Small Business News and Articles

website structure

Structuring Your Website

Why structuring your website and menus is important. Visual structuring your website is, in most cases, presented by the menu of your website. Permalinks and breadcrumbs assist but these are not important for your visitor. Your main navigation menu is crucial. To keep things orderly and focussed the menu consists of a limited number of top-level items. Ideally,

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social sharing buttons

Social sharing – 3 golden rules

Social sharing is here to stay. Social media platforms will come and go over time. However people are social creatures and love to tell their friends (and in some case families) what they are up to. Social media is great for marketers, but should your business join in the fun? Everyone online knows that social

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Small business late payers

Small Business is Still a Tough Path

A new small business index and report has been launched. It looks at how Australia’s small business landscape of more than two million operators and how they are faring. Not much has improved following an ATO initiative 12 months ago.  The problems of getting paid is still a major concern for business owners. (see ‘Late

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Blog post structure

Business Blog Guidelines

What should you write for your business blog?  Business Blog publishing essentially needs to be interesting and relevant to your audience but also needs to be well structured and easy to consume. Grabbing attention and ensuring readers get to the end and follow through on your desired action are two goals for all online articles. 

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Improve social proof via testimonials

7 Social Proof Website Examples

Using feedback from your existing customers Social proof from your current customers helps when potential customers are researching you online. They’re getting to know you by way of the content of your website. Understandably, many of them might be skeptical or hesitant to trust you right away. To prove the value of what you have to offer, why not let

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Facebook Search

5 Things to Help Facebook Search Find Your Biz

How to make sure you’re found on Facebook search. Heard about Facebook Search? It’s true that Google reigns supreme with over 95% of the online search market. However social media giant, Facebook are actively making changes to grab their slice of the action. Yet despite the potential, Facebook hadn’t in recent years been able to effectively

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Mature Age Workers Great Investment

Mature Age Investment

Mature Age Investment in Human Capital In this post about SMEs employing mature age staff we highlight an excellent article from Inside Small Business.  The article was originally written by Margaret Paton, Journalist/Copywriter, Communications: Keeping It Real.  Taking on a mature-aged workers can mean reaping benefits. Knowledge and experience Hire a worker aged 50 + and you’ll tap

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EOFY Stress

4 EOFY Stress Points and Where to Get Help

End of Financial Year (EOFY) has always been a tough time for small to medium size enterprises. A recent EOFY report published by the Bank of Queensland showed more than a third of small business owners say the end of financial year is the most stressful time of the year. Of the 520 small business

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Contact Forms

3 Reasons Why You Need a Contact Form

Okay so you have your website setup and are open for online business.   Use a Contact Form to fulfill your site goal.  You have decided you key goal is to have site visitors contact you.  You spent a lot of time, energy and money getting potential customers on your page so achieving a completion

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Electronic systems

Protecting Honest Businesses – ATO

Electronic systems are in-favour with the Australia Taxation Office (ATO).  They know that most business owners are honest and that running a business can be difficult. So they are looking at industry-wide patterns so they can see who may need assistance. The ATO say that, unfortunately, there are businesses that operate in the cash and hidden

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Save time and answer questions before they are asked

5 Ways to Save Time With FAQs

Save Time Spent Answering the Same Old Questions. Save time you and your team spend handling everyday enquiries from existing potential customers. We suggest to business operators that they implement a good FAQ page on their websites.  It can be a very powerful tool. In addition to helping establish your expertise, it can boost your

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Online business isn't always easy

Online business isn’t always simple

The following online business article is an excerpt from a recent post by Akiva Szental, Co-Founder, Ozen.  It was published on the Inside Small Business site which I highly recommend.  Akiva outlines some great points for any business operator who is considering the big step of taking their business online. From the outside, starting an online

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Responsive Website

Responsive Website – What It Is, Why You Need It

Everyone expects a responsive website whenever they are online. A ‘responsive website’ is one that delivers the visitor a pleasant visual and functional experience regardless of whether they are using a desktop, laptop, tablet or modern mobile phone.  Any web designer worth hiring has the knowledge, skills and tools to produce a fully functional site

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5 Focus Points to Grow Business in Any Market

5 Focus Points to Grow Business in Any Market

5 Essential Focus Points To Grow Business In Any Market Small business owners can’t change the macroeconomic market conditions in any given period.  However, there are ways to not just survive but thrive even in downmarket times.  Financial crises come and go and the geo-political landscape may look disturbing but local businesses continue to serve

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Cybercrime Awareness

Cybercrime Awareness in Small Business

NSW Small Business Commissioner research SME attitudes and views of cybercrime awareness. The purpose was to better inform stakeholders of cyber crime awareness amongst small to medium-sized business owners in NSW.  While the report only included businesses based in NSW the findings probably exist with enterprises in all states of Australia. What is cybercrime? Cybercrime

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yoast seo

Leave your SEO to Yoast

On-page SEO – Why we use Yoast on all our client websites. From time to time we like to provide a peek behind the curtain in our web development shop by shining a light on the tools we use to build great websites for small businesses. We generally use WordPress for various reasons including how

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Google My Business

Google My Business

Google My Business is Here and it’s free ! Anyone in business selling products or services have probably tried many ways to attract traffic to their websites.  This includes via hits from the various search engines. ‘Page Rank’ particularly from the Google algorithm are impacted by various paid strategies.  These include Pay Per Click (PPC) campaigns

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Brand Logo trends 2017

Brand Logo Ideas for 2017

Your logo is a key asset for your business. They may only take up a small piece of your online real estate but your logo plays a big role in your business. The team over at have put together a great article that outlines the main considerations and goals for online branding. The main

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Website Annoyances

5 Things That Annoy Site Visitors

Website Annoyances Solved with the Right Booking Engine. Keeping visitors on your hotel website can be challenging, but it is an important part of your business. The more difficult it is to navigate your website, the less likely potential guests are to complete their bookings. – Jeff Hamilton from RoomKeyPMS RoomKeyPMS is cloud-powered software that

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Attractive Web Design

6 Elements of Attractive Web Design and Why it’s Important

Attractive Web Design Tips. A Digital Influence Index report from 2012 revealed that 89% of customers searched online ahead of making a purchasing decision (Digital Influence Index 2012). Fast-forward 5 years and you can expect that percentage to be even higher. How does your website stack up in the beauty stakes? Often your website is

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Integrate Reservations on Accommodation Websites

Motel Bookings 6 Website Must Haves

Motel and B&B Website Must Haves. Accommodation providers need an effective customer-facing site.  The overall look of the site needs to be professional and inviting by using modern fonts and top-quality images to encourage site visitors to stay on your page and make a reservation. While it’s tempting to start a blog, it is time-consuming for you and

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Shakespeare and SEO

SEO for Shakespeare

Wherefore art thou Romeo? If Shakespeare had a website and wanted people to find his works he, like all of us online business-people would have to understand Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). At the heart of being found online is ‘Keyword research’ which is a catchall term for the activities you undertake to create a good

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Video for your website

2 Options for Serving Video Content

It’s no surprise that video content is continuing to grow in popularity. The YouTube video platform is the second most used search engine after Google. Creating video content and publishing it on YouTube will assist your website to gain traction with your target audience.  Here are two ways to integrate video on your site so let’s

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Build authority via a blog

Every Website Should Have a Blog Right?

Should every website have a blog? Well maybe not if the time, effort and expense put into it fails to result in meeting your website goals.  The chances that your blog will stand out from the rest is unlikely but that alone doesn’t mean you should decide against blogging. Personal blogs are one thing but

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5 reasons to use a crm

5 Reasons to Use a CRM system

Finding it hard to track your leads? Here’s 5 reasons to use a CRM system. It’s a place to store all of your clients’ contact information in one place. Keeping track of customer and lead information is essential to growing your business and maintaining a healthy client base. Customer relationship management solutions, or CRM, are more than

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womens network

Women’s Online Network for Entrepreneurs

Launched in mid 2016 the Women’s Online Network (WON) is kicking goals for business-savvy ladies in NSW. It is a digital platform enabling female entrepreneurs to network and share resources at any stage of the business cycle. The platform features a suite of resources including business plan templates, business viability assessment tools, an event calendar, creative

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Need help at Christmas

Need New Staff for Christmas?

The festive season is now upon us and for some businesses that may mean a need to employ additional staff. The team at have released some great information and advice if it’s the first time you’ve employed short term staff, or if you haven’t had to hire staff since the last holiday period. Do an internal

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complex bookings

How to Handle Complex Bookings

A solution for businesses which need to handle complex bookings. All service business owners know that while appointment booking may simply be using a book at the front desk next to the phone, it’s not as simple as sticking a person’s name on a calendar. There are several factors that go into scheduling appointments. You can’t

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sms reminder

3 Reasons Appointment Text Reminders Work

Let’s limit the frustration from client no-shows. Okay so you have spent time, money and energy into achieving a client scheduling an appointment.  You don’t want to risk losing the booking but the reality is that people have to make changes to accommodate work, family or leisure activities which may mean they need to re-schedule their

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7 Profitable Collaboration Steps

Ever thought about setting up a collaboration with another business? In a recent post written by Peta Di Palma for this opportunity can “determine the business opportunities you receive, the contracts you win, new clients you get and word-of-mouth referrals you generate”. Peta is a master connector and strategic collaborator.  Based in Sydney her

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Common Concerns About Online Bookings

Will online booking lead to less time talking with clients and less sales as a result? Offering online booking does not have to replace phone call appointment setting. Fitness business websites can offer clients the choice of scheduling via the phone or online.  Some clients are going to prefer the phone and others to schedule

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Don't play email roulette

The First Deadly Round of Email Roulette

Running a business is tough enough without having to deal with email roulette and telephone ping pong. While most of us just grit our teeth and carry on, Gavin Zuchlinski, Founder and CEO of Acuity Scheduling decided to solve the problem that he saw with his Mother’s business.  Now all of us who rely on appointments

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photoshop tips

10 Photoshop Tips for Beginners

Most Photoshop users only use a fraction of the features available. Don’t let the apparent complexity of the tool put you off giving it try.  Everyone with a website or needing to use visuals for social media could benefit from some basic technical knowledge of how to use the great Adobe tool that now reached

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hiring customer service team

Hiring your Customer Service Team

Don’t just trust your gut when hiring. If you are like most managers you probably just trust your gut-feeling when interviewing candidates for positions with your company.  The quality of your customer service team is key to retaining clients, up-selling and managing your reputation so you really need to hire the best people. If you

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Acuity Scheduling now with Memberships

Acuity Scheduling Moves Into Memberships

Taking payments for memberships now integrated in Acuity Scheduling. News was released this week about a major feature enhancement from the Acuity Scheduling team. Why schedule one-off appointments when you can have a client commit to a monthly plan? Can you say hello, predictable, consistent, reliable revenue? Here’s how it works! Say you’re a coach. You

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tax basics webinar

Tax Basics Webinar

Avoid Unwanted Debt – understand tax basics All business operators need to understand how the tax system applies to their business in order to avoid financial ‘surprises/shocks’ down the track.  Unknown debt is unwanted debt so it’s key to make sure you have all the information you need. The Australian Tax Office ATO will be running

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gift voucher

More than Just Bookings – Sell Packages and Gift Vouchers

How do appointment packages and gift vouchers work? Acuity Scheduling is the weapon of choice for savvy business people who are looking for a competitive edge and a robust system to organise their busy operations.  The development team have extended the functionality of the scheduler to also include an e-Commerce facility. Now your clients can buy

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website content

Get Content for your Website

You don’t have to produce all your own content. Having recently completed a project for a group of Driving Schools in Melbourne it was clear that the majority of business owners struggled to find quality content for inclusion on their websites. Despite the best intentions of engaging their potential customers, attempts at written and visual content falls short

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business growth

Online Scheduling Aids Business Growth

Research indicates online scheduling aids business growth. Acuity Scheduling has helped millions of clients book appointments with tens of thousands of companies. In July 2014 they surveyed roughly 19,000 users to learn how they use online appointment scheduling.  They also analysed the times of appointments and when they were booked of a subset of around

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Riding the wave on online bookings

4 companies riding the Online Booking wave

More and more online companies are offering online bookings. Freeing up time to do more business is something all business owners want right?  One way many savvy small business owners are turning to is offering their customers the opportunity of booking appointments, services and facilities online and in their own time – 24/7. Swimming Lessons

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Melbourne Driving School Website Report [Infographic]

The results are in following the review of 61 Melbourne Driving School Websites. As reference points, the site visitor avatar was a learner driver (or their parent) and the site conversion goal was to achieve a booking. The analysis was limited to the websites of the 61 driving schools and their Facebook pages if applicable.  The findings

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Open 24 Hours 7 Days

How to have your Biz Open 24 Hours 7 Days a Week. For businesses that have an established website, offering online booking should boost appointments up to 25%.  There’s no comprehensive and independent study on the impact of integrating online scheduling but there are case-studies that point to evidence of benefits. According to research 35% of people prefer to book

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Out of Order

13 Signs That Indicate You Need Help

Need help maximising your productive time? Sometimes earning more income is less important than reducing your cost overheads.  One of the major time-sucks in business is in getting clients in the front door.  There are plenty of them phoning you, sending you emails and filling in web enquiry forms which is great for business but

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don't be late

Late payers: the silent killer of small businesses

Come on people – pay your bills promptly   Large companies that treat small suppliers “with contempt” by delaying payment times are under the spotlight, with Small Business Ombudsman Kate Carnell saying the problem has become so critical that her office is seriously considering an inquiry.  Carnell says any inquiry would target the huge lags in payment times from some

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Why Stand Out?

Why Don’t Businesses Try to Stand Out?

Business is a competition so why don’t more of them try to stand out from their competitors? Running a business of any size places a range of demands on everyone from the CEO down to the employees managing customer delivery every day. It’s crucial that systems and processes are in place and working efficiently to ensure

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use online bookings

Clients Want Online Scheduling

People are busy – they want online scheduling for all sorts of things. Medical professionals have been offering clients the facility to make online reservations for some time. The cost for the integration is now so affordable there’s nothing stopping any business from getting in on the act. Studies have shown that 90% of customers

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social media channels

Social media channels for small business

Love or hate social media a lot of time is used browsing various social media channels. Overall we spend more than 4 hours a day online and about 3 hours is spent browsing social media. Traditional entertainment like TV gets only 2 hours of our attention today. So if you are running a small business and social

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Google on the rise

Online Scheduling on the Rise in Google

Interesting development in Online Scheduling Visibility Since the middle of 2015 Google have been testing Knowledge Panel feature and Place Actions Forms to allow scheduling via Intuit’s Demand Force with appointment based businesses.  This sees Google integrating online “Make an appointment” software into local businesses’ knowledge graphs more often than it used to. The logical conclusion

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Give your calendar a workout

Small Biz Trend Towards Online Scheduling

Can your business afford to NOT join the trend towards online scheduling? Scheduling online. Nearly all small business operators concede their customers are asking to be able to make online bookings. However, there is still a low percentage take-up.  What is holding them back? The cost to have online scheduling integrated into an existing site

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How To – Online Bookings Part 3

Online Bookings Part 3 – Getting Information from your clients. Setting Up an Intake Form Intake forms are a great way to have any questions relevant to the appointment answered before the client comes in (insurance information, allergies, etc). To create a custom form, go into the Intake Forms section and click Add Form. First, type

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