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Meet the panel

Q & A with Lisa Wiking

Why is it important to consider our people in our plan for growth?
Growth in it’s nature means to expand, which means increasing.  One of the greatest problems business can face in the growth phase is staff turnover.  When you’re wanting to grow you need to ensure you’re recruiting effectively whilst not losing existing staff.  Otherwise you’re just on the treadmill and not expanding. 

So you must ensure you’re offering a great culture where people enjoy coming to work and their needs are met.  In addition to offering a comprehensive on boarding process when recruiting new people to ensure you’re actually growing and not simply replacing.

How do I ensure I meet the needs of my people to begin/maintain a great culture?
  1.  Ensuring that you have a clear Vision and goals and communicate with them how they contribute to the bigger picture is crucial.
  2. Humans have 6 needs that if you can meet within the workplace, will go a long way to retaining staff, increasing longevity and experience and therefore knowledge. They are:
    • Certainty

    • Variety

    • Significance

    • Connection

    • Growth

    • Contribution

  3. Discipline – Give them boundaries, set clear expectations and hold them accountable to those expectations.
How do I find the right people to help me grow my business?

Be clear on who you are as a business, what you stand for and what you value, and communicate that.  Employee’s in this day and age want to work for a business that stands for something.  That has a Vision and a purpose.  A way for them to feel like they make a difference and are a part of something bigger than just themselves.   A pay check is no longer the only reason people go to work, they are also looking for their emotional needs to be met also.

As Simon Sinek says, people don’t follow you for what you do, they follow you for ‘why’ you do it.  The clearer you are in your answer to that question, the easier it will be for you to attract and retain the right people.

What are the 3 key components to establishing and leading a successful culture?
  1. Know your why and the direction you are heading and communicate it (lead people in a direction)
  2. Be clear on your intention and desired outcome from every communication
  3. Run a ‘high expectations/High Support ‘ work environment – and hold people accountable
What are the common mistakes small business owners make with their people, when wanting to grow?
  • Not seeing themselves as a leader – thinking that what they do bears no impact on their employees
  • Not communicating a direction – no vision / goals
  • Only talking about the facts an numbers – not engaging the emotions of their people/customers
  • Not communicating their belief in the individual – building the staff confidence and esteem

Q & A with Ian Bosler

What are the main elements of a Marketing and Sales Process?

1. ATTRACT: target the right prospects, attract interest with a lead magnet and capture leads so that you can nurture the prospect
2. SELL: educate the prospect on how their problem can be solved, make an offer and then close the sale 
3c. WOW: over deliver and WOW, offer more by upselling and cross selling, then seek referrals.  

What technology / infrastructure is needed to create an Automated Sales and Marketing Process?

1. Brand Asset Management Tool: Options include for SME’s Google Drive, Hightail or medium to large use Frontify
2. Website: Goes without saying nowadays
3. CRM: To facilitate management of prospects and customers and fire off automated campaigns. Lots of options including Infusionsoft, Active Campaign, Salesforce etc
4. Campaign Management: Needed for automation. Options include Infusionsoft, Hubspot, Click Funnels etc
5e. Marketing Dashboard:  Measure results and tweak the process.

What are the top 3 automated campaigns that fast track results?
  1. New Contact Indoctrination: Directs them to other connection points (ieSocial Media), Set expectations and introduce them to your story.
  2. ross Sell / Down sell Campaign: Focused on getting prospects who don’t buy to open their wallets and buy something else.
  3. Long Term Nurture: Keep front of mind until they actually buy from you
What offline marketing tools should be considered in a modern Marketing and Sales Process?

1. Attract:  Business cards, direct mail, postcards, flyers, brochures, posters, pull up banners, business books etc
2. Sell: Catalogues, corporate profiles, direct mail, presentation folders, proposal books, tender binders etc
3. WOW: Wow / welcome kits, thank you cards, Christmas cards, calendars, referral awards, vouchers etc

What constitutes a good Marketing and Sales Dashboard?

1. Must measure the right things across the end to end process such as costs, website traffic, conversion rates, offer values, sales values etc
2. Must be easy to update: Well designed should only take 10min a week. A good CRM / Campaign tool will auto generate reports for much of the data.
3. Must be Visual: keeps key measures top of mind on a daily basis which in turn keeps you focused.

Q & A with Raie Lyth

How do you prepare your business for growth?
  1. Analyse where you are at now in your business – products, services, customers, staff, where you are profitable
  2. Identify your current processes and systems – what they are and how effective they are
  3. Think about your Industry – identify current trends and opportunities.
  4. Identify where you want to be.


How do you work out what’s next for your industry?
  1. Think about the Disruption possibilities for your industry that will reduce costs for both you and your client OR that will give a superior service
  2. This can be large or small – a complete change to the industry OR a small change you can introduce that draws your clients closer
  3. Stats – ABS Data:
    • 59% businesses Order online 
    • Only 37% of Businesses RECEIVE orders online 
  4. There is a mismatch between buyers and sellers online – How can you benefit from this and become a seller online?
  5. 91% of consumers research a local business online before engaging with them
What are some Examples of recent technology changes?
  1. Example 1 – The Australian Government is introducing My Emergency Dr App – you access an Emergency Specialist via video rather than the Emergency Dept of a public hospital –
    1. Problem – crowded and overworked Emergency Departments; patients getting frustrated with delays in being seen; Drs limited by location in who they can see, rather than condition or urgency.
    2. Solution – reduce waiting times for patients; not have to travel; see an appropriate Dr for condition, receive referrals for scans and prescriptions.
  • Question – will it actually reduce numbers going to Emergency Department of hospitals or will people still go because it is now less crowded? What security measures are in place with the app technology? How is Privacy protected?
  1. Added Bonus – Currently free for some areas (eg Eastern Suburbs Melbourne After Hours) but with potential to charge a fee. Assume patients happy to pay for a timely service which serves their needs.
  1. Example 2 – Tradie providing a quote – include functionality on website for clients to upload a number of images of the work requested eg benchtop re-surfacing. This allows for quicker quoting – Client takes a few photos and sends them off; Tradie looks at these and provides a quote; ask extra questions if needed; Client accepts or rejects. This Solution reduces travel time for quotes; gives clients a quicker response, which in turn gives a quicker acceptance of quote; greater efficiency in business
How do you open up new pathways?
  1. Talk to others in this space – business coach, web developers, marketing experts, finance managers, staff, industry experts.
  2. Investigate automation options available in your industry
  3. Look at customising functions to suit your specific business model – a small change can make a massive difference in time commitments or collection of revenue
  4. Weigh up the Cost Benefit – what will it cost to introduce; What benefits will it bring – savings and extra revenue; Can it be introduced in stages – a ‘Just in Time’ Solution
  5. Technology, Staff, Clients – consider impact on all and make it easy to adopt the new technology.
What’s a ‘Just In Time’ Solution?
  1. Once you have a larger picture of where you are going, break it down into stages
  2. What is the First Step in the right direction? Put this in place and USE IT – technology changes quite rapidly and clients do things differently to how you imagine at the start – be open to adapting and changing as you see the results.
  3. Keep evolving
  4. Websites today look very different to those of even just a few years ago – design changes are influenced by a raft of factors, such as Device sizes and mobile functionality – scrolling, direct calls, sharing of photos. Use extra functions to your advantage.

Q & A with Martin Cattach

1. Looking at business growth from a numbers perspective why is it important and what is the first step?
  1. We must first understand the current financial position of the business by looking at our key numbers being sales, margins, costs, creditors, debtors and profits so we have a current health check but more importantly we can establish a base line to measure our growth
  2. Once we have our base line we can measure change in these key parameters and monitor how our growth is proceeding. We can expect to see our creditors increase well before debtors and need to take this financial drag into account and ensure we have the working capital to manage and support our growth
  3. Now we must look at our forecasting – we need to make a financial model to understand how growth will impact on our key numbers, this can be a simple process of build a model in a spread sheet of our current position then change our sales numbers to see the effects it has on our other key numbers
  4. So we need to now make a critical decision how much growth can we manage or should I say how much growth can we afford
How can we get the working capital we need to grow?
  1. Working capital in my experience is the key constraint to business growth, most small business are constrained by working capital shortage this therefore limits the possibility for growth
  2. The first step to increase your working capital is to work with your suppliers and inform then of your growth plans let them know that you will be buying more from them and request an extension in term move from 30 to 60 days do this are part of your planning process and build a relationship with them
  3. Do not make the mistake of calling them out of the blue and asking for more time 3 days before payment is due. See your suppliers as your business partners, as in many ways they are so keep them informed
  4. Look closely at the trading terms you provide your current customers; can you tighten them? Customers who are outside your current terms are no longer a viable customer but a drain on your resources. Discuss it with them to try to turn them around
  5. As part of our growth plan we will acquire new customers, lets shorten the trading terms we offer new customers
Can banks help fund our growth?
  1. Well let first look at our terminology, if we were having this discussion 5 to 10 years ago I would discuss how to work with the banks
  2. Today the financial landscape has changed and banks only offer bricks and mortar lending to small business, so I see banks from a small business point of view as our transaction houses to move funds around and facilitate payments
  3. It now time to explore other forms of lending that do not require the family house as security
  4. Invoice or debtor finance are real alternatives to banks, raising working capital using assets within the business and not the family home and they provide facilities that grow as your business grows
What are your thoughts on the changing finance landscape?
  1. We are in the midst of a perfect storm for small business as the banking Royal Commissions finding are revealed, Banks will continue to reduce their small business lending and may call in some of the facilities already in place
  2. To add to this problem we have a reduction in property values that have traditionally been used by small business to fund working capital
  3. So now a business looking to grow needs to seek alternative funding lines and optimise these lending changes in current and future conditions.
Why do we need to grow the business?
  1. This is an important question. We need to know do we need to grow our business? Do we need the stress, worry and, more importantly, take on the risks we will undertake to grow
  2. The answer to that is one a business should ponder with the understanding that the world is changing as is the business landscape. We face new competitors, more demanding customers, not to mention the category changers like Uber…. ask the Taxi industry
  3. So yes the need for growth is inevitable for long term viability however only after we have considered the risks and developed a flexible, achievable plan.

Meet the host

Stewart Clark, Founder and Principal coach of SCS Performance

SCS performance is a specialist consultancy firm delivering a specially designed range of coaching programs to the small to medium business market - to drive bottom line return.

Stewart is an energetic and experienced business adviser with many years of experience coaching, advising and supporting small and medium sized businesses across Australia.

Leveraging a lengthy career in finance and corporate business, Stewart has worked "in" or "on" a range of businesses and industries Australia wide.

Possessing a people-oriented style and a keen eye for detail, Stewart is well versed in strategic planning, financial analysis, sales delivery and business improvement. Stewart is also a published author of “It’s not what you make, but what you keep” and is a regular speaker.

Unlike a traditional business coach, Stewart focuses on enhancing the mechanics of a business – its people, its process and its systems – to achieve long-term business success.

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