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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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Sales and marketing

Do You Speak “Sales?"

YOU WON'T WANT TO AFTER YOU LEARN TO SPEAK "WIIFM" “What’s In It For Me?” This is the only... read more

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Jef LippiattCo-founder at Startup Chucktown
Relating to your customers in a personal manner pays off in more than just a sale. It nets you someone who can relate to your business and hopefully will spread the word after one or several good interactions with you.
Franchising

New Laws To Protect Franchisees Come Into Force

Do you own a franchise? Are you thinking about buying one to start your own business? I have great... read more

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Taxation

Be Honest and Stay Out of Jail

Attached is "Stay Out Of Jail Card" There are some days (very few) in my life when I hate what I... read more

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Hitesh Mohanlal Director at WOW! Advisors & Business Accountants
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Jef LippiattCo-founder at Startup Chucktown
I can't relate specifically to Australian tax law as I don't live or operate there. What I can say is that keeping track of tax here in the United States isn't much easier. I'm great at complex math, but not at staying on top of tax law changes or what needs filed where. I'm looking into getting a bookkeeper myself.
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
Business planning

‘System’ is not a dirty word

Business owners are wary of ‘systems’, feeling they deprive them of flexibility. However, a... read more

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Thanks Brian. I have been told that the value of your business is not just in the assets, but also the systems. The better the systems, the better the value.
Wendy HuangFull Time Blogger and YouTuber at A Custom Blog in 4 Minutes
Quick and to the point. I'm all for Systems :)
Running your business

How to Systemise for Success

Many businesses work with ad hoc procedures that ‘just happen’, and aren’t really systems at... read more

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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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Web hosting

How to Choose The Right Type of Hosting For Your Business

Like most items, making a decision on which web hosting company to use can be hard. With all the... read more

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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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Franchising

Frozen-Yogurt Franchise Fight Heats Up

Business & Small Business Log In | Join Log In | Join Log In Join...read more

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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!!!
Telecommunications, mobile and wireless

Top 5 Email Marketing Tips

I love marketing emails. Really, I do.   According to the Direct Marketing Association's in the... read more

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Ling Lee Director at Japanese Sword Auctions Australia
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Neil SteggallPartner at Wardour Capital Partners
Just re read it Ling.....loved the humour at the start!
Neil SteggallPartner at Wardour Capital Partners
A great and useful article Ling. Thank you
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!
Franchising

Case study of a little known franchise success story

A good example of using the franchising process of systemization and putting these principles... read more

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Micha WottonHead of Development at SavvySME
Thanks for another great article, Brian.
Wendy HuangFull Time Blogger and YouTuber at A Custom Blog in 4 Minutes
Very inspirational
Sales and marketing

Singing to Your Customers – A Tale of Relationship Success

Once upon a time, in a prosperous kingdom far, far away, the local monarch’s beautiful daughter,... read more

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Franchising

Plenty of Room for New Franchises

It's long been recognised that newer small businesses run as a sole proprietorship have higher... read more

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Leo EliadesOwner at INSPIRENOW PTY LTD
I love that word simple Brian, for some reason we are always assuming and looking for the complex - the simpler the better
Franchising

Do you have the right management in place?

The right management and the right staff are two cornerstones!   Staff members play a very... read more

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Wendy HuangFull Time Blogger and YouTuber at A Custom Blog in 4 Minutes
Thanks Brian for shedding more light to the franchising industry :) It's the same as well for all other areas! Also staff and management are probably also the hardest to get right because it's so intangible
Wendy HuangFull Time Blogger and YouTuber at A Custom Blog in 4 Minutes
Thanks for the article Brian :)!
Franchising

So you want to grow your business by franchising – but are you fit to lead?

One of the other deciding factors when analyzing whether a business is ripe to franchise, is the... read more

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Sales and marketing

Articles Strategy Summary: How to Write Articles that Get Your Phone Ringing

Articles, whether they appear in magazines, newspapers, content websites, blogs or e-newsletters... read more

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Jef LippiattCo-founder at Startup Chucktown
I've found this to be true as I've written with more frequency. I try to tweak and improve with every article and newsletter. I've come to enjoy the challenge of trying to create engaging content.
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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Lifestyle and health

An Open Letter To My Past Weight Loss Clients

Dear Past Client, I just want to say…I'm Sorry. I’m sorry, all those years ago, in my naivety,... read more

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Kellie Parker Founder at Tapping Into Change Personal Coaching
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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 :)
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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Accounting

7 Interesting accounting and bookkeeping trivia

Bookkeeping, which dates back to unwritten history, is arguably one of the most useful business... read more

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George Harris SEO at Shoebooks Pty Ltd
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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.
Branding

Let's Get to The Heart of Finding Your Brand Essence

As a brand consultant, I help translate visions into reality -- into communications that connect,... read more

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Sandy Archer at Sandy Archer Creative
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Jef LippiattCo-founder at Startup Chucktown
Thanks for sharing this information. I think you add a lot of clarity.
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!
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!
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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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!
Sales and marketing

Expert Tips for Mobile PPC

Targeting mobile devices is becoming increasingly important for any digital marketing strategy. It... read more

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Jef LippiattCo-founder at Startup Chucktown
This was a very interesting and helpful article, thanks.
Startup

Geekbus Gives Future Entrepreneurs a Lift

Business & Small Business Log In | Join Log In | Join Log In Join...read more

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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.
Lifestyle and health

I am Johnny Depp - what Myer Briggs Celebrity are you?

Had things gone differently, perhaps I could have the lead in the Pirates of the Caribbean...? 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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John BelchamberOwner & Senior Consultant at Invoke Results
I can't claim to have correlated MBTI to DISC exactly/scientifically, but subjectively here are some possible correlations: D: outgoing / task ENTJ I: outgoing / people ENFP S: reserved / people ISFP C: reserved / task ISTJ Possible best fit DISC type with each MBTI type: ISTJ: very high C, moderate D and S, very low I ISFJ: high S and high C, low D and I ISTP: moderate S, D, C, low I ISFP: very high S, moderate I and C, very low D INTJ: high D and C, low S, very low I INTP: moderate S, D, C, low I INFJ: moderate S, C, I, low D INFP: high S and I, low C and D ESTJ: high D and C, low I and S ESFJ: moderate I, S, C, low D ESTP: high D, moderate I, low C and S ESFP: high I, moderate S, low C and D ENTJ: very high D, moderate I, C, very low S ENFJ: high I and D, low C and S ENTP: high D and I, low C and S ENFP: very high I, moderate D and S, very low C
Ling LeeDirector at Japanese Sword Auctions Australia
I alwasy get conflicting results whenever I do the MBTI - but just did one now, and got ENTP! With DISC, it seems Im a C/ID
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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