In the final weeks leading up to the London Olympics, swim coach Laurie Lawrence has embarked upon a national search for gold medal-worthy motivators among the country’s two million-plus small businesses.
The Telstra Business Go For Business Gold competition is open to all Australian residents over 18 who own or operate a business with 200 or fewer employees. Entrants need to visit the Telstra Exchange site and upload a short video showing how their business excels and exceeds their customers’ and employees’ expectations as a motivator.
Twenty four finalists, three from each state and territory, will be brought to Sydney to attend an exclusive small business Master Class, followed by the Olympic-themed Business Gold networking function at the Museum of Contemporary Art. Here, Lawrence will announce the eight winners, one from each state and territory, who have won a package that includes a visit to their workplace from an Olympic or Paralympic athlete, business communications products and professional media and marketing assistance.
“Hard work doesn’t stop when the training session is over or you lock the office – in sport and small business you not only need to motivate yourself but your customers and the people around you,” he said.
To improve your chances of scoring this exciting prize, Lawrence has the following seven small business motivational tips:
1. Put in the hours
To be successful in small business, you’ve got to put the hours in. If you don’t put in the hours then you cannot hope to be successful.
2. Love what you do
If you can find something that you love then you’ll never work a day in your life. You see, I haven’t, although I’ve probably worked 60, 70 or 80 hours a week because I love what I do.
3. Set goals
Set the goal, then plan how you are going to get that gold.
4. Be persistent
And of course as you know in life, in sport and in business, there are always pitfalls. You’ve got to be able to ride those tough times so we can surf with the good times.
5. Treat staff as you want to be treated yourself
We all like to be told when we’ve done a good job, so if you’re a leader in small business don’t forget that your staff got feelings too, and give them that little pat on the back if they need it.
6. Encourage each other within the business
When I was training athletes in the pool and we came to something tough, something hard, I encouraged them to pat each other on the back and say c’mon let’s make this one harder.
7. Promote yourself via your customers
The best advertising a small business can do is getting your customers out there and spreading the word to the rest of the community. I think it’s important to get your customers to take ownership in your own business.
8. Learn from and communicate with peers
Small businesses should connect, communicate and learn from others small businesses that are successful. Have no ego because the person who has no ego won’t be afraid to ask and communicate. And if you ask and you communicate – your business will grow.