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Chana Imsirovic answered a question

Phil Khor

What is your best advice for someone looking to start an online retail store?

Someone I know wants to start an online store selling quality fashion goods imported from China, however she has hardly any experience in starting or running a website. What is the best startup advice you can give to someone in her shoes?

Chana Imsirovic

Chana Imsirovic, Designer at Owl and Monk

Research & Learn: Get to know who your Target Market are, Suppliers, Products, Logistics (Customs)Plan: Business and Marketing StrategyCash flow: Under... read more

Research & Learn: Get to know who your Target Market are, Suppliers, Products, Logistics (Customs)
Plan: Business and Marketing Strategy
Cash flow: Understand and forcast your costs and profit margin
Niche: Explore what is different or unique about your product and service offering
Relationships: Find the right partners to help you build your business, Collaborate and build project teams of professionals yo help you fulfil different stages of your project
Technology: Find technology that is intuitive to use and has the capacity to scale your business.
Database: Invest time in developing helpful content that inspires your customers. Connect and engage regularly with the network you already have
Work to your strengths and ask for help: Learn to seek advice and delate tasks to professionals who are more experienced than you, they may also have a different persecutive or approach.
Be passionate and commited: Enjoy the process, it will be challenging but rewarding as well.

Best of luck:)

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Iain Dooley

Iain Dooley, Owner at The Procedure People

I just answered this question here:https://www.savvysme.com.au/question/438-what-are-the-first-steps-to-starting-an-online-store"The first step to starting an... read more

I just answered this question here:

https://www.savvysme.com.au/question/438-what-are-the-first-steps-to-starting-an-online-store

"The first step to starting an online store is to go to AdWords and do keyword research to find out what people are looking for, then use that to choose a niche (see below for link to resources by Andrew Youderian which cover other factors in selecting a niche).

You can then put up a very simple page using one of the many free services for doing so, that shows some products. You could, for example, setup a shopify store with some products in it. You then run an AdWords campaign and see if you make some sales. Don't worry if you don't have the ability to fulfil the orders yet, just see if you get some, then write to the customers and apologise that you don't have the item in stock and refund their money.

Once you've established how much it costs to make a sale, and whether or not there is sufficient volume for what you're selling, work out suppliers etc.

Watch this Mixergy interview that takes you through this process: http://mixergy.com/interviews/jonathan-beekman-man-crates-interview/. If you don't have a Mixergy premium membership already, you should get one so you can watch that interview, but also so you can watch all the other interviews and courses -- it's incredible. The most valuable business resource on the internet by far.

Also read everything here: http://www.ecommercefuel.com/resources/"

Greg Tomkins

Greg Tomkins, Director | Web Architect at Top Left Designs

Not sure why this question got posted as 2 seperate items but yes - if you have not checked out the other post at https://www.savvysme.com.au/question/438-what-... read more
Not sure why this question got posted as 2 seperate items but yes - if you have not checked out the other post at https://www.savvysme.com.au/question/438-what-are-the-first-steps-to-starting-an-online-store do so now as the answers there provide further insight
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Daniel Spark answered a question

Daniel Spark

Daniel Spark, Director at D&M Spark Enterprises PTY LTD

Depending on the scale you wish to achieve niche product are great with little to no money. You can check out the likes of Etsy.com for some ideas of some produ... read more

Depending on the scale you wish to achieve niche product are great with little to no money. You can check out the likes of Etsy.com for some ideas of some products that are cheap to make but sell for decent amounts.

I think it is safe to say that there is always an exchange of value, if you do not have money to exchange for items others feel are of value, then you will need to have creativity or persistance to bargain with.

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Maini Homer

Maini Homer, Owner at Infinity NLP Coaching

There are several ways that you can start a business for little or no money down.  I have created 8 successful businesses all from very little and these ha... read more

There are several ways that you can start a business for little or no money down.  I have created 8 successful businesses all from very little and these have been in many different genre's.

I actually have a book out on the subject of making money online, however, I am not sure that I am allowed to tell you that here.

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Daniel Spark answered a question

Phil Khor

What was your biggest lesson in 2017?

Can you share the one lesson that hit you hard this year, whether mistakes or successes?

Daniel Spark

Daniel Spark, Director at D&M Spark Enterprises PTY LTD

Good things take time.... read more

Good things take time.

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Maini Homer

Maini Homer, Owner at Infinity NLP Coaching

There is no such thing as failure...  Only feedback. <3... read more

There is no such thing as failure...  Only feedback. <3

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Daniel Spark answered a question

Aishah Mustapha
Aishah Mustapha, Freelance Writer & Content Marketer at SavvySME

Starting a Business

How important is selecting your business name?

Just curious, does your business name matter much in the long term? Or does it vary between industries, B2B or B2C?   

Daniel Spark

Daniel Spark, Director at D&M Spark Enterprises PTY LTD

This is such a difficult question. When you put everything you have into a venture I feel it is important to relate to the name. Eventually, the business takes ... read more

This is such a difficult question. When you put everything you have into a venture I feel it is important to relate to the name. Eventually, the business takes on its own identity and becomes more than it was when you named it...

I think if you take a variety of names and remove the context it makes it clear that it probably does not matter in the long run to the business itself. It is the businesses operations that define itself not the name.

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Maini Homer

Maini Homer, Owner at Infinity NLP Coaching

I don't think it matters much.  People will remember you for the service you provide and the way they felt, not particularly if you have a quirky ... read more

I don't think it matters much.  People will remember you for the service you provide and the way they felt, not particularly if you have a quirky name or not. 

Aishah Mustapha

Aishah Mustapha, Freelance Writer & Content Marketer at SavvySME

Thanks @Maini Homer. I thought so too. I guess as long as you steer clear of bad/sleazy ones, it should be fine.... read more
Thanks @Maini Homer. I thought so too. I guess as long as you steer clear of bad/sleazy ones, it should be fine.
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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, ho... read more

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 D&M Spark Enterprises PTY LTD

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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Maini Homer answered a question

SavvySME Official
SavvySME Official, Official Account at SavvySME

Entrepreneurship

What's the one motivational or inspiring quote that you live by as an entrepreneur or business owner?

When you've taken the leap to start a business, when you're down, when you're busy, and when you're stressed. What was the one quote that helped you become a better entrepreneur?

Maini Homer

Maini Homer, Owner at Infinity NLP Coaching

There Is No Such Thing As Failure... There Is Only Feedback. Take It and Run With It!... read more

There Is No Such Thing As Failure... There Is Only Feedback. Take It and Run With It!

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Leisa Goddard

Leisa Goddard, Managing Director at Adoni Media

As a woman, I love the quote from Eleanor Roosevelt which says “A woman is like a tea bag – you can’t tell how strong she is until you put her... read more

As a woman, I love the quote from Eleanor Roosevelt which says “A woman is like a tea bag – you can’t tell how strong she is until you put her in hot water”.
 
Both as a TV journalist or now as a business woman I’ve had to find that inner strength many times and that quote reminds me that resilience and determination wins out.
Interestingly, my other favourite quote comes from Eleanor Roosevelt’s husband, US President Theodore Roosevelt.
 
He talks about criticism in his famous daring greatly speech and says “the credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena”.
 
Once you’re in the arena you’re opening yourself up to comment and criticism by those who aren’t brave enough to step in and what I’ve realised is that they aren’t the people you need to waste time worrying about.

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Leisa Goddard answered a question

Where is best to post blog content?

As per your infographic, blogs are the most critical tactic to content marketing success for B2B and B2C. Where is best to host blog content? On all platforms, on our own websites? 

Leisa Goddard

Leisa Goddard, Managing Director at Adoni Media

To make your blogs, and importantly, the time you invest in writing them worthwhile, you should be posting them across every platform that you can. A succe... read more

To make your blogs, and importantly, the time you invest in writing them worthwhile, you should be posting them across every platform that you can.
 
A successful blog isn’t just about counting the number the likes and shares, a successful blog is one that can give you a link from another site to help boost your SEO, which is where your website ranks in a Google search.
 
The better your SEO, the easier it is for new customers and clients to find you over your competition.
 
What’s also worth remembering is who is going to be reading your blog and targeting it to that audience. Put simply, you need to have a strategy to make people want to engage..
 
For example each platform, whether it be the company’s website, Facebook or LinkedIn, has a unique connection to the audience. In our Digital PR for clients of Adoni Media we spend a lot of time analysing data and doing research so that we know exactly what each audience looks like and what “angle” will interest them.
 
For example, your platforms might have these audiences:

  • Your company’s website attracts customers.
  • Your company’s Facebook attracts the general public.
  • Your company’s LinkedIn attracts potential business partners.

As a journalist I know if you don’t’ write to your audience you need not bother and it’s even more important in the business world and public relations.
 
Timing is also important. Know when your audience is active on social media. Again, it’s why having experts who can break down your Google and Facebook analytics is so important.
 
The other key to success – be consistent! It’s hard I know when you are busy with the day to day management of your business but have a schedule of topics and times. As a journalist and as someone who works in PR,  I know a deadline and a strategy are the key.

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Daniel Spark

Daniel Spark, Director at D&M Spark Enterprises PTY LTD

My opinion, your own domain name and WordPress is a great start for blogging. I suggest your own server/installation (wordpress.org) however you can find a host... read more
My opinion, your own domain name and WordPress is a great start for blogging. I suggest your own server/installation (wordpress.org) however you can find a hosted solution on wordpress.com. Blogging on your own domain will allow you to increase the domains ranking which will be worthwhile as your business grows.

If you are already operating a business website creating more content on it will drive more traffic which will only be good for business. I would couple blogging with social media (whichever platforms suit your business). Your website and social media will go hand in hand directing traffic to each other.
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Daniel Spark answered a question

Yee Trinh
Daniel Spark

Daniel Spark, Director at D&M Spark Enterprises PTY LTD

Do your ground work, try to ensure your idea is viable. Be objective, which is hard when you are passionaite about what you are doing. Cover the downside, ... read more

Do your ground work, try to ensure your idea is viable. Be objective, which is hard when you are passionaite about what you are doing. Cover the downside, make sure to only invest what you can afford to lose. Sometimes following your dreams is worth more than the money in the bank.

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Yee Trinh

Yee Trinh, Cofounder at SavvySME

Not sure if it's my "best" advice, but I'd definitely say one of them is just to get started already! The sooner you start, the sooner you fai... read more

Not sure if it's my "best" advice, but I'd definitely say one of them is just to get started already! The sooner you start, the sooner you fail and the closer you are to success. 

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Daniel Spark answered a question

Anonymous
Anonymous

Taxation

Do I need to register for GST?

I'm starting a new business. As I'm unsure how much I will make, should I still register for GST?

Daniel Spark

Daniel Spark, Director at D&M Spark Enterprises PTY LTD

If you are starting a new business and expect to turnover less than $75,000 AUD (unless you provide taxi travel for passengers in exchange for a fare) registeri... read more

If you are starting a new business and expect to turnover less than $75,000 AUD (unless you provide taxi travel for passengers in exchange for a fare) registering for GST is optional. However, the ATO only gives you 21 days from the time you are aware that you will turnover more than the threshold to register for GST and they advise you to check monthly to ensure you are aware when you meet the threshold.

If you do not register for GST then you also do not charge GST to your customers and you will not be able to claim GST credits on your purchases. There are also special requirements in regards to invoices and tax invoices that you need to follow depending on what you choose to do.

You can find great information on GST at the Governments Business website, including some examples:
https://www.business.gov.au/info/run/tax/register-for-goods-and-services-tax-gst

The ATO has also recently started a community forum, where you can get official answers from the ATO if you need more help:
https://community.ato.gov.au/

You may want to consult an Accountant for their professional perspective. The answer to your question will greatly depend on your expected turnover.

I personally, depending on the venture would not register for GST until I gain moment with sales. Everything going well you will turn over more than $75,000 and be required to register.

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Brad Lyons answered a question

Andrea Cave

How much should you reinvest in the business?

As a rule of thumb, how much of your profit should you put back in the business? 

Brad Lyons

Brad Lyons, Consultant at SMS Fusion

Live poor, grow faster. Pending on your business the more you  can invest in customer acquisition the faster your business will grow. Prior to do that thou... read more

Live poor, grow faster. Pending on your business the more you  can invest in customer acquisition the faster your business will grow. Prior to do that though you need to make sure your systems can handle an increase in volume.

You have not listed what business you are in however after doing a quick check there is a person with the same name as you in Tutoring. If that is the business you are in, based on the information on the website. I would say there are a number of competitors in your industry, investing in technology would be ideal.

And again, if it is the tutoring business you are in. There is a massive market for it, there are marketing companies that specialize only in that area. So customer acquisition isn't an issue, making sure you have the technology to handle it is.

Brad Lyons

Brad Lyons, Consultant at SMS Fusion

Sorry for the typos. I tend to type replies while half asleep and off the top of my head.... read more
Sorry for the typos. I tend to type replies while half asleep and off the top of my head.
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