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

Why How What

Monday, September 01, 2014

Why How What

How is it that some businesses are seen as rock stars while the rest get on with the daily grind to make revenue targets?

Writing marketing plans quite often focuses on the “what” of our products and/or services… the features of these… the benefits of those… how many hours per month.

Co-incidentally our competitors do as well… but what about that standout company that markets so differently, so boldly, that they seem to have a magic reach to the market.  They seem to be selling emotion, on top of their tangible products, yet it hits a chord in the buyer’s mind.

I believe that most businesses in this highly competitive world of instant online service and gratification have lost their way.  They have forgotten what drives business to their doors… understanding their customers’ needs.  Empathy for the person buying your product and why they think your product/service will address their needs.

Richard Branson says, “The goal is not to do business with everybody who needs what you have; the goal is to do business with people that believe what you believe.”

Simon Sinek, whose business card describes him as, “an ethnographer and leadership expert” gave a very punchy TEDx talk on the subject.  Sinek says, to avoid the trap of selling features and benefits, first understand why your client has come to you.  They want a clean house not just a vacuum cleaner.

He says, understand "why" they want your product and then discuss the “how” it will solve the problem with “what” it has.

He calls it the “Golden Circle”

Follow this link through the Virgin site to see Richard Branson’s comments on “Why” then click through to Simon Sinek’s talk. 


Craig Doyle, Manager, SSHED

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Know Your Numbers

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Know Your Numbers

Are these hard times for businesses or a good time to be a better business?  The fundamentals of running a successful business haven’t changed – you need to know your numbers!

HOBBY = hope for a financial return.  BUSINESS = plan for a financial return

Two things are certain in your business: last month's P&L; and today's Balance Sheet.  These show your current position.  Ahead of you are the unknown challenges and rewards.

A well-structured General Ledger is the foundation of a successful business.  Reporting, forecasting and planning rely on a strong base of comprehensive data which can only be found in the engine room of your business.

Is your Profit and Loss Statement in alphabetical order?  If so then it’s not giving you the management information you need.  Expenses should be grouped accordingly, to show your big cost centres.  $1 saved in expenses goes straight to your cash flow.  In a 10% net profit business, that dollar is equal to increasing sales by $10… nice odds

A well-structured P&L is one of your sharpest business tools.  Ensure that your variable costs and fixed costs live in their right places on the sheet. 

Do you know your monthly break-even?  Exceeding your break-even will give you the confidence that comes with the knowledge of sustainability.  Note:  As the principal, your breakeven MUST include your wages. Calculating your break-even from a well-structured P&L is easy and extremely useful.

One number lets you sleep at night! This magic number is this month’s sales forecast. Are you tracking well?  If so your budget and all your plans for the rest of the year are on track and attainable.  Those expenses you forecast i.e. website update, media campaign, new employee hire, capital equipment upgrade are still on track.  Stay focussed, go hard!  Your forecast tells YOU what you can do. Meet with yourself often.  Adjust the numbers.  Work on the shortfalls.  They are invaluable intelligence.  Celebrate the wins.

Turnover is vanity... whilst profit is sanity

The Science of Business is the P&L and the Balance Sheet... The Art is interpreting them.

Craig Doyle, Manager SSHED (Sutherland Shire Hub for Economic Development)

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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