SME snippets September 3, 2013

All the smaller, and often bizarre and humorous, SME-related stories from Australia and abroad that we’ve come across this week.

All the smaller, and often bizarre and humorous, SME-related stories from Australia and abroad that we’ve come across this week.

Here are some hard truths from the UK that SME business owners who export their wares overseas could sit up and listen to. A piece on The Telegraph website quotes Charles Rolls, a UK SME owner who exports premium tonics and mixers to more than 38 countries, as suggesting that businesses should stop expecting the government to do the work for them and should get out there and find export opportunities for themselves. Says Rolls, “I feel strongly that SMEs should be more proactive about seeking out export opportunities and dedicate more of their own resources to doing this. I can't stand this constant carping at the government. Believing that you are just going to use government agencies to do all your work for you is naive. As with almost all business wins, export successes come from hard work. They are not like ripe avocados dropping from trees.”. Get the full story here. 

The Morning Bulletin
ran a story this week highlighting research that has found that small business is an essential part of any regional town's recovery from floods and fires. The study, by Regional Australia Institute, assessed the recovery of Emerald and Cardwell from floods and cyclones, as well as two other towns ravaged by fires several years ago. The study showed the key part of long-term recovery was a resilient small business sector, which also helped the emotional recovery of residents. However, it found a “lack of funding for small business recovery” reflected a lack of appreciation for the sector, particularly in small towns relying on local jobs.

A government engagement consultancy is hosting a free seminar on Wednesday 25 September in Melbourne aimed at helping businesses improve their strike rate at winning government business. The two-hour seminar will offer inside knowledge into government procurement processes covering how to go about developing an effective government engagement strategy and key tips for optimising responses to government tender documents. More info here.

Facebook has circulated news this week that it’s proposing updates to its Data Use Policy and our Statement of Rights and Responsibilities with the aim of making its practices more clear. These two documents tell users about how Facebook collects and uses data, and the rules that apply when you choose to use Facebook. Importantly, it also clarifies how advertising works on Facebook. In case you haven’t seen it in your inbox, here ‘tis in full.

The University of Queensland has launched a new business club to keep companies abreast of the latest developments in supply chain management and service operations. Services and Supply Networks Research Club members will have the chance to shape UQ Business School's research agenda to meet business needs and to participate in research projects. The club will help members identify ways to improve services and provide a forum to address the challenges faced by professionals in the logistics field. Check it out here.

The Australian Electoral Commission is reminding anyone who plans on being overseas this weekend, including anyone on business travel, to vote in the Federal election. The AEC says the easiest way to do so is in-person at one of the 102 Australian diplomatic missions around the world that offer voting services. In the last Federal election, 72,306 votes were issued overseas at Australian diplomatic missions, the most coming from London, Hong Kong, and Singapore (3,277) were the second and third busiest overseas polling places. Overseas voting cannot continue after polling closes at 1800 on Saturday September 7, Western Australian time. More info here.

A new $9 million research program between CSIRO, Monash and Griffith Universities, the University of Western Australia and the UK’s University of Warwick has been tasked with using science to examine Australia’s superannuation system. The CSIRO-Monash Superannuation Research Cluster will address two key themes of ‘Superannuation and the Economy’ and ‘Australians Over 60’, and will look at what are the optimal forms of asset allocation by super funds, and how will this impact on economic growth as the pool of funds under management grows ever larger. It will also investigate what other products and services could be made available to retirees, and how can super funds continue to assist their members post-retirement. posted a piece this week about small business owners being particularly vulnerable to employee fraud and ‘losing it all’ if fraud strikes, concluding that business owners cannot afford to be complacent when it comes to checks and procedures. You can read the piece here.

A phishing email claiming to be from the ATO is currently circulating that says the recipient is entitled to a tax refund and states that they should click the embedded link and complete the online form. The ATO urges recipients not to  click on the link in the email as it opens a fake webpage that will attempt to obtain your Tax File Number. If received you should delete the email immediately. When accessing the ATO’s online services, only do so by typing directly into your browser. More info here.

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