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Steven Freeman

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Member Since October 2013

Mulgrave, VIC, 3170

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When you need to reduce telephone hang-ups, maximise communication opportunities in your store, and receive strategic marketing advice, Steven delivers results. He tailors radio stations for business, helping you build customer relationships, increase sales and sound fantastic.

Evolve YOUR business with on hold messages and in store music.

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Official FAQ
Official FAQ, Inquisitor at SavvySME

Advertising

Any memorable radio Ads by businesses stuck in your mind?

The Blind Factory one - possibly a bit annoying but very catchy and I'm sure effective. Many have done well with creating sing along and memorable jingles.

Steven Freeman answered this question

Official FAQ
Official FAQ, Inquisitor at SavvySME

Accounting

What are the advantages, disadvantages and risk of using cloud accounting?

As long as you take all the necessary security measures with your logins and who has access to your data, generally the advantages far outweight any disadvantages.If you and your accountant only require access, and you have low transaction activity then a traditional non cloud accounting system can be more than fine for basic needs.

Steven Freeman answered this question

Which is the best CRM software for a new company?

Zoho is a good middle of the road CRM which can do a lot out of the box reliabily. Pipedrive CRM is sales focused, so lacks many other core features your will expect and need from a CRM. Sugar CRM is excellent if you have lot of development capability as you can built in just about any complex or unique feature you like, at less ongoing costs compared to the per seat model. As said it is best to work backwards from what you currently need and even harder what you may need in the future to choose the right option. The problem is you often don't realise what you may need as you aren't aware of what CRMs can do at a much enhanced and automated level. For more complex requirements it is worth engaging a CRM consultant that is across the leading market place options and not aligned to any particularly product.

Steven Freeman answered this question

Official FAQ
Official FAQ, Inquisitor at SavvySME

Accounting

Do you need accountants to help write business plans?

If your accountant has run a similar business to yours, or mentored good success to other similar busineses to yours they could be a good avenue to help you write your business plan. Otherwise it isn't their main area of expertise.

Steven Freeman answered this question

Official FAQ
Official FAQ, Inquisitor at SavvySME

Accounting

Who's best in customer service Xero, MYOB, Reckon or Saasu?

Generally we have found the Saasu support very fast and responsive.

Steven Freeman answered this question

Sarah Irwin
Sarah Irwin, SME Community Director at SavvySME

Finance and Accounting

What is Bitcoin and how can I use it?

They are many similar digital currencies, however bitcoin seems to be the most well known of them all.It is a more an underground digital currency. With that said its transactions underpin a growing economy which can't be ignored either. As mentioned, most everyday businesses do not understand bitcoin, so are hesitant to offer it as a payment option. Some that do have opened up to new / wider markets they never previously had.Presently it is hear to stay, no one can predict where it is truly heading, and equally the value can turn to dust overnight or boom significantly like any other traded commodity.

Steven Freeman answered this question

How do I choose the best web hosting company?

Ask your web designer or IT helpfer if you are using one. Google search can be risky as you'll be flooded and the top ranking ones may not correlate to the best solution for you.When you have narrowed down a couple options normally you can dig up some feedback from various business and web hosting forums.

Steven Freeman answered this question

Is your bookkeeping and accounting done by the saame company?

One company responsible for both aspects is OK but not same person. Separate companies and different people for each could help keep everyone fully accountable :)

Steven Freeman answered this question

Any recommendations for businesses who do company valuation?

I have a very credible and indepependant contact who can assist with this. He prepares formal business valuations for any small to medium businesses. He works in association with lawyers in the divorce, commercial law,
business law, areas where there is often a need to have businesses
valued accurately. Contact me directly Craig and I will pass on the details.

Steven Freeman answered this question

How do I come up with a business name?

Narrow it down with a mind map process. Focus on uniqueness, easy to spell, word associations / relevance to business etc.Then when you narrow down some options it is best to see if the related company / trading names / domains names are available to register to match as well. No point getting excited about a name if some old shell company from 20 years ago is holding that exact match and could one day claim ownership back to them.

Steven Freeman answered this question

Do I need a lawyer to start a business?

If you have never ran a business then YES. Best to get the foundation right (including legals) from the beginning as it can be very costly to untangle in future if setup wrong.

Steven Freeman answered this question

What budget is needed to have someone work on SEO Optimisation?

Its can be ongoing spend from $100 to $5k+ per month. Spend is only one part of the equation. - What are they exactly doing for your spend?- Can you accurately measure the performance and success?- Is it in line with your sales & marketing goals?The results that you accurately measure can only dictate the value and justify the spend. Otherwise its easy to burn lots of cash on SEO for little tangible results, other than what they tell you to make you feel good.There is a lot you can do yourself as a foundation, but not recommended for most business owners starting out in competitive markets. Their time is best used in their area of expertise instead.

Steven Freeman answered this question

Are Debt Collection Agencies Small Business Friendly Or Not?

Have used a few but only in extreme situations when we have exercised all efforts and the situation has blown out. By then they have a hard case, so it is difficult to know whether its them or the case which is making their service questionable.

Steven Freeman answered this question

If You Did Jobs For Target, Tyco Can You List Them As Clients?

Depends on the specific agreement you have with them. Just because you served them doesn't give you the automatic right.It is generally OK to list them, however displaying their logo may be a breach, so it is best to seek their written permission first.

Steven Freeman answered this question

Would you advertise in LinkedIn or is it just sharing knowledge?

LinkedIn is getting to be a very noisy space. Can't say I have ever clicked on a paid ad within, so it may be worth finding some stats on conversion rates in your industry compared to others PPC advertising options.

Steven Freeman answered this question

Why would you hire a copywriter?

Most business owners aren't good writers as it's not their area and if it is they are time poor to focus on good copy - objectively and impartially as outlined.A good copywriter is invaluable for your print, sales communication material, blogs, website, on hold messages and the list goes on.They should be able to bring endless amounts of measurable value.

Steven Freeman answered this question

Do you know about drop shipping and how do you find it?

It can work and it can fail like anything. You lose a lot of control compared to stocking and shipping goods directly yourself. Drop shipping adds another layer between you and your customer and the drop shipper is never going to care about your customer to the same level you will within your own business. It's all third party arrangements with mixed results. Depends on what you're selling and who you're partnered with to drop ship which will determine the viability and potential succeess.

Steven Freeman answered this question

Should I Take Receipts Copy As Proof For Taxation Departments?

Generally you need to Tax compliance info for 5 years and needproof in form of electronic or printed copy of every payment you claim against.

Steven Freeman answered this question

If A Parcel Is Missing In The Post Who Is Responsible For This?

Unless you are sending with a courier with service guarantee and tracking mechanism, the responsibility remains with the sender. Australia Post don't take responsibily for lost regular postage.

Steven Freeman answered this question

Independent sales professional, is this an option?

Like anything it is trial and error to find the right one, and when you do it can be tough to retain them as well. The best sales professionals are already are in good work, so can be hard to come by at rate you can budget for. It is best to start with a clear plan on how you will hire and manage them before going to look. Any experience recruiter or HR professional can advise further.Then exercise all your networks to put the word out.

Steven Freeman answered this question

A Price For Consulting Business To Do Books, Receipts In Xero

Most Australian book keepers seem to charge between $40 - $70 per hour. Fixed packages also work well based on clear outcomes, such as checking figures at BAS time and preparing the BAS statement for lodging. For regular work based on a defined responsbility I prefer the fixed package deal, so I don't risk cost blowouts for inefficiencies or other issues.

Steven Freeman answered this question

How to find out if someone has a business registered to them?

Some private investigators & lawyers can access deeper level non public records for a fee. The public ones are mainly a case of working backwards from the known legal business name, company or entity.

Steven Freeman answered this question

How Many People Look At Local Newspapers For Local Events?

Print is quite dead and risky for small business advertising. If you can get in with your council and list your event through that it may be OK. I don't regularly read the local paper, but have a glance occasionally when I'm having a mental break from screen time which is a healthy thing to do once per week.

Steven Freeman answered this question

Which are your favourite apps that help you run your biz or life in general?

Fantastic app to write your grocery shopping list:https://www.ourgroceries.com/Does away with written lists quite neatly.

Steven Freeman answered this question

How long do you wait to make a follow up call?

In this busy world, at least 1-2 weeks would be preferably unless the prospect deemed their requirements and decision process to be urgent. Outside that most sit on proposals for ages, and can be pushed over the edge if you follow up too early and frequently.

Steven Freeman answered this question

How do you sequence your invoice numbers?

Best to allow your invoicing or accounting software automate this for you. I have seen plenty do it the manual way, which is more fiddly prone to errors.

Steven Freeman answered this question

How Can My Online Business Allow Vendors Take Security Bond?

From past experience, freezing credit cards with the bond amount would be one way worth looking at. This should provide guaranteed access to the amount shall you need it, but as it is a hold only, you don't actually take the amount, so no refund required when giving the bond back.

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How do you ask for payment from a client before the work's done?

If the spend will be higher - $500->$1000+ for example it is fair an reasonable to request a 30% or 50% deposit upfront upon order confirmation. With that said each client is different and some will never buy that and only pay after delivery against an official Purchase Order. It's balancing act of setting out clear payment terms from the beginning, but within that you may need to have sub (or special) terms for certain types of clients that you can manage the risk for if you still want them to do business with you, but may not fit into your default terms.

Steven Freeman answered this question

Do you have marketing rules you constantly remind yourself of?

Communicating direct benefits rather than features or technical jargon is a powerful blanket rule for sales & marketing.

Steven Freeman answered this question

How to get a return and refund policy template for a website

Each business is unique and your ways of doing business will vary from the next.A good starting point would be to refer to the ACCC website on this topic and work backwards from that:https://www.accc.gov.au/consumers/consumer-rights-...

Steven Freeman answered this question

How Do You Deal With Business Owners Sensitive To Criticism?

Many clients want to be the Hollywood actor, producer and director all wrapped into one. It's tough to find that happy balance. Sometimes you need to go along more with the clients ideas even if you don't fully agree to keep the peace.It's a balancing act to keep them happy, involved and excited to work with you, while still being seen as the trusted adviser in your area of expertise.

Steven Freeman answered this question

Do You Advise To Pay Your Account $30k In Super To Save Tax?

I would be getting second opinions. Make investments and associated decisions purely based on their Tax benefits should be highly questioned and evaluated.Does your accountant walk the talk and have full runs on the board and associated legal accreditations to give comprehensive investment advice?

Steven Freeman answered this question

Laptop Automatically Upgraded To Windows 10, It Created Problems

Are you sure it was automatic or client error ? If automatic how do others safeguard from this from happening? Many things break and issues occur when upgrading operating systems, particularly if your business is dependent on older more specialised Windows software.

Steven Freeman answered this question

Can you elect to not hire someone based on what you find?

Can you elect to do that providing it's not discriminatory or doesn't contravene other laws.

Steven Freeman answered this question

Is It Possible To Have 2 Invoice Templates With Different Logos?

Not a Xero expert, but know this can be done easily with SAASU.

Steven Freeman answered this question

What Do Businesses Mostly Look For When Hiring Web Marketers?

Those that:- Can successfully market themselves.- Have proven track recorded in successfully marketing similar businesses to yours.First and foremost they need to practice what they preach.

Steven Freeman answered this question

Microsoft Is Buying LinkedIn, Is This A Good Or Bad Thing?

There's a lot of commentary of what may happen. LinkedIn could be at the top of its game now, and not much room left before it hits a surface level. The next LinkedIn could be around the corner and lead to its downfall.Many are claiming LinkedIn is quickly losing its authenticity compared to what it originally was. It's becoming overly commercial and spammers are rampant now unfortunately. Usability isn't crash hot either, so that needs work as it becomes a much more noisy space. Having more connections than the next doesn't really mean much if there's no substance to them.Maybe Microsoft can create deeper linking and collaboration between Skype and LinkedIn ? Not sure if that is good for business, but it relates to calling and business contact lists / profiles. Just a blind prediction really.

Steven Freeman answered this question

What kind of strategies do businesses have in place to reduce the risk of potential interest rate rise?

If you're borrowing money it is prudent to assume the rate may jump 2-3% more (and have at least 3-6 months of buffer cashflow on tap to ride out some unpredictable rougher patches), so it needs to be factored in. As for the impact on your suppliers and clients, it's hard to mitigate and control that component - so it's all part of your risk management strategy.

Steven Freeman answered this question

Is link building dead, not just for SEO but for traffic as well?

Focus on building your own ever growing website with quality, relevant and targeted content to your market and followers.If others love it, they will link to you and share accordingly. The search engines will see this as a lot more legitimate that the random paid link farm alternative. Conquenctly helping you receive more SEO brownie points.

Steven Freeman answered this question

Is there anything I need to consider when sending packages under $1000AUD internationally?

You need to consider the local customs and delivery rules of each local region you plan to send to.A local courier company that can send internationally can fill you in with most info.

Steven Freeman answered this question

How long do I need to keep business records such as invoices?

I believe it is 5 years for standard accounting records and a lot longer for things like shares if still owned.

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Steven Freeman answered this question

What do you love/not-love about your laptop... have you seen any awesome pre-fin-year sales on these laptops?

I love connecting mine into a good old fashioned docking station with all your plugs and screens connected and ready to go. This gives you the best of both worlds, full desktop experience and fully mobile on same machine when removed from dock.

Steven Freeman answered this question

When buying business insurance is it best to work with a broker representing various carriers or should I go direct?

I see the value in a broker more than just the best price. If they can deeply understand / compare different policy specifics beyond what you could do (or are prepared to) then the broker idea is a fantastic one.Unfortunately many brokers are skewed to preferred networks and better commission, so it is very difficult to receive 100% impartial advice - putting you back at square one where you are better off investing in doing the full analysis and negotiation yourself.I speak for more complex and higher risk related policies, and not everyday day standard ones when it is simply about best value.

Steven Freeman answered this question

What is your opinion of BNI groups? Is it worth being a member? Thoughts? Experiences?

BNI takes a lot of commitment in time and brain power to keep up with, so the rewards need to be worth the effort. It doesn't work well for all businesses, so it is best to speak to others that are in BNI that run a similar business to yours.If can work, BNI can teach you a lot of relationship marketing strategies which can be applied for broader business purposes.Consider BNI part of a broader business plan, and is worth joining even for a year or two if it gels with you and your business.

Steven Freeman answered this question

At what stage can you say that your business is successful?

When it is making a profit to a degree that you're happy with and it is meeting its purpose in your head. Success is a state of mind and not necessarily a case of comparing to others or what others think.With that said it is almost a never ending journey, so its not a point you reach and you're done.

Steven Freeman answered this question

How do I improve my ability to sell?

Try and go to lots of guru seminars. There's lots to be learnt.If you can be mentored by an experienced sales professional that has sold similar products to yours even better. Like anything the more you sell the better you'll get, but selling isn't for everyone so you may not get to the level you want - in which case outsourcing or employing some-one else to do the same may be a better solution.

Steven Freeman answered this question

What are the biggest tax mistakes small business owners make?

Not having the right experts around them that can efficiently pickup costly mistakes & issues, while also maximising their tax position.

Steven Freeman answered this question

Why do web designers create ugly sites for clients?

Many call themselves web designers but do not understand the fundamentals of what makes a brilliant design to suit the given client.Yes design is subjective, but unfortunately too many designers are charging clients for something which is way of the mark to clients that do not know otherwise (but not their fault as they are not meant to be the experts).As anyone can be a web designer, authority on this service comes with no official accreditation or certification.

Steven Freeman answered this question

Do you see the value in AMAs?

This is popular at traditional business events when you have a panel of experts in front of the audience. I feel the value of this is stronger with a captive audience in the traditional world rather than online.

Steven Freeman answered this question

What do you outsource?

Anything and everything that some-one else can do better or more efficiently providing it doesn't compromise the integrity of your business and level of service to your clients. Front line customer related activity are the ones which are higher risk to outsource.

Steven Freeman answered this question

What are the best podcasts for entrepreneurs?

Here is a great one:http://beersblokesbusiness.com/

Steven Freeman answered this question

What is the relationship between marketing and accounting?

Among many relationships your marketing spend needs to be viable enough to return a justifiable accountable profit. By keeping a close eye of the two, can help you stay on track.

Steven Freeman answered this question

Which is the best Australian bank for startups to work with?

If good old fashioned fast and personalised banking service is important then you can't go past Bendigo Bank. In all my dealings you less fell like a number and stuff is just sorted very promptly. Very approachable and efficient operation compared to the majors.

Steven Freeman answered this question

Which is better to attend in developing your business skills; attending physical events or attending online events?

I firmly believe a mix of both is best.
If you're targeting businesses in your local area, then local physical related events would rate higher, particularly when starting out.

Steven Freeman answered this question

How should I go about selling my established business?

Consult a boutique business broker that can demonstrate a track record of successfully selling similar businesses to yours.I can recommend a general business broker.Maybe try contact some other brokers selling coffee vans and work backwards from that if you're happy with the way they present that business and communicate to you. Even better ring up as a prospective buyer and see if the past the test!

Steven Freeman answered this question

How do you find what's trending in your industry real time / today / this week?

LinkedIn specific industry groups provide insights, but some groups aren't too active.

Steven Freeman answered this question

Jef Lippiatt
Jef Lippiatt, Owner at Startup Chucktown

Sales and Marketing

Do you qualify your leads?

Qualification can be a powerful useful first step. Define your target customer and then work backwards from a series of initial questions to determine whether they are fitting to what you can best sell to them.Most would still be added to your list, however a clearer understanding and foundation is pivotal to the next steps in the sales process.

Steven Freeman answered this question

Does anyone use Snapchat for business?

No - but interested to learn how it can be used.

Steven Freeman answered this question

Is e-commerce a dying industry?

Failure rate is probably higher than anything before as barrier to entry is at an all time low. Almost every man and his dog has set up some kind of online shop or is an Ebay seller. Not everyone is going to reach huge success.With that said it's not a shrinking industry. Most people we all know are increasingly spending online for all sorts of things.

Steven Freeman answered this question

Has anyone built their own website?

It's all possible with these tools and resources out there. You need to decide whether you want to be a some-what expert in building your own site. Is that where your time is best spent? or maybe consider engaging a professional web developer and focus your time on other areas.DIY web design isn't necessarily about saving money, but you can learn a lot and have more control. You'll never be able to keep up with all facets though without some expert input along the way.

Steven Freeman answered this question

How to know what's slowing down a Wordpress website?

Good starting points are:https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/https://gtmetrix.comThen review all plugins and any you can live without remove. Less is better for WordPress plugins and performance.Any recommendations for specialist coding, caching and server level improvements is best left to a WordPress developer. They should be able to show you other similar sites they have optimised to the same level you wish to achieve.

Steven Freeman answered this question

What's the difference in cloud and desktop accounting software

A key main difference for small business is it efficiently gives you, your staff, contractors, book keeper and accountant all real time access to the same primary account system. Automated bank feeds can reduce cost / time in doing reconciliations.Other benefit is it can provide seamless integration into other cloud systems you may be running, such us shopping carts, CRMS and billing systems etc.

Steven Freeman answered this question

What cloud solutions do you recommend?

SAASU as alternative to Xero.Mailchimp for email marketing.Zoho for entry level CRM capabilities.Just to name a few...

Steven Freeman answered this question

What exactly is a content management system?

In the context of web design in simple terms it is framework whereby anyone with limited experience can easily and efficiently administer all content that needs to be added and revised. The same theory can also be extended to other systems like CRMs.

Steven Freeman answered this question

Richard Schembri
Richard Schembri, Entrepreneur - Team Coach and Mentor in Network Marketing at Team Berrygood

Career Planning

What is your backup plan for income?

Upskill, side skill, and diversify is the nutshell of survival.

Steven Freeman answered this question

Does anyone know how to actually sell something that is free?

It needs to be tied to an up-sell or side sell. Free on its own has no bearing. Attracting a whole lot of random free loaders is when it starts actually costing you more than if you had a ticket price to start with.

 

 

Steven Freeman answered this question

Ling Lee
Ling Lee, at Digital Marketing and Personal Branding

Website

How do you start building a website?

First step might be to get some design inspirations from other sites.

You need a plan on what exactly you want your website to achieve.

If you're never done coding don't get too involved in that. Either find a turkey online web building system that can build to your required level or find a good web designer you can work well with at the right price point.

No results found.

Steven Freeman answered this question

Official FAQ
Official FAQ, Inquisitor at SavvySME

Advertising

Any memorable radio Ads by businesses stuck in your mind?

The Blind Factory one - possibly a bit annoying but very catchy and I'm sure effective. Many have done well with creating sing along and memorable jingles.

Steven Freeman answered this question

Official FAQ
Official FAQ, Inquisitor at SavvySME

Accounting

What are the advantages, disadvantages and risk of using cloud accounting?

As long as you take all the necessary security measures with your logins and who has access to your data, generally the advantages far outweight any disadvantages.If you and your accountant only require access, and you have low transaction activity then a traditional non cloud accounting system can be more than fine for basic needs.

Steven Freeman answered this question

Which is the best CRM software for a new company?

Zoho is a good middle of the road CRM which can do a lot out of the box reliabily. Pipedrive CRM is sales focused, so lacks many other core features your will expect and need from a CRM. Sugar CRM is excellent if you have lot of development capability as you can built in just about any complex or unique feature you like, at less ongoing costs compared to the per seat model. As said it is best to work backwards from what you currently need and even harder what you may need in the future to choose the right option. The problem is you often don't realise what you may need as you aren't aware of what CRMs can do at a much enhanced and automated level. For more complex requirements it is worth engaging a CRM consultant that is across the leading market place options and not aligned to any particularly product.

Steven Freeman answered this question

Official FAQ
Official FAQ, Inquisitor at SavvySME

Accounting

Do you need accountants to help write business plans?

If your accountant has run a similar business to yours, or mentored good success to other similar busineses to yours they could be a good avenue to help you write your business plan. Otherwise it isn't their main area of expertise.

Steven Freeman answered this question

Official FAQ
Official FAQ, Inquisitor at SavvySME

Accounting

Who's best in customer service Xero, MYOB, Reckon or Saasu?

Generally we have found the Saasu support very fast and responsive.

Steven Freeman answered this question

Sarah Irwin
Sarah Irwin, SME Community Director at SavvySME

Finance and Accounting

What is Bitcoin and how can I use it?

They are many similar digital currencies, however bitcoin seems to be the most well known of them all.It is a more an underground digital currency. With that said its transactions underpin a growing economy which can't be ignored either. As mentioned, most everyday businesses do not understand bitcoin, so are hesitant to offer it as a payment option. Some that do have opened up to new / wider markets they never previously had.Presently it is hear to stay, no one can predict where it is truly heading, and equally the value can turn to dust overnight or boom significantly like any other traded commodity.

Steven Freeman answered this question

How do I choose the best web hosting company?

Ask your web designer or IT helpfer if you are using one. Google search can be risky as you'll be flooded and the top ranking ones may not correlate to the best solution for you.When you have narrowed down a couple options normally you can dig up some feedback from various business and web hosting forums.

Steven Freeman answered this question

Is your bookkeeping and accounting done by the saame company?

One company responsible for both aspects is OK but not same person. Separate companies and different people for each could help keep everyone fully accountable :)

Steven Freeman answered this question

Any recommendations for businesses who do company valuation?

I have a very credible and indepependant contact who can assist with this. He prepares formal business valuations for any small to medium businesses. He works in association with lawyers in the divorce, commercial law,
business law, areas where there is often a need to have businesses
valued accurately. Contact me directly Craig and I will pass on the details.

Steven Freeman answered this question

How do I come up with a business name?

Narrow it down with a mind map process. Focus on uniqueness, easy to spell, word associations / relevance to business etc.Then when you narrow down some options it is best to see if the related company / trading names / domains names are available to register to match as well. No point getting excited about a name if some old shell company from 20 years ago is holding that exact match and could one day claim ownership back to them.

Steven Freeman answered this question

Do I need a lawyer to start a business?

If you have never ran a business then YES. Best to get the foundation right (including legals) from the beginning as it can be very costly to untangle in future if setup wrong.

Steven Freeman answered this question

What budget is needed to have someone work on SEO Optimisation?

Its can be ongoing spend from $100 to $5k+ per month. Spend is only one part of the equation. - What are they exactly doing for your spend?- Can you accurately measure the performance and success?- Is it in line with your sales & marketing goals?The results that you accurately measure can only dictate the value and justify the spend. Otherwise its easy to burn lots of cash on SEO for little tangible results, other than what they tell you to make you feel good.There is a lot you can do yourself as a foundation, but not recommended for most business owners starting out in competitive markets. Their time is best used in their area of expertise instead.

Steven Freeman answered this question

Are Debt Collection Agencies Small Business Friendly Or Not?

Have used a few but only in extreme situations when we have exercised all efforts and the situation has blown out. By then they have a hard case, so it is difficult to know whether its them or the case which is making their service questionable.

Steven Freeman answered this question

If You Did Jobs For Target, Tyco Can You List Them As Clients?

Depends on the specific agreement you have with them. Just because you served them doesn't give you the automatic right.It is generally OK to list them, however displaying their logo may be a breach, so it is best to seek their written permission first.

Steven Freeman answered this question

Would you advertise in LinkedIn or is it just sharing knowledge?

LinkedIn is getting to be a very noisy space. Can't say I have ever clicked on a paid ad within, so it may be worth finding some stats on conversion rates in your industry compared to others PPC advertising options.

Steven Freeman answered this question

Why would you hire a copywriter?

Most business owners aren't good writers as it's not their area and if it is they are time poor to focus on good copy - objectively and impartially as outlined.A good copywriter is invaluable for your print, sales communication material, blogs, website, on hold messages and the list goes on.They should be able to bring endless amounts of measurable value.

Steven Freeman answered this question

Do you know about drop shipping and how do you find it?

It can work and it can fail like anything. You lose a lot of control compared to stocking and shipping goods directly yourself. Drop shipping adds another layer between you and your customer and the drop shipper is never going to care about your customer to the same level you will within your own business. It's all third party arrangements with mixed results. Depends on what you're selling and who you're partnered with to drop ship which will determine the viability and potential succeess.

Steven Freeman answered this question

Should I Take Receipts Copy As Proof For Taxation Departments?

Generally you need to Tax compliance info for 5 years and needproof in form of electronic or printed copy of every payment you claim against.

Steven Freeman answered this question

If A Parcel Is Missing In The Post Who Is Responsible For This?

Unless you are sending with a courier with service guarantee and tracking mechanism, the responsibility remains with the sender. Australia Post don't take responsibily for lost regular postage.

Steven Freeman answered this question

Independent sales professional, is this an option?

Like anything it is trial and error to find the right one, and when you do it can be tough to retain them as well. The best sales professionals are already are in good work, so can be hard to come by at rate you can budget for. It is best to start with a clear plan on how you will hire and manage them before going to look. Any experience recruiter or HR professional can advise further.Then exercise all your networks to put the word out.

Steven Freeman answered this question

A Price For Consulting Business To Do Books, Receipts In Xero

Most Australian book keepers seem to charge between $40 - $70 per hour. Fixed packages also work well based on clear outcomes, such as checking figures at BAS time and preparing the BAS statement for lodging. For regular work based on a defined responsbility I prefer the fixed package deal, so I don't risk cost blowouts for inefficiencies or other issues.

Steven Freeman answered this question

How to find out if someone has a business registered to them?

Some private investigators & lawyers can access deeper level non public records for a fee. The public ones are mainly a case of working backwards from the known legal business name, company or entity.

Steven Freeman answered this question

How Many People Look At Local Newspapers For Local Events?

Print is quite dead and risky for small business advertising. If you can get in with your council and list your event through that it may be OK. I don't regularly read the local paper, but have a glance occasionally when I'm having a mental break from screen time which is a healthy thing to do once per week.

Steven Freeman answered this question

Which are your favourite apps that help you run your biz or life in general?

Fantastic app to write your grocery shopping list:https://www.ourgroceries.com/Does away with written lists quite neatly.

Steven Freeman answered this question

How long do you wait to make a follow up call?

In this busy world, at least 1-2 weeks would be preferably unless the prospect deemed their requirements and decision process to be urgent. Outside that most sit on proposals for ages, and can be pushed over the edge if you follow up too early and frequently.

Steven Freeman answered this question

How do you sequence your invoice numbers?

Best to allow your invoicing or accounting software automate this for you. I have seen plenty do it the manual way, which is more fiddly prone to errors.

Steven Freeman answered this question

How Can My Online Business Allow Vendors Take Security Bond?

From past experience, freezing credit cards with the bond amount would be one way worth looking at. This should provide guaranteed access to the amount shall you need it, but as it is a hold only, you don't actually take the amount, so no refund required when giving the bond back.

Steven Freeman answered this question

How do you ask for payment from a client before the work's done?

If the spend will be higher - $500->$1000+ for example it is fair an reasonable to request a 30% or 50% deposit upfront upon order confirmation. With that said each client is different and some will never buy that and only pay after delivery against an official Purchase Order. It's balancing act of setting out clear payment terms from the beginning, but within that you may need to have sub (or special) terms for certain types of clients that you can manage the risk for if you still want them to do business with you, but may not fit into your default terms.

Steven Freeman answered this question

Do you have marketing rules you constantly remind yourself of?

Communicating direct benefits rather than features or technical jargon is a powerful blanket rule for sales & marketing.

Steven Freeman answered this question

How to get a return and refund policy template for a website

Each business is unique and your ways of doing business will vary from the next.A good starting point would be to refer to the ACCC website on this topic and work backwards from that:https://www.accc.gov.au/consumers/consumer-rights-...

Steven Freeman answered this question

How Do You Deal With Business Owners Sensitive To Criticism?

Many clients want to be the Hollywood actor, producer and director all wrapped into one. It's tough to find that happy balance. Sometimes you need to go along more with the clients ideas even if you don't fully agree to keep the peace.It's a balancing act to keep them happy, involved and excited to work with you, while still being seen as the trusted adviser in your area of expertise.

Steven Freeman answered this question

Do You Advise To Pay Your Account $30k In Super To Save Tax?

I would be getting second opinions. Make investments and associated decisions purely based on their Tax benefits should be highly questioned and evaluated.Does your accountant walk the talk and have full runs on the board and associated legal accreditations to give comprehensive investment advice?

Steven Freeman answered this question

Laptop Automatically Upgraded To Windows 10, It Created Problems

Are you sure it was automatic or client error ? If automatic how do others safeguard from this from happening? Many things break and issues occur when upgrading operating systems, particularly if your business is dependent on older more specialised Windows software.

Steven Freeman answered this question

Can you elect to not hire someone based on what you find?

Can you elect to do that providing it's not discriminatory or doesn't contravene other laws.

Steven Freeman answered this question

Is It Possible To Have 2 Invoice Templates With Different Logos?

Not a Xero expert, but know this can be done easily with SAASU.

Steven Freeman answered this question

What Do Businesses Mostly Look For When Hiring Web Marketers?

Those that:- Can successfully market themselves.- Have proven track recorded in successfully marketing similar businesses to yours.First and foremost they need to practice what they preach.

Steven Freeman answered this question

Microsoft Is Buying LinkedIn, Is This A Good Or Bad Thing?

There's a lot of commentary of what may happen. LinkedIn could be at the top of its game now, and not much room left before it hits a surface level. The next LinkedIn could be around the corner and lead to its downfall.Many are claiming LinkedIn is quickly losing its authenticity compared to what it originally was. It's becoming overly commercial and spammers are rampant now unfortunately. Usability isn't crash hot either, so that needs work as it becomes a much more noisy space. Having more connections than the next doesn't really mean much if there's no substance to them.Maybe Microsoft can create deeper linking and collaboration between Skype and LinkedIn ? Not sure if that is good for business, but it relates to calling and business contact lists / profiles. Just a blind prediction really.

Steven Freeman answered this question

What kind of strategies do businesses have in place to reduce the risk of potential interest rate rise?

If you're borrowing money it is prudent to assume the rate may jump 2-3% more (and have at least 3-6 months of buffer cashflow on tap to ride out some unpredictable rougher patches), so it needs to be factored in. As for the impact on your suppliers and clients, it's hard to mitigate and control that component - so it's all part of your risk management strategy.

Steven Freeman answered this question

Is link building dead, not just for SEO but for traffic as well?

Focus on building your own ever growing website with quality, relevant and targeted content to your market and followers.If others love it, they will link to you and share accordingly. The search engines will see this as a lot more legitimate that the random paid link farm alternative. Conquenctly helping you receive more SEO brownie points.

Steven Freeman answered this question

Is there anything I need to consider when sending packages under $1000AUD internationally?

You need to consider the local customs and delivery rules of each local region you plan to send to.A local courier company that can send internationally can fill you in with most info.

Steven Freeman answered this question

How long do I need to keep business records such as invoices?

I believe it is 5 years for standard accounting records and a lot longer for things like shares if still owned.

Steven Freeman answered this question

Steven Freeman answered this question

What do you love/not-love about your laptop... have you seen any awesome pre-fin-year sales on these laptops?

I love connecting mine into a good old fashioned docking station with all your plugs and screens connected and ready to go. This gives you the best of both worlds, full desktop experience and fully mobile on same machine when removed from dock.

Steven Freeman answered this question

When buying business insurance is it best to work with a broker representing various carriers or should I go direct?

I see the value in a broker more than just the best price. If they can deeply understand / compare different policy specifics beyond what you could do (or are prepared to) then the broker idea is a fantastic one.Unfortunately many brokers are skewed to preferred networks and better commission, so it is very difficult to receive 100% impartial advice - putting you back at square one where you are better off investing in doing the full analysis and negotiation yourself.I speak for more complex and higher risk related policies, and not everyday day standard ones when it is simply about best value.

Steven Freeman answered this question

What is your opinion of BNI groups? Is it worth being a member? Thoughts? Experiences?

BNI takes a lot of commitment in time and brain power to keep up with, so the rewards need to be worth the effort. It doesn't work well for all businesses, so it is best to speak to others that are in BNI that run a similar business to yours.If can work, BNI can teach you a lot of relationship marketing strategies which can be applied for broader business purposes.Consider BNI part of a broader business plan, and is worth joining even for a year or two if it gels with you and your business.

Steven Freeman answered this question

At what stage can you say that your business is successful?

When it is making a profit to a degree that you're happy with and it is meeting its purpose in your head. Success is a state of mind and not necessarily a case of comparing to others or what others think.With that said it is almost a never ending journey, so its not a point you reach and you're done.

Steven Freeman answered this question

How do I improve my ability to sell?

Try and go to lots of guru seminars. There's lots to be learnt.If you can be mentored by an experienced sales professional that has sold similar products to yours even better. Like anything the more you sell the better you'll get, but selling isn't for everyone so you may not get to the level you want - in which case outsourcing or employing some-one else to do the same may be a better solution.

Steven Freeman answered this question

What are the biggest tax mistakes small business owners make?

Not having the right experts around them that can efficiently pickup costly mistakes & issues, while also maximising their tax position.

Steven Freeman answered this question

Why do web designers create ugly sites for clients?

Many call themselves web designers but do not understand the fundamentals of what makes a brilliant design to suit the given client.Yes design is subjective, but unfortunately too many designers are charging clients for something which is way of the mark to clients that do not know otherwise (but not their fault as they are not meant to be the experts).As anyone can be a web designer, authority on this service comes with no official accreditation or certification.

Steven Freeman answered this question

Do you see the value in AMAs?

This is popular at traditional business events when you have a panel of experts in front of the audience. I feel the value of this is stronger with a captive audience in the traditional world rather than online.

Steven Freeman answered this question

What do you outsource?

Anything and everything that some-one else can do better or more efficiently providing it doesn't compromise the integrity of your business and level of service to your clients. Front line customer related activity are the ones which are higher risk to outsource.

Steven Freeman answered this question

What are the best podcasts for entrepreneurs?

Here is a great one:http://beersblokesbusiness.com/

Steven Freeman answered this question

What is the relationship between marketing and accounting?

Among many relationships your marketing spend needs to be viable enough to return a justifiable accountable profit. By keeping a close eye of the two, can help you stay on track.

Steven Freeman answered this question

Which is the best Australian bank for startups to work with?

If good old fashioned fast and personalised banking service is important then you can't go past Bendigo Bank. In all my dealings you less fell like a number and stuff is just sorted very promptly. Very approachable and efficient operation compared to the majors.

Steven Freeman answered this question

Which is better to attend in developing your business skills; attending physical events or attending online events?

I firmly believe a mix of both is best.
If you're targeting businesses in your local area, then local physical related events would rate higher, particularly when starting out.

Steven Freeman answered this question

How should I go about selling my established business?

Consult a boutique business broker that can demonstrate a track record of successfully selling similar businesses to yours.I can recommend a general business broker.Maybe try contact some other brokers selling coffee vans and work backwards from that if you're happy with the way they present that business and communicate to you. Even better ring up as a prospective buyer and see if the past the test!

Steven Freeman answered this question

How do you find what's trending in your industry real time / today / this week?

LinkedIn specific industry groups provide insights, but some groups aren't too active.

Steven Freeman answered this question

Jef Lippiatt
Jef Lippiatt, Owner at Startup Chucktown

Sales and Marketing

Do you qualify your leads?

Qualification can be a powerful useful first step. Define your target customer and then work backwards from a series of initial questions to determine whether they are fitting to what you can best sell to them.Most would still be added to your list, however a clearer understanding and foundation is pivotal to the next steps in the sales process.

Steven Freeman answered this question

Does anyone use Snapchat for business?

No - but interested to learn how it can be used.

Steven Freeman answered this question

Is e-commerce a dying industry?

Failure rate is probably higher than anything before as barrier to entry is at an all time low. Almost every man and his dog has set up some kind of online shop or is an Ebay seller. Not everyone is going to reach huge success.With that said it's not a shrinking industry. Most people we all know are increasingly spending online for all sorts of things.

Steven Freeman answered this question

Has anyone built their own website?

It's all possible with these tools and resources out there. You need to decide whether you want to be a some-what expert in building your own site. Is that where your time is best spent? or maybe consider engaging a professional web developer and focus your time on other areas.DIY web design isn't necessarily about saving money, but you can learn a lot and have more control. You'll never be able to keep up with all facets though without some expert input along the way.

Steven Freeman answered this question

How to know what's slowing down a Wordpress website?

Good starting points are:https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/https://gtmetrix.comThen review all plugins and any you can live without remove. Less is better for WordPress plugins and performance.Any recommendations for specialist coding, caching and server level improvements is best left to a WordPress developer. They should be able to show you other similar sites they have optimised to the same level you wish to achieve.

Steven Freeman answered this question

What's the difference in cloud and desktop accounting software

A key main difference for small business is it efficiently gives you, your staff, contractors, book keeper and accountant all real time access to the same primary account system. Automated bank feeds can reduce cost / time in doing reconciliations.Other benefit is it can provide seamless integration into other cloud systems you may be running, such us shopping carts, CRMS and billing systems etc.

Steven Freeman answered this question

What cloud solutions do you recommend?

SAASU as alternative to Xero.Mailchimp for email marketing.Zoho for entry level CRM capabilities.Just to name a few...

Steven Freeman answered this question

What exactly is a content management system?

In the context of web design in simple terms it is framework whereby anyone with limited experience can easily and efficiently administer all content that needs to be added and revised. The same theory can also be extended to other systems like CRMs.

Steven Freeman answered this question

Richard Schembri
Richard Schembri, Entrepreneur - Team Coach and Mentor in Network Marketing at Team Berrygood

Career Planning

What is your backup plan for income?

Upskill, side skill, and diversify is the nutshell of survival.

Steven Freeman answered this question

Does anyone know how to actually sell something that is free?

It needs to be tied to an up-sell or side sell. Free on its own has no bearing. Attracting a whole lot of random free loaders is when it starts actually costing you more than if you had a ticket price to start with.

 

 

Steven Freeman answered this question

Ling Lee
Ling Lee, at Digital Marketing and Personal Branding

Website

How do you start building a website?

First step might be to get some design inspirations from other sites.

You need a plan on what exactly you want your website to achieve.

If you're never done coding don't get too involved in that. Either find a turkey online web building system that can build to your required level or find a good web designer you can work well with at the right price point.

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