Have you ever considered joining a networking group? Do you know how they operate? Have you always thought I don’t know anyone doing it therefore I am a bit reluctant to give it a go?

Maybe the Forest Chapter of BNI is the opportunity you have been waiting for.

BNI members in Australia reported to BNI that they generated $165 million of business referrals through their participation in BNI in 2010. In that same period BNI members worldwide passed over 6.5 million referrals representing over A$2.9 billion of new business.

Would you like to participate in a BNI Chapter and increase your business by 25%, 50% or as much as 100%?

Come join us for our open day whereby we are accepting all visitors to come and experience the weekly Breakfast event that is successful for so many different types of businesses.

Where: Cafe Piemonte – 287 Mona Vale Road, Terrey Hills
When: Friday 3rd of June
Time: 6:45 for a 7am start (Session will run for an hour with time to network and get to know people)

This is an open opportunity to meet some great people that care about developing business relationships and have built up excellent long term interpersonal relationships.

If you would like to join us please contact me directly and I will book a place for you.

Simon Thomas

Small Fish Business Coaching

0412 344 340


Simon ThomasI just came across this very simple and easy to follow article on improving profit margins (something that we aspire to assist business owners with all the time). With permission, I am writing this quick article to link back to the author – Johny Booker.

The key points:

  • Increase your prices
  • Stop discounting
  • Know your actual costs
  • View costs as a percentage of sales
  • Decrease your range

Read the full article here: 5 Simple Ways to Improve Profit Margins

It’s nice to see the same business disciplines that we use at Small Fish being espoused in the UK. Plenty of synergies which makes for consistent messaging across the Small Business World.

Simon Thomas

Small Fish Business Coaching


Simon ThomasLast week I had the pleasure of presenting at a seminar held by Banks Consultancy at Piemonte Cafe Restaurant at Terrey Hills. Getting Started on Succession Planning was the theme and it was certainly a well received session. The topic is highly relevant in today’s environment considering the latest figures from the Sensis Business Index indicating that 12% of Australian Small Businesses are considering closure or sale.

Jeff BanksBanks Consultancy opened the session with a discussion on Tax, Financial preparation and getting things in place to maximise your earnings…..legally! Jeff is located in Belrose and has a reputation on the Northern Beaches for excellence in service, exceptional tax expertise and getting people to the tax office on-time even if it means getting them there kicking and screaming.

Followed by Jeff was Matt Carter from Australian Financial Planning Group. Matt gave an insightful presentation on the pro’s and con’s of preparing a suitable financial plan for your future. The key here was the importance for Small Business owners to think about this early. Quite often circumstances tend to ensure that many of us leave this important aspect to the very last. Quite often it can be left until it is too late. Not to mention the importance of making sure you have the right insurances in place in the event of the unthinkable. Recent natural disasters make this all the more real.

After taking a lovely break enjoying the wonderful food and service of Piemonte Cafe Restaurant, as well as getting to meet and chat to the varied guests, we moved into the 2nd half of the session. Always a tricky task coming back after food and beverages, however Kos Psaltis from Forest Legal was up to the task. Moving straight into the hair-raising topics of wills and powers of attorney, it was a slightly sobering discussion around the importance of getting things in order to ensure that there is a high level clearly defined wishes.  Not to mention the importance of being prepared for the unexpected. When dealing with business partners or especially family members it is critical to have all of the correct legal documents in order. There are plenty of sordid tales and as it turned out, plenty of examples from the guests.

Following on from what turned out to be a most popular and heavily discussed topic, and set as the last speaker of the day, it was my turn to awaken the spirit! As is always the case with my Business Coaching bent, the subject jumped very quickly into planning. My particular strategy for Exit Planning is solely around developing the specific goals of Retirement/Sale/Succession and making sure that you do everything in your power over the course of the next 3 to 5 years to reach those goals. What is imperative in getting the best possible price is that you have developed systems, process and documentation to demonstrate that the business is successful in its own right. If you are the sole reason your business is successful then you are going to have a hard time selling it. And yes, getting it to the the most profitable it has ever been is a great way to demonstrate to potential buyers that this business has longevity and will make them money.

So, all in all, a great afternoon and a pleasure to be presenting to local and some not so local businesses. Thanks must go to Robyn Banks for organising the specifics of the event whilst managing end of Q2 BAS. I look forward to telling you more about our next seminar in April which will be focusing on Business Planning and how to get your business in to tip top shape.

Simon Thomas

Small Fish Business Coaching

Simon ThomasWell, what a great year 2010 turned out to be. A massive thanks to all my clients for making it such an inspirational  and successful year!

Lets kickstart 2011 with the right planning, goal setting and action taking to make this year even more successful.

If you are looking for some inspiration to get back into the swing of things, then check out the below link. All the best quotes in one great YouTube video. Watch it, immerse yourself in your favourite sayings and get set for a brilliant year.


Speak Soon,


Small Fish Business Coaching

ps. Ever want to catch up for a chat about your business….give me a call and lets have a coffee. Love to hear your story!

The Dip, A Little Book About Quitting.

A great little wisdom from Small Fish Director Jon Dale. Check it out, and let me know what you think. Do you suffer from ‘the dip’?


Ballin (aka Small Fish) win first game in new uniform by 2 points.

I’m proud to announce the newest members of the Small Fish team.

Welcome Ballin who have as of today undergone a basketball makeover. After 4 games without uniforms, in the current summer season of the Open Women’s competition at the Northern Beaches Indoor Sports Centre, Small Fish North Shore has stepped in and proudly sponsored the team. Having only just received the uniforms, the girls were ecstatic to be suited in a full white and navy strip for game 5.

After a brief red carpet gala presentation in front of the cameras (well, that’s what they deserved), they went on to match their opposition with a change in lead multiple times throughout the game. After a small deficit began to grow in the 2nd half, the girls took charge and regained the lead. The last minute was a tense affair as the opposition made several attempts to take the lead, but the newly crowned Small Fish Business Coaching team were triumphant in their first sponsored outing winning the game by 2 points.

Not only did they look great, they displayed moments of flair and brilliance with a renewed passion for taking the Grand Final by storm. Nothing like a hot new outfit to spice things up a little. Well done girls!!! Looking forward to game 6.

Ballin enjoying the spotlight as the new Small Fish

Simon ThomasEver had that warm moment of mmmmmmmm??? I’m sure you know it. Inner warmth, satisfaction, happiness, exceeded expectation without even knowing you had expectations? Know the one?

I love that feeling especially when I least expect it. We get it from friends, we sometimes even get it from family. BUT, how often do you get it from a business you are dealing with? Either as a customer or as a business to business interaction.

I find that I get it less these days when I am a customer. Is it because I live in Sydney? Have we forgotten how to treat the very people that make our businesses successful? Why is it that some businesses blow me out of the water and others leave me feeling cheap and nasty?

At first I thought it was relative to the level of expectation I have of a business, i.e 5 Star versus Budget. But then it dawned on me, being human has no boundaries. It shouldn’t matter to what level of business interaction I have, I want to feel like I am at least appreciated for spending my money at your business. Then it occurred to me, I don’t really even need to be appreciated. I just don’t need to feel like I am insignificant to the ultimate success of a business. Sure, one cup of coffee in the grand scheme of things is no big deal. I get that.

BUT WAIT! Who said I was only ever going to buy one cup. What if I am new to the area looking for the friendliest, warmest welcome to the neighbourhood with great coffee? Guess what…..no impact, no connection, no warm hello, no true displays of humanness……I’m trying out your competition. And I may never try you again, from one simple fleeting interaction.

So back to the power of mmmmmmmm….what are you doing to ensure that every new customer to your business has a reason to come back? Do you think about it, do your staff excel in this area, is there a consistent experience across your team? Remember you want all customers, including loyal ones, to feel the power of mmmmmmmm. If you are not sure whether they experience it, maybe we can help.

Contact Simon Thomas to discuss your Customer Experience plans sooner rather than later.

Have you ever driven around and wondered how to find the absolute best BBQ chicken in your area? Well, you have probably been to a whole bunch of shops and had mixed reactions and are still searching.

If you live on the North Shore of Sydney (Chatswood through to Hornsby) then you MUST MUST MUST try the Gordon Chicken Shop (10 St Johns Ave, Gordon NSW 2072, Australia). I have recently found them and cannot believe how good their food and service is.

My brilliant experience was formed when I made comment re their home made pies. They look amazing. I was pleasantly surprised to get the whole tale of home made pies from a friendly and welcoming, loving and passionate business owner. He proudly advised me that people from overseas have come to the store from recommendations in London. It turns out that the pies are famous! The pie sales are being tracked and proudly displayed on the display wall. The figures are astounding – in the tens of thousands.

So there I was innocently buying a BBQ chicken and some chips, and I walked out of there a raving fan. It was the simplest sales pitches of the century. An awesome product (yes I have been back multiple times) and an endearingly warm and friendly atmosphere that makes me want to go back and be a loyal customer.

Not only did I get a lesson in hospitality, I was also charmed with the opportunity to try the best gravy I think I have ever had!!!!!

Bon Appétit!

In case you had any doubt! Doubt no more, its official, Business Coaching IS a worthwhile investment!

Take a squiz at this article about business coaching written by Alexandra Cain in the Sydney Morning Herald, and distributed via the Fairfax media.

Small Fish Business Coaching and Jon Dale in particular got a mention, as did some of Jon’s clients, namely Mark Barrett from CI Marketing and John Jones from Qubit Consulting.

Small Fish will be exhibiting at the Flying Solo Live Micro Business Community on Wednesday 15th September.

Where is it: Australian Technology Park, Sydney

When is it: Wednesday, 15th September

More Info: http://www.flyingsololive.com.au/

Looking forward to seeing you there.

Simon Thomas
Small Fish Business Coaching

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