Small Biz Matters
Latest Regular Update From The Aust Bureau Of Statistics Special Guest John Shepherd, Industry Statistics Division & Bjorn Jarvis Labour Statistics

Latest Regular Update From The Aust Bureau Of Statistics Special Guest John Shepherd, Industry Statistics Division & Bjorn Jarvis Labour Statistics

February 23, 2021

Small Biz Matters – #197 Providing the small business community with educational content and advocacy since 2014
with Alexi Boyd, broadcaster, advocate and small business owner.
Date: 23 February 2021

Time to get excited about statistics. No, really!

As small business owners we are often reminded to learn who our ideal client is and research this with gusto until we have a perfect image in our minds as to who they are and what makes them tick. We normally gather this info from anecdotal experiences and conversations with other business owners or mentors.

But what if all this ideal info like location, B2B details, demographic, political persuasion, customs and habits, and social media use was already easily and freely available.

Well, guess what… it is!

There’s a government department full of real boffins who are passionate about sharing this wealth of knowledge and when it comes to collecting, analysing and delivering this sort of data they’ve made it accessible and useful to small business - and now have a brand new website too!

Its all there for the taking and today we welcome back John Shepherd the General Manager, Industry Statistics Division &  Bjorn Jarvis Head Labour Statistics to explain how and why we should tap into this goldmine of data.

Topics we’ll be covering:

Why should small businesses be across these statistics and how to access specifically the labour force data?

  • How can being aware of labour force data influence your growth decisions as a small business?
  • How can a business navigate their way through the website and what are the most useful sections, in your opinion?
  • Where does the ABS get this data from & how robust & accurate is it?
    • Building on success on ATO’s STP and exploring ways a business can report survey data through their software
    • It’s now real-time rather than based on tax returns which can be months out of date

Sharing the latest ABS updates for small business & new website

  • COVID business survey
  • Patterns and trends
  • Latest retail trade survey
  • Business conditions updates

Why check out the new website?

  • Easy to digest info
  • Start with business snapshot then go and explore the main page
  • Jobs and wages info (from 700,000 businesses) then breaking down by sectors > how can businesses use the data

To find out more go to their website: www.abs.gov.au

About our Guest:

John Shepherd is the General Manager leading the Industry Statistics Division. The Industry Statistics Division is responsible for developing, compiling, analysing and disseminating statistical information across a range of sectors including Agriculture, Environment, Building and Construction, Transport, Tourism, Financial Institutions, Innovation and Technology. The Division also produces Main Economic Indicators including Private New Capital Expenditure, Retail Trade, Business Indicators, Building Approvals, Job Vacancies, New Motor Vehicle Sales and Housing and Lending Finance. The Division includes the Statistical Infrastructure and International Branch, encompassing the International Relations & Regional Statistical Development section, the Business Register Unit and the Statistical Standards and Infrastructure section. The Division is focussed on working with its partners to provide a strong information base for policy development and evaluation. John joined the ABS in June 2019 after a lengthy career at the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).

At the ATO, John held a number of senior roles in his 28 years, including leading significant change programs and projects focused on improving the client experience. John’s most recent role was leading the implementation of the Single Touch Payroll (STP) initiative, enabling employers to report their tax and superannuation information for their employees at the same time as they paid staff. STP aims to streamline business reporting to government and support better tax and super experiences for all employees. John also played an active role in superannuation reform, including leading the implementation of SuperStream and a number of other superannuation reform initiatives including online superannuation account consolidation.

John is a passionate Movember ambassador and fundraiser for men’s health initiatives.

John holds a Masters of Taxation from the University of NSW and is based in Canberra.

Bjorn Jarvis is the head of labour statistics at the ABS. His team produces the wide range of information on the labour market, based on data provided by businesses and  people. He has a passion for how statistics can help businesses, governments, communities and individuals inform their important decisions, and also loves a good graph.

 

February 2021 Update from ASBFEO & Small Biz Matters  With special guest Kate Carnell the Australian Small Business and Family Enterpris­­e Ombudsman

February 2021 Update from ASBFEO & Small Biz Matters With special guest Kate Carnell the Australian Small Business and Family Enterpris­­e Ombudsman

February 19, 2021

Small Biz Matters – #196 Providing the small business community with educational content and advocacy since 2014
with Alexi Boyd, broadcaster, advocate and small business owner.
Date: 14 February 2021

Small Biz Matters is proud to announce our ongoing collaboration with the Australian Small Business and Family Enterpris­­e Ombudsman through regular updates from Kate Carnell about all ASBFEO is doing to advocate and support small businesses.

In the fourth third of the series Kate Carnell will update us about ASBFEO’s response to the crisis facing small business. This week we’re updating you on:

  • Insolvency changes and access to funding for small business since 1Jan2021
  • Temporary restructuring relief - how to get started
  • Why should small businesses familiarise themselves with the Personal Property Securities Register?
  • Access to credit after JobKeeper and how will small businesses cope with its removal?
  • What about those businesses looking to hire additional staff – what do they need to know about JobMaker Hiring Credit

Kate Carnell, as an independent advocate for small business owners, has the legislative power to influence our nation’s lawmakers, ensuring legislation and regulations are put in place to help small businesses grow and in these times, survive.

  • A lot has happened since January 1 – rules around insolvency have changed for one – what do small businesses need to know?
  • Let’s talk about temporary restructuring relief. What is it and how do small businesses get started?
  • There’s a lot of talk about a steep rise in insolvencies this year. Why should small businesses familiarise themselves with the Personal Property Securities Register?
  • JobKeeper is being phased out and that will no doubt put struggling small businesses under pressure – how important is access to credit? (Kate to talk about revenue contingent loan scheme)
  • What about those businesses looking to hire additional staff – what do they need to know? (Kate to talk about JobMaker Hiring Credit)

To find out more go to their website: https://www.asbfeo.gov.au/

About our Guest:

The Ombudsman - Kate Carnell

"In this role I will seek to bring together the many voices within the small business community in a way that promotes growth in this vital sector."

Kate Carnell is the inaugural Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman (ASBFEO).

As the ASBFEO, she is an independent advocate for small business owners.  Her office has the legislative powers needed to effectively influence our nation’s lawmakers, ensuring legislation and regulations are put in place to help small businesses grow.

The ASBFEO office also provides small businesses and family enterprises with assistance should they find themselves involved in a business dispute.

Small businesses are the engine room of the economy; it’s a big reputation to live up to, so we need to do all we can to ensure they have the freedom to innovate, employ and thrive well into the future.

About ASBFEO

Australia is a nation of small businesses and family enterprises.  It’s a dynamic and exciting sector that allows people with an entrepreneurial spirit to pursue their dreams.

One of the fastest growing in the economy, the sector presents many opportunities – and challenges – for those who dedicate themselves to pursing a small business venture.

The ASBFEO's role is to support small businesses and family enterprises to enable them to grow and thrive.

The ASBFEO was launched on 11 March 2016 and has two key functions: to assist and to advocate for small businesses and family enterprises.

ASSIST:

We understand the challenges facing small business owners. We provide access to dispute resolution services for those who may be involved in a disagreement, so they can try and find a solution to their problem without having to go to court.

ADVOCATE:

There are a number of different activities the Ombudsman may conduct in fulfilling the role of small business advocate. Broadly these include:

Conduct inquiries and research

Work with other arms of government

Contribute to other inquiries

Promote good business practice.

Aust Govt vs Google with small business in the middle. Plus, Digital Solutions to jump start your business.

Aust Govt vs Google with small business in the middle. Plus, Digital Solutions to jump start your business.

February 18, 2021

Small Biz Matters – #195 Providing the small business community with educational content and advocacy since 2014
with Alexi Boyd, broadcaster, advocate and small business owner.
Date: 9 February 2021

So the Australian Government in defence of one industry, has decided to take on the giants of the tech world and this may affect that proportion of small businesses that rely on those giants for marketing, sales, data storage, functionality, admin, our processes.... Pretty much everything. I know what you’re thinking - that’s basically all of us.

It’s like a David and Goliath battle with small business playing Piggy in the Middle.

So, how concerned should small business be that this currently slightly worrying news story may implode our businesses? Is the threat real or just grandstanding? Will it turn our online worlds upside down or are we just going to pivot to a new search engine?

There’s no one else who’s better positioned to allay our fears (or perhaps make them worse) than Seamus Byrne. With decades of experience as an Award-winning journalist and broadcaster covering the future of technology, videogames and digital culture he’s going to explain the current situation and what you, as a small business, need to know.

  • What is the fight between google and the gov about?
  • Is the google threat real? Or just a bit of grandstanding to help get their view out?
  • What’s the most likely outcome here? Is there a middle ground? Or is it all or nothing on both sides.
  • Worst case scenario and google leaves ... are we screwed? Or could we adjust to a life of Bing or Duck duck go?
  • How should we prepare as small business? Or is it wait and see what happens?

To find out more go to their website: https://byteside.com/category/shows/byteside/

For many small businesses the thought of digital solutions encompasses a long list of To Dos which can quite frankly, be overwhelming. Between website, social media, admin, maintaining data, compliance and learning all the above, getting a foothold in the digital space is almost as challenging as starting the actual business itself!

So how do you prioritise which digital solution to use for which problem? What aspects are important when getting your business started, ramping it up or growing quickly? And what client behaviours in all of these aspects should influence your decisions?

Dinesh De Silva is the founder of netStripes,  a leading authority on digital innovation and has helped over 7000 businesses to understand and implement digital solutions. He’s joining me in conversation today to help you prioritise the MUST DOs above the nice to have and help you overcome those hurdles of overwhelm to nail all the digital spaces.

  • Behaviour of Consumer/customers have changed dramatically with the pandemic, how can business owners understand and then cater to these changes successfully ?
  • In this new year, what are the top 3 things Small and Medium business must do to keep their businesses progressing despite the pandemic
  • Are there success stories of businesses who have taken these steps in the most affected industries, and what have they done differently?
  • What is stopping a business owners taking this action despite the transformation of results they can achieve

To find out more go to their website: https://www.netstripes.com/

About our Guest:

Dinesh De Silva – Founder of NetStripes

Dinesh is a leading authority on Small and Medium Business Digital Innovation. His current passion is to empower 1 Million SMEs to accelerate their business growth through Digital Innovation, which he believes can change the course of small businesses in this country, whilst creating millions of jobs across the world.

Having worked with over 7,000 business owners in recent years, he is regularly called upon to share these deep insights as a thought leader. Media appearances include ABC News, ABC Radio, Sky Business, Sky News, AFR, and CIO.

What of the future of Manufacturing in Australia? A leader’s thoughts on sustainability, diversification & collaboration. With special guest Ben Joseph, Managing Director at Josco

What of the future of Manufacturing in Australia? A leader’s thoughts on sustainability, diversification & collaboration. With special guest Ben Joseph, Managing Director at Josco

February 16, 2021

Small Biz Matters – #194 Providing the small business community with educational content and advocacy since 2014
with Alexi Boyd, broadcaster, advocate and small business owner.
Date: 2 February 2021

According to our guest Ben Joseph, manufacturing in Australia is the one sector in which you SHOULDN’T niche. With tight margins, a globally competitive industry and fragile supply chains, a lack of diversification can mean you can’t adapt fast. For instance, when a global shutdown strikes how can you pivot your way out of that one? The industry, like all other small businesses, has learned a great deal from 2020. Good, solid processes, tech integration, communication and of course resilience have been necessities for survival into 2021.

Part of Josco’s recipe for success has been solid processes, access to real time data through reliable tech integration but more important than that - communication with key stakeholders. When the world shut down ‘cause of COVID they relied on those relationships to build back up again. And some were in Australia and some overseas. See, diversification in action!

But what of the future of the industry and the reality of being independent in Australia - is it just a pipe dream? Is it the industry which will drive change or does key policy makers have a role to play to shape its future.

Let’s hear from Ben, who has lots to say on the issues of the future of the industry, procedures, tech integration, communication and of course resilience necessary for survival from 2020 into 2021.

  • What would you like to see in terms of the the future of manufacturing in Australia and whether it, in reality, can be sustainable?

    • A “blended” approach and working collaboratively and utilising the skills in which we excel seems to work at the moment
    • But the industry needs to be evolving and adaptable all the time.
    • What did 2020 teach us about globalisation? The fact is there are risks as well as positives
    • What is the Government focusing - innovative manufacturing, reducing the dependency on one nation as our “factory”. Innovation reduces our dependency on nations which provide labour cheaply
  • Describe the affect the COVID crisis had on the manufacturing industry as a whole

    • Disruption of supply chains
    • Breakdown in communication
    • How long did the “panic”last
  • Was it a matter of survival of the fittest or was it something about your processes and procedures which meant you could survive?

    • Why was being aware of your cash flow position and real time data so important?
  • What about the relationships with your suppliers - did they take a beating and did you have to rebuild the trust?
  • What lessons did you learn about business continuity now that you’ve come out the other end?
    • Planning for the future – where do you invest and how do you make those decisions?
    • What do you consider as “Innovation” when reinventing & reinvigorate your business
    • Focus on your strengths
    • Remote working – how to manage staff
    • What are some signs to look out for in for business owners
    • how to use the guide to support the conversation?

To find out more go to their website: https://www.josco.com.au/

About our Guest:

Ben Joseph is the Managing Director of Josco Australia, a trusted Australian owned and operated business supplying hand tools and power tool accessories for nearly 45 years.

Originally from Adelaide, Ben spent his formative years in Perth where he commenced his career before moving back to Adelaide and then ultimately Melbourne 27 years ago.

Throughout his working life, Ben has worked for manufacturers, importers, multinationals and iconic Australian businesses, including Hills Industries and Philips Electronics.

As the second generation in the Josco business Ben has seen the business grow from its formation in a back yard garage, to a business now operating nationally throughout Australia New Zealand and the UK, with major customers including Bunnings, Mitre 10, Total Tools and Blackwoods.

In recent years, Ben has worked actively on the business to transition the business to the generation, becoming the major shareholders together with his other director Maury Chalmers.  In making this change there has been a transformation from a “family business” to a more corporate professional organisation and the disciplines associated with this.  Many of these changes proved highly beneficial as the impact of COVID-19 hit in 2020.

“Trust” is a major focus for both Ben and Josco.  As many of Josco’s products are used in heavy duty applications on powerful power tools, the ability of the products to perform under pressure is critical.  Over many years the products have been put to the test in the toughest Australian conditions and met the challenge.  Josco’s customers and end users “trust” the business and products, for their reliability and ability to get the job done.

Ben is married with 4 sons, one of whom is now the 3rd generation working in the business in a sales capacity.

Who better to financially diagnose 2020 and give 2021 a prognosis, than three giants of the small business accounting world? Broadcasting Receiptbank’s Panel of Accounting Experts

Who better to financially diagnose 2020 and give 2021 a prognosis, than three giants of the small business accounting world? Broadcasting Receiptbank’s Panel of Accounting Experts

January 26, 2021

Small Biz Matters – #193 Providing the small business community with educational content and advocacy since 2014
with Alexi Boyd, broadcaster, advocate and small business owner.
Date: 26 January 2021

Have you ever wondered what your accountant and bookkeeper really thinks? How about tapping into that wealth of expertise to gain an understanding of the transition between 2020 to 2021 and the potential impact on your small business?

Last week I was lucky enough to be invited by ReceiptBank to moderate a panel of such experts; tapping into the knowledge, experience and opinions from three giants of the accounting and bookkeeping world. With hundreds of small businesses between them, this panel brought with them not only a diagnosis on 2020 but a prognosis for 2021.

2021 is sure to be an important year for businesses as they look to bounce back and maintain consistent growth. But for this to be possible, these businesses will need brilliant business-minded accountants supporting them.

Stuart Brandman from 542 Partners, Rebecca Laut from The Business Organiser & Kaia Kaldoja - from BlueRock Books, discussed the ongoing challenges for their industry in 2021, and how cloud accounting technology can help support businesses prepare for success.

Let’s have a listen to what they have to say, and what we can learn from their expertise.

Q1 – Reflecting on 2020, do you believe the challenges the accounting industry faced in 2020 going to bleed into 2021?

Rebecca - advisory has played a major role in growth of the industry. It is a combination of services and depends on the types of businesses we work with. Particularly what at stage of their business their clients are at the time. Some will be growth phase if they were expanding whereas others are in the process of contracting, or even closing . Either way, 2020 has brought with it a more advisory focus.

Stuart – Chat about the stimulus and its impact on clients and practices. Thanks to this major change to legislation we are all playing catchup with timetables and getting back to an even playing field on compliance and challenges. What do you mean by an even playing field? Keeping on top of billable hours - practical tips around how to make

Our roles are busy enough. Finding the space to grow and keep track.

Kaia – expanding on their points and bringing it back around to technology and implementation. How does tech help us to keep on top of advisory and our OWN business growth. We have to remember we too are businesses needing to focus on ourselves!

All - Discussion - What role has tech played in the development of your business in 2020?

Q2 – So speaking of Advisory services, what does that mean from a practical perspective?

Rebecca - what does advisory mean practically? Being a partner to the business, showing interest, being supportive. Genuinely human and knowing the differences between businesses. BUT we don’t take enough time to look at our OWN businesses.

Kaia – Planning your own business should be number 1. Setting up for success. Is it crucial to use the tech products before suggesting your clients. It becomes about people power and some practices might not have the time or staffing to action this.

Stuart – how do you implement change in your own business? How has the format changed? And now we can commoditise it. Tech joining with expertise. And that is a challenge to combining your use and skill with tech and then conveying the message to your clients

All - Discussion - So if the concept of Advisory has evolved because of 2020, did tech evolve fast enough to keep up? In terms of advisory what app in your stack could you not live without?

Q3 - Implementation of tech - how do we find the time to transition to use it better and switch to advisory.

Stuart - what are some practical ways to translate the tech and advisory and compliance?

Stuart

Firstly ask yourself WHY you’re implementing the technology? What is going to enhance the message? THEN look at the best option.  Then look at your team & clients likelihood of using it.

Kaia – practical tips for implementing tech with clients. The client needs to be able to USE it. Get the team on board - set up a competition! Don’t forget your clients needs to know how to use it soo!

Rebecca  – If you’re listening as owner of a a smaller firm, what do you suggest in terms of implementation?

All - Discussion -  Do bigger firms implement tech better because they have the manpower to access, learn and deal with change management?

To find out more go to their website: www.jimmyhalfpenny.com.au 

About our Guests:

Rebecca Laut - Director at The Business Organiser

Rebecca is a cloud software specialist who supports businesses in the design and implementation of cloud technology platforms. Rebecca's work is focused on improving businesses overall efficiency and increasing insight across their financial performance. Recently Rebecca led the technology component of PwC’s Outsourced Finance Solution before moving on to build out a new tech advisory offering in her family business The Business Organiser. In her previous roles with global accounting platform Xero, Rebecca was at the forefront of technology disruption having exposure to global markets and fast-paced growth when the organisation went from start-up to international tech darling.

Kaia Kaldoja - Director at BlueRock Books

Kaia joined BlueRock in 2018 as their superhero Head of Bookkeeping, but her origin story is a little different to most superheroes – she got her first taste of the bookkeeping life by helping her parents painstakingly enter stock orders one by one into an ancient point-of-sale system. This is where Kaia’s love of all things process automation and cloud system integration came from. Kaia gets really excited about new software and cutting edge business technologies that make life easier for clients.

Stuart Brandman - Director at 542 Partners

Having worked in large mid-tier accounting firms for nearly ten years, prior to founding 542 Partners, Stu has worked with a range of businesses in financial accounting, advisory, taxation and business planning matters. Stu specialises in providing virtual CFO services and real business solutions and advice to his clients. From implementing the appropriate accounting software, providing accounting and business advice and conducting strategy sessions, Stu has an impressive skill set.

CISCO’s Webex announcement - will it improve the world of online working for small business and help you adapt in 2021 With Peter Self, Director Cisco

CISCO’s Webex announcement - will it improve the world of online working for small business and help you adapt in 2021 With Peter Self, Director Cisco

January 19, 2021

Small Biz Matters – #192 Providing the small business community with educational content and advocacy since 2014
with Alexi Boyd, broadcaster, advocate and small business owner.
Date: 19 January 2021

Despite changing location, updating tech to stay home, avoiding contact with others, and moving all of our pertinent business data into the cloud we still manage to be interrupted by people with those pesky online meetings! You can’t escape meeting people on a screen but is this new way of interacting an improvement to the way we work; or one giant distraction? Depending on who you talk to and without the right tools, it can certainly be a headache.

So, what’s your Tool of Trade when it comes to online meetings? Have you applied a bandaid to solving the problem with a simplistic software add-on to your app stack or actually thought about what’s best for you and your stakeholders; your employees, your clients and importantly your business itself?

It takes a giant of the tech world to move quickly to adapt along with small business. Companies like CISCO has also adapted in their tech hardware offerings and they recently launched over 150 new features to their WEBEX product. Being at the forefront of worldwide tech means they can be a resource to small business to help us understand what’s available and what these changes mean in 2021 and beyond.

I recently joined CISCO at their worldwide launch and spoke to Peter Self, Director Sales Operations - ANZ Collaboration at Cisco about their vision behind WEBEX and how technology can improve the online meeting experience for all.

  • How the introduction of systems like Webex can encourage collaboration for small businesses, despite meetings not being in person.
  • Spontaneity & equality seems to be a foundation of the new design. Why is this going to revolutionise the way we interact digitally?
    • Meeting templates
    • End to end encryption
    • Hotdesking for small business capabilities
    • Noise removal – no morer you’re on Mute!
    • Immersive sharing
  • What does the mass movement towards online meeting to the concept of community coworking spaces? Has CISCO seen a shift away or a renewed enthusiasm for coworking with everyone returning to their “offices”?
  • Are you going to continue to engage with your small business IT management teams you currently utilise to grow the small business market?
  • What makes WEBEX different from it’s competitors?
    • Hardware will be open but integrated with webex
  • How are you going to train all these small businesses on a whole new system with all these new features ?

To find out more go to their website: https://www.webex.com/

More information on Webex:

Cisco has always been at the heart of innovation and enabling businesses to collaborate. Webex has a rich history of helping employees innovate and remain productive wherever they are. Since the pandemic, Webex has not only continued to help businesses thrive, it has also been an integral platform for governments to continue to lead remotely, doctors to meet with patients safely, and educators to teach students at a distance.

The announcement of the latest innovations come as companies across the world are preparing for a ‘hybrid’ future of work – where employees move between office-based and remote working with greater frequency – in a post pandemic world.

Recently, Cisco announced a wave of new Webex innovations that enables seamless, smart and secure collaboration for organisations to deliver the best inclusive virtual experiences that are 10x better than in-person interactions.

The all new Webex provides a single secure place for connecting and getting things done – call, meet and message in one app. New features include:

  • noise cancellation and speech enhancement
  • transcriptions and closed captioning
  • highlights and action items
  • real-time language translation
  • In-meeting gestures powered by body movement recognition
  • enhanced video layouts and Webex Huddle (spontaneous meetings with a single click)
  • a number of AI-powered features in messaging and new calling features help you focus on what matters most

About our Guest:

Peter Self is the Director for Cisco Collaboration in Australia and New Zealand. In this role, Peter is responsible for the continued growth and adoption of Cisco’s Collaboration technology in the context of all Cisco’s technology and services within Australia and New Zealand

Being Government ready - are you ready to procure to the biggest client possible? With special guest Thomas Pollock from THINQ Learning

Being Government ready - are you ready to procure to the biggest client possible? With special guest Thomas Pollock from THINQ Learning

January 11, 2021

Small Biz Matters – #191 Providing the small business community with educational content and advocacy since 2014
with Alexi Boyd, broadcaster, advocate and small business owner.
Date: 11 January 2021

Apparently, there’s a fair amount of government money flying around as a result of a pandemic and it’s up for grabs if you just know where to look. No matter which side of politics you fall we all have to agree that the Australian economy and the Australian Government came into this COVID induced recession in the best possible position.

And small businesses should be at the front of procuring and receiving this investment. We are, after all the engine room of the economy, the most innovative sector and the collectively, the biggest employer.

So how do you access, apply for and eventually receive a piece of this pie? Of course there are processes to follow (as all things government) and these can be onerous (because Government) and difficult for small businesses to understand.

Joining us on Small Biz Matters this week is Thomas Pollock from THINQ Learning, who will give us top tips on making your business grant-ready so you can confidently apply for that pool of government funding a grow your business!

QUESTIONS

  • Is it true that many small businesses don’t bother to compete for government contracts, simply because they believe larger corporates will always beat them?
  • What holds a small business back from competing for a government contract?
  • How valuable can Government contracts be to small businesses?
  • Through your book as well as you own personal experience as a business owner, you understand how to win government contracts. Can you share some of your secrets?
  • Can a business survive on government contracts alone?
  • If you were a small business owner today, and you’d just made the decision to try and win Government business, what would your first steps be?
    • Why does business need to know about the process and how is it different from winning other clients’ business?
  • In your book you talk about the importance of small business increasing their ‘Government IQ’. What exactly do you mean by that?

    • What not to do – what can listeners learn from your experience at missing out on winning that lucrative Govt contract
    • Does it make a difference if you’re dealing with state, local or federal level of government?
    • Is the process fundamentally different when applying for grants as opposed to winning govt contracts?
  • Any advice to a small business which has just won its first Government contract?
  • Through your tool, what are the main areas that your experience has shown small businesses need to work on?

To find out more go to their website: https://thinqlearning.com.au/

About our Guest:

Thomas Pollock is the Founder of THINQ Learning, and the author of the book Winning Government Business: The 6 Rules and 9 Absolutes for Small to Medium Businesses.  In a continuing 22-year business journey, Thomas progressed from BDM, to Operations, Sales, then General Manager of an education and professional services organisation.  Realising that the business was missing out on one of the biggest revenue pools, Thomas set himself the task of finding a way through the confusing maze that Government procurement can be.  Following a lot of hard work, wins, losses, and everything in between, Thomas ensured 23% of the business's total revenue came directly from the Government sector, easily making it the largest customer for the business. 

Thomas's working life is now taken up with THINQ Learning, helping Queensland small businesses find and open Government revenue streams, and ensuring they don't make the same mistakes he did.

Start 2021 with a different kind of innovation - creativity. Special guest Melony Smirniotis, Visual Artist & owner of Gallery11:11 Studio & Art space

Start 2021 with a different kind of innovation - creativity. Special guest Melony Smirniotis, Visual Artist & owner of Gallery11:11 Studio & Art space

January 11, 2021

Small Biz Matters – #190 Providing the small business community with educational content and advocacy since 2014
with Alexi Boyd, broadcaster, advocate and small business owner.
Date: 11 January 2021

Many would say 2020 may not have been the perfect time when it came to setting up an art gallery in suburban Sydney but it WAS the perfect time to bring together community, support local small businesses and offer a platform for creative minds to flourish in a difficult time.

So really, it WAS the perfect time to establish a suburban art gallery!

So what does it take to set up a creative space in the middle of a pandemic? And, to make it a success? With a background as teacher, artist and creative, Melony Smirniotis knows how creativity can both foster innovation and support the community. As she states, “The art making process nourishes, challenges, provokes, humbles and provides grounding and perspective”

Coupled with a desire to provide artists with a space to shine, Melony recognised the potential of the Epping community and the resilience of it’s artists to create a space in which the whole community could benefit, and prosper. Today, she hopes to help other businesses to learn from her experience, innovation and creative success.

  • Why build an Art gallery in North Epping?

    • How did you recognise the potential for what is essentially quite a suburban landscape? How did you research the area to create an artistic space that would be welcomed into the local community?
    • What part do you think local, community based
  • How do you choose Artist's to exhibit and also to teach workshops?
    • What does it take to recognise artistic talent in others, what background do you need?
  • How do you sustain momentum in regard to innovation? How do you keep content fresh and constantly evolving?
  • Describe a few of the upcoming exhibitions in regard to narrative and practice and the way they fit into the local community and the broader artistic community?

To find out more go to their website: https://www.gallery1111.net/

About our Guest:

Melony Kara Smirniotis, a textural expressionist, is the founder and owner of Gallery 11:11 Studio and Art space in the leafy suburb of North Epping. Completing a Bachelor of Fine Arts at the University of Western Sydney, Nepean in 1998 marked the beginning of taking her artwork to a new level.  Post University studies, teaching, exhibiting and curating have been Melony's key areas of focus in the past two decades.

 “The art making process nourishes, challenges, provokes, humbles and provides grounding and perspective. My surroundings constantly influence her technique and choice of materials”.

Melony has a permanent body of work showcased in her gallery and in the Blue Mountains at Gallery One88 Fine Arts. She currently works from her gallery / studio in North Epping, Gallery 11:11 Studio & Art Space.

 Texture and colour, light and movement remain a constant source of painting inspiration. Such elements are observed and recorded on a conscious and subconscious level daily. This collection of thoughts and experiences tend to build and then eventually pour out into the canvas. She remains open to the concept of change pushing herself to engage in the exploration of tools and mediums. Her constant is the tactility of her work and the subject matter that being nature. Melony aspires to create work that evokes emotion and warms the soul, celebrating natural surroundings.

When is it time for a Small Business Intervention?  With special guest Tulsi van de Graaff, Communication and Conflict Expert, Brave People Solutions

When is it time for a Small Business Intervention? With special guest Tulsi van de Graaff, Communication and Conflict Expert, Brave People Solutions

December 10, 2020

Small Biz Matters – #189 Providing the small business community with educational content and advocacy since 2014
with Alexi Boyd, broadcaster, advocate and small business owner.
Date: 30 November 2020

It’s pretty difficult these days to run a small business and be free of the conflict experience. From managing staff to negotiating with suppliers and clients, it’s bound to happen at some point. And then there’s the serious conflict scenarios such as between business partners or family members which, when you add personal life into the mix, can be very destructive.

Because we ourselves are human who are dealing with humans we can come across conflict pretty regularly in our everyday business dealings.

So if the human aspect of running a small business can’t be removed and the threat of conflict is ever present, what can we as small business owners do to mitigate the risk? And when is the best time to seek help when it threatens to overwhelm you and all you’ve worked for?

As always, it’s always best to get support before your business is threatened so here today with us is Tulsi van de Graaff, Conflict Expert with Brave People Solutions to take us through some strategies and help us understand what conflict resolution looks like and how it can help.

Topics we’ll be covering:

  • What the difference between working with corporates and small business

    • It’s a missing link – the people side of things breaking down undermines everything
    • Everyone is tiptoeing around issues, not calling out the wrong or inappropriate action
  • What do the steps to reconciliation look like?
    • How do you recognise conflict before it becomes all out war?
    • Signs that things are unravelling
    • How do you miss them?
  • Is it just a matter of being present in the office? No, it goes to the hart of communication and being valued. We need to know what our role is, and what the expectations are.
    • The timing is important.
  • What do the conversations look like ?
    • Start with the basics – do what is my role?
    • Without that people can feel unsupported.
  • Teaching the leaders how to lead – and that can be you the business owner.

To find out more go to their website: https://bravepeoplesolutions.com.au/

About our Guest:

Tulsi is a partner at Brave People Solutions and a former lawyer with a psychology degree and a mediation, coaching, investigation and counselling background. For the last 10 years she has worked with organisations including small businesses, to solve their communication, conflict, leadership and workplace culture challenges and build impressive and strong teams, leaders, and workplaces.  

Tulsi presents on various topics including communication, conflict resolution, building a positive performance culture and leadership and teaches Masters of Science students on Communication and Conflict Management.  She has written articles on a range of topics including resilience, communication, conflict resolution and building a positive performance culture including for Wellbeing Magazine and the Australian Journal of Pharmacy.

Tulsi previously worked at the Australian Human Rights Commission investigating and mediating discrimination complaints, was a child protection investigator for the Department of Education and a pre-marriage counsellor for CatholicCare.

Tulsi is also a passionate volunteer at Dress for Success, a charity that supports women in need find employment and runs workshops including on resilience, self esteem and confidence.

With special guest Kate Carnell the Australian Small Business and Family Enterpris­­e Ombudsman

With special guest Kate Carnell the Australian Small Business and Family Enterpris­­e Ombudsman

December 8, 2020

Small Biz Matters – #188 Providing the small business community with educational content and advocacy since 2014
with Alexi Boyd, broadcaster, advocate and small business owner.
Date: 19 November 2020

Small Biz Matters is proud to announce our ongoing collaboration with the Australian Small Business and Family Enterpris­­e Ombudsman through regular updates from Kate Carnell about all ASBFEO is doing to advocate and support small businesses.

In the third of the series Kate Carnell will update us about ASBFEO’s response to the crisis facing small business. This week we’re updating you on:

  • Insolvency changes and access to funding for small business
  • Access to funding
  • What’s the Australian Business Growth fund and how can small businesses access this resource?
  • The latest update on the Business Funding Guide - further improvements thanks to the learnings from COVID; the changes to trading conditions and a practical HOW TO pathway to becoming financially fit

Kate Carnell, as an independent advocate for small business owners, has the legislative power to influence our nation’s lawmakers, ensuring legislation and regulations are put in place to help small businesses grow and in these times, survive.

Welcome back to the show Kate Carnell.

  • Insolvency changes and access to funding for small business

    • Why is it so important that small businesses are aware of these changes and the associated timelines?
    • What do the reforms mean to the way you structure debt when you are restructuring or winding up a business
    • Who is at risk of failure?
  • Access to funding
    • How has ASBFEO assisted with encouraging Federal policy makers to make it easier for small business to access finance?
    • What’s often at risk when increasing funding
  • What’s the Australian Business Growth fund and how can small businesses access this resource?
    • Why was this established and who is eligible?
    • Where has this model come from?
  • The latest update on the Business Funding Guide - further improvements thanks to the learnings from COVID; the changes to trading conditions and a practical HOW TO pathway to becoming financially fit
  • Commercial tenancies - who’s helping who here?
  • Insolvency laws and what it means to be trading insolvent right now

To find out more go to their website: https://www.asbfeo.gov.au/

About our Guest:

The Ombudsman - Kate Carnell

"In this role I will seek to bring together the many voices within the small business community in a way that promotes growth in this vital sector."

Kate Carnell is the inaugural Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman (ASBFEO).

As the ASBFEO, she is an independent advocate for small business owners.  Her office has the legislative powers needed to effectively influence our nation’s lawmakers, ensuring legislation and regulations are put in place to help small businesses grow.

The ASBFEO office also provides small businesses and family enterprises with assistance should they find themselves involved in a business dispute.

Small businesses are the engine room of the economy; it’s a big reputation to live up to, so we need to do all we can to ensure they have the freedom to innovate, employ and thrive well into the future.

About ASBFEO

Australia is a nation of small businesses and family enterprises.  It’s a dynamic and exciting sector that allows people with an entrepreneurial spirit to pursue their dreams.

One of the fastest growing in the economy, the sector presents many opportunities – and challenges – for those who dedicate themselves to pursing a small business venture.

The ASBFEO's role is to support small businesses and family enterprises to enable them to grow and thrive.

The ASBFEO was launched on 11 March 2016 and has two key functions: to assist and to advocate for small businesses and family enterprises.

ASSIST:

We understand the challenges facing small business owners. We provide access to dispute resolution services for those who may be involved in a disagreement, so they can try and find a solution to their problem without having to go to court.

ADVOCATE:

There are a number of different activities the Ombudsman may conduct in fulfilling the role of small business advocate. Broadly these include:

Conduct inquiries and research

Work with other arms of government

Contribute to other inquiries

Promote good business practice.

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