Cheat Sheets for Social Media Marketing Dummies

Most small / medium businesses still don’t get social media or social media marketing (SMM) . Start with the basics, as even seasoned Marketers may not understand Pinterest, Google+ or Twitter. SMM for Dummies Cheat Sheets are a great starting point for your clients and stakeholders who need introductory knowledge: Social Media Marketing for Dummies Cheat Sheets

In the coming weeks OptimizeBusiness.org will showcase a best in class, hosted SMM system for Australian SMB, NGO and NFPs ready to run with social media @Optimize_Biz

Need a store on your Facebook page?

Product information from Payvment’s Facebook page.

If you find you are driving interactions with your customers and fans via Facebook, why not add a store to your Facebook page?

Didn’t think it was possible?  Well, applications, or “Apps” as they are affectionately know as, are a real revolution in the functionality of software these days.  From social medias like Facebook, to accounting software like Xero, you can get an App for just about anything to enhance or quasi-customise your software purchase.

One such App is Payvment. Currently offering a free online store to Facebook users, its a god send to businesses that have developed a heavy Facebook following.  Many business face the customer experience problem of moving customers from social media to webpages or external shops or payment providers, but Payvment is an example of a great way to enhance your Facebook experience and secure a secure a sale or lead in the process.  Check out Payvment.com on the web, via Facebook or Twitter.

Read more about online stores in Facebook in the NY Times. © 2012 Andrew McIntosh CPA, OptimizeBusiness.org

Mystery shopping the big four Aussie banks…. How will they treat small biz?

This week we will call in on all the big four Australian banks for a surprise visit to a suburban branch and see how they go treating a potential new small business customer who walks in without an appointment, right before lunchtime!  The scenario we be a start-up sole-trader (with potential for single director company) shopping for ‘information’ on banking products for a small business.  Our mystery shopper walk-in, without an appointment….  Lets see how they stack up by the end of the week!  © 2012 Andrew McIntosh CPA

London Olympic security failure… a lesson for small and medium business

This week’s contractual failure of the London Olympic security provider G4S provides some beautiful examples of business failure, crisis management and the value of having a “Plan B” in your back pocket. While the inability of G4S to deliver the security services under it’s £250m contract represent a business failure of ‘Olympic’ proportions, the lessons for small and medium businesses (SMBs) are stark.

Planning for success by planning for failure (Free image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

Planning: G4S planners over-estimated their ability to deliver Olympic security personnel and had no workable plan to recover.

Variance from business plans is always expected (and should be planned for) and establishing realist business plans are critical to ensure operational success.

More advanced business plans can factor in probabilities of certain risks, failures or success occurring, but most SMBs should plan a realistic/expected outcome and supplement this with possible best case and worst case scenario plans.

A plan (for a project, business, campaign or event) should focus mainly on expected outcome and SMBs should spend some time documenting their approach to a possible best case / worst case scenario model.  This is part of basic contingency planning.  It is often overlooked and rarely done well outside of the IT space, however it is critical to ensure business has the resources, systems and processes in place to execute its mission.

Risk Management:  The quarter of a billion pound London Olympic security debacle clearly demonstrates the impact of operational and reputational risk.  Monitor the G4S stock value to assess the impact of this PR and operational disaster. Often businesses mainly consider risk in terms of information systems, privacy and legal compliance, but as G4S lawyers and insurance managers reach for their insurance policy and re-read the fine print, it’s a great example of operational risk materialising….. and then impacting reputation and ultimately eroding enterprise value.

No matter the size of a business or project, good insurance advice and coverage is basic element of good governance, as well as ensuring risk management extends to delivery of core business and contractual objectives… such as providing trained security personnel for major events.

Crisis Management: As private enterprise fails themselves and their client, the importance of a workable “Plan B” is clearly shown by how the UK Government responded to the crisis.  London Olympic and Government officials will be scolded for failing to manage the risks associated with the security contract, but they should be commended for the swift and effective solution to the crisis.

Thousands of military personnel were rapidly deployed to fill the security void.  G4S clearly did not have a workable “Plan B”, but the Government did.  This should be expected given the massive resources of State but still provides a graphic demonstration of a successful resolution to the corporate failure.

How the PR disaster is managed maybe a different story, but the Government is off to a reasonable start with its practical response and the swift bringing to account of the G4S executives in a televised public inquiry.

Leadership: The Independent yesterday reported Army chiefs have been dispatched to the headquarters of G4S to take a more active role in controlling security for the London Olympics…”  In coming blogs we will look at lessons for SMB from leadership structures in emergency services and the military.  These structures and management systems are built to manage in times of crisis, high stress and literal life and death situations – so important leadership and execution are critical to ensure success.

© Andrew McIntosh CPA: OptimizeBusiness.org@gmail.com