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Luke Telford

Ten common email marketing mistakes

Ten email marketing mistakes

Although email is still the most widely used form of digital marketing in Australia, many small businesses fall into common traps when using it to reach their customers. Here are ten mistakes to avoid when formulating an email marketing campaign. 1. Boring or misleading subject line Before a recipient opens the email, the subject line is the only point of contact between your business and them. It needs to be compelling. Jennifer Lancaster, a Brisbane-based copywriter, encourages businesses to put some imagination into how the subject line is phrased. “Avoid … more »

Top time management tips for small business

Time management small business tips

Have you ever wondered how other small businesses manage their time given the prevalence of such technological distractions? Nett talked to a few tech-savvy SMEs to get a better idea of how best to streamline the workday. Something as simple as an inbox icon can be enormously disruptive to a day’s workflow. Regardless of what you’re doing, a stream of miniscule email notifications is exactly the sort of thing that stretches a twelve minute task into a half-hour long ordeal, and it’s not the only distraction one has to deal with … more »

How to protect your brilliant idea

protect your brilliant idea

Many businesses start on the strength of a clever name and a great idea. The difficulty for some is that this name or idea is too good, and they aren’t able to generate the capital to bring it to life before someone copies or betters it. At some stage, all prospective business owners have to tell someone about what they’re planning to do. For this reason it’s important to learn how to protect a good idea so that they can create a business out of it without worrying about intellectual … more »

Is the iPad 2 an essential business tool?

apple devotees-2

At 5pm today, the iPad 2 will go on sale in Apple stores around Australia. At 8.30pm the night before the launch, Apple fanatics were already camping out behind a cordon in a line that stretched around the glass walls of the computing company’s Sydney store. By 3pm today, the line had stretched around the block. Such anticipation may come as a surprise to some spectators, given that the new device boasts a relatively modest update on the first model, released last year. The iPad 2 is thinner and 20% … more »

Remote payroll for small business

remote payroll 2

As with accounting, inventory and data storage, payroll is gradually becoming a cloud-based process for small businesses. “The absolute cornerstone in the change of approach to business in the last two or three years, promoted by cloud technologies, is the ability of small business owners, and even staff, to be anywhere,” says Stuart Mcleod, co-founder of Paycycle. “There’s no longer this go to work at nine and come home at five and you’re in the office all day. Life just doesn’t happen like that anymore.” There are a number of … more »

Five steps to a successful business blog

Five steps to a successful business blog

Ask any social media guru and they’ll tell you your business needs to have a blog. But, just as with other forms of social media, it’s not immediately clear how to create and maintain a blog that generates traffic to your business’s site. Here are five simple steps to put you on the right track. 1. Keep it simple Complispace is a company providing governance risk and compliance programs to small businesses in Australia. To increase traffic through its website the company started a blog, posting monthly updates on what … more »

Virtual meeting services for small business

Virtual meeting services for small business

Virtual meeting software is changing how small businesses operate. The speed with which it can allow business owners to communicate with remote employees, regardless of distance, has allowed geographically dispersed businesses to start up and thrive. Sarah Dillon runs two businesses using virtual meeting services. She’s a professional translator working in French, Spanish and German, and also runs a company called ePCD Webinars, training professional linguists online. For the webinar business, Dillon uses GoToMeeting as a virtual meeting solution, and finds that the ease it lends to global communications greatly … more »

Review: Sony PRS350C e-reader

sony prs350c

The Sony PRS350C is the smallest of the company’s current e-reader offering, coming in at 155g in weight, 5.71 by 4.11 inches, and with a 5” screen. The diminutive size of the device is a little disconcerting at first; a screen of these dimensions means that only a relatively small amount of information can be displayed at any given time, despite that the device allows a significant range of font sizes. This irritation is short-lived, though; the matte, non-backlit E-ink display is immersive and remarkably easy to read, at 800×600 … more »

Digital real estate

Digital real estate

Domain names are the digital equivalent of real estate for small businesses. Just as in the bricks-and-mortar world, location is everything. A domain name, or URL (uniform resource locator), is the address of a website. It’s what customers type into a web browser to navigate to your business’s page, and the right domain name can be worth quite a lot to some businesses. Already this year, Facebook has acquired the domain FB.com for a purported $8.5 million. Closer to home, Electricity.com.au was bought from Netfleet in the same week for … more »

How to get images right for the web

how to get images right for the web

The first step to getting an image to work in an online environment is to take it correctly in the first place. Commercial photographer Carl Chapman suggests that learning to use the white balance setting on your camera will help to create more vibrant and accurate images. “If your camera has white balance modes, take the camera off automatic white balance (AWB) and use the appropriate setting (e.g. sunny, cloudy, etc),” he suggests. “Also, learn to use manual white balance if your camera has it. This is even better than … more »

How to target new markets

Sooner or later, if your business is successful, you’ll begin to look at diversifying and expanding your target market. Research The first, and most crucial, step in targeting a new market is to research it. Find out things like the median age and average income, as well as geographic dispersion, how much the demographic earns and whether they’re likely to spend money on your product. For example, an older market might have more disposable income on average, but be less inclined to part with it. “Invest time in things like … more »

Google launches Cloud Connect plugin for Microsoft Office

Google logo

Google has launched Cloud Connect, a plugin for Microsoft Office that lets users collaborate on documents through Google Docs. Available for download now, the plugin allows Microsoft Office users to upload and share office documents such as PowerPoint presentations within Google Docs. Once uploaded, a document can be shared with and edited by other Cloud Connect users in real-time within Microsoft Office. Once installed, the Cloud Connect plugin recognises if a particular document has been uploaded from Office to Google Docs, and provides a direct link to it, allowing any … more »

App: Melway

Melway

This free app will help you navigate the streets of Melbourne without the need of a mobile signal or WiFi, whether you’re in the car, on foot, or on your bike. Once you’ve downloaded the maps, you can save them and pull them out again for future reference. Maps for Sydway, Brisway and Melway Perth are also available. Find the app here. Image credit: Thinkstock

Competitive pricing is not the answer for online SMEs

competitive pricing is not the answer

One of the most oft-quoted benefits to running a store online is that you don’t have to maintain the lofty overheads of a bricks and mortar operation. The reality is a lot more complicated than that. Customers accustomed to shopping on Amazon will expect any online store to be cheaper than the one down the road, regardless of its size or location. But all businesses share similar basic levels of cost, regardless of whether their storefront is on the high street or in the cloud. How, then, can a small … more »

Top four tools for monitoring your reputation

monitor seo

The goal with any form of marketing is to get people thinking about your brand. Before the internet, the effectiveness of any given campaign was much more difficult to measure. Now that the web offers things like search engines and analytics, it’s much simpler to keep abreast of how your brand is appearing to people. More importantly, now that social media has given a voice to everyone with an internet connection, you can also track how your brand is actually perceived by all those who’ve encountered it and shared their … more »

Five tips for drawing up a social media policy

A clearly outlined social media policy is crucial for any business that uses the internet as part of its operations. There are five important aspects to take into account when drawing one up. Be reasonable Firstly, any policy that you draw up has to be reasonable enough to work. zIt needs to be clear and concise – with respect to both the use of social media within the business and how employees should address the business online. It’s essential that the policy leaves no room for misinterpretation, and wise to … more »

How to find suppliers overseas

how to find suppliers overseas

There is great appeal for small business in finding overseas suppliers to manufacture their products. Given the strong Australian dollar and burgeoning economies in China and India, it’s currently possible to get quality results quite cost-effectively. Although there are a number of ways to find suppliers overseas online, the process is still fraught with potential pitfalls. Here are four steps to guide you on the search. 1. Research Though Google is undoubtedly your best friend when searching for suppliers, there are inherent dangers in directly approaching factories overseas without researching … more »

Five steps to increase conversions

No amount of online marketing, be it world-class search engine optimisation, email, or endless paid search campaigns, will amount to anything if visitors aren’t converted to customers when they land on your website. Driving online conversions is a relatively simple process, but it can be derailed very easily if each of the different stages of a website’s sales funnel don’t align properly.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Keep it relevant Chris Tew, senior vice president AU/NZ at digital marketing company Alterian, says that the most important thing at every stage of the process … 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.