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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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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. :)
Managing risks

The Four Types of Project Management Risks

Every project manager needs to understand how to minimize risks that can hinder the successful... read more

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Alex Pejak
Thanks, Jef. I totally agree.
Jef LippiattOwner at Startup Chucktown
Great coverage on project management risks. I think that digital projects need to think about the "Security" quite a bit more than they currently do.
Online marketing

Diversifying the Digital Dream

Your brand is so much more than your advertising. Let that sink in for a moment. Your story, your... read more

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Kristen Boucher Client Manager at SponsoredLinX
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Lina BarfootEditor at SavvySME
Couldn't agree more with you; your story and reason for being in business is such a crucial part of how you should present yourself. I really like the idea of using social media and still remaining selective about how and where you use it. Great article!
Sales and marketing

Twelve Seconds and Six Actions to Establish Rapport

By Gregory Ferrett 1 April 2013 Earlier this month a colleague of mine called and asked how many... read more

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Human resources

I don’t need work place policies do I? I am only a small business

A recent decision handed down by the Fair Work Commission (previously known as Fair Work Australia)... read more

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Hitesh Mohanlal Director at WOW! Advisors & Business Accountants
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Hitesh MohanlalDirector at WOW! Advisors & Business Accountants
Hi Eric. Yes you are correct. We find that once loyalty and/ or the relationship has broken down it causes the most problems. That's when paperwork becomes very important. Unfortunately, even if it seems logical that am employee should not do something it will not protect the employer unless that have the policies in place.
Eric PhuahOwner at Hystericalz Pty Ltd
Interesting read. I guess small businesses are sometimes over optimistic and hope situations like don't happen to them because of their size.
Onwards and upwards

Failing Forward

Failure, it sucks. It feels, well embarrassing - because everyone around you are full time... read more

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Lina BarfootEditor at SavvySME
SO many good points here! I love that James Joyce quote as well, endless wisdom in the catalogues of that man.
Social media

Google Plus Account: Crucial Things to Consider

Google Plus is NOT just another social media site. For a business, to have a Google Plus... read more

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Richard Carter Owner at Business Connection Resources
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There certainly are many benefits of keeping your Google+ up to date. Not least of which is simply revealing your full name on your blog, and inserting your real Google+ profile number in the User Profile in the blog, so that your wee face comes up with your article in some long tail Google searches.
Eric PhuahOwner at Hystericalz Pty Ltd
Thanks for the tips Richard, I haven't really used Google+ as much before but this will definitely help.
Training and development

Customer Service Scripts Need to Die

Do you want to call customer service for me? No? I can't say I'm shocked. What is it about customer... read more

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Jef Lippiatt Owner at Startup Chucktown
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Hardware and software

Good Intentions Won't Be Enough to Sell Successfully Online

Money is the reason we do this. We buy goods from wholesalers and sell them to customers for a... read more

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Damian WolfSelf at Self
Interesting topic.
Legal

Advertising and promotion for your new online business

When advertising and promoting your online business, you should bear in mind that there are legal... read more

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Lina BarfootEditor at SavvySME
Very interesting, especially in terms of adhering to truthful advertising even in social media. It seems that sometimes social media is a place where people think anything goes, and they're a little too prone to exaggeration. I think though as social media marketing becomes more and more established as a valid alternative to 'traditional' marketing, it's so important to keep what you mentioned in mind - that you still have to be able to back your claims up.
Jef LippiattOwner at Startup Chucktown
Very informative article, thank you for sharing the information.
Customer acquisition and retention

3 easy ways to keep your clients coming back!

Without Clients every business would cease to exist. And we all recognise it’s much easier to... read more

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Phil KhorFounder at SavvySME
Great article Sam, solid and practical advice. Thanks for sharing :) Looking forward to more articles :)
Eric PhuahOwner at Hystericalz Pty Ltd
Some logical and well presented ways to retain customers. Thanks for the article Sam!
Customer acquisition and retention

Customer’s thinking cycle before detaching with their dollars

Think about the last time you have purchased a product or service. Think about the time you... read more

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Outsourcing

Outsourcing Essentials 4 - Specifications

Once you have evaluated and selected a preferred supplier for your manufacturing requirements and... read more

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Brian Le Mon Owner at GBOS
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Sales and marketing

B2B Decision Process

In a B2B buying process, there are many approval levels involved including finance, accounting,... read more

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Social media

Is the new Google+ format a Facebook killer?

For some months many of us have been wondering why a large empty space has been positioned on the... read more

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Richard Carter Owner at Business Connection Resources
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Eric PhuahOwner at Hystericalz Pty Ltd
Thanks for the article Richard, it's really helpful since I'm not that well versed in Google+ but reading this has been very useful.
Sales and marketing

It's a numbers game

In business it’s all about the numbers. Profit, turnover, number of customers, quantity of stock,... read more

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Steve Gray Director at Gray Capital Investments
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Running your business

Listening to your wife could make you 14.4 billion dollars

I read a story today about the massive success of a Japanese game called Dungeon raid.  Over the... read more

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Wendy Huang Full Time Blogger and YouTuber at A Custom Blog in 4 Minutes
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William ChenOwner at China Key
I'd be happy if my wife gives me advice worth more than $100....oh wait, I don't have a wife :) Anyway, great article
Online marketing

Promoting your new website video

So you have got a fantastic video that promotes your brand, project, services or products. How do... read more

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John BelchamberOwner & Senior Consultant at Invoke Results
Thanks Stephen, great tips. Do you find that the hardest part of video marketing is actually taking the first step into it?
Eric PhuahOwner at Hystericalz Pty Ltd
Thanks for the tips Stephen. Videos are one of the hardest media to promote and to attract viewers, especially a business related video, so these are definitely useful!
Application design and development

Do you learn from your IT Project mistakes?

Anyone who has been involved in an IT projects like developing an online store will also have been... read more

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Phil JoelDirector at SavvySME
I couldn't agree more John. Scope Creep is arguably the biggest risk to any IT project. When delivering a successful project, it always comes back to finding the right balance between Time, Cost and Quality.
Server, networking and security

Since when has email been anything but a broadcast medium?

We all use email, and in most cases we have had an email address for many years.  My Hotmail (no... read more

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John BelchamberOwner & Senior Consultant at Invoke Results
Excellent lessons/reminders for us all here Roger thank you.
Human resources

Put Management Engagement Before Employee Engagement

Employee Engagement is critical for sustainable business success, but perhaps we should re-focus... read more

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John Belchamber Owner & Senior Consultant at Invoke Results
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John BelchamberOwner & Senior Consultant at Invoke Results
Thank you Wendy, I'm delighted you found it thought provoking. I believe leadership comes from right across a high performing organisation, not just from the management/leadership roles. After all, leadership is about the behaviours you demonstrate nit just about how many people report to you.
Wendy HuangFull Time Blogger and YouTuber at A Custom Blog in 4 Minutes
Hi John, this article kept me captivated throughout, so thank you for taking the time to write this piece. Actually I've been reading a fair few books lately and one concept that really stood out was people confusing the concept of management and leadership quite often. Leadership is about vision and direction whereas management is a way of making sure we get to that direction. Without a sound direction it's no wonder managers struggle, they don't know why they are managing and where they are going and so all sorts of complications arise. Everyone that reads this article should be jotting down some action points for improvement because I think this is extremely important to keeping at it. Even if you're not in a leadership position there is nothing stopping you from making sure you lead yourself first :) That's something I'm actively working on at them moment. Again great article :) I look forward to more quality pieces from you!
Copywriting, content writing and blogging

So you think you can PR?

I want to open this article with two questions:  what does PR mean to your business, and how are... read more

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Ling Lee Director at Japanese Sword Auctions Australia
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Copywriting, content writing and blogging

Boggle them Bloggers!

Attention Bloggers! (Or potential bloggers) In my previous article, I highlighted guest blogging... read more

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Ling Lee Director at Japanese Sword Auctions Australia
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John BelchamberOwner & Senior Consultant at Invoke Results
Thank you Ling, a very useful post again :)
Running your business

Define your strengths, then apply them liberally

Ever since I was small, I’ve learnt about strengths and weaknesses.  At junior school, my annual... read more

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Fosca PacittoOwner at Fosca Pacitto
Thanks Wendy! Glad you enjoyed the read, I enjoyed writing it! I hope that the article uplifts others too!
Wendy HuangFull Time Blogger and YouTuber at A Custom Blog in 4 Minutes
Really great article Fosca!! I loved it because all through school you got taught to focus on fixing your weakneses and it's just liberating to realise that you can be more effective focussing on your strengths and the reason why we have friends networks and helpers is because they are there to fill in our gaps :)!! My strengths are communicating online, and psychoanalysing situations so we can improve the way we do things like marketing, and getting the message across :)! I love psychoanalysing and just do it naturally and I'm so glad I found an outlet for it. This article was really uplifting thank you :)!!! P.S. Can't say tennis is a strength of mine even after getting coaching for a few years ;)