It appears that the ‘lean’ spirit of modern entrepreneurship has finally inspired the Australian venture capital industry to invest in early stage start-ups – a trend is set to increase due to the accelerator boom.
The product designer was insistent, nearly pounding the desk while making the point.
As we all try to navigate the constant change that happens on the web, there are some things that will always hold true.
Police say that they have uncovered the largest credit card data theft in Australian history, perpetrated by an international gang of criminals.
Operating as a soloist can mean working long and irregular hours, as well as in remote locations. With no one else to count on, sole traders need to have a handy set of tech tools to fall back on.
Businesses large and small are rushing onto Twitter and Facebook in an attempt to engage with customers.
A week after the Click Frenzy debacle in Australia, Americans have started Cyber Monday – the yearly sale that inspired the local version.
It can be tough for female entrepreneurs to make a name for themselves in the tech space, but Shalini Chandrala and Kruti Bhagani are fighting fit.
No matter how old we get, we still love surprises. Even for us tough blokes, I bet even the toughest of us wouldn’t mind an extra few stubbies thrown in to that slab purchase as a bonus gift?
How much of my budget, generally speaking, should I set aside for my online marketing budget?
Google and Apple have been reportedly singled out by the Federal Assistant Treasurer for using tax havens such as Ireland in order to reduce their tax bills on revenue generated in Australia.
Sydney-based start-up biNu has snagged $4.3 million from investors including 500 Startups, having already received funds from Google’s Eric Schmidt and Seek co-founder Paul Bassat.
Y Combinator founder Paul Graham has outlined key ways for entrepreneurs to get inspired, encouraging them to look for problems rather than attempt to think of start-up ideas.
People only start talking about your business in a good way once you have developed trust, built a relationship, done something different, gone above and beyond for them or provided exceptional products and services, so it can often take time to build momentum and see results.
The Irish Government is offering an Australian start-up the chance to participate in prestigious incubator program LaunchPad, after launching a venture capital fund for offshore companies.
People often ask what is required in a tactical sense once you’ve outlined your social media strategy.
While even our lumbering retail giants are, albeit reluctantly, beginning to embrace the digital world, it appears that the online progress of Australian small businesses is a little patchy. This week saw the latest report card on how Aussie SMEs are doing online. A survey by design firm Snap found that 29% of the nation’s small firms don’t have a website, with nearly half of those that have an online presence waiting a ponderous six months before taking the plunge. The research follows previous studies that show the proportion of website-less businesses could be as high as 50%. Similarly, an Optus poll in May found that just 18% of SMEs offer mobile apps, although 48% say they plan to do so. With the value of online transactions set to balloon to $37 billion in Australia next year, it’s perhaps surprising that so many small businesses are reluctant to invest in a new website. But Snap’s research uncovered reasons why small firms may be wary of online. Businesses with websites reported that they encounter a number of problems, which may put off the uninitiated. Here are the top five website errors committed by Australian small businesses, along with what to do about them: 1. Confusing navigation The basics of enabling customers to find their way around a website is the biggest headache for small businesses, according to the study, with 65% identifying it as a major issue. If you are really struggling with this, it’s probably time to get outside help to avoid wasting your time and money. While navigation (65%) is the major issue for most websites, ill-conceived design (42%), spelling mistakes (29%), unnecessary website downtime (29%) and broken links/error 404 messages (24%) also prove to be bugbears. Stephen Edwards, CEO of Snap, says: “I think a lot of people designing websites don’t know where they need to go or what they need to ask. People receiving the brief are often backroom technicians.” “I see a lot of websites and it’s about function versus look and feel, so it’s a very conflicting story.” “Deal with a professional that has a bit of history in the market. Go to people who have credibility.” Story continues on page 2. Please click below. 2. Ill-conceived design Shabby-looking sites will immediately put off consumers, who are just a couple of easy clicks away from your rivals. Worryingly, 42% of SMEs say that they have problems with their site design. Bad design doesn’t just deter people who visit your site, it also has negative search engine implications. “With a poorly designed site, Google algorithms just don’t become as relevant,” says Edwards. “You end up getting not where you need to be. SEO is important but you need to have a link.” Get the basics right – design a clean, uncluttered site that clearly states the purpose of your business. To help you out, here are five key site design trends businesses are embracing. It may even be worth crowdsourcing a good designer. Story continues on page 3. Please click below. 3. Spelling mistakes Concern over spelling mistakes is, at 29%, the joint third most common website woe suffered by small businesses. These errors can creep in at the end of a long development process, according to Snap. “Some of these sites drag on [when they’re being built] and people get a bit of fatigue in the process and eventually just say, ‘Let’s get this done’,” says Edwards. Get someone to proofread all the copy on your website and get friends and family to test it, to ensure there are no amateurish bugs that you’ve missed. Story continues on page 4. Please click below. 4. Unnecessary website downtime Website downtime is a problem that bothers another 29% of SMEs. It’s vital that you carefully consider where your site is hosted. Is your provider reliable? Does it offer tight security against cyber-attacks, which are becoming increasingly common for small firms? Are they responsive when things go wrong? “This is very important when you’re deciding who you may go to,” says Edwards. “You need to assess where it’s hosted and what it means.” “What’s the clout of the provider to get it fixed? That almost should be part of the quote. It’s a risk profile you do at the front-end.” Story continues on page 5. Please click below. 5. Broken links or error 404 messages Nothing quite beats a broken link or error message to drive away potential customers in frustration. Worryingly, 24% of small business websites regularly have a problem with these kinds of errors, again underlining the need to thoroughly audit and test your site as you build it. “It just portrays you may have bought a cheap site or you may be a small entity, because people associate that with your company,” says Edwards. “You need a checklist to go off when building a website. List the things that could happen, and treat it like a shopping checklist.”
If there’s one thing sole traders are starved of, it’s time. Fortunately, the vast range of technology options open to modern day start-ups provide plenty of time-saving tools designed to help time-poor entrepreneurs.
Workplace laws, red tape and skills shortages are the main reasons behind a decline in business confidence, according to a new survey of company directors.
Almost half of Australian SMEs with an online presence didn’t launch their website until they were trading for six months, while 15% put it off until their second year in business, according to a new survey.