Small Business Ru!e of the Month

Small Business Ru!e of the Month

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  ..

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 ..