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Which sources provide you with data on SMEs to help you plan your business?

Which sources provide you with the data on SME's to help you plan your business and do you think... read more

Asked by:
Neil Steggall Partner at Wardour Capital Partners
Hi Neil,  Great question!   I guess it depends on what you are planning to use the information for.  Are you wanting it to market to them, or know ABS stats?  I think there is more than enough data about, my view is despite how much data is there - what is everyone doing with it?  Are they interpreting and using it effectively to grow their business? Warmly, Lisa O
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Is the Australian economy picking up based on your experience?

Hi Everyone, I just spotted this article in the Sydney Morning Herald is everyone experiencing an... read more

Asked by:
Neil SteggallPartner at Wardour Capital Partners
Demand for our services has increased steadily through 2014 but I believe the demand is driven by a concern re the economy and the inefficiency of the banks in meeting small to mid cap business needs. My personal belief is that we are balancing close to the economic edge and are in desperate need of strong leadership and fiscal motivation.
Jeffrey JoelMD at Auspac Trading NSW PL
I run businesses in both restaurant and food wholesale. Since the May budget, I've noticed that the restaurant trade has dropped slightly, probably due to people tightening their belts due to all the negative publicity. However, the wholesale side with deliveries to grocery stores has definitely picked up, as people must be eating more at home.
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Do you have an up-to-date will?

This amusing article from South African website "Women 24" lists some celebrity estate planning... read more

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What is wrong with this sentence?

The following sentence does not look or sound right to me, but I can't pinpoint the problem and... read more

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There are two things which might be niggling you. The first is the mismatch of singular and plural which Gill mentioned.  (As a side note in relation to Micha's comment, in the old days the masculine pronoun was inclusively to encompass female 'someones' as well, but modern sensibilities do not allow that, so the grammatical mismatch is now much more acceptable.  Even if grammatical sticklers like me don't like it.) The other possible cause of concern is a wonderful thing called zeugma.  Using the same verb in one sentence with two different meanings.  So, handling someone who is causing you stress actually means something different from handling yourself - how you interact with someone as opposed to how you control feelings. The classic example of this is in a song called 'Have some madeira, m'dear' by Swann and Flanders. '..he put out the the cat, the wine, his cigar and the lamps'.  Works well in comedy, less well for serious writing.  Steve, you picked it up subconsciously in your rewording.
Micha WottonHead of Development at SavvySME
While not strictly correct, using 'them' in the singular sense is acceptable (and in common use) since there is no other non-gender-specific third-person singular reference, and alternatives are more awkward. In this case the singular  'someone' is enough context to understand that 'them' is also singular. Other examples might be "If someone calls for me, tell them I'll call back" or "If you see someone struggling to carry a load, give them a hand".
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What can I reasonably expect from venture capitalists for my new startup?

Hi all, I am considering going to a venture capitalist for my startup, but I'm extremely weary of... read more

Asked by:
Ling Lee Director at Japanese Sword Auctions Australia
Steve OsborneOwner at Smarthinking
Hi Ling, without knowing what your startup is about, my comments are pretty general. Therefore, it depends. Amongst many other things, it depends on what industry you're in, what the scalability potential is like and how much skin the founders have in the game. The first and most obvious thing to say is: they expect a return. And that mighty quick. My experience preparing business plans for VC investment taught me several things – the most important being: 1. your idea is worth precisely zero until it is implemented. Investors want to see a working model. 2. investors are taking a big risk, therefore will expect a big return. After all, if your startup is not doing something that's never been done before, by definition it's just another business. And if all you need is money, go to the bank. So expect them to ask for at minimum, 30% return over 3 x years on say, $1mill. 3. investors are most interested if you can clearly show your three different customers. If you can define these three distinct groups early on, you stand a better chance of growth and a better return on exit. A wiser man than me defined them thus: Customer One is your end-user. It is to serve her needs that your business was created. Without this customer, you don't have a business. Customer Two is your bulk-buyer. This second customer is the one on whom rapid expansion will pivot, based on the idea that it's easier to sell to one who buys 1,000 than it is to sell to 1,000 who only buy one (customer 1). This customer shapes the speed and scale of growth. Customer Three is the business buyer. This is the entity that will eventually buy your business. This individual or company will ultimately make more from your assets (customers, database, products) than you can. This customer shapes your positioning, your customer information collection, your database. And this customer is the most difficult to identify. But it's this last customer the VCs are most interested in, because that's where the greatest value lies. If you can demonstrate a firm grasp of how each customer group is linked, you can argue a simple and very powerful case for investment. Everything else is just logistics. Ask Neil at Wardour Capital about this stuff. He is the expert.
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Has anyone had any success with crowd funding in the SME space?

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Is your business OHS/WHS compliant?

Do you think your business is meeting its OHS/WHS obligations and if so, what are you spending in... read more

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What will it take for HR to see a person holistically?

I've been bothered by this question for years. Why does the typical HR department see you as a set... read more

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Jef Lippiatt Co-founder at Startup Chucktown
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Is content syndication good idea, if it is then how to find best fit?

I am thinking of going with content syndication so that i can get more exposure for my articles but... read more

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How many times do you encounter 'difficult' customers or colleagues?

When you encounter a person who is 'difficult' what skills do you use to manage the situation to a... read more

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Malcolm Dawes Managing Director at dta Worldwide
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What would you recommend doing to grow an online deals community?

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Can you recommend a good family lawyer?

Hey guys, just wondering if you know a good family lawyer whom you wouldn't hesitate to vouch for,... read more

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Phil Khor Founder at SavvySME
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What would you have done differently to make Eagle Boys even bigger than what it is today?

Everybody loves pizza and there are some obvious competitors in the market. If you were turn back... read more

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Phil Khor Founder at SavvySME
Tom Potter at pottercorp
probably introduced more capital to grow harder and faster /however the main key point was to have a major point of difference which we had up until I sold the business
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What keeps you motivated?

Asked by:
Tom Potter at pottercorp
I think a major ability for you to motivate yourself is to ensure your challenges are laid out and your always looking for change and improvement
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How do you maintain standards of quality and brand image when going from having total control to a franchise system?

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Yee Trinh Marketing Manager at SavvySME
Tom Potter at pottercorp
its all about the right people the right systems (simple) and constant maintenance
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If you have a good business, is the process of growing it into a franchise the same, regardless of what the business is?

Asked by:
Yee Trinh Marketing Manager at SavvySME
Tom Potter at pottercorp
every business model is unique hence they need to be considered individually
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Did you ever lose passion for the Eagle Boys business?

If yes, how did you persist through it? read more

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Charlene Sampilo Customer Service at SavvySME
Tom Potter at pottercorp
there were times I became very tired but the key was not to blame the business the key was to go away and re generate myself
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After the sale of your business, what drives you these days?

I'm curious what goes through your mind after you've achieved so much. How did you figure out what... read more

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Wendy Huang Full Time Blogger and YouTuber at A Custom Blog in 4 Minutes
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What is your recommendation to learn more about business broker/business regulation law?

Hi Katherine, thank you for taking time to read my message. I would like to ask for your opinion.... read more

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What are your thoughts on smart watches?

Perhaps I'm a bit jaded, but I don't see the allure of the forthcoming Apple watch. I don't believe... read more

Asked by:
Jef Lippiatt Co-founder at Startup Chucktown
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If your business has seasonal peaks, how do you balance out the valleys?

I'm curious how business owners that have seasonal peaks built into their business adapt to times... read more

Asked by:
Jef Lippiatt Co-founder at Startup Chucktown
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What 20% factor can you attribute Vinomofo's success to in terms of the 80/20 rule?

Asked by:
Yee Trinh Marketing Manager at SavvySME
Justin Dry at Vinomofo
I actually live by this rule as often as possible and it has served me well. As far as Vinomofo goes I would say our most valuable time has been spent on delivering the best possible product. Make it so good that your customers do the marketing for you. On the flip side if your product is shit no amount of advertising is going to save you.
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How did you build the necessary connections in the wine industry to allow for Vinomofo's success?

Asked by:
Charlene Sampilo Customer Service at SavvySME
Justin Dry at Vinomofo
Vinomofo wasn’t the first business we had in the tech wine space so it actually happened in the years leading up to the launch.Qwoff was the first one in 2007 and was actually a really cool idea but to be honest had a shit business model. It was like a facebook for wine. Too early for the space and the market was too niche for the business model.We then pivoted the business 4 times over the next few years before launching Vinomofo in early 2011.Each one was better than the last but more importantly, we were building great relationships within the industry and a large tribe of wine lovers along the way who followed us into Vinomofo.
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What challenges did you face when achieving such rapid growth?

Asked by:
Jef Lippiatt Co-founder at Startup Chucktown
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What is your favourite breakfast?

Asked by:
Justin Dry at Vinomofo
It’s actually my favourite meal of the day! I LOVE free range poached eggs on sourdough with smashed avocado feta. Oh and coffee, very good coffee.
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How important was cash flow to Vinomofo?

How important was cash flow and did it ever take a back seat when you were growing your company? read more

Asked by:
Wendy Huang Full Time Blogger and YouTuber at A Custom Blog in 4 Minutes
Justin Dry at Vinomofo
Incredibly. We started Vinomofo with $100k in the bank so we didn’t have much wiggle room. It was so important to us that we would actually update it daily. This way we knew exactly where we were going to be (based on projections) at any time over the next 3 months.We also kept the business very lean to give ourselves the longest runway possible. Obviously the numbers are bigger now but we still manage cash flow and stock levels very closely.
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Are there plans for Vinomofo to go global?

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How did your brand and identity survive 2012-2013?

Fifty years ago Australian Thomas Angrove wrapped wine in a plastic cask that turned out... read more

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What motivates you to grow?

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Is "No Buyer's Remorse" scalable ?

Vinomofo promises "If you’re not 100% happy, you can return your order to us ANY TIME for a... read more

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How do you reconcile your differences in opinion as co-founders?

I assume you and Andre don't always agree on everything, sometimes even on strategic directions.... read more

Asked by:
Phil Khor Founder at SavvySME
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How do you get your team to generate and share ideas?

Some Vinomofo deals are very creative in content and presentation, and am sure commercially solid.... read more

Justin Dry at Vinomofo
First we actively encourage them to think about it and share with the team. Even if it’s not related to Vinomofo. We call this Mofo Projects and it has led to some really cool ideas and even the creation of a few startups! In regards to the secret deals example, they say necessity is the mother of all invention and it certainly was in this case. In the early days of Vinomofo we were regularly facing the same challenge - wineries wanted to sell us their wines but at such epic prices, distributors and other retailers would get upset. Then one day a team member said “what if we hid the label?” and the secret deal was born. So now we have an agreement with the producers not to reveal these wines and a promise to our customers that they’ll have the “wow” moment when it arrives and they found out what it is. We have 100% confidence that if a wine passes our tasting panel (only 5% do) then our Mofos will love it. And we stand behind that by offering a 100% no questions asked money back guarantee.
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How did you score such an amazing co-founder?

Asked by:
Andre Eikmeier at Vinomofo
Justin Dry at Vinomofo
Haha get off the site Andre. I obviously found one with plenty of time on his hands... And get back to work Chris :)
Chris CoffeyGeneral Mischief Manager at Vinomofo
...and General Manager?
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After you've conquered the world of wine, which industry do you see potential for disruption?

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Yee Trinh Marketing Manager at SavvySME
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Where do you see Vinomofo in the next 5 years?

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Charlene Sampilo Customer Service at SavvySME
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What would you value more an investor or a knowledgeable cofounder? Why?

Often a venture needs both, but which would you prefer? Think about the pros and cons that may... read more

Asked by:
Jef Lippiatt Co-founder at Startup Chucktown
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