Time to Ditch the Fear of Failure

Time to ditch the fear of failure

Everyone views failures differently – what might be a triumph for one could be a major disappointment for another. You may have experienced this in school while your classmates shielded their results from one another, knowing that everyone’s standards are slightly different. Failure has a lot of negative connotations but perhaps surprisingly, it can be taken positively too.

There are many, many sufferers of atychiphobia – the fear of failure – but we can safely bet that, if you’ve embarked on your business journey, you are not one of these people. Those who are scared of failure often don’t even try at all, in case failure rears its head.

Realistically, failure is rife in the business world. Running from it may mean that you miss out on a lot of opportunities for your business to grow. It’s also not healthy to run head first into every opportunity recklessly, without considering the implications. As with everything, approaching failure is an art and requires a great deal of balance.

You will fail…..get used to it.

It’s undeniable! Growing a business comes with its own unique set of risks, meaning that failure is definitely on the cards.

In 1955, two men created a type of putty which was intended to be wallpaper cleaner. They seriously misjudged the demand and ended up with a product that seemed to be a huge failure. By chance and a few convenient connections, the product ended up on the table at a nursery school where it was an instant hit. The children loved it and found it a much better material to use when they were moulding their imaginations into something physical. The product became a huge success, so much so that there isn’t anyone alive who doesn’t know the name Play-Doh and associate the brand with happy memories.

Failure doesn’t always directly lead to a major success as it did in the case of Play-Doh and you can’t always physically use your failures. You can, however, always use the things you learn from your failure.

What doesn’t kill you……

We’re sure you’ve heard every failure cliché under the sun. We all know that failure is supposed to make those successes even sweeter. We know that what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger and we know that failure is just another word for experience. The most frustrating thing about these clichés? They’re all true, to some extent. So, how do we start taking them seriously?

The best thing you can do for your business is to take failure as it comes and not get knocked down and permanently defeated. There’s no need to glorify failure – we all know that failing is disappointing and demoralising – but there is a need to treat it like the lesson that it is. Dusting yourself off from failure means that you’re giving yourself another chance to get it right, maybe not next time, or the time after that but at some point down the track. It takes time to look at failure as a positive, but your business will thank you for it.

There is no denying that failure is scary, but using the failure to grow your business is a true art. If you’re ready to master the art, we would love to hear from you. Call Bx on 1300 068 229, or find out more about what we do here http://www.businessforlife.com.au/ProgramFindOutMore

Does Rejection Make Your Business Stronger?

Does rejection make your business stronger?

If you’ve been in business for any length of time, you’ll know that having clients choose your competitors is part-and-parcel of the job – even the biggest and seemingly successful businesses in the world come up against clients who will choose someone else over them. So what happens when you come up against rejection and what do you do next? Let’s find out:

A few bad apples don’t need to spoil the bunch…..

Rejection needs to be expected. It happens! Maybe it’s a fault in your business or maybe it’s a hang up on your potential client’s side. Either way, expect there to be a few bad apples along the way and don’t get too hung up on it or take it personally. It’s important to have long-term goals too. Coming face-to-face with rejection can be debilitating if you’re not sure where to go from here. If you have a goal to acquire 20 new clients this year, it becomes easier to look beyond the one rejection and move on to achieve your goals.

Keep the conversation open…..

Just because your potential client has said no this time, it doesn’t mean they’ll say no next time. Any number of things could happen in between now and then causing them to return to you, so you want to make sure the relationship you have begun stays positive and isn’t terminated just because they choose someone else. Acting negatively towards the client and rejecting them in return significantly slims down the chance that they’ll return to you next time. Treating them mean to keep them keen might work in the dating world but it won’t go down well in the business world.

Ask for feedback and take it on board…..

Perhaps it was your pitch that didn’t quite hit the mark or maybe your competitors are simply offering something better. You’ll never know if you don’t ask. There’s no need to be overbearing; a simple, kind question to see what their decision was based on can be very telling, even without pressing for too many details. If there’s something you can change or improve upon based on their feedback, take note and take action. It could mean you come up against less rejection later on.

Celebrate your successes…..

Rejection comes around often, but so do successes. Remember your successes often and feel free to pat yourself on the back without shame! Note what works well and keep it all in mind when you do encounter rejections. The rejection shouldn’t defeat your drive in your business, so have a collection of success stories on hand to draw on and boost your morale.

Rejection might seem like a door is slamming in your face but it may actually push you in a different direction, toward more success.

If you’re ready to start bouncing back from rejection and turn it into a success, we’d love to hear your business story and help you to move forward from here. Call Bx on 1300 068 229, or find out more about what we do here http://www.businessforlife.com.au/ProgramFindOutMore

 

How to Network Without The Icky Factor

How to Network Without The Icky Factor

Matt Alderton, Bx, Business for life, networkingDoes the idea of “Networking” conjure visions of eating bad canapés and lurching from one uncomfortable and superficial conversation to the next?

Have you ever attended a “Networking” event and felt like everyone was just in a big race to see who could hand out the most business cards first?

I have. And that is just plain “Icky.”

In fact, a scientific study recently featured in the Harvard Business Review has proven that professional networking actually makes people feel dirty.

Yep, seriously… it makes people feel physically dirty – like they want to take a shower afterwards!

Researchers suggest this is because we generally think about morality in terms of cleanliness and most of the time, professional networking feels very “contrived” and it increases people’s feelings of inauthenticity and immorality (hence the whole “feeling dirty” thing).

That’s why, even though we HerBusiness gives members loads of opportunities to connect with others  – we are definitely NOT about that kind of “Icky” Networking.

We showed that kind of networking the door years ago. What the same study DID find is that Networking had a positive association with job performance.

That means, whilst it can be great for your business in terms of winning new business, making useful connections and expanding your reach, most of the time you’re going to feel pretty uncomfortable with it.

So, how can you get all the benefits of networking without the “icky-ness” factor?

Look for organisations that offer alternatives.

Instead of hyped up, short term meet and greets, seek out interactions that have depth, authenticity and a good dose of practical advice and humour thrown in.

You’ll be creating relevant and vibrant connections with other business owners who will be good for your business – either as valued clients, suppliers or cheerleaders.

I like to think of the word network means “support team”.

Look for networks low on “Icky” and high on real conversations, solid advice and wholehearted support.

I like the way that Corryn Barakat of Milk and Love explained a meeting that she really liked…

“It’s the most grounding and invigorating forum I’ve attended as a Small Business Owner. All of the attendees provided useful points of view I hadn’t previously considered, and the size of the session means it felt intimate – like a group of your best friends getting together over coffee!”

So, look for a community where you can get real, valuable support from like-minded business owners.

Suzi Dafnis is the CEO of HerBusiness, which teaches women business owners how to market, operate and growth their business. Learn more at herbusiness.com/about

Small Business and the 2017-18 Budget

Last night we saw our fourth Budget handed down from the current Government and there were no major surprises for small business owners. Yet, was it enough? As a small business owner, is there enough being done to drive your profitability, resilience and long-term success by the Government?

 

Why Small Business?

I am often asked by people why the Government should spend resources and funds on small business. ‘Shouldn’t it be the responsibility of the business owner to achieve their own success?’. This is not a simple answer, and the same could be asked of all Australians. Before we dive into the 2017-18 Budget, let’s take a look at WHY small business is important to the Australian Economy.

  1. Small business employs more than 60% of working Australians – According to figures compiled by Saul Eslake, and discussed in an article by Adam Creighton in The Australian:
    1. Businesses that employ less than 20 employs approximately 45% of private sector employees
    2. Businesses with 20-199 employees employ approximately 25%, and
    3. Businesses with 200+ employees, approximately 20%.
  2. Small business is paying the way for Australia
    1. The ABS reports in 2015-16 taxes on income accounted for 57% of revenue (across all levels of Government).
    2. Taxes on the provision of goods and services accounted for over 23%

Not only is small business paying company and other taxes, they are paying the wages of 60% of the Australian workforce, contributing to the PAYG tax collected by the ATO.

It’s clear that small business is a key player in the revenue generated by the Government, yet are the measures to support and strengthen this critical sector our economy – the ‘engine room’ as it is so often referred to – enough to ensure this sector becomes stronger and more resilient.

Last night the ABC reported that 3 out of the last 4 quarters had seen negative growth in the retail sector – a significant segment of small business. Even the cafe and restaurant sector, has seen negative growth.

With greater than 50% of small businesses failing, small business needs more than a tax break on profits to create long-term growth and sustainability. Dun and Bradstreet’s Failed Businesses Report, shows that in 2016 the ACT recorded its highest number of business failures in three years.

Interestingly, small business may make up a significant portion of the Australian economy, but how much of that is actually collected? The Australian reported in an article by Robert Gottliebsen, the ATO is owed $19 billion in overdue tax, of which $13 billion is owed by small businesses with turnover up to $2 million.

The engine room is clearly struggling.

The Budget Wrap-Up

Okay, so it’s not all doom and gloom for the small business sector. Although I don’t see it as a clear win for small business, there are still a number of measures that will bolster small business.

  1. $20k instant asset tax write-off – this has been maintained for the 2017-18 FY for businesses of up to $10m. No surprises here.
  2. Red tape reduction incentive – States and Territories have been promised a $300m  payment over 2-years towards innovation. Let’s see how this filters through to small business.
  3. Small businesses employing foreign workers on 457 Visas will now be slugged with a $1,200 per year per worker, along with a one-off $3,000 payment. This replaces the need to report training spend required of 1-2% as previously required. I can see this impacting the hospitality segment especially, with a high number of foreign workers, and incredibly tight margins.
  4. The Black Economy – a crack down on the ‘cash economy’ is on its way. Businesses still operating by under-reporting, falsifying records and illegally avoiding paying tax are under threat. Let’s face it – it’s about time. If you are operating this way, you deserve to be caught – you are lining your pockets at the expense of all Australians. This will include businesses that pay cash to employees and businesses that don’t declare cash payments. Next time you walk into a local cafe that doesn’t have EFTPOS…ask for a receipt.

 

What is missing?

If the Government is serious about creating a strong, resilient and sustainable small business sector, we need to focus on two key elements.

  1. Funding for small business – cashflow is the number one issue for small business. The bank’s pledge small business funding, yet it is not accessible to the majority of small business. There needs to be a State or Federal solution to this.
  2. Education for small business owners – the more I work with small business owners, navigating the many challenges and opportunities that they encounter, the more obvious it is. Small business owners need training and education in the areas outside of their trade craft. Too often small business owners are expected to be the expert in all areas, accounting, taxation, legal matters, social media and marketing, structuring, systems, HR and so on.Yet, to get professional advice in all these areas is financially unachievable. Training and education is, therefore, essential and should be a high priority for both State and Federal Governments.

There is it, the Budget 2017-18. Hon. Scott Morrison stated in his Budget speech, “…business is responsible for a large part of driving revenue growth for Australia.”

If 4/5 of the budget repair is driven by growth, then business success is fundamental.