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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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Running your business

Rebooking: Use This One Habit to Significantly Increase Repeat Business

Re-Book The Next Visit Now As you may have heard, it's at least 6 times easier (and more... 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
Great topic coverage. I think I would also add that in certain situations like the hairdresser (or salon) you could have specific rebooking questions for a specific stylist as well (not only gaining the business repeat customers but specific people within the business). I think this is why subscription services are so successful because you are agreeing to have a recurring service/appointment from the beginning. Actually, haircuts as a subscription is an interesting idea (you could buy a certain amount ahead of time at a slightly discounted rate with appointments evenly spaced apart). You could also look at providing discounts to people who are willing to pre-schedule multiple appointments in advance. However, I will point out that it is key to ensure that the client is a good fit (for repeat business) before you decided to have them schedule lots of future business. If they are a bad client it may be worth letting them slip away. Bad repeat customers doesn't make for a great business.
Copywriting, content writing and blogging

How to Build a Custom Wordpress Blog or Website in Just 4 Minutes

Blogs have become an essential part of business. I was on the phone the other day with a client 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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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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Startup

How to Boost Your Online Retail Sales Using These Proven Strategies

Technology and globalisation are forever changing the way we do business.  The good news is that... read more

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Will Irving at Telstra Business
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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!!!
First 100 days

Don't be afraid to make the call

Running a business is really just a whole series of decisions you didn’t think you’d have to make,... read more

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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
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 :)
Growing and scaling

Customer Service – How Getting it Wrong Can Cost You Thousands of Dollars!

We all know that customer service is not just important, but probably the cornerstone of a... read more

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Hitesh Mohanlal Director at WOW! Advisors & Business Accountants
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Sales and marketing

Mobile Marketing Options You Have to Consider

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

Becoming a franchisee: the tip of the iceberg In australia's business world

Despite the Global Financial Crisis, which had a subsequent economic downturn in Australia in the... read more

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Joanna Johnson Marketing Specialists
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Offline and direct marketing

Pillar Promotion: When it's OK to Spread Yourself Out

When you undertake any kind of marketing activity or promotion, it makes sense to get the most... read more

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Lisa Ormenyessy Business Coach and Marketing Specialist at Straight Talk Group
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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!
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!
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.
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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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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Franchising

Frozen-Yogurt Franchise Fight Heats Up

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Founders and co-founders

Vote Now for Your Pick for Entrepreneur of 2013

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

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Taxation

Understanding Business Activity Statement (BAS) - The Complete Guide

The business activity statement (BAS) is a tax reporting requirement for businesses issued by the... read more

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Craig Pisani Director at 542 Partners
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Copywriting, content writing and blogging

Top 3 Blog Design Tips

We all know that when it comes to blogging, content is king. That makes design the all-important... read more

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Phil KhorFounder at SavvySME
Great tips, Jason. I stumbled upon a Youtube video the other day about design is the real king. It struck a cord with me because I'm a pretty visual guy, and I'm easily biased about how I feel about the blog just by looking at its design. I'm sure I'm not alone in this regard. Thanks for sharing :)
Wendy HuangFull Time Blogger and YouTuber at A Custom Blog in 4 Minutes
I highly agree on the theme. You can waste a lot of time changing your mind after each design iteration if you don't have a clear theme in mind. Once you design on a color palette and design theme, things just seem to unfold much easier :)
Accounting

Online Cloud Account Software Options for Small Businesses

What is Online or Cloud Accounting? If you are an Australian small business owner, you no longer... read more

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Phil Joel Director at SavvySME
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Ling LeeDirector at Japanese Sword Auctions Australia
Great article! Thanks for the comparison table too! By the way, I recently wrote a comparison article between Xero, Quickbooks and MYOB: https://www.savvysme.com.au/article/1528-reviewed-accounting-apps--myob-xero-and-quickbooks :D
Ecommerce strategy

How to Launch Your First Ecommerce Website Without Breaking the Bank

This article will be a tutorial about how I started one of my Australian ecommerce website while... read more

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Jef LippiattCo-founder at Startup Chucktown
This article had a wealth of knowledge and great detail. I really appreciate the time and effort you put into this article, it really shines through.
Ananda Raj PandeyOwner at GuestJet
Well explained, great article.
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!
Web design and development

Website woes: html to wordpress, what could go wrong?

With Content Management Systems becoming all the rage for managing a website (and quite rightly... read more

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Charly Leetham CEO & Founder at Ask Charly Leetham
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Micha WottonHead of Development at SavvySME
Some good caveats for business owners here, Charly, thanks. Are there other CMS platforms you use besides Wordpress?
Great post! Very useful. Only thing I would change is that you should start with the last point - be strategic! * If your site works just fine for you now, don't change it. * If you are changing it, then list everything you want to change and prioritise the most important points BEFORE you start the implementation. Thanks especially for the info on the redirection plug-in - need to check that one out!
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
Budgeting and forecasting

5 tips to help get the most out of your budgeting

It's staggering that we are at the half way mark of another financial year. Where did that time... read more

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Andrew OldhamOwner at Shoebooks
Totally agree Michael!
Phil KhorFounder at SavvySME
Michael you made a really good point; for me it's just as critical to understand which strategy and actions is actually going to make the difference in the whole budgeting exercise, so that as a team we know what we need to focus on going forward. Thanks
Running your business

What is a "small business", anyway?

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

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

The top 5 accounting influencers in the world

For those of you who are not farmiliar with klout, it is a fairly popular way to measure your... read more

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Wendy Huang Full Time Blogger and YouTuber at A Custom Blog in 4 Minutes
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Phil KhorFounder at SavvySME
Well done pulling this together. Hmm.. looks like I still have a long way to go with my Klout score! That's a big fat hint by the way :)
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
Business structure

How to Set Up a Sole Trader Business in Australia

How to Set Up a Sole Trader Business in Australia A Sole Trader business is a business structure... read more

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Phil Joel Director at SavvySME
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Online marketing

Social media trends for 2014

In 2014 it’s predicted that social media marketing budgets will double for most SME’s. Never... read more

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Ehtesham ShaikhSEO at SKI USA INC
Absolutely Mar, Social Media might lead to increase in the budget. Even I realise that social media is the best platform to drive conversational traffic and promote their business to a greater extent. I feel Twitter is the best and most engaging medium.
Neil Charlton at Plug and Play Design Moorgate
Excellent Mar. Good call. Great to see your views on Social Media Marketing and its potential for exponential expansion in 2014, as we've recently launched a SMM product for SMEs - http://goo.gl/ccoVls Rgds. Neil
Running your business

Cost cutting ideas for your small business

A large number of small business operators are faced with the challenge of coming up with ways to... read more

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Chris Pentago Marketing Consultant
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Ling LeeDirector at Japanese Sword Auctions Australia
Awesome article! Thanks Chris!
Micha WottonHead of Development at SavvySME
Some great ideas in here, thanks Chris.
Business structure

What is a Shareholders Agreement and How Does It Work?

A Shareholders Agreement is a legally binding contract entered into by the shareholders of a... read more

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Wendy HuangFull Time Blogger and YouTuber at A Custom Blog in 4 Minutes
Great article Kate :)