Is the customer always right? You betcha!

One of the hot marketing topics right now is the customer experience.  We talk about giving the customer a great in-store or online experience. So here’s a tip for all ... read more

DIY Videos How To Do Them Better

Just because we have a mobile phone doesn’t make us a professional videographer but we can use professional videographer tips to get better! Video can be a powerful medium to ... read more

Marketing Strategy for Success

As a marketing consultant based in Melbourne Australia I find that many business owners in this country feel they have to do every possible bit of marketing in order to be ... read more

12 New Financial Year Resolutions

12 New Financial Year Resolutions

How fantastic as small business owners we get to celebrate two New Year’s every year! End of Financial Year is one of my favourite times of the year not only because it’s my ... read more

Are You Underselling Yourself?

Do you know how much you are worth? Do you know how to work it out? Often businesses that provide services can find it a challenge to work out how much to charge. If it’s just read more

Marketing Consulting

What is it?  When do you need it? A marketing consultant is someone that can help you with your marketing.  There are so many options out there for how to do your marketing ... read more

What is marketing?

What is Marketing? Marketing is the process you follow that gets you more customers and ultimately makes your business money. It involves finding customers keeping customers ... read more

Don’t believe everything you see on social media. Here’s why

Don’t believe everything you see on social media. Here’s why

Last week I attended a show at the theatre and leading up to the start of the show there was a flurry of social media activity by the audiences. Many people were uploading ... read more

Keep More Customers – Fall Back in Love

Keep More Customers – Fall Back in Love

Falling Back In Love With Your Clients Without customers we don’t have business.  They are the lifeblood, the cashflow, the raison d’etre for many businesses.   If we love our read more

Get Off Social Media

Get Off Social Media

Having a social media strategy is very much a part of most business marketing strategies.  But should it be?   Is social media everything it’s cracked up to be? As a marketing read more

Tips for Keeping Motivated in Business

Tips for Keeping Motivated in Business

Maintaining motivation in your business is a must for business success. No-one can run your business for you – so it’s up to you to get yourself out of bed every day.  Some ... read more

Simple Marketing Big Impact

Simple Marketing Big Impact

Are you getting caught with technology and marketing systems and losing sight of the little things that make the greatest impact?  If you answered yes, don’t worry you ... read more

New Year New Marketing Strategy

New Year New Marketing Strategy

It’s a new year and this is a great time to freshen up your wardrobe, your house, your car, your pets and of course your marketing.  It always amazes me how quickly the year ... read more

5 reasons why you should find your perfect business match

In small business, we like to think that we can do it alone. Sometimes that’s possible, but teaming up with others can sometimes form the ultimate perfect match. read more

Making mistakes could be the best thing for your business

Making mistakes gives you an opportunity to fix problems and take a new path. Did you grow up thinking that read more

What makes a great sponsorship?

10 tips… There is a shared understanding and respect for each other’s core business The partnership provides value for both organisations The sponsorship has clearly ... read more

Uncover potential customers through sponsorship

The hidden gem of marketing It works for KIA and the Australian Open, NAB and the football, Emirates and the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra – and it could work for you too! read more

When should businesses get off social media?

Businesses that inappropriately use social media don’t get the results – putting some energy into learning how to make it work for business is vital for success. The ... read more

5 marketing must-dos each week

It’s a fact: business owners are time-poor. But your marketing machine is vital to the success of your business, so keeping the momentum going is vital. read more

5 quick ways to make a sale

If business is looking a little slow and you need some quick sales to keep things heading in the right direction, take action. Here are five things you can do to get the sales read more

The dos and don’ts of selling to potential clients

Is selling an art or a science? Do you need special skills to sell to your customers, or can anyone do it? I believe selling is an art and a science, and it’s all about ... read more

New marketing options, old marketing dilemma

A lot has changed in marketing in this digital age. Never before has there been a way to make personal and direct contact with prospects and customers alike for so little ... read more

Are you maintaining your most important business asset?

Accountants and insurance brokers often advise business owners to “look after your assets”. They are usually referring to machinery and equipment, which they suggest you ... read more

Branding your business from the bottom up

So you’ve spent money on a visual identity check! You love your logo and you are happy with your business name.  It’s time to get that brand out there, and it doesn’t have to ... read more

8 tips for outsourcing your business tasks

Why consider outsourcing your business online? It all comes down to focus and the best use of your time. If you find dealing with all things online in your business is ... read more

Choosing the right technology for your business

In today’s landscape, we are definitely spoilt for choice with regards to digital technology. There are so many options that can make our businesses run more smoothly and ... read more

How to spend just 15 minutes daily managing your social media

Yes, it is possible to manage your social media in 15 minutes a day. First you need a plan and an understanding of what you want to achieve on social media for your business. ... read more

6 ways to start getting comfy with technology

I call myself a reluctant technology enthusiast. Using technology doesn’t come naturally to me, and I know I am not alone. I also know that as a business owner, if I don’t ... read more

8 Signs A Business Needs To Change Its Name

It’s a big decision to change a business name. There are lots of costs associated with such a transition, and sometimes it is unnecessary. On the other hand, there are times ... read more

How To Clone Yourself In Business

Do you sometimes wish that you could clone yourself in business so there is more of you to go around? You are not alone. When you are the product and there is a great demand ... read more

Managing Social Media on the Run

Need some help managing your social media?  Here is an article I wrote for MYOB Pulse on how small businesses can manage their social media when they are not based in the ... read more

Marketing Strategy:  Using Humour – Serious Business

Marketing Strategy: Using Humour – Serious Business

Is humour a good thing in advertising? I used to believe yes it is as long as it’s tasteful. (But what’s tasteful and who decides?)  I now believe it needs to be used with ... read more

Ten Top Tips for Ending the Year Well

It’s easy to run out of puff at the end of the year but it is at this time of the year we need to keep our business wits about us.  Here are ten marketing and business ... read more

Managing Customers at Christmas

I’m not sure exactly what is supposed to happen at Christmas but it is important for customers that their goods and services are delivered by Christmas. Now that is fine when ... read more

Avoidance – Small Business Marketing Enemy

Avoidance is a natural human instinct and can be helpful in situations like avoiding being hit by a car. Avoidance in business however, can have a damaging effect and actually read more

Update Your Database Best Marketing Return

Here is a question for you.  When customers move on – how do you stop them from moving on from your business?  Here is the answer.  Keep contact details and follow up on ... read more

Marketing in Tough Times: An argument for all guns blazing!

There are some real advantages for businesses to come out all guns blazing with their marketing in uncertain times. Firstly it’s the opposite of what most businesses are doing read more

Sparrow Savvy in Marketing

Just last week I was talking with my accountant about the merits of taking the small jobs and the topic of sparrows came up. Have you ever seen a skinny sparrow? Sparrows live read more

Being Friendly Gets Business!

A marketing tip for retailers and hospitality for keeping customers coming back that costs nothing! If you like a freebie – here it is.  This is one of the most powerful read more

What Drives Great Car Signage?

What Drives Great Car Signage?

If you are out on the road a lot either driving from town to town or from job to job in the city, car signage can be an affordable and effective form of advertising. Costs ... read more

What Should I Spend My Time On?

What Should I Spend My Time On?

Time is something that small business owners are always wishing they had more of. To be a successful business balancing time, energy and money is always a big challenge. ... read more

Developing Your Marketing Strategy for Change

Recently I have been working more with businesses that have been successful in the past but are needing to change their direction because their traditional offerings are not ... read more

Improving Productivity By De-Stressing

As small business owners we deal with stress every day.  Making the most out of the resources we have is always a constant challenge. When we get it right – business ... read more

Tips on Pitching for New Business

Whether it’s by phone, in person or on email or paper a pitch for new business needs to communicate the following Understanding of the customer’s needs – ... read more

End of Year Marketing

Happy New Year! End of Financial Year can be a great time to get last minute sales, advanced orders, reconnect with customers and just celebrate being in business. Have a ... read more

Defining Your Value Proposition: A fresh look

Defining what your value proposition is the most important thing to communicate to your customers. What does it mean? It means communicating the value that your product or ... read more

Just Because You Can Doesn’t Mean You Should – Charge Credit Card Fees

Welcome to the first of the “Just Because You Can Doesn’t Mean You Should” Series. Part 1. Should I charge the customer the credit card fees? So what do you ... read more

Drumming Up New Customers and Sales

Do you need customers and sales fast? Here are five ideas of how you can drum up sales for your business. Contact all people or businesses you have worked with before to ... read more

Branding by Alignment

Have you ever stopped to consider how the suppliers and people you work with reflect on your brand? As part of networking it is common for business owners to look for other ... read more

Open for Business – Good Marketing Practise Gone Bad!

If you’re open for business it’s good to let your customers and your potential customers know. The old style “Open” sign read more

Customer Turnoff #1. Complex admin processes

Have you ever wanted to buy a product or service from a business and they hand over a complex form that resembles a final year exam? Or maybe buying was the easy part but ... read more

Assumptions: Business Booby Traps to Avoid

Small Business is all about learning. The big lesson I’ve learnt recently is never to assume anything in business. Instead, try and employ contingencies to manage expectations read more

Marketing Vs Smart Marketing: Part 1 – Business Attributes

All businesses undertake marketing activities. At the very least they get business cards, a brochure, a website, maybe they undertake advertising, direct marketing campaigns ... read more

Is Your Business Worthy of Referrals

One of the most cost effective forms of marketing today is business to business referrals. What makes one business refer business to another? What are the characteristics of a read more

What’s the bigger risk? Economic climate or your sales team?

What’s going on with sales teams? I thought everyone was desperate for sales. We hear it on the radio talk back about times being tough and needing customers. Apparently not! ... read more

Value Based Pricing

Pricing can be a complex task to get right. The rewards of correct pricing show up in both customer retention and your balance sheet. One relatively unknown form of pricing is read more

Best Way for Small Business to Communicate their Brand

Last week a workshop participant at a seminar I was presenting in Melbourne asked the question “What’s the best and cheapest way for small business to promote their brand”? ... read more

Marketing Messages & Methods in a Downturn

There are always positives in every situation and a downturn is no exception. How can a downturn be good news for a business? If you do business with other businesses there is read more

Losing the Procrastination

One of the biggest challenges facing small business owners is keeping high levels of motivation to continue doing what needs to be done in order to achieve success. It is not ... read more

Finding Opportunities in Pessimistic Times

One of the smartest questions for business owners to ask themselves is; have my customers been affected by the global economic crisis? If the answer is no then fantastic ... read more

Free WiFi a customer benefit or a pain for everyone?

Many businesses situated in Tourist Destinations have been jumping on the ‘must offer WiFi’ band wagon. Maybe I’m a cynic but it isn’t the make or break feature ... read more

Newspaper Advertising as a Marketing Strategy – Dead or Alive?

A lot of people think that local newspaper advertising is dead.  I believe maybe the advertisement needs to be killed off rather than the medium.  A case in point this ... read more

Small Business Owner’s Sick Policy

Sounds a bit crazy I know particularly if you are a one person band, but when you get sick how does your business cope? How do you manage your customers? How do you manage ... read more

Be Glass Half Full for Sales!

A question I am being asked regularly by small business owners is ‘Ailsa is the global economic crisis hitting businesses?’. I reply how have your sales been? Many business ... read more

E-nnoying: Overuse of email marketing

What can I say just because you can doesn’t mean you should! I’m sure you have experienced the sudden increase in email newsletters promoting everything in the shop using a ... read more

Marketing Tough – Canadian Retailers take on Competition

I have just returned from Canada and while there was delighted to see some really proactive retailing occurring in Canada. Canada retailers have identified two major threats ... read more

Promotions Win Win Marketing

I was recently involved with organising a promotion for the shopping centre Acland Court. Apart from getting to wear my rather retro Sue Sylvester tracksuit in public again, I read more

Is All Publicity Good Publicity?

I received some recent publicity upon the release of The Shoe String Marketing Kit for Small Business book. It’s interesting the different angles that can come from the ... read more

It’s Who They Know. Networking in Perspective.

A mistake business owners often make at networking functions is looking around a room and making assumptions about how much potential business they can get from this group of ... read more

I Want My Money! Seven Steps to Getting Paid

What’s the point of working really hard getting sales if you don’t get paid? Here are seven things you can do to increase your chances of always getting paid. 1. ... read more

Just Because You Can Doesn’t Mean You Should – Make the Customer Pay!

Just Because You Can Doesn’t mean you should Pt 2 Remember Customer Service means Serving the Customer! Number one characteristic of successful small business owners is a ... read more

Social Media Starter Hints for Business

Social Media has pros and cons for businesses it can take time but the bottom line is it’s what your customers are engaging in and it could be one of the best ways of ... read more

Creativity Instead of Cash to Grow Your Business

Last night I had the pleasure of visiting Macedon and speaking at, a great business networking night with over 50 businesses in attendance. The topic we discussed was growing ... read more

Help for Small Business

Yes there is someone batting for small business in Victoria. It’s the Office of the Victorian Small Business Commissioner and they can help if as a Victorian business ... read more

Getting Referrals Starts With You

Often businesses who do networking or join referral networks get disgruntled when they are not getting as many referrals to their business as they think they should. In the ... read more

Marketing Gourmet Food and Petrol Together: Can it work?

Is it possible to to sell gourmet food, wine and petrol all at the same place 24 hours a day… and have it work? Before my recent trip to Tasmania I would have thought no. But ... read more

Yarram Positive Marketing that Works!

Main street of Yarram – visit website Last week I was lucky enough to travel to the small town of Yarram which is approximately 3 hours south of Melbourne in Gippsland. ... read more

Costco – Nightclub Marketing Strategy in Shopping

What makes people… Line up for 30 minutes to get into a store that is not having a stocktake sale? Pay a member joining fee to be able to purchase at the store? Spend a ... read more

Economic Constipation not GFC hurting Small Business

This year in business has definitely been an interesting one. One trend I have noticed is that consumers and other businesses are holding on to their money. It’s not that they read more

Business Lessons from Bushfire

In the next few days I will be assisting businesses affected by the bush fires through the Small Business Mentoring Service and whilst many businesses are concerned about the ... read more

What Australians are Thinking Right Now

Recently I attended a breakfast by the Australian Marketing Institute where David Chalke from Quantum Market Research gave a presentation on the latest social research into ... read more

Don’t Look a Complaining Customer in the Mouth

If a customer who complains is a gift for business why do customers ignore them? In my particular situation I wrote a detailed letter (yes very old school on paper with an ... read more

Eroding a Brand

It can take years to build up a brand. As well as lots of money, hard work and consistent performance yet it just takes months to unravel a brand. read more

Is Small Business Losing a Competitive Advantage?

One of the major advantages of small business has always been the relationships that staff and owners can develop with customers. Customers usually have direct access to the ... read more

Social Media for Small Business: What, Why, How, When, Who

As small business owners we are busy. There are not enough hours in the day and the thought of adding extra tasks to an already ridiculously long to do list is about as ... read more

Reach out to your customers, or someone else will

Keeping customers costs less than replacing them. It makes sense to make a large part of your marketing strategy keeping your customers. Some things that help are: Customer ... read more

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