Recruit & Select Personnel
Staff Planning and Recruitment
Hiring an employee is truly making an investment in your business. When
you hire someone to work for you, you will invest time, money, training, and
trust. If you do it right, your business can move forward much faster than
ever before; if you do it wrong, not only can you lose your investment, but
you can be subject to lawsuit that can cause you to lose much more.
When most people think of hiring an employee, they tend to think only of
classified ads and interviews. But there‘s much more to successful hiring
than that. Its an important process with serious implications for the future of
your business, and you should put in the time to examine your needs to hire
and recruit in systematic, legal way.
Defining The Job
By defining the requirements of the job and creating a profile of the type of
person who will do the job successfully, you are more likely to hire the right
person for the job. Below are some guidelines to help you gain a clearer
understanding of the tasks and responsibilities of the job and your ideal
What do I want the employee to do?
The first step is to think about the job and the type of person needed to fill it.
Ask yourself the following questions:
Why do I need a new employee?
What duties do I want this employee to perform?
How does the employee perform these duties?
How will I know when the job is complete?
Where is the job located?
Your answers will help you to define broadly the tasks and responsibilities of
the job and identify the skills and experience required to successfully perform
This then forms the basis of a job description/
Why do I need a job description?
A job description covers the objectives, tasks, activities, responsibilities and
accountabilities of a particular position.
While state awards may provide pay rates and employment conditions, a job
description will make your interviewing more effective and help you to hire
the right applicant for the position.
A well-prepared job description will give you guidelines for selecting
applicants and a clearer understanding of your expectations.
It also gives your new employee a clear understanding of what is expected of
him or her.
What should I cover in a job description?
A job description should cover all relevant information about the job,
A job title which clearly describes what the employee is to do in the job
An overview of the position which outlines the key objectives and main
Reporting relationships, such as the employee‘s supervisor and any position
which might report to the employee
A prioritised list of tasks and responsibilities, including details of a typical
Possible career progression, criteria/timing of performance overview
Work location and any travel required
Total remuneration package, including base salary, superannuation, bonuses,
Who is my ideal applicant?
The job description defines the requirements of the job. The next step is to
create a profile of the ideal applicant by considering the personal qualities
needed to perform the job successfully. This includes:
Qualifications, for example, HSC, trade certificate, TAFE certificate or
diploma, university degree
Skills, such as typing speeds; communication and organisational skills,
such as ability to work in a team, solve problems, use technology, handle
Personal attributes including ability to work under stress, maintain
confidentiality, adaptability and flexibility.
You will then need to decide what criteria are essential and what are
The essential criterion is then used in your job advertisement.
Are there any legal requirements I should consider?
Consider whether you are offering the new employee a full-time, part-time or
The legal requirements for taxation, superannuation and insurance vary in
relation to the different basis of engagement.
Some jobs are covered by awards the agreements, others only by minimum
conditions of employment.
DEFINITIONS: FULL-TIME, PART-TIME OR CASUAL
Full time employee – an employee who receives full weekly wages
and conditions. The number of hours worked by a full-time employee is set
by an award, enterprise agreement or a contract of employment.
Part-time employee – an employee who works a regular number of
hours each week but less hours than full-time employee works. A part-time
employee receives a flat hourly equivalent of the normal full-time rate
(sometimes little extra). A part-time employee generally receives all, or most
of the benefits of a full-time employee but on a proportional or ―pro-rata‖
Casual employee – an employee who works on an hourly or daily
basis and would be paid an extra loading on top of the normal rate to
compensate for the lack of usual benefits such as sick leave and paid public
Casual employee – normally receives a loading of between 15% and 33.3%
above the normal full-time hourly rate. Casual employee also usually receive
an extra amount equal to a further 1/12 of the casual hourly rate to cover pro
rata annual holiday pay.
Some awards specify the minimum number of hours for which a part-time or
casual employee must be paid per day. The employment of casual may be
restricted to engagements, for example, of less than five days duration.
Other awards allow casual employees to be engaged to work full-time hours
Since the definitions of part-time and casual employment vary between one
award and another, it is essential to check the appropriate award for details
at the time of engagement.
Writing a Job Advertisement
A job advertisement needs to provide enough information to attract the right
type of applicant and be specific enough to discourage unsuitable applicants
from applying for the job. This section provides some useful tips to maximise
the effectiveness of your job advertisement.
Do I need to advertise?
You can recruit new employees in many other ways than advertising in a
local or daily newspaper. Other ways are: through a recruitment or personnel
agency; through the Commonwealth government Job Network (previously
the CES); trade journals; advertisement signposted in the local area or your
premises and word of mouth.
There is nothing wrong with any of these methods, as long as you still
interview the prospective employee and give him or her a clear
understanding of what will be expected of them.
How can I attract the right applicants?
A successful job advertisement will:
Stimulate the applicant‘s interest and present a positive image of your
Create a desire to apply based on the information provide about the job
Generate enthusiasm about the job
Motivate applicants to apply.
Ultimately, the success of an advertisement is measure by the suitability of
the applicants rather than number of applications.
What information should I include in the job
Screen your applicants and encourage suitable applicants to respond by
providing the following information:
Nature of work offered
Skills and qualifications
Essential personal attributes
Brief description of your business
Salary and any other benefits
How can I encourage a response?
Maximise the response to your advertisement by making it possible for your
applicant to contact you easily. At the end of your advertisement give the
applicant appropriate contact details.
For example, ―like to know more? Then contact Mary Smith on telephone
5555 5555 or write to XYZ Pty Limited at 77 Anywhere Street, Hometown
with brief personal resume.‖
Don‘t forget to include your business name and full name of the contact
person or the complete street address.
Encouraging telephone enquiries about the position is a good way to screen
Effective telephone screening can enable you to obtain enough information to
determine whether the caller satisfies the essential criteria for the position.
If you specify a contact person, make sure that the person clearly
understands the position and is available to respond to any enquiries. Also
inform your receptionist and other relevant staff that the advertisement is
running so that they can handle the response.
Writing An Effective Job Advertisement
Here are a few simple tips to make your job advertisement more effective:
Speak directly to your potential applicants by using word ―you‖ as this will
personalise the advertisement and make it more relevant to them
Quote a salary or a salary range to help filter out unwanted responses
Provide enough information to help potential applicants decide whether
the job is suitable for them.
Use your job description to include required skills, qualifications and
experience and any desired attributes.
Don‘t use too many words
Don‘t make the job into something that it isn‘t as this will attract applicants
who are not suited to the position.
What can’t I say?
Equal Employment Opportunity ( EEO ) law prohibits advertisements that
indicate an intention to discriminate on the grounds of:
Ethnic or ethno-religious background
It is also against the law to discriminate against a person on the ground of
trade union activity. This information is very important.
Should I respond to all applications?
How you treat all the applicants can influence their impressions of your
business. Though it may seem time consuming, acknowledging, all
applications with a brief letter or card will help create a positive image of your
A bright, energetic person is required to assist in our busy accounting office.
You will enjoy a lot of variety, direct client contact and have the opportunity to
progress within our company. You will have a minimum typing speed of
50wpm, a sound knowledge of a range of software packages including
spreadsheets and enjoy working as part of a team. Salary to $30,000. Please
call Alison Lu on (02) 5555 5555 or post your resume to the Human
Resource Manager, Accounting Partners, Level 1, 28 Market Street,
Smith Service Centre requires a qualified motor mechanic. You should be
self-motivated, able to work as part of a team and possess good
Transmission experience an advantage. An attractive salary package is
available, depending on skills and experience.
Telephone Allan Smith on (02) 5555 5555 after 10.00am weekdays.
The Special Cake Shop, a leading retailer of quality cakes and pastries,
requires a part-time shop assistant for three days per week, Mon, Tues, Wed
8am-5pm. Previous retail experience is essential. This is a busy and varied
position for a responsible person with excellent people skills who can work
under minimal supervision.
Please telephone Sue Andrews on (02) 6581 0011 or post your resume to
PO Box 80, Hometown.
Due to recent expansion, Widgets Pty Limited is seeking a high-motivated
sales person. Extensive experience in managing existing clients and
developing new business is required. You will possess a strong work ethic
and excellent communication skills. As well, you will have a proven track
record in negotiating and closing sales. Remuneration is designed to attract
top applicants and combines salary, commission and car allowance.
Telephone Vazu Natah on (02) 5555 5555 or fax your resume to (02) 5555
Preparing For An Interview
Preparation is the key to a successful interview.
By taking the time to prepare, you can evaluate applicants more objectively
and more accurately assess how they will perform the job. This section
answers some common questions about preparing for an interview.
Whom do I interview?
Once applications have been received, you will usually need to create a
short-list of applicants. Through your job description and ideal applicant
profile you have already defined the essential desirable criteria necessary to
perform the job successfully.
Compare each application to these criteria. Divide your applications into
three piles labelled:
―yes‖: those which satisfy all essential and desirable criteria
―maybe‖: which meet the essential but not the desirable criteria
―no‖: those that do not meet essential criteria.
In considering applications, you cannot discriminate against applicants on the
basis of their sex, marital status, pregnancy, race, age, ethnic or ethno-
religious background, disability, homosexuality or transgender.
Notify unsuccessful applicants, preferably with some explanation as to their
unsuitability. This can be done either at the time the person is eliminated or
once interview have been completed.
How many applicants should I interview?
There is no ―right‖ number of applicants to interview. Your decision will
depend on the type of job, number and quality of applicants and how much
time you have. One option is to call in a larger number of applicants for the
first interview and then create a short-list for second interviews.
How many people should interview the applicants?
It largely depends on the size of your business but it is a good idea for at
least one other person to interview the applicants with you. It could be your
business partner, your spouse, the supervisor of the position you are
interviewing for or any individual you feel will help you make an informed
What should a job interview achieve?
A job interview is an opportunity for you to evaluate the applicant‘s ability to
do the job and satisfy your requirements. At the end of the interview you
should be able to:
evaluate the applicant‘s personality, appearance and attitude
confirm and expand upon the details provide in the application form or
obtain a clear indication of the applicant‘s normal job behaviour and relate
it to the job description
assess the likely future job performance of the applicant, compared to
At the same time, it is a chance for the applicants to see whether your
business and the job opportunity satisfy their needs. The applicants will want
as much information about the position and your business as possible so that
they can make an informed decision whether the job is right for them.
What can I do to prepare for an interview?
There are a number of preparations that you can undertake to ensure that
your interviews run as smoothly as possible:
Contact the applicants, advise them where to come, whom to ask for and
whom to contact if they are unable to attend
Let your receptionist know the names of the applicants and interview times
Provide a reception area where applicants can wait in comfort
Organise a quiet and comfortable room for interviewing
Schedule enough time for each interview so that you are not rushed
Ensure that you are not interrupted during the interviews
Prepare your questions beforehand so that you can ask similar questions to
all applicants as this make comparison easier and lessens the possibility of
Review the applicant‘s resume or application form before each interview.
Addressing these details will reassure the applicant that you are taking the
interview process seriously and that the applicant matters as an individual. It
will also enhance the image of your business.
Predicting Future Job Performance
Behavioural questions probe for specific examples of an applicant‘s
behaviour in past situations which are similar to situations that will be found
in the new job. The applicant‘s answers can help you to assess how an
applicant will perform on the job.
Using your job description, create question which relate to the job‘s key
Consider how you want the employee to perform these duties so that you
can determine the behaviours that you want the employee to display on the
Devise questions which focus on specific work-related situations to find out
whether the applicant has displayed these desired behaviours.
The applicant‘s answers need to include an example of a specific work-
related situation, the applicant‘s action in that situation and the outcome of
Where the applicant has not been confronted by situations similar to those
found in the new job, the questions can be formulated as situational
questions, where the applicant is asked how they think that they would
respond in certain situations.
Examples of behavioural questions
A shop assistant: tell me about a time when you had to deal with an angry
What did you do? What was the result?
A receptionist: give me an example of a time when you had to deal with a
number of tasks at once. How did you do it? What was the outcome?
A team player: tell me about a time when you had to deal with conflict in a
team environment. How did you deal with it? What was the result?
What other questions should I ask?
There are a number of other questions you might ask to gain a better
understanding of the applicant‘s personality , skills and experiences
How would you describe your personality?
What do you consider to be your greatest achievement?
What are your strengths/weaknesses?
How have you tried to develop your skills?
Give me an example of your ability to manage or supervise others?
What makes this job appealing to you?
What are you looking for in a business?
What is your long-term career objective?
What did you like/dislike about your last job?
Interview Preparation Form
To prepare for a hiring interview, review the job profile and a make a list of
the key responsibilities and tasks of the job, associated training and/or
experience, and personal attributes required to do the job well. For each of
the areas you need to explore with the candidate, prepare several
questions in advance. After the interview, rte the candidate in each of the
key areas in the Decision Making Matrix
Key Responsibilities and Tasks Associated Training and/or Experience
Personal Attributes to Look for:
Key Areas to Explore Questions to Ask Notes
Skills and 1.
Previous Appraisal 1.
or Rating 2.
Conducting The Interview
If the interview is conducted appropriately, you will be able to assess which
applicant has the knowledge and skills required to do the job. Here are some
handy hints to assist you. Who can work under minimal supervision.
How do I start the interview?
Welcome each applicant warmly and introduce yourself and the other
interviewer. Try to establish rapport with the applicant and create a friendly
atmosphere. This may be done by referring to the person‘s interests or
background. Wait until the applicant appears relaxed before moving on to the
main part of the interview.
Begin by outlining the approach that you will take to the interview. Ask the
applicant‘s permission to take notes. This will help you to review your opinion
more objectively and not rely on your memory to assess the applicant‘s
Help the applicant to relax by starting with questions that can be easily
answered, for example, ―Perhaps you could give me a brief outline of your
Ask one question at a time
Use simple and appropriate words to make the questions easy to understand
Use open-ended questions which allow applicants to express themselves
Avoid leading questions which imply the correct answer
Let the applicant do most of the talking and listen carefully to the applicant‘s
Respond to the applicant‘s answer with interest to show that you are paying
If answers are vague or avoid the question, probe the more specific and
Probe for details where information seems inconsistent or unfavourable as
this will help applicants to clarify points, often to their advantage.
Keep the conversation under control and don‘t let answers become long-
Ask to see any qualifications, certificates, special licences or other essentials
required for the position.
What do I need to know?
By the end of the interview you should be able to assess:
Whether the applicant has the knowledge required to do the job based on
answers to technical questions or examples of previous work
Whether the applicant is able to do the job by asking questions related to the
applicant‘s results and achievements in previous positions
Reasons for any gaps in work history
The applicant‘s strengths and weaknesses, including how the applicant has
dealt with any mentioned weakness.
Look for negative factors such as undue criticism of former employers or
frequent changes in jobs. Avoid unfavourable reactions to answers and
refrain from making criticisms and jumping to conclusions. Fear of rejection
may lead to the applicant providing answers, which will please the
interviewer rather than honest information.
What information do I give to the applicant?
Give a detailed description of the job, based on your job description. Outline
the current tasks and explain how the role will develop in the future. Cover
the duties, reporting relationships and conditions of employment.
Encourage questions and take the time to ensure that the applicant fully
understands the job requirements.
As good applicants are in short supply, you will need to promote the benefits
of the job to attract the right person. This includes your business, location,
fringe benefits, training and opportunities for career development. The best
applicants want a job that satisfies his or her needs, not just financial
How do I close the interview?
Ask whether there are any further questions. Give the applicant the
opportunity to express interest in the position. explain whether you intend to
hold a further round of interviews. Advise when the applicant can expect to
be notified about the outcome of the interview.
Their references are to be checked, ask the applicant whether they have any
objections and ensure that the applicant has nominated referees. Close the
interview in a decisive and friendly manner and see the applicant out.
APPLICATION FOR EMPLOYMENT
We consider applicants without regard to race, colour, creed, ancestry,
origin, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, family status, record of
offences, handicap, or other protected status.
LAST NAME FIRST NAME OTHER NAME
CITY STATE POSTAL CODE
HOME TELEPHONE BUSINESS TELEHONE
Area Code ( ) Area Code ( )
Mobile: ARE YOU EMPLOYED NOW?
ARE YOU PREVIOUS EMPLOYMENT
WHEN COULD DO YOU HAVE A RELIABLE MEANS OF
YOU START TRANSPORTATION TO GET TO WORK?
HAVE YOU EVER BEEN CONVICTED OF A CRIMINAL OFFENCE FOR
WHICH A PARDON WAS NOT BEEN GRANTED?
Education levels achieved and degrees obtained are subject to
verification if an offer of employment is extended.
WORK HISTORY (LIST IN ORDER STARTING WITH YOUR PRESENT OR LAST JOB)
PRESENT OR LAST ADDRESS
TYPE OF BUSINESS
YOUR JOB TITLE Employed from (M/Yr)
NAME AND TITLE OF REASON FOR LEAVING
PLEASE READ CAREFULLY
The foregoing statement is correct to the best of my knowledge. I understand
that any misrepresentation may disqualify me from employment or be cause
for my dismissal. If hired, I agree to abide all my rules and regulations of
Company, including serving an initial probationary period.
After The Interview
Immediately after each interview, review your notes and compare them to
your assessment criteria. Consider dress, overall presentation, personality,
attitude and other relevant factors. Rate the applicant‘s performance on a
scale of one to ten.
Review these grades once you have completed the initial round of interviews
as this will make your selection more objective.
EMPLOYMENT INTERVIEW EVALUATION
RATING SCALE (1 = very good 3 = good 5 = very poor)
QUALIFICATIONS BASED ON JOB APPLICATION./RESUME ( )
Job History Gaps?
Evidence of Skills Knowledge Required
APPLICANT INTEREST ( )
Is Work Schedule Agreeable?
When Can Applicant Start?
APPLICANT SKILL AND KNOWLEDGE
Job experience? ( )
APPLICANT CAN ADAPT TO WORK ENVIRONMENT ( )
Agreement To Work Rules, Practices, etc.?
Good Work Habits In Previous Job?
SPECIALS AREAS TO BE CONSIDERED ( )
OVERALL INTERVIEW EVALUATION
Making A Job Offer
When you make the job offer, it will be the first contact your prospective
employee will have with your business. It is essential that this contact gives
the employee a favourable impression. It is also your first opportunity to
ensure that your new employee understands what will be expected of him or
Do I need to do a reference check?
A reference check will help you to verify the facts given at the interview and
gather more information about the applicant‘s performance and behaviour at
While applicants will usually be able to supply favourable written references,
it is preferable to talk to referees directly. Request a number of referees to
obtain a range of perspectives and ask permission to contact them.
Some applicants may be unwilling to nominate current supervisors as
referees for valid reasons. If this is the case, discuss the matter with the
applicant and seek alternative referees. These could include previous
supervisors, suppliers, clients or customers. Prepare a list of question to ask
each referee so that you can compare responses.
Reassure referees of confidentiality and keep accurate and objective records
of the telephone conversations.
Questions to ask during a reference check
Ask for information about:
Experience gained including dates of employment, promotions and training
actual job title, responsibilities and duties.
Skills and abilities
Relationship with supervisors, peers, and subordinates
Performance, attitude and motivation
Strengths and weaknesses
Reason for leaving and whether the referee would rehire
Anything else you should know about the applicant in making an employment
Often, the information you collect will either consolidate your decision or
eliminate the applicant from contention.
However, some employers refuse to give reference checks and will only
confirm the applicant‘s dates of employment and the position held.
How do I make the hiring decision?
After carefully assessing the information you have gathered against each of
the selection criteria, you are ready to make your decision. To decide as
objectively as possible, keep in mind your job description and ideal applicant
profile. Your aim is to match the applicant to the job.
Review all information, including the application or resume, notes made
during the interview, reference checks and any other documentation. If
appropriate, involve the new employee‘s supervisor in making the final
The time taken to make this decision will vary from job to job. However,
allowing the decision to ―drag on‖ generates a poor impression of your
business and may give preferred applicants time to accept other job offers.
Do I need to make an offer in writing?
You can make an offer of employment over the telephone, but always
confirm your offer in writing. This forms the basis of the new employee‘s
contract of employment. The successful applicant should accept your offer by
signing a copy of the letter of appointment and returning it to you before
What should a letter of appointment state?
Details of the position
Award coverage, if applicable and a summary of the award conditions
Wages or salary and any other benefits
Commencement date and, if the job is for a fixed term, the finishing date
Any special terms or conditions of employment, such as dress requirements
The length of any probationary period to ensure that the probation is agreed
to and signed by the employee
Who to contact when reporting to work
The letter should be friendly, welcoming and easy to understand.
Should I include a probational period?
A probationary period can help to eliminate potential dismissal problems if
the employee is not suited to the job. A probationary period allows you to
assess the employee‘s performance and personality on the job.
To maximise the effectiveness of the probationary period, review the
employee‘s performance with the employee both during and at the end of the
Can I include a trial period?
You can have a ―trial period‖ provided that the person is paid for any work
they do. It is against the law to have a trial period without paying the person
for any work they do.
The trial period should not last longer than one or two periods and you
should explain the prospective employee exactly what behaviour and skills
you will be looking for. Also, tell them how long the trial period will last and
when you will give them a decision.
SAMPLE RESUME ACKNOWLEDGMENT LETTERS
Thank you for submitting your resume to XYZ Corporation. A representative
will review it immediately and notify you of an interest to further this process.
Thank you for your interest in XYZ Corporation.
XYZ Corporation Staffing
Thank you for your interest in the job we have posted. We have received
your resume and have forwarded it to the appropriate hiring manager. He or
she will be in contact with you if your qualifications meet the position needs.
In the meantime, you can look up other opportunities in your field at
Kind Regards. XYZ Corp. Staffing.
What about unsuccessful applicants?
Don‘t forget to write to unsuccessful applicants thanking them for their
application and remember to return any original documents they have
provided. This is a basic courtesy plus good public relations.
You can use a standard letter to notify all unsuccessful applicants. An
example is shown below:
SAMPLE REJECTION LETTER
Dear (first name)
Thank you for your recent application for the position of (job)
We received a large number of applications for the position and the overall
standard was very high. After careful consideration, we regret to advise you
that your application has not been successful on this occasion.
However, we are happy to keep your application on file, should a suitable
position arise in the near future.
Thank you for your interest in the position and we wish you every success in
Yours sincerely (sign the letter personally)
CHECK CHART FOR NEW EMPLOYEES
OBTAIN FULL COMPLETED, SIGNED APPLICATION FORM
VERIFY AND/OR RECORD THE FOLLOWING EMPLOYEE DATA:
Full name and address……………………………………………….
Date of Birth………………………………………………………
Who to notify in emergencies and telephone number……………
ASSIGN EMPLOYEE NUMBER AND ISSUE IDENTIFICATION CARD
OBTAIN COMPLETED AND SIGNED Tax Declaration FORM
OBTAIN COMPLETEDENROLLMENT FORMS FOR EMPLOYEE BENEFIT
PROGRAMS INCLUDING BENEFICIARIES WHERE NECESSARY
ISSUE AND OBTAIN SIGNED RECEIPT (if appropriate)
Safety policy (Obtain signature for receipt thereof)…………………
REVIEW AND/OR DESCRIBE:
Method of paying wages (when and where)………………………….
Available employee benefits and claim procedures………………….
Safety policy and procedures…………………………………………
Organisation behaviour standards……………………………………
Method of resolving conflicts…………………………………………
Other important organisation policies/procedures…………………….
Managing poor performance?
This section covers two essential aspects of managing poor performance:
identifying the problem and assisting an employee who is not doing well.
There is no easy answer to rectifying poor performance but if you can identify
the problem you are then much better placed to solve it.
Why do employees sometimes perform poorly?
There can be many reasons why an employee may be performing badly,
both personal or work-related. It may be surprising to realise that these
reasons usually concern factors related to the design of an employee‘s job
and the tasks they are required to perform. As an employer, this is good
news because you can usually provide the solution quickly and simply.
Some commonly occurring causes of poor performance can be one, or a mix,
of the following:
your employee doesn‘t know what to do – meaning there are unclear or
misunderstood expectations about goals and standards (or no standards
have been set)
the job is poorly designed so there is a mismatch between your employee‘s
capabilities and the job he or she is required to do
your employee doesn‘t know how well or badly they are doing because there
is no counselling or feedback on their performance
your employee does not have the knowledge or the skills to do the job
expected of them eg. A new recruit, change of duties, a new task etc
lack of personal motivation, low morale in the workplace and/or poor work
your employee may have personal problems such as stress, family problems,
health problems or substance abuse problems such as drugs, or alcohol.
Identifying the problem
The following performance list should assist in identifying what problems are
affecting your employee and what to do about them.
They do not know why they should do it
It is important for employees to know WHY they are doing a task and what
they are being paid to do. If they do not clearly understand the answers to
both questions, you might face a poor performance issue.
Before you put people to work, let them know why they should do the things
you pay them to do.
They do not know how to do it.
Don‘t assume what an employee knows without checking first. If you want
someone to do something ask them to describe what it is they are doing or
give them a chance to demonstrate it
They do not know what they are supposed to do
Some employees may have an unclear or poor understanding of the specific
tasks they should be doing.
For example, they know they are supposed to do something but don‘t know
when to begin, or what the finished product looks like.
Ensure you are specific about your standards and expectations.
They think your way will not work
If an employee really thinks your way will not work, you must get them to
express that opinion so that you can deal with it before the work begins.
You need to sell your idea – simply telling them may not be effective.
They think their way is better
You need to identify this issue when assigning a task, ask your employees
for their ideas on how it will be done and seek their reasons for tackling the
They think something else is more important
Some employees simply do not understand the comparable priority of the
many tasks assigned to them or are unclear about your priorities.
The problem is not that they are not working, they are simply working on
what they think is important.
Label the work according to its priority when it is assigned, but make sure
that every task is not a first priority task.
There is no positive consequence to them for doing it
You need to deliver rewards for the performance you expect. Verbal
feedback about work well done is the least expensive method, and highly
They think they are doing it
If employees do not get timely and appropriate feedback, they will continue to
do the work the way they have always done. Employees need ongoing
information and an answer to the question ―How am I going?‖
They are rewarded for not doing it
If employees only receive attention when they are performing poorly, you
may just be reinforcing the poor performance, not eliminating it. Your
attention becomes the rewarding consequence.
They are punished for doing what they are supposed
For example, if an employee makes suggestions at meetings and is given
extra projects to carry out the suggestions, they will probably stop making
To reduce this risk, remove the punishment or provide a reward to balance
They anticipate a negative consequence for doing it
It is important that people understand the ground rules for operating – that it
is OK to have opinions, questioning and feedback are encouraged.
There is no negative consequence to them for poor
Failure to take appropriate action to correct performance problems sends a
message that poor performance is tolerated.
Obstacles beyond control
There may be obstacles due to lack of resources or conflicting directions.
Listen, get involved and investigate.
Their personal limits prevent them from performing
Many people fail to perform because they were not taught how to do it.
Listening and linking employees into other agencies that can help them deal
with the problems is a key role you can perform.
No one could do it – it’s unrealistic
This is a training issue. You should provide training and practice
opportunities to help them perform.
How do I solve the problem?
You can‘t solve the problem by yourself. It is something you and your
employee must solve together. The first step is to talk to your employee and
get his or her agreement that a problem exists. This may involve some
discussion and persuasion on your part. Then once you both have agreed on
what the problem is, you can both discuss strategies to solve the problem. If
you don‘t adopt this method of solving the problem together, your employee
will probably feel ―blamed‖ or ―chastised‖. If your employee feels he or she is
being blamed, then it likely poor performance problems will continue.
How do I initiate discussions about my employee’s
You should have some private discussions with your employee about the
problem. It should be in a comfortable, non-threatening environment and take
place at a time when neither of you will be interrupted.
Salon Supervision and Motivation
Supervising people is both a skill and an art. It is a skill because the basic
theories about motivation, communication and conflict resolution,
leadership, performance counselling and so can be learned. The art is
how you adopt and adapt this knowledge and put it into practice in your
own unique way.
Management Responsibilities (pertaining to human
Every business, regardless of its size, must look after its most precious
resource: people. Human resources are there to ensure that the
organisations human resources are managed and cared for in the best
possible way. Here are just a few human resource responsibilities:
Forecasting future staffing needs
Induct new staff
Handling redundancies, retirements and terminations
Implement and monitor work methods and procedures
Conditions of employment
Equal Opportunity development
Develop and maintain staff rosters
Maintain records of work done as required by salon management
maintain personnel records of staff (including daily attendance records)
Appraise staff performance against agreed criteria
Resolve disputes between team members
Provide advice to management as necessary
Advise staff on matters relating to clients and services
Inform employees about salon activities
monitor, review and improve work methods where necessary
Human resource management should aim to develop policies regarding
all of these matters. Policies provide guidelines for dealing with
employees at all levels. They outline how matters affecting employees of
the business should be handled.
(pertaining to salon procedures and facilities)
Salon supervision also relates to salon procedures and facilities. These
areas are covered in other modules that you have completed.
Manage quality control (8338Q)
Stock management (8338J)
Promote and implement salon health and safety policy including regular
inspection of salon fittings and equipment for faults and required repairs
Supervise and participate in promotional activities (8338H)
INDUCTING NEW STAFF
An employee who "starts off on the right foot" and who is kept on track
through systematic job training is likely to become a valued contributor to
your business‘s success. Since you have gone to the trouble of recruiting
and selecting an employee, it is your responsibility as a supervisor to
ensure that each new recruit becomes the able staff member you need as
quickly and efficiently as possible. This is why induction and training are
What is induction?
Good induction is more than just introducing a new employee to
his or her job and work mates. It is the process by which you
help a new employee into a job, a work team and an
organisation as smoothly as possible. It involves making a
person feel welcome and important. It is a way helping people
find their feet. It means anticipating all the questions which a
new person might want to know the answers to when they
would know who to ask or if they don't feel confident enough to
Why is induction important?
People are an organisation's most valuable resource and they deserve to
be carefully introduced to their new jobs. At some time during the first
days of employment, new recruits need to be told something about
organisation's history, what its products or services are, its employment
benefits and activities, the way the organisation is structured and the how
the new recruit will fit in, rules and regulations and any special duties and
responsibilities involved in the job.
Just as a new employee is often employed on a probation or trial,
employers are also on trial. New employees will determine within the first
few weeks whether the job and the organisation live up to expectations. If
not, they will soon seek other employment that meets their expectations.
Inducting and training employees
Most employees who leave their jobs do so in the first three months.
Studies have shown that a large proportion of them do so because of poor
induction rather than poor selection. Attitudes and expectations are
shaped during the early days, as a good supervisor, it is your
responsibility to see that induction training is properly carried out for each,
employee who joins your business. Some of the advantages that come
from good induction are listed below.
Good induction helps give new employees a favourable impression of the
organisation and contributes to their overall enthusiasm for their new jobs.
Thus it can be an important factor not only in reducing labour turnover and
employee dissatisfaction but also in developing good morale.
Induction gives you, the supervisor, the opportunity to establish a good
working relationship with the new person and lets you explain the person's
job in relation to others in the organisation. Company rules and
regulations can be explained carefully, thereby minimising subsequent
A good induction helps remove the uncertainty that everyone has in going
to a new place of employment. As you probably remember from your own
experience, the first few days in new surroundings are often anxious ones.
Induction can also reduce the time spent ineffectively by new employees
by providing a sensible program to follow during the first few days on the
job. Neither too much nor too little, both of which can be frustrating and
destroy confidence will be attempted if a well thought-out induction
program is followed.
Induction to a business should include the following:
General background information about the organisation - its history,
structure, products, competitors, promotion opportunities, scope to
acquire new skills
Introduction to lines of communication, both formal and informal
General industry information
Information on the overall working environment of the business
Details of relevant awards and agreements, systems of pay,
Sources of advice and assistance within the organisation
Organisation policy on smoking, alcohol, misconduct, holidays, what to do
if you're injured, late or ill
A tour of the business- other departments, main functional areas
Health and safety requirements of the job and the department
Hours of work, breaks, finishing time
Time-keeping and recording procedures need
Security systems; for example, fire drills, fire warden, location of
Amenities - washrooms, lockers, canteen, cafe bar, car park
The work layout
Review of job description
Introduction to work mates
Outline of training to be given
Pay - how and when the employee is paid, pay rates, deductions
Everything about the employee's job - what tools, equipment and supplies
CHECK CHART FOR EMPLOYEE ORIENTATION
Tour of Facilities and Department…………………………………….
Introduce to co-workers………………………………………………..
Show location of:
First aid stations…………………………………….
Wash rooms………………………………………… .
Time Clocks, if any……………………………….…
DAY 2 ONWARDS
Review important company policy/practices
Wage increase practices……………………………
Review timing of and procedures for lunch and rest periods……….
Issue and/or review:
List of co-workers‘ names and job titles……….…
Departmental Safety Rules………………………..
Personal protective safety devices………………..
Start job training (emphasise safety aspects)…..
Training and development opportunities…………
Special departmental procedures, if any…………
Employee benefit programs……………………….
Benefit claims procedures…………………………
Briefly review employee‘s progress……………………….
Discuss and resolve any employee concerns……………
Build relationship of trust and cooperation…………….…
Completed by __________________________Date ___________________
Like it or not, as a supervisor, you will be called on to evaluate
the performance of employees for various reasons. It may be
for a promotion, to identify training and development needs, for
a pay increase or even for retrenchments.
How should you make these appraisals?
When you use a formalised system of appraisal, you are being fair and
consistent as well as showing your interest in each employee's training
and development. Using a formal approach, you observe a person‘s work
behaviour and skills, discuss these with the employee! Through an
appraisal interview and record these observations along with other
information such as an assessment of potential for future promotions and
areas for further training and development. So important is this evaluation
of employees that most major organisations now regularly conduct some
formal system of employee performance appraisal.
What is a performance appraisal?
A performance appraisal consists of a systematic evaluation employee's
work performance and potential. Typical areas of ass include:
quality/ accuracy of work
quantity of output
ability to make decisions
technical and job-related skills
attendance and punctuality
ability to work as a member of a team
future potential/ promotability
ability to work in other areas
training and development needs
How to appraise employees' performance
These assessment areas will differ from organisation to organisation and
from job to job, according to the requirements of the job, the department
and the organisation.
Performance appraisals are made on an annual or six-monthly basis or,
monthly or even weekly. They should be carried out by an employee's
immediate supervisor and in many organisations they are reviewed by the
What is the purpose of a performance appraisal?
The purpose of a performance appraisal is to discuss performance and
plan for the future - not punish for mistakes, make someone feel bad or
provide a "short, sharp kick in the pants". Unfortunately, too many
performance appraisals end up this way.
Performance appraisals should be two-way discussions. They provide a
formal arena for each employee to sit down and discuss their job with their
supervisor. In this way, communication channels are opened and working
relationships strengthened. Each has a chance to discuss how they see
the employee's job and the supervisor's job in relation to it. This ensures
that both are "speaking the same language" and holding the same
realistic expectations. It also provides a chance to "get things out in the
open" and discuss any small but nagging doubts, questions or irritants.
Performance appraisals also provide a review function, where employee
and supervisor sit down and take a serious look at the previous period
and job performance. What was done particularly well? What needs
improving? What skills or behaviours need strengthening? What mistakes
were made and what can be learned from them? This review function also
gives supervisors an ideal opportunity to recognise good work and thus
increase an employee's motivation.
And perhaps even more important, performance appraisals provide a
chance to look towards and plan for the future. What training will the
employee benefit from? What new goals or targets will be worked
towards? What additional or delegated duties would provide increased job
development or job satisfaction? Where would the employee like to see
the job going? Their career? What other jobs in the organisation interest
them? This is the supervisor's golden opportunity to ensure that the
employee is dear about future job performance requirements and is
motivated to work towards them.
Conducting An Appraisal Interview
Here is a summary of points to consider when conducting an appraisal
What do you need to know from the employee?
Attitudes and feelings about their job
Expectations of job, work, rewards
Views on any job changes
Self assessment of performance
Main problems faced
How can you be of more help as a supervisor
What does the employee want to know from you?
Clarification, job targets, responsibilities
Objectives, standards, targets
Recognition of good work
Constructive criticism and help with problem areas.
Ideally what you should agree together.
Targets for the next review period
Action plan for future development
Any training needs
How you will help, what support you will provide
An overall assessment of performance
It is important to keep any promises or agreements you have made during
Supervisors need to ensure that a job gets done. To do this well, they
need to promote a climate in which people can be become motivated. To
learn how to motivate others we need to understand something about
what makes people tick. There are three relevant questions to motivation.
What are peoples basic needs?
What do they need to perform their work?
What happens if these needs aren‘t met?
How do you get others to work for you?
Motivation comes from within, your job as a supervisor is to get workers to
do things in the best interests of your business because they want to do
them. Successful supervisors are people who can provide their
employees with the opportunity to achieve personal goals and satisfy their
own needs while at the same time gratifying the organisations needs - that
is, getting the job done.
Research clearly indicates that most employees want their motivation
needs met at work. Basically most people want the following things:
Clear standards and objectives
Adequate job training
Feedback on performance
Opportunities for advancement
Being treated as a worthwhile individual
Safe and healthy working conditions
What can you do to motivate employees?
Treat employees as individuals- everyone likes to be treated as an
individual not a number. Be genuinely interested in your employees. They
are individuals with feelings and opinions. Take the time to talk through
ideas with them.
Make the work interesting- Many jobs are boring. As a consequence,
employees sometimes lack interest and motivation. Lack of job interest
can lead to all sorts of problems. Providing variety, interest and challenge
can be difficult but the benefits from increased motivation are great.
Provide growth opportunities- The opportunity to grow will motivate many
an employee. It may mean letting the employee learn a more difficult job,
encouraging someone to go to night classes or delegating some of your
tasks to give a person a chance to broaden their knowledge and kills.
Promote participation in decision making – Everyone likes to be in on
what is happening,. This will help them to feel part of it and more loyal
towards the business. Invite employees to contribute in the decision-
making and the commitment from them will be greater.
Promote co-operation and team work- knowing that they belong and are
vital members of the team does much to help satisfy employee needs.
The basic mateship system encourages one person to help another. This
sort of teamwork needs to be promoted in any workplace where there are
groups of employees.
Seek and give feedback – talking openly and honestly with your staff
promotes feelings of trust and confidence. Give feedback about how they
are doing, the progress they are making and any problems that are
cropping up. Ask them to evaluate your progress.
Listen to your staff – Try to understand what they are saying and make
constructive comments about their ideas. Being listened to makes people
feel important and also more willing to listen to what you have to say.
Be sincere with praise – Genuine praise and recognition for a job well
done are always appreciated. Be sure to keep praise justified. An
employee knows the difference between a good job and a mediocre one.
Resolve conflict- with good judgement, understanding and openness,
conflicts can be resolved. Focus on solving the conflict to everyone‘s
Set a good example – Don‘t ask anyone to do something you wouldn‘t do
yourself. Insist that the staff follow the rules as you do.
Motivating means getting people to do something because they want to
do it. It is a major part of a supervisor's job. We have seen that motivation
comes from within and is based on certain needs being met, or rewards
obtained, in accordance with a person's expectations. So, in a sense,
supervisors cannot motivate anyone. What they can do, however, is
provide the conditions or the environment in which motivation can take
If you want your staff to be motivated to do that little bit extra, to go
beyond the bounds of their job contracts, you will need to provide
something in return. You will need to treat each person as an individual.
You will need to get to know each member of your staff. You will need to
ensure that each person clearly understands the goals and standards
your requirements. You will need to open up channels of communication
and work out, from the things people say and do, what their individual
needs and wants are.
Then you can try and provide them with the means to satisfy their needs
and show them that the rewards they are looking for are attainable
through good job performance. You will need to match the job to the
individual as much as possible. When work provides the opportunity for
people to satisfy their needs, they will be motivated.
To ensure that all expenses are covered as well as profit made, it is
important to cost all of the services that you carry out in your salon. To
determine a cost for a service you need to take the following things into
Materials (retail prices for materials used)
Labour (use hourly rate)
When considering service costing, profit margins and or increase in
prices, ask yourself the following questions
Can the service provided by the salon be improved upon or added to so
that takings are increased?
Is the buying and use of stock as efficient as it could be?
Can expenses be trimmed without sacrificing efficiency?
Adjusting Work Practices
Look at work practices to see if efficiency can be improved. Consider the
Who does the work?
How is it done?
Why is it done at that time?
Where is it done?
Could the work be done by anyone else?
Could the work be done in other ways?
Could the work be done at another time?
Could the work be done in any other place?
Determine any changes in work procedures if indicated by evaluation of
work procedures. Provide your staff with training in changed work
methods and finally test the new procedures and processes that are in
Client Relations For Salon Managers
In today‘s volatile economy, providing excellent customer service can be the
critical difference in your business‘s success.
Customer service involves all the activities your business and your employees
conduct or perform to satisfy customers.
The importance of customer service
Recall how you felt last time you had poor service. Describe the situation, what
was said and how you felt. If you decided never to shop there again, what do you
think it cost that company not to satisfy you and keep you as a customer?
Poor customer service is expensive. Good customer service is invaluable, and
you can achieve in your company. As an employer you need to develop a
customer service system and design and implement customer retention
programs that will maintain customer loyalty, thereby increasing the profitability
that your customers will refer new buyers to your business.
Businesses that provide superior customer service can charge more, enjoy
greater profits, and increase their market share.
Activity: Write down a few reasons you think that people might stop doing
business with you. After you write down a reason, describe what you could do to
correct the problem.
Reasons that customers stop coming to you include:
3% move away
5% seek alternatives or develop other business relationships
9% begin doing business with the competition
14% are dissatisfied with the product or service
68% are upset with the treatment they have received
If you look at these percentages, you will realise that you have 96% control over
the reasons why customers stop doing business with you.
Never take a customer for granted. Be grateful they have decided to do business
with you and not a competitor. Work as hard as you possibly can to deliver more
than they expect, and you will go a long way toward retaining your customers.
Retention Through Customer Service Marketing
Through good public relations you are able to introduce new clients to your salon
as well as retaining those clients that you have. Public relations can be described
as the advertising or promotion of the professional image of the salon without
Your business can go beyond customer service, increase customer retention and
enhance marketing efforts all at the same time.
Here are 6 customer retention policies that are also good marketing strategies for
1. Frequent buyer program
2. Frequent referral programs
3. Thank you cards
4. Newsletters / Personal letters
5. Telephone recalls
6. Customer special events (e.g. birthdays)
7. Lectures / appearances
Your salon could be featured in the newspaper or feature columns of fashion
magazines, beauty articles or community papers. Maybe your salon could offer it
services to worthwhile community projects, or maybe it has been involved in local
fashion parades etc.
Newsletters are a great way to keep customers informed of what is going on in
your business. You can tell them whatever information you need them to know. It
is a good way to introduce new services and special events that you have
News stories could cover new fashions, use of the latest technology, acquisitions
of new business, moving place of business, promotions or winning an award of
When preparing news stories, follow accepted simple rules:
Sentences no longer than three lines
Paragraphs no longer than three sentences
Each article approximately 150 words in length
Include pictures or photographs
Include the salon name, address and phone number
Lectures / Appearances
Nail or beauty care discussions for various target groups eg, schools, clubs and
Promotion of Professional Image
This could be described as the first impression that you present to your clients.
The provision of first class nail services in hygienic surroundings by highly skilled
operators who take pride in their work and interest in their clients.
The nail artist and the salon need to cultivate a sense of rapport with the client
through salon image and first impressions. You can do this through:
appearance of staff
staff attention to clients
efficiency of staff interaction
follow through( recommendation of home care products)
effective use of the telephone
efficient use of appointment book
use of effective communication skills
Offering your customers value added service means giving the customer more
than they expect.
An example of a value added service is the concept of the ‗bakers dozen‘, you
pay for 12 bread rolls and receive 13. This is their attempt to compete by
providing value added service. Sometimes you can charge more for value-added
service, because customers will pay the added price just to receive quality
What types of service enhancements can you provide?. List your service
enhancements and why they would interest your customers.. Be specific when
you list the benefits, as these become excellent marketing and advertising
Current Service Service Enhancement Benefit
Frequent Buyer program
Frequent buyer programs are similar to airline frequent flyer programs. You are
rewarding those customers who buy from you regularly. When designing a
frequent flyers program for your salon be sure that it is easy for all your regular
customers to benefit.
Activity: List the services that your salon offers. Then write down the number of
reward points the customer will receive when she purchases each service. Hint:
give each customers 1 point for each dollar spent in the salon.
E.g.: Buff and Paint 18 points
Now you need to list your ‗rewards‘, that is the services you offer and the amount
of points required to receive this service for free.
Service Frequent Points Required
e.g. French Polish 45 points
Frequent Referral Programs
This is where your clients recommend your services and products to other friends
and colleges. Thus also known as word of mouth advertising.
A lot of your business relies on referrals. You should reward the people making
referrals to you. Your rewards help to reinforce their behaviour, thereby creating
a positive cycle and a mutually beneficial relationship.
The best way to use a frequent referral reward program is to develop it in levels.
When somebody refers more than five people, do something special for that
person. Then start the referral reward program all over again.
1 Thank you card
2 Telephone call
4 Small Gift (under $10)
5 Gift Certificate (dinner
Activity: Develop your own reward recommendations.
Thank You Cards
A simple and effective customer retention technique is writing a thank you card
and sending it to someone who has bought something from you. (If you do not
want tom write out a card to every customer , then have your cards pre printed.
Telephone recalls work well in any type of business. You can call customers a
day in advance to remind them of their appointment.. Orr if they have not been in
for some time , you can call them to see how they are doing and inform them of a
reason to come in now to do business with you.
There are five phases of service that nail artist‘s needs to consider when dealing
with effectively with customers. These are:
Smile. Use the customer‘s name. Be happy to see them. Assess the client‘s
2. Assessment of the clients needs.
Consult with the client, listen attentively and establish trust.
Tayler proposed service to the clients needs and then gain the client‘s agreement
4. Delivery of Services
Deliver the services, give the client more than they expected. In doing this it
reinforces the clients trust with you and your salon.
Seek the feedback from the client regarding their satisfaction and anticipate the
clients future needs.
Dealing With Complaints
Customers who complain feel annoyed, cheated or victimized. They also feel that
their situation is the most important in the world. Understand these feelings and
treat your customers accordingly. Dissatisfied customers tell up to 20 friends that
they are unhappy with the way you do business. However if you resolve their
problems 505-74% of these customers will do business with you again.
Here are a few tips on handling customer complaints:
First and foremost, say you are sorry for the inconvenience the customer has
experienced. A sincere apology usually defuses the customer‘s anger.
2. Urgent restatement
Restate the problem as the customer described it to you and make certain that
you fully understand what the customer means.. Let the customer know that
you will do everything possible to solve the problem.
Make certain that you communicate clearly to the customer so that they
understand that you know how they feel. Do not patronise. Use statements like
―I can see why you‘re upset‖, ― I understand how you feel‖.
Here is your chance to make points. Not only will you take immediate action to
resolve the customers complaint, you will go a step further. Tell and show
them that you will make it up to them in a special way. You may have to
provide a free gift for their troubles, or you may have to offer a service at a
discount price. Whatever you do, look at it as adding value rather than
spending extra money.
5. Follow up
Be sure to find out if your customer is satisfied. You can do this by asking a
simple question or two at the end of the recovery process. ―Have we resolved
your complaint to your satisfaction?‖ ― What else may we do for you?‖ After a
few days you may also like to send a letter.
Tips for long term Customer Retention
Call each customer by name
Listen to what each customer has to say
Be concerned about each customer as an individual
Be courteous to each customer
Be responsive to their individual needs
Know your customers personal buying histories and motivations
Take sufficient time with each customer
Involve the customers in you business. Ask for their advise.
Make customers feel important. Pay them compliments
The Customers bill of rights
The customer has a right to the following:
Professional, courteous and prompt service
Your full and undivided attention each time they choose to do business
Quality products and services
Fulfillment of their needs.
Competent, knowledgeable and well trained staff
Appreciation from you and your staff for pat and future business.
Managing Salon Safety
Each year a significant number of people die at work and many more are
severely affected by work-related injuries and disease.
Australia's performance in the protection of employees' health and safety
leaves considerable scope for improvement:
Workers' compensation records for 1996-97 show there were around
134,000 claims for work-related fatality, permanent disability or serious
temporary disability, excluding work-related disease. However, more
comprehensive data on Australian work-related injury and disease are
Historical data on fatalities due to work-related injuries indicate that
there are around 440 such deaths each year. Many of these fatal injuries are
not identified by the compensation data.
Attributable risk calculations, which have known limitations, put the
estimated number of deaths per year from occupational exposure to
hazardous substances at approximately 2,300.
In the Australian workplace there are over 15 cases of serious injury
occurring every hour, and there is at least one death per day - at a cost
equivalent to five per cent of Australia's GDP.
Poor performance on occupational health and safety places a significant
burden on the Australian economy. The direct cost in terms of workers'
compensation premium payments for 1996-97 was $4.9 billion, but the true
cost is much greater. The total cost of workplace injury and disease in 1992-
93 was estimated to be more than $20 billion. More than one million working
weeks were lost in 1996-97 due to new work-related compensated cases
reported in that year.
National OH&S Improvement Framework
The fundamental purpose of the national framework is to reduce the
incidence of work-related injury, disease and death. To achieve this we need
to establish clear national objectives and goals. The setting of OH&S
improvement targets at the national level requires more careful consideration
based on an examination of the experience of jurisdictions in setting targets
and measuring performance against them.
The National Commission sets OH&S Standards for hazards common to
many industries and workplaces across Australia. These standards do not
become law until they are adopted as regulations in each of the states and
Duty Of Care
Each State and Territory has a principal OHS Act which sets out
requirements for ensuring that workplaces are safe and healthy. These
requirements spell out the duties of different groups of people who play a
role in workplace health and safety. These requirements are known as the
Duty of Care.
Employers and employees and product manufactures all have a DUTY OF
Employers must provide a safe and healthy work healthy work
environment and a safe system of work.
Employees have a responsibility to carry out their work in as safe a
manner as possible.
Suppliers and manufacturers have a responsibility to provide safe
products as well as full and accurate information about the materials
materials (MSD Sheets) and equipment they provide to workplaces.
Benefits of a proactive approach include:
Improves productivity and customer service.
Investing energy into creating health and safety standards and a safe
working environment gives your employees and customers confidence that
your business is responsible and capable and that you CARE about them.
Improves your overall business operating systems.
When you start to examine job tasks to identify and control hazards you are
indirectly improving your business processes as you will also have the
opportunity to examine whether tasks are being performed with the most
efficient use of time and resources.
Improves your overall business image.
Businesses underestimate the benefits of promoting good health and safety
standards. For example your products/services displaying information
regarding the extra efforts your company has taken to ensure a safer
Protects your business profits.
Maintaining a safer and healthier workplace will save you the costs
associated with work related injury/illness.
OH&S LAWS EXPLAINED
HAZARDS AND SOLUTIONS
What is a hazard?
A hazard is something that has the potential to cause harm. This harm can
effect people, property and processes as follows:
People - Injury, illness, death, psychological trauma;
Property - Damage, contamination, theft and wastage;
Processes - Work disruption and interruption to production.
HAZARDS AND SOLUTIONS
Conducting a Risk Assessment
The are three essential steps which you should take to make sure that
hazards in your workplace are eliminated or controlled:
1. Hazard Identification
Methods for identifying hazards in your workplace include:
History of injury and illness
Examine the types of injuries and illnesses that are occurring in the
workplace by asking your employees and reading through first aid reports
and previous compensation claims.
Job Safety Checks
Observing a job from start to finish and recording its steps gives you the
opportunity to assess each step for potential hazards that may have been
overlooked in the past..
Ask your employees about health and safety concerns.
This audit would usually be conducted by external safety consultants and
would result in a written report with recommendations for improvement.
Insurance companies can also conduct safety audits prior to renewal of your
2. Risk Assessment
Once hazards have been identified you need to assess the risk. This is the
likelihood of an injury or illness occurring from exposure to the hazard. When
assessing risk there are several factors that should be taken into account.
These factors include:
Intensity of the exposure.
For example, the intensity, , frequency and duration of exposure to the suns
harmful rays are factors when determining the risk of skin cancer.
Severity can be classified as:
Minor injury with no time off work.
An injury/illness resulting in time off work.
An injury/illness causing a permanent disability or loss of body part or
An injury /illness that could cause death.
The overall purpose of the assessment is to determine priorities in risk
3. Risk Control
Once the hazard has been assessed control options for eliminating or
reducing the risk of exposure to the hazard must be considered
A hazardous substance is any substance that has the potential to harm the
health of people.
What Can You Do?
Identify which chemicals are hazardous by:
Checking the Label - if there are safety and risk warnings on the
container/label then the chemical has the potential to be harmful if not used
correctly. All unlabelled chemicals are a risk and should be carefully
disposed of, contact your local council about chemical disposal.
Information - Contact the chemical supplier you obtained the
chemical from and ask them to supply you with a material safety data sheet
A MSDS is a chemical information sheet that must provide information about
the health and safety effects of the chemical and safety precautions for its
correct use and storage. It should also include first aid requirements.
The supplier has a legal obligation to provide you with this information.
Ensure that all employees who are using the chemical have access to the
MSDS and receive training in its hazards and safe use.
Dangerous Goods legislation exists in all jurisdictions in Australia.
Compliance is required with regard to the storage, handling, packaging and
transportation of these goods in accordance with the National Code of
Practice for the Transportation of Dangerous Goods by Rail or Road. (This is
available from Australian Government bookstores.)
How do you know if a chemical is classified as a Dangerous Good?
Dangerous Goods will have an identifier on their label which is in the shape
of a diamond. The diamond will have a Class number of 1 to 9.
What is Occupational Overuse Syndrome?
Occupational Overuse Syndrome (OOS) is also known as Repetition Strain
Injury (RSI). It is a collective term for a range of conditions characterised by
discomfort or persistent pain in muscles, tendons and other soft tissues in
the back, neck, shoulder, elbows, wrists, hands or fingers.
Who can it affect?
OOS may affect workers in any occupation, particularly those doing tasks
Repetitive or forceful movement of both arms;
Maintenance of constrained or awkward postures.
HAZARDS In the workplace
The working environment includes the atmosphere, temperature and comfort,
lighting, air quality, noise and the general surroundings. When any one of these
working conditions is substandard they can affect health and safety.
A brief overview of hazards relating to lighting and temperature and comfort follows.
Some other information on the general working environment is provided in Safe
Premises/Buildings in the Getting Started with OHS section.
There is also a checklist for identifying hazards in the working environment.
There must be levels of lighting sufficient for the work areas and tasks being
performed. Too much and too little light
can lead to: Eye strain;
Temperature and Comfort
Uncomfortably warm or cold work environments can effect the comfort,
concentration and productivity of employees. Factors which contribute to
Level of activity;
Temperature controls can range from fans and blowers to air conditioning
and heating systems. Optimal temperature is between 21 to 24 degrees
Celsius. Environments that have extreme temperatures can harm health and
safety generally and should be assessed so that adequate controls can be
GETTING STARTED WITH OHS
Safe work procedures
Safe Work Procedures can provide a written record of how a job is to be
performed and what hazard control methods are in place.
What is a Safe Work Procedure?
A Safe Work Procedure is a written work instruction of how a job task should
be conducted from start to finish. A safe work procedure should list:
A breakdown of the task into steps;
Controls to prevent injury and/or persons coming in contact with
Tools and equipment required;
Information and training required.
Why do you need them?
To use as a basis for training employees/contractors;
They can be used as a basis when checking that existing hazard
controls are working.
How are they developed?
A Safe Work Procedure should be born out of a Job Safety Check. The Job
Safety Check outlined below is based on the principles of risk identification,
assessment and risk control.
A Job Safety Check
There are five steps in the process of carrying out a Job Safety Check. They
Step 1. Observe.
Step 2. Record the sequence of basic job steps.
Step 3. Assess potential failures of each step with the worker.
Step 4. Suggest ways of eliminating the hazards.
Step 5. Make an efficiency check with another worker.
Before conducting the Job Safety Check
Jobs that should be subject to a Job Safety Check are those with high risk
tasks. That is jobs with a history of injuries/accidents or with the potential to
cause the most serious injuries. Choose the right employee to observe. This
should be an employee with a good hands on experience and knowledge of
job tasks being observed. You may need to observe more than one
employee where the work is broken into different shifts.
How to record the sequence of basic job steps
Here is an example of the breakdown for the job of changing a flat tyre on a
1. Position the car and set brakes.
2. Block wheel.
3. Remove spare tyre and position it near by.
4. Position car jack.
5. Remove hubcap and loosen nuts. .
6. Jack up the car.
7. Remove nuts.
8. Remove wheel.
9. Position spare wheel.
10. Fit nuts but don't fully tighten.
11. Lower car.
12. Tighten nuts.
13. Replace hub cap.
14. Store jack and wheel.
Note the following tips:
Each step tells generally what must be done with no reference to
No hazards are mentioned and no safety precautions are prescribed.
That comes later.
The job steps are described in order of occurrence.
The description of each step starts with an action word, i.e. position,
remove, tighten etc.
A common mistake made with Job safety Checks is to unnecessarily list a large
number of job steps. For example: Park the car.
Get out of the car.
Walk to the car boot.
Open the boot etc.
How to Assess all Potential Failures and Exposures
The following factors should be considered during the job observation:
Is there exposure to noise, fumes, or dust?
Can equipment fail in any way?
Is the work physically arduous?
Is the work made harder by external factors (climate, noise etc.)?
Is the work made harder by the way it is organised (shift work,
adequate rest breaks)?
Is there enough space to move about?
Does the body have to sustain awkward body postures, such as
crouching, reaching overhead?
Are there demands on vision, hearing and communication skills?
Can the person be struck by or contacted by anything while doing
this step of the job?
Can the person strike against or make injurious contact with
Can the person be caught in, on or between anything?
Do loads need to be lifted/or handled?
Can the person slip or trip or fall?
What level of supervision is required?
Are there any exposures to psychological hazards (such as dealing
with public complaints/abuse, shift work, dealing with trauma)?
Unlock the Door to Marketing Success
A good marketing program involves a set of key activities that, if executed
properly, will unlock the door to higher profits. Key activities include advertising,
promotions, product or service packaging, discounts, new products and
distribution. These activities usually involve a variety of personnel (representing
different business functions), or a few people wearing a variety of hats. Everyone
involved in implementing the marketing program must have a clear and
consistent understanding of the intent and objectives, for greatest success.
The most effective way of insuring that each contributor is directing his or her
efforts appropriately, is good communication. One form of that communication is
a thoroughly documented, clearly worded, and properly formatted marketing
Of course, this is one of those cliches that is easy to say, but not so easy to
accomplish. Most of us are not professional writers, nor do we have an MBA
degree. A marketing plan must consider the ability of the enterprise, the
capabilities of the offering(s), the needs and accessibility of the market, the
implications of environmental factors and the strength and likely reactions of the
competition. Integrated into all of this must be strategies for pricing, promotion
and distribution. So where do you start, how can you be sure that all of the right
issues are addressed, and how do you put it all together into a readable
A mission statement is a goal to develop a product of service being the premier,
or optimum that it can be.
A creation for distribution and consumption by:
Providing samples and demonstrations at no cost
Giving consumers the chance to experience a superior product
Giving small product companies the chance to distribute their products,
increasing their exposure through professional recommendation
Creating a service that is superior to any other within a demographic area.
A management team that has the proven entrepreneurial and management skills
to succeed in running an innovative, market-driven company. They have the rare
combination of top business school training and a strong connection with the
This business plan provides a blueprint for the launch and growth of the selected
business. It will also serve to demonstrate the operational and financial viability.
Advantages are offered by the use of new or different products. Longer lasting,
stronger, less natural nail damage and environmentally improved would justify a
Research to study and determine the consumers likes and dislikes of products or
services in the nail industry. The result should demonstrate that consumers
place" comfort, fit, and feel" as important characteristics of artificial nails. Other
important criteria in the study include "suit active life-style", "has performance
advantages", and "fashion".
Focus Group Interviews
To better understand the criteria used by consumers, focus group interviews can
be conducted. Analysis of the focus group protocols provided a rich qualitative
assessment of consumer decision behavior in this product category.
Competitor Content Analysis
Content analysis is employed to systematically and objectively identify the
specific content (i.e., the features and/or benefits) or other business sservices
Key Informant Analysis
Informal discussions give access to the findings of the primary research and
market experience. These discussions confirmed what had been derived from
the focus group interviews, and the competitor content analysis.
It was necessary to identify clients that may be interested in the salon techniques
and services. Preliminary analysis of local residents identifies the type of client
that would most likely use the product or service. A market profile typically uses
primary and secondary sources to answer key questions about a potential
market. A profile is a picture or an outline. Information that makes up the social
profiles of the people in your target market is called demographic information,
Age, usually given in a range (20-35 years)
Location of household
Family size and description
Income, especially disposable income (money available to spend)
Educational level, usually to last level completed
Interests, purchasing profile (what are consumers know to want?)
Cultural, ethnic, racial background
The Right Product Or Service
What are your customers' needs?
What do they expect to get when they buy your product or use your service?
The right product is the one that best fits their requirements.
People who eat in restaurants want more than a good meal. They might expect
quick service, a reasonable price, a vegetarian menu, a children's menu,
entertainment, a drive through window, or to identified with a trendy crowd. It
becomes a difficult and probably unprofitable venture trying to satisfy everyone's
If you have identified your customer and listed their expectations, you can design
your product or service around their requirements.
The more you fulfil your customer's expectations, the better the quality of your
product. Think of your product or service as more than just what the customer's
pays for. When you are planning your business consider how the whole
transaction meets the customer's needs.
Positioning your Business
Positioning refers to the image customers have of your business. The goal is to
create a business image that enables you to position your business in such a
way that, in essence, it acts as a natural magnet for your intended customers. A
number of factors often look for include:
Price (i.e. cheapest price, fair price, price for quality, etc)
Your overall position should emphasize those areas that your customers value
most and those, which make you different from your competition.
The importance of pricing can not be understanding as incorrect pricing can often
result in the failure of a business. New businesses often make the mistake of
either charging too little or too much for their product or service. So to help you
avoid making one of these mistakes, the following section will outline some of the
guiding principles of price determination.
Price is a key part of marketing. Setting prices is called Pricing
Prices for products and services can be set by pricing to the market, pricing to
your costs, and rule of thumb pricing. New business people with little experience
may set an initial price based on the market, and then as experience grows, reset
prices according to costs. These two aspects of price what is acceptable to the
market, and what costs are—must both be considered. In addition, effective
pricing depends on the business goals of your company: do you want to
maximize profits or are you aiming for high growth in sales? The choices that a
business ultimately makes about its markets and sales make a big difference in
NOTE: Be careful about underpricing in order to compete or make sales. Use
competitor‘s prices to establish the price range for similar products or services
but don‘t underprice‘ if your true costs are higher, your final prices will have to be
Cost Approach to Pricing
Price must cover all costs of good/services sold, including production costs of
supplies, materials, fixed overhead or fixed costs as well as supplies and
Use this simple formula in setting a price (per unit):
Total Costs of Production Per Unit + Desired Dollar Profit Per Unit
Businesses can set different profit rates, for example 15% profit on supplies and
materials, 20% profit on labour/ time, and 25% profit on overhead. These more
complicated approaches to pricing usually emerge in response to the special
needs of a particular business.
If your research reveals that similar products or services are available on the
market, at a cost much lower than what you could offer, you may have to either
adjust your profit margin, the return you expect, or decide to provide enough
specialized service or selection so that the market will pay the extra.
Alternatively, you may be forced to conclude that you cannot afford to make this
item or provide this service and look for something else to do.
NOTE: Remember to cost materials at the level it costs to replace them NOT at
original prices; include salaries as a business expense; include interest in your
business cost calculations ―Rules of Thumb‖ in Setting Prices. Some types of
businesses charge prices according to certain ―rules of thumb‖. For example:
price is always twice labour plus materials, or twice materials plus labour
depending on which is higher; price is always materials and labour plus 20% for
fixed costs, plus 25% for profits. Calculating actual costs is the only proven way
to make sure your prices cover your costs.
Personal selling of the technology could be the chosen strategy. Promotion and
advertising are also strategies to consider.
Risk Reduction Strategies
Risks that may threaten the viability of any business operation. The following
summarizes the main risk reduction strategies implemented:
Investigate all the possibilities of the products that you will recommend
Establish good salon policies
Maintain training and product awareness
Keep a close watch on competitors
If you are re-marketing your Product or Service, your focus will be on the
elements of your strategy that affects your marketing mix:
Pricing and its impact to both your competitive position and to the perception and
benefits offered to your prospects and customers.
Distribution and/or delivery of the product/service and its impact to
your enterprise and your prospects/customers.
Promotional efforts and their fit with your product/service and your
Same Product or Service in Changed Market.
If you are re-marketing your Product or Service, your focus will be on the
elements of your strategy that affects your marketing mix;
Pricing and its impact to both your competitive position and to the perception and
benefits offered to your prospects and customers.
Distribution and/or delivery of the products/service and its impact to
your enterprise and your prospect/customer.
Promotional efforts and their fit with your product/service and your
Same Product or Service in New Market.
You may be acquiring a new business and need to perform due diligence or you
might be taking a hard look at your business to find areas for improvement.
The characteristics of the prospect and their likelihood of purchase.
Cost and benefits factors of the product/service in relation to the
market needs and the other available solutions.
Your ability to develop and deliver the product and/or service.
The price, promotion and distribution/delivery factors.
Both the direct competition and those offering alternative solutions.
The environmental factors that may provide opportunities or
threaten your efforts.
Your basic strategy for establishing and maintaining a competitive
Where to find information
In most cases business information can be gathered at no charge. The following
are sources of information on your industry.
Business friends and associate
Chamber of commerce/Board of Trade
City or Municipal Hall
Local government Agent‘s office
Downtown business associations
Shopping centre developers
Newspapers, radio and TV
Phone book, Yellow Pages
Observe Your Competition
Get out on the street and study your competitors. Visit their stores or the
locations where their products are offered. Analyze the location, customer
volumes, traffic patterns, hours of operation, busy periods, prices, quality of their
goods and services, product lines carried, promotional techniques, positioning,
product cataloques and other handouts. If feasible, talk to customers and sales
Consider how well your competition satisfies the needs of potential customers in
your trading area. Determine how you fit in to this picture and what niche you
plan to fill. Will you offer a better location, convenience, a better price, later
hours, better quality, and better service?
Talk to your Suppliers
Conversation with your suppliers can tell you a great deal about how your
industry works and what trends are taking place in your market. They may be
able to tell you valuable information about pricing techniques and mark ups,
about the fastest moving lines and why they are selling, and why some
competitors are successful.
(They can also provide you with information about credit terms.)
Talk to your customers
Conversation with your customers or potential customers can give you insight
into what their needs are. They can indicate what they look for in your industry,
what they think of your competition, what price they might pay and what level of
service they like. Surveys and Focus Groups represent more formal ways of
getting insight from your customers.
Promotion, Advertising, and PR
In order for your business to succeed, you generally need to promote your
products or services to the same buyers that your competitors are targeting.
Even if your business is one-of-a-kind, you still need to tell target buyers that
your business exist with some kind of advertising or promotional communication.
Public relations (PR) activities are another way to promote the image or
reputation of your product. PR is similar to promotion and advertising, but can be
more indirect, since some or all of the publicity a company‘s products and
services receive from public relations activities may not be controlled by the
If you‘re a big manufacturer of business-to-business goods, you may need to do
much more personal sales promotion (to purchasing agents of your customer
firms) than a consumer goods retailer, who would go to a promotion mix that
emphasises paid advertising.
Planning outlines the steps you need to take to create a
comprehensive promotional game plan.
Promotion ideas discuss a number of opportunities for materials or
events that involve direct product purchase incentives.
Advertising ideas discuss the use of advertising to inform, educate,
persuade, and remind.
Public relations‘ ideas discuss some indirect but highly effective ways
of keeping your business in the public eye.
Advertising is impersonal, usually paid communication intended to inform,
educate, persuade, and remind.
Advertising is a sophisticated form of communication that must work with other
marketing tools and business elements to be successful. Advertising must be
interruptive - that is, it must make you stop thumbing through the newspaper or
thinking about your day long enough to read or hear the ad. Advertising must
also be credible, unique, and memorable in order to work.
And finally, assuming the actual advertising is built upon a solid strategy, enough
money must be spent to provide a media schedule for ad frequency, the most
important element for an ad is memorability.
Word-of-mouth advertising has existed as long as mankind has communicated
and traded goods and services. Word-of-mouth advertising is considered the
most effective form. Word-of-mouth has the desired qualities of strong credibility,
high audience attention levels, and friendly audience reception. It features open-
ended conversation with questions and answers about the product, psychological
incentives to purchase, memorability, efficiency and frequency.
Word-of-mouth advertising passes product information to many other potential
buyers (and may even include promotional trial demonstrations and free
sampling), at little or no cost to the business. Whenever possible, a small
business should build an advertising program that results in word-of-mouth
advertising! Satisfied customers are your best advertisements.
In some respects, typical medial advertising acts only as a catalyst to achieve
word-of-mouth advertising and increased sales. Successful advertising will
achieve many times more ad mentions through word-of-mouth than the number
of paid media presentations of the ads.
Make a list of ads that are memorable to you that you would freely talk about to
Here are some guidelines for creating memorable advertising that really sells:
1. Make sure your ads are “on strategy” with your business
planning. Good planning ensures identification of the correct target
audience for your advertising.
2. Communicate a simple, single message. People have trouble
remembering someone‘s name, let a lone a complicated ad
message. Use the ―KISS‖ principle for ad messages: ―Keep It
Simple, Simon.‖ For print ads, the simpler the headline, the better.
3. Stick with a likeable style. Ads have personality and style. Find a
likeable style and personality and stay with it for at least a year or
more of ads. Changing ad styles and personality too often will
confuse potential buyers. It also fights against memorability.
4. Be credible. If you say your quality or value is the ―best‖ and it is
clearly not, advertising will speed your demise, not increase your
business. Identifying and degrading the competition should also be
5. Ask for the sale. Invite buyers to come to your store, send for
more information, or call for information and orders in the ad.
Provide easily visible information in the ad for potential customers
to buy: location, telephone, number, stores hours, charge cards
6. Make sure the ad is competitive. Do your homework. Examine
competitive ads in the media that you are planning to advertise in.
Make sure your ad stands out from competitive ads. You can use
personal judgment, ad test exposures to a small group of target
buyers. Compare ads for uniqueness, memorability, credibility, and
incentive to purchase.
7. Make sure the ad looks professional. If you have the time and
talent, computer graphics and desktop publishing software can
provide professional-looking templates to create good looking print
ads. Consider obtaining writing, artistic, and graphics help from
local agencies or art studios that have experienced professionals
on staff, with expensive and creative computer software in house.
They may save you time and money in the long run, with better
results. Electronic ads (eg. TV, radio, Internet) and outdoor ads are
best left to professionals to write, produce, and buy for a fee or
percentage of media dollars spent (ie., generally 15 percent of
gross media spending)
8. Be truthful. Whatever advertising medium you select, make sure
your message is ethical and truthful. There are stringent laws
regarding deceptive practices and false advertising.
There‘s an old adage that holds that at least 50 percent of all advertising is a
waste of money. It‘s probably true - and if you can figure it out which half of your
ad budget is useless, you‘ll save a bundle. But until you achieve this wisdom
(which has so far has eluded most marketers), you‘d be wise to continue
advertising full tilt and not take a chance on eliminating something that just might
Here are the major types of advertising used by small businesses:
Low and no cost advertising
Telephone directories and 1800 numbers
Local print ads
Signs and displays
Higher cost advertising alternatives
Direct mail and catalogs
Special advertising opportunities
Low and No Cost Advertising
There are many things you can do in the way of advertising, promotion, and
publicity that cost little or nothing. And when you become successful enough to
be able to afford more sophisticated ad techniques, there are ways of measuring
to some extent just how effective these methods are in terms of your business
growth. As always, the chief concern is that the advertising do what it is intended
to do: cause more people to purchase more from your business.
Like all entrepreneurs, let‘s start at the bottom and work up - with a menu of ad
ideas using freebies and mini media up to mass media and emerging techniques:
Ask for referrals, consistently!
Choose a simple logo that may be used on all printed material to
identify your company.
Print attractive and informative business cards that include your logo
and hand them out everywhere, consistently! If appropriate for your
business, you can use your card as a discount certificate or other
incentive. Or, you can have it place on a magnetic backing so that it
(hopefully) winds up on a refrigerator. If you use letterhead stationery
in your business, have it match your business card. Keep your identity
as consistent as possible.
Print up some gift certificate. These let your customers introduce you
to new customers. Since you get paid up front for the product or
service, these are cash flow friendly.
Birthday and holiday cards sent to clients could show your logo and
remind them of your continued interest. Customer comment cards are
a great way to solicit feedback and involve your clients in your
Brochures let you provide a lot of detail about your product or service.
Template software can be obtained that permits you to use your
computer to generate classy looking brochures at minimal cost. Make
your headline stand out. Use clip art or graphics. Give your customer
as much quality information as you can pack into this identity piece.
Keep it up to date and peronalise it when possible (by writing in the
margins or underlining specifics that might interest a particular
prospective customer). If you have a slightly bigger budget, go for a
slick four-colour piece.
Fliers are the thrifty entrepreneur‘s dream. You can create them very
inexpensively on your computer, or your local print shop can do them
for you. You can use as much colour as you like, with either a colour
printer or old-fashioned coloured paper stock. Pack them full of
information and post them on every bulletin board you can find that‘ll
allow you space. Easy to distribute in bulk, these handy attention-
getters can also be used as bag stuffers or inserts to put in with billings
or to include when mailing payments to your suppliers.
In fact, don‘t mail anything out of your business without including some
little sales piece. Take advantage of piggybacking on that postage stamp.
Placing stacks of flyers in building lobbies and tucking them under
windshield wipers are done frequently, but you must be willing to alienate
some people if you use these methods of distribution.
Door hangers are very effective and widely used by fast food and
home delivery and service businesses. If you choose this medium,
don‘t scrimp on the stock. Make it heavy so it won‘t blow off
doorknobs and litter the neighborhood. Add a coupon or some other
incentive to your copy. Door chargers are a good way to focus in on a
specific target buyer.
Advertising in telephone directories is, for some businesses, critically important.
But it‘s definitely not cheap! Publishers of these directories have stringent
guidelines that make it hard for you to distinguish your ad from your competitors‘
without spending a lot of money.
The cost of advertising varies, as does the market served. Try to pick the one
that targets your potential customers the best at the lowest cost.
Get all their prices and pick their reps‘ brains for information and advice. (But
don‘t confuse a sales pitch for advice.) Be very careful making your listing
Do you want to position yourself as ―pizza‖ or ―restaurant‖ or ―carry-out?‖
Even if you have to stretch to afford it, go for the bold-type listing if you can afford
only a single line listing. If you can manage it, a display ad will probably pay big
dividends if you keep it running year after year. Use strong black borders if
possible and get the most size for the money without sacrificing placement. Don‘t
be afraid to use lots of copy and use pictures and colour (red is the usual
alternative) if the budget can handle it.
Try to give your business a solid, dependable, reliable feel in your ad. If
appropriate, say that you‘re insured or mention that you‘ve been in business a
long time. List every service you can think of as well as your hours and put some
stress on your location so people can relate to it. The publisher‘s rep will give
your guidance and examples of what you can do, but try to get a little edge of
originality if at all possible.
The cost of your own 1800 number may be less than you may think.
Competition has made this a handy bargain way for buyers to reach you
The calls can be forwarded to any line you choose. This might just be the most
bang for your advertising dollar --- to be able to publish an 1800 number in your
Local Print Ads
Classified ads and small display ads in local newspapers of magazines are a
good way to reach your buyers. Get media kits from all your local publications
(and any regional or national publications you may want to use as a model). Take
a look at what they have to offer and at what price.
The media kit will give you the demographic and geographic reach of the
publication as well as rate information. Remember that the lowly classifieds are
perused by a huge number of people, especially on weekends. Big-time auto
dealers and real estate agents fill these pages up for a reason. If you slip a
classified ad into the right category and keep it running consistently, you‘ll
probably get a response strong enough to at least pay the cost of the ad.
The same rules apply to small display ads as to classifieds. Make it easy for your
prospective buyers to learn what you have to offer. Use a border to set your ad
apart if you can. Run the ad in the appropriate publication: do your homework,
read those media kits. Make it very easy for your buyer to respond to your offer
by giving a clear phone number, address and location details if space permits.
Another good way to reach customers is through your own newsletter. This can
be a blend of advertising and informational text that refreshes your logo and
identity and keeps you in touch with customers, without having to spend a mint
on outside print advertising. Just be sure to keep your image consistent,
wherever it is seen in print, and have it seen as frequently as you possibly can.
Signs and Displays
Signage is a key component of establishing and perpetuating your identity.
Billboards, blimps, searchlights, and skywriting are exotic and expensive, so
you‘d be better served by concentrating on more down-to-earth signs. Start with
your vehicles. Cars and trucks are great travelling billboards. You can readily find
a magnetic sign supplier who can fashion a flexible rubberised sign to attach to
your company truck of your personal car. When not in use for company business,
simply remove the sign.
Employee uniforms are another form of sign. Your logo and identity must carry
through all possible aspects of your business. T-shirts are great signs that even
your customers can wear.
Interior and exterior signs should be lighted to take advantage of every
opportunity to be seen.
Neon is becoming popular again, and creative things are being done in this
Reader boards, those signs using individual letters so you can change the
message at will, are very useful if well-positioned, lighted, and maintained.
Zoning ordinances often limit the use of reader boards. These signs can be
portable, on wheels, fixed to the ground in what is called ―monument‖ style of,
most often, high up on a pole.
Changing the message often and avoiding misspellings will enhance their effect
on your business.
The importance of POP displays cannot be overemphasised. Impulse buying
accounts for a huge amount of product sales.
Service businesses can also use some POP techniques, especially when going
to add-ons to a regular service such as ―wax my car as long as you‘re going to
keep it to change the oil‖ type of last minute decisions. But it‘s in the product
realm that POP is king.
Often it‘s manufacturers who pay the cost of POP advertising. Providing a retailer
with an attractive display is money well spent by any manufacturer if it entices a
retailer to feature the product and the consumer to purchase it on impulse.
POP can take the form of danglers, signs, posters, banners, custom display
racks, special lighting, or video monitors with promotional loops playing all day
Bounce back and register tape coupons (printed on the back of the cash register
receipt) are good to give at a POP location to stimulate customer‘s return to your
business in the future.
Higher-Cost Advertising Alternatives
If you get big enough to contemplate advertising in major newspapers of
magazines of on radio or television, form your own in-house ad agency and save
the usual 15 percent commission. This is as easy to do as printing up some
letterhead with a name like XYZ Advertising Agency. Have a separate checking
account if you‘re going to do a lot of this. This is standard procedure for medium-
sized businesses who handle their own ad buys. Of course, if you can afford it,
you can hire a professional ad agency and learn the ropes before plunging in on
your own. Sometimes the money they save you in good media buys may make
up for their commission. Look in your Yellow Pages and interview a few firms.
The ad business is a very people-centred vocation so find someone with the kind
of personality you‘ll be able to work with. They can also design and place
infomercials if your product or service lends itself to this type of advertising. And
don‘t forget the home shopping networks.
Telemarketing comes in various disguises. We all gripe about the computer-
dialled boiler room selling operations that pester us at dinnertime, but there are
other ways of using the phone as a sales tool. For a small business, it might be
best to start calling people you‘ve been referred to by current clients or
Look at telephone contact as a way of giving out information or keeping in touch,
and avoid thinking of it as a way to close a sale. It gives you a chance for one-on-
one contact but carries a risk of being intrusive. Calling on former customers to
thank them for their business and inform them of new products of ideas you may
have is a good way to keep in touch with a pre-qualified client base.
Is a new frontier. Although it‘s considered poor ―netiquette‖ to do any selling via
e-mail, there are increasingly more opportunities via home pages and bulletin
boards (BBS) to reach people or make it easy for them to reach you. This field is
changing so rapidly that the best resource for evaluating your possible use of
cyber marketing will be the many computer magazines on the market today as
will as the vast array of information on the Internet itself.
Direct Mail and Catalogues
Direct mail and catalogues are gaining enormous popularity. If you even hope to
get started in this
Arena, our advice is to start very small and narrow your niche to a needlepoint.
Whether you use direct mail promotions or develop your own catalogue, the
demographics of your mailing list (database) is the key to success.
There are other hazards of direct mail, beyond getting the right list and creating a
sharp, concise, attractive print piece. You have to maintain a flawless 1800-
number service with customer-centered operators who are your first line of
contact with your customers. Then you must make sure your delivery services
are prompt, your warehouse well stocked, your order pickers mistake-free, and
your merchandise return policies correct. On top of that, you must have truly
superlative inventory management.
To start with, you may want to consider using a fulfillment house. These
companies can take the calls, handle the customer credit process, and even ship
the product if you wish. The fee is stiff but might just be worth it until you build a
Specialised Advertising Opportunities
Trade shows are essential to some types of wholesale and manufacturing
businesses. Display design, booth location and pre- as well as post-show
mailings are carried to high degrees of sophistication (and expense). A small
businessperson thinking of using this form of advertising would do well to contact
the trade or professional association for his or her industry.
Tie-ins with another business, Co-op ad reimbursements from suppliers whose
products you sell, and frequent buyer clubs are all becoming more prevalent in
the current advertising environment. One of the emerging trends these days is for
businesses to accept or even solicit the coupons of their competitors. Accepting
competitor coupons or meeting their discount offers is, when you think about it,
an excellent way to retain customers without having to mount an expensive ad
campaign to counter those of your competitors. Let them spend the money for
the four-colour freestanding inserts or the big display ad in the Sunday paper.
PR Program Execution
PR programs can often be created, managed, and executed completely by small
business personnel. Many PR programs are simple to create and do, unlike
advertising and some promotion events requiring outside experts to create,
produce, manage, and execute.
Creating an effective PR program for a small business follows the same
procedures as creating effective advertising and promotion programs:
1. Build upon a solid business strategy
2. Establish marketing objectives. For example, percent awareness
among target buyers and end users over a specific period of time (eg.
―achieve 50 percent awareness of our new product line among key
chain buyers by the end of year one).
3. Establish a PR budget.
4. Determine the PR message.
5. Select PR channels and events:
public service of charitable activities
company vehicles and other assets
Press releases, if you make them newsworthy, can lead not only to great free
publicity but to valuable reprints you can use in your ad efforts.
For example, a simple story (and perhaps product samples) about the company‘s
background, founders, and products can be written and sent to editors of local
newspaper, magazines, TV, and radio stations. If the subject is of sufficient
interest to editors, they may call to interview and run a free editorial story
reaching thousands of millions of people.
The best places for a small business to get free publicity are in the niche media
area -- school papers, shoppers, local cable channels, and local radio stations.
Research on names and addresses may be only as far away as the local
telephone book Yellow Pages. Or, a list of industry publications and electronic
media can be compiled from secondary date research or industry associations
and experts. Local, regional, and national news services may also be valuable.
Public Service Activities
Community involvement is a super way to good public relations and free publicity
of the best kind. The old saying ―you have to give to receive‖ holds true in
Sponsor a Little League or bowling of softball team. Your team will wear your
company signs, their families and friends will become your biggest boosters, and
you‘ll get to know a lot of people you‘d otherwise never be able to reach.
Donate your time and talent as well as your products or services when the
community could benefit from them. You will be repaid a hundred fold in the long
run. Participate in service clubs such as Rotary or Lions and the Chamber of
Commerce. Offer to be a speaker at schools or senior centres. Donate your
goods or services to local schools or churches, to be given away as raffle prizes
of silent auction items.
Appropriate non-profit public service events can be targeted for company tie-ins
(eg. An energy drink company sampling participants in an American Heart
Association bike, hike, run, walk event). Piggyback your business promotions on
community events --- such as having a ―marathon‖ sale if the town is having a
race day or offering to be a collection point for the food pantry charity drive.
Grand openings (or re-openings) are always attention-getters as are anniversary
sales and seasonal promotions. A small business can host open house events
and invite key target buyers to explain and demonstrate products and services.
Set up an event calendar or diary for your business --- the kind with big squares
you can scribble in. Note all opportunities for events as the year progresses. Also
note when your customers may be having events. Then next year you‘ll be able
to refer to your calendar, call your customers in advance, and ask what you can
do to help them with their upcoming activity. This pre-emptive approach is very
effective, and all it takes is a few notes scribbled on a calendar. Watch your local
papers and church bulletins for events you didn‘t get to participate in this year but
will not want to miss selling to next year. Your non-customers will soon be
recruited as steady clients. It takes little time and costs nothing.
Company Vehicles and Materials
Company materials may also be utilised to carry PR messages (eg. Stationery,
trucks, uniforms, etc.). It may be possible to combine both advertising and PR
messages on company materials. For example, beer and soft drink delivery
trucks are often painted with advertising (eg. ―Pepsi, the choice of a new
generation‖) and PR messages (eg. ―Support the fight against Muscular
Dystrophy in your local community‖).
Another good PR move is to make your business easily accessible to your
customers. That means clear, concise ads and listings, plenty of parking,
convenient hours, comfortable and clean surroundings, and customer service
Once a small business has determined both its business positioning strategy and
the size of the promotional budget, specific promotional activities can be
Promotion programs provide direct purchase incentives in contrast to most
advertising, which provides reasons to buy your product instead of the competing
Admittedly, some types of promotions can be expensive, complicated, difficult to
execute, time-consuming, and difficult to administer legally. Many small
businesses are local or regional, so some types of promotional activities will be
too expensive or inappropriate for the type of goods and services offered. The
most important thing is to come up with a promotion that is unique and that sends
the right message about your business. And it is critical to monitor the
effectiveness of your promotions. If they don‘t generate results, they aren‘t worth
the time or money you‘ll spend.
Typical promotional activities:
games and contests
premiums and gifts
coupons and rebates
product or service demonstrations
Games and Contests
Mass marketers frequently run games and contests on a nationwide scale.
People look under bottle caps; collect game pieces, or submit entries in an effort
to win prizes. Most small businesses probably don‘t need (and can‘t afford) this
type of promotion.
However, games and contests can be conducted on a smaller scale. For
example, many restaurants ask customers to leave a business card in a bowl.
Drawings are held periodically and winners are awarded a free meal or other
prize. The restaurant owners, not incidentally, get valuable information in
exchange for those prizes. The list of people who submit cards can be used to
solicit parties, meetings, etc.
If your business is in an area with a lot of foot traffic, putting a game of contest in
the window can draw additional customers into your store. It can be something
as simple as the old jellybeans in the jar contest. If possible, use the contest to
do double duty in addition to getting the contestant‘s name and address, ask for
information you need to better market your products or services. Be careful to
analyse the results, though. If none of the people drawn in the by the contest
become customers, you‘re wasting time and money.
Your promotions must be designed to get people to buy from you the market
research you can conduct is just a secondary benefit.
Whatever games you devise play fair with your customers. Don‘t charge them to
enter, and be sure to state how and when the winners will be selected, say that
the offer is void outside of a certain area and after a certain date, and that any
taxes are the responsibility of the winner. Ana be sure to check out the local laws
with your attorney before you start and contest, game, or drawing.
Premiums and Gifts
This is the old ―prize in the popcorn box‖ approach. A little something extra at no
extra charge. Premiums and gifts, sometimes called ―ad specialties,‖ have been
around a long time. The modem version of this free gift idea is aimed at name
awareness: magnets, calendars, luggage tags, T-shirts, pens, pencils, or coffee
mugs that carry your name, logo, and perhaps phone number or Internet
address. Anything that lasts and will be used by your prospective buyer can be
effective. You may give these tokens out directly or have a buyer send in the
proverbial ―box top‖ and receive the valuable merchandise … with your name all
For better or worse, there‘s already a wide variety of ―standard‖ promotional
items. Be aware of what‘s out there and be sure that your premium or gift is
different and better.
If at all possible, be sure there is a logical connection between the premium or
gift and your business. Free mugs that entitle the purchasers to reduced-cost
coffee are a good example of this. The key question, as it is for any promotional
activity, is whether the cost of the premiums or gifts will be recovered through
increased business. If all your customers dutifully wear their T-shirts with your
logo, will you gain new customers? Monitoring results can be as easy as asking
new customers how they heard about your business. If 99 percent tell you that
they saw your ad in the Yellow Pages, you can be relatively confident that the
premiums aren‘t doing what you hoped.
A note of caution: be sure whatever you five away isn‘t potentially harmful if, for
example, swallowed by your customer‘s dog or child.
Coupons and Rebates
Many small businesses use coupons as part of their promotional programs. The
more common ones entitle the bearer to some benefit, such as a price reduction
on a particular product or service. Others reward frequent customers for their
loyalty. For example, a coffee shop may five each of its customers a card that is
punched when a kilo of coffee is purchased. When the card is completely
punched (perhaps after 10 or 12 pounds), the customer gets a free pound. Be
sure that your pricing supports the cost of this type of promotion.
Don‘t forget that only a small percentage of coupons are actually used.
Newspaper coupon redemption rates in the grocery, drug, and mass
merchandise industry average between 1 percent and 5 percent. Redemption
rates for other coupon delivery methods (eg. Mail, magazine, newspaper four-
colour inserts) vary widely, but still amount to less than 10 percent for most
Coupons attached to the product itself are the ones that are most likely to be
used, with redemption rates of 20 to 50 percent. However, these coupons tend to
be redeemed by existing customers, so if your intent in distributing coupons is to
get new customers, find another way to get them to your targeted audience. One
good thing about coupons is that it‘s easy to monitor the results: you‘ll see every
one that comes in.
A coupon should be good for at least 10 percent off the retail price of the product
to attract buyers‘ attention and increase sales, with a 25 percent discount off
retail considered more effective for mass-market disposable consumer goods.
Coupons come in many forms, but the one thing they must have in common is an
expiration date! If you forget this, you’ll live to regret it.
Are often more expensive per sampled target buyer when compared to
advertising costs per target reached. However, demonstrations are many times
more effective than single advertising ad exposures in any media. According to
recent studies, because of sampling, 51 percent of shoppers tried products they
normally would not have tried. And 79 percent of those sampled bought the
product when they felt they needed it.
Demonstrations should be conducted at point-of-purchase whenever possible to
maximise the opportunity for a buyer or end user to purchase immediately. It is
estimated that over 85 percent of all grocery purchases are not planned in
Buyers purchase many items on impulse because of a product of service
demonstration. Go to your local supermarket at noon on a Saturday and observe
(and enjoy) the moveable feasts the product demonstrator‘s offer.
AA promotion demonstration often takes the form of a free product sample or
free trial service. Demonstration personnel also act as a mini-sales force in
explaining product features and benefits and providing personal consumption
and use testimony.
A small business is well served to arrange as many promotion demonstrations
and sampling opportunities as affordable on a continuous basis to build business.
Demonstrations are particularly valuable as an effective (and often, low-cost) way
to introduce new products and new services.
Also, demonstrations of products and services are the foundation for potentially
free, word-of mouth advertising, the most effective form of advertising known.
Show and Tell!
Demos come in many forms including open houses (to show off your new
facilities), trade shows, local fairs, taste tests, test drives, and seminars. Product
demos are very effective but service demos are sensational.
The popularity of seminars is growing, as they are effective in enabling service
providers such as financial planners, physicians, and dealers in art and antique
items to target and educate their potential customers.
While you will generally want to reach your target audience when you conduct
seminars, you can also use them to build your business‘s community image. For
example, a good place to try out your seminar might be at a senior centre. Every
community has one and they are often looking for program presenters. You don‘t
want to put on a blatant commercial --- just an informative, generic talk will win
friends and influence people. The residents of the centre may not be your target
audience, but if you favourably impress them, others in the community will hear
Writing a Good Advertisement
Make it easy to recognise: Your ad should be consistent with all other artwork
and the image of your business. A distinctive logo or certain typeface used all the
time creates a consistency with your ad.
Use a simple layout: a classic ad layout follows a ―Z‖ pattern. The layout pulls the
readers‘ attention from the headline to the illustration, to the explanation, through
the details and finally to the information of where to find you and when you are
Use a dominant element: This could be the headline of a photo of drawing. This
part must attract away from the news and focus on the message.
Express a benefit: The product/service needs to fulfill the customer needs.
Clients love value for money, make your ad an attention getter, interest
creator, desirable and promote action.
Make use of white space: Don‘t cram information into every space. The more
white space the easier the ad is to absorb, the easier to read and the easier to