Telstra has released a free eBook (pdf) with tips from 20 winners of the Telstra Business Awards.
What we like is it's all written from the perspective of 20 people and business partners who've won the Telstra Business Awards. They provide snippets about their highs, some talk about their lows, they offer advice and - here's the interesting bit - the story of how their business went from back-room operation to success.
Here's a taste, with some quotes from the eBook:
- "The best advice I ever received on this topic was to spend time each January planning the year’s significant leisure activities and to write these into the diary. Normally my weekends were kept free for family and leisure activities at home, and long hours, if necessary, were confined to weekdays." John Edwards, Hatch IAS
- "The transfer of manufacturing to Asia is probably our biggest challenge at present." Mark Volling, Panbio
- "I began my career as an apprentice kangaroo shooter…" Mack McCormak, Saferight
- "Our simplest and yet most effective strategy was to give hairdressers as many free products to try as they wanted, and gain their recommendation of the brand." John Cash, Gresham Cosmetics
- "People rarely leave a place of employment for financial reasons. While it is important to ensure all staff are paid fairly – and indeed, well – it is more important that people are trained, feel valued (listened to), and have a clearly defined path for promotion or advancement." Simon Brown, Resource Co
- "…probably our greatest challenge has been the changing global industrial market and the threat posed by rising Chinese and Asian manufacturers." Lindsay & Toni Wakefield, Safetech
It's interesting to see work and life balance come up a few times.
Also interesting? Hardly any of these are "Web" companies. The first winner won the Telstra Business Award in 1992 - they now supply automation systems for hot and cold rolling mills.
Just take a look at the types of businesses on the list. Some of them go back 25 years or more:
- Diagnostic kits for food, wine, dairy industries.
- Industrial safety harnesses
- Metal detectors
- Computerised sleep clinic systems
- Hair care products
- Work boots
- Safe lifting systems
- Pressure testing for oil and gas industries
Entries open for the 2013 Telstra Small Business Awards on February 11.
Entries are also open for the the Australian Small Business Champion Awards.