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Archive for July 2017

What are Australia’s fastest growing industries?

What are Australia’s fastest growing industries?

The fastest growing businesses tend to be the companies that appear to peer into the future, grasp what tomorrow’s customers need and start producing it today. While there’s no crystal ball for businesses to peer into, research tends to suggest areas of business that might experience the most growth. So what industries are expected to grow the most for Australia in the next few years? Data compiled by SkillsTalk and the Creative Enterprise Australia (CEA) suggests the fastest-growing industries in Australia lie in these five categories.

Creative Industries

Industries that are creative in nature are responsible for more jobs than mining, agriculture and tourism in Australia, according to the CEA. While many creative start-ups are already going strong, government efforts to focus on the arts could help expand that even more, the data suggests. Creatives are in the second fastest growing industry in the country, with the segment responsible for 6.2 percent of jobs.

Finance

As the economy grows, more Australians are looking to invest — which means more opportunities for businesses in the finance sector. According to SkillsTrend, the growth will help create more demand for companies that manage funds — an area that is also growing faster than the neighboring Asia-Pacific economies.

Opportunities for banks are also growing, the data suggests. A key to the growth is creating smart, yet simple platforms for customers to create transactions on securely and easily.

Agriculture

The always dominant agricultural segment will continue to play a role in Australia’s economic future, SkillsTalk suggests. The growth will likely be fueled by an increased demand for organic food as consumers continue to become more wary of what’s inside their fridges. A growth in Asia will likely mean more exported foods, while cotton will also continue to be an important part of Australia’s economic makeup.

Senior Care

Like many other developed countries, the population in Australia is aging as the baby boomers hit retirement while the younger generation is beginning to pattern towards parenting later in life. That translates into a large bubble of older residents looking for health care, aged care homes and even education options catering towards an older generation.

Technology

While technology is becoming increasingly important to every business sector, the category itself is still growing, Anthony Fensom suggests. The category is one of the top ways individuals under age 40 have created their own wealth. From software to hardware, companies that can identify a pain point and meet it have a good chance at getting a foothold in the economy.

Data suggests that Australia’s economy is currently one of the fastest growing in the world. Getting a foothold inside a segment primed for growth can help businesses set out on the right foot.

How To Measure The Impact of Advertising For Small Businesses

How To Measure The Impact of Advertising For Small Businesses

Advertising is often necessary to grow a business — but how much do those investments really generate anyways? Before advertising even starts, businesses need to pinpoint one thing: how to measure the impact of advertising. Whether that’s for content marketing, TV commercials or internet ads, advertising analytics helps ensure that advertising budget, however large or small, is being invested in all the right places. So how can small businesses measure the impact of advertising? Here are four ideas.

Always start with goals.

You can’t measure how successful an ad campaign was if you never set any goals for it in the first place. Start by putting your goals down on paper — and be specific. Of course, the eventual goal of any advertising campaign is to increase profits, but get more specific. Maybe the goal is to generate more sales of a specific product. Maybe the goal is to reach out more to a secondary target audience. Or maybe the goal is to improve brand image in the long run. Whatever it is, it’s impossible to measure if you don’t pinpoint it in the first place.

Determine the key performance indicators — and how to measure them.

Depending on the ad format you are using, you’ll have different key performance indicators or KPIs. Once you have a goal, determine how you will measure that goal with KPIs. For example, a social media campaign may have KPIs for website clicks, post likes and shares, and page likes. A content marketing campaign, on the other hand, may be measured by website interactions such as subscriptions and clicks onto a sales page.

Once you’ve determined what is a good performance indicator, make sure you have the tools to measure them. Some analytics are built in, while paid software can often offer a much deeper look into the effectiveness of the campaign. With your KPIs in mind, choose a platform that will allow you to measure that growth, whether that’s free software like Google Analytics of Facebook Page metrics, or paid software like Hubspot or Adobe Analytics.

Set a realistic time frame.

How quickly do you want to reach your goals? Once you’ve determined the actual goal and how to measure it, pinpoint a time frame that best fits the campaign. The timeline varies greatly depending on the type of campaign. Social media advertising may be a matter of weeks. Long-term campaigns likes content marketing to generate native website visits may require months, or even years to see the growth, since a blog post can be indexed by Google for years, but a Facebook ad, on the other hand, is generally only interacted with for the first few days.

Always keep the audience in mind.

Every business has a particular audience that they want to reach out to. As you measure the impact of your marketing campaign, keep in mind some numbers may be all inclusive while others may be only that target audience. For example, for a company selling baby products, 50 hits coming from mothers is better than 100 hits coming from the general population — which is going to include a whole bunch of people that have no reason to buy those baby products. Keep the audience in mind when building the ad, and keep the audience in mind when measuring the effectiveness of the ad.

Measuring the effectiveness of an ad helps small businesses to continue heading in the right direction — and avoid wasting advertising dollars.

4 Reasons To Get External Help For Your Business

4 Reasons To Get External Help For Your Business

Small business means small staff — sometimes, it’s just you. But, finding another perspective by hiring a consultant or freelancer can open up new possibilities even for the smallest businesses. Bringing on help, even just temporarily, can lessen the load of strategizing and even help with the day-to-day tasks. So why should small businesses reach out to work with consultants or freelancers? Here are four reasons a small business should consider hiring a consultant.

1. It’s hard to see the forest from within the trees.

Yes, it’s cliche, but it’s true.  When you’re the business owner handling all the big decisions and the day-to-day, it’s hard to see the big picture. Working with someone on the outside can help generate new ideas, see why an existing strategy isn’t working and generate new opportunities for growth that you would not have thought of on your own. Hiring a consultant to work on business strategy, marketing or a website helps identify potential you didn’t even know was there in the first place.

2. Most small businesses don’t always have the right skills on the existing team.

Maybe you have a team of 12, or maybe it’s just you, but for many businesses, the reality is that small teams don’t offer the widest range of skill sets. Start by looking at the skills that you don’t already have on your team. Then, determine which ones can be learned — and which ones can be outsourced. Some skills can be taught through workshops and online classes, but, many skills are actually cheaper to outsource. Experts handle tasks like that often, so besides just getting a better end result, outsourcing also tends to be faster.

3. Experts can pinpoint what’s missing.

When you go the DIY route without the pre-existing skills, there’s often something left out. When business owners design their own strategy, often elements like an emergency plan and a marketing plan are left out. When business owners design their own website, SEO elements often aren’t up to par to pop up in those search results right away. Hiring an expert in the field, you’ll not only get a better result, but you’ll be able to pinpoint why it wasn’t working in the first place.

4. Freelancers and consultants are often cheaper than you’d think.

Sure, hiring of course means that there is a cost involved, but, in the long run, bringing in an outside expert is often more affordable than most think. Freelancers and consultants don’t cost businesses in extras like insurance, vacation time and retirement benefits, but they bring in very specific skills that help to grow the business in the long run, helping build a larger income for the business. Freelancers can also be brought on as an as-needed basis, which further drives down the costs. Factoring in the growth and the lack of extra expenses, and freelancers and contractors aren’t quite as expensive as most business owners would think.

Small businesses don’t have to have small skill sets when outside contractors and freelancers are brought in on a per-need basis. From strategizing on the business plan from handling tasks like website design, hiring external help is often the perfect way to gain more while stressing less.

Business Essentials: 7 Reasons Managers Need To Master Planning

Business Essentials: 7 Reasons Managers Need To Master Planning

Managing a business means inevitable surprises — but that doesn’t mean planning isn’t important. Planning is an essential skill for managers that helps prevent surprises, stops waste and even inspires new ideas. So why do small businesses and managers need to plan? Here are seven reasons why planning is essential in any business.

Planning reduces waste.

Without a solid plan, employees may do the same thing twice, wasting both time — and for the business — money. Creating a plan helps make sure that everything that needs to be done is done on time, but without overlap. Something as simple as creating a schedule or a rotation for tasks like checking stock, cleaning bathrooms and checking company email both makes sure nothing gets neglected and staff resources aren’t wasted.

Planning creates a road map.

When managers plan, their employees know exactly what they need to do and when they need to do it. While there will always be inevitable interruptions, creating a general plan helps prevent down time and keeps employees happy by giving them a sense of purpose and direction.

Planning prioritizes information and keeps surprises at bay.

A good plan starts with research, which both helps create a stronger idea and prevents unpleasant surprises. When managers plan an event, for example, research helps keep the event from falling flat because an even bigger event is going on in the same town on the same day. Creating a plan may help managers spot things like new competition or new products.

Planning inspires new ideas.

Even the act of planning itself helps, because sitting down and writing out a plan requires brainstorming. And brainstorming inspires ideas that may have never happened otherwise. Creating a regular habit of making plans for a business inspires business owners and managers to continually find new ways to innovate in their field.

Planning measures progress.

When you put a plan down in writing, it’s much easier to see how the business is growing. A formal plan often starts with research and establishing current statistics like sales trends and customer satisfaction surveys. With that data right inside the plan, it’s easy to see whether or not that plan is working months down the road.

Planning makes a plan B.

The best plans factor in the unpredictable. You can’t have a Plan B without first having a Plan A. By creating not just a plan, but a flexible plan, businesses can better adapt to big changes in the industry. Planning can also help reduce smaller stresses — like creating an on-call list so you already know who to call when an employee calls in sick.

Planning promotes teamwork.

Chances are, that plan you developed is designed for more than just you. When an entire staff works on a plan together, the act itself creates a stronger relationship between employees. When staff are brought into a plan at the beginning and see the results at the end, the entire team ends up stronger from it.

Businesses need planning to thrive. By creating plans, whether small or large, businesses can reduce waste, create a road map, keep surprises away, inspire new ideas, measure progress, create a plan B and promote teamwork.