Speak to any small business owner, and they will probably tell you this: “My retirement plan is selling my business!”
Well, prior to the global financial crisis, you might have been on the right track. Buyers could get leverage and purchase small to medium sized businesses. But since then, getting access to credit has been harder, and the majority of Australian investors have put their money in residential property while interest rates are low.
Several years ago a new restaurant opened in Fortitude Valley, just around the corner from my place in Brisbane. It was kind of a big deal as it was the second restaurant from a company that had achieved massive success with their first one. This was expected to put them on the map as a brand and a business in the city.
It didn’t quite work out like that. We ate there once as a company, and while the food was relatively good, it wasn’t the five-star quality it was supposed to be. And it took ages for it to arrive. It seemed these issues weren’t exclusive to our session, and within the first three months of the restaurant opening, it had accumulated forty reviews online, with an average of one and a half stars out of five.
If your objective is to position your business to be able to ride out the next recession or even prosper through it, then you need advance planning. As one of my favourite quotes goes: “A goal without a plan is just a wish” (Antoine de Saint-Exupery).
So what can you do to make your business recession-proof? Here are some ideas to start with:
I am the product of a small business family. My dad started his first business the year I was born and by the time I left high school, he was running his third business. Right now, he’s on his fourth.
Being part of a small business family wasn’t always easy. There were good times, but there were also tough times. The hours were long and everyone had to contribute. Growing up, I started to notice the difference between our family and my friends’ families, where their parents had a regular, corporate job.
Today, I am nothing but grateful for what my dad has given me. In fact, I feel very lucky and privileged because I got to witness my dad doing what he loved. Like so many small business owners, he wouldn’t have been happy doing anything else.
For a lot of people, the whole idea of social media as work seems ludicrous. But in the last 10 years, social media has moved from the fringes to become a vital part of every business’s communications.
And within the last decade, one of the most in-demand roles is that of the community manager (or social media specialist). Basically, it’s the person responsible for the day-to-day management of an organisation’s social media accounts.
While this has historically gone to a junior member of the marketing or administration team because they ‘get it’, smart companies have long known that this role isn’t about posting a few funny …
If you ever need any indication that mobile payment adoption will pick up speed here, you only need to look at the number of new players entering the market over the last few months. It’s a hot topic in the payments industry right now, and for good reasons.
The ability to make and accept payments via a smartphone is potentially game changing, especially for tradies, consultants, field agents, mobile vendors and those who are always on the move. Businesses can accept card payments from any location with cell phone coverage – perfect for mobile businesses.
It’s safe to say that David Smith was always the ‘person most likely’ to stage an annual technology conference for accountants.
His love of all things geeky and techy started back in the 1960s. As a boy, he would huddle close to his shortwave radio to follow the conversations of astronauts and their adventures high above the earth. Today, David advises accountants Australia-wide on how to use technology to optimise the workflow and productivity of their practice, among other things.
The Accountants’ Technology Showcase Australia, or ATSA, was his brainchild and kicked off 7 years ago. ATSA is, in David’s words, ‘speed dating …
If you’re anything like me, you're probably skeptical when it comes to winning competitions. I mean, no one I know ever wins a thing. Oh sure, fifth division Lotto is still a win, but I mean the BIG prizes.
That’s why I was thrilled to interview the winner of the recent MYOB CompanyDocs competition. Debra Anderson of NSW firm Legally Counts was over the moon to be spending 6 nights in the south of France, with an opportunity to drive a Ferrari around the Côte d'Azur. The winner was picked from a ballot.
There’s an old saying in business that states the customer is always right. I like to modify this to the right customer is always right. Many business owners spend an inordinate amount of time dealing with customers who are simply not the right ones for their business.
In fact, it’s my experience that the best way to get more customers of the type you want is to learn to say no to the wrong type of customer. Here are five tricky customer types you may encounter and some suggestions on how to deal with them.
Networking is a great tool for growing sales, particularly if your business works with other businesses. Networking with other business owners and managers can happen face-to-face or through social media. The mediums might be different, but many principles of networking are relevant to both. Here are some tips for making the most out of your networking opportunities.