All posts by Nick Schildberger

Nick’s Notes December 2015

Before The Festive Season Begins

Three weeks to go and the festive season begins – or even earlier as the usual end-of-year celebrations get underway any day now. What have been some of the key messages of the past year?

As always at this time of year, we start our December edition of Business Essentials with messages from our own economist, the ever-reliable Neville Norman, who offers his economic review of the past year. What has 2015 brought us and are we in any better shape now than we were at the start of the year? Neville’s message this month may even include a tiny glimpse of what lies ahead in 2016 – and that’s always worth waiting for.

Innovation, New Ideas and Funding Your R&D

Serial entrepreneur, mentor and venture banker Neville Christie spends much of his time in the innovation space, helping people bring their new ideas to market. And he warns us this month that no-one can afford to sit still in this fast changing world. In fact, he says, if your business is the same in 5 years’ time as it is now, it’ll be gone.

And on the topic of innovation, tax expert Michael Jones has valuable advice too. If you’re into research and development, why not take a look at the Research and Development Tax Incentive – it’s funding within the tax system, sitting right there waiting to help fund innovative endeavours. And it can cover all sorts of activities so maybe it could help you with your next new bright idea. Michael Jones explains how it works this month.

More Essential Information For Business People

Also on the December edition of Business Essentials you’ll hear a mix of topics to benefit you and your bottom line. Take commercial lease negotiations, for example. Do you sometimes think you come off second best in dealings with your landlord? Amanda Anderson of The Tenant Company offers insights on how to better balance the deal and the relationship.

We have insights on the psychology of selling, with Robert Coorey, author of “Feed a Starving Crowd”. He gives us plenty of tips and examples about what works to get customers to hurry up and buy. Sales whizz Tony Gattari adds to that this month with five powerful questions we need to ask in the selling process.

Client experience expert Darrell Hardidge, returns this month to smash the loyalty myth. He says you can’t be complacent if you want to keep your customers long term.

2015 might be racing to an end but there’s still time to take advantage of the practical advice and ideas on the December edition of Business Essentials. The team at BE Media Production would like to wish you a safe and happy festive season ahead.

Nick’s Notes October 2015

Risk Management

We start our Business Essentials October program with a look at the economy, the importance of risk management and yes – we can’t ignore it – the big changes in federal politics that have caught us by surprise. Who would have thought it? Professor Neville Norman returns this month with a brief but candid comment about political manoeuvring at the top, before reminding us all that business, like politics, is risky… and we need to prepare.

Keeping It Simple

Then, the big question of simplicity in business. Of course, simple isn’t easy. But who mastered it better than just about anyone on the planet? That would surely be Steve Jobs and his remarkable Apple technologies that have transformed that way we work and play. Steve Jobs is no longer with us, but we’re reminded about his extraordinary legacy by someone who worked closely with him for years… ad man Ken Segall has now written a book about his experiences and we had a chat with him about the lessons he learned on simplicity.

Heaps More Essential Information To Grow Your Business

We bring you a couple of discussions this month about the sharemarket. Who hasn’t watched the recent global shocks with trepidation? It’s a nervous time for investors – and helpful therefore to hear the perspective of our regular commentator, Stock Doctor Elio D’Amato, about what’s going on. And for self-managed super fund trustees in particular, financial adviser Bruce Brammall returns to Business Essentials to offer suggestions on how to shield your nest egg against sharemarket shocks.

Tax expert Michael Jones takes us through an Administrative Appeals Tribunal case to demonstrate the difference between employee and independent business. It’s a blurred line for many employers, and increasingly so as flexible working arrangements gather momentum. And on the question of flexible work practices, we look more broadly at the benefits and the risks as you consider ways to keep your employees happy and committed.

If you’ve ever thought of exporting, we have an interview with Andrew Watson of Efic, a government agency that provides funding and other assistance to would-be exporters. We highlight the importance of prospecting as a distinct part of the sales process – don’t confuse it with cold calling, says sales expert Ingrid Maynard. Prospecting’s a critical component of sales, she says, and done properly, it’ll reap big rewards for your business. She has valuable advice for you and your sales team.

And we end the October edition of Business Essentials with some ideas on how to become a better presenter. Even if you’d rather hide in a cupboard than present yourself before others, it’s an important business skill to acquire – and entirely learn-able according to international speaker on the topic, Julie-Anne Black. Julie-Anne shares her thoughts on how to become a great, even inspirational, presenter.

Nick’s Notes September 2015

What’s In A Name?

The recurring theme this month is success – and we have several stories on the September edition of Business Essentials to inspire you. The first is with the founder of Melbourne removalist company, Man With A Van, Tim Bishop. But Tim’s story of growth has also come with challenges – one of which was trademarking his business name to protect it from copy-cats. It raises a really interesting debate when it comes to choosing a business or brand name – do you use generic and memorable words that describe what your business does, or go for something that can’t be easily copied like Google, Skype, Uber, etc?

Secrets To Success

We have a special interview with Peter Ivany, who was at the helm of Hoyts Cinemas when it grew from 40 screens in 1988 to more than 2,000 a decade later – so he knows a thing or two about success! Business coach Alan Rodway answers the question – does success come naturally?

More Essential Information To Grow Your Business

Also on the September edition of Business Essentials we talk benchmarking with Tim Farr, prepare ourselves for disruption with Anna Shaw and learn a simple but effective technique that Antony Gaddie has used with great success to get the attention of that illusive potential client.

I hope you enjoy all the interviews we’ve compiled on this month’s edition and we’d love to hear from you if you have a story you’d like to share with our subscribers.

Nick’s Notes August 2015

The Power Of Partnerships To Grow Your Business

The buzz word this month is PARTNERSHIPS – and the power of collaboration. Simone Novello of Partner2GROW has dedicated her career to fine tuning the art of forming strategic partnerships – and she shares her insights into how to approach the process. She says that once you successfully use partnerships in your business, you’ll never need to SELL again. That was enough encouragement for me to spend two days participating in Simone’s ParterUP course which was massively beneficial in re-focusing my attention on partnering in our business.

Remain Positive By Removing “Brain Blinkers”

It’s hard to do anything if you don’t believe it’ll work, and that’s another message this month, from Anthony Bonnici, author of the book “Brain Blinkers”. They’re the negative mental barriers that prevent us from achieving the best. Anthony’s interview this month will resonate with many in business because, he says, we’re all affected to some degree by psychological constraints – the sort of self-talk that says “That’ll never work” or “I couldn’t do that”. But he’ll also tell us how to overcome those mental barriers, and it’ll make a huge difference to our business and personal success if we do.

More Essential Information To Grow Your Business

Also on the August edition of Business Essentials, Tony Delaney of Brownie Points helps us identify the staff who love working for us and ways to look after them so they remain an asset of our businesses.

Should your business ever face tough times, you’ll understand the sense in a new Productivity Commission proposal to provide a so-called “safe harbour” period from the harsh liabilities you may have faced. Sean Wengel of William Buck offers some clarity around the proposed laws.

Tax expert Michael Jones of Cummings Flavel McCormack discusses the attractive tax concessions offered to small business in the May federal budget. But are you sure you qualify? Listen to Michael Jones to find out if you’re IN or OUT.

We close the program with the ever entertaining Tony Gattari, who reveals his 10 channel strategy for gaining trust. With customers becoming increasingly cynical these days, it’s never been more important to earn their trust. Tony’s strategies should get your sales flowing.

I hope you enjoy all the interviews we’ve compiled on the August edition of Business Essentials, and don’t hesitate to get in touch if you would like to discuss how our businesses might be able to partner.

Nick’s Notes July 2015

Happy New Financial Year

I hope you’ve had a successful finish to the financial year and are ready for growth in the year ahead. To set the economic landscape for the remainder of the calendar year, we start this month’s program with Professor Neville Norman’s summary of where we’re at and where we’re heading. And you might be surprised to hear that July is the time to start your year-end tax planning. That’s according to Michael Jones of Cummings Flavel McCormack, who reminds about the key points to consider for successful year-round tax planning.

What’s Your Business Story?

How often do you tell the story of your business? According to business mentor, venture banker and long-time entrepreneur Neville Christie, we should be sharing stories in business as often as we can. So that’s why I share the story of OUR business in this edition of Nick’s Notes. In our interview with Neville Christie, he explains the four key stories we should all be telling, to anybody who will listen.

Other Important Messages To Grow Your Business

Do your customers love you? That’s a question from Darrell Hardidge of SAGUITY, who asks us to consider the kind of experience our customers really get when they deal with our businesses. He says you must create a 10 out of 10 client experience – EVERY time.

Also on the July edition of Business Essentials, Alex Pirouz helps us master LinkedIn, Koos Kruger has advice for attracting a buyer for your business, and Tracy Angwin of the Australian Payroll Association has advice on managing the constant headache of leave entitlements.

I hope you enjoy the essential information we’ve compiled on the July edition of Business Essentials. I wish you a prosperous year ahead – and don’t forget to get busy telling the story of YOUR business.

Nick’s Notes June 2015

It’s All About Money

Well, that’s not entirely true, but this month on Business Essentials Audio Program there is quite a strong financial theme. We have Neville Norman’s review of Joe Hockey’s backflip budget, followed by a close look at the tax implications for us all in business from Michael Jones. As I write this at the end of May, the small business tax cut and $20,000 asset write-off bill is being entered into parliament. Have you thought about how you might be able to take advantage?

Staying on the money theme, and on the back of the strong property market, we talk to property advocate Warwick Brookes to seek his advice on where and what to buy to maximise our investment dollars.

Year End Tax Planning Video

Is tax planning high on your agenda? It should be as the end of the financial year fast approaches. To help you keep on top of the critical elements, we’ve created a video with Michael Jones of Cummings Flavel McCormack which you can view on the CFM website.

Are You Keeping An Eye On Business Disrupters?

Back in the 1920s, Hollywood star Will Rogers said, “Even if you’re on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there” – and it’s never been more relevant than right now. Business disrupters are appearing everywhere and if you aren’t considering how technology and new ways of doing business could turn your industry upside-down, you do so at your own risk – need I mention Borders and Blockbuster Video!

We look at two cases of business disruption this month. The first is the energetic story of Jodie Fox and the meteoric growth of her online shoe design business, Shoes of Prey. Despite being told it would never work, she’s built a hugely successful business and we managed to catch her for a chat on a brief visit back to Australia from the United States where she’s opening more bricks and mortar stores to complement the massive success of her online business.

The second is the rapid growth of Fintech lenders – short for financial technology. Bank Doctor Neil Slonim provides his assessment of this new way of securing finance that is making the big banks sit up and think.

As usual we discuss a lot more than just money on the June edition of Business Essentials, and I hope you find value in the essential information we’ve compiled for you. I’ll be back in touch in the new financial year!

Nick’s Notes May 2015

Thanks for tuning in to the third edition of Nick’s Notes.

Federal Budget Month

Only a few sleeps until Joe Hockey delivers his 2015 Federal Budget. Will it be ‘dull and boring’ as our Prime Minister has suggested? As usual we turn to our resident economist, Professor Neville Norman of Melbourne University, for his perspectives on how Joe Hockey will handle the many fiscal challenges he faces in mapping out our economic future.

Is Your Website Mobile Friendly?

I hope it is, because in April 2015 Google started rolling out changes to its algorithm that will see non-mobile friendly websites pushed down the Google search results for searches done on portable devices. For businesses that rely on sales and enquiries from Google searches, this is big news. I’d suggest making sure your website uses responsive design as soon as possible. But for a full explanation of what this all means we spoke to Heather Maloney of Contact Point IT Services.

Lessons For Fast Growth

Last month we spoke to publisher and entrepreneur James Tuckerman about his trip to Antarctica for a business think-tank with 100 other Australians. This month he talks about the challenges he faced when moving a print publication online, and he reveals his three tips for growth on the back of his more recent success with the Not-So-Freaky University.

Enjoy all the essential information we’ve complied for you on Business Essentials this month, and I look forward to talking to you next month with a full wrap of the Federal Budget.

Nick’s Notes April 2015

Welcome to the second edition of Nick’s Notes, and thank you for your feedback on the first edition last month.

April Fool’s Day Confession

Being April Fool’s Day, I reflect on a time when I was a “fool” in business on the back of the interview with the Fair Work Ombudsman, Lynda McAlary-Smith. She advocates joining industry associations and Chambers of Commerce – I wish I’d been a “joiner” when I started a business 10 years ago.

Welcome Back Chris Ashmore

We recently welcomed back Chris Ashmore to the Business Essentials Media Production team after a break of 12 years that took him to Tokyo. I’m delighted to introduce him in his new role of Producer/Business Development Manager.

April Edition Of Business Essentials

The April edition of Business Essentials is online and in response to subscribers requesting more interviews with successful entrepreneurs – we’ve got three this month. From a think-tank in Antarctica attended by James Tuckerman, to ex-Olympic skier Peter Forras who now sells ski gear around the world, and a confession from Andrew Griffiths who tells his own story of falling into the trap of putting too many eggs in one basket. Plus many more interviews designed to help you grow your business.

I hope you find value in the interviews this month and I look forward to speaking to you next month.

Nick’s Notes March 2015

Welcome to the first edition of Nick’s Notes, a video blog series through which I’ll be sharing my experiences as a small business owner, update you on our news and respond directly to your feedback.

Video Production In Our Brand New Studio

This first edition was filmed in our brand new video studio. Having our own studio for the first time in our 30 year history, including a green screen, means our video production services for small businesses are now even more versatile AND cost effective.

New Website Feature – “Play All”

Following helpful feedback from subscribers about our website, there is now a “Play All” button at the top of each month’s list of interviews which will make listening in the car from phones and tablets much easier and safer. Check out this new feature when you listen to the March edition of Business Essentials.

March Edition Of Business Essentials

Our March edition of Business Essentials is now online and I hope you enjoy and find value in the interviews this month. Professor Neville Norman is back, and I’d like to draw your attention to the start of his interview where he responds to feedback about his absence from a couple of editions in 2014. Our March edition is jam packed with essential information so I’ll let you get listening.

Don’t hesitate to share or comment on this video (or the March edition of Business Essentials) and I look forward to making contact with you next month.