Frequently Asked Questions on everything.

I get asked a lot of questions. 
Many of them business and marketing related. Some sales and tourism related and of course all the life questions. 
I decided instead of me taking months to write a blog on each of these I will just add a frequently asked questions component to my website.
I hope these answers help you. If you have a question just pop me an email info@sarahcolgate.com.au and I will do my best to answer it. 


How do I organise my time and manage your commitments?

Being efficient is sometimes difficult when there is so much going on in our lives and in our businesses. 
For my time I use a google calendar, which is cloud based and easily accessible from any device. 

I have a google calendar set up for all my roles:
– As mum and wife we have a family calendar with everyones activities, work schedule, social and sporting activities. Everyone has a colour and everything is entered. 
– For my clients I have a calendar for their businesses with my dedicated time where I can attend meeting and so on. 
– Finally I have a calendar for my business, my volunteer roles and committees.

All of these are integrated and although it looks very scary it works. It’s on my phone, computer and ipad. So i can clearly see where I need to be and I can block me time as needed. 

What's an exit strategy?

The answer is simple but the strategy is not so simple. 

An exit strategy is how you plan to leave your business. Are you going to sell it, are you going to divide it up and sell portions of it. Are you going to bring in partners, are you going to put a General Manager into run it?

What is your plan to remove yourself from your business?

The next step after deciding how you want to remove yourself is to look at the financial plan around that. Whats involved? Are you taking your investment out, will you need to be paid out, where is that money coming from? At what multiple are you looking for? What type of investment will be needed by new owners or partners?

 Then look at the timeframe of when you may want to get out, what the lead up to that looks like based on the plan you have. 

These are all the types of questions you will need to ask yourself when deciding on your exit strategy. 

What usually happens with small to medium size business is;
– The business is built by the owner
– The business is dependent on the owner. 
– The owner gets exhausted from holding everything together in the business and becomes burnt out. 
– There is no one to take over so they try to sell a few times. 
– No one wants to buy a business that is based on the contributions of one person.
– After months or years of the business not selling, the owner decides to close the doors and shut down the business.

It happens every day in Australia. Maybe thousands of times per day. 


Ensure you have an exit strategy for you and your business


Why do I need a business mentor?

As business people we all have varying degrees of experience, knowledge and connections. 

A mentor will help you look at your business and your life from a different perspective, give you options, help solve problems and guide you along your journey. A mentor especially a paid one will provide you with support, help you minimise issues in your business and show you the best way forward. 

Over my time i have had many business mentors paid and un paid. The value I have received from each one of them has been significant.  Overall they have provided me with a true sense of understanding of what I am capable of in my business. Then they have each provided me with the support to make the necessary changes and improvements.

The value of a business mentor is significant. Running a business can be lonely, stressful and draining, have a professional on your team for just 1 hour a week makes a massive difference. 

If you are looking for a business mentor, take a look at what I am offering. Sarah Colgate – Business Mentor and Coach

What mistake do you see most often in business?

This is easy – money!

Every time I have seen a business get into trouble it’s because they have run out of money. I did this myself when I had my first major business. A bookstore. 

I had a plan for this business, an indepth and detailed plan:

– Products : What books to buy, what margins I would make,  

– Customers: Who were may target customers, how I would get to them 

– Marketing: An in depth niche marketing strategy to attract high value customers 

– Finance: Where the money to set the business up came from, how it would be spent where I could save money. 

The one major consideration I didn’t pay close attention to was cash flow.

I had sales coming in the door and each month I had money in the bank to pay bills and market the business, however the stock requirements to keep the store full and looking good was significant. All stock had to be paid for up front and if it didn’t sell quickly enough then money got tight, very tight. Eventually I ran out of money. The cash didn’t flow. 

A very valueable lesson and something I see business owners fail to manage every day. 

The nest business I went into I had a detailed cashflow. I looked at it daily for the first 6 months then weekly for the next 12 months, following that when i had built up good reserves it went to monthly. This business was successful because I knew it could pay its own way. When things slowed down, spending slowed down or resources were adjusted.  Knowing how cash flows into and out of your business is the most important consideration as the owner, manager or executive responaible. 


What are some options for marketing my cafe?

Cafes are essentially servicing local people and the local community. 

If you want to build your business look at the following strategies;

– Be active in the local community. Attend the chamber of commerce,  connect with business owners, know the local community groups.

– Offer to sponsor a community group each month to have a coffee catch up at your cafe. Maybe it’s the local primary schools P&F group, a mother group, seniors swimming group. Invite them in and give them a great value offer to keep coming back each week or each month.   

– Provide great value offers in times when you are a little quiet. It might be weekday afternoons, offer coffee and cake or cookie deals. Put up some posters, advertsie on social media. Send out emails to your local customers inviting them in for these special offers. 

– If you know there is a lot of single people or seniors in the lcoal areas offer pre cooked takeaway food  for evening meals. Easy healthy meals that customers can just heat up when they get home.

– Identify a niche that can help your customers and provide it. Who are yoru customers? Talk to them get to know them and ideas will come to you soon enough. 

– The cafe we walk to each Friday is Pooches & Pastries they offer dog washing in a separate area, doggy treats and dog friendly areas for you to sit and have coffee. 

– Invite regular customers in for a taste test every month or two. Try out new meals, recipes and baked goods on them. Get their feedback and build rapport with them.

– Reward customers for their loyalty. For more information on build a loyal customer base check out my blog.

What can you help me with?

I can help you with a range of services. 

Essentially I support and provide services to help you grow you business in a profitable and sustainable way. 

Business growth comes from a range of areas;

– Increased sales or customers, through increase marketing efforts 

– Increased number of products or services for sale.

– Geographical expansion

– Aqusition.

 However you want to get there, I can help you.

Contact Me

Need my help with your business? Get in touch today.