The business economy is dividing like oil and water. Some businesses have never had it so good, where others are failing.
I’m not going to tell you about job-keeper or how to get a COVID-safe plan, there’s plenty of info on the net. What I will share with you are the things business owners are doing to keep their business moving ahead.
The successful business is the one who has taken proactive steps. We have heard of the businesses which pivoted: Gin producers making hand sanitiser, or manufacturers who developed ventilators and face masks. They deserve their well-earned success.
But what about the other 99.9% of small businesses who survived and thrived? What did they do?
They focused on what they had control over.
Here are three areas which could work for you:
- Promote more of your top products to your best customers
An accountant stopped their ‘hourly rate’ model and introduced a ‘product’ model. Of their top 7 ‘products’, their top customers were only buying, on average, 2.4 products. Their goal was to introduce one more product to each of their most loyal customers. Their business ended up with more engagement than Donald Trump’s twitter feed.
- Promote your best products to new customers
A wholesaler employed a new ‘sales representative with benefits’. The new team member brought a bunch of A-grade clients. The new client flow momentum impacted the other reps who brought on new clients too.
- Promote new products to your existing customers
A restaurant owner discovered that local business owners wanted a safe option to celebrate and thank their employees for going through the tough times. The restaurant’s marketing effort doubled, and customers poured in the door. July has been their best trading month ever in over 11 years of operation.
- Did these businesses engage with their customers to see what was wanted? Yes, chef!
- Did they start without having all the facts? They believed in themselves!
- Were they lucky? Absolutely captain!
- Are these business owners getting results? Yeah baby, better than expected.
- You may not get it right straight away, but if you don’t act now, you’ll be left at the whim of other forces pushing you around. Who wants that?
The fact remains that those who move quickly will excel.
What will you do over the next 4 weeks?
Thanks for reading
Stuart ‘focus on the now’ Goodfellow
Your Questions Answered
Here are the answers to a few questions I have received. If you have a question, email me at [email protected]
and get your question answered here.
It’s a lose: lose situation
Hi Regional, I have been offered a half share in a business at a discounted price. It hasn’t travelled so well over the last 4-5 years, but I see enormous potential. The current owners bought it for their wives, and the wives are in-fighting. The owners openly say they are not interested in running the business because they have other businesses, but have guaranteed they will inject the money they get from the ½ share back into this business to make it work. I am at a crossroad. What should I do?
If you have to ask me the question, you probably already know the answer.
Run for the hills!
It is clear that the current owners probably worked this through on the back of a beer coaster in a pub one night and thought it would be a good idea.
“We’ll buy for it our wives.” they said.
“We’ll oversee the business.” they said.
“It will be fun.” they said.
If all that’s needed is to invest money into the business to get it going, and get all the profits, why haven’t they done this already?
If you buy the business the only guarantee is that you will be left investing all your time trying to make it work. If it does work, you only get half the profits. If it doesn’t work, you’ve lost your money. (They have already made their money when you gave it to them).
If I read between the lines, the current business owners just want their wives to stop fighting because it’s giving everyone a headache. And if they can get a few bucks back for their flailing business along the way, great.
They all take a holiday together…on you.
Keep your money, and look for a better option.
Do I need a Business Will?
Hi Regional, I have just added a fourth business to my portfolio and have re-done my personal Will. I have heard that I should have a Business Will. What is it and should I have one? Thanks,
Hi Jasper, Wow, a fourth business: Man, you must be going strong. Well done.
A Business Will is an agreement that ensures the smooth transition of the ownership of a business on the event of a death, total and personal disablement, or trauma of an owner. It usually includes buy/sell options (talk with your accountant, lawyer and or tax lawyer about this – there could be tax implications).
You should also consider who will run your business if you are not there.
It’s easy to say “Just sell it!” The thing is, most businesses don’t sell and those that do, actually sell for way less than you think. In any case, it can take up to 2 years to sell a business.
My question to you Jasper is who will run it between when you’ve gone, and when it’s sold.
Step 1 is to have a discussion with your significant other. Get clarity around what you both want first.
Secondly: Talk with your stakeholders (business partner/s, consultant/coach, accountant, lawyer, senior management team, advisory board) and work out the long term plan. Who will run it, how will they run it, who will help, if it is going to be sold, what exactly are the finer details?
Third: Get it drawn up with your lawyer and signed.
Look, it’s not a nice subject, but once it’s discussed and out in the open, you can rest assured you have given it the attention it (and your significant other) deserves.
How to sell yourself into that perfect job
Hi Regional, How can job seekers secure a role when few jobs are being advertised? While some hiring rates are showing a slight uptick, many candidates in struggling industries are looking for roles to no avail. What is your best tip for job seekers keen to get hired?
We have a saying with the business owners I work with: “Always be hiring”.
In regional Australia, we have some great talent, but we often don’t know who has just moved to the region. We are always on the lookout for talent. Whilst we may not be hiring today, we may have an opening tomorrow for the right candidate.
Which leads onto my second point: “Show Up Often”.
As a candidate looking for a new role, you have to show up often, show interest in the employers’ business and show you are across the issues in the industry. The key message is what can you, as the candidate, do for the business. Put the employer’s needs first, add value, don’t waste their time and you will get that role.
I hope that helps, Stuart