Come to the next Ruby Connection Learning Series event…

Thinking of starting a business or in business and being kept awake at night worrying about cash flow and where your business is headed?

Then this half day workshop is for you!

Whatever your situation or objective, writing a business plan can make a huge difference to your chances of success. It’s like having a map of where you want to go and how you’re going to get there. This seminar will highlight the difference a business plan can make, and then show you how to develop and use your own plan to gain a real competitive advantage.

With the changing economic landscape, an Online Strategy is essential for any business new or old. Hear tips on how to develop an effective Online Strategy to ensure your online presence drives business outcomes.

You’ve heard the saying cash is king.  Lack of cash flow is one of the main reasons businesses fail.  In this session, learn some important tips that will help ensure you have a steady cashflow stream.

You’ll also hear from an inspiring business owner (that will be me in Melbourne!) and have the opportunity to network and meet like-minded women throughout the workshop.

To book…
In Melbourne, click here:,-melbourne.aspx

In Sydney, click here:,-sydney.aspx

Hope to see you in Melbourne…

Very Excited to be Westpac Ruby Connection W@W of the Month…

RubyConnectionW@W Denise Hall

Smart ways out – starting with the end in mind can make a real difference to your bottom line, says business strategist Denise Hall. “

This is how the piece about me is introduced in the latest Westpac Ruby Connection enewsletter starts, and it goes on to say…

“We discuss the business lifecycle and we talk about start-up and growth. Maybe, we get a few tips about exiting the business. In my opinion finishing unfinished business – starting with the end in mind – deserves the same consideration as birth and growth or you risk losing out or even packing it away, without satisfaction,” says Denise.

I haven’t figured out why, yet, but very few business owners regard their business as an asset,” Denise continues.

A ‘sellability score’, helping you tick off the boxes around what buyers look for in a business can be a very helpful tool and it’s one that Denise has accessed, for anyone to use. The take-home message for sellers: buyers buy profit not potential.

Very pleased and excited that the message of “Finishing Unfinished Business” and even as importantly, the notion of building a business as an asset is slowly but surely getting out there. Clearly Westpac and the Ruby Connection see it as a topic worth sharing.

Even better to see this int he same publication as the launch this years 100 Women of Influence Awards. I’ll be curious to see how many of them are business owners who have built an asset, way larger than they had initially thought… time will tell


“Thinking is the Hardest Work a [Wo]man can Do”

During the life-cycle of building a Mother of a Business, it makes perfect sense to ask a number of provoking, asset-protection, risk-minimisation questions to get YOU, the Business Owner, thinking along the lines of Starting with the End in Mind TODAY, regardless of how old the Business is.

Taking such initiative is paramount for ALL Business Owners who seriously wants to successfully transition the Business while YOU are in the best position to do so. In most cases however, Business Owners will not have commenced the all-important discussion about what to do when the time has come to Finish Unfinished Business, to Exit, to essentially not run the Business any more, whether that be by choice or otherwise.

By thinking through all the elements of an Exit Plan, the payback will be delivered at the time of the plans execution. However prior to that, the benefits are in the proactive nature of the action taken, both in knowing that a plan is in place as well as being actively worked towards.

Where the Business Owner does not want to entertain this discussion at all when in a position to influence the Exit outcome, the Business Owner may instead think it will all sort itself out in the end. To some extent, this is correct. Ultimately, it will get sorted, but in the way YOU the Business Owner had envisaged? Possibly not.

So why is this so important?

In 2011, the state of the market is as follows:

•>1,000,000 Businesses in Australia are operated by 45 year-olds

•Meaning approx 1 in 2 Businesses will be looking to turn over in the next 5-10 years, either by choice or medical reasons

•Of that, > 300,000 are owned by Women

•The Business may be the 2nd largest, if not the largest asset owned, therefore it needs to be handled accordingly.


The following is a series of questions to help start your thinking…
In order for a Business Owner to Start with the End in Mind TODAY, what has to happen?

•Is a Succession Plan in place? If yes, how old is it?

If it had to be executed immediately, does it make sense?

Is it addressing what really needs to be addressed?

•If selling is an option, does the Business appeal to a Buyer in its current form? Is it set up to be able to “hand over” to a third party?

•Does the Business have an online presence? If not, why not?

•How are the Business records looking?

Does the reporting of the Business (e.g.: to the ATO) reflect its complete “value”?

•Alternatively, is now the prime time to acquire another business to help fill gaps, if that’s possible?


Where is the Business at right now vs. where does it want/intend to be?

•If the Business relies solely on YOU the Business Owner then the impact could be catastrophic if the Business Owner is no longer accessible. What steps need to be taken to reduce the risk/potential damage?

•If looking at a Buy option, will acquiring another Business get the Business there more quickly?

•Is there the option to do both ie build/acquire to grow and then Exit once all in place?

Based on where the Business is now, and what is wanted long-term, will determine the gaps to be filled.


When is the right time to execute?

•If selling, what asking price will be required when ready to execute?

•How far off is that, realistically?

PLUS, and equally as important…

•What will you as the current Business Owner do post Exit?

•What will be the implications for business/life partners?

•If the Business is your \”identity\”, what then?


How to Exit? There are a number of possible Exit options e.g.


•Management buy-in

•Family handover

•Partner buy-out

•Vendor finance



•Just pack up and walk away!

•Or any variation on above


To make this happen, who needs to be involved? Does the Business Owner have access to the following specialists in Exit?

•Trusted Advisors



•Business Broker

•Business Advocate (if acquiring)

•Board member


•Have they considered who might be interested in buying the Business?


None of this has to be daunting! Setting YOU on the path of thinking about Starting with the End in Mind TODAY, regardless of how old the business is that a few of these questions will prompt may be enough.

However, if you’re serious about having this conversation, please contact me

First published on Westpac Bank’s

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