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Business planning

8 Success Tips to Planning a Business Conference

Planning a professional business conference can be demanding. Planning ahead, using a timeline and... read more

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Dunya Carter
Thank you Phil! (:
Phil KhorFounder at SavvySME
Thanks Dunya, great checklist! :)
Running your business

Emails – Love them and Hate them!

Emails. For many when we hear that word it simply makes us groan.  We all know what it is like to... read more

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Tim RichardsSMO Manager at GROW SOME
We rely more and more on the written word. 86% of communication for SME's takes the form of emails. That's crazy! I wonder if video messages will pick up and balance the scales?  Great article Sandra, something everyone of us can relate to every single morning!!
Phil KhorFounder at SavvySME
What a great article Sandra! This might sound somewhat exaggerated but I reckon good email etiquettes can make or break our business, because it goes to the heart of how well we treat and value our clients and people around us. Thanks for sharing. :)
Remuneration and benefits

Is an Employee’s Super Guarantee Entitlement Affected by Salary Packaging?

The short answer is yes. Under the Super Guarantee (SG) rules, employers are generally required to... read more

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Shane GoldCompliance Officer at First State Super
This is a great article Leanne; you explained it very clearly. Anyone (employee) who wants to salary sacrifice should understand this first. With your permission, I'll link this article to my blog. Shane
Startup branding and PR

Doing it in Style!

Tell us a bit about your business? I run a boutique PR and copywriting business catering to... read more

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Marguerite O'Sullivan Owner/Manager at MyStyle PR
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Eric PhuahOwner at Hystericalz Pty Ltd
Great article Marguerite! Good luck with your continued success!
Business coaching

Reasons Why You Need Business Coaching

There is a saying that says no matter what you achieve, there is always someone out there who is... read more

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Web design and development

Does Your Website Appear where People are Looking?

Do you sell direct to business? Sensis e-Business Report (2012) mentions that 82% of all SMEs look... read more

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Founders and co-founders

Successful Mumtrepreneurs - War Games and TLC

Jamie Arundell-Latshaw CEO - Lexicon Consulting Jamie Latshaw spent 8 years in active duty with... read more

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Growing and scaling

Ralph Anania Interview - Boost Your Business, Episode #49 On The Peter Montgomery Show

The Peter Montgomery Show Episode #49 Today on the show: Ralph Anania works with SME's (small to... read more

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Thanks heaps Tim, Yes, Ralph is a Gem...
Tim GreigOwner at Green Galah Pty Ltd
What a breath of fresh air! A real business person. I wasn't sure if they still existed amongst all the 'gurus' out there. Some things stood out:if you're comfortable, you're dead; pay attention to detail; and my favourite...real entrepreneurs have vision beyond a year or so. Thanks Peter ,for bring Ralph on.
Public relations

Are your press releases worth the effort?

The main reason a press release (PR) is produced is strictly for a newsworthy dissemination. This... read more

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Eric PhuahOwner at Hystericalz Pty Ltd
Thanks Han. I'm in the process of writing to journalists so this article is really helpful! Hopefully they get drawn in to my story.
Telecommunications, mobile and wireless

5 tips on how to nail a radio interview

The radio is still a preferred medium of communication even with the massive surge of people that... read more

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Import and Export

Lowering Costs - Product Sourcing from Overseas

Most small businesses are doing it tough. This is not only due to worldwide economic conditions,... read more

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Brian Mallyon Owner at Luckypole Limited
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Leadership

How to Ace Your Presentation

The word ‘presentation’ seems to spark a deep fear in some people. One of the most powerful tools... read more

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Taylor Williams Manager at Project Manager Online
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Eric PhuahOwner at Hystericalz Pty Ltd
Good tips Taylor, I will remember these tips for my next presentation. Thanks.
Sales and marketing

Benefits of advertorials

An advertorial is the combination of an advertisement and an editorial. In a printed form, the... read more

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Information technology

Why Small Business IT often stagnates (and how to avoid it)

Most business owners wear many hats as the expert in all things business: marketing, sales, client... read more

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Angely Grecia Public Relations at MYOB
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Phil KhorFounder at SavvySME
So true, whenever we put buying decisions in the context of TCO, we often get very different perspectives on which purchase is actually the better buy in the long run! Thanks Andrew.
Andrew EganOwner at Adept IT
A good example of where I see small-to-medium businesses struggling is with the acquisition of personal hardware, whether it be a desktop or a laptop. Far too often I see a business go out at the last minute and buy something from JB Hifi or Officeworks, and usually the cheapest option. Invariably, they come with Windows Home operating system, not the business one, and with a 1 year "back-to-base" warranty. The hardware specs are also fairly low when you look at the expected workload of the employee it's provided to. I mention this for three reasons: 1. If your hardware fails (and in one organisation, out of 30 of these laptops, I've seen 8 failed hard drives, across various vendors) you need to send it back to the manufacturer to get it repaired. This could take days, or weeks, resulting in either lost productivity, or the need to purchase a new (again, super-cheap) laptop and put the old one in the cupboard. So just on the warranty factor alone, if something goes wrong, it costs you money. 2. Many of my clients run Small Business Server, or other windows-server based networks. Whether it's because it's the best solution for where they are, or because it's what's been inherited and there's been no need to spend more money yet. This is important because the Windows Home computers can't be fully connected to these networks. Sure, it can connect and access things, but the Business versions allow you to use central logons (meaning an employee should be able to logon to Any computer, at any time and have settings there) and, crucially, central management. By central management I mean the ability to rapidly set given settings, such as firewalls, or control the installation of software packages, or indeed remotely install sfotware, from a single location, without needing to touch all the computers. If you've got 20 computers and 1 server, the time to deploy, say, a new version of Microsoft Office, if all the computers are Windows Professional, can be reduced to one small step on the server, less than 2 hours potentially. If you've got twenty slow, underpowered computers, and thye take an hour to install software each, that's 20 hours of time for your IT specialist to install that software. 20 hours, vs 2 hours. 3. Underperfoming. The Cheap & cheerful laptops work well for 3-6 months. After that time, performance drops (and I see this not only in anecdotal evidence from employees, but in the background monitoring I do) and I start gettting calls to "speed it up" and "make it go better." Sure, there's afew things that can be done, but it comes at your business's time and expense, for not huge gain. Usually, you're back again asking the same thing in another 3-6 months. So, on top of your initial purchase cost of $500, add another 2 hours or thereabouts of maintenance to make it perform better, you've already spent over $700. That's ignoring the lost productivity while the employee waits for the computer to be worked on, and ignoring the potential for if you need a warranty replacement. Now compare that same laptop with the added on costs to a business-grade hardware, whether it's Dell or HP, with a 3 year, next-business-day, onsite warranty. Sure, you might spend 1100-1300 instead, but you'll get better quality hardware, hardware with a known genesis and warranty support from a company that maintains all the necessary parts and will send someone out to fix it. You pay a bit more at the start, but the device will have a longer lifespan and perform better for the employee, so you get increased productivity gains. We have a term for it - it's called Total Cost of Ownership. Small business owners should be looking at what the total cost of owning an IT asset would be, over the full lifecycle of that device, and not just what it costs up front.
Import and Export

P.M. Pupperty.

Manufacturing with on offshore vendor introduces a myriad of complexities into the equation. Some... read more

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Brian Le Mon Owner at GBOS
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John BelchamberOwner & Senior Consultant at Invoke Results
Another good article with very useful tips in it Brian, thank you for sharing.
Import and Export

Information Overload

Transferring manufacture to an offshore company is an interesting venture to say the least. Often... read more

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Brian Le Mon Owner at GBOS
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Phil JoelDirector at SavvySME
Good advice Brian. I think this applies to most situations when you're bringing on a new business partner. Of corse, it is tricker when your business partner is on the other side of the world and hence need good management to ensure that it goes smoothly.
Startup

Small Business and Startups in economic uncertainty (part 1)

Getting started in business is never an easy road. This is even more apparent in the current... read more

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Brian Le Mon Owner at GBOS
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Online marketing

Facing The Challenges Of Local Marketing Head On

There are many challenges facing you when you choose to engage in local marketing. The question is... read more

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Cashflow management

Counting Cents – Even Small Fees Add Up

While many may assume that operating a small to medium sized business means that you will mainly be... read more

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Cloud computing

A walk through the window and into the cloud (For the SMEs)

A walk through the Window and into The Cloud (For the SMEs) The IT industry seems to relish the... read more

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Server, networking and security

How do we protect our children when we don’t understand cyber space ourselves

Technology has changed the world.  From cloud computing to GPS, from tablets to mobile apps, we... read more

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Cashflow management

High profits & about to crash?

High Profits & About to Crash? A relevant question for SME Management. “How important is... read more

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Neil Steggall Partner at Wardour Capital Partners
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Neil SteggallPartner at Wardour Capital Partners
The easiest options would include invoice discounting or factoring and increasingly stock funding. With a good spread of customers 80%+ of invoice value is achievable. American Express have some interesting SME options also. A company we invested in traded with the restaurant industry which is notorious for late payments and defaults. We offered an online account application and in the fine print it stated that the restaurant (client) was trading with AMEX. We received our payments the day after the goods were received by our customer.
Phil JoelDirector at SavvySME
Such a great article Neil. I was in a similar predicament some years ago. All KPI's look fantastic but the debtors were dragging us down and was putting a strain on our payroll commitments. Even though we were making great money on paper, our bank statements just didn't reflect it. Luckily for us, we had a bumper year previously and was able to use the retained earnings to give us a cushion. What are some of financing options are available for SME's with short-term cashflow problems?
Sales and marketing

Research Reveals Digital Marketers Are Sleep Deprived and Unconfident

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 had to say, this article made me laugh at the irony. I can totally relate as well!
Business planning

3 steps to uncovering your big priorities for 2014

Coming to the close of 2013, like most of us, it’s a time for some downtime, fun with family and... read more

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Phil KhorFounder at SavvySME
Great article Andrew. Couldn't agree more, personally Christmas is the best time to regroup and set priorities for the new year. I love how simplistic your planning advice is, it's the perfect start! Thanks! :)
Andrew OldhamOwner at Shoebooks
Thanks Neil, i wish they would also!
Business planning

How to create a S.M.A.R.T Business Plan

It's a general rule among entrepreneurs that before a business gets built from the ground up,... read more

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Kerry Blake
Thank you for your kind words Roland. Your comment (short article) is great addition to my article.
Lovely article Kerry... Love the focus on learning from your competition... have a look what they do and then make it better. Business planning is a big soapbox of mine. Most business owners know they should have one but few of them do and the ones that do have one haven't looked at it in the last couple of years and the plan is gathering dust at the bottom of a pile of books. The problem is that people don't get clear about the purpose of the business plan that they create. There is a world of difference between a business plan that is written to impress a bank manager when applying for an overdraft and a plan that is aimed at engaging your people and the main tool that is used to guide the development of the business. The first one is what I call an external plan and the second one is what I refer to as an internal business plan. And the 6 criteria for an effective internal business plan are these: - It's got to be Live and kept alive...constantly - Make sure it's written for the right people - And easily accessible for those people - Including the Short, medium, long-term Goals of the business (SMART goals) - Referencing the Purpose and Mission of the business - And short (ideally no more than one page) As it happens I've written in more detail about effective business planning, on this site as well as on my blog... and I have a couple of recorded webinars available about Business plans that work (for free)... if anyone is interested drop me a line or let me know here and I'll share a link to one of them. Cheers Roland Hanekroot
Sales and marketing

Design, spelling, punctuation whatt really matters when it comes to marketing?

You hear it all the time, You must get on top of this in your business (insert whatever the... read more

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Adam BeanOwner at Jark Projects
Hey Wendy You make a very important point, it is all about your market and what is important to them. The obvious does all to often get overlooked. Thanks for the feedback as well, it is always greatly appreciated.
Wendy HuangFull Time Blogger and YouTuber at A Custom Blog in 4 Minutes
Adam, what a great read!! I love how you get to the point (you aren't just saying that) I also enjoyed the examples. Those examples seem glaring obvious but I'm sure we can all recall a situation where a business has violated something really obvious that their target market is concerned about. Can't wait to read more of your pearls of wisdom :D
Managing employees

Increase employee engagement - give the gift of a personal goal

Increase Employee Engagement - Give The Gift Of A Personal Goal: increase engagement and... 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
Thanks Wendy. I have a feeling that you are fairly adept at achieving the goals you set for yourself ;)
Wendy HuangFull Time Blogger and YouTuber at A Custom Blog in 4 Minutes
A great article John, loved to hear these stories of success!! It's so true that constantly not meeting goals really serve to handicap even the most brightest and capable people. No matter how great you are at your job you can't escape how real these effects are, so it's always important to take tips like yours seriously. Can't wait to see your next article and learn more!
Customer acquisition and retention

“Sorry?” where does it belong in business?

During the past few weeks the word “sorry” has been said to me on a few occasions, from... read more

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Thanks for your comments John and Wendy.
Wendy HuangFull Time Blogger and YouTuber at A Custom Blog in 4 Minutes
Hi Warren, I also do feel sometimes sorry feels like an empty reply to tick off the box of "politeness" vs. actually being sorry. I also never really thought much about it. Thanks for promoting more integrity in the business world :D!
Leadership

Do you know yourself as a leader?

One of the downsides of leadership in an SME is the demand to be extremely competent in a wide... read more

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Phil KhorFounder at SavvySME
Great post Louise. I find self awareness so critical at all levels yet often neglected. The fall out can be severe, esp for leaders when there is great disparity between how we view ourselves and how others view us. Knowing thyself is easier said than done. Being a sanguine, it took me years coming to grips with my shortcomings which wasn't apparent until I meticulously set aside time each day to self assess and process the information. I'm still doing this from time to time these days, and I don't always like what I find. No one's perfect I guess but if we're serious about growing our team and our business, it's the first and most crucial step to discovery to growth. Thanks for sharing.
Steven AbrahamOwner at Evolved Sound
Taking mindfulness to the daily grind is ever so import. I agree it's essential you have time to sporadically think, energize and continue to strategize from different angles. Being stuck in micro-tasks for too long is the surefire way to fast burnout!
Running your business

4 Secrets Of Success

(Image credit: Getty Images for Dress For Succes via @daylife) Of all the goals people set in life,...read more

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Phil KhorFounder at SavvySME
Great reminder to steer away from 'harmful behaviours' that destroys whatever progress we made towards success. Easier said than done, but I believe success begins with the right attitude and mindset.
Wendy HuangFull Time Blogger and YouTuber at A Custom Blog in 4 Minutes
Wow really great to keep reminding yourself of these concepts :)!! I especially love the one about personal vs. professional. I see many lose their partners over their pursuit of success or close friends and this is really saddening, because I personally don't think it's worth it.
Accounting

Online accounting 101: the components and benefits of cloud accounting

Low productivity, disorganised workflow, redundant records, and reconciliation errors—these are... read more

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George Harris SEO at Shoebooks Pty Ltd
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Steven AbrahamOwner at Evolved Sound
Great article. For most businesses, the benefits of embracing cloud accounting far outweigh the traditional localised options.
Wendy HuangFull Time Blogger and YouTuber at A Custom Blog in 4 Minutes
Thanks for this article George!
Social media

The #Selfie Phenomenon [INFOGRAPHIC]

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

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Running your business

5 ways to fall in love with your business again

It's Valentines day, a day where you spend your time with loved ones and partners and spoil them... read more

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Wendy Huang Full Time Blogger and YouTuber at A Custom Blog in 4 Minutes
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Selina ShaplandOwner at Selina Shapland
Wendy, this is a great article and so relevant every day not just on Valentines day. I related to what you were saying and I think a lot of people can become disillusioned even in their daily work when working for another organisation as well as your own business. I've been there and I think your ideas are fantastic for revitalising your mindset into an action orientated forward thinking set of goals that can and will make a tremendous difference to your business and your personal outlook on life. Kudos to you. Awesome article!
Cloud computing

Cloud as a disruptive technology: put your buck in the right place

Every now and then we see a technology that sweeps the market off its feet while rendering the... read more

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Yes It does allow for printing Ling Lee.
Neil SteggallPartner at Wardour Capital Partners
a great article Thivaharan!
Social media

How to Protect Your Gated Content from Google Search

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

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Running your business

‘Youngpreneurs’: the mobile revolutionaries transforming small business

Generation Y has been called a lot of things. Self-interested, narcissistic slackers. Spirited,... read more

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