Small Business Ru!e of the Month

Small Business Ru!e of the Month

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  ..

01.5.2017 Fill Empty Holes


Do you remember the Cuil search engine? No? You are not alone. On 28 July 2008, a search engine was launched called Cuil that was going to beat Google at the search game. It didn’t, and many people questioned the logic of someone trying to take on a giant in market space they “owned.” It makes far more sense to find a spot in the market that no one else has filled and then offer a product or service to fill that market. One of the best examples of this rule is eBay ..

01.4.2017 Attitude Not Aptitude Controls Your Altitude


This famous quote, often attributed to Zig Ziglar, is a reflection on the indiscernible quality of attitude that is so desirable in a business and in individuals, but can’t be taught in our schooling system. I have always said give me someone with the right attitude, and I will teach them the skills I need. You can have all the education and all the knowledge in the world, but if you go into any project, any day, or any meeting with a negative attitude, you will not be success ..

01.3.2017 Admit Mistakes And Fix Them Immediately


Steve Waugh (the world’s most capped Test cricketer and former Australian captain) once said: “When you make a mistake, there are only three things you should ever do about it. 1. Admit it. 2. Learn from it. 3. Don’t repeat it.” Humans aren’t perfect. Sometimes humans make mistakes. Businesses are made up of humans; therefore, sometimes organisations make mistakes. One measure of a great organisation is the way it fixes mistakes.  ..

01.2.2017 Set Black And White Parameters


Even before getting married, humans tend to have selective hearing. It is human nature to hear a conversation in a way that delivers the most favourable outcome for you. When you give a cost, a time, an estimation, or any information to a client, if you use a range, if you use the word about, each party will hear the conversation in a way that is most favourable to them. If you tell a client the cost will be about $80 or $90, the client hears $80 and you hear $90. If you tell ..

01.1.2017 Eat Frogs For Breakfast


Play a hypothetical game with me. Imagine that Queensland has just elected a crazy premier (as if that would ever happen!), who had decided to solve the problem of the exploding frog (cane toad) population in Queensland by passing a new law. Every Queenslander must eat one frog per day! No one liked this, but everyone knew it was for the good of the state. As you walked around Queensland, you saw some people happy and smiling and going about their business wh ..

01.11.2016 Measure What You Treasure


What gets measured gets done is perhaps the most famous aphorism of performance measurement. Keep in mind, though, that the structure you create will drive behaviour. Many years ago, before the advent of handheld and in-car satellite navigation devices, an innovative company produced a product called “Street Seraph” (the name has been changed to protect me). Street Seraph was really just a basic GPS, but it had storage capabilities, and the company that produced the ..

01.10.2016 Focus 'N' Commitment


In the battle of rock versus river, the river wins—eventually. Not through strength. Not through intelligence. Simply because the river perseveres against what seems like insurmountable odds. The Grand Canyon took five to six million years of perseverance. All it takes to achieve your goal is “Focus ‘n’ Commitment.” U.S. Patent number 827,297 is for an alkaline battery from Thomas Edison. Edison was trying to design a storage battery to power electr ..