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Josh Mehlman

Making fashion work with a business mind

Sitting in their empty store in a newly built, eerily silent shopping centre in Sydney's CBD seven years ago, twin brothers Brian and Vincent Wu may well have wondered if they had made the right decision chucking in their well-paid jobs to start a fashion boutique. "When we opened our first store in the Galleries Victoria, that centre was dead," says Vincent. "We would appreciate it just when a customer walked in – at one stage we hardly had any customers." Even in their most optimistic visions for the future, … more »

Business class customer service

Business class customer service – What's the difference between delivering customer service to business or consumer customers? Josh Mehlman finds out how you can give top-quality service to meet the expectations of the most demanding business customers. As a consumer, a poor customer service experience can seriously ruin your day. Is there any difference if you're a business customer? If you're in the business of providing service to your customers, how do you deliver a business-grade service? Whether you're providing service to a consumer or a business customer, many of … more »

Battlefield sports: how to garner global attention

Husband-and-wife team Peter and Nicole Lander invented Battlefield Live – a live action re-enactment of popular computer games that does away with painful paintballs and improves on laser tag, because it can be played outside. They now export the technology and business model to 33 countries around the world. Josh Mehlman speaks to Nicole about how she uses every available online channel to tell the company’s story and how she manages to speak to many audiences in their own voices. more »

Why people are the best advertising

In just seven years, fashion boutique Incu has grown from a single store in an almost empty shopping centre to a mini-empire and major trendsetter. Their secret? It’s not all about fashion. more »

Max internet result

Sportsman, TV personality, architect, author and motivational speaker, Max Walker has had a colourful series of careers. He speaks to Josh Mehlman about how a website, online video and social networks are essential to his latest venture. Most corporate leaders’ biographies are as exciting as former Australian captain Mark Taylor’s cricket commentary. They tend to go something like, John Smith was born in Adelaide. He studied management at Adelaide University and worked for 20 years as a manager at one large company before joining another large company as CEO. He … more »

Up and at them

The growth and success of online political activist groups like MoveOn, GetUp! and Avaaz present valuable lessons for anyone looking to engage communities using the internet. Tom Dawkins and Josh Mehlman talk to GetUp! and Avaaz co-founder Jeremy Heimans. Australian activists Jeremy Heimans and David Madden started local activists site GetUp! in August 2005. By the November 2007 Federal election, it had signed up more than 230,000 members, and as of February 2010, that number has risen to over 343,000. The changing role of activism Heimans worked at international consulting … more »

Taking your online store into the real world

If you’re running an online business, why would you consider opening a real-world shop? Josh Mehlman speaks to some business owners who successfully made the switch from cyberspace to the real world. Why open an offline store? Many online retailers decide to open a real-world store after requests from customers. Kate Morris launched online cosmetics retailer Adore Beauty in 2000 and opened a bricks-and-mortar shop in Melbourne in 2004. “The main impetus was customers calling and wanting to purchase the products on the same day, or try things out before … more »

From clicks to mortar

What are the benefits of taking your successful online business into an offline store? Many online retailers decide to open a real-world store after requests from customers. Kate Morris launched online cosmetics retailer Adore Beauty (adorebeauty.com.au) in 2000 and opened a bricks-and-mortar shop in Melbourne in 2004. "The main impetus was customers calling and wanting to purchase the products on the same day, or try things out before buying," she says. "There was also the added credibility and trust, both to customers and suppliers, of having a bricks-and-mortar location." Darren … more »

Streamlining your online business

RedBubble was first conceived as a me-too local version of a successful overseas website, but a change in direction made it one of the world's most successful online art communities. Josh Mehlman speaks to co-founder Martin Hosking about the difference between a community and a social network, and the best ways to streamline the e-commerce experience.  Optimising the buying experience Since launching the site, RedBubble has spent a lot of its time and resources on streamlining the online shopping process. This was based around an important understanding of user behaviour: … more »

Augmented reality: geek plaything or small business tool?

For a technology more than 50 years old, augmented reality is currently making a lot of noise as the next big thing. But is the technology a geek plaything, a marketer's wet dream or a practical tool that small businesses might actually use? Augmented reality is a system of mixing a live view of a real-world environment with computer-generated imagery or information in context and in real time. The first augmented reality applications were developed in the 1950s: the head-up displays of fighter aircraft that showed navigation and weapon aiming … more »

Follow your art

Redbubble’s change in direction made it one of the world’s most successful art communities RedBubble was first conceived as a me-too local version of a successful overseas website, but a change in direction made it one of the world’s most successful online art communities. Josh Mehlman speaks to co-founder Martin Hosking about the difference between a community and a social network, and the best ways to streamline the e-commerce experience. A businessman, a soldier and a graphic designer walk into a bar. It sounds like the opening line of an … more »

Up and at them

The growth and success of online political activist groups like MoveOn, GetUp! and Avaaz present valuable lessons for anyone looking to engage communities using the internet. Tom Dawkins and Josh Mehlman talk to GetUp! and Avaaz co-founder Jeremy Heimans. Australian activists Jeremy Heimans and David Madden started local activists site GetUp! in August 2005. By the November 2007 Federal election, it had signed up more than 230,000 members, and as of February 2010, that number has risen to over 343,000. The changing role of activism Heimans worked at international consulting … more »

Helping small business gain government tenders

Arthur Thompson started TenderSearch to help companies keep track of the impenetrable government tender system. He spoke to Josh Mehlman about helping small businesses crack open government coffers. Starting out In 1983, Thompson was buying and selling second-hand word processing systems. He heard a local council in Melbourne was selling off a batch of word processors. The council advised him to watch the newspapers for a tender. After scouring the Melbourne papers for weeks, Thompson called the council. The tender, it turned out, had been advertised in the Ballarat Courier. … more »

Global gameplan

How an Aussie small business made a live action version of a computer game & sold it to the world. Husband-and-wife team Peter and Nicole Lander invented Battlefield Live – a live action re-enactment of popular computer games that does away with painful paintballs and improves on laser tag, because it can be played outside. They now export the technology and business model to 33 countries around the world. Josh Mehlman speaks to Nicole about how she uses every available online channel to tell the company’s story and how she … more »

Design a partnership for profit

Designing the perfect partnership for generating profit – It's common to start up a business with real-life partners, family members or best friends, although this can often lead to conflict down the track as you're torn between business and personal allegiances. No matter who you go into business with, there are some simple steps you can take to define who is responsible for what and make sure financial rewards are balanced with risks. Josh Mehlman speaks to three start-up experts on the best ways to partner up. Starting a business … more »

Managing a glacier tourism business

The trip of a lifetime inspired Albury's Amanda Duncan-Strelec to start up a unique tourism business offering one-week adventure holidays among the Alaskan glaciers. How can she use the web to get the message out? The panel Stephen Craft, Commonwealth Bank of Australia. Expertise: small business banking and finance Jonathan Crossfield, Netregistry. Expertise: web presence and online marketing Bill Gair, Co-founder of travel.com.au and CEO of Boardroom Radio. Expertise: online travel retail and online audio and video Host: Josh Mehlman Holiday among the glaciers Josh: What does your business offer? … more »

Battlefield sports: dominating an online niche

She might work in a testosterone-soaked industry, but it's fair to say that if Nicole Lander were a character in the 1984 comedy Revenge of the Nerds, she would not be one of the jocks. She played Dungeons and Dragons at school and shifted to multi-user dungeons – text-based precursors to today's online gaming – when the internet came into widespread use. She earned postgraduate qualifications in computer-mediated communications, studying how artificial intelligence computer systems could take on human-like personalities. Online, she goes by the nom de guerre of Zev-va. … more »

What’s wrong with real reality?

You’ve seen versions of the augmented reality vision in movies, and you might have seen it demonstrated with ads and special offers popping up on an iPhone screen as someone walks around a shopping strip. As Josh Mehlman reports, the technology has much greater potential and a range of practical uses for smaller companies. For a technology more than 50 years old, augmented reality is currently making a lot of noise as the next big thing. Many technology companies, including local ones, are showing off the whizz-bang and potential of … 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.