How to build an attention-grabbing shopfront

The physical shop just might have some life left in it yet. According to the research group IBISWorld, physical shops are holding their ground despite strong growth in online shopping. In fact, physical shops are expected to raise their total revenue by 2 per cent a year over the five years to 2018.

So the appearance of the visual gateway to a shop – the storefront – still counts. Here are some examples of shopfront decoration techniques that small business owners find effective. Read at the Sydney Morning Herald..

Five new apps to turbocharge your business

One easy way to breathe life into your business is to enlist a top-tier app. A powerful app with a strong productivity slant can dramatically boost efficiency.

You may well already know about star contenders such as the storage utility Dropbox, the accounting program Xero, and the internet telephony service Skype. Here is a shortlist of lesser known apps that just might work wonders for you and your business.

Read more at the Sydney Morning Herald.

Stress head: how to cope with pressure

How much do you switch off? As the National Broadband Network rolls out across Australia and the business landscape becomes ever more connected you may feel on-call all the time through an array of communication channels. Worse, your business could be hit by a snarky social media review any second. Heavy pressure.

Doubtless, you already know about how deep breathing and meditation can help you unwind. But here are five alternative stress relief tips.

Read more at the Sydney Morning Herald.

How to work a room: networking icebreakers

How well do you work a room? At trade fairs and other business networking events you cannot just lurk and hope to make connections with useful entities. You must take charge – make a gambit, break the ice.

With the tech trade show CeBIT Australia coming up, here is some advice on how to approach vendors and visitors at any networking event.

Read more at the Sydney Morning Herald..

10 reasons reporters trash your emails

As any journalist will vouch, most press releases are dire. In a post titled “The Month in Press Release Idiocy”, a blogger for the culture hub Village Voice described them as dispatches from hell itself.

Here, based on chats with grumpy reporters and editors, is a round-up of reasons why your story offers to journalists cause distaste and end up getting trashed. Avoid all the gaffes and you might have a hope of becoming an article source. Read more at the Age..

Seven steps to avoid being phished

An international hacker was recently found to have more than 10,000 stolen debit and credit card numbers. So, clearly, phishing – the practice of tricking someone into giving bank or credit card information – is rife and plenty of people are falling for it.

Many businesses issue staff with credit cards to pay for work expenses. But don’t assume everyone who works in your small business is too smart to be taken in by the corrupt come-on of some creep who slips past your email filters. Phishing messages can be slyly convincing. Read at the Sydney Morning Herald..


Tourism operators need to lift their game

Australia’s high cost of living and strong currency mean tourism operators must be remarkably shrewd to attract patronage.

This country holds the distinction of being one of the world’s costliest to visit. Its flagship cities Sydney and Melbourne rank among the top five most expensive anywhere. Analysts blame high wages and the gouging effect of the high Australian dollar. Read at the Sydney Morning Herald..