Making 2018 Your Best Year In Business Yet

Episode 21


About The Show

In this first episode for 2018, Jason sets the scene for the year on the content and layout of material to help you grow your business and have your best year in business ever.

From interviews to one-on-one teachings. The Business Made Easy Podcast will bring you all the tools and resources you need to master your Social Media, Your Customer Experiences and the Management of your business in 2018.

What You'll Learn!

  • Jason’s approach to business planning in 2018
  • How Jason changed the way he spends his New Year day
  • Go back and listen to Episode 20 to hear about goal planning and strategy
  • The 3 areas of content for The Business Made Easy community this year –
    • marketing;
    • customer experience
    • management
  • What topics will be covered in these 3 areas over the year

Links Mentioned

Mindmeister is my go to tool for cloud based mind mapping.  The ultimate way to get your thoughts and ideas out of your head and into action.

Join other business owners in our Free Facebook Community all sharing their trials, ideas and wins in business. It's a fantastic community of driven and supportive entrepreneurs.



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I have used and trialled many email and automation systems in my 20+ years of business, from free inexpensive systems to the more elaborate, expensive and high end. 

Convertkit, ticks all the boxes when it comes to getting results with your email marketing.

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Full Episode Transcript

You’re on episode 21 of the ‘Business Made Easy’ podcast. Happy New Year
Thanks, Jason. You’re on the ‘Business Made Easy’ podcast, where we make
business easy. Here’s your host, Jason Skinner.
G’day, g’day and welcome to the ‘Business Made Easy’ podcast, where we
make business easy. I’m your host, Jason Skinner and I want to thank you for
joining me on this very first episode of the podcast for 2018. Happy New
Year to you, I hope you had a fantastic Christmas break and New Year period
with family, friends. Lots of eating, I know I have had lots, far too much to
eating, to be honest. I think if I see another ham or turkey, I’m going to turn
into one. But it is good, it always starts off great having that very first
Christmas meal and then, I don’t know if you’re the same, but we have a
number of various. Well, we have two families that we visit for Christmas but
we also have our staff lunch, Christmas lunch and we have various Christmas
lunches. Feasts I should call them.
And that very first one is always the best and always tastes, oh you just go,
“Oh, that’s so beautiful” and you can’t get enough of it. And by the last meal,
you’re just, you just want to turn into a turkey and, or a ham. Whatever it is,
but it’s such a beautiful time of the year. I love it and I love catching up w
from Bellingen but that’s, it’s about four hours drive from where we live and
it’s, we cruise down there and just chill out really. Sit in the lounge room and
talk with family and have a nice time and as I say, eat lots and then we come
home and get stuck into it.
And that’s exactly what I’ve been doing, the last two weeks. Which I’ll talk
about shortly, but I hope whatever you’ve been doing over Christmas, you’ve
had some time off and really enjoyed that time with your family and friends
because it’s just invaluable and the years go so fast too. It’s nice to make the
most of it and just kick back.
As I said, this last two weeks really for me, in amongst all the family time has
been about planning. And you might recall the last episode of last year, I took
a different approach to year-end planning this year. Normally I would do my
year-end planning or my New Year planning I should say, at the start of 2018.
So I’d wait till New Year’s Day and then I’d sit down and write out my goals
for the year and then I’d get into it. And back in episode 20, I spoke about a
different approach that I was taking this year. Which was to set my goals well
before the year-end, so that I could actually hit the ground running from the
first of January. And that was the idea, was to, not wait for two or three, wait
and lose momentum into the New Year but actually hit the ground running on
January 1 and so that I could actually maximize my results.
And I’ve gotta say, and I can, if you haven’t already done your planning, don’t
worry about this. You can still do it, it’s just something that I’ve tried this year
but I’ve got to say the results that I’ve had so far, have just been fantastic. For
instance, just to give you an example, normally I’d be, New Year’s Eve I’d be,
not hugely partying but certainly having a function of some sort and having
drinks and up late and whatnot. But this year, I took a different approach. I
was in bed early, got up early the next morning, January 1 I was out
exercising and running at five am and feeling pumped. And I was just into it
and I have been ever since, every day I’m getting up and running.
Because health is one of my big goals for this year and yeah I’ve been out
running and just implementing and working on already. And I’ve noticed a big
difference in my productivity and the things that I’m already starting to
achieve by implementing this new system. So if you haven’t done it, as I say,
it’s not too late if you haven’t done your planning yet by all means, get in and
do it sooner rather than later. But go back to episode 20 and I take you
through my technique that I use myself. There are many planning techniques
and it is an individual thing but this is just a system that I have adopted using
mind mapping, to get clarity around my goals and my business focus and what
it is that I want to focus on in the New Year and make sure that everything is
in perspective.
And that’s what I like about a mind map, I can see everything in one page and
it’s like dumping your brain out onto one page. And really getting a good
overall helicopter perspective on what areas of your life are important. What
needs work, where are you going to focus your attention? What priorities do
you have and what needs attention first etcetera? So you really get a good
perspective on things, so I really encourage you to go back, and as I say, and
check out episode 20, if you haven’t already. And you can grab that at
www.businessmadeeasypodcast.com and if you go there, you’ll grab episode
20 and go through that exercise.
If you have done planning already and you’re already hit the ground running,
good on you. That’s excellent, I hope you’re getting results already, as well.
The time goes so fast, we’re already well into January. Midway through
January by the time this episode airs and before we know it, then February
will be here and it’s just too hard to get momentum. So, I encourage you to
really go back and get stuck into that goal planning, if you haven’t done so
But today I wanted to talk to you about the year ahead, in terms of what I
would like to do to help you in business, over this next year. Because in
amongst the family time, I’ve spent a lot of time mind mapping, as I said, and
planning and setting strategy and working out exactly what’s important. I
was having coffee with a good friend of mine, Kevin, who’s also a podcaster,
the other day and we were talking about the area of business and it’s such a
broad area that you could cover so many topics. I mean the topics to talk
about in business are endless but what I have done over this past two weeks,
is really sit down and work out exactly where I can deliver the most value to
you, the business owner and my podcast community.
What can I deliver to you and give to you that is going to make the biggest
impact on your business? And I got thinking about the priorities in business
and I keep all the feedback that I get and the conversations I have with
people, on a day to day basis in my profession, which is in business. And I’ve
sat down and broken it down into three core, and we’ll call them buckets for
want of a better word, but three core areas that I’m going to focus content in
this New Year. And the very first of those is marketing, the area of marketing.
And I’ll explain in more detail what is in each of these in a second.
The next area I think is really important, because, just before we get off
marketing. With marketing, we need to market, it’s just an important part of
the business that we just need to do. We’re always marketing, it doesn’t
matter what you’re doing, even if you’re seeing an existing person. An
existing customer of your business, you are marketing. You are in the
business of marketing because they are good advocates of your business so
their impression of you is really important. You’re always marketing. So we’re
going to talk about that and I’ll explain further the content in there.
Customer experience is the other area, we, there’s not enough discussion
about customer experience in my book. Customer experience deals with
from the very moment a person enters your brand, they see your brand and
become a customer of your business. What’s the experience they have? So
I’m going to talk about that a little bit later as well. And then the other area,
the other core bucket that I’m going to focus content on is, I hate, bucket’s
probably not the word. Let’s call it a pillar. The other core pillar of the
strategy is management and we’re going to focus a lot of content during the
year on management in your business. And I’ll talk about what that entails in
a second, as well but I’ve virtually broken in down into these three pillars of
content for the ‘Business Made Easy’ podcast community, that I feel that I
can deliver to you and have the most impact and get you the best results in
your business. With practical tips and strategies that you can go away and
implement and then test it, measure it, come back, share the results and yeah
really get you some good things happening in your business.
But you’ve got to have your goals done first before we get into that stuff so if
you haven’t, go back to do your strategy, do your goal plannin
And the other thing that I’m going to do is interview experts in those
particular fields.
The idea of the three core pillars is basically to, as content comes in I’m going
to see if it fits within. It’s going to act like a filter. Does it fit within the
marketing bucket? Is it a marketing bucket exercise, is it a customer
experience bucket or is it a management bucket that this fits into? If it
doesn’t fit into any of it, I’m going to put it on the later list and not prioritise it.
I’m really only going to prioritise marketing content, customer experience
content, and management content.
Now when I talk about marketing content, marketing is one of those things
that everyone loves to talk about because they always want to do the
marketing bit. They never want to do the financial bit, they always want to do
the marketing, “I want to do more marketing in my business.” Particularly
social media marketing, it’s the buzz thing. Marketing, we are going to talk
about, yes social media marketing. I think social media marketing is just such
a critical area of your business that you really need to have a handle on. If you
are not implementing a social media marketing strategy in some way, shape
or form, then I really do feel that we need to get you going there and doing
that. Because it’s the new frontier, it’s, and just to give you an example, I
mean there’s a lot of changes in social media marketing as well.
Like, when we talk about social media marketing, we’re talking about
Instagram. We’re talking about Facebook, which is the most common. We’re
talking about Twitter if you’re not familiar with that. LinkedIn strategies and
there’s a lot of shift amongst these different platforms and each of these
platforms are not all going to be right for your particular business. So it’s
important that we go through Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and
work out exactly what is going to be the right platform for your business.
They’re not, there are some people out there that try and do them all. But
you’ll find as we work through the year and we go through the content, that
not every platform is going to be for your business. It’s a little bit like fishing,
you’ve got to find where your audience, where your target customers and
clients and audience are hanging out. Are they hanging out in the Instagram
pond? Or are they hanging out in the Facebook pond? Or are they hanging
out in the Twitter? Are they hanging out in a mix of both?
We’re going to work through the strategies to come up with where your
target customer is hanging out. And I’m going to bring in the experts in each
of these platforms and we’re going to discuss at length, the fors and the
againsts and the latest strategies that are working and not working in each of
these platforms. They are so diverse and they are forever changing, just to
give you an example. Neil Patel, who’s a fantastic digital marketing strategist,
he basically had in a blog article recently, “If you look at Instagram, back in
2016, Instagram advertising revenue was at 1.86 billion dollars.” Which is a
lot of money, but in 2016, so only. Not even, so two years ago, it was sitting at
1.86 billion dollars. In 2018, so this year, it’s tipped to hit 6.84 billion dollars.
So over three times the amount in two years, in terms of advertising revenue
going through that platform.
And that just gives you an idea of the growth that is going through Instagram.
So we’re going to talk about Instagram, I’ve got a love for it. I love Instagram
and you can follow the ‘Business Made Easy’ podcast on Instagram. You can
grab the link over on www.businessmadeeasypodcast.com. But Instagram is
just a platform that is growing, there’s the level of engagement that
marketers are getting over there is, has increased over four times in the level
of engagement that they’re getting from their advertising and interaction
engagement over there, with their audiences. Something not to be
If we look at Facebook. Now Facebook started out, you used to be able to
post everything on Facebook and it would show up. If you had friends or you
had people who liked your page, it would just show up in their feed, in their
Facebook feed. That’s called organic reach and organic reach in Facebook
now is just dying. I think it’s down around, down at some ridiculous number I
read the other day. Something like six percent or something, don’t quote me
wholeheartedly on that. But it was a ridiculous number, that when you post
something on Facebook. You may do a great ad for your business or
whatever it is that you do, post it and you know that the chance of someone
who already likes your page, or is a friend of yours, seeing that ad is getting
less and less.
And that is because of a few things. One, the volume of users and content
flowing through Facebook now is so great, there’s only so much real estate
that can, that Facebook has in your feed. So they’re trying to squeeze in as
much content into your feed, as possible, so not everything gets through.
Facebook is also a business and sells advertising so it has set advertising slots
through your feed as well. So they’re going to take priority over the free stuff
that you’re putting out. So, in essence, you really need to start paying now
just to have your content served up to your, already existing loyal customers
and people who like your page.
It really is a frustrating area, it’s an area that I really, really grapple with. I just
get so frustrated with Facebook but, it’s a necessary evil too because that’s
where the people are, at the end of the day. There are billions of users on
Facebook, every single day and it’s an advertising platform that just can’t be
overlooked. But it needs to be managed and I think it needs to be managed in
a healthy way, with a healthy strategy. And I’m going to get some experts in,
on Facebook advertising and people that really know their stuff, and we’re
going to talk about that in the year coming along as well. So we’re going to do
plenty of work on Facebook advertising.
Twitter – Twitter is, some people say Twitter is a dying platform. Other
people say, no it’s very alive and very vibrant. But we’re going to talk about
Twitter, we’re going to get some experts in on Twitter. I like Twitter as well.
Twitter is more of a news type platform for me, in terms of content. You can
choose what content you want to come through and see etcetera with
various people that you follow and a lot of people do use that as their daily
news platform. That’s where they get their daily news from, as opposed to
the free to air channels etcetera. So Twitter certainly has its place in
And LinkedIn, I had a story the other day of a person who had some great
engagement in LinkedIn which not a lot of people talk about LinkedIn, was
always thought of as a job advertising type platform. Not so though, it
certainly is very, very good for business and good for business to business
type promotion and advertising. So we’re going to talk about LinkedIn as well,
certainly not to be overlooked and certainly is an area you can get some great
But as I said at the start, all these platforms are, think of them like tools in a
toolbox. You don’t, if you need to drill a hole you don’t pull out your hammer
out of your toolbox. You go and get the drill and this is how you’ve got to look
at social media. It’s a big area, it’s an area that you could spend 24 hours a
day, seven days a week researching and testing and measuring and reading
up on but we’re going to get the experts in and we’re going to talk about it.
Because it is an extremely important part of social media and marketing in
your business.
The other area we’re going to talk about over the year, and not to be
overlooked, and it is going to gain a lot of momentum as we go forward, is the
area of artificial intelligence. We’re now seeing things like ‘Google Home’ in
the home and Amazon’s version which is ‘Alexa’. And all this artificial
intelligence where these machines know about us, they know what we want,
they know what we want, when and how and where to deliver it and artificial
intelligence or AI as it’s called, is going to get more prominence as we move
forward. So we want to try and nut out some of that stuff as well, probably
won’t spend a lot of time on that just yet, now. We’ll do more as we go
forward but certainly something that I want to be able to introduce to you
and discuss the concepts and how it might apply in your business as well.
The other things we want to talk about, now they’re the social media things.
They’re all the things owned by Mark Zuckerberg’s and the like and the
Microsofts but we also want to look at traditional forms of marketing. Social
media marketing has its place and is one aspect of marketing but I want to get
down into delving into some of the more traditional forms of marketing and
tangible ways that you can grow your business using traditional forms of
marketing. And that might be adding value and packaging products and the
way we package our services and those sorts of things.
Our branding, our, the way we engage with our customers and listen to our
customers. We want to get into other traditional forms of marketing and I’ll
be getting some experts in on that as well. Most importantly as well, I want to
talk a lot, a theme I think you’ll find as we go along this year, will be around
digital strategy. And that’s a word you’ll probably hear me talk about a lot. I
find in practice, a lot of businesses do not have, and in fact, I would have to
say that 80 to 90 percent of businesses out there do not have, in the small to
medium business space I’m talking about, do not have a digital strategy in
place. And I think 2018 if you haven’t, is the year we need to get one in place.
And when I talk about digital strategy, I’m not talking about, “Oh yeah, we’re
going to throw some ads up on Facebook.” I’m talking about how does
technology feature and fit into your business going, now and going forward?
How and what strategies are we going to put in place? Now, I’m talking about
everything from yes, social media marketing down to your website and your
digital footprint or digital real estate on your website. But equally, in your
business, how does, what is your digital strategy? Where do you, how’s your
data? What automation processes do you have in place in your business?
What back up processes and systems do you have in your business? What is
your process and policy for ransomware and virus threats? And attacks to
your servers? Where do your servers reside? All these things, where is your
documentation stored? Is it in physical filing cabinets in your business or are
you moving all this to a paperless type system that is going to live in the cloud
somewhere? Well if it’s going to live in the cloud, where does that live and
how’s it housed?
So that’s what I’m talking about when we talk about digital strategy. I’m
talking about a complete whoa to go of everything that is digital, technology
if you like, in your business and what is your technology strategy for 2018?
That’s going to be a lot of work in that and a lot of the topics that we cover
going forward over the year, we’re going to talk about that your digital
strategy and implementing digital strategy. And my goal would be, that at the
end of this year, that all of our listeners could sit back and say, “Hey, we’ve
implemented our digital strategy and this is what it is and these are the
results we are getting from it.”
Because it is such an important area going forward, the time is now!
Technology is not going away, social media’s not going away. It really is
important that A – from a growth perspective, marketing perspective. B –
from an efficiency perspective in your business and making more money, so
improving your efficiencies will make you more money in your business and C
– protecting your business. It’s no good growing and making more money if
it’s all exposed and out there and subject to attack. So we want to make sure
that we’ve got all that really well rounded in your business and that’s one of
the focuses of this year.
So that’s the marketing bucket, there’s a lot in there and we’re not going to
do it all in one episode. I promise. We’ll break it down and we’re going to
share, and as I say, as I build out the content I’ll be fitting it into one of these
buckets. The next bucket, critical bucket that I see, which is and I hope from
this you’ll see a logical next step, is customer experience. It’s one thing to go
and market and get new customers and get perspective new people coming
into our businesses, but what is the experience when they do get to our
business? Once a prospect or a potential customer comes to our business,
what is it that they experience? What’s the next thing that they experience?
And what keeps them engaged? What keeps them wanting to come back for
more? And that to me, when I sat down and reflected on it over the holiday
period, it’s just so important and so under-discussed.
We focus on going and getting new customers and that’s expensive, I just
mentioned, we’ve got to pay for ads, we’ve got to go out there and get this
stuff but what is the customer experience when they come to your brand?
How do they feel? How does your brand interact with them? How do you
meet their needs? How do you solve their pain and improve their world? How
do you add value to them? And all these things and does it happen
consistently, every time they come it’s the same experience they have with
your business, every single time.
So we’re going to spend a lot of time talking about that, this year. Because I
do think, well A – it’s an area of passion of mine, I mean it’s just, I would much.
To be honest, personally speaking, I just think that’s sometimes more
important than marketing because we’ve got all these customers there
already. If you’re starting out, it’s a little bit different but if you’ve got an
existing business, you’ve got these customers there already. And I can
guarantee you, you’re not servicing every single one of their needs or talking
to them in the way that they want to be spoken to or need help.
We’re going to spend some time on that and that’s going to cover off on
automation in your business. Again, bringing in that digital strategy piece,
technology, we’re going to work out ways and we’re going to discuss tips and
ways you can grow your customer experience and improve your customer
experience. Using things like automation, not in a sleazy salesy way but in a
helpful, reminder, a reliable practical way so automation’s big on the agenda
this year. And I’ve got some experts in Infusionsoft and various other
automation programs that I’m going to bring in and we’re going to interview
and flesh out some great discussion around that.
And then the other bucket is management. The management bucket and
what we’re going to cover there, and I’m going to make this as fun as possible,
so there’s a disclaimer here. When I say management everyone wants to shut
down and think, “Oh, we’re going into the boring topic.” Absolutely not! It’s
going to be, I’m going to put it in an exciting way and a way that hopefully you
will see as a practical, enjoyable way to look at your business numbers and
implement regular monitoring of your numbers. But we’re not just talking
about numbers, yes we’re talking financial management when we talk
management. Very, very important, we understand the metrics and the
numbers. What our business is actually doing but also too, cash flow
management. We’ve already had an episode on that but we’re going to talk
further about cash flow management.
I’ve got some experts coming in to talk about business finance and the way to
structure debt within your business because debt is an unnecessary, an
unavoidable part of business sometimes. We sometimes have to borrow
money to make money, so we’re going to talk about that with cash flow
management. People management, getting the best out of your people and
leadership. All those sorts of areas of management are all covered under the
management bucket. So I’ve broken it down into and I hope you can see that
there are three core pillars of content that the show is going to cover in this
2018 year that is designed to deliver practical tips and tools that you can
implement and get some results in your business.
Also, I want to hear from you. If you’re implementing any of these strategies
or if you’ve used strategies in any of these areas, feel free to, I’d love to hear
from you. Write in to me at [email protected] and share
with me what’s been working for you in business. I’d love to hear from you if
you’re having some wins in your business, by all means, write in to
[email protected] Love to hear from you, I’ll grab your
email, I check all my emails and answer all my emails. So you can certainly
post there if something’s particularly working for you.
Equally, I’d also like to hear from you, what your goals are for the year. I’d
love to hear what your goals are and by all means, feel free to join the
Facebook community. Which is growing really nicely and a lot of great people
over there, if you go to www.businessmadeeasypodcast.com/facebookgroup
or just go into Facebook and search for ‘Business Made Easy’ podcast group,
in the search bar up the top of Facebook. You’ll find us there, join the group,
it’s free to join but there are some great entrepreneurs over there. Share
with us your goals for the year, what is the one goal that you would like to
achieve in your business in 2018? By the end of December when we sit down
and have that coffee or beer, what is it that you’ve achieved in business this
year that you’re really proud of and has made a profound difference in your
business? So I’d like to hear what that is, share it with us on the group, now.
Often, communicating that verbally and out loud to people will make sure
that you actually deliver on it. It’s like this psychological promise that, “Hey,
I’m committing to everyone I’m doing this”. And by all means, go over there
and hook up with the Facebook group, so that’s
www.businessmadeeasypodcast.com/facebookgroup and feel free to join
there and there’s just such a great community of people there, all sharing
ideas and all doing some exciting stuff as well, in their businesses. So, would
love to see you over there.
So that’s all I had time for today, as you can see, it’s a big year ahead. We’ve
got our three core pillars that we’re going to work on and we’re going to
deliver in each of those areas, content that is going to really make a profound
difference to your bottom line and the happiness that you have out of your
business as well. Because at the end of the day, it’s not just about making
money. It’s about lifestyle, it’s about happiness and contentment and really
making sure that we’ve just got this great balance between it all and this
harmonious balance in business. And that’s what business is all about. We go
into business, and if you think about why you went into business in the first
place for yourself, why, what sparked that entrepreneurial journey for you?
And usually, it’s to have a better life. And I don’t know too many business
owners that said that they haven’t gone into business for themselves to have
a better life. And quite often enough, after a couple of years when I talk to
them, it’s done all but that. It hasn’t given them a better life, it’s actually taken
life from them. They’re now working for their business instead of a boss and
we’re going to turn that around this year. That’s my focus, that’s my goal and
my passion is to really get in there and help you as much as possible.
So I certainly can help you and I would love to help you, so feel free to join
either the Facebook group or send me an email to
[email protected] and we can hook up and have a chat.
Alrighty. So that’s all I had time for today. Thank you, Happy New Year. It’s
going to be a great year in business, I’ve got a great feeling about this year. I,
myself have some great things coming up this year in business that I’ll be
letting you know about further as we go along. A couple of those being an
online course that I’ll be releasing this year. And also our first business
mastermind group, ‘The Platinum Round Table’ will be kicking off this year as
well. There are some good things happening there, I’ll keep you posted with
that stuff, as it comes along and we’ll, I’d love to see you there as well with
those things. But, yes until next time, here’s to your success. I hope you, as I
say, have a great 2018 and I’m going to hand you over to Mia now to take us
out. Take us out Mia, thank you.
You’ve been listening to the ‘Business Made Easy’ podcast, where we make
business easy.

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