Are you making these five common website mistakes?

2:49AM | Wednesday, 25 February

Have you set up your website business but don’t seem to have the sales or conversions you thought you should? Do you wonder what makes people buy from other sites? Have you ever had someone review your website and provide comments?   As startup lawyers, at, we see and review a lot of websites. We also see a lot of errors on websites and the problems are common.   Here are the top five things we recommend every website owner checks:   1. Website grammar   If English is not your strong point or your first language, you need to consider hiring someone who specialises or offers this service. It is worth doing as you may be otherwise seen as an ‘offshore’ business if you have poorly written content with bad grammar and spelling mistakes on your website. Some Australian consumers have difficulty with trusting websites and any indication that you may not be local or professional may make a difference. 2. Website speed   Have you come across a website that takes FOREVER to load? And what do you do? You go to another site. There is always another site and it will probably take less time. Normally the load time issue is due to the size of the images on your website. If you are choosing images for your website, make sure you or your developer compresses them to less than 100kb. Potential customers will not wait around for your site to load!   3. Responsive website If your site is not device responsive, spend the money now to make it so. More and more people are accessing the internet, surfing and making purchases on tablets and mobile phones than ever before. They don’t wait to go home to their computer to do this anymore. Don’t lose the opportunity to grab your potential customer when they find you. You need to ensure you are in the market and on their radar and available to let them purchase. Now.   4. Outdated website   You cannot set up your website and leave it alone. If you do not regularly update it with the latest technology trends and look, it will date very quickly. Look around to see what top websites are doing. Sites like have some great examples and give you an idea of the latest trends that are making waves. 5. Dead blog posting   You may be surprised to know that one of the first things potential customers do is go to read your blog (if you have one; if not, get one!) to see what you ‘are about’. They often judge your professionalism and your expertise on your chosen field. It’s a proven credibility and trust tool also.   You need to either post regularly or do not post at all. Potential customers will wonder if you are even still in business if you have not posted for some time.   Making these mistakes with your website can really make you look unprofessional. Most are easy fixes or are easily addressed.   So why do so many websites have these very issues – do some businesses just not care or not notice? Put the time and effort into your website and business, and if you cannot, hire someone who can help you.   Your marketing efforts will go to waste and your SEO ranking will suffer if you don’t resolve these issues. Follow StartupSmart on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Your end of financial year business checklist: Five steps to save time and money

6:23AM | Tuesday, 10 June

We’re also a startup business at – just like you. And so as we approach the end of the financial year we’d thought we’d post some helpful advice about what’s on our “to do” list with June 30 fast approaching.   1. Change from monthly to annual subscriptions: review your services   Pre-paying expenses is an often repeated end-of-year tax strategy, so pay as many of your expenses pre-June 30 to minimise your tax bill. This is one of the more obvious items you are likely already doing.   But as an online business we use a lot of subscription-type services, which are mostly billed monthly to a company credit card. These expenses are usual for most businesses: web hosting, video hosting, website analytics packages, social media monitoring services, backup plans, etc.   However, most of these services offer discounts for committing to an annual subscription – in the order of 10-15%. It’s worth checking out and this is the time to do it.   So we reviewed all of our monthly subscriptions and services. First of all, we made sure we were going to stick with the service, and if not, found an alternative service or dropped the activity entirely. Then we checked and applied for any annual discounts. Dollars saved are dollars made.   2. Get ready for cloud accounting on July 1   At Legal123, we actually moved onto cloud accounting two years ago. This made such a huge difference to our business, we think it is worth mentioning for this year.   We can’t speak highly enough about cloud computing. For us, the advantages were threefold:   No spreadsheets and end-of-year panic Better communication and up-to-the-minute advice from our accountant Real-time reporting and knowing exactly where we are financially   If you’re not using a product like Xero, you should be. And if you’re thinking of using such a product, get ready and do it now. Transferring over at the beginning of the financial year will make your life a lot easier.   As it was, we transferred over two months after the year started and there’s quite a lot of work importing transactions from bank accounts, PayPal, etc. A lot of this could have been avoided with a neat and tidy switch over on July 1.   3. Outsource those small, nagging projects   This is another part of the pre-paying expenses idea which also takes advantage of the “end of year get it done now” euphoria that small business owners experience pre-June 30.   I don’t know about you, but I love that buzz.   We’ve got six or so smallish projects that have stalled. Plus we’re in the middle of a website re-design. It’s a great time to knock those projects over now.   Publish the project online – we use eLance and 99designs – pick a freelancer, give them all the information they need and let them get the job done. And don’t forget to ensure you pay their costs pre-June 30.   4. Purchase any small assets or consumables   As a 100% online business, we’re surprised how little we spend on office consumables, etc. Almost all our documentation is electronic, we share files, send email (sometimes with massive attachments), almost never go into the Post Office, and we hold Skype meetings rather than battle rush hour traffic.   But we still needed better Wi-Fi in one of our back offices – so it’s a great time to buy a Wi-Fi repeater. We also wanted to upgrade our business iPads and every year we upgrade our computers – so off to the Apple store. And we thought we’d also ‘pre-load’ our online advertising budget, which is probably our biggest consumable expense.   That’s it. Not a lot, but worth doing a check around the office to see what needs upgrading or pre-paying and doing it now.   5. Review our financials and plan for next year   Lastly, we always have a mid-June discussion with our accountant. Just to ensure they know the lay of the land and there are no surprises; they can confirm the superannuation and other payments that need to be paid, etc.   And of course they can just log into our Xero cloud accounts and see everything for themselves. Brilliant. It has saved a lot of time and money, ours and the accountant’s.   But it’s also a good time for us to review the whole year, assess progress. We don’t have set budgets, but we do have a very clear strategic direction and financial goals, so it’s good to review those.   And then the fun stuff – planning the next year and visualising what it will be like. What new products will we add, which will we drop, how will our positioning change, what the message will be, what extra help do we need, where will we find those new members of the team, etc.   Let the heated debates and coffee drinking begin!

Infographic: Legal issues when designing an app

1:12PM | Sunday, 5 January

  Designing and building an app can be an exciting time for any developer.   They’ve got a great idea that could help or entertain people in their daily lives and possibly become a business.   But in the excitement of creating the app, it’s important not to forget that there are legal issues to tackle.   Here, has created an easy-to-follow infographic to help app developers tick off the legals behind bringing their app to life.   ++ Click Image to Enlarge ++ Source: How to Develop an App: The Legal Issues from