Take 1% of your sales and invest it in a ‘fun budget’. blog May 05, 2021

Yes, 1%*. The purpose of your fun budget is to ensure you invest in a vibrant environment and culture in your small business. It forces you to think and act on the small things that your team will appreciate. 

Note the word “invest”, that’s the third...

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The three things, and gratitude blog Mar 31, 2020

We’re just over a quarter through 2020 and the world is gripped with tackling the COVID-19 Coronavirus. Its health and economic impacts are wide-ranging. Many people are out of jobs or living with a high-level of anxiety and uncertainty.

As the leader of a small business and your growing...

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When should a small business add a Board of Directors or advisors and what and how many roles should it contain blog Mar 24, 2020

Putting aside the compliance needs to be called ‘Directors’ per Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) – or the equivalent in your country – it is good to have a value-adding and active Board of Directors or Advisors. A passive ‘Board’ is not a...

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Where to find Australian government grants to help grow a small business blog Mar 17, 2020

As outlined in last weeks’ post on funding options to grow your small business government grants can be an attractive path. The downside is the paperwork to not only apply, but also claim the funds during or after the project or activity is complete.

There are often infrastructure...

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What are some of the funding options to grow your small business blog Mar 10, 2020

As the adage goes, ‘cash is king. The same challenge of having enough cash when times are tight applies when you are in a phase of funding growth, especially fast-growth. Where can you find more to stoke the fire of growth while also protecting your precious equity until the last...

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Find out in 27 minutes flat if your team loves you. blog Mar 03, 2020

Here is a quick people win for you. You’ll not only look more professional in less time than it takes to watch an East Enders or Neighbours episode, but you send a clear message to your team that you value them. 

Set up a free online survey using Google Forms, add some great...

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Get your small business into a meeting rhythm. blog Feb 25, 2020

When small businesses are growing, especially undergoing fast growth, communication is critical. As I like to say:

“communication is the key to any relationship.”

And as people are the hardest and most valuable thing in small business, effective relationships are...

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Running an effective KRA Managers meeting. blog Feb 18, 2020

As we talked about previously, the KRAs (Key Reporting Areas) each have an ‘owner’. We need clear roles, responsibilities so we then have accountability. This is not so it can be used in ‘management by fear’, the old autocratic style of how to get people...

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First or final Friday. Either way, it’s guaranteed to be fun and add value to your business. blog Feb 11, 2020

This one is simple, effective and fun. One Friday a month take some of your ‘fun budget’ and hand it to a team member to organise an event the team (and each persons’ partner/friend) can participate in.

Everyone bonds much better, stress is reduced and you...

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A simple and effective employee performance and appraisal system for small business. blog Jan 28, 2020

Annual performance reviews and on-going appraisals are usually reserved for medium and large businesses. A small business owner or manager justifies not doing these because ‘margins are tight, we never have enough time as it is to get everything done and besides, people...

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Where to begin? At the end. blog Jan 21, 2020

One of the first things I ask someone when I start mentoring them is “when do you want to sell?”

After a few blinks and an incredulous look, most pipe up and passionately retort with “I haven’t even started yet, why would I think about...

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Why I hate Monday mornings – I’m a High D. blog Jan 14, 2020

As I mentioned in the post on introducing DiSC®, I’m a High D. I nearly fell off the treadmill at the gym when I was going through the Manager Tools casts on each of the quadrants, listening to the cast on High Ds.

I realised why some people (mainly High Is)...

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The first thing most people do when starting work each day, and why you should cap it. blog Jan 07, 2020

Ask seven people what the first thing they do when they start work in the morning. Nearly everyone will say, ‘email’.

So, go with reality. If that is what you feel compelled to do, don’t fight it, recognise it. While I have done a heap of reading and know working on...

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Elephant or ant? Being ‘equity precious’ in your small business can hinder its growth (and your pocket). blog Dec 31, 2019

Here is one of my favourite quotes when it comes to strategy for small business. It beautifully sums up the quandary many owners and entrepreneurs fall in to early in their business career, under the curse of being ‘equity precious’:

“It is better to have the tail of...

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The best way to structure your information (folders and files) electronically. blog Dec 24, 2019

A common thing I see as small businesses grow is the handling of their information is all over the place like a mad persons’ breakfast. Getting a good structure and policy in place early-on is another small thing that really helps your small business grow.

You need structure and a...

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The rule of 4 by 2 for growing a small business. blog Dec 17, 2019

A few weeks after writing about the rule of four, I heard another battered, bruised and successful business owner put an even better twist on my rule of four for small business.

He called it the rule of “4 by 2″.

It will take four times as long as you think, and cost...

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An easy way to measure if your customers love you in 21 minutes – use the Net Promoter Score (NPS). And it’s FREE. blog Dec 10, 2019

“Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.” – Bill Gates

This is a simple and quick tool to gauge whether your customers love you or not. You get tremendous bang-for-your-buck implementing the NPS (Net Promoter Score) customer loyalty metric. ...

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Create your org chart before you hire your sixth team member. blog Dec 03, 2019

As your baby grows up it will need more structure.

Systems, processes, routine and structure will set you free, not confine you. If you are serious about growing your small business the sooner you have these in place and working smoothly, the sooner you can move out from working IN the business,...
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The value of QA – a Quality Assurance verb and habit. blog Nov 26, 2019

QA (Quality Assurance) is a simple step and habit your small business can form and use to improve the quality of its outputs, with little effort and time.

Especially if your business is professional services, ensuing important emails and documents are ‘QAd’ or simply read by...

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The rule of 4, for small businesses going for growth. blog Nov 19, 2019

When people ask me for advice about starting a small business, I tell them of the rule of two. It comes from a rule I once heard a VC (Venture Capitalist) share – the rule of 6. He says to entrepreneurs looking for investment from him “it’s 6 times harder, and will...

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How ‘the no arsehole rule’ boosts your culture in a growing small business. blog Nov 12, 2019

As I’ve mentioned before, in my opinion – most success in business (small business in particular) comes down to people.

It was Jim Collins’ seminal book ‘Built to Last‘ which really turned my thinking to where the value is in small business, and as I’ve said...

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Too important for HR – YOU need to set and drive your company culture. The ‘why’. blog Nov 05, 2019

This is one of the foundations you must invest in if you want to grow your small business fast, and with as little growing pains as possible. 

It sounds woolly, and being a High D, I initially rejected it (there are tasks to be done people, so why aren’t you doing...

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Knowing me. Knowing you. An introduction to DiSC®. blog Oct 29, 2019

A poignant line from that classic ABBA hit song of the same name. 

Before I left Australia in 2007 to find, buy into and grow a small I.T. company in the UK, I asked for some feedback from my fellow business partners and the General Manager in one of the businesses I had started...

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The best resource to develop your team, and yourself as a manager. And it’s FREE. blog Oct 22, 2019

“Leaders don’t create followers, they create more leaders.” –Tom Peters

In my 20+ years managing people in small businesses this is by far the best resource to develop yourself and your team of managers. I have not come across a resource anywhere near as comprehensive or...

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