CRN From the Coal Face

CRN From the Coal Face

29.6.2011 Focus on clients’ needs to meet your own


Many businesses make the mistake of enshrining their own priorities while losing sight of what they need to do to satisfy clients Iam in need of a computer repair. I open up the Yellow Pages and look through the myriad advertisements to sort the wheat from the chaff. I am a huge fan of certifications so I start looking for logos. Suddenly, I notice a company that proudly proclaims It’s ISO 9001 certified. I have made my choice. Being the average consumer, I don’t really kno ..

03.6.2011 Offer an experience the internet can’t


Retailers bemoan the loss of sales to customers shopping online but there is something they can do about it besides just praying for salvation. Some retailers feel that trying to combat online shopping is like trying to stop a tsunami with an umbrella. I actually have a different view. The internet has changed the way consumers shop around the world. Does that mean that every business that has a physical presence should just shut their doors and put their tail between their legs? That ..

22.5.2011 Why the customer is always right, right?


Mathew Dickerson talks about how a simple transaction runs dangerously off the rails, all because the merchant doesn’t care about what the customer wants I have to admit I’m on the run from the long arm of the law at the moment. I am on the run from a debt of $5 from a well-known national franchise. My wife tells me it is a condition known as Grumpy Old Man-ism. I tell her it is just frustration with businesses that don’t listen and understand what their clients want.  ..

20.4.2011 You need to sweat the little things


Seemingly little things do count. Returning phone calls from your clients, for instance, can bring a huge return A recent survey that caught my eye recently noted the percentage of phone messages that go unreturned in business. I really don’t know about the absolute validity of some survey data and, despite my personal frustration with unreturned phone calls, the 59 percent quoted in this particular survey still seemed a little high – but who am I to argue? That number act ..

22.3.2011 Businesses need independent advisors


Opinion: No business is too small for regular doses of independent advice. Ten years ago this month, Australia saw its largest corporate collapse when insurer HIH was placed into liquidation with losses of $5.3 billion. It was once considered Australia’s largest insurer with $7.8 billion in assets. There was a Royal Commission, numerous articles were written on it and most of the protagonists are now out of their government-provided exclusive accommodation units so, on this anni ..

04.3.2011 Hang on to your most valuable asset


Opinion: Expensive employees also make you money. The Guinness Book of Records says the most played board game in history is Monopoly with more than a billion people having tried their hand at becoming a property tycoon. The history of Monopoly dates back to 1903 so I’m certain all readers are aware of the general concept of Monopoly. Our children were lucky enough that Santa delivered them a copy of one of the newer variants, Monopoly Revolution, down our chimney on his busy ni ..

26.1.2011 Raging floodwaters reveal opportunities


Opinion: When disaster struck eastern Australia, some companies saw the advantage. "The way to make money is to buy when blood is running in the streets," sounds like a callous quote by the richest man ever to have lived but John Rockefeller had a gentler version. He was also reported to have said, "I always tried to turn every disaster into an opportunity". The major news story was the flooding across most of Eastern Australia - crops destroyed, businesses ruined, homes isolated. It i ..

09.11.2010 Opinion: How to make big numbers look small


The New Zealand Government made a tax increase sound quite harmless When does 2.5 = 20? Only in New Zealand! This has nothing to do with the IQ level of the average Kiwi but with a clever positive advertising campaign mounted by the government in relation to their GST increase which has just come into effect. I have spent the past few weeks in the seventh state of Australia and they have just increased their GST from 12.5 percent to 15 percent. I think this is quite a large increase in the  ..

08.10.2010 Opinion: A peacock’s tail tells a good story


A lesson from the birds – have something to shout about, and shout loudly. The Indian peacock has beautiful blue-green plumage in its train with a series of eyes that look magnificent when the train is fanned open. Many of the brilliant colours are due to an optical interference phenomenon known as ‘Bragg reflection', which is based on the nanostructures of the barbules of the feathers. As we all know, the peacock flares out its feathers when it is trying to attract the at ..

17.9.2010 Why staff stay: it's not about the money


It's about the boss. I have just returned from some consulting work in South Africa, where there are huge opportunities for IT business growth. The World Cup has delivered incredible infrastructure benefits and smart entrepreneurs are trying to ride the infrastructure Gautrain all the way home. The numbers are looking pretty good for South African businesses - many of whom see themselves not as a South African business based in Johannesburg but as an African business based in South Af ..