General

How to Go Out of Business

Posted by Andrew Baird on March 31, 2010
General / No Comments

A fantastic new Mexican place I had been frequenting has gone out of business. They were presenting authentic Mexican food, tasty sauces and exquisite presentation. The problem? Wrong market.

They were in a food court – admittedly in an up market area – but you’re still competing with other businesses that can serve food faster and at much lower prices. It was a restaurant experience through and through but in the wrong location.

Make sure you serve the right market – give them what they want and keep your tills ringing!

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The Right Tools for The Job

Posted by Andrew Baird on November 18, 2009
Business, Family, General / No Comments

So I was making our breakfast shake this morning – our usual breakfast unless I’m making pikelets – and I noticed that a rubber foot had come off the blender.  No worries I think, I’ll just pop it back in the slot.

Hmmmm, wait on…this doesn’t seem right.

In my hurry to get it back in I had stuck it in the wrong hole – okay no worries I can just grab that out like…

No, it seems I can’t.  It’s stuck.

After drinking the shake I came back and had another go with chopsticks – no dice.  Ahh ha, pocket knife I’m thinking and I get it out and whip out the tweezers.  I’m certain I’m going to get it out now.  Much poking and grabbing and holding the blender over my head and…

Hmmm I seem to have wedged it further in.

At this point I seriously consider giving up, it’s stuck in the narrowing pipe (why would that be on the bottom of the blender anyway???) but I go back to the pocket knife and think “Can I use this some other way?”  Well there’s a toothpick but – wait a minute what about the corkscrew.  Put it in gently and out it pops.

First time, no effort at all – the exact right tool for the job.

And how often is it like this in life and in Business where we try and solve a problem and NOTHING works.  And we start to go – well this problem just can’t be solved, this job just can’t be done – when actually we’re just not approaching it right – we’re not using The Right Tools for The Job.

And this is a critical distinction for us to make – and very important too – I know a lot of times in my business I’ve started down a path and met with failure and it’s very easy to go “well it can’t be done”.  Rather than asking “How can it be done?” and “Did I approach this in the right way?”  Let’s look at a specific example.

One year we did a promotion for an Event using a new website domain and a series of videos to engage an audience and help them understand what to look for in such an event.  Then we went on to recommend the event once they went through the course.  Now the strategy was not flawed and we also ended up with a new website asset at the end of the promotion.

However it was not the Right Tool for The job – and how did we end up in this situation?  Well I jumped in to the first big idea I had with my Entrepreneurial feet – rather than reflecting on the different tools I could use for promoting the Event.  It doesn’t mean that the promotion was a failure – but it was harder than it needed to be (and most likely we didn’t get as big a result as we could have).

Remember that whilst action is incredibly important to grow your business (and as a general rule better than in-action ;) having a plan and consciously reviewing and refining something before putting it into action is also important.  Often we sit on one side of the spectrum or the other – and it’s important to have a balance.  If you love to plan – make sure you put those plans into action AND if you love to take action make sure you have some kind of plan that you are taking action on.

So next time you find yourself struggling to get something to work ask yourself – am I approaching this in the right way and with the right tools?  Let me know if you’ve come across this in your business and how you handled it.

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Don’t Start if You’re a Non-Starter

Posted by Andrew Baird on October 26, 2009
Business, General / No Comments

In Business and in life it’s as important to know What Not to Do as well as What to Do – often people fall into one camp or the other so work out which one you sit in and see if the flip side is a blind spot for you…

This post is for entrepreneurs who expect success to come packaged exactly as they expect with no need to join the dots.  No need to think outside the box – or work to make things fit.  In my experience this is a big What Not to Do that people often fail to see.

I needed to catch a cab in the city the other day and I didn’t have any cash on me – so I was intending on paying using EFTPOS (a debit card).  Open the first cab door “Do you have EFTPOS?”, “No…”  Shut the first cab door.

Open the second cab door “Do you have EFTPOS?”, “No, but there’s a cash machine just across the road – I’ll drive you there.”  Well sure I’ll jump right in.  Now this is smart on a number of levels – number one he’s thinking on his feet.  When I ask him a question and he gives me a different answer to the one I want he’s ready with a quick solution.

Secondly it’s making him more money – twice!  First he got the sale (versus the first guy who let it walk off) and secondly he’s driving me across the road (like 10 metres away) and turning on his meter earlier and making more money, fantastic!

Now maybe the first guy didn’t know that there was a cash machine across the road – but there were other ways he could have solved the problem.  Fact is he didn’t really want to be making money – the second guy did.  He used his ingenuity to come up with a quick solution to his customers problem to doing business with him.

So now it’s time to ask yourself the question – where is a lack of ingenuity costing you money?  Where are you not solving problems for your customers that allows you to provide them more value and put more money in your wallet.

Andrew.

P.S. If you fall in the same camp as the first guy and you’re going “Ouch – I don’t really want to be making money???”  Don’t beat yourself up about this – learn the lesson and get focused on what you need to do to make the money.  The point of this post is to help you come on over to the money side if that’s where you want to be.

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Where have You Been?

Posted by Andrew Baird on July 01, 2009
Business, Fun, General / No Comments

So it’s been a while since I did a post, I even have four posts written that I haven’t put up yet so the question is why?

Well today is July 1st, which means we are now officially half way through the year – wow it’s gone quick! Kim and I have spent the last month focused on two things, the plan for the rest of the year and the Entrepreneurs Boot Camp I attended at Palazzo Versace. As part of the plan for the rest of the year we have been deleting things from our businesses that don’t make sense.

All too often as Business Owners it’s easy to get into the trap of being a “Yes” person and going with the flow. What I mean by this is saying Yes to opportunities that pop up in front of you – without questioning whether it is part of your Big Vision or plan for your Business.

One of my mentors calls these “Blow Fly” opportunities, meaning they’re in your face BUT you should shoo them away and not get caught up in them. And I can see that we have definitely done that at times in the first half of this year and we’re putting in place some practices to make sure it doesn’t happen in the next six months.

I highly recommend you take the time to review your business results in the first half of the year, both in terms of how much profit you’ve made – but also in terms these two questions:

  • Is your Business becoming the money making vehicle you want it to be?
  • Are you enjoying it and using it to create the life you want?
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Protected: Applied Learning Free Video

Posted by Andrew Baird on March 24, 2009
Business, General / Enter your password to view comments.

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