Visa Delays Anger Small Business Owners

small businesAre you one of the small business owners waiting for the processing of 457 visas for foreign workers?

According to reports a number of small business owners are angry at the delays in processing 457 visas, meant to facilitate the filling of temporary skills gaps, but now with these delays the whole purpose of the visas may be defeated.

Although the Department of Immigration and Border Protection boasts about processing claims within 40 working days or 8 weeks, a number of small business owners have complained about 4 months + delays.

As these small business owners explain, running a small business, lack of key staff due to delays and shortages could have devastating financial effects on the business.

Source: http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/opinion/john-durie/small-business-angry-over-section-457-visa-delays/news-story/f53d0b941627c2403cc3abb8d014ce35

How The Budget Helps Small Business

aus money

According to an article on Smh.com.au the 2016 federal budget is full of surprises for small businesses.

There was also welcomed news for small business owners with regard to accessing the small business entity tax concessions.

Currently for a business to qualify as an SBE it must have a turnover of less than $2 million.

This threshold has been the same for a number of years and has been long overdue for an increase.

Qualifying as an SBE provides small businesses with many tax concessions including “simplified depreciation rules, the ability to fully write off assets costing less than $20,000 in the first year, simplified trading stock valuation rules, and an immediate deduction for prepaid expenses that cover a period of 12 months or less”.

Read more at http://www.smh.com.au/small-business/finance/a-super-budget-that-helps-small-business-20160508-gopioe.html

Successful Aussie Businesses That Cracked The US Market

us aussie flag

An article on HuffingtonPost.com.au highlighted how some Australian small businesses are cracking the American market. And it still has opportunities for savvy entrepreneurs.

But the sheer size of the market means many businesses are overwhelmed about where to even begin and how to get a slice of the market share.

The article goes on to give some success stories for US domination and tips for other start-ups that are trying to crack the market.

Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com.au/2016/05/26/how-these-aussie-small-businesses-have-cracked-the-us-market/

Things That Happened in Technology That Affect Your Small Business

technologyThere are certain developments in the technological realm that have an impact on your small business.

Here are the top 4:

  1. Twitter has stopped focussing on the “buy” button.
  2. Snapchat could now be worth $18 billion.
  3. Monitoring of employees is reaching all new levels which are creating new levels.
  4. GoDaddy offers a new app to evaluate your start-up idea.

Find out more at http://www.forbes.com/sites/quickerbettertech/2016/05/29/small-business-tech-this-week-twitter-abandons-the-buy-button-and-now-you-can-eat-your-six-pack/3/#45dbeb4614b8

Where Small Business is Leading the Way

innovationNot everything a big business does is right, there are some tips small business can give to bigger firms.

Even without the huge budgets, some small business are doing their marketing right. Some even better than the big firms.

Small businesses are known to drive innovation and some big companies are now realising the importance of fostering a small business culture.

In a recent post on HuffingtonPost.com.au business resilience expert and founder/CEO of the Resilience Institute Stuart Taylor gives his advice.

Taylor explains that in recent times, entrepreneurs and startups have been the ones driving change and innovation, challenging the status quo and most big businesses aren’t yet equipped to follow their lead.

Read more at http://www.huffingtonpost.com.au/2016/05/28/what-small-business-can-teach-the-big-end-of-town-about-disrupti/

Small Business Mental Health

mentalhealthSmall and medium business  mental health is one of the major issues for the 2016 federal election.

Public health and Medicare are major election issues but the Council of Small Business Australia is urging politicians to make the mental health problems in the small business sector a priority.

Employee mental health is often spoken about, and that’s good because it is important, but employers’ mental health can easily be neglected. We cannot afford to overlook the mental health of this sector of the industry.
Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/small-business/managing/federal-election-2016-small-business-mental-health-a-priority-20160523-gp1mr2.html#ixzz49i1V3yCe 
Follow us: @smh on Twitter | sydneymorningherald on Facebook

Help Coming Up with a Name for Your Small Business

open for businessA recent article on HuffingtonPost.com.au provided some advice and inspiration for those battling to find an appropriate name for their business.

A major challenge that many new business owners face is one that has a massive impact on the success of their business – the business’ name.

In the article some top Australian small business owners share their stories of how they came up with the names for their start-ups.

Read the article here for more inspiration and advice.

Why Small Business Owners Suffer From Mental Ill Health in Silence

mentalhealthSmall business owners are usually good when handling workplace health and safety issues regarding their employees but are often slow to act when they themselves are involved, particularly  mental health issues.

Small business owners in Australia are the least likely to ask for health with mental health issues and risk losing their companies as a result.

According to Kate Carnell, the first Australian small business and family enterprise ombudsman says small business owners are amongst the most affected by mental health problems.

She highlighted that smaller operators should seek help if necessary and assist those in their business that need help with mental health issues.

Source: http://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/health/small-business-owners-at-risk-of-mental-illness-if-they-dont-speak-up/news-story/120c21b53689b0ec6abae8a9eb696d55

NT WorkSafe Helps Small Businesses Improve Safety

nt worksafe

A pilot Small Business Safety Advisors (SBSAs) program has been established by NT WorkSafe to provide small to medium businesses improve their work health and safety standards.

The program was designed to improve the capabilities of smaller businesses to manage their own workplace safety processes.

Advisors will be working with businesses in the state on a request basis, providing assistance in improving WHS practices.

Part of the aim is to help companies with the challenges of understanding and implementing workplace health and safety laws and legislative requirements.

 

Source: http://content.safetyculture.com.au/news/index.php/05/safety-advisors-help-small-business-improve-work-health-safety-standards/#.VzTkEYR97IU

Learn to Drive Innovation in Your Small Business

innovationInnovation has become an important word for small businesses, in fact all businesses especially since the Prime Minister released the government’s $1.1 billion innovation plan last year. But how can you as a small business actually put it into practice.

In an article on HuffingtonPost.com.au, Dr Amantha Imber, an innovation psychologist, author and founder of a business consultancy says we shouldn’t be overwhelmed by the term, it simply means a change that adds value to the company.

It’s an all inclusive term, so anyone in the business, regardless of their position can come up with ways to innovate in their specific designation.

So what can we do new or differently to benefit the future of the business? Let’s read more at http://www.huffingtonpost.com.au/2016/04/18/expert-tips-for-small-business-to-introduce-and-drive-innovation/

What The Federal Budget Means to Small Businesses

small business

Following the recent Federal Budget, experts explained that for the South Australian economy the biggest gain was the $90 billion in defence programs for the state.

Another good thing though was the tax cuts for small business.

Also the treasury has confirmed that the small business retirement exemption will continue, so if you’re planning on selling your business, you can use it as part of retirement planning and contribute more to superannuation than the $500,000 lifetime after tax contribution cap.

Read more about what the budget means for small businesses at: http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/business/experts-urge-sa-small-business-to-invest-create-jobs/news-story/369087b4f59273e309136d136b9e47c7

Starting A Creative Business? Read This First!

small busines

Starting a creative business can seem like a real challenge but some successful entrepreneurs have provided some advice for those of us doing it for the first time.

In a post on ArtsHub.com.au 3 creatives who have managed to succeed at their creative business start-ups gave this advice,

  • Learn to love failure.
  • Stop talking about your business and start actioning it,
  • Ask for advice when needed.
  • Believe in your idea and seek feedback, not from family but from mentors.

For more go to ArtsHub.com.au

Advice For When You’re Naming Your Business

open for businessMost of us, especially small business owners tend to name our businesses based on sentiment but there are some other aspects that need to be considered.

  1. Check the Australian Business Registry and see whether the name has been taken or not.
  2. Keep it short and clear.
  3. Don’t get overly creative, the name should still fit in appropriately with the business.

Find out more at http://www.dynamicbusiness.com.au/start-up-entrepreneur/three-must-dos-for-naming-your-business.html

Don’t Fall for These Employment Myths

myths debunkedA number of businesses were recently slapped with fines by the Fair Work Ombudsman because of payment issues with many companies found to have been underpaying their employees.

This prompted an article on Smartcompany.com.au highlighting some of the common misconceptions about employee payments.

Here are 7 employment myths that you shouldn’t fall for as a boss,

  1. You can deduct from workers to cover losses
  2. You don’t need to provide employees payslips if they don’t want them
  3. You can employ young workers as ‘trainees’ without lodging any formal paperwork.
  4.  Employees don’t need to be paid for time spent opening and closing a store.
  5. An employee must work for 12 months before they can take annual leave or sick leave.
  6. A full-time employee can be fired without notice during their probation period.
  7. You can’t ask an employee for proof of being sick, such as medical certificate.

Get more information at http://www.smartcompany.com.au/people-human-resources/industrial-relations/42360-seven-employment-myths-bosses-shouldn-t-fall-for/

Avoid These Five Bad Habits if You’re a Small Business Owner

small businessAccording to a post on Afr.com these are the top 5 bad habits of small business owners that you need to avoid,

  1.  Using the business as your own personal ATM
  2. Don’t just coast along, spending all your time on the day to day operations and never investing time in developing and working towards plans and goals.
  3. Remember that ‘cashflow is king’
  4. Don’t forget to invest in key people.
  5. Have systems in place so that the daily running of the business is not completely reliant on you.

Read more at http://www.afr.com/business/small-business/avoid-the-top-5-bad-habits-of-small-business-owners-20160413-go57a4

Paypal’s All-Male Diversity Panel!

Come on Paypal – are you serious??

Recently this guy Neville (@1FightingIrish) posted this on Twitter!!

paypals diversity farce

Check carefully the five bio pics – all blokes!

No doubt they are all experienced individuals whose opinions on diversity may be worth hearing, but isn’t it a bit hypocritical that there’s not a female in site?!

As Neville says: “Nice work Paypal”!

Loan Approvals for Small Business Soars

small businessIf you’re a small business owner looking for funding, there’s good news, according to the Biz2Credit Small Business Lending Index.

According to the index, March 2016 saw the days of mass rejection of small business loans coming to an end, following the analysis of 1000 small businesses.

It was revealed that big banks approved 23 per cent of funding requests in March which is an increase from the previous month.

Institutional lenders also improved their approval rates from 62.7 per cent to 62.8 per cent in March.

Find out more http://_http://smallbiztrends.com/2016/04/small-business-loan-approval-rates.htmlwp_link_placeholder

Supporting Women in a Male Dominated Environment

The construction industry has long been known as a male dominated industry, where women are often made to feel intimidated and not welcome, or worse harassed with wolf whistles and the like.

So I was pleased to see, as I was scanning through my blog list today, a short article posted on a blog by a training group that offer the safety qualification White Card online.  The blog highlighted what a company called Hilti were doing to attract and retain female workers in the construction industry.

hilti

Kudos to Hilti!

Read more here>

https://www.whitecardonlineexpress.com.au/industry-news/supporting-women-in-construction/ 

Best Apps for Your Small Business

smartphoneNo matter your niche there are a number of apps that would benefit your small business.

When asked by Smh.com.au to provide a list of the most popular free-to-download apps for Australian small businesses, Apple and Google provided this list. These apps are free but have in app purchases.

  1. Canva – the graphic design app
  2. Evernote – Allows you to remain organised
  3. Invoice2Go – Create invoices and quotes anywhere
  4. Genius Scan – Allows you to use your smartphone as a scanner in your pocket to scan receipts and documents on the go and export them to PF files.
  5. Deputy – A staff management app allows you to communicate with your team from your smartphone.

    Find out the rest of the apps at: http://www.smh.com.au/small-business/smallbiz-tech/the-nine-best-free-apps-for-small-business-20160419-go9pta.html#ixzz46mFlSg1B 

Why Your Small Business Should Start a Blog

blog

An interesting article on Entrepreneur.com discussed the importance of having a blog for the small business owner.

The writer discusses the importance of keeping your customers/ readers coming back to your site with a relevant, valuable, information-rich blog.

This marketing tool for the small business helps you position your product, find your customers and decide how to reach them.

Learn more at: https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/271049

Email Marketing Tips For Small Businesses

email maarketing for small businessEmail marketing seems to have developed a bad reputation in many small business circles, as perhaps ill-informed business owners confuse it with SPAM.

Of course proper email marketing, well executed is firstly about as far away from spam emailing as you can get, and two, is still a highlky effective marketing methodology, and often way under utilised by most SME’s.

Cloud-based accounting software Xero, have published here a useful guide to email marketing for SME’s which covers:

Brisbane Tax Accountants www.nbc.com.au recently published a useful article entitled “What Small Businesses Need To Know About Email Marketing

This article suggests:

An email marketing system makes it incredibly simple. They can automate most of the process for you and deliver professional looking content.

The key to email marketing systems is having a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system with an Auto Responder.

In the article the author mentions several suggestions for autoresponders such as Mailchimp but that is not really a CRM as well.  Two systems that do have CRM’s are Infusionsoft (pretty expensive and complex, but is probably the Rolls Royce level choice!) and Ontraport but there are many others as well.

One important aspect neither of these guides seems to mention is the importance of the subject line.  I see WAY too many businesses send out emails with the headline:  “Newsletter – May 2016”, or similar.  Boring boring!

The subject is THE KEY to getting a good open rate, and without your company’s email broadcasts being opened, they aren’t doing anyone any good!

Finally, below we have included some podcast episode Show Notes pages from ConversionCast, the conversion podcast of LeadPages.  These pages provide some really interesting case studies about increasing conversions with email marketing:

Getting a 300% increase in sales with email marketing: http://podcast.leadpages.net/ryanmoran/

How DigitalMarketer tripled click through rates:
http://podcast.leadpages.net/digitalmarketer/

How one blogger boosted revenue per email by 5X:
http://podcast.leadpages.net/yaro/

Business Predictions for 2016

News.com.au recently posted an article of 44 business predictions for 2016.

busiens predictions for 2016

While some of them are a little on the lame side, here is a sample of a few which are interesting:

“On-demand delivery and logistics will expand to small businesses”

New on-demand delivery and logistics services will emerge during 2016 to meet the ever increasing requirements of online shopping and fast food ordering and services like UberRush and Amazon Flex

Same-day delivery and cross-border selling will expand

This is a continuing reflection of the online selling platform and marketplace that we seeing growing like wildfire not only across nations like Australia and United States & the UK but indeed globally and across international borders generally, so the reason that these sorts of services will be springing up will obviously be to meet these kinds of needs. These kinds of logistical challenges present all sorts of difficulties for logistics providers but it’s exciting to see some innovative entrepreneurial solutions surface, as the demand for these sorts of services continues to increase in 2016 and beyond.

More businesses will come up for sale as Baby Boomers look to retire

And for sure we do know about the demographics of the baby boomer generation who are in their stage of life where they have accumulated significant wealth and built in many cases significant businesses, so the advice here is that if you do have a business you may want to think about selling it sooner rather than later before the number of business coming on the market reduces capital value.

Despite increasing internet connections, human connection remains the most important

This is an interesting at prediction and certainly has a lot of truth. We can see that from The massive rise of social media the fundamental human need for connection is not going away however there is only so much connection need that an online platform can provide and particularly in a business environment the challenges challenges facing us going into 2016 is how can we meaningfully increase the human connection or at least the perceived human connection or ways of customising personalised human connection through our various marketing and selling channels

Small businesses should tighten cybersecurity in anticipation of more cyberattacks

And again this prediction is closely linked to the massive rise of the commerce and the way in which we are living our lives more and more online one of the most important ways for small businesses of course is to look at the security of their website and all of their online communication and storage methodologies such as email and cloud based storage we recommend small businesses engage experts to address these issues proactively rather than waiting until it’s too late!

You can read more of the 44 small business predictions in the original article here: http://www.news.com.au/finance/small-business/fortyfour-business-predictions-for-2016/news-story/e7a5ab49f0f7202ab701956a2b7ee340