Archive for August, 2013

Google announces Australia’s most web savvy towns

Friday, August 16th, 2013

Google yesterday announced Australia’s most web-savvy towns with its second eTown Awards, celebrating cities and regions whose small businesses make the best use of the web to connect with customers and grow.

Australia’s winning eTowns by state and territory are:

  • Cockburn, WA
  • Darwin, NT
  • Holdfast Bay, SA
  • Launceston, Tasmania
  • North Sydney, NSW
  • Port Phillip, Vic
  • South Canberra, ACT
  • Sunshine Coast, Qld

Claire Hatton, Head of Local Business, Google Australia, told Dynamic Business that business operators who successfully integrate digital strategies are simply more competitive.

“We see through our research that small businesses that actually use digital are more successful — they grow revenue and employ more people,” Hatton said. “This web advantage also extends to towns and regions which need no longer rely on a single local resource or industry to prosper. A town’s real assets are now their small businesses owners and employees,” Hatton said.

The link between digital engagement and commercial success has been firmly established, and a recent report by Deloitte Access Economics published in April this year found that Australian small businesses with high digital engagement are twice as likely to be growing revenue, and earn twice as much revenue per employee. They are also four times more likely to be hiring additional staff.

“The location of your shop front or size of your workforce doesn’t matter online. Every business has the opportunity to engage customers and grow,” Hatton said. “Whether you’re a boutique hotel, beautician or surf school, if you’re not online you’re missing out on a direct line to thousands of potential customers.”

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Online sales boost The Winning Group to record breaking revenue

Thursday, August 15th, 2013

The Winning Group’s online sales have notched $150 million in annual sales, meaning its combined sales is a record $350 million for the company, Australia’s leading kitchen and laundry appliance specialist.

The 25 per cent jump in sales was propelled by a massive 35 per cent year-on-year growth in the firm’s Appliances Online and Big Brown Box internet offerings, and 17 per cent rise in Winning Appliances’ bricks-and-mortar sales.

“The retail stores were just over $100 million probably five years ago and now it’s $150m. The websites this year reached just over $150m,” group chief executive John Winning told The Courier-Mail.

“The debate between online versus offline is over – Australian retailers must perfect their business formula across all platforms to earn the trust and repeat business from savvy shoppers,” Winning said.

“We think that if the market turns, our growth could increase significantly, even more than 25 per cent. We’ve ridden out a couple of pretty tough years very successfully and now we’re looking forward to the many customers that we have talking positively about their experience with us.”

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Small Business Assist Tool could help you with your tax inquiries

Wednesday, August 14th, 2013
The Australian Tax Office’s (ATO’s) Small business assist  tool provides answers to small business tax and other questions.
The online tool delivers accurate information sourced from a range of websites.
You can find information about:
  • registering for an Australian business number
  • understanding and registering for GST
  • employer obligations
  • lodging activity statements and much more.
Small business assist can be accessed from a range of devices and features links to relevant webinars and provides access to blogs and forms.

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William Hill buys Australia’s biggest online gambling site

Tuesday, August 13th, 2013

United Kingdom online betting giant William Hill has agreed to purchase Australian online betting firm Tom Waterhouse for at least A$34 million.

The online betting site has agreed to pay A$34 million up front and assume A$6 million in debt for

It will pay up to A$70 million more on a sliding scale based on achieving earnings growth between A$10 million and A$30 million in 2015. was established in 2010 and is one of Australia’s fastest growing online racing and sports betting businesses.

It is a privately held company owned by managing director Tom Waterhouse and others and has around 80 employees based in Sydney, Melbourne and Darwin.

“We are pleased to have secured this acquisition,” Ralph Topping, CEO of William Hill. “International expansion is a key part of our growth strategy and making Australia our second home is a priority. Acquiring gives us a rapidly growing business that appeals to a complementary customer base.”

Australia has the world’s biggest gambling habit per capita.

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Navy Crockett sailing the seas of profit

Monday, August 12th, 2013

Established in 2013 by Leah Bridge and stationed in Central Coast, New South Wales, Navy Crockett is an online boutique to buy gifts for the hard-to-buy-for man in your life.

Navy Crockett is actually the second business for the busy Bridge. She also has a design studio that she operates. Thankfully she embraces the chaos and variety of running the two very different businesses.

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I Do in a Day does equal success

Friday, August 9th, 2013

Established in 2012 by Melbourne’s Helyna Van Woerkom, I Do in a Day is a 100% online bridal boutique that features a crack team of wedding consultants to help any bride regardless of location.

Van Woerkom says although she knew she couldn’t provide people with more time in a day, she was well aware that she could do the next best thing and help free up some of people’s most precious resource by offering wedding consultations online.

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Hipkin brings hip clothes to Australian kids, profits for founder

Thursday, August 8th, 2013

After taking note of the dearth of functional unisex clothing for kids being sold in Australia, Katie Brannaghan of Melbourne, Victoria started Hipkin in 2012.

Going back and forth to Europe with her husband, Brannaghan noticed that a lot of the cool, functional brands of children’s clothing weren’t filtering through to her home country and she decided to do something about it. A year later and Hipkin is going strong.

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Our Little Place makes owner tidy profit

Wednesday, August 7th, 2013

The internet is a big place, but one site that is making it feel a little homier is Our Little Place, an online book and interior design boutique.

Started by Sarah Rogers on the Gold Coast in Queensland, Our Little Place has been around since 2011 and was born from Rogers’ passion for interiors, fashion, travel and books.

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Innovation important for Australian small businesses

Tuesday, August 6th, 2013

Technology Spectator columnist Tim Reed has called for more innovation from Australian small businesses.

Reed said the Australian Bureau of Statistics’ (ABS) report on ‘Innovation in Australian Business’ found the proportion of innovation to active small to medium businesses (SMEs) increased by 13% in the year ending 30 June 2012 across four areas of innovation: good or services, operational processes, organisational/managerial processes, and marketing methods.

As small business represents 96% of businesses in Australia, Reed said, what happens in this sector has the potential to drive improvement in the domestic economy.

One way for small businesses to adopt innovation is through the use of online technologies, he said. Most consumers are now searching online first when shopping for a new product or service and yet 2/3 of SMEs don’t have a website, meaning a significant proportion of businesses are missing out on sales and marketing opportunities simply by not having an online presence.

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Set That sets itself up for success

Monday, August 5th, 2013

Set That has impressed some big players enough to land some lucrative online partnerships.

International retailers like Bloomingdale’s, Marks & Spencer, StrawberryNET and John Lewis, and Australian brands, including Styletread, zanui, Surfstitch and The Iconic have hopped on the Set That bandwagon.

Set That lets consumers explore “sets” of products that have been compiled and curated by other site users to find a suitable product to buy. The user’s profile and shopping preferences are drawn upon to create a customised shopping experience.

The most unique aspect of the website is the financial rewards offered for building and marketing sets through online social media. Set creators are able to earn up to 2% commission, either banked into their PayPal account or donated to charity, for an item that generated a sale as a result of their set.

More than 100 stores have already committed to the site and co-creators, Aussie mums Kim Westwood and Liz Tehan, are in early talks with investors in Australia and abroad.

Projections for Set That are to have 300 registered stores by the end of 2013 with that number increasing to more than 3000 by 2015.  The stores are anticipated to showcase 1.5 million products to 200,000 users this year and 15 million products to 2.5 million users by 2015.

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