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Steven Freeman answered a question

Steven Freeman

Steven Freeman, Owner at Evolved Sound

I firmly believe a mix of both is best. If you're targeting businesses in your local area, then local physical related events would rate higher, particularly when starting out.

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Jef Lippiatt

Jef Lippiatt, Owner at Startup Chucktown

Lindsy,

My answer for you is contingent on 3 main factors:

  • What style of learning is most effective for you (reading, watching, hearing, interacting, practice, practical application)?
  • What is your level of comfort (large class, small class, group project, 1 on 1)?
  • What is your ideal pace of learning (multiple week class, 3-5 day workshop, 1 day crash course, self-paced on demand)?

Being able to understand your needs for these three questions above will help guide you toward the type of events to attend. To retain information you need to be comfortable.

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Scott Brown answered a question

How to start in networking and infrastructure as a student?

In terms of accreditation, study options (currently in Bachelor of Information Systems @ UNSW, taking my first networking course this semester and found it very enjoyable). I want to make a career in this field, but unlike other branches of IT (Business Analyst, Programmer etc.) I find information in terms of careers and studies towards networking and infrastructure is scarce and not widely talked about.

 

Scott Brown

Scott Brown, Principal at Scott Brown Recruitment

Hi Danh,

Best advice is to build a career path, with the goal of getting into network / infrastructure. I would look at a HelpDesk 1 role for starters, as it will be a great entry point into any sized organisation. Move then into Level 2 and 3. Once you hit Level 3 (even 2 can allow this), you usually start to specialise...and this is where you really push for N/W / Infrastructure areas. Most senior support roles morph into a Systems Administrator or Network Administrator - and that is your ticket into it fully. Usually, if you stick at it, it can take only a couple of years to get there.

As far as study, your BIS will get you into a support role. From there, ensure you get qualifications specific to the networking area you are after. As an example, if you want to be more of a data / voice expert, get your CCNA / CCIE (Cisco qualifications). If you are more into Windows, get your MCITP. Wanting to get into virtualisation or cloud, look at qualifications around VMWare (VMCP) or Hyper-V. If you want to be more of a storage expert, ensure you look at courses through the main storage companies like EMC. Regardless, as you progress, you will need to keep on top of the changes in infra / N/w and these courses will help.

Bottom line is that there are clear paths for networking / infrastructure roles, and you will get there if you are determined to do so. Hope this information helps and please feel free to contact me if you need any more.

Good luck!

Scott.

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Phil Joel

Phil Joel, Director at SavvySME

Hi Danh,

The career path usually starts with joining an Infrastructure team (large corporations, hosting companies, telco's), basically anyone who has large networks. Look for interships, undergraduate roles. You might be able to try your luck and send unsolicited applications to their HR department.

Good luck.

-PJ

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Melanie Gray answered a question

Melanie Gray

Melanie Gray, Managing Owner at MyCL (My Computer Lab)

$19 Square reader.

All you need is a smart phone.

You can buy from Officeworks or Bunnings.

Charges 1.7% on all transactions.

Accepts Mastercard, Visa and American Express.

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CAROL JONES

CAROL JONES, Owner at Interface Pty Ltd

Good morning Peter from rural Australia,

I agree with John and Jef. Never lose a customer because of a lack of payment options. I learned this very early on in my business.

I now accept payment from Visa. Mastercard. Amex. Diners. PayPal. Direct Deposit. Cheque. And if someone asks me for a payment type that I don't have, I'd be looking into it the very next minute.

You're in business to satisfy your clients/customers. Not your accounting procedures. You have to bend to satisfy them. Not them bend to satisfy you.

As a customer I've walked away from many an online business because they won't accept PayPal.

You prosper by accommodating your customers/clients. At the end of the day, they pay all your bills. So always find a way to make them happy.

Best wishes,

~Carol Jones, Ironing Diva❤

Purveyor of The Fitz Like A Glove™ Ironing Board Cover And Other Goodies

350,000 customers.

In 29 countries.

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Sharon Latour answered a question

What are your marketing challenges in the new year?

Marketing Bee is currently creating a new site and also a new series of ebooks and workshops to help SME owners tackle their marketing.

The most recent feedback we have obtained from our last workshop included the following:

- Social media managemnet software is hard to use

- Difficulty to generate content continuously

- Lack of creative ideas

- Fear of being too adventurous

- "Marketing is too time consuming!"

- "We don't get any return from all our efforts."

- "We don't have a marketing plan and we don't know where to start."

- "We can't trust web designers and marketing agencies."

So what are your thoughts and challenges? How can we help?

Buzzing to hear!

Sharon.

Sharon Latour

Sharon Latour, Queen Bee/CMO at Marketing Bee

Hi Peter

Thanks for responding, it's great to hear about your business and thanks for sharing your challenges.

1. Regarding Pt1. understanting the levels of pricing you can place in your business and what your customers are ready to pay is possible with a solid business plan and a thorough marketing plan. Pricing strategies are usually created after market research and positioning are done, both help to establish a level of pricing which is adequate for your services and target market. These can be done through a marketing plan.

2. Going from a normal company/business to a franchise is a complicated and very involved process which would require a lot of planning, research and forecasting and although I would love to give you an exact answer, it is a bit hard to do so without knowing your company, financial goals, structure and more. May be you can send me some links and information at info@marketingbee.com.au and I will see how I can help.

Thanks again for sharing.

Feel free to add me on LinkedIn (Sha Latour) to connect.

Kind Regards

Sharon

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Peter Jones

Peter Jones, Founder at LinkSmart

Hi,

I maybe unique. I have online businesses and when I come up with a new online product, 1. How do I price it as most are different to what is currently avaiable. 2. Most importantly, do I market as an online business selling a product or market as a type of franchise.

Point 2 raises a couple of issues. All my products are subscription so do I have people subscribing monthly or do I franchise and get money upfront and then a monthly 'retainer'? I am still trying to get a happy medium and trying new formats.

Don't know is this is of any help but it is issues I have to face.

Regards Peter

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Lisa Ormenyessy answered a question

Lisa Ormenyessy

Lisa Ormenyessy, Business Coach and Marketing Specialist at Straight Talk Group

This is a good article outlining the changes in the marketplace -

http://techcrunch.com/2015/06/27/from-social-to-ma...

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HUNTER LEONARD answered a question

HUNTER LEONARD

HUNTER LEONARD, FOUNDER AND CEO at BLUE FROG MARKETING PTY LTD

know your market, your competition, your customer, and your ability to service that customer, in that market - ie: what is your value proposition.

unless you've done the work to properly work out your business and market strategy you'll never grow a business either quickly or smartly.

the smarts come from the right strategy.

the speed comes from having the resources in terms of money, time, people, cashflow etc to grow at the speed you want.

hope this helps

hunter

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Brad Lyons

Brad Lyons, Consultant at SMS Fusion

It all comes down to the business you are in. However this is what works for me:

Telemarketing:

Start calling your target market and make some sales, that is the fastest way. Sort out who is your target market, buy that data and either make the calls yourself or get someone to do it for you.

Presence:

I go to conferences for one of the industries I am in, that way I can meet potential clients face to face. Having a presence makes a big difference.

Follow up:

Once you have their details, follow up with them and ensure they have all the information they need to make the sale. If they say it isn't the right time, send them an email every 6 months to let them know about new features, offers or anything you feel is appropriate.

Why not:

If they don't want to use your service ask why! If it is because your competitors have added features, better deals or simply a much better product, then you need to develop a better product.

The truth is unless you have a "World First" product your potential clients will most likely be using a competitors product. If they are not using a competitors product you may need to educate them as to why they need it in the first place.

You have to stand out from the rest, the size of a company doesn't mean they will have market share for ever. There is always going to be new companies coming onto the market with new ideas and processes. We have taken market share from very large companies in Australia because we have a better product, we develop it all the time and our competitors simply can't keep up. The only sales pitch they have is their name, and when that no longer works they have two options; give up or develop.

If a potential client tells you that a competitor has a better product, don't bother calling them once you have caught up the the competitor. Call them once you are a step ahead and stay a step ahead.

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Jeremy Carter answered a question

Do you think there are benefits with working with a business coach?

Why have you resisted working with one in the past?

Jeremy Carter

Jeremy Carter, CEO | Leadership Trainer | Management Consultant | Business at Rapport Leadership Australia

If a business coach can't quantify the benefits for you then they are obviously not the coach for you. A coach is a catalyst to help you achieve your goals faster and with less resistance, to challenge your beliefs and patterns of thinking and help you make decisions and move forward with confidence in your business.

This being said, getting results comes down to your willingness to keep your commitments, implement the agreed upon strategies and put the effort in. Coaching is not a magic pill, however it is essential for any business or sporting professional who wants to perform at the top of their game.

Jef Lippiatt

Jef Lippiatt , Owner at Startup Chucktown

Jeremy is absolutely right, even the best coach can't get you to success if you are unwilling to put in the time and effort to follow through on their suggestions.
Also, be willing to challenge them back if you feel strongly about something (but be professional). Additionally, let them know that if it doesn't work out you will try their suggestion. However, this should be the exception to the rule (as a coach will not want to work with you long term if you constantly ignore their advice).
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John Eustace

John Eustace, Principal / Communications and Media Strategist at Bells and Whistles Marketing Pty Ltd

The very fact that you asked this question Ben makes it's answer glaringly obvious!

Find a good one with great credentials (and a little grey hair), make certain you keep away from any franchised perorations that push a coaching formula.

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Elias John answered a question

Which email marketing service is the best?

Which email marketing service is the best? For example, Constant Contact, GetResponse, ExactTarget, iContact, Mailchimp, VerticalResponse, or CampaignMonitor. Anybody have their price, deliver rate, etc.?

What's the cost of email marketing service?

Elias John

Elias John,

In my opinion, MailChimp is the best platform for email marketing. which offers the best templates and their process is very easy and have premium and free services. I am really satisfied with their services.MOH coaching centre Kottayam

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Cate Scolnik

Cate Scolnik, Chief Sanity Saver at Sane Social Media

Which is the best depends on what you need to achieve, and your budget!Active Campaign is great if you want a much cheaper alternative to InfusionSoft or Ontraport, and it's pretty user friendly. But MailChimp is often a great place to start.Whatever you do, DO NOT TOUCH Agile. Horrible. Buggy. Terrible. This blog post has a useful comparison of 10 different services: https://moneyconnexion.com/autoresponders-and-email-marketing-tools.htm

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Steven Freeman answered a question

Steven Freeman

Steven Freeman, Owner at Evolved Sound

Those that:

- Can successfully market themselves.

- Have proven track recorded in successfully marketing similar businesses to yours.

First and foremost they need to practice what they preach.

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Andrew Oldham answered a question

What accounting software package should a small business use?

What are the things to consider when selecting a suitable accounting software package for a small business?

Andrew Oldham

Andrew Oldham, National Business Manager at Shoebooks

For me Phil, i think it all depends on the type of business they run, what flexibility they need and they may be small now but what happens as they grow. One solution doesnt fit all. Will they need to start upgrading or needing expensive add ons etc which for a small business could mean they are spending $$$ a year on accounting software. Yes, it makes sense to find a solution that is cloud based as getting access to your critical data from anywhare at anytime is vitally important, i just recommend that business owners (and advisor) do there due dilengence so it's doesnt become a mistake down the track.
Phil Khor

Phil Khor , Founder at SavvySME

Yep, doing the homework upfront can save a lot of heartaches later. Good point to look at solution from a total life-cycle view, but it's often hard to tell what we need "in the future". So I guess it pays to really understand the potential upgrade costs or add ons in the future, preferably with loads of flexibility such as what Shoebooks offer.
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Michael Prior

Michael Prior, Principal at PB Advisory Group

Hi Everyone, Let me say upfront I am a certified Xero Advisor and am currently obtaining accreditation on Quickbooks. I have also used MYOB extensively. The single issue that I feel has been missed in this debate is what are the needs of the business in looking at an accounting system. My advice to clients is that they should list what they want from their accounting system then we'll assist them score against all these wants and then a solution will fall out. For example is it Price, functionality such as payroll, inventory management, fixed assets, ability to have more than one person logged on at anyone time or timeliness of support, etc. At this stage I often see Xero coming out as the preferred solution albeit some time when add-ons are considered price may become an issue.
Phil Khor

Phil Khor , Founder at SavvySME

Great point; I think good advisors go out of their way to understand their needs before determining the solution that suits them. Do you find that accountants with certain accreditations may be bias toward in introducing software solution(s) which they are certified in, but not necessarily the best fit for their clients? If so, what would you say to clients who are unsure about the starting point - should we determine the solution first, or find an accountant first?
Michael Prior

Michael Prior , Principal at PB Advisory Group

I believe you need to find an accountant who you feel comfortable with and trust. If an accountant is recommending a solution without first enquiring about your needs then ask them why they are recommending a particular solution for you. If they can't provide a reasonable simple answer then ask the next question "are you recommending trhis solution because your accredited and if so are you receiving any benefit?"
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