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Philippe Flatt answered a question

What is your biggest fear as a business owner?

What's your biggest fear when it comes to running your business?

Is there something that's stopping you from really succeeding and pushing through to the next level?

Philippe Flatt

Philippe Flatt, Owner & Photographer at Image Technique

I wouldn't call it a fear as such but the biggest psychological hurdle for me is to remain motivated when business slows down a lot. When I'm not as busy I have the time to work on building the business but when I feel less motivated to whereas when I am busy my motivation increases.

I wouldn't call it a fear as such but the biggest psychological hurdle for me is to remain motivated when business slows down a lot. When I'm not as busy I have the time to work on building the business but when I feel less motivated to whereas when I am busy my motivation increases.

Neil Steggall

Neil Steggall , Partner at Wardour Capital Partners

If you are afraid you should perhaps condider a different life as business is not for the faint hearted, however, to be concerned is the default position for SM... read more
If you are afraid you should perhaps condider a different life as business is not for the faint hearted, however, to be concerned is the default position for SME entrepreneurs. Growing a successful business is to chart a course through many years of challenge and uncertainty but if you have an identified end point in mind and show persistance, determiniation, courage and an open mine you will get there. I think it was Franklin D. Roosevelt who said "the only thing we have to fear is fear its self" and when I have found myself in a tight spot I think of this and concentrate on the solutions. Good Luck.
Philippe Flatt

Philippe Flatt , Owner & Photographer at Image Technique

Good advice Neal although the first paragraph of your comment confuses me as I didn't indicate that I was afraid of anything.
Good advice Neal although the first paragraph of your comment confuses me as I didn't indicate that I was afraid of anything.
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Phil Joel

Phil Joel, Director at SavvySME

Fear of failure. The fear of failure can potentially stop people from trying new things. 

Fear of failure. The fear of failure can potentially stop people from trying new things. 

Kevin Dam

Kevin Dam , Digital Marketing Strategist at E-Web Marketing (Platinum CMO)

that's a good one. how did you get over it?
that's a good one. how did you get over it?
Phil Joel

Phil Joel , Director at SavvySME

Got to back yourself (nobody else will if you don't) and give it 200% so if you do fail then at least fail quickly and learn from the mistakes.
Got to back yourself (nobody else will if you don't) and give it 200% so if you do fail then at least fail quickly and learn from the mistakes.
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Brad Lyons answered a question

Brad Lyons

Brad Lyons, Consultant at SMS Fusion

Do you innovate in your business? Yes


If so, how? By knowing the industry and being passionate about it. Like I mentioned in another post. I don't let my competitors dictate where the industry is heading. I force them to try and catch up with me.

Know the industry you are in, master it and develop the industry yourself. It is a lot easier than most think, all it takes is passion and knowledge of the industry you are in.

Do you innovate in your business? Yes

If so, how? By knowing the industry and being passionate about it. Like I mentioned in another post. I don't let my competitors dictate where the industry is heading. I force them to try and catch up with me.

Know the industry you are in, master it and develop the industry yourself. It is a lot easier than most think, all it takes is passion and knowledge of the industry you are in.

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Jennifer Lancaster answered a question

Jennifer Lancaster

Jennifer Lancaster, Owner at I Want That CRM

Just to add to that, my blog attracts people due to the fact I used tools that help with being listed everywhere in my category, and researched what writers most want to know about - both in keyword search and in a LinkedIn author group. Writing a helpful user guide and offering it as an opt-in will help you collect more interested folk's emails for the long term. A couple of posts sporadically won't cut the mustard; once you've got 50 optimised articles or so all mobile friendly, then you'll get the visits rising. Good luck!

Just to add to that, my blog attracts people due to the fact I used tools that help with being listed everywhere in my category, and researched what writers most want to know about - both in keyword search and in a LinkedIn author group. Writing a helpful user guide and offering it as an opt-in will help you collect more interested folk's emails for the long term. A couple of posts sporadically won't cut the mustard; once you've got 50 optimised articles or so all mobile friendly, then you'll get the visits rising. Good luck!

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Katina Beveridge

Katina Beveridge, Director at Strategic Online

Hi Leanne,The best content marketing strategy is to write and publish content online which is written for your target audience especially ones that you’re sure they’ll love and consume. The web is full of content that is not interesting. The user experience for your website or the amount of time an audience spends reading your content does affect your SEO rankings therefore you want keep your content as engaging as possible in order to keep them longer on your website. Another thing to keep in mind would be the proper use and placement of keywords on your blog. Lastly, it would be a good idea to have a content marketing plan within your marketing funnel. The top of the funnel being to bring awareness to your products, services or your brand in general. Then the middle part would be to have your prospects gain interest on your products or services. Then the bottom part of the funnel would be focused on converting them into actual customers. I hope this helps :)
Hi Leanne,The best content marketing strategy is to write and publish content online which is written for your target audience especially ones that you’re sure they’ll love and consume. The web is full of content that is not interesting. The user experience for your website or the amount of time an audience spends reading your content does affect your SEO rankings therefore you want keep your content as engaging as possible in order to keep them longer on your website. Another thing to keep in mind would be the proper use and placement of keywords on your blog. Lastly, it would be a good idea to have a content marketing plan within your marketing funnel. The top of the funnel being to bring awareness to your products, services or your brand in general. Then the middle part would be to have your prospects gain interest on your products or services. Then the bottom part of the funnel would be focused on converting them into actual customers. I hope this helps :)
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Maini Homer answered a question

Maini Homer

Maini Homer, Owner at Infinity NLP Coaching

Generally the rule of thumb is to test and measure... Ask yourself this.... If you found a source of advertising that paid you $10,000 for every $1000 spent, how much would you throw at it?

Generally the rule of thumb is to test and measure... Ask yourself this.... If you found a source of advertising that paid you $10,000 for every $1000 spent, how much would you throw at it?

Daniel Spark

Daniel Spark , Director at

I agree Maini, test and measure. There is not a magic number that will suit every business. There is no use spending more money on advertising than you see retu... read more
I agree Maini, test and measure. There is not a magic number that will suit every business. There is no use spending more money on advertising than you see returned, although sometimes the return is not easily measurable.
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ITP . answered a question

ITP .

ITP ., at

Yes.A portion of the home which is used for income producing activities and does have the character of being a place of business can be claimed. This would include where part of a home is set up as a sole base of operations and/or where clients can be attended to on site. The claims would be apportioned in most cases on the area of the home used and would include a portion of rent, mortgage interest, insurance, council and water rates. Claiming these expenses would also mean that for home owners there may be a capital gains tax consequence when the house is later sold. You may also be able to claim running costs on the home such as a portion of electricity for heating/cooling and lighting, cleaning costs and depreciation of furniture. Claiming running costs do not make the home subject to CGT when sold.

Yes.A portion of the home which is used for income producing activities and does have the character of being a place of business can be claimed. This would include where part of a home is set up as a sole base of operations and/or where clients can be attended to on site. The claims would be apportioned in most cases on the area of the home used and would include a portion of rent, mortgage interest, insurance, council and water rates. Claiming these expenses would also mean that for home owners there may be a capital gains tax consequence when the house is later sold. You may also be able to claim running costs on the home such as a portion of electricity for heating/cooling and lighting, cleaning costs and depreciation of furniture. Claiming running costs do not make the home subject to CGT when sold.

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Hitesh Mohanlal

Hitesh Mohanlal, Director at WOW! Advisors & Business Accountants

This is probably to most common question asked by my clients. It generally depends on the circumstances and exactly what you use your home for. Friends will tell you they have claimed for many years and not had a problem and that may be true but friends generally do not understand the entire consequences of claiming home expenses as business expenses.

Firstly, if you own the property you could, without realising it, end up paying capital gains tax on you home when you sell it. If you live in a home you own it is your principal private residence and is not subject to capital gains tax. When you start claiming home expenses like mortgage interest and electricity what you are saying is that it is no longer 100 % private use. So if you claim 25% expenses are business you have converted your home to 75% private and 25% commercial and when you sell you have to calculate 25% as a capital gain.

The next issue is if the cost is genuine business use. So if you use a small desk in a room which is also used by your son to sleep in then the ATO will say that the small office is just incidental to the home - even if you spend 24 hrs a day in there. The same would be if you spend 4 days out on the road and spend 1 day at home in the office. The ATO is unlikely to allow you to claim significant costs relating to running the home.

At the other end if your garage and spare room is full of stock there is a genuine claim that a bigger home is required in order to run the business and you may be able to claim expenses.

My advise would be to talk to your advisor and do some calculations. I have done this for my clients and sometimes it make sense to claim home expenses and for others it does not.


This is probably to most common question asked by my clients. It generally depends on the circumstances and exactly what you use your home for. Friends will tell you they have claimed for many years and not had a problem and that may be true but friends generally do not understand the entire consequences of claiming home expenses as business expenses.

Firstly, if you own the property you could, without realising it, end up paying capital gains tax on you home when you sell it. If you live in a home you own it is your principal private residence and is not subject to capital gains tax. When you start claiming home expenses like mortgage interest and electricity what you are saying is that it is no longer 100 % private use. So if you claim 25% expenses are business you have converted your home to 75% private and 25% commercial and when you sell you have to calculate 25% as a capital gain.

The next issue is if the cost is genuine business use. So if you use a small desk in a room which is also used by your son to sleep in then the ATO will say that the small office is just incidental to the home - even if you spend 24 hrs a day in there. The same would be if you spend 4 days out on the road and spend 1 day at home in the office. The ATO is unlikely to allow you to claim significant costs relating to running the home.

At the other end if your garage and spare room is full of stock there is a genuine claim that a bigger home is required in order to run the business and you may be able to claim expenses.

My advise would be to talk to your advisor and do some calculations. I have done this for my clients and sometimes it make sense to claim home expenses and for others it does not.

Jef Lippiatt

Jef Lippiatt , Owner at Startup Chucktown

Here in the United States it is very similar. Essentially to claim a home office, you must only use the room for work and be able to close a door to prove it is... read more
Here in the United States it is very similar. Essentially to claim a home office, you must only use the room for work and be able to close a door to prove it isn't being used when you are not conducting business.
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Greg Rogers answered a question

What Would Be One Thing That would Help You Increase Your Sales?

I am planning a webinar soon and I am researching the perceived problem of business owners in the area of Sales.

Greg Rogers

Greg Rogers, Founder and CEO at REthink HQ

Hi Selena,

One thing? Cos there are many, many things.

But just one?

Define it.

Define it and you will be able to identify the ONE THING that will work best.

"Increase your sales" is equivalent to using a map but without knowing what the destination is.

If you can't define it, how will you know when you get there? If you don't know that, how could you know what to do?

It's akin to throwing darts blindfolded, you might hit the target occasionally but you have no idea!

Define it might be something like - we want to increase our new customer sales by 15% in 6 weeks.

You now have the end result and what success looks like, plus you have a baseline on which you can measure.

Now you can plan what the best strategy/action/execution is to take to get that result. The one thing.

You then prepare whatever resources, tools, training, skills are required to action/execute.

Then you participate, actually put the planing and preparation into play, this is the doing.

You check your progress, are we on track, is any adjustment required, what's working - what's not.

And this will increase the probability of reaching that 'defined' target, the payoff.

That's my 5Ps framework in action right there. As Covey said, start with the end in mind.

If 'increasing sales' is 15% more new customer sales in 6 weeks, then the ONE thing that sits behind that is going to be completely different to 'increasing sales' meaning 15% more existing customer sales in 6 weeks.

If you can define it; you can observe if it is happening or not; if you can define it and observe it, you can measure it; if you can define it, observe it and measure it, the feedback becomes objective rather than subjective.

Hope that helps and makes sense.

To your business growth.

Greg

Hi Selena,

One thing? Cos there are many, many things.

But just one?

Define it.

Define it and you will be able to identify the ONE THING that will work best.

"Increase your sales" is equivalent to using a map but without knowing what the destination is.

If you can't define it, how will you know when you get there? If you don't know that, how could you know what to do?

It's akin to throwing darts blindfolded, you might hit the target occasionally but you have no idea!

Define it might be something like - we want to increase our new customer sales by 15% in 6 weeks.

You now have the end result and what success looks like, plus you have a baseline on which you can measure.

Now you can plan what the best strategy/action/execution is to take to get that result. The one thing.

You then prepare whatever resources, tools, training, skills are required to action/execute.

Then you participate, actually put the planing and preparation into play, this is the doing.

You check your progress, are we on track, is any adjustment required, what's working - what's not.

And this will increase the probability of reaching that 'defined' target, the payoff.

That's my 5Ps framework in action right there. As Covey said, start with the end in mind.

If 'increasing sales' is 15% more new customer sales in 6 weeks, then the ONE thing that sits behind that is going to be completely different to 'increasing sales' meaning 15% more existing customer sales in 6 weeks.

If you can define it; you can observe if it is happening or not; if you can define it and observe it, you can measure it; if you can define it, observe it and measure it, the feedback becomes objective rather than subjective.

Hope that helps and makes sense.

To your business growth.

Greg

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Lisa Ormenyessy

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

Hi Selena,

In my experience, the perceived problem from business owners is 'closing', however it is more like not doing enough in the early discovery process and building rapport with the prospect that lets business owners down. When sales is done right there is a natural close that occurs.

Cheers, Lisa

Hi Selena,

In my experience, the perceived problem from business owners is 'closing', however it is more like not doing enough in the early discovery process and building rapport with the prospect that lets business owners down. When sales is done right there is a natural close that occurs.

Cheers, Lisa

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James Norquay answered a question

James Norquay

James Norquay, Consulting Director at Prosperity Media

We work with numerous clients who are in high competition markets,

We see negative SEO attacks all the time, the thing is most of them do nothing to harm. One negative SEO attack I have seen were for a VC funded client I have in the US where they do time delayed attacks on numerous internal URLS (can be very annoying) I noticed most of my higher end affiliate clients get hit with negative SEO, corporate branded sites are less likely to be hit but it is good to monitor your link profile.  

What do these negative SEO attacks usually include?

- Usually they hit your websites landing page with 1000's of low quality links on exact match terms to specific landing pages they want to target.

- I have seen other cases where they may hit your site with 1000's of porn links, or links from the wrong type of neighborhood. If you have a clean site you do not want to be associated with those types of links.

What can you do to stop it?

The best thing you can do is:
1. Monitor your link profile during the week using software such as Ahrefs or Majesitc SEO (Paid) or Google Webmaster Tools link data, if something pops up which is not natural and of a negative natural.

2. Use the disavow tool and block the root file of the domain it is not that hard to do.:

https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/2648487?hl=en

3. Their are other tactics you can do like 404ing domains and play around with re directs but to be honest the disavow tactic works well to stop this junk. In my eyes Google can probably see an attack as they hit the same market and same range of keywords. 
 

We work with numerous clients who are in high competition markets,

We see negative SEO attacks all the time, the thing is most of them do nothing to harm. One negative SEO attack I have seen were for a VC funded client I have in the US where they do time delayed attacks on numerous internal URLS (can be very annoying) I noticed most of my higher end affiliate clients get hit with negative SEO, corporate branded sites are less likely to be hit but it is good to monitor your link profile.  

What do these negative SEO attacks usually include?

- Usually they hit your websites landing page with 1000's of low quality links on exact match terms to specific landing pages they want to target.

- I have seen other cases where they may hit your site with 1000's of porn links, or links from the wrong type of neighborhood. If you have a clean site you do not want to be associated with those types of links.

What can you do to stop it?

The best thing you can do is: 1. Monitor your link profile during the week using software such as Ahrefs or Majesitc SEO (Paid) or Google Webmaster Tools link data, if something pops up which is not natural and of a negative natural.

2. Use the disavow tool and block the root file of the domain it is not that hard to do.: https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/2648487?hl=en 3. Their are other tactics you can do like 404ing domains and play around with re directs but to be honest the disavow tactic works well to stop this junk. In my eyes Google can probably see an attack as they hit the same market and same range of keywords.   

Peter Montgomery

Peter Montgomery , Founder / Host at The Peter Montgomery Show

thanks heaps James.
thanks heaps James.
Micha Wotton

Micha Wotton , Head of Development at SavvySME

Great advice, thanks James
Great advice, thanks James
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David Solomon answered a question

How do you define success?

Getting into business is a big step for anyone... So when you do, and you become successful, what would business success look like to you?

David Solomon

David Solomon, Business Performance Strategist at Quiddity

Success is a very personal thing. Success should be defined by your financial, lifestyle and other goals and aspirations, rather than what society says they “should” be. It’s crazy that we consistently let others dictate what it means to be successful. That generally means money and material possessions by the way.

But what about health, happiness, peace and love for starters? Why don’t they get measured more openly when evaluating a person’s success?

And what if your success goal for being in business is simply making enough so that your family can go on a paid vacation every year? Or you can afford the cost of private school fees? Or braces for Amanda?

That’s why I talk about building a "Higher Purpose Business” – one that revolves around the values and aspirations of the owner of the business, particularly those linked to their personal higher purpose.  

Success is a very personal thing. Success should be defined by your financial, lifestyle and other goals and aspirations, rather than what society says they “should” be. It’s crazy that we consistently let others dictate what it means to be successful. That generally means money and material possessions by the way.

But what about health, happiness, peace and love for starters? Why don’t they get measured more openly when evaluating a person’s success?

And what if your success goal for being in business is simply making enough so that your family can go on a paid vacation every year? Or you can afford the cost of private school fees? Or braces for Amanda?

That’s why I talk about building a "Higher Purpose Business” – one that revolves around the values and aspirations of the owner of the business, particularly those linked to their personal higher purpose.  

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Jeffrey Joel

Jeffrey Joel, MD at Auspac Trading NSW PL

It's impossible to define. Perhaps it's when others start coming to you for advice, having seen you gone from strength to strength and wanting to know what you're doing right or differently to what they are currently doing.

It's impossible to define. Perhaps it's when others start coming to you for advice, having seen you gone from strength to strength and wanting to know what you're doing right or differently to what they are currently doing.

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Dj Hodgson answered a question

What are the legal considerations when starting a business?

Lets say a budding entrepreneur has an idea for a start up. It doesn't have to be revolutionary. In fact, there are other companies running the exact service he/she wants to provide. Its certainly legal, but does it require a specific license, have to comply with certain standards, require a certification or qualification?

Where does one find out the answers to such questions? For example: I can't just stick a sign on top of my car saying taxi and start offering people a lift around town. 

Dj Hodgson

Dj Hodgson, Marketing & Communications Manager, BDM at David Henderson Online

Update #2. After calling the BAS, they were at a loss as to why the contact centre for ABLIS in NSW which is NSW Fair Trading (cause that makes sense) couldn't give me an answer about licenses and permits when that is specifically what they handle. However BAS was extreamely helpful and put me onto a few different options to contact, as well as referring me back to ABLIS. Will try ABLIS again and see if a different operator can help but I also found an industry association for best practise in the correct industry through looking at an existing companies website. So I am definitely on the right track : )
Update #2. After calling the BAS, they were at a loss as to why the contact centre for ABLIS in NSW which is NSW Fair Trading (cause that makes sense) couldn't give me an answer about licenses and permits when that is specifically what they handle. However BAS was extreamely helpful and put me onto a few different options to contact, as well as referring me back to ABLIS. Will try ABLIS again and see if a different operator can help but I also found an industry association for best practise in the correct industry through looking at an existing companies website. So I am definitely on the right track : )
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Gosia Slotala

Gosia Slotala, Marketing Manager at Shelcom Corporate Services

Dj, as Steve said, each industry requires different licences and permits. For example, if you are starting a catering business, according to law, you can't just start cooking from your own kitchen. You'll need permits for that.  It's important to research what laws and regulations exist on a national as well as on a state level. 

Here is a link which may help narrow down what a business may need:

The Australian Business Licence and Information Service 

ABLIS helps you find the government licences, permits, approvals, registrations, codes of practice, standards and guidelines you need to know about to meet your compliance responsibilities. 

Also, don't forget to register for an A.B.N as without this you will not be able to invoice, as well as to set up the appropriate business structure. 

An A.B.N. is enough if you want to trade under your own name, but if you would like to name your business you will need to register that business name.  

Dj, as Steve said, each industry requires different licences and permits. For example, if you are starting a catering business, according to law, you can't just start cooking from your own kitchen. You'll need permits for that.  It's important to research what laws and regulations exist on a national as well as on a state level. 

Here is a link which may help narrow down what a business may need:

The Australian Business Licence and Information Service 

ABLIS helps you find the government licences, permits, approvals, registrations, codes of practice, standards and guidelines you need to know about to meet your compliance responsibilities. 

Also, don't forget to register for an A.B.N as without this you will not be able to invoice, as well as to set up the appropriate business structure. 

An A.B.N. is enough if you want to trade under your own name, but if you would like to name your business you will need to register that business name.  

Dj Hodgson

Dj Hodgson , Marketing & Communications Manager, BDM at David Henderson Online

Thanks so much Gosia, that is the same website I found through using Steve's link. Unfortunately they have proved useless in my particular query which to be fai... read more
Thanks so much Gosia, that is the same website I found through using Steve's link. Unfortunately they have proved useless in my particular query which to be fair is quite unique. Of course the reason I may not be able to find anything is because the type of business I was looking at setting up (this is for a client by the way) may not need any licences or permits. I shall press on and keep you all updated. : )
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Naveen HMS answered a question

How Can You Promote Your Service-based Business on Instagram?

Instagram is ideal for product-based businesses, especially B2C businesses. What about service-based businesses? Has anyone had success in Instagram marketing for their business? Any tips?

Naveen HMS

Naveen HMS, India at Hakuna Matata Solutions Pvt Ltd

Insta is not only to promote personal photo's,  it’s arguably the most powerful social platform on the earth and a must-have for any business’s social media arsenal!
 

1. Show your expertise.

2. Inspire with success stories.

3. Inspire with quotes.

4. Make them smile.

5. Raise the curtain.

Insta is not only to promote personal photo's,  it’s arguably the most powerful social platform on the earth and a must-have for any business’s social media arsenal! 

1. Show your expertise.

2. Inspire with success stories.

3. Inspire with quotes.

4. Make them smile.

5. Raise the curtain.

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Jef Lippiatt

Jef Lippiatt, Owner at Startup Chucktown

I would focus on a few key areas.

  • Customer Reviews and/or Testimonials (either as text or short video clips)
  • Show behind the scenes with pictures or video clips
  • Create custom landing pages for specific audiences and change your Instagram bio link to it. Mention the link in your caption and use an image that ties into the content on the landing page (use curiosity and intrigue to your advantage)

I would focus on a few key areas.

  • Customer Reviews and/or Testimonials (either as text or short video clips)
  • Show behind the scenes with pictures or video clips
  • Create custom landing pages for specific audiences and change your Instagram bio link to it. Mention the link in your caption and use an image that ties into the content on the landing page (use curiosity and intrigue to your advantage)
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