Viewing by month: April 2013

Tips for creating a clear and succinct business plan

A business plan is a written analysis of a business’ goals, projections and strategies, and is commonly considered to be one of the most important components of a business’ failure or success.

Here are three key tips for creating and maintaining an effective business plan: 

1) Be concise: a business plan is generally presented as a formal document and, as such, requires a professional tone. To this end, try to exclude unnecessary information or overly descriptive language; these may be seen as “filler” and could detract from the overall clarity and effectiveness of your business plan;

2) Be realistic: while it may be tempting to formulate a business plan with exponential growth in mind, it is important to also remain realistic. In order to make feasible growth projections, it is wise to consider the performance of your competitors; your financials; and how much you will need to invest over time into staff and resources. 

3) Be prepared: a business plan can help to prepare your business for a number of different circumstances. You may want to include a range of growth projections that cater to different possibilities. For instance, you might include two growth projections – one that represents conservative growth estimates, and another that represents more favourable outcomes. 

0 comments | Posted by George Tarbey on 26/04/2013 at 12:00 AM | Categories:

Have you considered using QR codes?


According to a recent study by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA), almost half of all adult Australians own smartphones. These figures show that smartphone ownership has continued to rise and that users are becoming more inclined to consult their phones for information.

This study points to a unique opportunity for businesses to market their services to a growing demographic of smartphone users.  One key way that businesses may look to do this is through Quick Response (QR) codes – a technology that was developed by Japan 20 years ago, but has gained prominence in many other parts of the world in recent times. 

QR technology is now being used by many advertisers to communicate important details to potential customers and clients. However, there are a number of ‘dos and don’ts’ when it comes to marketing through QR codes.

Here are three important factors to keep in mind:

1)      Smartphone optimisation: smartphone optimisation is an important part of QR code use that may be overlooked by those relatively unfamiliar with the concept. If you decide to use QR codes as part of your marketing collateral, you may want to check whether or not the codes send potential clients to a smartphone-friendly website. You may even want to go a step further by making sure that each code links to relevant contact details, or customising the QR code to launch a smartphone app;


2)      Placement: try to be as simplistic as possible when deciding on the positioning of QR codes. For example, it is best to avoid placing the code in a location where it may be difficult for people to scan, such as moving vehicles or high buildings. You will likely find that if your QR code is simple and easy to scan, a greater number of people will use it.


3)      Size: size most definitely matters when it comes to QR codes. The size of the QR code has a large bearing on not only whether or not it is noticeable, but whether it can be scanned. Generally, the code should be no smaller than 2.5cm² (approximately one square inch). A QR code is more likely to be scanned if it is within the preferred dimensions and is easily accessible. 


0 comments | Posted by George Tarbey on 19/04/2013 at 12:00 AM | Categories:

Four tips for encouraging a healthy workplace


A clean and healthy workplace is vital to maintaining strong levels of employee productivity, attendance and morale. As such, here are five key tips to help you provide a healthy working environment for staff.

1)    Encourage active lunch breaks: while this option may not be suitable for all offices at all times, encouraging an active lunch break can be a great way to help your employees strike a healthy work/life balance. For example, you may want to look at forming a lunchtime sporting competition or going for team walks. You may find that regular exercise benefits your employees’  energy levels, mindsets and posture;  

 2)      Keep moving: research has shown that sitting down for extended time-periods can have adverse impacts on the health and wellbeing of employees. This is why it is important to encourage staff  to stand up and stretch every two hours; this will likely help them to avoid cramps, headaches and more long-term problems such as back pain;

 3)      Plan ahead: encourage your office to plan ahead when it comes to lunches. You may want to suggest to staff that they take five or ten minutes at the start of each day to plan a lunch accompanied by healthy snacks;

 4)      Practice hygiene and food safety techniques: healthy workplace practices not only deal with diet and exercise, but matters of hygiene as well. As such, it is important to encourage employees to keep the workspace clean and hygienic, especially around food preparation areas in the office.  


0 comments | Posted by George Tarbey on 12/04/2013 at 12:00 AM | Categories:

How to keep your staff focused and productive

Real estate principals are always on the look-out for innovative ways to boost their office’s sales numbers – whether it’s through marketing, technology or direct sales techniques. In the search for new approaches, some principals may overlook the importance of staff motivation. In light of this, here are three key tips to help principals motivate their staff towards higher levels of productivity and success.

1) Daily sales checklists: you may find that your sales team is more focused and productive if you encourage them to compile a daily checklist. Daily checklists should include tasks in order of priority, and should be monitored and enforced by line managers across departments. Through having staff members develop their own checklists, you will likely encourage them to take ownership of their tasks and, in turn, increase employee accountability;

2) Recognise opportunity: when a client or prospect declines your services, try to take something constructive from the experience. For example, rather than ignoring an unsuccessful client meeting, you may want to consider developing a case study to illustrate to staff the ‘dos’ and don’ts’ of client interactions. At the end of the day, no opportunity is wasted if you can take some value from it. 

3) Performance based incentives: it’s no secret that performance based incentives often help to motivate employees on an individual level; however, team performance incentives may also yield some positive results. Why? Because team-based incentives often lend themselves to increased productivity, efficiency and staff morale. 


0 comments | Posted by George Tarbey on 05/04/2013 at 12:00 AM | Categories: