Everybody is different so it should come as no surprise that everybody is different too.  We each place different demands on our physiques beyond the whole heart, lungs and brain function imperative – something that came up in a roundabout way earlier last month, we met Chef Pete Evans. We talked through brands and business-building but at some point we drifted onto different ways of eating.  Now if you want to set a match to the highly flammable, crude oil of dietary debate, vegan versus paleo is a great place to start.  Spice your conversation with the vegetarian option and that should keep things cooking for the whole evening.

The undeniable truth is that it is up to the individual to make their own choice and they themselves will either get to embrace the benefits or deal with the consequences.  That doesn’t mean that others don’t get to voice their opinion.  Finding the best qualified opinion is the key though and oftentimes the quality of the questions determine the quality of the answers.

So let’s talk about your business

The same could be said of selecting the most appropriate business structure.  Think back to your high school maths tests – multiple choice.  Is it all coming back to you?  

The teachers, the good ones anyway, would explain that out of the 4 alternatives (a,b,c,d) there would be an answer that is just dead wrong.  Then there would be one that was wrong but at first glance you could be mistaken for thinking it was right.  Finally, you’re left with two answers and frustratingly they would both be correct.  However, one of them would be a slightly better answer.   Your job, they told us, was to determine “the best” answer.  And only that answer would be deemed correct even though technically there was another answer that would still satisfy the equation.

So complicated, but in life and business and diets, you’ll always derive more benefit from the best possible answer – especially over the longer term.  

  • Think about a greater return on savings overtime with the application of compound interest.
  • Consider the tax savings of a trust or company structure over a sole traders arrangement.  
  • What about the daily benefits to your knees and lower back of walking around in a body that is composed of 10% less body fat.  

The benefits of selecting the best possible answer instead of one that simply fits, extend way beyond your high school test scores and into quality of life and business benefits.

So how do I find the best answer?

As I mentioned, sometimes the best answer is a simple but deceptively in-depth question.  And here is the question that should be asked by your:

  • Accountant when talking you through effective (not just viable) business structure options;
  • Doctor or dietitian when assessing a change in diet; or
  • Trainer or physiologist when compiling an exercise regime.

“What is the end result you are looking to achieve and why?”

By focusing on the goal, having understood where you’re starting out, a logical map can be plotted between the two points.  This is the difference between micro, task-oriented service and bigger picture strategic planning.   If followed, you may be pleasantly surprised when you reach that destination and how many more opportunities you can see from that vantage point.

If you have a question about where and how your business is going, just ask us because our goal is to help you to reach yours, for you, your family and your future… and now for that paleo cheesecake and a run.

You’ve got to spend money to make money.  Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.  Save your pennies.  These are all well-worn statements that contain more than a grain of common sense.  The size of those grains depend on which business sector you operate in and what your priorities and needs are.  Here’s one that is 100% true regardless of where you work, for whom or why.

“Change your focus from making money to creating more value and more money will follow as a consequence.”

In other words, the more valuable a product or service becomes in the eyes of the market, the more likely it is that demand will increase without you having to produce more.  An example: the black, viscous fluid just beneath the unforgiving Texan terrain was essentially worthless until people realised that it would fuel transportation, industry and manufacturing.  Another example: in this country, drinking water is and always was accessible and all but free until the perceived value of bottled water made buying it a near necessity.  What about an example from the services side of business?  Well, we’re just one of many businesses that find that offering a little extra time to chat with clients about their needs is the incubator of goodwill (on both sides) and of course repeat business.

Great! But how?

Good question and while every circumstance, goal and business is different, there is one thing in common that all paths that lead to success seem to have.

A (strategic) framework.

It sounds very simple but time and time again without a framework that is rigid enough to stop our inner entrepreneur from driving us off the rails yet flexible enough to accommodate adjustments, things get difficult very quickly.  So what are we looking at exactly?

  1. Start with your vision, mission and values.  What do you want, how will you achieve it and what governs your methodology (what you stand for and what you won’t stand for).
  2. Resourcing.  Your assets.
  3. Liabilities.  These need to be acknowledged, addressed and limited where possible.

There’s more.  Quite a bit more but this is a basic framework checklist mapping how you might choose to deliver value and then deliver more value.

You can’t stick to a framework, or a set of guidelines or an operational plan… if you do not have one so this should be a priority.

Oh, about those distractions…

Here’s a brief and not very exhaustive list:

Novel shortcuts, your competition, the small stuff, important but not urgent, urgent but not important, premature diversification opportunities, shiny things, tax bills that seem a little too large (because they actually might be), regular bills, irregular bills, BAS (see you on the 24th of this month for our webinar), webinars – not related to your goals…

Feel free to add ten more of your own.

Final thought:  if you establish the right strategic framework for your business you will find the time and resources to concentrate your value and add value to your life and those of people closest to you.

WARNING: The more things change the more they stay the same unless…

Every Friday we just want to stop the world for a moment and give you a couple of real tips to think about that will make a real difference to your business and in your life.

So we’ve reached the end of another week and we are now hip deep into February – already!  2017 is off to a very fast start and if we’re not careful we may become too busy to keep learning and improving our businesses, lives and business lives.

However, there are some things you can change to make sure you don’t fall back into repeating mistakes from years past or simply missing out on the opportunity to build momentum.  Alright, some tips, then.

Protect your profits

Profits are like the most endangered species – from a small business perspective of course.  As soon as we spot a profit, large or small, we can’t help ourselves – we capture them and then they’re gone.  Profits become an instant answer to a short-term operating cost issue; a quick and easy way to make a payment; lunch money – whatever.  And then before you know it (or reach the end of the month or the quarter) they’ve vanished.  “What happened to my profits? They were right here!”

TIP: Take your profit and set it aside first.  That’s the reward for your hard work – keep it safe.

Concentrate on where you add the most value and outsource what you can

Google just informed me that a team of artisan bakers can produce up to 5000 loaves a day.  So why would we spend hours of our own time baking bread unless we wanted to?  This doesn’t just apply to baking bread it applies to making money too.

If you have some highly sought after skill or product, pour your time into that instead of sacrificing family time or leisure activities.

TIP: Start by outsourcing your bookkeeping and spend more time doing the things that are really important.

Learn how to win at the numbers game

Visiting your accountant can be like watching TV: mildly entertaining if they’re the cheery, chatty type but worst case scenario it can be a bit a like a documentary on erosion without the time-lapse photography.  All you’re doing is watching something play out while you sit there.  Understanding the numbers is the key to changing all of this.  When you “get it”, you’ll become more involved in driving the positive indicators, not just during your visit but most likely, every day.  And that’s a good thing.

TIP:  Ask your accountant to teach you about what’s going on with your numbers, not just “report” on what’s already happened.  You’ll be glad you did.
Okay, the weekend is almost upon us, have another read of this week’s tips on making a change and have a great one.

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