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Michael McGurk and negotiation tactics… gangster style

The events surrounding the death, last week, of Sydney businessman Michael McGurk have attracted greater intrigue and speculation than a Sopranos cliff-hanger. How someone can build a career on intimidation and extortion is beyond this author's imagination. However, the fascinating events surrounding McGurk's demise have got me thinking. What can we, as business-people, learn from the tactics of a stand-over man? Fortunately, I have only one resource to rely on. Gangster fiction!

Things looking up for Australian businesses

Australian businesses are cautiously optimistic that overall business conditions will improve through the rest of 2009 according to the latest D&B National Business Expectations Survey released today.

How to use Twitter for business… This time, it’s personal.

Developed by Australian digital marketing consultant Clare Lancaster, this 21-page eBook is designed to teach businesses how to increase website visitors, leads and sales by connecting with people using Twitter.

Is raising capital from your customers a smart move?

While most new technology developers will spend months chasing down angel investors and cold calling VCs, often with the randomness of a headless chook, without too much planning or forethought (much to the potential investor's frustration), sometimes the safest money is already right under their noses. It's called 'strategic capital' or 'smart money' (or a mix of the two).

When seeking investment, preparation is everything

In part four of our series on the capital raising cultures in Australia and the US, San Francisco-based Steve Anderson explores how Australian and New Zealand entrepreneurs can best prepare for securing local investors.

Small Business Support Line workers trained by beyondblue?

Today, the Australian Federal Minister for Small Business, Dr Craig Emerson, officially launched a free phone service that will provide advice and support for people running and working in small businesses.

Australia desperately needs a virtuous cycle of innovation

It says much about the schismatic nature of Australia's economic strategy that the Federal Government invited public submissions on how to build a clever country in the same week that it signed a $50B gas export contract with China. Jordan Green outlines his vision for Australia's knowledge economy.

Capital raising complexity and why I haven’t blogged

I’m in the middle of raising another round of capital and it occurs to me that one of the costs of professional investment, especially with VCs or Private Equity firms, is complexity. Not many people talk about this.

What’s your innovation trajectory

If you can plot the evolutionary trajectory in any given sector, it should be much easier to figure out what's next – and then build the next innovation, leaving others in your wake. History is brimming with examples, writes Roger La Salle.

Research: You make better decisions using intuition (or sleeping)

The latest research published within the field of cognitive psychology has shown that criteria-based decision-making could actually lead to poorer decisions. In fact, you’re better off sleeping on it.

Looking for strategic planning advice?

Just describe what you need, receive tailored proposals from interested strategic planning advisors, and contact the best. It's easy, free and there's no searching.

Tell-tale signs that you are a thinking boss

Are you a 'thinking boss'? If not, you could the cause of poor productivity, a lethargic workforce and staff animosity.

Australian companies have so much unrealised potential

There are so many examples of exciting Australian companies and initiatives. Why aren’t doing a better job of ensuring their success? Brad Howarth looks at the issue of squandered potential.

How an aerobics class can help you come up with better ideas

It is assumed that exercise is good for our mental health, but does it make us more creative?

I know that half my advertising works… I just don't know which half!

This undeniably humorous (and slightly scary) marketing expression has been fondly quoted for decades. In fact, I heard it re-quoted again last month, at...

I know that half my advertising works… I just don’t know which half!

This undeniably humorous (and slightly scary) marketing expression has been fondly quoted for decades. In fact, I heard it re-quoted again last month, at...

Starting your own business or working from home?

Regus gives you the flexibility to work where, when and how you want. As the word’s leading provider of workplace solutions we can help you...

Work ON and not IN your business… Thanks heaps for the advice.

I’ve heard it a hundred times. Entrepreneurs need to work on their business as opposed to in their business. However, getting stuck in the day-to-day happens to most of us, and the obvious question is ‘why?’ Especially when we know it is not in the best interests of our company. Are we just inherently forgetful, or is something else in play?

Do you have engaged employees or clock-watchers (or worse)?

Employee engagement is a measure of what people are thinking and feeling when they arrive at work in the morning — which in turn determines how much effort they’re prepared to invest in their work. So is your company being driven forward by capable and enthusiastic soldiers? Or has it become a gathering station for apathetic or conspiratorial clock-watchers?

The Master Chef approach to problem solving

The reality show Master Chef Australia takes amateur chefs and teaches them new techniques and skills, demonstrating what can be achieved with a little training and the right recipe. As with successful recipes, preparation for problem solving is important. So here are three simple points to get you started on your way to becoming a Master Problem Solver:
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The Facebook Honey Trap with James Tuckerman [CHEAT SHEET]

This cheat sheet was developed to help small business operators harness the incomparable (and undeniable) potency of Facebook to recruit fans, spread the word, and (most importantly) generate inbound business.


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...