Latest News

  • Carbon cleansing – tips for SMEs on turning green

    Virginia Harrison     |      November 3, 2010

    Thinking about shifting your business into carbon neutral but not sure where to start?
     

    Pressure on big companies to take responsibility for their impact on the environment has resulted in a swelling of the carbon neutral club, with the National Australia Bank one of the latest companies to join the ranks. But business insights firm Dun & Bradstreet says this kind of corporate responsibility isn’t just for the top end of town.<--break->

  • RBA shocks with Melbourne Cup rate rise

    Virginia Harrison     |      November 2, 2010

    The Reserve Bank has delivered a surprise blow to borrowers by raising interest rates for the first time since May.


    The central bank lifted the official cash rate by a quarter of a per cent to 4.75 per cent. Most economists had tipped the RBA would leave rates unchanged in November after the release of soft inflation figures last week.   

  • Medium-size enterprises tougher than the rest

    Virginia Harrison     |      October 29, 2010


    Medium-sized enterprises demonstrated the highest survival rates during the economic downturn according to the latest report from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).


    Fewer new businesses were registered last year, to bring the number of actively trading enterprises in Australia down by 1 per cent. Australia has more than 2 million registered businesses. Medium-size enterprises held steady at 4 per cent of all actively trading businesses.


  • Success without profit – the business of giving

    Virginia Harrison     |      October 29, 2010

    BIG on heart but light on funds, the not-for-profit sector faces a unique set of survival challenges. Find out how Margaret Flynn turned a $3,000 budget into revenues of more than $10 million and helped thousands of people in the process.

    Flynn is the CEO of CentaCare Wilcannia-Forbes, an organisation which provides communities with counselling, youth and family support, and work-based education and training programs. It services around 200,000 people in western NSW, scattered across an area than spans more than half of the state.

  • Fresh challenges require smart strategies for business growth

    Virginia Harrison     |      October 29, 2010

    ACCESS to finance and currency fears are among the key concerns for businesses as they seek to drive growth and position for an economic upturn.

    The Australian Industry/Deloitte Private survey Growth Strategies for Business found improving market share, forming alliances and taking part in mergers are the leading strategies businesses are implementing for growth.

  • New time calls for new rules – First 5000 puts the individual back in business

    Peter Fritz     |      October 25, 2010

    When I was a child I must have hated authority. It might have been because I was brought up in a Communist country where authority was pervasive.

    I never wanted to be run by anybody but myself and that has stayed with me.

    I believe people should not have to ask permission to do things, or to have their thoughts filtered through others. In Australia we have a democratic framework which allows people to live their lives more or less the way they want to.

  • First 5000 & the NSW economy

    Barry Buffier     |      October 25, 2010

    On Wednesday 20 October 2010 I had the pleasure of being invited to say a few words at the launch of First 5000.


    I was actually standing in for the Minister for Small Business Frank Terenzini, who had to attend to some urgent business at the last minute. It was a great pleasure, because First 5000 ties in perfectly with my normal role.


    This blog is based on the address I gave on the day.

  • Uncategorised

    Middle Business Syndrome

    Virginia Harrison     |      October 19, 2010

    Virginia HarrisonAustralia is suffering from a clear case of middle-business syndrome. A highly-profitable but largely disconnected segment of the economic landscape exists without a united voice, or space to engage with one another.

    Small business is often described as the engine room of the Australian economy, while large corporations wield their own brand of power. Both groups enjoy strong united voices that shape policy decisions.

    But what lies the middle? Wedged in between these two well-represented groups is an often overlooked slice of the business landscape.

  • Medium Enterprises to lead productivity boom through innovation

    Virginia Harrison     |      October 19, 2010

    Jonathan CoppelMid-size companies hold the key to boost Australia’s innovation record and narrow the global productivity gap, according to top-ranking economic official.

    Jonathan Coppel is the economic counselor to the Secretary-General of the Organisation of Economic Development (OECD), a role which contains a particular focus on preparing the OECD’s contributions to the G20.

    He said the small and medium-sized enterprises are “squarely on the G20 agenda”.

  • UPDATE: Don’t ignore the power of direct mail

    Virginia Harrison     |      October 19, 2010

    When was the last time you hand-wrote a letter?

    As we become increasingly tied to our computer and mobile screens, it’s easy to overlook traditional means of communication in favour of the instantaneous and often cheaper digital alternatives.

    But commercial insights firm Dun & Bradstreet warns businesses not to ignore direct mail in their marketing strategies.

  • Tax breaks not the recipe for economic growth

    Virginia Harrison     |      October 19, 2010

    Prof Beth WalkerMEDIUM-size enterprises are the poor cousins of big business with little policy influence, despite their powerful productive capacity.

    Professor Beth Walker from Edith Cowan University (ECU) School of Management argues both sides of politics have failed on business policy. Perhaps it’s time for a medium-enterprise caucus.

    “Neither side had any policy this election. They always talk about reducing the tax rate, but it’s such a tiny amount for most businesses. It doesn’t add up to much. They talk about putting in some small incentive. None of them came up with any new initiatives about how to get more productivity.” She said.

  • Getting old gracefully: how to prepare for the ageing workforce

    Virginia Harrison     |      October 19, 2010

    Adrian WalshBUSINESSES are in a race against time as more workers enter retirement and leave companies parched of skills, experience and resources.

    Managing Director of Adrian Walsh & Associates Adrian Walsh has provided human resources, consulting and business development services to the mid-size market for more than 20 years.

    He says employers underestimate the threat the ageing population will have on their business.

  • Beware the inside job

    Virginia Harrison     |      October 19, 2010

     


    Smaller businesses face a much higher chance of employee fraud than large organisations. Forensic accountant Arnold Shields tells how companies can minimise the risk of an inside job.

    The $20 million embezzlement by a former accountant of Clive Peeters which brought the electronics retailer to its knees sounded a fresh warning to management on fraud controls.

  • Price-fixing: Using technology to raise retail margins

    Virginia Harrison     |      October 19, 2010

    Michael WaymarkAt nearly eight o’clock on a Friday night a liquor-store owner scans his shelves and makes a competitive decision – time to bump the prices up 10 per cent.

    It’s a move many retailers execute at peak times, requiring manpower to print the updated labels and manually change them throughout the store.

    Imagine if with the press of a button, you could change all the prices across your store at once.

  • Invest in people and exploit digital tools to understand your customers

    Virginia Harrison     |      October 19, 2010

    Nicola FeeneyMarketing guru Nicola Feeney explains how mid-size companies can brand better.

    ‘Make sure you have a unsubscribe button’ is a key message marketing expert Nicola Feeney offers clients trying to come to grips with advertising in the digital age.

    Telling potential clients to ignore you might sound odd, but with more than two decades of experience Ms Feeney’s approach of ‘communicate, don’t stalk’ has paid dividends for scores of organisations.