Why Do Some Small Businesses Succeed?

Posted by brianduckworth on August 11, 2011

It is estimated that 8 out of 10 new businesses fail before the fifth year. On this basis before you can even say “open for business” the odds of achieving long-term success are already stacked against you. Every year in Australia there are around 100,000 new businesses started by enthusiastic owners with a passion for their industry and a desire to succeed. Allowing for an estimated start dollar cost of between $10 ,000 and $20,000 plus the cost of stock starting a business and being one of the 8 is not an enticing prospect.

Why do some succeed and others fail?

First and for most the overwhelming factor is the business owner’s passion for their business, or just their passion for being in business. In the latter case the subtle distinction is that some people are good at business and know how to utilize, or leverage the expertise of others to be successful whilst the former are what I would call ‘technicians’ who just love what they do.

The second part of this key factor is the actual industry itself and whether it is classed as a High, low or medium potential industry. A high potential business is one that is emerging or has not reached the maturity stage of its lifecycle. A low potential industry is one that has seen its better days or alternatively one that is highly capital or labour intensive – one may also suggest that it is heading towards exclusivity and a highly niched status.

Creativity is another key factor for success each and every small business needs the creative influence of the entrepreneur and the steady hand of the down to earth manager. Creativity is essential to maintain a competitive edge in the marketplace whilst the manager component keeps the ship on course.

People are the next important factor, every business has to have someone to interact with the consumers of their product and getting the right people with the right attitude is fundamental to success. The 3 elements of the people equation, internal, external and connections must come together for success.

Lastly education and experience are the final key to small business success, the successful business owner recognizes that whilst his experience will trump education he knows that learning or education is absolutely vital for his continued success.

The small business owner in this stage of their business growth does not want to be tied down to attending classes at 6:00pm every night, they want concise learning activities that are directed at what they want to know for today and can be delivered when they want to access the learning. E-Learning is now the key to answering the small business owner’s desire for information.

The astute small business owner can start learning more about growing their business with E-learning from www.astutemarketingacademy.com this online resource provides you with the resources to take your business to another level. It’s on the WWW! So it doesn’t matter whether your small business is in  Geelong, Warnambool, Mudgee, Melbourne, Brisbane or Sydney these valuable resources are available for you 24/7.

Brian Duckworth
www.astutecoaching.com.au

https://www.astutemarketingacademy.com
Helping you get more from your business!

Astute Business Coaching has a range of affordable coaching programs designed to coach you to business success and improved profits. Visit our site to learn how you can improve your Geelong, Surfcoast, Melbourne or Western Victoria business.

7 Ways to get Great Referrals

Posted by brianduckworth on August 9, 2011

Here are seven ways to help you keep your valued business partners in mind and give them more referrals and have them reciprocate. Remember “Givers Gain”.

1. Focus: We all have many demands on our time and where we spend our efforts. Work with colleauges you know and already have a relationship with; ideally these colleagues will be those whom you know will follow up and take action.

2. Know what a good referral looks like. Most of us when we ask for a referral are not clear on what the ideal referral is. before you discuss with your colleagues define what constitutes your ideal referral – you may end up with a number of definitions, possibly for example for each industry that you service. “Anyone” and “everyone” are not good referrals – be specific.

3. Keep a visual reminder in front of you when you are talking with your contacts. An A4 sheet of paper will photocopy up to 8 business cards. Use a business card holder. Make an Excel sheet with a list of names, numbers and what a good referral. Keep any or all of the resources open and with you as often as possible.

4. Ask questions and listen for clues. When you’re talking to your clients, other business partners listen to their complaints. These can be an opening to providing suggestions.

5. Be up front. Tell your new acquaintances and business clients “I find that the majority of my business comes from businesses with whom I’ve worked. I’ve found that my new clients, friends and colleagues appreciate knowing that they can confidently rely on me and know that anyone that they refer will be treated with respect and professionalism. If you know of anyonecthat has a need for my services, let me know.

6. Ask the question. Don’t be afraid to ask for a referral, once you’ve built trust with clients or colleagues ask the question. By the way I’m looking for an introduction to XYZ: I am know that my ABC widget will help them achieve great results? Do you know anyone at XYZ? Why did I put in the ABC widget? To make it REAL.

7. Be aware. Never stop thinking about a referral for you or your network (refer 3). Keep your specifics and theirs at the top of mind: ALWAYS. Never stop thinking about how to get a referral.

Zig Ziglar said it first, last, and best: “You will get all you want in life if you help enough other people get what they want.” Other business people want to get more business. Use these seven strategies to increase the referrals you give and you’ll soon find that you are getting more of you want.

Start learning more about how to grow your business with E-learning from www.astutemarketingacademy.com this online resource provides you with the resources that you can apply today to grow your referral network.  Whether your small business is in Warnambool, Mudgee, Melbourne, Brisbane or Sydney these valuable resources are available for you 24/7 on the WWW. You can access these invaluable resources at any time – when it’s convenient to you.

Brian Duckworth
https://www.astutemarketingacademy.com 

www.astutecoaching.com.au
Helping you get more from your business!

Astute Business Coaching has a range of affordable coaching programs designed to coach you to business success and improved profits. Visit our site to learn how you can improve your Geelong, Surfcoast, Melbourne or Western Victoria business.

Be Fit for Life – Be Fit For Business!

Posted by brianduckworth on

We invest significant hours of our time in keeping healthy and fit. We go to gymnasiums, pump iron, run on treadmills, take spinning and Zumba classes. Others amongst us do fun runs, tai chi, triathlons or yoga. People everywhere are exercising to either get fit, lose weight or prepare for an event; embedded in these efforts is an increasing concern about our sedentary habits, health issues and general well being.

On television we are seeing an epidemic of advertisements for vibrating platforms, ab king pro, cardio twister and the good old standby the treadmill. It is a huge industry built on people wanting to feel better about themselves, their health and their capability.

When we utilise personal trainers and facilities like Fernwood we are investing in ourselves and we have a self realisation that being involved in a program is much better than trying to do it all on one’s own. Our coach keeps us going when we hit the wall they cajole us to do that little bit more each time so we can achieve peak performance in our chosen objective.

Do we apply the same intensity and commitment to our business life?

I would suggest not. To be fit for business we need to apply ourselves with the same level of intensity and commitment that we apply to our health.

We need to work on our businesses, not in our businesses, we must strive to achieve higher and higher standards and goals and not be satisfied with the status quo.

So to be fit for business here are 6 areas to focus on to get your business (and you) Fit for Business!

Be Fit 1 – Business Plan: So many businesses have no plan for what they want to achieve in their business. Alice in Wonderland summarises it quite well:

Alice: Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?
The Cat: That depends a good deal on where you want to get to.
Alice: I don’t much care where.
The Cat: Then it doesn’t matter which way you go.

In short, if you don’t really care where you will finish, don’t worry about having a plan, or roadmap for your business.

If you do want to take your business to a specific point, whether it be profitability, sales growth or expansion you should have a plan such as our 2 page mini plan that outlines the key milestones you need to reach to achieve your goals.

Be Fit 2 – Cash Flow: You need to know where the cash that fuels your business is coming in from and going out to and how much is staying in the business to help it grow. Once you know this you can then plan for the next months to ensure that your business will be stable; action steps will be created to make sure you achieve your cash flow objectives.

Be Fit 3 – Bank Reconciliation: Many businesses don’t understand the importance of reconciling what has gone through their bank accounts. Until you have done this you cannot be sure about any of your business numbers. You should also, particularly if you outsource this task each month, make sure you examine the reconciliation and compare it to the previous reconciliation.

Be Fit 4 – Profit Reports: Your profit statement should be prepared each month, no matter what size business you have. Many businesses leave it to their tax specialist when their tax is calculated; this could be many months after the event. You need to know what your profit is now so that you can take actions to change what’s not working and ramp up what is working.

Be Fit 5 – Break Even Point: You must know your breakeven point. When in a month do you start making a profit? How many coffees does the local coffee shop have to sell to start making money, when during the week, month, quarter does this happen? Once you know this you can take action to change the game and have a better run and more profitable business.

Be Fit 6 – Business Coaching & Mentoring: Like your fitness coach, your business coach will help you keep on track to achieve your goals. It is so easy in small business to put a task to one side because of the need to run in the business. Your coach will hold you to your commitment to achieve a set task by a set time. You will work on your business – and you will be fitter for business because of it.

So there you are – Be Fit for Life – Be Fit for Business

Get the Business Breakthrough You Need…

With a free Business Breakthrough Session – Book Here

Brian not only gave me the strategies I needed to kick start my new business, but also helped me see potential in my new enterprise that I hadn’t even considered. As a result of my Kick Start Workshop with Brian, I am succeeding in my first year and building a business that has the earning capabilities way beyond my initial expectations.”

Nicole Crammond, Augustus Media.

Brian Duckworth
www.astutecoaching.com.au

https://www.astutemarketingacademy.com
Helping you get more from your business!

Astute Business Coaching has a range of affordable coaching programs designed to coach you to business success and improved profits. Visit our site to learn how you can improve your Geelong, Surfcoast, Melbourne or Western Victoria business.

Lessons I Learned from Paris Hilton

Posted by admin on August 2, 2011

Today we’ll talk about shameless self-promotion. That’s right, I said it! Shameless! After all, we are learning from Paris Hilton here.

It’s all about self-promotion! Self-promotion comes in many forms and you can use different tactics to get your name out there. Look at politicians! Talk about self-promotion and in some not so discreet ways, at that. But, seriously, consider some of the major superstars we all know. Madonna, Donald Trump, Howard Stern and Bill Clinton, just to name a few.

We all self promote. Did you raise your hand in class to show the teacher you knew the answer? Of course! That’s self-promotion. This is the kind of self-promotion we are talking about. With dignity, class and the knowledge to back it up. If you self-promote only to prove you don’t really know what you’re talking about, you’re going to lose business.

Natural self-promoters are the former and I want to tell you about the three major traits they have and use to build themselves and their businesses.

  1. The first is position. You need to position yourself around people who can make a difference in your life. You need to do this frequently. You need to wake up every morning and ask yourself “Who can I meet today who will make a difference in my success?” In fact, go a step further, write it in big, bold letters and tape it on your bathroom mirror.

Also consider:

Who can help me meet my goals?

Is it a prospective customer/client? A colleague with contacts? An association with key members who may become prospects?

Don’t settle into interacting with the people who are the easiest to access. You need to reach outside your comfort zone and there you will find a wealth of new connections that will bring you great success.

  1. Now, let’s talk about Style. No, this doesn’t mean you need an Armani suit to bring in more business (though, let’s be honest-it wouldn’t hurt) J What this really means is how are you different from your competitors and others in your industry. What makes you memorable with customers?

If you are meeting a lot of people and they don’t remember you once you leave the room, you have a serious problem! This means you have an opportunity to present yourself in a more memorable way.

There are lots of little subtle changes you can make. Reassess your:

  • Business cards
  • Company message
  • Your picture
  • Your wording

Maybe even, your hairstyle (of course, now we’re back to the expensive suit, but it really works!)

You get the idea. There are lots of little ways you can work on making your image and business more successful. Also, consider how you sound on the phone and how you great people at meetings or other events. Think about your 30-sec elevator speech.

  1. The third trait of natural promoters is repetition. You can’t say it once and leave it at that. Successful self-promoters say it as many times as they need until they get a response. Would you remember a commercial for Coca-Cola if you only saw it once, no! You see it over and over and eventually you head out to the store.

You, also, have to make multiple impressions on those you are networking with in order to build brand awareness. Repetition is in direct connection with positioning. Once you find people to network with, reach out and find hundreds more who can help in your success as well.

Brian Duckworth
www.astutecoaching.com.au

https://www.astutemarketingacademy.com  
Helping you get more from your business!

Astute Business Coaching has a range of affordable coaching programs designed to coach you to business success and improved profits. Visit our site to learn how you can improve your Geelong, Surfcoast, Melbourne or Western Victoria business.