Business Coach Almost Killed in Freak Gliding Accident – August Newsletter

OK, that’s not quite true, my brush with death was about as close a call as some of those comets we hear about – the ones that come within about a zillion miles of Earth and get astronomers all in a tizzy. I’ll explain in a minute.

Subjects for this month are:

• Your People are More Important than Ever – some suggestions
Tony Gattari’s key recommendations for Small Business Marketing
Jon’s brush with death

Your People

I’ve been ranting for some weeks about what I learned from Karin Adcock (Pandora Australia) and Marcus Blackmore (Blackmores) about your people. Both of them spoke passionately about how their businesses are thriving and how vital their people are to that success.

They both made it clear that they consider the people who work for them as real people who deserve respect dignity, as well as fun and equality. It made me realise how easy it is to forget how to treat your employees and fail to accord them the empathy they deserve.

Karen spoke about having fun together, paying well, mutual respect and consideration. Marcus said he never fires someone because it takes away their dignity; Blackmore insures everybody – so their families are covered in the event of their death. Both of them did real things that acknowledged how important their employees are to the business’s success and they encourage innovation, ideas and joy.

Both of them enjoy a contribution from their staff that goes beyond what most businesses get and I think you should all want it. I certainly do (actually, I think I have it but it’s easy when you only have one employee and she sits across the office from you – isn’t it Sam?)

What to do?

Start trying to put yourself in your employees’ position. Would you like to be treated the way your business (and you) treat them? If not, change some things. They might cost you a bit – but perhaps treating employees as a cost that you should minimise is not the best way to maximise the return you get from them.

Try to do the right thing. Pay them Super, consider proper chairs that protect their backs, try to generate a culture of mutual respect and consideration. Encourage your managers to do the same – lead by example. (Use ideas appropriate to your business, not just mine).

Start by communicating with them. Show them your plan for the business (I hope you have one) and show them that it includes some way of sharing the joy – so that when your business succeeds, they also see a benefit.

Have a meeting once a month where you tell your team what’s going on, how you are progressing against your plan and what’s happening this month. Make an agenda and stick to it and make sure the meeting is not too long and not boring.
Take them out for lunch or a drink – whatever is appropriate. (Combine the two, perhaps).

Be confident that investing in your team like this is worthwhile and not a pointless drain on your time and money!

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Next time – Accountability.

Tony Gattari – Harvey Norman Marketing Genius

Tony is the man who took Harvey Norman’s IT division from $12m to $565m in 9 years. He spoke at a recent Pittwater Business Limited Breakfast and impressed the audience with his direct and powerful messages about small business marketing. It’s a very different world for all of us than it was for him when he was at Harvey Norman – we’d all like to have the sort of marketing budget he had then!

He talked about how consumers have changed from the loyal dogs of yesterday to the selfish cats of the current world. Today’s consumers lack time and attention so be quick and understand that they receive hundreds of marketing message each day, so they filter them mercilessly – you need to have something worthwhile to tell them before they’ll listen – you need a value proposition!

Also, consumers are used to marketers being liars – so they don’t trust us. You need to overcome this inherent distrust of your marketing – by delivering good products and service, of course, but also by offering guarantees and testimonials from happy customers, so people can reassure themselves that you are genuine.

Tony’s 6 steps to creating business momentum:

  1. Be specific – you can’t be all things to all people so target your value proposition to a specific market and write messages specifically for them then get those messages to that target market
  2. Take massive action. Do lots of marketing (he means really, really lots) – 15-20 different lead-generating strategies at a time, using low cost ones first, of course.
  3. Test & Measure everything
  4. Eliminate what doesn’t work (If the horse is dead – dismount!)
  5. Anything that does work – celebrate and systematise it & do it more!
  6. Model (copy) other people whose stuff is working.

I came away enthused and determined to take some massive action myself, maybe you should, too.
Tony has a book “Marketing Success” and his website is http://www.achieversgroup.com.au/

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Jon’s Brush with Death

I was given a glider flight for my recent birthday (By Sam, our Marketing Manager). As I drove into the airfield to have my fun, I passed an ambulance going the other way and then saw the Westpac Helicopter fly overhead but, of course, thought nothing of it. It turned out, though, that the previous flight had crashed, injuring both the instructor and the learner pilot (who was flying the glider).

So my brush with death was not so close but the kids don’t want me to go gliding anymore and it made me think about my insurance…….

How’s yours? Do you have key man insurance or business continuity insurance, life insurance or even income protection? Most of us hate insurance, don’t we? It feels like giving money to rich men in suits so they can refuse to pay out when things go wrong.

But apparently, it’s not always like that! Matthew Denehey from Eagle Insurance tells me that his business spends a lot of its time keeping the bastards honest and he sees people thankful for their insurance all the time.

Food for thought.

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