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Attracting talent and recruitment

Writing an Effective Expression of Interest Letter

An expression of interest letter is a brief, introductory letter sent by a person interested in a... read more

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Damian Wolf Self at Self
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Web design and development

5 Tips for Improving Web Design

A website, for many is a lifeline for business owners. And for some, it’s just a place holder to... read more

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Nina Meiers Web Strategist at XD
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Ecommerce strategy

eCommerce Tips & Tricks

More and more I’m seeing eCommerce businesses starting up and taking off. In my job as a digital... read more

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Jef LippiattCo-founder at Startup Chucktown
David, I think you've raised some really solid points. I think knowing customer preferences is definitely important. Payment choice (other options) is definitely something to keep in mind. I think another important point is to entice the customers that are buying into coming back. This could be a future discount or a referral bonus. The key is constantly reevaluating your offering and adjusting it to your customers.
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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Carmen MorrisOwner at On The Money Bookkeeping
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 :)
Sales and marketing

Experience Sales Improvements Today with a Guarantee

Let’s face it - 8 out of 10 potential customers who visit any business are skeptical to some degree... read more

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Lisa Ormenyessy Business Coach and Marketing Specialist at Straight Talk Group
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Online marketing

What are the advantages and disadvantages of email marketing?

What are the Advantages of Email Marketing? Probably the biggest advantage of email marketing is... read more

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Wendy Huang Full Time Blogger and YouTuber at A Custom Blog in 4 Minutes
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David PriceOwner at Price Advertising
Some useful tips here Wendy - thanks!
Wendy HuangFull Time Blogger and YouTuber at A Custom Blog in 4 Minutes
Thanks Kathie :)
Taxation

ATO Audit – what to do and how to avoid them

As a Tax Agent, this is usually the first thing a client says to me when I tell them I have... read more

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Hitesh Mohanlal Director at WOW! Advisors & Business Accountants
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Greg TomkinsDirector | Web Architect at Top Left Designs
Actually it is very easy for the tax office to identify any business that is operating outside the "norms" as they have all the data they need to statistically identify deviations and the computer systems just sit there scanning all the BAS and annual returns and as soon as they spot a suspect the red light flashes and alarm bells ring. Anyone thinking they can hide anything can pretty well forget it as far as small business is concerned. It was interesting looking at the benchmark data and it is probably a good idea for anyone in the listed business categories to take a quick look... just go to http://www.ato.gov.au/Business/Small-business-benchmarks/In-detail/Benchmarks-A-Z/
Hitesh MohanlalDirector at WOW! Advisors & Business Accountants
Thanks Michael. Your comments are valid. It is frightening how much the ATO know before they start a detailed audit. Audit Insurance is great way to ensure you do not get a big bill for dealing with a tax audit
Running your business

Is It Time to Breakup With Your Business?

Starting a new business is one of the most hopeful things you can do. Just like a new romance,... read more

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Matt AntoninoOwner at Pay On Performance
I agree with the idea. I've started a number of businesses and quickly escaped some, taken my time to learn the business in others and had long, successful relationships with a few. That sounds pretty much exactly like my dating life before I got married. haha The analogy is a good one.
Jef LippiattCo-founder at Startup Chucktown
I agree that you must know your own limitations. My experience is comparing it to gambling or investment. Know how much you are willing to lose ahead of time. By deciding in advance you can limit your emotional bias and not feel as if you must go down with the ship. Also look at your own business as if it were an independent investment. Based on the current standing, if it wasn't your business would you look to double down on what you've already put into it or would you sell it as you see it sour? Emotion is hard to remove, but deciding in advance (and having someone you trust remind you of that decision are vitally important).
Regulatory and compliance

Registering a Business Name in NSW

Registering a business name in NSW The NSW Department of Fair Trading used to manage business name... read more

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Phil Joel Director at SavvySME
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Startup

3 Startup Hubs in Melbourne - Coworking spaces and the community of entrepreneurs

I went to Melbourne yesterday and got the opportunity to explore the startup scene there before we... read more

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Wendy Huang Full Time Blogger and YouTuber at A Custom Blog in 4 Minutes
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Kevin MallenOwner at Virtual Coworker
Inspire9 is quite awesome. For anyone stopping through Melbourne for the day, Inspire9 is free to the public for a day pass. They also have a ping pong table, pool table and love sacs!!!
Web design and development

The Importance of Optimising a Website for Multi-Device Viewing

Having a website is so important for all businesses to have an online presence in this digital age,... read more

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Running your business

Small Business Payroll Challenges: Top 10 Things to Consider

Many small business owners think that hiring staff is as simple as having a verbal agreement with... read more

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Jeff GordonPrincipal at Prestige SME Business Solutions
Well written Carmen, one additional Tip is to implement Fraud Prevention Controls especially in the Payroll Department such as compulsory holidays, 2 level bank transfers authorisation and independent random audits. A Payroll Manager at Clive Peters In Brisbane a few years ago had complete control of this function and stole $20 million. Unfortunately, not long after Clive Peters closed down but the good news was that a fair chunk of the money was recouped as it was mainly invested in properties!
Social media

What you should know about social media for your business

The Internet has changed and has led to new opportunities for businesses to not only communicate... read more

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Frederique BrosOwner at Women Love Tech
Thank you Eric, yes people are sometimes confused about social media and how to use them :)
Eric PhuahOwner at Hystericalz Pty Ltd
Thanks for the article Frederique! It's easy to assume all these types of social media are the same or similar enough to be the same, so it's good to know the difference.
Customer acquisition

Networking: How to Have a Conversation with Anyone

We often hear that networking is essential to business success. Yet to be honest, few of us are... read more

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Attracting talent and recruitment

The Surgeon’s Dilemma – a test for unconscious bias

Here’s a challenge for you. A father and his son are involved in a horrific car crash and the... read more

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Prue Laurence Director at Psylutions
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Wendy HuangFull Time Blogger and YouTuber at A Custom Blog in 4 Minutes
Wow powerful riddle - really enjoyable read as well! Thanks Prue!
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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SavvySME Official Official Account at SavvySME
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Search engine marketing

What Google Wants – An Overview of SEO and Why it’s Crucial for Your Business

The honest truth on Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is that SEO is pretty difficult to... read more

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Andrew Hutchinson Writer/Consultant at www.andrewhutchinson.com.au
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Accounting

Reviewed: Accounting Apps - MYOB, Xero, and Quickbooks

Because I am building my very first start-up, (clap clap clap) I had no idea about any of the... 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
Hey Michael, thanks for the comment! I will definitely take that in mind. I just wanted to add that I intend to have more than 5 invoices per month. Even as a microbusiness, that doesn't mean I don't want to sell more products!
Neil SteggallPartner at Wardour Capital Partners
This is a valuable aid to all small businesses taking their first steps. A great summary, thanks Ling!
Offline and direct marketing

Cost of print advertising

Cost of Print Advertising for Newspapers, Magazines: Newspaper ads are capable of targeting a... read more

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Wendy Huang Full Time Blogger and YouTuber at A Custom Blog in 4 Minutes
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Franchising

Frozen-Yogurt Franchise Fight Heats Up

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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.
Online marketing

10 Email Marketing Essentials: How To Get That Mail Opened

Your marketing strategy may include social media, traditional advertising, media exposure,... read more

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Simon Slade CEO at Doubledot Media
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Growing and scaling

Will You be Saying – ‘Yes! We had a Great Strategy!’ Or ‘Crap We Messed That One Up!’

As a business growth strategist, it is not unusual for me to see excited businesses jumping up and... read more

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Hitesh Mohanlal Director at WOW! Advisors & Business Accountants
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Managing employees

10 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Letting an Employee Go

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Regulatory and compliance

What Should You Include in Your Social Media Policy?

No matter if your business is on social media or not, your employees and partners most probably... read more

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Growing and scaling

We Know We Shouldn’t Do This Yet We Still Do!

Earlier this week I was visited by an uncle of mine from Melbourne. He is a highly successful... 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
Thanks Matt. Yes it is easy in theory. The key is to actually follow through what we know we need to do.
Matt Dell
Good advice here It looks so simple when you lay it out like that - of course it isn't in real life But the more separation you can have between the time you put into your business as the owner/manager and the time you are one of the workers the better Everyone needs some time out to work ON the business and the more you can do this the more insight you can get to the factors you describe here
Startup

Geekbus Gives Future Entrepreneurs a Lift

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Miscellaneous

A Comprehensive Guide to London

  Tourists from all around the world visit London each year to experience all of the wonderful... read more

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Eric PhuahOwner at Hystericalz Pty Ltd
Awesome article Anna, I've always wanted to visit but I've never had a chance. This will definitely help when I go and motivate me to plan that trip :)
Market research

Top 20 Online Customer Survey Forms

Online customer surveys are a great way to gather information, from voting for your next team... read more

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Wendy Huang Full Time Blogger and YouTuber at A Custom Blog in 4 Minutes
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Kathie BolithoDIrector at Tough Cookie Marketing
Great information, thanks!
Sharee JameiWeb Developer at SavvySME
Thank you!
Managing employees

Accountable Teams Get RACI

Accountable Teams Get RACI: if you want to increase employee engagement and develop teams that are... 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 and Phil, I'm glad that you found the article of interest/use.
Wendy HuangFull Time Blogger and YouTuber at A Custom Blog in 4 Minutes
I love how your articles always gives such detailed and useful advice. In a startup situation like ours it's a challenge getting big projects done when you have so many things to do and so little people. Also the fact that we need to heavily collaborate sometimes blurs the lines, writing it down like you suggested in a RACI seems like a great solution :) Thanks for sharing John!
Server, networking and security

Here's a new one for you - Bring your Own Cloud (BYOC)

So, recently we were doing some work on a client’s site—small site, 20 users—and we were installing... read more

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Social media

The Real Generation Gap: How Adults and Teens Use Social Media Differently (Infographic)

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Running your business

How to Ensure Your Invoices Get Paid on Time

Today, I would like to share with you 5 invoicing strategies that will effectively reduce debtors... read more

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Lisa Ormenyessy Business Coach and Marketing Specialist at Straight Talk Group
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Jef LippiattCo-founder at Startup Chucktown
This covers some really interesting ideas. I will definitely revisit our process on invoices.
Hardware and software

"Stop the world I want to get off" - the digital revolution and some food for thought

"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of... read more

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Business partnership

Contract negotiation, the art of closing the deal and protecting your business.

    It’s exciting entering a new partnership or venture and most of us just want to get started... read more

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Buying and selling businesses

How to Sell a Business

"Start with the end in mind."  That’s the key to selling your business for its maximum... read more

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Brent Szalay Owner at SEIVA
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Brent SzalayOwner at SEIVA
Thanks for your comments Jeff. I agree to maximize the value everything must be documented. This should be a practice that every business should undertake whether they are looking to sell the business in the short to medium term or not.
Jeff GordonPrincipal at Prestige SME Business Solutions
One major mistake business owners make is not documenting everything such as Processes, Procedures, Job Descriptions. If management keep most of the IP in their brains and not documented it will make it more difficult to sell a business and get a higher price!