CRN From the Coal Face

CRN From the Coal Face

29.10.2012 Retailers, fight back!


How bricks and mortar outfits can hold their own against online. It is all about the experience. Retailers are seemingly fighting a losing battle to the internet but all hope is not lost. I have just returned from a trip through the US, Mexico and Fiji and I noticed a number of different ways retailers are fighting off the challenge of the internet. Some stores proudly displayed signs that said “we will match any internet price”. This is a sure-fire way to go broke. The co ..

31.7.2012 Raise your prices to stay ahead


Never mind that the economy is feeling rather flat. If you don’t raise your prices you’re dudding yourself. Well the carbon tax is here and Australia, as we know it, still seems to exist. The feedback I have received from businesses around Australia is that the last quarter for last financial year was particularly quiet as clients were apprehensive about the impact of the carbon tax. Add to that the generally depressed state of the economy (apart from mining areas) an ..

20.9.2011 Resistance is futile, change is inevitable


Uncertain times demand a process to handle the little steps that lift your profitability Former US president John F. Kennedy said, “Change is the law of life and those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future”. In business, we must continually change. The Dow Jones was launched in 1896. Of all the companies on the original Dow, only one still exists. It is GE and, by their own admission, GE is a completely different company to what it was all those ye ..

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  ..

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 ..

15.6.2010 Don't wait to put up your prices


Arguing for a price hike is never going to be popular. I copped a hammering in the local media recently after commenting on a council draft management proposal. One particular highlighted item is a proposal to put the price of water up to $1.53 a kilolitre, a rise significantly above the CPI. I was silly enough to do a media interview and say residents in our city had bought 1311 kilolitres of bottled water last year at $5000 a kilolitre, averaging about $159 a resi ..

22.6.2009 Quiz your old ways to see if they're worth keeping


Established processes can seem worthwhile but they may just be rusted-on habits holding you back. Do you sometimes see something and think to yourself "I just don't get it?" The reporting of Aussie rules football scores is at the top of my "I just don't get it" list. Only in AFL is it deemed necessary to give a score that details goals and behinds - when really only the total score matters. For example, if the Swans beat the Western Bulldogs 15.16 (106) to 16.5 (101) we really do ..

07.5.2009 Opinion: For resellers, the woes are similar everywhere


But the IT sector in Australia is travelling far better than its counterpart in the emerging economy of South Africa. I'm sitting 10,972 metres above the Republic of Malta on my way from Johannesburg to Amsterdam on the first part of a world speaking tour. I love watching the small screen which tracks our flight progress with figures and pictures - I'm sure it's there just for geeks like myself. The world looks so small on these screens and it was with this thought that I started conte ..

25.3.2009 Making money in hard times – don’t mention it


Don't mention the war! I mentioned it once, but I think I got away with it." Those immortal words from Basil Fawlty are particularly relevant at the moment. I am absolutely over all the talk of the recession. Will everyone please stop mentioning "that which cannot be named" and hopefully we will get away with it. I have been asking people in my travels over the past couple of weeks if "that which cannot be named" is having a direct impact on their day-to-day lives. These people are not ret ..

16.3.2009 Don’t bite the hand that feeds you


Dealing with clients, no matter how annoying, is a reason why we have jobs When the call comes, it may not be convenient. When the call comes, it rarely comes with all the required information. When the call comes, you may not know all the answers or think you have the time to answer it. It sounds like a preacher on the mount talking about the call from God - but I am talking about when your clients make a call to you. You should feel privileged to be the "chosen ..