Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Coffee Time Minutes - 10th April 2013

Who we are?
Small and Home Business owners meeting to build relationships from other SBO’s.

What is CT?
Relatively casual meeting group, where you can network, talk about business ideas and strategies, and learn from one another.

Tuggerah’s Zenith Centre.

At 10.30 am on the 2nd & 4th Wednesdays of the month. Arrival 10.25 am for 10.30 am start. (Runs for about 1 hour)


Update on our Raffle?
Today we raised $18, bringing the total this year raised $63 (including this week’s total) for this year for the Iris Foundation in 2013. Over the past 4 years we have raised $2000 for the prevention of suicide.

This year we will continue with our Raffles and donation to Iris Foundation. This year we will do a raffle again for the Iris Foundation. We will be looking for prizes/donations up to the value of $10. Its will be up to you if you would like to participate and none should feel obliged. Tickets will be $2 each, or three for $5.

Coffee Time Networking:
• Coffee Time – 12th June
• Coffee Time – 10th July
• Coffee Time – 14th August
• Coffee Time – 9th October
• Coffee Time – 13th November
• Coffee Time – 11th December + Christmas Luncheon

Other Networking:

• BWC (Business Women’s Connect) Ladies Luncheons on once a month. For more information contact Kym Williams
• SWN (Success Women’s Network) Ladies luncheons are on once a month at The Edge Café, Zenith. For more information contact Corrine
• B2B Networking - contact Suzy or Lyn for more information.
• SBNG – meetings on Fridays around the coast. Meet at Tuggerah on the 3rd Friday of the month. For more information check out the website.

What’s coming up
• Buy Local Festival – 24th and 25th May at Erina’s Impact centre. To book in contact Lyn or Suzy

• The BEC runs courses and mentoring for home and small businesses. For assistance contact Darren, Debbie or Lynne
• Courses coming up are:
• Social Media Domination for small business – the basics – 1st May
• Social Media Domination for small business – advanced – 15th May
• Grants Writing, Fundraising and Volunteer Management – 22nd May
• Business Planning for Growth – Part A – 29th May
• Business Planning for Growth – Part B – 5th June
• Get your business noticed online – 12th June
• Modern selling Techniques – Part A – 19th June
• Modern Selling Techniques – Part b – 26th June
• Marketing Roadmap to Success – 17th July
• BEC also has a membership aswell

Today’s Attendees

Tarnia Gurney
Gurney Financial Services

Bev and Dawn
Iris Foundation

Rachel Dillon
Promo Creative

Simon Calder
BVO Hunter/Central Coast

Chris Macauley
Macauley by design

Nicolette Gregory
Artistique Photography

John Christoforou
Green Index - Email

Ann O’Kell
Oven & BBQ Cleaning – Wyong

Shan Lawson
Personal Coaching

Lynne Harris

Kate Morris
Independent Consultant

Lyn Thompson
B2B, LBH Promotions


Simon – has another new business – distribution of water and air purifiers
Kate – became a bronze leader and has signed up 39 people to YIAH
Bev – Northern Lakes Rotary has been give the go ahead to assist the intervention centre
Dawn – Slither and Slumber has raised approximately $20K
Shan – ran a success business networking event and is running another one in may.

Today’s Discussion
Continuation from last meeting
10 ways to improve your business – By Toyne Business Associates

1. Hold information nights or demonstrations of your product or service.
This has a similar effect as a newsletter, but allows personal contact. It also allows your customers to bring a friend along!!

2. Plan your business. Set goals, both business and personal, and refer to them regularly.
There are many clichés advocating the benefits of planning and setting goals, suffice to say……..if you do not know where you are going or how you are to get there, there is not much chance of making it!!!!!

3. Benchmark every aspect of your business.
This involves comparing anything you can about the operations or results of your business against industry average figures. You can even do this by comparing your results from year to year, or by comparing yourself to successful businesses in your industry.

This provides you with countless opportunities to improve your business.

4. Put systems in place wherever you can in your business.
This will not only improve the profits in your business but also allow it to manage growth. You can improve the quality of your operations and output. You will also be able to have your team members undertake tasks that you currently do yourself.

Basically, it will free up your time and ensure that the things that need to be done in your business are done.

5. Get feedback from your customers.
It is often not such a bad thing for your business to get a complaint……it lets you know what is wrong with your business. Most unsatisfied customers do not bother to tell you when something is wrong.

By putting in place a system to obtain feedback from your customers you are able to make improvements and really identify how others view you. It might seem scary, but it is invaluable.

6. Form an alliance with another business that has the same target market as you do.

 E.g. Gurney Financial Services and Woodview Home Loans.

You will both be able to market to each other’s client base and provide incentives for customers to deal with you.

One important point is to ensure that the business you form an alliance with is reputable and provides a quality service or product.

7. Get your team involved.
To unlock the full potential of your business you will need the support and help of your team. Give them the power of make decisions and involve them in the planning process. Consider bonuses for achieving agreed business goals.

8. Unlock working capital from within your business.
All business use some sort of working capital requirements. It is often in the form of stock on hand, debtors, creditors or work in progress. Minimising the amount tied up in these areas can provide valuable cashflow for a growing business.

For example, creditors (invoices to be paid) can often be paid by credit card. This not only gives up to another 55 days to pay the account it can also provide you with reward or frequent flyer points.

9. Make your customers feel special.
Start a club for valued customers (hopefully that is all of them) where they can receive benefits. These may include newsletter, information nights, and advance access to product promotions, “exclusive” access to your business or anything else that makes them feel special.

Even send them a thank you card for placing their business with you.

10. Fill in idle time in your business.
What promotions can you run to have customers buy in slow periods?
How can your facilities or assets be used “out of hours”?
What marketing or other beneficial activities can your team be doing in down time?

11. What is the worst possible thing that could happen to your business?
How would you handle it? Do you have insurance? A contingency plan?

Open Discussion
• Hold free webinars
• Combine presentations with other businesses that are in sync with your business
• You plan our holidays, so plan your business
• Weekly meetings – the team gets involved,
• Set goals
• Measure the success of the business
• Use whiteboards
• Test and measure your marketing messages
• Benchmark your business – yr to yr
• Sit down and chat to someone you trust to get honest feedback on your business
• Ask you clients for testimonials
• Ask for feedback – both good and bad. The bad will help you be a better business owner and assist you  not making the same mistake
• Add testimonials to your website
• Ask what you can do better
• Ask your partner if they think you going ok. Talk about it with your life partner
• Accountability – get someone who can make you accountable
• Protect your cash flow
• Try and stay out of debt
• Have appropriate advisers
• Marketing – send out cards
• Send out personalized cards or letters to clients to build rapport. Remember anniversaries, birthdays, etc
• Have an exit strategy
• Business plan should have your exit strategies in there
• Focus on your business – not everything else
• Overcome your fear of failure

Simon has recommended these books to read – apparently very good. They are:
• Chicken soup for the soul
• How to win friends and influence people
• Magic of thinking big

Thanks everyone for your participation, hope everyone got something out of it.

Planningwerx4u has Business Planning Cds for $50 each, if you would like one please let Tarnia know.

Today we raised $18 for Iris Foundation.

Thanks and see you next time

NEXT MEETING: 8th May - Arrive 10.25am for 10.30 start – sharp
The Edge Café, Zenith Centre, Tuggerah

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