Responsible business | Small Business | Tech for good | Telstra News |

Putting businesses who Go Digital up in lights at the footy

By Michael Ackland March 2, 2021

If Australia’s small businesses were footy players, they’d all deserve the Brownlow and the Dally M for how they’ve kept themselves and our economy running over the past year. Now, we want to pay it forward.

Today we’re kicking off around $8.5m worth of support, made up of free one-on-one assistance to help small businesses ‘go digital’ for the rest of the year and (and this is a real kicker) the opportunity to have your business up in lights in front of millions of people at NRL and AFL matches.

We feel this is the perfect way for Telstra to help, and give local businesses priceless exposure at the same time.

Have your business up in lights at the NRL or AFL

Running a business can be a bit like a footy game – really competitive with lots of players to contend with. We want to help level the playing field, by putting businesses up in lights on the field.

We’re giving away our ad space during Round 8 of the 2021 Toyota AFL Premiership season and Round 9 of the 2021 NRL Telstra Premiership. This includes the broadcast, banners, big screen and the NRL grass. It’s exclusive exposure, reaching potentially millions of people, that big businesses pay big bucks for.

17 matches means 17 winners getting national exposure – it doesn’t matter if you’re a tattoo artist or a florist – while another 50 businesses can win advertising spots at their local Telstra retail store, Telstra.com and My Telstra app.

This is our way of giving the backbone of our economy a well-deserved big plug, But that’s not all. We want to help all our small business customers be their best online at the same time.

Go Digital

Our new Telstra Business Go Digital Consult is designed to help your business be its best online, to help meet customer demands and increase your efficiencies, and we’re offering it free (valued at $149 each) to small businesses for the rest of the year.

A Telstra Small Business Expert will do an over the phone review of how digital your business is, and provide a tailored report and roadmap for you to ‘Go Digital’ covering the following areas:

  • Get connected – ensuring you’re set up for success with the right tools, devices and connectivity to get and stay online.
  • Engage online – advising on how to engage with customers online (website, social media, search engines, etc.), digital marketing to help boost your online presence, and tracking/managing existing customer relationships.
  • Help stay secure and supported – making sure you have the right tools to reduce the threat of viruses and malware to your business devices and data – plus access to ongoing support.
  • Business Software – offering insights into solutions including tech services, accounting software, security software, CRM software, and more to suit your business.

Our extensive partner network has also come to the party to support SMBs, with the Telstra Business Go Digital Consult unlocking a host of exclusive offers from Small Business Australia, Samsung, Cisco, Spotzer, Facebook and Microsoft.

We’ve also developed an interactive online Go Digital Tool, to help businesses self-assess their digital readiness and receive recommendations.

How it works

Eligible Telstra small business customers who register interest for a free Telstra Business Go Digital Consult can head to our portal and share a brief description on why they deserve to have their business up in lights go into the running our footy ad space giveaway. Free and easy, because we know you have your hands full.

We’re constantly adding to and evolving our offerings to our small business customers, like our recent partnership with MYOB, because we all want them to thrive.

Small Business |

Taking care of business with free MYOB Essentials

By Anne Da Cunha February 24, 2021

As the Australian economy becomes more plugged-in, logged-on and fired-up than ever, we want to give all small businesses digitising potentially for the first time the ability to mind their own business. That’s why we’re teaming up with MYOB to help Australian small businesses get the job done.

We know how busy it is running a business. You’ve got to handle everything. Your customers, your staff, suppliers to chase and invoices to handle. But we want to lend a hand with a one-stop shop for all your business tools and needs.

To help with that, our new suite of tools for Australian small- to medium-businesses (SMBs) launches today and includes a free three-month subscription to MYOB Essentials (normally valued at up to $180) for new and existing customers.

Combining your Telstra mobile and MYOB subscriptions on the same Telstra bill, simplifies administration and payments – allowing business owners more time to get on with what matters most.

Customers can choose any plan from the MYOB Essentials range on the Telstra website or in store to combine their billing, while still having access to MYOB’s ANZ-based support teams. The three-month free offer is valid with any $65+ Telstra month to month plan.

We’ve heard businesses asking for more help with their business apps, and accounting and payroll are key. Having the power to get paid quickly and easily helps ensure the continuity of your business.

It’s all part of our mission to help Australian businesses thrive in a new digital world. The pandemic has driven more shoppers online than ever, and paired with a desire to shop local, the digital economy is vibrant.

Telstra’s Business Intelligence Insights report recently showed 76% of SMBs agreed that in 2020, digital technology helped them stay connected with their customers, in response to the impacts of COVID-19. And 72% of SMBs agreed that in 2020, digital technology helped them keep their business running and adapt how they work, in response to the impacts of COVID-19.

In addition to this, a recent MYOB Business Monitor found 35% of Australian SMEs moved more of their business online after the COVID-19 pandemic hit, with 83% of those who did saying it helped their business stay afloat.

For more information, and to sign-up, head to Telstra.com.

Business adviser analyzing financial figures of the company while meeting
Small Business |

Giving business the opportunity to get online for Christmas with a free website

By Anne Da Cunha October 12, 2020

With less than 90 days to Christmas, it’s fair to say this festive season will be like no other. With COVID-19 restrictions still in place around the country, many small and medium businesses are feeling the pinch in the lead up to what is normally a lively retail period. We want to help small businesses as much as possible during this difficult time and that’s why we we’re giving them a free website and Google listing to capture precious digital dollars.

The online tools you need this festive season

Did you know 1 in 4 customers will not consider using a business if it has no online presence? That’s why we want to make sure your customers can find you online when they have money to spend by offering a free website to small businesses.

We want to help you be found by your customers with a .com.au domain that reflects your business brand, and a website built from a template of designs you can have online in minutes. The websites we offer work brilliantly on mobile to capture customers on the go and allow you to also promote your social media at the same time. And it’s free for the next 12 months*.

It also includes a Google My Business listing, which allows users of the world’s largest search platform to find your outfit! This is critical due to the fact 1 in 5 consumers in our survey would bypass a small business they haven’t used before if no customer reviews are available.

To help your online presence even more, we’re also offering three months free website services when you take up a $65/month business mobile plan.

And if you switch your business’ plan to us from 1 October to 15 November, we’ll include access to a dedicated nbn Connection Manager: a single point of contact during the connection process to ensure you get truly personalised service.

Gearing your business for growth

It’s no secret that this year has seen businesses of all sizes under enormous pressure. Unfortunately, that pressure has been felt particularly acutely by small and medium businesses (SMBs).

But despite the doom and gloom, we are still seeing Australians clocking up billions in online spending this year according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics. Naturally, businesses that already had an online presence or quickly pivoted to e-commerce, have been at an advantage.

Biologi, a scientific-skincare brand based in Byron Bay is acutely aware of how a strong online presence can drive your business. Heather Earl is the skincare brand’s Senior Marketing Manager and told us that a website is instrumental to reaching a wider audience.

“I truly believe that having our brand so readily available to consumers has been instrumental in our rapid success in a short space of time.

“Your website is your number 1 marketing asset, most consumers won’t consider shopping from your business without a website, they expect your business to have an online presence giving them a sense of protection that you’re an established, professional and legitimate business,” Heather tells us, adding that it also helps to grow your brand beyond a simple business and into a community that can have an impact on the lives of your customers.

“A website is an incredible easy and accessible touchpoint for building brand awareness that can complete your brand story. We use ours not only for retail but also for giving customers an insight and support in customisable forms. We chose to have an online skin quiz developed by industry professionals so that customers near and far can have equal opportunity of receiving an expert opinion on how to build a skincare regime that will get results for them.

“No matter how unique your product or service is, comparison is an inevitable part of business management, online presence ensures that control the narrative on your branding so that customers get an accurate insight into the incredible work that goes into creating a revolutionary brand.”

SMBs have often told us that the time commitment to building and maintaining a web presence is too high. But now that COVID-19 has driven legions of shoppers online, driving a digital strategy for small business is not just important – it’s urgent. Especially considering we’re seeing Australian consumers actively looking to support local businesses in their area.

That’s why we want to help provide the digital tools they need to get their products and services online quickly ahead of the busiest online trading period of the year.

Things you need to know

* Your website with the Extra Small (XS) 1 Page website plan will be live for 12 months, however you can upgrade at any time to a paid Telstra Digital Marketing Services Small, Medium or Large website service. At the completion of the 12 month free subscription period, the subscription will terminate, the website and its contents will be deleted, and the associated domain will be released for you to renew with Telstra or a third party.

Business and Enterprise | Small Business |

Why the digitisation of Small Business is now urgent – not just important

By Michael Ackland July 31, 2020

If COVID-19 taught us anything, it has been how to rapidly respond to change. With online spending skyrocketing in recent months, Australia’s small-to-medium businesses must respond to this change in customer behaviour in order to take advantage of the ‘new normal’.

The COVID inflection point for digitisation

Make no mistake: Australian businesses in all shapes and sizes are at an inflection point, with the data telling a truly remarkable story. Unemployment has risen rapidly, and 1 in 10 small to medium businesses are no longer trading due to COVID-19. Those that have survived are reporting serious concerns, with 80 per cent of small to medium businesses expecting adverse impacts to their operations in the next two months.

Small business owners have always told us that one of the biggest barriers to getting their operations online was the time required. Owner-operators are typically so invested in doing the day to day that they don’t have the time to digitise their business. But now that COVID-19 has driven legions of shoppers online, driving a digital strategy for small business is not just important – it’s urgent. Especially considering we’re seeing Australian consumers actively looking to support local businesses in their area.

New data from Venture Insights indicates that 70 per cent of Australian consumers now consciously support local businesses, but many indicate that they are hamstrung by a lack of online presence. Businesses that go digital also reap near-immediate rewards, with our research showing that boosted technology spending leads to revenue that is three times faster than those who don’t invest in technology.

There are clearly huge opportunities for small to medium businesses in Australia to go digital during this time.

Driving digitisation

To capture these post-COVID consumer dollars, businesses must seize the opportunity of e-commerce as much as possible because those that have adapted well have put technology right at the centre of their business.

Businesses that have managed to rapidly digitise during lockdown have told us that tech and telecom services are now more important than they had been in a pre-COVID world. Connected, always-on tech is now being used by small businesses to create new experiences for customers and new ways of doing business.

There’s no doubt that it’s going to continue to be hard for many to adapt. Previous barriers to adoption such as time pressure or complexity are still as relevant as ever, but the urgency has increased. Video, remote connectivity and e-commerce must now be the watchwords of the successful post-COVID SMB.

One such business adapting successfully is Kalleske Wines. Situated in South Australia’s Barossa Valley, Kalleske relied heavily on physical presence at its winery, restaurant and cellar door to do business. When COVID-19 hit, Kalleske had the radical idea to take the fundamental features of a winery and put it online, adapting and digitising its operation rapidly to stay open.

It started to offer mixed six- and 12-packs of wine with accompanying videos and downloadable resources for customers to learn more about the wine. Furthermore, it replaced its Cellar Door experience with Facebook Live sessions in conjunction with a local industry group to continue tour and information sessions. Private tastings were held via video conference, with customers being sent new 100mL sample sizes to try the wine during the session.

Kalleske has told us that they’ll almost certainly continue all of these initiatives in the future to ensure that customers who would rather not travel can still take advantage of what their business has to offer.

It’s not an easy road out of COVID-19, but with resilience and ingenuity, many SMBs will be able to adapt to changing consumer behaviour and provide more remote working opportunities for their employees. Ultimately though, there is no going back.

COVID-19 represents a fundamental opportunity to capture not only a new wave of online shoppers, but also for SMBs to digitise their operations.

As the backbone of the Australian economy it is now incumbent upon all of us to get behind small business and help them grow. However, moving past these challenges (toward a new normal) and moving back into growth requires time and support, which many SMBs don’t currently have.

So we have made some small but significant changes to help them thrive:

  • To give you peace of mind about staying connected to your business operations over the coming months, we’re providing unlimited data allowances on fixed broadband free of charge for our small business customers until 30 September.
  • We’re offering small business customers a $50 credit for 6 months when connecting a new fixed internet service on the $100 Business Internet Unlimited plan with a $25 Business Calling Pack, until 31 August. This is a great offer providing more value to our Business Internet Plans to help small business to thrive again.
  • We’re offering small businesses access to our new Digital Marketing Services website plans at half the regular cost, until 31 August. We’ll help you create or update your website and if needed, open an online store.
  • We’ll be on hand to assist you in creating business listings for Google My Business, Apple Maps and Facebook Business. For our existing customers, we will automatically apply 50 per cent off your Telstra Digital Marketing or Telstra Online Essentials website subscription charge.
  • If you’re missing any equipment to work from home, Telstra’s Mobile Worksuite gives you the data, software, devices and support you need to get you and your team working remotely smoothly.
  • We continue to monitor the situation closely while working closely with regulators and the government. Our absolute focus remains on team wellbeing, supporting our customers and playing our part in the national response.
  • Find out more details about how we’re supporting small businesses through COVID-19.
Business adviser analyzing financial figures of the company while meeting
Business and Enterprise | Small Business |

Supporting small businesses through COVID-19

By Michael Ackland April 8, 2020

Updated July 8, 2020

Many small businesses across Australia are feeling the impacts of COVID-19. Australian small businesses are agile; we’ve always admired that about them, and we’ll see many of them adapt. But it’s important that the rest of Australia also gets behind them to support them through this challenging time. We’re showing our support by helping them adjust in a number of ways.

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Navigating financial difficulty

To give you peace of mind about staying connected to your business operations over the coming months, we’re providing unlimited data allowances on fixed broadband free of charge for our small business customers until 30 September.

If you’re a small business and a supplier of ours, we will also make sure we pay your invoices as quickly as we can. We recently announced we’re moving to 20-day payment terms by 30 June for all our suppliers who are small businesses, charities, indigenous organisations and disability enterprises.

Adapt and keep going

Doing business doesn’t look the same for many of us right now, so our aim is to help small businesses through this difficult period by assisting if you need to ramp up your digital presence.

We’re offering small businesses access to our new Digital Marketing Services website plans at half the regular cost, until 31 August. We’ll help you create or update your website and if needed, open an online store. We’ll be on hand to assist you in creating business listings for Google My Business, Apple Maps and Facebook Business. For our existing customers, we will automatically apply 50 per cent off your Telstra Digital Marketing or Telstra Online Essentials website subscription charge.

If you’re missing any equipment to work from home, Telstra’s Mobile Worksuite gives you the data, software, devices and support you need to get you and your team working remotely smoothly.

We continue to monitor the situation closely while working closely with regulators and the government. Our absolute focus remains on team wellbeing, supporting our customers and playing our part in the national response.

Additional support with business hibernation

As we see more and more businesses shutting their doors due to COVID-19 restrictions, we want to play our part in helping small businesses to hibernate and get through this difficult time. We’re offering small businesses with a 10-digit account number who have had to cease trading the option to suspend their fixed business services.

Further details and eligibility can be found on the Telstra website . Eligible customers can take up this offer by logging into Your Telstra Tools and submitting a Service Suspension request.

Once the suspension is applied, customers won’t be charged for their fixed service provided they don’t use it. The service suspension will remain in place until further notice and Telstra will provide customers with 30 days’ notice of when the suspension offer and suspensions will end.

Additionally, customers can also divert their affected fixed business phone service/s to another fixed or mobile service of their choice, regardless of the carrier, at no cost for the period the suspension is active. Once you have applied to suspend your services, you will be sent instructions via your registered email address on how to forward your calls.

Things you need to know:

  • Account suspensions will not be backdated.
  • Should a customer use their fixed service while it has been suspended, the suspension will be removed, and they will be billed for that month.
  • Offer is not available for Telstra mobile services, items purchased on a repayment option and Telstra Business Tech Support or Telstra Business Digital Marketing Services.