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Category Archives: Business Tips

What apps should you have in your eco-system?

In our first article on this topic, we highlighted the process for defining the apps and tools you will require in your eco-system of apps for your business. If you missed that article, you will find it here http://www.sbdbusiness.com.au/business-tips/ecosystem-of-apps-and-tools/ When I followed the process and started defining my ecosystem, I thought about the key functions that I wanted to get right and ended up mapping out 7 areas that are really important for me and my business. Below are those areas and the key apps that I use to be productive and efficient. 1. Client Information   Where do you store your client information? Unfortunately, lots of people are storing their valuable client and sales information in their accounting system and end up not being able to use it for marketing and sales because they are using the wrong software for the job.   Client...

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Defining Your Ecosystem of Apps and Tools

I find that many people have apps and tools that they use that don't work with each other, don't work across platforms and are actually a "pain in the neck" as they increase complexity and reduce productivity. Therefore, it's really important that you find an ecosystem of tools that will work together to give you increased productivity and better leverage. The term "ecosystem" is really important because I envisage a system of software apps and tools that is interconnected and supportive of the others, and all works in harmony to create the desired outcome.   And when I say "will work," I'm really talking about a couple of powerful words: synergistic – tools that build on each other and leverage off each other, and integration – working across multiple platforms in multiple ways.   It's important to know how to pick the right software and tools to drive Personal...

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Get the most from Social Media – 10 Tips

Social Media has played a part in most businesses since it was invented but still the sentiment in the business world about social media tends to be divided. There are those who think it’s an enormous waste of time, who choose to ignore social media and risk being left behind completely because they are alienating internet savvy customers and future employees in the process. And then there are those who embrace it fully – those that have a clear, strategic social media plan and gain enormous competitive advantage by using the right tools to suit their business and target market. But what is Social Media? Social media, in simple terms, is the term used to describe the tools people are using to share text, video, images and information online and the networks they are using to connect with each other. It’s the evolution of the internet from a broadcast medium to...

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Marketing Madness

In a recent blog we discussed how we can make sure that marketing is effective for our business. This blog reiterates that while you need ensure the effectiveness of your Marketing, it is also crucial to ensure that it is effective all-year round. Businesses will often gear up for events such as Christmas, Mother’s day, Father’s day, Stocktake Sales and the like, and then accept that there are quieter periods in the rest of the year. But really, this should not be the case. What can we do to market all-year round? Let’s look to multinational companies to explore this issue. It gets hard to compete when you are reacting all the time to promotions of big players and you feel you have to follow. Unfortunately, most businesses react by putting on sales which may actually reduce your profits due to the size of the...

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Is Your Marketing Effective?

Marketing is one of the most important and time-consuming activities of business owners as we all want the right image for our business and more of the right clients. We want them to not only see but to also understand what our business offers and how they can differentiate us from our competitors. That’s what Marketing is all about. It is creating specific brand images in the minds of our target customers and advertising is the mechanism used to communicate these images to them. Unfortunately, most businesses do not have a formal marketing plan and their marketing and advertising becomes a series of uncoordinated events. Businesses are often talked into advertising programs that are not linked to any marketing plan. So how do we avoid falling into that trap? It is important to note that the secret is in coordinating a sequence of activities targeted...

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A Changing Environment

Change is a fundamental and common element to our business environment and this will continue to impact on the whole Australian economy for the next few years. As we have discussed previously, both the volume and rate of change are growing exponentially. Very few businesses proactively plan to overcome or respond to the opportunities that change creates. A business’s ability to manage and implement change effectively is critically important, now more so than ever. To remain competitive and sustain vibrant businesses, quick and effective action is required to maintain long term financial viability. Major changes include: • the impact of globalisation • the adoption of innovation and technology • the change in the demographics of our target markets • the change in labor dynamics • the personalised marketing demands of customers • the ecological issues and changing government regulations These changes have had wide reaching...

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The Business Leader of the Future – will you have what it takes to succeed?

“Traditional ways of managing a business are coming to an end.” – Gary Hamel, The Future of Management It has been a recurring theme in our blogs and webinars that we are in a fast-changing business environment and that we need to update our processes and systems within our organisations for us to cope. The quote above is taken from the best-selling book “The Future of Management” by World strategy guru and author, Gary Hamel where he adds, in direct quote, “New problems demand new principles. Put bluntly, there’s simply no way to build tomorrow’s essential organisational capabilities—resilience, innovation and employee engagement—atop the scaffolding of 20th century management principles.” Another business thought-leader, Alex Osterwalder talks about the urgent need for ‘business model innovation’ in his publications where he states that: “Companies that aren’t able to systematically rejuvenate their business model will struggle to survive and...

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5 Key Trends in Australian Business

Doing business in a VUCA (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous) environment requires business owners to always be one step ahead of the curve and continuously think of ways to successfully adapt their business to the complex, changing environment brought about by emerging trends. Now, there are a lot of emerging trends that are currently impacting businesses, however, I have chosen 5 key trends that I believe have a big impact and will create opportunities for businesses. Trend 1 – Rise of the Robots As businesses seek to improve productivity and quality while reducing labour costs, industrial and service robots will make an increasing contribution to Australian businesses. The cost of robotics is falling rapidly and capabilities are increasing with every new generation. The robots of the near future will not be like Star Wars’ C3PO or the large industrial robots that are standard in manufacturing...

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10 hurdles to overcome when learning new skills

In today’s rapidly changing business environment, learning new skills are necessary to stay relevant. Regardless of what your role is in a business, you will very quickly go backwards if you are not continuously growing and evolving. The list of new skills required to succeed globally is long but the most in-demand are: • Turning salespeople from order takers to business people who sell • Turning leaders from the star player to head coach • Turning managers from task-focused to team-focused • Turning administrators into business analysts It may seem easy to learn any new skill, but we fall short most of the time because of challenges that appear amid the learning process. With that said, here is a list of the 10 key issues we see when learning new skills and how to address them. 1. Too much theory, not enough practice – While...

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6 rules to creating the ideal organisation

Creating the ideal organisation is considered to be much like finding the Holy Grail – hard if not impossible. But this didn’t stop Rob Goffee and Gareth Jones, experts in Organisational Behaviour, to take up the challenge. Three years and many hundreds of hours of research, they found that an ideal organisation must be authentic and must nurture the development of authenticity in all those involved in the firm. But the question still remained: what does an authentic organisation look like? And with more research, Goffee and Gareth came to the conclusion that an ideal organisation has 6 virtues which they kindly summarised in their simple questionnaire which is replicated below. The simplicity of the questionnaire may produce a false confidence that these elements can be easily drafted into a firm – but that is not so. Change – cultural change, takes time and resources....

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