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7 Lessons your business can learn from the London 2012 Olympics.

Now, other than immersion in the athleticism, is there anything else we can take from the recently concluded London 2012 Olympics? Well, there's plenty! The lessons our athletes have provided, some by having it the hard way on the world stage, are fully applicable in the business world. Some of the athletes will show you the right moves and others; well, they will show you exactly what you should avoid.

Why are CEOs world over worried about the future of their businesses?

Australian CEOs are sceptical about the next six months. Many were doubtful that overall business and economic conditions would improve by the end of the year. Less than a third (31%) thought they would be better in six months’ time, while almost one in four (22%) thought they would get worse.

How retail has changed and the importance of customer service; an interview with Phil...

Phil Staub is the Executive Chairman of General Pants, one of Australia's largest fashion brands. As a successful entrepreneur, he explains why good customer service controls the retail game.

How to embarrass yourself in front of new staff

Starting a new job is like going out on a first date. Your new employee is sizing you up. He is trying to decide whether there’s enough chemistry to write off those workplace wobbles as funny first date fumbles, or whether what they are really seeing are warnings signs pointing to worse things to come. Here are the 12 quickest ways to breach trust with your new employees.

The top 10 tips small business owners should consider when choosing an accounting software...

Choosing the right accounting software package is a hard task for anyone, especially small business owners. What’s right for other business owners may not be compatible with your small business. That’s why I have come up with the top ten tips you should consider when choosing an accounting software package. These are sure to make your job simpler and less time consuming, so you can get on with running your business.

Could your business survive without you? Probably not?

When Apple CEO Steve Jobs announced earlier this year that he will be taking indefinite leave for health reasons, the market reacted -- share prices dipped and experts wondered if Apple could continue to go from strength to strength without the charismatic Jobs at the helm. If a business with as many employees as Apple can suffer the wobbles without its CEO then it is a worthy exercise for all business owners to take the time to think about how their business would survive if they were to take extended leave or exit their business.

Five ‘old school’ terms that are vital to ‘new school’ online marketing

Online marketing means many things to many people: A website, Google AdWords, search engine optimisation, creating content 'assets' and getting involved in social media sites. It can sound overwhelming. But there's no need to get scared off by the jargon. The old rules still apply. Here are five 'old school' terms that are still vital to 'new school' marketing.

How to turn our daughters into powerful business leaders of the future

Recently, I attended a breakfast about gender disparity. Interestingly, the research shows some real gems of wisdom about how to raise girls to become future leaders. Our lessons about leadership start very early on, it seems, and our ability to lead is ingrained well before we even leave school. Here are five ways to turn our daughters into powerful business leaders of the future.

Entrepreneurs: Stop and spare a thought for your oft-overlooked loved ones this Valentine’s Day

Most entrepreneurs, while surrounded with people, walk a lonely road.However, this Valentine’s Day, spare a thought for the wifes/husbands/girlfriends/boyfriends of entrepreneurs, who oftenlive with even greater degrees of isolation and uncertainly than their partners.

What makes online retail guru Ruslan Kogan tick?

In this week's interview, Ruslan Kogan, founder and chief executive of Kogan (formerly Kogan Technologies) and recent Anthill 30under30 winner, discusses his take on changes being wrought in retail by direct to public online traders. Word of mouth, service and good value are the keys to success, he says, and his company has just reported a 48 percent quarterly rise in revenue at a time when High Street retailers are feeling the pinch.

What can marshmallows, dry spaghetti and one yard of string teach you about design?

The insights from Tom Wujec's design exercise are what makes this video worth watching. For instance: Kindergarten students are among the best builders, while recent graduates of business school are among the worst. Oh, and CEOs perform better if executive administrators are added to their team (somehow, that's not even remotely surprising).

People quit managers, not jobs [It’s not them, it’s you]

A study of hospital workers conducted by Chilterns University College in the UK found that nurses working for hospital supervisors with poor management styles had significantly higher blood pressure than nurses working for bosses judged as understanding and considerate. As a result, the nurses with bad bosses had a roughly 20 percent higher risk of heart disease. Are you giving your employees heart attacks?

Differing job exit patterns between men and women, says career strategist

This episode of Talking Business features an interview with Jannine Fraser, founder and managing director of outplacement specialists Directioneering, which offer career strategy and guidance to people who leave or lose their corporate jobs. She reveals the striking difference in the approaches men and women take when they exit senior roles at organisations and how this might impact the future of management hires.

Equal pay for women? Not likely, Australians say

A new study shows Australians are largely pessimistic about the likelihood of women receiving equal pay to men, though most Australians firmly believe in the idea.

Five sure-fire ways to be a lousy manager

Here are five can't-miss ways to make Michael Scott look like Manager of the Year, along with suggestions on how to avoid them. In other words, avoid these tips with the same fervour as you would a Justin Beiber concert.

Do Annual Performance Reviews do more harm than good?

For thousands of corporations and businesses across Australia, it’s that time of year again. Managers are gearing up for a task which often provokes feelings of dread. Employees are preparing themselves for something frequently described as “loathsome”.

What startups can teach project managers (Execute or die!)

Unless you're involved in a startup, it's unlikely that you work in a highly adaptable organisation where change is normal and built into everything you do. In fast growth companies, founders, investors and staff plan on change. It is one of their greatest strengths and allows disruptive companies to topple larger competitors. But the sad fact is that, for the majority of us, this is not our reality.

Why won't prospective investors sign my confidentiality agreement?

A sale is a process and the first step in that process is not to demand exclusivity. Exclusivity is either bought or earned and, in the case of raising capital, it is usually earned. An NDA implies exclusivity and that brings with it constraints on both parties. Would you ask a date to sign a pre-nuptial agreement before the first date?

Why won’t prospective investors sign my confidentiality agreement?

A sale is a process and the first step in that process is not to demand exclusivity. Exclusivity is either bought or earned and, in the case of raising capital, it is usually earned. An NDA implies exclusivity and that brings with it constraints on both parties. Would you ask a date to sign a pre-nuptial agreement before the first date?

Do you have a need… a need for speed!

Every aspect of our lives is speeding up. Workloads are greater, deadlines are closer and advancing technology allows for more of our day-to-day tasks to be automated quickly. Ultimately, and ironically, the time we have to fit everything in is less. Recognising this trend and realising the need to address this increasing pace, Ken Hudson has developed the theory and practice of 'speed thinking'.

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Five essential ingredients for a humming homepage with James Tuckerman [FREE...

Most homepages dedicate too much of their valuable space to predictable and generally unhelpful information, such as the purpose of the business, their products and services, their achievements and needy invitations to ‘buy, buy, buy’ or ‘contact us for a free consultation on no obligation quote’. Effective homepages focus on the needs and wants of the customer.

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INFOGRAPHICS

New Zealand’s Xero eyes US IPO, further disruption as subscribers increase...

Xero recently held its annual meeting in Wellington, during which the company revealed some interesting details about its future. As has been widely suspected, the...

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