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Category Archives: Strategy

The Benefits of Family Business

The term "Family business " usually refers to a small or mid-sized company that has a local focus and is plagued with a familiar set of dilemmas such as succession. In spite of that very simple description, family businesses have played a powerful role in the world economy and have included, through the years, big businesses worldwide. Some examples in Australia of successful family businesses are linFox, smorgon group, cooper's brewery and there are plenty of others. Most of the time, the key to success of a family business lies in its unique ownership structure that allows them to plan and thrive in the long-term. But other researchers believe that it is also this structure that causes many of them to fall. So what’s really the case? In a recent article from Harvard Business Review, What You Can Learn from Family Business by Kachaner, Stalk and Bloch, presented...

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Business Failure

The flipside of "success” is "failure” and it’s the latter that every business owner and manager strive hard to avoid. By definition, the term "business failure” refers to the cessation of a company’s operations following its inability to generate enough revenue to cover expenses without adequate reserves. In the recent times, there are many examples of strong businesses that have failed to adjust to the changing markets and economic times or to take advantage of opportunities – and this has ultimately led to their downfall. Based on my 26 years experience working closely with business owners, here are my 9 key tips to avoiding business failure: 1. always ensure that you target your marketing. Too many businesses have an undifferentiated product/service offering and fail to understand who their target customer is and what they require. Don’t be undifferentiated, make sure you’re speaking the right language and...

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Using your iPad for Presentations

Using Your iPad To Make Presentation As part of my role as a Coach, I tend to deliver a range of tailored training programs for my clients. This usually involves a laptop computer, a presenter remote, a data projector and laptop speakers. However, since purchasing an iPad over 2 years ago, I have found that I no longer have much use for a laptop - in fact, I have just purchased my first desktop computer in over 15 years - an iMac (and I love it!). The catalyst for this was working out that I can use my iPad 2 to deliver my presentations with ease. So how does it work? What gear do I need? What Equipment Makes it Work?     In addition to a presentation device, like a data projector or TV screen, you will need the following: iPad - you will need...

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How Great Leaders Inspire Action

Wonder when you’d get the best results with your marketing strategies? Wonder no more – with a new insight by Simon Sinek called The Golden Circle, you are sure to inspire your consumers and persuade them to make the action you've been expecting from them. But before we expand on the idea of The Golden Circle, here’s a brief background on Simon Sinek. One of the TED Talk speakers, Simon is also known as the author of the book "Start With Why” which was released in 2009. With his works, he has been convincing and motivating people to do what inspires them. With that said, there is no doubt that this new insight from him will help you get the results you have been dreaming of from your marketing strategies. The Golden Circle Concept As its name implies, the concept known as the Golden Circle...

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Tailoring your Marketing to your Consumers

I recently posted about an interesting ad campaign from Canada using Porsches in a wealthy suburb in Toronto. Let's expand on this concept of really understanding your target market and personalising your approach to them. In the video, the advertising agency Lowe Roche in Toronto Canada thought of a way to make advertising more direct and more personal for client - Pfaff Porsche. They drove the Porsche to a neighborhood of affluent families in Toronto (which was their target market), parked the Porsche in driveways and took photos. After the pictures were taken, the team from the advertising agency produced tailored marketing pieces for each address using mobile printers. They then distributed the print outs and the residents of the neighborhood received a personalized direct mail piece. From this creative and very unique campaign, 32% of people responded to a website where they booked a...

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The Process of Hiring a Virtual Assistant (VA)

The process of searching for a VA for your business is fairly easy (it worked well for me!) and is similar to recruiting an assistant locally. The only difference is that 100% of the process is done online – tests or surveys are conducted electronically and candidates are interviewed via VOIP services like Skype. My Personal Hiring Experience I found my VA via www.OnlineJobs.ph, an outsourcing website that offers foreign employers to post job openings and search among thousands of Filipino applicants for the perfect person to fill the post. For sites like these, you will need to register yourself as an employer before you can post a job offer and get access to thousands of resumes in their database. After registering and posting your offer, you can either wait for applicants to contact you and send in their resumes (via your contact email) or...

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The Lost Art of Management

You know, I think that over the last few decades that “business” has lost the art of managing their people. (I say “business” because obviously there are some great managers out there – but, in general, management is a lost art!) We’ve managed to pull through the GFC (“Global Financial Crisis”) and have emerged into a market that is very competitive, with tighter margins and that is far more globalised than ever before. There are also significant opportunities for businesses that are have the capacity and capability to embrace them. But here lies the challenge… I am finding that most businesses do not have the necessary “middle- management” skills and personnel to pull it off. Why is this so? Well, in an effort to become more efficient, we have “exised the fat” and removed layers of middle-management by pushing more and more responsibility down the...

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To Tweet or Not Tweet

To Tweet or Not to Tweet Social networking has indeed changed the world. Since its introduction, this modern phenomenon, which is also referred to as social media, has provided a new and faster way for people to connect, interact and go about with their daily lives. Social networking may have started out as a fad, but its massive appeal has transformed it to something even bigger. And today, almost 50% of the world’s IT literate population, under 30 years old, is on social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and more. Social networking has affected almost every person in the world in one way or another—good or bad. In fact, many people’s personal lives have changed because of it. Research shows that 1 out of 8 US couples have met through social networking sites. With things like this happening because of social media, the...

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The One Page Plan

The One Page Plan covers the key elements of a Business Improvement Plan by summarising the NOW, WHERE and HOW. In the NOW Summary, you need to pull out the key points of your current position, remembering that you only have room for about 10 short points (3 to 4 words per point). In the WHERE Summary, you need to include a short summary of your Vision, your Business Statement, your Sustainable Competitive Advantage and your Objectives. In the HOW, we need a summary of each of your key strategies and your action plans. To keep the plan to one page, you can always print on both sides of an A4 sheet. In this way you can have the Plan on one side with the budget (financial projections) or detailed action plans on the other side of the sheet. It is suggested that elements of...

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Why Plans Fail

There are several other reasons why business managers don’t plan: Traditional business plans are too complex Traditional business planning fails to address many of the current issues in our business They often only focus on the future Traditional business planning assumes that management will develop and implement the plan Traditional business plans are too inflexible to be of any use (How can a 100 page document be reworked quickly to meet changing market conditions?) Traditionally business plan usually doesn't provide a mechanism to prioritise the key issues how do you can determine which issues are to be dealt with firts Are these some of the reasons why you haven't developed a plan for the future of your business? For a Business Improvement Plan to be useful, I believe it must: Be simple and easy to adjust Be flexible Maximise our change potential Be based on...

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