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Roland Hanekroot
Top 10% Business Growth

Founder at

Member Since November 2012

Potts Point, NSW, 2011

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I'm a small business coach, mentor, and author on a mission to help Family business and small business owners build Great Small businesses and make Business Fun. Download my book for free at: http://funinbusiness.biz

Roland Hanekroot answered this question

Do I need a business plan?

Hi Collin,Just came across your question.The simple answer is Yes... As I say: "A business without a business plan achieves everything in it"... but the trick is that all business plans were not created equal.First you need to decide what the purpose of your business plan is. If the purpose of the plan is to impress the bank to give you a loan, the document you need to create is very different from a plan that is meant to help you focus on your priorities for the coming year.Also, You need to understand that an effective plan is never about the document (Unless is it created to impress the bank), but it is always about the work that goes into created the plan. Plans are guesses at the best of times, so often the document will be out of date the moment you've created it. but the work that goes into creating the plan is invaluable. Hope that helps, I can go on and on about planning, and I often do... let me know if you have more questionscheersroland

Roland Hanekroot answered this question

What's the value of hiring a business coach/consultant?

Hi George,I am a business coach, I'll say that up front so obviously I am biased, but the point I want to make is this: You can't actually answer the question you asked. There are great coaches and there are not so great coaches and what's moresome coaches are systems driven (they have a system and they help you implement the system in your business) and others are completely person focused (they help you become a better business owner) and others are somewhere in between.And finally... whether or not you will get value from an engagement with a business coach is just as much dependent on you as it is on him or her. You have to be ready, you have to be clear what it is you want to achieve, you have to be prepared to change and do the work and set the time aside, and you have to be coachable, meaning, you have to be open to feedback and input and being held accountable and being asked the questions you may not want to hear.You're right there's thousands of business coaches... how do you decide which one is right for you? trial and error. Look for a coach who is prepared to give you one or more trial sessions and who has a system for trying out the engagement and then get some recommendations and try out 2 or 3 or 4That's the only wayHope that helpscheersrolandPS... happy to have a 30 minute discovery conversation with you of course... drop me a line

Roland Hanekroot answered this question

How to get my name out there?

Hey Jake,John Eustace's answers above are perfect and I'll add my own thoughts as well.Famous marketing guru Seth Godin said once:"To be successful in business you only have to do two things:1) Do great work2) Make sure lots of people know about it"And that's so true.If you do great work, and you make sure you let lots of people know, you'll have people walking down your door over time, because your competition will either not do number 1 or omit to do number 290% of small businesses neglect one or the other of the two statements above.so here's my tips:1) Do really really great work... consistently, every time... the kind of work that makes people go: Holy cow, these guys were so good, clean tidy organised, professional... and they pl;ugged in my TV, made sure it was working and left a bottle of wine and some cheese and crackers behind so I could enjoy my first night in the new house"... wow... I'm going to tell all my friends... 2) and you make sure they have a few of your cards (better yet, fridge magnets) that you leave behind with the bottle of wine 3) and you send them a follow up email with a request to put a simple testimonial on your facebook page and ask them to like the facebook page... and some more things like that... as John Eustace says above... there are like ten thousand things you could do... but keep coming back to those two rules above.4) And a month later or 3 months later you send another little follow up thing... or you take a photo during the move, when it's at it's absolute messiest and then 3 months later you send them the photo with the caption: "Remember that day?" Hope you're enjoying your new home... and a reminder to share the photo on their facebook updates with your company name attachedIf you do that kind of stuff... consistently, in less than two years you'll be posting questions here about how to handle all the workI promise you(Oh yes... and join a good local BNI chapter... a good BNI chapter is gold for removalists)

Roland Hanekroot answered this question

Housing affordability: Should we limit/scrap negative gearing?

Yes, I think negative gearing should be scrapped... over time... I think a wind down period of 10 or even 20 years maybe, will have a positive effect, couple with making mortgage interest on your own home, principle place of residence, tax deductible, to encourage home ownership... I think it will also lead to higher quality and better considered and designed home building in this country.

Roland Hanekroot answered this question

Should we legislate the paying time to protect SME’s cash flow?

I have to say I'm not a fan of legislating for good behaviour, especially not as it relates to business to business commerce. Besides that that I don't understand how a law like that could ever be enforceable.I think the biggest problem is with small business itself. Small business owners simply do not take the time to develop, implement and consistently apply realistic payment terms and collection systems.I have found that when thinking properly about how to set up your payment terms, how to ensure that clients understand them and how to ensure that payments are collected as per the terms, that 75% of the problem of overdue payments goes away. The final 25% never goes away and as a small business owner you must simply resolve to stop doing business with customers who don't pay on time.... Life's too short.A well thought out collections system that's applied and run like a well-oiled machine... relentlessly, and that includes as a final automatic step sending the bill off to a collections agent, whose fees are added to the outstanding debt, automatically, sends a message to recalcitrant payers that they m,ight as well pay up, because it's only going to cost them more money in the end and most recalcitrant payers are not of bad faith, but they simply have their own cash flow challenges and they pay the squeaky wheel first

Business Planning

Fun In Business: Are we having Fun yet?

How do we measure Fun in Business and what's in it for the cows? Just because it’s improved the life of cows, doesn’t mean money will improve all life at all times. In the first article in the series: “All that matters in Business is Fun”, I explained that looking at making money as the ultimate Purpose of business is short sighted and sad and leads to regrettable outcomes in our societi...

Business Growth

Fun in Business is all that matters

Are you sick of the one-dimensionality of the profit motive too? If you are like most people on this planet you’ve probably heard it said that the purpose of business is to make money, the more the better, it’s the beginning the middle and the end of business; Maximising Shareholder Value, it’s often referred to. Most business commentators and teachers and gurus and journalists and analy...

Roland Hanekroot answered this question

When should a business focus on growth over profits?

Short answer:... never... growth for growth sake is plain silly... it's not a business model... a business that doesn't make profit, isn't a business, it is a hobby.I know I know... Amazon didn't make a profit for many years... true... but all the time it wasn't making a profit, it wasn't actually a business.But as far as small business is concerned: Don't focus on growth or marketshare or something silly like that... worry about three things: Margin, Margin and MarginAnd nothing elsecheersroland

Roland Hanekroot answered this question

How and where do you get leads?

It's a pretty broad question Phil... it so much depends on the type of business you have. If tyour business is about selling a business to business service, nothing is more effective than word of mouth... people do business with people they know like and trust ... that's the old saying and that is true for most businesses... it starts with people and it has to end with trust. Even when I buy milk from the corner shop, I have to have a certain level of trust in the show owner... I need to trust that they've looked after the milk properly, serviced their fridges regularly, not left the milk out in the sun, etc etc.... and if i want to buy the services from a financial adviser I need to have an entirely different level of trust, before i will buy from a particular adviser.One of the best ways to build referral, word of mouth businesses is through existing clients, as Jef mentions, and another great approach is joining a business referral net work, such as BNI there are chapters in every city and every state).But if you are selling a widget through the internet... different story altogether... Facebook advertising... google adwords... SEO... you name itcheersroland

Roland Hanekroot answered this question

What is the main difference between successful SMEs and franchises?

Tricky question Yee,In my experience it's all about two questions:1) What is the Purpose of this business, why does it exist, and why would anybody care?2) What is the most valuable use of my time.To build a successful growth business, you have start to build a model that just works, that offers something unique and different, that addresses a real need. and you have to have absolute clarity about that. Not unless you meet those criteria, can you hope to turn it into a real growth model.and the second question is all about the calrity that the most important asset/ resource of your business is actually your time (and your brain cells) everything else you can buy or hire or borrow more of but your time is absolutely limited. So you need to develop a discipline to always ask yourself if what you are doing right now is the best use of that most valuable resource of your business.

Roland Hanekroot answered this question

Whoare the best people to connect to help start a community service based business?

Hi Allison, A really good organisation in Aus is the BEC, business enterprise centres. They run all kinds of mentoring and support programs for people who are in the early startup stages of business. They are in all kinds of places... go to their website to find out more: https://www.becaustralia.org.au/ good luck with it cheers roland

Business Growth

Small Business: How To Grow and How Not To Grow

Growing Your Small Business Safely and With Control Most of us small business owners want to grow our businesses beyond where we are now. I get it, I want to grow my own business a bit further myself. After all, we are told that: Growth is good. But besides the fact that there is such a thing as enough (more about the concept of enough in my article on the business growth myth here) there is a...

Business Coaching

Profits are "Liabilities"

For my birthday this year, I want my business to grow by 50%. Would you like one of those birthday presents too? Ok that can be organised, but what about next year? Ah, yes, of course we actually want our businesses to continue to grow next year and the year after. If your business is growing by more than a modest inflation-like rate or thereabouts, there is one key “factor” you MUST contin...

Assembling Mentors, Advisors and Board Members

The Secret No Business Coach Will Tell You

Change is all about commitment. Taking on a business coach such as myself can transform your business and your life. I know it can, I’ve seen it time and time again, across the last 12 years.I suppose I would say that, right? After all, it is in my interest to say so. That may be true. but let me tell you something you wouldn’t expect me to say: The most important reason taking me on is...

Sales and Marketing

The Truth About Sales - Nothing Happens Until We Sell Something

You may have the most beautiful website, the most effective systems, the most reliable products and the friendliest staff but unless and until you sell your stuff, enough of it and at prices that allow you to pay for the websites and the staff and the products and have money left over, you do not have a business, but a boat anchor. Sales is hard... it is, don't let anyone tell you it isn't. Very f...

Cashflow Management

Why cash is more important than profit

Why cash is more important than profit ? What does it take to make a success of your small business… how can you avoid adding to those frightening statistics about failure rates of small business? So....What do you need to know about financial management and how do you need to apply that knowledge to put your business on a solid financial footing? 3 Principles There are 3 principles you ...

Team Management

How to get and keep great employees

What if I told you that people don’t work for money! Research all over the world carried out across many different industry sectors, ages, genders, races and cultures consistently indicates that people are primarily not motivated by how much they get paid. The most important factors that determine how happy an employee is in a  job and how effective and productive they are are as follows:...

Business Coaching

If you do what you usually do, you get what you usually get

Those who know me, know I have a penchant for soapboxes. I have a large variety of these wonderful contraptions and can get very excited about all of them (not always appropriately I might add). One of my favoured soapboxes revolves around this question: Who do you need to be to have the business you want to have? I have done a lot of reading, studying and reflecting over the last couple of ye...

Business Coaching

Metrics which matter as a business owner

Amazon stocks some 11,000 titles in the category “Small Business Management”, and although I can’t profess to have read them all, I am reasonably sure that very few will give you this simple bit of advice:  Experimentation and measurement are the most powerful business management tools any business owner can ever employ. Did your ever hear your dad/ grand father/ uncle utter these word...

Business Coaching

Is it time to chuck a sickie?

Why should your staff have all the fun? Yesterday on the way in to the office you got a text message from one of your guys, Jimmy, saying he wasn’t coming in because he was sick. Jimmy didn’t really look all that sick to you the day before, chances are he’d just had a big night and wanted to sleep off his hangover. So how come your staff get to do that? You run around all day, always an...

Entrepreneurship

The problem with goal setting

I’ve got a big Goal! “In January 2024, I am delivering a talk to a global audience at a TED conference in either the USA or the UK, about Small business, Overwhelm, Fun in Business, and the Business Growth myth.” I committed to this Goal a few months ago and let me tell you, as Goals go, it’s a big one. To achieve it I have to not only step outside my comfort zone, I have to shut the d...

Roland Hanekroot answered this question

What content for newsletter would make you read one?

Hi all,

Love the comments above... I am wrestling with this whole topic myself and have wrestled with it for years now. I have sent many email newsletters to my database through mailchimp and I take a lot of time to write them and they are never "salesy" always intended to actually share some useful information for my target market.. small business owners.

The one thing I avoid like the plague is writing emails with "The ten top tips for..." because I hate them myself and I don't want to add to the rubbish that fills our inboxes and so I try to write considered useful and thoght provoking pieces (sometimes more succesfully than others of course) ... but here is the kicker... it seems as if there is no rhyme or reason to why people open and click on the emails... I can not find any common threads, besides obvious ones... there seems to be very little I can do to get above 30% open rate and it virtually doesn't matter what I do, I always keep the open rate above 20%... It stumps me completely ...

Now please don't you all start sending me special offers to fix my problems... I am just interested in the discussion and the insights from people who have had expericne in the area.

 

Business Coaching

Your customers, their amygdala and the tale of the sabre-tooth tigers.

~~There is a small almond shaped region in our brains, called the “Amygdala”. It is one of the most primitive regions deep in the base of our brains. As business owners we need to get intimately acquainted with this lump of cells in your clients’ brains, and how it affects their decision making processes. It is your clients’ Amygdala, more than anything else that decides if they are goin...

Business Management

Overwhelm and the small business owner

The Oxford dictionary defines Overwhelm as: “Bury or drown beneath a huge mass of something” This is my definition: When we are in a state of overwhelm, we have a sense of being ill-equipped to deal with the demands that are placed on us, in other words, we feel like there is too much to deal with right now. Being in a state of overwhelm is no picnic. Overwhelm is a major cause of stress, ...

Business Coaching

The problem with profit

Focusing on profit as the Purpose of your business, has one major flaw: Your customers have no interest in supporting you to make money. They are quite happy for you to make a profit, but only after you have met their needs first. There is a beautiful video on Youtube by Simon Sinek (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u4ZoJKF_VuA&feature=youtu.be) another bestselling business author and managem...

Business Coaching

Enough, or why it’s time to send Richard Branson back to his island

I’ve had an insight in the last 6 months and I have to make an admission: One of the pillars and accepted principles of my profession of business coaching, is wrong. Nonsense Twaddle Complete Rubbish The principle I refer to is this: If your business doesn’t grow, it die Every business coach, guru, mentor, consultant, author, academic and MBA student will tell you that this is a founda...

Business Growth

Blue Oceans and Empty Swimming Pools, business lessons from an Italian swimming pool

A few years ago I spent 4 months in Italy looking for the answer to the meaning of Life, the Universe and Everything. Sitting on piazza’s, sipping espresso, licking gelato and letting the Universe speak to me without distraction felt like a good idea. (By the way, it was a good idea and She did speak to me, but that is another story!)  One of the many exciting experiences I had while in Italy ...

Business Management

Hard work never made anyone rich... Lessons from a fallen tree

I went for a big bushwalk by myself recently. One of the reasons for doing so was because I felt stuck writing this article. While listening to the birds, enjoying being by myself in the bush and giving my brain some space away from my business, I found the missing link that allowed me to become unstuck.  Walking along in the National Park, I stumbled on an enormous fallen tree, blocking the pat...

Roland Hanekroot answered this question

Nick Chernih
Nick Chernih, Founder at LinkBuildSEO

Outsourcing

What exactly is a personal concierge?

Hi Nick, I know a couple of personal concierges. They are people who do the stuff you don't have time for... whatever that is, personally or in business. my mate Adrian McGowage from someone lifestyle services http://www.someone.com.au/  goes shopping at Ikea and Costco for people, waters their plants when they are away, lets the plumber in when the toilet needs fixing, organises birthday parties for people...etc etc etc... busy people who don't get their "stuff" done because they are so busy.
does that help?
cheers
Roland

Business Planning

Fun In Business: Are we having Fun yet?

How do we measure Fun in Business and what's in it for the cows? Just because it’s improved the life of cows, doesn’t mean money will improve all life at all times. In the first article in the series: “All that matters in Business is Fun”, I explained that looking at making money as the ultimate Purpose of business is short sighted and sad and leads to regrettable outcomes in our societi...

Business Growth

Fun in Business is all that matters

Are you sick of the one-dimensionality of the profit motive too? If you are like most people on this planet you’ve probably heard it said that the purpose of business is to make money, the more the better, it’s the beginning the middle and the end of business; Maximising Shareholder Value, it’s often referred to. Most business commentators and teachers and gurus and journalists and analy...

Business Growth

Small Business: How To Grow and How Not To Grow

Growing Your Small Business Safely and With Control Most of us small business owners want to grow our businesses beyond where we are now. I get it, I want to grow my own business a bit further myself. After all, we are told that: Growth is good. But besides the fact that there is such a thing as enough (more about the concept of enough in my article on the business growth myth here) there is a...

Assembling Mentors, Advisors and Board Members

The Secret No Business Coach Will Tell You

Change is all about commitment. Taking on a business coach such as myself can transform your business and your life. I know it can, I’ve seen it time and time again, across the last 12 years.I suppose I would say that, right? After all, it is in my interest to say so. That may be true. but let me tell you something you wouldn’t expect me to say: The most important reason taking me on is...

Sales and Marketing

The Truth About Sales - Nothing Happens Until We Sell Something

You may have the most beautiful website, the most effective systems, the most reliable products and the friendliest staff but unless and until you sell your stuff, enough of it and at prices that allow you to pay for the websites and the staff and the products and have money left over, you do not have a business, but a boat anchor. Sales is hard... it is, don't let anyone tell you it isn't. Very f...

Cashflow Management

Why cash is more important than profit

Why cash is more important than profit ? What does it take to make a success of your small business… how can you avoid adding to those frightening statistics about failure rates of small business? So....What do you need to know about financial management and how do you need to apply that knowledge to put your business on a solid financial footing? 3 Principles There are 3 principles you ...

Team Management

How to get and keep great employees

What if I told you that people don’t work for money! Research all over the world carried out across many different industry sectors, ages, genders, races and cultures consistently indicates that people are primarily not motivated by how much they get paid. The most important factors that determine how happy an employee is in a  job and how effective and productive they are are as follows:...

Business Coaching

If you do what you usually do, you get what you usually get

Those who know me, know I have a penchant for soapboxes. I have a large variety of these wonderful contraptions and can get very excited about all of them (not always appropriately I might add). One of my favoured soapboxes revolves around this question: Who do you need to be to have the business you want to have? I have done a lot of reading, studying and reflecting over the last couple of ye...

Business Coaching

Metrics which matter as a business owner

Amazon stocks some 11,000 titles in the category “Small Business Management”, and although I can’t profess to have read them all, I am reasonably sure that very few will give you this simple bit of advice:  Experimentation and measurement are the most powerful business management tools any business owner can ever employ. Did your ever hear your dad/ grand father/ uncle utter these word...

Business Coaching

Is it time to chuck a sickie?

Why should your staff have all the fun? Yesterday on the way in to the office you got a text message from one of your guys, Jimmy, saying he wasn’t coming in because he was sick. Jimmy didn’t really look all that sick to you the day before, chances are he’d just had a big night and wanted to sleep off his hangover. So how come your staff get to do that? You run around all day, always an...

Entrepreneurship

The problem with goal setting

I’ve got a big Goal! “In January 2024, I am delivering a talk to a global audience at a TED conference in either the USA or the UK, about Small business, Overwhelm, Fun in Business, and the Business Growth myth.” I committed to this Goal a few months ago and let me tell you, as Goals go, it’s a big one. To achieve it I have to not only step outside my comfort zone, I have to shut the d...

Business Coaching

Your customers, their amygdala and the tale of the sabre-tooth tigers.

~~There is a small almond shaped region in our brains, called the “Amygdala”. It is one of the most primitive regions deep in the base of our brains. As business owners we need to get intimately acquainted with this lump of cells in your clients’ brains, and how it affects their decision making processes. It is your clients’ Amygdala, more than anything else that decides if they are goin...

Business Coaching

Profits are "Liabilities"

For my birthday this year, I want my business to grow by 50%. Would you like one of those birthday presents too? Ok that can be organised, but what about next year? Ah, yes, of course we actually want our businesses to continue to grow next year and the year after. If your business is growing by more than a modest inflation-like rate or thereabouts, there is one key “factor” you MUST contin...

Business Management

Overwhelm and the small business owner

The Oxford dictionary defines Overwhelm as: “Bury or drown beneath a huge mass of something” This is my definition: When we are in a state of overwhelm, we have a sense of being ill-equipped to deal with the demands that are placed on us, in other words, we feel like there is too much to deal with right now. Being in a state of overwhelm is no picnic. Overwhelm is a major cause of stress, ...

Business Coaching

The problem with profit

Focusing on profit as the Purpose of your business, has one major flaw: Your customers have no interest in supporting you to make money. They are quite happy for you to make a profit, but only after you have met their needs first. There is a beautiful video on Youtube by Simon Sinek (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u4ZoJKF_VuA&feature=youtu.be) another bestselling business author and managem...

Business Coaching

Enough, or why it’s time to send Richard Branson back to his island

I’ve had an insight in the last 6 months and I have to make an admission: One of the pillars and accepted principles of my profession of business coaching, is wrong. Nonsense Twaddle Complete Rubbish The principle I refer to is this: If your business doesn’t grow, it die Every business coach, guru, mentor, consultant, author, academic and MBA student will tell you that this is a founda...

Business Management

Hard work never made anyone rich... Lessons from a fallen tree

I went for a big bushwalk by myself recently. One of the reasons for doing so was because I felt stuck writing this article. While listening to the birds, enjoying being by myself in the bush and giving my brain some space away from my business, I found the missing link that allowed me to become unstuck.  Walking along in the National Park, I stumbled on an enormous fallen tree, blocking the pat...

Business Growth

Blue Oceans and Empty Swimming Pools, business lessons from an Italian swimming pool

A few years ago I spent 4 months in Italy looking for the answer to the meaning of Life, the Universe and Everything. Sitting on piazza’s, sipping espresso, licking gelato and letting the Universe speak to me without distraction felt like a good idea. (By the way, it was a good idea and She did speak to me, but that is another story!)  One of the many exciting experiences I had while in Italy ...

Roland Hanekroot answered this question

Do I need a business plan?

Hi Collin,Just came across your question.The simple answer is Yes... As I say: "A business without a business plan achieves everything in it"... but the trick is that all business plans were not created equal.First you need to decide what the purpose of your business plan is. If the purpose of the plan is to impress the bank to give you a loan, the document you need to create is very different from a plan that is meant to help you focus on your priorities for the coming year.Also, You need to understand that an effective plan is never about the document (Unless is it created to impress the bank), but it is always about the work that goes into created the plan. Plans are guesses at the best of times, so often the document will be out of date the moment you've created it. but the work that goes into creating the plan is invaluable. Hope that helps, I can go on and on about planning, and I often do... let me know if you have more questionscheersroland

Roland Hanekroot answered this question

What's the value of hiring a business coach/consultant?

Hi George,I am a business coach, I'll say that up front so obviously I am biased, but the point I want to make is this: You can't actually answer the question you asked. There are great coaches and there are not so great coaches and what's moresome coaches are systems driven (they have a system and they help you implement the system in your business) and others are completely person focused (they help you become a better business owner) and others are somewhere in between.And finally... whether or not you will get value from an engagement with a business coach is just as much dependent on you as it is on him or her. You have to be ready, you have to be clear what it is you want to achieve, you have to be prepared to change and do the work and set the time aside, and you have to be coachable, meaning, you have to be open to feedback and input and being held accountable and being asked the questions you may not want to hear.You're right there's thousands of business coaches... how do you decide which one is right for you? trial and error. Look for a coach who is prepared to give you one or more trial sessions and who has a system for trying out the engagement and then get some recommendations and try out 2 or 3 or 4That's the only wayHope that helpscheersrolandPS... happy to have a 30 minute discovery conversation with you of course... drop me a line

Roland Hanekroot answered this question

How to get my name out there?

Hey Jake,John Eustace's answers above are perfect and I'll add my own thoughts as well.Famous marketing guru Seth Godin said once:"To be successful in business you only have to do two things:1) Do great work2) Make sure lots of people know about it"And that's so true.If you do great work, and you make sure you let lots of people know, you'll have people walking down your door over time, because your competition will either not do number 1 or omit to do number 290% of small businesses neglect one or the other of the two statements above.so here's my tips:1) Do really really great work... consistently, every time... the kind of work that makes people go: Holy cow, these guys were so good, clean tidy organised, professional... and they pl;ugged in my TV, made sure it was working and left a bottle of wine and some cheese and crackers behind so I could enjoy my first night in the new house"... wow... I'm going to tell all my friends... 2) and you make sure they have a few of your cards (better yet, fridge magnets) that you leave behind with the bottle of wine 3) and you send them a follow up email with a request to put a simple testimonial on your facebook page and ask them to like the facebook page... and some more things like that... as John Eustace says above... there are like ten thousand things you could do... but keep coming back to those two rules above.4) And a month later or 3 months later you send another little follow up thing... or you take a photo during the move, when it's at it's absolute messiest and then 3 months later you send them the photo with the caption: "Remember that day?" Hope you're enjoying your new home... and a reminder to share the photo on their facebook updates with your company name attachedIf you do that kind of stuff... consistently, in less than two years you'll be posting questions here about how to handle all the workI promise you(Oh yes... and join a good local BNI chapter... a good BNI chapter is gold for removalists)

Roland Hanekroot answered this question

Housing affordability: Should we limit/scrap negative gearing?

Yes, I think negative gearing should be scrapped... over time... I think a wind down period of 10 or even 20 years maybe, will have a positive effect, couple with making mortgage interest on your own home, principle place of residence, tax deductible, to encourage home ownership... I think it will also lead to higher quality and better considered and designed home building in this country.

Roland Hanekroot answered this question

Should we legislate the paying time to protect SME’s cash flow?

I have to say I'm not a fan of legislating for good behaviour, especially not as it relates to business to business commerce. Besides that that I don't understand how a law like that could ever be enforceable.I think the biggest problem is with small business itself. Small business owners simply do not take the time to develop, implement and consistently apply realistic payment terms and collection systems.I have found that when thinking properly about how to set up your payment terms, how to ensure that clients understand them and how to ensure that payments are collected as per the terms, that 75% of the problem of overdue payments goes away. The final 25% never goes away and as a small business owner you must simply resolve to stop doing business with customers who don't pay on time.... Life's too short.A well thought out collections system that's applied and run like a well-oiled machine... relentlessly, and that includes as a final automatic step sending the bill off to a collections agent, whose fees are added to the outstanding debt, automatically, sends a message to recalcitrant payers that they m,ight as well pay up, because it's only going to cost them more money in the end and most recalcitrant payers are not of bad faith, but they simply have their own cash flow challenges and they pay the squeaky wheel first

Roland Hanekroot answered this question

When should a business focus on growth over profits?

Short answer:... never... growth for growth sake is plain silly... it's not a business model... a business that doesn't make profit, isn't a business, it is a hobby.I know I know... Amazon didn't make a profit for many years... true... but all the time it wasn't making a profit, it wasn't actually a business.But as far as small business is concerned: Don't focus on growth or marketshare or something silly like that... worry about three things: Margin, Margin and MarginAnd nothing elsecheersroland

Roland Hanekroot answered this question

How and where do you get leads?

It's a pretty broad question Phil... it so much depends on the type of business you have. If tyour business is about selling a business to business service, nothing is more effective than word of mouth... people do business with people they know like and trust ... that's the old saying and that is true for most businesses... it starts with people and it has to end with trust. Even when I buy milk from the corner shop, I have to have a certain level of trust in the show owner... I need to trust that they've looked after the milk properly, serviced their fridges regularly, not left the milk out in the sun, etc etc.... and if i want to buy the services from a financial adviser I need to have an entirely different level of trust, before i will buy from a particular adviser.One of the best ways to build referral, word of mouth businesses is through existing clients, as Jef mentions, and another great approach is joining a business referral net work, such as BNI there are chapters in every city and every state).But if you are selling a widget through the internet... different story altogether... Facebook advertising... google adwords... SEO... you name itcheersroland

Roland Hanekroot answered this question

What is the main difference between successful SMEs and franchises?

Tricky question Yee,In my experience it's all about two questions:1) What is the Purpose of this business, why does it exist, and why would anybody care?2) What is the most valuable use of my time.To build a successful growth business, you have start to build a model that just works, that offers something unique and different, that addresses a real need. and you have to have absolute clarity about that. Not unless you meet those criteria, can you hope to turn it into a real growth model.and the second question is all about the calrity that the most important asset/ resource of your business is actually your time (and your brain cells) everything else you can buy or hire or borrow more of but your time is absolutely limited. So you need to develop a discipline to always ask yourself if what you are doing right now is the best use of that most valuable resource of your business.

Roland Hanekroot answered this question

Whoare the best people to connect to help start a community service based business?

Hi Allison, A really good organisation in Aus is the BEC, business enterprise centres. They run all kinds of mentoring and support programs for people who are in the early startup stages of business. They are in all kinds of places... go to their website to find out more: https://www.becaustralia.org.au/ good luck with it cheers roland

Roland Hanekroot answered this question

What content for newsletter would make you read one?

Hi all,

Love the comments above... I am wrestling with this whole topic myself and have wrestled with it for years now. I have sent many email newsletters to my database through mailchimp and I take a lot of time to write them and they are never "salesy" always intended to actually share some useful information for my target market.. small business owners.

The one thing I avoid like the plague is writing emails with "The ten top tips for..." because I hate them myself and I don't want to add to the rubbish that fills our inboxes and so I try to write considered useful and thoght provoking pieces (sometimes more succesfully than others of course) ... but here is the kicker... it seems as if there is no rhyme or reason to why people open and click on the emails... I can not find any common threads, besides obvious ones... there seems to be very little I can do to get above 30% open rate and it virtually doesn't matter what I do, I always keep the open rate above 20%... It stumps me completely ...

Now please don't you all start sending me special offers to fix my problems... I am just interested in the discussion and the insights from people who have had expericne in the area.

 

Roland Hanekroot answered this question

Nick Chernih
Nick Chernih, Founder at LinkBuildSEO

Outsourcing

What exactly is a personal concierge?

Hi Nick, I know a couple of personal concierges. They are people who do the stuff you don't have time for... whatever that is, personally or in business. my mate Adrian McGowage from someone lifestyle services http://www.someone.com.au/  goes shopping at Ikea and Costco for people, waters their plants when they are away, lets the plumber in when the toilet needs fixing, organises birthday parties for people...etc etc etc... busy people who don't get their "stuff" done because they are so busy.
does that help?
cheers
Roland

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