Going green; is it worth it?

Starting a sustainable small business – for real.

It would be easy to answer the question “what challenges do you face when starting a small business” by discussing the difficulties that face any small business owner with a dream and a startup. However cash flow, staff, legal negotiations amongst everything else are common to all small businesses and their stories can be found in any number of articles on ‘how to start a small business’. These difficult, and often tedious challenges, are far from the most immediate challenges that face small businesses looking to operate sustainably.

The forefront challenge is cementing your company values and sticking to them; despite the more obvious short term savings that will (guaranteed) regularly present themselves along the way.

As a startup there are countless options from fit-out to stock purchasing, product manufacture and packaging that present cheap yet environmentally harmful solutions. Try to find the best product that causes the least damage to the environment, or better still improve on what is already available.

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Commercial Property Depreciation

Five Facts For Commercial Investment Property Owners

What commercial property investors should consider

Commercial investment property owners are often unaware they are entitled to make a claim for property depreciation. According to Bradley Beer, the Managing Director of BMT Tax Depreciation, around 80 per cent of commercial property owners don’t take advantage of property depreciation and therefore miss out on thousands of dollars.

“Claiming depreciation is paramount for commercial property investors. A depreciation claim can provide the difference in income for owners to turn a negative cash-flow property into an investment with a positive cash-flow,” said Bradley.

To help commercial properties owners earn more from their property, here are five facts about tax depreciation to assist them in the lead up to the end of financial year.

1. What is depreciation and what can be claimed?

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) requires investors to report any income earned from a commercial property as part of preparing their income tax assessment. Commercial investment property owners are entitled to claim depreciation. Depreciation is a deduction available due to the wear and tear of a buildings structure (capital works deduction) and its fixtures and fittings (plant and equipment items) over time. It is considered a non-cash deduction, meaning investors do not need to spend any money to be able to claim it.

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10 steps to improve lead conversion

10 Steps to Improving Lead Conversion with Great Landing Pages

Many SME’s use pay-per-click advertising as a cost effective way of generating leads. Unfortunately, it’s not enough to just have someone click on an ad, businesses need to be able to convert their visitors – by having contacts details exchanged for downloading a paper, signing up to a newsletter, sending an enquiry to start a conversation.
So what are the best ways to optimise landing pages for lead generation campaigns?

Here are 10 to get started:

1. Each landing page should have a dedicated purpose and message. Customise landing pages for each campaign being run so they are relevant to the advertisement they have clicked on and never, never, never send them to a home page.

2. In line with above, immediately address the reason they have arrived at the page – align the message on the landing page with the message in the advertisement they clicked on to get there. In addition, communicate how their needs/interests/issues are being met and highlight the value of the offering.

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Setting Up Budgets For Exhibition Stands and Trade Show Displays

by Gill Keinan, Director of NVP Exhibits

The first thing to know is that running exhibitions and trade shows is that it is just like running a business. The thinking of the smart exhibitor should be strategic long term planning and all critical aspects must be covered. In short, if you are always planning only for the next show you are probably spending too much.

Getting the right man on the job

Are you getting the right man for the job? Planning for exhibitions and trade shows require good understanding of strategic planning, marketing skills as well good management skills considering art work and logistics and ability to ask the right questions. In other words getting a capable individual on the job is critical.

Being aware of all expenses related to exhibition stands and trade show displays is crucial. Here are the points to consider:

1. Planning is the key: as a first step makes a list of all the exhibitions and trade shows you attend every year. By doing so you will gain some important information that will help you plan further:

  • Your cost of space
  • Your pattern of attendance

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Work At Home Mum

Managing Your Time and Kids When You Work From Home

The reason you are working from home is so you can spend more time with your family, right? So don’t feel guilty about scaling back your work commitments whilst the kids are off school. If they are old enough, ask your kids to help you to honour your commitments to your clients so you can give them time too. You might even find that they are willing to help you with your work if it means that you’ll be able to concentrate on doing fun stuff with them. An example might be that they will give you quiet time in the morning (or even deliver brochures) if you’ll take them to the pool in the afternoon.

Make sure you’re really present when you’re spending time with your kids. You can’t be constantly interrupting your time with them to answer your phone or check e-mail. They’ll recognise that you are only half there and resent it. Unplug and really give them your attention when you’re spending time with them.

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Stress Free Business

The Number 1 Secret to Stress Free Business – Part 1

by David Candy

I thought that this might catch your attention. Afterall, who wouldn’t want to be stress free not just in business but in life in general? In this series I’m going to walk you through exactly how I have not only helped my clients to achieve a stress free life in business but also how I became free of an issue that plagued me for decades throughout each area of my personal and business life.

Identifying the REAL cause of Stress

So the very first thing I do with people suffering from stress is to sit them down and help them identify the number one cause of their stress. And do you know what I hear time and time again? It’s the responsibility I feel, it’s the workload I have, it’s the staff that work for me, it’s home and balancing the work/ home relationship, it’s finances – the list goes on. Sound familiar?

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5 Essential Apps to Systemise Your Small Business

The most successful businesses are ones that are systemised because business owners are not stuck in the day-to-day grind of work, but rather developing their business. Businesses that have a solid foundation of systems are able to grow much more smoothly, creating fewer headaches for the business owner or manager.

There are 3 key pillars to business systemisation including People, Process and Technology. As a business starts to grow, people are usually employed to perform certain tasks. Typically business owners don’t document what needs to be done and what the most efficient way of doing it is, leaving employees to deliver important work to customers in different ways at varying degrees of standards. In turn, employers are left with inconsistent work, rework and unhappy customers.

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The Biggest Technology Mistake Even Experts Make

What is it?

I’ve been working in technology longer than I want to admit and I’ve seen the same thing over and over again. It happens to I.T professionals, even university level teachers and high level government officials. It happens to micro business and small business owners and even school children.

At times in my life, usually when rushed, distracted or under stress, it has happened to me. It does not discriminate on the basis of age, financial status, education level, IQ, or gender but it can be prevented or mitigated by simple changes in process.

So what is it?

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Five Biggest Outsourcing Blunders

After the birth of my daughter in 2012 I started my own Employment Consultancy with a major focus on creating resumes, selection criteria and cover letters for people that either didn’t know how or didn’t have the time.

At a certain point in 2013 I needed to look for outside help to keep up with the demand and after reading ‘The Four Hour Work Week’ by Tim Ferris I decided outsourcing was the way to go.

Now in most cases this has been a great investment but there have been some bumps in the road that I will share with you so you don’t make the same mistake. These are:

Not checking references:

I’ve used www.elance.com with great success. Elance encourages feedback about their freelancers so you can check out references before assigning your job to someone. I received a fantastic proposal from a resume writer with examples of past work he had completed and although he was new to Elance and had no actual references, I hired him based on his examples. It turned out that he had poached the examples from someone else and couldn’t write the most basic of all resumes. When confronted he told me that he was a single dad and needed a job to support his children and could I please pay him anyway. This caused a major headache when I had to redo the resume from scratch within a really short timeframe. ( I no longer outsource any of my writing for this very reason).

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