#8 Experts Share Their Valuable Knowledge With You

This Forum invites a number of experts to be a guest for one week and control discussions on specific topics. The public can gain a great deal of free information from reading the posts, but only members may write posts, add to discussions and ask and answer questions. I hope that everyone enjoys the forums and topics that will be featured.
Barbara Gabogrecan
President

#8 Experts Share Their Valuable Knowledge With You

Postby Barbara Gabogrecan » Mon Oct 15, 2012 7:59 am

This week in the Forum, there will be a slightly different slant. First of all, we will go over a week as there will be 8 different experts sharing their most valuable tips with you. Not only will you have a variety of topics during this time, but you will have an enormous range of expertise to draw on to help you with your business, or to simply make you think 'outside the box'!

Monday - 'Panda and Penguin Are Not the Cute Animas You Thought They Were' by Barbara Gabogrecan

Tuesday - '5 Golden Rules for Couples in Business Together' by Dr Greg Chapman

Wednesday - 'Still behaving like a 4yr old? I bet you are!' by Linda Black

Thursday - 'Essential Rites for Writing Right' by Dr Geoff Haw

Friday - Think Outside The Box by Robyn O'Connell

Saturday - 'Stroke Your Pussy While You Work' by Peter O'Connor

Sunday - My Business is My Lifestyle by Anne Morton

Monday - 'Be Brave, Be Daring……….and Be Rewarded' by Marion Wheatland
Cheers
Barb
Barbara Gabogrecan assists HBB's to market their business online
http://www.HomeBasedBusinessAustralia.org

Barbara is an artist specialising in silk painting; her video is on page one of You Tube http://youtu.be/1ZA9HObN_Go
http://www.SilkPaintingByGabogrecan.com/

Having survived a stroke and a brain tumour, Barbara wrote a book titled 'Thank God I Had a Stroke' to motivate and inspire others suffering from similar afflictions.
http://GabogrecanStrokeRecovery.com/
Barbara Gabogrecan
 
Posts: 341
Joined: Sun May 03, 2009 12:57 pm

Re: #8 Experts Share Their Valuable Knowledge With You

Postby Barbara Gabogrecan » Mon Oct 15, 2012 8:19 am

Monday
Image
‘Panda’ And ‘Penguin’ Are Not The Cute Little Animals You Thought They Were!

If you have a website you either simply want a ‘pretty brochure’ that you can direct your contacts to, you could just as easily have a brochure printed and mail it to your contacts. Or you may have a website to provide solutions to problems your clients may have; keep them updated with the development of your product or service; and give them an interactive space where they can ask questions, make comments etc.

If your website is designed for the latter, then you will also want more potential customers to find you. The way to do that is to be listed on page one of Google so that more traffic will find your site.

Google ranks you according to how well your site fits their algorithms. The latest ones that can change your world of ranking are called Panda and Penguin. Panda sets up rules for the entire website, while Penguin covers individual pages on the website. There is no question that Panda is set up to ‘punish’ you if you do not abide by the rules.

Some enormous websites were brought to their knees with Panda rules, one that many of you will be aware of is the well known Ezine Articles. The traffic plummeted with thousands of visitors being dropped off. So, if the ‘big guys’ can be caught up in this huge problem, what hope do home based businesses have?

The good news is that it is not that hard to get it right. The difficult thing is, knowing how to get it right. I am sending out a number of short videos to HBBA members via ‘Think Outside the Box’ and I will be running a webinar. If you want more information, just email me and ask (barbara@hbba.biz). Or you can join HBBA at http://www.HomeBaseBusinessAustralia.org and you will receive the regular Video email 'Think Outside The Box'

Here are 8 tips. There are many more, but these are very ‘do-able’ as most are associated with content. Make sure if someone else has built your website that you bring to their attention number 2 (which is the exact opposite to what SEO experts and many web designers were doing).

1. Keywords – use ones that others are searching on. Don’t overuse them (heading, first 30 words, end of content)

2. Page Title – just use the keyword once; do not have a variety of keywords

3. Advertising – place any ads towards the bottom of the page

4. First Fold – this refers to what is seen as soon as the screen opens (without having to scroll down). This should contain the main text. DO NOT have a large header – it is the text that is being ranked.

5. Golden Triangle – the section of your website that is looked at first is the top left hand corner. Make sure that is where you main text and keyword appear.

6. Uniqueness – most know that content needs to be unique – but images are also checked for uniqueness. If you use images from another source and others can also use them, then this will count against your. Either create the images/photos yourself, or change the images that you want to use.

7. Hyperlinks – this is one of the very important changes to be made. Have a look at Wikipedia and see how they use hyperlinks throughout the body of the text. Either link to other pages on your own website or to other well ranked websites (e.g. Wikipedia).

8. Keep your information short. If you have a longer article, break it into two or three and link them together with questions or attention grabbing comments

I have only began to change HBBA to fit the rules (I still have a long way to go) and already my traffic has increased by around 60% and my ranking went from 7 to 3 on the first page of Google for the keyword 'home based business'.
Cheers
Barb
Barbara Gabogrecan assists HBB's to market their business online
http://www.HomeBasedBusinessAustralia.org

Barbara is an artist specialising in silk painting; her video is on page one of You Tube http://youtu.be/1ZA9HObN_Go
http://www.SilkPaintingByGabogrecan.com/

Having survived a stroke and a brain tumour, Barbara wrote a book titled 'Thank God I Had a Stroke' to motivate and inspire others suffering from similar afflictions.
http://GabogrecanStrokeRecovery.com/
Barbara Gabogrecan
 
Posts: 341
Joined: Sun May 03, 2009 12:57 pm

Re: #8 Experts Share Their Valuable Knowledge With You

Postby Greg Chapman » Tue Oct 16, 2012 10:54 am

Tuesday
Image
Couples in Business Together
When a business is run by a couple in a personal relationship, there is a very different dynamic compared with other business ownership arrangements. It can be wonderful, or not so much.One business owner said to me on talkback radio while I was being interviewed about my new book: "Married to the Business- Honey I love you but our business sucks" "It helps if you are only 4 ft tall, so it all goes over your head!"

There are Five Golden Rules for Couples in Business Together. Over the course of today, I will mention them all.

Rule #1. Create a Shared Vision of your Business and Life Objectives
The advantage of couples who own a business together is that they can set the business up to meet their lifestyle objectives. When you work for someone else, it is their objectives that rule.

The key here is that your Life and Business objectives must be compatible. For example, if you business objective is world domination in your sector, I suggest that is not compatible with a three day working week.

Priorities can of course change over time, and a couple may decide to work hard early on, and pull back later to have a family. There is no right or wrong answer to this rule, except not to have one.

Are your Business objectives compatible with your Lifestyle?
May Your Business Be - As You Plan It!

Dr Greg Chapman - The Profit Whisperer
http://www.empowersolutions.com.au

Author of Married to the Business: Honey I love you but our business sucks http://www.MarriedtotheBusiness.com.au

The Five Pillars of Guaranteed Business Success http://www.FivePillarsBusinessSuccess.com

Price: How to Charge More Without Losing Sales http://www.IncreaseYourPrices.com.au
Greg Chapman
 
Posts: 15
Joined: Sun May 03, 2009 2:30 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: #8 Experts Share Their Valuable Knowledge With You

Postby Greg Chapman » Tue Oct 16, 2012 12:43 pm

Tuesday
Image
Couples in Business Together

Rule #2: Restructure Your Business to Deliver Your Desired Lifestyle
Aligning your business and lifestyle objectives is not sufficient to achieve both. A plan to achieve these objectives may require significant changes in the way the business is run. This is likely to require a new business plan to achieve the desired profitability, and potentially new strategies. An understanding of the business' profit structure is an essential part of this process. It is common to find during this analysis that the true profitability of the business is much lower than the couple believed, and in fact the long term viability of the business may be uncertain.

The recognition that change is required and the need for assistance often takes longer for couples in business than other business owners due to the more emotional nature of decision making. Decisions are deferred to avoid confrontation, as the couple naturally put their personal relationship ahead of their business. In other business relationships, there is likely to be more objectivity, especially from the owners' families who are not directly involved in the business. However, without these changes, the probability that the lifestyle objectives of the couple being realised are small.

This is a time for a hard look at where the business is going and whether it will deliver what the couple wants.

Has your business ever had to face this moment of truth?
May Your Business Be - As You Plan It!

Dr Greg Chapman - The Profit Whisperer
http://www.empowersolutions.com.au

Author of Married to the Business: Honey I love you but our business sucks http://www.MarriedtotheBusiness.com.au

The Five Pillars of Guaranteed Business Success http://www.FivePillarsBusinessSuccess.com

Price: How to Charge More Without Losing Sales http://www.IncreaseYourPrices.com.au
Greg Chapman
 
Posts: 15
Joined: Sun May 03, 2009 2:30 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: #8 Experts Share Their Valuable Knowledge With You

Postby Greg Chapman » Tue Oct 16, 2012 2:22 pm

Tuesday
Image
Couples in Business Together

Rule 3: Decide how You will Work Together
One of the strengths of couples in business is mutual trust. This is a great benefit, but the flipside of trust is informality. Business requires discipline, but informality can lead to sloppiness. To avoid this, roles and responsibilities must be defined, so it is clear who should be doing what and when.

Beyond roles there should also be a charter on how you will work together - Do's and Don't's. For example, you will always support each other in front of staff, and you will abide by decisions each makes within their responsibility. Role definition and a charter are just two steps to reduce the emotion of running a business together.

What strategies have you used when working together?
May Your Business Be - As You Plan It!

Dr Greg Chapman - The Profit Whisperer
http://www.empowersolutions.com.au

Author of Married to the Business: Honey I love you but our business sucks http://www.MarriedtotheBusiness.com.au

The Five Pillars of Guaranteed Business Success http://www.FivePillarsBusinessSuccess.com

Price: How to Charge More Without Losing Sales http://www.IncreaseYourPrices.com.au
Greg Chapman
 
Posts: 15
Joined: Sun May 03, 2009 2:30 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: #8 Experts Share Their Valuable Knowledge With You

Postby Greg Chapman » Tue Oct 16, 2012 3:32 pm

Tuesday
Image
Couples in Business Together

Rule #4: Managing Time
All business owners struggle with managing their time, but for couples in business, it is twice as hard. The temptation to bring back work into the home can be overwhelming, particularly when both are involved with the same work. In addition, poor time management at work impacts on the home life for both of them. It is essential that both partners examine how they spend their time within their business, and create boundaries outside of it to prevent business consuming their relationship. They can build on their personal relationship and trust to ensure that they hold each other to account.

Do you have a structured process to manage your time?

Rule #5: Develop Systems that can make the Business Run without You
Non-couple partners have an advantage over couples that run a business together. They can time their days away so that the other can provide cover for them, so there is always an owner present. For couples in business, this is a problem as they would like to be away from their business together. This either means they take no holidays, or shut the business down when they go away, neither of which is a desirable outcome. A better solution is to have management systems in place that will enable the business to run without them. This has many other benefits, such as increasing productivity when they are there and creating a Saleable Asset.

What happens to your business when you are both away?
May Your Business Be - As You Plan It!

Dr Greg Chapman - The Profit Whisperer
http://www.empowersolutions.com.au

Author of Married to the Business: Honey I love you but our business sucks http://www.MarriedtotheBusiness.com.au

The Five Pillars of Guaranteed Business Success http://www.FivePillarsBusinessSuccess.com

Price: How to Charge More Without Losing Sales http://www.IncreaseYourPrices.com.au
Greg Chapman
 
Posts: 15
Joined: Sun May 03, 2009 2:30 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: #8 Experts Share Their Valuable Knowledge With You

Postby Peter O'Connor » Tue Oct 16, 2012 7:00 pm

Hi Greg

This all sounds somewhat familiar to me. Barb and I have been involved in business ventures together for the last 20 years. During that period, most of the time I held a full time job as well, so only had limited input in the business operation, but was always 100% involved in the planning.

I must admit, that since I retired from accounting 4 years ago and became 100% involved in all aspects of our business together, I have found a new respect for couples that work together full time. It took me quite a while to settle in as I still retained that "employee" mentality, which of course was very frustrating for Barb. But, being the trooper that she is, she wasn't going to let that little obstacle get in her way. She persisted, and to her credit, she got me to change the way I looked at things in our lives, both business and personal. I became a non-accountant!

The last 4 years have been some of the most rewarding and happy years of our lives together. We actually look forward to working together each day. I could never say that about the other jobs I have had in the past.

Honest communication and tolerance of one another's ideas is the secret to success.

Great posts Greg.

Cheers

Peter
Peter O'Connor, is a retired accountant and is involved with teaching home based businesses how to build and manage their own websites.
http://www.HomeBasedBusinessAustralia.org
Peter O'Connor
 
Posts: 79
Joined: Sun May 03, 2009 10:12 am

Re: #8 Experts Share Their Valuable Knowledge With You

Postby Barbara Gabogrecan » Wed Oct 17, 2012 6:15 am

Greg, I think there are three essential actions that couples in business need to do and you more or less covered one in muber 3. If you run your business from home, I think it is even more essential.

1. There must be a leader and a follower. As in everything in life, there needs to be only one chief and a number of indians. As long as the 'follower' agrees that the other is the leader, then things will work out well. But even though there is a partnership, one of the partners (not both) needs to lead. This person is usually the one who is more entrepreneurial while the other tends to have strengths as a manager/technician.

2. Hold regular meetings. Each month, each week and each day is the right time to hold a meeting. Take notes while the discussion takes place and keep your diaries beside you so that you can keep track of the activities you need to make. Perhaps the business plan can be re-assessed each year.

In my case, the daily meetings are over breakfast at home and are quite informal. They really cover just what we expect to get through that day. The weekly meeting is usually during the weekend over a brunch in a restaurant. This is to get away from the home environment and to allow us to set specific goals for each partner during the following week. The monthly meeting is often held during a day (or weekend) away. I find that an enourmous amount of real planning and goal setting can take place in this setting. I remember developing a profoundly exciting business plan while in Sydney for a weekend. We stayed at Kings Cross and went from place to place (walking distance) for each meal which was spent outdoors in the lovely sunshine under a canopy of leafy trees. We spent around 2 hours working at each 'food stop', then moved on. We achieved soooo much - and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves in the process!

3. Have a definite job description set for each partner. The types of jobs should best suit the skills and interests of each individual, but at the same time, must ensure that all tasks are covered. This will mean that each person will have to do some tasks that they don't like to do e.g. filing! If this is not done, then it opens the door for 'nagging' or complaining from one partner as they try to force the other partner to do certain tasks. It is so much more harmonious (and helpful to the marriage) if each knows exactly what the other will be doing.

Just one other point I will make. When there are serious family issues e.g. health problems, then the plans have to change. But that does not mean that they are to be thrown out completely. I still am amazed that during my stroke and brain tumour surgery, the business kept going because of my partner. Peter took on essential tasks and the less important ones were put on hold, but most importantly, he kept everyone informed as to what was going on. Existing clients were very understanding and helpful. New clients happily gave us time to get a job completed.

Now that my 91 year old Mum is seriously ill and will not be with us for too much longer, we have to make frequent trips to the nursing home (100k away) and we come back emotionally and physically exhausted. But we are still managing to keep the business going (even though everything gets done more slowly). This is a time when both partners in the relationship must be extra supportive of each other and the business has to move to a lopwer level of importance. Now Peter has to have surgery and I realise that enormous pressure will be on me to look after my loved ones and run a business. God willing, I will manage and my loved ones will not suffer too much.

I really liked your topic Greg - thanks for so much insight. It was really valuable and a great reminder for those of us who work as a couple.
Barbara Gabogrecan assists HBB's to market their business online
http://www.HomeBasedBusinessAustralia.org

Barbara is an artist specialising in silk painting; her video is on page one of You Tube http://youtu.be/1ZA9HObN_Go
http://www.SilkPaintingByGabogrecan.com/

Having survived a stroke and a brain tumour, Barbara wrote a book titled 'Thank God I Had a Stroke' to motivate and inspire others suffering from similar afflictions.
http://GabogrecanStrokeRecovery.com/
Barbara Gabogrecan
 
Posts: 341
Joined: Sun May 03, 2009 12:57 pm

Re: #8 Experts Share Their Valuable Knowledge With You

Postby Frances Cahill » Wed Oct 17, 2012 8:07 am

The information about 'cute animals' has come at a perfect time for me Barb.
I am learning how to build my own new site on Saturday and armed with this important info I can ensure I make the right decisions when I am building.
There is a residual conflict for me in the tech age. I understand the logic and possibility the necessity of the application of these filters/algorithms etc.
The tech dinosaur in me, however, feels resentful that the choices made are not ultimately accountable to any consumers/customers.
There is no person that I can ring to discuss the consequences or even appeal the decision made.
I know my age is showing...
Looking forward to seeing the rest of the week's topics.
Frances Cahill
BA (Hons) 1st Cert IV TAA Cert IV Small Business Management
Business communication specialist, writer, trainer, author of LOL is not lots of love
http://www.askauntem.com.au
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Aunt-Em/482360368464994
Frances Cahill
 
Posts: 40
Joined: Sat Mar 26, 2011 11:49 am

Re: #8 Experts Share Their Valuable Knowledge With You

Postby Barbara Gabogrecan » Wed Oct 17, 2012 10:34 am

Frances, I understand exactly what you mean. Google is a business and a public company, and they do not have to answer to anyone. So, in effect, we can chose to ignore them if we wish. The real problem is that they also control OUR websites. I know of a woman who has had her website closed down by Google because they said she has a virus in it. Yet the experts she has asked to check it our for her can find no problem and Google does not answer any questions, so they will not respond to her call for help (more information, please!) The only option she has is to build a new websitw (or not to have a website).

As for having no-one to ask questions of, don't forget, that Sapphire members of HBBA can ask us and if we can't help, we can often direct you to people who can. But you are right - you can't ask Google anything - they just won't answer.

And your reference to age - no problems there. I too am an ex teacher and a profound 'techno dummy', yet I have researched and picked up so much since I reached the 'old age pension' era that I am amazed. We recently taught an older lady how to build her own website and in 8 months she had it listed on page one of Google and had a page ranking of 3 - which is quite unbelievable. I am pleased to see that you are still learning techno stuff even though you are 'older'!

Just out of curiosity, what platform (software) are you using to build your website?
Cheers
Barb
Barbara Gabogrecan assists HBB's to market their business online
http://www.HomeBasedBusinessAustralia.org

Barbara is an artist specialising in silk painting; her video is on page one of You Tube http://youtu.be/1ZA9HObN_Go
http://www.SilkPaintingByGabogrecan.com/

Having survived a stroke and a brain tumour, Barbara wrote a book titled 'Thank God I Had a Stroke' to motivate and inspire others suffering from similar afflictions.
http://GabogrecanStrokeRecovery.com/
Barbara Gabogrecan
 
Posts: 341
Joined: Sun May 03, 2009 12:57 pm

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