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Steve Gray

Director at Gray Capital Investments

Member Since June 2013

Grovedale, VIC, 3216

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72 FOLLOWERS

You're in business, you want to win, not fail, you want success not struggles. You have an idea, you have spent a lot of money and time getting started but now what! Get a strategy in place, develop a plan, call me and get an outsiders view on what you are doing well and what needs to happen next. In the meantime check the articles on my website. Cheers

Qualified skills

Business Planning
Business Consulting
Management Consultants
Startup

My Story: "I Never Sit Still for Very Long..."

It all started when a friend dropped in to suggest we use my technical skills and his "gift of the gab" to create a design and T-shirt print business, with a BIG focus on the T-shirts. We learnt a lot FAST -- a few good things and lots of BAD things, like if the customer is in the car out the front of the house waiting for his sporting club shirts, make sure you get them done fast… If your ...

Steve Gray answered this question

Neil Steggall
Neil Steggall, Partner at Wardour Capital Partners

Business Planning

Will SME's spend & invest in consultancy skills to help build their businesses in 2014?

SMEs, a few issues to consider

- Busy - so time stops them (can't find enough if they did they might not spend it on more work related 'stuff')

- Over it... business has sapped their energy, they survive and hope for the best... not willing to try things.

- Spend, only if I have to - It's hard won $$ therefore you want it you need to be very persuasive to pry it from them.

- Consultant! - I'll do it myself, someday... (too proud to get in outside assistance).

Just a few thoughts :)

Customer Retention

Service garbage again...

Something about bad service that I love… having the chance to moan about it. the chance to look at gaps in the system, the chance to moan some more and put forward some ideas that could help alleviate the situation. I ordered a new item, it had to be delivered, “can’t be done before Tuesday so after then, before Friday afternoon for sure” Guess what no delivery. I was reliably informed ...

Training and Development

People are only so good

I love chatting to people about business. Recently a discussion came up with a person put in to handle the Human Resources in a smallish business, little experience just the desire to do the job and the boss said yes. Heart in the right place generally a good judge of character so the mix of skills and attitude is better than someone who didn’t want to do the job. The person had to recruit an...

Steve Gray answered this question

Liz edgecombe
Liz edgecombe, owner at sheoak trading pty ltd

Branding

How should I rebrand my business?

My thoughts are...

1. Do an analysis of what your competition is doing.

2. Ask, "what are our ideal customers doing when they want to buy spices and how can you appeal to them with packaging, image etc.

3. What set's your spices apart from the rest, in the Supermarket the spice mixes are getting complex even for the std spice Co's.

4. What feedback have you had from what you are currently selling and how can you use that to your advantage.

5. Have you been able to create a focus group of ideal customers to chat to them about what you have?

Steve Gray answered this question

What were your experiences when hiring for the first time?

Similar to Phil, I have had to select staff based on little experience. I hope I did a good job. :)

Years later I had a position as a job search trainer so selecting staff after that wasn't too daunting. Actually day one of this job I got asked to select an assistant for my area... two choices, I made the right choice! but it took a while for me to realise that :)

In one of my businesses, I was contemplating taking on staff, had a few casuals to help out (relatives) so it was easy to have some people to give me a hand.

On a number of occasions I wanted to have a part timer, but when I NEARLY got to the point of taking that action the contract I was working on was canceled.

It would be useful to  have some form of financial device (perhaps a spread sheet?) to be able to know when you can viably take on a new person.

Sales and Marketing

Touch people, at the right time

I like to touch people, and I see that many others do too! Oh don’t get me wrong, I mean touch them in the marketing sense, what did you think I meant? Some great marketing material has been created by businesses and it seems to have missed the mark, no major boost in customer numbers or buying behaviour. Often this turns out to be because they failed to ‘touch’ the customer at the right ti...

Advertising

Frequently missing out

Are you missing out on customers through lax marketing? It can be too easy to let your marketing efforts go and miss out on opportunities to get more of the right people. I'm a talking about the frequency of your marketing efforts and getting customers to notice your business through the amount of effective adverts you put in front of them. It's surely better (in most cases) to put your message o...

Research and Innovation

Your business - You failed

I always wanted to interview business people who have failed, the type that opened up a shop and six months later BAM they’re gone. No luck as yet, most of the people who have failed like this in business I have not had any contact with. But the more you look the more you can see them (Business failures that is). There was a store here yesterday and now nothing, in fact my wife and I often have...

Steve Gray answered this question

Derek Logan
Derek Logan, Director at DAC Solutions Pty Ltd

Customer Retention

How much would this be worth to your business?

I would be overwhelmed, because I would not be able to handle that amount of traffic... It might seem like a good number but if it overwhelms prospects that's not good... :(

Steve Gray answered this question

Paul Zisson
Paul Zisson, Founder & CFO at

Social Media

How do you publish an article on social media?

Write the article on your blog, copy the link, put it up on social media with a catchy lead in.

Measure your stats via google analytics to see what's making things tick.

I often post to both facebook and LinkedIn for my business articles from the blogs I am part of.

Steve Gray answered this question

Cassidy Poon
Cassidy Poon, Head of Digital & Social Media at LogicalTech Group

Social Media

What questions should every CEO ask his CMO about social media?

Will we be able to consistently add useful information to the social sites? 

Can we ensure the quality of the information (no typos etc)?

Who will be in charge of all this?

Who will have access (on our side)?

What can we do if we get after hours spammy, hateful, trolls?

Steve Gray answered this question

Wendy Huang
Wendy Huang, Full Time Blogger and YouTuber at A Custom Blog in 4 Minutes

Business Management

What is the most useless piece of advice you received?

A huge chunk of adverts on a regional radio station. The results less than stunning. But the advice at the time seemed good, they had great stats to back it up etc.

Steve Gray answered this question

John Belchamber
John Belchamber, Owner & Senior Consultant at Invoke Results

Business Coaching

Where have all the perts gone?

Good question, I have seem a number of MBA graduates saying they can assist a person in business, I say yep go ahead, but have they got the sense to know when a person in let's say a small family business has not got the cash to pay a consultant, and feels embarrassed to admit it. Short answer maybe... it takes a while to learn how to 'read people' and how to ensure the services a professional says they can provide actually matches the words.

A small business I know has been (somehow) ripe for the picking with new consultants saying they can help, they now ask just one question after the initial 'pitch' "Can you tell us why prospective customers readily go to our competition down the street and buy, and why we have not even half the prospects they do and they spend less to attract new customers? And why those that come here tell us our service is ten times better...?" they send the consultant away with a promise, "If you can clearly answer that question for us, we will hire you..." not one has returned the the past three years. :) amusing.

Business Coaching

You may not be suited to business, but then again...

Let’s face facts, many businesses fail in the early stages. Perhaps because many people have never experienced business before, and some just don’t become committed to the idea long enough to get really passionate about the whole thing. I have seen people get excited from an early age to be in business. They ask questions, do research, chat to business people, basically they get excited. When...

Business Planning

Your Incredible Business

Is  your business incredible? These eight pointers show you how you can create an incredible business. It may take some time but you can get there. I suggest you grab a pad and a pen and start adding your own depth to each of these 'meaty tidbits' of wisdom, if nothing else use it as a set of guidelines to live by in creating your business. Armed with this information the sky should be the limit...

Sales and Marketing

It's a numbers game

In business it’s all about the numbers. Profit, turnover, number of customers, quantity of stock, sales per customer, number of times the prospects see your adverts and so forth. Great to have a profit margin on items you sell (I highly recommend it) but to get people to see what you have and then turn them into customers is another thing entirely. One advert in a local paper may not get notic...

Startup

My Story: "I Never Sit Still for Very Long..."

It all started when a friend dropped in to suggest we use my technical skills and his "gift of the gab" to create a design and T-shirt print business, with a BIG focus on the T-shirts. We learnt a lot FAST -- a few good things and lots of BAD things, like if the customer is in the car out the front of the house waiting for his sporting club shirts, make sure you get them done fast… If your ...

Customer Retention

Service garbage again...

Something about bad service that I love… having the chance to moan about it. the chance to look at gaps in the system, the chance to moan some more and put forward some ideas that could help alleviate the situation. I ordered a new item, it had to be delivered, “can’t be done before Tuesday so after then, before Friday afternoon for sure” Guess what no delivery. I was reliably informed ...

Training and Development

People are only so good

I love chatting to people about business. Recently a discussion came up with a person put in to handle the Human Resources in a smallish business, little experience just the desire to do the job and the boss said yes. Heart in the right place generally a good judge of character so the mix of skills and attitude is better than someone who didn’t want to do the job. The person had to recruit an...

Sales and Marketing

Touch people, at the right time

I like to touch people, and I see that many others do too! Oh don’t get me wrong, I mean touch them in the marketing sense, what did you think I meant? Some great marketing material has been created by businesses and it seems to have missed the mark, no major boost in customer numbers or buying behaviour. Often this turns out to be because they failed to ‘touch’ the customer at the right ti...

Advertising

Frequently missing out

Are you missing out on customers through lax marketing? It can be too easy to let your marketing efforts go and miss out on opportunities to get more of the right people. I'm a talking about the frequency of your marketing efforts and getting customers to notice your business through the amount of effective adverts you put in front of them. It's surely better (in most cases) to put your message o...

Research and Innovation

Your business - You failed

I always wanted to interview business people who have failed, the type that opened up a shop and six months later BAM they’re gone. No luck as yet, most of the people who have failed like this in business I have not had any contact with. But the more you look the more you can see them (Business failures that is). There was a store here yesterday and now nothing, in fact my wife and I often have...

Business Coaching

You may not be suited to business, but then again...

Let’s face facts, many businesses fail in the early stages. Perhaps because many people have never experienced business before, and some just don’t become committed to the idea long enough to get really passionate about the whole thing. I have seen people get excited from an early age to be in business. They ask questions, do research, chat to business people, basically they get excited. When...

Business Planning

Your Incredible Business

Is  your business incredible? These eight pointers show you how you can create an incredible business. It may take some time but you can get there. I suggest you grab a pad and a pen and start adding your own depth to each of these 'meaty tidbits' of wisdom, if nothing else use it as a set of guidelines to live by in creating your business. Armed with this information the sky should be the limit...

Sales and Marketing

It's a numbers game

In business it’s all about the numbers. Profit, turnover, number of customers, quantity of stock, sales per customer, number of times the prospects see your adverts and so forth. Great to have a profit margin on items you sell (I highly recommend it) but to get people to see what you have and then turn them into customers is another thing entirely. One advert in a local paper may not get notic...

Steve Gray answered this question

Neil Steggall
Neil Steggall, Partner at Wardour Capital Partners

Business Planning

Will SME's spend & invest in consultancy skills to help build their businesses in 2014?

SMEs, a few issues to consider

- Busy - so time stops them (can't find enough if they did they might not spend it on more work related 'stuff')

- Over it... business has sapped their energy, they survive and hope for the best... not willing to try things.

- Spend, only if I have to - It's hard won $$ therefore you want it you need to be very persuasive to pry it from them.

- Consultant! - I'll do it myself, someday... (too proud to get in outside assistance).

Just a few thoughts :)

Steve Gray answered this question

Liz edgecombe
Liz edgecombe, owner at sheoak trading pty ltd

Branding

How should I rebrand my business?

My thoughts are...

1. Do an analysis of what your competition is doing.

2. Ask, "what are our ideal customers doing when they want to buy spices and how can you appeal to them with packaging, image etc.

3. What set's your spices apart from the rest, in the Supermarket the spice mixes are getting complex even for the std spice Co's.

4. What feedback have you had from what you are currently selling and how can you use that to your advantage.

5. Have you been able to create a focus group of ideal customers to chat to them about what you have?

Steve Gray answered this question

What were your experiences when hiring for the first time?

Similar to Phil, I have had to select staff based on little experience. I hope I did a good job. :)

Years later I had a position as a job search trainer so selecting staff after that wasn't too daunting. Actually day one of this job I got asked to select an assistant for my area... two choices, I made the right choice! but it took a while for me to realise that :)

In one of my businesses, I was contemplating taking on staff, had a few casuals to help out (relatives) so it was easy to have some people to give me a hand.

On a number of occasions I wanted to have a part timer, but when I NEARLY got to the point of taking that action the contract I was working on was canceled.

It would be useful to  have some form of financial device (perhaps a spread sheet?) to be able to know when you can viably take on a new person.

Steve Gray answered this question

Derek Logan
Derek Logan, Director at DAC Solutions Pty Ltd

Customer Retention

How much would this be worth to your business?

I would be overwhelmed, because I would not be able to handle that amount of traffic... It might seem like a good number but if it overwhelms prospects that's not good... :(

Steve Gray answered this question

Paul Zisson
Paul Zisson, Founder & CFO at

Social Media

How do you publish an article on social media?

Write the article on your blog, copy the link, put it up on social media with a catchy lead in.

Measure your stats via google analytics to see what's making things tick.

I often post to both facebook and LinkedIn for my business articles from the blogs I am part of.

Steve Gray answered this question

Cassidy Poon
Cassidy Poon, Head of Digital & Social Media at LogicalTech Group

Social Media

What questions should every CEO ask his CMO about social media?

Will we be able to consistently add useful information to the social sites? 

Can we ensure the quality of the information (no typos etc)?

Who will be in charge of all this?

Who will have access (on our side)?

What can we do if we get after hours spammy, hateful, trolls?

Steve Gray answered this question

Wendy Huang
Wendy Huang, Full Time Blogger and YouTuber at A Custom Blog in 4 Minutes

Business Management

What is the most useless piece of advice you received?

A huge chunk of adverts on a regional radio station. The results less than stunning. But the advice at the time seemed good, they had great stats to back it up etc.

Steve Gray answered this question

John Belchamber
John Belchamber, Owner & Senior Consultant at Invoke Results

Business Coaching

Where have all the perts gone?

Good question, I have seem a number of MBA graduates saying they can assist a person in business, I say yep go ahead, but have they got the sense to know when a person in let's say a small family business has not got the cash to pay a consultant, and feels embarrassed to admit it. Short answer maybe... it takes a while to learn how to 'read people' and how to ensure the services a professional says they can provide actually matches the words.

A small business I know has been (somehow) ripe for the picking with new consultants saying they can help, they now ask just one question after the initial 'pitch' "Can you tell us why prospective customers readily go to our competition down the street and buy, and why we have not even half the prospects they do and they spend less to attract new customers? And why those that come here tell us our service is ten times better...?" they send the consultant away with a promise, "If you can clearly answer that question for us, we will hire you..." not one has returned the the past three years. :) amusing.

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