How To vs What If

Most of people who volunteer to join a Not-For-Profit (NFP or For Purpose) Board because they hope to be involved in a process of change and make a difference. Whether it is a health or inclusion-startup 593341 640based cause or just to give people a voice – the board member wants to be part of that change.

What happens though, when one of those board members has firm opinions and will not listen to the opinions of others, or seems to be always influencing decisions or is disrespectful to other board members or staff? You might not think so, but you probably have a bully on your board.

This has obviously become an issue in the governance arena with the Fair Work Commissioner opening up workplace bullying laws to senior levels, including board members in 2017.

cbn cyber smllProbably the most overlooked aspect of managing your website is the fact that it needs to be secured on an ongoing basis. In this article we will cover what things need to be done as the beginnings of your security policy. A later article will cover more advanced topics such as content security policies, security headers and the like.

With security it is best to defend in depth. Defending in depth means that there are a number of barriers to overcome before access can be gained to a resource. This approach is to be chosen in preference to security through obscurity where you rely on hiding something to make it more secure.

security 2168233 640In order for us to decide whether we need a digital certificate we first need to understand what it does. So let’s have a look first at some other acronyms that seem to crop up when it comes to digital certificates namely:

 HTTP + SSL = HTTPS

(Hypertext Ttansfer Protocol  Secure)(Secure Sockets Layer) (Hypertext Protocol) 

HTTP deinfes how messages are transmitted between a visitor’s browser and a website’s server. SSL protects and encrypts information sent across the Internet and HTTPS encrypts the information sent between the browser and the server.

round two cbnYou have a shiny new website that is up and running. Now what? The first thing that you want to do is setup monitoring of your site. So in this article we will discuss setting up a few free online tools that will:

1. Tell you whether your website is online and accessible 

2. Alert you when you have some errors in your pages 

3. Provide you with insights into how your website is getting used and accessed

humanbody design1Technology changes quickly but people don’t. No matter whether you’re designing a Facebook ad, infographic or a website; your design will either serve to hinder or benefit your audience. By understanding the people you aim to serve, you can create a better experience for them and a more profitable one for your business.

Here are some things to think about:

smes growth1Did you know that there are more than 2.1 million SMEs registered in Australia? Unfortunately, according to the Banjo Small Business Finance Study, 27% state ‘availability of funding’ as a major concern. And the government are beginning to cotton on, too. Small business commissioner Mark Brennan believes that accessing adequate finance is “a major barrier to most businesses in Australia.” In his experience, businesses are often forced to borrow against personal assets, using credit cards, and even sourcing money from family and friends.

But growth finance has changed dramatically in the past decade, and it’s still changing. Here we look at the impact of growth finance on SMEs, including non-standard corporate finance techniques, and the realities of finding financial support post-GFC.

Office GemmaReevesYour startup company surely can’t remain a startup forever - unless you intend it to stay that way. As you refine, develop and market your product and services, you’ll be needing more resources, partners and employees to carry out the day to day operations of the company.

Growth is a good thing for startups, but it also means a growing set of tasks and responsibilities. And it also means you need to accommodate a growing number of employees that can competently perform the necessary tasks to achieve growing targets and company goals.

pres skills Oct17Do you like presenting? Maybe the more important question is, are you any good at it?

Presenting, in its simplest form, is the sharing of an idea or thought to one or more people. It can be done in any context, whether to your friends, classmates or colleagues; when you are discussing an idea, making a case or providing information, you are presenting.

Being able to present a clear, persuasive story through presentations has fast become a fundamental requirement in the workplace. In fact presentation skills have a role to play in almost every job there is. If presentations aren’t delivered well; managers fail to inspire their employees; sales aren’t made; entrepreneurs don’t get funded; ideas don’t get shared and progress is halted.

JasonPerelson2According to Jason Perelson, Creative Director at Zoo Group, in a traditional advertising agency the stereotype of a Creative Director has always been the guy who wears converse sneakers and graphic t-shirts, sits on a bean bag and thinks of cool ideas all day.

However, that’s changed over the last couple of years and its going to change exponentially going forward. Creative Directors are less and less likely to be the person sitting in a back room thinking of how you can change the world with a cool slogan but rather the strategic thinkers and client service and implementation people.

1225 zoo LOWRES 025 smlThere are so many definitions of ‘brand’ out there, that it makes it very hard to know where to start developing one – so we go for the obvious – the logo.

“Many of the startups and early stage businesses we see have a very simplistic view of branding,” says Lorinda Wyatt, Managing Director of creative consultancy, Zoo Group in Canberra.

“The perception is that once they have a logo and website they can tick branding off their ‘to-do’ list”.

It’s important to remember though that branding is about relationships. If you think this refers to your customer’s relationship with your brand and how you create and manage it, you’ve missed half the story. The relationship is the brand! Everything you do and don’t do forms this relationship.

eye tracking 1791845 640A few successful Australian businesses have cracked the code of how to manage an effective distributed team.

I heard from several Australian businesses recently about how they make their distributed teams an asset to their business. They talked firstly about why they chose the distributed team model.

Quiip is one of the leading community management service providers nationally. They offer a 24/7 service, enabled by a global workforce. Julie Delaforce, General Manager at Quiip talks about why a distributed workforce makes sense for Quiip in the video above.

sunflower 1127174 640Growing an amazing business requires strategy and breakthrough thinking. In this article we propose an approach you may not have thought of.

For many small businesses seeking growth, there are essential elements required for your growth strategy.

Whilst it is important to have a good understanding of your current state – ‘where are we now?’ – and your desired state – ‘where are we going? -’ having clear objectives is not enough.

office 1209640 1280 smlIn New Zealand recently we were hit with a 7.8 earthquake that rocked Wellington city to such an extent that 11% of the buildings in the CBD were affected. Many of them closed for business.

That left teams working from home or scrambling to find new locations to work. Teams weren’t prepared to be working as distributed teams, with all the new challenges that brings.

At Transformed Teams, we partnered with the Wellington Regional Economic Development Agencyto provide free support to local business leaders and managers dealing with the earthquake crisis.

felix webb photoEntrepreneurs are creative people. It doesn’t take much inspiration for them to hatch an idea. But the process of transforming an idea into a concept and then reality requires capital. Oftentimes, the lack of a budget in a startup can stymie the development of an idea even before it can get off the ground.

A budget is an allocation of available capital to fund a specific purpose. In a startup, a budget is needed as early as the pre- operating stages. But your budget should also cover capital investments, contingencies and working capital for at least 6 months.

Most startups are small business concepts that have limited capital or access to funds. A startup’s money management approach will determine how far it will go while the business is trying to bring in much- needed revenues.