Export Market Development Grant Applications - due by 30th November 2016
Export Market Development Grant applications relative to the year ended 30th June 2016 are required to be lodged with Austrade by the 30th November 2016. Applications can be lodged by Australian residents irrespective of the type of business entity that has an Australian Business Number and who are the owners of eligible goods, services, individual property rights or know how that have been exported. Eligibility requirements are that the business' income must not exceed $50M in the grant year. The business must have incurred, at least, $15,000 of eligible export expenses. The applicant has to be the principal for the export activity. The grant payments are calculated at 50% of allowable export market development expenditure.
First time claimants of the Export Market Development Grant can combine two years of expenses to meet the minimum expenditure requirements.
Retail Pricing Strategy To Achieve Better Results - Part 1
There are a number of common fallacies relating to price setting. These include:
· price is the only thing about which customers worry
· low priced products are more successful in a recession
· it is best to set your prices at the same level as your competitors
· price low to gain market entry and once market entry has been obtained then increase prices
· ask your customers what the price should be and price at the prices that they have told you
Whilst customers are concerned about prices, it is not the only thing that customers consider when deciding whether to purchase goods or services from a particular business. Astute customers tend to choose suppliers primarily for reliability. Other factors that enter into the buying decision include:
· quality of product
· technical and backup services
· reputation of the retailer
· brand associations
· location of the retail business
· guarantees that are issued by the retailer
· refund policy and attitude to refunds
Successful retailers know their customers and understand why particular customers are buying from them as part of the evaluation of the price setting equation. Rather than just looking at what competitors are charging the sound business practice is to determine what the required selling prices are for a retail business to cover its costs and earn a reasonable profit.
Your Competitive Edge Is Important
One of the key things that business operators should do is prepare a list of the business' competitive advantages. You cannot be all things to all people; you need to determine the activities within your business that are your strong suite and then ensure that you regularly play to your strengths by highlighting your competitive edge.
In developing a competitive edge, consideration should be given to these items:
· Make sure there is differentiation from your products to what your competitors offer. This could be in value added products that are included in the deal:
- some extra service that you're providing?
- does your business have happy customers?
- how did you create happy customers?
- can you create a lot more?
· What benefits does your business offer to your customers that other businesses cannot? This might be specialised knowledge and service that is readily made available. It might be accessing unique products or designs. Have you introduced a referral system whereby happy customers are able to refer other friends and colleagues to your business? Does your team know the business' competitive edge and are they encouraged to play to these strengths as often as they can?
· Have you discussed the "moment of truth" when the team member comes into contact with a customer?
· Are you able to deliver extra services by way of arrangements that you've made with suppliers and distributors to source special products or host events and, in so doing, offering an extra WOW factor to your customers.
Identifying and then refining your competitive edge can really contribute to your business' overall success.
Managing Difficult Employees
Unfortunately from time to time most business operators encounter a difficult employee. How you handle that situation is very important for the employee and the business. In the first instance it's necessary that management observes warning signals. If an employee is not performing and is causing difficulties, send a letter to the employee inviting the employee to attend a meeting. Include an indication that the employee can invite a friend or union representative to attend the meeting. Make sure the minutes of the meeting are minuted and that a copy of the minutes are sent to the employee and the person who accompanied them to the meeting.
Employers need to be aware that every action relative to issuing warnings to employees could result in a Fair Work Australia review and, for that reason, it's very important that a fair process has been established. It is the employer's responsibility to ensure that an adequate file record is maintained so that there is a paper trail which would include any warning letters, minutes of meetings, written documents on matters that other people have commented on relative to this issue.
Employer representatives are continually stressing the necessity for employers to maintain appropriate records on employee matters.
Firm, Fair And Strong Leadership Is Vital
Answers from team members about what they knew to be good leadership, prepared by the Leadership Academy, identified these items:
· Clearly give the reasons for and the purpose of assigned tasks.
· Give regular and adequate feedback and coaching, if necessary.
· Openly discuss issues and listen to ideas and suggestions.
· Give recognition for good work.
· Show an interest in other-than-work activities.
· Be friendly, open and honest.
· Be consistent in dealing with team members.
· Be competent, enthusiastic and committed to do what they say they will do.
· Set a good example by leading through their actions.