Two Only Certainties In Life

Two Only Certainties In Life

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIn an uncertain world, it’s nice to know there are some certainties… or is it? The two most common certainties are death and taxes… I would add “change” to that list and the rate of change seems to be speeding up. If you are not embracing change you will soon be left behind.


There is another uncertainty out there that has become a certainty, that is – business is finding it real tough at the moment. It seems the competition for your client’s or prospect’s dwindling dollar is becoming more and more fierce.

I say dwindling for a very good reason, State and Federal Governments have raised taxes to the point where it’s genuinely affecting the disposable income people have to spend on non-necessities in life. Utilities charges have leapt 40% plus in the last year or two. Interest rates continue to bite heavily into the weekly income. With the new tax on smokers, a carton of cigarettes can cost you up to $100, I think. One of the smokers in my office admits to being affected by the new tax, a pack of cigarette used to last her 2 days. Now she makes it last 3 days.

These taxes along with new taxes on food, alcohol and fuel continue to bite into people’s disposable income. Bottom line there is less money to spend on anything but essentials by the middle class and it’s even having an adverse effect on the spending behaviour of the affluent and by the mass affluent. What this means for the battered business owner is 3 fold…

1. Waste of any kind has become intolerable. The catch cry needs to become “where is the money in that?” We can no longer tolerate staff who drive clients away, who don’t realise that regardless of the tasks they perform they must contribute to the overall sales of the organisation. If they’re not contributing, if they are inhibiting they have to go. Tolerating them is sending a bad message to everyone else that’s working their bum off to make things work.

Every expense has to be closely monitored and justified. By justification I mean measured and made profitable or stopped. Management has to be ruthless in creating and safeguarding dwindling profits and margins which are under attack. Things once taken casually must now be scrutinised.

2. You need to focus more on attracting the ideal client because in this environment all clients and prospects are not equal. Ideal clients are those with money who are prepared to part with it if you can create a valid reason (marketing) why they should. Wasting money with a broad message to the market place will only result in your costs going up and your profit going down. Any argument against client selection is a flawed one. What I am really saying here is your advertising, marketing and sale systems must be more efficient and effective. Having a marketing message that enters the conversation your ideal client goes to bed worrying about and wakes up thinking about is what you need to craft. What I’m saying here is the tighter the message, market match the better the result and the client.

3. Finally, agility and flexibility with speed and accuracy is needed. Small businesses have to micro-manage not macro-manage else you are going to pretty much get your butt kicked by the big guys. There are real advantages in being able to REACT QUICKLY, find and pounce on change and opportunity. You must become a predator because tigers will starve last in the new jungle. Reinventions and innovations are no longer luxuries but a necessity.

Simply if you are not running your business as if it is in chaos in this new economy, it will be in chaos and that is another certainty just like death and taxes… and the buck stops with you.

All the best,

Mal Emery
Committed to Elevating the Financial Wealth and Wellbeing of Society
Through Entrepreneurial Excellence and Guilty of Conspiracy to Create Capitalism

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  1. The trick is running your business as if it is surrounded by chaos and not running your business chaotically. That’s unfocussed, undisciplined and unproductive.

    Change is good – you just have to adapt to it – a foot in the past, a foot in the future, and all hands on transitioning the present from the past to the future!

  2. Excellent stuff, Mal. Reading your Recession Proof Your Business and Income – would like the 30 day plan. Look forward to meeting you here in Sydney. Judeth Wilson says hello.

  3. It takes a lot of courage to release the familiar and seemingly secure, to embrace the new. But there is no real security in what is no longer meaningful. There is more security in the adventurous and exciting, for in movement there is life, and in change there is power.
    Alan Cohen

    It seems that even if you are accepting of change that you now have to adopt so much more quickly or the masses will over-take you or, worse still, run-over you as they move forward at ever increasing speed. Small businesses are capable of out-manouvering big business because of the capacity and ability to change direction quickly – Motor cycles vs semi-trailers.

    Mal, I hope your message is received and used by many as even the adoption of small portions of your advice does make a difference – your analogy of the one-eyed man being King in a blind world rings true.

  4. That’s why businesses need to measure and test everything they do. Whether it’s an advert or a social media campaign, that’s the only way you know if your dollars delivered the pot at the end of the rainbow. Then it’s easier to focus, cut out waste and embrace change.

  5. Hello Mal Emery 🙂 Yes, I totally agree with you as always. We have to have the best marketing and the best ads. John Caples (one of the best copywriters in history, apart from Mal Emery that is) said in one of his books (making ads pay) that we have to apply Darwins theory of evolution to our ads- that is- survival of the fittest. The best performing ads stay, and get tweaked to perfrom even better, and the bad performing ads get the boot. Just like evolution of living species, but for ads 🙂

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