Weekly Edge

Who does your taxes?

Heather Frame - Wednesday, May 01, 2019

Heather here.  Louis the weedy tax accountant is my favourite character in the classic 80’s film Ghostbusters.

 

At the end of the film after the big marshmallow man bites the dust and the roof is pretty blown off the central park adjacent building – Louise is rescued by the Ghostbusters.

 

Louis: Who are you guys?

 

Dr Ray Stantz: We're the Ghostbusters.        

 

Louis: Who does your taxes?

 

The world is half up in smoke, a giant man made of confectionary had just caused havoc in the streets and he’s just been trapped inside a crispy underworld dog and yet Louis never misses an opportunity to prospect for new business.

 

When was the last time you asked someone – Who does your taxes?  (Or your hair, or services your car, or gives you personal training, etc)

Lessons from our Anzacs

Heather Frame - Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Tomorrow is Anzac Day… a unique and special day to us Aussies and Kiwis.  Don’t know about you, but we tend to get a bit emotional as we think back and imagine what these men and women went through.  

It took a lot of courage that’s for sure, but more than that, it took commitment, perseverance, and dogged determination.  Sadly, these qualities are in scarce supply in the twenty first century.  These are the qualities needed in business, but from what we see around us reflects a population that expects success without effort.  Business owners who are all too ready to lift the white flag of defeat without even firing a shot!

They want successful businesses but they don’t do a damn thing to succeed.

You, like us are different.  We know that we have to get busy.  We’ve got to hustle, get things done.

Times are getting tougher for many people in business, but we can’t use that as an excuse.  We can’t control the economy but we certainly can control what goes on inside our businesses.  There are many things we can do right now to bring in the money. 

Think Anzac.  Think courage, determination, perseverance and the belief that you will win.  Now is not the time to be coasting with your foot off the pedal.  We need to get busy and take charge of the things we can control.

Things that make you go hmmm... about blended behaviour

Heather Frame - Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Follow up on blended behaviour article from last week.  Here are some of our favourite quotes on blended behaviour to make you go hmmm…

 

 “Behaviour is a mirror in which everyone displays his own image”
 
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe 
 

“The true test of character is not how much we know how to do, but how we behave when we don't know what to do.”
 
John W. Holt, Jr. 


 “If fear alters behaviour, you're already defeated.”
 
Brenda Hammond

 

 “Human behaviour flows from three main sources: desire, emotion, and knowledge”
 Plato

Blended Behaviour

Heather Frame - Wednesday, April 10, 2019

We’ve been reading a lot (and we mean a LOT!) of books and online on baby sleep at the moment (yes, our second child who is now a mere 3 months old, took a while to settle into sleeping ok at night). 

 

One of the more interesting concepts we’ve read about is “blended behaviour”. It’s when your child might show some sign of being sleepy such as rubbing his eyes, but then flash you a big smile and coo happily like he’s wide awake.  In short, it’s blended behaviour, and he’s probably very tired! Don’t let the smile fool you. 

 

Ever had one of your employees exhibit adult blended behaviour?

Snappish one minute and lovely the next? They could well just be tired.

When do you need to take it in hand? When the snappish behaviour continues longer than an “off” day. 

 

One day they’re dishonest and the next day perfectly pleasant?

It’s likely they’re just simply dishonest.

Confront them at the first instance of dishonesty and explain that it’s not tolerated in your workplace. 

 

Lazy one minute and interested the next?

You probably already know their heart isn’t in it.

What can you do to help them revitalize their interest?

A new challenge perhaps?

But be sure they know we all have mediocre parts to every job and without that (boring) backbone getting done, the business has no substance. 

 

Keep an eye on blended behaviour in your employees and look to overcome it straight away for optimum performance in your business.

Accuracy Versus Action…

Marcus Everett - Wednesday, April 03, 2019

Feeling that you always have to be right can cause a lot of stress and anxiety.

 

The reality is the people that typically achieve phenomenal levels of success did not get there by doing everything right every time.

 

The main point is that people achieve great heights because they did lots of things with a reasonable amount of accuracy.

 

When people get stuck on doing everything exactly right, they can’t but help take less action… and achieve less results.

 

Many a great idea has been lost because the person who devised it wanted to get it just right or, was waiting for exactly the right moment to launch it

 

Ask yourself how much are you holding yourself back by trying to do everything exactly right.

 

What would happen if you took 10% more action in your career/business and your personal life?

 

It’s all up to you!

Positive or negative thinking… Which will you choose?

Heather Frame - Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Today we have short story that’s an oldie, but a goodie to share with you to illustrate the difference between positive and negative thinking

 

Many years ago two salesmen were sent by a British shoe manufacturer to Africa to investigate and report back on market potential.

 

The first salesman reported back, "There is no potential here - nobody wears shoes."

 

The second salesman reported back, "There is massive potential here - nobody wears shoes."


This simple short story provides one of the best examples of how a single situation may be viewed in two quite different ways - negatively or positively.

 

We could explain this also in terms of seeing a situation's problems and disadvantages, instead of its opportunities and benefits.

 

So how do you look at things, are you a positive or a negative thinker?

Is your business growing or dying?

Marcus Everett - Wednesday, March 20, 2019

So often business owners ask us why many new businesses fail within the first 5 years.

 

It’s usually because the business owner(s) doesn’t have the following in place

1. An open mindset and willingness to accept changes that occur and adapt to those changes.

2. An interest in asking and seeking advice from people who are experts.


3. A willingness to take advantage of changes in technology, economic progress and sales processes.

4. Awareness. Business owners who succeed are aware if their profit and cashflow situation, and are ready and willing to make changes when necessary. They take immediate action in implementing changes in their business.

5. Systems. They have typically created a system that is easy and simple that can be applied in their business. And, in the presence of this system, the average business owner can focus on the growth of their businesses.

6. Culture. The successful business owner creates a good atmosphere and culture in their business. Communication between departments is well run, so the business has a solid team that works well together and is productive.

In the development of a competitive business, all six of these things are necessary to support the success of a business. Working with a "Trusted Adviser" who can assist employers, so business owners can achieve their goals, is another method.  A "Trusted Adviser" is now better known as a Business Coach.

Do you know what really works for your business?

Heather Frame - Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Testing and measuring is the most important thing you can do for your business.  Every aspect of your business, no matter if it’s a marketing campaign or the nuts and bolts of selling your products or services, must be tested and measured to ensure your business is running at it’s peak.

 

If you don’t test and measure, you’ll never know what really works and what doesn’t.

 

You’ll always be guessing and guessing in the world of business is a recipe for disaster.

 

That’s why we’re always surprised when we hear about people who use social media but fail to test and measure the effectiveness of what they do.

 

Like any marketing campaign, any work that you do in social media to grow your customer base should be tested and measured.  Many businesses just assume because they are using social media, it must be effective, but they couldn’t be more wrong.

 

One major difference between traditional marketing and social media marketing is social media marketing shouldn’t cost you a lot of money, so it is far easier to have an effective campaign. 

 

But as it turns out you might not be as focused on the return you get from social media as you would the return from a campaign of radio commercials you had to spend an arm and a leg for.

 

So, whether it’s traditional media or social media, you don’t want to waste time on campaigns that aren’t as affective as others and the only way to know what works best is by testing and measuring.

 

How do you start?

 

It’s simple. Just keep every lead you get from your social marketing campaign separate from your other leads.

 

If you have multiple pages and sites, keep each separate as well. This way you can figure out why some do better than others, instead of throwing away your time and effort on what doesn’t work.

 

It may be that the message isn’t uniform or maybe one ad or website has a better offer or better copy.

 

Whatever the answer is, without testing and measuring you’ll never know.

The Impact of Accountability

Heather Frame - Wednesday, March 06, 2019

Do you play above the line?

By that we mean, are you totally accountable for the state of your business?

The lure of freedom can be a double-edged sword in that many business owners feel they no longer have to be accountable because they’re the boss.

But it’s important to remember, if an employee makes a mistake it can be covered up, but if you make a mistake, as the owner, it can affect your livelihood and your company itself.

As a business owner, do you have a boss?

Of course you do.

Your boss is the marketplace and for that reason, your accountability is more critical than anyone in your organization.

So do you play above the line?

Do you accept responsibility for the actions of the entire team?

Do you blame others for your company’s problems?

Only you can change what is going on in your business. Blaming your team members, the government, your mother-in-law or even the economy doesn’t do you any good.

Remember, when you point a finger at someone else, there are three pointing back at you.

Accountability is what keeps people on track and moving toward their goals and is the key to growing your business.

If you want to create amazing results in your business you’ve got to take responsibility and be held accountable.

The freedom of business ownership only happens on the backend. To get there, you must put in the hard work on the front end, and that means being accountable and always playing above the line.

Every Advertising Dollar Spent should be an Investment

Marcus Everett - Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Every business, small or big, advertises in the hope of finding new customers, yet at the same time most view their advertising as an expense rather than an investment.

 

As any business owner knows, you get returns from investments, not from expenses, so understanding that you're investing your advertising dollar in the hope that it will bring you a return is the only way looking at your marketing and advertising that makes sense.

 

Unfortunately this thought process happens too seldom because in the average business, the owner has little if any idea what the return on their investment is.

 

Why?

 

Too often the average small business owner doesn't take the time to measure the response that each marketing piece generates, leading to that uncertainty.  Sure, you might think your latest radio commercial, which you spent $2500 on, is drumming up business, but what if it’s your social media, that you spend virtually nothing on, that is generating the leads for you?

 

If you don’t know what your resources are doing for you, how can you ever really know how to use them most efficiently?

 

If you were to invest your money in a stock or a piece of real estate, you'd most likely keep a very keen eye on what returns you were getting from that investment, wouldn’t you?

 

So why doesn’t the average business owner look at their marketing in the same way?  After all, it’s a helpless feeling when you aren’t sure whether you're getting any return at all from the money you invest.


So how do you find out what return you're getting from each marketing piece?

 

You simply ask each customer who calls, or comes into your store how they found out about you.  You then record their response, and calculate how much business each advertising effort generates.

 

Yes it will be time consuming and you may not get every single customer right, but it will give you an idea of what works and what doesn’t and you can move forward from there, deciding which campaigns and materials are worth keeping or updating and which can be thrown in the trash.

 

But most importantly, once you've worked out the marketing campaigns that are making you money, or at least paying for themselves, and the ones that are costing you money, you'll be able to stop throwing good money away and start to increase your profits.