How can I effectively delegate tasks to my staff?

12:35PM | Wednesday, 1 December 2010 | Tom O'Toole

For the business to grow, you have to let go and trust your staff.

How do you manage to stay motivated over the years?

2:57PM | Friday, 17 February 2012 | Tom O'Toole

After 30 years in business, often people wonder how I stay motivated. Here are my secrets.

What are the key qualities you look for in a supplier, beyond price?

12:45AM | Wednesday, 14 December 2011 | Tom O’Toole

Whether it’s our bank, butcher or insurance broker, we need to have a good working relationship. It has to be win/win.

A nearby business wants to strike up a partnership arrangement. Should I do this?

11:51PM | Tuesday, 8 November 2011 | Tom O’Toole

I say, seize the opportunity. But before you get too involved, make sure it’s all in writing so you’re all clear what you want out of the partnership.

Are there any good tactics to encourage repeat sales from customers?

10:40PM | Tuesday, 18 October 2011 | Tom O’Toole

The best tactic of all is to make your customers’ visit enjoyable. I believe it’s pretty simple – happy customers come back.

I’ve started up a retail business in a regional town. How can I build a rapport with the local community?

9:29PM | Wednesday, 7 September 2011 | Tom O’Toole

I believe you can really make a difference by having your business in a regional town. I should know – we have six bakeries in regional Victoria.

What tactics should I use to ensure our customer service is up to scratch?

7:15PM | Friday, 29 July 2011 | Tom O'Toole

There are many, many tactics for improving customer service. One of the best? The mystery shopper!

With rising cost pressures, how do I pass this on to our customers in a way that won’t drive them away?

7:25PM | Monday, 4 July 2011 | Tom O'Toole

Pricing is all about perceived value. Whatever you do, don’t price yourself out of the market. You must ask a fair price for your product.

Is it better to do sales training in-house or get external help?

5:08PM | Thursday, 19 May 2011 | Tom O'Toole

I believe staff training is vital to the success of any business. And I’ve found that using external trainers is the best option. Here’s why.

Is it better to have gradual, incremental price increases or one large hike?

4:15PM | Friday, 15 April 2011 | Tom O'Toole

One of the biggest mistakes I have made is not acting quickly enough to increase prices when needed. Pricing is critically important.

How can you identify good customer service traits in staff before you hire them?

3:31PM | Tuesday, 1 March 2011 | Tom O'Toole

Make would-be hires feel comfortable and relaxed with a little chitchat. Only then will you find out what they’re really like.

What is the best way to test that a potential supplier will deliver you quality goods on time at a price you’ve agreed?

1:38AM | Friday, 28 January 2011 | Tom O'Toole

Finding the right supplier is crucial, especially in the long-term.

What is the best way to shift excess stock? Are discounts the best tactic and, if so, how should I do this?

12:51PM | Tuesday, 21 December 2010 | Tom O'Toole

Beware: a “discount” mentality among customers who wait to buy only when goods are on sale.