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Business planning

What is success? & can everyone succeed?

Have you ever gone along to one of those meetings where only as you arrive do you realise the... read more

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Neil Steggall Partner at Wardour Capital Partners
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Michelle TupyBlog and Epublishing Manager at Clever Streak
I love the fact that you can define your own success and it does not always involve big cars, big spending and private jets.
Budgeting and forecasting

Help! – sme out of cash!

At which stage do you accept that without a cash injection your business is probably doomed?... read more

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Neil Steggall Partner at Wardour Capital Partners
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Phil JoelDirector at SavvySME
Hi Neil, thank you for sharing this great article. You raised some fantastic lead indicators to stay on top of the company cashflow. Thank you.
Steve OsborneOwner at Smarthinking
An knowledgeable article packed with excellent advice. Appreciated, Neil.
Social media

The naked entrepreneur!

“to thine own self be true……………” Do you remember when Jamie Oliver first bust onto our screens... read more

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Neil Steggall Partner at Wardour Capital Partners
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Charly LeethamCEO & Founder at Ask Charly Leetham
Nice one Neil. It's good to see there is a movement to "authenticity" and being yourself.
Phil KhorFounder at SavvySME
What an awesome article! I've just one word to describe it .. refreshing!!! :D
Running your business

What is a "small business", anyway?

“Small business” is a term that gets thrown around by everyone from governments, media, lobby... read more

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Wendy HuangFull Time Blogger and YouTuber at A Custom Blog in 4 Minutes
We went through this exact struggle when defining our small business target market definition! Thanks for pulling all this together :)
Business planning

9 tips and tricks to forecasting - avoid the hockey stick

Let’s face it, today is not the best of times for most businesses.  With the roller coaster ride... read more

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Allan Bennetto Founder at JMango
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Selling online

Purchasing of auto parts and accessories has become easy online

You can find a wide range of products online. The product ranges from food products, apparels,... read more

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Leadership

Your team is your reputation - so are you on their side?

'It's not me, it's my staff, you just can't get good people these days!" You'd be amazed how often... read more

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Thanks Wendy and Neil, very kind. I often say that great leadership takes more than a great mind, it takes a great heart too. I think it was Aristotle who called that "Practical Wisdom", and it's exactly the stuff I am trying to grow, every day.
Neil SteggallPartner at Wardour Capital Partners
Absolutely! Recently I have heard people criticising staff, suppliers and even their customers! In each instance they should have been demonstrating leadership by resolving issues and building on them. In business the ability to transform challenges into opportunities demonstrates true leadership and ultimately profit. Sun Tzu and Peter Drucker are my long term mentors and are often found nestling amidst poetry, history and novels on my bedside table...lol Thanks Louise another great article!
Sales and marketing

20 creative and fruitful strategies for marketing your small/medium business

The growing competition in the market, regardless what industry your company belongs, would... read more

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Chris Pentago Marketing Consultant
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Phil JoelDirector at SavvySME
Great question Steve. I have also seen other variants such as branded take-away coffee cups. The Cafe gets branded coffee cups from the Advertiser for little or no cost, the Advertiser gets his brand out in front of his target customers so it's a Win-Win strategy.
Steven FreemanOwner at Evolved Sound
Chris, do you know of many successful cases where businesses have branded a truck, van or trailer when they were not directly associated with vehicle? Purely advertising or contra deal.
Social media

Are Burger King's New Healthier Potatoes an Oxymoron?

About Social Media Today The world's best thinkers on energy & climate The...read more

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Wendy HuangFull Time Blogger and YouTuber at A Custom Blog in 4 Minutes
I love burger king!!! I can't wait to try these new fries :D
Online marketing

Content is not a new concept

Content has managed to maintain a top position in the buzzword world in 2014, despite its overuse... read more

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Managing employees

The importance of feedback

I wasn't intending to write this blog just yet, but my own experience this week caused me to... read more

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Thanks Selina - I appreciate your feedback (heehee!). Thanks also for following my posts!
Selina ShaplandOwner at Selina Shapland
Great article Kate. I know that I prefer this type of feedback, both as the giver and the receiver. S
Running your business

You, me, and the federal budget 2014

And its out. The Federal Budget for 2014. For you, fellow owners of SME’s, it is quite... read more

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Ling Lee Director at Japanese Sword Auctions Australia
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Ling LeeDirector at Japanese Sword Auctions Australia
No worries Wendy! :D
Wendy HuangFull Time Blogger and YouTuber at A Custom Blog in 4 Minutes
Wow thanks for the great summary Ling!
Human resources

How to leverage ‘progress’ to boost employee motivation

Here’s the problem; we are great at setting strategic goals but often the problem is getting our... read more

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Lifestyle and health

Smart Tips for Getting back HOURS and HOURS

I want to share with you three smart tips to get you back hours of lost time quickly and simply.... read more

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Hi Steven - the more you can get the family to help the better! But nothing wrong with a good session at the gym either!! Kate :)
Steven FreemanOwner at Evolved Sound
Insource - a new term but not a new concept. The more people under one roof, the more tasks that can be split. The balance can be outsourced within reason as long as you're not putting off mowing the lawn so yo can go to the gym. Too many full for that one:)
Miscellaneous

Does presenting ever get easier?

Yes, if you are prepared and you know your topic, it can get easier. In saying that presenting... read more

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Ling LeeDirector at Japanese Sword Auctions Australia
thanks for the nice short and sweet tips :D
Copywriting, content writing and blogging

I doubled my pageviews in 1 day, read on to see how I did this

When I logged into my account this morning I literally couldn't believe my eyes. Not only have I... read more

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Wendy Huang Full Time Blogger and YouTuber at A Custom Blog in 4 Minutes
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Wendy HuangFull Time Blogger and YouTuber at A Custom Blog in 4 Minutes
Thanks everyone :D!
I like the new look of your website, Wendy.
Human resources

Financial Incentives

Overall, incentives for business fit into the rewards and recognition classification, and employers... read more

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Finance and accounting

Do You Have a Small Business Finance Borrowing Strategy?

Since the GFC, there have been countless articles written about the difficulties SME’s face in... read more

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Ling LeeDirector at Japanese Sword Auctions Australia
Thanks for sharing this :D I must admit I'm very guilty of building my business haphazardly.
Stephen HallBusiness Educator and Coach at ActionCOACH
Tom, great article. I couldn't agree with you more about the importance of having a thorough business plan and all too often people don't think about their financing needs in advance, let alone plan for them! I've certainly been encouraged to discuss it more with the small businesses I'm working with in their planning stages. Thanks for the contribution.
Business coaching

Time Management is Essential for Good Business - Fact or Fiction?

In business and life in general -- time seems to escape us all. We all know the thoughts and... read more

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Leo EliadesOwner at INSPIRENOW PTY LTD
Welcome Ling, the more energy the better!
Ling LeeDirector at Japanese Sword Auctions Australia
Thanks for the great article Leo! Yes I truly believe that self-belief => self-confidence => more energy to work on business!!
Social media

The Best Way To Automate Social Media Posts

I was reading an article today, shared in a Facebook group I’m a member of, about the cons of... read more

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Lynn Scott Social Media Consultant at The Fountains Agency
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Leo EliadesOwner at INSPIRENOW PTY LTD
thanks for the great tips Lynn
Ling LeeDirector at Japanese Sword Auctions Australia
Yeah, that's pretty true Lisa...Actually Buffer used to be so laggy on my browser, (not sure if I had too much extensions......hahaha)
Online marketing

Tracking Conversions for Christmas

I was recently reading an article about getting your online business ready for Christmas. The... read more

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Sales and marketing

Marketing Mistake #19 | Not Working Joint Ventures

Joint Ventures, or teaming up with another business can be one of the most profitable things you... read more

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Ling LeeDirector at Japanese Sword Auctions Australia
Another fantastic article Lisa!
Leadership

3 things you need to make a mastermind group work

The mastermind group was a concept first presented by Napoleon Hill in the best selling book Think... read more

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Wendy Huang Full Time Blogger and YouTuber at A Custom Blog in 4 Minutes
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Tim GreigOwner at Green Galah Pty Ltd
Interesting timing Wendy, as an associate of mine and I have been considering moving forward with this idea. The key is that Mr Carnegie group had that single purpose, vision, call it what you will. That of manufacturing and marketing steel. As you indicated, it is more of a challenge to enact a single vision of "Let's all be successful in our many and varied businesses"! I find business referral groups mediocre at best, in my experience (note the preceding three words) for much the same reason. The purpose of 'referrals' doesn't really do it for me. So, leadership, agenda and accountability are all important but the most important is "What is the point?" Until everyone gets unified and passionate about the single driving force behind the group (other than controlling the steel industry) it may well flounder.
Sales and marketing

Business Tips: 5 Ways To Grow Your Revenue This Year

I had big dreams for my business when I first started. My vision was to help accountants, coaches... read more

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Arrnell GapusanCommunity Manager at SavvySME
Wonderful article. Thanks Jenny.
Great article Jenny.
Copywriting, content writing and blogging

Have you reached out to a blogger? A quick guide on how to start.

Blogging has been a solid way to market products and this method of promotion has been around since... read more

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Wendy Huang Full Time Blogger and YouTuber at A Custom Blog in 4 Minutes
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Great post Wendy, many business owners who approach me to get on my show are surprised to find out that there is a charge for it whilst others don't bat an eyelid at the fee so this is an excellent article to help people understand what goes into a blog post. Reputations are on the line. The key is to remember that in all cases it's an exchange of value. I always say that EVERYONE who comes on my show has to add value. Sometimes it's money, others it's exposure for the show and sometimes I invite people on for the value they'll add because of their story and the great content that they provide. The fees might seem high but once you've invested in getting on a great blog post or 2, the opportunity is that you now have a tool to place in front of potential clients that can help generate leads and sales that far exceed what you paid. And it's evergreen marketing meaning it's online 24/7 for years and years unlike paying for adds. When the money stops so does your add. Love your work and love SavvySME...
William SDigital Marketing and Junior SEO Consultant at Pixel Capital
One thing I realised from a lot of link-building collaborations with bloggers - their prices are getting quite steep. Maybe I should become a professional one myself? Hah.
Legal

Recent Changes in Law for Small Businesses in the Home Building Industry

If you are in the home building industry, or building or renovating your home, be aware of the... read more

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Yee TrinhCo-founder at SavvySME
Thanks for the heads up Katherine! This will come in handy.
Virtual assistance

Do you want to work smarter, not harder in your business?

Do you feel that you could use a helping hand? Well there is a solution to this. Outsourcing... read more

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Great Article Sandra. So many business already benefit from outsourcing different aspects of their business to Virtual Assistants, that the ones not outsourcing will be left behind.
Import and Export

5 tips for sourcing imports from China using Alibaba.com

My first proper online business was selling false lashes online. These are the little strips of... read more

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Wendy Huang Full Time Blogger and YouTuber at A Custom Blog in 4 Minutes
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Jolio Fadan
Great write up. Though we can also consider getting online courses about import business if we really want to know more about importing process.
Brian MallyonOwner at Luckypole Limited
Some very good and valid points in this article. If I may, I would also like to add some comments that may assist any potential buyers when looking to buy goods from Asia, predominantly China. 1. It is true that a "gold" supplier (with badge showing number of years they have been a gold supplier) provides a pretty good indication that a supplier is legitimate. It should be remembered that these "gold" supplier notations are applied because the supplier has paid money for it, not because it is based on quality. Some comments to explain this further:- a) For most suppliers there is very little information about the quality of the products or services the company will provide. In all my years sourcing product from China, I have rarely had a problem with illegitimate suppliers, more so the problems have arisen after placing an order with a supplier. They can be minor or large, but as a buyer you need to be constantly alert on the progress of any order. Quite often, you cannot expect the same levels of service you would get locally, so you have to balance the potential cost savings you may get and compare that to the work required in getting the deal done. b) As someone who started in this business before Alibaba was even around, there are other outlets that can offer options for your purchasing. I know of many good factories that are not even listed on Alibaba. It may be the biggest, but it should be remembered that Alibaba is essentially a platform to put a list of suppliers in one place to make it easier to find a supplier of a particular product, so is not really what you would call a sourcing platform. My company was once a gold member, but the five grand a year I paid wasn't worth it for the return I got, so we cancelled it. So not being on Alibaba and not being a gold member is not necessarily a reason to avoid a supplier, but I also do accept it is one thing to consider. c) At the initial stages of any business relationship, a Chinese supplier will be looking at the short term nature of the business deal. You may be thinking long term, they are more than likely looking to maximize their profit from the first deal. Remember they are getting many requests and a lot of those are just people shopping around, so they will not always value the long term potential at the outset. Quite often saying things like" I want a small order to test the quality and build it as my business grows", is often translated to " I want a small order, and you probably won't see me again if I cannot sell this." d) Avoid anyone in China selling branded products. That iphone, or branded polo shirt, may be made in China, but it is almost guaranteed to be fake. Brand owners generally have very strict agreements in place with manufacturers, and that does not involve the maker being able to sell these goods directly to anyone they like. 2. Yes, it is very important to select quite a few suppliers. Even when I have suppliers of a product I have used before, and will likely use them again, I nearly always get additional supplier product details to be able to make comparisons. a) If you have been using a good supplier and know their product and service quality, sometimes even paying them more is a better option that having to go through the process of vetting new suppliers. b) I do however disagree with the comment about not having an idea about what you can afford. It is the responsibility to the buyer to have an idea of the product information and the associated costs. This to me is one of the main areas where there are problems. Buyers don't know what something costs, they therefore select the cheapest option when talking to suppliers. Problem is that generally the cheapest option is cheap for a reason, which may be product quality or service quality. c) On Alibaba they will generally show a price range of a product on the main product listing pages. Buyers should bear in mind that these prices listed are often not the real prices so should not make any judgment based on these. (Suppliers call this a marketing tactic to entice potential buyers, I call it a flat out lie.) d) Quite often when asking for quotes, information will be missing. Follow up until you have received everything, otherwise you may find some nasty surprises when it comes to the real amount needed to be paid. e) As for communication, you need to remember that English is often not the first language for most suppliers. Not only that, but sometimes an email can be easily understood, whereas talking is incomprehensible. So everything needs to be stated clearly and the shorter the communication the better. 3. Yes, most definitely sampling is important to make sure of the quality. I would even add that, to add some comfort it can be worth considering to have a third party do an inspection of the goods. In the majority of cases for relatively large orders, the payment process is 30% deposit, followed by 70% final payment before the goods are shipped. This inspection can be done before making the final payment as a way of offering some further peace of mind. generally this will cost around USD200-300 currently for an inspection done to AQL (international) standards. 4. For logistics, and with larger orders, shipping by sea is probably the most economical method. (It is handy to look up "incoterms" to know what the different terms mean.) Quite often a buyer will leave the shipping to the supplier (CFR/ CIF), but I would nearly always recommend against this and to arrange shipping on an FOB basis, which means arranging it yourself through your own forwarding company. This is because the cost per CBM can vary significantly with other charges potentially making your costs a lot higher if not done correctly. (Personally, I always arrange several quotes from different suppliers, as I would with my product supplier, just to get a good comparison.) So for example, the supplier may use the shipper with the cheapest shipment rate, but the buyer is stuck with inflated port charges at the destination. Finally, obviously one of the major reasons (probably the major one) that people look to go overseas when sourcing/buying products is the cost. Unfortunately this often leads down the path of looking for the cheapest option. Taking the very cheapest option looks good at the start, but often it is the cheapest option for a reason, which is generally product quality. So a buyer really needs to try and make that judgment call between getting the product at a reasonable price and ensuring the quality is to their satisfaction. Asia is a place of great potential for cost savings, but greed can sometimes outweigh those potential benefits. So I hope some of my comments may have added a little more to help people in their thinking on this subject.
Accounting

GST Basics for Small Business

One of the basic principles of GST is that it is paid by the end consumer. A business that is... read more

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Thanks Matt! Yes, this is a common error made by many small businesses. When we access a new client's accounting data file either for the first time or to review and correct their transactions for a BAS, insurance transactions are always reviewed for this reason.
Matt Dell
This is a very good summary Carmen I am in the insurance industry and we repeatedly have to explain how state based Stamp Duty effects the GST charge on many insurance premiums (it is not 1/11th of the total bill) I bet lots of small biz owners just put it in as standard 1/11th and might be in for a nasty surprise if they get audited :)
Selling online

Online Retail Strategies from the Experts: Business Advice You Need to Heed

Are you struggling to get sales through your online store, or worried about setting one up?... read more

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David BobisOwner at Studio Culture
No problems, Jef!
David BobisOwner at Studio Culture
Hi Phil, yes I love the story of Black Milk. I saw them present some time back and their story truly is an insightful one, especially with the kind of marketing they're doing online.
Business finance and loans

SME Banking and Finance – Credit Card Checklist

If you're like many other small business owners, chances are you've used a credit card to help fund... read more

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Andrew Boyd Co-Founder at CreditCardCompare.com.au
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Craig GarblerManaging Director at Sterling Debt Advisory Pty Ltd
Andrew, thanks for the prompt. I will be following up very shortly. I needed this prompt - have been thinking abouth this exact thing for ages! Craig
Cloud computing

3 Reasons Why MYOB is Not a Cloud Accounting Firm....Yet

Allow me to tell you a story of the first and last time I explored MYOB’s “online” accounting... read more

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Macartan Gaughan Financial Controller at Glendale Care
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Macartan GaughanFinancial Controller at Glendale Care
MYOB's recent IPO has presumably given them a war chest of funds that they will hopefully use to improve their services, but I fear that their entitled attitude is too engrained in the company. It is up to MYOB to show that they care and that begins with customer service and experience. If they don't accountants and their firms will continue to leave their service in droves!
Michael PriorPrincipal at PB Advisory Group
Macartan, like you I just cant understand why MYOB just don't get it! As you have said both Xero and QuickBooks Online support leaves MYOB for dead. Earlier this year I went to the MYOB Roadshow and was flabbergasted that they were promoting an enhancement as leading edge when both Xero and QuickBooks had been doing the same for years and with better functionality.
Running your business

8 reasons why asking questions is just as important as answering them

One of my favourite quotes of Lou Hotlz, a retired American football coach, goes a bit... read more

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Phil Khor Founder at SavvySME
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Onwards and upwards

How To Use A Business Mistake To Enhance Your Reputation

It was 9:25 am when I arrived at the office and I was faced with an entire team of panic-stricken... read more

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Jef LippiattOwner at Startup Chucktown
Great article. I think it is important to show vulnerability and humility. Owning a mistake and trying to make it right will always go a long way with customers.
Social media

Wendy Huang Interview - SavvySME, Episode #42 on The Peter Montgomery Show

Today on the show: Wendy Huang is the head of digital marketing at SavvySME™. An online community... read more

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Awesome, thanks Sandy...
It was great to learn more about the future of SavvySME and meet the lovely Wendy... thoroughly enjoyed this interview and always appreciate the relaxed manner in your delivery Pete.
Running your business

Small Business: The Entrepreneur

In small business, the term “Entrepreneur” to me has always had a mystique about it. I visualize... read more

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Thanks Phil, I am flattered. Thank-you
Phil KhorFounder at SavvySME
This is a truly amazing article! It speaks to the heart of entrepreneurship to me; the vision, the will power, the challenges, leadership - all summed up in a piece of intriguing writing. I especially like the quote you have on your wall. It's true, how will we ever know what is possible, if we never venture out from our comfort zone. I must admit we have my fair share of fears, uncertainties and struggles, but at the same time, we find inspirations in the tiniest of things, and the people whom we meet and interact with. That's why I believe it makes such as difference when we have those around us who can help lift us up, alleviate our fears, and holds us in high regards despite our struggles because they empathise with the day-to-day challenges of running a business. When we find such people, we never want to leave because we feel right at home and we feel just as good returning the favour and look out for each other. So I reckon entrepreneurship is also about building a cobweb of relationship with those whose views and experience we treasure. It makes our journey and learning experience so much more enriching. Thanks for sharing Anthony, awesome article. :)