Management and Leadership

Thursday, 10 February 2011

Management is about ensuring processes are followed.

Leadership is about motivation.

Irrespective if you are leading one person or a million people – you have two absolutely essential two tasks.

The first is to create a clearly communicated VISION. Paint a seductive “picture” of where you are going, what you want to achieve.

The second is to have clearly defined “acceptable” and “not acceptable” and enforce them. These can be defined “rules” but I find clear “values” work better. Failure to enforce will fracture the effectiveness of your leadership.


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Washed Out But Not Washed Up

Thursday, 3 February 2011

The Brisbane flood is first major disaster I’ve been directly involved in. We had a building I own that houses around 50 employees go under to 600mm off the ceiling of the second (top) story.

What did I notice:

• We failed to empty the building because we misunderstood the height and time of the peak that was broadcast the day before it flooded. So did nearly everyone.

• Lots of employees and businesses not connected in any way with the disaster “took time off”.

• Amazing business opportunities were missed like- mobile coffee vans, didn’t trade even though we had 1000s cleaning up.

• On clean up day the media, politicians and all those type of folk were on about everything other than our real issues which were a lack of gum boots, rubber gloves, and drums of disinfectant.

• The promises of grants/aid poured out – which often wasted our time as the unannounced hoops/ eligibility cut most people out.

• There is an amazing misunderstanding by people interstate and overseas that we were completely wiped out – they are all (still) scrambling to give money – which I doubt most people actually affected will ever see. Most of Brisbane went to work as normal – a couple of days after the flood receded, in the sense of the whole of Brisbane, it was pretty well back to normal.

• My real issues were commonsense – clean, dry, get the power on, set up alarm systems and air-conditioning – start business again. We achieved all this in 7 days. Haven’t seen an Insurance person yet.

Perhaps the biggest issue we face is a collapse in our local economy if everyone doesn’t get back to work and all the “free” supplies flooding us from interstate don’t send the local businesses broke.



Value of PA’s

Friday, 28 January 2011

More time, is something most of us constantly wish for. The easiest way to generate time is to get someone else to do the repetitive things.

It’s always been valuable for me to have a Personal Assistant. I have no time (or desire) to book my appointments, monitor respond to simple email, handle my travel and simple purchases. I’ve always needed someone to organise my to-do, to watch what I request people to do, and ensure I follow up. Having all this taken care of for me has given me the time to get on and grow my businesses.

Nowadays of course it’s all so much easier to have a Virtual Assistant who lives in the Philippines via something like oDesk.

Try it – you will be amazed how much better you can spend your time.



Visiting Call Centres and BPO’s in Manila, Philippines

Thursday, 20 January 2011

I’ve just returned from Manila where I set up permanent office staff for my business. Philippines and India have been used for decades by big business for lower cost workers. The Governments of both countries actively encourage and incentivise this industry. In both countries most providers to the West are tax exempt.

The services that best suit most of us come in two distinctive areas.

1. Call Centres handle “voice”. Incoming and outgoing sales.

2. Service businesses called “BPO’s” who provide “back office workers”.

To give you an idea of the savings; a Filipino office worker, with a University Degree, Microsoft Office skilled, written English up to my standard and spoken in an understandable way – is well paid at around 18,000 pesos a MONTH – that’s $95 a week. Add to that about 20% in outgoings (they have strict employment laws/benefits) plus office space costs (normally simular to the wages cost) then you have an alternative that will make your business a lot more competitive.



Live On Air: 4BC (1116)

Thursday, 13 January 2011

This Sunday 16th and on most Sundays from now on, you can hear me on a NEW Small Business Radio show between 8am and 9am on Brisbane Radio 4BC (1116).

I had a great “tip” to relaunch sending these with this new opportunity – HOWEVER fate dealt me an interesting hand (it’s NEVER boring)…

My biggest, busiest MiniMovers market – Brisbane flooded – big time. With a tear in my eye I must say the Birth place of MiniMovers; my beloved “Rocklea” depot went completely under. For a full 24 hours I spent my time in a stunned state.

Then I realised there are always opportunities in all these things.

Today I rallied my people, hit the advertising – we will again be busy and it all goes on.

Please share my Radio spot. Let’s do BETTER BUSINESS.



Small Business: Discovering Niches for Growth

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

I thank David Wayne for the question:

HOW do you suggest a small business owner discover niche opportunities for growth (to minimise the costly, irrelevant errors that follow trials), or ways to position or brand themselves in their market that differentiate them from competitors who on the face of it would appear to be offering similar services (small business process design and training)?

How to discover niches for growth? I watch for “opportunities”. They abound, they are everywhere, and the really good ones are simple and usually right in front of your nose. An example would be the amazing opportunities as a result of globalisation – like odesk.com etc (go in and “surf” the blue links). I then “glue in my mind” a new or better business strategy from the combination of several opportunities.

Now for the bummer. Around 20 of my “bright ideas” crash and burn to the every one that works. I’ve NEVER been clever enough to develop viable solutions straight up. I’ve only ever been clever enough to do more of “what I’ve proven works” – so I NEVER “assume”. The message is – do NOT sit with me and build a structured business plan around our ideas – because it’s probably one of the 20 flawed ones – BUT do find a way to “test” the critical aspects of the concept, in an affordable way (usually this is checking the customers reaction) before stretch your cash flow in the venture.

Using oDesk I’ve been known to build a $60 web site under “another name” to test the consumers “will they buy it” reaction.

Critical to every GROWTH business – is to be “different” (Purple Cow by Seth Godin is a must). I struggle with this, particularly in MiniMovers at present, where several alternative services are presently snapping at our heals. The only comment I can really make is – why you are different changes and evolves. When this stops (like if you tried to corporatize) then you will start to fall behind.

The mantra of small business – “change is a constant” welcome it.

Check out the notes I use when coaching start-up businesses at mikeohagan.com


Motivation & Understanding “WHY”

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Recently I mentioned, “if we could manage people we wouldn’t need jails”. Well that certainly stirred up some interest.

Getting your team to row in one direction, is essential in giving every business the energy it needs to thrive.

To achieve this, the people in the business need to understand “WHY”. “Why” gives purpose. Purpose drives the team (and yourself as individuals).

This is a 10 minute rather extraordinary animated video on motivation and “why”