Building business relationships – conflict resolution

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Once upon a time there was a successful sports car designer who had a weekender in the mountains and a sleek Maserati for the ride. Whenever he could take a break from his business, he would recharge in his mountain retreat. He drove the twisting road, pot holed in patches and unguarded in sections. He never worried though. He relished the drive. After all he had a great car, he was an excellent driver, and he knew that road like the back of his hand.

One summery morning he was driving to his weekender, invigorated by the mountain air breezing into his face. He approached one of his favourite hairpin bends he slowed, shifted gears, and braked.  And then like a bolt from the blue, hurtling around that bend spun a car almost out of control! It lurched menacingly into his lane.

Grief, he thought, it’s going to hit me for sure! The oncoming car swerved again, but at the last moment swung back into its own lane.  As it passed by him a woman stuck her head out of her car window and screamed at him, “PIG!”

Incensed at her gall, he blasted the horn and bellowed back “YOU ….. SOW!”

“I was in my lane! She was driving like a lunatic. Should be put away” he muttered indignantly. And self-satisfied he mused “at least she didn’t get away without me putting her in her place!”

And with that, he put his foot down, accelerated around that bend   ………. and ran right into the pig! [1] 

 What does this story tell us about conflict in business building relationships? We often react, urged unthinkingly by that primitive and irrational part of the brain, known as the limbic system.  We can become emotionally charged,  one-eyed and closed minded, assuming the worst in others, blaming everyone but ourselves, wasting energy, distracting attention, souring  business building relationships, and costing us financially.

Until next time!


[1] Story adapted from Barker J. Paradigms. Understand the Future in Business and Life. The Business Library Melbourne 1992

Business building – so you don’t need a business plan?


There are many business building newbies who believe that they don’t need a business plan.  They believe it is only necessary when starting up a new business.  They see no reason for a business plan when buying an existing business which is all set up and running well.  They simply view themselves as the new operator.

The point they fail to grasp is that they are not only a new operator with no runs on the board but they are also the navigator of a directionless investment once the departing owner leaves.

In business, things rarely stay the same for too long!


If you don’t think you need a business plan then put together an action list of things you might need to address to run the business your way or continue building it.  For example:

Change of ownership – Never assume that the former owner’s way is the right way or the wrong way.  Keep an open mind and learn from everyone.  Start jotting down ways in which you can improve what has gone before.  Staff members are looking for direction, so if you do nothing, you may find your staff managing your business their way – the only way they know how!  If you want to change things you need to start leading from the front and ensure everyone starts singing from the same songbook.

Your customers – Firstly, you need to get to know them.  Unless you do this quickly, some will use it as the trigger to leave you.  If they are happy with your present products and services, what else might they want that you can provide?   Can you improve the service?  You need to start building your personal capital and goodwill.

Your products & services – is obsolescence likely to be a factor in the future?  Demand changes all the time.  What can you do bring to the mix?  How can you to stay up to date and keep it fresh?  Can technology add a new dimension to e.g. the product itself or its distribution?  What are your competitors doing?

Your sales system – if sales simply fall into your lap, what can you do to replicate and build sales even further?  Would customers who hardly know you refer you to friends and colleagues?  Are you building a useful sales / communication database?

Manage the process – you need to take the wheel and keep control of your business or it will run off the road.  That means staying on top of pricing, margins, income, expenses, cash flow, breakeven, hiring and firing, human performance, the cost and quality of the product / service creation process – just to name a few.  There is also some admin to do such as compliance, accounts, paying bills, collecting money, BAS, PAYG etc.

Your personal time – if the business needs nothing but a new driver how can you minimize your time behind the wheel, or even replace yourself?

For more reading on business building check out

Until next time!


Business building – Is a cafe-takeaway a dream or a nightmare?

Make no mistake!  Business building in a cafe-takeaway shop is hard work.  I’m not knocking hard work but it is often a 6-7 days a week commitment with early morning preparation; which means that you can have little or no life outside the business.  If you are not used to it, tiredness can turn you into a zombie.

It is usually very competitive!  Competition generally comes from similar independent businesses, coffee shops, franchise chains and mobile vans (particularly in industrial areas).  Competition keeps margins generally low which requires high volume of customers.

Customer flow is not evenly distributed.  There are chaotic rush hours which impact on staffing and preparation.  You may only need a casual for 2 hours at lunchtime but awards can stipulate minimum periods that can be longer.

Like most food service businesses a cafe-takeaway is labour intensive.  It can be difficult to find and retain good staff, particularly casuals.  Food costs, portions & wastage must to be closely controlled.  It can be the devil’s own job to train staff in correct portioning and minimal wastage.

It all gets worse when you are frantically busy.  It is extra frustrating when you run out of something and have to run to the nearest shop and pay retail price for it.

There are some heavy duty local authority food licensing conditions to meet, not the least of which is installing a grease trap.  Refrigeration, cooking and warming means some hefty power bills.

I am not meaning to be critical or pessimistic.  I’m just being realistic!  Know what you are getting into because I have seen passion for food repeatedly dampened in cafe-takeaway businesses.

Until next time


Want to learn more about business building?  Check out our business coaching and business planning services

Protect your business and your family’s future 

Team business building – can group decision-making work?

Fortunately the MD is asleep!!


Good teamwork applied to business building is about open communication and cooperation, not protecting territory and fragile egos.

Group decision making does have the potential for excellent business building outcomes.  And why shouldn’t it when such a diversity of knowledge and expertise is sitting around the same table.

However, this style of decision making should not be confused with management by meeting, often seen in Universities, where nothing can get done without a seemingly endless series of meetings.

Group decision making can work well provided that a few conditions are met:

  • Collaboration must be genuine in its intent
  • Divisional walls must be knocked down
  • Free exchange of ideas with no judgment or criticism
  • No hiding behind titles and egos
  • Recognition that the best ideas don’t always come from the highest paid
  • The group needs challengers and dissenters otherwise it’s a ‘yes’ group
  • Can’t be just a talk-fest group with no commitment to action
  • Someone must be responsible for prioritising ideas and implementing action

This is a big business concept that is not used very often as described above, because they can’t get past their door titles and egos.  Nevertheless, this concept can be easily adapted to small business decision making.

Participants can be friends, colleagues, mentor, coach or just about anyone who will do it for the price of a free lunch (or at least a coffee and a scone).  For $100-$200 you could walk away with a swag of great ideas and strategies for your business.

For more on business building check out

Learn how to build powerful business presence!

Until next time!


Business building – finding the leader and manager in you!

"Lead and Manage!"


Every business building owner needs someone to inspire and enlist support as well as someone to ensure strategies are implemented and processes followed.  In other words, a leader and a manager are both needed!

The problem is that the traits of leader and manager do not always reside in the same person.  When they do, it is often difficult to change hats easily.

It is argued that the two require different mindsets.  A leader who attracts people may be good at strategic planning, original thinking and innovation but may not be so good at focusing short term, attending to administration, controlling the business or resolving conflict.

Nevertheless, when you start up a business, you generally have to perform both roles, and the reality is that both roles can be integrated just fine; if you are prepared to try.  It all comes down to having a good understanding of people both inside and outside your four walls.

The big picture–small picture / right brain-left brain distinction between leader and manager can be morphed quite easily into the single character of ‘owner’! 

After all, when you left your job to start your own business, isn’t this the bureaucratic rubbish that you wanted to get away from?

Everyone has left and right brain hemispheres!  It is just that most have instinctive preferences one way or the other.  It’s not that we can’t do both; it is just that we don’t want to if we don’t have to.

(Oh, the luxuries of being employed!  There is always someone else to turn to.

However, the reality of owning a business is that there is plenty that you have to do yourself that you may not want to.

If you understand people and understand what motivates and drives individuals, then you can work out how to treat them in order to bring out their best, or to get the most favourable response.

At no time in the last several thousand years has business ever changed from being all about people.  If you put your mind to it, leadership and management can be regarded as two sides of the same coin

Coming to grips with it and gaining the technical ability and people skills you need are all part of the building of the new you – the successful business owner!

For more reading on business building, read Recession is a blessing in disguise   

Until next time!


Business building – make your own luck

Make your own luck!


Luck is really nothing more than chance!   It is a random event!  In business building it is better to be a lot more deliberate and purposeful.

Would you like to leave the success or failure of your business building to chance or random events?  I don’t think so!

We are talking about the future money machine that you are building for you and your family; the one that you have already invested valuable time and money into; the one that you hope will finance the rest of your life.

You make your own luck in business!   Feeling lucky is about feeling in control.  It is about ‘knowing your business’ well enough to know what works and what doesn’t.

It can be a mistake to blindly follow others.  It is often the case that other people’s strategies don’t work so well in your business.  But don’t worry, everyone takes these wrong turns.  Don’t be despondent!  It is a matter of finding the right path for you.

As you find your own way, leave your mind open to the great impact that your own presence, personality and imagination can have on your business.  It is probably far more than you ever thought.

That is what I mean when I have said in previous posts, that when business building, don’t miss the opportunity to paint your business the colour of you!

Business is still about people!  A smiling, positive and attractive YOU will create personal connections that can’t be easily duplicated by others.  It will also save you a fortune on 3rd party marketing.

For more reading on business building, go to Business building – a dream income stream

More on business building next time!


Business building – Cash is King


Gary Weigh

It might sound old fashioned but when you are business building, living within your means is not such a bad idea.  Knowing how much is in your bank account on any day, and knowing that the balance is in the black, ensures survival in any economy.

When you look around and see business owners driving around in flashy cars and installing reception areas more expensive than there house, be suspicious.  All is not what it seems.  In my experience as a consultant and coach, most are living on borrowed money.

Leveraging is a fancy business school term for borrowing money.  For some it is squandered on trimmings and toys to give the illusion of success.  For others, it is spent unwisely on ‘throw money at it’ strategies that simply don’t work. 

I am nor saying that you can’t grow your business using borrowed money.  What I am saying is that you must be aware that the economic landscape can change in a heartbeat.  In an environment of slow sales and falling asset values, a significant core debt is the last thing you need.

No one ever thinks that a recession will always follow a boom, even though it has been a regular 7-8 year cycle for the past 100 years.  The bottom line is that when things get tough, borrowed money still has to be repaid.

Recession is the time when ill-advised business financing strategies are found out.  It is always the over-borrowed businesses that go under.  It is much safer to grow your business slowly and steadily from the profits of your business. 

That means that for a while at least, you will have to engage in that other old fashion concept of long hours and hard work to bring in sales revenue.

Email me at for your FREE Business Finance Fact Sheet.

More business building next time!


Business building – deliberate non-conformity

One of the most common and very damaging mistakes you can make in business building is to be the same as everyone else.  Imitating others is the quickest way to see your business become lost and invisible in the background noise.

It is easy to prepare a business plan on a me-too business.  All the information is available or can be deduced.  Why?  Because everyone is doing it!  It’s much harder to make informed estimates about something that has never been done before.

It is not easy to sit down with a blank piece of paper and think of a new business idea.  In any case, that is not the way most innovative businesses start.

When you study the birth and evolution of what is different and new in recent times, you will find that more often than not, the entrepreneur was simply following his or her passion or attempting to make life easier for themselves.

Regardless, there are many things you can do to transform yourself into a deliberate non-conformist.  Here are just three:

1.    Keep an open mind

One of the surprising things that often happen in business is that your customers are not the group you first planned on.  Consumers have a habit of adapting products and services to their own needs.  They create the market; you just have to be alert to it.  So your products and services end up satisfying needs; just not the needs you first thought.

2.    Do online research

Even though the basics of life remain the same, tastes are constantly changing.  Therefore, finding out what people want is really helpful.  This can be achieved by communicating with your blog readers or by conducting online surveys at a survey site such as Survey Monkey.

3.    Tell stories

Everyone loves a good story.  Even people who wouldn’t otherwise buy your products and services will still follow your story.  So long as you don’t deceive or mislead, your stories can be very creative and can serve to set you apart from your competitors.

Check out my Aikido Secrets blog at

Until next time!


Business building – a different mindset

In my last post I announced that I was making myself available for a limited number of Mind-body Balance private classes, both personally and online.

Over years of business building I have come to realise that the martial mind skills that underpin the phenomenal art of Aikido can also have wide application and a very profound effect on business.   They also form the basis of Business Mind.

Aikido is known the world over as the art of peace.  Its popularity is soaring because it is a defensive art that can be used by anyone and everyone because it doesn’t rely on size, or physical strength.

Aikido is as important as Sun Tzu’s ‘The Art of War’ as an Eastern martial philosophy with instant appeal and widespread application in Western business.

Indeed, Sun Tzu’s Art of War strategies were designed to win without the need to fight.  However, his strategies were largely devoid of moral considerations as is often the case in war.  This is not surprising given that they were written in a feudal age where life was cheap.

Whilst Sun Tzu’s warfare strategies deserve their place in revolutionizing Western business, Aikido can go one giant step further.

Aikido, the art of peace, is built upon a foundation of moral considerations; such as valuing life and taking care of those who seek to do us harm.  Furthermore, Aikido provides more than just strategies.  It develops the mindset for peace, in the form of the non-fighting mind.

This is Business Mind’.  It is achieved through the application of the Japanese principles of Ai-ki.  It is a strange sounding concept that means harmony (ai) with the universal energy (ki); the life-giving energy that invisibly connects all people and all things.

I will reveal the secrets of a powerful business mind in my coming business building blogs.  Meanwhile, check out my Aikido Secrets blog at http://www.aikido-secrets–

Until next time!


Business building – non-conformity wins the day

Save the TALL poppies

Looking for business building tips Brisbane? Try non-conformity!

In the area of career and vocation, conformity is getting a job, commuting to work each day and putting in a solid 8 hours or a stressful 10 hours, and doing much the same thing next day and every day after that until retirement.  That’s what the vast majority of the working population does.

So many entrepreneurs choose to start a business specifically to get away from the herd mentality.  They have a good idea; come across an opportunity; and give it a go.  Money is usually a problem but as far as escaping the rut, the commute or the unreasonable boss goes, there is nothing to lose.

In Australia there is a social phenomenon where people of talent and achievement are resented and criticised if it is popularly perceived that they regard themselves as being a cut above the average Australian.  It is called ‘the tall poppy syndrome’.

That is why many successful Australian entrepreneurs carefully craft their image as that of an ‘Aussie battler made good’, insisting that they are still Aussie battlers at heart, and always championing the cause of the everyday Australian.

I will continue on the need for a powerful business mind in my next business building blog.  For more on breaking free of herd thinking, check out my Aikido Secrets blog at

Remember that Ai-ki mind power is good for business.  If you are looking for your own Personal Ai-ki Mentor to guide you into a powerful business mind, and help you’re your business education, check out my previous blog below and drop us a line at

Until next time!