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  • ASIC spotlights small businesses | Business Spectator
    latest venture Jelly Enterprises But the just launched app will have to quickly shift into something of real value if it s to become a mainstream success Climate Carbon markets Energy markets Renewable energy Resources Solar energy Wind power CleanTech Science Environment Green Deals Policy Politics Smart Energy Latest stories Marking the milestones of 2013 Australia s transition to a clean energy economy took some political blows in 2013 but progress on the ground was heartening with energy efficiency solar and wind all providing tangible proof of their future potential A fifth year of declining power consumption Power consumption fell again in 2013 dipping 2 8 per cent across the National Electricity Market as scheduled renewables rose to 12 per cent of the market Industries Advertising and Marketing Agribusiness Automotive Aviation Construction and Engineering Education Family Business Financial Services Food and Beverages Gaming and Racing Health and Pharmaceuticals HR Industrial relations Information Technology Infrastructure Insurance Manufacturing Media and Digital Resources and Energy Professional Services Property Retail Small Business SME Telecommunications The Ashes Tourism Transport and Logistics Video KGB TV China Spectator CEO Hub Leadership Lab Management Insights Young Leaders Knowledge Centre Adapt or Die Knowledge Hub Business Accelerators Webinars eBooks Menu ASIC spotlights small businesses 6 Aug 2013 5 39 AM 1 Economy Innovation Productivity Regulator concerned small firms increasingly failing breaching rules You must be logged in to read this article Not a member yet Register today Business Spectator is available on all of your devices so you can access the latest news and commentary where and how you like Register now Already a member Sign in here Email Address Enter your Email Address Password Enter the password that accompanies your Email Address Remember me Log in Request new password By a staff reporter The Australian Securities and Investments Commission ASIC is concerned about the fact that small businesses are representing a rising proportion of actions investigated by the regulator In releasing its fourth six monthly enforcement report ASIC shone a spotlight on the rising trend of small firms running afoul of the rules often without realising it and the rising numbers of small business insolvencies It is well in the majority ASIC commissioner Greg Tanzer told The Australian Financial Review That s why a lot of our activity with respect to small business is about trying to make the information about their obligations as freely and easily available and in pretty simple terms as possible The regulator has launched an initiative focused on small businesses to help them stay within regulations For the first half of 2013 293 of the 371 actions taken by ASIC were against small business operators The regulator also reported that about 750 more businesses failed in 2012 13 than in 2008 09 Print this page Related articles 13 Jan Abbott to pursue red tape cuts 12 Jan Obama picks Fed vice chair 11 Jan US jobs growth slows sharply 10 Jan Korea China jostle for Aust resources 10 Jan China trade balance contracts

    Original URL path: http://www.businessspectator.com.au/news/2013/8/6/economy/asic-spotlights-small-businesses (2014-01-12)
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  • A family for better bush-bashing | Business Spectator
    ended Guenter emigrated to Melbourne Australia and got a job with Henderson s Springs one of the most successful post war family businesses supplying the booming local motor industry with steel suspension He married and had a daughter Barbara in 1950 and Tom in 1955 And then in the early 60s he started his own business making springs in his backyard bashing them out on his own anvil after roasting the steel in his backyard furnace And so the 300 year old Jacob family business resumed after a 25 year pause on the other side of the world making springs for horseless carriages instead of dealing scrap The neighbours in Moorabbin soon got sick of all the banging so Guenter had to move his furnace and anvil somewhere else He did a deal with a blacksmith in Oakleigh he could make springs in the morning if he helped make shoe horses in the afternoon It seems Guenter Jacob was bloody good at making springs and as Henderson s business declined so did Guenter s rise He became Melbourne s largest producer of springs for trucks according to Tom But the young Tom didn t see his future in sweating over a furnace and anvil Instead like your correspondent he was called by the typewriter and decided to become a journalist getting a cadetship on The Age as a 17 year old in 1972 He did that for six years politics police rounds sport and loved every minute of it but in 1978 with his father s health failing Tom and Barbara both decided to join the family business and help out Says Tom Dad created this business through hard work I didn t want him to think I didn t care so I took six month leave of absence from The Age and then just stayed on It was the time when air suspension was replacing steel springs on trucks but four wheel drive vehicles were still using steel so the Jacobs started to specialise Guenter passed away in 1985 from a heart attack he smoked 20 cigars a day and at the age of 30 Tom became managing director with Barbara handling personnel now HR They each inherited 50 per cent of the company The business grew steadily Tom started exporting to Europe in 1991 and with margins getting squeezed began to source lower cost product from Asia a few years later In 1999 he closed his Australian factories and started having all the products made in Asia while still designing them here In 2005 Tom and Barbara got their big break all businesses need at least one big break and ironically it was another war Afghanistan Tom got a call from an Australian engineer in Thailand who had a contract to supply the US military with accessories for its vehicles in Afghanistan Over three years Ironman 4WD as it was called by then fitted out 55 000 military vehicles for the US Army Suddenly unexpectedly Tom and Barbara

    Original URL path: http://www.businessspectator.com.au/article/2013/8/1/family-business/family-better-bush-bashing (2014-01-12)
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  • Woolworths, Coles 'copycat' obsession hurting profits: experts | Business Spectator
    and how you like Register now Already a member Sign in here Email Address Enter your Email Address Password Enter the password that accompanies your Email Address Remember me Log in Request new password Supermarket giants Coles and Woolworths Ltd have limited themselves by focusing less on innovation and more on copying each other s moves according to two competition experts writing in The Australian Financial Review Former Australian Competition and Consumer Commission ACCC chairman Graeme Samuel and former ACCC commissioner Stephen King said the two grocery chains have played a decade long game of copycat that has damaged their profits and left customers ill served in choice though benefiting from lower prices Normally in a concentrated market with high barriers to entry and expansion major competitors seek to differentiate themselves Mr Samuel and Mr King wrote in a piece published by the AFR Competitors appeal to different customer segments increasing prices and profits while avoiding a head to heat fight In contrast Coles and Woolworths have played a decade long game of copycat From everyday low prices to fresh food from home brands to discount petrol where one has gone the other has rapidly followed In addition to hurting both companies profits and limiting customer choice the copycat tendency has also put suppliers under intense pressure with little alternative for them to choose from Print this page Related articles 10 Jan Britain s Christmas ghost of retail future 09 Jan Retail sales beat forecasts in Nov 08 Jan Online sales push towards 15bn 07 Jan Ikea abandons sales target 06 Jan Westfield split a hard sell report More from Business Spectator Technology Adapt or die Commercial The Future of Energy Family Business Alan Kohler s Family Business China China Spectator Please log in or register to post comments Comments on this article Comments Policy John Hutchinson Thu 2013 08 01 08 22 I ll take the lower prices over choice and profits R Ambrose Raven Thu 2013 08 01 21 48 And what will you say when they tell you that to keep prices low and stay competitive you take a pay cut or the sack And what will you say when they tell you next year that to keep prices low and stay competitive you take a pay cut or the sack And what will you say when they tell you the year after next year that to keep prices low and stay competitive you take a pay cut or the sack R Ambrose Raven Thu 2013 08 01 21 48 And what will you say when they tell you that to keep prices low and stay competitive you take a pay cut or the sack And what will you say when they tell you next year that to keep prices low and stay competitive you take a pay cut or the sack And what will you say when they tell you the year after next year that to keep prices low and stay competitive you take a

    Original URL path: http://www.businessspectator.com.au/news/2013/8/1/retail/woolworths-coles-copycat-obsession-hurting-profits-experts (2014-01-12)
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  • CFO confidence falling sharply | Business Spectator
    providing tangible proof of their future potential A fifth year of declining power consumption Power consumption fell again in 2013 dipping 2 8 per cent across the National Electricity Market as scheduled renewables rose to 12 per cent of the market Industries Advertising and Marketing Agribusiness Automotive Aviation Construction and Engineering Education Family Business Financial Services Food and Beverages Gaming and Racing Health and Pharmaceuticals HR Industrial relations Information Technology Infrastructure Insurance Manufacturing Media and Digital Resources and Energy Professional Services Property Retail Small Business SME Telecommunications The Ashes Tourism Transport and Logistics Video KGB TV China Spectator CEO Hub Leadership Lab Management Insights Young Leaders Knowledge Centre Adapt or Die Knowledge Hub Business Accelerators Webinars eBooks Menu CFO confidence falling sharply 1 Aug 2013 2 33 AM Economy Australian News Leadership Innovation Productivity Deloitte survey shows impact of Chinese slowdown fears as Aust execs more downbeat than US UK peers You must be logged in to read this article Not a member yet Register today Business Spectator is available on all of your devices so you can access the latest news and commentary where and how you like Register now Already a member Sign in here Email Address Enter your Email Address Password Enter the password that accompanies your Email Address Remember me Log in Request new password By a staff reporter Confidence among Australian chief financial officers CFOs fell sharply in the latest quarter as Chinese slowdown fears weighed heavily on the outlook of business leaders according to the latest Deloitte Quarterly CFO survey The survey found that the net percentage of CFOs who reported feeling more optimistic about their company s future financial prospects than they did three months ago fell to 11 per cent down sharply from 24 per cent in the last quarterly survey Of those surveyed 85 per cent of CFOs at Australian companies reported the Chinese economic slowdown as a negative impact on their confidence levels up from only 34 per cent in the previous quarter and pushing Chinese fears above federal government policy uncertainty as the primary concern This represents the highest level of pessimism since the Deloitte Quarterly CFO survey began in 2009 Deloitte chief operating officer Keith Skinner said The latest downbeat confidence reading among Australian CFOs reverses three straight quarters of rising optimism and bucks the trend seen elsewhere such as the United States and United Kingdom where confidence levels continue to rise The increasing pessimism amongst Australian CFOs is in stark contrast to those in the UK and North America who are enjoying their highest levels of confidence in recent years Mr Skinner added CFO sentiment across the three regions has previously tracked in line this is the first time we have seen a significant divergence In the UK CFOs have reported four straight quarters of confidence growth with net optimism now sitting at 18 per cent according to the Deloitte survey while net optimism amongst CFOs in North America has risen from 32 per cent in the

    Original URL path: http://www.businessspectator.com.au/news/2013/8/1/economy/cfo-confidence-falling-sharply (2014-01-12)
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  • Mining sentiment slides: Newport | Business Spectator
    funding as a motive Productivity focus a silver lining The silver lining for the mining sector is that the difficult landscape has encouraged a renewed focus on productivity cost control and efficiencies that could result in improved methods and opportunities though the sector has a long way to go with 66 per cent of mining leaders surveyed reporting a low level of productivity As miners have to postpone projects and future investment because of a poor investment outlook they have an opportunity to extract maximum value from existing operations and assets through improved productivity Newport Consulting managing director David Hand said This is not a bad thing for the sector If anything a renewed focus on operational efficiencies could deliver healthier profits and shareholder value in the current difficult economic climate Clear vision required The survey suggests Australian miners have awoken to the reality that the mining boom is over and are preparing to move on but policymakers have been slow to create post mining boom policies to help ease the transition The 60 mining leaders surveyed reported strong dissatisfaction with the government based largely on the strength of unions in politics industrial relations regulations and poor national infrastructure They also expressed concern that the mining tax is proving to be a bad policy for Australia at least in part because it risks portraying Australia globally as a high tax mining sector while in reality thus far producing little if any revenues for the federal government However key to the sector s outlook is a more supportive policy environment led by the government and greater public investment in national infrastructure the report argued Speaking with The Australian following the report s release Mr Hand said the mining sector was urging the government to deliver a clear vision about the role of the sector in society There is a strong sense that the government has been looking over its shoulder at the ballot box and making policy on the run based on what the impact is likely to be on the opinion polls rather than what would establish a sustained contribution by a vitally important sector Mr Hand said the sector needed government policy that was shaped with a view to pushing it forward Newport Mining Business Outlook Report 2013 pdf Newport Mining Business Outlook Report 2013 pdf Print this page Related articles 13 Jan BHP faces buyback pressure 13 Jan Indonesia ban no issue Palmer 10 Jan OM Holdings CEO resigns 10 Jan Korea China jostle for Aust resources 10 Jan Fed govt should support Alcoa ALP More from Business Spectator Technology Adapt or die Commercial The Future of Energy Family Business Alan Kohler s Family Business China China Spectator Please log in or register to post comments Comments on this article Comments Policy R Ambrose Raven Tue 2013 07 30 08 10 Classic rent seeking Big Mining having had open slather for years imported sweatshop coolie labour by the ocean liner load and strongly objected to any environmental restraints

    Original URL path: http://www.businessspectator.com.au/news/2013/7/30/resources-and-energy/mining-sentiment-slides-newport (2014-01-12)
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  • Aust firms in digital struggle: REA | Business Spectator
    Media Start ups Security Data Security Identity Management Wireless Security Telecommunication Latest stories Google v Facebook Who knows wins The unparalleled Google Analytics service means Google knows more about internet users than anyone else And runner up Facebook must go further to mine precious user insights if it wants to compete Will Twitter s founder strike social gold twice Biz Stone is looking to tap into the selflessness of others with his latest venture Jelly Enterprises But the just launched app will have to quickly shift into something of real value if it s to become a mainstream success Climate Carbon markets Energy markets Renewable energy Resources Solar energy Wind power CleanTech Science Environment Green Deals Policy Politics Smart Energy Latest stories Marking the milestones of 2013 Australia s transition to a clean energy economy took some political blows in 2013 but progress on the ground was heartening with energy efficiency solar and wind all providing tangible proof of their future potential A fifth year of declining power consumption Power consumption fell again in 2013 dipping 2 8 per cent across the National Electricity Market as scheduled renewables rose to 12 per cent of the market Industries Advertising and Marketing Agribusiness Automotive Aviation Construction and Engineering Education Family Business Financial Services Food and Beverages Gaming and Racing Health and Pharmaceuticals HR Industrial relations Information Technology Infrastructure Insurance Manufacturing Media and Digital Resources and Energy Professional Services Property Retail Small Business SME Telecommunications The Ashes Tourism Transport and Logistics Video KGB TV China Spectator CEO Hub Leadership Lab Management Insights Young Leaders Knowledge Centre Adapt or Die Knowledge Hub Business Accelerators Webinars eBooks Menu Aust firms in digital struggle REA 26 Jul 2013 5 13 AM Technology Talent Industries Media and Digital Economy Australian News Innovation Productivity Online property ad firm says firms risk further losing market share You must be logged in to read this article Not a member yet Register today Business Spectator is available on all of your devices so you can access the latest news and commentary where and how you like Register now Already a member Sign in here Email Address Enter your Email Address Password Enter the password that accompanies your Email Address Remember me Log in Request new password Australian firms across all sectors have been delivered a wake up call to better adjust to the digital economy or risk further losing market share to international competitors according to The Australian Financial Review Greg Ellis chief executive of online real estate advertising firm REA Group Ltd said the leaders of companies across all industries are failing to keep pace with digital innovation and changing consumer patterns On a bigger scale Australia needs a damn big wake up call Mr Ellis said according to the AFR We ve got some material competitors coming who could take a significant percentage of market share and jobs away through the strength of their digital offering He added that Australia is facing a significant shortfall of skills needed to

    Original URL path: http://www.businessspectator.com.au/news/2013/7/26/technology/aust-firms-digital-struggle-rea (2014-01-12)
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  • The innovation deficit | Business Spectator
    Tours Full frontal innovation April 18 which has cornered the travelling baby boomer with lots of chutzpah and marketing flair The company s culture is its brand There are many other examples around the world But the latest RMIT MGI survey on family business identified what appears to be blind spots for Australian family businesses For example the survey of 5000 Australian family businesses the response rate wasn t indicated found that most of them did not incorporate social media into their strategies It s a significant oversight Social media is something that no business no matter how small can ignore Tapping into social networks is a way for small businesses to reach a bigger market In this uber connected age people are online talking about your company whether you like it or not Successful companies managing social media these days know how to use it to develop relationships and then leverage them But according to the RMIT MGI survey two thirds of family businesses 65 per cent said they did not use social media whether it be Facebook Twitter or blogs to communicate with customers There was a similar story with designing style logos and process innovation as part of company strategies While 67 per cent of family businesses indicated they use design as part of their strategy they said it was a struggle Many said they faced significant hurdles that limited their creative use of design Nearly 40 per cent said there were issues getting the money to fund the innovation A similar proportion said they didn t have the time And just under 20 per cent said they couldn t find the right people who could manage it and fit into the company culture All this is despite the government offering grants and programs encouraging innovation These include the Research and Development tax incentive which has actually been increased from the 2012 financial year It allows businesses to access either a 45 per cent refundable tax offset or a non refundable 40 per cent tax offset depending on group turnover There were many other schemes introduced when the government brought in the carbon price The reality is that family businesses have a completely different approach to innovation to that taken by non family businesses If they do it less it s because of an aversion to risk The family owners might see little return from investments in innovation or they might be so internally focused that they see fewer outside opportunities They don t have big R D departments and unlike companies like Apple or Google innovation is rarely part of their corporate vision and strategy going forward When family businesses innovate they do it because they re opportunistic in nature Social media or design might not fit in with that Or they might do it to target a niche to diversify or they do it for long term security Also family businesses tend to take a longer term perspective which means they might be more patient

    Original URL path: http://www.businessspectator.com.au/article/2013/7/25/family-business/innovation-deficit (2014-01-12)
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  • Leon Gettler | Business Spectator
    14 1 comment Avoiding a psychological thriller Psychological dynamics can determine who really holds the power in the business What if one member embezzles money or knows how to play you to their advantage by Leon Gettler 1 56pm November 06 A costly case of export jitters Australian family businesses are floundering in the international marketplace While other countries dominate just 5 per cent of Australian family businesses sales come from overseas by Leon Gettler 8 00am October 31 The new SMSF property blueprint Small family businesses can put their SMSFs to work for them buying property Get this right and you can save on capital gains and income tax but get it wrong and you could face charges by Leon Gettler 4 25pm October 23 Thanks but no thanks NextGen is branching out Almost 60 per cent of family business next generation aren t interested in taking over Family business expert and MGI chair Sue Prestney puts it down to a changing of goals by Leon Gettler 9 15am October 17 Don t leave a mess when you kick the bucket Want your family to avoid a Shakespearean fallout once you re gone Making sure you re everyone is clear on your wishes can be a gift from beyond the grave by Leon Gettler 3 27pm October 09 1 comment Are you hiring a child or an employee It s what separates a family business from the rest But hiring family comes with plenty of danger if you re acting as a parent and not a boss by Leon Gettler 7 02am October 03 1 comment How Billson is redesigning the landscape From tax changes to a family business ombudsman Bruce Billson Australia s new small business minister is looking to update the laws dragging down the family business sector by Leon Gettler 7 27am September 23 4 comments My door is always open Billson New minister for small business to play key role in federal government by Leon Gettler 7 26am September 19 1 comment Don t let retirement sneak up on you Retirement lurks around the corner and many owners have no idea what to do Putting in some time and effort now can not only avoid a mess down the track but can save you tax dollars by Leon Gettler 3 16pm September 18 A non family CEO invader or savior It s a make or break decision promote a family member or bring in an outsider CEO External CEOs tend to perform better but that can come at a cost by Leon Gettler 3 03pm September 11 Playing the hand you were dealt What happens when a small family business is struck with multiple illnesses or injury LimeLite almost crumbled when two generations were simultaneously sidelined but they soldiered on by Leon Gettler 2 20pm September 04 Welcome to the tricky world of trusts Family trusts are the are full of complicated legal tripwires They can cut tax payments and protect assets but if they re not handled well can cost a family more than just its wealth by Leon Gettler 7 28am August 29 1 comment Why China plays hardball Only 23 per cent of Australian family businesses believe they outperform their competitors in overseas markets It s time to learn how to deal with our biggest trading partner by Leon Gettler 2 19pm August 21 1 comment The cheat s guide to governance Constitutions can be difficult and time consuming that s probably why four out of five family businesses don t have one A code of conduct can be a simpler way of going about it by Leon Gettler 11 45am August 14 Things only another family business leader can understand For family businesses it s you and me against the world And through forum groups many band together for support advice and friendship in a way you won t see anywhere else by Leon Gettler 2 26pm August 07 Page 1 Cashing in on the Christmas calm Even over the Christmas period family businesses never really shut down there s always tinkering planning or chasing debtors to keep owners busy Mishandling this period could risk your March quarter by Leon Gettler 4 25pm December 18 Walking the work life tightrope Family business owners say maintaining a positive work life balance is their number one challenge Establishing formal disciplined structures can help strengthen both the business and family by Leon Gettler 2 26pm December 11 The mother of all family business wisdom Statistics show only 10 per cent of family businesses are owned by women But senior females play an an integral role in family matters and a new study shows they may want very different things by Leon Gettler 7 05am December 05 How family businesses fall into the bargain bin Family businesses are being picked up for a steal and a lack of preparation is the culprit Heading to the trade table without a careful and lengthy lead up will drop the price like a stone by Leon Gettler 10 57am November 27 Clash of the offspring Siblings in business bring a lifetime of relationship baggage Rivalry is often deeply ingrained and it has to be tackled head on in an open forum by Leon Gettler 8 02am November 21 Buckle up for a succession collision course As family business owners age without considering their handover the chance of a smooth succession plummets But two thirds are making the fatal mistake of ignoring the issue by Leon Gettler 7 23am November 14 1 comment Avoiding a psychological thriller Psychological dynamics can determine who really holds the power in the business What if one member embezzles money or knows how to play you to their advantage by Leon Gettler 1 56pm November 06 A costly case of export jitters Australian family businesses are floundering in the international marketplace While other countries dominate just 5 per cent of Australian family businesses sales come from overseas by Leon Gettler 8 00am October 31

    Original URL path: http://www.businessspectator.com.au/contributor/leon-gettler (2014-01-12)
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