Essentials.jpg      Starting and running a small business is a massive commitment.  Unlike big businesses that can hire legions of staff to perform all sorts of roles, small business owners end up doing most jobs.  This section provides insight into some key issues for every small owner to think about.

How SMEs can benefit from the NBN 25 January, 2012
There's no doubt that over the years, the NBN has courted controversy and even direct opposition, but at the end of the day, it's here to stay. And as a small business owner, there may be some benefits you can reap from this new development. Read on for more information on how you can benefit from the NBN.
Six low-risk ways to start a business 13 January, 2012
Every startup involves some degree of risk, but careful planning can help get your business up and running with a minimal amount of risk. Here are six low-risk strategies you can employ in the New Year to maximise your resources and effort during the early stages of your business.
Three things businesses should do before Christmas 14 December, 2011
For many businesses, the holiday season will provide a much-needed boost to sales and revenue, particularly for the embattled retail and services sector. Here are some Christmas 'gifts' you can bestow upon your business to ensure a successful start to 2012.
Tax breaks for small business owners 07 December, 2011
Nothing in life is as certain as death and taxes but while you can't avoid the former, you can definitely reduce the impact of the latter with tax-reducing benefits that your business may qualify for. Here are three tax breaks for SMEs: entrepreneurs tax offset, CGT benefits and write-offs.
SME fraud: Credit card and fax back scams 02 December, 2011
Last week, we discussed the five common scams targeting small businesses and this week, Part Two of the scam series discusses two other forms of fraud to which SMEs are particularly vulnerable: Banking and credit card fraud, and fax back scams.
Five common scams targeting SMEs 23 November, 2011
While scams and fraudulent crimes can affect any kind of business, small businesses are often the most susceptible as they can be perceived as easy targets. In order to save your business from unnecessary emotional and financial losses, here are five common scams targeting SMEs that can be avoided.
Help wanted: Government assistance for SMEs 17 November, 2011
You may have a great idea for a business venture, and might have already conducted market research or applied for a business name. But before you make the leap it is worthwhile looking at the range of support, advice and financial assistance available from the government, and here are seven ways you can do so.
How SMEs can prepare for the carbon tax 09 November, 2011
Small businesses may not be as affected by the upcoming carbon tax as larger corporations but for those that may be contemplating how to cope with the new scheme come 1 July 2012, here are some tips on how to ease the transition.
How customer feedback can improve your sales targets 28 October, 2011
While providing good customer service is one of the major elements of a successful business, so is receiving regular feedback from your clients. With Christmas drawing close, small businesses should take the opportunity over the holiday season to steal a march on the competition by  talking to  their customers to increase their retention rate.
Are you being served? How to identify and stamp out poor customer service 20 October, 2011
Great customer service is at the cornerstone of every small business, whether it be providing goods and services to individuals or to other companies. According to the Customer Service Institute of Australia, 90 per cent of dissatisfied customers will never purchase anything from you again, and each of your complaining customers tells an average of nine people about their bad experience. So when your customer service isn't up to scratch, who is to blame In this case, it is best to look from the top down.

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