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What's New At Credit Matters?

What's New At Credit Matters?

Let’s build a new website, all will be okay, is what we all think. Alas it is not always so. Another set-back has happened, however, I am hopeful we will be up and running before the end of April.

The attachments with this newsletter include two updates from the Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman

In addition, I draw your attention the ASIC’s focus on the new responsibilities of social media influencers. You will find a reference about social media influencers from ASIC in their segment below and included in this newsletter.

Kim is available to help with your questions and concerns if you need any assistance, and as always, the first chat is always free of charge or obligation.

Quote Of The Month

Quote Of The Month

“Price is what you pay for. Value is what you get.” Warren Buffett

Monthly Business Observation

Monthly Business Observation

Never has it been more important to ensure that you have the best quality inputs for your business. After all, your business is the basis of you and your family’s emotional and financial welfare. I realise that not every business has access to bucketloads of money. Nevertheless, there are steps and ways to fund your business to try and have the best quality inputs available according to your current resources.

Today there are so many factors which are beyond your control which can and will affect your business, some negatively and others positively. For instance, all of us can now see inflation is on the rise and about to get worse. It would also be wise to acknowledge other negative factors of a rise in interest rates, a shortage in supply and availability suitable employees which you are unlikely to be able to control in short-term.

Then there are the factors which you can control such as reputation, a focus on quality service, the elimination of mistakes and being open minded about change and business strategies. It is these factors that a business owner or manager can control via sound business practices and a positive ethos.

Seeking the best quality upfront inputs which are affordable at the time when your finances may be limited, also means being wary of trying to have the best of everything. We know of many businesses which have started in back rooms, garages or in poor quality operational areas and survived. Other businesses meanwhile may have sought the best locations or grand buildings, motor vehicles and technology and failed.

It was not surprising therefore when many of these businesses ran out funds to keep going because they could not pay the higher costs required for these best of inputs. The reality was that they could not afford the extra expense of having these impressive inputs rather than operating commensurate within their capital resources and access to finance.

There are steps however which you can take to fund your business and have the best quality of inputs available according to your current financial resources. For instance, you can operate your business with a positive organisational culture and the proper employment remuneration package commensurate to your business’s capacity to pay.

Another example of managing your capital and finance facilities properly, is not to waste it on “flash” assets to look good just because you have the necessary finances. If your business’s image is important, then there are more effective ways of doing it rather than looking pretty and successful. Whilst these images may be a priority in the owner or manager’s minds, these factors alone do not pay the bills.

A more desirable image to project should be one of reliability, being mistake free, offering a great customer service, etc. Spending your resources on time and efforts on these factors will bring a much better return than trying to look pretty and successful.

In conclusion, quality and positive outcomes are essential when seeking value for money when starting up or running a business. Never has this focus of quality and value been more important than in these turbulent economic and social times. In the long run, focusing on quality inputs for your business rather than just the cheapest upfront inputs will always bring you better long-term rewards.

Monthly Business Conundrum

It is a fact of life, whether management likes it or not, picking up a telephone and dealing effectively with stakeholders is more important than ever. In business today, management often fails to acknowledge this fact and there are many reasons why this situation exists.

The first is that management often believes technology will solve all their problems, reduce costs and most of their stakeholders are more comfortable in dealing with situations via technology interfaces rather than telephone. In part, this belief may be correct.

Another main reason for the problem is that so many people in business are afraid to deal with other people face to face or via the telephone. These situations have arisen due to a lack of on-road employees who actually visit and talk with their contacts whereby strong relationships can be formed. In addition, too many businesses operate sales/helpdesks or answering services perpetually understaffed or are operated with inexperienced employees. As a result, enquirers’ questions are rarely answered adequately, or many left messages are never returned or acted upon correctly.

In addition, you will often find managers in customer service, sales and accounts will request their employees to call and talk with their clients when budgets are not met or problems occur. Later when results are not achieved, management finds out their employees have mostly only just sent emails and text messages instead making the calls.

The important question in these situations is to find out why these outcomes are occurring.

I believe the above occurs because employees have been put under so much pressure by management for short-term results, the employees simply do not have the time to develop their people skills. As a result, many employees are now reluctant to make a telephone call. After all many employees these days seem to be afraid of any direct contact with other people because they:

  1. lack the experienced of dealing with people face to face,
  2. have not been shown how easy it is to achieve a positive telephone call;
  3. afraid of saying something wrong;
  4. afraid of hearing yet another complaint of their business’s shortcomings;
  5. are tired of making another excuse because of their business’s shortcomings;
  6. don’t believe management will do anything positive to rectify all the problems and complaints they receive;
  7. believe management will perceive their efforts are a waste of time; etc.

The problems associated with a focus on the benefits of technology is that there is often a corresponding lack of focus on people skills which are so essential for all businesses. As a result, we see many more employees with great technology skills, whilst lacking people skills.

One of the problems therefore in this situation, is that many employees are afraid to pick up a telephone.

It is by telephone contact however that we often quickly resolve many of the issues causing problems which are hidden or ignored in email contact. Furthermore, it is through effective telephone contact that the best business relationships are formed and enhanced. To achieve these outcomes however, your employees need to be encouraged and supported when they are asked to make direct contact with the business’s stakeholders.

Monthly Business Conundrum
This Month's Business Inconvenient Truth

This Month's Business Inconvenient Truth

Is the pace of change the problem, or is it failing to see how the world evolves to meet different problems and having the means, emotionally and financially to manage the changes? The truth is that many businesspeople fail to appreciate, changes constantly occur and they need to quickly update their business resources to ensure their business is equipped to manage these changes.

One of these resources which requires regular review and updating is your business’s contractual terms and conditions of trade. After all, this contract is one of the key factors which your business requires to be in proper order to conduct business with a sense of safety.

It must be stressed however whilst these contracts are essential, they can never absolutely guarantee the safety of any given trading relationship. There are a number of other conditions which may affect even the best of these trading contracts, and is a subject for another time.

Nevertheless, a properly prepared contract of terms and conditions of trade is invaluable from many aspects. To be of the best value, your contract must be prepared by a suitably qualified lawyer, and preferably one who will defend their contract in court. On this point, I suggest you must insist that the lawyer responsible for preparing the contract represent your business in court, not some junior or other inexperienced lawyer from their firm.

In addition, the other factors affecting the contract:

  1. it must endorse the operating ethos of management and your business, plus each of the marketplace(s) in which your business operates;
  2. means that management and key employees understand each clause of the contract;
  3. requires management knowing how to effectively use the contract if it is required to protect the business;
  4. is structured properly so all signatories clearly understand and confirm their understanding of the contract;
  5. must be relevant and up to date according to current business operating conditions, etc.

There is no value having a contract that is out of date, is not valued as a protection asset for the business in case of need, or was created for another business.

At the end of the day, your business’s contract must be up to date, properly prepared, and your key personnel know how to use it effectively. When these factors are in order, the contract is a very valuable asset in protecting the assets of your business if required.

Are you teaching your employees to steal?

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Credit Matters is a financial risk management resource centre for the Australian business community. If you are in business, Credit Matters is your ideal source of financial risk management solutions.

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Future Opportunities & Possibilities

Credit Matters is continuing to grow and provide marketing and knowledge about financial risks to the Australia business community.

Futhermore, we invite marketing and knowledge ideas from our readers and contributors on how we can assist our respective firms grow. If you have any ideas, please contact me at

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