Tony skinner 00:00
Hi, and welcome to the business channel for www.podcastmybusiness.com.au and today we have Dr. Peter Ellis. From https://ysp.com.au/ Your Silent Partner helping you with business growing pains. How are you, Peter?
Oh, excellent, really good And lovely to hear you today on this beautiful Queensland sunny day.
Tony skinner 00:28
Well, it’s raining here in Sydney. But you know what? We haven’t had a blistering hot summer, which I’m happy with.
Right? Yeah, well, that’s good, then. If you’re happy, I’m happy.
Tony skinner 00:43
So um, okay, so I’m curious, business growing pains specialist, and we’ve had a chat before need to do all sorts of stuff to help small and medium sized businesses in particular.
I’m working in particular with private sector businesses.
Tony skinner 01:05
Can you please clarify that?
Okay, private sector businesses, the thing is that people for 50 years have been calling them Micro, Small and Medium. But although they’ve been calling them Micro, Small and Medium, they’ve just been assuming that they’re more or less the same, which they absolutely are not. Or they wouldn’t have had different titles.
What they do have is they have comparisons. So when people say to me, oh, this is the turnover when it’s small. And this is the turnover when it’s medium. I will tell them that for that industry it is. But for another industry, it’s something completely different. And for another industry, it’s completely different, which is why micro small and medium, until now, are meaningless terms.
Because the actual meaning of them relates to the way in which they are set up and managed. And that’s all in my PhD. The thing is that it’s very important to understand the difference, because when you understand the difference, it’s then that you’re able to actually grow your business. Until then you just guess and hope for the best.
Tony skinner 02:26
Okay, right. This is a huge topic that we’re not going to get to cover today. Yes. Okay. So let’s not focus on that aspect. But on your website, it certainly is talking about growing difficulties and change and so forth.
Tony skinner 02:44
how do you help businesses?
Okay, what is what I’ve learned over the 25 to 30 years that I’ve been helping businesses, is that the majority of businesses that want to grow, and let’s remember that about 88%, are micro and don’t want to grow.
So about 14 to 12 to 14%, of businesses that want to grow, more than half of them are actually stuck in between sizes. They’re stuck between micro and small, or they’re stuck between small and medium.
So it’s only less than half of the ones that require and I’ve actually achieved that. And it’s the ones that are stuck in between, which is what I’ve defined and what I what I work with, that are the ones that fail,
Tony skinner 03:45
So okay, so I’ve I’ve had different size businesses over the years and manage different size businesses, as well. So for me, I always thought look, getting up to 3 to 4 people is fine, but anything above that you end up working for in the staff, and the ATO
That is true for the majority of people that are stuck in between sizes. And when you say four or five people, that really doesn’t mean anything. For example, if you were a dentist, which you were if you had been a dentist and you had a nurse and a receptionist and a secretary, and a hygienist is easy for people, but you’re still a micro business because you’re the only person bringing the money in and if you’re on holiday, your business isn’t going to bring any money in.
So the actual setup of a business is what counts, not the number of people that you have. Having said that HR human relations and being able to manage people is a very Very important part of being able to grow your business.
And there’s a theory called the theory of letting go, which originally was just talking about micromanagement, but I’ve expanded that to be actually four different parts, which is in my course, it one of the courses, essentially explains to you how to manage and what you have to do to manage people should you wish to grow. And if you don’t have it, you’re not going to get past the micro stage.
Tony skinner 05:35
Okay, so I’ve got some noise in the background. So I’m going to fade in and out. So what are some tips to help businesses to make that leap?
It works like this. There’s many consultants that talk about mindsets, and they talk about the skills that are required. Other consultants talk about the organizational structure, or the processes and procedures that are required, or the action plans and so on. And what I’ve learned and discovered and can show in my, my thesis is that, if you haven’t got all five of those criteria, you will never succeed ever, because you need all five of them working together, depending on the size of the business.
So if you are micro business and you want to grow, you don’t need to change all five of them, what you do need to do is unfreeze your mindset of being a micro business, change it to being how you want to grow and what your new vision is. and focus on that and see what extra skills you need. And what you’re doing is you’re working harder, but you’re more profitable. And that’s fine, because if that’s what you want to do, there’s nothing wrong with that. So that’s, as it were stage two in the growth. But if you decide you want to grow further, and this is where the vast majority of growing firms are stuck, you have to totally change a whole number of things.
And those things include being able to be a manager instead of one of the staff, being able to reduce your micromanagement and let people know what’s expected of them. For example, again, with dentists, that now I know a dentist and a few dentists, who have got two or three other dentists working for them. And I know doctors who have got two or three other doctors working for them. But the problem is that those dentists and doctors only want to work two or three half days a week, which is fine. And there’s nothing wrong with that.
But the problem is, if that’s all they do, that firm will never be a small business, it will always be a large micro business, because the owner has to pay for the nurses has to pay for the secretaries has to pay for all the things which these people who are not pulling their weight, don’t bring enough funds into do they get enough money for what they want, but it doesn’t bring enough into the business. So it’s very important for the business owner to know what they’re supposed to do.
Tony skinner 08:30
Alright, that’s great. So we’ve obviously, you know, coming out of the back of the epidemic. And it’s been lots and lots of changes. And I would say there’s been lots of opportunities. So that example you’ve just given does this give us an opportunity, you can go to someone and go, look, you know what, I’m now focused on the business. And the current circumstances have forced me to do that.
Tony skinner 08:55
So it’s always good to have cover, because I know people who have family businesses, treat employees like family. However, we need to change and adapt, and you need to start doing this number of hours per week, if you don’t feel that you’re up to doing that, then I have to get somebody in who can.
Basically, or, or if it’s like saying in the in the medical profession, you say, Look, I’ve got five rooms, each one of those rooms has got to have this amount of income per week. And if you’re only going to work three half days, I need other people to come into those rooms to fill up the rest of the time. And they don’t do that. And they don’t do that with dentists. And they don’t do that with wellness places.
So they’re not bringing in enough. They don’t appreciate and realize that it’s now a small business is not just you working, it is a business and you have to think of it as a business and it has to behave as a business. Yeah, it’s funny. We’re gonna do that.
Tony skinner 10:00
I get asked for lots of free advice and my other business in particular. I, I stopped, I just got really annoyed if people keep asking me, SEO and ads and stuff like that, and I got sick of people asking me all this help, will it help? So now I just say, Look, I’m running a business. So I’m happy to help you, but I’m running a business, and I’ll invoice you if you want.
That’s, unfortunately, that’s way it has to be because you are running a business, and you can’t do things. I mean, yes, you can give. Now solicitors say, Okay, the first consultation is free. So we can see if we get on and you’re happy. That’s fine. That’s a loss leader. It says, you know, the opportunity cost and so, but you’re a business, and you have to behave as a business.
That’s why a lot of accountants closed down, because they don’t realize they’re a business. They do some work. And then they say, Oh, I haven’t got this, that and the others, they put it aside, they do some more work, oh, I haven’t got enough, and they put it aside and so on. And they do loads of work, and they don’t get paid for it because they haven’t organized themselves properly. And that happens all the time. All the time.
Tony skinner 11:17
So yeah, you have to treat your business as a business. And that requires stepping up. But other products that I have in relation to setting up podcasts are I’ve increased the price on that because someone pointed out, I wasn’t charging enough. And I thought okay, and I’ve had no resistance from changing the price.
Yes. That’s the most interesting point you’ve made. Because you feel that you’ll get resistance. But when you do it people say well, fair enough. We know you’re doing a good job. And we expect to pay for that.
Tony skinner 11:54
Yeah, yeah, exactly. I’ve been undervaluing my service. And I want to undervalue it at all. And you know, it’s funny, because when you’re part of a larger organization that does charge a fair whack of money, they’ve got lots of mouths to feed. It’s why you charge until people squeak.
Yeah, but you see those larger places, they’ve got to pay for the rent out of the fee. They got the electricity, they got to pay for the receptionist, and the phone bill. So it’s not just paying someone to do a job.
They’ve got other expenses that have to be covered. That’s really what it is, as indeed you do, but your expenses aren’t. So your rent. It’s not like a massive building in the city.
Tony skinner 13:08
So just a quick tip. So for business owners are listening and thinking, Well, okay, look, you know, I’ve got myself and the missus, sort of working in the business. And I’ve got a couple of staff members and whatever. Is it time to take the leap? They should be talking to you to find out if it is time to take the leap?
Absolutely. Because a lot of people don’t really know where they are in the business, what the business is doing, how the business is doing. And that’s one of the first things that I do. I show them how to basically take control of their business so that they can make decisions from that information. And it’s very simple.
It’s very easy. It’s just that no one’s told them. And whenever, you know, whenever they ask people, or they’re afraid to ask people that they’re concerned if Oh, if I’ve got to ask people that they’ll think I’m stupid. No. Once you understand that stuff, you totally change the way you see yourself, the way you see your business, the way you see the people you’re working with. You become so much more confident in the decisions you can make.
So yes, if people come to me, the first thing I do is pointing them towards my courses, which are on my website under training. And once they’ve sort of like been through a little bit of that, and they say right now I’ve got an idea. I can then guide them as to which consultant they need or what work they have to do, or what’s required of them to take them to the next stage.
Tony skinner 15:25
Fantastic. Yep. And I always say there’s no such thing as stupid questions, only stupid answers.
Or it’s more stupid not to ask you a question than to ask a stupid question. Yeah. Yeah.
Tony skinner 15:39
I was talking to somone today who is 23 years old about businesses. Look, there’s two things you need to think about. One is, don’t be afraid to give something a go. And always be curious. Always ask lots and lots of questions.
Yes, because there’s always going to be people will be happy to talk to you and tell you that the only trouble is you got to make sure that the person telling you that knows what they’re talking about.
Tony skinner 16:10
Thanks very much for your time.
Absolute pleasure, lovely talking to you.