The Forever Recession
I posted this to Facebook so if you've read it already I'm sorry but I liked it so much I wanted everyone to read it. Seth Godin speaks wisely - the revolution is here and we need to think about how we respond to it and how we participate in it.
Marketing is important, originality is important. If you do something irreplaceable, good for you. If you do something that can be outsourced to somewhere cheaper, watch out. And start thinking about how to be irreplaceable.
The forever recession (and the coming revolution)
"There are actually two recessions:
The first is the cyclical one, the one that inevitably comes and then inevitably goes. There's plenty of evidence that intervention can shorten it, and also indications that overdoing a response to it is a waste or even harmful.
The other recession, though, the one with the loss of "good factory jobs" and systemic unemployment--I fear that this recession is here forever.
Why do we believe that jobs where we are paid really good money to do work that can be systemized, written in a manual and/or exported are going to come back ever? The internet has squeezed inefficiencies out of many systems, and the ability to move work around, coordinate activity and digitize data all combine to eliminate a wide swath of the jobs the industrial age created.
There's a race to the bottom, one where communities fight to suspend labor and environmental rules in order to become the world's cheapest supplier. The problem with the race to the bottom is that you might win...
Factories were at the center of the industrial age. Buildings where workers came together to efficiently craft cars, pottery, insurance policies and organ transplants--these are job-centric activities, places where local inefficiences are trumped by the gains from mass production and interchangeable parts. If local labor costs the industrialist more, he has to pay it, because what choice does he have?
No longer. If it can be systemized, it will be. If the pressured middleman can find a cheaper source, she will. If the unaffiliated consumer can save a nickel by clicking over here or over there, then that's what's going to happen.
It was the inefficiency caused by geography that permitted local workers to earn a better wage, and it was the inefficiency of imperfect communication that allowed companies to charge higher prices.
The industrial age, the one that started with the industrial revolution, is fading away. It is no longer the growth engine of the economy and it seems absurd to imagine that great pay for replaceable work is on the horizon.
This represents a significant discontinuity, a life-changing disappointment for hard-working people who are hoping for stability but are unlikely to get it. It's a recession, the recession of a hundred years of the growth of the industrial complex.
I'm not a pessimist, though, because the new revolution, the revolution of connection, creates all sorts of new productivity and new opportunities. Not for repetitive factory work, though, not for the sort of thing ADP measures. Most of the wealth created by this revolution doesn't look like a job, not a full time one anyway.
When everyone has a laptop and connection to the world, then everyone owns a factory. Instead of coming together physically, we have the ability to come together virtually, to earn attention, to connect labor and resources, to deliver value.
Stressful? Of course it is. No one is trained in how to do this, in how to initiate, to visualize, to solve interesting problems and then deliver. Some see the new work as a hodgepodge of little projects, a pale imitation of a 'real' job. Others realize that this is a platform for a kind of art, a far more level playing field in which owning a factory isn't a birthright for a tiny minority but something that hundreds of millions of people have the chance to do.
Gears are going to be shifted regardless. In one direction is lowered expectations and plenty of burger flipping. In the other is a race to the top, in which individuals who are awaiting instructions begin to give them instead.
The future feels a lot more like marketing--it's impromptu, it's based on innovation and inspiration, and it involves connections between and among people--and a lot less like factory work, in which you do what you did yesterday, but faster and cheaper.
This means we may need to change our expecations, change our training and change how we engage with the future. Still, it's better than fighting for a status quo that is no longer. The good news is clear: every forever recession is followed by a lifetime of growth from the next thing...
Job creation is a false idol. The future is about gigs and assets and art and an ever-shifting series of partnerships and projects. It will change the fabric of our society along the way. No one is demanding that we like the change, but the sooner we see it and set out to become an irreplaceable linchpin, the faster the pain will fade, as we get down to the work that needs to be (and now can be) done.
This revolution is at least as big as the last one, and the last one changed everything."
Small Fish Business Coaching Byron Bay
5 of the Best FREE Business Tools
You know the saying… “there is no such thing as a free lunch”. I disagree. I find free stuff for business all the time! There are so many fantastic free resources, webinars, eBooks … the list goes on.
Why is it free?
Sometimes we assume “free” equates to “crap” but this is not always the case. The list below have free offerings – you can upgrade if you love them so much you want more!
Golly gosh, I just love Mail Chimp. You will need to pay if you exceed a certain number of emails per month but you would need to be sitting on a massive database to do that. If you have tried newsletters before and have decided they don’t work for you, you were probably making some common mistakes – read my blog about the 5 biggest mistakes here!
Skype rocks my world on a weekly basis. If you have not downloaded this nifty program then you are missing out on free calls to other Skype users. It is fantastic for face-to-face communication – switch the video on and voila! It is like you are sitting in the same room as the other person. I use Skype to coach clients and to catch up with friends and family. You can even make conference calls, which is fantastic if you have a team that is not office based.
Need to manage your own task or assign group tasks? Then this free program is the answer. Steve Eastwood put me on to this one and I have now got clients using it for project management. I use it myself so it must be good! You can download a free app if you have an iPhone and/or iPad or go old school style and use it online.
I send clients and the other Small Fish Coaches nuts with my love of Facebook. There are very few businesses that this is not effective for. Set yourself up a free business page and start using Social Media to promote yourself! Mine is here if you would like free business tips! If you are not sure how to use it visit www.nataliealaimo.com - she is the “go to” gal for Social Media. You will find some great free resources such as eBooks and videos on her site. She is also running a free webinar in October, which will take you through the changes Facebook are making.
5. Free one-hour business coaching session
You knew I would slip that one in to the list! If you have not already booked a free session with a Small Fish Business Coach then do it now! We are smart and lovely and genuinely want to help. If business coaching seems like it might be for you – great! If not, we will still be friends and you will have some new ideas and a bit of fresh insight into your business.
Got a great freebie that you use in your business? Share it on my Facebook wall!
Small Fish Business Coaching Gold Coast
How Much Profit Is Your Business Leaking?
Most businesses leak profit, often for simple reasons, which can easily be fixed. Is your business leaking profit?
The Business Audit Consultancy will help you identify and plug profit leaks. And help you make more money. And who doesn't want that?
Just ask Noven Purnell-Webb from Magedata – he says
"The questionnaire was a really easy way to get some quick and effective insights into how my business is running. By merely asking the questions, the obvious things can no longer be ignored and some surprising results emerged. A highly effective tool for any business owner trying to clear up the bigger picture."
Click below to read more or to book yourself in for a good probing (with questions of course). We think you’ll like it.
Read More Now >>>
The Small Fish Team
Times Are Getting Tough - Get Better At Marketing
With the slow down in the economy and tightening of the financial markets, times are tough in the retail and Small Business sectors. This could potentially result in a number of business failures.
How do you protect your business from becoming one of the casualties? You have to operate better than you are today and better than your competition and there are only two ways to do that. You either sell more or spend less.
Let’s look at both sides of this equation, both selling and spending by your business. Both of these are impacted by Marketing or Advertising. Marketing and Advertising bring you clients to sell to, but they also cost you money. You know this, of course. But do you know exactly what it costs you to find a client to sell to? Do you know how many clients your marketing brings you? Do you know how much you sell to each client and what the return on your advertising is?
To make sure your business survives and thrives you need to know.
So how do you work it out?
Total sales last year divided by total customers = Total Sales per customer SPC
Total Advertising & Marketing Expenditure last year divided by Total Customers = Cost per acquisition CPA (Include existing clients as they are also included in the total sales number)
Simply, if Total Sales per customer is not much higher that Cost per acquisition, you are in trouble. This figure SPC – CPA should be well below your estimated profit margin. If it’s not, then you need to work on it.
What can you do? Get better at marketing, insure your marketing dollar is working for you and delivering you clients, and ensure you are making the most of your on line prescence.
Small Fish Business Coaching Sydney
Small Business Strategy Made Simple
Many small business owners I talk to do not have a strategic or business plan of any kind. However, they do have reasonably clear ideas about where they’d like to take their business (and the challenges they face in doing so) and agree that some sort of strategic business plan would be helpful. So how can their ideas be easily incorporated into a planning framework?
Most strategic planning models involve complicated planning processes beyond the scope and resources of smaller to medium sized businesses. However, there are two common concepts we can borrow from these models and use in developing a simpler approach. These are the vision and the mission.
The vision is a fancy term for what you want your business to be. When I talk to business owners during coaching or even in the course of a free coaching session, I find that just about everybody has a date or timeframe in mind for achieving key things in their business – “
by the time I’m 55”, or ”when I’ve had the business for 10 years”, or “when I retire”, or “x years from now,” etc.
Once the timeframe is identified I simply ask them to close their eyes and imagine what their business will look like at that point in time. In particular, I ask them:
- what products and services will you be providing?
- what does your customer profile look like?
- what is your turnover?
- how much will your business be worth?
- what geographic area will your business be servicing?
- what sort of premises will you have and where will they be located?
- what is your role in the business?
- who is in your team, and what are they doing?
- how is your business operating (how will it be different)?
- what are people saying about your business?
This is their vision.
Using this information, the vision can be articulated as a high level description of the business in the future, underpinned by a set of goals relating to some or all of the specific points above.
mission is a broad statement about how the vision is to be achieved. It can be developed by answering the question “what is it you need to do or change to take your business from where it is now to where you want it to be?” The mission statement is a set of high level strategies which incorporate the key things that need to occur - i.e. expanding product/service lines, increasing the customer base, establishing strategic alliances, opening new outlets, modernising equipment, introducing new management arrangements, automating systems, etc.
From the information contained in the mission statement, a detailed plan with timeframes can be developed for managing the changes. At Small Fish, we use a Strategic Buiness Plan on a page with a 12 to 18 month time frame for this purpose.
Small Fish Business Coaching Coffs Harbour