blueskycoaching.com.au
by Tania Basheer, Publisher

10 Ways to Grow Your Business



Vol . 3, Issue 7
27 Jul 2007
  In This Issue:
Living the dream is published by Tania Basheer, Blue Sky Coaching on the 27th of every month.

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BACK ISSUES
This e-zine and all previous issues can be viewed at: blueskycoaching.com.au/ezine
 
  Welcome Quote of the Month
 

Welcome to Living the dream, my monthly e-zine written to inform, inspire and invite you to take action and start living your dream.

If you enjoy reading this e-zine, please pass it on to anyone else you think might enjoy receiving it too.

You can read previous issues or subscribe to Living the dream at www.blueskycoaching.com.au/ezine.




If you don't like who you are and where you are, don't worry about it because you're not stuck either with who you are or where you are. You can grow. You can change. You can be more than you are.

- Zig Ziglar

  Hi! From Tania
 

Hi Reader,

It's finally here - today's Jake's first birthday. Happy birthday sweetheart!

We're celebrating with a little family party at home tomorrow complete with a Simpsons birthday cake, since that's Jake's favourite TV show. Actually, he likes the Fox 8 jingle afterwards even more.

Sadly, we missed out on our Melbourne footy trip this year as we all got sick the day before we were due to go. Never mind, it did save us the misery of having to watch our footy team live, loosing by just a few points. It's a lot easier to just switch off the telly than a stadium full of opposition fans.     

Warm wishes,



Tania

Tania Basheer - Publisher
Living the dream e-zine
tania@blueskycoaching.com.au

  Feature: 10 Ways to Grow Your Business
 

Have you been in business now for 20 years or are you just starting up? 

Regardless of whether they operate a business start-up or a mature business, many business owners I talk to often say, 'I want to grow my business!'

There are many ways to grow a business - hundreds even, according to Peter Switzer, small business editor of The Australian, in his book 350 ways to grow your small business.

So, if you're a small business owner keen to grow your business, here are 10 ideas, ranging from inexpensive and relatively easy to implement, to more costly and requiring good due diligence and professional advice to get them right:

  • Write down your business expansion plans: Before you start taking any action to grow your business, invest some time in exploring your growth options. Write down and then flesh out all of the possibilities. Consider each option individually and draw out the consequences of taking each course of action in terms of how big you'd like to get, what your ongoing involvement and ownership share will be, financing required, staffing, locations, etc. This can also be a good time to consider your exit or succession plans for the business.
  • Prepare cash flow projections: Once you've identified various courses of action, get clear on the financial consequences of each one. Play out each scenario in detail so you can see the cash flow implications. This might be a good time to get your accountant involved too, to review your assumptions and provide some objective feedback. A cash flow projection will highlight if and when you might need additional finance and will help you plan for where and how you can obtain it. If you'll be requiring additional finance, whether from a bank or equity partner, or you decide to seek grant funding, all of these parties will want to see well thought-out, documented expansion plans and cash flow projections.    
  • Delegate your responsibilities: As the business owner, you'll probably need to reduce the time you invest in the day-to-day activities of the business to focus on your expansion plans. Determine which functions you're currently involved in and which of these you can delegate to others - either existing staff, new staff, or you might choose to outsource specific tasks, such as IT, marketing, bookkeeping or administration. For example, in my previous life as a chartered accountant, I acted in the role of financial controller for several weeks for a publicly listed company, while their financial controller carried out a due diligence assignment on a business their company was considering acquiring. More about mergers and acquisitions later!   
  • Get the right people in the right jobs: Be clear on the roles required to service your business as it grows and have written job descriptions in place for each role. If you've read Michael Gerber's E-Myth revisited, you'll recall how, although there might be many roles within your business, to begin with, as the business owner, you might be the person doing most if not all, of them. Once you pass on a role, however, as the business owner it's your responsibility to make clear to your employees or contractors what this role entails and what your expectations are. Hiring the right people and investing in their training and development is critical to the success of your business. A good on-line behavioural assessment tool I highly recommend to small business owners, when hiring new staff is MyProfile, see www.myprofile.com.au.     
  • Diversify your products or services: By diversifying your product or service lines you'll provide your customers with a wider selection of options which offer more opportunities for your customers to increase the size or frequency of their purchases. For example, if you're running a fitness centre, in addition to providing a pool for members' use, you might offer learn-to-swim classes, aquarobics classes for expectant mums and stock a range of funky swimwear, goggles and caps for adults and kids. Diversification of products or services can also be a way to fill seasonal lows in sales.  
  • Reward loyal customers and grow your customer base: Another way to increase sales is to reward your loyal customers with a free or bonus product or service. Many cafes do this, for example, by providing their patrons with a card entitling them to a free coffee or donut for every ten purchases they make. If you're a service business, you could create a refer-a-friend program such as the one I have where the referrer receives a gift certificate and my new client receives their first coaching session free.  
  • Tap into government grants and assistance programs: There are various government grants and programs available that can be very helpful in growing your business. In Australia, Biz Help is computer software that can help you access more than 500 free government assistance and grants programs and has been designed for small-to-medium businesses. It sets out what you need to do to qualify for funding and who to contact and costs $200 for 12 months. For details visit www.business.gov.au. 
  • Expand on-line: Having a strong web presence is another effective strategy for growing your small business and tapping into customers all over the world. Great content that attracts visitors to your site and makes them want to stay as well as a good search engine ranking, are both essential.
  • Open a new location: Moving to larger premises or opening another outlet can be a successful strategy if it's well researched and planned. To do this successfully, you must have great systems and staff already in place. When choosing a location, remember the old adage, 'location, location, location'! Don't be tempted to sign a bargain lease or purchase cheap real estate unless it 100% fits with what's best for your business. It's good practice to prepare a separate business plan for a new location or at least do a break-even analysis on it, so you are clear exactly how much money the business needs to make just to cover costs of opening the doors.  
  • Merge with or acquire another business: What might seem a quick way to potentially double the size of a business is to combine it with another one. Mergers and acquisitions, however, are anything but quick and should never be rushed in to! If you're considering a merger or acquisition, invest a lot of time into researching exactly what it is you're buying in to, to ensure a good fit between the businesses that are to be combined. Many issues need to be addressed at every stage of the merger process to ensure it goes smoothly and benefits everyone involved, so ensure that you get as much expert advice and assistance as possible along the way to avoid paying too much or making a bad fit.    

For more business, executive or life coaching tips and strategies to help you achieve your goals and create and live the life you've always wanted, as well as information on one-to-one coaching to help you get there, visit www.blueskycoaching.com.au or contact Tania by email on tania@blueskycoaching.com.au or by phone on (08) 8338 3134 or 0411 471 941.



  Blue Sky Coaching Winter Trading Hours
 

As I'm not a fan of Adelaide's freezing cold winter mornings or evenings, please note, my winter business hours until Friday 31 August are Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 10.30 am until 5.30 pm and Saturday mornings from 10.30 am until 12.30 pm. 



  Winter Special Competition
 

ENTER TODAY! Over $250 value. Winner drawn 31 August 2007.

Simply click on the competition image to enter for your chance to WIN a copy of Losing my virginity - Richard Branson - the autobiography

plus a 90-minute business coaching session (in person or by telephone) with me.

For more information about business coaching with me, visit: www.blueskycoaching.com.au/businesscoaching.php




  De-stress and Break Free with E.F.T.
 

De-stress and break free from whatever is holding you back in life with E.F.T.

Learn this powerful and fast technique now and have the tools you need at your fingertips to completely dissolve your negative emotions, thoughts or behaviours in just minutes.

Visit www.blueskycoaching.com.au/energytapping.php to find out how you can learn E.F.T. at home, or call me on (08) 8338 3134 or 0411 471 941 to arrange a personal one-to-one session with me, in person or by telephone.

p.s. As a subscriber to Living the dream ezine, you can receive any one of my E.F.T. packages free of postage charges if you enter 'ezine' in the promotional code field when you order.



  Next Month: 10 Business Exit/Succession Tips
 

Whether you're considering calling it a day in the next few years or selling your business to move on to other things, a good exit/succession plan is vital. It can be the difference between reaping the rewards of all the love and energy you've poured into your business over the years or walking away with a bad taste in your mouth. 

Next month we'll look at 10 tips for building a good business exit or succession plan. 



  Refer a Friend and Receive a $50 Myer Gift Voucher
 

Reader, I've found word-of-mouth marketing has been largely responsible for the continued growth and prosperity of my business.

So, as a token of my appreciation, you'll receive a $50 Myer gift certificate when you refer any of your family, friends or colleagues to me and they complete a business, executive or life coaching series, and your friend will receive their first coaching session free if they mention you referred them.



  Sponsors and Advertisements
 

 

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Reading this ad? Then why not place yours here. Do you have a product, service or special offer that you'd like to let over five hundred entrepreneurs, SOHO business owners, busy professionals and business executives know about?

To find out more about advertising in this e-zine and to reserve your spot for next month, e-mail Tania your details today at tania@blueskycoaching.com.au and include 'e-zine ad' in the subject line.


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