Red Zebra Business Centre - Management Memos

Making Measurably More For Your Business Since 1985!

March 2013 Now including My Local Pool Shop Monthly News.  
Patchy Outlook Continues - Causes Confusion in Business Planning
Max Williams
Principal Consultant

THE COMBINATION of record levels of business insolvencies and record job creation, is causing confusion, disbelief and hesitation, just when confidence is really needed.

One piece of news that slipped by with little, if any, fanfare, was the release in early March of data showing that the insolvency rate for business has reached record high levels in the 2012-13 year.

Another piece of data that did get a big noise was the creation of a record number of jobs. Many commentators expected a downward revision on the next release of job figures, believing that  the figures were wrong.

As it turned out, the commentators didn't have long to wait. Almost immediately, the number was reduced to about half, as the error in the calculation was discovered.

So we were confused about how to look to the future of our businesses by a mistake, but that mistake was compounded immeasurably by a government determined to promote the good news - even after it had been shown to be false.

There is really only one interpretation of this latest round of data, after that important correction, and that is: "Unless you are in the mining or resource sector, it's very tough!"

Jobs are being created, and we have been involved in three recruitments for clients in recent months. Good!

But bankruptcies are occurring at a very high rate, and that's not so good!

Retail sales have begin to show some rebound, and a positive outlook for retail is always a very good sign. But this slightly better outlook for retail is 'wispy', not powerful. (See 'Management Memos' for February.)

These threads, if all taken together, indicate that the fundamentals for business are solid, but that competition is still virulent, and business risks abound.

So, how to look toward the future?  When you see an opportunity, take it - but consider all the signs in your business data that might suggest a problem. And take notice of those early warnings!

The publication of the March Edition in April is a continuing reflection of delays due too a family illness. The April edition is expected out in April.

My Red Zebra
Working With
‘My Red Zebra’

We develop the culture of 'the trusted advisor'. That way, we're always on hand to answer questions, deal with issues, and respond too any relevant topic. That makes it a long term arrangement. Our rate is calculated on your sales value, and charged on a 'retainer basis', so when you do well, we do well.

We'll work with you to deliver on this simple proposition:

We will Help You Make Measurably More!

It's a simple offer. Uncompromising.

Inescapable. And like all good offers, it comes with conditions.

Read More ....
Adaptivity Means Opportunity

aving a business plan is one key to business success - if it’s a good plan based on sound information. And just like an airline flight plan, it needs constant adaptation to suit changing conditions. That’s why every business needs ‘adaptivity’.
Click to Read More!

Social Media Boosts Productivity
Far from diverting employees from their jobs, social media and smartphones actually make staff more productive. Employers should learn to deal with that new reality.

Access to social networks via mobile devices gives staff a "virtual co-presence" with direct benefits for the business in which they work, according to a new study of technology companies in the UK, Germany and Finland.

Evidence from the research suggests that knowledge workers who manage their presence successfully and control their responses are better at organising workflow.

Social media is not an entertainment medium with side-benefits for business. "It's not a by-product. It's the main thing," the study's author said.

GoWhat we should do as companies, is empower employees to deal with social media and spend their time productively. Click to Read More.


"The Plain-Speaking Business Person's" Guide to making the most of a web site continues with Chapter 4.

Latest chapter update available now.

First chapter of our new e-book

In Chapter 4 we show you how you can set yourself up to look after your own website. Easily!

Download the whole book so far. Click Here NowGo

My Local Pool Shop
Price Harmonisation Vital For Future Growth In Retail Pool Shops
It might not be evident yet to shoppers, but prices on a wide range of goods are starting to come down at Australia’s venerable department stores, David Jones and Myer.

When major stores like these two take the lead, it follows that other retailers will inevitably follow suit. Prices are coming down. Everywhere. Permanently.

The process is called ''price harmonisation'', a smooth-sounding euphemism for what has become a powerful wrestle between in-store retailers and their on-line rivals. But in the end, those costs will be reduced, and prices will be 'harmonised'.

The sooner you begin the complex analysis needed, the better you will be able to respond to these rapidly changing circumstances. Then you'll be free to harmonise your prices and build your business to its peak.  Go Click to Read More

Business Names Now Registered Differently

Registration of a trading name has been required under state and Commonwealth law for many decades. In 2011 new changes made it easier to register a business name across several states.

Retail shop

If you trade as a company, and use a name other than your incorporated name, you need to register the trading name in every state in which you trade. For instance, if "Joe and Margaret Pty Ltd" trade as "Blogs To Go", then "Blogs To Go" needs to be registered wherever Joe and Margaret trade.

Of course, if you are a sole trader or partnership, you always knew you needed to register your business name.

This registration gives the trader no protection of the business name or any other intellectual property rights. But the new system is simpler and cheaper than before!

Go to the ASIC websiteGo


“The critical ingredient is getting off your butt and doing something. ”

- Nolan Bushnell

If you'd like to find out more about how to make measurably more in your business right now, talk to us, or ask us a question here! Remember, there's no charge or obligation.

This same offer applies in New Zealand. Click Here!

McNicol Williams Management & Marketing Services is a Small Business Advisor listed with the Small Business Victoria, and has presented The Red Zebra program under its auspices. This listing requires that the first hour's consultation is always free. So when we say "No charge or obligation", we mean it!

My Red Zebra Strategic Pathways Highly Effective Marketing My Local Pool Shop