


Monday, June 17, 2019

A Million Dollars of Marketing Advice for Nothing

by Dr Greg Chapman

For most businesses there is a giant in their industry. A business who is a household name. They dominate your sector, although they are not pursuing your customers because they are the big end of town.

They don’t even know you exist. And you ignore them because their clients are not yours.

Lets say you have a motor mechanics business with half a dozen staff. You don’t see yourself in competition with the BMW service department in the next suburb. Your competition is a guy about the same size as you a few blocks away. So what you do, is check out what he is doing.

But, if you were able to get a million dollars of marketing advice, do you think you could blow him away? You can’t afford the fees? What if you could get that advice for nothing? More...

Thursday, June 06, 2019

Advertising Fail

by Dr Greg Chapman

One of the great things about online advertising today is the ability to finely target your ads so that they appear on sites which contain keywords relevant to your business and which attract people who fit the profile of your best buyers.

An example of this is that websites with articles on Formula One racing might be targeted by Porsche and Ferrari. Another example is a website with articles on exotic travel destinations would attract airline advertising. The companies in question choose keywords that might appear in website content that their potential customers choose to read.

So what was this advertising fail?

Monday, June 03, 2019

Ad of the Month - Seize the Moment -- Updated

by Dr Greg Chapman

If advertising is to work, you must first grab the attention of your buyers. There is so much noise, that people just tune out, but every so often, there comes along an event that provides a wave upon which you can launch your product or brand.

The May election provided one such opportunity, when Clive Palmer spent around $60m and didn’t secure a single seat.

Monday, May 27, 2019

The Seven Deadly Sins of Small Business

by Dr Greg Chapman

While running a successful business is not easy, there are rules that you can follow that will almost certainly increase your success. And there are also sins that will guarantee your failure.

Here are the Seven Deadly Sins of Business.

1. Ambiguity

If you are not explicit in what you want to achieve for your business, you are highly unlikely to be successful. Setting out clear goals for your business allows you to develop strategies to achieve your goals and to create plans which will ultimately drive your business to success. Without goals, strategies and plans, you are just depending on luck- and how has that worked for you so far?

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

How to Avoid Your Business becoming a Microstayer?

by Dr Greg Chapman

The biggest risk for most businesses is not whether they will fail. Most won’t. The biggest risk is that they will stay small. Whether by design or not. Recent ABS data show that 98% of micro-businesses stay that way. That is, they are Micro-Stayers.

There are a number of reasons that businesses become Micro-Stayers. It could be a lifestyle choice. Work-Life balance is becoming more and more important to many people. It may be because they don’t have the knowledge to take their business to the next level, and become frustrated Micro-Stayers. Or they may have progressed from frustrated to resigned Micro-Stayers and have adjusted lifestyle and ambition in recognition of this.

Businesses that involuntarily stay small, the Micro-Stayers, do so for five key reasons.

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Small Business False Economies

by Dr Greg Chapman

I was recently discussing with a business owner the future of his business which has an innovative product but low sales. He had invested over a million dollars in the business developing this product, but had spent nothing on marketing. The owner told me how he believed that their product was superior to others on the market, but because of their size, other businesses were not taking them seriously.

Friday, May 10, 2019

Predict Your Business' Future

by Dr Greg Chapman

It’s easy to predict the future. We do it all the time. When you go for a bank loan, they look at your credit history. If you go for a job, they look at your work history.

We predict the future by looking at the past and based on the assumption, a leopard doesn’t change its spots, we will generally be right.

We are creatures of habit. We travel to work the same way each day and do our weekly shopping at the same supermarket. Why? It’s because we have finished experimenting, and we are comfortable with the outcomes we currently get.

However, results do vary. Sometimes there is a traffic jam on our favourite route, or the supermarket is out of our favourite dessert, but we still stick with the tried and true. More...

Thursday, May 02, 2019

Ad of the Month - Reinvention

by Dr Greg Chapman

Imagine you had a product which had been largely been overtaken by technology in a particular market, and you wanted to get back into that market?

Canon used to be a major player in the consumer photography market, and then along came phones with quality cameras making your digital cameras unnecessary. What do you do?

You do something with your cameras that phones can’t do.

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

The Small Business Sales Person had No Clothes

by Dr Greg Chapman

The story is so common. A business’ sales are down, so they hire a sales person. After a couple of months with little or nothing to show for their efforts, they let the sales person go. Was the sales person not up to it? In my experience, it is usually not their fault.

In most cases, the owner has done little more than explain what their products are, and given the new sales person a list of names for the person to contact. In many cases, cold calling potential buyers who probably had just seen off their competitor moments beforehand. What sort of reception do you expect them to receive?

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Know Your Competition Online

by Dr Greg Chapman

One of the best ways to understand why someone should buy from you, and what are your points of difference, is to study the competition. What is it they are doing well, and what are they doing not so successfully?

The internet makes this very easy. You can see what the competition are telling the market place, although it is quite common that people have excellent offline marketing and have just thrown up a website as an afterthought. But if online marketing is an option for your business, and there are only a few for which this is not true, the very best in your sector will show you how it’s done.

Recently someone visited my website and downloaded the preview of my bestselling book- The Five Pillars of Guaranteed Business Success. This happens so frequently I really don’t pay much attention on a day to day basis to who is signing up. But this person immediately unsubscribed after downloading the book. Which had never happened before. It was a minute after the download- not enough time to read a 40 page preview. So I checked him out. It was one of my competition checking me out! More...

Tuesday, April 09, 2019

How Small Business Davids can overcome Big Business Goliaths

by Dr Greg Chapman

In the story of David and Goliath, young David challenged the mighty Goliath. King Saul wanted David to wear his armour so that he could fight Goliath in the traditional way. But David chose to forgo the armour, used a weapon of his choosing, and relied on his own speed, and was ultimately successful in slaying the giant Goliath.

Small business owners viewing the Goliaths of their industry slugging it out using all the marketing weaponry in their well stocked armoury, can be daunted by the battles raging around them. And if they choose to fight them with the same weapons, they have much to fear. For large businesses, economies of scale is their most potent weapon. A very powerful weapon. But like Goliath, their strengths are also their weaknesses.

Tuesday, April 02, 2019

Ad of the Month - Reverse Engineered

by Dr Greg Chapman

If your product is an input where the final outcome is multiple steps away, your contribution to the ultimate benefit could be lost to potential buyers.

In this ad, we start from the outcome and work backwards to the advertiser’s input, making clear how they contributed to the ultimate benefit.

Monday, March 18, 2019

Great Strategies for Increasing Your Prices

by Dr Greg Chapman

Why can some of your competitors increase their prices while you have to struggle even with your current ones? Do you find that when you lift your prices, you lose sales? Are most of your customers only interested in price? Are you a Price Taker?

In this interview hear Dr Greg Chapman reveal the some of the best strategies for increasing your prices.

Thursday, March 14, 2019

They Always choose to pay more

by Dr Greg Chapman

The Gallo brothers were one of the pioneers in the Californian wine industry. They are now the largest family owned wine business in the world. But it was not always this way.

Ernest Gallo once called on a customer in the midst of the depression. He gave him a tasting test, one from a 5c a bottle wine (this was the depression) and the other from a 10c bottle. After tasting both, the customer chose the 10c bottle. More...

Monday, March 11, 2019

Pricing Strategy: Breaking the connection with Cost - A Case Study

by Dr Greg Chapman

I recently purchased a video recorder from a well known electrical goods outlet. It was a big name brand with great features and a huge improvement on our old one which was nearly 10 years old and was now becoming unreliable. It was a good unit, but now was old, tired and out of date, and was not a great match to our spiffy new TV.

So after doing the deal with the salesman, and before I could walk off with my new unit, he asked, do you want to get a warranty for a free replacement if it has any problem at all in the next five years- only 50 bucks extra on top of the $500 I had already agreed to pay. What a deal! (This was on top of the usual manufacturer’s warranty.)

Tuesday, March 05, 2019

How to Increase Prices Without Losing Your Clients

by Dr Greg Chapman

An interview with Dr Greg Chapman by the Sydney Morning Herald

SMH: What are the key considerations when businesses set prices?

Dr Chapman: The starting point is that you must understand your margins – and the gross profit you need to cover your overheads to generate a target net profit, after you have paid yourself a decent wage. This analysis helps set targets to stay profitable. For many businesses, they find that they are not charging enough to stay in business.

Then you must understand the competitive environment and your own Points of Difference without which you will only sell on price. This is about the value you provide the purchaser – you want the purchaser to focus on the value you provide rather than how much it costs to provide it. If you don’t know the true value of your product or service- will the buyer?

 SMH: Why do businesses seem to get this wrong?

Thursday, February 28, 2019

Pricing Strategy - Creating Massive Price Increases

by Dr Greg Chapman

Every business would like to be able to increase their prices. How much would you like to increase yours – perhaps by 15% or 25%? How about increasing them by 100% or even 1000%? To achieve massive increases, you need to think differently.

Consider the example below of a fairly basic product, the humble shower head. Let’s play a guessing game on the price of these showerheads. Which do you think is the cheapest?

Monday, February 25, 2019

Ad of Month – Be interesting

by Dr Greg Chapman

Today advertising is all about holding the attention with the viewer who is just one click away from changing the channel or following another link, leaving your message unheard.

In this ad, rather than asking questions to build desire such as “Do your clothes make you look old and boring, etc… well look at our exciting new fashion range”, it tells a story about a situation with which we are all familiar. How will this mother deal with it? Does it have a happy ending? What are they advertising?

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

The Almost Magic Circle of Price

by Dr Greg Chapman

There are laws of nature we all learnt about at school. Newton's laws of physics the laws of thermodynamics and Boyle's laws in chemistry, plus too many others to remember. But there are laws in marketing as well, and here I am referring to the almost magical Circle of Price.

Someone certainly deserves a Nobel Prize for this one.

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Are You Using Scripts - Words that Sell

by Dr Greg Chapman

A sales pipeline can have many steps, and the secret is to optimise each one. So let’s look at a single step.

How well do you and your team deal with your current and potential customers? Do you leave contact with your customers to chance, or do you have a set, uniform approach, especially when dealing with enquiries from those who haven't dealt with your company before? More...

Tuesday, February 05, 2019

Top 10 Australian Small Business Blogs Award

by Dr Greg Chapman

The Australian Small Business Blog has already been recognised as one of the top 100 small business blogs globally (see the award to the right) but it has now also been awarded as one of the top 10 Australian small business blogs as well.

Thanks guys for the recognition. You can check out the other 9 blogs here, also great reads (not least because some have published my works as well!)

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Marketing Moments - How to Give It Away to Get It Back!

by Dr Greg Chapman

One of the most powerful marketing tools you have at your disposal is the use of the knowledge that you already possess. Yet how you use that knowledge as a strategy to grow your business is often overlooked. In this podcast I discuss how to leverage this knowledge to position you as the authority in your marketplace.

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Ad of the Month – When Points of Difference don’t matter

by Dr Greg Chapman

You have a service might not be that different from others, so what do you do? Perhaps make a comparison with what life would be like without any of these services, and then highlighting your own. That’s what these very slick French ads did.

Friday, January 18, 2019

How does Your Business Compare? – Free Performance Benchmarking

by Dr Greg Chapman

While owners work away in their business every day, they would love to know how they are doing compared with their competitors. Wouldn’t it be nice if they let them have a peak at their books, but that ain’t gonna happen!

But what if someone had compiled the data of ALL your competitors which would allow you to see how you rank? A database of every competitor in the country! Wouldn’t you like to get your hands on that?

Well you can, and best of all, it’s free! So who has this data, and why are these being so generous with it? To answer the second question first. You have already paid for this data, that’s why it’s free! So who is this benefactor? The Australian Taxation Department.


Awarded Top 100 Small Business Blog

Award from Feedspot, the international RSS blog syndicator.

Featured Book

Dr. Greg Chapman is also the author of
The 5 Pillars of Guaranteed Business Success

The Five Pillars of Guaranteed Business Success




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