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Dec 17, 2015

This month, we are introducing 3 business improvement strategies that we believe may be of assistance to you in your business. These concepts are:
• Business Camps for SMEs – presented by Global Business Camps
• Sending cards – a great marketing tool
• Insurance for SMEs

Are you receiving the services that you want in your business?

Over the last decade, there have been a number of surveys conducted by MYOB, CCH, Smithink and various universities, wherein small/medium enterprises, like yours, were interviewed to determine the types of services business operators would like to receive.

The services that were identified by the small/medium enterprises included:
• Future Planning
• Business Plans
• Budgets and Cashflow Forecasts
• Business Analysis, including:
- Key Performance Indicators
- Ratio Analysis
- Benchmarking
• Succession Planning
• Management of Costs – incidentally, in the CCH survey, “management of costs” was identified as the biggest single problem of the small business operators that were surveyed.
• Management Monitoring
• Training your Management Team – to improve their overall performance
• Assistance in Raising Capital – this has become a “hot” subject in the last couple of weeks as the Federal government has talked up innovation and where there is innovation comes the necessity for many businesses to be able to raise capital.
• Finding Government Grants – are you aware of the government grants that are available for your industry? Do you only find out about a grant because you see that one of your competitors has got a grant? The questions many small businesses ask: “Are we receiving our fair share of grants?”

There are undoubtedly other services that you might like to receive in your own business. Our suggestion is that you write these down and have a discussion with your accountant. Alternatively, send us an email at and we will provide you with a list of the organisations that can assist you in providing the services that will help you in your business.

Business Camps – how can they help?
One of the very innovative responses to the small/medium enterprise surveys has been made by an Adelaide business known as “Global Business Camps”.

Global Business Camps is headed by an Adelaide accountant, John Tsoulos who, for the last 15 years, has been conducting business camps (in 5-star facilities – no need for tents!), to assist small/medium enterprise operators to get a greater understanding of business operations.

Accountants can attend these camps with their clients if they wish.

These camps assist businesses to gain a clearer understanding of your key strategies, especially in the current business environment which is undoubtedly subject to dramatic changes and every business has got to adapt. If businesses don’t adapt, then their future will be very doubtful.

The business camps are built around 6 SecretsTM to success, comprising:
• Beginning with the end in mind
• Planning for success
• Growing your business
• Managing your business
• Valuing your business
• Freedom - the outcome you’re looking for

The Global Business Camp concepts are to analyse the survey results and then supply solutions.

Global Business Camps help business operators to understand services required to run a successful business and give insights as to who could provide those services.

We’re organising groups of small/medium enterprises, some of which could be accompanied by their accountants, to attend the 2016 Global Business Camp, which will be held at the QT Resort, Gold Coast on 14-16 March 2016.

Peter Towers, Managing Director of ESS Small Business, will be mentoring any small businesses that register for the camp through ESS Small Business so you will be part of a group.

ESS Small Business has negotiated a VIP rate for small/medium enterprises that visit ESS Small Business of $2,200 (including GST) per person, normally at $2,970 (including GST) per person.

If you require further information on Global Business Camps, click here. Alternatively, click here to watch the recording of a webinar we’ve presented, with John Tsoulos, Managing Director of Global Business Camps, as the guest presenter.

Sending cards – a great marketing tool
Electronic communications and online marketing are potentially sending the traditional “snail mail” method into decline. However, nothing else shows “you care” better than placing tangible material into your customers’ hands, such as a greeting card.

Cards can provide a personal touch. We all know it’s very difficult to communicate at present because of the large number of emails we all receive, with a lot of them not being read. There’s a far better likelihood that your card will reach your target and be read.

You can utilise cards for communication with families, friends, customers and clients.

You can set up your own CRM for your card distribution. If you wish, you can add a gift to the card and personalise the front and back of the card. You can also include a personalised message and photographs for your clients.

The system, such as SendOutCards, is a time-efficient and cost-efficient way to communicate to your customers.

Sending cards is a great marketing tool and something different. Perhaps you could utilise the cards in your business and make a lasting impression on a customer, client or friend.

Click here to find out more about SendOutCards. Alternatively, click here to watch the recording of a webinar we’ve presented, with George McIntosh, independent distributor of SendOutCards, as the guest presenter.

Insurance for SMEs
Small/medium enterprises need a properly-constructed insurance portfolio. To enable this to be done, you will need to identify business risks that apply to your business.

Insurance brokers are a very important member of the “insurance system” for small businesses to utilise. The insurance broker represents you as the small business operator. You need to tell your broker everything about your business so that they clearly understand the risks that apply to your business. The insurance broker will give you advice – you need to remember that insurance companies are not required to give you advice.

The main insurance policies for small/medium enterprises, identified by Milne Alexander insurance brokers, included:
• Public Liability
• Product Liability
• Professional Indemnity
• Workers’ Compensation

Most small businesses have public liability covers of around $20M.

Product liability is very important for businesses producing products.

Professional indemnity is important for anyone who is supplying professional services (eg lawyers, doctors, accountants) and shouldn’t be confused with public liability.

If you have businesses operating in different states, you need to take out separate Workers’ Compensation policies in each of those states.

When reviewing your insurance policies, look very closely at the exclusions and make sure you’re happy with the items excluded.

When signing up for an insurance cover, you have a duty of disclosure, which includes:
• details of any insurance that has been declined or cancelled
• information as to whether the applicant has ever been declared bankrupt
• information on whether any claims have been made by the applicant in the past
• details of any exceptional circumstances relative to the risks which may affect the insurer’s decision as to whether to offer the insurance cover to the applicant

The more information you give, the more likelihood of “less perceived risk”, which will lower the insurance premium.

The premium is determined on things such as:
• the nature of your business
• the location of your business
• size of your business
• claims history
• types of cover your business requires
• sums for which your business is insuring

Why would you use insurance brokers? Insurance brokers save time and money and provide peace of mind from dealing with professionals acting for your business, so that you get the right insurance at the right price. Insurance brokers provide expert knowledge and advice and they provide a great service.

You should be including your insurance costs in your budget. Remember that you can pay most insurance premiums monthly.

Another important service that insurance brokers can bring is an “Industry Risk Review” for your type of industry. This will assist you in planning the risk management plan for your business.

Insurance is something that every business needs. It could be quite costly, however you need to ask a question: can your business afford to wear a loss because you were under-insured or have no insurance at all? Insurance brokers work for the business and their role is to make sure you get an adequate insurance cover.

For more information on the services provided by Milne Alexander, to assist small/medium enterprises, click here. Alternatively, click here to watch the recording of a webinar we’ve presented, with Darren Milne and Andrew Grogan of Milne Alexander, as the guest presenters.

Articles on Small Business
We invite you to visit, to view a range of articles, papers and templates to assist you in your small/medium enterprise journey, including a complimentary copy of the following articles:
• Steps Needed To Achieve Business Success An Overview
• Introduction to Insurance
• Marketing An Overview

Click here to obtain these free articles.

Small Business Webinars
We’re regularly conducting webinars, focusing on various small business matters, together with providing tips and resources to assist you with building value to your business. We’ve also recorded past webinars, to allow you to watch the presentations whenever you wish.

Click here to view our upcoming webinars, to register to attend and also to watch our past webinars.