Celebrity Chat By Tim Shaw

 August 2005 Peninsula Living

From small beginnings!

I dislike the term small business. It connotes tiny, not very big. All the things that small means. Ironically government believes a small business in Australia is a company with less than 50 employees and an annual turnover less than $20million. Bring it on. Nothing small about those numbers.

McDonald’s family restaurants had one store in Australia in the 1970’s. It now has over 750 outlets. Harvey Norman was only one store when Gerry Harvey kicked off. It is now one of Australia’s great franchise success stories with its ubiquitous slogan, “go Harvey, go Harvey Norman’. Go where? Straight to the top of national retail awareness.

The key to growing your business is to decide how big you want your brand to be locally and to program your business for growth.

It can be as simple a start as a website that tells the story about what makes your business special. Afteral with the www web being global, your business has a potential office on every computer screen around the world. Information is sold but also given away every day using the web as a deliver mechanism. Ask CNN what it is without a web presence.

Media is the message. It allows you to decide locally what you can become globally. The global village is now everyone’s back yard as long as you are online. Even if the information on your website is simply your business growth story and what you offer your customers that is special is a compelling enough reason for your customers to be educated about your business.

Don’t ever think you are not ‘big’ enough to be part of the big business picture. Think small and you will be. The smaller your advertising budget, the stronger your brand must be. If the branding is wrong, everything is wrong. Just because people have heard about your product doesn’t mean it’s well branded. Branding and awareness is not the same thing. Ironically, the stronger your brand is, the less susceptible you are to pricing issues and competition.

Advertising is not branding. Branding is branding. Advertising raises awareness of the brand you create. The real test for brand is when other companies in your space ask “Are we doing it the (your companies way)? Are we doing it the McDonalds way? If people are asking this question then you have built a brand. You must maintain its strength in the market to become the big business you can and aspire to be.

Good Selling
Tim Shaw appears on My Business - Channel 7 on Sunday mornings. He can diagnose sales and marketing opportunities available for your business today. Tim is available as a keynote speaker for your next sales meeting or conference. Visit www.timshaw.com.au or contact Tim directly at timshaw@bigpond.com


September 2005 Peninsula Living

Smart business with no advertising budget?

I have often referred to advertising & marketing as an investment in your brand for the future rather than an expense. As long as you get the messages clear and right (many business owners don’t – but that’s another story).

Who you are. Where you are. What you do and why customers should buy from you. These are the simple messages you need to articulate constantly to build brand, brand awareness and sales, sales & more sales.

But what if you have no marketing budget to do it?

Recently on an episode on www.mybusinesstv.com.au I advised a pest control company run by a husband and wife to keep their messages simple. They had a website (mandatory if you are serious about your business) which told some of the story. I suggested that during the quiet winter months, that the owner draws up a concentric circle of businesses that fell within a 5km radius of home (where they run the business from). It makes sense to fish in local waters for new sales opportunities. He door knocked 5 local businesses and got 5 knock backs. He was happy about that because it will steel his resolve to door knock them again in a month. Don’t take no for an answer is his catch cry. Mine is ‘but wait there’s more’.

Contact old clients, get a testimonial from them about your service, publish a basic A-5 leaflet and letterbox drop them yourself street by street within the 5 km radius. Then door knock those streets the next day – did you get our information sheet? Telemarketing can lead to many refusals. People are less likely to hear you out without a flat refusal before you have even got your name out on the phone. Face to face visits to customers work a treat. Low budget marketing is a great start for building sales and then referral business opportunities.

One cracker that really worked for me locally was being invited (or getting myself invited) to address the local Lions or Rotary monthly meeting. They are crying out for speakers in your local area. Don’t make the subject an obvious sell story; make it a compelling and interesting presentation. You will be surprised how many nice people you meet and how much referral business can flow as a result. Next month we are going to talk about websites for your business. Email any questions you might have on websites to timshaw@bigpond.com

Good Selling
Tim Shaw appears on My Business - Channel 7 on Sunday mornings. He can diagnose sales and marketing opportunities available for your business today. Tim is available as a keynote speaker for your next sales meeting or conference. Visit www.timshaw.com.au or contact Tim directly at timshaw@bigpond.com


July 2005 Peninsula Living

Your Brand is your Business!

Happy New financial Year and thank you to those readers for your feedback about www.mybusinesstv.com.au the TV show in which I appear as a sales and marketing expert. It is great being able to look at a business from the outside in and ‘diagnose’ areas of improvement, especially in the area of branding. This financial year more than ever, branding is a key way to make your business top of mind for consumers considering a purchase.

To achieve effective and consistent brand awareness is to define exactly who you are as a business, where you are located and why customers would buy from you. Repetition in your message is key to this top of mind awareness we need customers to remember.

Who you are: - Trading names are key to brand building and business worth. Pty Ltd means nothing, so look at your brand and consider updating it to be more relevant to who your are as a business. Ace Pool Renovations tells me what you do AND hopefully you are the best at it. Think of a name that describes what you do and how well you will do it.

Where you are located – across from the post office, cinema or another geographic landmark or even more importantly your website location – key to informing your clients more about your business that you can’t fit into a standard advertising message.

Why you are the first choice – 25 year old long standing business, be proud of survival and growth for so long. Your customers appreciate stable long lasting business operators. They identify that their money is ‘safe’ with you and that you will honour your warranty and sales obligations.

Media can be a well spent investment or a waste of money. Try look to a year long media plan that delivers effective promotion and sales activities like this magazine. Also look at long term repetitive brand building for your local business precinct. A very clever and effective way to achieve that is cinema advertising. Audience members in a cinema are happy to be there – they are about to be entertained after all. They see the movie AND they arrive early enough (around 18 minutes before a main feature starts) to see your commercial. So consider alerting them to your business with an effective cinema branding campaign. Check out www.starmediagroup.com.au They are experts at this medium and you would do well to hear what they can do for your business.

Good Selling & Planning in 05/06

Tim Shaw appears on My Business - Channel 7 on Sunday mornings. He can diagnose sales and marketing opportunities available for your business today. Tim is available as a keynote speaker for your next sales meeting or conference. Visit www.timshaw.com.au or contact Tim directly at timshaw@bigpond.com




My Business Tips by Tim Shaw www.timshaw.com.au July 2007


Happy New Financial Year



Well thank goodness the new financial year has finally rolled around. For all of you self funded retirees enjoying the new benefits that now apply, well done, you have sure earned the right to relax and go on a S.K.I holiday (Spend Kid’s Inheritance).

For everyone still grinding away running your businesses planning for your future, start thinking about making each day, week and month count this financial year. With all your compliance requirements, consider outsourcing those to professionals who can in many cases ensure you don’t incur penalties for incorrect or late lodgments. Focus on your sales and marketing because afteral, that’s where the cash flow will grow in your business. Everything else including your terrific team of employees are a long term investment in your businesses future.

If you looked back now on July 2006 sales, where did they come from and have we revisited sales opportunities with those customers for referral or reward. Whatever business you are in, a quick post card thank you marketing tool puts your brand back in the front of mind of your customers. I tell businesses everywhere, keep it simple, a simple ‘thank you’ says more than many other initiatives and is relatively inexpensive to do. Just sit down and handwrite the card and pop it in the mail. You will be surprised how many customers will react to this small token of appreciation, maybe include a small offer for them or their family and friends. If there is value attached it is unlikely it will be discarded. Even get a quote on attaching a small magnet to the card, it will end up on the fridge and be a constant reminder of you and your business.

How up to date is your website? Consider updating testimonials from happy customers, changes in your product or services, even consider a low entry point cost for a particular product or service and if your business lets you do it, have a special every month. This helps you to get your customers visiting your site more often. Are there synergistic businesses you can feature on your site and vice versa? Increased web traffic is a great indicator of how your marketing messages are being received by consumers. Speak to a web specialist. Don’t know one? Ring your suppliers and get a referral from them on who they use and have had a great service experience with.

How up to date is your database? Consider a quick courtesy call to your customers and get your staff to update some information especially if you are sending out the thank you card. Try and pick 10-20 current customers and discuss with your team how your business can help their business grow this year. Happy Selling 2007
.

Tim Shaw appears as the sales and marketing expert on My Business - Channel 7 from 10am with David Koch, Sunday mornings commencing late 2007. He can diagnose sales and marketing opportunities available for your business today. Tim is available as a keynote speaker for your next sales meeting or conference. Visit www.timshaw.com.au or contact Tim directly at timshaw@bigpond.com





My Business Tips by Tim Shaw www.timshaw.com.au August 2007


The Climate Change in Business


There is an old story in marketing. Market according to the mood of the community and its broader (global) ability to grow your business. There is no question that over millions of years the globe has been effected by climate change (I prefer this term and don’t subscribe to the semi hysterical dialogues underway in the global warming debate) The 7 July global rock concert shone a light on awareness and the debate continues on what governments, business and people can do to protect and preserve the environments that we dearly love and have not cared for as well as we could have over the last 200 years or so.

Qantas recently announced it is buying amazing new Boeing Dream liner aircraft made of lighter materials and burning less jet fuel. Very efficient and good for the green bottom line on the companies profit and loss balance sheet when they become airborne. Rupert Murdoch, global publisher of newsprint has accepted that we should give the globe the ‘benefit of the doubt’ when it comes to climate change and has invested in some businesses with a real focus on energy saving devices and initiatives.

Even at a local level we can use energy & natural resource saving initiatives as a marketing device to attract customers to our businesses. We have seen an explosion in the water tank sales and installation businesses all over Australia. We see new solar products being developed which the customer hopes will save money in the long term on energy costs.

Imagine if you looked at your current business and made a specific plan to reduce the use of natural resources in the business. It will save you money and improve your bottom line. Or develop strategies in your product lines of how consumers can benefit at home using your products from an environmental perspective. Do you introduce a recycling program on your product packaging (similar to returning the empty chlorine container to the pool shop for a refill), or convert your pool to salt using newer low energy salt converters?

The energy, climate changing technologies are evolving yet business is sometimes slow in the take up in industry specific areas. Why not talk with your industry representatives and get on board and in touch with national or international initiatives in play.
You will be surprised how customers can be become even more supportive of your business if they know that not only do they benefit, but so does our environment. Remember it’s the only one we have got!

Happy Selling 2007

Tim Shaw appears as the sales and marketing expert on My Business - Channel 7 from 10am with David Koch, Sunday mornings commencing late 2007. He can diagnose sales and marketing opportunities available for your business today. Tim is available as a keynote speaker for your next sales meeting or conference. Visit www.timshaw.com.au or contact Tim directly at timshaw@bigpond.com.





My Business Tips by Tim Shaw www.timshaw.com.au February 2008


Building your personal brand


Building your personal brand is a keynote speech I have just written for sales team's right around Australia . How important is a brand in business? Very. Most large companies use public relations and marketing to build awareness of their brand so that consumers can immediately identify a company and its services, merely by saying the name of the business. For example; Qantas, the spirit of Australia

The word yes became a synonymous component of the Optus brand wince 1992 and is still in use today in their marketing message. So what about you and your personal brand? In sales the first thing our customer buys is the salesperson. The individual. Each of us have our own dna and we are identifiable scientifically. Why not apply some brand dna to building sales relationships with customers and the brand you currently represent?

Personal websites have become an important means to build a personal brand. In the fields of health and fitness, ,many professionals use a personal website as a brand building tool to add weight to their professional standing and a real reason why a customer would pick one professional fitness instructor over another, especially if that fitness instructor was an Olympian or internationally successful triathlete.

When I built my mobile phone business on the northern beaches, well before fame on television, I used to offer myself as a guest speaker at lions and rotary breakfasts and dinner, telling (and selling) the Optus story. They identified with the company I was representing as Optus was spending heaps on advertising, but I build my brand locally as the ‘guy on the ground' who could deliver the Optus service. Crazy John Ilhan did too.

See how personal brand building gives you the edge over the other competitive sales forces out there? You will often see in the case of John Symonds, the spokesperson for Aussie Home Loans, that his personal marketing became the company marketing, that John himself said “At Aussie, we'll save you”. Same to for Gerry Harvey of Harvey Norman and Mr Ken Lee with the Bing Lee electronics business.

Local real estate agents build their brand strongly with a proposition of success from recent sales by adding their own picture and testimonials from happy customers to their company marketing and advertisements. Or in my case, 100 commercials a day on Australian TV for Demtel meant my brand of value for money TV selling and the catchcry “But Wait There's More” became part of the Australian vernacular and a sales tool for millions of salespeople around Australia. Keep it simple. Personal fridge magnets, targeted letterbox drops promoting the people behind the business brand. It will work and you will reap the rewards, maybe even becoming as famous and as well known as someone I know who writes for this magazine….. Guess who if the first three readers who get it right want to win a copy of my book, autographed as well. Email me, details below. Happy personal brand building and Selling!

Tim Shaw appears as the sales and marketing expert on Kochies Business Builders - Channel 7 from with David Koch 10am on Sunday mornings after Weekend Sunrise He can diagnose sales and marketing opportunities available for your business today. Tim is available as a keynote speaker for your next sales meeting or conference. Visit www.timshaw.com.au or contact Tim directly at timshaw@bigpond.com.


Copyright © 2005 All rights reserved Tim Shaw.
Site powered by DREEME