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Small Business Stories Q1 2017
2
Contents
HOW TO AUTOMATE YOUR BUSINESS, SO YOU CAN FOCUS ON WHAT YOU DO BEST................
Small Business Stories Q1 2017
3
PLEASURE CRAFT .............................................................................
Small Business Stories Q1 2017
4
How to automate your business, so you can focus on
what you do best
ne of the big challen...
Small Business Stories Q1 2017
5
Automation and the role of cloud-based services
“Cloud-based services can enable a busine...
Small Business Stories Q1 2017
6
It’s not just back-office functions that can be improved through
automation
For a landsca...
Small Business Stories Q1 2017
7
Running a business? Grab a slice of the sharing
economy
The sharing economy is rapidly be...
Small Business Stories Q1 2017
8
Sharing platforms allow people to share just about anything, from their car (Car Next
Doo...
Small Business Stories Q1 2017
9
There is also some confusion around the issue of tax. The ATO recently released
guideline...
Small Business Stories Q1 2017
10
Hack attacks: Don’t be lulled into a false sense of
security
Businesses of all shapes, s...
Small Business Stories Q1 2017
11
Small businesses often try to save money by using laptop computers, tablets and
mobile p...
Small Business Stories Q1 2017
12
There’s an increasing need to hold a specific cyber insurance policy
A common hack is a ...
Small Business Stories Q1 2017
13
5 things to do when your business takes off
Your small business is taking off and you ca...
Small Business Stories Q1 2017
14
Perrie Croshaw is the founder of award-winning online accommodation provider
South Coast...
Small Business Stories Q1 2017
15
5. Take time out
One of the most important things you can do for yourself once your busi...
Small Business Stories Q1 2017
16
Workers’ compensation is everyone’s business
Business owners are required to navigate th...
Small Business Stories Q1 2017
17
Uninsured employers may still be able to claim for workers’ compensation benefits
for st...
Small Business Stories Q1 2017
18
Workers Compensation is an area of business that’s important to take seriously. Even
if ...
Small Business Stories Q1 2017
19
Marine, pleasure craft and shipping insurance
Marine insurance can mean a lot of differe...
Small Business Stories Q1 2017
20
Pleasure craft
Pleasure craft insurance is for those people lucky enough to own their ow...
Small Business Stories Q1 2017
21
It’s Women’s Business!
Melbourne business woman Kate Morris has a celebrated Australian ...
Small Business Stories Q1 2017
22
Set your priorities every day
Morris sold a 25% stake of the business to Woolworths for ...
Small Business Stories Q1 2017
23
The Office of Women report also reveals that women business operators had high
levels of...
Small Business Stories Q1 2017
24
Business Chicks - Brings women together and inspires women, believing that when
women st...
Small Business Stories Q1 2017
25
Your Guide to the Revolution in Small Business
Funding
So you’ve got that great business...
Small Business Stories Q1 2017
26
Credit card/Personal loan/Overdraft
These are the easiest ways to borrow money from a ba...
Small Business Stories Q1 2017
27
Debtor finance
An alternative form of funding such as debtor finance can be appropriate ...
Small Business Stories Q1 2017
28
Seed capital
A company with an idea, a business plan, and possibly some initial product
...
Statewide Insurance Small Business Stories
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Statewide Insurance Small Business Stories

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Statewide Insurance Small Business Stories

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Statewide Insurance Small Business Stories

  1. 1. Small Business Stories Q1 2017 2 Contents HOW TO AUTOMATE YOUR BUSINESS, SO YOU CAN FOCUS ON WHAT YOU DO BEST..................... 4 AUTOMATION AND THE ROLE OF CLOUD-BASED SERVICES..............................................................................5 SOCIAL MEDIA CAN ALSO BE EFFECTIVELY OUTSOURCED..................................................................................5 IT’S NOT JUST BACK-OFFICE FUNCTIONS THAT CAN BE IMPROVED THROUGH AUTOMATION....6 RUNNING A BUSINESS? GRAB A SLICE OF THE SHARING ECONOMY....................................................... 7 SO WHAT IS THE SHARING ECONOMY?...........................................................................................................................7 THE SKY’S THE LIMIT ..................................................................................................................................................................7 TECHNOLOGY IS KEY.................................................................................................................................................................8 REGULATORY CHALLENGES...................................................................................................................................................8 HACK ATTACKS: DON’T BE LULLED INTO A FALSE SENSE OF SECURITY...............................................10 HOW TO PROTECT YOUR BUSINESS ...............................................................................................................................10 WHAT IS CYBERCRIME?...........................................................................................................................................................10 THE EXTENT OF THE HACK....................................................................................................................................................11 BUSINESS OWNERS AT A LOSS............................................................................................................................................11 THERE’S AN INCREASING NEED TO HOLD A SPECIFIC CYBER INSURANCE POLICY...............................12 WHERE TO REPORT...................................................................................................................................................................12 NEED TO TALK ABOUT CYBER INSURANCE?...............................................................................................................12 5 THINGS TO DO WHEN YOUR BUSINESS TAKES OFF .................................................................................13 1. CONTINUE TO INVEST IN YOURSELF ...........................................................................................................................13 2. BUILD YOUR SUPPORT NETWORK ...............................................................................................................................13 3. FOCUS ON YOUR CUSTOMERS.......................................................................................................................................14 4. MAKE TECHNOLOGY WORK FOR YOU.......................................................................................................................14 5. TAKE TIME OUT ......................................................................................................................................................................15 WORKERS’ COMPENSATION IS EVERYONE’S BUSINESS.............................................................................16 INJURY IN THE WORKPLACE................................................................................................................................................16 PROTECT YOUR BUSINESS....................................................................................................................................................16 MANAGING RISKS.......................................................................................................................................................................17 THE STEPS TO PLANNING AHEAD.....................................................................................................................................17 MARINE, PLEASURE CRAFT AND SHIPPING INSURANCE.............................................................................19 COMMERCIAL HULL...................................................................................................................................................................19 MARINE CARGO...........................................................................................................................................................................19
  2. 2. Small Business Stories Q1 2017 3 PLEASURE CRAFT ......................................................................................................................................................................20 MARINE LIABILITY .....................................................................................................................................................................20 HOME CONTENTS IN TRANSIT...........................................................................................................................................20 IT’S WOMEN’S BUSINESS!.....................................................................................................................................21 SET YOUR PRIORITIES EVERY DAY................................................................................................................................... 22 WOMEN IN BUSINESS A GROWING TREND.................................................................................................................. 22 ADORING THE CHALLENGE.................................................................................................................................................. 23 SUPPORT NETWORKS FOR WOMEN IN BUSINESS................................................................................................... 23 YOUR GUIDE TO THE REVOLUTION IN SMALL BUSINESS FUNDING ....................................................... 25 BOOTSTRAPPING......................................................................................................................................................................25 FFF – FAMILY, FRIENDS AND FANS.................................................................................................................................... 25 GOVERNMENT GRANTS.........................................................................................................................................................25 CREDIT CARD/PERSONAL LOAN/OVERDRAFT......................................................................................................... 26 BUSINESS LOAN .........................................................................................................................................................................26 CASH FLOW LENDING.............................................................................................................................................................26 DEBTOR FINANCE......................................................................................................................................................................27 SOCIAL LENDING .......................................................................................................................................................................27 PEER-TO-PEER LENDING.......................................................................................................................................................27 CROWD FUNDING......................................................................................................................................................................27 SEED CAPITAL .............................................................................................................................................................................28
  3. 3. Small Business Stories Q1 2017 4 How to automate your business, so you can focus on what you do best ne of the big challenges facing small businesses today is finding the time to grow revenue while staying on top of the behind-the-scenes work that needs to be done. Freeing up extra time through automation means small business owners can focus on what they do best - taking on more clients, while better servicing their existing ones. “If only there were more hours in the day,” might seem an innocuous phrase, but for small businesses trying to expand, it can mean the difference between success and failure. Automation could be the key to helping small businesses become big ones. A recent survey by the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry showed people were spending more time on complying with rules, and less time growing their businesses and keeping customers happy. In fact, a quarter of respondents in the annual Red Tape Survey said they spent 11 hours per week on compliance - mostly relating to GST - putting their annual cost to their business above $10,000. One answer to many of these people’s problems may be to automate more of their back office functions, leaving them more time to do what they do best. This rings true for a range of businesses, from landscape architects to builders and beauty salon owners. There’s countless tools out there, so it pays to do your homework. O
  4. 4. Small Business Stories Q1 2017 5 Automation and the role of cloud-based services “Cloud-based services can enable a business to outsource the back office functions of their business to third parties in a seamless manner,” says Michael Peters of accountancy and finance firm Peters & Partners, which provides advice to SMEs about automation and outsourcing. “These services can include accounting, taxation strategy, human resources, information technology and legal support. The service package available can also be tailored to the size of the business, aspirational goals and levels of growth to ensure appropriate support is provided at each stage of development for the business,” Peters says. The types of services increasingly being automated include invoices, accounts, and cashflow management. There’s even a role for automation in sales and marketing. There are plenty on the market, such as Salesforce, Infusionsoft and TeamSupport. “Introducing a Customer Relationship Management system can transform the way client servicing occurs,” says Peters. “Information flowing from business websites, electronic direct mail campaigns as well as mobile applications in real-time provides snapshots on client behaviours and preferences. This in turn means you can automatically send out things like special offers and updates on new products.” Social media can also be effectively outsourced Management tools like Hootsuite can connect businesses with 35 social media sites and stay in touch with clients. For the likes of a beauty salon owner, this can mean linking hot looks from celebrities, with new techniques available in-store, through Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Even videos of ‘how to’ on YouTube can be managed through Hootsuite and rivals such as SocialPilot. While builders and architects are finding they are getting new business and keeping their clients engaged through sites such as Pinterest.
  5. 5. Small Business Stories Q1 2017 6 It’s not just back-office functions that can be improved through automation For a landscape architects, builders and plumbers, there are automatic project cost estimators available such as the industry recognised Cordell Costing Solutions. Products like Cordell’s allow tradespeople to input data such as the size of the job, types of materials and products used into a web-based platform to come up with an instant estimate, cutting many hours of work. Rawlinsons also provides cost estimates using a manual based system. “Properties can be photographed in high-resolution from the air, showing gardens and layout to their best advantage,” says aviation company Aviassist, which provides drone training. Increased automation will give many businesses that often desired, extra time to grow. The trick will be to find the right systems to suit each individual business’ needs.
  6. 6. Small Business Stories Q1 2017 7 Running a business? Grab a slice of the sharing economy The sharing economy is rapidly becoming part of everyday life, especially among tech-savvy urbanites who are as comfortable booking an Uber on their smartphone as they are hailing a cab. But you don’t have to be a technology whizz or an inner-city dweller to succeed in the sharing economy, as many small business owners are discovering. Do you run a small cafe or takeaway? Thanks to new services like Deliveroo, Foodora and UberEATS, your business is no longer confined by four walls. Customers can use an app on their smartphone to order your delicious food from the comfort of their couch. A bike courier or Uber driver will deliver to their home for $5. So what is the sharing economy? It began as a way to connect people with underused assets or skills with people willing to pay for them. In the sharing economy, person to person transactions are facilitated by online platforms, where buyers and sellers can access via their smartphone, tablet or computer. The platform-provider will charge a fee to one or both parties to use the service. The sky’s the limit Change has been so rapid it’s hard to believe that accommodation provider, Airbnb, started out as recently as 2008, when two friends came up with the idea of renting out their living room to visiting conference delegates. It’s now valued at around US$13 billion with 25 million users in 34,000 cities globally. According to Roy Morgan Research, 36.6% of Australians aged 25-34 years have heard of Airbnb, and 13.1% would consider using them for their next holiday. It’s little wonder then that global success stories such as Airbnb and Uber are inspiring local entrepreneurs to have a go.
  7. 7. Small Business Stories Q1 2017 8 Sharing platforms allow people to share just about anything, from their car (Car Next Door, Drive My Car), caravan (Camplify, My Caravan), parking space (Parkhound, MonkeyParking) and labour (Airtasker, TaskRabbit) to petcare (Pawshake, DogVacay). And if the platform that would transform your small business doesn’t exist? Why not hire an app developer and run the idea past some friends to test the market? Technology is key Now that broadband services are being rolled out across the nation and close to 90% of adult Australians have a smartphone, the barriers to connecting with your market have never been lower. Luke Bird is a fly-in fly-out worker based outside Brisbane. With three children and a fourth on the way, he wanted to start his own small business so he could stay closer to home. He saw the Camplify platform as a way to test the market for a camper hire business, Adventure Shack. Early this year he bought two camper trailers and since then has bought another two, which he hires out to holidaymakers on the Camplify platform. “It allows you to get a feel for the market without having to go all in”, says Bird. Camplify provides a ready made community of campers as well as contracts and insurance. Like most platforms, it also allows users to rate their experience, which helps people like Bird establish a reputation for good service. Bird has already moved the business out of his backyard into a commercial warehouse, and if all goes to plan, he hopes to offer up to 20 camper vans, which would allow him to give up his day job. As the sharing economy evolves and transforms the way we do business, the opportunities to expand into new areas, are only just beginning. Regulatory challenges While the sharing economy offers individuals like Bird the opportunity to start a business, the pace of change has caught regulators and lawmakers off guard. Airbnb has faced legal challenges over the terms of its leases and noisy guests, while Uber drivers have had to fight to be covered by insurance.
  8. 8. Small Business Stories Q1 2017 9 There is also some confusion around the issue of tax. The ATO recently released guidelines on the sharing economy and tax, and insurance companies are also beginning to respond to the evolving needs of the sharing economy with new products. As the sharing economy evolves and transforms the way we do business, the opportunities for enterprising individuals to kick-start a business, or for existing businesses to expand into new areas, are only just beginning.
  9. 9. Small Business Stories Q1 2017 10 Hack attacks: Don’t be lulled into a false sense of security Businesses of all shapes, sizes and industries are experiencing hack attacks every single day in Australia. And these situations are on the rise, reports reveal. Hack attacks can be deliberate attacks, technology issues or simple negligence. The costs involved can be massive - ranging from notifying your customers, investigations, credit monitoring, the need for public relations, compliance and even the potential for compensation and engaging experts. According to the Australian edition of PwC’s Global Economic Crime Survey, cybercrime is now the number one economic crime in Australia. The PwC survey found that 65% of Australian respondents have experienced cybercrime in the last 24 months. Businesses need to prepare for the unknown that tomorrow holds, too, with almost six in 10 Australian organisations expecting to experience cybercrime in the next 24 months. And worryingly, 80% identify an increase in their risks of cybercrime (up from 63% in 2012). How to protect your business Businesses can protect themselves by looking out for email scams, by being cautious of emails from unknown senders, by taking care on social media and by only dealing with reputable institutions when trading online. Other tips to protect your SME include; • Use different passwords for every account and ensure they are strong • Back-up your business data regularly • Store backed up data off-site and check the data restore periodically • Keep antivirus software up to date, along with software patches and updates • Be conscious of personal information shared online • Know where cloud-based data is stored. What is cybercrime? Cybercrime is defined as fraud, money laundering and theft – all of which could have could have a significant impact on a business.
  10. 10. Small Business Stories Q1 2017 11 Small businesses often try to save money by using laptop computers, tablets and mobile phones for both businesses and personal use, share technology among staff and don’t set up or maintain firewalls, virus protection and security bugs. Don’t think that cyber criminals have bigger fish to fry - no one is immune. None of us will forget the Australian Census website hack this year, in what is a high profile example of how cybersecurity is a constantly evolving and complex matter. There are plenty more we don’t hear about, too. During a recent Four Corners report on ABC television, the Prime Minister’s cyber security adviser, Alastair MacGibbon revealed that the Australian Government was ‘attacked on a daily basis’, but that not all these were made public. The extent of the hack According to the Australian Cybercrime Online Reporting Network (ACORN), hack attacks include: Unauthorised access or hacking – when someone gains access to your computer or device without permission Malware – malicious software, such as viruses, Trojans and spyware, which monitor your online activity and cause damage to the computer Denial of service attacks – which floods a computer or website with data, causing it to overload and preventing it from functioning properly. This type of attack is frequently targeted at businesses rather than individuals. Business owners at a loss Meanwhile, business owners are looking for ways to protect their cyber security, with many realising there’s an increasing need to hold a specific cyber insurance policy. Sydney cybercrime expert, Andrew Bycroft, says business owners are often at a loss to know how to protect themselves from cybercrime. He works with businesses to build a strategy to plan ahead and minimise any damage that cybercrime could cause.
  11. 11. Small Business Stories Q1 2017 12 There’s an increasing need to hold a specific cyber insurance policy A common hack is a ransomware email, which is a malicious software designed to block access to a computer system until a sum of money is paid. "I often get calls from frantic business owners staring at a red screen demanding a ransom be paid for the return of their files. It can be a very scary experience, but it’s happening every day to business owners,” Bycroft says. Small businesses might need to spend a few weeks minimising their risk at a cost of between $2,000 and $10,000, while larger businesses may need to spend between $50,000 and $100,000 on cybercrime minimisation strategies, according to Bycroft. Where to report Hack attacks can now be reported to ACORN. Be sure to provide as much detail as possible and keep any relevant information about the incident, such as emails and screenshots. Need to Talk about Cyber Insurance? Contact Us at Statewide Insurance, we’d be only too happy to help. Policies start at $500 per annum to ensure your peace of mind.
  12. 12. Small Business Stories Q1 2017 13 5 things to do when your business takes off Your small business is taking off and you can feel justly proud. But rapid growth can bring new challenges. Chances are you’re so busy working in the business that there is little time to spend on the business. And that can be fatal. If you are not prepared, rapid growth can send your small business off course. Seeking out other small business success stories can be a source of inspiration, and you don’t have to look far. There were close to 2 million small to medium-sized businesses in Australia in June 2016 and their numbers have been growing steadily. Advice and resources for small business are also offered by state and federal governments. So set some time aside to explore what’s on offer in your state. Here are 5 habits that successful business owners have adopted, to ensure their business keeps growing; 1. Continue to invest in yourself As your business grows, keeping your skills and knowledge current and staying abreast of industry trends is essential. You can find relevant workshops and events for your business on everything from research and development grants to social media fundamentals, mostly free of charge, on this government website. When you are flat out working, you probably try to spend any spare time with family or friends, but don’t overlook the value of networking. Even five minutes a day spent connecting with contacts by phone, email, social networks like LinkedIn or similar can lead to future business. Attending industry and community events can also offer valuable new leads. As your business grows, keeping your skills and knowledge current and staying abreast of industry trends is essential. 2. Build your support network There comes a time when you can no longer keep track of your business and its finances in your head. Make sure you have a good relationship with your accountant, solicitor, bank manager, insurance broker and any other support people you rely on to protect your bottom line. A Steadfast insurance broker can assist you to protect your assets from claims.
  13. 13. Small Business Stories Q1 2017 14 Perrie Croshaw is the founder of award-winning online accommodation provider South Coast Holidays which started at her kitchen table. Today she and her business partner employ seven staff in two office locations and manage 140 properties. In the early days, she says her accountant taught her the importance of avoiding a cost blowout. “Running a business is like balancing scales – you need a clear idea of your incomings and outgoings,” she says. Once your business takes off, your accountant may need to be more involved in its day to day running. You may also be able to negotiate better finance deals with your bank. 3. Focus on your customers While constant focus on your bottom line is important, it’s your customers who pay the wages, not the business. By keeping in contact with customers, inviting and replying to feedback, you can build loyalty and intervene early to fix problems that could cost future sales. Croshaw sends regular emails to her property owners to let them know what’s going on. “They love the regular communication; they feel I’m working for them,” she says. While constant focus on your bottom line is important, it’s your customers who pay the wages, not the business. 4. Make technology work for you When you are working in the business, it’s easy to get caught up in daily operations - answering emails, dealing with staff and clients - making it difficult to find time for the creativity you need to keep growing. “If you are doing a job over and over, there has got to be a way to automate or template it,” says Croshaw. By adding live chat to their website, she says time-poor customers can now book a holiday on the go in under 7 minutes, much faster than previously possible using email or text messaging. The business also uses cloud-based services that allow the partners to operate remotely. “On days when we are working outside the business we might read contracts or analyse new software to reduce the time spent on repetitive jobs,” she says.
  14. 14. Small Business Stories Q1 2017 15 5. Take time out One of the most important things you can do for yourself once your business takes off is to look at your calendar at the start of each year and schedule in holidays. “Things can spiral out of control if you don’t treat yourself to a break,” says Croshaw. By taking the time to hire the right people who share your vision and the culture of your business, it will be easier to step away and let them run things while you are away. Take the time to work on your business, not just in it, and watch it grow from startup to small business success story.
  15. 15. Small Business Stories Q1 2017 16 Workers’ compensation is everyone’s business Business owners are required to navigate the complex world of workplace safety. Here’s some things you need to know to ensure your business is compliant. Injury in the workplace Illness or injury in the workplace is more common than you might think. No matter what industry you’re in, it’s an area of running a business that can’t be ignored. The statistics speak for themselves. There were 106,565 serious workers’ compensation claims last year, which equates to 5.9 serious claims per million hours worked, according to Australian Workers’ Compensation Statistics data from Safe Work Australia. The economic cost of work-related incidents was $61.8 billion, statistics show. The three industries with the highest number of serious claims per million hours worked were transport, postal and warehousing (9.3%), healthcare and social assistance (8.7%), and agriculture, forestry and fishing (8.6%). Most of the injuries during this time were musculoskeletal disorders, which led to 90% of serious claims - the most common were traumatic joint/ligament and muscle/tendon injuries (45%). While claims are down on previous years, businesses still need to be prepared, just in case. Protect your business The onus is on Australian business owners to navigate the complex world of workplace safety, which includes understanding workers’ compensation requirements. Workers’ compensation insurance is compulsory for business owners in all states and territories. Workers’ compensation insurance is compulsory for business owners in all states and territories. This form of insurance pays employees if they are injured at work or become sick due to their work. The payment can cover their wages if they’re not fit to work, medication expenses and rehabilitation. Employers are responsible for taking reasonable steps to ensure that the workplace is a safe working environment, which extends to events where employers are technically off the clock, such as work Christmas parties.
  16. 16. Small Business Stories Q1 2017 17 Uninsured employers may still be able to claim for workers’ compensation benefits for staff in case of injury or illness, so check with your local authority. There’s lots of great information on the Safe Work Australia site. Each state and territory has independent regulators and administrators in place to run workers’ compensation, so make sure you become familiar with your local authorities. The rules while similar differ between each state and territory. Managing risks Wise employers foster a health and safety culture within the workplace, providing regular communication around safety and injury management to raise awareness among staff. This process includes encouraging staff to identify potential injury or illness threats, and being sure to address these issues immediately. Rewarding positive contributions to health and safety in the workplace can also have a significant impact on the cultural change within an organisation. Taking immediate action after an incident to minimise effects and make sure people are supported is paramount. Make sure your workplace has emergency response plans for evacuations and medical response systems in place. Be sure to conduct an investigation to understand how the incident occurred and document everything, including taking photos of where the incident occurred and then take steps to prevent it from happening again. The steps to planning ahead Efficiently managing work health and safety risks within a workplace means having a systematic approach, which involves five key elements. These are: 1. Governance: Ensure your workplace has the organisational framework, procedures, policies and processes in place 2. Prevention: Develop specific hazard policies and procedures for your workplace 3. Response: If a safety incident takes place, you must take steps to remove the hazard that caused it, and implement changes to stop it from happening again 4. Managing hazards: An effective risk and hazard management methodology will allow you to identify hazards that pose a risk to your workers and resolve them before they cause injury or illness 5. Recovery: Where a worker has been injured, the employer has responsibilities to put in place a rehabilitation management system for workplace injury or illness
  17. 17. Small Business Stories Q1 2017 18 Workers Compensation is an area of business that’s important to take seriously. Even if you’ve dealt with this area of your business six months ago, it’s important to revisit safety issues regularly, so make sure you schedule regular audits, and include your staff in the process.
  18. 18. Small Business Stories Q1 2017 19 Marine, pleasure craft and shipping insurance Marine insurance can mean a lot of different things, depending on the risks you’re looking to insure against. As such, “marine insurance” is a bit of a catch-all term that can usually be subcategorised and then referred to as something a little more specific. To help you make sense of the different types of insurances that fall under the “marine insurance” banner, let’s have a look at what each one is designed to cover. Bear in mind that different insurers may refer to each of the insurances listed below differently, but in general, insurers will tailor their policies to cover similar risks. Marine insurance can mean a lot of different things, depending on the risks you’re looking to insure against. Commercial hull Commercial hull insurance is designed for businesses in which the use of a water vessel is actually at the centre of your business — for example, if you run charter boats or barges. Commercial hull insurance typically covers theft, malicious damage, liability arising from the use of the vessel and accidental damage to the insured vessels. Marine cargo Although we’ve already discussed the idea of “marine insurance” being more of a collective term for different types of marine insurances, if an insurer sells only the one product and it’s actually called “marine insurance”, it’s more than likely a policy that closely resembles marine cargo insurance. Marine cargo insurance is a policy designed for businesses. More specifically, marine cargo insurance is a policy type designed for businesses who transport their goods both domestically and internationally, be it by air, road, rail, sea, courier or post — that’s right, marine cargo insurance doesn’t just relate to transport via water bodies. Marine cargo generally provides cover for damage to or loss of goods while they are in transit.
  19. 19. Small Business Stories Q1 2017 20 Pleasure craft Pleasure craft insurance is for those people lucky enough to own their own water vessel — you know, like a nice yacht — for personal use and not for business purposes. Most pleasure craft insurance policies provide cover against theft and accidental damage, as well as some worst-case-scenario covers, such as wreck removal. Third party and personal injury covers are also typically included. There is also a range of optional covers that will relate specifically to whatever your pleasure craft is usually used for — for example, you might be quite into sailing, fishing or water skiing. Marine liability Marine liability insurance provides cover for marine service providers — for example, ship repairers and marina operators. This particular cover insures against various types of liability, including but not limited to cargo damage, damage to other marine vessels and property, and third party injuries. Home contents in transit This is another marine insurance type whereby cover isn’t just limited to travel via sea. If you have employed removalists to transport the contents of your home, this type of insurance provides cover for loss or damage of your property while it is in transit (be it by road, train, air or sea), as well as while it is in storage (for a limited period of time).
  20. 20. Small Business Stories Q1 2017 21 It’s Women’s Business! Melbourne business woman Kate Morris has a celebrated Australian business and international expansion on the cards. Meet the founder of Adore Beauty. Kate Morris had high hopes when she launched her online retail business with a $12,000 loan nearly 17 years ago. Fast-forward to today, and the Melburnian is the CEO of Australia’s largest online beauty and skincare retailer, Adore Beauty. The company is a major player in the top Australian retailer businesses, turning over $16 million in 2016. Financial forecasts expect the booming business to turn over $20 million in 2017 this calendar year. While it’s phenomenal, Morris takes it all in her stride. The early days were a hard slog, with that initial $12,000 loan from her father-in-law her first hurdle. “Initially, I just focused on paying back the loan. The plan after that was to make a living out of this business, which wasn’t easy given that online shopping was an entirely new concept in Australia back in 1999 when I launched.” The online landscape has evolved dramatically since then, fuelling her online store’s growth. But additional challenges have been added to the mix, such as increasingly savvy online shoppers wanting a better user experience and online beauty advice. Morris also made the gutsy decision to offer free shipping on all orders, absorbing the associated costs. She went on to re-mortgage her home in 2010 after the banks told her she needed ‘skin in the game’ if she wanted a loan. “Some might find that kind of risk terrifying, but not going ahead with my big idea was just as terrifying to me.” Morris went on to re-mortgage her home in 2010 after the banks told her she needed ‘skin in the game’ if she wanted a loan.
  21. 21. Small Business Stories Q1 2017 22 Set your priorities every day Morris sold a 25% stake of the business to Woolworths for an undisclosed sum last year, giving her the working capital to invest in additional staff, inventory and bolster her marketing activity. The hiring spree boosted staff numbers to nearly 50 across the office, 1,500 sq/m warehouse and skincare centre in Brunswick. And while Adore Beauty has had many competitors over the years, the company has carved out an enviable niche in the online beauty market with its unique user experience, which includes live chat until 9pm on the site, trial sized products, and a much appreciated Tim Tam in every order. The mother of two was named in the Australian Business Women’s Hall of Fame in 2015, and admits it’s a juggle. “You’ve got to prioritise what’s important to get done right now, while also being flexible and handling issues as they arise. My priority is being home for dinner with my family every night, and not having the children spend more time with their Nanny than they do with their parents,” Morris says. “Of course, one of the perks of having your own business is being in control of your own destiny.” Women in business a growing trend Statistics reveal that Morris isn’t alone. There has been a 46% increase in the number of women business owners over the past two decades in Australia, according to a 2016 report prepared by the Australian Bureau of Statistics for the Office of Women. Today, just over a third (34%) of Australian businesses are operated by women, with numbers steadily been rising over the last 20 years. Australia’s experience is similar to that of the United Kingdom, where in recent years the number of women in self-employment has been increasing at a faster rate than the number of men (though men in both countries still dominate the self-employment sector).
  22. 22. Small Business Stories Q1 2017 23 The Office of Women report also reveals that women business operators had high levels of life satisfaction (57%), who were pleased or delighted with the quality of their lives. Adoring the challenge International expansion is on the agenda for Morris. A recent trial in China remains in the experimental stages, which has presented Morris and her growing team with countless new business learnings. “The only way I can manage with two young children is to equally share the household duties and care of our children with my partner, James. That doesn’t mean I’m ‘lucky’ – I would expect that from my relationship, but nonetheless I recognise that a lot of women don’t have that level of support” she says. Morris recommends letting go of things you don’t have time for (such as hiring a house cleaner to help around the house), and taking short breaks, which renews her energy levels. “People often look at my life and tell me that they think it looks stressful. The truth is that I love it – I love the challenge and wouldn’t have it any other way. I hope I never have a job again!” Support networks for women in business Head Over Heels - Founded in 2010 by five women involved in early-stage investment and support, launched Head Over Heels to enable CEOs to pitch their businesses to business and community leaders. The network helps level the playing field for women entrepreneurs and aspirational role models for both women and men. Her Business - Is a community that offers female business owners access to connections, promotion, mentorship and the ability to learn new skills. Women’s Networking Australia - Has been helping women in business network for the last 25 years. This member-based organisation educates, guides and supports women in their pursuit of success.
  23. 23. Small Business Stories Q1 2017 24 Business Chicks - Brings women together and inspires women, believing that when women stop competing and start lending a hand, great stuff happens. Meet Up - It’s always checking out this great platform, which publishes Meet Ups in cities all over the country and overseas to bring together people who do that they do in life. They help people talk, mentor and support each other - all in pursuit of moving their lives forward.
  24. 24. Small Business Stories Q1 2017 25 Your Guide to the Revolution in Small Business Funding So you’ve got that great business idea – now you're looking for funding. The good news is that there have never been as many options available to help you finance your start-up. Here are some alternative and smart ways to fund your idea to help you on your way to business success. Bootstrapping Bootstrapping is self-reliant funding that comes either from your personal savings or from the operating revenue of the new company and is the ideal funding for a start- up. The obvious benefit of bootstrapping is that you don’t have to surrender any equity to an outside investor or pay back any loans, and you get larger profit margins. But the logical pitfall is that, if you’re intending to fund the company through revenue, you have to be selling your good or service. FFF – family, friends and fans Many small private companies get their funding in the first place from friends, family and fans of the business – people that know the business or are familiar with the product or service. These are people who genuinely want your business to succeed. It’s fairest to everyone if you use a written loan agreement to make it clear this money is a loan and not a gift, nor equity in the business. Be clear about when the money should be repaid and with how much interest. Government grants According to grants information collator GrantGuru, Australia’s three levels of government – plus companies, non-government organisations (NGOs) and industry bodies – make a staggering $51.3 billion worth of grants and assistance programs available for small businesses every year. The crazy thing is that sometimes these grants go begging because no-one applies for them. Your business could qualify for a federal, state, or council grant – make sure you investigate this source.
  25. 25. Small Business Stories Q1 2017 26 Credit card/Personal loan/Overdraft These are the easiest ways to borrow money from a bank to fund a business because you don’t have to sit down with the bank and go through your business plan and the security you’ll be putting up for the loan. The downside is that the most you’ll be able to borrow is about $10,000 (credit card) and $20,000–$30,000 (personal loan/overdraft). But if you can pay every bill on your credit card within the interest- free period, you may be able to increase your limit over time to more than these amounts. Business loan Banks do lend to small businesses, even start-ups. However, in reality, getting a loan when you’re starting out in business can be very difficult. You will need to have a sound business plan and a proven track record of selling your goods or service. The bank is then likely to want property as security (as this is the easiest and simplest form of security to be offered: other assets, such as cars and equipment, may be enough to secure a loan). And of course, you need the cash flow in the business that enables you to service the debt. Talk to your bank to see what it can do. Cash flow lending Increasingly, banks will look at security other than property as security for a loan: in some circumstances they are prepared to lend against cash flow to an established business. However, such loans will probably have covenants that cannot be broken, or the bank can demand immediate repayment. These can include maintaining certain levels of profitability and turnover and not having too many outstanding debts. Talk to your bank first, but keep in mind that “fintech” disruptors have stepped into this area: cash flow lenders such as Moula, PayPal, Kikka Capital, Valiant Finance and Prospa (which has a strategic partnership with Westpac under which Westpac refers customers to Prospa’s loan application site), mortgage aggregator AFG and accounting software provider Reckon. These disruptions are based on data: Prospa says the cash flow data from Reckon’s accounting software is the best measure of business fundamentals, helping to determine the business’s ability to repay and manage risk during the life of a loan.
  26. 26. Small Business Stories Q1 2017 27 Debtor finance An alternative form of funding such as debtor finance can be appropriate – but again, you must be making sales. The business can sell unpaid invoices to specialist debtor finance (or “factoring” firms) for a cash advance of 75% – 90% of the amounts owed. The business then repays the money when the outstanding invoice is paid. The good thing about this is method is that finance advances are usually made within 48 hours, giving the business access to quick cash. The downside is that it costs more than other forms of funding. Digital operator FundX has recently launched in this space. Similar to debtor finance is trade credit insurance, which protects against bad debts in Australia and overseas by insuring your debts against insolvency, protracted default or political events. Social lending Online business lending marketplace, Marketlend, acts as a conduit between investors and small businesses looking for finance. Not a peer-to-peer lender, Marketlend is an online social lending platform that facilitates loans. Small businesses list their desired loans on the platform and investors bid, auction-style, to invest. Investors can bid any amount larger than $99. Marketlend founder and chief executive, Leo Tyndall, calls it the “eBay of business finance.” Peer-to-peer lending Peer-to-peer (P2P) lending platforms like Ratesetter and SocietyOne connect investors with creditworthy borrowers. Ratesetter offers business loans from $35,000 up to $150,000. Other P2P platforms include MoneyPlace, DirectMoney, ThinCats Australia, OnDeck and Harmoney. Crowd funding Crowd-sourced equity funding is a form of online fundraising that allows investors to make small equity investments in a company. Platforms in Australia include Equitise, VentureCrowd, OzCrowd and Pozible, while overseas platforms accessible from Australia include Kickstarter, Indiegogo, RocketHub and OneVest.
  27. 27. Small Business Stories Q1 2017 28 Seed capital A company with an idea, a business plan, and possibly some initial product development or prototype can receive initial funding from venture capital firms or “angel” investors (high-net-worth individuals) who specialise in very early-stage investing. The ‘seed’ funding usually enables the company to test or prepare its product or service to the point where it can start the business. Investments at this stage are typically up to $200,000 in size. Both kinds of investor may also bring experience, mentoring and industry contacts that can help a start-up rapidly grow its business. But these kinds of investors will want to see a very detailed business plan, and will want to know exactly how the funds will be used: you will need to demonstrate that the funds will be used in a way that will increase the value of the business. This kind of investor will ask detailed questions about whether the funding will be used to finance growth activities, including product development, recruiting key staff, launching sales and marketing activity. They will need to be satisfied that the business can be scaled upward and do not typically like to see funding earmarked for the founders to pay themselves salaries. Remember with any form of equity funding that you are giving up a portion of ownership. Remember with any form of equity funding that you are giving up a portion of ownership. This can be a problem for many business owners; however, if the funding helps the valuation of the company to rise, the portion the founders retain, even if it falls into the single-digits, can ultimately end up being worth much more than the 100% they owned before they brought in equity investors.

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