Small Business Ru!e of the Month

Small Business Ru!e of the Month

01.3.2019 Opportunity Is Nowhere


Most people read this as “Opportunity is Nowhere.” Look again and you see that it also says “Opportunity is Now Here.” With no letters changed, you have two opposite meanings. It is perfect that the true message is disguised because opportunity itself is usually not obvious. Opportunities may be buried in complexities that seem too hard to overcome. Seeing these opportunities is a great skill in business. In my computer business, the first 11 years were opera ..

01.2.2019 All The World's Problems Can Be Solved By Talking


There was a time very early in my business career that I asked a debt collector to follow up an amount that a woman had outstanding with us. The reaction I received was interesting, to say the least. I was not aware of it at the time, but this woman was married to a recently retired representative sportsperson—one that I was a huge fan of. I found this information out because no sooner had the debt collector sent his first letter than this particular gentleman was in m ..

01.1.2019 Gather A Great Team


We know more and more about less and less. That is fine. The trick here is not to try to know everything and do everything yourself. This applies to the external experts you use to help run your business as much as it applies to staff. The greatest thing to find is a team member who is better than you. In gathering that great team, make sure the team is full of people you like. Don’t engage your accountant just on his accounting background—make sure you are also happy t ..

01.12.2018 Drink Your Own Lemonade


One day I was visiting my brother in Boston, and we were strolling through the Boston Common. Just like in the Peanuts cartoon, we came across a young girl at a classic lemonade stand making lemonade with lemons, sugar, and ice. This isn’t something you see in Australia, so I walked over to purchase a glass of “real” lemonade. As I approached, I noticed the girl had a can of 7UP sitting on the bench. I asked why she had the can of soft drink when she was maki ..

01.11.2018 Open to Open Close to Close


Every human is pre-programmed with certain things from birth. Our heart starts beating, we know how to blink our eyes, and we yawn when someone else yawns. Right up there is our conditioned response to the standard question you often receive when you walk into a shop. “Are you right?” will elicit a response of “Yep.” If a bloodied victim of a car crash stumbled into an emergency department with one arm dangling by his side and the doctor on duty asked, &ldquo ..

01.10.2018 Get Out Of Your Comfort Zone


Security is for cadavers. In our comfort zone, we tend to be conservative and security conscious. We can sink into a rut. If you want perfect security, then buy a coffin. If you want to do more than grow incrementally, then you need to practise some radical thinking. Set yourself a radical target. A radical target will often involve a BHAG—a Big Hairy Audacious Goal. To achieve a BHAG, you need to alter the way you currently operate but this ongoing search for innovation is ..

01.9.2018 If It Was Easy, Everyone Would Be Doing It


There have been many times when I have heard someone point to a successful business in a certain industry and exclaim, “Now that is the business to be in!” They mistakenly think that it is the industry that has been responsible for the success of the business. I have even had people say to me, “You were lucky that you got into IT at just the right time.” Let me make a very simple point here. There is no one business that is the bu ..

01.8.2018 Practise Reciprocity Theory


Reciprocity theory is best reserved for those particularly challenging clients that you just can’t get over the line with the normal sales processes. I had one such client just over two years ago. When we first introduced our SLA concept to our client base in 2005, some clients loved the model and jumped on board immediately. Others were not convinced and needed some time to wrap their heads around the idea, and one particular client was completely opposed to signing on ..

01.7.2018 Train Your Staff


Business owners often tell me that one of their biggest fears is that they will take good, young, inexperienced staff members and train them and give them skills and experience, and then they will leave the organisation and chase the bigger bucks offered elsewhere. I tell them that I have the opposite fear. I worry that we will employ good, young, inexperienced people and not train them and they will stay! Then I end up with a bunch of unskilled staff. For my organisation ..

01.6.2018 You Can't Hit A Target That Doesn't Exist


While reading through the list of proposed sports for the 2020 Olympic Games, I noticed a new sport was being added. It is called “clayless pigeon shooting.” The concept is remarkably similar to the traditional clay pigeon shooting, except there is no target. The shooter lines up at the stand and calls, “Pull!” The trap button is pressed, and nothing comes out. The shooter fires—at thin air. After this goes on all day, they hand out medals for the  ..