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Gregory Ferrett

Editor at

Member Since February 2013

Melbourne, VIC,

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Business and sales leader, as well as author and blogger, who brings to life the science of human behaviour and motivation. I am a graduate from Newcastle University and a lifelong student of the sciences unlocking the complexities of human behaviour. With 30 years operational sales and management experience I bring resources and a wealth of practical ideas when influencing others decisions and their behaviour is critical to success.

Gregory Ferrett answered this question

How to choose the best business loan for your business?

Hi Liam,

If you are selling higher value items to clients you may want to consider offering your clients finance.

One small business I know sells thongs (yes - shoes) to small retailers and offers 6 months interest free finance for their stock while getting paid the very next day and not wearing the risk of factoring (where you still own the debt after three months). This allows him to win a lot of new business and get stock on shelves without owning the finance risk.

Try Scott McNally at ASM Money 0438 680 898 and use my name as an introduction or email me and I can send over more details

Greg Ferrett

 

Gregory Ferrett answered this question

Shaun Goethals
Shaun Goethals, Director / Principal Consultant at

Business Finance and Loans

What is the best way to get finance for software?

Hi Shaun,

I use ASM who offer awesome finance solutions for small businesses. No worries with software rental - as long as it is under $50,000

Scott McNally 0438 680 898 and mention my name.

Greg Ferrett

Gregory Ferrett answered this question

Brian Le Mon
Brian Le Mon, Founder & CEO at Ethical Outsourcing

Customer Acquisition

Has anyone tried a paid referral system to get new customers?

Hi Brian,

Referral programs are OK, and in my experience rarely produce good quality leads unless the referral is fresh and followed up almost immediately.

I have a referral program I offer to my clients which operated like this;

1. If they introduce me to a prospect I subsequently make a belly to belly pitch to I pay $50 regardless of the outcome

2. If the pitch is a success and they buy I pay an additional $150

The product I sell is a house device sold in the price range of $10,000 to $20,000 and I know I will close one in four of the the leads I sit so this is a cost of $87.50 per lead or $350 per closed deal or a maximum of 3.5% of the sale.

I have also set up displays in a number of retail shops where they get the same deal - but in these cases the reward is in product to the owner of the shop who wants the device installed in their home.

I also use proactive telemarketing. A bit more expensive but works awesomly well.

I (and others I know) have had a lot of success with Ashleigh Hoult at 'The PromoDonna' - a small boutique telemarketing company focusing on providing a service for micro to small businesses who sell B2B (not B2C). She is based in Frankston   0419 590 752  and mention my name. No, I do not get a fee for this.

You may recognise her name as she is a part time actor in Neighbours as well.

Hope this helps.

Greg Ferrett

Sales and Marketing

Establishing relationships and closing sales using Emotional Intelligence

Closing techniques were drilled into me since my first day in sales and I loved trying out new ones. I have a unique collection of closing techniques taught as far back as the Vikings (13th century), as well as ‘snake oil’ techniques from the mid-west in the 1800’s and today. When I ask business and sales people about their favourite or most successful closing technique the most common resp...

Gregory Ferrett answered this question

Henrik Larsen
Henrik Larsen, Director at IePlus Pty Ltd

Digital Marketing

What is the most effective way to drive traffic on a budget?

Number one is quality blogging. Like this site, I accept submissions to my BLOG (Monday Motivational Moment), but I find the quality of writing is poor and mostly just self promotion. You absolutely must add value to the reader, be on topic for the BLOG you write for, be entertaining, and produce articles which take about 90 seconds to read.

AdWords, and their equivalent on LinkedIN and other sites, can be very expensive if the conversion rate is low. I have found, in the initial stages of an Adword campaign, the most common click is from a competitor wondering what you are up to - ouch!

If you are just after cheep traffic (fellow SavvySME's please don't hit me) try some of the traffic builders on sites like fiver.com - but use with caution. You are unlikely to get conversions - but will get traffic.

Word of caution - do not use any of the BLOG 'spin' services as this is a quick way of getting black listed by Google.

Greg

Gregory Ferrett answered this question

What are some tips on building a mobile app?

Yes - done with the University of Ballarat and launched yesterday. here is the link - https://play.google.com/store - and then search for 'Sales Analyzer' (yes - with a Z). Many if the University and TAFE schools are looking for projects for their students. The coast is low (usually zero - just your time) but the development time is long - usually a full term or semester as the app is their assignment.

Greg

Gregory Ferrett answered this question

How do I sell my new Android app using affiliates?

Thanks Scott. Perhaps I will stop looking. It seems simple to sell products and software which are not apps and get access to great affiliate sites. I suspect this sort of tool for apps can't be far away (I hope)

Greg

Sales and Marketing

Twelve Seconds and Six Actions to Establish Rapport

Earlier this month a colleague of mine called and asked how many return calls I was getting when I sent my CV out. I had just re-written my profile and he was concerned I had missed the mark. Being a professional sales coach and someone who prided themselves in helping others achieve I was a bit surprised. I listened to Paul with patience as he pointed out a number of important things. Those 30 ...

Sales and Marketing

What is one question you can ask to eliminate price as an objection and open up an opportunity?

By Gregory Ferrett The most commonly asked question by business owners and sales people is "How can I remove price as an objection?" I was standing in the supermarket aisle last week and noticed a young man lingering in the laundry power section. Being a naturally curious person so I walked up and asked "What a range - how can you ever select the right product" "I am trying to decide which o...

Sales and Marketing

Why is it some people seem to win all the time?

By Gregory Ferrett I have spent my life looking for that ‘big break’ or some get-rich-quick scheme. I started my journey in high school when I purchased my first book on how to make my fortune in mail order. When I received the book I was slightly disappointed. The core message was 'write a book just like this and sell it to other suckers'. While I doubt I will ever stop looking, however, un...

Gregory Ferrett answered this question

Tim Greig
Tim Greig, Owner at Green Galah Pty Ltd

Sales and Marketing

Has anyone had any success with telemarketing?

Sandy is right, so you need someone who knows the way to create leads using the telephone.

I (and others I know) have had a lot of success with Ashleigh Hoult at 'The PromoDonna' - a small boutique telemarketing company focusing on providing a service for micro to small businesses who sell B2B (not B2C). She is based in Frankston 0419 590 752 and mention my name.

You may recognise her name as she is a part time actor in Neighbours as well.

Greg Ferrett

Sales and Marketing

What blockages are stopping the heartbeat of your business?

By Greg Ferrett As in life, at the core of every business is a heart beating away providing life giving oxygen, [boulder on road] paying salaries, keeping production moving and supporting the families of every person involved. This heartbeat pumps something which, like our own heart pumping oxygen, can kill your business faster than any other business problem. This essential oxygen for business i...

Gregory Ferrett answered this question

How important do you think a business logo is for a sole trader?

I can see a debate here on logo vs face and I suspect there are reasons behind both.

My wife is a designer in the craft world and is not one to use her own name or face despite my insistence she needs to build a brand. In the end we compromised and we now promote her brand and she blogs under a pseudonym which is a part of her brand. 'Gathering Stitchers' is the brand and 'Stitch' is her BLOG name creating a unified theme. It seems to work reasonably well as she needs to build an online presence and feels uncomfortable using her own face and name.

This is not unlike the 'brand' Dorothy Dix - which was the pseudonym of U.S. journalist Elizabeth Meriwether Gilmer. This allowed her to lead a private life and build a serious brand.
BTW - in regards to creating a logo, get a professional to help. Before you put any logo design features you need to know what message you want to convey, the implications cross culture of the design, colour mix and message etc.


Greg Ferrett

Gregory Ferrett answered this question

Jayson Rodda
Jayson Rodda, Head of Digital Marketing at Find Your Ideal Customers

Sales and Marketing

What is better - SEO, Google Adwords or social media?

I agree with Sandy in regard to AdWords.I was fortunate to start using adwords in the first week they were available. In the three months following that week I saw the bid price for the key word 'Sales Training' go from just $0.10 a click to nearly $3.10 a click to be in position one. Today the main keywords are all dominated by majors and people like us need to be smart in the way we use Adwords or go broke quickly.

I think the key to online marketing is being patient, as mentioned by Sandy as well.

There is a big temptation by smaller organisations to buy Facebook likes, hits and Twitter followers. DO NOT BE TEMPTED! I have observed others who have tried this. One site I know (a person I advised not to follow this strategy) got over 250,000 facebook 'likes' after only a few weeks - but not one conversion and their online credibility was decimated. The only way to build a following is to build a real following. My own BLOG has almost 1,000 followers on Facebook - but each one of them reads my BLOG regularly and many of them I know personally.

Greg Ferrett

Sales and Marketing

We all talk about 'Vision' but are you living the dream?

By Gregory Ferrett                                 Towards the end of 2012 I was doing a few handyman jobs around the house. This particular day I missed my step on the ladder and  bumped into things I would normally have avoided and noticed my left eye was having trouble focusing. This developed over time to a state where, no matter what I did, I couldn't see ...

Gregory Ferrett answered this question

How much do bloggers charge for a sponsored post?

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

Gregory Ferrett answered this question

Craig Garbler
Craig Garbler, Managing Director at Sterling Debt Advisory Pty Ltd

Finance and Accounting

Are you getting the financial help you need from banks?

Hey Craig, I had a near death business experience and, as luck would have it, I found an outstanding non-bank business bank around who was able to lend 85% on the sworn valuation on my commercial property, reduce my interest rate and not risk my family home. It seems, with the turn around of the credit markets the big boys are focusing on the big stuff and the small stuff ($1m to $50m) is being ignored. I assume you must offer a similar service?

Greg

Gregory Ferrett answered this question

Trevor Hartshorne
Trevor Hartshorne, Director at Rothlake Business Services

Accounting

What word do you use when searching on Google an Accountant?

I googled 'bookkeeper' followed by my location, however, when I seriously was looking for a bookkeeper I asked my accountant who gave me a list of three to talk to.

Greg Ferrett

Gregory Ferrett answered this question

Wendy Huang
Wendy Huang, Full Time Blogger and YouTuber at A Custom Blog in 4 Minutes

Copywriting and Content Marketing

What is your favourite blogging platform?

I have just converted from Blogger to WordPress and it was the best thing I have ever done. In my research I found serious bloggers, which I am, tend not to use Blogger. Then I had a colleagues BLOG removed by Google for no apparant reason and years of hard work disappeared overnight.

I decided to take control of my own destiny, registered my own domain and set up WordPress. It took me a day to do the conversion (I do have some technical skills) and have not looked back.

Greg Ferrett

Gregory Ferrett answered this question

How do you increase blog comments and interaction?

One other thing. I went and left a comment but it was difficult to find where to click to leave a comment. Perhaps you could provide a more obvious comment box. If you use WordPress try  searching through the plugins to find one which works for you rather than the standard one.

Greg Ferrett

Gregory Ferrett answered this question

How do you increase blog comments and interaction?

BTW - I headed over to your BLOG - well done. The topics you write about add a lot of value and your BLOG ranks very well (748,000 - anything <1,000,000 is outstanding). I suspect the topics do not really encourage a lot of comments so I would not panic.

Do you also provide your articles on other BLOGs?

Greg Ferrett

Gregory Ferrett answered this question

How do you increase blog comments and interaction?

First let me share with you my view on comments and then a couple of ideas on getting feedback.

In my view comments are more about vanity of the comment poster and do not relate directly to popularity of your BLOG. There are many very popular BLOGS with just a few comments. I regularly visit LinkedIN forums and have commented myself, however, the comments are often just people trying to blow their own trumpet.

The key to a popular and high ranking BLOG is solid content and regularity. The more value you put into your BLOG the more people will visit. Of course you need to provide opportunities to let people make contact with you.

I have been deliberately calling my network over the past two weeks. Almost without fail they are consistent readers of what I write - yet not one has written a comment.

If you really want feedback here are three ideas;

1. Offer a prize to the best comment. Perhaps once a week select a comment at random (there may only be one in the first week) and then promote the fact someone has 'won' and offer a proze again. Promote the winner and prize on your Facebook page, LinkedIN - anywhere that is relevant.

2. Get someone (not you) to start a comment thread for a topic you think is important. Make sure you respond professionally.

3. Suggest in your article people had emailed / called during the week and answer their questions.

4. Be controversial - just be sure your profanity blocker is turned up high!

In the end you can't force people to comment and a well written BLOG creating value needs to be judged by the number of subscribers, their Alexa ranking (SavvySME is currently 220,278 - a very solid performance!) and audience engagement.

Greg Ferrett

Succession Planning

Are You Valuable?

By Gregory Ferrett I had just finished my degree and been hired by Honeywell as a trainee sales rep. I arrived late to a sales meeting and felt thedaggers from my sales manager as I walked into the room. He stood up and said “Ferrett, I want you to convince everyone in the room you are valuable enough to be on the team.” I looked at the assembly of faces and thought ‘what is it that makes m...

Sales and Marketing

How do laughing, kissing and closing a sale differ?

While watching the film “She’s the Man” one line stood out to me. Viola, dressed as a man, is coaching Duke on how to get a woman to like him. She says “If you can get a girl to laugh she will fall in love with you...?” This made me think ... what is it about laughing which changes a persons mind? And how relevant is this to influence in other life activities? Laughter is one of the fe...

Gregory Ferrett answered this question

Jenny Spring
Jenny Spring, Managing Director at

Web Design

How can a website/graphic designer attract more referrals?

I am assuming you are asking for referrals from your clients and colleagues.

When you do work for a client give them two (yes two) discount vouchers. One they can use and the other for them to give to someone else. Theirs becomes active as soon as the referral voucher is used. I have seen this model work well in a retail environment where five 20% discount vouchers were given out for their customers friends and the customer was given a 100% discount voucher given to the client when all five were used - to the value of what the other five spent.

Ask for a referral. Say something like "You like the way I did this ... are you aware of any other businesses who might like the same thing for them?"

Offer a $200 consultation for free (note: always attach a value to what you offer for free) with a report attached to the consultation which will give recommendations for work for you. People love to give away $200 (or appropriate value for you) to their friends and colleagues and it costs you nothing to offer it - and if it is a service you offer then it is still something which only costs some of your time which you would have invested in sales anyway.

Develop a library of templates - like your portfolio - for a specific industry. For example, you could develop a series of templates for accountants and use these to get accountants to refer you on.

Hope this helps.

Greg Ferrett

 

Gregory Ferrett answered this question

Brent Hall
Brent Hall, CEO at HelloMedical

Accounting

Should I use an accounting firm or independent contractor?

Pitcher Partners, who you are considering, are an outstanding firm. As with most accounting firms, large or small, the service you get depends on the partner you are using as it is really a large group of small practices trading as if they are one. Ask yourself 'What is it I need to grow my business?' and if the partner fits into this space use them.

Of course, there is an abundance of individual accountants (contractors) who will do your books but may not have the skills to provide quality business advice. It is the business advice which can make or break a growing company so tread carefully if you go the independent route.

Of course, an entrepreneur may not need the business advice as they have the skills to interpret the data a contractor is providing. You will need to make the call.

Greg Ferrett

Gregory Ferrett answered this question

Micha Wotton
Micha Wotton, Head of Development at SavvySME

Sales and Marketing

How to choose an appropriate media for marketing a business?

Here are a couple of ideas - depending on the products you are promoting.

If you have a higher value consumable product, such as cosmetics, the most cost effective way I have found is sampling using Scoopon or Groupon or a similar service. One company I worked with ended up sending out just over 2,000 full size samples at 60% discount and with the cost of postage still managed to have a surplus - i.e. a free promotion to a very targeted audience. Of course the reason this worked was they were the manufacturer and the cost of goods was just 18% of retail. The key to the campaign was getting the product into consumers hands and then getting repeat sales - and this worked a treat.

Edwina is right in that using community FM radio can be very cost effective. Many radio stations are looking for giveaways to use for competitions. Beware, however, as with radio (and TV) repetition is key to consumer engagement. I have found running a competition weekly for three months - say a Tuesday 9:30 AM slot (once a week) will fully engage the radio stations 9:30 AM audience. Purchasing 'run of station' advertisements is usually a waste of money as you will only get a few good time slots.

Websites are OK, however, in 2013 they are not as valuable as in the past. A well written and regular BLOG on an engaging topic will bring in many more consumers. Of course, if you have an easily reviewed product send it to be reviewed by other Bloggers who are constantly looking for products to review.

I hope this helps,

Greg Ferrett

Gregory Ferrett answered this question

Ananda Raj Pandey
Ananda Raj Pandey, Developer at SavvySME

Franchising

What are the costs involved in buying a new franchise?

Hi Ananda,

The investment in a franchise for the majors are fairly well defined. Are you planning to purchase an existing franchise? or a new location?

 

Greg

Gregory Ferrett answered this question

What are good benchmark metrics for a new startup?

I suspect your biggest challenge, assuming it is stools and chairs you are selling, is people do not buy them every few weeks.

One thing you might consider, as an online strategy, is offering an ancillary product for people who order AND introduce a new customer. Perhaps a stool cover or something of value but inexpensive.

You may also end up with a large list of people who do not buy at all - just sitting there as Facebook friends or similar. You might want to think of product you could offer them as well. for example. What do people do while sitting on a stool? perhaps they drink coffee? you could add a coffee range, coffee mugs with your logo - or something inspirational. In this way you can keep the list engaged while they move towards that next purchase of stools and chairs.

Greg

Gregory Ferrett answered this question

Nick Chernih
Nick Chernih, Founder at LinkBuildSEO

Taxation

Is the cost to build an online store tax deductible?

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.

Gregory Ferrett answered this question

What are good benchmark metrics for a new startup?

Tough question.

First time I setup my blog I took six months to get 50 subscribers. I restarted the blog with the same articles and within two weeks had 500 subscribers - go figure!

In Australia 500 registered Australian based users is an awesome number for an online store with new products being added regularly. On ETSY you can see shops with just  200 subscribers making $20,000 a year and shops with 1,000 plus subscribers struggling to make money.

My recommendation, for an Aussie based business selling competitively priced consumables, is to target 200 in the first three months. Of course, if you have more that is great. Keep your target low and be surprised and motivated.

 

Greg

Sales and Marketing

Twelve Seconds and Six Actions to Establish Rapport

Earlier this month a colleague of mine called and asked how many return calls I was getting when I sent my CV out. I had just re-written my profile and he was concerned I had missed the mark. Being a professional sales coach and someone who prided themselves in helping others achieve I was a bit surprised. I listened to Paul with patience as he pointed out a number of important things. Those 30 ...

Sales and Marketing

What is one question you can ask to eliminate price as an objection and open up an opportunity?

By Gregory Ferrett The most commonly asked question by business owners and sales people is "How can I remove price as an objection?" I was standing in the supermarket aisle last week and noticed a young man lingering in the laundry power section. Being a naturally curious person so I walked up and asked "What a range - how can you ever select the right product" "I am trying to decide which o...

Sales and Marketing

Why is it some people seem to win all the time?

By Gregory Ferrett I have spent my life looking for that ‘big break’ or some get-rich-quick scheme. I started my journey in high school when I purchased my first book on how to make my fortune in mail order. When I received the book I was slightly disappointed. The core message was 'write a book just like this and sell it to other suckers'. While I doubt I will ever stop looking, however, un...

Sales and Marketing

What blockages are stopping the heartbeat of your business?

By Greg Ferrett As in life, at the core of every business is a heart beating away providing life giving oxygen, [boulder on road] paying salaries, keeping production moving and supporting the families of every person involved. This heartbeat pumps something which, like our own heart pumping oxygen, can kill your business faster than any other business problem. This essential oxygen for business i...

Sales and Marketing

We all talk about 'Vision' but are you living the dream?

By Gregory Ferrett                                 Towards the end of 2012 I was doing a few handyman jobs around the house. This particular day I missed my step on the ladder and  bumped into things I would normally have avoided and noticed my left eye was having trouble focusing. This developed over time to a state where, no matter what I did, I couldn't see ...

Succession Planning

Are You Valuable?

By Gregory Ferrett I had just finished my degree and been hired by Honeywell as a trainee sales rep. I arrived late to a sales meeting and felt thedaggers from my sales manager as I walked into the room. He stood up and said “Ferrett, I want you to convince everyone in the room you are valuable enough to be on the team.” I looked at the assembly of faces and thought ‘what is it that makes m...

Sales and Marketing

How do laughing, kissing and closing a sale differ?

While watching the film “She’s the Man” one line stood out to me. Viola, dressed as a man, is coaching Duke on how to get a woman to like him. She says “If you can get a girl to laugh she will fall in love with you...?” This made me think ... what is it about laughing which changes a persons mind? And how relevant is this to influence in other life activities? Laughter is one of the fe...

Sales and Marketing

Establishing relationships and closing sales using Emotional Intelligence

Closing techniques were drilled into me since my first day in sales and I loved trying out new ones. I have a unique collection of closing techniques taught as far back as the Vikings (13th century), as well as ‘snake oil’ techniques from the mid-west in the 1800’s and today. When I ask business and sales people about their favourite or most successful closing technique the most common resp...

Gregory Ferrett answered this question

How to choose the best business loan for your business?

Hi Liam,

If you are selling higher value items to clients you may want to consider offering your clients finance.

One small business I know sells thongs (yes - shoes) to small retailers and offers 6 months interest free finance for their stock while getting paid the very next day and not wearing the risk of factoring (where you still own the debt after three months). This allows him to win a lot of new business and get stock on shelves without owning the finance risk.

Try Scott McNally at ASM Money 0438 680 898 and use my name as an introduction or email me and I can send over more details

Greg Ferrett

 

Gregory Ferrett answered this question

Shaun Goethals
Shaun Goethals, Director / Principal Consultant at

Business Finance and Loans

What is the best way to get finance for software?

Hi Shaun,

I use ASM who offer awesome finance solutions for small businesses. No worries with software rental - as long as it is under $50,000

Scott McNally 0438 680 898 and mention my name.

Greg Ferrett

Gregory Ferrett answered this question

Brian Le Mon
Brian Le Mon, Founder & CEO at Ethical Outsourcing

Customer Acquisition

Has anyone tried a paid referral system to get new customers?

Hi Brian,

Referral programs are OK, and in my experience rarely produce good quality leads unless the referral is fresh and followed up almost immediately.

I have a referral program I offer to my clients which operated like this;

1. If they introduce me to a prospect I subsequently make a belly to belly pitch to I pay $50 regardless of the outcome

2. If the pitch is a success and they buy I pay an additional $150

The product I sell is a house device sold in the price range of $10,000 to $20,000 and I know I will close one in four of the the leads I sit so this is a cost of $87.50 per lead or $350 per closed deal or a maximum of 3.5% of the sale.

I have also set up displays in a number of retail shops where they get the same deal - but in these cases the reward is in product to the owner of the shop who wants the device installed in their home.

I also use proactive telemarketing. A bit more expensive but works awesomly well.

I (and others I know) have had a lot of success with Ashleigh Hoult at 'The PromoDonna' - a small boutique telemarketing company focusing on providing a service for micro to small businesses who sell B2B (not B2C). She is based in Frankston   0419 590 752  and mention my name. No, I do not get a fee for this.

You may recognise her name as she is a part time actor in Neighbours as well.

Hope this helps.

Greg Ferrett

Gregory Ferrett answered this question

Henrik Larsen
Henrik Larsen, Director at IePlus Pty Ltd

Digital Marketing

What is the most effective way to drive traffic on a budget?

Number one is quality blogging. Like this site, I accept submissions to my BLOG (Monday Motivational Moment), but I find the quality of writing is poor and mostly just self promotion. You absolutely must add value to the reader, be on topic for the BLOG you write for, be entertaining, and produce articles which take about 90 seconds to read.

AdWords, and their equivalent on LinkedIN and other sites, can be very expensive if the conversion rate is low. I have found, in the initial stages of an Adword campaign, the most common click is from a competitor wondering what you are up to - ouch!

If you are just after cheep traffic (fellow SavvySME's please don't hit me) try some of the traffic builders on sites like fiver.com - but use with caution. You are unlikely to get conversions - but will get traffic.

Word of caution - do not use any of the BLOG 'spin' services as this is a quick way of getting black listed by Google.

Greg

Gregory Ferrett answered this question

What are some tips on building a mobile app?

Yes - done with the University of Ballarat and launched yesterday. here is the link - https://play.google.com/store - and then search for 'Sales Analyzer' (yes - with a Z). Many if the University and TAFE schools are looking for projects for their students. The coast is low (usually zero - just your time) but the development time is long - usually a full term or semester as the app is their assignment.

Greg

Gregory Ferrett answered this question

How do I sell my new Android app using affiliates?

Thanks Scott. Perhaps I will stop looking. It seems simple to sell products and software which are not apps and get access to great affiliate sites. I suspect this sort of tool for apps can't be far away (I hope)

Greg

Gregory Ferrett answered this question

Tim Greig
Tim Greig, Owner at Green Galah Pty Ltd

Sales and Marketing

Has anyone had any success with telemarketing?

Sandy is right, so you need someone who knows the way to create leads using the telephone.

I (and others I know) have had a lot of success with Ashleigh Hoult at 'The PromoDonna' - a small boutique telemarketing company focusing on providing a service for micro to small businesses who sell B2B (not B2C). She is based in Frankston 0419 590 752 and mention my name.

You may recognise her name as she is a part time actor in Neighbours as well.

Greg Ferrett

Gregory Ferrett answered this question

How important do you think a business logo is for a sole trader?

I can see a debate here on logo vs face and I suspect there are reasons behind both.

My wife is a designer in the craft world and is not one to use her own name or face despite my insistence she needs to build a brand. In the end we compromised and we now promote her brand and she blogs under a pseudonym which is a part of her brand. 'Gathering Stitchers' is the brand and 'Stitch' is her BLOG name creating a unified theme. It seems to work reasonably well as she needs to build an online presence and feels uncomfortable using her own face and name.

This is not unlike the 'brand' Dorothy Dix - which was the pseudonym of U.S. journalist Elizabeth Meriwether Gilmer. This allowed her to lead a private life and build a serious brand.
BTW - in regards to creating a logo, get a professional to help. Before you put any logo design features you need to know what message you want to convey, the implications cross culture of the design, colour mix and message etc.


Greg Ferrett

Gregory Ferrett answered this question

Jayson Rodda
Jayson Rodda, Head of Digital Marketing at Find Your Ideal Customers

Sales and Marketing

What is better - SEO, Google Adwords or social media?

I agree with Sandy in regard to AdWords.I was fortunate to start using adwords in the first week they were available. In the three months following that week I saw the bid price for the key word 'Sales Training' go from just $0.10 a click to nearly $3.10 a click to be in position one. Today the main keywords are all dominated by majors and people like us need to be smart in the way we use Adwords or go broke quickly.

I think the key to online marketing is being patient, as mentioned by Sandy as well.

There is a big temptation by smaller organisations to buy Facebook likes, hits and Twitter followers. DO NOT BE TEMPTED! I have observed others who have tried this. One site I know (a person I advised not to follow this strategy) got over 250,000 facebook 'likes' after only a few weeks - but not one conversion and their online credibility was decimated. The only way to build a following is to build a real following. My own BLOG has almost 1,000 followers on Facebook - but each one of them reads my BLOG regularly and many of them I know personally.

Greg Ferrett

Gregory Ferrett answered this question

How much do bloggers charge for a sponsored post?

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

Gregory Ferrett answered this question

Craig Garbler
Craig Garbler, Managing Director at Sterling Debt Advisory Pty Ltd

Finance and Accounting

Are you getting the financial help you need from banks?

Hey Craig, I had a near death business experience and, as luck would have it, I found an outstanding non-bank business bank around who was able to lend 85% on the sworn valuation on my commercial property, reduce my interest rate and not risk my family home. It seems, with the turn around of the credit markets the big boys are focusing on the big stuff and the small stuff ($1m to $50m) is being ignored. I assume you must offer a similar service?

Greg

Gregory Ferrett answered this question

Trevor Hartshorne
Trevor Hartshorne, Director at Rothlake Business Services

Accounting

What word do you use when searching on Google an Accountant?

I googled 'bookkeeper' followed by my location, however, when I seriously was looking for a bookkeeper I asked my accountant who gave me a list of three to talk to.

Greg Ferrett

Gregory Ferrett answered this question

Wendy Huang
Wendy Huang, Full Time Blogger and YouTuber at A Custom Blog in 4 Minutes

Copywriting and Content Marketing

What is your favourite blogging platform?

I have just converted from Blogger to WordPress and it was the best thing I have ever done. In my research I found serious bloggers, which I am, tend not to use Blogger. Then I had a colleagues BLOG removed by Google for no apparant reason and years of hard work disappeared overnight.

I decided to take control of my own destiny, registered my own domain and set up WordPress. It took me a day to do the conversion (I do have some technical skills) and have not looked back.

Greg Ferrett

Gregory Ferrett answered this question

How do you increase blog comments and interaction?

One other thing. I went and left a comment but it was difficult to find where to click to leave a comment. Perhaps you could provide a more obvious comment box. If you use WordPress try  searching through the plugins to find one which works for you rather than the standard one.

Greg Ferrett

Gregory Ferrett answered this question

How do you increase blog comments and interaction?

BTW - I headed over to your BLOG - well done. The topics you write about add a lot of value and your BLOG ranks very well (748,000 - anything <1,000,000 is outstanding). I suspect the topics do not really encourage a lot of comments so I would not panic.

Do you also provide your articles on other BLOGs?

Greg Ferrett

Gregory Ferrett answered this question

How do you increase blog comments and interaction?

First let me share with you my view on comments and then a couple of ideas on getting feedback.

In my view comments are more about vanity of the comment poster and do not relate directly to popularity of your BLOG. There are many very popular BLOGS with just a few comments. I regularly visit LinkedIN forums and have commented myself, however, the comments are often just people trying to blow their own trumpet.

The key to a popular and high ranking BLOG is solid content and regularity. The more value you put into your BLOG the more people will visit. Of course you need to provide opportunities to let people make contact with you.

I have been deliberately calling my network over the past two weeks. Almost without fail they are consistent readers of what I write - yet not one has written a comment.

If you really want feedback here are three ideas;

1. Offer a prize to the best comment. Perhaps once a week select a comment at random (there may only be one in the first week) and then promote the fact someone has 'won' and offer a proze again. Promote the winner and prize on your Facebook page, LinkedIN - anywhere that is relevant.

2. Get someone (not you) to start a comment thread for a topic you think is important. Make sure you respond professionally.

3. Suggest in your article people had emailed / called during the week and answer their questions.

4. Be controversial - just be sure your profanity blocker is turned up high!

In the end you can't force people to comment and a well written BLOG creating value needs to be judged by the number of subscribers, their Alexa ranking (SavvySME is currently 220,278 - a very solid performance!) and audience engagement.

Greg Ferrett

Gregory Ferrett answered this question

Jenny Spring
Jenny Spring, Managing Director at

Web Design

How can a website/graphic designer attract more referrals?

I am assuming you are asking for referrals from your clients and colleagues.

When you do work for a client give them two (yes two) discount vouchers. One they can use and the other for them to give to someone else. Theirs becomes active as soon as the referral voucher is used. I have seen this model work well in a retail environment where five 20% discount vouchers were given out for their customers friends and the customer was given a 100% discount voucher given to the client when all five were used - to the value of what the other five spent.

Ask for a referral. Say something like "You like the way I did this ... are you aware of any other businesses who might like the same thing for them?"

Offer a $200 consultation for free (note: always attach a value to what you offer for free) with a report attached to the consultation which will give recommendations for work for you. People love to give away $200 (or appropriate value for you) to their friends and colleagues and it costs you nothing to offer it - and if it is a service you offer then it is still something which only costs some of your time which you would have invested in sales anyway.

Develop a library of templates - like your portfolio - for a specific industry. For example, you could develop a series of templates for accountants and use these to get accountants to refer you on.

Hope this helps.

Greg Ferrett

 

Gregory Ferrett answered this question

Brent Hall
Brent Hall, CEO at HelloMedical

Accounting

Should I use an accounting firm or independent contractor?

Pitcher Partners, who you are considering, are an outstanding firm. As with most accounting firms, large or small, the service you get depends on the partner you are using as it is really a large group of small practices trading as if they are one. Ask yourself 'What is it I need to grow my business?' and if the partner fits into this space use them.

Of course, there is an abundance of individual accountants (contractors) who will do your books but may not have the skills to provide quality business advice. It is the business advice which can make or break a growing company so tread carefully if you go the independent route.

Of course, an entrepreneur may not need the business advice as they have the skills to interpret the data a contractor is providing. You will need to make the call.

Greg Ferrett

Gregory Ferrett answered this question

Micha Wotton
Micha Wotton, Head of Development at SavvySME

Sales and Marketing

How to choose an appropriate media for marketing a business?

Here are a couple of ideas - depending on the products you are promoting.

If you have a higher value consumable product, such as cosmetics, the most cost effective way I have found is sampling using Scoopon or Groupon or a similar service. One company I worked with ended up sending out just over 2,000 full size samples at 60% discount and with the cost of postage still managed to have a surplus - i.e. a free promotion to a very targeted audience. Of course the reason this worked was they were the manufacturer and the cost of goods was just 18% of retail. The key to the campaign was getting the product into consumers hands and then getting repeat sales - and this worked a treat.

Edwina is right in that using community FM radio can be very cost effective. Many radio stations are looking for giveaways to use for competitions. Beware, however, as with radio (and TV) repetition is key to consumer engagement. I have found running a competition weekly for three months - say a Tuesday 9:30 AM slot (once a week) will fully engage the radio stations 9:30 AM audience. Purchasing 'run of station' advertisements is usually a waste of money as you will only get a few good time slots.

Websites are OK, however, in 2013 they are not as valuable as in the past. A well written and regular BLOG on an engaging topic will bring in many more consumers. Of course, if you have an easily reviewed product send it to be reviewed by other Bloggers who are constantly looking for products to review.

I hope this helps,

Greg Ferrett

Gregory Ferrett answered this question

Ananda Raj Pandey
Ananda Raj Pandey, Developer at SavvySME

Franchising

What are the costs involved in buying a new franchise?

Hi Ananda,

The investment in a franchise for the majors are fairly well defined. Are you planning to purchase an existing franchise? or a new location?

 

Greg

Gregory Ferrett answered this question

What are good benchmark metrics for a new startup?

I suspect your biggest challenge, assuming it is stools and chairs you are selling, is people do not buy them every few weeks.

One thing you might consider, as an online strategy, is offering an ancillary product for people who order AND introduce a new customer. Perhaps a stool cover or something of value but inexpensive.

You may also end up with a large list of people who do not buy at all - just sitting there as Facebook friends or similar. You might want to think of product you could offer them as well. for example. What do people do while sitting on a stool? perhaps they drink coffee? you could add a coffee range, coffee mugs with your logo - or something inspirational. In this way you can keep the list engaged while they move towards that next purchase of stools and chairs.

Greg

Gregory Ferrett answered this question

Nick Chernih
Nick Chernih, Founder at LinkBuildSEO

Taxation

Is the cost to build an online store tax deductible?

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.

Gregory Ferrett answered this question

What are good benchmark metrics for a new startup?

Tough question.

First time I setup my blog I took six months to get 50 subscribers. I restarted the blog with the same articles and within two weeks had 500 subscribers - go figure!

In Australia 500 registered Australian based users is an awesome number for an online store with new products being added regularly. On ETSY you can see shops with just  200 subscribers making $20,000 a year and shops with 1,000 plus subscribers struggling to make money.

My recommendation, for an Aussie based business selling competitively priced consumables, is to target 200 in the first three months. Of course, if you have more that is great. Keep your target low and be surprised and motivated.

 

Greg

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