There is a lot of advice and information published by a diverse range of people and organisations. I’m finding Blogs are just as good and in many cases better than the traditional organisations who have been around for ages.
So here is a mix of both informal and formal and they’re loosely grouped under the following headings: Marketing Ideas, Developing a business plan and everything that goes with it, Networking & Motivation and Industry Groups.
Also click on the Business Resources Tab where we mention the local Business associations and State and Federal Government assisstance programmes.
Web Site Development
So lets start with the big one – your web site. You can’t go anywhere these days without one. It is like not having a front door to your premises. It is essential – full stop.
What’s more, web sites are relatively inexpensive and easy to create. Nothing like as complicated or expensive as theyonce were. You can easily access free software for setting up a web site yourself or getting some help along the way very reasonably – some examples below. But be prepared that the free sites do come with advertising and developing your own web site or publishing your business on free classified sites does take time. But don’t let that stop you from having a site at all. Here are three providers worth checking out….
Writing your web site is the key to making the site work for you. No longer is it good enough to have a “presence” on the web. The site has to be effective and boost your business.
Understanding the customer is much discussed but few are as generous in offering assistance in this area as Bernadette Jiwa. Her web site The Story of Telling is full of insightful comments and helpful ideas. Her main area or skill is branding but she extends and shines a light into all the dark corners of marketing and publicity.
Writing your landing page for your web site is a challenge. Here are 10 hints from A Story of Telling
http://www.handleyourownpr.com.au Here’s the ‘do it yourself PR’ website –
http://www.sourcebottle.com.au this one is good for Media Releases, businesses can post their stories which Journalists may then pick up and write about.
http://www.socialmention.com and http://www.google.com/alerts are great because businesses can find out what is being said about them online.
http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com – a good newsletter type site about social media.
http://mashable.com/how-to/ – an excellent guide for using Social Media, getting your smart phone to do more and on and on and on. . . . . .
http://perth.locanto.com.au/ A local free classifieds site. It is a great alternative for those who wish to make a bit of extra money, by selling their items locally.
www.surveymonkey.com/ – a good free one to help small businesses with market research through surveys.
Practical suggestions are the hall mark of this useful guide, courtesy of Marketing Angels (Sydney)(890KB)
Developing a business plan and everything that goes with it . . . . . .
Freelancer.com is the world’s largest outsourcing marketplace. Just post any online project you want done, in 3 easy steps, and one of 10.5 million Freelancers will do it at a fraction of the cost! Whether you’re an entrepreneur, a start-up, small to medium business or an established company, Freelancer.com can help your business reduce costs, increase profits and accelerate growth.
Kickstarter is a funding platform for creative projects. Everything from films, games, and music to art, design, and technology. Kickstarter is full of ambitious, innovative, and imaginative projects that are brought to life through the direct support of others. Project creators keep 100% ownership of their work. Kickstarter cannot be used to offer financial returns or equity, or to solicit loans.
Startupweekend is a global network of passionate leaders and entrepreneurs on a mission to inspire, educate, and empower individuals, teams and communities. There have been a number of these frenetic weekends held here in Perth. They are very reasonable $$ wise and you meet really interesting and passionate people at it.
The Australian Bankers Association is one site you might not have jumped to for advice and info. But this link is to the Small Business Section of their site and it offers excellent advice on all things to do with running a business and keeping it profitable.
The core task of IP Australia is to administer rules relating to Intellectual Property (I.P.) like patents, trade marks, designs etc. Their site delves into building brand value and business reputation, encouraging the disclosure of inventions, the transfer of knowledge and technology and it spells out the legal framework for trading intellectual assets.
This site has a wealth of information. If you’ve got an idea for a product and you’re thinking about starting a business it is worth a visit.
If you feel it is something to include in your future planning find out all the details you will need. Excellent graphics too!
Remember, if you want to work from home you need to know about local regulations which are controlled by the Town. Give the Economic Development section a call for info about this.
Community Atlas Key socio-demographic characteristics for the area in a series of interactive maps. Based on data from the 2011 Census of Population and Housing (Australian Bureau of Statistics), each map is prepared using the finest level of detail to help identify spatial patterns and trends in the area.
Community Profile Raw census data fromABS interpreted to inform community groups, Council,investors, business, students and the general public. The Profile is formatted to present the data in simple, clear tables and charts with concise factual commentary.
This program is provided by the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) and provides information on Credit card handling, Scam Alerts and a lot more.
This is another site that might not be at the top of your hit list. But the Reserve Bank of Australia has developed a prodigious amount of statistics related to all financial data like gross national product, exports value, currency fluctuations and much much more
Networking & Motivation
We say it in other places on this web site but it can’t be said too often, get out there and do some networking. Link up with small businesses through Central Eastern Business Association or the Swan Chamber of Commerce. If these aren’t your cup of tea, here are some other ideas.
www.cosba.com.au/ This stands for the Combined Small Business Alliance (of WA). Very active forum which counts many of the major industry associations amongst its members. They put out a regular newsletter which is well informed.
www.linkedin.com. It is dubbed the Facebook for professionals. There is the free basic version and then you can upgrade for a small monthly fee. We recommend the Free version as quite adequate.
http://www.inc.com/ There should always be time to read about how others are doing it and avoiding some of the pit falls. This is great for that. Some mentioned below are also recommended: Startupsmart and Smartcompany being two.
- http://www.smartcompany.com.au – I’m a big fan of this website, they send you a free e-newsletter that always has great articles.
- http://www.startupsmart.com.au – This is a new web site run by the same people as Smart Company (Amanda Gome et al) really good with lots of info for (surprise surprise) Start ups!
- www.smallbusiness.wa.gov.au – If you are thinking of starting a new business or expanding your existing one, the Small Business Development Corporation can show you how. This is obviously cram packed with info and well worth a visit.