Happy 2017 – Start off with clear business goals

Happy 2017 – Start off with clear business goals

Building a Smart Business, business, entrepreneurship
In business and in life it's important to have goals, intentions and targets. Without clear goals you will end up bobbing in the sea of life without reaching that sense of achievement or accomplishment. While this may not be true for everybody,  I feel very strongly about the benefit of goals. I see it with my son. Summer holidays are over and he's back at school for grade 11. Immediately they give targets and assignments to work towards and for the first time I can actually see him being excited about planning for the weeks ahead. He has the feeling he's in control and can influence the results of his school year and that makes him happy. Setting Business Goals is vital I learned this the hard way in 2016... Prior…
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The day business stopped: US elections 2016

The day business stopped: US elections 2016

business
We live and work in a global market place. What happens across the world with the US Elections has an impact on my business in Australia. That's why I'm watching the US Elections 2016, even though I know I should be working. After all it's a normal working day - a Wednesday where I have goals to achieve and stuff to do. But like a moth to a flame I'm drawn to The New York Times and The Washington Post. Business has stopped completely.. that can wait until after the election results. Many things will change very quickly anyway. International Business The Art of Service sells eLearning courses online. The direct result of this business model is that we have clients in over 150 countries. When you have an internet…
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Building your online store in a weekend

Building your online store in a weekend

Building a Smart Business, business
Setting up an online store really isn't difficult anymore. You can be up and running within a day - or let's say that you can build your online store in a weekend. I recently went through this exercise when I wanted to separate the Q-Linn product range from the general Horses-Store.com website. I want to be able to offer Q-Linn to a wider audience as the bras are so good - and not just for horse riding. Keeping it under the horses-store.com website would be confusing. Step 1 - Find a web address After I had the formal approval from the brand owner (I import Q-Linn lingerie from The Netherlands so it's not my own product) I went to GoDaddy.com and registered the q-linn.com.au website. I prefer GoDaddy personally as…
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Back to basics: Revenue is vanity

Back to basics: Revenue is vanity

Building a Smart Business, business
" Revenue is vanity, Profit is sanity... Cash is King" Every business owner should have this etched in their brain. Or maybe tattooed on their arms or something. Whatever works for you to be constantly reminded of this phrase. I don't know who said this quote first but it is profound. And I'll tell you why: When you start out in business you set goals - some goals are Big, they are Hairy and they are Audacious. And some of those goals will be related around money (see: Business is about money). But let's be very clear about the goals you set and the type of money you talk about. Revenue is NOT money Let's start with "revenue is vanity': Revenue is the amount you charge for the products and…
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Back to basics: business is about money

Back to basics: business is about money

Building a Smart Business, business
Let's talk about the elephant in the room: Being in business is NOT about following your passion. It's about helping people to achieve their goals and dreams when they buy your stuff. (products and services). Being in business is about money. Yes it sounds wrong. And it sounds cynical.. but I've learned the hard way that following your passion is costing you money. I get a little antsy when I hear people talk about succeeding in business and all they talk about is that you need to dream big and follow your passion. Yes it helps when you're passionate about your vision for the business. It helps to create clarity and focus. And I totally agree that you need to dream big, as long as you follow up with a solid…
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Too Busy is slowing you down and can hurt your business

Too Busy is slowing you down and can hurt your business

Building a Smart Business, business, entrepreneurship
It' 2am on a Wednesday morning and I'm too busy to sleep so I'm sitting at my computer listening to the voices in my head telling me that this is normal, this is what you need to do to be successful in business, even when so tired and already on my third coffee. I need to keep going and stay busy because time is money and you need the money to pay the bills. I wish I could tell you that this doesn't happen often - but I can't... Until recently... In the past 3 months I have learned the hard way that being busy can seriously hurt your business, and if I had a chance to do it over again I would make different choices... Why am I telling you this? I feel it…
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Retail shop owners look around you… learn from the IT industry or become extinct

business, entrepreneurship
 There have been three separate events this week that  triggered this article: An interview with Gerry Harvey in The Age explaining why online retail can't be successful (in his mind) A message in the facebook group "Back2ITSM" from Charles Betz asking about the connection between IT and the business My shopping experience today at a sports store in Brisbane city What do these three events have in common? Off-line retail is in a lot of trouble at the moment and it is quite obvious when you look around you. Shops are almost empty and when they do attract clients, they do it through groupon deals or other in-store sales offers. This can't last very long and I worry for many store owners. With their high expenses in store rental and…
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Up close and Personal with Ivanka Menken

business
These blog posts have been fairly personal, and in the past couple of years you've probably learnt more about me than you ever imagined.. I have however made a decision to 'up the ante' and start a video blog around a subject that is very near to me: what it means to run a business and the fact that we need to read and continue to read books to learn. EVERY DAY IS A SCHOOL DAY This is not a hollow phrase, I truly believe in this statement and reading books plays an important role in achieving this. Verne Harnish once said that successful business professionals ("A-players") read a minimum of 24 books each year.  And these books would be a combination of business books, novels and periodicals like the…
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My top 4 mistakes of Self Publishing

business, entrepreneurship
The top 4 mistakes of self publishing In the past 14 years I’ve personally been involved with the publishing of hundreds of books and publications. Some of these books I wrote and others were a team effort. Looking back I can see now that I’ve made the mistakes many self publishing authors have made - and will continue to make -: Not recognising the work involved As a consultant and trainer I write for a living. I write course materials, textbooks, exercises, white-papers, proposals etc. Turning this information in a book should be easy right? Oh, how wrong I was! Writing a book may not be difficult, but to turn this into a published book that looks professional and  that people actually want to purchase is a complete different experience.…
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In times of recession – how does ITIL Service Management help to keep your good employees?

business, itil, itsm
Today I was interviewed by somebody from the itSMF about trends in the ITSM education and training industry. Inevitably the questions go the the current economic climate and the position of education in all this. To me this is really easy - but then again: I run an education company so I am slightly biased -  ITSM education really helps organisations to make a difference. Note that I don't say 'training' as I don't have a lot of positive things to say about organisations who only focus on the training aspect.. teaching monkeys tricks...  Of course there is a training aspect in each educational program but there is so much more to it! Being an educator means that you know your subject as well as have the ability to make…
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