Archive - July 2015

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How much should I pay myself?
Create systems for better customer service
10 Business Opportunities in good or bad times
Don’t leave a seminar without taking at least one action!

How much should I pay myself?

When I’m consulting to startups or small businesses there is a perennial question: “am I paying myself the right amount?”

That really is a difficult question to answer.

On the one hand, I’d like to say that you should pay yourself what you would have to pay someone else to do what you do. That’s difficult enough as it is. After all, as business owner you are almost certainly doing things above and beyond a normal Job Description – long hours, things “beneath” a manager’s role, the literal bottle-washer. How much would you pay someone for all that?

On the other hand you did not start your business to earn a salary. What you put into the business will reap you the rewards a salary earner will never get – even though it may take a few years to eventuate. You will have equity, you will have the satisfaction of working for yourself, and perhaps the most powerful of all, you will fulfill your dream – the reason you started in business.

Watch this video for a discussion of what you will have to think about when you try to work out what you should pay yourself.

Let’s be honest. At the beginning, what you are likely to be able to pay yourself is simply what’s left in the bank at the end of the day! That can be difficult for business owners who are single income families with mortgages especially in the early days when cash available in the business is in short supply.

I’ve written before about how business owners need to realise they may have to make sacrifices, and this may be one of them.

However your reward really comes from the future, the building of a sustainable business with a base for growth, steady profitability and a structure that you can mould to your vision. Stick to the vision. Focus on what it takes to make your business successful. Be clear about quality and customer service. Stay determined and constantly on track.

Sure it gets hard from time to time, but work smart and work hard, plan your way forward and you will get there. When you do, the celebration is worth the sacrifice!

In the meantime, subscribe to our newletter here so that you can get all our resources, tools and tips to grow your business sent directly to your inbox for you to read and prosper from in your own time.


Create systems for better customer service

Have you ever received truly exceptional customer service? What was it like and why did you think it was exceptional customer service?

Each experience is different but I bet you can tick off a couple of common characteristics in what happened:-

  • You felt individual attention
  • You felt that every detail of the service or product was meant for your satisfaction
  • You felt that whatever you received was timely
  • You felt that you not only got the product or service, you got that extra something that accompanied it.

Am I right?

Firstly do you see it is about what you felt? Exceptional customer service is not only about the quality of the box you bought, it is about how you felt during the transaction.

Secondly it is about “extras” – and these need not be something tangible like a bonus product. In customer service “extra” is about listening to you as an individual and perhaps providing nothing more extra than a courteous word.

Yet people also get it wrong don’t they? For every instance of exceptional service I would bet you have 10 examples of poor service.

If only every business realised that excellent customer service is not about spending more money or even putting in more effort – it’s about being consistent and predictable in what you offer. That’s it! Consistency and predictability!

Watch this video to see why you should implement simple systems that create excellent customer service.

Now let’s get back to how you should make your customers feel and how that can be done with some simple systems.

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10 Business Opportunities in good or bad times

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about 10 business survival strategies in difficult times.

I received a ton of email telling me that you guys are actually having it good out there!

John from Sydney said that his office design business had never seen it so good! Peta, also from Sydney, said that while she did see ups and downs the sales in her online home-wares business was growing steadily. Anne and Peter told me that their cafe in Adelaide hit a rough patch last year but they seem to be recovering now. From London, Geoff who runs a house-clearance company (Steptoe and Sons?) says that with a little smart management he has maintained his sales while reducing costs.

That’s great!

So I thought this week I’d “balance the books”. Here’s a video about 10 business improvement opportunities that you can take advantage of in good time (or bad – see, I’m hedging my bets).

These are 10 things you really should look to do whatever the economic climate – they just make sense if you want to make your business be more efficient, be more responsive, be more profitable, and grow.

  1. Improve your business position, whether physical (better location), market share or quality products;
  2. Look for opportunities to buy out your competitors or their equipment;
  3. Increase the quality of your employees;
  4. Reorganise your finance facilities;
  5. Renegotiate property leases;
  6. Increase margins (by increasing quality and service);
  7. Eliminate unprofitable business segments or products;
  8. Restructure and reorganise operations for more efficiency or customer-responsiveness;
  9. Reorganise your office – put in more efficient systems to save time and cost;
  10. Review your long term personal goals.

OK people, send me more email about how you’re going! I love getting your ideas and your stories.

Or, if you don’t mind sharing, get over to https://teikoh.com and leave a comment. While you’re there, or click here to subscribe to our newsletter and receive great valuable tips, tools and resources to grow your business.

Don’t leave a seminar without taking at least one action!

I’m sure that you’ve attended a seminar or webinar, watched an instructional video or presentation, and thought “wow, I really learned from that, I can really use some of that stuff!”

But be honest, have you?

My own principle is that if I walk away having learned one thing, it’s been a valuable experience – but only if I use that one thing!

So I impose a rule on myself – I never leave a seminar or training presentation without immediately taking at least one action.

I don’t care what that single action is – just do it – and you will find that it builds a momentum of its own and the next thing you know you’ll think of the next action.

It might be to make a call and discuss what you learned, it may be to make a change in your business, it may be to follow the training and map out a process to implement it on the back of an envelope – whatever it is take that action, then work out what the next action is and when you intend to do it.

This is the way to turn the value from attending a seminar to the value of using what you learned, otherwise it’s a waste of money. And before you start with your “yes, but” comments, I do realise that immediately after you leave the seminar you are likely to get back to ringing telephones and problems, but do you want to live in a world of problems or do you want to move to a world of improvement and growth? One small step leads to another and you’ll end up running to victory!

As usual the most exciting stuff happens now – let me know what you think, how do you make things happen? How do you get value from seminars? Get over to the website https://teikoh.com and leave a comment, or get over to our Facebook page Teik Oh Dot Com and leave a comment there.

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