Considering doing business in the USA?

The American Chamber of Commerce and Industry has begun planning their 2017 business mission program to the United States. With trips focused on defence and offshore Oil and Gas.

Sea-Air-Space Exposition , Washington D.C., USA, 2-6 April 2017
2-4 April 2017
Washington D.C, USA
Offshore Technology Conference, Houston, Texas, USA – 29 April to 5 May 2017
29 April – 5 May 2017
Houston, Texas, USA


USA Webinar Series

To support your business interest in doing business with the USA, Littler, CST Tax Advisors and the Government of South Australia are pleased to invite you to participate in this three-part webinar series where we will discuss topics including, expanding into the U.S., global talent, structuring expat compensation packets and preparing for global growth.

There are several webinar dates from 23 Febuary to the 9 June 2017

More details and how to register

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

Now’s the time to check your electricity plan with hikes of 10%

As of the 1 July 2016, many of Australia’s major electricity retailers increased their rates. South Australia was one of the States affected, with retailers increasing their rates by up to 10%1.When a price change occurs it is the perfect time to check your current plan to see if you can find something that works better for you. According to the latest annual review released by the Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC), 50% of consumers have not switched their electricity provider or plan in the last five years and are not taking advantage of the better deals available to them.

Help to get you the best deal:

  • Energy Made Easy a Federal Government website have established to help residential and small business energy consumers to navigate the often complex electricity and gas retail markets to find a suitable energy offer.
  • Make It Cheaper who provide fast, simple and effective service to ensure you aren’t overpaying for your electricity with the new rates in place. Their most recent bill analysis identified that 80% of Aussie businesses pay too much for their electricity2.

For a free quote from Make it Cheaper:


What other are doing to reduce energy costs?

The Energy Efficiency Exchange supports energy savings for small-to-medium and large energy-using companies. This shares the benefits of best-practice energy efficiency from industry sector case studies and resources gathered from around Australia and overseas. It also features a round-up of news, innovations, upcoming events and training opportunities.  To find out more visit

¹ – Mozo, 24th June, 2016
2 – Based on 10,400 bills analysed between Oct 2015 and Mar 2016 Source: Make it Cheaper

Data redundancy – How prepared is your business?

Data backup systems serve as insurance in case something catastrophic happens to your server (or key computer).  What happens when a hard drive crashes, a computer virus corrupts your files, a fire destroys the building and all of its computers or a burglar walks off with your server? Is your ‘Cloud Data’ secure from collapse of that provider company?

If you have a good, recent backup, you can get back up and running quickly. Without one, you could be out of business or face serious disruptions.  That said, data backups are not created equally. The best data backup solutions cover the three R’s: Redundancy, Reliability, and Recovery.
We mean having more than one copy. Think of it like having a backup of your backup. Redundancy provides an extra measure of protection should something go awry with your backup.

Reliability is equally important. Does your backup actually happen as planned? Is the data recoverable? Is it backing up the right data in the first place? When it comes to reliability, we actually have two more R’s we want to mention: recovery point objective (RPO) and recovery time objective (RTO).
RPO refers to the data than needs to be restored in order to get your business back up. RTO refers to the amount of time to perform the recovery before your business becomes adversely affected by downtime.
The crucial test of a redundant, reliable backup solution involves whether or not recovery is possible. It doesn’t do any good to have a backup medium that won’t actually restore your data in a timely manner.
Few businesses can afford to lose data or disrupt their services for more than a few hours. Make sure this doesn’t happen to you with a secure, reliable data backup and disaster recovery solution.
Contact your local IT solutions company to review your redundancy.

Adapted from a American article from a commercial provider –

See the full article here

Rory’s Catering Co. Partners with Polaris for Success

The following testimonial was written by Michelle Le Cornu of Brainbox Marketing for Rory’s Catering and the Polaris Centre:

Rory’s Catering Co. has enjoyed a successful relationship with the Polaris Business and Innovation Centre since 2007.   Rory’s Catering Co. provides corporate and private catering including working lunches, seminars and workshops, corporate breakfasts and Christmas parties.

The relationship with Polaris began informally when Polaris advisors were customers at the onsite cafe at Innovation House, Mawson Lakes, which was managed by Rory’s Catering Co.  An initial conversation about business fostered a bigger discussion about how to grow Rory’s.  That is when Polaris staff invited owners, Rory and Louise Hope, to attend the Business Fundamentals Workshop.

“Business Fundamentals was a good introduction to formalise business.  I had a background in operations and I had some insight but I didn’t have the knowledge of how all areas of business work.” 

Equipped with the Business Fundamentals, Rory progressed to the Mentoring for Success program.

Mentoring for Success was a turning point for my business.  I was in a group with 11 other business owners who acted like a board.  We covered a different topic each month and I could use the board to discuss the issues I was facing in my business and get feedback on what to do.”

Over time, Rory’s business has grown from a small catering service to two businesses, Rory’s Catering Co. and Rory’s School Lunches employing 45 people. The Rory’s Group now has an external board including Rob Chisholm from Polaris, Alan Green Consulting and Brainbox Marketing.

“Rob mentored us through a period of change and we’ve been building ever since.  I wish I’d met Polaris at day one.  It’s taken us years to get our business structure and processes right and we’ve nailed it in the last 12 months.  We’re now in a position to focus on growth.” 

Visit Rory’s Catering Co. to view the menus and request a quote at

To find out how your business can benefit from a relationship with Polaris Business and Innovation Centre, go to

Why e-commerce in China? Because its the biggest

e-commerce ChinaE-commerce in China is creating new opportunities and new ways to enter export markets. China’s e-commerce sector continues to grow and transform retail markets and social trends and when it comes to the global e-commerce market, there’s one contender who’s quickly becoming the world’s biggest: China.

China’s online market is the biggest in the world with an estimated value of 450 billion USD (2014) which supersedes the US’ 296 billion USD by far according to Juniper Research. Around 90 per cent of online shopping in China is transacted through e-commerce marketplaces which have the potential to bring China’s online consumers within reach of even the smallest Australian exporters. This was highlighted at our recent E-Commerce with China workshop presented by Todd Miller from TradeStart at the Polaris Centre.

Selling through Chinese e-commerce platforms can provide potentially some easier ways to export. Some of the advantages which were highlighted at the workshop includes:

  • preferential policy and regulations of customs, inspection and tax, etc
  • ability to sell products directly to Chinese consumers
  • Mature technology enables buyers and sellers
  • Australian products are in demand
  • get real time insights and understanding of your consumers
  • avoid complex regulatory procedures into China
  • accessing logistic platforms to get your product to your customer

If you’re looking to export to China call us at the Polaris Centre on 8260 8205 as we can connect you to support services to assist your export plans.

For more specific information, Austrade has developed an China E-commerce Guide which can be downloaded. This is designed assist Australian producers understand and access China’s e-commerce markets.

Preparing for the Subs

HMAS Waller Arrive in Albany

The recent announcement that the next generation of submarines for Australia will be constructed in northern Adelaide was welcome news for all Australians wanting the government to invest in Australian jobs and skills.

This announcement follows those about future Frigates and Patrol Vessels and the road construction projects happening, and planed for South Australia including Darlington Upgrade, O-Bahn extension and soon to be announced Northern Connector.

The Prime Minister stated the Government will maximise Australian industry involvement in the program and will work closely with DCNS (the successful tenderer) to identify opportunities for local businesses to integrate into the supply chain.

What does this mean for northern Adelaide businesses that aren’t in the defence supply chain, given construction of the 12 submarines isn’t due to commence until around 2025?  Well it’s not just about the actual subs!  There will be considerable site works involved at Osborne’s Techport  just to have a facility capable of delivering on the project.  As the DCNS spokesperson said following the announcement that once the signing of contracts has occurred then work will almost start immediately.

If your business provides engineering, construction, earthworks etc. you should be positioning your business now to capture these early opportunities..  This could include:

  • Non-defence:
    • Understand your strengths and be able to articulate the value you can bring to defence contracts.
    • Update you profile (free or paid) on the Industry Capability Network website
    • Register for tender feeds on TendersSA website
    • Register for, and attend the 12 July Northern Adelaide Meet the Buyer event to be held at Grand Central in Elizabeth
    • Register for one of the training sessions put on by the Office of Industry Advocate on Doing Business With Government at either the Polaris or Stretton Centres
  • Defence or businesses looking at defence work:
    • All of the above
    • Get connected with organisations like Defence Teaming Centre and DefenceSA
    • Network in the defence space
    • Identify areas where your business needs to improve capabilities including workforce skills, strategic direction, supply chain relationships, etc.
    • Research and understand the timeframes of the project and the implications of those on your business

If you want assistance in identifying how your business could benefit from future defence contacts, and the current infrastructure project in South Australia, then contact a Business Advisor at the Polaris Business and Innovation Centre on 8260 8205.

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 @


Colaboration with Holden Transition Centre will assist Holden Workers into Small Business

Picture of the transition centre from ABC news website

The Polaris Centre is working closely with the Holden’s Transition Centre in Elizabeth having a business advisor in the centre every Thursday afternoon to speak to those workers thinking of starting a business. Thursday afternoons free in the centre for the month of March 10th, 17th, 24th and 31st from 1pm – 5pm.

We are also going to be running information sessions from April onward to talk about how to start a business plus some info session on legal obligations as well. Watch this space for more details.