Business Essentials 1st Edition 1984

This is the opening of the very first edition of Business Essentials, the world’s first and longest-running monthly business audio program.

This first edition presented by founder Michael Schildberger was distributed on Beta, but the monthly subscription model in those very early days alternated between Beta tapes and audio cassettes.

After only just a couple of months, enquiries came in from subscribers asking whether they could subscribe to the audio cassettes only.

Why? As Michael Schildberger explains in his autobiography A Sorcerer’s Apprentice:

“They loved the videos, but didn’t have time to watch them, but the tapes were perfect for the car. We listened to our customers, dropped the videos, reduced the price and offered 12 audio tapes a year.”

Those audio tapes are now gone, obviously, but most of our subscribers today still listen in the car on CDs and mobile devices.

More than 30 years after that first edition, Business Essentials still provides the very best practical and timely advice and tips to thousands of business operators.

Listeners have described this audio series as “inspirational”, “invaluable” and “addictive”. Many say their businesses have grown as a direct result of ideas and advice they’ve received from Business Essentials.

For more information or to subscribe to Business Essentials, please contact BE Media Production.

T: 1800 039 098
E: info@be.com.au
W: be.com.au

Nick’s Notes December 2015

Before The Festive Season Begins

Three weeks to go and the festive season begins – or even earlier as the usual end-of-year celebrations get underway any day now. What have been some of the key messages of the past year?

As always at this time of year, we start our December edition of Business Essentials with messages from our own economist, the ever-reliable Neville Norman, who offers his economic review of the past year. What has 2015 brought us and are we in any better shape now than we were at the start of the year? Neville’s message this month may even include a tiny glimpse of what lies ahead in 2016 – and that’s always worth waiting for.

Innovation, New Ideas and Funding Your R&D

Serial entrepreneur, mentor and venture banker Neville Christie spends much of his time in the innovation space, helping people bring their new ideas to market. And he warns us this month that no-one can afford to sit still in this fast changing world. In fact, he says, if your business is the same in 5 years’ time as it is now, it’ll be gone.

And on the topic of innovation, tax expert Michael Jones has valuable advice too. If you’re into research and development, why not take a look at the Research and Development Tax Incentive – it’s funding within the tax system, sitting right there waiting to help fund innovative endeavours. And it can cover all sorts of activities so maybe it could help you with your next new bright idea. Michael Jones explains how it works this month.

More Essential Information For Business People

Also on the December edition of Business Essentials you’ll hear a mix of topics to benefit you and your bottom line. Take commercial lease negotiations, for example. Do you sometimes think you come off second best in dealings with your landlord? Amanda Anderson of The Tenant Company offers insights on how to better balance the deal and the relationship.

We have insights on the psychology of selling, with Robert Coorey, author of “Feed a Starving Crowd”. He gives us plenty of tips and examples about what works to get customers to hurry up and buy. Sales whizz Tony Gattari adds to that this month with five powerful questions we need to ask in the selling process.

Client experience expert Darrell Hardidge, returns this month to smash the loyalty myth. He says you can’t be complacent if you want to keep your customers long term.

2015 might be racing to an end but there’s still time to take advantage of the practical advice and ideas on the December edition of Business Essentials. The team at BE Media Production would like to wish you a safe and happy festive season ahead.

Nick’s Notes November 2015

Our New Logo

Before we get to the essential business information on the November edition of Business Essentials, I’d like to draw your attention to our new logo! We’ve refreshed our look and logo to reflect the exciting changes going on in our business. Our Business Essentials audio program will remain a constant, of course, and a priority for us in bringing you the ideas, advice and inspiration you need to grow. But much else has been happening behind the scenes here as we grow our full complement of media production services, including more and more video.

Grow Your Business With New Ventures Or Mergers & Acquisitions

Spring is here and there are less than two months’ worth of business activities ahead of us before everything closes down for Christmas! Time therefore to push forward in earnest with plans, deals and activities before 2015 grinds to a halt. It’s frightening how quickly time flies, isn’t it? As you consider these important final weeks of the year, perhaps you’re hoping to seal a joint venture deal with another business. If so, you’ll hear some valuable advice from merger and acquisition expert Grant Kirby of Cambian Corporate Advisory.

Grant’s advice is complemented this month by our regular tax commentator Michael Jones who brings some salutary warnings about the deal you’re signing up to. Spring may be here, Michael says, but look before you leap into new ventures. There are four big questions you should be asking yourself, he says, and he outlines precisely what they are later on this program.

Winning In Competitive Markets

Merchant matching firm Service Central leaped into the Internet space 10 years ago. They were an Internet start-up almost before the phrase was invented. Many Internet businesses come and go but Service Central continues to forge ahead. We spoke to Service Central 5 years ago and now, as it celebrates its 10th anniversary, we revisit the company to find out what’s keeping it ahead in an increasingly competitive game.

And talking competitive, what about running a restaurant – or a few of them – plus becoming a media star and public face of gastronomic life in Australia? Guy Grossi’s the name and, well, we spoke to him this month, and yes, it’s hot at the top!

More Essential Information For Business People

Marketing expert Antony Gaddie continues the restaurant theme with his recipe for using lunches to build your business. While content marketing expert Valerie Khoo clearly defines for us what that activity’s all about, with some timely reminders about how to market ourselves these days if we hope to make a mark before year-end.

To end our November edition of Business Essentials, Andrew Masi has advice on how to manage those difficult staff members who just don’t seem to get it. Don’t get mad, says Andrew Masi, there are better ways to resolve staff issues and Andrew guides us through some helpful conversations to show us how.

Nick’s Notes October 2015

Risk Management

We start our Business Essentials October program with a look at the economy, the importance of risk management and yes – we can’t ignore it – the big changes in federal politics that have caught us by surprise. Who would have thought it? Professor Neville Norman returns this month with a brief but candid comment about political manoeuvring at the top, before reminding us all that business, like politics, is risky… and we need to prepare.

Keeping It Simple

Then, the big question of simplicity in business. Of course, simple isn’t easy. But who mastered it better than just about anyone on the planet? That would surely be Steve Jobs and his remarkable Apple technologies that have transformed that way we work and play. Steve Jobs is no longer with us, but we’re reminded about his extraordinary legacy by someone who worked closely with him for years… ad man Ken Segall has now written a book about his experiences and we had a chat with him about the lessons he learned on simplicity.

Heaps More Essential Information To Grow Your Business

We bring you a couple of discussions this month about the sharemarket. Who hasn’t watched the recent global shocks with trepidation? It’s a nervous time for investors – and helpful therefore to hear the perspective of our regular commentator, Stock Doctor Elio D’Amato, about what’s going on. And for self-managed super fund trustees in particular, financial adviser Bruce Brammall returns to Business Essentials to offer suggestions on how to shield your nest egg against sharemarket shocks.

Tax expert Michael Jones takes us through an Administrative Appeals Tribunal case to demonstrate the difference between employee and independent business. It’s a blurred line for many employers, and increasingly so as flexible working arrangements gather momentum. And on the question of flexible work practices, we look more broadly at the benefits and the risks as you consider ways to keep your employees happy and committed.

If you’ve ever thought of exporting, we have an interview with Andrew Watson of Efic, a government agency that provides funding and other assistance to would-be exporters. We highlight the importance of prospecting as a distinct part of the sales process – don’t confuse it with cold calling, says sales expert Ingrid Maynard. Prospecting’s a critical component of sales, she says, and done properly, it’ll reap big rewards for your business. She has valuable advice for you and your sales team.

And we end the October edition of Business Essentials with some ideas on how to become a better presenter. Even if you’d rather hide in a cupboard than present yourself before others, it’s an important business skill to acquire – and entirely learn-able according to international speaker on the topic, Julie-Anne Black. Julie-Anne shares her thoughts on how to become a great, even inspirational, presenter.

Nick’s Notes September 2015

What’s In A Name?

The recurring theme this month is success – and we have several stories on the September edition of Business Essentials to inspire you. The first is with the founder of Melbourne removalist company, Man With A Van, Tim Bishop. But Tim’s story of growth has also come with challenges – one of which was trademarking his business name to protect it from copy-cats. It raises a really interesting debate when it comes to choosing a business or brand name – do you use generic and memorable words that describe what your business does, or go for something that can’t be easily copied like Google, Skype, Uber, etc?

Secrets To Success

We have a special interview with Peter Ivany, who was at the helm of Hoyts Cinemas when it grew from 40 screens in 1988 to more than 2,000 a decade later – so he knows a thing or two about success! Business coach Alan Rodway answers the question – does success come naturally?

More Essential Information To Grow Your Business

Also on the September edition of Business Essentials we talk benchmarking with Tim Farr, prepare ourselves for disruption with Anna Shaw and learn a simple but effective technique that Antony Gaddie has used with great success to get the attention of that illusive potential client.

I hope you enjoy all the interviews we’ve compiled on this month’s edition and we’d love to hear from you if you have a story you’d like to share with our subscribers.

Nick’s Notes August 2015

The Power Of Partnerships To Grow Your Business

The buzz word this month is PARTNERSHIPS – and the power of collaboration. Simone Novello of Partner2GROW has dedicated her career to fine tuning the art of forming strategic partnerships – and she shares her insights into how to approach the process. She says that once you successfully use partnerships in your business, you’ll never need to SELL again. That was enough encouragement for me to spend two days participating in Simone’s ParterUP course which was massively beneficial in re-focusing my attention on partnering in our business.

Remain Positive By Removing “Brain Blinkers”

It’s hard to do anything if you don’t believe it’ll work, and that’s another message this month, from Anthony Bonnici, author of the book “Brain Blinkers”. They’re the negative mental barriers that prevent us from achieving the best. Anthony’s interview this month will resonate with many in business because, he says, we’re all affected to some degree by psychological constraints – the sort of self-talk that says “That’ll never work” or “I couldn’t do that”. But he’ll also tell us how to overcome those mental barriers, and it’ll make a huge difference to our business and personal success if we do.

More Essential Information To Grow Your Business

Also on the August edition of Business Essentials, Tony Delaney of Brownie Points helps us identify the staff who love working for us and ways to look after them so they remain an asset of our businesses.

Should your business ever face tough times, you’ll understand the sense in a new Productivity Commission proposal to provide a so-called “safe harbour” period from the harsh liabilities you may have faced. Sean Wengel of William Buck offers some clarity around the proposed laws.

Tax expert Michael Jones of Cummings Flavel McCormack discusses the attractive tax concessions offered to small business in the May federal budget. But are you sure you qualify? Listen to Michael Jones to find out if you’re IN or OUT.

We close the program with the ever entertaining Tony Gattari, who reveals his 10 channel strategy for gaining trust. With customers becoming increasingly cynical these days, it’s never been more important to earn their trust. Tony’s strategies should get your sales flowing.

I hope you enjoy all the interviews we’ve compiled on the August edition of Business Essentials, and don’t hesitate to get in touch if you would like to discuss how our businesses might be able to partner.

Nick’s Notes July 2015


Happy New Financial Year

I hope you’ve had a successful finish to the financial year and are ready for growth in the year ahead. To set the economic landscape for the remainder of the calendar year, we start this month’s program with Professor Neville Norman’s summary of where we’re at and where we’re heading. And you might be surprised to hear that July is the time to start your year-end tax planning. That’s according to Michael Jones of Cummings Flavel McCormack, who reminds about the key points to consider for successful year-round tax planning.

What’s Your Business Story?

How often do you tell the story of your business? According to business mentor, venture banker and long-time entrepreneur Neville Christie, we should be sharing stories in business as often as we can. So that’s why I share the story of OUR business in this edition of Nick’s Notes. In our interview with Neville Christie, he explains the four key stories we should all be telling, to anybody who will listen.

Other Important Messages To Grow Your Business

Do your customers love you? That’s a question from Darrell Hardidge of SAGUITY, who asks us to consider the kind of experience our customers really get when they deal with our businesses. He says you must create a 10 out of 10 client experience – EVERY time.

Also on the July edition of Business Essentials, Alex Pirouz helps us master LinkedIn, Koos Kruger has advice for attracting a buyer for your business, and Tracy Angwin of the Australian Payroll Association has advice on managing the constant headache of leave entitlements.

I hope you enjoy the essential information we’ve compiled on the July edition of Business Essentials. I wish you a prosperous year ahead – and don’t forget to get busy telling the story of YOUR business.

Tips on using call centres to grow your business

Call CentreHow can you use call centres to engage effectively with your customers? That’s what we asked Chris Torrisi for the June 2015 edition of Business Essentials. Chris is co-founder of Imperatif Call Centre Partners, a company he established in 2009 with co-founder Paul McMahon.

We spoke to Chris about the services call centres use these days as well as the benefits and watch-outs of engaging with them.

Listen to the full interview with Chris Torissi.

Nick’s Notes June 2015

It’s All About Money

Well, that’s not entirely true, but this month on Business Essentials Audio Program there is quite a strong financial theme. We have Neville Norman’s review of Joe Hockey’s backflip budget, followed by a close look at the tax implications for us all in business from Michael Jones. As I write this at the end of May, the small business tax cut and $20,000 asset write-off bill is being entered into parliament. Have you thought about how you might be able to take advantage?

Staying on the money theme, and on the back of the strong property market, we talk to property advocate Warwick Brookes to seek his advice on where and what to buy to maximise our investment dollars.

Year End Tax Planning Video

Is tax planning high on your agenda? It should be as the end of the financial year fast approaches. To help you keep on top of the critical elements, we’ve created a video with Michael Jones of Cummings Flavel McCormack which you can view on the CFM website.

Are You Keeping An Eye On Business Disrupters?

Back in the 1920s, Hollywood star Will Rogers said, “Even if you’re on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there” – and it’s never been more relevant than right now. Business disrupters are appearing everywhere and if you aren’t considering how technology and new ways of doing business could turn your industry upside-down, you do so at your own risk – need I mention Borders and Blockbuster Video!

We look at two cases of business disruption this month. The first is the energetic story of Jodie Fox and the meteoric growth of her online shoe design business, Shoes of Prey. Despite being told it would never work, she’s built a hugely successful business and we managed to catch her for a chat on a brief visit back to Australia from the United States where she’s opening more bricks and mortar stores to complement the massive success of her online business.

The second is the rapid growth of Fintech lenders – short for financial technology. Bank Doctor Neil Slonim provides his assessment of this new way of securing finance that is making the big banks sit up and think.

As usual we discuss a lot more than just money on the June edition of Business Essentials, and I hope you find value in the essential information we’ve compiled for you. I’ll be back in touch in the new financial year!

New app is cleaning up the market

WHIZZWhile the taxi-alternative Uber has made in-roads to the Australian market, a home grown company is using similar app technology on the cleaning industry.

WHIZZ entered the Sydney market earlier this year and already has seen phenomenal growth. Customers who are looking for reliable, professional and on-demand residential or office cleaning services can now access hundreds of cleaners – in much the same way commuters can search for Uber taxis.

We spoke with WHIZZ’s co-founder and CEO Mark Bernberg for the May 2015 edition of Business Essentials on the technology as well as the inspiration and early successes of the business.

Click here to listen to the interview in full.