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Advice from Outside the Square

Category Archives: Business

10 Tips to Avoid Insolvency

It is a tough world out there for small business at the moment. Interest rates are bottoming out yet not much consumer spending is being seen. Here in Perth, iconic restaurants and pubs are closing down, strip shops are empty, fashion labels are rationalising their stores and outlets. While we cannot succumb to all this bad news, and we must look forward to our continued success in business, nevertheless you cannot simply ignore what's going on. No matter how many times you visualise success, if you don't do something tangible, those problems are going to come and get you. (more…)...
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Creating An “Advisory Board” For Your Small Business

In larger companies, establishing an Advisory Board is becoming more commonplace as these large businesses seek to add to the value and experience of their Board of Directors. This is a trend that can also be of great help to a small business, whether you are operating as a company or not. Most of my clients and readers run family-owned companies or husband and wife operations. Their Boards of Directors are usually the owners. While this provides control of ownership, it does not provide these businesses with fresh perspectives on strategy, reaction to economic trends, specific industry or geographic experience as well as on markets and legal and legislative circumstances. Knowing your business in and out is great - but think of the added value of a pool of new minds that have a different and fresh perspective on the wider business world. (more…)...
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Are You Starting Your First Business? Get These 6 Things Right!

Are you starting your first business? If you are like most people who want to start their own business people, you probably decided to do so because you are an expert in what you do, you believe you can do it better as your own boss, and you want your independence and ability to do it your own way. Today, this seems even more possible due to the technology that you can use from home or a shared space that allows you to keep costs down when you start up. While there are even government websites encouraging you (there’s one that has a header “Open for Business: Simple, Fast, Easy) headlines still exist that shout out nearly 80% of businesses close within 18 months of starting – and you can bet most of these are micro, small, and "kitchen table" businesses. Nevertheless, our enthusiasm as human beings for the life of freedom is boundless, and once you conquer the fear of failure, most of us grasp the chance and plunge in. The question is not “will you start your own business” but “how will you start your business with least risk of failure”. So here are the 6 things I believe you need, gleaned from...
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4 Keys To A Successful Direct Marketing Campaign

In tight economic times, small business owners can be tempted to retreat into their shell. To get through tough times, small business owners look at cost savings, financial controls and cutting expenditure. However if this is done in isolation, that is, if you rush to control costs without also looking at the top line, your bottom line will shrink anyway! Counter-intuitive as it is for small business owners in a period of financial slow-down, small businesses must continue marketing efforts and not look to cut these as if they were discretionary costs. “Marketing” is not just “advertising” which is what small business owners think when they think of marketing. In fact, advertising may be your least effective marketing cost in a shrinking economy. The important thing is to get a good rate of return for your marketing dollar and you get this by implementing effective marketing techniques. Effective marketing is the type of marketing that gets your name out there with its “brand” attached in the most cost-effective way. This can be added-value service, it can be increased contact with customers – this type of marketing can include less-cost or no-cost vehicles. Direct marketing is not necessarily no-cost but a large part of the effort can be...
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