5 Ways To Help Your Business Grow

Photo: Ken Teegardin, under creative commons license

Photo: Ken Teegardin, under creative commons license

Your business is an extension of who you are and what you have worked towards for so long. Just like a child, a business needs cultivation and lots of time and energy to help it grow and thrive. While the early stages may be tiresome, hard work will pay off in the end if you put in the effort. Here are a few ways to help your business grow.

1. Plan to Grow

In order to grow, you need to have a business model that will allow for change and be able to adapt to whatever the current market environment is at any given time. Growth in business does not only refer to profit margins or an expanding workforce. While these things can contribute to business growth, your business can only grow if you are aware of what the market needs and can adapt to follow it. For help with creating a suitable business plan, consider enlisting the help of a group that specialises in creating business models for growth and development, such as Predictable Success.

2. Invest in Your Team

Your business will grow considerably if you have the right workforce. Invest in the members of your team. Give them considerable time to train and retrain and understand the business principles. The best workforce is one who feels comfortable and motivated in the work it is doing. Take time to encourage and reward their efforts.

3. Open Another Location

Business growth can be quite literal if you want it to be. If you have one location for your services, consider expanding by opening another location in a different area. More locations can help you grow your business and reach more people. If your business is not based at a physical location, consider opening one as a type of shopfront for interested customers or investors to see you in a different setting.

4. Build Your Customer Pool

More customers means a higher revenue stream and more people to use your products. Build and expand upon your customer pool as much as you can. Use both traditional and non-traditional methods to get the word out about your product. Many businesses now use social media campaigns to communicate with the public about what they offer. Grow your business by using the tools of the day to expand your breadth and market potential.

5. Expand Your Products/Services

Growing a business can often include expanding upon the products and services you already offer. Do you own a landscaping business? While you may own and transport all of your own tools and equipment, many people may own their own equipment and not enlist your services. Expand your landscaping services by also offering maintenance and repairs on external equipment, or provide low-cost landscaping materials (e.g. soil, plants or garden tools). Build upon the service you already provide to reach a larger customer base who may use only a certain aspect of what you provide.

No matter what your business plan, growth can only be effective through flexibility. You must be willing to constantly change and improve your model to achieve lasting results.

Business Loan – New Option

KabbageEveryone has a shopping list of things they need or want, for their business.  Usually those items are cast aside for lack of time, but usually because of money or lack thereof.  You can always swipe a credit card, hit up family and friend for some cash or make a crowd funding video and see how that goes, or tap into a Kabbage line of credit, a new innovative approach to business financing that takes into consideration your online payments.

The interesting aspect about Kabbage is that it goes beyond the limits of the traditional credit score to understand your online payment gateway selling patterns and rewards you for it. Very interesting!

Five Tips for Increasing Business Productivity

meeting_09Maintaining motivated staff is an integral part of keeping your business running efficiently. You need hardworking people to perform all the actions and duties required on a daily basis. Increasing your business’s productivity is an integral part of growing and creating a lasting impression into the future.

Increasing productivity need not be painstaking, but nor does it happen overnight.

Here are some tips to help increase productivity in your workplace.

1. Use Software Solutions

With the advent of smart technology, if you can dream it, anything can happen. Businesses often fail because they don’t use technology and software in the most efficient way(s).  Specialised productivity software solutions like GlobalX Legal Solutions can help business owners improve efficiency in their workplace.

These tools provide up-to-date information, streamlined workflows and access to a range of data to keep your business current and effective.

2. Have A Communication Strategy

Communication is vital for effective and efficient us of any technology. Information should never be delayed in getting to its intended recipient. We know the adage that information is power, but with technology, information is both leverage and empowerment when put in the proper hands with the proper directives.

3. Invest In Worker Training And Support

Investing in your employees is investing in your business. Maintaining an active and engaged workforce that is capable and efficient will have a positive impact on the output of your team. Employees will be more confident in their duties when they are properly trained and supported in their roles.

4. Planning And Organising

Increasing productivity means having set objectives in place to help you get there. Develop goals of varying lengths to help you reach certain milestones. Set plans for a month in advance, a year in advance, five years in advance and so on. Smaller goals can help you reach the larger objectives, but they need to be put into action and made a priority. Staying on track with your goals will help your business thrive.

5. Continue Evolving

Many businesses fail because they do not let go of their old ways of doing things. Staying current with information and trends will help your business not only stay afloat, but succeed. Allow your business the leeway it needs to grow and thrive in a continually changing market. This is not to stay that you should abandon your business model that got you to where you are, but you should also not let those hinder you from growing and transforming as you need to.

Common Business Law Issues That Can Hurt Your Small Business

As a small business owner, you have a lot to keep you busy. You deal with issues such as finding new clients, marketing your services and/or products and making sure your books balance properly. But of all the things that must be taken care of, the ones that stand head and shoulders above all others are legal considerations.

Operating within the parameters of the law should be the highest concern for any business, regardless of size. Unfortunately, many small businesses run afoul of legal trouble – often because business owners do not fully understand business law or may disregard it. Legal issues can come up at any time, catching businesses unaware and causing massive – sometimes irreparable – damage.

Some of these problems are typical mistakes many small businesses have encountered.

Take a look at some of these common legal issues and how you can avoid them.

  • Lack of strong written agreements. As much as we all would simply like to “shake on it” and leave it at that, the reality is all business agreements need to be put in writing. Without proper and verifiable documentation, agreements and deals become impossible to enforce – in effect, they become non-existent and you can be left with nothing to stand on. An ideal business contract should be in your favour, flexible and offer you plenty of protection in case things go awry.
  • Not having adequate legal help. Any growing business will need an established, experienced business attorney to represent them at some point. Without their specialised skills, your business will be at a severe disadvantage in issues such as employee negotiations, intellectual property rights and any litigation your company may face. It may seem unnecessary and costly to employ a business attorney, but their legal knowledge will be an invaluable asset that can save you a lot of money and hardship in the long run. With a wide range of commercial lawyers in Melbourne, you have plenty of options to explore.
  • Getting involved in discrimination and harassment cases. These legal hazards can easily cripple your business. Not only can they result in very costly legal proceedings, but they also draw a lot of media attention that will be bad for your company’s reputation. Ensure your human resources team is prepared to deal with any discrimination and harassment issues. Working proactively to promote a positive, professional work environment is the best way to head this issue off before it can gain any traction.
  • Unhappy customers. A large group of unsatisfied consumers can band together and do severe damage to your company with a class action lawsuit. Not only will this hit your business hard financially, but this will do massive damage to your brand and reputation – something you cannot afford to risk. This tends to spin out of faulty products or services, so providing your absolute best every time is key to keeping this problem at bay. Keep communication channels open for your customers and resolve any product or service problems as quickly and efficiently as possible.
  • Disgruntled employees. Mistreating the people who work for you can be a sure fire way to invite legal woes. Employees are protected by laws that must always be observed – even if their termination is justified. Should you need to let an employee go, make sure he or she signs properly drafted legal forms that make the terms of dismissal clear – otherwise, they can pursue legal action against you and your company.
  • Ignoring copyright and trademark laws. Nothing can be as disheartening as staking your business on a product, then finding out you infringed another company’s patent and face severe consequences for it. If you are launching a product, check for patents and copyrights to avoid this issue.

“An ounce of perspiration is worth a gallon of blood.”

- Dr Marc Dussault

5 Common Mistakes Made by Business Travellers

Plane AirbridgeTravelling can be tricky if you don’t know where you are or where you’re going. If you’re scheduled to go on a business trip, you might be consumed with business concerns and not give any time to personal considerations. As an ambassador for the business, you need to make the most of your trip which can be quickly compromised by making the most common mistakes made by business travellers. Here are the top 5 and how you can avoid making them!

1. Keeping Records

Expenses pile up as you travel. When you return, your boss will most likely ask you for an expense report. This might be when you remember you did not keep any receipts and paid with cash for most transactions! You need to keep a record of everything purchased. Get a receipt for everything you can and, in other cases, make notes of expenses. There are some apps now that can keep a record for you – you just have to remember to put the numbers in!

One strategy I use is to have an envelope where I place all my receipts at the end of EVERY DAY. I keep cash purchases to a minimum, preferring to accumulate Frequent Flyer (FF) points with my purchases, plus the payment period on a credit card meant I would get reimbursed from the company BEFORE the bill is due (when I worked for someone else). Otherwise, you end up “funding” the business with your cash!

2. Lack Of Wi-Fi / Internet Connectivity

Do not assume that Wi-Fi is everywhere you will be or that it will be free. You could put yourself in a tight spot if you need to send an urgent email and can’t find an Internet hotspot. Today, this is akin to being organisationally incompetent. I witness it with clients from time to time – they are “offline” unexpectedly and their whole day/week or trip becomes a mess of missed calls, emails and totally avoidable STRESS.

Connectivity is no longer a luxury, but a necessity, just as much as a clean, quiet hotel room is.

3. Not Informing The Bank

Nothing can make someone panic quite like an ATM denying their request for cash while in a foreign country. When this occurs, most often the bank’s anti-fraud systems have detected an unusual transaction and has temporarily protected your account, much to your frustration. If you inform your bank of your travel plans prior to your departure, they can insert a message if and when any signals come up so they can be overridden by the remote operator. This gives you peace of mind that you will have access to your money, while also protecting you from suspicious purchases.

4. Unnecessary Trips

This one is self-evident except in many cases it doesn’t seem to be. People usually only consider the costs of travel – totally forgetting the opportunity costs of not being ‘at work’ or ‘home’. I am not against business travel, in fact I encourage it, but not at any cost.

You need to assess the costs and benefits of every trip. Ask questions such as:

  • How long is this trip going to last?
  • How long will it take to get to your destination?
  • What is the time difference between your current location and the destination?
  • Can you combine more than one destination, client, project or outcome?
  • Can you combine this trip with vacation time off?
  • Can you include family to kill two birds with one stone?
  • What is the opportunity cost of being away?
  • Is this the best to go?
  • Can it be scheduled to include a weekend and/or holiday?
  • Can you accomplish the same goal via a video conference call?

If the answers to these questions are in any way problematic, seriously consider whether or not the trip has to or should be made. There is nothing wrong with wanting to take trips – but the cost/benefit equation should stack up to a positive result.

5. Knowing When To Stop Travelling

Let’s face it, we have seen or heard the stories of the “roadwarriers” (travelling salespeople) who are “always on the road”. Some have to do it as part of their job, but many do not. They fail to see the alternatives and often with serious consequences to their health and/or home life.

Burn-out is one of those things you never quite recover from. I have seen the permanent scars it has left on victims. They are never the same after pushing themselves “beyond the limits”. Don’t do it, it’s not worth it.

You should not ignore the signs of physical ailments and make matters worse by pushing through to a breaking point. Listen to the signs and know when something is too much for you to handle. You will not benefit your employer or yourself if you are too ill to perform in meetings, negotiations or other demanding activities. It’s worse when you travel because you have to deal with time zones, a new environment and additional stress and distractions.

These mistakes are common but also quite avoidable.

Ask your travel agent about security plans, like the ones offered by FCm Travel, in case any mishaps happen while you’re away from home. As I always tell people:

“An ounce of perspiration is worth a gallon of blood”
-- Dr Marc Dussault

Creating a Positive Workplace Culture

Shutterstock - 210347026Creating a positive workplace culture can be enormously beneficial to both your business and workers. A well developed, a positive workplace culture can boost productivity while reducing staff turnover and sick days. A happier team will perform better, get along well and have a stronger sense of loyalty to your business, so it’s definitely something worth investing in.

Here are a few things you can do to improve the atmosphere of your workplace.

Invest in a Safe Workplace

It’s impossible to create a positive environment for your staff if they are at risk of injury or – worse – feel like you couldn’t care less if they were to be injured. It’s crucial to invest time and money into ensuring your workplace is a safe space for all of your employees and to let them know you are doing so. There are many online resources that can provide you with information regarding workplace safety, including the websites of companies that specialise in workplace injury lawsuits, such as Turner Freeman Lawyers .

Show That People Are Important

How many times have you walked into a business and seen a sign that claims “Our people are our most important asset”?

While that might be true in theory, in practice unfortunately, sometimes workers don’t feel this to be the case. It is enough for an organisation to say people matter, it’s what they do and don’t do that speaks louder than (empty) statements.

Since employees (staff) are the first impression a customer gets of you as an organisation, you need to make sure you make that first all-important impression count. Un or under-appreciated employees are the worst (anti) marketing and sales strategy you can deploy.

Encourage Communication

It’s important for management to communicate with staff and for staff to talk to each other. Positive communication in the workplace engenders a feeling of belonging and wellbeing. If changes have to be made, don’t just tell others; issue the advice with an opportunity for staff to comment and suggest alternatives.

Acknowledge Feedback

Once you’ve established a system that enables feedback, make sure you do something with it. A system that encourages staff comments but has no avenue for action will soon be seen for what it is: a device to make workers think you care. If you ask for feedback or other input, make sure you listen, acknowledge it and respond with action.

Show Staff You Care

A little appreciation goes a long way. If you expect people to work hard for you, they in turn are entitled to an acknowledgement you understand what they do each day. There is no need to throw lavish ‘thank you’ parties each month (unless they are genuine and authentic), but little gestures like awards and internal communications can mean a lot to a hard worker. Even the odd informal ‘thanks for your work’ as you pass their desk every now and then will have an enormously positive effect on a worker’s output.

A happy worker is a productive worker, and nothing can make a workplace more positive than a culture that acknowledges and rewards effort, encourages open and positive communication, and has bosses who really care. Building a positive workplace culture not only sends the workers home happier and healthier, it also brings in many benefits to the employer via a staff that is actually concerned about the success of the business. It may take a bit of effort to get the system perfect, but it will be well worth it in the long run.

All of this will appear as total B.S. if it’s not genuine and sincere. Employees have become all-t00-aware of the superficial band aids managers use to appease their teams. An authentic (real) leader knows what’s important to his or her team and makes sure those motivational factors are present and adhered to. Assigning “employee of the month” awards on a rotating basis is one simple example. If the same employee deserves to win 2, 3, 4 or even 10 months in a row – give it to him or her. That will send a CLEAR MESSAGE to the others. If NO ONE deserves it, SKIP a month to make the point!

Top Blog Posts Of 2014

Here are my picks for my top 10 blog posts of 2014.

  1. Top-10-Blog-Posts-2014There is nothing more powerful than 20/20 Foresight to know what’s coming in 2015…
  2. This is my favourite YouTube video of the year – brilliant – Word Crimes are committed by too many people’s.
  3. Antimimeticisomorphism is easier said than done – this example is priceless – poo pourri.
  4. The privacy pirates are still at it in 2014, maybe this guy’s one step ahead of them with his amazing mind reading skills!
  5. We all love our iPads… Who knew they are this versatile and useful?
  6. A metaphor can be the difference life and death, success or failure. This is one of my all-time favourites.
  7. This cute video says a lot about teamwork – Together Everyone Achieves More.
  8. Looks do matter – even if you’re a shark.
  9. I hope your calendar doesn’t look this this! Notice the caribou? Another great metaphor!
  10. Somethings are better left unsaid.

Bonus Blog Posts:

An Oscar Award Winning Speech worthy of its own Oscar!

If Noah was alive today

Enjoy the best of 2014 and may 2015 bring you all the wealth, health and happiness you deserve!

Funny Headlines

Funny Headlines - Exponential Programs Dot Com

Without Killer Kopywriting, Your Sales May Be Dying A Slow Death

Headlines like the ones shown are creative, attention-grabbing introductions to articles. Without them, most articles go unread.

How good are you at writing headlines and sales copy that sells?

Copywriting is one of the most valuable skills to have as a small business person, otherwise your message gets lost in the noise and ends up ignored.

I am NOT advocating you be sensationalistic to an extreme, but then again you should be so lucky to get THAT MUCH attention!

The point is, provocative headlines work as long as they don’t offend.

They get our attention and make us want to read the article, even if it’s just because we want to reward the author for the creativity in the headline.

How your business can benefit from a virtual receptionist

We all want to drive our business forward and make it a success. We all know the types of tasks required for this; sales, networking, marketing activities etc… the list goes on. However, there are also a group tasks that are equally important for business, but unfortunately are a lot less exciting and eat up a lot of time that could be used for sales or marketing.

These tasks are generally handled by a receptionist in medium to larger companies, and what a great job they do! This is not always a luxury that can be afforded by smaller businesses, resulting in employees sharing the workload that would usually be carried out by the receptionist. In an ideal world, all business owners would choose to have a receptionist, but this comes at a cost.

To solve this problem, there are many apps and services to help relieve employees from this workload so they can focus on sales, marketing and networking. One of the most useful and cost-effective services is an eReceptionist. An eReceptionist could be the solution to your current productivity woes!

If you’re struggling to juggle taking phone calls while getting vital work completed, chances are a virtual receptionist is just the answer you have been looking for. It is not always possible for you to be at your desk or available to handle incoming calls.

Zintel understands that answering phones and performing other front-of-office tasks is a necessary aspect of your business, but also one that can consume many hours of your valuable time that could have been spent serving your clients. The Zintel Receptionist is a professional business solution that gives you all of the benefits of an in-house receptionist, but at a fraction of the cost of a full-time employee. Their virtual receptionist service automatically answers, manages and routes your calls for you. Zintel’s virtual receptionist service not only saves you time, it also saves you money.

The Zintel virtual receptionist service provides the same quality of service you would expect from your own in-house receptionist. Thanks to their convenient recording service, recorded by you, exactly as you want them, your clients will think your receptionist is sitting in your office. Since all calls are answered in your voice, with greetings and messages customised by you, to suit your specific business needs, no one needs to know it’s an automated service.

Each call is managed in a way you choose, whether you are in or out of the office. The virtual receptionist service enables you to manage your calls at your convenience, responding to clients at a time that suits you rather than having your workflow interrupted.

Perfect for small businesses, start-ups and entrepreneurs to medium-sized enterprises, Zintel’s virtual receptionist service can be tailored to suit your individual business’ needs. With Zintel, there is no need to change your existing business telephone number, meaning you will not have to throw out those business cards you only had printed very recently. You simply divert your existing number to your virtual receptionist to meet your phone answering needs, then cleverly route your calls to where you want them to go. If you are not available to accept business calls, your virtual receptionist is there for you. Have calls directed to your mobile, home, office or take messages –- it really could not be simpler. For virtual receptionists visit Zintel AU. Stop struggling with your front of office tasks, let Zintel carry the load for you.

5 Ways to Keep Customers in Your Store for Longer

Aside from locking customers in your store (it’s called ‘kidnapping’!), there are numerous retail psychology techniques  you can use to keep your customers browsing and (hopefully) purchasing, for longer. A glorious new refit courtesy of a respected company such as TU Projects will definitely help but so can the following tips. Read on to hold on to your customers for longer.

Gender

Controversy aside, a recent article in The Journal of Retailing (“Are Men Seduced by Red?”) highlighted a study which showed that women are far more likely than males to process retail information. Essentially (according to the study) females are less likely to be ‘tricked’ by the common use of red to denote a sale or marked down price in a retail setting. Your business may benefit from identifying which gender is more likely to frequent your store and tailoring your marketing accordingly.

Salespeople

Another study in the same Journal identified that salespeople who are able to ‘read’ the mood of potential customers assisted with customer retention – and the study advises that not all customers want a super happy, smiling salesperson either! If your sales clerks are able to correctly identify a customer’s mood and then act accordingly, there’s a greater chance of the customer staying in the store longer and making a purchase. Employing salespeople with strong emotional intelligence is highly recommended.

Store layout

There’s a reason why the milk is always at the back of the supermarket – it forces customers to pass through numerous aisles, thereby increasing the possibility of impulse purchases. It is, perhaps, a dirty trick but ‘all’s fair in retail’ as the saying goes. Other strategies include aisle order, line-of-sight and point of sale displays which also influence consumer decisions. Don’t make your store’s layout too confusing though, as this may put potential customers off.

Colour

The use of colour and its influence on consumers has been well documented. Red and yellow allegedly make you hungry while purple is supposed to encourage spending. If your business specialises in romantic or feminine products then pink will be your main choice of colour. Black is often used to symbolise luxury while blue suggests reliability and security. Spend some time researching the use of colour in the retail environment and reflect on your area of business – perhaps you need to redecorate accordingly?

Emotional Blackmail

Shopping Fitouts at Shopping CentresWell, emotional tracking actually. More and more businesses are utilising ‘emotional tracking’ to identify consumers’ emotions from facial recognition data. In essence, a computer program is used to assess the faces (and corresponding emotional state) of customers. This data is then converted into actionable information for the retailer. If you have a display and your customers are expressing confusion or frustration, the software will advise that something needs to be done with the display to convert the negative emotions into positive ones, thus keeping customers in store for longer.

Kidnapping aside, how do you keep customers in store for longer? Leave your tips below!

Best Books Of 2014

I used to publish a list of my top books, but then decided to keep that list confidential for my paying clients only.

As a speed reader, I consume over 100 books in a year and thought I could share ten of the best books I’ve read in the past 12 months with you.

Here it is – I am not advocating you read them all, just that I think they are worth considering the next time you want to read a good book.

  1. The Family Business Suicide Prevention Guide. Published in late 2014, written by yours truly. This is a MUST READ!
  2. Gone Girl by Jillian Flynn. You probably know about it because of the movie – I recommend reading the book first – the asynchronous style of writing is captivating, original and refreshing. Business people could learn from this book’s outstanding story telling and innovative approach to writing a novel.
  3. Scarcity – How having so little means so much. This is my “Business Book Of The year” selection.
  4. Curiosity – Another great contribution to our understanding of what makes us human.
  5. Talk Like Ted. Ted.com is YouTube for smart people. Ideas Worth Spreading. This is a book worth reading about speaking.
  6. Gold Rush – By Olympian and World Champion Michael Johnson. I am biased having spent a few hours at his facility. He’s the real deal and the book is worth every penny.
  7. How To Be Interesting – by Jessica Hagy. Who doesn’t want to be interesting?!?!?
  8. Blind Spot: Why We Fail to See the Solution Right in Front of Us – Gordon Rugg. Self-explanatory wisdom we all need to hear.
  9. The Demographic Cliff – Harry S Dent. If you haven’t this yet, I hope it’s not too  late!
  10. Wait – The Art And Science Of Delay – Frank Partnoy – No it’s not a justification for procrastination. You need to read it to get the nuances that are priceless and timeless.

There you have it – 10% of the book I’ve read this year. If you’d like to learn to Speed Read, get my program by clicking on the hyperlink.

Imagine read TEN TIMES MORE THAN THE LIST ABOVE – EVERY YEAR?!?!?

3 Ways to Ensure Your Brand Gets Noticed At Your Next Event

image003Standing out in the crowd at an event isn’t always easy for brands and businesses. Whether you’re hosting the event, exhibiting at a trade show or putting on a market stall, chances are your messaging is going to be competing for your audience’s attention. Below you’ll find some 3 helpful tips that will help make sure your brand stands out.

#1 Theme Your Displays

Think about how boutiques and retailers in busy shopping centres dress their shopfronts and windows every season. They don’t just do it to make their space look good. It’s to grab the attention of their target audience as they’re walking around the shops. While having your brand identity on display – things like your logo, tagline or slogan and company colours – is important, incorporating theming that complements your company or campaign is what is really going to get you noticed.

A well designed theme will help to set the tone and mood of your company or campaign while drawing people in to take a closer look or find out more information. Most importantly, it has to draw people “in”.

#2 Think about Your Furniture

Be creative and choose furnishings and accessories that suit your theme, décor and venue. When it comes to your event set up, black cloth covered trestle tables and dry bars with your company pull up banners are not the only way that you can present the business at an event.

Make contact with a variety of suppliers and see what they have available. Products like Flexad tension fabric display range (available from suppliers such as Tenji Concepts) can really help you add visual impact to your stand. While you can get custom build counters and display stands, there are also some really innovative options like full colour printed fitted and draped table cloths that are made to fit the standard trestle style tables available at most function centres.

#3 Get Creative with Your Promotional Items

Putting your company logo on a pen or USB stick may be cost-effective, but if you want your brand to really stand out, make sure you put some thought into your giveaways and promotional products. The best novelty items are unique, stylish and functional. This is the difference between having something that gets tossed in a drawer and something that becomes a conversation piece or regularly used item.

If you are including printed material, make sure you talk to your designer about creative ways you can present the information.

A little bit of creativity and planning can go a long way when it comes to making sure that people remember your brand. Events are a great way to really ‘introduce’ people to what it is like to work with your organisation beyond your service offering. Try to have some fun with how you present your company’s image; while professionalism is important, personality matters too. That casual, softer and personal style of interaction that events offer is where real and lasting business relationships develop and flourish.

Retail Strategy: Book Blind Date

This is such a great concept I saw at Elizabeth’s Bookstore in Sydney!
Book Blind Date

Antimimeticisomorphism: Poo Pourri

Every once in a while, someone comes out with a really great product… but the only way it can sell is by being provocative. Here is one BOLD example -  enjoy!

Antimimeticisomorphism: Street Art

Today’s post is a collection of artworks that interact with nature is a very unique way. Click the hyperlink to be amazed by these artists’s creations!

 

Marketing Case Study: Value Proposition

This is a Kickstarter campaign for Strongbody apparel. A great example of presenting the product’s “value proposition” clearly and convincingly.

STRONGBODY_APPAREL_Kickstarter

Thank you Ray Keefe of Successful Endeavours for sending this through!

Personality Traits of Successful Entrepreneurs

ju06Contrary to popular belief, anyone can be an entrepreneur – you don’t need to necessarily be a Bill Gates or Steve Jobs “type”. You might just need to fine tune some of the traits that you might already possess as discussed in more detail below.

There are many different ways you can start your own business and if you are genuinely keen on doing so, talking to startup providers, like Telcoinabox, might be a great place to begin – take a look at www.telcoinabox.com.au to see what they can offer you.

Tenacity

Managing your own business can and will be hard, especially at the initial starup/launch stage. Even after that, you will encounter numerous obstacles. You have to be prepared for this! Some of the best entrepreneurs are not necessarily the ones that made the best creative decisions, but those that persevered through the tough times and made it to the “other side” Failure is not necessarily a negative, much can be learned from your mistakes. It’s the ability to keep going when the going is at its toughest that will make you successful.

Passion

Many entrepreneurs are not driven by money, but by their passion for the product or service they are providing. It’s difficult to be tenacious in an industry you are not fully vested in and this may lead to your downfall. Even if you think it’s hard to be successful in the industry you are passionate about, give it a go anyway. You might be surprised to see how far pure passion and drive can get you. There is nothing worse than being “stuck” in an industry, company or job you don’t like.

Self-confidence

Confidence is a very important trait for all entrepreneurs to have, because you need to be one hundred and ten percent sure in both yourself and the product or service you’re selling. A completely new product will always have its naysayers and harsh critics. You need to have the confidence to make sure you don’t take their words to heart prove them wrong. You have to be confident enough to be willing to take (calculated) risks, but not too confident that you trip over yourself. This is a balance you will find over time as you “get your groove”.

Flexibility

The ability to adapt is very important from an entrepreneurial standpoint – the survival of your business might depend on it! Markets and industries are ever changing, and you will need to change what you’re doing as the context demands. Alternatively, your ideas might not be turning out the way you expect, so you might need to think about what you can do to turn this around. Most successful businesses (and models) were variations of the original idea. If the founder had stubbornly stuck to his or her idea, the company would have joined the majority of failed businesses.

These are just some personality traits that successful entrepreneurs should possess. There are, of course, many more. One of the most important attributes is to believe in yourself and what you are doing, and go from there. Good luck!

  • Are you an entrepreneur or know someone who is?
  • What do you think makes a successful business person?
  • Do you agree with the points made above, or do you disagree?
  • Is there anything else you would add to this list?

Leave a comment below and share your thoughts.

Is your business paying you more than just a wage?

Does running your own business payoff? The answer is yes, and no.

In a recent BRW Magazine article, University Of Western Sydney researchers revealed that even though small business owners still don’t earn as much as the typical wage earner, they’re becoming richer and smarter with their money as they tend to accumulate more assets.

Australian business owners report a lower level of weekly income. In 2010, they took home an average weekly income of $1975 compared with those on a wage who took home $2173.

But a new University of Western ­Sydney study shows business owners outstripped their more secure counterparts by accumulating assets worth more than $1 million ($1.095 million in 2010), whereas wage earners ­accumulated only two-thirds ($673,000) of this amount.

“As a small business owner, you sometimes sacrifice some income in favour of reinvesting that,” Mark ­Sargent from Newcastle University said. “There’s evidence the typical model, where you take the risk and get greater returns, actually is the case.”

Using data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics and HILDA (Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia), the study  found there are more than 2.1 million owner-operators of small businesses in ­Australia and the proportion of superannuation investment by both wage earners and small business owners has increased markedly.

The value of superannuation holdings in the sample group shows contributions from salary and wage earnings households between 2003 and 2010 rose 60 per cent whereas the contributions from unincorporated small businesses nearly doubled to 112 per cent.

“The magnitude of the change was quite surprising,” Dr Sargent said.

“Traditionally, people have started their own businesses with a view of one day selling their business and using the proceeds to fund their retirement.

“What we have now begun to detect is that more business people are ­dramatically building up their superannuation funds. This is a far more ­protected and secure environment for wealth creation.”

This is both good and bad news for small business owners.

First the good news: At least business owners are rewarded with capital appreciation of their assets. It is assumed the capital growth difference with their salaried peers actually compensates for the lower income and would the greater access to business deductions.

The bad news: The risk borne by small business owners is usually very high, with many primary residences collateralised for business bank loans and the on-going risk of default and bankruptcy especially in times of economic and geopolitical turmoil. An employee might lose a job, a business owner his/her job AND his/her house!

The great news: Some small business owners succeed at making a higher income and create greater capital appreciation than their peers. This small, elite group of business owners learns powerful strategies that are tried and tested. If you would like to join them, contact us. We’ll let you know if you qualify to join them.

What’s Coming

I have a special vocabulary I have created to define Exponential Mindset Thinking principles and concepts. One of the most powerful is 20/20 Foresight – the ability to create the ultimate future (destiny) you desire.

Admittedly it’s easier said than done, but not because the future is hard to predict, but because of the inertia you have that PREVENTS you from adapting to that (new) future which is why smart business people fail.

Please re-read that last sentence again…

I have been teaching this principle for some time and even blogged about it. In one blog post I explained the 20/20 Foresight – Strategic Planning Framework and in another I revealed how our clients are adapting to the impending “future forces”. In my personal coaching and mentoring blog I was much more direct in my prediction for the future.

There is no secret about what I expect to happen – Harry Dent has been promoting his views for some time and even published them in a bestselling book – The Demographic Cliff. After reading several of his books, I attended one of his information workshops in Los Angeles in May 2014 and was convinced that (1) I have to take this seriously and (2) I need to prepare my clients accordingly.

Simply stated, what I am advocating to my clients is that they prepare themselves professionally and personally – this is a lot easier than you would think. If the crash happens, they will be the “last man standing”, if the crash does not happen, they won’t lose anything, they’ll end up with a stronger, more robust business and bullet-proof portfolio. It’s all upside.

To learn what to do, you need to become a client. Contact us and we’ll let you know what to do to protect yourself and your business. If you choose not to become a client, good luck and please let me know how it all works out for you.

_____________________________

Note for future reference: Please look at the date this was published… which can also be confirmed as published on Twitter, Facebook and Linked In.

I know, don’t you wish you had (1) read this before it happened? and (2) if you did read it, that you had taken it more seriously?

 

 

Weird Al Yancovic – Word Crimes

All I can say is – WOW – what an awesome video.

I teach Killer Kopywriting and I will make this a must-watch component of the Pre Program Preparation for the workshop. So many lessons with captivating graphics.