Message from the Manager
Advertising Accidents, Pricing Problems, the future of Franchising, and Suspicious Scams
During the month Dr Michael Schaper, Deputy Commissioner of the Australian Competition
and Consumer Commission (ACCC) delivered a talk at the BEC on Advertising Accidents,
Pricing Problems, the future of Franchising, and Suspicious Scams.
The event was well attended and most of the discussion centered on the right way
to advertise your products and the traps and pitfalls of behaving in a less than
honest way and scams.
Reduce your risk of misleading consumers:
- Sell goods and services only on their merits
- Be honest about what you say and do
- Look at the overall impression of your advertisement – what will a typical customer
think or believe?
The other important component of the presentation was to be on the lookout for
scams, especially as we move into the busy Xmas period.
Clearly scams present a significant risk to small business and here are seven
steps you might implement to avoid scams:
- Have clear procedures for verifying, paying and managing accounts and invoices.
- Limit the number of people authorised to place orders or pay invoices.
- Make sure the firm billing you is the one you normally deal with. Look for subtle
changes in the details.
- Never provide personal information and banking details to anybody you don’t know
- Install reputable computer protection software and a firewall – and keep them
up to date.
- Train your staff to help them identify scam conduct before it’s too late.
- Sign-up to alerts at SCAMwatch.gov.au or follow us @SCAMwatch_gov
This will be my last newsletter until after Christmas. I wish you all a happy
and safe festive season and look forward to staying in contact during the New Year.
INVITATION TO COMPLETE SCAMWATCH WEBSITE SURVEY
The ACCC is currently reviewing the
, which provides the Australian community, including small
businesses, with information about how to recognise, avoid and report scams.
They would greatly value your feedback about the presentation and usability of
the SCAMwatch website. Your observations will allow them to identify possible improvements
to the website.
The ACCC would greatly appreciate your contribution to a
short online survey by Wednesday 10 December.
FREE WEBINAR ABOUT THE NEW FRANCHISING CODE
From 1 January 2015, the current Franchising Code of Conduct will be repealed
and replaced with a new Code which will apply to all franchise systems operating
The Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) is hosting a free
webinar about the new Code – what the main provisions are, the implications for
franchisors and franchisees, and how the ACCC will enforce it.
The ACCC is holding
a free interactive webinar on Tuesday 9 December from 12-1pm AEDT.
Register for this webinar
ESSENTIAL TIPS AND TOOLS FOR SMALL BUSINESSES
Video Now Available
Last month, more than 450 people participated in a free and interactive webinar
with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), Australian Securities
and Investments Commission (ASIC), Australian Tax Office (ATO) and Fair Work Ombudsman
There were presentations and a question and answer session. Some of the topics
included: reducing red tape, tax deductions and keeping up to date with regulatory
Don't worry if you missed the webinar, you can watch it as a video
ACCC YouTube channel
BEC SMALL BUSINESS WORKSHOPS
Looking to start a new business or expand your existing business?
The BEC is all about supporting individuals with sound practical advice from start
up to business growth in the early years.
Our Small Business Workshops provide an introduction to five specific and important
areas of business including business structures and tax, marketing and bookkeeping.
Best of all the workshops are FREE!
Venue: BEC Darwin, 20 Catterthun Street, Winnellie (Lower Level)
10-12 December 2014, 28-30 January 2015
Bookings are essential phone 1800 229 500 or
TIPS TO IMPROVE CONTRACTING AND AVOID DISPUTES
Contracting and payments are the most common small business disputes. Australian
Small Business Commissioner Mark Brennan has developed ten tips to help small businesses
improve their contracting:
- Know who you are dealing with.
- Communicate goals and expectations.
- Put agreed work in writing at the start.
- Agree dispute resolution processes.
- Get advice before you sign.
- Estimate the costs.
- Document changes.
- Manage the contract.
- Get help if you need it.
- Communicate early and often.
Read more on
NEW ASIC VIDEOS TO HELP SMALL BUSINESSES
ASIC has produced a series of videos and handy tutorials to help business use their online services.
The videos and tutorials contain useful information, including how to use ASIC's
online company and business name services, and complete their most popular business
They build on a range of resources recently developed by ASIC to engage and connect
with business, including the ASIC business checks smartphone app.
You can view
INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY 101
What is intellectual property (IP)? And why is it important?
IP is a term that describes the application of the mind to develop something new
or original, for example an invention, brand, design or artistic creation.
IP gives you the ability to protect and profit from your hard work and innovation.
For more information about IP visit the
IP Australia website
, or download the
IP is your business brochure
INDUSTRY GROWTH CENTRES
Consultations on the Industry Growth Centres initiative will be held across Australia.
A session will be held in Darwin on Tuesday 2 December from 3-5pm. The Initiative
will initially focus on five growth sectors in which Australia already has a competitive
- Food and Agribusiness
- Mining Equipment, Technology and Services
- Medical Technologies and Pharmaceuticals
- Advanced Manufacturing
- Oil, Gas and Energy Resources
Industry Growth Centres (Growth Centres) will be established in each of the
five growth sectors to deliver the Initiative. The Growth Centres will:
- improve collaboration between businesses, scientists and researchers, enabling
the adoption of new processes and development of new products;
- increase the commercialisation of new ideas;
- identify ways to remove stifling regulation placing a burden on Australian businesses;
- get more businesses identifying and participating in global supply chains and
- implement skills strategies to future ready the nation’s workforce.
Seats are expected to fill quickly so register your attendance at the
ENTREPRENEURS’ INFRASTRUCTURE PROGRAMME
Need help to innovate and grow?
If your business needs help to grow and commercialise ideas, you can now apply
- Accelerating Commercialisation
- two new Business Management services (Business Growth and Supply Chain Facilitation).
These new programmes are offered as part of the Australian Government’s $484.2
million Entrepreneurs’ Infrastructure Programme. For more information visit the
REGISTER FOR AUSTRALIA BUSINESS WEEK IN INDIA
Registrations are now open for Australia Business Week in India to be held from
12-15 January 2015. Australia Business Week in India will be the largest event
of its kind undertaken by Australia in India and is designed to identify and strengthen
business relationships with Indian businesses. Register now to be part of a comprehensive
multi-city programme of activities and events across India, tailored to ten industry
sectors of opportunity.
Register now online.
SMALL BUSINESS NEWSROOM
Need tax help after hours?
After hours help is available for small businesses from 6pm–9pm (AEDT) Monday–Thursday,
except on national public holidays from the ATO.
Find out more about this and other help from the
Small Business Newsroom online.
The team at BEC Darwin wishes everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New
Year, may the festive season be a happy and healthy one.
The office will be closed from COB Friday 19 December 2014 and will re-open 5