The Australian Small Business Blog

Monday, December 14, 2020

2020 Top Small Business Articles of the Year

by Dr Greg Chapman

With 47 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. Lead Generation vs Sales Conversion – What’s Your Priority?  In this post Dr Greg Chapman reveals how to manage the tension between the need for leads vs sales.

2. How to Double Your Profit with the Five Profit Drivers What would a Marketing System for your business that produces predictable and controllable profits year after year look like?

Wednesday, December 09, 2020

Ad of the Year 2020

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 2020.

3. Be Easy to Deal With Buyers may like your product, but prefer it to be delivered in different ways.

2. Social Distancing It's been a difficult year for business, but some have been more creative in how they stay connected.

Wednesday, December 02, 2020

Are Your Customers Cats or Dogs?

by Dr Greg Chapman

While our dog is getting on in years, and suffers from arthritis and is almost blind, there is nothing wrong with his sense of smell and he loves his food. If you give him top grade steak, or just plain dog food from the can, he gulps it down the same way he did when he was a puppy. He will eat what our cat doesn’t finish from her bowl. In fact if she throws any of it up, he will eat that too. He is just not that fussy. In fact the only thing we have found he won’t eat is Brussel sprouts. (I can’t say that I can blame him.)

Our cat on the other hand is very fussy.   More...

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

BREAKING: Top 10 Australian Small Business Blogs 2021!!

I think we are all glad that 2020 is just about over so I am pleased to announce that The Australian Small Business Blog has been voted as one of the Top 10 of Australian Small Business Blogs for 2021 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 10 Australian Small Business Blogs 2021


Monday, November 16, 2020

The Fifth Profit Driver – Increasing the Gross Profit per Sale

by Dr Greg Chapman

In an earlier article I described The Five Profit Drivers 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 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?

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

The Cost of Indecision

  by Dr Greg Chapman

Many years ago, when I was working in the corporate world, we had an operation that cost $200,000 per day. Due to the nature of this operation (exploration), unexpected results often occurred. If we decided to ‘sleep on it’ before we made a decision, this was a decision to spend $200,000.

How did we manage this?

Tuesday, November 03, 2020

Ad of the Month - Above the Fray

by Dr Greg Chapman

Is there a lot of noise in your marketplace? Are you above most of it, but there is maybe one competitor who you respect and is similarly annoyed by the noise.

In this ad for one race in the US election, the 2 major competitors have decided to stand apart from all the sniping, smears and lies of their peers.

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Discover Your Secret Ingredient

by Dr Greg Chapman

Does your product or service have a special component that sets you apart? Is there a secret ingredient that will make people want to deal with you? That X factor?

There is a story of a famous chef in a five star French restaurant who never wrote down his recipes. Only he knew all the steps. While he had people assisting him in food preparation, each only knew some of the steps. His dishes were award winning, and no-one could copy them.   More...

Sunday, October 18, 2020

How Average are Your Salespeople?

  by Dr Greg Chapman

The best known secret is sales is that on average, most salespeople are average. How surprising is that?

I often hear business owners complaining that their sales staff aren’t paying their way. They can’t produce the same the results as the owner. On one level this is not surprising, as the owner has the greatest incentive, with the profits going to them.

Monday, October 12, 2020

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

by Dr Greg Chapman

In an earlier article I described The Five Profit Drivers marketing system. The fourth of the Five Profit Drivers is Increasing the 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?

Monday, October 05, 2020

Ad of the Month – Distractions

by Dr Greg Chapman

In this hyper connected world it’s all too easy to get distracted. The myth is multitasking, the reality is a string of uncompleted tasks. This service claims to allow you to keep track of those tasks even when you are distracted.

Monday, September 28, 2020

Why aren't Your Buyers Buying?

by Dr Greg Chapman

It’s a jungle out there. There are competitors everywhere. The Good, the Bad & the Ugly. You know what I mean? It is the survival of the fittest. And many survive by slashing their prices. Did you know that price is one of the last considerations in the buying process?

Surveys over the years have shown the top five reasons someone buys, are:   More...

Monday, September 21, 2020

Smashing the Link between Cost and Price

  by Dr Greg Chapman

Businesses often use simple formulas to calculate their prices. Usually  based on some on some mark-up, so in a store all items might be priced with a 60% mark-up on cost with the 60% covering wages, overhead, and hopefully profit.

In a businesses where prices are easy to compare, this practice is rife, but for more complex services or businesses which package their products in ways that can’t be compared, this restraint need no longer apply.

Monday, September 14, 2020

The Third Profit Driver – Increasing Average Value per Sale

by Dr Greg Chapman

In an earlier article I described The Five Profit Drivers marketing system. 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.

Monday, September 07, 2020

Ad of the Month - The Elephant in the Room

by Dr Greg Chapman

What’s the biggest objection people have to purchasing any product or service in your category?

Does it work? Will it really save me time? Will it really save me money? Will it really make me money? Can I trust it? What if it breaks down? Is it really value for money?

What is the biggest objection in your industry? In the following ad, the question is data privacy.

Monday, August 31, 2020

Learn Your Lines and Double Your Sales

by Dr Greg Chapman

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?

What questions are you asking? How do you respond when they ask “How much do you charge?” within seconds of opening the conversation? How are you keeping them engaged, even after the conversation has concluded?   More...

Monday, August 24, 2020

Why it’s a Mistake to Use Turnover as the Measure of Marketing Success

When most small business owners are asked what they want to achieve with their marketing, the answer is almost always is “More Sales”. To increase their Turnover. But that answer is too simplistic and can result in sub optimal outcomes especially when looking at the bottomline results. And the bottomline is your Net Profit. 
There are three key reasons to focus on Net Profit rather than Turnover.

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

The Second Profit Driver – Increasing Conversion to Sales

by Dr Greg Chapman

In an earlier article I described The Five Profit Drivers marketing system. The second of the Five Profit Drivers is Increasing Conversion to Sales. 
Sales should be considered as a process like any other key part of a business. It is in fact the most important part because without sales there is no business. This step in the Five Profit Driver Marketing Model converts the leads created with the first Profit Driver into sales. 
At this point in the marketing process, the prospect has called you, they have walked into your store, or you have the appointment with them. While the types of sales processes can appear quite different in different businesses, every sale goes through seven steps. For different businesses, some steps might appear to be almost missed, while in others, there might be a very long time spent within a single step.

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Ad of the Month – Be Easy to Deal With

by Dr Greg Chapman

Ever noticed that some companies don’t want to talk with their customers and make it as difficult as possible to contact them, or force you to speak with an offshore call centre where English is not their first language? 
How refreshing then that this company lets you deal with them the way you want. In this ad we see two common preferences in contacting a business. One which would be the preferred option for younger people and the other for the older generation.

Tuesday, August 04, 2020

Provide a Taste Test

by Dr Greg Chapman

There can be many reasons why people don't buy. But probably the biggest is that they don't have confidence that a business will deliver. That the service will be as promised, or the product will actually work.

When people make a purchase decision, they take a decision to change their life in some way. They have actually survived their whole life without buying from you, and now you are asking them to change.

They may already have another supplier of your products and services, which while they may not be fantastic, they do the job. Or they have lived up to now, with the problem you want to fix. So if they buy from you, they will have to change.   More...

Monday, July 27, 2020

The First Profit Driver – How to Increase Your Enquiries

by Dr Greg Chapman

In the last post I described The Five Profit Driver Marketing System. The first of the Five Profit Drivers is Increasing Enquiries.

What marketing strategy are you going to use to communicate with your customers and entice them to contact you? There are really only four types of enquiry generation marketing strategies.

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

How to Double Your Profit with the Five Profit Drivers

by Dr Greg Chapman

Have you ever seen a business that has doubled their sales apparently overnight? Have you wondered what is the one thing they did to achieve that result? The chances are they did a number of things which when multiplied together gave the end result. In all likelihood, they understood and used the Power of Leverage.

Let’s see how that works. Consider this example.

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Lead Generation vs Sales Conversion – What’s Your Priority?

by Dr Greg Chapman

So you want more sales? I think I may have heard that once or twice before! Under my Five Profit Driver model of marketing there are 5 strategic areas on which you can focus:

• the Number of Enquiries
• the Conversions to Sales
• the Average Value per Sale
• the Number of Times a Customer Buys from You
• the Gross Profit Margin per Sale

However, nothing happens until you generate the enquiry. Therefore, should getting more leads be your priority?

Not so fast.

Monday, July 06, 2020

Ad of The Month – Safety

by Dr Greg Chapman

With retail outlets slowly reopening, we constantly hear about the safety measures the businesses are taking. The messages are much the same and don’t do much to retain your attention. In this French Ad from Burger King, they present their safety massage like an airline safety message with do’s and don’ts.

While the ad is mostly in French, you can easily get the gist of the message.

Monday, June 29, 2020

You can run half as fast, but you must run

by Dr Greg Chapman

When seeking to improve their marketing game, business owners often look to the best and feel daunted. They believe “I can never be as good as top professional marketers. I don’t have the money or the knowledge to compete.”

You really don’t have to be the best. Consider the story of the two trekkers in the jungle. As they were walking they heard a huge roar. When turning around they saw a very large lion coming towards them. They both started to run, then one of them stopped and changed his jungle boots for runners. The other trekker said: “You will never outrun the lion.”   More...

Monday, June 22, 2020

Small Business Strategy Case Study- A consultancy whose website was a ghost town

by Dr Greg Chapman

As part of my service I provide a Complimentary Business Evaluation. From my files, here is a summary of a case study of a consultancy that was successful in generating word-of-mouth business but they were looking for a faster way to grow and their brand new website was doing nothing for them.

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Understanding Brands – A Steve Jobs Masterclass

by Dr Greg Chapman

Here is another masterclass from Steve Jobs. This was recorded quite a few years ago, and really explains how a brand should be defined. I’ve never seen anyone explain it so simply and so well.

Thursday, June 11, 2020

Addicted to Profitless Turnover

by Dr Greg Chapman

If you are a business owner, you are probably as busy as a one armed paperhanger. You probably are juggling many balls. You may have lots of business, but you feel at the end of the day, you have little to show for it. You may not even be paying yourself a proper wage, let alone have a decent profit to show.

While you may be busy, is every sale profitable? When you take apart your Profit & Loss statement, how much profit is there really?

Wednesday, June 03, 2020

Ad of the Month - Reopening

by Dr Greg Chapman

With the easing of restrictions many businesses are looking at how they get people to step back into their pre-lockdown habits. This funny musical commercial will strike a chord (pun intended) to many.

I’ve set this up to start halfway through because I don’t like long ads, but the whole thing is worth watching.

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Is Chris Hemsworth Too Expensive?

by Dr Greg Chapman

What man wouldn’t want a body that looked like Chris Hemsworth’s? Well, apparently you can get one for just US$29.99 /month with his Centr App. Seems a reasonable deal, but even so, people are complaining that’s it’s expensive compared with other training programs, without Chris, at under US$20 /month. Especially since there are literally hundreds of exercise and diet videos free on YouTube, so why would you pay US$29.99 for Chris’ App?   More...

Thursday, May 21, 2020

How to turn Your Business Into a Profit Machine and make it a Saleable Asset

by Dr Greg Chapman

Are you tired of working backbreaking hours in your business without getting the rewards you deserve?

 For most business owners, working harder is not the answer. They are already putting in the hours. In fact working less hours is a better approach, if those hours are spent doing the right things.

There is a process that business owners can follow to achieve their goals. Here are the 7 Steps to turn your business into a profit machine that runs without you:

Sunday, May 17, 2020

When Word of Mouth goes out of Your Control

Word of Mouth marketing is important in almost any business big or small. Every business lives or dies based on their reputation. So why would you risk leaving Word of Mouth to chance?

While positive reports about your service will get out there over time and create new business for you, bad reports travel like a rocket propelled by hard feelings and anger. Most of your clients who have enjoyed your services will mention you to help out friends and colleagues, but they aren’t active unpaid promoters of your business. When, however, you have let someone down, not delivered on your promise, and have not made things right, their only recourse is to damage you as much as they can.

Tuesday, May 05, 2020

Ad of the Month -Viral

by Dr Greg Chapman

It costs a lot of money to put up a billboard. And how effective are they? Most people drive by without even looking at them. So how much would you pay for an ad that might be up for hour during a conversation between a number of friends?

How about a couple of bucks? Well that’s what Burger King is paying.

Monday, April 27, 2020

Unknown Unknowns

by Dr Greg Chapman

As the famous baseball player and coach, Yogi Berra, once said once said, “It’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future.” But it’s even tougher when you don’t know what you don’t know, which is why training is so important, not just for your staff, but for owners too. How do we know that this is the case with our business? We know it when growth plateaus, when our own ideas and strategies have been exhausted.   More...

Monday, April 20, 2020

Apple Offers an iPhone Downsell

by Dr Greg Chapman

Apple has always positioned their brands as premium products. Nowhere more so than in the mobile phone market where with 32% of the revenue from the sector they have 66% of the profit. But with their latest flagship product priced at around $2000, they must have hit the law of diminishing returns. Yes, the new camera is more fancy, but a serious photographer would be buying a SLR camera, and a longer battery life, many will be forgoing these nice to have features, and purchase a perfectly reasonable smart phone from $100.

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Five Steps for Small Business to Survive and Thrive COVID – 19

by Dr Greg Chapman

Businesses large and small have been hit hard by the economic shutdown during this pandemic, probably harder than any time in the post war period. Some sectors harder than others, but there are steps owners can take to ensure that not only do they survive, but they also thrive when we all come out of this.

Thursday, April 09, 2020

Ad of the Month – Social Distancing

by Dr Greg Chapman

Many businesses have been impacted by COVID-19, so it’s important to stay relevant when so much has changed. This ad probably catches the feeling of the moment whilst still promoting a product that you can consume at home, but possibly not in the way you used to.

Tuesday, April 07, 2020

Wednesday, April 01, 2020

The Cure for Small Business Cabin Fever during Lockdown

by Dr Greg Chapman

Many perfectly good small businesses have been forced into hibernation due to the impact of COVID 19 lockdowns. While this will hurt everyone in spite of mitigation measures, there is still something we can all do when we are in isolation.

If you have been like the woodcutter who kept on going, even though his axe was becoming blunter and blunter because he was just in too much of a hurry to stop and sharpen his axe, this is an opportunity, albeit one you wish wasn’t happening.

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Fear of Missing Out

by Dr Greg Chapman

With the current COVID-19 created toilet paper panic, we can see a basic human reaction, a Fear of Missing Out (FOMO).

Because of a relative few who bulk bought, whether through genuine fear, or by opportunists who thought they could profit from panic, and the latter certainly exist, the rest of the population felt they had no choice but to join they buying spree, because they really were missing out. In the case of toilet paper, supply is not limited, it’s excess demand. Woollies have said the demand is for 7 weeks of supply EVERY day. This is the madness of the crowds and not something manufactured by retailers.   More...

Monday, March 16, 2020

Are there Parasites Eating Your Profit?

by Dr Greg Chapman

Many hard working business owners find that in spite of an apparently healthy turnover, at the end of the month, there is little left over to pay themselves. The sales have been ok, their costs have not risen appreciably. What is eating their profits?

Even though sales may have been healthy, there are a number of factors that can be holes under the water line of your Profit Statement – invisible to the naked eye.

Thursday, March 12, 2020

Ad of the Month – Changing Old Habits

by Dr Greg Chapman

What if you wanted to open up a new product category which would require people to change entrenched habits? A product that replaces an older category, one that has benefits consumers clearly enjoy. To do this requires you to show that these benefits can still be achievable without the downsides of the old product category, downsides that all consumers know about and dislike.

This is what this company tries to do.

Monday, February 24, 2020

Guarantee Success

by Dr Greg Chapman

Do you have a “real” guarantee, or an “implied” guarantee? By that I mean, do you openly and shamelessly advertise your guarantee at every available opportunity, or is your guarantee never mentioned?

The number one reason customers choose one product or service over another is not price, but confidence that the business can and will deliver what they want.

When you know you can confidently stand behind your product or service, you should put your guarantee right up front where your potential clients can see it, and promote it with strength.   More...

Monday, February 17, 2020

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. Ideas can come from anywhere.

You might be reading a book, and a character 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 you see a way that you could do something similar for your customers.

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Top 10 Australian Small Business Blogs And Websites In 2020

by Dr Greg Chapman

The Australian Small Business Blog has already been recognised as one of the top 10 Australian small business blogs by the business content aggregator Feedspot.

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, February 11, 2020

Ad of the Month – Sequel

by Dr Greg Chapman

One of the main purposes of a Dad is to embarrass his kids, but this dad is super cool, and became world famous for his previous ad for this brand. Sequels often fail, but this one doesn’t.

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

A 2020 Vision for Your Business

by Dr Greg Chapman

As the Cheshire Cat said to Alice, “If you don’t know where you are going, any road will take you there”.

Another new year and another opportunity to define the path you’re on. But which path? What would you like your business to look like at the end of this year?

More Sales?
More Profit? (not the same thing)
Different customers?
Different products and services?


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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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