Small Business & Startups

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If you're a small business owner who has yet to join the digital disruption party, it's not too late to start leveraging technology to your advantage. It can seem overwhelming when other businesses are miles ahead - some may even have their own apps - but the first step you can take is to look at improving your existing website.

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Elevator Pitch is a regular feature on Lifehacker where we profile startups and new companies and pick their brains for entrepreneurial advice. This week, we're talking with Michael Jankie, co-founder and CEO of PoweredLocal.

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It's been two years in the making but small business cloud accounting software company Xero has finally finished its data migration to Amazon Web Services (AWS). It is one of the largest data migrations to the public cloud platform across Australia and New Zealand. Here are the details.

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While big organisations may be used to being targeted by various forms of online attacks, an increasing number of small businesses are falling victim to cybercriminals, according to a security expert from Cisco. He also shared some advice on how small businesses can better protect themselves online.

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Small to medium sized enterprises (SMEs) that invest in corporate social responsibility can expect financial rewards as well as enhanced reputations, according to a new study of small businesses in Malaysia. Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is often considered irrelevant to small companies, as their social and environmental impact is thought to be negligible. But in countries like Australia, small businesses play a key role in the economy and represent the bulk of businesses in number.

This means the aggregate social and environmental impact of SMEs is considerable, and it’s important to understand the impact of their engagement in CSR.

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Elevator Pitch is a regular feature on Lifehacker where we profile startups and new companies and pick their brains for entrepreneurial advice. This week, we're talking with Chris Gilbert, co-founder of Equitise.

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Small businesses spend an average of $8600 per month with other small businesses, which amounts to $103,000 a year, according to a recent study. Considering that there are around 1.98 million small businesses in Australia, the study estimates that business-to-business (B2B) spending at the smaller end of town could be a $204 billion industry.

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One of the most persistent concerns that for small businesses is cash flow. It's no surprise given that Australian companies are ranked as the worst in the world when it comes to paying outstanding invoices, according to a recent report. In particular, big businesses drag their feet when it comes to paying small businesses. Now the Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman Kate Carnell has launched an inquiry into the matter and is looking at possibly bringing in some regulation that will punish larger organisations that are late in paying money owed to the smaller end of town.

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Microsoft has launched Outlook Customer Manager, a tool that will be integrated into Office 365, that aims to help small businesses make the most of their interactions with their clients. Customer Manager can automatically organise customer information neatly in one place within the Microsoft Outlook email client. There's also a dedicated mobile app for the new tool. Here's what you need to know.

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Amazon shopping is coming to Australia - and it aims to have stores in every Australian state by 2017. If you have shares in Coles or Woolworths you should be worried. If you own an independent grocery store you should be very worried. Here's everything we know about Amazon's shopping strategy and how it will affect they way we buy goods in Australia.

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While there have been reports about the small business sector performing well this year, credit reporting company Dun & Bradsheet sees it differently. According to its latest survey, business failures rose by 11% year-on-year in the third quarter of 2016. The company also saw a decline in the number of startups. But small businesses and startups shouldn't be too concerned by the figures. Here's why.