Small businesses can be severely affected when big businesses are slow to pay them. Recent government initiatives are putting them in the spotlight, as Australian businesses take an average 56.4 days to pay up, one of the worst among developed countries.
It can depend on the type of work and industry. Make sure you check their standard contracts and don't be afraid to ask for a change in the payment terms. The worst they can do is say no. What I find can usually happen is that you'll receive the details of a dedicated person who can help process your invoice quickly so it is in the accounting system and will be paid on the next cycle. It may not be perfect, but it's a manageable win!
Invoice factoring could be a solution for you if clients are wanting longer payment terms. As a rule, I decline clients that want long payment terms. Even large clients are fine with 30 day invoices. But it really comes down to your undustry. As a rule, Unless the company is very large, I don't accept any payment terms longer than 14 days.
Crypto currency are popular and easy to manage, but i am not sure, whether it is legal or not to pay someone with it and manage your taxes same time.
I find BitCoin and other crypto currencies so interesting. From a legal view point I have no idea how to classify them - are they currency? goods? something else? Are they subject to GST? Income tax? FBT (as Katherine mentioned above, in some circumstances, yes).
I also find people's motivations for using cryptos intriguing.
Personally, I find the wild fluctuations in the 'value' of each unit worrisome and woudl not agree to be paid in BitCoin.
I am in the process of launching a new casual/sportwear range. Bescides marketing on Facebook and selling that way.
Jef Lippiatt, Owner at Startup Chucktown
It really depends on your brands positioning. Are you looking for an exclusive partnership? Wide distribution? Or are you focusing on niche / boutiques?
Some of the above questions should easily be answered by how your brand is positioned. If you are "premium" you should look for an exclusive partnership or boutiques. If you are going for "trendy" you should focus on boutiques and high end department stores. If you are going for "affordable" you should aim at large chain stores.
The deal has to work for both you and the retailer to make sense for both of your brands. Do you have your whole sale pricing in place? If not, you need to understand your price point for whole sale customers before you start reaching out to them.
I am conducting a short survey and would love anyone and everyone to participate. If I can get answers from the SavvySME forum I can at least guarantee the answers come from real Australians. :)
Last time you shopped at a major appliance retailer (The Good Guys, JB Hi-Fi, Harvey)
1. Did you trust the sales person? a) Yes b) Maybe (A little) c) No
2. How much did you rely on the sales person’s advice? a) Lots b) A little c) None
3. Did you feel confident with your purchase? a) Yes b) No
Thanks in advance for anyone who participates :)
Hi Steve,Great to see you're doing a survey.Looking at the questions, I'm struggling to see what you hope to learn. Are you looking to find out what problems people face at a major appliance retailer?Brian
Recently shopped at Harvey Norman for new kitchen appliances: wall oven, stove top, dishwasher. My responses:
1. a2. a3. a
Process could not have been easier. We got exactly what we needed, at a price we were happy with, with no upsell sales pitch.
Jef Lippiatt, Owner at Startup Chucktown
I am in the USA so my perspective needs to be taken with a grain of salt. All of what Terry mentioned above is important.
I've used Godaddy for about 8 years and had very few issues. I pay roughly $100 - $120 a year for the hosting. I have a bundle of 5 SSL certificates which is another $150 a year. However, for me their hosting is convenient because I can host many domains in the same hosting account (currently I have about 15 domains, 8 of which have actual content).
However, Godaddy and most "Traditional" hosting companies are PHP optimized (on the Linux operating system (OS)). They may offer Windows (OS) hosting that supports ".net", "Java" and ".asp" but usually that is a bit more expensive.
Why does this matter? If you are set on using a framework or software built in another language such as Python, Ruby or Node JS - you may need to look at distributed or Cloud hosting providers, such as Amazon AWS, Heroku, Google or others. Typically these services support the other languages but also can handle more capacity (users at a time) because they can scale easily. Keep in mind the cost structures of these services are usually a bit more complicated.
The important thing is you know what is important to you (bandwidth, storage space, scale-ability, cost, etc.) before you make your decision. If you aren't sure, try getting some guidance from vendors by explaining the goals of your hosting needs.
This is not touting for business, but may give you an idea of what to look for, and what to pay. We run our own website hosting for our clients, exclusively for the Wordpress platform, so our web hosting is specifically optimized for Wordpress.
 First decide what platform you are going to use, then find web hosting which specializes in that platform.
 Decide whether you want to maintain your website yourself, or whether you want to pay for a fully managed service.
 Look for a web hosting service that has a data centre close to you/your customers. For example most of our clients are situated in NSW, so our data centre is located in the Sydney CBD.
 Stay away from cheap web hosting like Hostgator and Godaddy, because their data centres are situated in the US, which presents a number of problems like slow page load times, which Google use to assess your search rankings, as well as security issues related to US laws.
 Try to find a web host which uses some sort of CDN (Content Delivery Network) like CloudFlare or MaxCDN. This is not a major problem if your data centre is situated close to where your customers are, but can help if you are expecting to attract customers from overseas because the CDN will display your website from the nearest datacentre in their network, which cuts down on page loading times again.
 Make sure that some sort of regular backup service is included, and easy for you to access if ever you need to roll back your website for any reason.
 Finally, make sure that your web host is using SSD (Solid State Drives) rather than traditional hard disk drives because this improves loading times dramatically. If you compare the loading speed of your mobile phone or tablet with your desktop computer you will see what I mean.
For the record, our web hosting is all SSD-based, situated in a data centre in Sydney, as I mentioned, and we run CloudFlare for our CDN. Our prices start at $20/month for basic websites, and $30/month for ecommerce websites, and that includes basic maintenance and weekly backups. That will give you a ballpark figure to work on, and an idea of what to look for, and what not to go for.
Good luck with your search, a reliable web hosting service is vital to an online business today!
Hi everyone, I find that as a small business owner, I barely have time to scratch my back let alone manage social media accounts effectively. I wonder how successful you are in your social media efforts, and whether you have any tips to impart for someone as time poor as me.
Hi there!Yes, this is the challenge that many businesses face.
My input here is to consider the following:
1. Who is your Target market and where do they hang out on social media ? For examples, professionals may be in LinkedIn and Facebook, 30s and 40 s like Instagram, young generations like Snapchat. Journalists use Twitter.
2. There are many social media platforms (hundreds) - work out 1 or 2 where you know your target market are and then post regularly and build a following there.
3. It really does depend on your type of business - some businesses depend on digital marketing and some don't - if social media / Digital marketing is important to your marketing mix then there are ways to stream line this. You can appoint a Virtual Assistant and for not too much of an investment you can really raise awareness of your business and use someone with the expertise which will also save you time.
There's lots to consider, there's my three , all the best, Adrienne
Tony Eades, Director of Strategy at BrandManager
I'd start with understanding who your buyer persona is, what social channel is their preference. Then master this one first instead of (as most businesses do) trying a scattered approach across all channels. Next look at a Content Strategy - plan your posts so that they are meaningful and above 'shareable'. You are after 'engagement' here not just 'likes'. Review your buyer persona again and think about the content that would most interest them, be creative and above all 'non salesy' - social is not the place to promote products or sale stuff in my opinion. It's the platform to have conversations and share commentary. Finally, as time poor as you may be - you only get out of social what you put in. Dedicate an hour a day first thing to planning/scheduling your posts, responding to comments and engaging with other people's posts - remember, 'sharing' is caring. Good luck.
If I can do it myself does anyone have any suggestions on which website to use?
I have been asked to do my first bridal expo in sept and I am not sure what to expect or what would be expected of me presentation wise on my stall etc.
In what industry sectors do you see the greatest growth for the small and medium size businesses?
Tim Greig, Owner at Green Galah Pty Ltd
It's interesting how we all believe growth will be in our own sectors! Still, as we are in the similar sector as Murray I have to agree that Aged Care is definitely a growth area and if you can supply or service that sector well, note the emphasis, then you should grow your business going forward.Is the sector that you supply a growth sector? What a great differentiator! We are a growing country, the population is increasing mostly and the swing back out of mining is a good thing.I'm not convinced Nicole that translation is going anywhere in Australia but it would be good to see some local data on that. I would like to think that small business education is a growth area but that would depend on whether small business is a growth area or whether small business is an area that is being beaten out of people as a "career path".
Nicole Y. Adams, Owner (Translator, Editor, Consultant) at NYA Communications
I'd love to find out what your favourite business websites are! Mine, of course, is SavvySME :)!! But there are a few other websites I love to visit to get my content from:
What websites do you visit on a regular basis?
Tim Greig, Owner at Green Galah Pty Ltd