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Access for All: Breaking Communication Barriers in the Digital World

Startup Group

A dyslexic and a blind lady walk into a cafe… it sounds like the start of a joke, but access to effective digital communication it’s no joke for over half of the Australian population that is now living with some form of impairment.

So what do you get when a dyslexic and a blind lady meet up for a chat? With absolutely nothing in common except for the desire to put humanity back into business and just treat people like human beings?

A blog, A podcast, and a YouTube video. Content created with the use of AI and existing technology that is freely available to make life easier and grow small businesses. But most people don’t know how to use it.

Startup Group
Startup Group
  • Video recording: Samsung A34 phone
  • transcript: YouTube
  • Captions: Clipchamp
  • Blog editing: ChatGPT

Interviewer: I’m here with Narelle Gatti, and I’d like her to explain her role.

Narelle: I’m actually a digital accessibility auditor, and I work with digital access solutions and assistive technology to remove communication barriers on websites, digital content, and various documents.

Interviewer: Is this similar to SEO?

Narelle: It’s different from SEO, but it complements SEO efforts. We focus on websites, PDFs, emails, and computer-generated documents. We provide techniques and strategies to ensure that everyone, regardless of their abilities, can access and understand these documents and make informed decisions.

Interviewer: So, it’s about inclusivity for all, not just those with disabilities?

Narelle: Yes, exactly. We consider a wide range of users, including those with zooming, hearing, sight, and cognitive impairments, as well as brain injuries and neurodiverse individuals. Many people rely on captioning tools, and if documents aren’t designed with accessibility in mind, these tools can’t be used effectively.

Interviewer: So, in terms of accessibility, it’s not just about accommodating people with disabilities. It also benefits search engines like Google.

Narelle: Absolutely. Following digital accessibility guidelines not only helps users but also benefits search engines like Google. They rely on text-based content, so by incorporating descriptive text, we help Google understand and index content, even images. For example, a simple description of an image can make it accessible to Google’s algorithms.

How did you get into this field?

Narelle: It’s an interesting journey. I used to work for a company called Spark Solutions about 15 or 16 years ago. I was diagnosed with a severe eye condition, which eventually led to significant vision impairment. About four or five years into the job, I started struggling with accessibility. We sought help from Vision Australia, and that’s when Mark Muscat, co-founder of our business, came in to teach me assistive technology tools. However, these tools were limited by the structure of documents, which is where our focus shifted.

Interviewer: So, it’s not just about having the tools; it’s about structuring documents correctly?

Narelle: Exactly. Having tools is essential, but they rely on well-structured documents. If a document’s structure isn’t suitable, even the best tools won’t be effective. It’s like having a chair with a missing leg.

Businesses have a fear of using technology and AI. Why do you think that is?

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Narelle: It often comes down to a fear of change. Many business owners are of a certain age and might not be tech-savvy. They see AI as a significant change and are hesitant to embrace it without a clear strategy.

Interviewer: So, businesses need to understand that accessibility isn’t just about accommodating people with disabilities but also about good communication and structure.

Narelle: Absolutely. Accessibility is about ensuring that all customers, regardless of their abilities, can access and understand information to make informed decisions. It’s not just a matter of sending information via email; it’s about structuring that communication effectively.

Interviewer: You mentioned that the tools for accessibility are already present in software programs. Is it a matter of people not knowing how to use them?

Narelle: Yes, exactly. These tools are readily available, but many people don’t know how to use them effectively. That’s where we come in, providing guidance and expertise to make these tools work for everyone.

How to approach accessibility

Interviewer: So, rather than creating specific programs for individual needs, your approach is to create a program that can address a wide range of situations.

Narelle: Yes, that’s correct. Instead of reinventing the wheel for each situation, we aim to create a program that can handle the majority of cases effectively.

Interviewer: You also mentioned standards and guidelines. Can you elaborate on that?

Narelle: Certainly. In Australia, there are established digital accessibility standards and guidelines maintained by Standards Australia. These are backed by the Disability Discrimination Act of 1992, enforced by the Human Rights Commission. Ensuring accessibility also aligns with international human rights conventions.

Interviewer: So, accessibility is not just a matter of inclusivity; it’s also a business imperative?

Narelle: Precisely. Accessibility benefits everyone and is essential for businesses to thrive and meet their obligations.

Why would someone visit a place if they can’t read the menu? They can’t make a decision about what to eat. This could be due to the choice of fonts used. For example, a menu with dark text on a background with insufficient contrast can be hard to read. When menus are difficult to read, customers tend not to return. It’s almost as if they are no longer thinking outside the box; they have become the box that you have to fit into.

Who does accessibility affect?

Business owners networking scene photo

Narelle: I’d love to know the percentage of people with perfect vision, hearing, touch, smell, and mobility. I believe it’s a very tiny percentage. When you know someone who works with accessibility, like Mark and this company, it’s because you’ve encountered accessibility challenges. People might suggest solutions, but if you’re content with the way things are, you might resist change. However, it’s not about more effort; it’s about doing things differently.

Think about how technology has evolved. We used to highlight entire words and go through a process to copy the text. Now, it’s as simple as Ctrl+C for copy. Similarly, email and mobile phones have become everyday tools. Starting a business or adapting to technology isn’t as challenging as some may think. If you can use email, Facebook, and Google, you have the tech skills needed for many aspects of business.

Even if you don’t want to start a business, it’s essential to learn about digital accessibility standards. For instance, if you have an image, right-clicking to view alt text and describing the image in under 100 characters can make content more accessible. However, many businesses are reluctant to invest in accessibility, often due to perceived costs. However, the cost of not making content accessible is lost sales, a significant detriment.

Changes to business due to COVID

Interviewer: During the COVID-19 pandemic, some businesses couldn’t afford to go online, which emphasized the importance of accessibility. But you can build a website with fewer formatting skills than creating a PowerPoint presentation. SEO practices are essential because search engines like Google rely on text-based content, and accessibility helps them understand content.

Narelle: One critical aspect of accessibility is proper grammar and punctuation in captions. If someone with a hearing impairment relies on captions, incorrect grammar or misplaced punctuation can change the meaning and message, making it crucial to double-check captions.

When it comes to people, we’re all different. Treating everyone with respect and acknowledging differences is essential. We may have varying needs and opinions, but we can agree to disagree respectfully.

Confidence in being oneself is crucial, and it’s something that takes time to develop. Making mistakes is part of the learning process, and it’s essential to learn from them and move on. Additionally, it’s crucial for both parties to acknowledge and accept mistakes, fostering understanding and growth.

The world has changed, with the introduction of AI and assistive technology. However, assistive technology has been around since the birth of computers. While it may be new to some, having empathy and understanding for these changes is essential. Learning how to adapt to new technologies and the evolving business landscape is part of the journey.

Failing forward

Interviewer: Errors are a part of learning, as Narelle mentioned. It’s essential to admit when something isn’t accessible and learn from it. Consider starting with a clean slate when rebranding, launching new functions, or releasing new products. Follow a startup process, like the seven steps, and reach out to Narelle to learn how to make it accessible.

Narelle: Once you know how to do it, it becomes as natural as using Ctrl+C.

Starting with the end goal in mind is crucial. While accessibility may stand out for some, others might not notice it until they need it. It’s not a matter of cost for some but a challenge to change habits. We hope that people develop accessibility as a habit.

I heard about the Matildas, who have a deaf player, playing soccer. She’s not letting anything hold her back, and that’s fantastic.

Contacting Narelle…

Interviewer: It’s been great chatting with you, finding common ground, and learning from each other. If you want to get in touch with Narelle, click her name for the link. She’s passionate about accessibility and eager to connect with others who share her passion. It’s all about making life easier. Thank you very much for your time!

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What is under-employment, and how you can overcome it

Under-employment refers to a situation where individuals are employed in jobs that are below their skill level, qualifications, or desired number of working hours. In under-employment, individuals may be working part-time when they want full-time work or they may be working in jobs that do not fully utilize their skills and education. It is important to distinguish under-employment from unemployment, where individuals are actively seeking but unable to find any work.

Problems of Under-employment when there is an increase in the Cost of Living.

Financial Strain:

Under-employed individuals may struggle to meet their increased expenses due to rising costs of living. The limited income may not be sufficient to cover basic necessities, leading to financial stress.

Reduced Quality of Life:

Under-employment can affect one’s overall well-being and quality of life. Individuals may be unable to afford essential goods, services, or recreational activities they enjoyed before the cost of living increase.

Increased Debt:

Some under-employed individuals may resort to credit cards or loans to cope with the higher costs, potentially leading to accumulating debt.

Limited Savings:

 Under-employment may hinder the ability to save for emergencies or future goals, leaving individuals vulnerable to unexpected financial challenges.

When was the last time you had a holiday away?

Four “Side Gigs” to Earn Extra Income:

If you have the skills to be employed, then you also have the skills to start your own business to offset the rising costs of living. Even if you have a full-time job, consider how many hours you spend doing your primary job role. This is the reason there are over 40,000 positions advertised on the internet each month in Australia for “clerical and office administration” roles.

While these roles are most likely to be Full-time positions, and the primary job role is to do important work for the company, more than 50% of the time these days is spent doing urgent but not important work, which can often be automated or AI.

It’s not about ego, or feeling unappreciated, but that is usually the reason people leave. It’s about job security when things get hard. Who is the first to get cut back? And why do they have to come back to the office when it was fine to work remotely during covid? Which takes higher organisational skills to WFH, yet if you want to do that now it generally comes with a pay cut.

But don’t worry, being sent out for coffee for company executives is likely to not be replaced anytime soon, and can’t be done by their Overseas Virtual assistant. Just don’t tell your boss that the local coffee shop lets you order online, not to mention uber eats.

The good news is, you have high enough digital literacy skills to do all the “fun stuff” that the sales and marketing departments in the larger businesses won’t let you do.

For example, if you work for a small business owner doing office work, they generally encourage you to hone your skills by doing what you love as a way to ratin you working for them.

Small business can use the skills you gain in their business if you start up the following in-demand side gigs:

Startup Group
Startup Group

Digital Content Creation:

If you have skills in writing, graphic design, video editing, or photography, you can create content and sell it to small businesses that don’t have their own marketing department. One of my marketing international students sold a photo to Brisbane City Council’s tourism department for $750 from an Instagram post. A steal at that price as it would have cost the council over $1500 to do the photo shoot.

Just don’t tell the client that it was taken by her boyfriend while staying in a city hotel for the night, and on her mobile phone. All you have to do is learn how to set your phone up right, but when I got my new Samsung this year they had already done that.

And with Canva and Website templates, graphic design work takes less formatting skills than making a PowerPoint presentation, but you still need the eye for detail to meet “professional” benchmarks that you have gain through your work experience over many years.

E-commerce/Dropshipping:

Start an online store and sell products through dropshipping, which allows you to operate without maintaining inventory. Research trending products and market them effectively. While this is becoming less common with websites like Wish and Temu, there is still a big 2nd hand market for this on Facebook marketplace eBay selling well known brands. You may have to hold stock for a couple of days, so technically not dropshipping, But it is simple enough for school kids to do and sell their grandparents stuff to help fund their retirement, for a small fee of course.

Online coaching/mentoring:

If you have expertise in a particular subject or skill, consider offering online tutoring services through platforms that connect tutors with students and new employees alike. I know a lot of business and marketing coaches who regularly attend local networking events looking for this service for their clients.

While options like fee-free TAFE exist, which is running out of places by the way, they are not taught how to monetise their skills in a classroom.

This is known as the “suitability gap” in the government’s official figure. This is the number of applicants that hold a qualification that are considered “suitable” by employers for an advertised job. Which currently says that only around 40% of “qualified” applicants are also suitable for the job.

The government’s internet vacancy index even says that “skill VET” (who hold a certificate III or IV in a related field) also need at least 2 years on-the-job experience to be considered for advertised roles with larger companies.

So how do they get the experience when they are fresh out of TAFE? While small businesses make up 97.5% of all businesses, and only employ 42% of the workforce, Small Business employs twice as many trainees and apprentices than larger businesses.

The problem is the only thing worse than training a person well and they leave is not training them well and they stay. That is one of the biggest expense to small businesses that are not set up to train new staff.

It costs big businesses over $30,000 to turnover staff in training costs and lost sales. And with 43% of all businesses not making a profit last year after all the government stimulus stopped, small businesses need this service to limit training coast if they want to survive this financial year.

Affiliate Marketing:

For small businesses, this is not about being an “influencer” on social media. It is more about sending the 20% of customers that cause 80% of your problems to other businesses in your network that can serve them better. If you don’t have to go out of your way to help people, you can help more people, which means you can take on more customers without increasing labour costs.

It’s hard to do when you are starting up if the business is your main source of income, but if you are already earning an income from another source you build long-term customers through your expertise in giving genuine referrals.

If your business is your main source of income, this is also a skill you need to learn. Whom to say no to. Getting referral from the 20% stated above only increases them as a portion of your business. When they get to 25% of your clients/customers, 100% of your resources are taken up by fixing problems. You lose happy customers, you can’t grow, and slowly but surely start going broke.

I don’t like the word “collaborators” due to its association with dodgy business practices in the past, but essentially that’s what you do. The correct business term I use is called “complimentors”, which comes from Porter’s 6 competitive forces model as the opposite of competitors in your industry.

You can partner with companies and promote their products or services through your blog, social media channels, or website. You earn a commission for each sale made through your affiliate links, which many businesses will pay 10%-20% for.

There is even a free WordPress plugin I can show you that creates the links for your affiliate marketers to use that lets you see how many people come to your website from a social media post, and whether the person converts to a customer (or downloads your lead generation content).

This is how I ensure affiliate marketing is not just a one way street if you do a contra deal instead of commission. It’s how we teach startups to track if they get a return on investment doing work in exchange for “exposure” of their new business.

Want to start a side gig right now?

Remember, the success of side gigs depends on factors like your skills, dedication, and market demand. Always research and assess the feasibility and earning potential of any side gig before committing significant time and resources.

This is what we do in the first 4 modules of our bootstrap startup program. We hold your hand through all of the research needed to write a startup business plan and launch your business and start making sales in under 4 weeks.

But the support doesn’t stop there. It only takes a couple of hours a week to develop your business plan. You tap into our 30+ year’s experience of starting up businesses to only do the things you absolutely need to do when starting out. Once you have a business plan, we have all the information we need to start money coming in. If you need to put more than a couple of hours a week, depending on your business model, you still have another 4 weeks to develop your business into a viable enterprise with our support.

A basic business plan is an essential step if you are going to start a business, even as a side gig to earn a bit of extra income, or introducing a new range of products/services when expanding an existing business.

Still not sure what to do now?

Let’s have a free 15-minute chat. Click HERE to book that.

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What Is The Eisenhower Matrix, And How To Use It?

Eisenhower Matrix

The Eisenhower Matrix, also known as the Urgent-Important Matrix, is a simple yet effective tool for prioritizing tasks and making better use of your time. It was popularized by former US President Dwight D. Eisenhower, who said, “I have two kinds of problems: urgent and important. The urgent are not important, and the important are never urgent.” The matrix helps you distinguish between tasks that are urgent, important, both, or neither, and allocate your time and resources accordingly.

The matrix consists of four quadrants, each representing a different type of task:

  • Quadrant 1: Urgent and Important
  • Quadrant 2: Important but Not Urgent
  • Quadrant 3: Urgent but Not Important
  • Quadrant 4: Neither Urgent nor Important

Now let’s explore how a small business owner could use the Eisenhower Matrix to grow their business:

What to do first

Quadrant 1:

Urgent and Important tasks are the top priority, as they require immediate attention and can have serious consequences if not dealt with promptly. As a business owner, these tasks may include putting out fires, dealing with customer complaints, handling urgent deadlines, or managing unexpected crises. It’s important to allocate the necessary resources to address these tasks quickly and to try to prevent them from happening again in the future.

Quadrant 2:

Important but Not Urgent tasks are the next priority, as they have long-term benefits but can be overlooked in the face of urgent tasks. As a business owner, these tasks may include developing new products or services, creating a marketing plan, building relationships with customers, or investing in staff development. It’s important to allocate time and resources to these tasks regularly, as they can have a significant impact on the success of your business over time.

Quadrant 3:

Urgent but Not Important tasks are the third priority, as they may seem urgent but don’t have a significant impact on the success of your business. As a business owner, these tasks may include responding to non-urgent emails, attending unnecessary meetings, or dealing with minor administrative tasks. It’s important to delegate or eliminate these tasks whenever possible, to free up time for more important tasks.

Quadrant 4:

Neither Urgent nor Important tasks are the lowest priority, as they don’t have a significant impact on the success of your business and can be a distraction from more important tasks. As a business owner, these tasks may include browsing social media, watching videos online, or engaging in other non-business-related activities. It’s important to minimize or eliminate these tasks altogether, to focus on the tasks that matter most to your business.

Common decisions Micro-Business owners need to make.

Here are examples of common tasks done as part of an operational plan, and the skill required by people best suited to complete the tasks on the list:

Quadrant 1: Urgent and Important

  • Dealing with a sudden decrease (or increase) in sales
  • Fixing a production problem
  • Handling a major customer complaint
  • Meeting a critical deadline

The skill required to complete these tasks would likely come from the Thinking skills area, which includes critical thinking, creativity, adaptation, and innovation. As a business owner, if this is not your strength, so don’t be afraid to ask for help and get feedback from specialists in this area. But as it may be too late to get help when things come to this, lining up help before you need it is essential for the survival of micro-businesses.

You may have friends in business that will take your call. But without formal collaboration or advice agreements, you are taking a risk that you may lose more than the cost of employing someone with the skills in the following 2 quadrants if your friends don’t take your calls.

There is a saying, “you have no friends in business”. You also don’t support small businesses by asking them to do things for free. So if you can’t think ahead to what happens if you can’t get help when you really need it, then it’s likely you do not have the skills to run your business long term.

Quadrant 2: Important but Not Urgent

  • Developing a new product or service
  • Building a marketing plan
  • Networking with potential partners or customers
  • Investing in staff development

For this one, skills such as Initiative, Cultural Awareness, Ethics, and Empathy should be high on your list as they are used to decide what is important to your ideal customers.

These skills fall under the Personal Skills category, and you may hear business and leadership coaches like Gary Vaynerchuk and Simon Sinek say these skills are the most important to have for the long-term survival of your business, for a very good reason.

If you have someone working with you that does the important tasks before they become urgent, this is the reason some business owners can sit on a beach or go on a holiday, and others cannot.

While passive income is a buzz term that I don’t think exists, this is about as close as you will get. Particularly for people that want to keep earning income well into retirement. They have other things to think about and leave the action to the younger crowd.

People with Personal skills are also least likely to be replaced by AI anytime soon, unlike hard and soft skills. So ironically, the older workforce seems to have the future skills business needs. If you look at the jobs being taken by automation, they are likely to be the jobs done by Gen Z, who currently do jobs in the next section.

“Train them well enough so they can leave, but treat them well enough so they don’t want to

Richard Branson

Quadrant 3: Urgent but Not Important

  • Responding to non-urgent emails
  • Attending unnecessary meetings
  • Filling out paperwork
  • Running errands
  • Annoying complaints about things you “should” do.

As you may have guessed, this quadrant primarily requires Action skills. If they make mistakes, the consequences are minor to the business. Everything is urgent and important to your customers, but not everyone is an ideal customer.

The 20% of your customers that cause 80% of your problems just care about what you do about their problems. The 20% of your customers cause 80% of your profits by telling you what to do and the ones the business owner listens to.

This can be hard to do when money is tight, and you think you need the sales, but it increases the costs of doing business, so think about what it costs you to give them your attention. There are other people you can get sales from.

But if you are looking to attract and retain talent to your organization, you are looking for people with action skill, which includes, using Digital Technologies, Communication skills, Collaboration, Problem Solving, and Customer Focus.

They will stick around to learn how to do the important stuff from you if you let them. But if you are too busy doing the urgent and important stuff to develop them, Gen Z will find someone who will. Often a competitor, who usually pays them less money long-term. So it’s not about the money that you make to afford them. They will cost you more if they leave, or if they stay and you don’t keep them engaged.

The only thing worse than training people up and they leave, is not training people well and they stay

Henry Ford

Quadrant 4: Neither Urgent nor Important

  • Browsing social media
  • Watching videos online
  • Checking personal emails
  • Playing games

This is for employees that are not interested in developing skills, likely because they don’t know what they love doing. If your heard the term “quiet quitting”, this is what those employees tend to do.

Micro-business owners can’t afford to pay people to do this, and they can’t hide it.

But there are jobs that pay them to do this, but you have to engage them in doing this activity in a work context.

Suggest if they would be interested in doing your business’ social media posts, or watching videos to learn how to use business technology. Playing games with customers is part of customer service too.

So if you can afford to put someone on to do the tasks in this quadrant, you can keep them by promoting from within to the roles above and see what they like.

His works especially well if you have family working in your business. They know you won’t sack them, but they are more productive if they do the things they do to overcome boredom to develop their skills.

That’s called a win-win if you use the Eisenhower matrix.

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5 types of Empathy, and how to use them in business

Marketing Value Pirate Metrics

The 5 steps model of buyer behavior was first introduced by John Dewey in 1910, in his book “How We Think”. However, the model was further developed and popularized by Engel, Blackwell, and Kollat in their 1968 book “Consumer Behavior: Theory and Practice”.

This model, also known as the EBK model, outlines the five stages that consumers go through when making a purchasing decision: problem recognition, information search, evaluation of alternatives, purchase decision, and post-purchase evaluation. The EBK model has since become one of the most widely used models for understanding consumer behavior in marketing and business.

The 5 steps in buyer behavior are a framework that describes the typical process that a consumer goes through when making a purchase decision. These steps are:

1. Problem Recognition:

The first step in the buyer behavior process is problem recognition. This is the stage where the consumer becomes aware of a need or a problem that they want to solve. This could be triggered by internal stimuli, such as a desire for a new product, or external stimuli, such as an advertisement or a recommendation from a friend.

2. Information Search:

Once the consumer has recognized a problem or need, they will typically engage in an information search to gather more information about the product or service that they are considering. This could involve gathering information from various sources such as personal experiences, family and friends, online reviews, and other sources.

3. Evaluation of Alternatives:

After gathering information, the consumer will then evaluate the various alternatives available to them. This could involve comparing the features and benefits of different products, considering their price and quality, and assessing how they meet the consumer’s needs and preferences.

4. Purchase Decision:

Once the consumer has evaluated the alternatives, they will then make a purchase decision. This could involve selecting a specific product or service, choosing a particular brand or store, and determining the quantity and timing of the purchase.

5. Post-Purchase Evaluation:

The final step in the buyer behavior process is post-purchase evaluation. This involves evaluating the product or service after it has been purchased and used. This could involve assessing whether the product met the consumer’s needs and expectations, whether it was a good value for money, and whether they would buy it again in the future. This stage is important because it can influence the consumer’s future purchase decisions and brand loyalty.

Overall, understanding the five steps of buyer behavior is important for marketers and businesses as it provides insights into consumer behavior and helps them develop effective marketing strategies that align with the consumer’s needs and preferences.

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Australian cash $100. Remember this?

The 5 types of empathy.

You will hear people like Gary Vee say you need to use empathy in business to be successful. Everywhere for getting sales from customers, to giving “kind candor” to your team to develop their skills, and better manage performance expectations from business owners.

You will also hear leadership coaches talk about using kindness and empathy as a skill that great leaders possess.

But what I rarely hear is people talking about using different types of empathy in different situations. So, it depends on a person’s understanding of empathy as to what type of empathy they use.

Empathy is one of the 5 “Personal Skills” that are essential in a modern work environment to build trust in your team. Trust can easily be broken if there is a mismatch between the type of empathy you use, and the type of empathy others are looking for.

This breakdown in trust is more obvious in buyer behaviour as you lose contact with customers at different stages of your sales funnel.

With all the talk about AI taking over, personal skills are in no danger of being replaced anytime soon. So to put humanity back into business, let’s talk about the 5 types of Empathy Human Beings generally look for at different stages of your sales process. Mapping it to Dr. Dan Siegel’s five types of empathy as a model you can use:

2017 Research Symposium

1. Cognitive Empathy:

Cognitive empathy involves understanding the thoughts, beliefs, and perspectives of others. This type of empathy is more focused on understanding the other person’s point of view and is less about sharing their emotions. This type of empathy is important for resolving conflicts, negotiating, and building stronger relationships. This requires a person to use thinking skills, particularly critical thinking, to identify problems that your customers are looking for solutions for (without creating the problem).

2. Compassionate Empathy (Sympathy):

Compassionate empathy involves feeling the emotions of others and having a desire to alleviate their suffering. This type of empathy is often described as having sympathy for others and wanting to help them in some way. Compassionate empathy is important for building relationships and fostering a sense of community. The trick at this stage is to show you understand your ideal customer’s situation by giving them 3 options to investigate to solve their problem without looking like you are telling them what is best for them. If they see the options are viable for them, they will continue to the next step. So obviously your solution will be one of the 3 options. This is known as soft-selling in old-school marketing days to identify red-hot leads for the sales team to convert.

3. Perspective Taking (or Mentalizing):

Perspective-taking involves imagining oneself in another person’s situation and understanding their emotions from their point of view. This type of empathy helps us understand the reasons for another person’s behaviour and can help us avoid negative judgments or misinterpretations. This is when you get the opportunity to explain to potential customers why your option will solve their problem. But you are not there yet, and you may lose them at this stage by “overselling”. Which is generally giving too much information that the customer doesn’t need about other ways they “could” use your product. It breaks trust if they don’t see themselves using it in that way. The question is if you actually have bothered to get to know them at all, so this is the stage where you ask the most questions.

4. Empathic Resonance:

Empathic resonance involves feeling the emotions of others and resonating with them. This type of empathy is often described as “feeling someone else’s pain” and is important for building emotional connections and fostering a sense of compassion. If you don’t feel this when you get the sale, it may be a hollow victory. They will most likely be the 20% of customers that cause 80% of your problems, or worse leave a bad review if you don’t feel it at the point of sale. It is a gamble, but if you go over the last step again, you can confirm if you would be better off referring them to another option in the previous step. Reminding them of your refund policy at this stage may lower the risk of making the purchase, or suggesting payment plan options (such as Afterpay or Bpay pay in 4) could show you understand their situation even if they don’t mention it.

5. Empathic Joy:

Empathic joy involves feeling happy or joyful when others experience positive emotions or success. This type of empathy is important for building positive relationships and can foster a sense of connection and goodwill between individuals. You will feel this if the customer gets a solution to their problem that is best for them, whether they buy from you or not. These are the customers that you will feel comfortable asking for them to put a positive review online, and they will refer others to you. If you don’t feel this, think about the last step if you missed something. If there is any doubt, there is no doubt that you didn’t resonate with them. But it’s not too late, don’t dwell on it. Flag them for a follow call to see “if there is anything else I can do for you”. Asking “Were there any problems” may project that there normally are problems, so they would be less likely to give a referral and can undo all your hard work in the first 4 steps.

Overall, these five types of empathy provide a useful framework for understanding the different ways in which we can empathize with others. Each type of empathy is important in its own way and can be useful in different contexts and situations.

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Happy campers

Putting it all together into a marketing strategy

The biggest challenge, particularly for micro-business owners, is finding metrics that indicate a return on your investment efforts for each type of empathy you are required to project to move people down your sales funnel to generate revenue.

Put simply, whatever definition of empathy above sound most like what you do will determine what content you would be best suited to develop to share on social media, as this is your strength.

You can outsource the rest. Even if you just use ChatGPT, trying to overcome your weaknesses is not good for business. What would you rather double, $10 or $50?

Using empathy take practice, so go with your strength and double $50. Then you have an extra $40 in your pocket while you spend the $10 on overcoming your weaknesses.

That all sounds good in theory, but in the real world you need to put budgets and track results of your marketing spend. Particularly when you outsource to a cheap overseas VA for $10 per hour who may not have a full understanding of the culture of your target market.

So using the above example, you could spend $40 an hour on a local assistant to help, which is well above the minimum wage, but you still need to put a dollar figure on this to ensure it is productive work.

Let me join the dots (points above) for you… Day 1 (points 1) in Monday on your social media post topic, and day 5 is your Friday post topic. I’m sure you can fill in the gaps for the rest of the week.

If not, let’s chat about that.

Another 5-step model to use for marketing metrics…

This model may be familiar to business owners who have been through startup training. Or if you have used a Business Model Canvas you may also have seen it.

It has many uses, but here’s how we suggest using for your marketing metrics, even if you are a solopreneur as you can use free apps to track results and divide up your sales results to create a marketing budget.

Marketing Value Pirate Metrics
Marketing Value Pirate Metrics in action

Dave McClure, a venture capitalist and startup advisor, introduced the “Pirate Metrics” model in 2007. This model, also known as AARRR, provides a framework for analyzing and optimizing the growth of a startup or business. The five metrics are:

1. Acquisition:

Acquisition refers to the number of new customers or users that are acquired through marketing efforts or other means. This metric measures the effectiveness of a company’s marketing strategy and is the first step in the customer journey.

2. Activation:

Activation refers to the percentage of acquired users or customers who take a desired action or engage with the product or service for the first time. This metric measures the effectiveness of a company’s onboarding process and the quality of its user experience.

3. Retention:

Retention refers to the percentage of users or customers who continue to use the product or service over time. This metric measures the effectiveness of a company’s customer experience and its ability to keep users engaged and satisfied.

4. Revenue:

Revenue refers to the amount of money generated by the business through sales, subscriptions, or other means. This metric measures the effectiveness of a company’s monetization strategy and its ability to generate revenue from its user base.

5. Referral:

Referral refers to the number of new users or customers acquired through word-of-mouth marketing or referrals from existing users. This metric measures the effectiveness of a company’s product or service and the satisfaction of its user base.

Overall, the Pirate Metrics model provides a useful framework for understanding the key drivers of growth for a business. By focusing on these five metrics, any business can identify areas for improvement and optimize its strategies to drive growth and success.

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How to Adapt to a Changing Job Market with Transferable Skills

Never-Stop-learning

The terms “hard” and “soft” skills are not necessarily outdated, but they are becoming less commonly used in modern workplace discussions. The main reason for this is that the traditional categorization of skills as either hard or soft does not fully capture the complexity of skills that are valued in today’s job market.

Hard skills are typically defined as technical or specific abilities that are often easily quantifiable and measurable, such as proficiency in a programming language or knowledge of accounting principles. Soft skills, on the other hand, are often described as interpersonal or social skills, such as communication, teamwork, and problem-solving.

While these categories may have been useful in the past, they can be limiting and fail to capture the full range of skills that are necessary for success in many modern workplaces. For example, skills such as adaptability, creativity, and critical thinking are increasingly valued in many industries, but may not fit neatly into either the hard or soft skill category.

As a result, many employers and professionals are beginning to use more nuanced language to describe the skills they value, such as “core” or “foundational” skills that are essential for any job, and “contextual” skills that are specific to a particular industry or job function.

Overall, while the terms “hard” and “soft” skills may still be useful in some contexts, they are increasingly seen as overly simplistic and inadequate for describing the full range of skills that are necessary for success in modern workplaces.

A new era of Human Resources (HR) Management

Team-building
Team-building

The post-industrial era brought about significant changes in the way businesses operate and manage their human resources (HR). One way to understand this shift is through the lens of Belbin team roles, which describe the different roles individuals can play within a team to maximize their effectiveness.

In the post-industrial era, businesses moved away from traditional hierarchies and towards more collaborative and flexible work environments. Belbin team roles became particularly relevant in this context, as businesses recognized the importance of building diverse teams that could work together effectively and efficiently.

Here is an overview of how each of the Belbin team roles could be applied in a post-industrial HR management context. As you read the roles below, think about which one sounds most like you, and which ones describe the people you like working with as part of a collaboration:

Plant:

The plant role involves generating new ideas and concepts. In a post-industrial HR management context, this role might be particularly important for businesses seeking to innovate and adapt to changing market conditions.

Monitor Evaluator:

The monitor evaluator role involves analyzing ideas and assessing their potential value. This role can be particularly important in a post-industrial context where businesses need to make quick decisions based on incomplete information.

Coordinator:

The coordinator role involves managing the team and delegating tasks. In a post-industrial context, the coordinator role may be particularly relevant for businesses seeking to build collaborative, cross-functional teams.

Resource Investigator:

The resource investigator role involves seeking out new opportunities and contacts. This role could be particularly important in a post-industrial context where businesses need to be proactive in identifying new markets and potential partners.

Implementer:

The implementer’s role involves turning ideas into action. In a post-industrial context, businesses may rely on implementers to rapidly prototype and test new products or services.

Completer Finisher:

The completer finisher role involves ensuring that tasks are completed to a high standard. In a post-industrial context, this role may be particularly important for businesses seeking to deliver high-quality products or services in a rapidly changing market.

Team worker:

The team worker role involves building relationships and promoting collaboration within the team. In a post-industrial context, the team worker role may be particularly important for businesses seeking to build diverse, inclusive teams that can work effectively together.

Specialist:

The specialist role involves providing expertise and knowledge in a specific area. In a post-industrial context, businesses may rely on specialists to provide deep domain expertise in rapidly evolving fields such as technology and digital marketing.

Overall, the post-industrial era brought about significant changes in the way businesses manage their HR. By focusing on building diverse, collaborative teams that can rapidly adapt to changing market conditions, businesses can maximize their chances of success in today’s rapidly changing business environment.

While the team roles at work defines the tasks the role undertakes as an example, it does not define what skills are required to do the tasks. And while this may suit larger businesses, what do small businesses do that can’t afford to employ 9 staff?

What does a Micro-business do if they don’t have the staff?

A micro-business is defined as a any business that has 4 or fewer employees, and make up 85% to 90% of all businesses (by number of businesses).

The answer under the team roles is to group the roles into 3 categories that require similar skill sets to complete tasks. This allows micro-business owners to create job descriptions with primary, secondary, and tertiary tasks relating to which of the job roles are most needed to implement an operational or marketing plan.

The Belbin team roles are grouped into three domains:

Action-oriented roles:

These roles are focused on achieving the team’s objectives and include the Plant, Implementer, and Completer Finisher roles. Action-oriented roles are often associated with getting things done and driving results.

People-oriented roles:

These roles are focused on building relationships and promoting collaboration within the team. The Teamworker, Resource Investigator, and Coordinator roles are all part of this domain. People-oriented roles are often associated with promoting communication and fostering teamwork.

Thought-oriented roles:

These roles are focused on generating new ideas and analyzing information. The Monitor Evaluator and Specialist roles are both part of this domain. Thought-oriented roles are often associated with innovation and intellectual curiosity.

By grouping the Belbin team roles into these three domains, businesses and organizations can better understand the strengths and weaknesses of their teams and identify areas for improvement. By building teams that are diverse across all three domains, organizations can maximize their chances of success and adapt more effectively to changing market conditions.

Around 60% of all businesses do not employ anyone in Queensland, so they have to do all the 3 domains themselves. You don’t start your own business because you want to do things you don’t like doing, so “solopreneurs” tend to form collaborations with others in the market, known as “complimentors” rather than competitors, who refer work to each other rather than taking on customers that want the solopreneurs hate doing.

This is why networking events have become so successful in recent years at creating viable businesses from their membership. But if you don’t know what skills you have to offer first, it is unlikely others will form collaborations with you as you have nothing to offer in return. If all you have is money to offer, not skills, you may as well employ staff who will work with you for that.

Future skills for work

Australian-virtual-assistant-ozva-Work_From_Home_Mum
Australian-virtual-assistant-ozva-Work_From_Home_Mum

If this is all making sense so far, then this definition of what skills are will likely align with your business values. Both as a self-assessment, and what to look for in others to join your team.

The VeriSkills® (by QTAC) Human Capability Standards are sorted into three domains of learning and nontechnical practice. When constructed, each capability will focus on a distinct but complementary balance between cognition, personal character and emotions, and applied skills and knowledge.

Based on global research projects and extensive collaborative research work, the collaboration between The Institute for Working Futures Pty Ltd and Queensland Tertiary Admissions Centre (QTAC®) sought to validate the most important capabilities for the future workplace.

So for those of you out there, like me, who don’t have a PhD in education, here are the skills to develop to excel at the above job roles:

Thinking skills

Critical Thinking

Able to use a range of tools or methods to critically examine and assess existing information, thinking, assumptions and issues to present well-reasoned insights or to make judgements.

Creativity

Able to actively contribute to creative works, ideas or novel solutions.

Adaptive Mindset

Able to adjust to change and maintain their curiosity, while dealing with disruption, pressure and setbacks,  in a resilient and positive manner.

Innovative Thinking

Able to be entrepreneurial and make connections between disparate ideas, challenge current thinking or practices, and actively use knowledge to create new products, solutions or opportunities.

Personal skills

Lifelong Learning

Able to identify and continuously develop one’s own knowledge, skills and personal attributes such as mindset and motivation.

Initiative and Drive

Able to appreciate personal strengths and weaknesses and effectively relate to others in a professional manner. This includes being able to work independently, set and attain personal and work-related goals, being motivated, and accepting responsibility for their actions.

Cultural Awareness

Able to engage with others with sensitivity and regard for diversity and the social or cultural differences impacting behaviour.

Ethics

Able to act with integrity and in conformance with social and professional standards of ethical conduct.

Empathy

Able to recognise and regulate their own emotions in any situation, while also being good at identifying and respecting the needs and feelings of other people.

Action skills

Communication

Able to communicate with clarity and impact to facilitate individual and collective understanding, action or information exchange.

Collaboration

Able to work collaboratively with all types of people, contribute to teamwork and to build relationships and networks across a range of people or groups.

Problem-Solving

Able to define and analyse problems, generate optimal solutions and make recommendations.

Digital Acumen

Able to use digital technology to undertake workplace tasks and outcomes.

Customer Focus

Able to focus on customer service requirements and works proactively to raise the customer experience.

Are skills transferable?

The short answer to this is yes, and no.

Skills may be transferable, but performance in new job roles depends heavily on the level of skills you have in areas such as life-long learning, problem-solving, and of course collaboration skills if you are joining a new team.

To explain this we turn to Core Skills for Work framework which defines “when” skills are transferable in a given real-world situation.

The Core Skills for Work (CSfW) make up one part of the “foundations skills” listed as unit requirements in all Vocational Education and Training (VET) qualifications as part of the formal tertiary education system in Australia.

However, performance is not automatically transferrable to new contexts, as application of skills, knowledge and understandings in a new context requires an understanding of that context.

Hence, an individual who has only ever applied their skills in a classroom setting will need to learn about the protocols and expectations of a work situation, and gain practical experience in applying their skills in a work environment.

This is the source of the criticism from businesses for Uni or RTO courses that lead to a qualification that don’t require some form of work placement in and real-world business experience.

They may be competent to do the job, but to keep new employees on small business owners need to new employees to be proficient to keep their job. This means the new employee may have the skills, but not at the level a Micro-business owner needs them to be.

No business I know can afford to put 25% of their new employees through proficiency coaching as part of their onboarding process. Maybe during a 3-6 month probation, if the employees last that long.

This is a huge barrier for micro-business to put on just one new employee, even as a casual or contractor. A barrier we hope to overcome for around 8,500 businesses in Brisbane Southeast employment region through the Small Business and Jobs expo this year.

How will we do that?

Come along to Nissan Arena on June 13th, 2023, for the Brisbane expo, and find out for yourself.

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What is imposter syndrome, and how to overcome it

dunning-Kruger-effect-curve

No matter who you are, what you do, and how good you are at it, imposter syndrome strikes everyone at some time. It is more than just a lack of confidence. It is more than overcoming fears. But just like fear can stop you from doing things, fear can also save your life. So, in that sense, imposter syndrome can be both a good and a bad thing.

It is a complex problem that has a different solution for everyone. Although increasing knowledge can actually make it worse, to explain why it is a problem and develop solutions we first need to define the problems. For that, we use different interrelated theories.

With the hope of creating self-awareness, more so than trying to explain time travel, in this article, we will talk about how the different theories work together so that you can create your own solutions, or at least ask for help with that.

The dunning-Kruger effect

Dunning-Kruger effect
Dunning-Kruger effect

The Dunning-Kruger effect is a cognitive bias that refers to the tendency of individuals with low ability or knowledge in a particular domain to overestimate their own competence and expertise in that domain. In other words, people who are less skilled or knowledgeable in a certain area are more likely to overestimate their abilities in that area, while those who are more skilled or knowledgeable are more likely to accurately assess their abilities.

The effect is named after social psychologists David Dunning and Justin Kruger, who first described it in a 1999 paper. They found that people who scored in the lowest quartile on a test of humor, grammar, or logic tended to significantly overestimate their scores, while those who scored in the highest quartile tended to slightly underestimate their scores.

The Dunning-Kruger effect is often associated with the phrase “ignorance is bliss” because those who are less skilled or knowledgeable may be more confident and optimistic than those who are more skilled or knowledgeable, even if their confidence is unwarranted. The effect can be particularly problematic in domains where decisions have important consequences, such as medicine, finance, or politics, where overconfident individuals may make costly mistakes.

The Peter Principle

This is the opposite to imposter syndrome on the Dunning-Kruger effect. Basically they have confidence in their own abilities to do or learn a job, even if they don’t have the skills and knowledge to do it. It manifests as a “fake it till you make it attitude”, and generally don’t go through the dip in confidence on the curve above thanks to positive affirmation through awards as a fast learner. Technically skilled people who are promoted to management positions without training often fall into this too.

The Peter Principle is a management theory that suggests that people in a hierarchical organization tend to be promoted to their level of incompetence. In other words, employees in an organization will be promoted based on their performance in their current role until they reach a position where they are no longer effective, at which point they will remain in that position.

The theory is named after Canadian psychologist Laurence J. Peter, who first proposed it in his 1969 book, “The Peter Principle: Why Things Always Go Wrong”. According to Peter, organizations promote employees based on their performance in their current role, assuming that success in that role indicates that the employee has the potential to be successful at the next level. However, as employees are promoted, they may reach a level where they no longer have the skills, knowledge, or abilities to perform effectively, leading to a decline in their performance and productivity.

The Peter Principle can have negative consequences for organizations, as incompetent employees in key positions can lead to a decrease in productivity, morale, and profits. To mitigate the effects of the Peter Principle, organizations can provide additional training and development opportunities for employees who are promoted to new roles, as well as regularly evaluating and re-evaluating their performance to ensure that they are still effective in their roles. Additionally, organizations can consider non-promotion-based career advancement paths, such as lateral moves or increased responsibilities within the same role.

What is imposter syndrome?

We said what it is not above, but If you look back at the chart above, imposter syndrome effect people who miss the first 2 steps when learning new things and tend to go straight to the “I’m never going to understand this” step. Some people may take years in their field to recover from this, and the likely triggering of a separation sensitivity generally cause business to fail due to cashflow issues (as we spoke about in this article here)

Imposter syndrome is a psychological phenomenon characterized by persistent feelings of inadequacy, self-doubt, and fear of being exposed as a fraud despite evidence of competence and success. People experiencing imposter syndrome often feel like they have deceived others into believing they are more capable or talented than they actually are and fear being exposed as a fraud.

In the workplace, imposter syndrome can limit the earning capacity of skilled workers in several ways. First, people with imposter syndrome may hesitate to negotiate their salaries or ask for a raise, even if they have the skills and qualifications to justify higher compensation. They may fear being perceived as arrogant or being found out as a fraud, which can prevent them from advocating for themselves and their worth.

Second, people with imposter syndrome may hold back from pursuing new opportunities or taking on leadership roles because they feel they are not qualified or deserving enough. This can limit their career advancement and earning potential in the long term.

Finally, people with imposter syndrome may be more likely to accept lower-paying jobs or projects that do not match their skills and experience because they feel they are not good enough for higher-paying roles. This can result in underemployment and lower earnings overall.

To overcome imposter syndrome and increase their earning capacity, skilled workers can seek support from mentors or coaches, challenge their negative self-talk and beliefs, and focus on their accomplishments and strengths rather than their perceived shortcomings. They can also practice advocating for themselves and setting boundaries, such as negotiating their salaries and taking on roles that match their skills and expertise.

That is what you can do, which leads to the next question. How do you do that?…

How do you overcome Imposter Syndrome?

Team-building

It’s simple, but by no means easy. And you are unlikely to be able to do it without support.

It basically requires you to develop a secure attachment strategy, which again every person in the world will do differently. You will need support. We all need a little help from our friends every now and then, right?

Attachment matrix

A secure attachment strategy refers to a healthy and secure emotional bond that individuals have with their attachment figures, such as parents or caregivers. Individuals with a secure attachment strategy tend to have positive and trusting relationships with others, feel comfortable seeking help and support when needed, and have a positive sense of self-worth.

Behaviours of people that have a secure attachment strategy may include:

1.    Seeking help and support:

Individuals with a secure attachment strategy tend to feel comfortable seeking help and support from others when needed, as they trust that others will be responsive and helpful. It’s not a sign of weakness, and I’ve found this is a surefire indicator that a person has a weakness in one or all of their 4 Ps if they struggle to ask for help or can’t delegate tasks when they do get help.

2.   Feeling comfortable with intimacy:

Individuals with a secure attachment strategy tend to feel comfortable with intimacy and closeness with others, as they trust that their emotional needs will be met in relationships. In a business sense, this relates to having complimenting skills. You can’t do everything (see point 1), and people with a secure attachment strategy know if they have Action, Thinking, or Personal skills as their strengths. They generally seek out 2 other people to collaborate with to fill in the gaps.

3.   Being independent:

Individuals with a secure attachment strategy tend to feel confident and secure in their ability to be independent, while also valuing and maintaining close relationships with others. Doing everything yourself does not make you independent, in fact, this can project your own insecurities and break the cycle of trust. Again, see point 1.

4.   Feeling comfortable with the emotional expression:

Individuals with a secure attachment strategy tend to feel comfortable expressing their emotions, as they trust that others will be accepting and supportive. Not showing emotion is a sign of low emotional intelligence in business. Fear can prevent you from doing things, but it can also save your life. If you are not comfortable in expressing your emotions, both positive and negative, look into help to overcome executive dysfunction.

5.   Developing positive self-worth:

Individuals with a secure attachment strategy tend to have a positive sense of self-worth, as they have received consistent and positive feedback from attachment figures throughout their lives.

Overall, individuals with a secure attachment strategy tend to have healthy and positive relationships with others, feel comfortable seeking help and support when needed, and have a positive sense of self-worth. These behaviours reflect a healthy and secure emotional bond with attachment figures and the ability to form positive relationships with others throughout life. If this blog resonates with you, and you want help or just want to chat, book a call through our website HERE.

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The 3 reasons why businesses fail, and how to avoid them right from startup.

Australian-virtual-assistant-ozva-Work_From_Home_Mum

Small businesses are the backbone of many economies worldwide, providing employment opportunities and driving economic growth. However, despite their potential, many small businesses fail within the first few years of operation. According to the Small Business Administration (in the USA), about 20% of small businesses fail in their first year, even in the world’s biggest market.

The stats are similar in Australia. The failure figures tell a different story when you look into it and it depends on your definition of failure. These days the barriers of entry to start your own business are so low, it is more likely that 20% registered an ABN, but just never generated any income from it.

30% Fail in their second year, and nearly 50% by their second year. In this article, we will discuss the three main reasons small businesses fail and how they affect business viability.

This is not a “failure” these days as more and more businesses are set up for purpose rather than profit. Even not-for-profits need to generate income, and Social Traders say 72% of social enterprises give 100% of their profits to the causes they support. For many, just creating a business is a way to bring their dream to reality. So if that’s your goal, and definition of success, who says it’s not a real business?

And who says it’s not a real business if you don’t employ staff? It’s OK to create a job for yourself! in fact, 60% of all businesses registered in Queensland are contractors that don’t employ any staff. Another 25% employ less than 5 staff.

If you turn the percentages around, it means that 4 out of every 5 people that intend to start a business successfully do that for the first year. It’s when they try to run it and grow it over the next 5 years that they tend to stuff thing up.

As a well-known business coach, Dale Beaumont would say,

“you are not in the business of what you do. You are in the business of marketing what you do.”

Let’s investigate that…

Business development and marketing

The marketing mix is a concept used by marketers to describe the four main elements that make up a company’s marketing strategy. These four elements are often referred to as the 4 Ps of marketing. They are critical to business success, and if you have a weakness in any one of the 4 Ps as a business will fail 100% of the time if you can’t overcome it.

You may have strength in the other 3 Ps, but this will just drag out the impending doom. Systematically causing a drain on resources and creating weaknesses in other Ps. Accelerating the downward spiral that is obvious to outsiders, including customers.

The marketing mix elements are:

Product (or service)

This refers to the actual product or service being offered to customers. Companies must carefully consider the design, features, quality, and packaging of their products to meet the needs and preferences of their target customers.

Price

This is the biggest challenge for startups. It refers to the price at which the product or service is sold. Companies must set prices that are competitive and reflect the value of the product to the customer. Value is what a customer is willing to pay. The price is what you want customers to pay, usually based of the costs involved with providing the product to make a profit. Demand, from market research, can only be confirmed when people are willing to pay you to supply their demand.

However, “the customer rarely buys what the company thinks it’s selling, and they never buy products” – Peter Drucker. They are buying the experience of using you product, and how well it satisfies your customer’s needed and wants increases the value for money invested by customers. Money is just a consequence of providing value.

Place (or position in the market)

This refers to the distribution channels through which the product or service is sold, such as online stores, physical retail stores, or wholesalers. Companies must choose the right distribution channels to ensure that their products are available to customers where and when they want them.

Promotion

This refers to the marketing and advertising activities used to promote the product or service to customers. Companies must create effective advertising campaigns and promotional materials to create awareness and interest in their products among their target audience. If you don’t have any obvious weaknesses in the above 3 Ps, you have “developed” a business that you can now promote. But if this P is your weakness, your business will still fail. What is the point of having the best product in the world if people don’t know how to get it?

By carefully considering and managing these four elements of the marketing mix, companies can develop a successful marketing strategy that meets the needs of their target customers and helps them achieve their business goals.

How to avoid weaknesses in your 4 Ps from startup

To come up with solutions to problems caused by weaknesses, you first have to define the problem, and in fact if it is a problem for you. If the whole industry has the same problem, it creates an opportunity for you to get a competitive advantage if you can overcome it. This is known as you Unique Selling Point, or USP.

This is not just what you do that no one else does. That’s about your ego and wanting to be different. But if people don’t want to pay extra for it, it’s not a selling point. And it can be a root cause of the problems in your business defined below:

Poor Cash Flow – Price

Poor cash flow is one of the primary reasons why small businesses fail. Cash flow is the amount of money coming in and going out of a business. A negative cash flow occurs when a business spends more money than it earns, leading to a shortage of funds to cover expenses. When a business is not generating enough revenue to meet its expenses, it may have to resort to borrowing money, which can be challenging for small businesses that lack collateral or a strong credit history.

Poor cash flow can arise from several factors, such as low sales, high expenses, slow-paying customers, or poor inventory management. In many cases, small businesses struggle to manage their cash flow because they don’t have adequate financial management skills or tools to track their cash flow. As a result, they are unable to anticipate and mitigate cash flow problems, leading to a cycle of financial difficulties that eventually lead to the business’s failure.

Poor Strategy – Place

Another significant reason why small businesses fail is poor strategy. Strategy is a plan of action designed to achieve a long-term goal. A good strategy outlines the business’s direction, goals, and how it intends to achieve them. Without a clear strategy, a business may struggle to attract customers, generate revenue, or remain competitive in the market.

A poor strategy can manifest in several ways, such as lack of market research, poor product positioning, or an inadequate marketing plan. For instance, a business that fails to research its target market may create a product that does not meet its customers’ needs or fails to identify its customers’ pain points. Similarly, a business that does not have a clear marketing plan may struggle to reach its target audience or generate sales.

Poor Products – Product

A third reason why small businesses fail is poor products. A business’s product or service is its main offering to customers. Poor products can lead to low sales, customer dissatisfaction, and loss of market share. Customers expect quality products that meet their needs and provide value for their money. If a business fails to meet these expectations, customers may switch to competitors, leading to a decline in revenue.

Poor products can arise from several factors, such as a lack of product development skills, insufficient quality control measures, or failure to adapt to changing market demands. For instance, a business that does not have a rigorous quality control process may produce defective products that fail to meet customer expectations. Similarly, a business that fails to adapt to new market trends may lose its competitive edge and fail to attract new customers.

Feel like this?

Early intervention is the key to success.

Small businesses are vital to many economies worldwide. However, they face several challenges that can lead to their failure. Poor cash flow, poor strategy, and poor products are the three main reasons why small businesses fail. To avoid these pitfalls, small businesses must have adequate financial management skills, a clear strategy, and a commitment to producing quality products that meet customer needs. With these measures in place, small businesses can thrive and contribute to the growth of the economy.

The core sensitivities refer to three prototypes of core emotional experiences that individuals may have in response to challenging situations. These three prototypes are esteem sensitivity, separation sensitivity, and physiological safety sensitivity.

Each of these sensitivities is associated with specific behaviours that individuals may exhibit in response to challenges or stressors. Having kindness and empathy for people in this situation is essential to building long-lasting, trusting, productive relationships in business.

So to put humanity back into business, without getting too personal and crossing boundaries, here are 3 emotional triggers that can cause weaknesses in each of the 4 Ps

Esteem Sensitivity – Poor Product

Esteem sensitivity refers to the emotional experience of feeling insecure or uncertain about one’s worth or value in a social context. Individuals with esteem sensitivity may exhibit behaviours such as:

  • A strong need for recognition, approval, and praise from others
  • A fear of rejection, criticism, or failure that may lead to avoidance of challenging situations
  • A tendency to overreact to perceived threats to their self-esteem, such as perceived slights or insults
  • A focus on external validation, such as material possessions or status symbols, as a way to boost self-esteem
  • A tendency to compare themselves to others and feel inferior or superior based on these comparisons

Separation Sensitivity – Poor Cashflow

Separation sensitivity refers to the emotional experience of feeling anxious or distressed when separated from attachment figures, such as parents or close friends. Individuals with separation sensitivity may exhibit behaviours such as:

  • A strong need for closeness and intimacy with attachment figures
  • A fear of abandonment or rejection that may lead to clingy or dependent behaviours
  • A tendency to seek reassurance and validation from attachment figures, especially in stressful situations
  • Difficulty tolerating alone time or being in unfamiliar environments
  • A tendency to over-analyze social situations and interpret neutral or ambiguous behaviour as a sign of rejection or abandonment

Safety Sensitivity – Poor Strategy

Safety sensitivity refers to the emotional experience of feeling unsafe or threatened in one’s environment, such as in response to physical danger or social threat. Individuals with physiological safety sensitivity may exhibit behaviours such as:

  • A heightened sensitivity to potential threats or danger in the environment
  • A tendency to avoid situations that are perceived as risky or potentially dangerous
  • Difficulty regulating physiological arousal, such as increased heart rate or sweating, in response to stressors
  • A focus on physical self-preservation, such as avoidance or defensive behaviours, as a response to perceived threats
  • A tendency to experience hypervigilance, or constantly scanning the environment for signs of danger or threat

The core sensitivities describe three prototypes of core emotional experiences that individuals may have in response to challenging situations. These sensitivities are associated with specific behaviours that individuals may exhibit, such as a strong need for external validation in esteem sensitivity, a fear of abandonment or rejection in separation sensitivity, and hypervigilance or defensive behaviours in physiological safety sensitivity. Understanding these sensitivities can help individuals recognize and regulate their emotional responses to stressors and improve their emotional well-being.

A secure attachment strategy – Promotion

If you have confidence in your 3 Ps above, you are less likely to be triggered into creating a weakness leading to a downward spiral in your business.

Fake it till you make it rarely works in an age where people are so exposed to on social media. While you may not believe, consciously, you have a weakness in one of the above 3 Ps, when you start to promote yourself on social media the crack in your Armor will soon appear.

Bartholomew's two-dimensional model of attachment

How you handle the “keyboard warriors” is often the test of if you still have doubts about your 3 Ps. But if you feel secure and have confidence in your business development, you also develop a secure attachment strategy that will prevent you from getting dragged back into discussions that don’t serve your business needs.

A secure attachment strategy refers to a healthy and secure emotional bond that individuals have with their attachment figures, such as parents or caregivers. Individuals with a secure attachment strategy tend to have positive and trusting relationships with others, feel comfortable seeking help and support when needed, and have a positive sense of self-worth.

Behaviours of people who have a secure attachment strategy may include:

Seeking help and support:

Individuals with a secure attachment strategy tend to feel comfortable seeking help and support from others when needed, as they trust that others will be responsive and helpful. It’s not a sign of weakness, and I’ve found this is a surefire indicator that a person has a weakness in one or all of their 4 Ps if they struggle to ask for help or can’t delegate tasks when they do get help.

Feeling comfortable with intimacy:

Individuals with a secure attachment strategy tend to feel comfortable with intimacy and closeness with others, as they trust that their emotional needs will be met in relationships. In a business sense, this relates to having complementary skills. You can’t do everything (see point 1), and people with a secure attachment strategy know if they have Action, Thinking, or Personal skills as their strengths. They generally seek out 2 other people to collaborate with to fill in the gaps.

Being independent:

Individuals with a secure attachment strategy tend to feel confident and secure in their ability to be independent, while also valuing and maintaining close relationships with others. Doing everything yourself does not make you independent, in fact, this can project your own insecurities and break the cycle of trust. Again, see point 1.

Feeling comfortable with the emotional expression:

Individuals with a secure attachment strategy tend to feel comfortable expressing their emotions, as they trust that others will be accepting and supportive. Not showing emotion is a sign of low emotional intelligence in business. Fear can prevent you from doing things, but it can also save your life. If you are not comfortable in expressing your emotions, both positive and negative, look into help to overcome executive dysfunction.

Developing positive self-worth:

Individuals with a secure attachment strategy tend to have a positive sense of self-worth, as they have received consistent and positive feedback from attachment figures throughout their lives.

Overall, individuals with a secure attachment strategy tend to have healthy and positive relationships with others, feel comfortable seeking help and support when needed, and have a positive sense of self-worth. These behaviours reflect a healthy and secure emotional bond with attachment figures and the ability to form positive relationships with others throughout life.

If this blog resonates with you, and you want help or just want to chat, book a call through our website HERE.

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How to recognise opportunities to develop and apply new ideas

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Continuous improvement is the process of continually identifying, assessing, and implementing ways to improve products, services, or processes. In the context of your own work, it means constantly evaluating and seeking ways to improve one’s performance, skills, and knowledge.

This can involve making incremental changes, which are small, gradual improvements made over time, rather than large, drastic changes. By recognizing the value of continuous improvement, an individual is committing to a mindset of always striving to be better and more efficient in their work, which can lead to increased productivity and job satisfaction.

Continuous improvement can contribute to the design of new approaches within the immediate work environment by encouraging the identification of problems or inefficiencies, and the development and implementation of solutions. Through the process of continuous improvement, individuals and teams can identify areas for improvement, set goals, and create action plans to achieve those goals. By regularly evaluating the effectiveness of these plans, and making adjustments as needed, new approaches can be developed and implemented in the work environment.

Additionally, continuous improvement can foster a culture of experimentation and innovation within the work environment, as individuals and teams are encouraged to try new ideas and approach problems from different perspectives. This can lead to the development of new and more efficient processes, products, or services.

Moreover, continuous improvement can also encourage employees to take ownership of their work and to be more engaged in their job by giving them an opportunity to provide feedback and suggestions for improvement, this can improve the overall productivity and satisfaction of the employees.

In summary, continuous improvement can contribute to the design of new approaches within the immediate work environment by promoting problem-solving, experimentation, innovation, employee engagement, and a focus on achieving specific goals.

Addressing Problems

There are several ways to address problems affecting your role in a small business:

  • Identify the problem: Clearly define the problem and its scope. Gather information and data to help understand the problem and its causes.
  • Involve relevant stakeholders: Consult with team members, colleagues, and other relevant stakeholders to gather their perspectives and ideas.
  • Develop a plan: Based on the information gathered, develop a plan to address the problem. The plan should include specific, measurable goals and a timeline for achieving them.
  • Implement the plan: Put the plan into action and monitor progress.
  • Evaluate the results: Regularly evaluate the effectiveness of the plan, and make adjustments as needed.
  • Communicate: Communicate the progress and outcome of the problem-solving efforts to all the stakeholders.
  • Continuously Improvise: Continuously look for ways to improve the process and to prevent similar problems from arising in the future.
  • Seek support: If the problem is too big to handle by oneself, seek support from management or external resources such as consultants, or experts.

By following these steps, one can effectively address problems affecting their role in a small business context, and help improve the overall efficiency and productivity of the organization.

Adapting proposals vs exploring new ideas

Adopting proposals suggested by others where these do not require radical change refers to the process of being open to and willing to consider new ideas and suggestions.

Even if they may not align with one’s own initial thoughts or approach. This can involve taking the time to understand and evaluate the potential benefits and drawbacks of the proposal.

Then you can work to adapt and implement it in a way that is practical and feasible within the current constraints of your own job role as part of continuous improvement processes.

Adapting proposals is a different process to the ongoing exploration of new ideas.

Exploration of new ideas requires skills to assess the viability and effectiveness of a small business with limited people and financial resources is critically important to the survival of a small business.

Exploring new ideas, rather than adapting proposed ideas for implementation, requires business management skills assess viable options. To do this you would need to have developed analysing and critical thinking skills in earlier topics in this program to be given the decision-making authority to do this at the stage of the business improvement process.

Small business need to continuously innovate and explore new ideas in order to stay competitive and grow, and can adapt their operations faster than larger business to bring new products to market before major competitors.

Small businesses often have limited resources, and therefore must be strategic in their decision-making and resource allocation. By continuously exploring new ideas, a small business can identify new opportunities for growth and improvement, and develop innovative solutions to the challenges it faces.

Summary

the Adopting proposals is about being open to and willing to consider new ideas and suggestions, even if they may not align with one’s own initial thoughts or approach. Exploring new ideas is about the need for small business to continuously innovate and explore new ideas in order to stay competitive and grow.

You may be asked to do both of these things if you are working for a small business as you would have direct access to the business owner, but at the end of the day the business has to be able to make money to afford to keep you on. Perfections is the enemy of profits, which is why all businesses, large and small, have their own versions of improvement processes to test and trial products to see if it is want customers want.

You can’t improve something that doesn’t exist, and you can’t ask customers for feedback on it either. This is the balancing act all businesses go through, but small businesses generally have better relationships with customers who give better feedback on what others would be willing to pay for it.

If you can do that, you get word-of-mouth advertising and promotes for your business, which is usually the cheapest form of marketing businesses can do.

Developing self-management skills

Facilitating a climate in which creativity and innovation are accepted as an integral part of the way things are done in successful small businesses, for example:

  • build in time for idea creation and sharing,
  • deliberately look for the potential in ideas proposed by others,
  • especially when ideas do not seem immediately practical

This is examples of what would make you more suitable than others to work for a small business as not everyone has the right mindset to do this.

Not matter if you are looking for employment or contract work on a project, having the skills to do this increases you earning capacity with small businesses.

If you have this on your resume or client testimonials it stands out in an interview. Which even prospective clients do too before agreeing to pay you.

Even you don’t think you have the experience (or are eligible to) apply for a position or start a business, this skill can still get you the gig.

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Essential implementation skills required in a small business

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Small businesses often allocate tasks to people that work for them above the level of authority in a larger business. This can be a great source of frustration for employees who have experience working in the industry.

As the team workers have direct access to the business owner who is used to doing the work themselves, often the business owner may not realize that they are actually allocating management tasks.

This may seem to the business owner as just how you do things in a small business. However, what you are doing is giving the worker management experience to put on their resume. This gives the worker the confidence to apply for management jobs, which pay better, even in a small business.

People don’t leave a job for better money. How do they know they can get better money for another company if they are not looking for a better-paying job? And a job is no longer an employment agreement.

What is a “Job”?

Working under an ABN as a “Solopreneur”, AKA, a business as a sole trader, is also considered a “job” by the ATO. It is categorized as a “self-employment agreement”, and now you can get funding (as a wage subsidy through Centrelink) and 12 months of coaching to set yourself up with a job. With all of the flexible work arrangements, the Fair Work Commission is trying to get larger businesses to do.

The key definition from the ATO as to if you are a “contractor” or under an “employment agreement” is contractors have the ability to set their own hours of work, and also are allowed to subcontract their work to meet the demands of the client outcomes. So if you are looking for that, read our previous blog on Thinking of starting a business, and want to know how to do that. But for Employers and employees, please read on.

You don’t hear people talking at the pub, saying “I love my job”, and their friends say “yeah, but you could get better money working for another company”. Usually, they say, “wow, how can I get a job like that”. Money doesn’t even come up unless they say they don’t like their job.

People who are doing what they love, and are allowed to do regularly, don’t say they don’t like their job. If they don’t love what the do in their job they say “it’s OK”, so don’t want to leave. However, this is what has been coined as “quiet quitting”, which is the situation employees (and business owners) find themselves in where they stay because they don’t know what else they can do.

This is becoming the biggest problem in Business today, as part of the “great resignation” debate. Job ads were at their highest levels since before the GFC. It takes 8 weeks (at least) to replace good employees, who only have to give you 1 or 2 weeks’ notice. That is a big cost to micro-businesses if 20% of their staff leave.

What’s the problem?

2 quotes spring to mind whenever I have this discussion with Small Business owners.

  1. The problem is not “what if we train them well and they leave?”, the problem (for any business) is “what if we don’t train them well, and they stay” – Henry Ford. That want really costs a small business money, customers, and time, as there is nowhere for them to hide
  2. Train them well enough so they can leave, then treat them well so they don’t have to – Richard Branson

A third quote, from this century, is “people don’t leave bad jobs, they leave bad bosses” – Simon Sinek.

What makes a bad boss? Lots of things, but in this case, it’s poor delegation skills.

While leaders and managers may have been promoted because of their skills in the job they were doing, if they are not trained well in leadership and management, then this becomes a big problem.

Job ads are back to the level they were before the GFC, but this time, the unemployment rate is much lower. So if staff leave you, it will be very tough to replace them anytime soon.

From the Australian Government Internet Vacancy Index 2006 to 2022
From the Australian Government Internet Vacancy Index

What good leaders and managers both do

Good leaders and managers know the capabilities of the people in their care. If they delegate work above the person’s required skill level for their job, good managers reward their team no matter if they ask for it or not.

It’s not about the money, it’s usually acknowledgment that they are performing above their pay grade, and they feel appreciated and secure in their job. Why would they look for another one?

If this is a problem for you, here is something that might help you out. This list is from the core skills for work framework used in business training qualifications.

Do an audit on yourself and your delegation skills before saying “don’t you know how hard it is to get good staff”?

Maybe you need to employ a supervisor or manager, even if you have no other staff. Sometimes business owners need to accept they are not the best person to be managing the business

Team member skills

  • Plans a range of routine, and some non-routine, tasks, accepting stated goals and aiming to achieve them efficiently
  • Applies formal processes when planning more complex/unfamiliar tasks, producing plans with logically sequenced steps, reflecting some awareness of time and resource constraints and the needs of others in the immediate vicinity
  • Implements actions as per plan, making slight adjustments if necessary, and addressing some unexpected issues
  • Seeks assistance from more experienced colleagues as required
  • May use ICT based systems and programs to assist with planning, implementing and tracking progress
  • Assesses effectiveness in terms of how well-stated goals were achieved and how closely the process followed the original plan and timeframes

Supervisor

  • Develops plans to manage relatively complex, non-routine tasks with an awareness of how they may contribute to longer term operational and strategic goals
  • Begins to recognise the importance of other stakeholders throughout the process and is learning to clarify goals and proposed methodology with others, maintain communication and manage expectations and understanding
  • Monitors actions against stated goals, adjusting plans and resources to cope with contingencies
  • Uses a combination of formal, logical planning processes and an increasingly intuitive understanding of context to identify relevant information and risks, identify and evaluate alternative strategies and resources
  • Sequences and schedules complex activities, monitors implementation and manages relevant communication e.g. formal project management processes and associated technology
  • Reflects on outcomes and feedback from others in order to identify general principles and concepts that may be applicable in new situations
  • Recognises the need for flexibility and is learning how to adjust or even abandon plans as circumstances and priorities change

Manager skills

  • Develops flexible plans for complex, high impact activities with strategic implications that involve a diverse range of stakeholders with potentially competing demands
  • Recognises the critical importance of clarifying, focusing and aligning goals and expectations, and may use the process to build ownership of, and broad commitment to achieving outcomes
  • Uses a mix of intuitive and formal processes to identify key information and issues, evaluate alternative strategies, anticipate consequences and consider implementation issues and contingencies
  • May operate from a broad conceptual plan, developing the operational detail in stages, regularly reviewing priorities and performance during implementation, identifying and addressing issues and reallocating resources
  • Skilfully utilises existing structures and systems to coordinate activity, or designs new processes as required
  • Focuses effort on what is most important, delegating to others as required, managing interruptions, recognising potential issues and taking quick action to identify and resolve problems
  • Gathers data and seeks feedback from others to gain new perspectives and identify ways to strengthen planning processes in the future

If you need more help with this, or in a hole and can’t see a way out, let’s have a chat. Every business goes through this at some point. We have options anyone can do, and people in our network that can help anyone too.

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If this looks like you, you’ll feel much better if we are on the other end of the phone with options. Let’s chat.
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Thinking of starting a business, and want to know how to do that

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Anyone can start a business in Australia regardless of their citizenship or residency status. However, there are certain requirements that must be met in order to legally operate a business in Australia.

  1. You must have an Australian Business Number (ABN) and register for goods and services tax (GST) if your business has a turnover of $75,000 or more.
  2. You may need to obtain licenses and permits specific to your business and industry.
  3. You will also need to comply with Australian laws and regulations regarding business operations, including workplace health and safety, consumer protection, and fair trading.
  4. If you are not an Australian citizen or permanent resident, you will need to obtain the appropriate visa to work and operate a business in Australia.

It is important to consult with the relevant government agencies and professional advisors to ensure that you meet all the necessary requirements and comply with the regulations.

What is popular now

Popular start-up businesses can vary depending on location and industry, but some examples of popular types of start-up businesses include:

  1. E-commerce businesses: Online stores or marketplaces that sell products or services.
  2. Technology businesses: Software development, app development, and other tech-related businesses, including SaaS (Software as a service) to support other small businesses
  3. Service-based businesses: Consulting, coaching, and other professional services.
  4. Food and beverage businesses: Restaurants, cafes, food trucks, and other food-related businesses.
  5. Health and wellness businesses: Gyms, spas, and other businesses related to health and wellness.
  6. Social media and digital marketing: Social media management, digital marketing and other online advertising businesses.
  7. Home-based businesses: businesses that can be run from home, such as tutoring, pet-sitting, and home cleaning, online business managers, and virtual assistants.
  8. Home renovation and remodeling businesses: Businesses that specializes in home renovation, remodeling and maintenance.

It’s important to note that there are many more possibilities for start-up businesses, and it’s always a good idea to research and consult with experts to identify opportunities in your area.

Popular Small Business roles

If you are looking to start a business that provides services to help other small businesses, then you can look at the popular jobs advertised on the internet to see where the skills gaps are in Australia. If big business takes up all this talent, Small Businesses are unlikely to find someone who only wants to do a couple of hours of work a day as a casual employee.

This is why the gig economy has taken off. Not only do you get work from one small business, they tell all their mates in business about you. That’s how Paula from Beyond the Maze started her VA business 9 years ago. Now she has 8 people working for her to fill the demand. Including now being able to afford a personal assistant, and living the dream of most business owners who want to spend more time with their families.

While LinkedIn has produced a report of the top 25 job roles worldwide, The internet vacancy index available through the Australian government’s labour market portal may give you a better idea of the contractor work that is available.

If you look at the work that is done by Virtual Assistants, usually business administration and customer contact roles (including online sales), there are over 40,000 jobs advertised that require these skills every month in Australia alone. For people based in Australia. The main reason Australian businesses contract work to overseas VA’s is no longer because of the cheap hourly rate. They are happy to pay Australians to do it, going by the number of ads for them, they just can’t find them to do it.

Advertised jobs

The top 2 advertised job roles in Australia have over 40,000 positions advertised every month. As, usually, larger businesses advertise jobs on the internet, this number doesn’t take into account the 2.4 million local small businesses. 85% of small businesses are micro-businesses, with under 5 employees, if they can find people to do these jobs, that is. Many just give up looking for help.

Forcing people into these jobs is not the answer either. If these jobs were filled by long-term unemployed, so-called “dole bludgers”, and were forced to take up jobs in the top 3 advertised roles, Australia would run out of job seekers in just 4 month time.

Or if you wanted to force them to help small businesses, there would only be enough long-term unemployed to help 1 out of every 10 small businesses. So who would you like to make that decision?

That’s why businesses that provide service to small businesses don’t have any trouble getting work. So if you are looking to get a pay increase for your office job, working flexible work hours, most likely from home, self-employment is a viable option.

For the month of August 2022

Overcoming low pay rates

Recent changes late in 2022 to Australia’s fair work act have put a renewed focus on closing the gender pay gap. It’s not just about increasing the minimum wage in female-dominated industries. Just about all businesses learned the difference between working from home and being set up to do remote work, thanks to COVID-19 lockdowns.

People who have set themselves up to do work under flexible work arrangements outside of the office need to have more skills than people working in the office. Adult Self-management skills that require fewer managers to supervise. Improve processes to get more work done in less time to maintain a work-life balance. Not to mention WHS laws cover the time to travel to and from work.

If a business says you are suitable to do remote work from home, you should be paid more than the people doing the same job in the office. Not just for your higher skills add value to the organization, but it cost the business less to employ you.

Add in carers and aid, and you have 3 female-dominated industries at the top of the internet job adds, where fair work is trying to increase the minimum wages. Overcome previous discrimination over pay rates with gender bias factors in professions where cheap overseas alternatives exist.

Calling BS from Big Business

We’ve seen this argument used by Coles and Woolworths as to why they keep the price of a 2 lt bottle of milk at 1980’s prices. “we can’t pay the farmers more, as our customers can’t afford a price rise”. In Queensland, dairy farms had to close down as they could pay the bills, and now the supermarkets have to ship milk up from Victoria (and have done so for many years).

Where are we now? from $2 a bottle to, what, over $3? I wouldn’t know as I only buy non-homogenized milk. When I spoke to the dairy farmers they explained why I should do that, that’s also how I found out about “farmgate” prices.

Did you know that coffee farmers around the world on average only get $0.07 (7 cents) per kg for the coffee they grow? Luckily there are Aussie companies like AgUnity to help some of the poorest farmers around the world. But like many Aussie startups, they have to operate overseas. Using blockchain technology with people that have never owned a smartphone, and working with fairtrade organizations and NGOs to lift farmers out of poverty (UNSDG #1). But in Australia, the lucky country, they don’t operate as I doubt most people here knows what real poverty is.

Who are big businesses to set what people can afford, particularly when customers realize the cost to human lives? If it’s not droughts or flooding rain, it’s the mental health issues that have the greatest loss of human life.

Why do remote workers have to live in the metropolitan area I wonder? You can ask the new Queensland Chief entrepreneur that, next time she travels to an event in Brisbane from her home in Goondiwindi. Google it if you don’t know where that is.

How is the commission helping Small Businesses?

The Fair Work Act now has a new equal remuneration principle to guide the Commission’s consideration of equal remuneration and work value cases. This is to help the Commission issue pay increases to workers in low-paid, female-dominated industries, particularly in big business for example.

To say it will hurt small businesses first is crap. The big businesses regularly lock up talent by giving them more hours, when they get them in that is. So their talents go to waste and they do extra work not related to the primary role. Usually urgent but not important tasks, which devalues the employee, and big businesses blame employees for “quiet quitting”?

“people don’t leave bad jobs, they leave bad bosses” – Simon Sinek

Whereas Small business says “I can only afford to pay [this amount]”, and contractors learn how to get the work done faster. Which essentially increases the contractor’s hourly rate as they can work for more than 1 client.

For equal remuneration cases, the Commission can now make an equal remuneration order (ERO) on its own initiative as well as on application.

When considering an application, the Commission:

  • can consider comparisons between occupations and industries or if work has been undervalued based on gender historically
  • isn’t limited to comparing similar work and doesn’t need a male comparator
  • isn’t required to find discrimination based on gender if considering a comparison or if work has been historically undervalued based on gender.

If you are looking for where the increased wages could come from, have a look at the job roles below. The business admin-related role with the lowest number of female employees has the highest earnings. Yet their customers are predominantly female users, who would be better suited to teach new customers how to use the technology.

Or, maybe big businesses can stop employing highly skilled people and get them to do low-paying jobs under the veil of “job security”. These are the first jobs that get cut back.

How do you get a job doing what you love? Book a free chat here and discover who wants to hire you.

It’s the highest requested job for us to find someone to do… Train people to use the technology admin staff use every day. And the only question employers ask in the interview is “why do you love doing that”.

We think it’s about time you got paid what that’s worth, don’t you?