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Questions

How much does TV advertising cost?

I am considering advertising on TV channels, does anyone know how much they cost these days? read more

Asked by:
Phil Khor Founder at SavvySME
Great answers so far.  A couple more points: 1. When you get your ads done, be sure to get both a 15 sec AND a 30 sec.  Is far more cost effective to do both at once and gives you more options for showing them.  Plus if there is vacant inventory you may get some extra freebies. 2. Major stations can be terrifyingly expensive.  You will need a reasonable frequency and length of campaign to see any impact so you need to allow for that in planning. If you want to dip your toe into TV, you can try doing some markets only.  For SavvySME you might try Sydney only for a couple of weeks. Or you could look at Foxtel - it's a national feed so you can't do different markets and your timings will be screwed in WA, but the costs are much lower.  Also it's possible to target to specific channels for specific markets. Also ask about anything on the new digital channels.  Much lower audience - much lower price. Not sure where small businesses hang out but if you were going with specialist channels you might want a couple of different ads with different angles.
Anne MilesManaging Director at International Creative Services
These are good stats for the actual airtime fees. I wasn't sure if people reading this would understand that this is not including production costs. The cost of an ad varies depending on the creative execution. From my experience there is a creative solution for every budget starting a a few thousand dollars to a million (and I've worked on all types). The trick is in setting the budget first and making sure that the creative is chosen to suit the budget and not the other way around.  TV is not always the best answer, but it is a great medium and still remains a powerful brand building platform. The trick with production costs is to make sure it works across all platforms to have a fully integrated campaign.  My experience is that you don't always have to spend more money to be good!
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Questions

How much do you earn off Ozbargain in a year on average?

Minus expenses and what not read more

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Questions

What are the most popular accounting software packages for small business ?

Asked by:
Phil Khor Founder at SavvySME
Nicky HanshawOwner at Simply Numbers
there are a number of key accounting software products that small businesses tend to use and i find that one product will be more prominent in one area than another, mainly through word of mouth referrals.  naturally a recommendation from a peer is well respected and isn't overlooked, in particular an accounting software solution shouldn't just be taken on because it is the 'trendy' one at the moment.  the ones that tend to be popular are the ones that the users find simple to use, provide good access to support at a local level, are affordable and ones that have stood the test of time. being a chartered accountant in a smaller and slightly rural town means i see all types of accounting software being used but the software i see the most of is myob in its varying forms from accountedge for mac's to the browser based liveaccounts.  however the most popular is myob's accountright standard or plus by far.  these products tick all the boxes and their continued developement means that their popularity will continue for the foreseeable future.
Maria MullaneDirector at Aspire Solutions
myob is by far the most commonly used and with the new cloud/desktop hybrid technology that they have just released (myob accountright live) myob now has a product for every scenario, and it truly does cover all the bases in terms of accessibility, functionality, ease of use and cost. xero has a very different strategy to myob, in that is has been designed primarily to make the accountant's life easier and enabling them to supposedly "add value" by incorporating the monthly subscription into a monthly accounting fee structure; assuming that the business owner does not want or need to spend any significant time on their business financials on a day to day basis.  there is definitely a market for this type of product, just as there is with banklink and other cashbook type products, but most business owners are taking more interest in the inner workings of their business these days, especially since the gfc, and browser based saas products at this stage simply do not provide the functionality and reporting that is available within myob. myob however, is designed primarily with the end user in mind.  i have owned my accounting software support business for 7 years and we have over 1000 businesses on our database.  from what we can see, myob is hugely dominant in the market as the leading provider of sme accounting software solutions, and in my opinion there are several very good reasons for this. 
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Questions

Why are you a full time employee at another company despite owning a hugely popular web site like Ozbargain ?

What is your motivation behind this? Why are you not 100% on your highly successful initiative? read more

Asked by:
Preet Singh
Thanks for your answer.
Scott YangFounder at OzBargain.com.au
I have actually been working on OzBargain full time for 4 years now so what are you talking about? :) I am an employee of a company that I'm also a director so I am paying myself salary + super rather than a director's fee.However I have also been running OzBargain in my spare time 4 years prior while being employed at a different company becauseOzBargain was started as a hobby site. Yes I am a builder and I built websites for fun.OzBargain hasn't proved itself to be generating enough revenue until much further down the track. I have some financial commitments so I couldn't just drop my full time employment to work on a hobby site.I have some attachment with my previous employment. It's complicated :) At one stage I was wondering whether I should just sell OzBargain so I can focus on my software architect role in an ASX200 financial software company, and there were tempting offers.There are many reasons a founder cannot put 100% on a startup, and these can be valid reasons.
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Questions

How long did it take OzBargain to reach critical mass?

Different sites grow at different rates, how long did it take OzBargain to reach critical mass and... read more

Asked by:
Phil Khor Founder at SavvySME
Scott YangFounder at OzBargain.com.au
That depends on the definition on "critical mass" :)I'll say the growth of OzBargain has been pretty linear for the first few years. I guess there are some milestones.First million page view month: Sept 2008 (2 years after launch)First million sessions month: July 2009 (2 3/4 years after launch)By looking at the traffic graph (from Google Analytics), I see a pretty flat line with some dips (Jan/Feb slow season). One significant event was at the beginning of 2011 when I go full time working on OzBargain. No, the traffic didn't shoot up (angle of the slope stays the same) but that just means I was more serious about growing it.Looking back I realise that we are more "reactive" (adding resources when we have to) than proactive, but that's just me more used to slow and steady approach.
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Questions

Can anyone suggest the best products to sell online?

I am a big fan of your website and have great admiration for how you have successful converted your... read more

Asked by:
Matt AntoninoOwner at Pay On Performance
You can sell whatever you want online really - but the question is what are you passionate about? What do you care more about than anything because ultimately in 6 months or a year or two years you are going to *hate* the business if you aren't super passionate about the topic. Let's say you open your business. What are you going to be doing in your spare time? What things distract you from work? Make *those* things your business and you'll be happiest. :)
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Questions

What are the key differences between Xero, MYOB, Saasu and Quickbooks accounting software ?

Asked by:
Phil Khor Founder at SavvySME
MYOB Official
Hi, Aishah from MYOB. Excellent question here. We just launched our AccountRight Live solution and the volume of interest has been awesome! AR Live is a desktop+cloud solution that’s different to others out there, and our solution was driven by research and clients’ demands. You can work/collaborate online or offline. You simply install it on your computer as you would any other app and you are good to go. Plus, AR Live is a fully-featured accounting solution that doesn’t require add-ons to do basic functions, such as payroll and inventory. Some may argue it is not “access anywhere, anytime” because of this install. But think of your daily routine. How often do you trust a computer other than your own with your business’s financial information? With laptops as cheap, as light and as powerful as they are today, the majority of people work from their own machine, even when on the road.  Our research shows that clients love having a local copy, and if your business does not use the cloud yet, AR Live lets you move online at your own pace. This is a big mission of ours: getting businesses to use accounting software – online or offline. If you are an accountant, you can now attend to an even wider range of clients through the one product, AR Live – those after an online solution and those preferring to stay on the desktop. As for cross platform compatibility, we are working on an elegant solution for Mac-based users to access AR Live, and we will definitely have more to announce in the future! Meanwhile, our solution LiveAccounts, which has been around for more than 2 years, is browser based and accessible from any device that has Internet. It’s very well suited to Mac users.” 
Rhys RobertsDirector at Viridity
I have a slightly different perspective on this from the previous reply.  I agree that Xero is a core accounting solution, and that in areas such as inventory the user would normally implement an add on solution (eg Unleashed).  But the aggregate effect of this and other add on solutions makes Xero a suitable solution for most businesses (small through medium) that would also be considering MYOB.  I have a number of clients turning over more than $2M, one close to $10M, all running very happily on Xero (with various add ons as required).  Deciding which solution / combination of solutions is most appropriate for any given business though really has to be case by case. AccountRight Live is a slightly different type of solution - part local / part cloud - software installed locally, data optionally held in the cloud.  With Xero, Saasu, etc you do not need to have any software installed locally, just a web browser and internet access.  With AR Live you to have the software installed on your local machine, which means you lose the "access anywhere" feature of cloud.  It also means the solution is not "cross platform compatible" - that is if you use a Mac & your accountant uses a PC you cannot both work on the same file.  I am not convinced that being able to work locally I am hoping that AR Live delivers a competitive product for MYOB fans - over the past 2 years I have been installing new Xero's 10:1 over MYOB.  It would be great for all users if AR Live delivers.
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Questions

Is the cost to build an online store tax deductible?

I'm thinking of starting an e-commerce site. Are the initial costs to build the website e.g. web... read more

Asked by:
Nick Chernih Founder at LinkBuildSEO
As with the answers above, if you are running a business all expenses are tax deductable.You will need to get help from a taxation specialist to advise you on what is deductible straight away and what needs to be depreciated. Another important fact, if you are selling outside Australia, is keeping the costs of building your overseas business separately as these expenses could be reimbursed by the Australian Government once they reach a certain threshold as part of the export incentive programs. Check these incentives out with Austrade. They are easier than you think to apply for and as long as you meet certain criteria you will be approved.
Michael Reid CADo All The Things! at Michael L Reid CA
As long as it's not a hobby, but a business, then yes, the costs will be tax deductible just the same as the costs for establishing and running any other business are tax deductible. Some of the costs may not be deductible straight-up, but may be spread over a number of years, but other running costs like hosting etc are deductible when you incur them.
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Questions

Is there an Australian version of Alibaba website to buy wholesale products that are manufactured locally?

Hi Savvies, What website do you recommend for buying Australian manufactured products wholesale? I... read more

Asked by:
Ling Lee Director at Japanese Sword Auctions Australia
Brian MallyonOwner at Luckypole Limited
I am not sure of an Australian version of Alibaba, but if you google "Australian made" I believe there are several websites that provide details of at least some Australian made products.
James NorquayOwner at Prosperity Media
Hi Ling Lee, To be honest if you want to buy Australian products or service I think you would need to look more Niche.  Examples -  http//www.buybuildingsupplies.com.au - This site offers an Alibaba style offering to people looking to buy building materials http://www.oneflare.com.au - A great site to hire Australian based services.  It is hard to find a huge protal tho. James
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Questions

How much does an Australian Virtual Assistant (VA) cost?

I used a lot of overseas VA's for my blog commenting and social bookmark submission work. I pay... read more

Asked by:
Nick Chernih Founder at LinkBuildSEO
Hi guys, We published an article about the cost comparison for onshore vs. offshore work (Philippines) at http://www.capaciti.com.au/article-onshore-vs-offshore-staffing-costs/. Check it out. Thanks!
Iain DooleyOwner at The Procedure People
Hey Nick, I hire on http://www.hiremymum.com.au/ starting at around $20/hour for a few different roles in my business (not just VAs but also bookkeeping, sales assistants, editorial assistants, marketing assistants). I posted recently on a little trick I have for dealing with the "red tape" around hiring locally versus getting someone through oDesk or similar: http://www.theprocedurepeople.com/blog/2014/09/24/how-i-hired-a-woman-to-hire-herself/ By hiring someone as a casual/part-time employee who isn't a sub-contractor (with their own company or established business) you can get their time a bit cheaper. Many of the women I've found on hiremymum.com.au only really want to work 5 - 10 hours per week and value the flexibility I'm able to offer -- it's the perfect way to get started systemising your business without a lot of risk or administrative overhead. I also recently posted a very "quick n dirty" way to start working with local VAs if you've never done it before: http://www.theprocedurepeople.com/blog/2014/09/25/a-basic-framework-for-creating-your-first-procedure/ Cheers, Iain
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Questions

What's Your Opinion on sites like Wix, Square Space, BigCommerce?

I've noticed these sites promoting strongly these days. For a cash-strapped individuals aiming to... read more

Asked by:
William S Digital Marketing and Junior SEO Consultant at Pixel Capital
I moved from a self hosted osCommerce site to Shopify about a year ago and love it. Good to see Shopify mentioned above a few times. Agree also, not just for cash strapped but for more cash savvy businesses. Software/sites as a service is where we are heading and I like it :-) Just one tip is to do plenty of research, get three or four solutions you like and then compare everything: cost, services, features and then make your own decision based on your criteria and gut feel, not from one or two reviews you may read.
Greg McKayowner at G K McKay Pty Ltd
I think these hosted platforms are the way of the future for small business websites. I can only specifically comment on Squarespace. I manage several sites there for client's from my old business, a few have been there over 12 months ... no maintenance, no upgrades, no hacks ... average cost is $8 per  month (if paid annually). All these sites have full CMS capability, social media integration, SEO optimization, plus they are on responsive design frameworks, so they work across all viewing devices. To date it's been bullet proof. The biggest advantage of Squarespace is the ability to write your own code, either starting from scratch or hacking their templates ... you can write your own HTML, CSS and Javascript. I moved these sites to Squarespace after a couple of years of other options, including shared hosting (a very poor experience) and running  my own VPS server at Linode. Repeated hacking of Wordpress sites ( they were maintained using best practise, it was the security of the web server that was compromised in all cases) on shared hosting, moved me to using a VPS, but security and maintenance are very boring and time consuming. In my opinion, any interaction with a hosting server is to be avoided unless you have the time and very specific skills ... leave maintenance and security to full time pro's. Hosted platforms are rapidly becoming the norm for Ecommerce sites. Small business sites are probably next in line.
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Questions

What is the best way to market to tradies?

Looking at doing some tailored marketing towards Tradies for my virtual pa services.  Any low cost... read more

Asked by:
Michaela Clark Virtual Assistant at mi virtual pa
Lisa OrmenyessyBusiness Coach and Marketing Specialist at Straight Talk Group
How about being a guest blogger for the tradie websites that are mentioned above.Articles like Top 10 Time Saving Tips for Tradies doing their own paperwork.... (be sure to put out sourcing to a VA in it! :-) Are you OK in a public seminar environment? Try getting public speaking gigs with the master builders association etc. I am sure they would be happy to promote and host a 3hr workshop like this if it is going to help their members.If you have capital, I would be sending out this article or a newsletter with similar articles via snail mail to them all, on a regular basis, if its schmicko and compelling enough they will read it. Good Luck!
Nathan MooreBusiness Development Drone at Marketing Bee
I think Bridget's answer sounds like some smart thinking. I worked in a "tradie" environment for a year in a small country town (great experience). I wasn't in marketing & comms yet then, but I actually am thinking about bringing our marketing services to that segment and I think what Bridget said sounded pretty spot on. I would like to reiterate about the importance of targeting your audience. As a first step of your marketing, don't forget to get very specific with who you're targeting. What age of tradies? Single or married? Etc. Then that may lead to its own insights about what mediums to use. Also, I think the idea of referrals' is really congruent with they operate already, so I'd also recommend exploring that option.  In any case, I think I would just start informally running past your ideas to people from your your target market, and listening to what their opinions are. Good luck!
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Questions

Are there advertising agencies in Australia who can help sell your website advertising space?

Hi everyone, I was wondering if you guys know any agencies that will help you sell website... read more

Asked by:
Wendy Huang Full Time Blogger and YouTuber at A Custom Blog in 4 Minutes
Leah GibbsOwner at Work At Home Mums
I have two solutions for you. For a more professional approach sign up to the newly launched AdSlot Marketplace, I use this for http://www.workathomemums.com.au - AdSlot take a percentage of sales For a niche blogger you may like to try Passionfruit Marketplace, I am using this for http://www.lifestylecareers.com.au Passionfruit you can pay by the month and there is a small processing fee Hope this helps    
James NorquayOwner at Prosperity Media
Well I use to work in big ad agencies. The thing is you are probably better trying to sell your ad space direct to the company. I know some larger Australia niche sites do that with the ad agencies I have worked at in the past. Only thing is you will need a sales team to do this. Or you can use a network like Adconion for example...
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Questions

How do you split out your time daily?

Do you have a repeatable daily schedule or do you approach every day as something new? Do you spend... read more

Asked by:
Jef Lippiatt Co-founder at Startup Chucktown
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Questions

When purchasing an investment property, what is the most appropriate ownership structure to maximise tax benefit?

If the property is jointly owned in equal proportion by both spouses, the spouse with a higher... read more

Asked by:
Shane Gold Compliance Officer at First State Super
Craig GarblerManaging Director at Sterling Debt Advisory Pty Ltd
Shane, I must agree with Ian that professional(s) should always be consulted, particularly when investing hundreds of thousands of dollars!  Even if the advice totals a few thousand (at most), then this pails into insignificance against other costs such as stamp duty, agents fees etc, and can save you multiples in terms of tax savings. As with any investment, a prudent approach should be adopted when investing.  Utilise those with the right experience for the situation.  A good financial planner for overall investment strategy, a tax accountant for structuring, a reputable conveyance lawyer to protect your purchase.  Even consider seeking the advice of an independent buyers advocate (property adviser) - someone who knows the property market, the + / -, drivers, capital growth expectation, what's in planning etc, is it a fair price.  A property adviser may direct you to another property that offers better value for money, or better suits your objectives - whatever they may be. At our business Sterling Debt Advisory we see many an investment (property and otherwise) where you wish the client sought the input of a professional at the outset - this is not only relevant for individuals, but surprisingly for corporate clients that you would have thought knew better.  Investing hundreds of thousands of dollars does indeed require independent professional advice.  You're really short changing yourself if you don't.  Spend a dollar today to save you many hundreds down the track! Craig
Ian HarrisDirector at B+I Lockwood Accountants
The dilemma with the above answer is the issue of negative gearing. If the purchase is negatively geared then you want the property in the name of the taxpayer with the highest income. In the utter , if you have paid down the loan this will cause a tax problem. A unit trust structure may allow you to have your cake now and then have your cake in the future as well because there is a strategy with this structure for overcoming this problem. Take professional advice!
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Questions

Is eBay shipping emails via MailChimp a normal practice?

Hi, I have a large eBay store and wish to send shipping emails via Mailchimp to help with info and... read more

Asked by:
Peter Jones Founder at LinkSmart
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Does anyone use Pinterest for business?

Im interested in finding out if any of you are using Pinterest.com in a business context. If so how... read more

Asked by:
Henrik Larsen Director at IePlus Pty Ltd
Roslyn HoldenColour Image Consultant. Trainer and educater at sheike me up
Yes I use Pinterest to0 post Images for my clients to see.
Kealey NuttDirector at Eleven & Twelve
I've signed up some of my clients to Pinterest, though they work in floristry, and interior design. So the platform works well for them as a visual tool.  I know that Sam Bell at Runway Digital uses it really well to promote her agency's services, and to share resources with her clients and followers. You can see her page here: http://pinterest.com/samanthabell/ 
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Questions

Do you know an Australian business that buys second hand jewellery and valuables?

I'm wondering if anyone here knows of someone that buys 2nd hand designer jewellery and then... read more

Asked by:
Wendy Huang Full Time Blogger and YouTuber at A Custom Blog in 4 Minutes
Google consignment stores. They will offer your piece for sale then keep a cut of the sale price. 
Jeffrey JoelMD at Auspac Trading NSW PL
Cash converters, pawn shops? I can't imagine you would get much from them though.
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Questions

Is Ozbargain profitable enough for you to make a living?

Asked by:
Scott YangFounder at OzBargain.com.au
Yes. OzBargain (or rather, the company that runs OzBargain, Delvu Media Pty Ltd) is currently employing 4 full time staffs in Australia paying them proper wage.Edit: Someone on OzBargain asked what's the biggest income for OzBargain and whether there's any income source other than ads. The answer is -- yes it's all ads. Mostly from Google AdSense -- they fluctuate seasonally but generally stable. We also show affiliate links to non-logged in users (which they have option to opt-out). Affiliate commission however,Fluctuates too much for a community website with a stable trafficWorking with affiliate networks distracts us from our main goal which is building a community for the shoppers. It takes more time and requires us to form partnership with merchants, which can be undesirable sometimes.And that's all!
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Questions

What accounting software package should a small business use?

What are things to consider when selecting a suitable accounting software package? read more

Asked by:
Phil Khor Founder at SavvySME
Andrew OldhamOwner 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.
Michael PriorPrincipal 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.
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Questions

How much do bloggers charge for a sponsored post?

I have a client that works in the services industry and am thinking of getting some sponsored blog... read more

Asked by:
Nick Chernih Founder at LinkBuildSEO
Albert KellyInformation Technology at Corporate Gifts Shop
Also you can go the cheapo (bad quality) way and get $5 guest posting spots on fivver.com
Quality is always the issue. On fiver (a website where you pay $5 for everything) there is a mountain of people who will write a 500 word blog post for just $5 - but the quality of the writing is often very poor and needs to be re-worked. I have paid up to $100 for an outstanding article and up to $50 for a one panel cartoon - but these are the exception. As I am promoting my own blog I rarely charge for my articles unless they are articles you have aptly described as 'sponsored'. Greg Ferrett
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Questions

How do I manage multiple social media accounts through Squarespace?

Does anyone hosting their site on squarespace know how to push website updates through to social... read more

John BelchamberOwner & Senior Consultant at Invoke Results
Buffer was my favourite for scheduling a stream of posts across multiple channels at times when my followers were online. It integrates with just about every browser/device/readers service. However, I found that when I got poast their basic paid plan's account level it was far more expensive to use than Hootsuite. Hootsuite keeps getting better. As Wendy says it's great for team work but it also has some other great features for listening to what people are saying and responding to them and excellent plugins for browsers that allow you to search what people are saying about a topic your looking at in your browser and/or the Google search you've just done. At AU$11 per-month for a paid account that allows up to 100 social media channels to be connected, it's good value too. Oh yes, it also works with Google+ which I'm starting to find is better than FB and Twitter for making good B2B connections.  
Wendy HuangFull Time Blogger and YouTuber at A Custom Blog in 4 Minutes
Hi Rosella, I also am not very familiar with Squarespace so I can't comment on that and you will find that you probably won't find a single service that will handle every single social account so you'll have to use a combination. As Micha mentioned Onlywire is a great service, and so is Hootsuite and buffer, and you'll need to test these out and ensure that when these services post your updates that they look the way that you want because some services that automate a feed may actually give you a different visual to posting straight via the social network. For example, the best way to get users attention on Facebook is to post a link underneath a fairly large and attention grabbing picture, that way the user is more likely to look at it and then see your link. If you copy and paste the link directly into the status update function as a link, you'll find that the update will contain a small picture with the link on the side. These two ways of posting look very different. Sometimes taking the extra time to manually post may increase the engagement and attention of your post. These are very important on image conscious sites such as Facebook and Pinterest.  Most of these services have great trial accounts or even offer free services up to a certain number of social accounts, so the best thing to do is take some of these suggestions and try them out for yourself before you settle on your favourite or combination that will fulfil your busniess needs. Currently I use a combination of Buffer, Hootsuite and OnlyWire just to give you an example. Buffer is my personal favourite ​Hootsuite has great team functions, allowing me to delegate responsibilities to others seamlessly Onlywire covers a few networks that the above two don't cover and are very important in our online marketing strategy. Hope this helps :)!!!
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Questions

How much do copywriter charge to rewrite a web page?

Want to know the cost of copywriting,  to re-write few web pages i am working on. I have basic... read more

Asked by:
Julie alexis at web development New York
It is depend on the website theme and design basically. If your website is product based or ecommerce then charge $20 to $40 and if it is simple blog then $25 to $50. But joomla expert india company charge reasonable as per their packages.
Trish FehonOwner at Online Influence
If it's general copy for a website - yes about $50 - $100 per page will do it - If it's copy for a sales letter, I know people who have paid up to $10k from the very best copywriters. You can get an okay sales letter for under $1k. It depends on what you are selling, how much competition there is & the $ value of your product, e.g.  a $17 ebook vs a $10k product/service. So it really depends on what is the purpose of the page,  information or Lead Generation. 2 entirely different things.
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Questions

What expenses can I claim as an IT Professional in my Tax Return?

Check This Out.     read more

Asked by:
Apurv Bhalla CPA Accountant at Success Tax Professionals in Parramatta
Liam ShorteDirector, SMSF Specialist Advisor & Financial Planner at Verante Financial Planning & The SMSF Coach
Here is a link to the ATO's page specifically for IT professionals. http://www.ato.gov.au/individuals/content.aspx?doc=/content/00322817.htm  
Apurv Bhalla CPAAccountant at Success Tax Professionals in Parramatta
http://successtaxprofessionals.com.au/tax-returns-what-expenses-can-i-claim-as-an-it-professional/  
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Questions

Why should you stay as an "Anonymous" LinkedIn member?

Lets talk about a controversial setting in LinkedIn called, “Who’s Viewed My Profile?”  This... read more

Asked by:
Cassidy Poon Head of Digital & Social Media at LogicalTech Group
Ling LeeDirector at Japanese Sword Auctions Australia
Stalking on a social networking site is a key sign that a network is user engaging, in my opinion. I have no objections to being open in my profile. It is like an online resume. After all, the ultimate aim is to extend profile reach to as many people as possible.
Cassidy PoonHead of Digital & Social Media at LogicalTech Group
If LinkedIn was a real-life networking event, how would you react if you saw these “Anonymous” behaviours? Cyber Netiquette represents the importance of proper manners and behaviour online. In general, cyber netiquette is the set of professional and social etiquettes practiced and advocated in electronic communication over any computer network. Common guidelines include being courteous and precise, and avoiding cyber-bullying. Netiquette is a short form of Network Etiquette or Internet Etiquette. The more LinkedIn member netiquette rules there are, the more civilized LinkedIn as a professional networking social platform will be for everybody because the human mind strives for order. Rules give us order. Within LinkedIn, it is a good cyber netiquette to act as you do in reality on the internet. Ask yourself whether or not you would do it, say it, or write it to one of your real friends or associates. If you have to ask yourself this question whatever you are thinking of is not something you would do in reality. It is a proper LinkedIn member cyber netiquette to be yourself online because you are not always a LinkedIn “anonymous” and others users are real people too. Do not try to be LinkedIn “Anonymous” online that you would not do in reality because you cannot be taken seriously if you do. Your online image is important. Don’t ruin it by being someone “anonymous” you’re not. You are who you are in life. Everyone has the power to change their ways. Your ways are your own. If you don’t like who you are, then change your ways and become who you want to be. “Anonymous” LinkedIn Member – Who are you and why do you choose to be “Anonymous” on LinkedIn to some of us? 1) They could be a person on LinkedIn that simply does not know that is how they have their settings set up in the first place. 2) They could be a professional friend you used to work with that has a terrible LinkedIn profile and is just trying to see what it is like to have a better profile. 3) They could be a person afraid to have a public profile because of fear of their employer seeing it and taking measures to make their life miserable. I am sure nobody has ever heard of this happening before. 4) It could be a competitor of your managerial position just checking to see what you are up to- if that is the case take it as a compliment. 5) It could be that employer checking out your profile to see if he or she fills the types of positions that they have openings in and if they could be of assistance to them. 6) It could be someone looking for help with media & publicity interviewing or whatever your expertise & forte may be. Most could care less who this elusive LinkedIn masked crusader could be within our very own professional network but we are more interested in why they choose to keep their status as “Anonymous”. Who else this “Anonymous” LinkedIn Member could be?
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Questions

Can an eBay seller without an ABN register as a small business seller?

Asked by:
Anqi wang at Sugarbomb_melb
Ling LeeDirector at Japanese Sword Auctions Australia
Hey Anqi, Sure, that is possible, but its not recommended. There are no disadvantages in getting an ABN anyway - its free, and instant!  Hope that helps :D
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Questions

What are the most important elements in building customer loyalty?

I've learnt that retaining existing customers is just as (if not more) important than pursuing new... read more

Asked by:
Phil Khor Founder at SavvySME
Jef LippiattCo-founder at Startup Chucktown
I believe that some of the most basic building blocks of customer loyalty are honesty, transparency and timely communication.It only takes one mishandled bad experience (notice the word mishandled) for a long time customer become a so long customer. One bad experience doesn't mean a good customer will leave, but how you handle that bad experience could drive them out the door. If user data was compromised send a communication, that explicitly lists what information, when it was accessed and how you resolved (or are resolving the situation). That is also a good time to offer a discount, special sale or complimentary identity theft protection.Customers want to know you are also listening to their feedback. You should communicate your appreciation for their feedback and let them know when customer feedback has been implemented (even if it wasn't theirs). That will drive home the point that you are listening to your customers.Actively involve your customers in what you are doing. Have a contest to let customers send in photos of them using your product or service then have your team (or your customers vote for the winner). Make your content easily shareable on social media and other outlets. You want your loyal customers to spread your message if they are passionate about it.I am only scratching the surface here. Think about what you appreciate for companies and services you use yourself. Why do you like those brands so much? Brainstorm on those thoughts and start integrating those ideas into your business as they make sense. The last thing to keep in mind is be willing to continuously adapt. Your customers and business will change over time, so should your approach to your customers.
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Questions

What did you do to stay motivated while waiting?

What did you do to stay motivated while waiting for Ozbargain to really catch on? When you saw... read more

Asked by:
Jef Lippiatt Co-founder at Startup Chucktown
Scott YangFounder at OzBargain.com.au
Hi Jef,First of all, the traffic actually does not fluctuate that much these days. You know the traffic is going for a dip on a weekend (somehow it's a norm checking out bargains during business hours :) Long weekends are bad, but made up by other events such as Valentine's Day or Boxing Day shopping.However early on (maybe the first 2 years of OzBargain) the traffic can be slow and frustrating at times. You analyse the fluctuation carefully so you can understand the pattern and whether these are the effect of internal or external changes. However at the same time you also don't want to be affected by it too much. "Looking at the big picture" they say. Don't worry about day to day changes but your month to month growth.As of motivation - I don't wait around for it to catch on. I just want to build something that rocks :) Somehow that product of mine became something that many Australians ended up using and enjoying.
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Questions

What is the process for any startup to raise funds?

Asked by:
Jef LippiattCo-founder at Startup Chucktown
Ananda,Thanks for the question. It really depends on what type of funds and how much you are trying to raise.If you are trying to raise a small amount of capital (less than $50,000):Friends and family - Hopefully, they would see the potential in your idea or in you and want to help fund you.Credit Cards - This is a dangerous idea and should be avoided if at all possible.Crowdfunding - If you have an interesting idea, you can share your vision and see how other people react (this is a great way to see if you have a market for your idea)If you are looking for $50,000 to $100,000 you have a few options:Friends and family (see above)Crowdfunding (see above)Bank loans - These usually require a lot of detail to understand your cash flow, current equity, business plan, projections, etc.. The aren't usually easiest funding to get.Angel Investors - These investors typically aren't looking to make huge investments (typically between $10,000 to $100,000 (it can be more, but unless several are working together don't expect a windfall). The great thing about angel investors is that most times they aren't looking for an equity stake as big as a Venture Capitalist. They may want to be more involved in the day to day business or be a mentor or advisor for the business.If you are looking for $250,000 to $500,000. This is typically a seed round of fundraising:Bank loans - Are still an option (but for this kind of an amount they are typically looking for an established business). (See Above)Crowdfunding - This level of success on crowfunding platforms is possible, but isn't reliable. (See Above)Angel Investors - Typically this amount would require several Angels or a group of them (See Above).Venture Capitalists - This is typically a small amount for an established Venture Capitalist firm, however, if they really like the idea or your team, it isn't out of the question. If you can land a Venture Capitalist at this level they may invest more money in later rounds of fundraising (Series A or B). Keep in mind Venture Capitalists are going to want a much larger piece of your equity pie (typically between 25% and 50% depending on the amount of money they infuse).If you are looking for over $1 million dollars you should focus on:Angel Investors - They would probably only fund a portion of what you need (See Above).Venture Capitalists - Again this usually happens once a venture has already done some fundraising, but it isn't out of the question if you really catch the right person's attention or interest. (See Above)Crowdfunding - It is possible to raise over $1 million with crowdfunding, but it is a gamble when trying to raise that amount of funding.Keep in mind the more money you are trying to raise the more effort you will need to apply. Getting large infusions of money will mean you need to explain how the money will be spent and how that will grow the business. Don't get frustrated, at each of these levels people can and will say "no" to you. That doesn't mean they don't want to help or aren't interested, sometimes the timing isn't right. Stay focused and keep looking at ways to fund your business. If you are passionate about your venture, you will eventually find some funding. One last note, don't try raising more money than you currently need. If you only need $50,000 to grow your business to the next level, don't waste time trying to raise $1 million dollars.
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Questions

What are your thoughts on the McFlurry?

Is it the greatest bargain of all time? (wait, who are we kidding, of course it is). Have you tried... read more

Asked by:
Scott YangFounder at OzBargain.com.au
Greatest bargain of all time? If vote count is the only measurement, then from OzBargain community's point of view, YES it is the greatest bargain so far.Have I tried it? No. Not fond of Maccas & soft serves. Actually it wasn't even that great a deal from my personal opinion.But this is the beauty of a social voting site. Collective opinion when simplified down to a single vote, then yes McFlurry "hack" was considered the greatest bargain. However the vote count does not translate to individual opinions, nor does it describe why it is "great". I presume it's great not because it saves OzBargainers hundreds of dollars each year.Immortalised? I thought everything on Internet is immortalised :) Yes don't post things when you think they would disappear a few years down the track. No, they'll come back to haunt you for eternity.
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Questions

What is the best software for creating forms?

Adobe is getting rid of form central and we are going to have to switch to new software. Is anyone... read more

Asked by:
Lisa Ormenyessy Business Coach and Marketing Specialist at Straight Talk Group
Google forms is OK. For email marketing forms, I've also tried Mailchimp's forms. They're easy to use. If you're using WordPress, you may want to check out form plugins such as Gravity Forms.
Jef LippiattCo-founder at Startup Chucktown
I think it depends on the type of forms. Are you talking about online forms, print forms or both? I typically use Google Forms for online capture. I've also heard good things about Wufoo (although I've never used them myself).
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Questions

How much do recruiters typically charge?

I am looking at hiring developers and was wondering how much recruiters would charge. Do their fees... read more

Asked by:
Micha Wotton Head of Development at SavvySME
During my career as an IT recruiter (and as the initial scope of my business subsequently - moved into internal hiring consulting now), some agencies are bound to charge nominal, non-negotiable fees for all recruitment activity. Averages sit in the 12-18% of annual salary (base  plus superannuation). If you are determined to go down the agency path, my advice would be to shop around. Fortunately, it's a market skewed to the client currently, so you could get yourself a great deal...but only with the smaller, boutique firms, as they will be more accommodating on negotiating fees. There are ways and means of doing that negotiation to make it even more mutually beneficial, but I could be here for days going through them! Suffice to say: shop around. John makes some great points, particularly on the impact of bad hires...but I will challenge one of them. The research I have done suggests that a bad hire's cost can be anywhere from 30% of the annual salary to over 5 times, depending on the role, customer interaction and propensity of business development. Regardless of the actual figure, though the point remains - it's a major risk.
John BelchamberOwner & Senior Consultant at Invoke Results
External recruitment fees (usually based on a percentage of salary) generally vary by industry, role type, salary level and how much 'up front' financial commitment and/or exclusivity you are prepared to give them. In this market, if you know how many people you are looking for and how much commitment you are prepared to offer, you should have far more leverage to negotiate on the fees and guarantee period given.  You can also consider outsourcing your recruitment function to an 'internal recruiter' who would act as if they were a member of your team. This is often far more cost effective as it can be based on a fixed fee or a per-hour basis and has the benefit of building your own candidate database rather than the recruiters. However, you might see a downside in that there is no replacement guarantee. I hope that this helps you and am happy to chat further offline if you like.  
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Questions

Is Super payable if an employee receives a cash bonus?

I have been contacted by a company from the UK who are setting up business trade here in Australia... read more

Asked by:
Chris NobbsOwner at Dirigo Group
In short yes superannuation must be paid on a cash bonus as it would for other income formed the employee earns. Attached is a link to a good summary sheet regarding employee superannuation entitlements within Australia. http://www.australiansuper.com/~/media/Files/FactSheets/Your%20super%20obligations.ashx Hope this helps. Regards Chris Nobbs - www.dirigogroup.com.au  
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Questions

How do you promote a restaurant which is located away from the main road?

Hi all, my name is Wilson and I have a restaurant, Sonley Stonegrill & Bar, at Blackburn.... read more

Asked by:
Wilson Lui Business Owner at Sonley Stonegrill & Bar
Lisa CreffieldFounder at 3things
Just thinking as a customer, three routes tend to get me to try out a new restaurant:1. Hearing about it word of mouth or in a review, and being able to check its menu online2. Driving or walking past and seeing a board with interesting specials or themed nights on it (eg buffet, free dessert, not live music though, that's a turn off).3. If there's a flyer or a menu put in my mailbox. This is probably one of the main ways I discover and try restaurants in my area
Lisa OrmenyessyBusiness Coach and Marketing Specialist at Straight Talk Group
Hi Wilson,I've just had a quick look at your restaurant, and your reviews on trip advisor, urban spoon and Facebook.My suggestion for some of the 'not so nice' reviews that you have had that you respond. This way readers can see that the owner is proactive. It also enables you to engage in complaint marketing. A client of mine does this really well on Facebook - Cardones Seafood and Grill (Glenelg, South Aust) - go and check out how they have responded to negative reviews.Did I deduct that you have had a make over? Make this clear as it will separate the poor earlier reviews from the latest. raving reviews (Well Done btw!)Hopefully as a response to Greg's post you will have your Google Business Account - This is imperative - Google loves Google. While your social and review sites are important - the 5 Start review process on Google is critical and will also help your SEO ratings when people are searching for restaurants in your area.Yee is correct with the hand holding - go one step further and reward patrons when they post positive reviews or check in - ie like us on Facebook and receive..... Actively insert the 'have you checked in' into the scripting that your staff is using when they are seating your guests.If you are collecting your customers details (I hope you are) other things you can do to increase patronage is to call the day after they have been in and make an offer to come in on your slower days (ie a Monday or a Tuesday) and receive a complimentary glass or wine or similar. I see you have used Groupon so the cost of a wine should be less than what you are offering there.Collecting customers details is essential for restaurants - at the moment can you email a customer and invite them to come in for their birthday or wedding anniversary?If you wanted to do some direct marketing locally think of Groups of people.What about the local sporting clubs in your area (men, in general, are big meat eaters) - think about what offers you could give them - "man of the match" deal? Most local sporting clubs are always looking for ways to earn money - perhaps offer a % back to the club for their members creating a win-win (or - as discounting is a dangerous habit to get in to - what about a free beer for members with every mains) What night to they train - could you do a pre-training or after training package (with all the focus on high protien for sports people this might have some legs if executed properly)Do you have a local cinema you could work with?Wilson, how is your signage? Is it easy for me to find your restaurant or parking? An Adelaide furniture store used this to their advantage in their marketing. Their tag line was 'it's a pig of a location' and then went on to say how it allowed them to give you better prices because of their low overheads. Is there a way for you to attribute value to the location (ie easy parking) .... Oh! as a steak house could you say you do not beef up the prices because of high overheads - or its a cow of a location....:-) These ideas are just off the top of my head however you get the idea I am sure - anything to make yourself memorable. .Let us know how you get on Wilson,Warmly, Lisa.
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Questions

Has anyone used radio advertising?

I was wondering whether anyone has had radio advertising done? Did it get you many customers and... read more

Asked by:
Wendy Huang Full Time Blogger and YouTuber at A Custom Blog in 4 Minutes
Frederique BrosOwner at Women Love Tech
I have been asked to do a radio mini interview about my blog: Women Love Tech this afternoon in Sydney - it will be only for 10mn - I don't know yet the impact on the business - but it will be a good experience and may be a thoughtful way for radio advertising.... to be continued...
Don GreggDirector at Advice 4 Growth
Radio can be a great channel to market if you can choose the right station/time to reach your target audience. It reaches people who are listeners and perhaps not great readers of non-audio advertising. It can reach people when they are not distracted by other messages or thoughts. It also partly depends on your business and how your target makes decisions. When I was running a chain of lunchtime food outlets our sales would lift whenever we had a branding campaign on radio - it helped more people to choose our outlets when thinking about where to buy lunch. Radio is also quicker and easier than designing and developing visual advertising. Look for last minute bargains when the stations get desperate to sell unsold air times.
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Questions

How much computer programming experience did you have before starting OzBargain?

Hi Scott, How much computer programming experience did you have before starting OzBargain? read more

Asked by:
Ling Lee Director at Japanese Sword Auctions Australia
Scott YangFounder at OzBargain.com.au
Hi Ling,I started programming on a VIC-20 with BASIC so yeah quite a few years :)After graduating from an engineering degree in computing, I worked mainly as developer / software architect in both startups and established companies. Developing for OzBargain is "scaling down" for me but I enjoyed it nevertheless, i.e. no product-managers demanding crazy designs and project-managers requesting crazy deadlines.
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