How to ensure Facebook marketing still works for your business after today's announcement

Today Mark Zuckerberg announced changes to the Facebook newsfeed that will leave businesses with smaller post reach and lower marketing performance... Here's how to get ahead so they don't impact your social media marketing. 

Read More

New Research: The one thing that will make your employees work harder

New research has revealed the one thing that makes employees work harder and think more highly of their employer... it's not more pay, it's not better benefits and it's not increased flexibility. So what is it and how can you make the most of it in your business? 

Read More

The three things every business owner needs to know and understand to make 2018 the most successful year yet

Instead of reflecting on the year that was, let's use today to be inspired and envision the year that could be. Here are the three things every business owner needs to know and understand to be more successful in 2018... 

What are your goals for the upcoming year? 

Read More

How to master the art of delegation

Delegation is one of the hardest things to do well, but with some help and the right approach it could be the best cultural move you ever make for the success of your business. Here's why and how you can get it right, too. 

Read More

The one thing every business owner needs to do to be more successful

Do you want to have more visibility of your business, get your team on track, ensure accountability, profitability and sustainable growth?

Then this is what you need to do...

Read More

Would you like $5,000 from the government to boost your business?

The government wants to give new small businesses up to $5,000 matched funding to engage a consultant, strategist or business coach. Here's what you need to know! 

Read More

Four templates every Google manager and leader uses

Calling all managers and business leaders!

Google have released four of their exclusively developed management tools available for download, customisation and use in your own business. You can get your copies of them here... 

Read More

Business and personal finance becoming blurred?  Here’s what you need to do…

A recent survey showed that one in three Australian small business owners have used their personal cash to keep the business afloat. Find out how you can avoid ever blurring the lines of personal and business finance and keep your business on the path to success here...

Read More

Three things every Business Owner & Marketer should learn from the Salesforce State of Marketing Report

The fourth Salesforce State of Marketing report has arrived and in it are some very interesting trends and projections for marketing over the coming years. If you want to ensure your business is on top of the competition, it comes down to doing three things really well. Learn about them here... 

Read More

Crisis Management Public Relations Done Right

When something goes horribly wrong and your business is involved it is always good to be prepared and have a plan.

“A crisis is defined as a significant threat to operations that can have a negative consequence if not handled properly.”

-  Timothy Coombs  -

Therefore, any threat big or small has the potential to escalate and get out of control if not handled properly, for example the United Airlines Overbooking of Passengers Incident. The crisis occurring on Sunday the 9th of April saw a 69-year-old man physically removed from the aircraft after he refused to give up his seat. This incident was recorded and uploading to Social Media channels to show the rough and unacceptable conduct of security in removing the passenger. United’s first media release was late Sunday night stating that the flight was overbooked, volunteers were requested and a passenger was removed by law enforcement. A twitter statement was then released by United Airlines over 24 hours after the incident apologising for the overbooked situation but not the treatment of the passenger. After investigation, the Chicago Department of Aviation stated that the actions taken were not in accordance with operating procedures and were not appropriate. Since then an official apology has been made and a confidential settlement.

This incident highlighted the need for businesses to address crisis’s immediately and apologise if in the wrong. Every business should have a Crisis Management Plan in place in preparation for any possible crisis.

Crisis Management Plan:

1.       Determine what and where a possible crisis may occur and who will be in charge

  • Identify possible crisis situations
  • Create multiple crisis response plans
  • Select a small team of key executives and PR personnel to be in charge of the response 

2.       Train chosen Management Team and staff in communication, speaking and key messages

  • Create a key message to present to the media, consumers and post on social media channels to ensure consistent information.
  • Prepare staff to speak effectively to the media
  • Create and learn a key message/response to the issue
  • Choose a key individual to address the media in public/TV

 3.       What monitoring systems will be put in place

  • Have an establish and growing social media community 
  • Monitor website, social media and internet comment references to determine the public’s view point.

4.       Develop immediate responses

  • Time is needed to investigate, analyse and review the situation so have some general statements for the media prepared to allow for time to get the situation under control and determine what went wrong.

5.       Analyse Crisis Management

  • Review the situation, the time it took to get the situation under control and the damage to the business and its reputation.
  • Review the Crisis Management Plan and determine where the business did well and where improvements can be made or avoided.

A crisis can come at any time, therefore measures need to be in place to avoid them from happening and if unavoidable a plan to manage the crisis. Take time to create a Crisis Management Plan for the business using the outline above and be as detailed as possible.

Customer Engagement: Why it matters and how to get it right

Engaging with your customers successfully through Strategic Marketing is crucial for any business but especially for entrepreneurs and small businesses.

Customer engagement is the repetitive interaction between customers and a brand that build and strengthen brand recognition and preference. This association allows for a brand to become the product of choice by consumers allowing for competitive advantage within the market. Engagement has found to be most popular when the product or service has been personalised to specific individuals as it makes the customer feel unique and their purchase appreciated.

Coke has created a very successful personal engagement connection with their consumers through the Share a Coke campaign where coke bottles were printed with personalised names. Unsure of the times, as social media was only still new, Share a Coke focused mainly on TV but quickly found that the excitement and word-of-mouth from consumers was mainly on social media. This then opened the doors for branded social media campaigns globally, allowing for consumers to go offline to find their personalised product and then go back online (social media) to share with all their friends. This campaign resulted in a 6.8% global increase on Coke’s Facebook page and an increase of 2.5% increase in total sales. This campaign resulted in a positive customer response with an increase brand awareness and active search for the personalised names of the customers.

Why Coca Cola Succeeded:

  • Made their consumers feel important and valued with the personalisation of bottles
  • Made a personal connection
  • Shared consumer content on Social Media and Advertising platforms
  • Created large amounts of word-of-mouth through successful marketing 

How can small businesses do this:

  • When sending products, include a personalised letter to the customer
  • Personalised replies to customers on all communication and social media platforms
  •  Posting photos of your consumers using the product on your social media
  • Listen to your customers and ensure you respond to their requests
  • Promote customer loyalty as two-way

Expected Results:

  • Increased consumer brand awareness
  • Increased word-of-mouth
  • Creation of a relationship between your business are your consumers and target market
  • Increase of sales

Whether your business is as big as Coca Cola or is only in the early stages of business it is important to remember your customers and ensure that your products, services and communications are personalised in order to create a high level of consumer engagement.

 

Four things every Small Business needs to know about the Federal Budget

The Federal Budget unveiled almost two weeks ago proved that the Federal Coalition are shifting their view from big enterprise to small business driving Australia’s economic future. It was a budget with a range of wins for small business, specifically those with a turnover of less than $10 million and if the measures are passed and can be retained over the next decade, they’ll have a huge positive impact on the success of our businesses.

1. Reduced Tax Rate

Over the next decade, the Federal Government will reduce the tax burden on small businesses by reducing the tax rate to 27.5% immediately for businesses with a turnover of $10 million or under and by 2026, reducing it to 25% for all small business with turnovers up to $1 billion. The tax reduction works as a slider bringing all small business onto an equal playing field over the next ten years.

2. Unincorporated Small Business Tax Discount

Businesses (not companies) with a turnover of less than $5 million will receive an additional 8% discount on their tax bill with the maximum discount available sitting at $1,000. Over the next decade this discount will expand to a final discount of 16%. The government estimates that around 2.3 businesses will have access to this discount each year.

3.  Increased Tax Concessions

Existing tax concessions will be become more freely available as the government increases the threshold from $2 million to $10 million. The tax thresholds businesses will have access to include: 

  • Simplified depreciation rules, including immediate tax deductibility for asset purchases costing less than $20,000 until 30 June 2017
  • Simplified trading stock rules, giving them the option to avoid end of year stocktake if the value of their stock has changed by less than $5,000;
  • A simplified method of paying PAYG instalments calculated by the ATO, which removes the risk of under or over estimating PAYG instalments and the resulting penalties that may be applied;
  • The option to account for GST on a cash basis and pay GST instalments as calculated by the ATO;
  • Other tax concessions currently available to small businesses, such as fringe benefits tax (FBT) exemptions (from 1 April 2017 to align with the FBT year); and
  • A trial of simpler business activity statements (BAS), reducing GST compliance costs, with a full roll-out from 1 July 2017.

4. Access to financing sources

Asset backed financing will now be given the same tax treatment as conventional financing. This type of financing is suited to infrastructure support or development and large, long-term projects.

 

So there you have it – the benefits for small business outlined! Scott Morrison told The Australian that people “instinctively” saw that a strong small business would mean conditions were better for workers and the broader economy and given just how valuable the small business sector is to our economy, it’s about time. We as small businesses are responsible for the employment of over 3 million people and contribute $340 to our economy each year.

Backbone of Australia? We like to think so.

If you have any questions or would like to share your thoughts about the budget, please feel free to get in touch with us. 

Copyright

Copyright is defined as “a form of intellectual property that protects the original expression of ideas. It enables creators to manage how their content is being used” (Copyright Agency 2017).

Unlike a patent or a trademark, copyright is an automatic legal right given to the creator the moment the work is created. It does not have to be legally documented or approved, only created. There have been many breaches of copyright throughout the years the major issues are in relation to art, music and literary. This does not occur to as many physical creations (inventions) as they would have been patented or trademarked by their creators.

It is important to also take note that there are exceptions to the rules of copyright which include: research or study, review, satire, news reporting, public art etc. These exceptions are allowed due to the piece of work not being replicated or taken but reviewed, analysed or discussed.  

How long does your copyright lasts?

Copyright duration relies on several factors; time of creation, date of publication and death of creator.

  • Published, created or a death before 1955, the copyright has expired.
  • As of 2005 the limit on copyright material extended from 50 years to 70 years after the death of the creator.
  • Resale loyalties also have a limited of 70 years after the death of the creator.
  • Refer to Copyright Agency for more information 

For example, the use of images not being referenced or classified as “free”, “stock” or information not referenced creates a breach in copyright. It is crucial when you are representing your business through blog posts you refer your readers to where you got your ideas and images, to give credit where credit is due. If you fail to do so there is an opening for conflict and possible law suit for taking someone else’s work as your own.

To avoid conflict, when you have researched a topic make sure you link a key word to the writer or website you got your idea off, to both credit them and to also direct your readers to more information on the topic. Regarding images, either take your own photos, use someone else’s photo while both linking and crediting or visit stock photo websites.

Stock photo websites:

StockSnap.io

Pixabay

Pexels

Unsplash

Burst

If the necessary steps are taken in referencing, crediting or using free images there should be no risk of you or your company breaching copyright while creating a colourful and interesting brand for your business.

CEO Activism: Do you join the bandwagon or not?

How often do you read the paper in the morning, come across a social issue and want to, so very badly, write a letter to the editor explaining your viewpoint and justifying it to the last discrepancy? It’s a feeling that most of you reading this will know on some level and some of you may have even done it. But how do you feel about doing it when your name is publicly tied to your business? Do you feel the same way? Do you have that same passion in wanting your voice to be heard? For a lot of CEO’s, it turns out the answer is yes. The question is – are you one of them?

Harvard Business School professor Mike Toffel and his coauthor Aaron Chatterji, have identified this phenomenon and labelled it “CEO Activism”. Corporate executives are increasingly speaking out about social and environmental issues not related to their business activities and it is doing interesting things.

Firstly, it is influencing public opinion on an issue – when the ‘public’ already has a positive affinity for the executive or company. The professors conducted a study on public support for a law in Indiana that allowed businesses to discriminate against gay and lesbian customers as a matter of religious freedom. They were surveyed and 50% of the respondents said they supported it. However, this decreased to just 40% when they were informed that Apple CEO Tim Cook opposed it. Interestingly, they both preceded and followed these questions up with a question about interest in Apple products. It rose on a five-point scale from 2.7 to 3.02.

That leads us into the second point, that yes – CEO Activism can influence public perception of a business. In a study carried out by Global Strategy Group it was revealed that 26 to 30 year olds are 20% more likely to purchase from companies whose social political stance mirrors their own. Conversely, when a company does not share the same social political stance as someone in the 56 or older age group, they are 16.2% less likely to purchase from the company.

That information really leaves us with one question for CEOs – with that kind of impact, is CEO Activism something you really want to dabble in?

Ask yourself these questions and you should develop a clear idea…

Reflect on your customer – are your values and opinions likely to be aligned?

If yes, then it could have a very positive impact. If no, it could be detrimental to business and its time to start searching for a new market.

Consider your corporate values – does your opinion support and reflect these?

If yes, that’s great because people cannot accuse of hypocrisy. If no, then perhaps your company is not a vehicle to share personal opinions.

Ask yourself why – why do you want to share your opinion?

If it’s to make a change, difference or impact, then you have the right motive. If it’s because it’s popular and you want to squeeze that extra brand loyalty out of your customers who share the same stance, don’t do it. It’s a recipe for disaster and while it may work once or twice, three times the charm is just unheard of when it comes to non-genuine activism.

So there you have it, if those were positive answers, then follow in the footsteps of Qantas CEO Alan Joyce, Apple CEO Tim Cook, PayPal CEO Dan Schulman and H&M CEO Karl Johan Persson. Voice your opinions and see what power your brand can conjure. But if they were negative answers, then leave it to the big guys.

 

How do you feel about CEO Activism? Do you think there’s a place for it in the Australian business landscape?

10 Entrepreneurs to follow on Social Media

In this day and age with social media being a huge part of our lives it is important that you aren’t just using it for socialising but also for information, learning and inspiration. With many successful entrepreneurs sharing glimpses into their lives, businesses and how they found success, you are guaranteed to find some golden lessons that will help you on your journey.

 

Richard Branson

Virgin Group

The founder of the Virgin group which controls over 400 companies internationally is a must follow on social media. Richard shows a glimpse into his personal life, as well as business tips, great quotes, must see documentaries and lifestyle guides for entrepreneurs to ensure more success.

Twitter                  @richardbranson

Facebook            Richard Branson

Instagram           richardbranson

YouTube              Richard Branson

 

Mark Zuckerberg

Facebook

Computer Programmer and Internet Entrepreneur who has revolutionised social networking and social media across the world. Mark’s social media takes you through the adventure and excitement that is his life. From meeting word leaders to new technologies, continuing to inspire your entrepreneurial journey.

Twitter                  @finkd

Facebook            Mark Zuckerberg

Instagram           zuck

 

Arianna Huffington

The Huffington Post

Author, Columnist, Actress, Business Woman and the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of The Huffington Post. Arianna’s social media pages introduce a world of effective leadership, time management, importance of sleep, work-life balance and empowerment of women in business.

Twitter                  @ariannahuff

Facebook            Arianna Huffington

Instagram           ariannahuff

YouTube              Arianna Huffington

 

Simon Sinek

Start With Why

Author, Motivational Speaker and Marketing Consultant, Simon Sinek changed the way marketing is perceived with his Start With Why, inspiring entrepreneurs and businesses to change the way they market to their consumers. Simon’s social media explores positive thinking, leadership tips and business quotes, continuously changing the way you think about business. 

Twitter                  @simonsinek

Facebook            Simon Sinek

Instagram           simonsinek

YouTube              SimonSinek

 

Sheryl Sandbarg

Facebook

Technology Executive, Activist, Author, COO of Facebook and Founder of Leanin.org, Sheryl is breaking new ground for women in business, becoming the first woman to serve on Facebook’s Board. Sheryl’s social media welcomes you on her journey promoting technology, social networking and women in business.

Twitter                  @sherylsandberg           

Instagram           sherylsandberg

 

Kevin Systrom

Instagram

Entrepreneur, Programmer and Co-Founder and CEO of Instagram introducing a new form of social media built on photos and instant feedback. Kevin’s social media shares both his personal and professional goals, technology safety and his love of cycling, continuing to show where hard work and passion can take you.

Twitter                  @kevin

Facebook            Kevin Systrom

Instagram           kevin

 

Alexis Ohanian

Reddit

Entrepreneur, Activist, Investor, Author and Co-Founder of Reddit.com, changing the way of social news, reflecting the ratings given by the readers and discussions on topics held. Alexis allows you to take a glimpse into his personal life showing his passion in tennis, motivational speaking, continual learning and changing the world for the better.   

Twitter                  @alexisohanian

Facebook            Alexis Ohanian

Instagram           alexisohanian

 

Bill Gates

Microsoft

Business Magnate, Author, Entrepreneur, Philanthropist and Founder of Microsoft, the largest PC software company in the world, making roughly $10 million a day. Bill uses his social media to share statistics, investment opportunities, philanthropic movements and the importance of vaccinations.

Twitter                  @billgates

Facebook            Bill Gates

 

Larry Page

Google

Computer Scientist, Internet Entrepreneur and Co-Founder of Google Inc., Larry revolutionised easy access to information on a grand scale. Instead of minimal, unorganised information and books, Google introduced readily available organised access to specific information. Larry uses his social media pages to share business tips and quotes and the amazing world that is Google Inc.

Twitter                  @q_larrypage

Facebook            Larry Page (Co-Founder of Google, Inc.)

Instagram           larrypageofficial

 

Lisa Messenger

The Messenger Group

Author, Entrepreneur, Founder of The Messenger and Founder and Editor-in-Chief of The Collective. The Messenger Group has expanded rapidly from its humble beginnings in 2001, now including many different aspects of business including, publishing, events, marketing consulting, homewares and a lifestyle website. Lisa uses her social media platforms to encourage entrepreneurs to push the boundaries and cause disruption within business to creating bigger and better things.

Twitter                @LisaMessenger

Facebook            Lisa Messenger

Instagram           lisamessenger

 

These ten Entrepreneurs share a glimpse into their passions, plans, personal lives and businesses allowing their audience to share in the experience and learn lessons along the way. Each of these Entrepreneurs began small, like all start-ups and with hard work, determination and a good idea, have created these amazing companies leading us into the future.