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Podcast: A big step forward for your small business

Business and Enterprise

Posted on August 1, 2017

2 min read

Despite Australians being among the biggest users of digital technology in the world, just half of the country’s small businesses have an online presence, meaning commercial opportunities are passing them by.

We know there’s a perception amongst business owners that getting online will be costly, complicated and time consuming.  But what if there was a simple way to help make sure opportunity knocks?

As part of the Be ‘That’ Business radio show, we spoke with Jae Hawkins, the general manager of the Wollongong Hellenic Club, who put her apprehension aside and embraced a new digital strategy to help her company flourish.

When Jae was approached for the position at the WHC earlier this year, the first thing she did was Google the company, but unfortunately the website was under construction at the time.  This hit a chord with Jae; “I knew nothing about the club, so I couldn’t expect our customers to know either” she said.

Jae realised she needed to establish an online footprint immediately, but without any experience in web development, she didn’t know where to begin.

With the help of Telstra Online Essentials, Jae had a new website up and running within 48 hours, and new customers soon followed. Now, the club is taking bookings and function enquiries online, with its live entertainment and mezze platters proving especially popular with patrons.

Here’s why having an online presence is so important:

The first step to a sale

The National Online Retailers Association says almost 10% of retail sales are made online, but many other sales begin online with customers researching options before they make their final decision in store.

Connect and grow

As Jae discovered firsthand, an online presence is one of the most cost-effective and rewarding ways to start a conversation with new customers and grow a small business.

The barrier to entry is lower than ever

It’s understandable to feel intimidated and unsure about where to start with setting up your online presence.  With Telstra Online Essentials, we can help you every step of the way.

Listen to our chat with Jay here:

For more on how to be ‘that’ business, visit Smarter Business.

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Podcast: How technology can help you find and retain the right talent

Business and Enterprise

Posted on July 10, 2017

3 min read

Virgin founder Sir Richard Branson once said “Success in business is all about people, people, people. Whatever industry a company is in, it’s employees are its biggest competitive advantage.”

While most Australian business owners agree with this sentiment, the reality is that many are struggling to find and attract the right talent.

In a recent survey of 2,000 Telstra Business Awards finalists and winners, 68% said recruiting the right talent was the biggest challenge they faced when establishing their business, with 51% saying recruitment continues to be a challenge to the ongoing success of their business.

As part of the Be ‘That’ Business radio show (airing at 9pm Wednesday nights on the Macquarie Radio network), Andrew O’Connor from Relken Engineering revealed how technology is helping him overcome the recruitment challenge and open up new opportunities for his business and his employees.

1. Find and retain the right talent:

In less than three years, Relken Engineering has grown from a team of 3 to 37, but what’s even more impressive is the fact they don’t have a single office – they have 37 offices. Technology and remote working has allowed Andrew (based on the Sunshine Coast) and his business partner Ben Mailler (based in Canberra) to do away with a traditional head office space and hire people with the best skillsets from a national talent pool or use the employee’s proximity to a client’s location in their favour.

2. Work from anywhere:

Relken Engineering’s 37 “offices” include the homes of their employees, client sites and coffee shops, and thanks to cloud based tools including Microsoft Office365, accounting software Receipt Bank and online task management software tool Wrike, their team can collaborate, share and input business data in real time from just about anywhere.

3. Fostering collaboration & engagement:

It’s a well-known fact that a large percentage of communication is non-verbal, and there can sometimes be misconceptions around technology removing the human element of a conversation. In truth, video conferencing solutions like Skype for Business and Blue Jeans are two easy to use platforms which help build a sense of community for employees to collaborate and interact with each other, wherever they are – all they need is a computer, an internet connection and a video camera.

4. Flexible working arrangements:

Flexible working is about more than just working from home, it’s about having a discussion with your employees to determine what tools and support they need to do their job best. By providing employees with the right technology and freedom to work flexibly you’re allowing them to save time on travel, create the right environment for focussing on tasks and balance family life priorities. If you get the mix right, it can be a win-win for all involved with employees feeling engaged, trusted and valued, and therefore less likely to leave the company.

To hear more from our chat with Andrew, check out the podcast from the Be ‘That’ Business Radio Show.

For more on how to be ‘that’ business, head to Smarter Business

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Don’t know what to buy your friend, the small business owner this Christmas?

All I want for Christmas is…to do my shopping online

featured Small Business

Posted on December 1, 2016

3 min read

Experts say many Australia’s small and medium businesses could miss out on reaching new customers and billions of dollars of online sales this Christmas because they don’t have a website or they’re lacking eCommerce capabilities, writes Brendan Donohoe.

Where has this year gone?

Soon we’ll be cranking the Christmas tunes, stuffing ourselves silly on turkey, seafood and pudding, and sitting around the Christmas tree giving gifts to our loved ones.

But if you’re anything like me, the thought of battling the crowds in the malls and department stores in the lead up to Christmas, let alone finding the time to do it, can be too much to bear.

Last year I tested the online shopping waters with some great buys for the family, and I plan to do my shopping online again this year – yes, I’ll admit I haven’t started it yet!

For me, the beauty of doing my shopping online is that I can research, plan and make purchases at a time that suits me, where it suits me – and with increasing numbers of Australians doing the same thing, retail businesses simply can’t afford not to be online this Christmas.

In fact, Australian shoppers are expected to spend more than $48.1 billion over the Christmas trading period – and whilst around 8% of retail sales are made online, the number of sales influenced by online research which led to an instore purchase could be much higher.

Our research with 1,031 SMBs showed only 1 in 2 have a website, and 1 in 3 have e-commerce functionality, with majority (59 per cent) relying on the physical or in-store experience to make sales.

We know that time, money and resourcing are all factors that can influence a business’ decision of whether to get a website or not which is why we’ve developed our Online Essentials product to help SMBs create a digital presence and do more to be found in search results on Google, Google Maps and Yellow Pages.  The good news is that our experts can help businesses get online or add an online store in a matter of days.

Similarly, our all-in-one eCommerce platform, Neto, helps build powerful online stores that integrate with accounting platforms, payment gateways, shipping carriers and sales channels like eBay.

We recently caught up with Clementine Round from Rosenberg Shoes and Diana Eid from Designer Hair Studios to find out how being online has changed the way they do business.

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Taking the mystery out of mobile apps

Telstra News

Posted on April 8, 2015

3 min read

If I said, ‘Say goodbye to re-entering data and chasing paper!’ then I’d get the attention of more than 73 per cent of businesses who are yet to harness the power of using mobility apps to help run their business more efficiently1.

We know a whopping 70 per cent of business owners find using apps a bit mystifying1, so late last year we launched Telstra Apps Marketplace. It provides our business customers with a one-stop shop to find, buy and use today’s best business apps.

We’re pleased to add two more fantastic products: Shoeboxed, an expense management app, and Deputy, a rostering and workforce management cloud application. (more…)

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Stop at the App shop

Telstra News

Posted on October 28, 2014

3 min read

Most businesses spend almost half their time on administration and logistics tasks. The bad news? Administration and logistics are here to stay. The good news? We can help you work smarter!

We’re building on our success as a Cloud provider for our business customers with the launch of the Telstra Apps Marketplace and two new apps, Box and DocuSign. The Telstra Apps Marketplace is a one-stop shop and management portal, making it easy to find and buy great cloud-based business, mobile and communications apps. The Telstra Apps Marketplace will make it easy for Telstra partners to manage apps on their customers’ behalf too. (more…)

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