How can Salisbury Council be more business friendly?

The City of Salisbury is currently undertaking a review of their Council policies and interactions with businesses to ensure that they have practices that stimulate and support local business growth, employment creation and the attraction of new businesses to the local area.

 

Have your say

This is your opportunity to share your views on ways the Salisbury Council can further our reputation as a business friendly Council so they can  reform their processes in how they work with business in the City.

 

  • Have you had an issue with the council policies or practices?
  • What could we do to make Salisbury council easier to deal with?
  • What improvements could the Salisbury Council do to make Salisbury an ideal place to do business?

 

Got some feedback?? If so call Ben Kirchner on 8260 8205 or bkirchner@salisbury.sa.gov.au

Five Ways to Market Your Small Business

Marketing is vital, without it, nobody knows you exist and therefore cannot engage with you, your products or services.

Use Social Media to your advantage
social media is your greatest asset if you use it properly.  The first step is to get a personal profile on as many platforms as you can.  Use Facebook, Instagram,  Twitter, LinkedIn and anything else you can think of. Get comfortable with it and think about how you communicate with brands you love and other businesses.

Don’t Forget to keep a consistent, professional image keep everything consistent between social media platforms you are using, your business card, shop front and any promotional pieces you have, proof read everything, contact details and operating hours are correct and it all looks professional. If you need help designing a business
card, reach out to someone with design skills.

Customer Service Is the Easiest Way To Look After Your Customers
As a small business, you need to look after your customers and service might not initially seem like marketing but it is all about how you communicate with people – potential customers and the public. Looking after your customers is not difficult – handle complaints quickly and swiftly, respond to feedback and acknowledge the customer.

Word Of Mouth Is King
You can’t beat good word of mouth however in the day and age of social media, it is easier than ever for word of mouth to spread. Maintaining customer service is the first  step but be aware of your reviews online. On Google+, you cannot remove a poor review, the products you are selling and services you are providing must also be of a good quality –keep the 4P’s of Marketing in mind – Product, Price, Place and Promotion.

If Word Of Mouth Is King, Planning Is Queen
Plan the launch of content on various social media platforms to be timed, stock of products to be available when it’s being promoted and most of all, you must be available within a reasonable time to customers when they need you. Have a contingency plan for when things don’t go to plan – an alternative number for when the phone is down or an additional admin account to your Facebook Page in case an account is compromised.

Written by: The Curious Cat
Coutney@thecuriouscatblog.com

Small business start-up activity is alive!

 

Fitness Website Image

Small business start-up activity is alive and well in northern Adelaide.  According to ATO data, there were 578 ABN registrations for the last 12 months (01/04/15 to 12/04/16) for individuals and partnerships who registered with an email address.

The hot spots for new ABN registrations in northern Adelaide are (for postcodes):

 

5108 98 Paralowie/Salisbury
5125 57 Golden Grove/Greenwith
5114 50 Andrews Farm/Blakeview
5109 46 Salisbury East/Salisbury Heights
5118 46 Gawler/Williamstown
5107 43 Parafield Gardens
5112 33 Elizabeth

Interesting to note that Paralowie/Salisbury is ranked No 2. in top postcodes for new ABN registration, Adelaide (5000) not surprisingly is number 1.

The Polaris Business and innovation Centre has helped many of these firms and provides a complete range of business start up support for people thinking about going into business.  Call us today if you have a great business idea. 8260 8205 or email @ polariscentre.com.au.

 

Exporting, is it for me?

Todd Miller, TradeStart Export Advisor, spoke at the March  Northern Business Breakfast event.  The breakfasts are gaining a strong local following  as one of the largest monthly business breakfasts with up to 190 people attending.

Todd’s passion and enthusiasm for exporting was obvious.   His presentation drew on his experience when he ran his own business Aussie Inc. which exported various Australian consumer products including pet cleaning products, gourmet foods and even swags to the United States and Canada.

Some of Todd key tips for exporting include:

  1. Develop an Export Plan

Prepare and have an evolving Export Plan that is consistent with your Business Plan. It should be a concise document that outlines your export vision, market(s) you are targeting, your product offering and your expected outcomes and timing

  1. Research

Research, research, then research some more. You need to know about the market, conditions, any government or other import requirements. You need to know who your customer is, who your buyers are and how they may differ and/or respond to you and your company/brand/product differently to Australia. Get to know the cultural, social and business protocols in the market(s) you are targeting. Knowledge is power and will put you in good stead in your exporting success.

  1. Be prepared to put the time in

Exporting will take time, and in certain markets may take 3-5 years to ‘break through’. Make sure you have the capability and have a budget for this.

  1. Don’t give up

Starting your export adventure is very much like when you started your business. You need to be planned, organised and focussed, and don’t give up.

With Todd’s recent appointment as an Export Adviser with TradeStart, a joint program between Austrade and the State Government he is able to draw on his commercial experience to advise and assist businesses to achieve success in their export endeavours. He is here to help northern Adelaide Businesses with strategy, planning, market selection and insights. Businesses that are export ready can join the TradeStart Network and gain access to Austrade Services worldwide.

Unlock your export potential with new funding program

Todd also detailed the new Export Partnership Program, designed for both the established or intending exporters.  It provides a grant fund tosupports eligible companies with export marketing activities. Further information on the program is available at www.statedevelopment.sa.gov.au/epp

To find out more about export, including connections to the services which can be offered by Todd Miller please call the Polaris Centre on 8260 8205.

For next month’s breakfast on 22 April register here.

 

Simon Tanner Real Estate

Tanner Real Estate has been operating in the real estate market and selling homes for the past three and a half years. While still a relatively young company, Tanner Real Estate has already established a reputation for exceptional service and outstanding results.

“I think you’d be mad not to use the Polaris Centre” – Tanner Real Estate director Simon Tanner

Seeking a better understanding of the financial and management side of running a business, Tanner Real Estate director, Simon Tanner, joined the Polaris Centre’s Mentoring for Success program.

“It has definitely had a positive effect, helped me to get my head around things and see exactly where I’m heading,” Simon said.

“I now look at our financials more often and set KPI’s (key performance indictors) for staff and myself. We do more one-on-one’s with the staff, so it is a more structured environment now.”

“I don’t understand why someone wouldn’t use the Polaris Centre. If you ask the right questions and have the right mentor you can pick up huge amounts and benefit greatly.”

Mastering your business

Are you MASTER of your business or is your business MASTER of you?

Michael Gerber in his book The E Myth encourages business owners ‘to work on their business – not in it’.

If you do not take time out regularly to stand back and look at your business from an outside perspective, you put at risk more than your business and its future.

My grandfather, who earned a living as a wood cutter in his youth, told me of one of his competitors who went broke, because he didn’t stop to sharpen his axe! When ‘you don’t stop to sharpen your axe’, you also put at risk your work/life balance. Your family and other relationships can suffer. Your own sense of wellbeing and purpose, even your health can be affected.

In the process of my work here at Polaris, I regularly see these symptoms in business owners- I call it The Treacle Syndrome. The business owner appears stuck, unable to move, apart from performing the same old routine, they are unable see a way out and just vainly hope for some sort of miracle. They gradually sink deeper into the treacle (often without being conscious of it) until it is too late.

If this sounds familiar, the Polaris Centre can help you by:

  • Helping you get out of your treacle.
  • Working with you as you start to work on your business and/or sharpen your axe.
  • Providing tools and strategies for you to become the MASTER OF YOUR BUSINESS.

Our Business Fundamentals workshop is a 3 hour workshop designed to get you to rethink and re-evaluate your purpose and direction.

Our Mentoring for Success program enables you to engage a personal mentor to help you to work on your business and to sharpen your axe over a six month period. This also involves an additional four hours of mentoring around internet marketing and the tools needed for modern marketing techniques.

Our Mastering Your Business series of workshops has the potential to set you on a course of growth, profit and business confidence.

To be the MASTER OF YOU BUSINESS, must surely be one of your goals in life,-otherwise why be in business, why carry the responsibilities and pressures associated with running your own business?

To master your own business, means self-realization, a sense of achievement and satisfaction that comes from doing it well.

Business owners often contact us when it is too late. The treacle has absorbed them. Act now! – contact the Polaris Centre on 8260 8205

Icon Graphic Design

Icon Graphic Design, based at Mawson Lakes, produces artwork for almost any project. From logo designs to business cards, letterheads to brochures and even signage, Icon Graphic Design can undertake or even print manage most projects.

“We are learning a lot and it’s been great. I’ve recommended the Polaris Centre to a number of people” – Icon Graphic Design partner Paul Danher-Hart

“While we’ve been operating for 22 years now, (promotion) had always been word of mouth. Our clients had always fed us plenty of work,” said Icon Graphic Design Partner Paul Danher-Hart. “Marketing the business was something we had never done, but with the recent downturn work started to dry up so we decided to ramp things up a bit.”

Paul contacted the Polaris Centre for assistance and participated in the Mentoring for Success program and attended several networking evenings. He says it was a Business Fundamentals workshop that made it “quite clear to us that our issue was marketing”.

“We are now actively marketing the business and it has become an ongoing thing,” Paul said. “We are learning a lot more about SEO, social media and moving into streams we hadn’t looked at before.”

“I know that it sounds silly, but we hadn’t really learnt how to run a business… we are graphic designers. There is a formula to running a business that you have to know and implement, which has been invaluable to us. It’s like being a mechanic; they know all about cars but may not know how to run a business.”

Parafield Ink and Toner

Parafield Ink and Toner is a successful Pooraka-based business providing computer and printer consumables with a strong focus on the environmental benefits of refilling cartridges. The company has been in operation for the past five years and has experienced many changes in the process of establishing its current place in the market.

“The cost of becoming involved with Polaris is very, very minor compared to the value that you get out of it. It is a very valuable service that is not widely known enough”
– Parafield Ink and Toner general manager Rex Wallace

“We took over a closed franchisee store in November 2009 and operated in Mawson Lakes under the franchise name. We were struggling to break even under the existing arrangements. My background is in large corporate and not in small retail, so I used the Polaris Centre as a non-employed board to bounce ideas off,” said general manager Rex Wallace.

“We weren’t told what to do, but had a reality check of which ideas were sensible and which weren’t. In October 2011 we moved out of Mawson Lakes into the store at Parafield Discount City under the new name Parafield Discount Ink and Toner. The Polaris Centre helped confirm the shift away from the franchise and the move to a new location was a good idea, and they were 100% right. The store has gone ahead in leaps and bounds.”

Through the Mentoring for Success and Business Fundamentals programs, Rex said it became clear what needed to change. “We were aiming too broadly. We were trying to be all things to all people and a jack-of-all-trades, so we re-focused our marketing efforts on our core strengths,” he said. “That’s when we changed our colour scheme, our logo, and our main marketing focus from general stationary supplies to ink and toner cartridge refilling.”

Rex said the Polaris Centre helped him realise his unique selling point; the environmental benefit of refilling cartridges. “That was our sustainable competitive advantage, our core point of difference with the supermarkets and the big stores, and what we were also making the most money on. Polaris helped us to recognise that.”

 

“Starvation to Success” the Matthew Michalewicz event wrap up

A great crowd of over 150 people were present at the Innovation House Conference Centre on Wednesday night (May 21) to hear Matthew Michalewicz talk about success. The entertaining presentation was extremely well received by the large crowd with the core messages of “clarity of goals”, focus and the need for a “customer-centric business” really striking a note with all present.

Former Innovation House based entrepreneur Vinh Giang from Encyclopedia of Magic got a mention during Matthew’s presentation with a his video used to express a point about how knowledge can change your perception and lead you to knew possibilities.

Attendees all received a copy of Matthew’s book “Life in Half a Second” generously provided by Matthew. There may even be a few copies left……

Some of the social media traffic from the event night can be found below, please tag yourself in the photos on Facebook and share with your friends. Big thanks also to Andrew Barre for the fantastic photos.

Dresseasy Clothing Inspired by Lacey Shea

Dresseasy Clothing Inspired by Lacey Shea designs functional, high quality clothing for people with special needs such as those with stiff limbs, broken arms, people in aged care or those suffering with dementia or autism. Dresseasy Clothing Inspired by Lacey Shea is based at Munno Para West and has grown from initially specialising in making children’s wear to catering for all sizes.

“It is worth a chat and they are more than willing to help or point you in the right direction. I have actually referred a couple of people to the Polaris Centre and it has helped them, they were more than happy” – Dresseasy Clothing Inspired by Lacey Shea designer Kay Rault

“We were on a very limited budget and needed a little bit of direction, as we were struggling to get the marketing right,” said Dresseasy Clothing Inspired by Lacey Shea designer Kay Rault. “We participated in the (Polaris Centre’s) Mentoring for Success program and we’ve found that Geoff Haygreen (business advisor, city development) has been very good.”

“Geoff has helped us get our website sorted and he’s helped us with our marketing area. We are now much more hands on. We are getting out there and talking to people and meeting with people. Because we don’t have a shopfront and are purely online, we want to let people know who we are and what we are about.”

Kay followed her Mentoring for Success enrolment with a selection of free informative programs.

“Through the Polaris Centre I was introduced to a solid networking group,” she said. “The Polaris networking group has been invaluable in allowing me to meet and mix with many new and well established businesses within Salisbury and the surrounding area. They are all only too willing to help and guide me to a successful business. Many of my business contacts have come through the Polaris Centre.”

“Dresseasy Clothing Inspired by Lacey Shea will continue to be associated with the Polaris Centre as I have found their support has strengthened our business,” Kay added.