Welcome to Business Built Freedom, the podcast made for business owners who want more out of life and ultimately, build a vehicle of wealth and freedom. We are technologists, owners, forward thinkers, and life hackers, most importantly, we are human and down to earth Aussies. Brisbane based entrepreneurs are interviewed regularly from all walks of life, in all positions of business from greenfield start-ups to long-standing owners looking for exit strategies to retire.
If you want to increase your wealth, better your health and get a residual income, sit back with a beer and relax, unless you're on the way to work….
See how the new kids are doing it, get the time you deserve with the family, gain perspective, direction and stop the business owning you, instead OWN it!
183|Working Remotely With VoIP Featuring Renier Schrenk
Working Remotely with VoIP Featuring Renier Schrenk
Today we're going to be talking about working remotely with VoIP with Renier from VoIP studio. So, Renier, tell me, when you jump into working remotely, what are some of the things that you need to keep in mind to make sure that it does appear as if the business is as usual when your phone systems are now abroad or potentially distributed between many places?
Keeping Busines As Usual
Renier: The main thing is you want a system that moves along well that you can pack up into a laptop take it somewhere else. And with that, the whole cloud-based solution means that everything is kind of already in the cloud in one place ready to go, and you just connect to it. So if someone calls up, it's not being forwarded somewhere. It's not going to someone's cell phone number, it's still going through the system. So you have all of your messages, you can have your call recording style and you can still transfer calls as if you were in a normal office. Understanding Different Phone Systems
So there are lots of different types of VoIP and lots of types of phone systems, such as IDSN, IP PBX, VoIP systems, cloud systems, on-premise systems, hybrid systems, systems that have trunking, SIP trunking, the list goes on. What's the easiest way to drill it down and simplify it? Renier: Many countries have made promises to shut down ISDN because it's old infrastructure and it's becoming redundant to an extent. Some countries have said that 2020 they'll do that and others in 2030. IP PBX is basically the same concept, but it's a completely digital system. So that's also still something that you have in the office, but it's a bit more versatile. You can also get a free PBX, for example, and you can run that from a normal PC. Even if you have a small requirement, you can use something like a Raspberry Pi to put on your little PBX on. That’s a digital system that runs through the Internet. It’s a cloud-based system that backs all of that equipment up and puts it on a server run by the cloud provider. This means you don't have any hardware that you need to worry about. You just need to worry about your connection to that server. That's a pretty big difference when you think about it. Traditionally PBX systems came with this bulky package of hardware. Businesses were paying thousands, if not tens of thousands of dollars locked in contracts for years and years and ultimately kind of just felt like that's the way that they had to do it. Gain Flexibility
A lot of people aren't aware of how easy it is just to move across to a cloud system that allows you to remotely work and allows you to have a distributed office without any of that hardware. Imagine you decide, are you going to move office from X to Y, especially if we're looking at commercial real estate in Australia and the way that it's working at the moment. You think, well, ‘what's it going to cost to move everything?’ The beautiful thing is you can move your office two, three, five times and there's going to be nearly no business interruption. Renier: Exactly right. Our team started working from home a long time ago because our very solution allows for that. So why not utilise it? And ultimately, even us as a company, we've saved money because we're a company with global focus. So you need people in different places, different countries that speak different languages. So now we can have a team member in the US, for example, which didn't need us to buy up, you know, a property or rental property or something so that that person can have an office. You just ship hardware that they need and you're done. Most of the things that you use already are probably cloud-based, so you might as well move your phone system too. It definitely gives you flexibility, and it shouldn't be something that you're too scared about as well. It sounds like I'm spru
182|Finding Your Passion
Finding Your Passion
What is passion? It sounds like such an easy question to answer, but you really don't know. Now, today we're going to be talking about exactly that.
I'm sure we've all felt that feeling when we want to go to work. We absolutely love it. The day just glides by, but then other times you get to work and it just feels like you're in the trenches and nothing happens. You think, what am I doing here?
Then when you go home and you work on that passion project and you find the time just flies by. How much does that piss you off? You want to spend some time on what you love but the time goes from six until 12:00 at night. All of a sudden, you're in bed and back at work the next day.
Consider the “Why”
This is important to think about because most people don't consider why they go to work and what is passion. What is passion, and what is passion to you? Because sometimes you might find time gliding by, while other times it feels like it's standing still. It's important to understand what's passionate to you because at the end of the day, you want to be doing that when you go to work.
You might be in the position right now where you've been running a business for 10, 15, 20, 40 years. Who knows? Or, you’ve just been working for the man for 10, 15, 20, 40 years. It doesn't matter. What's important is you have had this emotion. We've all had this emotion, and we all need to work out why did we feel that way when we're doing that thing? Why do we love doing a certain thing and not another thing?
Because too many people are working in a dead end job or a bosses of a company that they don't really care to be bosses of. They are just looking at a way to escape, we all need to work out a way that we can be passionate about the reason we come to work.
Help People That Help You
I'll tell you what you can do. If you're running a company and you find out that you're really, really passionate about helping people, or change the reason that you're running the company to be more about helping people.
Bill Gates ran a software company for many years while he was running that he was helping people, but not necessarily in the same way as helping people now. The major thing that changed was he understood that he wasn't helping people through technology. That was just one way that he was helping people. He was helping people in many, many different ways. And he decided to step back and understand exactly what he was doing and what drove him.
That’s what moved him away from technology, a very competitive area into what he's doing now around making sure that people are staying safe.
I have a similar, more Queensland based story. When I started my company, I really loved solving problems for people with computers. I loved technology and loves everything around it. What I've realised is I love finding out about new ways to fix a situation that people weren't aware of. So I don't necessarily care about I's and O's and ones and zeros and bits and etc, etc.
I care more about helping businesses succeed through introducing them to new technologies that they may not have otherwise understood or even knew were available. Let that sink in.
I started fixing people's computers when I was about 11 years old or something like that, and I had my first computer from when I was four. All that changed over the years that I've been doing things wasn't just fixing people's computers. It was always about helping people and helping people achieve more with less, because I'm introducing them to new things.
You need to think about what is your why? Why do you exist? Why are you in business? Why are you in your current job? And let's bring it back to the start there. What are you passionate about and where do you find that time just flies and you enjoy doing what you're doing now?
181|VoIP 101 with Renier Schrenk
VoIP 101 with Reiner Schrenk
Everything you need to know about VoIP
You might be wondering who Alexander Graham Bell is? He invented the telephone many years ago. That device has changed the way that we communicate around the world. We're going to talk about how to ensure that you are cost-effective with how you communicate. And more importantly, what is VoIP? We've got Reiner here from VoIP studio to go through how a cloud-based phone system works. What is the difference between VoIP and a traditional phone system?
Reiner: The main difference between the two is traditional phone systems are traditional analog, and VoIP is digital. Analog is not as versatile as digital is nowadays. And with that comes a lot of benefits.
I would say from personal experience is that it’s very convenient. The first analog recordings from recorded tape players were no longer valued as they went over further distances. You'd get weird noises and interruptions. But with using VoIP, the difference between having to go through your CD collection to find a song, you only need to jump onto Spotify with just one click. That's one of the benefits of VoIP being cloud-based. There are different flavours of VoIP and the way it can work. But why should a business jump into a cloud-based phone system?
How VoIP works
Reiner: Yes. Traditional phones have less versatility. For example, when you are on a call with an electrician, you can't move from one point to somewhere else because you are using a traditional wired phone. The advantage of switching to VoIP would be, you can easily have your laptop with you anywhere you go by connecting it to Wi-Fi without moving your desk.
You've got a lot of versatility, traditional phones. You have to have a traditional phone line coming into your property. You then have to have that wired to different rooms, and then you end up having to call an electrician if you want to move the point somewhere else where a huge, big advantage to VoIP would be that you can easily have that on your laptop that can be going over Wi-Fi, you can move your desk, and it's not going to cost you any money.
So there's a lot of these other just infrastructure costs that aren't necessarily always taken into account that you can have that flexibility with VOIP.
Reiner: I've known a lot of people who work from different locations. When they move from the UK over to the US every few months or every few weeks, they'd pack their laptop up and plug in their VoIP phone and use it over the internet.
Finding a VoIP Provider
With VoIP, you also don't get that annoying echo because the whole phone system is digital and faster than it used to be. Rather than running copper lines or going underneath the ceiling around the place. It sounds super, super flexible. But if you've got your current phone system, can you still use a normal phone with VoIP?
Reiner: You can. You just need a VoIP provider. Some people have their phones at home or in their business, and they are looking to swap to VoIP. So what other companies provided was this little box that you plugged into an internet cable and plug your phone in. This transforms your analog phone into a digital phone. This is way more cost-effective and less expensive. These boxes I am talking about are configured.
That’s great that it will give you the ability to use your old phones. You can also go to new phones by using an app, which is another cool thing. Am I right in saying that most providers would allow you to have an app on your phone you can use to make a call using a professional business number? So you don't end up getting calls at midnight from a client through your mobile?
Reiner: Yes. Most providers have both applications. And in some cases, you can still use third-party applications that might be a little bit more lightweight. It's become a far more common practice nowadays w
180|Defining Your Message With Lisa McLeod
Defining Your Message With Lisa McLeod
Focus on what you really need
Are you being caught in a trap of spending heaps of marketing and getting no traction? We’ve got Lisa McLeod here from Selling with Noble Purpose and she's going to talk about how to make sure that you have a clear cut and defined message. So Lisa, what are some of the main blunders when people start marketing and trying to sell in a new business? What are the things you think they need to focus on?
Focus on these three areas
Elizabeth: There are three main things that get in peoples’ way. The first thing is, what they think it means to sell. This is over-describing what they do. Secondly is their expertise. Most people start a business because there are some customers out there who are not getting their needs met. What gets in their way when they are trying to sell is that they are too deep in their expertise. Lastly, they don’t have clarity and purpose. They think their purpose is to sell, but the purpose is to make a difference to your customers. This should be the center of your marketing message and not your product. How do you make a difference to customers? What is your impact?
I’ve definitely fallen into the trap of doing that previously. I’m an engineer who thinks very much in detail. I was in a spot where I knew I had a great product, but I thought, what if I have the cure for cancer but I don’t have the voice and clear message to tell everyone about it. Do you have an example of seeing businesses that highlight what they do instead of why they do it?
You need a clear voice
Elizabeth: That's right. What they do versus why they do it. Let’s say with the cure for cancer, the fact whether it's injectable or it's a pill, all we care about is the cure for cancer. We need to think this way as sellers. We had an IT company we were working with and it's an American based company. They do IT services and you can outsource all your IT to them. So when I started working on it, we said, what impact do you have on customers? One guy in the room stood up and said, we help small businesses be more successful. That’s what happens when you have that clarity of purpose.
Every time you interact with a customer, that's what you're trying to do, is to help them be more successful. And if you're a business owner one of your challenges is getting your people to have the right behaviors with customers.
Absolutely. We changed our marketing messages around after addressing the question of what are we actually doing? We've redefined the message of what we do in business and what we do for people's lives to challenge their operations through creating kindhearted personal relationships driven by cutting edge advancement. We changed our marketing message and said we guarantee your uptime and if you go down, we pay you. The message is very clear, we guarantee that your business will run perfectly with technology and we're happy enough to put our money where our mouth is.
Elizabeth: The exercise you have done is really important. Finding your why can be easy if you have a small business with a handful of employees, but if you go to a mid-size business, you need to be explicit. Why? Because you want a competitive differentiation.
Even if what you are selling is not unique you’ve got to show that you do your business differently. Second, you need an emotional engagement with your people. You have to drive emotional engagement with your team to motivate them to try new innovation. As a leader, you have to articulate the impact you have on customers and make that the north star of the business.
Differentiation is Key
As your business becomes bigger, the message shouldn’t get watered out. What is the differentiator between copycat-like businesses such as McDonalds and Hungry Jacks?
Elizabeth: You’ve got two key ways to differentiate your
179|Understanding Branding and Marketing With Susan Meier
Understanding Branding and Marketing With Susan Meier How does branding and marketing work? We've got Susan Meier here from Susan Meier Studio, and she's here to talk about how to ensure your branding works. Susan, how do you measure marketing and branding?
Susan: Branding and Marketing are tricky things to measure. Both are relevantly related to each other. It is essential to utilise reliable metrics and net promoter score to measure the success of work. Brand awareness is necessary. Through brand awareness, you can weigh the organisational goals versus providing excellent customer service to your clients. I always look at the overall health of the business when I am working with a client. People that are looking for a branding expert like you should have an established business or at least they have data to work on. Is that correct?
Susan: Yes, I usually work with established companies that are looking to upgrade or expand their business. I also work with start-up companies that are looking for growth. I like to measure success in how well you are creating a relationship with the stakeholders, with the users of your product or service. Getting feedback and building communication about your brand is highly recommended as part of all branding projects. Setting up and measuring your goals
Listening to your audience and setting goals is very important. How do you go about setting goals and measuring them appropriately?
Susan: There are three parts to consider: Get to know your customer -You have to listen to them and identify what's important to them that relates to what you can offer.
Get to know yourself -Who you are, what do you care about and what do you stand for because this will make your product special.
Get to know your competitors - You have to be unique and different.
When my clients want to develop a longer-term relationship with their customers, they would normally need a name, logo, legacy and a website. Initially, we will talk about the objectives and goals and sit down in a room with all the stakeholders. Remember that, when everybody is aligned with the goal, the organisation becomes more powerful in getting the team on board and making these things happen.
Your branding represents your business Does this mean that you need to change your branding strategy from time to time? How do you make sure that you stay on top of it? Susan: Everything is always changing. You have to ask yourself, "Where do we want to be next year?" It doesn't mean you have to redesign your logo or rename your company every year or every ten years. But you can do a re-assessment with your audience, people, personal target and the market. Some clients are refreshing their process by talking to their customers to get feedback and test the communication materials. And every so often, maybe the logo and the branding evolve. Branding logos are important because people will remember the business name. But how important is your logo and its colours? Susan: People have these intimate relationships with logos and brands that are often subconscious. The big iconic brands like Snickers, Kellogg's and Big Brands have super tight style guidelines and they are careful about how they evolve. Your colours, typefaces, tone of voice and your photography style will support your personality so think about it mindfully and create. Before your branding shows up in the world, you need to know what your brand or logo stands for.
Susan: There are visual cues that tell you this food is fresh or if this product is food, hardware, etc. I was a strategy director of a packaging design agency. Back then, what designers do when they are designing or packaging a new brand is they do an audit of what category this cue falls to. You have to be good with design and it needs to be consistent.
How Susan Can Help
You are correct, you need
178|Cash Flow Basics With Sarah Stein
Cash Flow Basics With Sarah Stein
G'day everyone out there, today we're going to be talking about cash flow basics and why cash flow is important in your business. Cash flow should be straightforward enough, but people seem to keep doing it wrong. So we've got Sarah back again from Miss Efficiency Bookkeeping to see what we can get through when it comes to cash flow. So Sarah, what is the number one rule when it comes to cash flow?
Where is your money going?
Sarah: I think the number one rule is just to keep an eye on it. Just because you're profitable on your P&L doesn't necessarily mean that your business is going to be successful. You could have lots of profit on paper, but if you have no money in the bank, how are you going to make payroll? Or how are you going to make those loan repayments? I think the number one thing is to know where your money is going and when and where it's coming from.
Is that more around the forecasting things? What if you've got a brand new business that you haven't done any groundwork with? If that's the case, when is the right time to start planning and seeing where your money is coming from, where it's going, and getting your ducks lined up from day one?
Sarah: From day one. Before you've got any money coming in, because how do you know how much money you need? How do you know what your expenses can be? How much money do you want out of the business? So I didn't do that. I didn't do that from day one.
Ideally, if somebody came to me and said, I'm going to start my new business, this is what it's going to be, what should I do? This is what I would say to them. Put a cash flow in place. Now, it's hard, don't get me wrong. I'm a bookkeeper, and it's still hard.
So think about a cash budget, for example. Now I like to reverse engineer things. So most people will start at their income. Then they'll put their costs in the net, their expenses, and then if they're lucky, they may or may not be some profit at the end, which the business owner may or may not get, because that profit may or may not actually be cash in the bank. So instead of doing that, let's reverse engineer. Why are you in business, and what you want to get out of it? The first thing you could do is make a clarity plan. This is for you personally. It's not thinking about the business yet. It's thinking about what do I, Sarah, want to get out of the business? For myself and for my family.
We haven't even got to the vehicle; we're just starting at the destination. That's where we want to be.
Example of a clarity plan
So my clarity plan, for example, is really simple. I have no debt and have two investment properties. So that if either of my children wanted to be, they could be set up with their own houses. That's it. I don't need a million dollars in the bank. I don't need flash cars. I just want to have no debt and two properties. That's what I want to work towards.
Think about your business plan
Then you need to go to the next layer below that, which is your business plan. So your business is going to achieve your clarity plan. What do you need to do in your business in order to achieve your clarity plan? So that's going to talk about what are the projects that you've got to do. Put your business plan in place now with the end goal in achieving the clarity plan.
Think about what you want from being in business
The clarity plan can change over time. When I started the business went gangbusters, but what I really wanted was to help businesses. So I pivoted to helping with automating businesses rather than automating Education Queensland. Nothing wrong with Education Queensland, but I would rather help businesses between five to 100 employees then help businesses with 10,000 employees.
For myself, a lot of what I want isn't to do with finances as much as it's to do with what I want to be remembered for and what I am lea
Customer ReviewsSee All
Highly engaging show
When you hear Joshua speak, you know straight away that it comes from a passion for business. And for helping businesses. What that does is it makes the conversations so free flowing, that it’s easy to get engaged and gain value from it. Highly recommend subscribing.
From a guests point of view
Being someone who rarely listens to podcasts because they can be a little all over the shop, when I chatted with Josh it was great. Very easy to actually talk about what weve been doing with our business. Worth a listen and very interesting.
Always a great listen
As a business owner listening to Business Built Freedom is a great way to build my knowledge