The resources section is a collection of businesses, people and tools that we’ve either found useful ourselves, have seen our clients or friends find useful or that we expect to find useful. We don’t put them up here unless we honestly believe they operate with integrity and honour (because it will reflect poorly on us, won’t it?).
Remember, as small fish, we can benefit from being linked with others and, specifically, from outsourcing where we don’t have expertise in-house. A guiding principle of business coaching is that you hire a business coach to get access to knowledge and skills that you don’t have in-house and that are too expensive to source full-time. The same is true for many other skill sets and the list below is a short selection of those we’ve enjoyed meeting.
Tools, Toys and Downloads
This is a collection of useful tools. We either made them ourselves, in response to a problem of one of our customers, or to help us work something out, or we sourced them from elsewhere – often from the website of the Results in Business Institute – the network of independent business coaches that we work closely with.
We’ve collected a few of them but we find new things all the time and you can expect us to post them here as we find them or build them. We’ll break the list down into sections, to make it easier.
This is not a comprehensive library, either – just a grab-bag of useful items!
Creating fee for service
Do you know how to price your advice?
You only have a year to transition to a fee for service model under the Future of Financial Advice (FoFA) legislation. You’re probably not looking forward to it but you can’t hide from it either.
You’ve got to take a first step and understanding how much to charge for your staffs time seems, to us, to be a first step in the right direction.
Do you know how much it costs you to service your clients? Have you figured out yet how much you should charge for your team’s time (or your time)?
Download our FREE calculator to calculate how much your staff should be charged out at for each step of service in a fee for service world (or to check your calculations against ours).
Working Capital as a % of Sales
Here is a presentation that will help you understand how much working capital you need to have. Try playing with the time cells (column E) to make improvements and to see how you can reduce overdraft.
Example: Only purchasing Raw materials for 1 month production instead of an extra 2 weeks – “just in case”, reduces cash requirements by $17,000.
Download: Working Capital as 25% of Sales
Business Coaching & Our Washing Machine
View the Washing Machine video here, and learn about how how business coaching can help your business.
You can download and read a full explanation of the Washing Machine video – essentially the script that goes with the presentation.
Download: “Small Fish Washing Machine Script – May 2010”
Colin Powell on Leadership
A brilliant presentation featuring 18 lessons on leadership, attributed to Colin Powell, former US Secretary of State. This presentation was sourced online in the public domain and has been put together by Baraka Training & Management.
Marketing or Prospecting
Strategies to Increase the Number of Prospects
Many people struggle with discovering new marketing tools which will give the best results. They continue to invest in the same advertising and activities that they’ve done for years, not seeing the more effective – and often cheaper – alternatives. Carl has created a list of 123 Marketing Tools that should get your brain churning out some new ideas in no time.
This is a very useful tool to explore 100 lead-generating strategies and how applicable they are to your business. Culminates in the 5 most appropriate lead generation strategies for your business. Sourced from RIBI.
Download: Increase Prospects
Strategy or Business Planning
In business, numerous relationships develop over time, and can start to make decisions difficult. As a way to sort through the complexity, this diagram can clarify all the key relationships of a business. This also helps to uncover key stakeholders that may have been forgotten, like realising that your employees need to get more out of the business than just a paycheck.
Most relationships will fit into a single category, but there’s some that may be more complex. In this case, it’s good to list that relationship in all the categories that seem to apply.
After listing all the key relationships, for each answer these questions:
- What does the business need from this relationship?
- What does the other party need from this business?
- What would indicate that this relationship is healthy, productive and sustainable?
It’s very useful to make these relationships and needs visible to all the key stakeholders. When you do that, people start to align and engage more in the success of your business.
Download: Key Stakeholders Tool
Blank “Strategy on a Page”
A template that you can download and complete for your business. Consists of Vision, Vital Few and Strategies that can be prioritised to help you make progress on your business plan.
Download: Blank Strategy Template
This is a blank SWOT Analysis worksheet that you can download and print off, for use in a SWOT Analysis strategy workshop. SWOT = Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities & Threats.
Today Tomorrow Change Model
This is a very simplistic yet powerful model to help you looking at the process of change within your business. This model breaks down change by Describing Tomorrow (future), Defining Today, and then identifying Changes, Blockers and Enablers to build a strategy. Sourced from PACE Australia.
Download: Change Model
An incredibly useful model to help you identify the progression between different work personalities that exist within your team. This model identifies two specific dimensions of personality – Happiness and Willingness to Express.
Download: Work Personalities
Richard Everson did an interview with John Pennay about Social Media. Watch the video to find out more what he has to say about Social Media and small business.
Hourly Rate Calculator
Many small businesses charge too little for the products or services they provide. This leaves them with a business that operates on small margins and, often, earning less from all their hard work than they would earn in a job!
This tool helps you turn your fair and reasonable earnings requirement into an hourly rate – the rate you should charge out for your business (not just you, all your charged staff, too). It’s not foolproof (what is?) but it can help you get your head around what you need to charge in order to earn a fair income.
Start at the top and fill in your required income, then all the costs you can think of. Include wages paid out and the number of chargeable staff then be honest about how much of their time you actually charge out as a percentage.
The calculator will tell you what you need to be charging. Then put your price up!
Download: Hourly Rate Calculator
Generic sales process and funnel description
This is a starting point to help you understand and map out the steps in your sales process.
Download: Generic Sales Process
An important element of sales is doing enough of the activities that find people who want to buy your stuff. I’m convinced that this is where most businesses let themselves down – not doing enough marketing or prospecting or generally not contacting your prospective customers enough or enough of your prospective customers to ask them if they are interested in your great stuff.
I’m being a little tongue in cheek, I know, but it’s true – you can only sell to the people your business reaches out to – whether it is via your shop front, your website, your advertising or your pro-active sales team.
We resort to tricks and tools to help us be more active with our marketing and prospecting because it would be very boring if we just told you you need to do more, wouldn’t it?
The TT report is a self-analysis tool, borrowed from an excellent book, Wombat Selling by Dr Michael Hewitt-Gleeson. You record how many times your business makes contact with a prospective customer each day and forecast how many contacts will be made tomorrow (that’s what TT stands for – Today and Tomorrow).
You should read the book but, essentially, you use the tool to help you realise how little your business does this and help you focus on increasing the contacts made (I know that good quality contacts are better than any old contact – it’s only a little table for goodness sake!) Don’t limit yourself to just filling it in for actual phone calls, either – list web hits, ad readership and any outbound prospecting contact made. Make your sales and your marketing team do it, too – I dare you!
Download: TT Report
Another tool to help you stay focused on the important job of selling is to keep a forecast. Now, I may be teaching you to suck eggs but, actually, I doubt it. Most people don’t pay this enough attention, either.
Businesses usually fall into one of two categories – you either sell a product (that people buy once) or you sell a service which they pay for over an extended period (business coaching, for example, is paid for monthly).
Below are two forecasting tools. One for orders, which turn into revenue and one for recurring revenue – which helps you forecast how much revenue your business will actually book over the coming months.
We’ve noticed that many small businesses are limited by the manager’s immediate ability to accomplish more – often most or all of the work flows through the manager and the business can only grow as fast as the manager’s ability to handle it.
Of course, one way to address this is to hire staff and delegate tasks effectively (see further down) but another way is to help the manager get more done.
Time Log Worksheet
How do you actually spend your time, when you are working? Are you often “on the tools”, managing your people, farting about or do you actually (honestly) spend enough time developing your business?
Use this tool to assess yourself – it might come as a surprise! Once you’ve completed it, think about things you can do to change that balance and help you spend more time on the things that are important (rather than urgent!).
(If you want to discuss this, you know where we are!)
Download: Time Log Worksheet
It’s a simple enough concept – pre-allocate your days to specific activities or specific regions. This helps you do things in blocks and reduce travel time or keep your focus on similar activities. It can make your days much more productive.
Use the table to block out parts of your week (or your fortnight or your month) and then, when you book meetings or tasks into your week, fit them into this framework. For example, Tuesdays in the city means you always try to book your city meetings or jobs on Tuesdays. It will stop you firing around driving back and forth across town. It works equally well if you allocate Tuesdays to working on the office on the business or to business coaching (as I do).
Download: Groundhog Week
Delegating and Managing
It’s a truth that the way to get ahead in business is through leverage – that is where you make profits from the labour of others. These people are usually called staff and they come with a myriad of issues and complications! We aren’t even going to try to address them here but we will mention that many business owners continue to try to keep hold of everything themselves, despite having capable and willing staff. Often it is an unwillingness to “let go” or to trust someone to do a job. Phrases like “it won’t get done properly” are heard.
If you want to grow beyond your immediate ability to deal with everything – which is limited – you need to learn to trust your staff and to delegate more than just the easy work to them. You need to do it and you need to manage them properly – which is something else that business owners often neglect – the need to manage people rather than just point them at work and hope they do a good job.
The three tools below will help you delegate and manage more effectively. The first two are simple explanations of how to delegate and how not to ignore your responsibility for managing your team. The third is called the functional analysis. It shows the functions that exist in a generic business – you should alter it to reflect your business. Then you should write the names of those responsible for each function in the boxes. Only one name in each (or who is accountable?). That’s the first job; give each responsibility to one person. Second, note how many of the names are yours; I bet it is a big number.
Try to identify tasks or responsibilities that you can delegate to someone else – do it one at a time, don’t try to do them all at once. Then read the delegation sheet and off you go. If you get stuck, you know where we are!