BACK TO BASICS

business

Current global recession

I was having dinner last night with a good friend of mine from interstate and invariably the conversation turned to the state of the economy. I mentioned the current global recession and the GM situation. The GM issue as he saw it was not just the financial crisis, which had its beginnings in lax lending and cheap credit,  it was that GM came into this tough period already weakened by past mistakes.

I’m inclined to agree with this view and maybe the “good times” have hidden bad business decisions which are now coming back to bite us. Perhaps now is the time to go back to basics.

Full of Fear

With the crisis becoming part of our everyday conversation most people you talk to have a fearful view of the future. This attitude feeds on itself and the result is that discretionary purchases or business expansion has been postponed. This appears especially so in the case of demand for consumer durables.

What does this mean for the ordinary person?  

Well maybe the prospects for demand will be restrained for a few years and when global growth resumes, it will be modest. The massive government debt in some of the major economies will be a limitation to growth. I think that a slower long-lasting expansion phase will be more beneficial than the growth over the last decade.

Back to basics

  • Moderation

Make temperate restraint a principle of your life. Do nothing in excess and you won’t suffer from the problems associated with extremes.

  • Diversification

Have good quality investments. The share market has been around for hundreds of years and is a good long term creator of wealth. Sure even the good quality shares took a knock but they have the potential to come back.

  • Inflation

Long term inflation growth is about 3% per annum so that for those of us retiring if assets are left in cash over a 10 year period our nest egg’s purchasing power will halve so having your assets in cash is not really an option.

  • Future of share market

Expectations are that the share market could climb by another 5 per cent or more by the end of 2009. However, in an article in the SMH it was noted that the future will not be without its volatility and market analysts warn that a market correction of up to 10 per cent could be prompted by weaker corporate earnings and poor offshore economic data.

There are other commentators who, based on reasonable economic performance being achieved over the next two years , expect the long term position of the market to be up 40 per cent from its current position.

It is interesting to note that the Australian S&P/ASX 200 is now up more than 25 per cent from its March low.

Sean

(c) 2009 simple and easy information

MARKET RESEARCH – NOW’S THE TIME TO DO IT

P1010133

KEEP THAT TRAIN OF THOUGHT

A client of mine always says ‘think the same way and you’ll do it the same way’. I totally agree with the sentiment of that statement but I notice that I tend to rely on thinking patterns that have worked for me in the past.

They serve me well because I don’t have to reinvent myself each day. I come across a problem I’ve encountered before and I solve it from past experience.

The global financial crisis has not only brought destruction to economies around the world but it has challenged the very way we think and solve problems.

WE NEED NEW IDEAS

What we need now is some imaginative originality. We are getting some of that thinking and maybe the ideas that were not around last year will be the seeds of the new markets that emerge after 2009. And that’s where I want to be.

I want to be part of the prosperous commerce that will materialize from these bad times. I don’t know where these opportunities are because by the time they become observable it is too late. What I am going to do is align myself with the group of entrepreneurs who specialise in connecting enterprises with their customers and clients by using database management.

BECOME A THINKER

I’ll be using my blog and web site to create lists in the niche market I want my business to be built around. What I have to learn to do is filter information, analyse the data and make decisions.   I have to become skilled at being flexible and then I’ll discover my niche market . I’ll have to become a thinker and have ideas that differ from already existing concepts. Sounds easy, so why has it taken me 60+ years? probably because it isn’t easy, well I’ll see. I’ll have to consciously rethink problems, seek multiple solutions and resist giving fast answers.

Sean

 © 2009 simple and easy information

FINANCIAL ADVICE FOR THOSE RETIRING

retire

 

PROTECT YOUR NEST EGG

Financial Planning week has just ended and so it is timely to repeat the advice of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).

ASIC  has recommend that those approaching retirement should find out as much as they can about investing  their nest egg.

They strongly advocate seeking advice from licensed and professional financial advisers.

ASIC offers the following tips for consumers and retail investors seeking the help of a financial adviser on planning for retirement:

  • Shop around to find the best adviser for your needs. ASIC’s consumer website, FIDO, has a list of suggested questions to ask potential advisers. Visit www.fido.gov.au/advice.
  • Good advice is worth paying for. Ask your adviser how much the advice will cost you, and how they will be paid. Some advisers receive commissions for recommending particular investments. Other advisers charge a fee or charge a combination of both. A professional adviser will be happy to show you the value of the advice they are paid for.
  • Ask your adviser if there are any restrictions on the investments they can recommend. Some advisers can only advise you about investments and super from their stable of products (ie. house brands only).
  • Get a copy of ASIC’s free booklet, Getting Advice,jointly produced with the Financial Planning Association at www.fido.gov.au/publications. Getting Advice can help investors start on the right foot with tips about finding the right adviser.
  •  For help with planning your retirement, visit FIDO’s retirees pages at www.fido.gov.au/retirees.

Remember when markets go down and the value of your savings and investments are reduced it is tempting to try to make up the losses by putting money into investment schemes that promise high returns. With high returns comes high risk. Please seek a professional adviser to help you choose investments that suit your needs. 

Sean 

Information quoted and researched from ASIC and National Seniors Australia

www.nationalseniors.com.au

 ©  2009 simple and easy information 

KEYWORDS

25052009559

It’s lunch time and I’m on my way out to find something to eat. My stomach sends a message to my brain “food needed.” The brain begins to respond. A wave of happiness washes over me.

 

Pictures and words pop into the vacant space. Taste sensations begin, words formulate and the search commences.

 

The eyes see bream fillets, fish and chips, salmon, BBQ octopus, perch, and flathead. The brain settles on BBQ prawns on skewers. Ok, I now understand what keywords are and how they work. 

 

My brain, the search engine, is looking to match up strings of letters and words in my head against other strings of letters and words in street advertising. While the rest of us have been calling them billboards I now call them keyboards.

 

The key thought is, keep the message consistent and don’t overload with irrelevant words. Go straight for the stomach. Make keywords your hobbie and you’ll make money.

Sean

(c) 2009 simple and easy information

ROOM FOR ONE MORE

21052009506

I have a friend staying with me for the weekend. Unfortunately it’s been raining with a minimum temperature of 16c. We’ve been talking a lot and I got around to showing him my blog and explaining my desire to use the internet to provide additional income.

His question was. Is this real? Followed by, how can you make money there are too many people doing it already? We all know there is always competition. In the end competition is more about the choices your customers have rather than the number of suppliers.

I told him, it’s like when he comes to Sydney, no matter how crowded it is, there’s always room for one more, even if it is on an inflatable air-bed in the lounge room.

Everyone has competition, and that’s not so bad because without it the market doesn’t exist. The problem with the internet is that like the pump up bed, you haven’t made it yourself nevertheless you’re the one that has to sleep in it. 

By that I mean that the internet has it own rules and to make a living you need to know how to market in that medium. You have to master the skill of getting your web site known and that’s by the effective use of keywords to attract the thousands of people who daily search for information. 

What is a key word? A keyword is any word you might type into a search engine to find a web site. Search engines look to match up strings of letters against other strings of letters and they are known as ‘keywords’. The search engine uses keywords in its search for relevant web pages. 

There are some very smart operators out there who have already made the transition into the internet and are already savvy in the area of keywords, so yes the competition is hot, but tell me where it isn’t. I have come across some very usable online help on the subject of keywords that is well written and easy to understand. When I get my site up and running I’ll attempt to affiliate with them. If you need to know about keywords and can’t wait, contact me and I’ll pass the link on to you now. The skill in keywords is essential but is a separate issue to marketing. 

But back to my conversation with my friend, I reminded him that after being in business for many years he would have the email addresses of hundreds, maybe thousands of qualified prospects. Whilst sending out emails to people you don’t know and expecting them to buy your product or service is somewhat over optimistic, it is a fantastic medium to extract increased profits from the existing best customers. He agreed saying that if he segmented his list he would have groups with common interests. This is a great start and I’m going to help him get started. 

As with all business big or small you have to give the recipients of the email a reason to buy from you rather than the thousands of other possibilities that exist and give them a reason to take action now. So you can see the two things you have to be good at is attracting traffic and making a sale. Practice these two skills and you’re well on your way.  

If you can be seen as a trusted resource as well as being easy to do business with you will have online success. 

The market research my friend could obtain from emailing his list could help him discover an unfulfilled need in the market and hence an opportunity. This market research would no doubt also be of great assistance with the development of his keyword strategy. 

So there is always room for one more but be prepared to set aside a budget for your internet presence, look for incremental sales from current clients and then expand into the WWW to attract new customers to your web site.

Sean

 

(c) 2009 simple and easy information

MAKE SURE YOU GET YOUR SHARE.

P1010112v2

If you are not getting more of the cake every year, then your company is shrinking in real terms.

You must ensure the business gets the best it can out of the market place you are in.

Perhaps your first reaction is that you can pick up extra sales wherever possible however this is only short-term because in the long run it will not sustain business growth.

 

 

Consider these strategies:

  • increase the customer base,
  • sell more to current customers
  • selling into new markets,
  • focus on retaining customers and
  • develop new products or services.

 If you wish to sell more to existing customers you must know them in terms of:

  • their customer behavior
  • what they buy
  • why they buy
  • how they buy
  • their typical budget
  • where else do they buy from
  • why do they buy from you
  • add value to products and services
  • encourage customers to spend more by selling premium products
  • offer incentives and price promotions especially on items that customers usually buy from competitors.
  • attempt to win back former customers by finding out why they left and try to resolve the problem. It might be that the service that was unsatisfactory or the price but be realistic as it is not worth winning customers back at any cost.

You can also increase your share of the market by the following strategies, but they require considerable planning and often carry a higher financial risk.

These methods include:

  • create a direct sales operation
  • appoint an agent
  • use wholesalers or distributors
  • set up an e-commerce operation,
  • establish joint ventures and partnerships
  • create new products, this can enhance market share and has the possibility to deliver growth and profitability but is very risky.

Sean

 Cake by Marina

Theme suggested by Sandra 

(c) 2009 simple and easy information

pic by Pat

MONEY – TURN YOUR EXPERTISE INTO A BUSINESS

20052009495

DON’T BE A PIGEON

Product Research

Yes I’m at the café again. I’m going over my research and I have come to the conclusion that  my site, simple and easy information,  must have an overall theme. I’m going to focus on “advice on making and keeping your money.” I’m settling on that because amongst  other things my motivation for the blog and the development of the site in the first place was to make money. Also it’s an area in which I have some expertise. 

Who’s interested in making more money?

Those folk who searched money, earn money, work at home, business opportunities, online money, affiliate programs and any other searches with other words are my target audience. I’ll never get to know them all because there were over 45 million global searches on those keywords in April alone.

My product will focus on the best and easiest information on how to make and invest money. I will not be selling information on how to make money on the internet because I don’t know how to do that. I will be using the web as an adjunct to my current consultancy practice and therefore be able to use it to promote those activities. That’s why my strong suggestion is that you use your current knowledge, skills and interests and you’ll have a better chance of success.

Every one has an interest or a skill that can be exploited and sold. Take an inventory of your skills and passions and see what kind of information about your topic, expertise or passion you could turn into a lifetime stream of income. Just concentrate on that specialisation and learn how to market it.

It’s true that in capitalism the more money you have, the easier it is to make money, and the less money you have, the harder it is. So for me to invest $100 on the internet and turn it into $110 is going to be hard work but if I can do that I will, within a year or so, be able to turn $5,000 into $25,000.  Remember to make money in any business is difficult whether it be here in the worldly space, in cyber space or outer space for that matter.

How did I come to the conclusion as to what product?

  • Making money is a core human desire or need
  • I have had over 40 years experience in lecturing and advising clients on taxation, financial and small business matters and have published books, papers and magazines on various information topics.
  • Next, the net is a newer and better way to provide solutions for this need, and
  • Lastly perhaps a new way to market to this desire for financial security is to show consumers the benefit of having an understanding of financial matters so they can, to an extent, control their financial destiny. Give them knowledge and understanding and they will have confidence in dealing with their financial issues.

The current collapse of the financial markets which has so hurt the small investor was in some part due to the very high level of trust put in external advisers. In the future the well informed information “haves” will be better equipped than the “have-nots” to protect their hard earned nest egg.

Some retirees I talk with say they can’t afford to live as long as they planned so maybe I’ll have a section dealing with how to live longer and do it within a budget or ..maybe how to be happy with the money you have or ..maybe….well I’ll just keep having ideas that could profitably expand my site.

But what really made me focus on the making money theme?

As I said I was having a hard day at the local café when a flock or gang of pigeons attacked the tables and tried to make off with some of my lunch. I went for the coffee, he went for the hot chips, and we both knew this wasn’t going to end with a friendly discussion. I threw my note book at him and he and his friends flew off dropping the chips in the process. By the time I regained my composure the chips were coated in dirt and had been on the ground too long for me to put them in my mouth and eat them.

It should have ended there, but it didn’t. The waitress came over and gave me solace, explaining that they, the pigeons, had become aggressive of late, adding that it must be the mating season. Being in the frame of mind of making every post a winner and trying to make money where ever possible I told her that I knew a pigeon psychologist who might be able to help. I said it’s most likely a behavioral issue. She left me to finish my coffee.

I got to thinking, what if it really was my problem. How would I fix it? I went straight back to the office and began a search of the net. It was 3.17pm. I noted every step I made even the fact I misspelled the word pigeon as piegons. The big G just googled on and by 3.29 pm I was finished, I had the answer.

It is at this point I must thank the two sites I crawled through namely http://www.howtogetridofstuff.com/andhttp://www.getridofthings.com/index.html

They are both great sites and I would like to have built either of them. I was however mildly interested in the wide rang of issues these sites dealt with and refer you to some topics of note.

Form http://www.getridofthings.com/index.html

And from http://www.howtogetridofstuff.com/

I finally chose the answer that it is best to clean up grains and other sources of food and this should reduce the pigeon population, since pigeons are scavengers. For the café, which is outdoors and near a park, this might mean sweeping the surrounds of the tables and ensuring tables are cleared of food scraps as soon as the patrons leave.

Perhaps leave some grain in the park at a distance from the café and change the pigeons’ habits. Better to keep the patrons happy than the pigeons. Remember with psychologist the answer is always NLP or No Little Pigeons.

The free advice from this adventure

Determine something unique you have to sell and already have an understanding of the customers who will buy that product or service. Find the market that will pay money for your skills and knowledge. It goes without saying if you have no skills it’s going to be difficult.

One of the ways to find out about your potential customers is to be a customer yourself. Find out who is already supplying information or services in your field, how do they communicate their message, what’s absent from their service that you can provide and then build your advantage around the difference.

Remember don’t be intimidated just get started and you don’t have to be a big corporation to succeed. You just have to be great at marketing and that’s a story for another day.

Sean

(c) 2009 simple and easy information