Helping You Turn Your Business Into A Money-Making, Turn-Key Operation

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Helping You Turn Your Business Into A Money-Making, Turn-Key Operation

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-------------------- WHAT WE DO --------------------

-------------- WHAT WE DO --------------

Our Purpose  

To help you use your business to increase your personal wealth, while at the same time reducing stress and creating a better work-life balance.  

How do we do this?  

We do it by helping you turn your business into a money-making, turn-key operation.  

Why is this so important?  

Well, ask yourself this question….  

….why are franchises so popular and so often successful?  

Answer….  

….because they offer the franchisee all of the support, systems and tools they need to run a successful business.  

O K, so how does that relate to you as a small business owner?  

Firstly, it means that with the right sort of help, you too can have proper systems, policies and processes in place. And how is that a benefit to you?  

It means that everything no longer revolves around you. Which, of course, means less stress and more free time for you.  

But wait, what else does that mean?  

It means that you now have time to focus on the actual running of the business; monitoring what is actually happening in your business. Giving you the time to be creative….  

….do I need to go on, or have you got the picture?  

Secondly, you have a more valuable business that will be easier to either sell or to build a succession plan around.

Find out more about our Structured Process

If you would like more information on what we offer and how we can help you, please send us an email on admin@yourbusinessfreedom.com.au or give us a call at +0477778399.

If you would like more information on what we offer and how we can help you, please send us an email on admin@yourbusinessfreedom.com.au or give us a call at +0477778399.

Our Purpose: ________________________________________________

To help you use your business to increase your personal wealth, while at the same time reducing stress and creating a better work-life balance.

Our Purpose: ____________________________

To help you use your business to increase your personal wealth, while at the same time reducing stress and creating a better work-life balance.

How we do this: ________________________________________________

So how do we do this? Let me explain by using this analogy. You’ve decided that it’s time to take a decent holiday, possibly with the family. So what happens next? Well, there are a couple of ways you could go about this.

How we do this: ____________________________

So how do we do this? Let me explain by using this analogy. You’ve decided that it’s time to take a decent holiday, possibly with the family. So what happens next? Well, there are a couple of ways you could go about this.

Option 1: The first way is to decide when you want to take the holiday, have a look at how much you can afford and then try and find somewhere, where you would like and can afford to go.  

Option 2: The second way is to decide where you’d really like to go. Then determine the cost. Next check on what you currently have available. Now you know what you need to accumulate, so now work out the strategy you are going to use to achieve this. From this you can see how long it’s going to take to build up your resources to the required level.

Option 1: The first way is to decide when you want to take the holiday, have a look at how much you can afford and then try and find somewhere, where you would like and can afford to go.  

Option 2: The second way is to decide where you’d really like to go. Then determine the cost. Next check on what you currently have available. Now you know what you need to accumulate, so now work out the strategy you are going to use to achieve this. From this you can see how long it’s going to take to build up your resources to the required level.

Which way is best? Well it all depends on your attitude. Are you one of those people who is happy to settle for what they can get..... …..or are you someone who goes after what they want? If you are in the second group…. …..that is you know what you want, and you are prepared to do what it takes to get there, then we can help you. But, can you do this on your own? Of course you can. Will it take longer doing it yourself? Quite possibly. Will it cost more doing it on your own? Most likely. Why do we say this? Well, from our own experience, we know that the path is strewn with obstacles and while you can experiment until you find a way past the obstacle, that cost you both time and money. After being in small business for over 40 years, both running and advising other owners, I’ve discovered that advice is cheaper than personal experience. So I’m a firm believer in using someone else’s experience to get the job done in the shortest time and most cost-effective way possible.

Which way is best? Well it all depends on your attitude. Are you one of those people who is happy to settle for what they can get..... …..or are you someone who goes after what they want? If you are in the second group…. …..that is you know what you want, and you are prepared to do what it takes to get there, then we can help you. But, can you do this on your own? Of course you can. Will it take longer doing it yourself? Quite possibly. Will it cost more doing it on your own? Most likely. Why do we say this? Well, from our own experience, we know that the path is strewn with obstacles and while you can experiment until you find a way past the obstacle, that cost you both time and money. After being in small business for over 40 years, both running and advising other owners, I’ve discovered that advice is cheaper than personal experience. So I’m a firm believer in using someone else’s experience to get the job done in the shortest time and most cost-effective way possible.

The system we use is basically the same as the holiday planning exercise in option 2; that is:  

> We start with where is it you really want to go. > Then we look at where you currently are. > From this we determine ‘The Gap’, that is the difference between where you are and where you want to be. > Now we start to build out a plan to bridge ‘The Gap’. > Finally the plan is implemented, and results are measured against the plan and amended as necessary.  

Everyone of our solutions is based on this structure. The only thing that varies is the level of our involvement and hence the cost.  

We have a solution for every budget.

The system we use is basically the same as the holiday planning exercise in option 2; that is:  

> We start with where is it you really want to go. > Then we look at where you currently are. > From this we determine ‘The Gap’, that is the difference between where you are and where you want to be. > Now we start to build out a plan to bridge ‘The Gap’. > Finally the plan is implemented, and results are measured against the plan and amended as necessary.  

Everyone of our solutions is based on this structure. The only thing that varies is the level of our involvement and hence the cost.  

We have a solution for every budget.

If you would like more information on what we offer and how we can help you, please send us an email on admin@yourbusinessfreedom.com.au or give us a call at +0477778399.

If you would like more information on what we offer and how we can help you, please send us an email on admin@yourbusinessfreedom.com.au or give us a call at +0477778399.

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FEEL FREE TO CONTACT US 

QUESTIONS AND ENQUIRES CONTACT US TODAY

PO Box: 552, Earlville, QLD, 4870 111 Spence Street, Cairns

FEEL FREE TO CONTACT US 

QUESTIONS AND ENQUIRES CONTACT US TODAY

PO Box: 552, Earlville, QLD, 4870 111 Spence Street, Cairns +0477-778-399 www.yourbusinessfreedom.com.au admin@yourbusinessfreedom.com.au

JOHN STRANGE Director

CHRIS STRANGE Customer Support  

RIZZA CHUNG Personal Virtual Assistant

I began my working life as a research test engineer with Rolls Royce Aircraft, working on design of the engine that powered the Concorde. I held that role until my wife, Chris, and I emigrated to Australia in 1969. On arrival in Australia I worked at the University of S.A., designing experiments for the students and lecturers, which was a great job, but the pay was insufficient to support us, once we started to have children. So I then tried management in the corporate world, but after 5 years it became apparent that I wasn’t cut out for life in the big end of town. Next I worked as a manager in a mid-sized company, which was much more suited to my style and mind-set. Later, while setting up a school in Gawler, South Australia (www.trinty.sa.edu.au) I started a financial planning business and that’s how I spent the next 35 years working in and with small business owners.

I have worked with John for over 30 years; John as the systems and strategist specialist and me as the people person. The fact that we are opposites has certainly proven to be both complementary and successful as we have built and run various businesses over the years.

Rizza has been with us since 2015, working as my P.A. She has had extensive experience in administration and customer service. Rizza is our implementation machine. Whenever we are trialling something new, she is the one who gets tossed the task to figure out how it works and how we or our clients can use it. Unfortunately, as much as Chris loves the limelight, Rizza shuns it, she is much happier beavering away in the background, so you may never get to capture a glimpse of her in real life.


Other team members Because each business we deal with presents a different set of challenges, we have a wide range of helpers who will only come into the picture to provide specialist services that maybe required, from time to time. No one person is knowledgeable in all areas, so it’s better for you if we just bring in that specialist as and when they are needed. It’s not only more effective, but it also saves you money.

JOHN STRANGE Director

I began my working life as a research test engineer with Rolls Royce Aircraft, working on design of the engine that powered the Concorde. I held that role until my wife, Chris, and I emigrated to Australia in 1969. On arrival in Australia I worked at the University of S.A., designing experiments for the students and lecturers, which was a great job, but the pay was insufficient to support us, once we started to have children. So I then tried management in the corporate world, but after 5 years it became apparent that I wasn’t cut out for life in the big end of town. Next I worked as a manager in a mid-sized company, which was much more suited to my style and mind-set. Later, while setting up a school in Gawler, South Australia (www.trinty.sa.edu.au) I started a financial planning business and that’s how I spent the next 35 years working in and with small business owners.

CHRIS STRANGE Customer Support 

I have worked with John for over 30 years; John as the systems and strategist specialist and me as the people person. The fact that we are opposites has certainly proven to be both complementary and successful as we have built and run various businesses over the years.  

RIZZA CHUNG Personal Virtual Assistant Rizza has been with us since 2015, working as my P.A. She has had extensive experience in administration and customer service. Rizza is our implementation machine. Whenever we are trialling something new, she is the one who gets tossed the task to figure out how it works and how we or our clients can use it. Unfortunately, as much as Chris loves the limelight, Rizza shuns it, she is much happier beavering away in the background, so you may never get to capture a glimpse of her in real life.


Other team members Because each business we deal with presents a different set of challenges, we have a wide range of helpers who will only come into the picture to provide specialist services that maybe required, from time to time. No one person is knowledgeable in all areas, so it’s better for you if we just bring in that specialist as and when they are needed. It’s not only more effective, but it also saves you money.

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Delegation is one of the most importaright while running a small nt and yet most commonly misunderstood elements of running a successful small business. In fact, this is perhaps the most important subject to master, if you’re ever going to get your work balance right while running a small business.

What is a Groundhog Day? Groundhog Day is an annual event in many parts of the United States with a history of Central European settlers.The traditional belief is that if a local groundhog sees its shadow on February 2 it will be frightened by it and...

9 SIMPLE STEPS TO EFFECTIVE PROJECT MANAGEMENT 

1. Define scope This is the most important step you will take when managing new projects. You must start with the end in mind. Try to figure out what you want to achieve by managing a project and what the ideal outcome is.


WHY GENERATING / CONVERTING LEADS IS LIKE CHATTING UP A GIRL! In this day and age marketing is a very scientific process! The blunderbuss effect no longer works and it’s all about giving value and building trust. There is a set process you have to go through to take a lead through all the various stages..

THE BENEFITS OF DOING AN INTERNSHIP DURING / AFTER UNIVERSITY. AND HOW TO FIND ONE.  

Today’s job market is tough. Times are changing and a university degree simply doesn’t have the same weight as it used to.


BIGGEST PROBLEMS FACED BY SMALL BUSINESS OWNERS Small business is the backbone of the economy, they create jobs, lead innovation and increase economic diversity. It is now more important than ever that we support small business owners and help them transition to the next level. 

THE ART OF DELEGATION  

Delegation is one of the most importaright while running a small nt and yet most commonly misunderstood elements of running a successful small business. In fact, this is perhaps the most important subject to master, if you’re ever going to get your work balance right while running a small business.

BLOG ARTICLES

BLOG ARTICLES

FINDING YOUR BUSINESS EDGE After over 30 years working with and in small business, one of the most noticeable differences I’ve discovered between successful businesses and those that are unsuccessful, is very simple; the successful ones do the small, almost insignificant things well, all of the time. The unsuccessful ones are always looking for ‘The...

I ACTUALLY WITNESSED A MIRACLE I’ve had a fairly long and interesting life, full of extraordinary experiences. However, I’d never got to witness a real life miracle. This all changed on Wednesday, September 9th...


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I ACTUALLY WITNESSED A MIRACLE I’ve had a fairly long and interesting life, full of extraordinary experiences. However, I’d never got to witness a real life miracle. This all changed on Wednesday, September 9th...


MAKING YOUR BUSINESS A MORE ENJOYABLE PLACE FOR YOU TO BE Your Business Edge will give you some valuable answers. This event is aimed at small business owners who...

8 CRUCIAL QUALITIES OF A SUCCESSFUL BUSINESS OWNER 1. Authenticity and conviction If you are not fully convinced in the journey ahead or the potential upside yourself, there is little chance you will be able to get anyone else on...


CREATING GREAT TEAMS When creating an effective team, I think there are three important things that you must keep in mind; yes, you can make a strong case for many other criteria, but today I want to concentrate on just these three...

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Here are some tips on how best to manage your time. If you employ all of these relatively simple but often overlooked strategies then you just might find that extra time you were looking for...

. . . <

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THE LITTLE KNOWN CAUSE OF SMALL BUSINESS FAILURE AND WHAT YOU CAN DO TO AVOID IT Yes, I know that’s a pretty bold statement to make, so let me share with you the background to this claim. Last year when I was doing the research to set up..

WHY DID YOU DECIDE YOU WANTED TO BE IN BUSINESS FOR YOURSELF? I don’t know why you decided that you wanted to own your own business, but I’ll bet a quid it wasn’t to earn less than you were when you were employed...


“I ALREADY KNOW THAT!” This is a comment that I very frequently get when doing some sort of training program or speaking engagement or even meeting people one on one. People say to me “John, I already know that stuff; tell me something new. Tell me something I don’t already know”...

BUSINESS BABY BOOMERS BEWARE Last week I was in Sydney attending the Maus Business Consultants conference. As is the case with any of these sorts of conferences, I learnt a lot. One of the things that I’ve noticed in nearly 40 years of attending conferences, is that most of...


HELP, I’M STUCK DOWN THIS DEEP, DARK HOLE  

There is this very old joke that involves a man down a deep dark hole, calling out for help. A passer-by stops and looks down the hole and says to the man, “well the first thing I’d do is to stop digging”...

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< . . . . >

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What is a Groundhog Day?

  Groundhog Day is an annual event in many parts of the United States with a history of Central European settlers.  

The traditional belief is that if a local groundhog sees its shadow on February 2 it will be frightened by it and will then return to its burrow, indicating that there will be 6 more weeks of winter.  

If it does not see its shadow, then spring is on the way.  

Although some states have in some cases adopted their own groundhogs, the official groundhog, Punxsutawney Phil, lives at Gobbler’s Knob near Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania.  

As an Australian, this annual custom is not something I know a great deal about personally, but in 1993 Columbia Pictures released the film Groundhog Day, which has become one of my wife’s favourite films.  

In the film Groundhog Day, Bill Murray plays the part of a self-centred, egotistical and very cynical TV personality who has come to report on Punxsutawney Phil’s weather predictions for the fourth time in a row.  

He then gets caught up in reporting and reliving the same day and repeating it for months.  

Eventually, he wakes up to the fact that if he doesn’t want to keep doing the same day over and over again for the rest of his life, he needs to make fundamental changes in his actions and belief systems.  

The more times I watch this film, the more I’ve learned to see this storyline as an analogy for the challenges faced by many small business owners.  

When I’m dealing with my clients, or starting to talk to a potential new client, what I often find is they’re locked into this Groundhog Day scenario where they’re repeating the same things over and over again.  

Many feel trapped in a daily cycle of tasks and don’t know how to break free from it.  

As a result, whenever I start to try and introduce new elements into a client’s day, the inevitable answer that I get is, “No, I couldn’t do that John, I am way too busy.”  

I understand.  

All small business owners are busy, especially in today’s economic situation.  

But why are some people successful and some are struggling?  

We all have the same numbers of hours every working day.  

So why is it that some people make better use of their time than others?  

The questions to ask yourself include:  

  • What are you busy doing?
  • Are your actions and tasks helping you to reach your goals or objectives, or are specifically designed to maintain the status quo?
  • What challenges are you struggling with that are blocking you from moving forwards?  

I’ve been working with small business owners for over 40 years now and I believe I’ve come up with some thoughts on why people are resistant to change and why the old excuse “I don’t have time“ is forever trotted out.

In this new series of articles, I want to explore some of the reasons why this is occurring, in the hope that if you’re reading this, you might find a scenario that applies to you and resolve to take action to do something about it.  

In the next article I’m going to be looking at fear and why we fear change.  

So until the next time we meet, good luck.


NOW IS THE MOST IMPORTANT TIME 

3 Sept

This post has been incubating for several weeks now, so I thought it was time to share it with others and see if I get any responses. I’ve noticed in the past few months that I’ve become very reflective. I’m not sure what started the process, whether it was another one of those birthdays, which end with a zero, flashing past at the speed of light, or whether it was something I’d been reading Certainly a quote from Leo Tolstoy, in his short story “Three Questions”, fanned the flames, but I think the fire was already smouldering away, it just needed something to give it life. The quote was “Remember then: there is only one time that is important – Now! It is the most important time because it is the only time when we have any power”. The past is unchangeable, the future unpredictable, so we can only live the life that is directly before us – this last sentence is my interpretation of the quote. This thought smacked me straight between the eyes, for one of my greatest failings, is my inability to contain my thoughts to the present. I may be looking at something truly amazing, at something I’ve long wanted to see or experience, but where are my thoughts – they’ve shot ahead to the next item on the agenda. As I reflected on this inability to ‘be in the present’, I realised just how much pleasure I’ve robbed myself of, over my lifetime. To be really honest, I’ve probably, at times, robbed others of the pleasure to, simply because “we need to keep moving”. I’m not sure what caused this problem, whether it was training – I was an engineer, which seems to explain a lot about me in some peoples’ minds – or whether it was upbringing, which I doubt, as my father is my complete opposite, or whether it was circumstances. Whatever the cause, it’s been with me a long time and I really would like to change. Since my epiphany, I’ve done some reading to see how I can change my way of interacting with life, but so far I haven’t discovered any solution that works for me. So if there is anyone who has successfully dealt with this issue, then I’d love to hear how you’ve done it.  


FINDING YOUR BUSINESS EDGE

23 Sept

After over 30 years working with and in small business, one of the most noticeable differences I’ve discovered between successful businesses and those that are unsuccessful, is very simple; the successful ones do the small, almost insignificant things well, all of the time. The unsuccessful ones are always looking for ‘The Silver Bullet’; the one thing that will change everything for them; but let me tell you now – it doesn’t exist! I’m an avid sportsman (armchair division) and I’ve spent years trying to figure out, what it is that makes some people and teams successful while others are not. Talent is one factor of course; however, I don’t believe it’s the most important determining factor. In my long life, I’ve met many people with extraordinary ability, but who remain disappointingly unsuccessful. My favourite sport to watch is Australian Rules Football and what I’ve realised is the difference between the top and bottom teams, is their willingness to continue to do those things that they know they need to do, even when they are placed under pressure. They know that it’s not the flashy spectacular play that will win them the game, but the unrelenting commitment to the team strategy and process. This commitment applies equally as much to what they do at practice, as it does to what they do in the match; in fact, how they practice has a direct outcome in what happens during the match. This applies just as much to business as it does to sport. How often, when under pressure, have we tried to cut corners, ignoring the proven process, and let’s be really honest, how often do we allow that to happen in our daily lives? We also need to build a strategy and process and then follow it. We need to keep practicing it until we can do it right, every time, no matter how much pressure we find ourselves under. One of the most common complaints I hear when I teaching either a group or an individual, is that they already know what I’m teaching. However, when I respond with a question about how they execute that strategy, more often than not, it is that they are not actually doing it! I’ve had a love affair with small business for well over 30 years and now that I’ve sold my practice, I have the time to work with small business owners, helping them improve their profitability, their work-life balance and finally the sale price of their business. One of my big frustrations has been that in Australia, only about 21% of small businesses get sold; at any price. But perhaps even more devastating is the fact that 80% of small business owners earn less than the average weekly wage. So not only do they get short changed at the end, but they also lose out along the way as well, as they work long, stress filled hours each week.


I ACTUALLY WITNESSED A MIRACLE

3 Sept

I’ve had a fairly long and interesting life, full of extraordinary experiences. However, I’d never got to witness a real life miracle. This all changed on Wednesday, September 9th September, 2015. It happened in a series of steps, which kind of built to the ultimate crescendo. As was Chris’ normal end of day activity, she went into the garden to do the watering. Now this is an activity that could have taken her anywhere in the garden, not only out of sight but out of hearing as well. So this is where the miracle begins. Chris suffered a stroke only about 3 m away from me, so the moment I heard her muffled cry, I was with her within a matter of seconds. The symptoms were so obvious that it took me only moments to diagnose that she had suffered a stroke. The ambulance arrived within minutes and immediately took her into Cairns hospital. Here again our good fortune continued, as it was a very quiet night in ER. The CT scanner and operative, for checking the type of stroke, were immediately available. The results of the scan showed that the stroke been caused by clot and that this could be blasted away by using a new drug that had only being cleared for after-hours use that Monday. As the drug was so new, the protocols had not been written up, so it needed a senior team of medical people, along with a neurologist to administer it – and can you believe it, all were available. Now this drug has to be administered within four and half hours of the onset of the stroke; the stroke happened at 6 pm and the treatment began at 10:10 PM; four hours and ten minutes. The build up now reaches its crescendo, the miracle – within 15 to 20 minutes of them commencing the administration of the drug, Chris had fully recovered the use of not only her limbs but her speech as well; she was completely back to normal; we were totally overwhelmed. Given that this drug can be dangerous, it required her to be monitored for the next 24 hours by a specialist nurse. The ER team provided that until the change of shift, and then a specialist nurse volunteered to do a double shift to ensure the 24 hour coverage Out of a lifetime of amazing experiences, this would rate as the most amazing and definitely in the category of a miracle. Chris and I have had many things to be grateful for in our lives, but for this second chance at life for Chris, goes beyond words. We will be eternally grateful to all involved.


MAKING YOUR BUSINESS A MORE ENJOYABLE PLACE FOR YOU TO BE

3 Sept

Your Business Edge will give you some valuable answers. This event is aimed at small business owners who want to grow and improve their business. During the seminar we will be giving you some top tips on how to achieve business success, by using a proven model for effectiveness and profitability. During the Your Business Edge event, we will take you through a whole range of problems and solutions that are faced by small business owners, like: Why do only 39% of small businesses make a profit, of any description, and how you can make your business either profitable or even more profitable? Why do only 21% of businesses, that actually make it to market, get sold and why this is going to get worse over the next few years and importantly what can you do about it? Why 90% of strategies agreed upon, never get implemented and how can you change that in your business? How you can get your staff fully engaged and motivated? Our aim is to reach out and help as many small business owners as we can. Therefore, we are offering incredible value and only charging $25 for entry to this event. Additionally, because we would like to show our support for the local community, we will be donating all the proceeds to Street Level Youth Care as part of their 25th anniversary celebrations. Because of the fact that we may not be repeating this event and the number of tickets we have is limited it is recommended that you register early. We will also be offering all attendees a variety of free resources including: Our High Performance Business Index Diagnostic Tool High Performance businesses have a greater level of profit and create more value for shareholders/owners. They are also less stressful to manage and grow. This questionnaire will take less than 7 minutes to answer and determine whether you have the basic high performance strategic and operational framework in place to be successful. Our Attractiveness Index Diagnostic Tool The relative attractiveness of your business to a potential purchaser will impact your overall valuation. The higher you score in this questionnaire then the higher the likely value of your business. The report should also be seen as a checklist of areas to improve upon before you try and sell your business. Our E-Book on Exit and Succession Why prepare an “Exit, Succession or Owner Retirement” Strategic Plan for your business? No matter how much you enjoy working in your business, there will come a time when you will need to retire. A business owner can retire in several ways. Each has implications, not only for you as the owner, but for the business and its staff. An Exit & Succession plan &ill help you to consider a variety of different options before you make the final decision. Why are we putting on this event? There are two reasons: We passionately believe that small business is the backbone of this country and yet they receive little in the way of support, or at least support which they have been able to access. However, we believe that small business will provide the jobs, in the future, for our children and grandchildren; in fact, I heard only today that small business provides 80% of the jobs in this country. I and my wife were warmly welcomed as migrants to this country, back in 1969, and we have done very well in our adopted country; this is our way of saying thanks. If you feel you could benefit from the proven and effective advice, which we will provide, then I urge you to sign up for this exciting and life changing opportunity as soon as possible.


8 CRUCIAL QUALITIES OF A SUCCESSFUL BUSINESS OWNER

24 Jan

1. Authenticity and conviction If you are not fully convinced in the journey ahead or the potential upside yourself, there is little chance you will be able to get anyone else on board. You must come to an unyielding belief, and project an outward conviction and confidence as a leader right from the get-go. You need to douse out your own doubts and fears, and communicate authentically in order to motivate your stakeholders. 2. They use their time efficiently Great business owners work hard to achieve their goals, but they also know how to use their skills most efficiently. You must learn to delegate tasks, organise and put a value on your time. Set a high benchmark for yourself and be a good role model. 3. Good at building relationships Every business is founded on how well you interact with other people, whether it is negotiating deals, building a client base, or simply motivating staff. Good relationship building skills are paramount to the success of your business. 4. Adaptability The landscape in which you do business is constantly shifting: new technologies are arising all the time and old processes are being made obsolete. 5. Able to take risks A much as it isn’t good to gamble, every successful business owner has at some point taken some large risks in getting to where they are today. If you take a risk and it doesn’t pay off then revaluate your situation and start again. 6. Not afraid to fail This great quote by Michael Jordan illustrates the importance of seeing failure as a necessary evil. “I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” 7. They never give up This is easier said than done, always remember that low motivation will be a passing thing. If you stick it out and work through it then eventually you will forget you ever felt this way. 8. They keep up with innovation and map progress You must build innovation into your businesses culture and regularly update your software, systems and processes. You must learn to make actionable plans and detailed actions, and effective ways to execute on those plans and track your progress.


CREATING GREAT TEAMS

2 Sept

When creating an effective team, I think there are three important things that you must keep in mind; yes, you can make a strong case for many other criteria, but today I want to concentrate on just these three. The first thing is to work out your own strengths and weaknesses and then seek team members who will be strong where you are weak and vice versa. They should also bring a different point of view to the discussion, as a result of their difference and be willing to strongly represent that viewpoint. You, as team leader, should go out of your way to encourage everyone to state their viewpoint and don’t get scared by a bit of conflict, just make sure you retain control. Secondly, you should try and find team members who are smarter than you are and then don’t allow yourself to be intimidated by their superior intellect; there are very good reasons why you are the leader and they are part of the team. Finally, before making the final selection, ensure that you have a clear vision for what you are trying to achieve and that those you select can see that vision and want to be part of it. This means you have to give them a powerful and passionate rendition of your vision. Out of those three points, I would have to say that the final point is the most important. If you can’t articulate a powerful vision, then it makes it very difficult, if not impossible to achieve an optimum outcome. One of the reasons I so passionately believe that this new course we are building, called Your Business Edge, will be successful, along with our Your Business Edge event on 17th May, will be so successful, is the team that I’ve been able to assemble. Let me introduce this remarkable team; there is Alex Martin, providing all the grunt to keep us moving, has an honours degree in science, with a major in maths and statistics; Dr Ivy Lourel, providing us an insight into business consulting to major corporations, has a doctorate in aeronautical science; Peter Hickey, providing us with the software to support what we are doing, has over 20 years’ experience in consulting and software support and finally Baz Gardner, providing us with incredible insight into how to use social media to build successful businesses, has over 20 years as a successful consultant, especially in the area of social media. And me? I’m just the “cherry on the top”, bringing 40 years’ experience working in and with small business. So, how could I wish for a better team? How can we not be successful?


HOW TO HAVE MORE TIME. THE SECRET FORMULA FOR ULTIMATE PRODUCTIVITY.

24 Sep

Here are some tips on how best to manage your time. If you employ all of these relatively simple but often overlooked strategies then you just might find that extra time you were looking for. 1. Track your activity and manage distractors Create a log of what you are doing at certain times in the day; this will give you an idea of when you are being most productive – and also when you need to step your game up! You will also find out what you are wasting the most time on. A brilliant application that tracks your activity on the computer is RescueTime. It automatically updates so there is no effort required from the user. 2. Schedule your time Use diaries, calendars, office suites and app based organizers to plan your day. This allows you to map out the time you have free to work on urgent tasks. My personal favorite for organizing my time is Google Calendar in which you can set reminders and create recurring events. 3. Use a To Do list! This could well be the key to success in time management. Having a well organised to do list can be a life saver in terms of productivity. Never fall behind on things again by using this simple but effective technique. I would recommend Evernote for achieving this outcome on your smartphone or desktop. It has a super user friendly interface and a multitude of useful capabilities like web page clipping, reminders, hand writing tools, sharing and image capture. 4. Use the urgent/important matrix to prioritize tasks Imagine a square split into four quadrants. The top two quadrants are labelled “Important” and the bottom two quadrants are labelled “Not important”. Additionally, the two leftmost quadrants will be labelled “urgent” and the two right most quadrants will be labelled “not urgent”. Try to always work in the TOP RIGHT QUADRANT. i.e. “Important but not urgent”. This will help you avoid massive amounts of stress and anguish that comes from constantly living in the top left quadrant. Obviously you must venture into the top left occasionally but try to steer clear! 5. Delegate and systemise This one is all important. You must seek to leverage yourself through effective delegation and systemization. Why spend your whole day grinding away when you could pay someone a tenth of what your time is worth to do it for you. Try to make use of technology to systemise your task/processes. The key here is to try and let systems and software do the hack work so that you lessen the need for human capital. Look into offshoring your admin/low ROI tasks to India or the Philippines. Use business development software like MAUS Business systems to make your business autonomous.


9 SIMPLE STEPS TO EFFECTIVE PROJECT MANAGEMENT 


1. Define scope This is the most important step you will take when managing new projects. You must start with the end in mind. Try to figure out what you want to achieve by managing a project and what the ideal outcome is.  

2. Gather resources  

Make sure to make use of all the resources you have available before you begin the process of project management, this can save a lot of time further down the line.  

3. Plan ahead  

How much time will you give to a given project? How long will it take? What will you need at each step of the process? A good idea would be to set aside a certain time every day or at least every week when you work on a certain project.  

4. Be able to adjust  

Sometimes the limits you have placed on a project may turn out to be unrealistic or unachievable given the circumstances. Be prepared to modify your targets if necessary and try not to be too disheartened when this happens.  

5. List steps  

Make sure you have written down a list of steps you will need to take to achieve a given project outcome. Once you break things down into small increments then it will be much easier to motivate yourself.  

6. Check the timeline  

Make sure to regularly check deadlines you have set for your project and whether or not you are on target. Adjust if necessary.  

7. Get everyone together  

Create a collaborative culture within a given project. When multiple people are bouncing ideas off of one another a far better outcome will be achieved.  

8. Keep everything documented  

Document everything possible for future reference.  

9. Keep everyone informed  

Make sure everyone is in the know when you achieve a certain milestone. This will create motivation and a continued feeling of achievement throughout the organisation.


WHY GENERATING/CONVERTING LEADS IS LIKE CHATTING UP A GIRL!  

In this day and age marketing is a very scientific process! The blunderbuss effect no longer works and it’s all about giving value and building trust. There is a set process you have to go through to take a lead through all the various stages  

and convert them into a customer. As is also true with chatting up a girl, if you do not have every stage of the process nailed then you will fall by the wayside.  

People (and women) are more discerning than ever now because there is just so much choice! With Google, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn we are constantly bombarded with ads, offers and product pushes left, right and centre.  

In terms dating we have massive online sites like match.com, tinder and e-harmony which almost overwhelm people with variegation.  

In this article I will show you how you can apply your life skills to the world of business; this is the lead generation process you need to follow:  

1. Know your audience  

You cannot generate worthwhile leads if you do not understand the psychology of your buyer. You need to know what their pain points are, what keeps them up at night and what they hope to achieve. The first thing in any marketing textbook will tell you to “write a buyer persona.” This is the representation of your perfect client. You need to summarize their demographics, needs/wants and current situation. This allows you to TARGET your marketing for your niche.  

Dating tip: What kind of partner are you looking for? Where to they go to hang out? (I’m not advocating stalking people by the way!)  

2. Generate interest  

Once you have your buyer persona detailed then you can go about sparking the interest of potential prospects. The wrong way to do this is to offer people your product straight up and rave about how good you are at your job. THIS WILL NEVER WORK.  

Before you advance someone to the next stage of the customer journey you have to provide them with value first. The best way to do this is to produce “Awareness Stage” content that people can access for free and put to use straight away. Examples include: E-books, whitepapers, blog posts and quizzes. Use these offerings to get your prospects contact details so that you can take them on to the next stage.  

Dating tip: Attract attention by being different to others, don’t just barge in and talk about yourself for an hour. Be interested, genuine and authentic. Offer value by making people laugh and treating them well. Give enough value and leads or girls will come to you!  

3. Build attraction/trust  

Once you have your prospects email/phone number you must engage in some sort of nurturing process in order to build rapport and trust your leads are more likely to buy from you. We have found the best way to do this is through video. Recently an executive at Facebook said that almost all the content on peoples profiles will be video in 5 years! Get ahead of the curve! When someone sees you speaking on video they are much more likely to do business with you. By doing this you separate yourself from others who are just “words on a page” and allow people to feel like they are more connected with you.  

Dating tip: Build rapport and attraction with your potential partner. PUA’s use a strategy called push/pull *I totally haven’t read books on this when I was younger * (basically switching between praising and teasing someone so they feel like they need to impress you). However, I am more an advocate of just chatting to someone naturally. If they like you for who you are then great! If they don’t, then move on!  

4. Close the deal  

The next step is to make your sales pitch. But you can only do this effectively if you have implemented the other steps correctly. The best way to do this is to talk to your prospect 1 on 1 and use a set script/sales process that you take everyone through. That way, if your leads aren’t converting to customers you can change this script and try something new. However if you don’t use a set script then you won’t know where you are going wrong and what to change.  

Dating tip: Close the engagement with a kiss if possible. This may set a good precedent for your next meeting. That said, as with leads, if you haven’t done everything else right you might just fall at the final hurdle and suffer much embarrassment!


THE BENEFITS OF DOING AN INTERNSHIP DURING/AFTER UNIVERSITY. AND HOW TO FIND ONE.  

Today’s job market is tough. Times are changing and a university degree simply doesn’t have the same weight as it used to.  

Many students are coming out of  

university overqualified, under prepared and lacking in the skills required for a full time job.  

According to “The Australian” only 68% of bachelor graduates from the class of 2014 had a full-time job four months after graduating. Pretty shocking!  

The reason for this is very simple! Students are coming out of university with no real world experience. When I graduated from my 4 year mathematics degree I was extremely proficient in solving equations, memorizing formulae and writing notes on the inside of my arm in very small font before an exam (OK that last one was a joke! But you get the point).  

In other words I was very effective in my niche (Mathematics) but lacked simple knowledge of the career basics. Things as simple and answering a phone professionally, organising my time using a diary and building relationships I had never been taught!  

You can see why most fresh graduates are unappealing to many employers, I mean, would you hire someone who is probably entitled, thinks it is their right to have a job and has no track record of full time work. Sounds like a risk that I wouldn’t take.  

One key piece of advice:  

JUST BECAUASE YOU HAVE A DEGREE THAT DOESN’T MEAN YOU ARE ENTITLED TO A JOB.  

If you learn to stay humble and accept that fact then you will be far ahead of your peers.  

So, what is the solution to this problem? Easy…Internships!  

An internship allows you to gain experience other than just “How fast you can down a pint in your student union,” “Coming up with effective nightclub chat up lines,” and “Living on noodles for two weeks because you spent all you money on that night out.”  

The benefits of doing an internship:  

  • You can see if the industry you are looking at really suits you
  • You learn fundamental skills that will exponentially increase your career earnings, prospects and life satisfaction
  • You gain valuable networking opportunities with people in the industry
  • You experience what full time work feels like!
  • You better understand which skills employers are looking for  


So all that stuff is well and good, but I can hear you shouting: “I want to do an internship but there are no opportunities!” Or, “I have applied for 50 internships already and heard nothing back!

Well, here comes something you may not like:  

YOU MAY HAVE TO DO YOUR INTERNSHIP UNPAID.  

If you want an employer to take a stab in the dark with you and offer you a job, you may have to prove yourself with some “pro-bono” work first. Although this isn’t preferable it is sometimes necessary.  

Now, if you are still struggling to find an unpaid internship, then the chances are you are looking in the wrong places.  

The wrong way to search for internships:  

TYPE IN TO GOOGLE “FINANCE INTERNSHIP IN BRISBANE.”  

Then apply for the top ten results that come up.  

The reason this strategy rarely works is because the competition will be ridiculous. Every man and his dog can do a google search for internships and hence the odds of finding a good one like this are massively stacked against you.  

With I major in Mathematics and Statistics I know the value of weighing up the odds before making a decision. A lot of time can be saved if you spend a little while thinking about using your time efficiently. Don’t do what everyone else does! Do something different!  

Different channels for finding internships:  

1. LinkedIn  

This could well be the most powerful tool available for anyone looking enhance their career prospects, grow a business or find a job/internship. Bolster up your LinkedIn profile by getting endorsement s, recommendations and adding rich media. Use LinkedIn to reach out to key decision makers in the industry and ask them if they would like to take on an unpaid intern. I know this works because I used this strategy myself; I only had to message 10 people before someone offered me an internship!  

2. Your personal network  

Leverage you own or your parents contacts to find out about opportunities. If your network isn’t very big then join some societies in your university, attend careers fairs and look for volunteering opportunities.  

3. Compile a list of potential employers  

Call directly and ask to be put through to the owner/manager of a specific department. Having tried this myself it can work about 15-20% of the time (usually you get stopped by HR box tickers, bypass them by coming across confidently and not coming across like you want something from them). Important point: MAKE A NOTE OF THE COMPANIES WHO SAY THEY WILL CALL YOU BACK. Follow them up again if they don’t call.  

Finally, I will mention the importance of getting your interview skills, CV and professional attitude in order when you are looking for experience. This could warrant a post all in itself, but I’ll leave that one to your career service. If that wasn’t clear, MAKE USE OF YOUR UNIVERSITY CAREERS SERVICE.


BIGGEST PROBLEMS FACED BY SMALL BUSINESS OWNERS  

Small business is the backbone of the economy, they create jobs, lead innovation and increase economic diversity. It is now more important than ever that we support small business owners and help them transition to the next level.  

Below is a list of the biggest problems small business owners face in the current climate.  

  • Not enough time! 
  • Can’t attract/retain customers
  • Not enough meaningful connections
  • Not productive enough, bogged down in day to day issues
  • Not enough profit
  • Cash flow
  • Inadequate systems and processes
  • Marketing not effective
  • Struggling to innovate
  • Failing to implement strategies
  • Cant engage/motivate staff
  • Cant grow the business
  • Tiredness, fatigue
  • Not delegating enough
  • Too many overheads
  • Dependent on a few big clients
  • Business totally dependent on founder

THE ART OF DELEGATION  

Delegation is one of the most important while running a small nt and yet most commonly misunderstood elements of running a successful small business. In fact, this is perhaps the most important subject to master, if you’re ever going to get your work balance right while running a small business.  

Unless  

you learn how to properly delegate then you’re forever going to be working in your business and not on your business; this means you’ll be forever tied to your business. However, if you learn the correct art of delegation you don’t have to be working in your business all of the time. The business can exist and carry on when you’re not there.  

The problem is so many people get this wrong. They think delegation is merely just handing over a task, which they don’t want to do, to somebody else. This approach often it ends very badly.  

So let me share a few secrets that I’ve learnt, often the hard way, during nearly 40 years in business, on how to successfully delegate.  

The first thing to do is to figure out what it is that you’re good at and what you’re not so good at. This should be part of your daily, working on your business practice, when you spend time at your coffee shop or wherever you’ve identified is the place where you’ve made that time to work on your business. (For more on this subject, view my video at http://tinyurl.com/zbe9nze)  

1. Identify your Strengths and Weaknesses  

So you’ve got your tasks sorted out for the day and you’re concentrating on the priority items.  

The next task is to do a bit of self analysis.  

“What do I do really well? What do I do badly?”  

In my case, that’s easy. I type at the speed of a snail on Valium. So you do not get me to type anything; because it’s totally and absolutely inefficient.  

You need to go through the same exercise yourself and work out what you’re good and not so good at. Then you need to figure out which of these areas you should you be delegating to somebody else. Because there are some things that you should never ever, in my opinion, delegate to somebody else; paying accounts for example. In 40 years I never relied to anybody to pay accounts for me. They can bring me the documentations so that I can pay them. So others do the work and all I do is just pay the bills. But I do not allow anybody to have access into our bank account.  

So simply because somebody else could do it better than you doesn’t mean you should allow them to do it. Work out what it is you should be delegating.  

2. Assess your team  

Then you need to work out “do I have anybody in my team already that I can start delegating some of these things to”. Because again, you need to work out what the team members strengths and weaknesses are; there’s no point in me delegating a typing task to somebody that types at the same speed as me. I need to delegate that task to somebody who types at a speed of a lightning.  

3. Clarify the task  

The next step is to be absolutely clear as to what the task is that you’re delegating. You need to, usually, but not always, write out the task; the process to be followed to execute the task; your expectations of time frames and the quality of outcome.  

Next arrange a meeting with the person to whom the task is to be delegated and go over the task and process. Make sure that you and they are clear on what needs to be done, how it’s to be done and the time frame for completion.  

4. Set a reporting schedule  

Let the person responsible know what and when you require updates on their progress. This may not always be necessary, but it is good practice to consider whether it will be required. If there is to be ongoing reporting, then you should schedule in your own diary those times when you should have received an update.  

Now here’s a key point, especially in the early stages of getting this working properly, if you don’t receive the report/update on time, then make sure you have a serious conversation with the person, so as they know that this time round you are serious. The conversation should go something like “you’re going to give me the report yesterday, I have not received it; please make sure I get it today and in the future, let’s keep to that time schedule”.  

Start off how you intend to continue, because if you allow people to get away with it in the beginning, then you are setting the tone for all future delegation.  

Lastly, let me make this point quite clear. You can delegate the task, you can delegate the authority, but the one thing you cannot do is delegate the ultimate responsibility; as one American President once said “the buck stops here”. If you’re running a small business, then it stops with you.  

Make sure you’ve got these processes in place so that when you delegate something, it’s not going to come back and bite you in the tail.


THE LITTLE KNOWN CAUSE OF SMALL BUSINESS FAILURE AND WHAT YOU CAN DO TO AVOID IT 

Yes, I know that’s a pretty bold statement to make, so let me share with you the background to this claim. Last year when I was doing the research to set up a new type of business consultancy, one aimed specifically at micro and small businesses, I came across a study from the early 90’s that I had not struck before. Let me be perfectly honest here, I couldn’t actually find the original study, but I did find a heap of material that came out of the study. The multi-company study was done by Kaplan and Norton; Kaplan is a professor at Harvard Business School and Norton is a strategy consultant – if you want more detailed information about them, there’s plenty on Google. Anyway, as part of their findings, they concluded that 70% of all CEO, MD, Business Owner, Manager failures were cause by a lack of effective strategy implementation. It wasn’t that the business leaders didn’t know what to do; it was just that they didn’t find an effective way of implementing an appropriate course of action. Just stop and think about what that means for you for a moment – you quite likely already have the answers to your business problems, all you need to do is find an effective way to implement the answers. Now luckily Kaplan and Norton didn’t just stop at the problem, they also came up with the solution. They called the solution – The Balanced Scorecard. Essentially, The Balanced Scorecard reviews a business around 4 major perspectives: – Financial; Customer; Internal and Learning and Growth. OK, that probably sounds a bit too complicated for micro to small businesses, so let me put it in a very simple manner – in each of those 4 areas, work out what can you easily measure and then set about measuring it, recording the measurements and then seek to improve the numbers. Given how time poor small business owners are, we’ve developed a system that is specifically designed to do exactly that and we’ll teach you have to implement it and then hold you accountable for its implementation.


WHY DID YOU DECIDE YOU WANTED TO BE IN BUSINESS FOR YOURSELF?

I don’t know why you decided that you wanted to own your own business, but I’ll bet a quid it wasn’t to earn less than you were when you were employed. And yet, according to an Australian Bureau of Statistics report – Average Earnings of Business Owners – 80% of us small business owners earn less than the average weekly wage and 40% of us earn less than half of the weekly wage of a full-time adult worker. Now I realise that money is not the motivation for everyone who goes into business, but given the risks we run, the number of hours we work and the additional stress so many of us experience, it doesn’t make a lot of sense to also be underpaid as well. So what’s the reason for this problem? We’ll like most things in life, there is no simple answer. It’s generally a combination of factors, but in part 1 of this article, I’d like to just touch on two One problem even experienced operators suffer from, is that we underestimate the capital required to set the business up and get it to a point where it is profitable. The solution, if you haven’t already started, is to get someone else to go through your business plan and check your numbers; make sure they are realistic. Once you are certain of your numbers, decide what options you have available to source the finance and make sure you understand the risks involved with each option. Again seek professional advice to make sure you’ve properly thought this through before you forsake the safety net. If you’ve already started, then seek out other sources of capital. This can be friends, relatives, banks or even venture capitalists; even Crowd Funding is becoming an option. Have someone independent of you work out the level of capital you really need, too much is as bad as too little. This funding issue is a topic all on its own, so make sure you get good, unbiased advice. Another major issue for small business owners is either the lack of a business plan, or a big fat one that was prepared for some lending source, which you never open. If you have one, it probably wasn’t prepared for your benefit, but for someone else, so it’s no different to not having one – you just don’t use it to guide your business. The solution is to use what I call a one page business plan, which sets out the general direction of the business and then from this use 90 day action plans. I love 90 day action plans, because they give you sufficient time to get things done, but short enough that you can make them really detailed, with time frames and accountability factored in. I suggest you Google the one page business plan and the 90 day action plan, as there are plenty of free templates you can use to get started.


“I ALREADY KNOW THAT!”

This is a comment that I very frequently get when doing some sort of training program or speaking engagement or even meeting people one on one. People say to me “John, I already know that stuff; tell me something new. Tell me something I don’t already know”. My response. is always the same “that’s brilliant, now explain to me how you’re implementing it”. Their answer is almost invariably the same “well, I haven’t actually got around to implementing it yet”. And therein lies the problem. Many of us are searching for the silver bullet; and I say us, because we are all guilty of this at times. We’re looking for that one brilliant idea, that will completely transform us, our business, our families, our lives. In reality it doesn’t exist. Success is not built upon that one brilliant idea that you get from somebody and you implement it and makes all the difference in the world. Running a successful business, I liken to building a house. Now you could quickly cut down a few branches and erect some sort of temporary shelter. However, if you want to build something that is going to stand the test of time, then there is no quick fix. To build a house of substance, we first have to ensure we have solid foundations. Only civil engineers can get excited about foundations, but just because they’re not sexy or appealing, that doesn’t mean we can overlook them or skimp on them; to do so will only lead to long term disaster and disappointment. We next have to put up solid walls and so on and so forth, I’m sure you’ve got the picture. This is what we all need to come to grips with when we’re working on our businesses; it is not one major thing that we need to do that will make a difference. What it is, is lots of little things that we continue to do on daily basis until they become habitual, they become part of us and our way of running our business. And so we come back to my question; how are you implementing this? The secret lies not in the knowing, but in the execution. What you need to do is figure out how you’re going to implement it; implementation is what we all need to work on. So to conclude, don’t waste your time looking for the silver bullet. After 40 years in small business, I can tell you it doesn’t exist. What you need to do is find those little bits and pieces that you’ve already got notes on, and start implementing them regularly in your business and they will make all the difference in the world.


BUSINESS BABY BOOMERS BEWARE

3 Sept

Last week I was in Sydney attending the Maus Business Consultants conference. As is the case with any of these sorts of conferences, I learnt a lot. One of the things that I’ve noticed in nearly 40 years of attending conferences, is that most of the attendees happen to be the most professional in the industry. I believe this is because they are the ones who are prepared to spend the time and money to increase their own knowledge, as well as sharing their knowledge with others. The highlight of the conference, for me, was being asked to join a working party looking at how we can better help business owners seeking to exit their businesses. I think I was invited partly because I was quite obviously the oldest person in the room, but also because I’d already been through the process of exiting a business. The rest of the group were very experienced consultants, who truly understood this area. I think we are only about 10 minutes into the discussion, when one of the participants came up with some statistics that really jolted me. I guess I knew intuitively about these figures, but to hear them articulated so dramatically was a big shock for me. The first statistic was that 75% of all small businesses, that is businesses with a turnover of less than $5 million per annum, will be on the market within the next 10 years – courtesy of our aging population. The second fact that really threw me, was that this particular consultant does a lot of work with business brokers who are members of the Australian Institute of Business Brokers, and they had told him that 95% of all businesses that came to them to be sold, were not considered to be ready to be listed. Of the businesses that eventually were listed for sale, 81% never sold; the business owners just had to close the doors and walk away! We’ve all heard the old saying “there’s lies, damn lies and statistics”; and you can prove anything you like with figures. However, in this instance, once I stopped and thought about it, they did line up with my own experience over the last 15 years; so I probably shouldn’t have been so shocked. After working for the last 30 plus years as a financial planner, I know how much of a business owners wealth is tied up in their business and if they cannot profitably exit their business at retirement, then they are going to have a retirement that does not match their expectations. Now, of course, this is the very reason I decided to set up this new business; for although I wasn’t fully aware of the size of the problem, I was aware that for many of our existing clients, it was fast becoming a problem. I had intended to, by now, have our new website set up. On the website we will have a couple of tools that will allow you to self evaluate the following; realistically, what sort of price you could currently expect to get for your business realistically, how ready is your business is for sale. Unfortunately, because of Chris’s illness, I’m running behind with some of our set up, which includes the website. However, the workshop highlighted for me the urgent need to give people the opportunity to determine the readiness of their business for exit and the price they could perhaps expect to get for it, NOW. The website will be ready in the next few weeks, but in the interim, I can give you access to the two tools I mentioned. All you need to do is send me an email at john@yourfinancialfreedom.com.au and just let me know your name and email address and which of the tools you are interested in (you can access both if you would like) and I will send you the link to get online and do the analysis for yourself. I have made both of these tools available free of charge and without any obligation, as I think it’s so important that if you are approaching the time for your exit, you should be aware of your true position, so you can make realistic plans to deal with your situation. I strongly urge you to take this opportunity to check your true situation out now, especially if you are looking to exit your business within the next 5 to 10 years.  


HELP, I’M STUCK DOWN THIS DEEP, DARK HOLE

3 Sept

There is this very old joke that involves a man down a deep dark hole, calling out for help. A passer-by stops and looks down the hole and says to the man, “well the first thing I’d do is to stop digging”. Now I know it’s a nonsensical story, but how often do we do this in real life? We run into some difficulties and we start digging a hole for ourselves. I know that it does happen in real life, because it’s just happened to me – again! You’d think by now I’d have reached a sufficient level of maturity, that I wouldn’t made such stupid mistakes, but you would be wrong. The problem began when Chris had her stroke. Naturally I took time off to be with her and this, of course, put me behind with my commitments. However, I wasn’t unduly worried, as I knew that the Christmas break was coming up and I could use some of that time to catch up. Did I ever get that wrong. On Christmas Day Chris went down with a particularly nasty virus. I knew she was really sick, because I ended up doing all of the cooking and she never once told me what I was doing wrong. So the first week of our break was now taken up with nursing, cooking, cleaning and so forth. No problem, I still had a week left before we went off for an 11-day holiday. Wrong again. By this time, she had passed the virus onto me! So now there were two of us too sick to do anything. By this time the hole had opened up and I was in it, trying to dig my way out – brilliant strategy! Thankfully, at this point along came a saviour in the form of some notes I had taken at a conference over 20 years ago. I thought a clean out of some old papers that had accumulated over the years would make me feel that I was doing something useful. Most of the papers got ‘chucked’, but as luck would have it, I came across this story which I had copied down at the conference. In just one reading things began to be put back into perspective for me and I’m retelling it here in case someone else may find some answers in in. The story involves a lecturer at a University talking to some new students about dealing with the workload they would face and how best to deal with it. He first took a large glass jar and filled it with rocks, then he turned to the class and asked “is this jar full?” The class said “yes”, he replied “wrong”. He then took from his drawer some gravel and started filling in the spaces between the rocks. Again he asked the class if the glass was now full and again they replied “yes” and he again told them they were wrong. He went to his drawer and this time took out some sand and started to fill in the spaces between the gravel and the rocks. He again asked the same question and got the same response and he once more told them they were wrong. He went to his drawer once more and this time took out a container of water and started to pour the water into the jar, until it started to overflow. Turning to his class, he said “now it’s full”. I’m now starting to put my rocks into my day first and then topping up with the gravel, sand and water and as a consequence, I’m achieving so much more. I’ve stopped digging and have started working my way out of my hole and I feel so much better, so much more in control; I hope you can do the same.


A STRANGE THING HAPPENED TO ME DRIVING TO WORK YESTERDAY

3 Sept

I was on my own in the car. So what so strange about that? Well, out of the 47 years I’ve been married, the last 37 of them I’ve worked virtually every day with Chris, my wife. So each day she has been sitting there in the passenger seat, ready to talk about what we were going to do today. However, on the last day of business, just before Christmas, Chris retired, so now I was on my own and it definitely seemed strange. Chris has always been the people person in our partnership, making sure that in my desire to get all the technical and strategic stuff done, I never lost sight of the fact that in reality, it was all about people. All the thoughtful gestures that made us look so good and caring, nearly always had their origin with Chris. The day continued to feel strange, as she wasn’t there, making sure that everyone in the office was OK and if not, seeing what she could do to help. So much of what she did went unnoticed at the time; it’s only in its absence that it has become visible. I don’t think I’ll be the only one in the office that misses her thoughtfulness. In those 37 years, we have built several successful businesses together and although she has officially retired, she is still going to help Danny and I get our new business venture up and running, but it will only be on a part time basis until it’s operating successfully. So for all those years of working with you and watching you put everyone else’s needs before your own, I say a very grateful thanks and do enjoy having the time to now indulge your interests and wants.


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What can you expect

Obviously everyone who works with us is seeking a different outcome. What is most important to you is not necessarily the same as another business owner, even if you are in the same industry. The outcome will also vary according which of the solutions you select when working with us. However, there are some overarching results that are common across all solutions and people that can be summarised as follows

  • You will have clarity about what you are really trying to achieve and even whether the desired outcome is possible.
  • You will have a road map setting out the direction you need to take to get you to where you want to be.
  • You will have received some useful tools to help you on your journey – these will vary according to the solution you’ve adopted.
  • You will have access to all of our free resources to help you with any particular problem you encounter on your journey.
  • You will be able to pose specific questions on our LinkedIn group and either we or others in the group will try and help you.

Now there are a number of other outcomes you can expect and to what extent they are achieved is dependant on the level of our involvement in the implementation of the recommended strategies:

  • De-risking the business by reducing its reliance on you the owner.
  • Increasing your return on the sale of the business.
  • Reducing your stress levels in running the business.
  • Increasing the EBIT (earnings before interest and tax) of the business.
  • Improved management of cash flow.
  • Improvement in your personal income.

These lists are not exhaustive, but do give you a general idea of what we are looking to achieve when we work with you.

WORKSHOPS

MASTERPLAN

$990

What tangible benefits will I get from having an up-to-date business plan? We have created a quick and cost-effective way of helping you build a useful plan.

PROFIT BUILDER

$495

Join me for a private, 1 : 1 workshop where we’ll create a step by step plan that’s guaranteed to grow your sales, revenue, profits and cashflow within 60 days or less!  

 

BUSINESS VALUE GAP

$495

Create a rock solid plan that will allow you to sell your business for the kind of money that will fund your dream retirement.  

WORKSHOPS

MASTERPLAN

$990

What tangible benefits will I get from having an up-to-date business plan? We have created a quick and cost-effective way of helping you build a useful plan.

PROFIT BUILDER

$495

Join me for a private, 1 : 1 workshop where we’ll create a step by step plan that’s guaranteed to grow your sales, revenue, profits and cashflow within 60 days or less!  

 

BUSINESS VALUE GAP

$495

Create a rock solid plan that will allow you to sell your business for the kind of money that will fund your dream retirement.  

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