5 ways to make your small business greener

In today’s world, it’s rare to see a day where a major news outlet isn’t covering climate change. This is in line with the mood of the nation. A recent Lowy Institute poll shows that the majority of Australian adults (64%) see climate change as “a critical threat”.

Sustainability has officially hit the mainstream, and as a small business, you can’t afford to be left behind. But what can you do? Here are five quick ideas to get you on the right track.

1.Get help from the (free) experts

You’re not alone on this sustainability mission. There are a lot of organisations out there that want to help you along the way. A good place to start is your state government and local council who might have a program in place. Here at our Finder HQ in Sydney, we’ve benefited hugely from the City of Sydney CitySwitch program, and it hasn’t cost us a dollar. There are also heaps of free content on the Internet for you to learn more. This Auspost guide is a comprehensive report on small business sustainability while our very own Finder Green page is loaded with free tips on how to find sustainability products.

2. Find a green electricity provider

Most of us probably think we’re paying too much for our energy, and when you run a business, you need to find as many ways to cut costs as possible. Your high energy bill might be an annoying expense, but it’s also a perfect opportunity to go green. There are a number of energy providers in the Australian market who offer carbon neutral or GreenPower options that don’t have to cost the Earth. There’s a common misconception that going green with your energy will cost you, but if you do your research, you might find a provider that will help you go carbon neutral, while also reducing your bills – win-win!

3. Reduce your single use plastics

Plastic is a sustainability issue that really resonates with consumers in Australia. We’re a beach loving nation and seeing plastic in our oceans makes the problem very real. The good news is there are a lot of great solutions out there for you. Can you ditch plastic straws for paper alternatives? Can you provide reusable coffee cups for your staff? Or can you follow the example set by Qantas and go completely plastic-free in some or all of your business operations? Start small and keep going. This is a visible change that customers will love.

4. Find innovative ways to reuse your waste

You might not believe it, but there are lots of organisations out there that want your waste. Here at Finder, we provide free lunch for our staff but often have leftovers that would otherwise go to waste. Our partnership with OzHarvest means they “rescue” our unwanted food and deliver it to people in need. We also have a similar deal with the coffee beans we use for our office coffee machine. The Bugisu Project not only delivers fresh single-origin beans on a weekly basis, but they also collect our used coffee grounds and convert them into valuable products like soap. What waste do you create? And is there an organisation that might want to give it a new home?

5. Recycle as much as possible

Recycling has never been easier, but it can still be confusing for small businesses. Your first job is to work out where your rubbish goes once it leaves your bin. If you’re a cafe or a shop, this should be easy enough (just speak to your local council), but if you’re in an office in a complex strata building, the answers aren’t always forthcoming (pro-trick: follow your cleaners when they take the bins). Once you’ve got answers on what can and can’t be recycled, you may need to restructure your bins accordingly. In your office, you’ll need to split your waste out into a bunch of different streams to match the recycling for your building. Getting the right bins is just the start, but getting people to use them correctly is even harder – but it’s a battle worth fighting!

Ben King is the corporate social responsibility manager at Finder.

Why Would ANYONE Want to Work for YOU?

Why would ANYONE want to work for you? And why would they want to do it remotely? Too often companies think attracting, hiring and retaining quality associates who can work on their own is like finding Bigfoot. They have heard tales of their existence but so far they have not actually discovered the real creature. The answer to this seemingly impossible dilemma is actually not that complicated. But it does involve you as the hiring manager to do a little homework and answer a few questions.

The first question is WHO are you looking for? Are you looking for employees with a vast array of experience in a particular field? Are you looking for recent college graduates who show an aptitude for your work but who can be trained in your particular methods? Are you looking for a specific age, gender or social background?  Working remotely is not for everyone. It requires skills that the typical office worker in the same field might not have or need. An office based programmer with 20 years of experience might be able to redesign your entire company employee payroll screen in a few hours. However, give that same programmer  a laptop and put them at their dining room table with no managers or co-workers and they might just as easily become a kindergartner on the first day of school.

Another question that many hiring managers fail to ask is WHY does someone want to work for the company?  And WHY do they want to do it remotely?  In your quest for the perfect remote employee you need to identify who that person is and what is important to them. Do they like the freedom to work odd hours? Do they enjoy being and working alone without managers breathing down their backs? Do they love the type of work your company would have them do?  Do they simply like the money ?

Not everyone is motivated by the same thing. It’s kind of like raising children. Your 7 year old son is not interested in or motivated by the same things as your 14 year old daughter. They value different things and you will probably speak to them and deal with them in slightly different ways. Here is where you as the hiring manager need to now transform into the marketing manager as well. There is a saying in advertising that people don’t buy features. They buy benefits.  They don’t buy anti-lock brakes. They buy keeping the car right side up and out of the snowdrift on the frigid winter night when the deer jumps into the road from the shadows and dad slams on the binders with the kids sleeping in the backseat.

People don’t choose to work remotely. They choose to work at a job that let’s them wake up at 9 am to be “at the office” at 9:05. Or maybe they are buying into a position that pays enough money to allow them the freedom to tour with their band and pursue their life’s real passion. Or maybe they love this particular line of work but office politics is just not their thing. The position you are offering has a multitude of features that offer a multitude of benefits to a multitude of different people. Here is your opportunity to show the world just how working for your company can make the right candidate’s life amazing.

So now you’ve found the perfect fit. They’ve been an incredible hire. Life is prefect. Now comes the tricky part. How do you maintain this fabulous  relationship? Of course there are the obvious choices like more money or more vacation time. Those certainly don’t hurt and with some folks maybe that’s all it takes. But what about those who may not be motivated by society’s conventional wisdom? 

Let me ask you a question. Do you drive a rented car the same way you drive your own car? Probably not. Now I’m not saying you’re doing burnouts as you leave the lot. But I’ll bet you don’t handle that vehicle with the same love and respect you give to your own ride. The one you paid good money for. The one you OWN. The rental isn’t yours. At the end of the trip you’ll give it back and it becomes someone else’s responsibility.

You have no skin in that game. YOUR vehicle? That’s different. You’re responsible for that one. Yes, it’s very different when you own it. So why should it be any different with a job? When you find that perfect employee find a way to let them own that job.

I’m not saying you need to rush out and put their name on the building or redo your company letterhead. But find a way to tie their success to the success of the company or even the department they work in. It doesn’t need to be huge.  You just need to get them out of the rental and into their own ride.

Why Payless is going out of business and what you stand to learn from it

Payless just filed for bankruptcy. Here’s how you can avoid their mistakes!

THE BANKRUPTCY

Payless filed for bankruptcy for the second time in 2 years on Feb 14, 2019. It decided to close all of its 2,100 stores in the U.S. and plastered huge ‘GOING OUT OF BUSINESS’ posters on its windows.

Bargain hunters had a field time with the last minute 20% off on shoes that were already super affordable while tall boots had a 40% discount.

So, what went wrong?

The concept in itself isn’t alien. Wish, Shein and Romwe are all online budget clothing stores that sell items for prices cheaper than other retail or online stores. The conspiracy that Shein and Romwe might be the same company keeps finding a way to surface every time some influencer puts out a video on their shopping haul but I’m digressing.

People, and by people I mean consumers, aren’t opposed to the idea of buying items for reasonable prices. They are dubious of the quality as most believe that lower price tags equals low quality but Payless isn’t like that.

THE STUNT

Last November in 2018, Payless pulled off a remarkable stunt by having dozens of influencers and fashionistas believe that they were invited for a sneak peek to a luxury brand’s opening named Palessi. Lo and behold, these influencers forked over hundreds of thousands of dollars for Payless shoes that they believed to be a luxury store.

It was eventually revealed to them that they had bought Payless shoes and the difference was returned. It served as a great marketing tactic and faith in the brand was renewed. Affordable doesn’t mean low quality.

But, human psyche cannot be changed with one prank. ‘You get what you pay for’ is deeply ingrained in most people’s minds. To top that, in a social media-obsessed world like ours, branding is everything. And if you own Payless shoes, you’re not living the whole FOMO life. Let’s not forget, AirPods users don’t speak broke.

Terrible offline and online experience

Psychology aside, Payless didn’t do itself any favours by having consumers suffer through a terrible online experience. Even companies that are strongly rooted in the physical retail landscape know that having a strong online presence is vital to compete with the eCommerce industry.

If that weren’t enough, they didn’t focus on the most important thing that customers crave in a brick-and-mortar store: Experiential Shopping. Nike has done a darned good job of setting those expectations with its flagship store.

How To Avoid Payless’s Mistakes

To avoid going belly up like Payless, focus on the in-store customer experience and develop and maintain a strong online presence particularly on social media (especially if your target audience includes millennials).

  1. Personalized recommendations: Shoppers love product recommendations that have been tailored to suit their needs.
  2. Curated shopping experience: From a tailored Spotify playlist to a beacon scavenger hunt, consumers love a good experience. And, they value an improved experience far more than they care about product quality.
  3. Product information: Millennials like the idea of ‘invisible payments’. While millennials want instant gratification and prefer to shop in-stores and buy products immediately rather than wait for their online orders to ship, they still like the idea of minimal human interaction that comes with online shopping. Having NFC enabled products or dynamic QR codes on packaging allows millennials to quickly get all the data they need about the product to make an informed decision.
  4. Instant Checkout: Amazon Go, Zippin and other big-box retailers have made Scan and Go a must-have when it comes to improving customer experience. Creating such Instant Checkout booths is a piece of cake with QR codes and NFC that supports cardless payments.
  5. Social media presence: Customers trust social media reviews and make snap decisions to buy a product based on how well the product is marketed. Almost every social media platform allows shoppers to buy directly from the business’s page. Instagram even lets users buy products directly from Instagram Stories. Having a strong presence allows businesses to connect and engage with their loyal customers while drawing in new customers.

Get this FREE eBook: How businesses can use NFC, QR codes and beacons to improve their ROI

What do you think is the most important part of a consumer’s journey? Sound off in the comments below!

Running A Small Business Is Stressful

If feels like stating the obvious but running a small business may be one of the most stressful things in the world. In larger businesses – responsibility is shared for most things. But in a small business, one person often carries nearly all of the weight.

That doesn’t mean, however, that running a small business has to be stressful. There are ways to improve productivity and lower your costs without being stressful for you. Here’s how:

Create A Clear Vision Of What You Want

I’m not talking about writing a fancy vision statement (as marketing departments love to do) but I am suggesting that you visualize what “success” looks like within your business’s context.

After all, if you don’t know what it looks like, how will you know when you get there? Also, it’s important because it allows you to build a series of sense checks for decision making.

If you can see where your future lays, you can ask, “Does this action bring us/me any closer to the future I envisioned? If not, why not? Should I let this go or make changes in my vision?”

You can, of course, change your vision but most of the time, you won’t want to. Knowing where you want to go, lets you see the route more easily. It lets you stop wasting time on things that aren’t important to your business. The more time you free up to do important things, the less stressed you will be.

It will also improve productivity (you’ll have more time to do things) and reduce costs (you won’t spend money on pointless pursuits). Pretty easy, right?

Don’t Be Afraid To Seek Help

You are not superhuman. No one person can have all the skills and talents necessary to make a successful business in today’s society.

Do not be afraid to seek help. You might want a mentor (someone who has succeeded in your field or a related field already) who can help guide you through the growing pains of your business life. Reach out to a professional association or via Linked In or a local networking group – these people not only exist but are often delighted to help.

You might need an answer to a quick query (you’d be amazed at how easy it is to find an expert online and get a response instantly) or anywhere in between these two points.

It’s also possible to outsource the tasks you hate the most or at which you suck the most. Life can feel much better if you can give the accounting to an accountant or the mailing to a postal outsourcing service.

You don’t have to do everything. You do need the help of others. It’s not embarrassing to realize this. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – humans are social creatures, we’re happiest in groups. Forming a group of people around you to help with your business is the smartest thing you can do. Start today.

Selling Your Ideas Up: How to Overcome Objections and Get Your Ideas Approved

In an era of fiscal and time constraints, is it possible to sell your ideas to company leaders? Yes, but the success depends on how you frame the opportunity.

The first step is to avoid talking about the idea itself. While that may sound strange, it’s the primary sales rule that most people break. You may love your ideas, but the feeling isn’t always mutual. When you’re selling your ideas to others, you shouldn’t focus on your preferences. You must focus on the other person, and here’s how:

  • Understand the pain of the person.

Forget about how excited you are about the idea you want implemented. If you’re going to sell your idea, you have to understand where the other person’s pain is. Maybe they’re dealing with upset stockholders or perhaps sales are down. Do your research and uncover the main challenge they’re presently dealing with.

Once you know the other person’s pain, you can position your idea to sell as a solution to it. Essentially, you have to show the person that there’s a direct payoff to them if they approve your idea. If you know that the CEO’s greatest pain is a lack of communication between departments, then you have to consider your proposal and figure out how it can ease the pain and bring resolve to the situation.

Be sure to state it clearly to avoid guesswork. For example, you could say, “I know you’re dealing with poor internal communications. I’ve come across some things that I believe can help you overcome those challenges so the company can grow.”

Then talk about the new idea in terms of solving the current problem only. Don’t go into all the benefits, functions, features, or costs. Right now, you’re simply getting the decision maker on board with the idea and its problem-solving potential.

  • Solve the predictable problems in advance.

As you have this discussion, you’ll also have to address common objections. Plan for them in advance by figuring out what their objections could be and solve them before the discussion.

For example, if you’re talking to the CEO about your idea and you know budgets are tight, you can deduce that they will say, “This sounds great, but the CFO won’t approve this right now.” However, because you’ve anticipated this objection, you can reply, “I’ve already run this by the CFO because I knew it was important.”

Of course, before going to the CFO, you’ll have identified their greatest pain and presented the idea to solve it. If what you’re proposing is really a solution, and you showed how it benefits the company’s strategic imperatives with a good ROI, you will have a receptive CFO.

The goal is to overcome the potential blocks before they arise.

  • Use the power of certainty to your advantage.

When you’re selling your ideas, the people you’re talking to are thinking risk. Alleviate this fear by remembering that strategies based on uncertainty have high risk, while strategies based on certainty have low risk. Prior to the discussion, ask yourself, “What are the things I’m absolutely certain about regarding this idea? What are the current hard trends? Where is the industry, company, and economy going with or without this solution?”

Make your list the things you’re certain about. For example, mobile devices are quite popular. Is this a trend that you know will continue, or will people eventually trade in their mobile devices for an old flip phone of yesterday? The answer is obvious: people won’t go back. Look at sales trends, customers, the economy, and everything around you. Get clear on what’s a hard trend and what will pass.

Additionally, look at the strategic imperatives of the company and the current plan. Determine if your proposed idea is an accelerator or decelerator of that plan. You want to show how your idea can accelerate the plan and how your solution can help increase sales, innovation, and product development.

Go into your list of certainties by saying, “Here are things I’m certain about in the marketplace and in our company. Based on this certainty, here is why implementing this idea is a low-risk winner.”

An Anticipatory Approach to Selling

It’s important to remind yourself before the meeting that if you haven’t done the groundwork to excite the listener, you’ll lose them. As you’re busy talking about features and benefits, the other person is thinking about costs, risks, and uncertainties. Having a preemptive solution is an anticipatory approach to selling – you’re anticipating the problems, rejections, objections, and concerns so you can overcome them.

Anyone who has worked with C-level executives knows that leaders get excited about many things while carrying the weight of costs, controls, and constraints. Challenge those issues by making what you offer about priority, relevancy, and strategic imperatives to sell your ideas.

Pop Quiz, Monday with Andre Arriaza

We started running tours in 2016 on our own. Nowadays we have five people working with us and a successful rate of 99% of happy clients.

The Pop Quiz, Monday is a fun little exam that we love to give to savvy business owners. The examination is not a surprise after all since the interviewee already knew about the questions in advance. However, we can always pretend and have fun with the scenario of a young entrepreneur sitting in class nervously biting on their pencil. They are ready to take a pop quiz on a chapter that they were supposed to read the night before. Instead, they played Metroid all night on their SNES (Oops, this was me in high school). The real purpose of the pop quiz is that this is a fun way to introduce business tips from real-world experiences that you can not learn in a classroom. We want to thank our entrepreneur for being a good sport and volunteering their time to answer a few questions to help our community grow from their knowledge.

I want to introduce you to our guest today who will be taking our Pop Quiz Monday.

Can you please tell everyone your name?
Andre Arriaza

Andre Arriaza
Photo credit: Andre Arriaza

What is your job role?
I am the CEO and everything else required by the company.

Tell us about your company?
Barcelona Eat Local is a family run business that I founded with my partner to be a referent of local gastronomy in the city and the surrounding region ~ we explore local culture through food and bring travelers closer to its culture and delicious tasting. In short, we organize experiences around food, culture, and locals.

We started running tours in 2016 on our own. Nowadays we have five people working with us and a successful rate of 99% of happy clients.

What do you love most about your job?
Food connects people, it is an excellent subject of conversation, and most of my days I am in between travelers who want to taste local cuisine and passionate restaurateurs and winemakers who love what they do. I like being in that environment, and connecting those people.

What motivates you to get up every day and go to work?
One of the guiding principles for us is to work only with family-owned businesses, most of them are on 3rd to 6th generation. One of our partners is a woman who has a fish stall in one of Barcelona Markets, when we do our planning for tours the day before, at 4.45 am she reply to us indicating that everything will be ready and tasty, always with a big smile.

Working with such committed people is excellent, and gives an enormous motivation. As well, I get motivated merely because I love gastronomy in general, and I always get passionate about it.

How do your co-workers inspire you?
We a diverse team, concerning nationalities and backgrounds. This is inspiring as everyone brings a unique perspective, and points of view, which is helpful at times when you need to make critical decisions as they have insights that sometimes are unknown to us.

How do you have fun at work (team building, pranks, etc..)?
Good question! I think we do that (or at least we try) all the time. As we provide culinary experiences to travelers, we are not altogether on a day to day basis. Our guides are the ones that have the most fun with the groups, we are always in touch via smartphones, sharing feedback, pictures, and jokes. Now and then we gather, just to socialize and to have working meetings, and wine never misses on the table

What are some of the challenges of your job?
Barcelona Eat Local was the first entrepreneurial project in my life, and each step on the ladder has been a challenge, mainly because I didn’t know the travel industry.

After three years in business, I would say that the challenges we faced were: (i) establish credibility vis a vis vendors and future clients, (ii) drive sales in a consistent manner, and (iii) be ready to do things you never did or learn before

What are some lessons learned from a past project that you can share with us?
When you set a project, you build a business plan, in many cases full of assumptions and base on statistical data. At the time of implementing your project it is essential to keep in mind that reality is a game changer and that you need to be flexible and smart to adapt to changes and issues you didn’t plan for. I believe that if you manage to do that, your business can be quite successful.

What advice would you give to someone who is starting in your industry?
Be patient, “taste the waters,” and give a thought on the risks you are taking and how you could overcome them in case they materialize. Good luck!

Thank you for taking our pop quiz today. You get an A+ for effort. You can learn more about our interviewee and their business by visiting them on the web:

Barcelona Eat Local Food Tours: barcelonaeatlocal.com
Facebook: facebook.com/barcelonaeatlocalfoodtours
Twitter: twitter.com/bcneatlocal
Instagram: instagram.com/barcelonaeatlocal

Pop Quiz, Monday with Victoria Jacono-Gilmovich

I love seeing students develop, achieve goals..and seeing whole communities form and rise with music at the core.

The Pop Quiz, Monday is a fun little exam that we love to give to savvy business owners. The examination is not a surprise after all since the interviewee already knew about the questions in advance. However, we can always pretend and have fun with the scenario of a young entrepreneur sitting in class nervously biting on their pencil. They are ready to take a pop quiz on a chapter that they were supposed to read the night before. Instead, they played Metroid all night on their SNES (Oops, this was me in high school). The real purpose of the pop quiz is that this is a fun way to introduce business tips from real-world experiences that you can not learn in a classroom. We want to thank our entrepreneur for being a good sport and volunteering their time to answer a few questions to help our community grow from their knowledge.

I want to introduce you to our guest today who will be taking our Pop Quiz Monday.

Can you please tell everyone your name?
Victoria Jacono-Gilmovich

Victoria Jacono-Gilmovich
Photo credit: Victoria Jacono-Gilmovich

What is your job role?
Director of the Inner West Institute of Music and freelance violinist

Tell us about your company?
The Inner West Institute of Music delivers tailored music education and a life long love of the arts from the ages of 6 months onwards.

What do you love most about your job?
I love seeing students develop, achieve goals..and seeing whole communities form and rise with music at the core.

What motivates you to get up every day and go to work?
My family motivates me…to surround them with a more meaningful life..and pass on that message and joy to their generation. I also love creating employment and mentoring to the next generation of young teachers.

How do your co-workers inspire you?
They inspire me by showing me new trends…showing me such a wide array of teaching styles and methods..they indeed show me that education and the arts are not only bottomless…it’s always evolving.

How do you have fun at work (team building, pranks, etc..)?
We frequently gather for meals, perform together in concerts..we probably should do more..but as the nature of our work is one on one with the students..we don’t all cross paths at the same time.

What are some of the challenges of your job?
Tailoring the balance of learning, relationships, and expectation between three people.

There are the bond and expectations between student and parent, student and teacher, and teacher and parent to navigate for each student….and it’s not always easy or obvious…then multiply this by 300 clients and growing.

What are some lessons learned from a past project that you can share with us?
I do everything…I need to trust, delegate and rely on my team to not only do their jobs..but also grow the business for all of us…we all need to support each other.

What advice would you give to someone who is starting in your industry?
Learn your strengths and delegate anything else…you can’t do absolutely everything. Leave time for your development and your family (or whatever else it is that you love)

Thank you for taking our pop quiz today. You get an A+ for effort. You can learn more about our interviewee and their business by visiting them on the web:

www.innerwestinstituteofmusic.com

Pop Quiz, Monday with Ashish Biyani

The Pop Quiz, Monday is a fun little exam that we love to give to savvy business owners. The examination is not a surprise after all since the interviewee already knew about the questions in advance. However, we can always pretend and have fun with the scenario of a young entrepreneur sitting in class nervously biting on their pencil. They are ready to take a pop quiz on a chapter that they were supposed to read the night before. Instead, they played Metroid all night on their SNES (Oops, this was me in high school). The real purpose of the pop quiz is that this is a fun way to introduce business tips from real-world experiences that you can not learn in a classroom. We want to thank our entrepreneur for being a good sport and volunteering their time to answer a few questions to help our community grow from their knowledge.

I want to introduce you to our guest today who will be taking our Pop Quiz Monday.

Can you please tell everyone your name?
Ashish Biyani

Ashish Biyani

What is your job role?
Co-founder – DeskMoz

Tell us about your company?
DeskMoz is a 24×7 Live Chat Agents Support & Sales Leads Generation service company. Today, the majority of the population is always online & DeskMoz aptly converts this scenario in full-fledged opportunities for businesses.

We deploy our highly experienced Chat Agents to the website & apps of businesses across the industries. Our professional Chat Agents provide 24×7 assistance to the customers & generate sales leads from the traffic.

Since our service is the perfect 2 in 1 solution for both the lead generation & customer support needs, we take a great deal of pride in calling ourselves the change makers.

What do you love most about your job?
My job’s ability to make businesses easier. Be it a Fortune 500 giant or a one-person business. Our custom solution adds great ease to companies of all sizes. We don’t only get them more business but help them in retaining the existing one too.

Seeing a garage idea blooming into such a great problem solver makes me love it more on a daily basis. It has come to the extent wherein I would call my job the peace I need to sleep in the night. A day off the office & I start missing on it.

What motivates you to get up every day and go to work?
Two things; the idea that I’ll get to meet & greet my team members & I might as well find a problem which could help me contribute a novel solution to the industry.

About the first motivation; I’ve always been a people’s person & always remain excited to conversing with my team. I love it so much that you can find me stirring up a conversation on any random topic with any team member on any medium. I head a team of over 150 team members, & enjoy an unbelievable attrition rate. The due credit goes to my ability to stay in personal touch with all of them.

And, about the second one; I am a big fan of innovation & appreciate myself the most when I am devising a new solution.

How do your co-workers inspire you?
By being brilliant at what they are doing & by their ability to perfectly match the work-life & personal-life balance. I’ve been fortunate enough to be working with the most fantastic set of people. They’re the street-smart version of nerds & it is the only recipe you need to keep growing both professionally & personally.

Although we’re into 24×7 business, I always find them charged up.

How do you have fun at work (team building, pranks, etc..)?
Yes, there is always one or other stuff boiling. Not a day goes by without someone getting pranked by someone else: late night parties, early morning pizzas. A sunny holiday & you might as well find us hunting the perfect grass to dig stumps on & play Cricket until dusk.

Not long time ago we all just packed our laptops, got on a plane & enjoyed a week-long vacation in Goa, while providing our serve uninterruptedly from Goa. You can only imagine how perfect the planning & execution had to be to carry out such an activity.

So, parties & a lot of other team activities.

What are some of the challenges of your job?
Firstly, delivering optimum quality in a real-time 24×7 business. 24×7 is a lot easier said than done. Come to think of it & you’ll realise how demanding it is.

Secondly, improvising enough to stay ahead of the curve. An improvisation project ends & we pick up another without catching a breath.

We all are fortunate enough to be witnessing a huge transformation wherein businesses are coming out of their conventional brick & mortar setups & exploring the virtual platforms. Being an IT-enabled brand, the onus is on us to make this transformation as easy & rewarding as possible. For this, we must improvise continually.

What are some lessons learned from a past project that you can share with us?
Meeting deadlines & effective execution of the ideas are the very essences of the success of any project. We’re glad to have realised it from our early projects.

What advice would you give to someone who is starting in your industry?
I would rather give two pieces of advice-

Selling is much harder than building, and I see most of our industry start-ups learning it the hard way.

Stay flexible persistent, i.e. don’t be drunk on just one idea. Just observe, ideate, tryout, fail, introspect, improvise & come back again. Before quitting on your early failures, just recall why you started in the first place.

Thank you for taking our pop quiz today. You get an A+ for effort. You can learn more about our interviewee and their business by visiting them on the web:

Website: https://deskmoz.com/

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/DeskMoz/

Twitter Handle: https://twitter.com/deskmoz

LinkedIn Page: https://www.linkedin.com/company/deskmoz/

Business Insurance: What you need to know

Getting your own business up and running can be an exciting and deeply rewarding prospect. Being your own boss and pursuing something you’re truly passionate about is the driving force behind many business owners’ decision to take the plunge and branch out on their own.

Yet running a business can also carry elements of risk. Though we like to assume everything will run smoothly, life can sometimes throw us a curveball and it pays to be prepared should things turn pear-shaped. Regardless of your industry, mistakes can be made, accidents can happen and complaints can be filed by angry or spiteful customers.

Therefore, taking out an appropriate form of business insurance is essential. Whether you’re expanding your side hustle into a small business or already managing your own restaurant with a roster of 25 staff, ensuring you have the right sort of cover should sit high on the list of priorities.

There’s a huge range of business insurance options available in Australia, and it can be a bit overwhelming trying to determine which cover is most suitable for your needs. A good place to start is by assessing your key business risks. How vulnerable are you to theft? What would happen if one of your employees was injured on the job? Do you offer any products or services that customers might be unhappy with?

Once you’ve determined any issues your business may be likely to face, you can then begin to compare policies. A basic business insurance policy will ensure that in the event of a serious setback – such as fire, theft or injury – you have sufficient cover to pay for any additional costs that arise as a result.

Some business owners will opt for more extensive policies that will also cover their employees. For example, they will get cover for the sudden loss of staff or for workers taking a significant amount of time off due to injury or illness.

Depending on your level of risk, you may only need one type of basic cover or a combination of policies. Some examples include the following:

  • Public liability insurance is for businesses that offer the use of a public venue, such as a function centre or performance space. This will cover negligence, such as a customer falling over and injuring themselves in the venue.
  • Professional indemnity insurance provides protection for businesses that offer their expertise as a service to clients, such as an accountancy firm or law firm.
  • General liability insurance provides general cover for any accidents or illnesses that take place on the business premises.
  • Cyber liability insurance is for businesses with large amounts of online data that rely on certain types of software.

Once you’ve selected a policy, it’s important to make sure you’re familiar with what’s actually covered. You don’t want to be caught out by the fine print in your moment of need. Often there are certain situations insurers won’t accept a claim for, such as damage caused by a natural disaster, out-of-date equipment that is no longer in use or buildings that are vacant or unoccupied.

Keep in mind that there are downsides to business insurance as well. Taking out cover can often be quite costly. There’s also no way of predicting whether you’ll ever actually be required to use it. Yet unexpected setbacks can arise out of nowhere, and there’s no certainty that you’ll be able to cover the costs on your own. Business insurance is a small price to pay for peace of mind.

Bessie Hassan is Money Expert at finder.com.au

How To Grab Your Customer Attention Easily!

Grab Customers Attention Easily In The Noisy Market.

Nowadays, It becomes a hot topic in the organisation, small businesses and even in the large businesses that how can they seek their customer attention in the very noisy market?

Where you are not the only one who wants to grab your customer attention but, there are thousands & thousands of other fish as well as sharks available…

who also want to grab their customer attention, so that they can come first in the mind of their customer.

In fact, today business owners are even ready to invest millions and millions of dollars to just build their brand in the mind of their customer.

But spending a huge amount on advertising will not going to help you build a brand If your message will not be influential & in the right direction.

So how will you ensure that your message is influential & attention grabbing…

Here are few proven techniques which will help you to deliver your idea and message in an influential manner,

to seek your customer attention easily.

1. As Simple As You Can

Keeping message your message as simple as you can, will help you to seek your customer attention easily.

sometimes we are too busy to create our marketing campaign or message unique, attractive and standardized that we forget, It must be simple and easy to use by our target customers.

Remember your customer are too busy with their own complex life & they don’t have time to take some time specially to understand your message & ideas,

If It’s not simple…

2. Unexpected – Create suspense

What will you do if I will lock you in a room with a bared boy or girl which you really love? what will you do…

you will going to love him/her, right

But stop, stop, stop…

It’s not in a way that you think that bared boy/girl is just 2 years old baby…

Keep Loving Your Children

This is the final message which I want to share with you…

This kind of some mystery & curiosity will give you more power in your words than just saying,

That Hey, You know you should love children.

That’s why you love harry porter because it’s full of mystery & curiosty.

But don’t try to over do it & don’t go out of the context- This will be harmful for you.

EX- If you running a social NGO and Just want to create some mystery such as trending hot topics which is out of your context- will harm your brand.

3. Concrete- Connect with their life.

If you can’t connect with your audience with their feelings & life…

so It’s difficult to influence others with your ideas and messages…

Give them pratical life example to show how this will be going to help them.

Remember, people want to connect with them which understand their emotion & feelings.

Example- If you are facing the problem of not having a quality time with your love one then If will say, This x product will help you to save your time as millions of people like you…

Then grabs your attention towards my x Product.

4. Credibility & Trust

The most factor that your customer will give you attention & buy products from you, Is Trust.

No matter how attractive you are, but if your customer are not trusting on you then it will not be effective as it should.

So think about how you will be going to make trust towards your target customer because Trust plays an important role in any business.

Here are couple of ways to show your credibility…

A) Power of authority B) Statistics

C) Certificates And so on…

5. Connect Emotionally

You can’t be loyal with those just because they are beautiful by the body But not from the heart, for a long time…

In a same, we don’t loyal with those brands just because they are authorized as a legal brand but not connected with us emotionally.

Remember, Emotions Wins Over The Logic.

6. Story

Story Is the most powerful way to attract anyone attention. It has the power to create visual image in your mind.

Remember, we all love story in our childhood and even now…

We don’t want to listen to just a speech which will be not having any story, we want something spicy (fun & emotion) in our speech.

If your message is just a boring speech then it lacks the efficiency to connect your audience & attract attention towards you.

You can connect me through linkedin – Here

How Start-ups can overcome business competition

Be it any business domain or industry, competition is a given fact and is as inevitable as death and taxes for every individual.

Additionally, start-up entrepreneurs in diverse industry domains often face direct competition from a large multinational company with their global reach, resources, and high market share. When it comes to large investments and traditional marketing reach, most start-up companies are unable to match up to these multi-billion-dollar companies and end up on the losing side of the business most of the times.

An estimated 19% of start-up failures are primarily because of strong competition.

Despite the challenges, start-up entrepreneurs can adopt several innovative business strategies to get the better of their competition, including large business corporations.

Monitor constantly what the competitor is doing

Most successful business enterprises like to focus on their own product offerings and services and how they can deliver them effectively to their customer base. While this strategy is important, it is equally important to monitor what the competitors are doing, particularly on what product mix they are offering and the quality of customer experience for their services. Monitoring or keeping a tab on your competition does not mean blindly copying their product design or services but adapting their successful product strategy or innovation to work for the start-up business.

In the digital and online age, monitoring business competitors is comparatively easy as start-up entrepreneurs can get valuable information by visiting the competitor’s website and online social platforms. Young entrepreneurs can also develop their product and marketing strategies based on the successful and unsuccessful business moves made by their competitors.

Listen to what the customer is saying

As a start-up business, customer acquisition and retaining is the most important factor for business growth. Large corporations with a worldwide customer base are rarely concerned about what their customers want. This can be a major advantage for start-up businesses, who need to listen to what their customers want and deliver products and innovations that can fulfil their expectations. Develop a work environment in the start-up company that is very customer-centric and is completely focussed on their needs. Customer service must be the top business priority and can be delivered through digital platforms such as Twitter and other social media platforms.

Build a strong product or service offering

Did you know that 17% of the start-up business failure is because they failed to build a good product or service?

Building a good product or service is paramount to the growth or even survival of any business enterprise, including start-ups. Focus on the product (or service) strengths and what they can offer that your competitor cannot. If your product does not offer any business leverage as compared to your competitor’s product, it is best to go back to redesigning the product.

As Richard Branson, founder and CEO of Virgin Group mentions, “For me, building a business is all about creating something that’s going to make a real difference to other people’s lives.”

Keep track of the company’s financials

Business enterprises, including start-up companies, are eventually all about numbers including revenues, profits, costs of operations, sales figures, and market share. Product marketeers are often faced with numerous questions, including:

  • Do I know the cost benefit of capturing a higher market share?
  • Is my product pricing too high or too low?
  • What is the capital investment or financing required to achieve my company goals and targets?

Focus on achieving the right level of business profitability. While high product prices can reduce your competitive edge, low product prices can eat into your company’s profits, particularly if the production costs are high.

Utilize all available resources.

While large business enterprises have the best of professional resources, start-up companies can also utilize the best of production tools to cut down their costs and improve their productivity.

Some of the popular tools include the:

  • AdRoll advertising tool with cross-platform customer targeting and prospecting, all at a very affordable cost.
  • IBM Watson Analytics software tool that can provide valuable business insights through its Big data predictive analytics and data visualization features.
  • GetResponse email-based marketing tool that can help track and monitor the success of your business emails.

Focus on the sales and marketing

While effective sales and marketing is the lifeline of any company, inefficient marketing practices such as spending too much money, or a poorly-designed marketing campaign can tarnish the business potential and reputation of any business enterprise. Be prepared to toil the hard way by developing and sticking to the business strategies that can work for your product or business line.

While larger corporations can generate more market reach through their marketing and advertising initiatives, start-up business enterprises can look at innovative modes of digital and content marketing to create a successful online presence for their brands. Thanks to digital technologies, start-ups can adopt smart marketing and selling tactics and product branding to overcome their competition.

Build your business the start-up way

Young entrepreneurs must be determined to build their start-up company from the bottom and work their way up. This is true for every successful business enterprise including the likes of Facebook, Uber, Tesla, and Airbnb. Along with a good product niche and business strategy, do not hesitate to put in the required long days into business growth, which will lead to the overall success of the start-up and in overcoming the best of competitions.

As an entrepreneur, determine to succeed in your enterprise and do not feel dejected if prospective customers decline to meet you. In the face of any major business adversity, be prepared to pivot the business with a fresh mindset and enthusiasm, which is the bedrock of all start-up business enterprises.

These are just some of the successful business strategies that young entrepreneurs can adopt to make their start-up companies a raging success in the face of stiff competition from established corporations. Go, find your niche!.


Girish Bindal is the Head of Content at Makaan.com, Housing.com & PropTiger.com.

Pop Quiz, Monday with Ryan Chipperfield

People know when you are authentic or not, and nobody is looking for a Jerry McGuire clone when it comes to their manager. The relationship will be a meaningful one so set the tone straight away and get to know them as a person first.

The Pop Quiz, Monday is a fun little exam that we love to give to savvy business owners. The examination is not a surprise after all since the interviewee already knew about the questions in advance. However, we can always pretend and have fun with the scenario of a young entrepreneur sitting in class nervously biting on their pencil. They are ready to take a pop quiz on a chapter that they were supposed to read the night before. Instead, they played Metroid all night on their SNES (Oops, this was me in high school). The real purpose of the pop quiz is that this is a fun way to introduce business tips from real-world experiences that you can not learn in a classroom. We want to thank our entrepreneur for being a good sport and volunteering their time to answer a few questions to help our community grow from their knowledge.

I want to introduce you to our guest today who will be taking our Pop Quiz Monday.

Can you please tell everyone your name?
Ryan Chipperfield

Ryan Chipperfield
Photo credit: @grantbaileyphoto

What is your job role?
Managing Director

Tell us about your company?
Blue Chip Talent is a Talent Management business which provides its services to some of the most exceptional Athletic and Influencer Talent in Australia. We are of the view that we want to capitalise on our Talent’s time in the sun and help them grow for a successful life journey, not just a short stint. We assist brands in finding their perfect ambassadors and get them the returns on investment they desire for their campaigns.

What do you love most about your job?
Watching the professional development of our team, both internal and external. We select Talent that has a desire to be better, and we work with them to satisfy those desires, whether it be financially and smart investing, growing a business with them, working on the mental sides of their profession or just simply networking with industry – we take great pride in developing the team to their true potential. Plus getting to watch a lot of sport and going to some kick-ass events is pretty fun too!

What motivates you to get up every day and go to work?
I am motivated a lot by knowing that every single dollar we can earn our professionals is one less dollar they have to worry about and eases the burdens on them. An athlete and an influencer have so much to think about every day so removing the money barriers and just making life a little easier is motivating.

I am highly motivated too by our growth and reaching as many people as we can within our business, whilst still maintaining a positive impact on those we connect with.

How do your co-workers inspire you?
I have always hired for my weaknesses or where I think we could benefit from some extra drive in the business. We have recruited a PR expert, a written word specialist for our outbound communications with brands, an analytics expert who helps us with our numbers that fuel growth and have a great support team in our financials to make sure we are kicking goals, after all, this work is in place.

As an MD I get to learn from our team as well while in turn passing on my years of business experience to allow our staff the same knowledge gains that will keep them inspired to come back to work and will enable us to retain them.

How do you have fun at work (team building, pranks, etc..)?
We are in a pretty unique job position where it is already fun. Our biggest challenge is making sure the fun parts translate commercially. Our last month had a Christmas Party, a major sporting event at Metricon Stadium and a blockbuster movie premiere red carpet event so it is easy to get carried away with all of the top line activities and it becomes essential to focus on what fuels the bottom line.

What are some of the challenges of your job?
Every talent business is going to experience arrivals and departures, and this comes from a myriad of reasons. Mostly it is about setting expectations and managing them along the way. We pride ourselves on having lots of little harder conversations along the talent’s journey rather than just saving it for the big blow ups that can occur. Everyone has desires to be their best and sometimes some barriers can upset this, so it is always important you and your team both internal and external share alignment and knows where the goalposts are.

What are some lessons learned from a past project that you can share with us?
Originally our business was not going to have an Influencer division. Yet six months in it became the heartbeat of what we are doing. Athlete deals take a LONG time to get done and are very difficult to secure by the time you work out conflicts, market reach, budgeting timelines, etc.

Little did I know that the Influencer Marketing trend commercially helps us offset the cash burns required to fund the Athletes in the long periods between deals or when we first acquire them to get a deal underway.
We can do 2-3 Influencer arrangements in a week and keep our cash-flows healthy whilst working on the big picture outside of this at the same time.

What advice would you give to someone who is starting in your industry?
Have the resources. I was in a fortunate position to have the capital to fuel our growth. To win over talent, you need a roster of other talents that they like and believe they are on par with so getting to your first five team members is critical to building the momentum. It will take breakfasts, lunches, and dinners so make sure you bring your wallet and make sure you care about what they are saying.

People know when you are authentic or not, and nobody is looking for a Jerry McGuire clone when it comes to their manager. The relationship will be a meaningful one so set the tone straight away and get to know them as a person first.

Thank you for taking our pop quiz today. You get an A+ for effort. You can learn more about our interviewee and their business by visiting them on the web:

www.bluechiptalent.com.au
Instagram: @bluechiptalent.com.au

Working On the Business

I suggest making two lists. For the first list, the owner should answer the question, “What are the current business tasks that you most enjoy?” There are no right or wrong answers here. Simply list his/her opinion. Love making widgets? Write it down. Really like dealing with customers? Write it down. And so on.

I meet a lot of business owners that have successful businesses as well as many that are struggling. Whether they are successful or still trying to figure it out, what most of these have in common is that they spend most of their time each day working IN the business. In other words, they are grinding to make sure their product or service is getting performed to their customers’ satisfaction. Being a business owner myself, I can testify to the necessity of doing this. Nobody can articulate the owner’s vision as well as the owner!

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While a business can be successful, i.e., profitable, operating in this manner, the long-term purpose of the business owner should be to sell the business one day. This, along with the inevitable burn out that will occur from the grind, necessitates a change of approach: Working ON the business.

Now one does not make an abrupt change from working IN the business to working ON the business. It’s actually an evolutionary process. You go from working all day, every day IN the business to spending a few hours a week working ON the business and evolve from there. Doing this, naturally, requires the business owner to cede control over certain hour-to-hour tasks within the business. How does one decide where to cede?

I suggest making two lists. For the first list, the owner should answer the question, “What are the current business tasks that you most enjoy?” There are no right or wrong answers here. Simply list his/her opinion. Love making widgets? Write it down. Really like dealing with customers? Write it down. And so on.

On the second list, write down the answers to this question, “At what tasks do you create the most value within the business?” Here, it’s really important that the owner be honest and accurate. Don’t just write down a gut feel (although a gut feel might be correct). Deeply consider which business tasks will help the business grow/reduce costs/improve customer experience/increase cash flow, etc.

Now, let’s juxtapose the lists. Here is where we separate passion (what we love) from what creates value (makes someone want to pay top dollar for the business one day). Compare these two lists and see which tasks drive business value and fuel passion. The owner should absolutely keep doing these tasks. That is an easy call. On the other end of the spectrum, any tasks not on either list should be passed on to someone else in the organization. Another easy call. The challenge comes when tasks that the owner enjoys doing don’t enhance enterprise value if the owner is doing them.

As an example, in my auto repair business, I really like wrenching on cars. However, if I’m honest, I’m not very fast. Any decent technician could blow me away from a quality and efficiency standpoint. So, I quit wrenching and hired another technician. I wasn’t adding enough value. I also love working with clients, vendors and creating processes. I kept doing those things. There, I was adding value. Guess what? The year after stepping out of the shop and handing the wrenches to someone more talented, we grew 17%. I was actually less stressed, clients were happier, I was happier, the technicians were happier (they got their parts faster with me in the office). Winner!

This was just the beginning. Over time, I slowly released more activities to employees. Now we are at the point where the operation is turn-key. I am not integral to its hour-to-hour success. My trusted team handles that. I still set the tone with clear expectations on process, client care, building appearance, etc. But, I trust my team to do it right. I also leave an open channel for clients to reach out to me when their experience isn’t what they are used to. Was it scary to let go? Most definitely! Was it necessary? Also, most definitely.

When the time comes, I feel way more confident that the right buyer can be found so I can to move on to the next chapter in life.

In our book “Start It, Grow It, Sell It:  The Journey of Business” we cover this and many other topics in a “business novel” format.  Follow Nelli and Harvey on their Journey of Business.