Week in brief May 15 2012

Ivan_MisnerAmerican Express launches social media makeover comp; My Business Expert columnist Dr Ivan Misner coming Down Under; ATO loses 58 per cent of court cases against SMEs; and more.

American Express has launched a Facebook competition for small businesses that will offer business owners the chance to win a digital and social media makeover with experts from LinkedIn, Facebook, Ogilvy, Momentum Worldwide and others, plus $10,000 to spend on their business. Amex’s ‘Take Off’ comp is being hosted on the Amex for Business Australia Facebook page and to enter small business owners should visit the page before May 28 and provide a short overview of how their business would benefit from a digital and social media makeover. 

My Business
Expert columnist Dr Ivan Misner (pictured above), founder and chairman of BNI (Business Network International) and one of the world’s leading experts on business networking, is heading to our shores to launch his latest co-authored book Business Networking and Sex: (Not What You Think). While Dr Misner will make a schedule of appearances around the country while he’s here, the main event will be his book launch and presentation at the Sydney Masonic Centre on the evening of Wednesday June 6. For more info This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

An interesting story appeared on The Australian’s website this week about an Aussie SME that endured something of a backfire as a result of participating in a Facebook marketing trial. Tasmanian eco-resort Huon Bush Retreats offered 50 vouchers as part of the Facebook trial, which was aimed at providing cheap deals similar to offers from group buying sites. The trial works by a business posting an offer, which Facebook then distributes to people who "like" the business' page. Those people can then choose to claim the offer and also can choose to pass the offer on to their friends. However, the promo proved so successful that the offer reached more than three million users in five days, many mistaking it for spam, which forced business owner Paul Dimmock to issue an apology. Read the full story here.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Deputy Prime Minister and Treasurer Wayne Swan are hosting what the government has labelled a “major forum on the Australian economy” next month in Brisbane. At the economic forum, the leaders will discuss the challenges to Australia’s economy posed by the high dollar, and how the economy can be kept strong into the future in front of up to 150 business representatives, industry bodies, unions and community organisations, as well as members of state and territory governments. The event is slated for June 12-13, but no other details have been released to date.

The Canberra Times reports this week that a report by the Inspector General of Taxation has revealed that the ATO loses more than half of its taxpayer-funded court cases against medium-sized businesses. The recent review of ATO dealings with SMEs uncovered a lack of resourcing and poor technical ability within the department, leading to the loss of 58 per cent of SME assessment disputes. Inspector General of Taxation Ali Noroozi said mid-range businesses were sometimes treated unfairly or subjected to unnecessary compliance costs and delays caused by the lack of corporate knowledge within the government department. The full story can be found here.

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