Category : Business Planning

Home/Archive by Category "Business Planning"

Cheap does not always mean better

One of the biggest mistakes small business owners make is focusing on price and not on value.  They do it when working out how much to charge for the goods or services they provide, but also when they are sourcing support for their businesses.

Why is it a mistake? 

Price does not always equate with value and cheap does not mean better.

How often have you heard of people buying articles from overseas only to have to rewrite them, or pay to have someone else do it?  What about the business owners who bought backlinks to their websites so they could boost their page rank, only to be slapped in the recent changes to Google’s algorithms?  They all lost money but more importantly, they lost time and took their businesses’ backwards.

Just because something is cheap it does not mean it’s good for you or that it will do the job you want done.

I have learnt that the only way to grow your business is to invest time, money and energy into it, and take the organic and authentic path forward.

If you are investing in a service or business support, look past the price. 

  • What experience does the supplier have?
  • What other businesses has he or she worked with?
  • What do you get for your money?
  • What time frames can he or she offer?

Recently my client sacked her Personal Assistant and hired me even though my price was higher.  On the surface it looks like a bad business decision but what she found was that I completed the work in less time than it took the PA and I achieved better results.  My client ended up by paying no more than she had paid her PA but had a significantly better outcome which made her money.

Price does not always equate with value.  Look at the results you need to get and find the person who can deliver.  That’s value for you.

So, you’ve decided to start a business? Part 2

2 weeks ago I posted Part 1 in this 2 part series, So, you’ve decided to start a business? You can read this post here.

Marketing your Business:

Developing a marketing plan for your business that includes an online presence through a website and social media is a must.  Your first steps include:

  • Incorporating your logo and branding throughout both your online and offline presence.  Make it easy for potential clients to find or recognise your business.
  • Get yourself a website.  You don’t need a huge outlay to have a decent website made now that WordPress is so versatile.
  • Create an email address that incorporates your URL.  Using free email services like Gmail or Yahoo make you look less professional.
  • Find out where your clients ‘hang out’ and go there.  That usually means setting up a business page on Facebook or creating a Twitter account.  Social media allows you to interact with potential clients.
  • Start building your list by offering a regular newsletter to clients and interested people. This is a great way to establish yourself as an authority in your field.

There are a lot of things that you have to do to set your business up properly.  It is worth doing them well in the beginning because that will start your business off on a sound footing.

It can all seem quite overwhelming when you are first starting out but it is important to get everything right.  Having to change your business name or logo once your business is established is really tough and can cost you the reputation and client base you’ve already built up.  You have to start right back at the beginning again.

I can take the worry out of the process for you and fast track your business start-up.

Ask me how!

So, you’ve decided to start a business? Part 1

Setting up and running a business can be incredibly rewarding but there are some basics that you must take care of so you start off on the right foot.

Initial Administration Steps:

  • Choose a clear business name. It is often the first impression a customer has of your business and should help create an image which accurately reflects your brand and, over time, establishes a strong reputation.
  • Register your business name.  That means that no one else in Australia can use that same name.  Business name registrations are now handled by ASIC.
  • An important point to remember is that registering your business name does not guarantee your rights to the name.  To do this your name or logo must be registered as a trademark through IP Australia.
  • Create a logo.  This will be one of the most recognisable parts of your branding so it’s worth paying a designer to create the logo for you.  Nothing looks as tacky as a clipart logo!
  • Once you have successfully registered your trademark name or logo, you can use this on your letterhead, advertising, business cards, newsletters, emails, invoices or any other communications you have.
  • Buy your domain name (URL) from your preferred provider.
  • If you are operating a business you need to register for an Australian Business Number (ABN). This identifies you as a real business and allows you to buy a domain name for business and to claim back the good and services tax (GST).
  • If you expect your turnover to be more than $75,000 (or more than $150,000 for a non-profit organisation) then you must register for GST.  Even if your turnover is less than these amounts you can still register for GST so you can claim back the good and services tax.
  • An accounting system is important as it not only makes it easy to record and report your financial transactions but will make it easy for preparing your tax return.  Packages such as QuickBooks or MYOB are just some examples that are relatively easy to learn and are suitable for a small busines, and there are also many cloud options out there as well.
  • Having a customer relationship management system (CRMs) can also be an advantage as it allows you to easily manage and maintain customer information that can include contact details, sales history as well as responses to marketing campaigns that can help to better target future marketing campaigns.   There are many different types of CRMs on the market that are relatively low cost.
  • Finally, and I know it sounds simple, but set up a good filing system for you papers and your emails.  At some stage you are going to have to lay your hands on information quickly.

It can all seem quite overwhelming when you are first starting out but it is important to get everything right.  I can take the worry out of the process for you and fast track your business start-up. Ask me how.

Keep an eye out for So, you’ve decided to start a business Part 2 where I discuss marketing your business.

Benefits of Outsourcing for Small Business

To outsource or not to outsource:  that is the question.  Sadly many business owners base their decision purely on a cost basis without putting any thought into the long term costs and benefits.

Outsourcing is a valid business strategy that can save you much more than it costs.  Think about it. How long do you spend struggling with those parts of your business that you aren’t good at?  It can take you two or three times as long to do the job as it would take a professional AND they will do it better.

While you are slaving away over the time sucking jobs, you are losing out on potential sales and the chance to develop relationships with clients that are so important to your business.  By struggling to get that job done you are having a negative impact on your bottom line.

You don’t have to outsource key parts of your business.  Instead, look for the things that don’t have to be done by you personally.  Things that you might like to outsource are:

  • Routine work
  • Work that involves skills that you don’t have
  • Work that you don’t like to do
  • Anything that frees your time for more important work

Even big organisations buy in the people they need when they don’t have the expertise in-house.   In general it makes sense to outsource tasks which don’t play to your strengths.  By paying a professional to do them you will end up with quality work that supports everything you are trying to achieve in business.

But I mentioned that word – paying.  It costs money to outsource.

Yes, it will cost you money and it’s important that you don’t hire someone based on price alone.  The cheapest is not usually the best and if you are going to invest in your business then do it well.  Pay a little more to get the best you can afford.

When you start to panic about the price, ask yourself how much it could cost you if your accounts weren’t up to date.  Ask yourself how many clients you might lose through a poorly written newsletter or badly managed social media account.  How many potential sales might you lose as you sit staring at the screen waiting for the right word to pop into your head?

If you choose the right work to outsource and the right person to outsource to, it will pay for itself.