Small Business Ru!e of the Month

Small Business Ru!e of the Month

01.3.2018 Promise X Deliver X + 1


Good service is incredibly easy. Tell someone you are going to do X. Then…do it! Great service isn’t much harder. Tell someone you are going to do X. Then…do X+1. One of the greatest examples of this was delivered during the Sydney Olympics. It shows what can be achieved through careful expectation management. The 1996 Olympics in Atlanta were generally hailed as a transportation nightmare. During the lead up to the Sydney Olympics, we were constantly warned abou ..

01.2.2018 Place Round Employees In Round Seats


We were doing some work for a legal firm many years ago, and one of the partners in the business wanted to know how I could stop a certain employee from wasting time in Microsoft Word. This particular partner was complaining that this staff member seemed to spend a lot of her time “fiddling” with macros and templates and not doing what she was paid to do, which was type up documents in Word. This staff member had been in trouble numerous times for not doing he ..

01.1.2018 Put On The Client's Shoes - Even If They Don't Fit


The clade of lizards known as chameleons is well known for their specialised cells, collectively called chromatophores, that lie in layers under their transparent outer skin that can rapidly relocate their pigments to influence the colour of the chameleon. Humans are not chameleons. One of the hardest activities you will find as a salesperson is seeing something from the client’s perspective—simply because it is not your perspective. It would be great if all custome ..

01.12.2017 Backs Have Ears


Claire Swire wishes that Bradley Chait had read this rule. Claire Swire was the infamous subject of the “Claire Swire e-mail of 2000” when her boyfriend forwarded on a personal e-mail to some friends—and that e-mail was distributed faster than you can say “don’t expect another date!” Before the weekend was over, the e-mail had been read by millions of people across the world and reported in every major news service. If you are going to say ..

01.11.2017 Be Transparent Or People Will See Through You


Remember when you were a child still at school and you used to pass notes to your classmates while the teacher had his or her back turned? We all thought we were very clever, and we could pass notes or whisper to our classmates without being caught. Then when you reach adulthood and maybe even have children of your own, you suddenly realise how much you can see as an adult and how you are aware of almost everything your children are doing, and they are only getting away with  ..

01.10.2017 If It Doesn't Work They Can't Eat You


You have a new idea. You are uncertain of the consequences if it doesn’t work, and you are nervous about implementing it. Sometimes you don’t try it because you are nervous about the implications or the ramifications. Think about it again. What is the absolute worst that could happen by pursuing your idea? Try to quantify it. Will people laugh at you? Will you lose money? How much? Actually write down the absolute worst that could possibly happen. Usually it ..

01.9.2017 Keep Changing The Furniture


Jack Gibson (coach of the Australian Rugby League Team of the Century) used to say, “In football, if you are standing still, you’re going backwards fast.” Jack was an innovative coach who also produced classic quotes. He used to use the above quote to illustrate the requirement to continually innovate in coaching—otherwise his team would be left behind because his competition would definitely be trying to improve. He could just as easily have been talking ..

01.8.2017 Closed Mouths Never Get Fed


People laugh at me when they hear some of the “ridiculous” things that I have asked for. I admit that I have asked some outlandish questions in my time. I even once asked the greatest thinker of modern times, Edward de Bono, to write the foreword for a book I had written. The answer no should not make you cringe. Be prepared to push the envelope. Make the most outlandish requests of those around you. Be prepared to think creatively in those requests. If you ta ..

01.7.2017 Get Past Your Past


I once visited a potential new client. Before the meeting, he had told me that he had poor IT infrastructure, and he needed to address a variety of issues with his equipment because it was hurting productivity. I attended the meeting and looked at the equipment he had in place. His brief assessment was correct. He had been sold equipment that was not powerful enough to do what he required. Furthermore, the equipment he had was not configured correctly to suit his requirements. I ..

01.6.2017 Life Isn’t Fair! The Sooner You Accept It The Better


Our organisation was upgrading a client’s entire IT network. Unbeknownst to the staff at the organisation was the fact that all of them were to receive new 19-inch TFT monitors. One of the engineering staff approached the IT manager several weeks before the upgrade and demanded that he receive a 19-inch TFT monitor due to the intricate and important nature of his work. The IT manager had a sense of humour and told the prima donna engineer that he would do his absolute  ..