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Jo-Anne Hui

Loan time

loan time

Whether financing a new or existing business, there often comes a time when getting a loan is on the agenda. more »

Franchising – building an empire

McDonald’s did it, 7-Eleven did it and Boost Juice did it, too. Imagine creating an entire empire from the small business seed you have sown and helped prosper over the years. While the prospect of expanding your business empire is quite exciting, keep in mind that franchising does come with its risks, warns Mark Attard, CEO of San Churro, a chain of Spanish hot chocolate cafes. “I think a lot of people look at franchising as potentially an easy way to grow your business quickly, but there’s nothing easy about … more »

How to fire an employee

The words ‘you’re fired’ may have become a popular catchphrase, thanks to Donald Trump and reality television, but they’re still not easy to say to an employee’s face. It can also be a particularly difficult task for small business owners, as they may not have previous managerial experience to fall back on, let alone a human resources department to guide them through the process. While it may not be the most pleasant of jobs for an employer, it’s one that still needs to be done at times. Are you sure? … more »

Webinars: presenting online

Travelling all over the country to deliver presentations might be fun for some, but it’s also a drain on business resources. If you’re a small business owner, chances are you’re juggling a hectic schedule and aching under the weight of meetings, appointments and presentations. Thankfully, technology has allowed entrepreneurs to step beyond time and space in recent years, while saving money along the way. One example of this is the webinar, which allows users to conduct presentations in front of audiences all over the world, from the comfort of their … more »

Finding and managing interns

As a cash-strapped business, it can be difficult juggling a plethora of tasks between yourself and your small team. One way of managing this problem is to consider bringing on an intern to help you out. “When they’re straight out of uni, they’re more enthusiastic and not so square and trained in their way of doing things,” explained Sophia Demetriades, founder of intern recruitment agency, Dream Internship. “They come in with a good attitude, they come with the mindset that they want to learn from you, so they can be … more »

Discount hype

From deals on swanky inner-city Japanese restaurants to romantic boat trips in the harbour and heart-thumping race car driving, a new wave of websites has landed.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Inspired by the success of Chicago-based startup Groupon, these newly-launched Australian sites offer consumers a new deal each day. The promotions are then open for website visitors to sign up for, but are only valid if a certain number of people hit confirm. Until this magic number is reached, consumers are not charged. Often these sites will leverage the power of social … more »

Making eBay work for small business

Going once, going twice, ker-ching! Is that the sound of your products selling online? While not the first port of call for many first-time online retailers, eBay is a great way to enter the e-commerce scene. Perhaps one of the best examples of an online retailer launching on eBay successfully is Deals Direct. “Retail in both the offline and online world is ‘atomising’ or splintering. Different customers like different channels,” explained co-founder Paul Greenberg. “Our key job as retailers is to find those efficient channels and meet new and existing … more »

‘Tis the season to be spammed

‘Tis the season to be jolly and suffer from the attacks of spammers, according to the December State of Spam and Phishing report from Symantec. Spammers have their eye on Christmas shoppers at this time of the year, according to a press release from the security company. “Spammers love to use holiday themes. Symantec has observed the holiday angle used in spam messages from fake online pharmacy spam, gift cards, electronic greeting cards, to year-end auto clearance events,” it said. The report also revealed that spam levels have been at … more »

Should you use Facebook to recruit employees?

Most people have heard tales of hapless employees who have been busted by their bosses on Facebook while ‘chucking a sickie’ during the work week. Indeed, many have been warned of the dangers of merging professional and personal lives on the social media platform. Last week, recruitment company Kelly Services advised potential employees to carefully manage their social media accounts, lest incriminating Facebook photos stop them from being hired. “Employees run the risk of posts giving a negative outlook on their professionalism, capabilities and reliability when searching and applying for … more »

How to get the most out of Twitter’s trending topics

The Gulf Oil Spill, the FIFA World Cup, Justin Bieber and Harry Potter were among the most popular topics on Twitter this year, according to the social media giant’s recently released Top 10 Twitter Trends of 2010 list. Twitter Trends are generated by an algorithm that identifies topics that are being discussed more right now than they were previously, explained a blog post from Twitter. Basically, they’re a collection of the ‘hottest emerging topics’. Crust Pizza is an active user of Twitter and, according to founder Costa Anastasiadis, being aware … more »

Making the most of the Christmas rush

There’s less than two weeks left to Christmas and the mad rush to the shops has just begun for consumers. Online retailers should take advantage of this opportunity and help ease the pain for shoppers. According to Michelle Gamble, chief angel of Marketing Angels, speed and convenience are of the utmost importance for consumers now. “They want it to be quick, easy, and they want to know they can trust if they order something, it will turn up by Christmas,” she said. “What everyone lacks now is time and they’re … more »

Blog your way to a better business

In the world of online business, simply launching a website showcasing your products and services is not enough. Adding a blog to your site not only is a great way to promote your brand and your message, it also helps to build a relationship with your customers and cement your business as a force within the industry. For an online entrepreneur, the personal nature of blogs is invaluable in terms of creating a community and connecting with your customer base. Juliet Potter, CEO of Auto Chic, an automotive website aimed … more »

The art of staff criticism

One of the greatest assets a small business owner can have is fantastic staff who can help your company flourish. Part of your journey with them will involve offering helpful feedback from time to time. Kelly Baker-Jamieson, managing director at Edible Blooms, is a big believer of the traditional ‘sandwich’ approach, which creates a “positive, can-do atmosphere” within the company. This involves ‘sandwiching’ the criticism between two pieces of positive insights. For example: 'I love the way you do X, but if you could somehow work around Y, your work … more »

How to protect your reputation online

how to protect your reputation online

Back in the day when an unhappy customer wanted to complain about the less-than-shining experiences he or she had with a business, they would simply tell their friends, colleagues and anyone else who cared to listen. Now, social media makes it easy for anyone to blast out their opinion about your company to thousands of people all across the world wide web.                                                                 While the idea of having dissatisfied customers spreading their thoughts on Facebook and Twitter may strike fear into your heart at first, it is entirely possible for … more »

Fair work calculator: SMEs do the maths

Telstra, COSBOA and Workforce Guardian create new online Fair Work calculator. Small businesses can now use a new free online calculator to determine whether they qualify as a 'small business' under the new Fair Work Act. According to the legislation, a small business includes fewer than 15 fulltime employees, but as many companies hire a mix of part-time, casual and permanent staff, this can be difficult to determine. Created by Telstra, COSBOA and Workforce Guardian, the online calculator can help employers do the maths in 10 minutes. Visit the Workforce … more »

Run a business and still have a life

If you’re like most startup business owners, your family and friends may not have enjoyed quality time with you in a while. And if they have, you’ve probably talked mostly about your business. Where will you find the time to have a life? Here are some ideas: 1. Tech tools to help manage your life From smartphones to cloud applications, there is a wide range of technologies that can help you better structure and manage your busy schedule. Indeed, one of the advantages of running an online business is the … more »

How to prepare your site for Christmas

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas and online retailers all around the world are scrambling to get their websites in order. If the thought of the holiday season is giving you a mild panic attack, follow these steps to enjoy a profitable Christmas this year. 1. Plan early and forecast Planning and preparation for the festive season starts several months before Christmas for most online retailers. According to Deals Direct founder Paul Greenberg, it’s important to not only plan as early as possible, but to also predict what … more »

4 steps to better customer engagement

Bespoke online shoe retailer Shoes of Prey may have only launched a year ago, but in the past few months, the store has been awarded for its innovative retail and marketing strategies. Here, co-founders Michael and Jodie Fox share some of their tips for offering excellent customer service online all the time. 1. Create great customer service policies Making sure customers choose the perfectly-fitted shoe online is an issue, as Shoes of Prey co-founder Michael Fox notes. To combat this, Shoes of Prey offers customers a generous returns policy, which … more »

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With the number of Australian small businesses growing, NETT provides a one-stop shop of information to get your business working for you. Crammed full of helpful articles, tips and small business advice, NETT gathers expert advice from Australian small business owners, industry experts and online professionals and houses it all in an easy-to-follow format. Reaching across a wealth of topics from technology to search optimisation and resources. NETT focuses on assisting Australian small business and providing better business advice to allow you to build a strong online presence.