Category Archives - Marketing and Good Business Ideas

Perhaps the most important category and always the most interesting. This category offers a substantial range of posts which are identifed in national and international magazines and web blogs.

First, de-escalate

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Special thanks to Seth Godin – author of this sage advice…

It’s very difficult to reason with someone if their hair is on fire.  Customer service (whether you’re a school principal, a call center or a consultant) can’t begin until the person you’re working with believes that you’re going to help them put out the fire on their head.

Basic principles worth considering. . . . . . . .  .

The first promises kept are hints that you will keep future promises. Putting people on endless hold, bad voice trees, live chat that isn’t actually live, an uncomfortable chair in the waiting room, a nasty receptionist, unclear directions to your office, bad line management… all of these things escalate stress and decrease trust.

Don’t underestimate the power of a good sign, a take-a-number deli machine and a thoughtful welcome.

Don’t deny that the customer/patient/student has a problem. If they think they have a problem, they have a problem. It might be that your job is to help them see (over time) that the thing that’s bothering them isn’t actually a problem, but denying the problem doesn’t de-escalate it.

Leave the legal arguments at home. It’s entirely possible that your terms of service or fine print or HIPA or lawyers have come up with some sort of clause that prevents you from solving the problem the way the customer wants it solved. You can’t do anything about that. But bringing it up now, in this moment of escalation, merely makes the problem worse.

The goal is to open doors, not close them. (more…)

It’s been a big year . . looking forward to 2018

This year has passed in record time and we will soon be into January.

2018 Refresh

At the top of the list, we are planning a refresh of BassendeanMeansBusiness web site.  Assisting us to do some of the ground work we recently had the good fortune to work with local university student – Sally Leavy.  Sally a third year at Notre Dame, Fremantle is completing a double degree in Commerce (Economics) and Politics (International Relations). She put in two weeks as an intern sifting through mountains of data from the ABR, distilling it down to integrate into the latest business directory and email database.  This data really helps in featuring the new operators, those starting out, those working from home and helps to build networks and bring the right people together.

2018 Localism 

Talking about bringing people together I recently met up with some members of the Bassendean Business Association over breakfast and I’m looking forward to supporting them in 2018.

A part of that support will hopefully be at the Festival of Local Business.  This event is just beginning to take shape and will happen in April.  It aims to put our community of businesses and entrepreneurs on the map in a very special way. The idea of the festival came out of the Digital Business Marketing Strategy (2018) which will be officially presented to the new Economic Development Committee when it first meets in the new year.  But you can get a sneak preview here.  The new Economic Development Committee is currently looking for members.  If you want to be part of it please nominate yourself here and make sure your hat is in the ring.

2018 Optimism

The economic and financial outlook for 2018 is positive overall.  A just published Quarterly Economic Commentary from Bankwest Curtin Economic Centre (BCEC) offers excellent objective insight into the expectations both social and commercial for 2018.  Great reading when you can separate yourself from your domestic duties this holiday.

Original & Free

And finally, as a start up business where your cash is tight and image is everything.  The biggest place where your customers find you and make a decision on whether to trust you or put their time in to check you out is of course your website.  That is the centre of your publicity.  A major element are the photos and images which are displayed.

Here is a link to 25 websites of original free stocks photos   These thousands of photos are free to download. They just ask you to acknowledge the photographer when you use the image (just like we have with the image above). The images are unique and different from the standard free stock photos.

Wishing you a safe and happy holiday.  Looking forward to 2018 and growing our local economy.

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Small Business Health Program

Are you a small business owner with plans to grow your business in 2018? 

Bankwest’s Small Business Health program developed in collaboration with the Small Business Development Corporation and Business Foundations, aims to provide specialised support on critical business skills.  The program will enhance the financial capability and personal resilience of small business owners who are ready to grow their business.

To help Bankwest pilot this program, they are inviting small business owners who are on the cusp of growing their business to participate for free.

What you’ll get:

  1. A program valued at $2,500 to help you focus on 4 key areas considered necessary for successful growth:  (Business Planning for Growth, Protecting your Business, Marketing (with a focus on digital), Human Resources
  2. Receive 3 personal coaching sessions to apply learnings to your business
  3. Share ideas and learn from other small business owners at the same stage of growth
  4. Opportunity to provide feedback, help refine and shape the program for future small businesses

Program timings

Participants will need to attend 4 or 5 consecutive sessions as outlined below.  If you are based in Bassendean or the surrounding area you are considered Perth Metro and the format will be Face to Face and the session timings will be

  • Session 1-15 February
  • Session 2 – 8 March
  • Session 3 – 27 March
  • Session 4 – 19 April
  • Session 5 – 10 May



Climate Innovators ~ Climathon Bassendean 27/10/17

Bassendean has stepped up to the challenge and along with Berlin, Budapest, Athens, Brooklyn, Sydney, Canberra, Washington, Warsaw and over 70 other cities we will explore innovative ideas for sustainable business, technology solutions, community behaviour and other insights on local renewable energy production.

Cities and towns have a significant role to play in tackling climate change by becoming more energy efficient, increasing reliance on renewable energy, and moving to more sustainable modes of transport. Already, investments in renewable energy worth millions of dollars are being rolled out across Australia by businesses, local councils and community groups.

This Climathon challenge aims to develop ideas for how the residents, businesses and community in the Town of Bassendean can contribute to Australia’s climate change target to reduce emissions by 26-28% on 2005 levels by 2030 through innovative renewable energy practices.

This challenge also supports the objectives in the Town of Bassendean’s Strategic Community Plan 2017-2027.

Create real solutions to your city’s climate challenge, take action in your city! If you want to BE PART OF THIS it’s not too late to be part of it –  Application Deadline: 25th October, 2017

How will you benefit from Climathon?

  • Help solve your city’s local climate challenge, and make your city more resilient to climate change
  • Network with local leaders from academia, business and public authorities
  • Join forces with other like-minded entrepreneurs and innovators
  • Become a part of a global community working together to take climate action!

Australian cities, towns and shires are at risk from worsening climate impacts, such as floods, water scarcity and extreme heatwaves. Meanwhile, urban populations are major contributors to climate change, producing around three-quarters of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions from activities such as heating, cooling and lighting buildings, transportation and industrial activities.


Think Small First Competition for shoppers and small businesses!

From this Saturday 28 October until 10 December, Small Business Matters is running a state-wide shopper competition to help celebrate our small business sector.

Small businesses and shoppers are invited to get involved to encourage people to Think Small First!  By spending at least $10 at a participating small business and entering online, shoppers can go in the draw to win $2,000. (T&C’s apply).  Shoppers can locate their local participating small businesses at the Small Business Matters shopper map: –

Who doesn’t need that in the lead up to Christmas?

Below is a video of a recent Connect Event, Making Your Business Work For You, featuring a panel of small business owners on business plan preparation, steps for taking planned and unplanned leave, setting up a support network and maintaining a positive work/life balance.

The speakers included Benjamin Trinh from Life Ready Physio & Pilates, Helen Pow from The Little Posy Co., Brian Greedy from Brian Greedy Business Solutions, and facilitated by Kate Eccles from Bankwest.

They shared their unique insights and real life experiences. Some of the key takeaways from them were: (more…)

Think Small First: Small Business Day, Saturday 28 October 2017.

This statewide movement is gaining momentum.  Designed to raise awareness about small business in Western Australia. They are the lifeblood and heart of what makes our local communities great. This is about celebrating our passionate entrepreneurs, butchers, mechanics, artists, accountants, gardeners, interior designers, foodies, personal trainers and more.

Without small business, a community doesn’t thrive.  Without small business, our economy would not survive.  Small business are a huge part of our life.

There are more than 210,000 small businesses in WA which encompasses a massive 97 per cent of ALL businesses in the state.  Small businesses employ nearly half of ALL jobs in Western Australia.

Impressive right?

It’s time to celebrate these things and remind ourselves to think small first.  It’s a great time to get involved.

Step 1.  On Saturday 28 October make the decision to do all your shopping at small businesses.

Step 2.  Think beyond 28 October 2017!

The way we shop influences what is available to shop in.  How do you normally shop?  Small businesses keep the large and global corporations more competitive.  When a small business disappears – so does our diversity and variety.  We can’t afford that.  Instead of shopping at a large business, how about shopping at an independent store or a small business?


Step 1.  Join the movement.  Upload your logo or photo on our supporter wall here.

Step 2.  Let’s get loud!  Download a poster and stick on your business window – help communicate why small businesses are important to our community!  You can also download an e-signature and other materials to use here.

On 28 October 2017!

Step 1.  Take a photo and post on our Small Business Matters Facebook page or tweet it – and go in the draw to win a fantastic prize (to be announced).  Use the tag #smallbizwa

Australians & their social media

The recent release of the Sensis Social Media Report 2016 is essential reading for all business operators. It reveals we love our social media more and more. For example time spent on Facebook has increased over 40% on last year and now exceeds 12.5 hours per week. That’s more than half a day per week.

In brief:

  • Facebook is King. 70% of the population has a social media profile and of these 95% have a profile on Facebook.
  • Respondents access Social Media about 32 times each week (roughly the same as previous year). However, the time spent when checking in has risen 40% on last year, rising from 17 mins per check in to 24 mins. That equals 12.5 hours per week.
  • And we check in at all times of the day.
    • 49% first thing we do when we open our eyes in the morning
    • 18% when commuting
    • 22% during work
    • 33% breaks
    • 36% lunch time
    • 63% after work
    • 35% last thing before going to bed
  • 48% of small and medium enterprises (SME’s) are on social media (+17% on last year) and 79% of large business (+23% on last year)
  • Smartphone ownership up +6% on last year reaching 76% penetration. On average the population have three internet enabled devices.
  • An important takeaway is the population are paying more importance to reviews. They are reading them and making them much more easily. This is Tripadvisor, Yelp , Zomato and many others.  This is the “word of mouth” which has always been customers most trusted information. This underlines the need for businesses to get on the front foot and avoid negative reviews if you can.   We have published a lot on the topic of social media over the years and we put up a great post on this very topic a couple of years ago. If you want some quick tips on handling bad reviews it is still available here – “How to deal with negative comments on social media
  • It is more a question of how rather than if business and markets should use social media to connect and engage with consumers meaningfully
    and effectively. From this report you can get an insight into When to post, Who to post to, What to post, Where to post.
  • The full report can be down loaded here.

Keep Australia Beautiful Week – 21-27 August

Along with reducing the number of coffee cups going to landfill the Town is keen for local businesses to get behind the Keep Australia Beautiful Campaign.

We’ll soon see the army of volunteers with their orange bags along road verges but there are many other ways you can help and get involved:

  • Promote the week to your networks.
  • Download the posters and promote it in your businesses and to your customers
  • Look at the simple things in your daily lives to reduce your impact on the environment

It’s up to all of us, community organisations, schools, sporting clubs and the local governments.

Go to the website to find out more and take a look at their promotional tools to help spread the message.

O2 Cafe & Need for Feed are Responsible Cafes!

IF you want to save on your morning coffee and make a difference to the environment, then you might like to consider a push by Responsible Cafes.

The volunteer movement encourages venues to offer customers discounts on warm beverages if they bring a re-usable cup. O2 Cafe (Old Perth Rd) and Need for Feed (corner of Colstoun Rd and Guildford Rd) have been quick out of the starting blokes and signed up to offer discounts and help the environment.

Michele Glass, manager of O2 Cafe, Old Perth Road signed up a few months ago and has noticed a steady number of customers who bring their own reusable cups and save 50 cents every time. “We think it’s a great initiative. We’re always trying to minimise waste,” she said.

“We’re still going through too many single-use cups per week and we really want to get that number down” she added.

The Town is a fully paid up member of this movement and strongly encourages all the other cafes and outlets around the town to get on board. With Australians estimated to use one billion takeaway coffee cups every year, through joining up to this initiative with coffee drinkers, cafe owners and our residents we are keen to “change the game on single-use waste by nurturing a culture of reuse”.

The Evolution of Advertising

The Evolution of Advertising: How Consumers Won the War for Their Attention from HubSpot

This extensive slide show originally published in 2013, but updated a couple of months ago, illustrates where advertising has come from and how it’s been completely turned on it’s head.

It’s a lesson every business needs to learn: why traditional methods of advertising just aren’t going to cut it anymore and why.  But it also takes you to where the customers are and tells you how to reach them….

Here are a few facts from the slide show. . . . . .

1) Advertising has existed as far back as 3000 BC!

2) 63% of consumers need to hear company claims 3-5 times before they actually believe it.

3) You’re more likely to survive a plane crash than click a banner ad.

4) The first newspaper ad was in 1650 to offer a reward for 12 stolen horses.

5) Caller ID has been around to spot telemarketers since 1981.

6) In 1993, the entire internet had 5 million users — or 0.45% of Facebook’s current user base.