Are you Harnessing Social Media for your Business?

 

Social media is constantly changing and so is the way that we use each different platform. Despite its ever-evolving nature, social media isn’t going anywhere anytime soon and your business should be jumping on board to see where it could take you.

Different social media platforms work well for different businesses, so it’s important to take the time to consider each platform carefully to decide which one will work the best for your business.

Facebook

Many of us have our businesses listed on Google – after all, it is one of the first places potential customers will look. Facebook allows you to provide all the usual information – business hours, location, descriptions, reviews and images of premises etc – with the added bonus of interactivity.

Facebook lets your customers interact with you through events, photos, uploading their own reviews and messaging you directly to get their answers. Facebook is a great hub for interactivity and, after Google and your website, it’s one of the first places your potential customers will go to find out more about your business.

Instagram

Instagram is especially useful if your business is product-based. A well-shot photo of your product may just catch the eye of a potential customer. The platform relies heavily on hashtags, which means that your image has the potential to make a big splash in the Instagram world.

Out of all the popular social media platforms, Instagram provides the most scope for creativity, which means that you can let your business personality shine through visually.

Instagram also offers business pages which means you can gain insight into how your followers are responding to your content and it provides an option for your followers to easily send you an email to find out more.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is useful for building your professional network and sharing news about your business. The platform is perfect when you’re looking to grow your business and find new staff and it’s also a great tool to check up on your competitors!

LinkedIn also provides rooms for articles – formerly known as Pulse – an extension of the platform which allows you to write your own long-form content and share with your network – this is perfect, especially if your own website doesn’t support a blog.

There are plenty of other platforms out there that could be right for your business. Snapchat and Twitter have been useful for businesses that like to update immediately or show behind the scenes information, while YouTube is great for sharing videos highlighting events or even create ‘how-to’ videos for your products.

Using social media is all about getting your name out there, growing both your professional network and your customer network and, most of all, having a bit of fun with your business.

At Bx, we’d love to know how you’re using social media to boost your business – if you’re still unconvinced on the topic of social media, try talking it over with some like-minded peers at one of our networking groups to see how others are harnessing social media. Visit http://bxbusinessnetworking.com.au/

Ways to Get More Sales with Social Media

The quickest way to make more sales is to work out what your customers want and give it to them. It’s like the scenario of how to sell the most hamburgers. What one thing do you need? 100% pure ground beef? Sesame seed buns? Free fries with every order? No. You need a starving crowd.

So how do you find out what your customers want? You ask and listen – and this is where social media is great as it enables you to ‘listen’ to many and find out their authentic needs. From usinSalesg Twitter to find opportunities and LinkedIn to find the names of the decision makers inside organisations, to listening to what your prospects are saying about your competitors on social media – it can all amount to a great picture of your ideal customer, what frustrates them and how you can possibly solve their problems.

An integral part of the sales process is getting to know your prospects and establishing relationships and  social media can help you accomplish this quickly and easily.

Get to know your prospects and target customers

There’s no point being on Facebook if your target customer is more likely to be found on LinkedIn. Do some homework before you choose a social media platform. Facebook is great for business to consumer sales, while LinkedIn is more business to business. Don’t discount commenting on websites and blogs either. You can really find prospects any place online where a relevant conversation is happening – it’s a case of spending the time researching where your target customer is going online to seek information and having conversations.

Demonstrate trustworthiness and credibility in relation to sales

As you engage with prospects via social media platforms, remember this. It’s about them not you. For people to like, know and trust your online persona, you need to write and comment in such a way that supports that. If you see someone online with a problem, posting a link to your online workshop for $449 that would solve their problem isn’t the best opener. Instead offer advice. Prove yourself worthy of conversation. Link to useful blog article you have written that helps solve their problem. Some of the best word of mouth consumer to business successes I have seen on social media start by someone asking for advice and other people commenting and/or tagging contacts who can help. Don’t do the hard sell when word of mouth will build your trustworthiness more effectively.

Remember, we all have a large digital footprint. People will google, stalk your social media profiles, check out what you have written, posted or commented. Be honest and authentic in it all.

Connect with and get to know people

Conduct a search on each social networking website or use a resource like socialmention.com to find people who are talking about your industry or using related keywords. Then comment on their posts, retweet them, answer a question or share something they say. By contributing to their conversation you add value to their network. It becomes natural for you to follow them and for them to follow you back.

Have a conversation

If you really listen to what your prospects are saying on social media, it shows you are willing to have a conversation rather than cold sell. Many closed doors have been opened by this simple approach. It may take longer – but it results in easier sales and longer-term loyalty. One colleague – a content writer – gains leads via her personal Facebook simply by people enjoying her posts and recognising she has a great writing style. Another shares education and advice, while another – a great networker – introduces other people into the conversations who may be able to solve problems. It may sound old-fashioned, but it’s simply showing how you can be of service and other-focused – just through a new-fashioned medium.

Should you bother with email marketing for your business?

Email is one of the oldest social media platforms, but it’s still in regular use today. Many people aren’t convinced that email marketing is the way to go, thinking their emails will just get lost amongst all the everyday email chaos, but we have three great reasons why emails are the right choice for your business.

Keeping it professional

social media marketing

Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and Snapchat all have their place and each of them can work wonders when used appropriately for your business, but none of them can hold a candle to a good, sleek, professional email. Everyday, 269 billion (Redacti) emails are sent and it’s still the preferred method for businesses to communicate – either with other businesses or their customers.

You get to show your personality through your social media accounts, but your email is where everything comes together in one professional piece of communication.

Bringing in sales

Emails have come a long way in the last 20 years and despite all the new social media platforms and complicated marketing techniques, email marketing still comes out on top with a conversion rate of 66% (DMA). Not only can you provide your customers with email-only deals, you can send them wherever you want them to go through interactive links in the body of your email.  These direct links mean that customers never get lost or distracted in the tangled, interwoven web.

The biggest advantage to email marketing is your ROI – for every dollar that you spend, you get $38 in returns (DMA). Considering that most email newsletters are free or extremely cheap to create, the ROI is next to none.

Staying in touch with customers

Facebook and other social media platforms can be daunting – plenty of people expect you to be updating daily and that pressure can be a little overwhelming. Email is a little less demanding – you can send out an eNews as little or as much as you prefer. You might feel like you don’t have enough updates to include on social media each week or day, it’s almost certain that you will have enough business news to share at the end of the month.

It’s a great way to keep in touch with your customers, remind them of your deals and just update them with your wins and, considering emails have three times more users than Facebook and Twitter combined, it seems like a no-brainer (Kissmetrics)

How have you seen email marketing boosting your business? If you’re still not sure that email marketing is worth your time, consider joining one of our networking groups to find out more about how other business owners are using emails to create more opportunities for your business. Visit http://bxbusinessnetworking.com.au/

Find and Attract New Clients in 5 Quick Steps

How many of us are so busy doing a fantastic job for our current clients, that we find we don’t have good systems for getting new clients?

Here you will learn how to: Find and Attract New Clients in 5 Quick Steps

The key to a sustainable and scalable business is the implementation of systems to grow our business. Good systems allow us to spend more time delivering to our clients and less time chasing new business.

New business is the lifeline to building a business. Below are five quick steps you can implement in your business straight away to grow your business by finding and attracting new customers.

1. Remember the saying, if you fail to plan, you plan to fail? Yes, I know it’s cliché, but many of us have very limited time, so we often are light on in the planning stages of marketing. I have found that even a rough plan of the next 3-6 months of strategies can give you a timeline of success and actually take a bit of pressure off. If you don’t have any marketing in place, just get 3-5 things that you can do over the next 3-6 months. Then, commit to getting two of them off the ground in the next 30 days.

2. Social Media and Online Marketing – if this is alien to you and freaks you out a bit…don’t worry, most people are in this boat. The rise of the internet and social media over the past decade is phenomenal and to most is now the norm. However, start talking social media marketing, and the majority are still fairly vague on this.

Where to start? That’s the question to ask yourself. Firstly, there are plenty of companies that can help you on this, and if you think you may need some help…get help. They are usually very cost effective.

There are three main (and easy) way to advertise online:

 

  1. Google Adwords
  2. Facebook advertising
  3. LinkedIn Advertising

If you haven’t done either, start with Facebook advertising, as these are easy to setup and are relatively low cost. Google Adwords and LinkedIn Advertising are also great options. Start with Facebook and once you’ve mastered that progress to the others, or hire in help to get you started.

Follow these three key rules of thumb:

  1. Start with a low budget and do cost per click (CPC)
  2. Always use a leads page (like Lead Pages.net), don’t direct the straight to your website
  3. Build your client list/ database, don’t build your likes.

3. Get to where they are! There are hundreds of ways to get face to face with your potential customers – whether you’re in retail, service based or otherwise. Here are my quick tips:

  1. Cafes/ fast food – do your customers catch the bus or train? Often potential customers are racing past your shop and boarding buses and trains. Stand up at the station or bus stop and hand out some compelling offers to entice them in
  2. Trade Shows – there are tradeshows for everything these days, go online and find out where you customers are looking for the next big ticket to help them…and make your business that big ticket!
  3. Sporting events – when the sporting event ends…thousands file out of the event. Make them head to your business with a limited time only compelling offer.
  4. Set up a temporary stall/ information booth in a shopping centre – let’s face it, most people shop. So, make yourself visible and available to you potential customers by either selling your products, giving away samples, or providing information on your business/ services to those that show an interest.
  5. Strategic partnerships….read on to point #4!

4. Strategic Partnerships – these are a great way to align yourself with the right similar but not competing organisations. Here are the quick action steps for creating a strategic partnership:

  1. WIIFM (What’s In It For Me) – do a quick list of what YOU could offer THEM. Strategic partnerships only work when both parties feel like they are getting value out of the partnership.
  2. Identify your potential strategic partnerships – create a profile of who your perfect strategic partner may look like. Now list 20 potentials that match this
  3. Contact your top 20 – book a meeting with each and discuss your strategic partnership. Make sure you have a list of the top benefits for THEM. The more you focus on THEM, the stronger the partnership. Remember you listed them as your top 20, so they will be able to deliver to you, make sure you can deliver to them.
  4. The next steps are all about implementation and follow-up:
    • Lock in 2-3 opportunities with you SP
    • Communicate to your team and the SP’s team – excite and entice both sides to the opportunities.
    • Develop systems to help you manage and review the partnership
    • Have a tool to measure the results. Systemise this.
    • Review the partnership and the results and iterate as required

5. Direct Marketing – okay, I know this is old school, but sometimes old school works. I will give you an example. One of my business is an IT/web-based business. We have an awesome app for hospitality businesses that allows them to place their supplier orders for all their suppliers. It has been hugely popular. We had inside information that a huge multi-national chain was changing one of their suppliers and we wanted to provide our app to this chain. We didn’t have email addresses for these businesses, phone calls would have been time consuming, and we couldn’t drive around the country doing face to face meetings. The best option was a direct mailout through the post. With postal addresses widely available, it was easy to create the mailmerge and pump out the advertising, directly mailed to each business.

Rule of thumb – find out who your target market is, and if you can’t get in front of them, snail mail, ain’t a bad option!

Do you have a story to share about how you have found new clients? Or are you struggling to build your business? We’d love to speak about how we could help your business to move beyond this blip into success. Call Bx on 1300 068 229 or email us info@b-x.com.au 

Want to Accelerate Your Business? Outsourcing Could be the Secret.

It’s a common problem that all business owners face at some point – how to get everything done in a limited amount of time without sacrificing their own quality of life. When your business is growing and you have more to do, but not necessarily more team members to help to do the work, it can be easy to become overwhelmed.

The answer to this problem is simple. As soon as your attention is being consumed away from sales and customer service, pause and think about where YOUR time is most valuable. For any business owner, that time is best spent on growing your customer base and nurturing leads. Any tasks that distract you from that focus are prime targets for outsourcing.

Outsourcing also allows business owners to manage growth in a scalable and cost effective manner. When a task – say bookkeeping – is taking your time away from more valuable tasks, but you don’t have the need for a permanent internal resource, outsourcing is the perfect interim solution to manage this in-between period of business growth. After all, the cost of an employee is more than just their salary – you also need to factor in additional costs like insurance, superannuation, office space and IT infrastructure. Suddenly a contractor’s hourly rate can become a lot more reasonable! Then once your business has grown further, there may be a tipping point when it makes sense to create a dedicated internal role. Outsourcing allows you to dial this capacity up and down in a scalable way that meets the unique needs of your business.

What to Outsource

Essentially, you should consider outsourcing any function that distracts your attention from sales and growing your business. Here’s a list of a few ideas to get you started:
– Bookkeeping
– Graphic design
– Data entry
– Rostering and payroll

– Email and calendar management
Social media management
Marketing

Depending on the skill set required, you can find excellent outsourcing solutions both within Australia and internationally. There are a number of websites, such as Upwork, that can connect you with a range of freelancers with different skills, as well as companies that specialise in managing these relationships for businesses. As well as searching online, don’t forget to ask your network for any recommendations and referrals.

10 tips to successfully manage outsourcing relationships

1. Define what you want to achieve and the required skills and resources

2. Know your desired results
3. Complete due diligence: ask to see portfolios and samples, check references and so forth
4. Know your budget, but don’t select only on price
5. Clearly communicate expectations – use written contracts to document scope of work and expected standards
6. Set realistic timeframes
7. Regularly monitor performance and set agreed performance milestones
8. Ensure copyright for any original work, such as design work, writing, computer code and so forth, is passed on to your business upon payment

9. Get legal advice to protect your business from any wrong doing by contractors
10. Start with small projects and increase the scope when your outsourcing partners have proven they can satisfactorily deliver

Have you used contractors to outsource non-core business functions? What benefits have you experienced as a result? If you are reluctant to outsource, what are the concerns that are stopping you? We’d love to speak about how we could help your business to improve its performance.  Email info@b-x.com.au or phone 1300068229

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.

Business for Life Membership Terms & Conditions

  • May 01, 2017

MEMBERSHIP TERMS & CONDITIONS

ACCEPTANCE

1. This legally binding agreement is between you and Bx Pty Ltd (ABN 78 604 725 493) (referred to as “we”, “us” or “our”), and collectively the Parties.
2. You have requested membership of the Business for Life Program, details and inclusions of which are set out in the application form (Services or Program). You agree and accept that these Terms and Conditions(Terms) form the agreement under which we will supply the Services to you. Please read the Terms carefully. Please contact us if you have any questions.
3. You accept our Terms by:
i. completing, signing and returning the application form; OR
ii. confirming by email that you accept these Terms; OR
iii. instructing us to proceed with the Services; OR
iv. indicating your acceptance of these Terms via a link sent to your email address; OR
v. making part or full payment for these Services, by the methods set out in the application form.

SERVICES

4. We agree to perform the Services with due care and skill.
5. We may provide the Services to you using our employees, contractors and third party providers and they are included in these Terms.
6. Suppliers of third party services who are not an employee or our direct contractor and who you engage (Third Party Services) will be your responsibility. We are not responsible for the quality of service provided by suppliers of Third Party Services. You must make direct arrangements with them.
7. Our Services cover the scope set out in the application form. If you request additional services, including but not limited to changes in scope, variations or additional rounds of comments (Variation), we have discretion as to whether we perform this work and whether an adjustment to the fees may be required in respect of the same.
8. We reserve the right to vary these Terms, revise the content of the Program, cancel, amend, change or reschedule part of the Program and to make other changes to the Program and your membership as reasonably required.
9. We reserve the right to close our office and its operations for up to four (4) weeks during the year, including the December/January holiday season. During this time, there will be limited or no access to all components of the Program, except for the online eLearning and resource portal and the business and networking Facebook group. There may be no support available from our employees, contractors, advisers or third party providers during this time.

YOUR ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS, OBLIGATIONS, AND WARRANTIES

10. You warrant that you will not canvass, employ, induce or attempt to employ, induce, solicit or entice away from us, any employee or contractor that was employed by or contracted to us during the term that we provide Services to you or the prior twelve (12) month period. This clause shall apply from the commencement of these Terms until the later of:
i. twelve (12) months following the termination of your membership; and
ii. twelve (12) months following the cessation of the employee or contractor’s employment with us. This clause shall survive termination of these Terms.
11. You warrant that throughout the term of this Agreement that:
i. you are fully and solely responsible and liable for payment of all fees payable under the Program and any other financial obligations associated with the Program under all circumstances;
ii. there are no legal restrictions preventing you from agreeing to the Terms;
iii. you will cooperate with us and provide us with information and comply with requirements in a timely manner, as requested by us from time to time, that are reasonably necessary to enable us to perform the Services;
12. the information you provide to us is true, correct and complete;
i. you will not infringe any third party rights in working with us and receiving the Services;
ii. you will inform us if you have reasonable concerns relating to our provision of Services under the Terms, with the aim that we and you will use all reasonable efforts to resolve the concerns;
iii. you are responsible for obtaining any consents, licences and permissions from other parties necessary for the Services to be provided, at your cost and for providing us with the necessary consents, licences and permissions;
iv. you consent to the use of your name and Intellectual Property in relation to the Services in a way which may identify you;
v. as some Program speakers and members may choose to share with your private information that they do not want repeated outside the Bx community, you may be requested to keep such information confidential and if you are so requested, you shall be respectful and refrain from discussing such information with others;
vi. you shall not use recording equipment (including, without limitation, recording via smart phone, tablet, laptop or dictaphone) of any kind at any of our live events or webinars;
vii. you shall use your best endeavours to comply with our Code of Conduct.
viii. if applicable, you have a valid ABN which has been advised to us; and
ix. if applicable, you are registered for GST purposes.
13. You agree and understand that:
i. the Program may be recorded filmed and photographed, and as a result, you may intentionally or unintentionally appear in footage or images that are uploaded onto the membership portal, used in marketing videos, placed on our website, or played in clips at our events or workshops;
ii. although we use our best endeavours to assist you and your business to achieve success, we cannot and we do not provide any guarantees that the information, resources or materials provided to you as part of the Program will be suitable for your business or for the development and growth of your business; nor do we provide any guarantee that your business will be successful, grow or otherwise develop following completion of the Program;
iii. the information, resources and material we provide you in the Program is for general information purposes and does to constitute legal or financial advice and that you agree to seek independent legal advice in relation to the information and materials provided in the Program to ensure that the information and materials are suitable for your business;
iv. any options or advice provided by our advisers in any one-on-one sessions should be treated as general advice or suggestions only and that you shall undertake your own research before making any decision to implement any opinions or advice provided by our advisers; and
v. you are responsible for using the materials and resources provided to you in the Program.

CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION

14. We, including our employees and contractors, agree not to disclose your Confidential Information to any third party; to use all reasonable endeavours to protect Confidential Information from any unauthorised disclosure, only to use the Confidential Information for the purpose for which it was disclosed by you and not for any other purpose.
15. You, including your employees and contractors, agree not to disclose our Confidential Information to any third party, to use all reasonable endeavours to protect Confidential Information from any unauthorised disclosure, and only to use Confidential Information for the purpose for which it was disclosed or provided by us to you, and not for any other purpose.
16. These obligations do not apply to Confidential Information that:
i. is authorised to be disclosed by us (for example, Program materials disclosed to your staff for the purposes of implementing the ideas contained therein in your business);
ii. is in the public domain and/or is no longer confidential, except as a result of breach of these Terms;
iii. is received from a third party, except where there was a breach of confidence; or
iv. must be disclosed by law or by a regulatory authority including under subpoena.
17. Breach of this clause by you may result in the termination of these Terms by us and your exclusion from the Program, in our absolute discretion.
18. Confidential Information includes confidential information about the business, structure, programs, processes, methods, operating procedures, activities, products and services, trade secrets, know how, financial, accounting, marketing and technical information, customer and supplier lists (including prospective customer and supplier information), ideas, concepts, know-how, Intellectual Property, technology, and other information whether or not such information is reduced to a tangible form or marked in writing as “confidential” in relation to our Confidential Information, this shall include the content, resources, materials, handouts and any login details provided in respect of the Program.
19. The obligations under this clause will survive termination of these Terms.
20. During sessions, some speakers may choose to share with you private information that they do not want repeated outside the Bx environment. If informed, please be respectful and refrain from discussing such information outside the environment.
21. Recording equipment of any kind is not allowed during Bx events. An official recording will be made by us and once edited it will be uploaded to the www.BusinessforLife.com website.
22. Bx, the Program Materials, and user names and passwords provided to you are confidential and must not be given to or shared with people outside the Bx community. The only exception to this is you may share relevant information with your staff for the purposes of them implementing the ideas shared into your business.
23. No part of Bx or the Program Materials may be copied, modified, licensed, published, transmitted, distributed, uploaded, broadcast, sold or otherwise transferred without our prior consent. We or our licensors own all intellectual property rights in Bx and Program Materials.

PRICE, INVOICING AND PAYMENT

24. Business for Life is a 12-month program. Payments must be made at the beginning of each calendar month. There are no cancellations, hold-periods or refunds during this time. Should your credit card expire, you will be required to supply new details that will take you up to the end of the agreed payment period. We reserve the right to suspend your access to the program until your payments are up to date. We may amend the frequency of the deductions at our sole discretion.
25. Payment may be made upfront for twelve months or on a monthly payment plan. The term is twelve months irrespective of the chosen payment plan.
26. After your first 12-months your membership will automatically be renewed and will continue until it is cancelled. At the start of your second year your membership will be upgraded to VIP and your payments will be reduced to $297 per month for Gold Members, and a low $597 per month for Platinum Members.
27. Should you at any time wish to upgrade your membership from Gold to Platinum, please send an email notifying us. Once received we will make the necessary administration and account changes. From there you will be emailed a confirmation letter that will include access details to all Business for Life Platinum privileges.
28. With regards to all Bx Conferences, all conference fees and materials are included. However, flights, accommodation, meals, drinks and all other expenses are the responsibility of the Business for Life member.
29. We may charge interest at the rate of 2% per month on any amounts unpaid after the expiry of 10 days after the payment date. If any payment is still outstanding after the expiry of these 10 days, we reserve the right to suspend your access to the Program until your payments are up to date.
30. If the required payment remains unpaid for 30 days after the payment date, we have the right to engage debt collection services for the collection of unpaid and undisputed debt, and the right to commence legal proceedings for any outstanding amounts owed to us.
31. All amounts are stated in Australian dollars.
32. All purchase prices include Australian GST (where applicable).
33. Our pricing structure, payment methods, payment processes and these Terms may be amended from time to time in our discretion. The pricing changes will apply to you for any new services provided to you after the date of the change. All other changes will apply from the date that the amended or new Terms are posted on our website or are provided to you, whichever is earlier.

TERMINATION

34. By accepting our Terms, you may not request a refund of fees or terminate, cancel, suspend or defer your enrolment in the Program except in the circumstances set out in sub clauses 34-45 below.
35. We have a strict no cancellation and refund policy. However, we may accept a cancellation or termination request in the event of your exceptional personal circumstances and approval of such request is in the sole discretion of our board of directors. If approved and you eligible to cancel these Terms, the following may apply at our sole discretion:
i. If you have paid up front, we shall refund an amount equivalent to: Fifty percent (50%) of Total upfront payment/12 and then multiplied by number of whole months remaining of your membership.
ii. If you are paying in equal monthly instalments, a cancellation fee of 50% of the remaining balance of your 12-month membership will be incurred.
iii. Requests for cancellation need to be made in writing via email to info@b-x.com.au for submission to the board.
36. We have a strict no hold, suspension and deferment policy. However, we may accept a hold, suspension or deferment request in the event of your exceptional personal circumstances and approval of such request is at the sole discretion of our board of directors. The maximum duration of any hold period shall be 2 months. If approved and you are eligible to place on hold, suspend or defer your membership, the following may apply at our sole discretion:
i. If you have paid up front, no refund shall be made and your approved on hold period will be available to you as credit;
ii. If you are paying in equal monthly instalments, your membership payments will continue for the duration of your 12-month membership, and your approved on hold period will be made available to your as credit.
iii. During the hold period, access to all components of the membership and Program will also be placed on hold and you will cease to have access to the Program.
37. Success Guarantee: We may, at our sole discretion, refund the fees you have paid us up to a maximum of the fees set out in the application form, if you:
i. have been a member of the Program for at least 12 months;
ii. have at least 90% attendance at all bootcamps, webinars and coaching sessions;
iii. can give evidence that you have used the information and resources provided in the Program to grow your business and your business has not grown or developed in any way from your commencement in the Program for a period of 18 months following completion of the Program;
iv. do not have any outstanding payment, fees or debts payable to us; and
v. you have fully complied with your payment obligations to us and have not otherwise breached any of these Terms.
38. We may pause or terminate the Terms immediately and your membership in the Program, at our sole discretion if:
i. you fail to pay our fees within 10 days of the payment date; or
ii. we consider that our working relationship has broken down including a loss of confidence or trust; or
iii. you breach any part of these Terms.
39. On termination of these Terms by us you agree that any payments made are not refundable to you, and you are to pay all invoices for Services rendered to you.
40. On termination of these Terms you agree to promptly return (where possible), or delete or destroy (where not possible to return), our Confidential Information and Intellectual Property, and/or documents containing or relating to our Confidential Information and Intellectual Property.
41. Where termination is prior to the end of the initial term, Bx will invoice for any remaining fees owed the association for the twelve month term.
42. On termination of these Terms, we agree to promptly return (where possible), or delete or destroy (where not possible to return), your Confidential Information and Intellectual Property, and/or documents containing or relating to your Confidential Information and Intellectual Property.
43. On completion of the Services and the Program, we will retain your documents (including copies) as required by law or regulatory requirement. Your express or implied agreement to the Terms constitutes your authority for us to retain or destroy documents in accordance with the statutory periods, or on termination of these Terms.
44. The accrued rights, obligations and remedies of the Parties are not affected by the termination of these Terms.
45. After your first 12-months, should you wish to cancel your membership, please send us an email providing a minimum 2-weeks notice. By doing so we can ensure no further charges take place. You will then be contact to confirm this action and your login details for BusinessforLife.com will be suspended at the end of your payment cycle. We can cancel your membership if you are in breach of this Agreement.

INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY

46. The work and materials that we provide to you in carrying out the Services (including but not limited to video and audio recordings and content of the Program, ebooks, podcasts, slideshow presentations, and any other information, resources, materials and handouts provided to you in the Program) contains material which is owned by or licensed to us, or owned by third parties, and is protected by Australian and international laws (Materials).
47. We own the copyright in all creative and literary works incorporated in our Materials that we have created.
48. You agree that, as between you and us, we own all intellectual property rights in or Materials, and that nothing in these Terms constitutes a transfer of any intellectual property ownership rights in our Materials, except as stated in these Terms or with our written permission. Your use of our Materials does not grant you a licence, or act as a right of use, any of the intellectual property in the Materials, whether registered or unregistered except as stated in these Terms or with our written permission.
49. You must not breach our copyright or intellectual property rights by, including but not limited to:
i. altering or modifying any of the Materials;
ii. creating derivative works from the Materials; or
iii. using our Materials for commercial purposes such as on sale to third parties.
50. We will license to you, certain Materials, such as the Program materials, downloadable templates, handouts and resources which will be referred to as Licensed Material, upon full payment of our fees. You acknowledge and agree that this Licensed Material may contact intellectual property which is owned by third parties and not by us, and use of such third party intellectual property is governed by the relevant third party’s terms and conditions.
51. We grant you a non-perpetual, non-exclusive, revocable, international and non-transferable right and licence (Licence) to use the Licensed Material;
i. for your personal, non-commercial use associated with the development of your business (including the training of your staff); and
ii. by members of your staff solely to develop your business.
52. No part of the Licensed Material may be copied, modified, licensed, published, transmitted, distributed, uploaded, broadcast, sold or otherwise transferred to any third party without our prior written consent.
53. We do not accept responsibility and liability for any changes that you or anyone else makes to the Licensed Material.
54. You acknowledge and agree that you must not use our Licensed Material to create a business name that is similar to ours. If you do so, we reserve the right to immediately terminate your License.
55. You agree to provide information including Intellectual Property to us to enable us to provide the Services. You:
i. warrant that you have all necessary rights to provide the Intellectual Property to us;
ii. grant us a perpetual, non-exclusive, royalty-free, irrevocable, worldwide and transferable right and license to use the Intellectual Property in any way we require to provide the Services to you; and
iii. consent to any act or omission which would otherwise constitute an infringement of your Moral Rights.
56. If you (or any employee or agent) have Moral Rights in any Intellectual Property that you provide to us, you;
i. irrevocably consent to any amendment of the Intellectual Property in any manner by us for the purposes of providing Services to you;
ii. irrevocably consent to us using or applying the Intellectual Property for the purposes of providing Services to you without any attribution of authorship;
iii. agree that your consent extends to acts and omissions of any of our licensees and successors in title; and agree that you consent is a genuine consent under the Copyright Act 1968 and has not been induced by duress or any false or misleading statement.
57. We may create Intellectual Property for you as part of the Services. You are responsible for proofing and approving all materials we prepare specifically for your business. We will assign ownership of these materials to you, upon full payment of our invoices.
58. Intellectual Property includes any and all intellectual and industrial property rights throughout the world, whether subsisting now or in the future and includes all copyright and analogous rights, all rights in relation to inventions (including patent rights), registered and unregistered trademarks, designs, (whether or not registered or unregistered), circuit layouts, trade names, trade secrets, business names, company names or internet domain names.
59. Program Materials may only be used for educational purposes and only for non-commercial use.
60. Bx conferences are only able to be attended by the designated member included within this participation agreement. If in the event that you are not able to attend a live conference, it will be recorded and you will be able to view the entire conference online.
61. Bx understands that events are a non-pitch environment. As such you agree to conduct business within the community in a professional manner. If conduct is deemed to be unacceptable and is not corrected after notice, Bx reserves the right to cancel your membership.
62. You understand that Bx will be taking photos and filming all live events. This footage may then be used for the creation of physical DVD products or turned into online videos. You give permission for this to occur.

FEEDBACK

63. Your feedback is important to us. We seek to resolve your concerns quickly and effectively. You agree to raise any concerns, problems or issues you may have concerning the Program to us directly in person or via phone or email.
64. You agree not to post any content in our website or any of our social media accounts that is or could reasonably be considered to be inappropriate, defamatory, disparaging or would otherwise bring us into disrepute.

CONSUMER LAW, LIMITATION OF LIABILITY AND DISCLAIMERS

65. ACL: Certain legislation including the Australian Consumer Law (ACL) in the Consumer and Competition Act 2010, and similar consumer protection laws and regulations may confer you with rights, warranties, guarantees and remedies relating to the provision of Services by us to you which cannot be excluded, restricted or modified (Statutory Rights). Our liability is governed solely by the ACL and these Terms.
66. Services: If you are a consumer as defined in the ACL, the following applies to you: We guarantee that the Services we supply to you are rendered with due care and skill; fit for the purpose that we advertise, or that you have told us you are acquiring the Services for or for a result which you have told us you wish the Services to achieve, unless we consider the disclose that this purpose is not achievable; and will be supplied within a reasonable time. To the extent we are unable to exclude liability; our total liability for loss or damage you suffer or incur from our Services is limited to us resupplying the Services to you, or, at our option, us refunding to you the amount you have paid us for the services to which your claim relates.
67. Delay: Where the provision of services depends on your information or response, we have no liability for a failure to perform the Services in this estimated period, which is affected by your delay in response, incomplete or incorrect information.
68. Referral: On request by you, we may provide you with contact details of third party specialists. This is not a recommendation by us for you to seek their advice or to use their services, we make no representation or warranty about the third party advice or provision of services, and we disclaim all responsibility and liability for the third party advice or provision of services, or failure to advise or provide services.
69. Warranties: To the extent permitted by law, we exclude all express and implied warranties, and all material and work is provided to you without warranties of any kind, either express or implied. We expressly disclaim all warranties including but not limited to implied warranties of merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose.
70. Liability: To the extent permitted by law, we exclude all express or implied representations, conditions, guarantees and terms relating to the Services and this agreement, except those set out in the agreement, including but not limited to: implied or express guarantees, representations or conditions of any kind, which are not stated in the Terms; our Service being unavailable; and any loss, damage, costs including legal costs, or expense whether direct, indirect, incidental, special, consequential and/or indirect, remote, abnormal or unforeseeable loss, or any loss or damage relating to business interruption, or otherwise, suffered by you or claim made against you, arising out of or in connection with the inability to access or use the Services, and the late supply of Services, even if we were expressly advised of the likelihood of such loss or damage.
71. Limitation: Our total liability arising out of or in connection with our Services, however arising, including under contract, tort, including negligence, in equity, under statute or otherwise, will not exceed the total fees paid by you to us in the twelve (12) month period prior to the event giving rise to the liability, or one hundred dollars (AUD$100) if no such payments have been made, as applicable.
72. This clause will survive termination of these Terms.

INDEMNITY

i. You are liable for and agree to indemnify, defend and hold us harmless for and against any and all claims, liabilities, suits, actions and expenses, including costs of litigation and reasonable legal costs, resulting directly or indirectly from: any information that is not accurate, up to date or complete or is misleading or a misrepresentation; any breach of these Terms; and any misuse of the Services from or by you, your employees, contractors or agents.
73. You agree to co-operate with us (at your own expense) in the handling of disputes, complaints, investigations or litigation that arise as a result of your use of our Services including but not limited to disputes, complaints, investigations or litigation that arises out of or relates to incorrect information you have given us,
74. The obligations under this clause will survive the termination of these Terms.
75. We reserve the right to vary this Agreement and Business for Life, revise Business for Life content, cancel or reschedule part of Business for Life or to make other changes to Business for Life as reasonably required.

GENERAL

76. Privacy: We agree to comply with the legal requirements of the Australian Privacy Principles as set out in the Privacy Act 1988 and any other applicable legislation or privacy guidelines.
77. Email: You acknowledge that we are able to send electronic mail to you and receive electronic mail from you. You release us from any claim you may have as a result of any unauthorised copying, recording, reading or interference with that document or information after transmission, for any delay or non-delivery of any document or information and for any damaged caused to your system or any files by a transfer.
78. GST: If and when applicable, GST payable on our Services will be set out on our Invoices. By accepting these Terms, you agree to pay us an amount equivalent to the GST imposed on these charges. GST means GST as defined in the A New Tax System (Goods and Services Tax) Act 1999 as amended from time to time or any replacement or other relevant legislation and regulations.
79. Relation of parties: The Terms are not intended to create a relationship between the parties of partnership, joint venture, or employer employee.
80. Assignment: The Terms are personal to the Parties. A Party must not assign or deal with the whole or any part of its right or obligations under these Terms without the prior written consent of the other Party (such consent not to be unreasonably withheld).
81. Severance: If any provision (or part of it) of the Terms is held to be unenforceable to invalid in any jurisdiction then it will interpret as narrowly as necessary to allow it to be enforceable or valid. If a provision (or part of it) must be severed from these Terms and the remaining provision (and remaining part of the provision) of the Terms are valid and enforceable
82. Force Majeure: We will not be liable for any delay or failure to perform our obligations under the Terms is such delay is due to any circumstance beyond our reasonable control. If we are delayed from performing our obligations due to such a circumstance for a period of at least 2 months, we may terminate our agreement with you by giving you 5 business days’ notice in writing.
83. Notice: Any notice required or permitted to be given by either party to the other under these conditions will be in writing addressed to you at the address you provide in the application form and if to us, at the address provided at the end of these Terms. Any notice may be sent by standard post or email, and notice will be deemed to have been served on the expiry of 48 hours in the case of post, or at the time of transmission in the case of transmission.
84. Jurisdiction & Applicable Law: These terms are governed by the laws of New South Wales and the Commonwealth of Australia. Each party irrevocably and unconditionally submits to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts operating in New South Wales.
85. Entire Agreement: These Terms and any document expressly referred to in them represent the entire agreement between you and us and supersede any prior agreement, understanding or arrangement between you and us, whether oral or in writing.

Bx Pty Ltd (ABN 78 604 725 493) Address: P O Box 321 Mortdale 2223 Email: info@b-x.com.au

10 Things To Do In Your Summer Break To Set Up for 2017

 

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The summer break is a great time to unwind, relax and spend some time with friends and family. These relatively commitment free weeks can easily be used as an escape from thinking about our businesses, but it can also be a great opportunity to gear up for coming year so that when the clock ticks over into 2017, you’re ready to go!

Sales

  1. Are you in the habit of acknowledging your clients? Our clients are the people who keep us in business. Christmas is a great time to send a quick thank you card or even a small gift to acknowledge how important they are in the everyday flow of business. If it’s too late to get started on those thank you gifts, it’s worth spending time planning your acknowledgements for the coming year. Whether it’s a card, gift or even a simple follow up call, it’s going the extra mile that keeps your clients coming back for more.
  2. Taking time out to look over your website could be extremely valuable in the New Year. What can you do to make your website more conducive to sales? Are your clients using it as you intended or have they found shortcuts? Are your links easy to find? You don’t need to make all the changes during your holidays, it is time to relax after all! Simply spend a little time looking it over and making notes, the changes can come when you get back to work.

Marketing

  1. Mapping out the first 6 months of the year can be extremely valuable. Deliberately plan when you will post on social media or when you’ll distribute marketing materials. If the Christmas meal left you feeling lazy, bounce ideas off your family and friends and write them down so you’re ready to go when you walk in the doors of your business in 2017.
  2. Is the content on your website relevant? It might be time to take a little time and consider how relatable your content is. Are you still recycling content from 5 years ago or has your blog been left desolate for a few months? Take note of whether you need to revamp and update in the New Year to make sure your clients stay interested.

Networking

  1. With online networking being bigger than ever, it’s important to spend a little time updating your online presence. Updating information can slip our minds during the busy year, but your summer break is a great time to make sure all your information is current – all those achievements and qualifications from the past year can really help you shine online. If you’re not already online networking, your summer break is a great time to get set up.
  2. This downtime is also a great opportunity to perfect your business pitch. Come up with 2 or 3 pitches of differing lengths (think 30 seconds, 1 minute or even 5 minutes). Practice on your family and friends and get their honest feedback; by the end of your summer break, you’ll be well prepared to deliver your pitch at the next networking event you attend.

Mindset

  1. Setting goals and New Year resolutions is a common task for many at the beginning of a new year, but how often do you sit down and reflect on everything you’ve achieved in the past year? You’ll find that not only did you work really hard to reach those goals you wrote down, you triumphed when unexpected situations arose. A quick reflection can give you the motivation you need to thrive in the New Year.
  2. During the holidays, it’s tempting to kick back and put all thoughts of work aside. Setting apart time to relax is extremely important but it’s also important to set the tone for 2017. Finding the perfect balance between rest, work and play in the holidays will set you up to have a balanced mindset throughout the rest of the year.

Self-Development

  1. What do you want to achieve in 2017? The goals you choose might be linked to your business or they might be private, personal milestones you want to reach – either way, it’s important to write them down so you can visualise them and work towards them all year.
  2. Make that first step towards your goals. Do you want to learn a new language so you can reach more clients? Do the research now and find an institute that can give you that skill – they might not commence class for a few months, but you’ll be ready to enrol when they do. Prepare yourself early so you can smash all your goals this year!

Have a fantastic summer break – we can’t wait to see what 2017 brings in the world of business!

 

Through our Business for Life program, we help business owners from across Australia build a toolbox of skills that they can use to grow their success. We’d love to chat about how we could help you. Call Bx on 1300 068 229 or find out about our Business for Life Program.

 

Why Are So Many Small Businesses Failing?

Getting Ready to Change Starts with the Decision to do so

 

If you’ve ever ventured out on your own in the business world, it’s likely you’ve heard a myriad of statistics when it comes to the rate of small businesses failing within their first year of operation.  As it stands, the current figures in Australia are sitting lower than 2%. This is still cause for concern but many are adamant that it’s no longer the first year of business that small businesses need to survive, the danger point is now further down the track with more and more businesses bowing out in their third or fourth years.

So, what is it that small business owners seem to be missing when it comes to the business game?

Problem: Forgetting to work on the business.

Solution:  The first thing you need is a business plan, but many business owners often overlook this. How do you plan to reach your clients? What do you want to achieve through your business? Other questions like this should arise while you create your business plan so that you can have a clear vision of the future. Don’t forget to be flexible and willing to update your business plan throughout the life in your business life.

Problem: Overlooking personal and employee training.

Solution:  A lot of business owners take a business idea and run with it without thinking it through, but before they know it, they’re knee-deep in a business that they’re not properly trained for. As a result, they often have a ‘learn as you go’ approach to training which is not always a positive approach. Encouraging employees to learn more, defining their role clearly and making sure they’re on-board with the business vision will give them a natural desire to learn and receive formal training to be able to contribute at full capacity.

Problem: Ignoring the need for marketing.

Solution:  The digital age has brought a whole new world of marketing to the forefront of our minds. It’s now easier to get your business out there through the Internet and it’s easier to be overlooked in the oversaturation of advertisements.  Harnessing your social media and using it to advertise and connect could be the best starting point for your small business – it’s only on to bigger and better things from there.

Problem: Having no analysis strategies.

Solution: The first step to fixing this problem, is recognising it. Already you’re on your way to analysing your business! To make things easy for yourself, start with the most simple and widely loved analysis strategy – SWOT analysis.

–       Strengths

–       Weaknesses

–       Opportunities

–       Threats

By looking at your business through all four of these lenses you can start to work out where you need to improve and where you need to start taking action as well as the areas in which you can be encouraged by your performance. It’s a great way to think deeply about your business without getting overwhelmed by the bad points or distracted by the good.

If you can recognise any of these problems in your small business, it might be time to start implementing some solutions, one at a time, to get your business on the road to success.

 

What is Networking: Work the Room the Right Way

Before I dive into the power of business networking, let me explain what networking is not: walking into a room of business owners, darting from person to person, giving away as many of your business cards as possible, gathering up as many as possible, returning to your office, then adding them all to your email newsletter list, firing off a generic newsletter and expecting a sale immediately. In metaphorical terms, that sort of networking is like piling your plate at the local ‘all you can eat’ buffet and not stopping to savour the food.

Networking is not about the number of business cards you gather, but the relationships you build. It is not how fast you can free yourself from the person you deem an unsuitable ‘lead’ for your business – but how fast you can discover how to help them. Great business networking is not measured by the dollar delivered to your business, but by the number of relationships you help others create.

I attend numerous different networking events every week. It is a critical part of our sales process and more than 35% of our clients come from networking events. As an active member of The Real Biz, BNI, the local Chamber of Commerce and the NSW Business Chamber, I consider networking to be critical to building a successful network.

Here are my tNetworkingop four reasons to network:

  1. You increase your exposure to other people like yourself, with varying levels of experience and who all share a desire to help each other.
  2. Referral sources are a significant lead generation source for most businesses.
  3. You will build strong relationships with people you know, like and trust, who you will be able to rely on for advice on many areas of business, and where to go to get support and refer suppliers for your business.
  4. It’s great to get out of your business and work on it, rather than in it, and networking is generally a great social tool.

Here are my top five networking tips:

  1. Work the room − we often get in our comfort zone and hang around the same people. In a networking environment we need to do the opposite. Meet and talk to as many people as you can.
  2. You are not in a networking environment to just swap business cards − you need to build relationships.
  3. The people in the room are not your leads. Often I see people work the room like everyone there needs to do business with them. The problem is that this is very limited thinking. Instead, build the relationship by following up the initial meeting with a coffee chat. As you learn more about the other person’s business, think how you can refer them to people you know. In turn, they will hopefully do the same. The power of networking is not as much about the person you are meeting as it is the many people they already know and network with.
  4. Have every business card saved in your contacts, connect with the contact on LinkedIn AND, most importantly, remember their name next time you meet.
  5. Be on FORM – it’s a great acronym to remind you of ice-breaker questions when you meet people. F = Family (where are you from, are you married, kids, their ages?) O = Occupation (what kind of work do you do, how did you get into it? do you enjoy it?) R = Recreation (what do you do for fun? Hobbies? M = Message (move from the informal to the formal, setting up a coffee chat, working out how you can work together).

Networking is a vital element of your marketing mix – not the only element but an important one. I also suggest splitting it into hard, soft and social. Hard networking is structured with expected referral outcomes, as in a group like BNI. Soft networking is excellent for brand and relationship building yet without the targeted expectation of referrals. The Real Biz Group offers this type of model, as do Chambers of Commerce and State Business Chambers. Social is networking though social media groups that are built online according to business interests – these can include LinkedIn groups, or MeetUp groups.

Join me at one of my networking events, The Real Biz, meets every 2nd Thursday from 8am to 10am, at Buzzbar Espresso Mortdale, and my BNI Chapter meets every  week on Wednesday from 7am to 8.45am at St George Motor Boat Club Sans Souci. There are also other BNI and Real Biz Meetings all across Australia, select the links to see where they meet.

There’s loads of tools to get your website working harder and your marketing to get results. Bx coaching can help you find the right tools for your business and pave the way for your success. Call Bx on 1300 068 229 or find out about our Business for Life Program..