Small Fish - Small Business Tips and the Latest News

Small Business MBA

Enrolments are open for the Small Business M.B.A - a 7-week program that will allow you to develop skills, plans, action and processes to get your business on track or take it to the next level.

Unlike many online programs, this series of subjects will be interactive and will drive change in your business, due to the level of accountability placed back on you via weekly set homework, which will allow you to implement the weekly content into your own businesses system. Throughout the course, you will be developing ideas and concepts and forming the habit of working ‘on’ your own business each week.

In addition to the content and practical activities, you will have access to your lecturer Tony Ozanne throughout the program to help you when you are stuck, frustrated, annoyed or simply want some guidance, in addition to the homework feedback. You get the access, skill and advice of a Business Coach at non-business coaching pricing throughout the 7 weeks.

All participants will have an individual one-on-one discovery session with Tony prior to the course to allow him to gain insight as to where you and your business are at, and then an additional session at the end of the series to work on your ongoing actions and plans for your businesses continued growth.

Want to learn more?

Head on over to the website for full information on Tony Ozanne (me, your lecturer) and all you need to know about the course and how to sign up.

You can also download this flyer here

Don't wait because enrolments close May 15th (tomorrow!!)

This practical and hands on program is designed to help the business owner that wants to grow (and we suspect that's you!)

Get more information and sign up now!

Tony Ozanne
Small Fish Business Coaching Canberra
www.smallfish.com.au



Keep Your Customers Happy By Getting Personal

Did you set up your database last week? Told you I’d be checking on you!

To keep customers happy you need to know what they want. And you get to know what they want by getting to know who they are.

When was the last time you asked your customers for feedback on your service or business? If you have face-to-face contact, when was the last time you asked them about their lives and things they enjoy?

When you know more about your customer you have more opportunities to keep them happy. Whether it’s purely for marketing purposes – these customers buy this stuff only so I’ll only send marketing materials for those products rather than bug them with everything. Too much in-your-face contact can put people off.

When you know more about your customers on a personal level you can help them in ways that may be unrelated to your business but builds trust and gratitude, both of which release feel good chemicals in the brain. Giving more than customers expect is a great way to keep them loyal. Givers, rather than takers or matchers, are over-represented in the ‘successful’ category. Isn’t that the category you want to be in? Then be a ‘giver’ to your customers.

Can you find a way you can help your customer? Can you make an introduction that would help them with an issue they’re facing? Can you solve a problem they have? Can you recommend a resource that might be useful to them?

What one thing could you do this week to get to know your customers better? Think about it then DO IT!

Here are some ideas:

  • An email or survey asking for feedback on your business, what could be improved etc.
  • A quick call to a customer at the completion of a job with the aim of finding out how it went, what keeps them happy about your work, and what else might be helpful to them.

Ask these questions via your social media marketing.

One more thing – when you get feedback, make sure you act on it. Trust is everything in small business.

Jon Dale
Small Fish Business Coaching Byron Bay
www.smallfish.com.au

How to keep customers happy

This is a series of posts about ways to keep your customers happy, both from personal experience and our client's experiences.

Part 1: How to keep your customers happy.

Apparently it costs 5 times as much to get a new customer than it does to keep an existing one. Depending on what you’re reading at the time, it could be more like 8 or even 10 times more. Let’s say 10 – it sounds more dramatic.

So if it costs 10 times more to get a new customer, doesn’t it make sense to ensure that your existing customers are really, really happy?

When you consider that research says around 60% of people say they would pay more for a better customer experience and around 90% said they started doing business with a competitor after a bad customer experience, it makes sense to make sure your customer service is impeccable.

So what does that mean?


People respond to people. Especially in small business, giving your customers the personal touch makes all the difference. I’m not talking taking them for a candlelit dinner for their birthday. Sending a card or text will do. People like to know you’re thinking of them. It makes them feel special and important, which makes them feel more attached to you and your business, and therefore more loyal.

So here is my task for you today:

If you don’t already have one, set up a database NOW with reminders for birthdays or anniversaries you shared with the customer. 

There is a great service we sometimes use, called Sendoutcards. No, they didn't ask me to plug them, but I do use the service sometimes, and you can easily set up beautiful cards to be sent to your clients to say thank you, or wish them a happy birthday. It takes 15 minutes to set up and is quite easy to use.

I’ll be checking to make sure you’ve done it. I’d make a good business coach – strategy, tools, bossiness, and accountability.

Jon Dale
Small Fish Business Coaching Byron Bay
www.smallfish.com.au

Spark Sessions - Ignite your business




How to make your emails useful

Despite the obvious fact that this is an email and you are reading it now, most of us don't bother reading them.

How many do you get every day?

I get between 50 and 100 emails every day and almost half are stupid bulk emails from people like Groupon offering me cheap towels or something. I unsubscribe often but it seems (mysteriously) not to work....

So I get about 50 that require me to do something or respond somehow. I'm trying to do a days work as well as respond to emails so I have a (sort of) system for them. It goes like this (and I don't think I'm unusual or special):

Is it from someone I know and like or do regular work with?

If so, I'll read it quickly and decide whether to respond immediately or save it for when I'm back at my desk and not trying to type on a mobile phone.

(Sometimes I get to my desk, I forget the email - they drop below the fold and they might as well be gone forever)

Is it interesting or short enough to be dealt with in one go?

Well maybe I'll read it or deal with it while I'm between meetings or having that coffee, then.

Anything else tends to fall into the last category - perhaps I'll read it or deal with it later when I have time. Which is usually not soon.

Now maybe this just illustrates what a retard I am and that I need to rethink my email management (probably something there) but I suspect that email overload applies to a lot of us too.

20% is a good open rate for an email list that is opted in.

So rethink your communicating. If it is important - call them up.

Follow up with a confirmatory email if you need to reinforce something or give them info - they're already past the filter.

And, if your staff think that sending an email absolves them of responsibility for stuff, don't let them get away with it.

Hands up whose email marketing, or even direct email communications, sometimes (often) go unanswered?


Jon Dale
Small Fish Business Coaching Byron Bay
www.smallfish.com.au

How to make your team perform better

Last week, Jon gave a leadership talk at the Leadership Summit.  If you've missed it, we've got a free download for you here.


He talks about:
  1. the leadership process and how you can use it in a small business
  2. some recent psychological learning that can help you be a better leader.
  3. three simple things you can start doing right away to help you get your team performing better.
Get motivated on your way to work and listen to it in your car, or just put it on around the house while you're cleaning. You're bound to get some good insight into your leadership ways. 

After you've listened to the download, leave your comments in the comments below and tell us what you thought. We always love to hear your feedback.

Leadership Summit - Jon Dale Guest Speaker on Leadership for Small Business

Jon is talking at the Macro Recruitment Leadership Summit, next week.

Someone reckons he's one of the top 20 leadership experts in the world, which seems unlikely (how do you measure that stuff?).

Anyway, he believes he's got a few interesting observations to make about leading people and how important that is if you are a leader (and you are if you employ people).

He's drawing from leadership training he received when at Optus, from his experience during that time and from his experience as a business coach, where leading is a little more direct and close and real world.

Expect some simplified theory and some real world do-able initiatives for you to take in your business, to make your people perform better.

It's completely free, did we mention that?

So if you want to hear your daily dose of wisdom from Jon and maybe become a better leader, be sure to book your ticket here:

leadershipsummit.macrorecruitment.com.au/

Jon Dale
Small Fish Business Coaching Byron Bay
www.smallfish.com.au

My business is killing me - responses and further thoughts

Last weeks musing on whether you should get out of your business before it kills you got some emotional responses.

I won't name anybody (that wouldn't be fair) but one guy has had a rough year or three and is hanging on by the skin of his teeth - selling personal assets to carry the business through until orders start coming in again in a few months.

I can feel his pain as I write this. He even had a business coach (spent $60,000 over 18 months) who failed to foresee the changing markets that made life so hard (that's a whole different conversation, isn't it? - more of that one next time, perhaps)

There's still no easy answer to the problem, either - if he holds on and the deals come through and he gets his (rather interesting-looking business) back on track, I'm sure he'll be pleased and feel vindicated.

If he stops trading or finds a buyer and they make it succeed, he'll always wish he kept going.

And if he sells his last assets and fails anyway, he'll have wasted those too and end up with nothing.

Interestingly, they say that most of our most successful millionaires have been bust twice.....

So what would you do? We are interested to hear your thoughts on a situation like this, so leave your feedback in the comments below, or email them to me.

Jon Dale
Small Fish Business Coaching Byron Bay
www.smallfish.com.au

My business is killing me, should I sell it?

On when it's time to consider giving a business up, the question is "My business is killing me, should I sell it?"

I'm going to try and answer this question as best I can in writing.

If it really is killing you, then it's time to go. If it's a figurative killing you, then the business and the owner need closer inspection. How bad is it? Are you a bit frustrated and needing to change something or are you at the and of your tether?

Are you burning through what little cash resources you have at an alarming rate? Because if you are then exiting immediately might be best. If you aren't, then you have more time to consider your options - can you recover the situation or is it lost altogether?

The figures are important, of course but so is how you feel. If I was talking to someone really in this position, I'd be trying to understand the depth of their need for change and why they wanted change - money, stress, hating it, burnout, frustration and also, could I see a way to help them be happy there again - is it fixable.

So it's not a simple question and it requires careful consideration for each individual and their business. And anyone in this position should obviously call a business coach and request a free session to consider this very question. :)

Now, I want to hear from you - have you ever felt as though your business was killing you, and you couldn't breathe? What was the decision you chose to go with and how do you feel about it? 

If this is the burning topic of the day, then email me and I can help with some clarity.

Jon Dale
Small Fish Business Coaching Byron Bay
www.smallfish.com.au


Why Business Coaching Works: Measuring Results

I’m a believer in the power of measurement, which is why it’s one of the important tools that Small Fish uses with clients.

It’s been said that Peter Drucker stated that “What gets measured, gets done,” but it appears that may be stretching his words a little. Nevertheless, I’ve directly experienced the power of measures and metrics in many different contexts.

The business world might have you believe that it’s all about measuring the money – particularly, revenue, margins, and profit. I don’t have a problem with those, but they often don’t give much guidance for day-to-day decisions.

Should your front-line employee give a refund under somewhat questionable circumstances? If they do, revenue and profit will go down in the short term. But revenue and profit might go up in the long term, because that customer is out giving testimonials to their friends.

But the employee isn’t sure, so she’ll seek help from your company policies and guidelines, or her supervisor, or perhaps from you. Maybe that’s one reason why you’re running around addressing a thousand little trivial decisions all day.

You’re frustrated, perhaps. You thought you’d captured this in the employee training, yet you’re still getting these kinds of questions.

Oddly enough, this might just be fixed if you measured the right things. What if:
· You knew that employees understood and internalized the employee training?

· Your employees knew that their personal success was linked more to customer satisfaction than to the daily sales total?

· You made a big deal of every customer-satisfaction success in front of the employees?


These are exactly the kinds of conversations I have with my clients, as we search for the right balance of measures which powerfully represent the goals of the business. Every company is different, because the goals are different.

Just don’t get too many measurements in place. Each one represents work and expense, and having too many sends the message that you’re not focused on anything in particular.

How do you measure your progress towards success in YOUR business?


Carl Dierschow
Small Fish Business Coaching Fort Collins
www.smallfish.us