Welcome to SSHED

We Make Small Businesses Bigger

SSHED is all about supporting YOU to grow your business. It consists of the following:

  • SSHEDprogram, an award winning business mentoring program providing advice, mentoring and accountability to help you grow your business and succeed. SSHEDprogram is supporting businesses from retailers in the Blue Mountains to manufacturers in Wollongong. The benefit of the program is it works for all businesses.

  • SSHED facility Loftus, 20 fully furnished offices available to all SSHEDprogram members wishing to relocate their businesses and become part of a dynamic business community. Each office comes complete with office furniture, high speed internet access, phone system, meeting rooms, car parking plus more.

  • SSHED Workshops, SSHED offers non-members Business Reality Workshops and also How to get the most out of your Forecast.  Find out more

Latest News

Leap of Faith

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Leap of Faith…

How many times have you taken “a leap of faith”?  How did it feel?  What was the outcome?  What did you learn? What did you do from the experience?

Often we find ourselves in a position that needs a decision , or we see a decision point looming and we put it off… we find reasons to delay…  It’s not ready/not finished/not perfect.    A decision to release product to market, or publish a website, or decide on your new brand, is easier to put off than to hit the button.  The stark reality is that it will never be ready/finished/perfect!

Everyone has felt that sense of anguish taking the deep breath and stepping into the void.  That is because you have to change roles for the next stage.  You have been in the building/development mode up to this point.  You have settled into a routine.

If you are at that point where you can’t see much to be done, you have hit the point of diminishing returns.  That is, there is little to be gained for the extra time needed to “get it right”.  You’ve hit the hump.  From here on the more time you put in the less effective you become.

This is the point of change.  Don’t stall.  You are ready for the next stage.

Transition is easy for some and more confronting for the rest of us.  Embrace change.  Now it is time to break rhythm and move into new territory… step outside the nine dots… leave your comfort zone… smell the daisies… get the wind in your hair…

This is the time to present your baby to the world… the next stage of development.  It has to be passed to the “consumer” for road testing and to provide valuable feedback.  It needs to breathe clean air and benefit from strangers’ impressions.  After all, you did this for them so they can appreciate its value and reward you appropriately.

Feedback improves it.  Market intelligence is gold… it’s free advice on how to improve your baby.  You don’t have the information/knowledge to make it perfect because it is not yours anymore.  You built it for someone else.  So they are the best to determine how good it is.  And now your job is to listen and improve.

The judgment we are frightened of, is actually advice.  You can’t buy this.

The process is cyclic:

  • Design
  • Build
  • Test
  • Release
  • Listen
  • Modify
  • Release; listen; modify… … …

You wear many hats and make many changes along the way.  Don’t be afraid to leap and make mistakes… Learn quickly and adjust.

This is not to say that you don’t make contingency plans.  Identify: best case; likely case; and worst case scenarios and make plans.  When one of these is presented you won’t be surprised.  You are already prepared to act effectively.

Celebrate the failure or success (the change).  Identify the valuable lessons and benefits.  Quickly decide the next actions… revert; change; continue.

You have stepped up to the next rung… ready for the next challenge… this feels great!!!

Fall over… step up… if you’re not making mistakes, you’re not trying hard enough.

“Making mistakes is part of the process of building a company; quickly recovering from them is what's most important”

Richard Branson

Craig Doyle – Business Advisor   SSHED Manager

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Don’t expose your business to one client

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Do you rely on one client for more than 30% of your revenue?

Often the incentive to start a business comes from your first client.  Someone you know has proposed an opportunity which is too good to refuse and is enticing enough for you to quit your day job.

This client is typically someone you have known for a while and before you know it you are getting regular work.  What more could a new business want?  You get a regular payment, you didn’t have to search for this client, you know the business and it is taking up most of your time.

These are the some of the danger signs… you’re getting enough revenue to be comfortable and you are “too busy” to look for other work.  Your contact at the supplier is a good friend and gives you all of his work so you think that there is nothing to worry about.

But what happens when he or she decides to move on or he gets a new boss or there is a company restructure?  Any number of scenarios could mean that your contact at your biggest client has changed. What will happen if your new contact brings with them a different approach or new suppliers that they have an existing relationship with?

Recognise the danger signs or red flags early.  Make time to continually market your goods and/or services.  There is nothing wrong with having large clients but understand the risk of losing them.  Clearly identify them in your revenue in the Profit and Loss statement.

How can you minimise your risk?  If possible, enter a contract with them.  Have them sign a supply agreement which benefits both of you equally.  Build in regular face to face review meetings to communicate any issues and identify opportunities.  The meetings are a good radar for upcoming challenges and will buy you some time if you think change is ahead.  It will also present your company as a professional organisation that has structure and process.

Many of the business owners we meet find themselves in this position and seem shocked when the inevitable happens.    It is important to future proof your business, to understand the challenges of your clients and to try to be one step ahead.   If you would like an independent business advisor to review your client base with you contact Craig Doyle, SSHED 02 9545 7777 to see which one of the SSHED business advisory products will best suit you and your business.

Craig Doyle – Business Advisor, SSHED Manager

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I'm looking at my business in a completely different way and already I've made significant strategic changes to how I operate on the advice of my mentor and am seeing positive results.  I can't recommend the SSHED program highly enough. I'm thrilled to be a part of the Program and am really looking forward to what we can do together.

Rock-A-Bye Baby