Archive for April, 2009

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Focusing On Your Business

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

First of all, sorry about the gap in sending my “business tips”.  I want to try something a little different.  Email me mike@ohagan.com.au your questions.  Without naming or identifying you, I’ll retry and answer your questions.  Let’s see if we can all learn from this.

Think on this ………………….

My first business I started so I could be “my own boss” and that’s exactly where I got to in 8 years.   I ended up working 90 hours a week and earning the same as my staff that were doing a 40 hour week.

At this point I decided that what I (me personally) wanted, was to earn a HEAP of money EVERY WEEK and have the TIME to enjoy it.   I figured out the only way I could do this was to find something lots of people needed, something that I could develop a great product for, that was easy to make sales in, that I could systemise so others do it for me.  The intention being to create a cash cow that I’d never sell and let it feed my lifestyle for life.  I set out to build a big business (we’re not big yet).

After a bit of trial and error I discovered a niche on the residential moving market – short distance moves, using hourly rates, with employees that we train from no experience to be outstanding. MiniMovers was born from a Utility Truck and a $200 investment.

Today I remain the sole owner and Chair a Board of Directors with an experienced CEO running the Company.  We own about 130 vehicles; have 400 people employed and turnover around $30M a year.  We are growing across Australia and nosing around for overseas opportunities.

I’m self taught.  I’ve never moved a stick of Furniture so I’ve only ever worked ON my business.  I have no “passion” for my services – I expect my people to have the passion to move furniture and create ecstatically happy customers. From the start I built effective systems.  Today we are a very high tech process driven business.

Along the way I started Mentoring a lot of other business owners.  From this I learned a lot about what I’ve achieved and why.  Amongst these ………….

  • I very much believe that you go where you “aim”.  The vast majority of people I’ve mentored have half a desire and “aim” too low.
  • Leadership (to me) is about saying “this is where we are going, follow me”.   Paint a clear picture of the outcome.
  • You need a clear strategy around your product AND (almost more important) a clear strategy around the people you engage in your business.
  • You can only count money AFTER it comes in.  So forget the fancy accounting systems – SELL SELL SELL.
  • Be very aware that you must be DIFFERENT, that you need to develop (several) Competitive Advantages.  Don’t copy, think for yourself, and lead the race.
  • Growing a Business is NOT about “planning” it’s a matter of continually thinking up new ideas (conceiving) then testing the idea in a small “affordable” way, measuring the results, and discarding/changing what didn’t work (most of them) BUT systemising and duplicating what does.
  • Do NOT focus on what you know, focus on the NEED that your business addresses.  Fix the frustrations in the market.
  • Continually test new ideas.  Your business MUST continually evolve.  Change is a constant.
  • You cannot control your competition, BUT you can control the standards.

How does my story fit with you??  There is NO SUCH THING as a silly question – try me.

MikeO