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When I ask business owners and managers about innovation, many of them talk about the many ideas they have brewing but they have never pursued.  

They're too busy fighting front-burner issues to think about anything new. But if innovation is going to be a source of new products and revenues, these three words are perfect, from one of the world's most innovative companies: Just Do It.

Many companies enlist the wider public for innovation, whether through contests, or through customer input and co-creation. Yahoo! pioneered the hackathon (where a large group of people get together to create new ideas for software) in the US a decade ago and it has now become a staple way to do innovation, especially for technology companies.

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What Does Work-Life Balance Mean To You?

I’ll just clear my inbox so I get a head start tomorrow morning.       
 ” Sound Familiar?

It’s one we’ve all struggled with on a Sunday afternoon, or increasingly, every other night of the week, when we should be relaxing.

Work-life balance is hard to define.  For some, work is life, but for others, the term means making time for family, friends or even just relaxing.

Do you find yourself thinking – Should I sleep in or exercise? Exercise or catch up on emails?  Take the kids to school or get to work on time?  Research home health aides for my parents or mentor a young co-worker during my lunch hour?  Go to a Business Networking event or to my daughter’s soccer game?  Stay until the end of the game or go to another Business Meeting? 

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What Are Your Strengths ?

Do You Know Your Strengths?

Take some time to consider what you believe are the strengths of your business. These could be seen in terms of your staff, products, customer loyalty, processes, or location.  Evaluate what your business does well; it could be your marketing expertise, your environmentally-friendly packaging, or your excellent customer service. It's important to try to evaluate your strengths in terms of how they compare to those of your competitors. For example, if you and your competitors provide the same prompt delivery time, then this cannot be listed as strength. However, if your delivery staff is extremely polite and helpful, and your competitor's staff has very few customer-friendly attributes, then you should consider listing your delivery staff's attitude as a strength. It is very important to be totally honest and realistic. Try to include some personal strengths and characteristics of your staff as individuals, and the management team as individuals. Whatever you do, you must be totally honest and realistic: there's no point creating a useless work of fiction!

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Does Planning Help Your Performance?

Business is Similar to a game of Chess – Planning ahead WILL and DOES Help with your Performance.       Chess

Planning can help your Business grow 30% faster

Research on business growth found that planning improved business performance.
However this study still doesn’t answer the question it raises:
Why would planning help a business that has a few years of history more than one that is just starting up?
The answer most likely lies in the fact that existing businesses know a bit more about their customers and what their needs are than a new start-up does. For an existing business, planning involves fewer guesses or assumptions that need to be proven, so the strategies they develop are based on more information.
Action: Carve out some time to set goals and build a plan for your business. More importantly, re-visit your plan as you grow and revise it as you learn more about your business and your customers.
Business planning is not an activity you undertake only when you’re getting your business up and running or for finance. It should be something you return to, time and time again, to revise and improve upon based on new knowledge.

The Quality of the Plan Matters

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What Price Will Your Customers Pay?

Paying Customer
The price you charge for your product or service is one of the most important business decisions you will make. Setting a price that is too high or too low will – at best - limit your business growth. At worst, it could cause serious problems for your sales and cash flow.  If you're starting a business, carefully consider your pricing strategy before you start, once established the businesses can improve profitability through regular pricing reviews.
When setting your prices, you must make sure that the price and sales levels you set will allow your business to be profitable. You must also take note of where your product or service stands when compared with your competition.
Below are a few important facts that will help you to understand how your pricing structure should be set.

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Brisbane based Small Business Improvement Services (SBIS) provide small business coaching, small business consulting, small business mentoring and small business training for small business owners in Brisbane, Ipswich, Logan, Gold Coast, Toowoomba and South East Queensland.

Helen Cowley of SBIS offers various programs for building a better business, business networking, business workshops and training, group business coaching, business analysis and small business solutions.

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