CRN From the Coal Face

CRN From the Coal Face

01.11.2014 Networking is not a dirty word: CRN November 2014


Networking: it's a scary concept. I'm not talking about the layered protocol stack of TCP/IP. I'm talking about something dramatically more difficult: the social skill. You probably know someone who claims to be the world's best networker. He or she has a ready supply of business cards in their top pocket; they move from group to group at a business function with the greatest of ease, injecting themselves into every conversation just long enough to hand over a business card, and will la ..

08.11.2013 If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em


Just because someone is a competitor, you can still help one another. A few weeks ago I organised a little bike ride with a few like-minded people. For some crazy reason, it seemed like a good idea to ride 1125km over six days throughout the middle of NSW. Apart from the sore bottoms, aching wrists, bruised hands, tired feet and sheer mental exhaustion, it was a raging success. While sitting on a bike for up to 12 hours a day, you have some time to think…and think…and t ..

08.10.2013 Evolve or go extinct


Even the greatest companies can fall into the trap of complacency. I have finally nailed it. I have been working on my business model for years and I finally have the model just right. Now I can freeze my business in its current state and sit back and watch the money roll in. I am, of course, living in a fantasy world. Unfortunately, there are many examples of businesses that behave just like this. A business is a living, breathing, changing beast. The day you think you have the model ..

05.9.2013 Who needs a backup plan?


Selling peace of mind can be hard work. Knowing your organisation’s risk appetite – and understanding it across the board – is critical to ensuring all facets of your business are aligned. There are a range of areas where risk is measured – financial risk; safety for employees and clients; ethical risk; social risks and many more but to understand some of the complexity, pick just one area for a moment. Look at the safety of your employees. What risks are you prepar ..

09.7.2013 Does big data mean big marketing?


How to sort the wheat from the chaff. When I was growing up, my choices of TV channels were limited. I had the small variety of cobbled together commercial choices offered by CBN8/CWN6 (in what is still the most complicated name for a TV channel in the history of TV) and the cricket on ABC (complete with graphics that would have embarrassed a Space Invaders programmer). That was it. Fast forward to today and we have 22 free to air digital channels in addition to hundreds of Pay TV channels ..

08.5.2013 Dickerson: the need for reinvention


Being called tough is not a complement. How many times do you hear a colleague talk about someone they know as being a really ‘tough’ businessperson? The implication is that someone who is ‘tough’ in their business dealings must be really good at what they do. This confuses me. Maybe growing up in Australia and fed a diet of various footy codes I associate tough with images of uncompromising players riding roughshod over the opposition. Images come to mind of J ..

03.2.2013 What the IT industry can learn from pubs


Customers are in the driving seat. I spent way too much time at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) in January watching the Aussies do what they do best – beat teams not from South Africa or England. In one of those random chats with a fellow group of spectators, I ended up discussing the pub industry for several hours. That is an industry that has had to constantly re-invent itself to reflect changes in society. In that way, I saw many parallels between the pub industry and the com ..

14.1.2013 Avoid the New Year Resolution Syndrome


Business transformation is not as simple as wiping the slate. Pop! There goes another cork flying through the air as New Year celebrations are in full swing. The champagne is flowing and the tales of future success are growing with each glass of alcohol. What a great time to plan your future success in business! Well – not really. It is a common mistake I see in business. A new year starts and some drastic plans are put in place. “We must change this and change that and it ..

27.11.2012 The basic growth secret businesses forget


Without profits, you don’t have a business. When it comes to growth, many business owners focus on the wrong areas. Growth in turnover, growth in staff, growth in product lines. The list goes on. There is only one item I want to see growth in. Net profit. You may well argue that growth in those other areas will deliver growth in net profit – and I accept that – but sometimes businesspeople forget about their primary purpose of being in business. You can have all the  ..

10.10.2012 The thing about China


What works elsewhere may not do the trick. Many of you will have expanded your business outside its original location or made a move into an area that you weren’t totally familiar with. In general, it’s quite easy to work out the nuances of a new area and slightly tweak your marketing and sales model to suit the new area. If you’re based in Sydney and you open an office in Melbourne, for example, you just need to learn to carry an umbrella and hate Collingwood. Subtl ..