Ten bang-for-buck small business tips

Cash flow is your business’s lifeblood – and it can be the first casualty during a downturn.

Now, thanks to China’s slowdown, Australia’s economy looks wobbly. Last quarter, it grew at half the forecast pace. Even worse, according to the National Australia Bank, business confidence fell three points in February.

Now could be a good time to act defensively and focus on saving money. Here are some drastic saving tips from fiscal experts, who explain how to cut costs to the bone and beyond without axing staff. Get ready to embrace your inner miser.

Read more at the Sydney Morning Herald..





How I turned $5000 into one of Asia’s biggest travel websites

The dream is compelling. In it, you shift your business to a low-overheads tropical paradise then work remotely amid the scent of frangipani and the hypnotic hubbub of frogs.

Instead of just fantasising, Hornsby-raised Stuart McDonald, 39, and his journalist wife Samantha pursued the dream, heading east in 1997. Now the Bali-based couple only return for family trips. “We came as backpackers and liked it so much we stayed,” McDonald says, his Aussie twang still strong. Read more at the Age…

How to make money without trying – a new slant on success

 Focus obsessively on profit and you may dent it or worse. “The most profit-oriented businesses ever are probably Bear Stearns and Lehman and Enron. And where are they now?” asked the eclectic British economist John Kay in a recent Guardian podcast bouncing off his new book, Obliquity: Why our goals are best achieved indirectly.

Obliquity takes a cue from Nobel prize-winning chemist James Black. “In business as in science,” Black said, “it seems that you are often most successful in achieving something when you are trying to do something else.”

Obliquity pursues that angle, arguing that the likes of Bill Gates and the “Google guys” allotted scant time to the standard Gen-Y dream of getting rich. They were inspired by a higher aim – far-reaching innovative ideas – but grounded in pragmatism, a trait that Kay paints as vital. Read more at the Melbourne Age…


Money machine: Google AdSense tips & tricks

Google AdSense is addictive. Once you adopt the free contextual website advertising program and get your first payment, you may feel compelled to keep checking your earnings. Implicitly, AdSense promises a stream of easy money: click, click, kerching!

Or, rather, kerplunk. Talk to a random smattering of bloggers and other web publishers who have followed the AdSense dream and you hear that making more than a pittance is hard. The reason: few visitors respond to the ads, each of which only nets you a micropayment – a fraction of a cent – per click.

That sobering point raises the question of how you boost your “click-through rate” (CTR) and make more than a pitiful trickle of money. The key secret, ad campaigners agree, is to ensure that your adverts blend. If, for instance, your background is white, consider fitting the ad with a white background and border. Read more at the Melbourne Age…


Beat the rat race: Six money-spinner home business ideas

Working from home has several enticing advantages.

For a start, you get to kill that commute, avoid office bickering and, in a much-longed for ego trip, become your own boss. Plus, if your old job has just been outsourced to Poland, your home may be a great place to regroup and get over it.

The question is how you make money working at home. You may wonder what client will take you seriously when you operate in the same space as your cat. Read more at the Sydney Morning Herald…


Take the money and run: how to sell your business

Sick of struggling with turning a profit? Tempted to try to sell up before, as economists fear, the recovery cools or you burn out?

The dream is doable, but before you can ride off into the sunset, you must build a persuasive commercial case. “Present your business in the best possible light,” says Business Enterprise Centre executive officer Maria Cook, who likens the preparation process to spring cleaning.  Read more at the Melbourne Age… 



10 tips to get filthy rich

Australia seems a promising place to get filthy rich. Admired for its sturdy economy, the ‘Lucky Country’ was deft at dodging the market forces that sank Ireland and Iceland.

According to CommSec, we are richer than we realise. At the end of last year, per-head Aussie wealth reached a record high of $266,600, easily eclipsing the pre-GFC peak of $255,000.

But $267,6000 will only get you a three-bedroom house on Brisbane’s fringes. Suppose you want to be worth far more. Maybe you want to be obscenely rich and never again worry about the cost of a big night out or a home loan payment. Read more in the Melbourne Age here: