Archive for September, 2013

Australian social mobile advertising site Moko set to tap into US colleges

Monday, September 16th, 2013

From its humble beginnings as a five-person operation above a Perth hairdresser just a few short years ago, Moko has come a long way.

Photo credit; Richard Patterson on Flickr

Photo credit; Richard Patterson on Flickr

And it is now set to try and crack the United States college market with its mobile social media advertising platform, plus a $US1 billion capitalisation on the world’s biggest technology stock exchange.

Next month, the Western Australia company will launch a service to connect advertisers with 5 million American college students, the ready-made audience that gave Facebook its start.

Although this means it will be competing with Google and Facebook for a portion of theĀ $US7.65 billion ($A8.5 billion) US mobile advertising market, this is the first stage of a plan to list on Nasdaq, according to chief executive officer and founder Ian Rodwell.

Its first major deal with the American Collegiate Intramural Sports (AMIS) association gives it an initial audience of 5 million university students (out of 21.6 million) at 200 colleges across the country.

To read more on this story, click here.

What Australian businesses need to know when choosing a domain name

Friday, September 13th, 2013
Photo credit; Tristan The Booklight on Flickr

Photo credit; Tristan The Booklight on Flickr

Chris Burgess, Chief Information Officer for a non profit in Melbourne and manager of DNTrade, an online forum for discussing Australian domain names and online industry topics, shares his insights into what Australian businesses need to keep in mind when choosing a domain name.

Among his advice, Burgess recommends hosting your website with a hosting provider that has good support.

“It’s important to be able to pick up the phone and talk to someone if something isn’t working,” Burgess says.

Check out Burgess’ comprehensive advice on Australian domain names here.

Get tutored in the art of using deal sites

Thursday, September 12th, 2013 has recruited Managing Director of Cudo and Adam Schwab to share his insight about dealing with daily deals sites with readers.

For the uninitiated, deal sites are ones like Groupon, LivingSocial, Spreets, Cudo and Scoopon. These sites sell products and services from another business to site visitors and their database of subscribers that they have created. The deal sites advertise their clients’ services or products and collect money for vouchers for buyers to present to a merchant. For products, the deal sites send cash and the address to send the goods to the business that pays a commission for the sales service.

They basically act as a middleman between business and consumer, but they can draw in a lot of business so can be worth it for businesses to deal with.

But merely putting your service on these sites isn’t always a good idea, as shares the horror story of one salon owner who advertised on one of the daily deal sites only to find she was unable to handle the influx of business it brought her.

With avoiding that kind of pitfall in mind, invited Schwab to offer a bit of a tutorial on using the deals sites and what to expect.

You can find Schwab’s insights into Australia’s daily deals industry here.

Australian spammer gets hit with huge fine

Wednesday, September 11th, 2013

In a bit of news that will make anyone with an email inbox smile just a little, an Australian man who spammed New Zealand businesses has been fined $95,000 for doing so.

Wayne Robert Mansfield of Perth, Western Australia, sent hundreds of thousands of unsolicited emails to individuals ans organisations in New Zealand in 2010. The emails were promoting his company, Business Seminars NZ.

After more than 50 complaints from recipients who said they had no business contact with Mansfield’s company and had continued receiving messages even after unsubscribing from them, the Department of Internal Affairs decided to take legal action against Mansfield under the Unsolicited Electronic Messages Act.

High Court Justice Edwin Wylie imposed a fine of $95,000 and awarded costs of more than $8000 against Mansfield in August 2013.

This wasn’t the first time Mansfield has been fined for spamming.

In 2006, Mansfield and his Perth-based company Clarity1 Pty Ltd were fined a total of A$5.5 million in the Australian Federal Court for sending 70 million spam emails to about 5 million recipients between 2004 and 2006.

To read more about this story, click here.

Tips for starting your startup

Tuesday, September 10th, 2013

A recent report shows that Australia now leads the world in the pace of online business start-ups. Internet start-ups have increased 200% from 2010 and 2012, four times the pace in the United States and Britain.

With so many new startups popping up, Dynamic Business has released a set of tips for Australians who want to get in on all the startup action:

Manage your time. Whether you’re an early riser or prefer burning the midnight oil, find what works best for you. Running a store can require a lot of time and energy, but it’s important to separate your stress. Don’t let the worries of one job impact another and develop (and stick to) a routine that maximises productivity.

Think easy. Great designs are nice, but if your online store isn’t intuitive for customers, all bets are off. Re-evaluate the functionality of your homepage and make sure customers can get to where they’re trying to go.

Focus on quality. Use high-resolution product images and take the time to write detailed product descriptions from a customer’s perspective. If you want customers to spend the time reading it, spend the time writing it!

Try new forms of marketing. One of the most critical aspects for any online store is marketing, but it can be costly. Content marketing, such as blogging, is a great, low-cost alternative and offers small businesses a big bang for your buck.

Find your inspiration. Ultimately, success often boils down to having the passion and drive to keep things running through the highs and lows. When the going gets tough, remember what inspired you to start your own business. If you’re doing something you love, your passion will shine through and motivate to push on.

To read more on this story, click here.

Oh Mabel has you covered

Monday, September 9th, 2013

Oh Mabel, an organic bed linen brand and online shop, is run by Sarah Power in Canberra.

Established in 2011, Power aimed to start an online bed linen shop that would stock other brands of linens. When she found that other brands just weren’t up to her standards, she created her own line and hasn’t looked back since.

While the shop is on hiatus at the moment, it will be back up and running soon with a new line of Oh Mabel bed linens.

To read more about this story, click here.

Australian introduces animal onesies down under, reaps rewards

Friday, September 6th, 2013

Australian Mike Langford quit his IT job and started selling animal onesies online and has never been happier.

For the uninitiated, a onesie is a full body pajama (think what babies often wear) and an animal onesie is a onesie with an animal theme to it (why should babies have all the dress up fun?) By the way, these oneseies are for adults.

Langford started his site in July 2012 using WooCommerce and it is now his full-time endeavor.

To read more on this story, click here.

99Dresses is dressed for success

Thursday, September 5th, 2013

Online clothing swapping site 99Dresses, founded by Nikki Durkin from New South Wales in 2010, has been growing since the day it launched.

The young entrepreneur said that it was a tough go launching the site, but once she got it up and running, she valued the experience and learned a lot from it.

“The most challenging thing is figuring out you’re going to run out of money before you’re going to take off. It’s frustrating; it’s a tough feeling. You feel like you’re drowning a bit, but I got very lucky,” Durkin says.

That luck was in the form of her decision to enter a $10,000 business competition, which she won, followed by her admission to Y Combinator — an organisation that provides seed funding to a select number of start-ups.

To read more on this story, click here or here.

Award winning website promises to pamper

Wednesday, September 4th, 2013

Pamper Hamper Gifts, which won an Australian Small Business National Winner award in 2012, was established way back in 2004 by Bianca Kristallis.

Based in Sydney, Kristallis had the vision for her business after seeing that hampers were hampered by an inherent tackiness. Believing she could do better and bring the ‘wow factor’ back to hamper gifts, and Pamper Hamper Gifts was born and is still going strong today and winning business awards along the way.

To read more on this story, click here.

Kickstarter expanding to Australia and New Zealand

Wednesday, September 4th, 2013

Online crowd sourcing site Kickstarter has announced that it will open up to Australian and New Zealand projects in the near future.

Kickstarter is hosting sessions in Sydney and Melbourne this month for people who have project ideas.

Founded in 2009, Kickstarter allows people to pitch their ideas to the general public to solicit funding for their ideas to get made. Movies, video games, gadgets and music has all been funded through the U.S.-based site.

To read more about this story, click here.