Sun Tzu 4 Small Business | Strategy And Tactics, Technology And Leadership, Management And Marketing For Small Business Owne

Sun Tzu 4 Small Business | Strategy And Tactics, Technology And Leadership, Management And Marketing For Small Business Owne


Join James from Extreme Networks as he explores the tactics and strategies you need to build a fast growing small business. James has grown multiple businesses and now employees 20 people. We look at how Strategy and Tactics play a big part in running any business. James looks that the great generals, the strategies and tactics that they used and what lessons we can learn as small business owners to grow our businesses faster, how to be better leaders and how to win the battles and wars that we small business owners fight every day.

Quién oyó esto, también escuchó:


  • 23 - Small Business Leadership
    23 - Small Business Leadership
    Duración: 31min | 09/12/2019

    There is often very little training in how to be a small business leader, but it is often critical in the success of your business. We discuss what small business leadership is and how you can be a better leader. Check out our show notes for more details on this podcast.

  • 22 - Microsoft Teams vs Skype vs Slack vs Zoom - Which is right for your Small Business
    22 - Microsoft Teams vs Skype vs Slack vs Zoom - Which is right for your Small Business
    Duración: 26min | 29/09/2019
  • 21 - How to protect your small business from Malware and Phishing attacks
    21 - How to protect your small business from Malware and Phishing attacks
    Duración: 29min | 02/12/2018

    I recently received a scary email involving my PORN BROWSING HABITS!?!?  The email threatened me with everyone in my contacts getting a picture of me along with my browsing habits.  WHAT SHOULD I DO? We break down what these email means and how they can start to generate emails that can be really scary and fool people into paying Bitcoin with these emails. One step in looking at these emails is Have I Been Pwned. This shows you some of the passwords that have been breached. There are 3 layers of defence that youcan use to protect your email. Firstly, a cloud based email system will check for viruses, malware and phishing emails.  This means that dodgy emails don't even get to your network. Secondly, a firewall that also checks for viruses and malware.  A great firewall means that a lot less viruses and malware emails will get into your network. Lastly, make sure you have a decent antivirus system.  We use and recommend Webroot.  We would be protecting thousands of desktops, servers and laptops with Webroot. T

  • 20 - Advanced Podcast Analytics and Statistics II
    20 - Advanced Podcast Analytics and Statistics II
    Duración: 27min | 17/11/2018

    Firstly we looked at some of the equipment we use for doing our podcasts. We use the Audio-Technica ATR - 2100 USB.  This is a great directional microphone that cuts down  Mackie 802 VLZ4 - We use this mixer to be able to do a mix minus setup to be able to record Skype interviews.  It is a little technical and I am no expert in it, but I tried software like Pamela recording and it didn't produce great audio quality.  We have 2 sound cards in my PC and I find the call quality is a lot better now. Audacity is the software that we use to record our podcasts.  It is great software and best of all it is free. We use Libsyn for our podcast hosting.  These guys do a great job of the hosting and statistics that we need to see how many people are downloading the podcast. We then discuss itunes podcast connect statistics.  The iTunes data covers only some of your listeners, but it gives you some very powerful statistics that you can use to understand what your listeners are interested in. The iTunes podcasts statistics

  • 19 - Advanced Podcast Analytics and Statistics
    19 - Advanced Podcast Analytics and Statistics
    Duración: 27min | 28/09/2018

    It can be really difficult to understand how effective your podcast is going.  Podcast statistics are a bit of an arcane art, and it is difficult to understand the relative difference in downloads between podcasts and also there are some great ways that you can find out which parts of your podcast resonate with your audience. We look at what you can find out about your podcast from iTunes.  How important is it to get into the new and noteworthy podcasts?  What about Whats Hot? How about getting into the Top Podcasts in iTunes.  What is the algorithm that Apple uses to create these rankings?   How important are ratings?   Libsyn statistics - what can you learn from your hosting provider?  How does Spotify impact your Libsyn statistics? What does the breakdown of geography for your podcast mean?  How can this help you with the marketing for your podcast? How important is the title of your podcast and how can it help you to create content that is more interesting and compelling for your podcast audience? Have a

  • 18 - How to fly like a Boss with Steve Hui
    18 - How to fly like a Boss with Steve Hui
    Duración: 28min | 05/09/2018

    Steve Hui, the Points Whisperer, is the owner of I fly flat.   We talk about what the tricks are to using points in your business to be able to fly business class.  Business owners have a huge advantage when it comes to Frequent Flyer Points.   We recently talked about "How to take a holiday as a business owner."  I think it is really important to travel, partially to unwind and destress from your business and partially to be inspired and be more creative in the strategy and tactics that you have in your business.  If you are going to travel, you might as well travel in style! There are a lot of ways that you can maximise the points that you have available to you, as well as some traps to avoid. One of the big mistakes that we were making was that our main credit card was limited to 3,000 points per month.  We applied for a card that was uncapped, which has dramatically increased the number of points that we have been able to accrue. What is the value of a points upgrade and what is the best way to spend them

  • 17 - What we learnt from using the Amazon 6 page memo meeting format.
    17 - What we learnt from using the Amazon 6 page memo meeting format.
    Duración: 27min | 16/07/2018

    Meeting effectiveness is a problem in businesses large and small so we tried a new approach to improve the productivity to come out of our meetings. We look at Slack.  This is an awesome communications tool, which has a free plan (that is the plan we use).  It helps decrease our huddle meeting time, provides an easy way to get information quickly and bring the team closer.  It is especially important when you are building teams in different locations. We detailed in experience with the Amazon 6 pager memo before, and we included a sample of the memo that we've used in one of our meetings. The big issue with the 6 pager memo is the creation of the memo.  The amount of work in creating the memo is not a small task and a lot of work and skill is required in creating the memo.  The memo was 2,700 words in length and a lot of time and effort, along with research was required to create the memo. We found that the memo format was great from the point of view of getting input from everyone.  All of the team members c

  • 16 - Application Development for Small Businesses Part II
    16 - Application Development for Small Businesses Part II
    Duración: 28min | 04/07/2018

    Creating bespoke software for your small business has never been easier or cheaper than it is today and it can make a fundamental difference to the productivity and profitability of your business. We look at Google Analytics.  Do you know how to use Google Analytics?  It tells you some key metrics for your website. Most small business websites get around 500 to 1,000 visits a month.  Where are they coming from?  What are they looking for?  Is the site mobile optimised?  What content do they look at? For App Dev, we use a cut down version of agile development.  We look to build a series of minimum viable products.  This is something that you can get in front of customers. We look at inputs, outputs and processes. Inputs.  How does information get in? Outputs.  How is information displayed in the app?  What are the reports? Processes.  What are the business processes in the application. We like to think about these for long enough so that people really understand the inputs/outputs and processes for an app.  We

  • How to take a holiday as a Small Business Owner II
    How to take a holiday as a Small Business Owner II
    Duración: 22min | 27/06/2018

    If you can work for 1 or 2 hours a day every couple of days, you can spend a lot longer away from your business. We look at the technologies that we have within our companies so that we can work from anywhere, anytime. Firstly, with have a Microsoft Windows Terminal Server.  That gives us access to our accounting system, internal files, and all of our internal applications. Confluence - confluence is remotely available which means that we can access workflows and projects. We used to use Skype all the time, but a lot of our comms now is done through Zoom.   Slack - This cuts down on emails, and enables us to have conversations.  It may be between 1 person or between a team.  We have a HotLeads channel which our sales and marketing team work in.  We have built workflows within the teams around slack communication. IP Cameras - some of our customers use their cameras to monitor their staff.  There are privacy issues that need to be worked through and it can be really useful for some companies to be able to see

  • 14 - How to take a holiday when you own a Small Business
    14 - How to take a holiday when you own a Small Business
    Duración: 29min | 01/05/2018

    We discuss why it is important for business owners to take a holiday. It is pretty important for you to get out of the business to recharge your batteries and make sure that you aren't burning out.  It is also important to get out of the business to reflect on the business. What do you need to do in your business to be able to take a holiday? We look at People, Processes and Profit.  The 3Ps for holidays for small business owners. Profit - you need the money to pay for the holiday and to be able to take time out of the business. People - you need great people able to run the company while you are away. Processes - the key tasks are clearly documented so that they can be done without the owners input. Quote - Winston Churchill "It is no use saying we are doing our best.  you have got to succeed in doing what is necessary."

  • 13 - Your competitors are offshoring - Should you?
    13 - Your competitors are offshoring - Should you?
    Duración: 34min | 29/01/2018

    Call routing has made it a lot easier for small business to be able to offshore. Logitech Web cams - we talk about the C930 webcam.  This is a really cool and simple piece of tech that I use for video conferencing as well as the Facebook lives that I do.  It natively supports green screen which is pretty cool.  Webcams make a big difference when you are teleconferencing and this one works really well. Everyone should look at offshoring - it isn't right for everyone, but everyone should have a look it. Most companies are offshoring now, it is just whether they are a primary or secondary offshoring.  Secondary offshoring is where you use a company that is offshoring.  Primary offshoring is where you directly control a person or team offshore. Benefits: Decreased costs. Flexible workplace laws. Flexibility to scale up your team. Well trained work force. We have found that in the Philippines we have found the best English language skills and that is why we have focused on hiring there. Concerns: Customer servi

  • 12 - Application Development for Small Business - Profiting from your Bright Ideas
    12 - Application Development for Small Business - Profiting from your Bright Ideas
    Duración: 35min | 23/01/2018

    In Tech Focus we look at Microsoft Power BI.  We have been using Power BI to pull information from line of business application.  At Extreme we can see who has been entering their timesheets, who has been working with which customers and what billings each engineer has.  This updates in real time and display it on one of our monitors that is mounted on the wall.  This means that everyone can see how the team and each individual is performing. We look at the processes we use for both developing applications internal and for our customers.  The costs of software development have dramatically decreased and enable completely different business models to thrive because investments are so much lower. The process involves: Off the shelf vs custom built - Of the shelf is generally cheaper but it will have functionality for a whole range of business and some of your business process will need to change to match the off the shelf software.  Custom built or bespoke software will match exactly your business processes. Ph

  • 11 - How to market a boring Small Business - Part II
    11 - How to market a boring Small Business - Part II
    Duración: 40min | 20/11/2017

        In Tech Focus we look at our new Acer Acer Veriton M6640G.  Straight out of the box it supports the 4 monitors that I need to drive.  Pretty much silent and driven by a super power Core i7 CPU bringing a lot more power for the video editing and other work that I do. Public Relations - we look at some strategies that you can use to work better with journalists to help get some public relations.   Redefining your marketing strategy.  We think IT services are boring and hard to market, so we market different things that we do.  We talk about how you can redefine the stories that you tell potential customers.  We use Ice Cream trucks, Ferraris and drones as a part of the way that we have redefined our story. We talk about ways you can market your business in 2018 - you could do a podcast.  That is a lot of effort, but the next speed back is Facebook Live video.  It is live and scary.   Facebook advertising - We using targeting to create really tightly targeted ads.  It can be very powerful in reaching the rig

  • 10 - How to market a boring Small Business
    10 - How to market a boring Small Business
    Duración: 31min | 12/11/2017

    We look at modern marketing and some of the tactics that we have used to be able to grow our business. In Tech Focus, we look at my new Acer Great Wall of Data.  I've put 4 x 27" Acer monitors, with a special monitor stand.  This has enabled me to create content a lot quicker because I can not only have multiple windows open, but I can see the windows I need with the information that I need.  It is also great for customer meetings, being able to have all the data that we are talking about at the one time. When we started this podcast we had 15 staff and we have now just hit 25 people.  How have we been able to scale this business?  One part of that is finding the new customers to allow us to scale up.  There are a lot of tools available these days, but a lot of Small Business Owners are running 'boring' businesses.  I view Extreme as one of those.  A boring IT business which people don't want to see in their Facebook feed, so what kind of marketing is it that we have done. Yellow Pages is dead now, (well prac

  • 9 - The Secrets of Successful Business Planning
    9 - The Secrets of Successful Business Planning
    Duración: 34min | 06/01/2017

    In Tech Focus we look at Trello.  This is a great piece of freemium software, that helps you to keep track of your goals. For annual business planning we look at the process that we use. We look at the plan that we had for the last year and how we did with those. We look at the problems within each company within the group and we also look at the 5 year plan and where are we with that?  (How long does it take to execute a 5 year plan?) We look at the process for setting KPIs and goals within the company. We look at how to integrate those with your personal goals.  The personal goals are really important in the business plan, because as the business owner, you will normally be working harder with more stress - if you don't align your business and personal goals, you will burn out a lot quicker. We look at your 90 day goals, how they work with your plans and how to come up with them. Alignment with your team and your culture - these make the plans a lot easier to execute on. Our quote from Verne Harnish, the au

  • 8 - Building a great business with the Business Model Canvas
    8 - Building a great business with the Business Model Canvas
    Duración: 38min | 15/12/2016

        In Tech Focus, we talk about Zoom.  Zoom is the tool that we use for our Teams to communicate.  We have found it to be more reliable than Skype and a better tool to communicate with less of the hassles. We introduce you to the Business Model Canvas.  This is a really neat tool to help you visualise the way that your business can grow and interact with the other parts of the business ecosystem.  Overlay this with the new technology that you have coming out in your industry and you can have a really powerful way to change the way that you do business and maybe even create some disruption. Before you start with this - the challenge is to open your minds and get rid of all of the sacred cows that you have in the way that you think about your business. As far as the BMC goes, we look at Customers.  Who are your customers and we look at a case study where a big company completely missed the understanding of who their customers where. What sort of Channels do you have for your business?   What are your customer

  • 7- Building a great team with Nick Sarillo
    7- Building a great team with Nick Sarillo
    Duración: 59min | 29/11/2016

    Nick Sarillo is an expert in building a great culture.  He run's Nick's Pizza and Pub in Chicago.  It is America's third largest independent pizza Restaurant. Nick was a building by trade (he built the restaurant!) and he has taken the skills from his building business in managing a team across to his Pizza business.  Nick is an expert in building culture.  I was lucky enough to eat at Nick's and it is a great experience.  His staff have a very low turnover, love working at the Restaurant, truly believe in the values of the business. Nick practices open book accounting.  Unlike a lot of businesses that talk about it, Nick really does do it.  I've seen it!  I have seen the P+L up on the wall for all to see. Have a listen to this podcast and have a think about your approach to hiring and managing a team.   In Tech Focus, we look at Canva, a great tool to help you put text and create Social Media content quickly and easily. We finish off with a quote from Sun Tzu.

  • 6 - DISC profiling with Ray Strongman
    6 - DISC profiling with Ray Strongman
    Duración: 39min | 13/11/2016

    We look at building a KPI dashboard and displaying them with the 4K Kogan TVs. In this episode, we interview Ray Strongman, who is a business coach and is an expert on DISC profiling.  Ray has been doing DISC training for years and does the DISC training for our customers. We use DISC profiling to help with communication and performance within team and also use it to help with the way that we communicate with our customers. We discuss what it is and how you can use it too in your team.  Even if you don't have employees, this will help with your customers and suppliers. We talk about how we have implemented DISC profiling in our hiring processes. We also discuss the relationship between Wonder Woman and DISC profiling - who knew! We also look at one of Winston Churchilll's most important quotes and how it relates to your business.  

  • 5 - The $250,000 mistake that I made with Culture and how you can avoid it in your Small Business.
    5 - The $250,000 mistake that I made with Culture and how you can avoid it in your Small Business.
    Duración: 39min | 02/11/2016

    We talk about Culture and I go through the huge mistake that I made at Extreme Networks by not focusing on growing a great culture at the company.  Our company was going along brilliantly, was featured in the BRW Fast 100.  After that, I defocused and my laissez faire leadership style meant that stronger personalities in the team were able to mould the culture of our company.  Customer feedback was really bad and I got to the point where I didn't want to go to work.  Poor culture makes it harder to bring in great team members, harder to retain them, harder to retain great staff, so getting the culture right is critical to growing your small business. In Tech Focus we talk about Wordpress.  For 99% of small businesses, Wordpress is perfect for their website.  We look at why you should be using Wordpress for your website and more importantly, why YOU as a business owner should be able to use your Wordpress website. We talk about how Wordpress compares with Wix and why Wix may not be great for your business. We

  • 4 - The Hiring Process - Creating a system that works rather than rolling the dice hiring in your company
    4 - The Hiring Process - Creating a system that works rather than rolling the dice hiring in your company
    Duración: 49min | 29/10/2016

    The two top tools that I use to cut the time I spend on Facebook marketing are Facebook Pages Manager and Ads Manager.  We look at what they are and how you can use these powerful tools to conduct great marketing on your phone. Hiring can be a huge gamble so in this Podcast we discuss some of the mistakes that we have made, and how we have evolved our processes to increase the chances of hiring the right person for your company. There are two mistakes you can make when hiring - Hiring the wrong person and not hiring the right person.  How can you minimise these mistakes. We talk about the importance of Reference checking.  This scary story about how reference checking saved us from making a terrible mistake. Reference check!!! Hire slowly, Fire quickly.  We discuss this great quote and how we have evolved to practice this philosophy.  

  • 3 - Goal setting for Small Business Owners
    3 - Goal setting for Small Business Owners
    Duración: 30min | 26/10/2016

    Tech Focus - Prisma - This is an amazing app that allows you to create some great images from your photos.  Check out the video we've made using Camtasia and Prisma to build a very effective social media video. What are the goals in your business?  Do you have them written down?  Should you? We look at how goal setting can make a big difference in your company. We break down how we use goals within our company and how they have helped us to increase revenue. How does a 5 year goal articulate with your annual, quarterly and weekly goals and how does that drive your business. We look at SMART Goals Specific Measurable Assignable Realistic Time Based I discuss the work of Ivy Lee and the work that he did at Bethlehem Steel for Charles M Scwab.  Schwab paid him the equivalent of $400,000.  What was that advice and how did it change his company. We look at Dwight D Eisenhowers quote "Plans are useless, but planning is indispensable."

  • 2 - Building a high performance culture in your Business
    2 - Building a high performance culture in your Business
    Duración: 41min | 26/10/2016

    Tech Focus:  We look at GoPros and how you can use them in your business - we use them in our IT business to grow our business.  We discuss how to use them in how you market your business and it can help to market boring companies IT companies and other professional services business. Culture starts from hiring and moves through reviews, daily routines and all the way through to firing.  How do you embed your culture into the hiring process? Where does culture fit in with your BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal), Mission, Values, 5 Year Plan, Annual plan all the way through to daily routines. What is the intersection between technology and culture?  How can technology help you to grow your culture. How can you use your culture to help create alignment in your organisation?  How does it fit into rewards and bonuses with your team? We talk about a powerful story about a janitor and how we related his job to the mission of his employer  and what his part in that mission was. We look at one interesting way that the A

  • 1 - 7 technologies which will fundamentally change small businesses by 2020
    1 - 7 technologies which will fundamentally change small businesses by 2020
    Duración: 44min | 22/10/2016

    Tech Focus: We look at Confluence.  Some great software, written by Atlassian, that enables team to create, store and discussion information. 1.  Self Driving Cars.  The changes in Road injury and death, as well as better road usage will mean that the introduction of self driving cars will be a lot quicker than many people expect.  Uber has already started with self driving cars on the vehicles. 2. Marketing.  Small Business owners now have access to the kind of marketing tools that only companies like Coke had access to 10 years ago.  By harnessing these tools, you can dramatically grow your company a lot quicker. 3.  Software as a Service.  Office 365, Xero and a range of other software packages are now available for a (sometimes low) monthly fee.  This great expands the types of software you can use and the price you pay for it. 3.  Automation.  There are a lot of amazing software solutions that are now available, making it a lot easier for small businesses to dramatically increase productivity.  We use On