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The 10 Dumbest Business Moments for 2009. It's time to vote!

Two weeks ago, we asked our readers to help us assemble our annual Dumb Report, a selection of Australian goofs, gaffs and groaners from...

Five similarities between forming habits and deep customer development

I spend a lot of time thinking about new companies finding, nurturing and winning over their first lot of customers and I’ve realised that there are a lot of similarities with forming habits. Here are five...

In 2009, were you a proactive, experimental future leader or a reactive, butt-covering also-ran?

If there is one good thing that came from this year's commercial carnage, it's the liberating affect the economic downturn had on our collective ability, as entrepreneurs, to speak openly.

How to harness bloggers to spread your message (the right way)

Earlier this year, Australian wallet maker Dosh Wallets released its second line of wallets (which are über cool, by the way). Consumer awareness was low, so Dosh Wallets hired digital strategist Julian Cole and his team at Sydney-based agency The Population to create a buzz online for the product line release.

Vision and Focus, the Capulet and Montague of business strategy

Some quick thoughts on one of the hardest things to do as an entrepreneur (or intrapreneur) -- holding both a big vision and a brutal focus in your mind at the same time. They sound like contradictions and in many ways they are the endlessly feuding families of a new venture. You need to make them happy neighbours though.

Obfuscation for idiots: jargon and the end game

The enemy shall be known by the name ... People-who-have-to-use-big-words-to-sound-smart-even-in-marketing-copy-where-the-point-should-be-to-sell-rather-than-to-be-liked.

If you want to sell to me, sell me

Good sales staff are worth their weight in gold. Mediocre sales staff are a dime a dozen. But the worst sales staff don't just phone it in, they get someone else to do it. Mr 1% Spend has had enough.

How to trump cunning linguistics and seize competitive advantage

The Commonwealth Bank is currently running an advertisement that irks me. Beyond all the arty-farty advertiser speak and debate over the campaign’s merits in the industry media, it contains a terminology flaw that sticks out like dogs balls. When the kid says, “Can’t we just promise to fix it?” my hackles go up.

Sydney cafés seeking edge with extra bytes

Cafés and other physical retail businesses aren’t generally thought to be reliant on high-tech gadgets. But as Matthew da Silva discovers over one too many espressos, wherever hot milk signals profitability, a house laptop is never far away.

The Great Recovery and soaring dollar create headaches and opportunities for Australian companies

It is generally thought that a soaring Aussie dollar is terrible for exporters. However, as Austrade's Chief Economist Tim Harcourt reveals, there are two sides to every coin.

Robert Castaneda, 2009 Anthill 30under30 Winner

When the global recession hit, Robert Castaneda packed his bags and moved his family to California. To him, the financial crisis was a perfect opportunity to launch a USA office for his company, CustomWare, a business integration and collaboration services firm.

Sammartino and Liubinskas discuss startup momentum

A couple of weeks ago Pollenizer's Mick Liubinskas put in a video call to Rentoid's Steve Sammartino to pick his brain about the concept of startup momentum. Fortunately, Mick recorded it for the benefit of us all. Watch Steve discuss his views on the important role iteration plays in emerging businesses.

Google on Google – The story so far…

Every company should be able to tell its own story in a compelling way. Of course, it helps if that story is compelling to begin with. Check out this slick animated history of Google... according to Google.

Is speed killing our communication skills?

Why do we think that fast is better and why do we so often mistake speed for efficiency in the workplace? John Freeman, author of 'Shrinking the World', thinks it's all a bit wrong-headed. Persephone Nicholas reports.

Australian retail websites lack sizzle, lose customers to more polished overseas sites

Frustrated Australian consumers are voting with their mice, with huge numbers choosing to spend their hard-earned cash on overseas retail websites that give them a far more enjoyable shopping experience. Last year, 43 percent of Australia's total online spend went overseas. No wonder brands based in the UK and US dominate the top 10 retail sites visited by Australian shoppers.

5 reasons I hate logos

Okay, maybe that's a tad on the dramatic side. What I hate is this faffing around with logos as an excuse for not doing other, real, important stuff with your business.

Opportunities in the US for high growth Australian firms

The US remains the largest developed market in the world and a big influence on other global markets. It remains important for any company with global ambitions. The current economic environment does not do a lot to encourage Australian firms to focus on the US. However, innovative new models and technology have dramatically changed the cost of entering and developing the US market. Australian firms can now do much of the early market development work without having to hire a US-based team.

Drowning in high-fives, star ratings used online could soon go under

Online star rating systems are a great idea in principle, but unfortunately, they don't work. And no, not because of all the know-nothing trolls out there who saturate these ratings channels with their narcissistic critiques. The problem is that, when it comes to rating products online, the crowd is too nice.

I survived the GFC by ignoring it

When I started my business I knew it had to grow from a foundation of personal contact and referrals. To do this people said I had to network. This scared the crap out of me.

Fake it til you make it: 10 ways to make your business appear bigger...

Being perceived as professional by outsiders is a common challenge for small businesses. Many startups reach a stage where meeting clients in cafes no longer cuts it. Here are 10 simple ways that your company can make itself look bigger it is.

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