Message from the Manager
The year has well and truly kicked off with plenty to do and I hope for everybody, plenty of great prospects.
I am penning this message from Alice Springs where the temperature is hot and the flies
are a plenty.
I have the pleasure of coming to Alice about four times a year usually to run workshops
for clients wanting to start small businesses. We always get a great response to these
workshops in the Alice and the entrepreneurial spirit of people in central Australia
is always inspiring.
When I visit a region I always try to get some intelligence on how the local economy is
travelling, what is influencing it and what opportunities might exist for new businesses.
The Alice economy is built around tourism, the pastoral sector, Government and some
mining. Of course the Pine Gap “space base’ also significantly contributes towards
the economic activity in the town.
The tourist operators I have spoken to tell me that January was a very good month and officers
from the local Department of Business also indicate that the information they are receiving
indicates things are on the improve for this very important sector. I hope they are
right. Certainly the lower Australian dollar is helping.
Traders in the Alice Springs mall are still facing significant challenges especially with
the large numbers of vacant shops and a complete lack of “atmosphere” in the centre
How can this be fixed? I don’t think totally relying on the landlords who own the vacant
properties will sort the problem. I am sure as much as everybody else, they would also
love to see an inviting and vibrant mall in operation.
Perhaps their needs to be a significant intervention by the Council and the NT Government
to lead the way?
Would anyone like to comment on how the mall can be transformed into the lively city centre
that it deserves to be?
NOMINATIONS OPEN FOR 2016 TELSTRA BUSINESS AWARDS
If you do your thing brilliantly, or know a business that does, nominate today for the 2016 Telstra Business Awards.
Winners are seen as the best in the business, enjoying public recognition, unique networking
opportunities and a share of up to $800 000 in prizes.
Every entrant receives a comprehensive Business Health Check to help do their thing
New in 2016 is a Charity Award and the Medium category now includes businesses with
up to 500 employees.
Entries close 23 March 2016.
Nominate now at www.telstrabusinessawards.com or call 1800 AWARDS.
AUSTRALIAN SMALL BUSINESS ADVISORY SERVICE PROGRAMME
BEC Darwin is a proud provider of low cost business advisory services as part of the ASBAS program.
The ASBAS program includes online and face to face business consultations, mentoring
with an expert business advisor, completion of a business diagnostic tool, delivery
of relevant small business workshops and seminars and access to a panel of professional
business advisors, all designed and coordinated to assist businesses improve profits
and reduce costs.
Our workshops cover five streams of assistance:
1. Funding avenues and financial analysis
2. Building your business
3. Making the most of your talent and team
4. Management capabilities
5. Digital engagement implementation
All workshops run for 2 hours from 7.30am – 9.30am and cost only $55 to attend.
Limited places are available so book online today.
- Supply Chain Management
Tuesday 1 March
- Pros and Cons of a Partnership Agreement
Thursday 3 March
- Managing Staff - Maximising Performance
Tuesday 8 March
- Termination and/or Redundancy - the right way
Thursday 10 March
- Hire, Manage, Fire... The right way
Tuesday 15 March
- Cash Flow Management Strategies
Thursday 17 March
- E-Business Security - Do you Measure Up?
Thursday 24 March
FEBRUARY TERRIFIC TIPS FROM JUREK LEON
Jurek Leon’s Terrific Tips e-newsletter that is packed with anecdotes, ideas and examples
on service excellence, customer focused selling, motivation and marketing.
As a speaker, trainer and retail consultant Jurek Leon provides entertaining, energising
seminars and workshops are filled with practical tips, ideas and down-to-earth
examples on word-of-mouth marketing, motivation, customer focused selling and designing
and managing the customer experience.
The February edition is filled with more great advice and tips including tactics to reduce no-shows
and words that work.
Sign up here for your monthly dose of Jurek style inspiration, and let us know what you think.
BEC SMALL BUSINESS WORKSHOPS
Make 2016 the year you kick-start your own small business.
We can help you with our FREE Small Business Workshops introducing you to five specific
and important areas of business including business structures and tax, marketing
Venue: BEC Darwin, 20 Catterthun Street, Winnellie (Lower Level)
Dates: 21-23 March, 26-28 April, 23-25 May
Venue: Katherine Regional Training Centre, 19 Second Street, Katherine
Dates: 30-31 March
Venue: Quest, 18 The Boulevard, Palmerston
Dates: 4-6 April
- Alice Springs
Venue: QUEST, 9-10 South Terrace, The Gap, Alice Springs
Dates: 5-6 May
Bookings are essential, register online.
The ACCC has released its latest biannual Small business in focus report, which has a continuing focus
on the protection of small businesses. This report highlights some of the ACCC’s
key work in the small business and franchising sectors between 1 July and 31 December
2015, and contains the latest small business and franchising complaints data.
To help businesses big and small to make sense of the new law, the ACCC together with
the Australian Securities and Investments Commission, is holding a free interactive
webinar on 16 March 2016.
This webinar will provide a general overview of the new protections and, if your business
offers standard form contracts to other businesses, what you need to do before
the law takes effect on 12 November 2016.
You can register for the live webinar now.
A new program of events called Open Territory will be driven by the Northern Territory Government’s Department of Business in 2016.
Open Territory will provide NT businesses, including small to medium enterprises (SMEs),
with new means to enhance their national and international profiles. From March
– May 2016 the program will include expos, guest speakers, conferences, and sporting
and cultural events across the Territory.
Visit the website for more information.
BETTER BUSINESS HABITS DARWIN NETWORKING BREAKFAST
The Better Business Habits Darwin Networking Breakfast brings businesses together that
are looking to grow their businesses through referrals, and word of mouth marketing.
Every member present is interested not only in generating new business for themselves,
but also helping to support other members to generate business. Add this to the
social aspect of creating relationships with people that you previously did not
associate with – and it starts to make great business sense.
For information on how to come along as a guest or to find out about membership email
President Sarah Roberts, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the website.
SPECIAL MARCH OFFER FROM REGUS: HELPING YOUR BUSINESS WORK FLEXIBLY
If you’re one of the many entrepreneurial Territorians looking to set up and manage
a new or existing business, global workplace provider Regus is the perfect starting point for budding entrepreneurs,
start-up businesses, right through to large corporations looking to expand and
Regus’ products and services allow for all of our clients to concentrate on their core
business, and use their talents to best effect. If you’re a start-up or growing
business, Regus can provide your business with:
- Fully equipped professional offices
- Virtual offices
- Conference rooms, meeting rooms, and business lounges
- The world’s largest network of video communication studios
Become a Businessworld customer and join Regus’ exclusive membership program offering
four levels of service. Through this, Regus will provide you with access to business
lounges and shared or private office space within any of its 3000 centres across
To help you make the move, during the month of March, Regus Darwin is offering:
- One hour meeting room usage at no charge
- One day private office usage at no charge
Situated on level 16 of Darwin’s iconic Charles Darwin Centre, with 360 degree views
of Darwin’s waterfront and with a team of experienced and professional staff, Regus
Darwin can help your business succeed. For more inquiries and to hear the terms
and conditions, please contact the Regus Darwin team on 1800 983 843.
Latest News from the Australian Taxation Office
SPECIAL OFFER FROM INSIDE SMALL BUSINESS MAGAZINE
Don’t miss out on this great offer for a FREE initial copy of the Inside Small Business magazine then take up the special subscription
offer of five issues for the price of four if you sign up before 31 March 2016.
The magazine is a fantastic resource to keep the Australian small-business community
up to date on topics relevant to the small-business market.
To register for your FREE magazine email us at email@example.com
BISI INNOVATION GRANTS - ROUND 3 OPEN
Innovation grants under the Business Innovation Support Initiatives (BISI) program
are now open via a competitive application process. The BISI grants provide up
to 50% support for eligible projects, with a limited number of grants worth up
to $60 000.
Open from Monday 15 February 2016 to 15 May 2016, this is a great opportunity for businesses
to gain assistance with an innovative project to support their business.
Businesses may also apply for the Innovation voucher scheme which is open all year
round, and provides up to 60% support for eligible projects, with each voucher
worth up to $25 000.
Read and download the full guidelines and apply online at www.dob.nt.gov.au/bisi
Industry Capability Network (ICN) is a business network that introduces Australian and New Zealand companies to projects large and small.
Their newsletter covers important news for industry and business including updates
on major projects such as Shell Prelude FLNG, Eni, Mount Peake, Chandler Salt Mine,
Nolans Project, Central Tanami, Project Sea Dragon, Mereenie Inner Loop, RAAF Base
Tindal Works, Northern Gas Pipeline, Ichthys LNG and the Mount Isa to Tennant Creek
Subscribe to their newsletter here.
BUSINESS TECHNOLOGY TIPS
from Ben Hockley at Ricoh Darwin
One thing’s for sure about business these days and that is that nothing stays the same.
Markets grow and contract, workers are more transient, costs rise and... rise.
So it’s critical to be constantly assessing your business practices to make sure
your people, processes and tools are up to date and fit to fight the good fight.
Regularly reviewing and optimising means your business can weather the storms and continue
to grow and prosper. These days technology can be an important driver to business
innovation and is often the facilitator to improved productivity and happier employee/customer
But technology upgrades can be a significant financial burden on your business cash
flow and hence the use of multiyear finance is a popular option. The best advice
is always to consult your accountant to discuss the best method of acquisition
for your financial position.
The standard rental contract can be a wonderful enabler of technology in the business
and can provide the flexibility to adapt and change technology with the business
But there are traps and pitfalls to be aware of when you enter these agreements. Here
are some points to clarify with your vendor before proceeding.
- What happens at the end of the term? We see a lot of agreements that require a
significant notification period before the agreement ends. So you may think
your photocopier contract ends in six months but some onerous contracts ask
for a 3 month notification period or it rolls over for another 12 months. Be
sure that any agreement you enter does not require more than one month’s notice.
- Look out for terms that talk about different cancelation charges if you want to
leave to a competitor. We see them a lot and it’s a type of unconscionable
conduct that seems to go under the radar. Best to ensure up front that any
new contract does not include provisions like this.
- The terms and conditions on the back of most finance documents are written for
corporate lawyers so if you are in small business just ask the salesperson
to write you an email clarifying the important conditions in human speak. This
way you will always have a record of what everyone’s understanding was.
If you need advice or a second opinion about whether your technology contracts are
fair and ethical then the team at Ricoh Darwin would be happy to give you a hand.
'INSIDE SMALL BUSINESS' MAGAZINE
The voice of micro and small business - supporting the BEC network across Australia