Central Coast Tourism´s New CEO, Robyne Abernethy
Robyne comes to the Central Coast armed with 25 years extensive travel industry experience and has an in-depth understanding of various facets of the industry including online, wholesale inbound, MICE, hotel, restaurants and attractions.
Having grown up in regional New South Wales and lived on the Central Coast in the 1980´s and 1990, the new CEO is passionate about regional tourism and welcomes the opportunity to return to the Central Coast to use her network of experience and knowledge of the industry to drive further tourism growth for the region. Tourism is an important industry for the Central Coast with visitor expenditure valued at over $631 million* annually. (*DNSW Regional Snapshot: YE June 2012)
Robyne looks forward to the new challenge of leading Central Coast Tourism and working with the board, staff and the membership to increase visitation and economic impact on tourism for the region.
Leading the list of priority actions, Robyne´s first order of business will be to drive the development of the second Destination Management Plan for the Central Coast to advance the region´s tourism strategy beyond June 2013.
Destination Management Plan
The first Destination Management Plan (DMP) for a New South Wales region was released by the Central Coast in July 2010. This document was developed in partnership with the local community and businesses, government and Central Coast Tourism, resulting in an agreed vision for three years. The framework of the DMP has enabled the Central Coast to consider destination management holistically rather than just in marketing terms. One of the key measures of success of the DMP has been the opportunity for local tourism operators to access $250,000 in product development funding to create and expand the regions tourism offerings.
Over the coming months, Central Coast Tourism will again be working in consultation with the local community and businesses, government and other key stakeholders in the region to develop the DMP 2013-2016. If you are interested in being involved with the process, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with your details
Tourism Opportunity Plan (TOP)
The development of a Tourism Opportunity Plan was identified as a priority in the current DMP. Central Coast Tourism in conjunction with our funding partners, Regional Development Australia Central Coast, Wyong Shire Council and Gosford City Council recently commissioned the TOP. This planning exercise has prioritised public and tourism infrastructure projects and positions the Central Coast as a forward thinking destination. The plan will support the region in pitching qualified projects to a range of investors and developers including accommodation, attractions, sporting and event opportunities.
2012 Sustainable Economic Growth For Regional Australia (SEGRA) Conference
Over four days in November, the 16th Annual SEGRA Conference was held at the Crowne Plaza Terrigal. The theme of the conference encompassed the commitment to a holistic approach to regional development focusing on how business, citizens, government and the non government sections can work collaboratively to maximise and appropriately respond to current and potential opportunities of regional Australia. A number of headline issues impacting regional Australia including the environment, education, employment, the internet and tourism, were featured in the workshops and conversation pits
Two new facelifts for landmarks in the Wyong Shire
Central Coast Business Park - North Wyong
The park is now proudly home to a number of businesses including Silcar Communications which is in a joint venture with Thiess Services to deliver the NBN rollout services in Queensland, NSW and the ACT.
With great parking facilities, easy access to loading docks and flexible floor plates CCBP is a great place to base your business. The park is not only centrally located within the Coast it a short drive to the freeway and has a wonderful cafe on site to service both your staff needs and your corporate clients.
Wyong Milk Factory - Warnerville
Allsorts Fitness and Wellbeing Centre have expanded to include a world class boxing centre. In conjunction with Competitive Edge Boxing Academy classes are being run 5 days a week, Monday to Friday to help you get into the best shape of your life. Jai Opetaia has made the Allsorts Boxing Centre his home for his journey to the next Olympics in Rio!
Competitive Edge has also introduced a new opportunity at the Milk Factory for elite athletes and companies to join in an Olympic training experience. To date two NRL teams have jumped at this opportunity and more are enquiring. So if you are looking for the competitive edge for your company contact Allsorts on 4352 3811.
Due to open in December 2012 the mouth-watering Luka Chocolate Company will be open 7 days a week to satisfy every sweet craving you have.
Open at the Milk Factory are the following great places to visit:
Expanding our Operations Interstate - Job Centre
Job Centre Australia is pleased to announce that it has been successful in the recent Disability Employment Services tender for 2013 - 2018.
The Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations has awarded new business to Job Centre Australia in the areas of South Brisbane, Sunshine Coast, Gold Coast and Port Macquarie. Job Centre Australia currently operates 15 offices throughout NSW including four offices on the Central Coast. The granting of this business will see Job Centre Australia open an additional 13 offices and will see a cross border venture into Queensland.
The triumph of new business is greatly due to the success of Job Centre Australia as a team of dedicated and professional staff that aim to be leaders in the Disability Employment Services sector. We would also like to thank the businesses on the Central Coast and throughout NSW who have helped us grow and who have contributed to changing the lives of people with a disability now and in the future. Job Centre Australia looks forward to continued success in creating work opportunities for persons with a disability throughout both NSW and QLD. At present, we are excitedly busy setting up new offices and hiring staff for when the doors to our new offices open in March.
Paul Stanton -
For further information about Job Centre Australia call us on 1800 466 046 or visit our website at www.jobcentreaustralia.com.au
Who is Lawrie McKinna, Gosford's New Mayor
Lawrie McKinna is now the Mayor of Gosford City Council and with the knowledge he brings to the job the area is in good hands.
So Who is Lawrie McKinna?
Born in Kilmarnock in southwest Scotland, McKinna began his football career with the local junior side Darvel and made his senior playing debut for the Scottish Premier League side Kilmarnock in 1982. He made 87 league appearances for Kilmarnock before moving to Australia in 1986. Lawrie played for several clubs in various state leagues and then the National Soccer League before making the full time transition to coaching and football management in 1995.
Lawrie has been contributed to the ongoing development of Football in Australia for more than 20 years, initially as a player, followed by management and coaching roles. He commenced coaching at Hills United as player coach in 1995/96. Positions as assistant manager followed at Sydney Olympic, Sydney United and Parramatta Power through to 2002. He took his first senior role as manager of Northern Spirit in 2002. It was in this role that he was awarded the National Soccer League Coach of the Year. Following a difficult final year off the field at Northern Spirit in 2004, Lawrie was named as the inaugural Manager of Central Coast Mariners in the newly established A-League in 2005. The first season he was named A-League Coach of the Year.
Lawrie has been contributed to the ongoing development of Football in Australia for more than 20 years, initially as a player, followed by management and coaching roles. He commenced coaching at Hills United as player coach in 1995/96. Positions as assistant manager followed at Sydney Olympic, Sydney United and Parramatta Power through to 2002. He took his first senior role as manager of Northern Spirit in 2002. It was in this role that he was awarded the National Soccer League Coach of the Year. Following a difficult final year off the field at Northern Spirit in 2004, Lawrie was named as the inaugural Manager of Central Coast Mariners in the newly established A-League in 2005. The first season he was named A-League Coach of the Year.
His working history prior included positions with Umbro International as a Sales Representative, Asics Tiger Oceania (athletic equipment company), progressing from a Sales Representative to International Marketing Team prior to establishing his own sports marketing and clothing company in 2002 (Elite Sports). In his role at Elite Sports he developed an ongoing arrangement with NSW Football as Marketing and Sponsorship consultant. Even though Lawrie focus has largely been football his experience in the sports and marketing industry has been varied, demonstrating his adaptability and ingenuity:
Lawrie is known for his ability to ´get the job done´ and to see the bigger picture at the same time as paying attention to individuals´ and the organisation´s immediate needs and concerns. His strong communication skills allow him to gather the necessary information to be an effective decision maker with a clear direction and purpose.
Marketing - Sending a Clear Message - LBH Editorial
A lot of marketing campaigns these days are focussed solely on the advertised product/company´s features. But telling your customers that ´We´re open 24 hours, seven days a week´ is not going to cater to what they really want or, more so, need to hear.
Think about it... Imagine that you´re walking through your local shopping centre and a scruffy-looking man hands you a flyer advertising a pair of big, black, shiny work boots. As you read through the flyer the boots are described as having a welded steel-cap toe, design-specific traction, specially- moulded ribbing and thick, waterproof seams. Many marketers make this simple and now cliched mistake. This description is not going to help the customer to determine whether or not your product can aid their particular demands. Sure, it describes them to be almost invincible. But this language is not colloquial to the everyday consumer.
What the customer really wants to hear is how exactly that steel-cap toe is going to benefit them. What the customer really wants to hear is that because of these specific features, you are going to be less likely to get a nail through your foot next time you´re on that certain carpentry job. It´s as simple as that!
Such an example, is just one of the many advantages of marketing benefits rather than features. Another is, that if you advertise the benefits of your service it will differentiate your service from every other business in the same field. If you can describe how your service will help a customer specifically, then they are more likely to choose your business over the rest, because you are telling them EXACTLY how your product or service is going to make their life that much more manageable.
So like your mother used to say, if you want respect, you have got to give it first.
Well, the same applies for your marketing plan... If you want the benefits; you´ve got to give them first!
Start Doing Businesss Online - Webstuff.biz
Do you have a new product or service and need to test it out in the market? Or perhaps you just want some extra income by selling a product that you might be passionate about?
Not everyone looks for bargain priced goods online; other aspects include quality, availability and unique products which suit a consumer´s specific need. Your business might be on the Central Coast with a limited demand: however have you considered selling outside of the Central Coast? Maybe it´s regional Australia where products and goods are not as easily available or excessively over priced and of course your competition will be less in regional areas as well.
A good example of this is the clothing industry in rural areas - where people are often limited with very little choice; especially women who may want a special evening dress. Clever marketing in these areas with an online retail store could open up a whole new target market where you could be shipping clothing to new clients who you would otherwise never have done business with. This also works well for businesses that have a unique range of products that are easy to freight which are light, compact and not fragile or perishable
There are literally thousands of possibilities for you to explore. We recently created a website for an unusual product - an iPad protector case. These particular iPad protectors are unique in the market and are the best protector currently available for iPads in Australia. A site like this will work well for the company as a standalone site which specialises only in the sale of a specialised product for a clearly defined niche market.
This website focuses on selling heavy duty, water resistant covers which are designed to provide business people, tradesmen, the general public and even kids with the best protection for their valuable iPads.
The client´s website was created to only sell the iPads within the Australian market, and since publication, the iPad covers are being shipped Australia wide from the Central Coast. To visit the site please go to - www.ipadscreenprotectors.com.au.
Selling online doesn´t mean you have to set up a full shopping cart; often this can involve setting up a small specialised site to test a product to see if there is a market demand before committing to purchasing excess amounts of stock or a large shopping cart site that may not get you the results you want. Another good example of a site like this is www.maquiberrybenefits.com.au which sells an amazing antioxidant superfood supplement. These supplements are now sent all over Australia from the Central Coast and are a great example of yet another company marketing outside of the Central Coast.
To start a project like this you will need to put a lot of thought into what you are proposing to sell online. If your business is interested in expanding outside of the Central Coast and tapping into markets that could bring you more sales: then please contact us on 02 4325 1188 to discuss your proposal. Often these small strategies can make a big difference to your sales and allow you to tap into the ever growing online market that has no limits.
If you are struggling with your online presence, and are interested in learning how we can deliver a complete online solution for your business which will improve your bottom line: please contact me personally on 4325 1188
An Underground Coal Mine - Wallarah 2 Coal Project
A comprehensive, new assessment of the Wallarah 2 Coal Project shows that an underground coal mine can not only be developed without adverse impact on regional water regimes but also bring significant economic benefit to the region.
The new Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) will address all of the matters identified by the NSW Department of Planning and Infrastructure in the Director General´s Requirements (DGRs).
The economic assessment report shows the construction phase of the project is estimated to contribute $1.09 Billion to the NSW economy over the initial construction period. Throughout this three year period, an average of 370 direct construction employees will be required onsite. On average, a further 510 indirect positions will also be created in the regional area to support the construction activities over these three years.
The employment impact on the NSW economy is much greater with an average of 1,400 people provided with direct and indirect work throughout this three year construction period.
When in operation, the project is estimated to contribute $900 Million annually to the NSW economy for the full post construction project life of 25 years.
Over this operational period, 330 positions will be created directly for mining related activities at the mine site and a total of 800 positions created in the regional area. Importantly, once operational, the Wallarah 2 Coal Project is committed to training and retaining a significant proportion of the workforce from within the local area. These jobs will provide a very welcome addition to the local employment opportunities given the high level of unemployment on the Central Coast.
As a result of Wallarah 2, over 1,700 people will be directly and indirectly employed in NSW throughout the project´s operational life.
The EIS is currently being finalised, with the expectation that it will be placed upon public exhibition in early 2013. At that stage, the local community and other stakeholders will have the opportunity to review the project documentation in detail and provide comment on the project.
Additional open days will be held during the exhibition period providing further opportunities for any interested person to easily access the project team about specific matters. The dates of these open days will be advertised once the Department of Planning & Infrastructure schedule the public exhibition period.
Studies that have been undertaken as part of the EIS include:
Planning is well advanced for the Wallarah 2 Community Foundation, which is expected to start in 2013. The Foundation will provide funding for vocational training and a Community Grants Scheme for appropriate community projects.
The vocational training initiative will initially support a number of apprenticeships for local young people in Industrial Trades. Discussions with partner organisations are underway to support the vocational training initiative, with the intent of the apprenticeship scheme being established to start in early 2013.
The objective of the grants scheme is to assist community organisations or groups that have a good volunteer base but are lacking in financial resources. The focus will be on the provision of grants that provide educational benefits to the community, environmental remediation and enhancement projects and funding support for specific projects that have long term community benefits.
Details of the Foundation and the application process will be advertised locally
Capture a New Economic Era - RDA
The Central Coast is now coming of age, at just the right time to capture a new economic era - the age of the digitally leveraged economy.
Make no mistake about it, we have only just entered the age of the digital economy. How can we as individuals, families and as a region benefit from this transformation?
Our region was never a cornerstone agricultural region, never a central manufacturing hub, never a great mining region, never a financial hub but hell - it was always a great place to live, to visit and to conduct innovative nimble and/or specialised businesses. OK, there have been notable exceptions, yet they simply confirm our peripheral status.
As a rule we´ve seldom appeared in the national press associated with great business stories. We have no Palmers, Packers, Lews, Kidmans or Myers. Despite this lack of regional recognition, many great people from the Central Coast have won accolades on the national and world stage. Most of these people didn´t mind being ignored, they just got on with it, for they are doers - we are a region of doers!
The obvious issue is that we´re all so busy ´doing´ that we don´t bump into each other enough to build our reputation . We´re too isolated from one another and the world.
All we need is to connect and engage.
This is why the NBN regional investment is so important. It will enable us to connect, engage and deliver profitable services around the nation. I believe the digital economy will benefit the region in a way not experienced since the railway was built through the Central Coast over 100 years ago. We should not doubt the transformational power of the new digital economy. It will change all industries.
We do, however, need to work together to claim and build our reputation in this space. Historical divisions of geography, politics, age and tribe need to be put into the background when we work together for the good of the region. Our historical divisions should instead be seen as different players in a team game. A game played on a national / international stage where we, ´Coasties´ can use our nimble, innovative ways and become sustainable winners in the digitally leveraged economy of tomorrow.
Spread the word, create a movement
Operational Effectiveness vs Competitive Strategy - MYC
Is it the weak economy, the economic downturn or lack of consumer confidence causing small businesses to experience cash-flow problems and failure? Would you be surprised if it was none of these?
According to the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) most of the failures were self-inflicted.
In an article by Tony Featherstone of The Age (August 2011), he reported that "e;poor economic conditions"e; was not at the top of 13 possible causes of business failure across five industries that ASIC reported on. "e;Poor financial control including lack of records"e; and "e;poor strategic management of business"e; came much higher as causes of business failure in the construction, services, retail, accommodation and food, and manufacturing industries during the 2009-2010 year.
His further analysis of ASIC data over a 6 year period (2005 to 2010) revealed that the highest cause of business failure (approx. 43%) was poor strategic management. This percentage was consistently high over the entire period under analysis.
The Strategic Management function of business has been neglected.
For many years now businesses have been busy improving "e;operational effectiveness"e; through the implementation of programs and processes such as Total Quality Management, CRM, process re-engineering, benchmarking, social media profiles, and stronger internal controls, put in place to eliminate inefficiencies, improve customer satisfaction, and achieve best practice. Managers have also embraced continuous improvement, empowerment and change management.
However, to be profitable you need to be DIFFERENT. If everyone is striving for best practice in operating their business, there may actually be very little difference between you and your competitors.
A business can outperform competitors only if it can establish a difference that it can maintain. Such a point of difference, as we have seen, is not usually through operational effectiveness. As a business owner/manager, your focus should be on developing Strategies that, when put in place, set your business apart from all the rest.
Don´t confuse Strategies with actions. Sure, getting to your goals will require many actions, but if you only think about the actions, you may lose sight of where it is you want to ultimately position your business.
Ask yourself, "e;How are we going to be unique?"e; "e;How are we going to have an advantage?"e;, and "e;How are we going to sustain that advantage?"e;. (Porter, 2009)
All managers must clearly distinguish operational effectiveness from strategy. Both are essential, but require very different approaches. Operations is the proper place for constant change, flexibility, and relentless efforts to achieve best practice. In contrast, strategy is the right place for defining a unique position, making clear trade-offs (including reducing or expanding products/services), and tightening the organisational fit.
If you feel like you are treading water in your business then maybe it´s time to define your competitive strategy by deliberately choosing a different set of activities to deliver a unique mix of values
Please Note: Many of the comments in this article are general in nature and anyone intending to apply the information to practical circumstances should seek professional advice to independently verify their interpretation and that the information is applicable to their particular circumstances.
Unique Security Group lauches a new products & services range
Unique Security Group is excited to announce the launch of our new alarm monitoring platform.
We are always looking for and developing Unique products and services, & our new alarm monitoring platform will significantly value add our clients & Bureaus (Security companies who engage us to monitor their client´s alarm systems) alarm monitoring services.
We realise as a business owner, you need to keep your business & assets secure, ensure your employees are safe, & maintain costs, among many other responsibilities. I believe using Unique Alarm Monitoring this will be achieved.
With Unique Alarm Monitoring you can Protect Your Investment
If you´re in & out of meetings, travelling or simply home for the evening, you you´ll be able to keep an eye on your business & conveniently control your security system from your computer or smart phone.
You'll be able to:
You can have
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2GO-SeaFM - A win for the Central Coast
A win for the Central Coast
It has been an exciting time for Central Coast Radio, with SeaFM and 2GO dominating the Nielsen 2012 Radio Survey. SeaFM absolutely blew the competition away with their staggering results, proving that they are the most successful radio station on the Central Coast by receiving substantial gains in listeners in every timeslot. 2GO followed closely behind, running up in second place.
Not only did SeaFM win number one overall, with a share of 17.7% up 5.3% from the last survey, but they ranked top in every time zone, and overall weekends. Fifi & Jules and Hamish & Andy took out the number one drive time spot, ranking more than ten points in front of their rivals from other stations.
2GO claimed number two overall, with specific wins as the number one station for the 40-59 demographic and all people 40 years plus. 2GO was also a solid number 2 in Breakfast with Sarah and Dwayne, together with the number 2 position in the drive time slot thanks to Merrick & the Highway Patrol.
These were outstanding radio results, and they indicate that 2GO and SEAFM keeps the Central Coast entertained and informed every day. We understand everybody at Central Coast Radio were so excited. General Manager, Paul Wrigley exclaimed, "What an incredible day for the Central Coast Radio team, in gaining the number one and two positions on the Central Coast. All of the staff live for the great local content we deliver. The listeners have rewarded us with this great result, which will also translate to an outstanding result for our clients. A big well done and thank you to all."
A big well done indeed! It´s results like this that help put, not just our stations, but our region on the map. So let´s lead by example! By working together as a community and supporting each other, whether we are a large corporate business, such as Central Coast Radio, or a small business starting out, we can create amazing things for our Central Coast region.
Calling all local Government Bodies
Calling on local government bodies to work together to secure vital events manager
In the last eighteen months, B2B with a Twist has been very proud to be a part of the Central Coast Event Alliance, instigated by Central Coast Tourism as an outworking of its Events Audit and subsequent Central Coast Event Strategy enabled by Chief Executive Officer Ollie Philpot. Part of the strategy was to implement the role of a Business & Tourism Events Manager, with the prime responsibility (from a regional perspective) of attracting new business, cultural, sporting tourism events to the Central Coast.
An important part of the role is to coordinate the Central Coast Events Alliance, consulting, supporting and assisting event organisers and associated business including region Councils, sporting bodies, business, town centre organisations and community based groups to grow and sustain existing and new community and regionally significant events.
Long time Event Manager and Coordinator Chris King was appointed to the role in March 2011, thanks to seed funding support from the NSW State Government Department of Trade and Investment.
To date Chris, with the significant assistance and support of Local Councils and other organisations, has led or been part of bidding and winning over $50,000,000 (fifty million dollars) of economic impact for the Central Coast for 2011/12/13/14.
These significant wins include the prestigious SEGRA Conference (Terrigal), Senior Country Rugby Union Championships (Wyong), World Youth Boys Under 17 Baseball Championships (across both Local Government areas), State Relay Races (Ourimbah University) The Emirates Melbourne Cup Trophy Tour (Wyong) and the NSW State Lifesaving Championships (Umina and Ocean Beaches) in both 2013 and 2014.
In his role Chris has provided valuable consultation, advice and support the growth of 5 Lands Walk, Buy Local Festival, Oyster Festival, Ettalong Beach Festival, Gathering of the Clans, Kids Day Out, Central Coast Sevens and scores of other local and regionally significant events.
The initial seed funding for the Business and Events Manager role at Central Coast Tourism ceases in December and unless future funding is forthcoming, this vitally important role to the region will be lost and with it, potentially millions of dollars in economic and other social benefits.
B2B and the Event Alliance related businesses listed below urge all levels of government, event and tourism related bodies to work together and secure/provide adequate ongoing funding to ensure this crucial key tourism and event position remains in place to service and grow the burgeoning events industry so essential to the future potential growth of the Central Coast Region.
"Chris King has been instrumental in the facilitation of the growth of the Central Coast Sevens International Rugby Festival. Chris has kindly managed the festivals steering committee meetings and has been a great supporter of the CC7s, through this support the CC7s has been able to develop into a major asset sporting and cultural event for the region."
"We strongly support the continuance of this role to help grow conferences & events and the connection between Events Managers across the whole Central Coast."
"The introduction of Chris King´s role with Central Coast Tourism has been a resource and foundation that has bridged many gaps and opportunities for us to work together personally and create new events and ideas."
"The position of Business and Events Manager role at Central Coast Tourism has been pivotal in the successful bidding and securing a range of high profile events for the region. We support the request for additional funding to continue this important role."
Chris King - Business & tourism
Central Coast Tourism is proud to support and encourage all of the efforts of B2B with a Twist, understanding the importance of encouraging local businesses to strive for excellence and sustaining well run, professional and profitable enterprises that serve our local region, as well as adding real value to the visitor experience.52 Local Secrets
Central Coast Tourism with the support of Star 104.5 was proud to reveal the "52 Local Secrets of the Central Coast". There were 900 nominations, which Central Coast locals voted on to reach the final 52.
The experiences are split across a number of categories including Scenic Spots, National Parks, Cycleways, Attractions, Activities, Culture, Indulgence and even Fish and Chip & Picnic spots! For the full list of 52 Local Secrets, go to www.visitcentralcoast.com au/52localsecrets!Tourism Awards
Central Coast Tourism would like to congratulate the winners of the 2012 Hunter Central Coast Tourism Awards, held on August 30 at Cypress Lakes Resort in the Hunter Valley. A strong contingent of Central Coast tourism operators attended the gala dinner, which championed the theme "United in Tourism".
Overall the Central Coast had 16 finalists across a range of categories in the Awards. Bill Scott, a long-standing Central Coast Tourism volunteer was also selected as a finalist in the Outstanding Ambassador in Tourism category.
Central Coast Tourism congratulates all the Award winners - see www.visitcentralcoast.com.au/2012tourismawardwinnersBusiness and Tourism Events
World Youth Baseball Championships 2012
The 10th Anniversary of the Emirates Melbourne Cup Trophy Tour
Central Coast Tourism is proud to have partnered with Wyong Shire Council, Wyong Chamber of Commerce, Wyong Race Club and Mercure Kooindah Waters to win the right to host the Melbourne Cup Trophy visitation as part of the Wyong Gold Cup celebration Friday 7th September.
For more information visit
DNA - Rising Energy Costs
Is the pain of rising energy cost getting you down....
Are you not sure what to do.....
A leading fast food chain on the Central Coast and a not for profit commercial kitchen in Sawtell are saving on electricity cost through the installation of a clever energy saving device.
Pizza Hut Lake Haven and Meals on Wheels Sawtell recently introduced the ´INTELIGENS Energy Saving System´ by Lyte and Lyte technology thanks to the help of Central Coast energy efficiency specialist DNA Energy Solutions. Since May 2012 both businesses are saving between 18% and 25% on their average daily consumption.
The ´INTELIGENS Energy Saving System´ uses superior voltage optimisation technology to reduce the energy consumption of large appliances and equipment without affecting its normal operation. With a range of models for Lighting, Kitchens, Air Conditioning, Refrigeration and able to take loads of up to 130 Amps / phase, DNA Energy Solutions has a model to fit most electrical installations.
As a commercial kitchen in the fast food industry, the Pizza Hut restaurant at Lake Haven NSW were searching for an effective solution to reduce the energy costs of operating a 7 day a week, 14 hrs a day high energy usage business.
With electrical equipment such as ovens, refrigerators, cool rooms, freezers, dishwashers, heating cabinets, air conditioning, lighting, and the requirement to operate predominantly in the peak of the rate cycle, finding a solution to reduce the consumption became crucial to maintaining the businesses profitability.
It was estimated during the pre installation analysis that by installing an INTELIGENS Voltage Optimisation system, they would save approximately 58,000-60,000 KWh or 23% off the current usage. This equated to a $6,000-$7,000 annual saving at the market rates applied at the time.
The total KWh usage recorded on the first monthly bill after installation was reduced by over 3,800 KWh in comparison to the previous month and over 5,700 KWh from the same period last year. That´s an estimated annual saving of 68,000 KWh or approximately $9,600 at the current market rates applied to the business. With an Investment of around $23,000 to implement the system, it provides a good return, particularly as prices increase each year.
´This is a smart, effective solution for the future of our business´ said Gavin Kruck, the franchisee of Pizza Hut Lake Haven.
´Ken, Very impressed and positively excited to see the bill down Saved over 5700 KW hours!!! Awesome!!!´ Gavin Kruck
Feature Article 1 - The Glass Half Full
The glass half full?As businesses head into a new financial year, deciding how to respond to uncertain economic developments here and abroad is emerging as a significant challenge for Australian CEOs.
Anecdotal evidence suggests that many Australian businesses are doing it tough, and that they feel conditions could get worse before they get better. Recent surveys point to deteriorating business sentiment while a fall in equity prices of more than 10% over the past year indicates that investors remain pessimistic about short to medium-term prospects.
Yet most official indicators paint a picture of an economy still growing relatively strongly - GDP growth is close to trend and aggregate business capital spending remains buoyant. Despite a series of well-publicised layoffs, employment levels are holding up and unemployment is once again below 5%. Inflation is modest and central government finances are in reasonably good shape, particularly when compared with the position in Europe, America and Japan. (By way of contrast, the finances of most state and territory governments are under pressure as income from stamp duties and the GST has declined.)
Glenn Stevens, the Governor of the Reserve Bank, spelled it out in early June when he told an audience in Adelaide that Australia´s economic glass was at least half full. He noted that public discussion of the economy had been unrelentingly gloomy.
"Even before the recent turn of events in Europe and their effects on global markets," Stevens explained, "we were grimly determined to see our glass as half empty. Numerous foreign visitors to the Reserve Bank have remarked on the surprising extent of this pessimism. Each time I travel abroad I am struck by the difference between perceptions held by foreigners about Australia and what I read in the newspapers at home."
So what is really going on here?Short term prospects challenging
KPMG´s analysis indicates that several complex and interacting factors are influencing both our actual economic performance and broader public perceptions of that performance. CEOs need to understand these dynamics if they are to successfully steer their businesses through the potentially difficult waters ahead.
At a macro level, we expect the Australian economy will continue to enjoy at least moderate growth over the next two years. Exports, particularly from the resources sector, should support overall GDP growth. However, manufacturing exports will struggle. Nothing new there. Growth will also be underpinned by what Governor Stevens calls "one of the biggest resource investment upswings in our history, which will rise by another two percentage points of GDP over 2012-13, to reach a 50-year high". Thus while investment may be sluggish elsewhere in the economy, committed capital spending plans in the energy and minerals sector have a sufficient head of steam up to carry the Australian economy forward for several years. Of course, a rerun of the 2008 banking crisis triggered by events in Europe (which KPMG thinks is unlikely) could derail many of these plans.
National Australia Bank´s quarterly business confidence index actually rose by two index points for the three months to March 2012. However, the bank´s monthly confidence index fell in April and May, the May result being the worst for three years. (The two sets of figures are not strictly comparable because the quarterly index is based on a larger sample than the monthly ones.) And business confidence is divided in Australia, with the gap between "strong" and "weak" sentiment at the highest level in a decade. Mining, transport and utilities, personal services and finance/business/property services all report positive net sentiment; retail, manufacturing, construction, and wholesale and retail trade remain in negative territory.
Labour force data is still volatile on a month-by-month basis and can be difficult to interpret. Trend employment has been slowly increasing since the final quarter of 2011 while trend unemployment has begun to ease. Offsetting this trend, recent data suggests a slight fall in the participation rate. Reserve Bank market intelligence indicates caution on hiring intentions with firms waiting for firmer evidence of growth before adding to their payrolls. The Reserve also notes that labour market conditions may be softer than implied by the raw unemployment rate because of an easing in both the participation rate and the average hours being worked.
In early June the Reserve dropped its official cash rate by a further 0.25 percentage points to 3.50 percent following an earlier 0.50 percentage points cut in May. Subdued inflation combined with an element of "insurance" against a weaker global economic backdrop have been the main influences behind these interest rate cuts. With growth expected to continue to firm through the remainder of 2012 and into 2013, and with unemployment not far from the NAIRU (non-accelerating inflation rate of unemployment) level, KPMG thinks any emerging price pressures could prompt the Reserve Bank into tightening interest rates. We expect such a tightening could come as early as the half quarter of 2013.
Prospects for company profitability are unclear. Outside the resources sector, earnings have been under pressure, especially in sectors particularly vulnerable to a high Australian dollar (e.g. tourism) or changing consumer trends (e.g. retailing). Even in the resources sector, a combination of softening prices and higher costs are starting to bite into profits. This trend is being partly offset by increasing export volumes. Unsurprisingly, profitability performance varies quite dramatically across sectors. Thus aggregate gross operating profit for the mining industry rose from $24 billion in 2000-01 to more than $90 billion in 2010-11; for manufacturing the increase was far more modest, from $21 billion in 2000-01 to just over $30 billion in 2010-11.
Historically, the rebound in profitability that follows any upturn in the economic cycle can be quite dramatic as firms take advantage of previous productivity enhancement and cost reduction measures. Whether we will witness a similar rebound within the next year or two is uncertain, particularly given poor productivity performance in the manufacturing sector.Europe Driving uncertainty
Economic forecasts are always vulnerable to unexpected events (so-called "black swan" events), including those originating far from our own shores.
The unfolding Eurozone debt crisis is obviously the most important and immediate of such events. At the time of writing it was unclear how the situation in Europe would play itself out, but the risks for the rest of the world were clearly growing. Indeed Europe´s woes probably account for most of the downward revisions to various global growth forecasts for 2012 and 2013. In January, for instance, the International Monetary Fund revised its 2012 global growth forecast down from 4.0 to 3.3 percent, which followed an earlier 0.5 percent downwards revision. Nevertheless, global growth is expected to remain at or above trend in the year ahead.
While Europe remains a serious concern, conditions are obviously less grim elsewhere. The IMF has revised its 2012 growth forecast for the world´s main developing economies down by 0.7 percent to a still respectable 5.4 percent. Of course, within this grouping the performance of China is pivotal. Here for example, among a range of indicators, the HSBC China Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index remains below 50, indicating a recent softening in China´s manufacturing sector. Some see this as evidence of a move towards a more sustainable level of growth in China while others regard it as a portent of troubles to come. Nevertheless, the bulk of evidence suggests, and KPMG expects, that the Chinese economy will continue to drive global growth over the next two years, in the process underpinning China´s demand for energy and raw material imports.
Recovery in the United States gained some momentum over 2011 but appears to have stalled once again in the current year, although recently there have been some mildly encouraging signs in the housing sector which is central to a sustained US recovery. The American economy will likely mark time at least until after November´s Presidential election.Reshaping the economy
Our dynamic economy provides an ever-changing spectrum of risks and opportunities for businesses. Understanding key economic and social trends will help businesses adapt and thrive in an increasingly complex operating environment.
We are seeing a shift to more conservative spending, borrowing and saving behaviours of Australian households looking to reduce their indebtedness.
Technological change - and in particular the digital revolution - provides both numerous opportunities for business as well as challenges. The commercial viability of major, well-established industries depends on shifting paradigms. Newspapers are an obvious case in point . At the same time technology offers opportunities for those businesses sufficiently agile enough to fill the gaps in the marketplace.
Other seismic shifts in the business environment involve ageing populations in many advanced economies, an historic shift in geopolitical power and influence from Europe and North America to Asia and adjustment to climate change and other environmental uncertainties.
In this environment Australia has plenty of reasons to be positive. As previously outlined, economic growth is once again close to trend levels; inflation is low, as is unemployment; wages growth remains healthy but contained; fiscal and monetary policy are disciplined; Australian banks are well capitalised and businesses and households are deleveraging; housing affordability has improved significantly; and the terms of trade remain robust.
Other key drivers of risk and opportunity are outlined in more detail below:
The challenge is now for Australian businesses to capitalise on their relatively strong global position and turn their glass half empty into a glass half full.Nicki Hutley - Director, Economics
KPMG in Australia
First published - CEO Forum, July 2012
The information contained herein is of a general nature and is not intended to address the circumstances of any particular individual or entity. There can be no guarantee that such information is accurate as of the date it is received or that it will continue to be accurate in the future. No one should act on such information without appropriate professional advice after a thorough examination of the particular situation. The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the consumer groups and business leaders who contributed to the research on the basis of anonymity, and do not represent the views and opinions of KPMG.
Feature Article 2 - Back to Basics Business tips
Back to basics business tips
Start with the owner
Your Business Team
Work Smarter Not Harder
Cost effective marketing
"You have to be wrong a certain number of times in order to be right a certain number of times. However in order to be either, you must MAKE DECISIONS"
Feature Article 3 - Keeping it local
Keeping it local
Buying local is one way to ensure that businesses thrive in your area. This then in turn encourages the business to hire staff (these staff could be you or your relatives), creating a stable economy in your area. Therefore, it is common sense to encourage buying local.
LBH Promotions have developed a few concepts to encourage this buying local.
To find out how to be part of any of these concepts please contact us on
P: (02) 4392 8550
Job Centre - Wage Subsidies & You
Wage Subsidies & You - How can I access them? What are they?
Wage subsidies are payments made to eligible employers to help cover the costs of paying wages in the first few months of employment. They are meant to help create job opportunities for people who have difficulty finding employment.
Wage subsidies also aim to help people with a disability to obtain employment and acquire valuable skills and experience.
Many employers may not be aware that they are eligible for wage subsidies if they hire a candidate through Disability Employment Services. These subsidies will come in very handy considering the tough environment we are currently operating in.
The wage subsidies can be confusing and because of this can be thrown into the ´too hard basket´. As you will see significant financial returns can be made available so please take advantage of them. All subsidies of course have eligibility requirements so please ask your local Job Centre Australia representative if you qualify.
Other financial assistance such as the Indigenous Wage Subsidy, and Apprentice and Trainee Subsidies are available together with generous subsidies from Job Centre Australia.
Here is a brief summary of what may be available to you as an employer:
If you would like more information call Paul at Job Centre Australia on 4322 5511.
Local Olympians made us proud
The 2012 London Olympic Games have concluded and our local athletes from the Central Coast and Hunter have achieved some staggering results with our regions bringing home two of the seven gold medals awarded over the exhilarating two weeks.
Central Coast and Newcastle boys Tom Slingsby, Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jensen have blown us away with their gold-medal finishes in the Men´s 49er and Laser Sailing events.
Also claiming a medal was Newcastle woman, Suzy Batkovic, who brought home bronze in the Women´s basketball.
Though the results were close, unfortunately, Jai Opetaia of Watanobbi lost his 81 - 91kg Heavyweight Boxing event. Regardless of his results, Opetaia still brought home an Australian first; being the youngest Australian boxer to ever compete in the Olympics.
Richie Campbell, Newcastle, helped set-in great outcomes for Australian Water Polo, with the Sharks finishing in seventh place and bringing home the best results they have achieved in twenty years.
The Central Coast and Newcastle sent more than fifteen people to the Olympics altogether. This is an impressive achievement in itself, regardless of whether or not a medal was brought home with them.
We at B2B with a Twist would like to congratulate all of our fantastic local Olympians, as well as the rest of the Australian Olympic Team, for the outstanding effort they put into this year´s Games, and we wish them all the best in their future training and in creating more phenomenal Olympic history in the years to come.
MYC Partners - Corporate Governance & Compliance
Sometimes IT IS NOT all about Compliance
With the new financial year already 2 months old I know you are all thinking about getting records sorted for your business´s tax and accounting - well I can dream, can´t I?
The end of the financial year should not be about just doing your business tax for compliance purposes only. Those in small business should be looking at their financial year results now and planning the future of their business from this information. If you cannot extract appropriate financial data from your record keeping you may not be able to rely on this information for decision making purposes. Having access to monthly, quarterly or annual business financials is one of the key business performance tools so don´t wait until tax is due to know the specifics of your trading figures. Your future decisions rely on financial knowledge you have now.
Sometimes IT IS all about Compliance
If you are conducting your business under a private company structure you no doubt understand the advantages of doing so as a Pty Limited. However, the directors of a company need to fully understand their corporate governance and compliance responsibilities also. Here are just a few:
The company is a separate entity to the
individuals who are directors/shareholders and therefore the funds of the company are not the funds of the directors/shareholders. If funds are drawn that are not wages, a Directors Loan will result. If this loan is not repaid under market conditions, a Div 7A breach will occur which could result in the loan being deemed an unfranked dividend in the hands of the individual directors. That is, the individual pays tax on the loan amount at their marginal rate.
Wages, Directors Fees or Commission
paid to directors are paid from the company as the employer to the directors as the employee, therefore PAYG withholding deductions may be required, Superannuation Guarantee Contribution of 9% will be payable and the Wages etc will need to be included in the Workers Compensation calculations.
If motor vehicles are owned or financed
in the company´s name and they are used by the director(s) for business and private purposes, then Fringe Benefit Tax may be payable.
The governance and compliance issues need not necessarily be a problem. With a better understanding of these issues together with good business and tax planning, these tax time surprises could be avoided or minimised.
Please Note: Many of the comments in this article are general in nature and anyone intending to apply the information to practical circumstances should seek professional advice to independently verify their interpretation and that the information is applicable to their particular circumstances
RDA - Playing the waiting game
Andrew Roach | RDACC CEO
Playing the Waiting Game...
George Bernard Shaw famously said that ´The more things change, the more they remain the same´...
I wonder whether he was referring to the Central Coast.
There are some significant changes across the Central Coast - the first week in September brings the NSW local government elections, and there are a number of serving Councillors who will not be standing for re-election (including long serving Councillor and current Gosford Mayor, Laurie Maher). In addition, Gosford Council will also be going through the process of selecting a new General Manager, after retirement of Mr Peter Wilson, and many of you will also be aware that the CEO of Central Coast Tourism, Oliver Philpot, will be moving on after three very successful years.
These three individuals have contributed much to the Central Coast, and their respective departures from public life will leave some very big shoes to be filled in the region.
It is my one concern that whilst Executive Officers, Managers, Councillors and other public faces come and go, there are so many things on the Central Coast that remain the same. I once lamented to a very senior figure that I was frustrated at the slow pace of projects - I commented, as an example, that I was involved in planning for Warnervale town centre more than a decade ago (during my time at Wyong Council) - he simply noted, as if to provide perspective, that he had been involved in discussions about Warnervale for more than 3 decades! It is concerning that these long planned, well considered aspects of the Region move at such a glacial pace...
Is it not alarming that dedicated and hard-working individuals, such as those mentioned above, cannot seem to cut through some of the barriers to the progress of the Central Coast? Yet we continue to find that many key projects/proposals become trapped in the slow-moving cycle of public consultation, planning and waiting for infrastructure.
We are seeing this at the moment with The Landing. When I moved to the Gosford LGA more than a decade ago, talk about ´redevelopment´ was abundant - it seems we are still talking about it, but little has changed. The plans are drawn, the proposals well considered, then the barriers go up!
It is my hope that those incoming leaders are as forward thinking as Laurie Maher, Peter Wilson and Oliver Philpot - each of these people knew what needed to be done, and they achieved great things for the region. Oliver, in particular, had a knack of taking up opportunities as they arose, and Central Coast Tourism, under his guidance, brought some significant benefits to the Central Coast.
But Oliver knew that key decisions have to be made, and that opportunities need to be seized (or other regions will seize those opportunities from under your feet...). Lets hope that the incoming leaders of the Central Coast (at all levels) have the foresight to ensure that projects simply do not continue to collapse under the weight of delay.
Unique Security Group Launches
Unique Security Group Launches
a New Product & Service Range
After 8 months of programming and testing, Unique Security Group is excited to announce the launch of our new alarm monitoring platform.
We are always looking for and developing Unique products and services, and our new alarm monitoring platform will significantly value add our clients and Bureaus (Security companies who engage us to monitor their client´s alarm systems) alarm monitoring services.
We realise as a business owner, you need to keep your business and assets secure, ensure your employees are safe, and maintain costs, among many other responsibilities. I believe using Unique Alarm Monitoring this will be achieved.
With Unique Alarm Monitoring you can Protect Your Investment.
If you´re in and out of meetings, travelling or simply home for the evening, you´ll be able to keep an eye on your business and conveniently control your security system from your computer or smart phone.
You´ll be able to;
- Ensure your business opens on time
- Deter burglary and vandalism
- Remotely monitor your property, even out of business hours
- See who´s accessing the cash register, loading dock or store room
- Be notified if personnel fail to arm or disarm your security system
- Record events such as unauthorised visits
- Monitor the temperatures in server rooms and freezers
- Receive alerts about power outages
- Keep an eye on time theft
You can have BETTER SECURITY
Rest assured with proven protection
- Benefit from wireless GSM technology that provides a secure and reliable connection to your business´ security system.
- Get continuous protection you can trust, even if your internet goes down or an intruder cuts the phone line.
You can have INTERACTIVE SERVICES
Stay connected to your business
- Download free apps for iPhone, BlackBerry and Android devices to remotely control your security system.
- Manage the security of multiple businesses from a secure website - set up unique access codes for employees, search activity history and check in for updates.
- Set up arming schedules so that your system automatically arms/disarms at certain times each day.
- Receive daily or weekly reports that show activity for your system.
- Be notified instantly via email or text message when motion is detected out of business hours or when off-limits areas are accessed.
You can have VIDEO MONITORING
See what you´ve been missing
- Watch live video from multiple cameras right from your computer, tablet or smart phone.
- Set up motion-triggered recordings in sensitive areas you´d like to monitor and get real-time video alerts when those areas are accessed.
- Connect wireless cameras via broadband and utilise secure off-site video storage that cannot be tampered with.
- Retrofit existing analogue cameras and DVR´s with a Unique Video Server.
You can have NRG MONITORING
Empower yourself and your business
- Customise settings, automate schedules and remotely control lights, thermostats and door locks.
- Reduce energy usage by setting the lights in the back room to turn off whenever the back door is closed.
- Set up one code to lock the rear door and automatically arm your security system.
- Create lock code options for employees and stop giving out extra keys.
Webstuff - Achieving the Right Online Solution
Web Review | Michelle Allen from Webstuff.biz
Achieving the right online solution
When it comes to developing or updating their online business systems, many business owners assume that the most cost effective solution is to either go with the cheapest website company or do it themselves. What they fail to consider however, is that the cheap website solution will more often than not fail to deliver the business generating results they expect. And the ´do it yourself´ option may not only fail to deliver, but will also cost them dearly in time (which is money).
There are many online solutions available these days to meet the needs of business owners. The key is to find the one that ticks all the right boxes for you. In making that decision, it is important that you look beyond just the cost of the website itself. Focus on the big picture - what you want to achieve, how you want to grow your business, how you want to be perceived, what makes you different and what will attract potential new customers online. To be successful online there´s much more to it than just having a great logo, nice looking images and easy to read content. It´s about standing out from your competitors and getting the right message to the right people in the right areas.
The owner of Alldry Carpet Cleaning, Chris Nash, approached us recently to re-establish his business´ online website
www.alldrycleaning.com.au which, in its original state, was underperforming in terms of business generation. Rather than just looking at the website in isolation, he was open to us considering his entire online system, including social media and marketing. Chris´ objective was clear - to stand out from his competitors as a highly professional, reliable, fully certified carpet-cleaning company that offers a cleaning system unique to the Central Coast.
Not only did we design and deliver a modern design with a 24/7 online job booking form that constantly brings new online enquiries in, but we also established an aggressive online marketing campaign that is achieving many new online leads daily.
The type of website we produced for Alldry Carpet Cleaning works particularly well for trade business owners as it allows potential customers to submit online job booking requests any time of the day or night, meaning they can gain customers 24/7 and still maintain a work/life balance.
By combining a professional, bold and distinctive design with clear, concise SEO rich content, Alldry´s new website showcases the services available, testimonials from clients and clearly specifies the areas in which Alldry Carpet Cleaning will work. This is an important factor when targeting specific local markets, as it is pointless to attract a high volume of traffic from areas you don´t service.
Webstuff.biz specialises in online solutions, eCommerce, website design, app development and customised programming for local, national and global businesses. We have aligned ourselves with professional copywriters, graphic designers and branding experts who share our vision and passion when it comes to delivering the very best, business generating online solutions for clients.
If you are struggling with your online presence and are interested in learning how we can deliver a business generating complete online solution for your business, please contact me personally on 4325 1188.
Central Coast Radio 2GO & Sea FM supports 'Buy Local'
Paul Wrigley said "We are proud to be the major media sponsor of the Buy Local Festival utilizing both our brands. Congratulations to Lyn Thompson and her team for another fantastic result this year, with huge numbers of exhibitors and a record number of attendees. Central Coast Radio will be continuing with the Buy Local" Campaign on air throughout the year.
Another Birthday - A few new Twists - In our fifth year
Why I started - and Why Another Publication
At the time, 5 years ago, I saw the start of a sliding decline in business, which I believe means we all need to be more diligent in running our businesses and to focus on working on your business not in your business. So what was needed was a cost effective marketing tool with a longer shelf life.
I believe the most important thing business, tourism and the consumer can do is to join together to support each other all year round - the Buy Local Concept. Working together, not alone! This will encourage our regions infrastructure and business growth, which in turn, will create jobs for our families and a stable economy for our future.
With 25 years of marketing experience on the Central Coast, my intent was to inspire, be different from other publications, and lead not follow in innovative marketing concepts that are quite unique. One of the most enjoyable parts of the last five years is the diverse array of business friendships formed, not only from business but also from Local Councils, State and Federal, Liberal and Labor sectors. They all have one thing in common - even if they disagree in politics, they have a mutual respect for each other. Although, I would like to make one point loud and clear, I am not Liberal, I am not Labor. I vote for those whose policies will best benefit the Central Coast.
Why B2B With a Twist is Unique
Business to Business with a Twist is an all year round marketing concept, incorporating a publication, a website, an e-newsletter and networking events.
The B2B With a Twist Publication is directed at Business 2 Business including tourism and of course, Business 2 Consumer. B2B With a Twist is designed for all business not just for large and medium businesses, as the Central Coast is made up of 96% small to micro businesses. 15,000 copies of the publication are hand delivered free to all throughout the Central Coast and also to our neighbouring regions, Newcastle/Hunter. As it is so important to cross pollinate with a region which is right on our doorstep and has such a diverse array of sectors. This is especially important to our Tourism sector.
In the B2B With a Twist publication, we focus on all aspects of business and what is happening in the region. All of the Government services are of the utmost importance for our Region and it would be very remiss of me not to acknowledge in the B2B the fantastic work they are doing, as I have always done. The voice of small business needs to be heard by our Public Servants. The issues that are most important to our region we need to put into perspective. I also think, as the Editor, it is my job to present both sides of a newsworthy item. B2B is, and always has been, a publication for all that makes our region so magnificent. The content must be new and relevant to today's challenges.
The B2B With a Twist Networking Events
From the tourism side, every three months we showcase a different resort or venue on the Central Coast, with a different Twist every time. We are now in our fifth year with and average of 20% being new attendees and an attendance varying over the years from 80 to 350 at each event. We challenge your comfort zone in a fun and productive atmosphere. We inspire you to create new and lasting alliances and utilise the services of other local businesses. We are looking to the future and with our Buy Local Festival With a Twist, it had record numbers this year and is now heading for its fourth year. (See review page 24).
Again, I could not have built this Central Coast's leading publication to what it is today without the aid of most importantly my Sponsors, my Business Partner, Suzanne Allport, my partner in life and Business, my husband, Alan Thompson and when only the best will do, the team at LBH and B2B.
Until the next Twist,
BBX Marketing Business Solutions
A MINIMUM $10,000bbx Interest Free Credit Line is available to all small business owners who become a part of the BBX network.
These interest free credit lines which can extend up to $100,000 dollars are a part of the BBX Business Assistance package which is made available to BBX members across 7 countries.
In times of economic confusion such as now, business owners face daily challenges that were not around when they first embarked on their business journey, but today a plethora of problems ranging from poor sales to overstocking all eat away at what was once profitable businesses.
BBX offers a tangible part solution to almost any problem a business faces, they supply new customers, move excess stock, assist in debt recovery, and ultimately improve the cash flow of any business if used correctly.
Few know that BBX works with its own ATO recognised currency, 'the BBX trade dollar' which is used by over 15,000 businesses in 7 countries, the BBX currency can make a significant difference to the way your business can look in a relatively short period of time with GUARANTEED RESULTS.
It is not designed to take away your cash income but to improve your overall income using the untapped income potential from 'downtime' in your business or the 'excess stock' that you have. Since 1993 BBX have skillfully used these commodities to improve thousands of businesses and their bottom line cash profitability.
Each month BBX creates over 30,000 new sales for businesses by using its own currency within its BBX membership base, each new sale is a sale that would never have happened in the 'cash world'.
When you are left with no marketing budget after your last marketing campaign failed to ignite your business, when you believe you have tried everything you know to kick start your business again, get assistance from BBX to market your business nationally and globally.
With guaranteed solutions to many of your business issues, BBX is a logical choice for the laterally minded thinker, obligation free appointments are available to business owners, talk to Troy Melville at BBX on 4388 6664 today.
A memorable experience for the local BBX franchise
'The B2B with a twist Buy Local Festival' held recently on the coast was a memorable experience for the local BBX franchise.
BBX were able to not only pass out valuable information to the public but gained much interest in its ´mini presentation' to other exhibitors and visitors to the event. These presentations enabled business owners to see how BBX not only works, but to show how many traditional issues and problems in business can be solved merely by laterally thinking outside of the square, and seeing how BBX can actually be a legitimate aid to business who may be experiencing certain difficulties.
"We gained as a direct result of our involvement in the festivals, the numerous new members and dozens of new contacts could all see how BBX could help them in business" said BBX Central Coast broker Troy Melville.
Highlights over the weekend were the BBX special guests from the Central Coast Mariners who shared not only stories about this past season and where they are heading to in 2012/13, but of their experiences and the benefits they have found by being a BBX member.
BBX has long been focused on the local community with many having being supported by the company over many years, this support will continue in future years with charities, business and sporting organisations all to benefit from mutual arrangements with BBX.
"The success of an event such as this can only have a positive impact on local business by, not only, attracting new customers but by the invaluable knowledge they gain from other businesses such as BBX" said Troy Melville.
BBX looks forward to being a part of the Buy Local Festival with a Twist in further years to come.
2012 Central Coast/Hunter Buy local Festival with a Twist Review
The Central Coast Buy Local Festival With a Twist for 2012 was held on 18th and 19th May this year at Central Coast Business Park, North Wyong.
The Central Coast Business Park was the perfect venue for this huge event with 217 exhibitors and over 20,000 people attending over the two days.
The Festival brought together the best of Central Coast's business community to network with each other and to showcase their products and services to the general public/consumers. There were many stories of discovering new services and building new alliances which is what the festival is all about.
This year's Festival saw the introduction of many new and exciting concepts, which helped to bring in the crowds. There were amusements for family with Zorb Ball, Inflatable World, Mini Jeeps, Croc Stars with live reptiles on show, Helicopter rides, and the addition of a dedicated food and wine pavilion called "Taste of Our Region". There were interactive stages for business talks, exercise class demos, cooking demonstrations and another stage for nonstop entertainment from local artists.
There was a great BUZZZZ throughout the two days as many people enjoyed all that the Festival had to offer.
We also introduced a booklet listing the exhibitors and some special offers to use over the next three months. Another innovation this year was the Central Coast Buy Local Cup With a Twist, held at the Wyong Race Club two weeks after the Festival. This was a fun day to help keep the momentum going from the Festival and will become an annual event.
We also offered the public and exhibitors the opportunity to go in the draw for a prize of $50,000, with a guaranteed prize pool of $4,500 worth of goods and services contributed from the exhibitors. The entries required answering some tough questions with all of the answers to be found throughout the festival, which created lots of fun at some of the stalls. All correct entries were then placed in the draw. The lucky winner had joined forces with his wife and close friends to get the correct answers. Glen Andersons entry was drawn from the barrel and he then went on to select one from 50 money bags at the Buy Local Cup With a Twist for his chance at the grand prize of $50,000. Unfortunately, even with the help of his friend Ray and everyone in the room, he did not win the $50,000 but did walk away with the $4,500 worth of prizes.
We would like to thank Central Coast Business Park and the Hannon Group for their amazing support in providing these premises. The Business Park is now available for individual leasing so if you are looking for new premises that are very central to all major services with great facilities and fantastic exposure, look no further than the Central Coast Business Park.
The success of the Festival could not be achieved without the help of our wonderful sponsors, Job Centre Australia, BBX, Butlers Events and Central Coast Radio. These valuable sponsors have supported the Central Coast Buy Local Festival With a Twist, so that we can support economic growth and job creation in the region.
Planning has now started for the 2013 Festival so register your interest early to be involved.
WE ASKED FOR YOUR FEEDBACK FROM BOTH PUBLIC AND EXHIBITORS AND THIS IS A SAMPLE OF WHAT WE GOT. THANK YOU FOR THE GREAT RESPONSE:
"Just a few lines to congratulate you and your team on this years 2012 Buy Local Festival. ...I did take the opportunity to visit the event on Friday 18th and did a full walk around and talked to most of the exhibitors. Apart from catching up with a few of my existing clients, I found a few more that I think we can work with in future. I thought the venue this year worked really well - I hadn't been to the Central Coast Business Park site since refurbishment, and it was good to see what is available there for when talking to businesses expanding into the region. I didn't get a chance to call in on the Saturday...I've since spoken to a number of businesses that exhibited and they seemed pretty happy with everything, which is the proof of the pudding really. Thanks for sticking your neck out for local business - your blood is worth bottling."
"The 2012 Buy Local Festival has put my business on the Map! The feedback I have had from community and businesses now enquiring further and wanting to learn more about BBX has been unbelievable. There is no way I could have spoken to that many business owners and consumers in over a year and to have them come to me and interact with our product and service was fantastic. This was our first year involved with the Buy Local Festival and will certainly not our last! I can't thank the LBH team enough for their support leading up to the event. The regular meetings throughout the year leading to the event has strategically given BBX an advantage in growing our business."
"The team at B2B did an amazing job, and made everything easy. The event was well attended with a large diversity of people from families - business owners. The Buy Local tapped into a lot of new leads for my business Webstuff, The best part is getting to know many new exhibitors. Thank you Lyn, Suzie and team for such a fantastic event for the Central Coast."
"I participated in the Buy Local Festival for the first time this year (2012). It was the best investment I could have made. Over 20,000 people walked through the doors and it felt like every single one of them stopped by our stand. We were 3 deep the whole festival. The vibe was exciting and busy. As a brand new business on the coast it also gave me the chance to meet other like-minded local business people, who have already become important contacts to me. The Buy Local Festival far exceeded any expectations I had and I have already jumped on board for 2013!!!"
"Being major sponsors of the Buy Local Festival for the third consecutive year, Job Centre Australia have witnessed it's growth and the benefits of being involved. Thank you for creating something that was much needed for the Central Coast. We had 2 very successful days and this was definitely the best one yet".
"As a small business owner I found the 2012 Buy Local Festival to be a great opportunity to showcase the services offered by MATE Computing. Based on the outcomes of the 2012 festival, I shall have no hesitation in signing up again for the 2013 event."
Phew! We lived, breathed and survived the Buy Local Festival!
It was a fantastic opportunity to help support local business on the Central Coast and we're proud to have been a part of it.
Thank you to all of those involved in the organization of this event. It was superbly managed and orchestrated from a suppliers point of view, which I'm sure is supported by the businesses who exhibited there and the general public.
Outside of this, it was also an opportunity to display some of our "wares", particularly our brand NEW furniture and exhibition paneling. We have beautiful black and white lounges, ottomans, bar tables and stools that have literally just been unwrapped and would be perfect for any corporate function, birthday or wedding. We have held onto our older stock of ottomans and lounges as a cheaper alternative, particularly if using lounge covers or theming, for example.
We are currently awaiting the arrival of our NEW 1.8m trestle tables and coffee tables to add to our collection.
The exhibition (Corinthian) paneling can be hired in separate pieces as displayed at the Buy Local Festival or can be made into 3mx3m booths for example. These can be used to just screen off an untidy area or to assist in any display.
Other products we carry that might help your next backyard party or event are equipment such as our bbqs, warming ovens, gas heaters, gas roasters or in our electrical range - bain maries, deep fryers, urns or pie warmers.
Butlers Events is now one of the longest serving event hire companies in Australia. Over the past 40 years Butlers Events has built a proud reputation of providing the highest quality equipment with a superior level of service. A dedicated team of industry professionals, strong client relationships, utilizing the latest technology available within the industry and a large stock holding offers product consistency and a high level of care for any size event.
Butlers Events is unique in Australia as the only company that can provide a total solution package for major events including the largest selection of stages, clear span structures, grandstand seating, audio and lighting support systems, flooring, furniture, catering equipment and event services.
Please don't hesitate to contact Katherine, Kara or Natalie for a site inspection, quote or advice on your next function or event. We look forward to hearing from you soon!
Central Coast Inaugural Buy Local Cup with a Twist
Following the success of the Buy Local Festival With a Twist, the Central Coast Buy Local Cup with a Twist was held at Wyong Race Club on the 31st May to help keep the ´buy local´ concept fresh in our minds. Co-ordinated by Events with a Twist, the Buy Local Cup was an exciting day with an 8 race program and a delicious buffet lunch.
The day kicked off with some great racing stories from legendary jockey, Malcolm Johnson and Wyong Race Club´s resident tipster extraordinaire, Gary Harley, gave us some hot tips. There was lots of excitement at the sponsors´ tables as their personally named races were run and won with the prize for the best table centrepiece of the day going to Rams Home Loans. The sponsors were given the opportunity to meet the winning horse, trainer and owners in the winner´s circle for photos.
One special guest was Glen Anderson, who had won the opportunity to draw for the $50,000 prize from the Buy Local Festival. As Glen is, himself, a commuter, he fully supports the Buy Local concept for creating jobs on the Central Coast. Glen, with the help of his friend, Ray, and the support of everybody in the room, chose his favourite number, thirty-five from the fifty money bags available. With over $4,500 worth of prizes locked in, Glen was already a winner but unfortunately didn´t take home the $50,000, which was hidden in bag number twenty-two.
The day was very successful in keeping the ´buy local´ momentum going and there were lots of winners over all. Thank you to everyone who attended and the Central Coast Buy Local Cup with a Twist will now be an annual event following the Buy Local Festival.
Chris King - Business & Tourism Events Manager
Understanding the importance of encouraging local businesses and services to strive for excellence and sustaining well run, professional and profitable enterprises that serve our local region, as well as adding real value to the visitor experience.
The organisation is proud to congratulate B2B sponsor MYC Partners on winning the overnight prize package for up to 8 guests at the Norah Head Lighthouse Quarters. Through networking at the 2012 Buy Local Festival, MYC Partners took advantage of the opportunity to engage with Jacqui Greaves, our Business Development Manager, and become a CCT member.
Central Coast Tourism is a membership-based organization with over 260 tourism operators and business supporters. Membership provides a range of benefits based on key target markets. There are six levels of membership with fees starting from $60 per annum. Members of Central Coast Tourism also have the opportunity to access State Government Funding. These opportunities included access to a pool of $250,000 for Project Development and $200,000 in matched marketing funding. The organisation also delivers a visitor information network across the Central Coast, with Visitor Centres located at Kariong, The Entrance and Gosford, and supports a range of ten satellite locations scattered across the Coast.
I encourage other B2B associated business to contact Jacqui and explore the benefits and advantages different levels our membership provides.
Contact: Jacqui Greaves; Phone: 4343 4401;
Business & Tourism Events
Through funding from the NSW Government Department of Trade and Investment, Central Coast Tourism expanded its services in 2011 to meet the needs of a growing Conference and Events market. The funding provided for the creation of my role as Business and Tourism Events Manager. As a result, Central Coast Tourism has been the lead organisation working with both Gosford City and Wyong Shire Councils, as well as other regional organisations to secure a number of significant events including:
In addition, Central Coast Tourism has been actively engaged with both regional councils and other stakeholders in securing a total estimated value of secured economic impact 2012 - 2015 of $49,270,720. A significant proportion of this benefit is provided by the NSW Surf Lifesaving Championships, to be conducted in March 2013 and 2014 at Umina and Ocean Beaches.
Further to this, another $5,652,000 worth of potential economic impact for the region is contained in events that have been pitched for or pending for 2012 - 2015.
If you, your business or organisation participates in conferencing, junior or senior sport championships and similar events out of our region and believe these events can be conducted here on the Central Coast, please contact me.
Contact: Chris King; Phone: 4343 4409;
Networking Event Review
Held at The Edge Cafe & Bar The Zenith Centre, Reliance Drive, Tuggerah. This quarters B2B With a Twist Networking Event was held on 17th April at the beautiful Edge Cafe and Bar, Zenith Centre, Tuggerah Business Park.
The theme for the night was Power Networking on the Edge and not even the torrential rain dampened the spirits of the networkers gathered to enjoy some light hearted fun.
With delicious canap?s and drinks provided by Karl and Nicole Kard from The Edge Cafe and Bar, and wine tasting by Bill from Southern Highland Wines, the atmosphere was set for some fast paced networking.
With lots of new members, the Twist was aimed at bringing them out of their comfort zone to introduce them and let everyone know who they are, and what they do.
The new members were then called upon to help with our twist, which saw our sponsors blindfolded and led through an obstacle course - which like the White Rabbit, wasn´t really there. There were some uncertain moments with Troy from BBX being guided by Jenny Brooks from Wheelie Great Pizzas through the "obstacles". We had Michelle Field from Central Coast Radio being led by Biara Webster, from Live Outside The box, and Kevin Gregory, Zenith Centre leading Michelle, Webstuff Biz.
The aim of this illusion was to demonstrate that we can all receive guidance from other businesses and to trust in other experts. Sometimes the obstacles are not so hard as first perceived and with a little bit of help can be overcome if we all work together.
The success of teamwork was demonstrated when we called for donations to sponsor one networker to join in the Annual Slither and Slumber Executive Sleepout for the Iris Foundation. In five minutes $850 was raised!!! Marcus Kroek from Action Coach Business Coaching was the lucky winner.
The night drew to a close with lots of new connections made and existing ones rekindled, despite the stormy weather, reinforcing that by working together, unforseen challenges can be conquered and we can all make a difference.
Hope to see you at the next Twist.
Job Centre Australia - Major Sponsor Thanks All
Job Centre Australia were proud sponsors of the Buy Local Expo for the third year running. With the expo growing in numbers each year we are already seeing the benefits of being a part of such a great event. Job Centre Australia would like to thank all the employers and jobseekers who registered their interest in our service.
Congratulations to Justin Dover from Vietnam Veterans Hostel for being the lucky winner of the iPad.
Thank you to McDonald's, Australian Business Limited and Marcus Kroek from Action Coach Business Coaching, your expert assistance contributed greatly to the overall success of the day.
Congratulations to the team at LBH for creating an event that is one of a kind on the Central Coast. A great result was achieved with a fantastic turn out of people over the two days.
Job Centre Australia will continue their support of the local community and encourage everyone to continue buying local and creating jobs for the people of the Central Coast.
Job Center Australia + MYC Partners - Good News for a Jobseeker
After working in the hospitality industry as a small business owner for 20 years, Lynne was diagnosed with MS. Her diagnosis affected her ability to stand for prolonged periods of time and meant that Lynne could no longer continue in the hospitality industry. After five years of rest and recovery and a short career in telesales, Lynne sought the assistance of Job Centre Australia to help get her back into the workforce.
Having recently completed a course in travel and tourism at TAFE, Lynne met with Suzie from Job Centre Australia seeking an entry position in this industry. Approaching perspective employers, Lynne was very honest and felt that her age, inexperience and disability prevented her from gaining any suitable positions. With no success in this area, Suzie and Lynne discussed the skills Lynne had from running a small business and looked at other areas in which Lynne could gain employment.
MYC Partners is a new small accountancy firm based in Woy Woy. MYC Partners is run by husband and wife team Julie and Tim Blatch and has only had a street presence for six months. Suzie introduced Lynne to Julie and Tim at MYC Partners who were looking for a mature person that complimented their skills.
After eight months of searching, Lynne found an employer who did not see her disability as an issue and was employed by MYC Partners as a part time Office Manager. Lynne´s duties include answering the phones, mail, greeting people, networking, marketing and any other task that is required of her. Julie and Tim have said, ´In just a few short weeks, Lynne has become an active team member of MYC Partners. She has experience and knowledge of what running a small business is all about including a marketing flair which assists us in the every-day operations of our business. Lynne is also learning new skills which will provide further assistance to the Partners. She is proactive, willing to take on work task challenges and is respectful and courteous to clients. Tim and Julie are looking forward to being part of Lynne´s career.´
Since her diagnosis Lynne has become an advocate and ambassador for the MS society and is now an MS advocate. Lynne has positive words to say about Job Centre Australia and believes that without their assistance she would still be unemployed.
MYC Partners - Personal Tax Tips
As the 2012 Financial Year draws to a close, we have put together some information about Work-Related Expenses that Salary and Wage earners may be entitled to claim as deductions. The following may also assist in getting your paperwork together for your 2012 Individual Income Tax Return.
TIP: If you use the one-third of expenses or logbook methods you can claim a depreciation expense for the motor vehicle.
Work Related Car Expenses DO NOT include travel to and from work - EXCEPT in the following situations:
Other costs such as of internet, telephone, rental of phone (if on call), furniture and equipment (Immediate expenses if <$300 otherwise asset depreciated) can be apportioned using the hours of usage method or floor space method.
TIP: Keep a diary record covering a representative four week period to provide evidence of weekly work-related usage hours calculation.
MYC Partners - What's the downside to the upturn?
What great news! Australia´s economy has recorded its strongest 12 months of growth since before the GFC. Official figure released on 6th June 2012 revealed gross domestic product* (GDP) grew by 4.3 per cent in the 12 months to March 2012.
This growth has been attributed, among other things, to a cautious increase of consumer spending.
Another unexpected growth has been labour productivity (output per worker) which brings labour costs down. March quarter ABS figures have shown that annual growth in labour costs per unit of output is 2.4 per cent. Here´s the good news - this is a big decrease from last years annual labour cost growth which was running at 7.6 per cent.
There was also a 25 basis point decrease in the interest rate announced by the Reserve Bank which will hopefully relate into a decrease in lending rates from the banks.
Small Business contributes to the GDP of Australia´s economy as it represents 96% of all businesses in Australia. However this latest GDP growth is seen by the Council of Small Business as being mainly due to growth in big business.
As a small or medium business owner on the Central Coast or Hunter Region this upturn therefore may not have been felt in your business.
So, how can you get some of the UPTURN action?
When there is favourable economic data being reported, what is really affected is business and consumer confidence. Good news makes people feel more positive about the economy in which they live and work. It is this positive consumer confidence that needs to be tapped into by small businesses.
As a small business owner, it is your responsibility to "talk up" the positives of the economy when communicating with your customers. Your marketing, customer service and general outlook must be positive. I know if I go into a shop or business as a customer and their demeanour is all doom and gloom, I am put off from doing business there.
Favourable economic data may also relieve pressure on lending so this may be a good time to approach your bank about a business loan - particularly if they have passed on the interest rate cut to business lending.
The better than expected GDP figures have also resulted in the Australian dollar levelling out below the highs of recent months. This will assist manufacturing, tourism and retail.
Your business is in your positive hands now - make the most of the consumer and business confidence while it lasts. Your positive approach may just be the encouragement that grows consumer confidence, which in turn will grow the economy.
* Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is one of the main indicators used to measure the health of the economy.
Please Note: Many of the comments in this article are general in nature and anyone intending to apply the information to practical circumstances should seek professional advice to independently verify their interpretation and that the information is applicable to their particular circumstances.
Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation
Central Coast charities to benefit from more than $190,000 in funding from Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation
Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation (Charitable Foundation) is pleased to announce $877,781 in funding to 14 charitable organisations throughout regional New South Wales.
This is the Charitable Foundation´s second round of funding for 2011/12 and includes $193,489 for Central Coast charities, as part of its $1.5 million annual grants program.
Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation Chairman Michael Slater said the Charitable Foundation was delighted to be able to provide such a significant level of support to the Central Coast area.
"In this most recent funding round we received submissions totalling approximately $4.9 million, more than double the amount requested in the last funding round, from more than 105 charitable organisations. These numbers reflect the significant demand for funding from not-for-profit and charitable organisations. We believe the 14 projects that received funding offer significant long-term, and often life changing, benefits to people in the local community," Mr. Slater said.
"These grants also allow the volunteers and staff working on these important community projects to concentrate on delivering the community benefits rather than focusing on fundraising.
"Many not-for-profit community groups need significant financial support, as they do not qualify for government or corporate funding. This is where organisations such as the Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation can make an important contribution to community well-being by helping those organisations that rely on philanthropic funding," Mr. Slater said.
The following local charitable organisations have received funding approval:
Local charity and not-for-profit organisations are invited to apply for the next Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation funding round, which closes on 12 October 2012.
About Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation
For more information regarding Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation and applications for funding visit www.newcastlepermanent.com.au or visit a Newcastle Permanent branch.
NSW Budget Review 2012/13
The 2012-13 NSW budget was handed down on Tuesday 12 June 2012. The budget delivers a General Government deficit of $824 million in 2012-13, returning to a surplus of $289 million in 2013-14 and increasing to $562 million in 2014-15 and $1,172 million in 2015-16. Measures to restrain expenditure growth; slow the rate of increase in net debt and; boost housing investment were key features of the budget. The Government also confirmed its fiscal strategy as focusing on maintaining the State´s current triple-A credit rating. An improvement in State growth is forecast over the next two years from 2.25 per cent in 2011-12 to 2.75 per cent in 2012-13 and 3.5 per cent in 2013-14.
The NSW budget result for 2012-13 is a forecast deficit of $824 million as compared with a deficit of $337 million in 2011-12. The 2012-13 projected deficit result reflects growth in expenses (3.0% higher than in 2011-12) exceeding revenue growth (2.2 per cent higher than in 2011-12).
Key Initiatives Affecting Business
The Government has announced a range of initiatives that will support NSW business. These include:
Slither & Slumber Event Review
The Annual 2012 Slither&Slumber Executive Sleepout With A Twist, held on Friday 4th May, 2012 was certainly the Sleep Out with a difference! With a country hoe down theme, and hot roast meats accompanying potatoes in their jackets, set the scene for the campfire dinner and a glass or two for medicinal purposes to guard against the cold.
At the Wyong Milk Factory, the cows were so friendly, two of the herd joined in the dinner and dancing. Don´t believe me??!! See the photos!!
Originally to be held at the Alison Homestead in Wyong, but due to the weather forecast and the generous offer of the Wyong Milk Factory at Alison Road, Wyong, a last minute venue change ensured we would all at least be dry for the night. As so often turns out with weather predictions, the night was perfect for sitting around campfires and enjoying good food and great company on the banks of the Wyong River. To add to the enjoyment of the night was the fabulous entertainment from MC extraordinaire, Chris DeHavilland, and his beautiful wife Sandy, a professional entertainer in her own right with a voice that is powerful and so moooooving. Also Substation X, a local Central Coast band with a promising future, played music from 70´s to today and did an impromptu backing for the Country singer, Kay Mathews. This certainly showed their versatility as they had never played Country before. A BIG COUNTRY EEEEHHHAAAA to you guys. And then there was Kay Matthews, our very own Central Coast Country singer presenting a little bit of Country, at her boot skooting best.
Approximately 60 people attended. Thanks to our fantastic team of 30 volunteers for helping our slumberers and making sure they were tucked in for the night. As it was a very cold night we had lots of sleepers volunteering to go inside to the sponge floor of the All Sorts Gym. We didn´t call them softies but ......see for yourself. We´ve got photos of them too.
We thank the business community for their wonderful support. With 27 sleepers tucked down for the night, and due to the support of our 30 odd volunteers, we are proud to say that the full $27,000 goes 100% to support the Iris Foundation for the prevention of suicide on our Central Coast, keeping it local.
This great result is a reflection of our sponsors Major Sponsor, Radio 2GO/SeaFM, again supporting this year and for their continuing support signing on for next year. And to our new Sponsors for this year, BBX, Skip Film Productions and Essential Wellbeing for Business, we are so grateful for their involvement. There were many that assisted in creating a wonderful night full of entertainment, good food and great company. Thank you to all individuals and Wyong Milk Factory, Wyong District Museum, the LBH Promotions team, Unique Security, Brew by U Tuggerah, NF Distributors, Wheelie Great Pizzas, Image Focus Photography, Marcus Kroek, Croc Stars, Makin´ Music, Meat at George´s, Charmhaven Butchers, Gorokan Bakery, Legends Bakery, IGA at Kanwal, Fill and Carry Kanwal, Tambourlaine Wines, Woolworths. Please support these local businesses for helping us to make a difference in the lives of so many here were we live.
It is my absolute pleasure to be associated with the Iris Foundation and working with Bev and Dawn, the Founders of this great Charity. Once again, thank you all for participating in the great event and making a difference in the lives of so many.
The Co-Ordinator, Lyn Thompson.
Mark Izzard - Unique Security Group Security Matters
All too often I hear of people purchasing cheap CCTV Systems and then trying to install them themselves only to find, at the most critical of times, when an event happens, that the playback footage is of such a poor quality that the incident or offenders are unrecognisable. Or that because the cameras were installed too high, at the incorrect angle or distance they have not covered the area of critical risk effectively.
A key ingredient when purchasing a CCTV system is the cameras and understanding the difference between Analogue and IP can go a long way in determining which equipment you should purchase.
CCTV Resolution for Analogue Cameras
For standard analogue cameras, resolution is measured by TV Lines (TVL). For most new analogue cameras the TVL range is 420 to 700. Although 420 TVL is considered the lowest resolution and some would say quality, low resolution cameras can be ideal for short distances, and in such situations the quality will be pretty good. Low resolution cameras in the right application could save you money and give you a good result.
In saying that, the 600 TVL and above will provide you with excellent images. The pictures are sharper and the contrast is great. If you want good clear images then the 600+ range resolution is the way to go. There are other factors for a good clear picture such as focal length, lux, wide dynamic ranges, IR capability etc. So make sure you talk to a professional security supplier like my team at Unique Security Group.
CCTV Resolution for DVR´s (recording resolution)
Once the camera captures the images, it will send them through coax or Cat 5 to a DVR. At the DVR, the images are converted from an analogue signal into a digital format to be stored on a hard drive. The greatest most powerful camera will not be effective if the image is compressed down to nothing by your DVR. The two most popular DVR resolution types are CIF and D1. CIF is defined as 320x240 pixels and D1 is 720x480. As you can tell, D1 is 4 times larger than CIF. That means that the raw analogue signal of the camera will be compressed less, giving you better detail.
CCTV Resolution for IP Cameras
IP cameras are able to deliver a much higher resolution. Firstly, a megapixel camera is already in a digital format so there is neither conversion nor compression. Secondly, megapixel cameras run their signal through Cat 5 or 6 which allows for a much higher rate of data transfer.
A 1.3 megapixel camera is generally the smallest resolution of IP megapixel camera, but is still a much larger resolution than any analogue camera. Even though this is a huge jump from analogue, if this is not enough you can jump to 3.0 megapixel and get a 2048x1536 resolution. Still want bigger? Go with the 5 megapixel for a 2592x1944 or for a huge image, go 21 megapixels for 10240x2048 resolution.
The next step is the installation, which again involves a lot more than just placing a camera here and another one there...but we will need to talk about this next time.
In the meantime if you´re looking to purchase a CCTV System for your business or home, then let one of my experienced team come and see you on site to discuss your needs and concerns and we will provide you with the most cost effective and suitable CCTV system to protect what´s most important to you.
Web Review with Michelle from Webstuff.biz - It´s about saving time
With the ever increasing demand for online information, most businesses are now in a position where they have to keep their online profile up to date and deliver information to their clients.
Many years ago people would put up with websites looking outdated providing the websites had the information, service or product they were looking for. These days websites need to deliver the information people want; they have to be engaging and capture the consumers interest. People are looking online for the best possible price on goods, information, services and most importantly saving time.
Time saving is something we all know about and most of us these days are time poor. There are many services you can provide online to help either your staff/team or customers get fast information, goods or services from you.
The successful online businesses are often those that take a risk and try something new in the market. They spend time developing their idea, researching and then investing in the development of an online solution that will change how they do business.
Things like internal intranets for staff forms, leave application forms, company information, news, common files that need to be shared or accessed remotely and much more can all be available online. These types of developments are great for businesses that are aiming for a paperless office or need one central point for logins from many different external locations.
Webstuff has developed many innovative solutions for our clients and one in particular on the Central Coast, www.1800allskips.com, have set up a complete online service to allow their clients to book skip bins anytime, select what they need and then checkout. The result for this company is 24/7 service for their busy clients who may not have the time to call during business hours to book a skip bin. The website will calculate the cost of the bin delivered which in turn saves 1800 All Skips time in taking phone calls as their clients can select the service they need and pay for it online. These types of solutions work well for trade companies that want to tap into the ever increasing demand for online e-Commerce.
Creating innovative solutions for your business starts with an idea that can turn into a reality. It takes extensive planning, budget and commitment to create solutions however; if you want to save on business expenses then long term the investment can be worth it.
I have had over 18 years experience in the web development field. If you would like to discuss your ideas; I will be happy to set up a web consultation with you to brainstorm your ideas and explore these ideas further. You can decide if it is worth going to that next level of development and how it will enhance your business.
Why Credit is Denied - John Dickinson
Brokers must have a strong understanding why enquiries on credit reports can lead to a client having their application declined.
In my line of work, mortgage brokers regularly contact me to ask: "My client has no defaults or judgements, but they have been refused finance. What´s going on?"
In a lot of cases, the answer can be found by looking at the number of enquiries on a credit report.Although some brokers are aware that credit enquiries can be a problem, very few seem to really know why. Having an understanding of this is very important, because the client may be highly confused and demand to know why their application has been refused. At such a time, a broker must appear to have a firm grasp of the facts if they are to retain the client.
To better understand why credit enquiries can be such a problem, let´s look at the process from the client´s point of view. For the sale of this article, let´s call our consumer Joe.
Joe decides he would like a new credit card and, not knowing who has the best deal, he jumps online to see what´s on offer.
He hedges his bets to make sure he gets approval for a card. He picks out four credit cards he likes and applies for them all. Afterall, he doesn´t need to accept them all if they´re approved and, this way, he´s surely going to get at least one across the line.
But what was meant to be an easy process of getting a credit card is proving difficult. Over the next few days, Joe received knock backs from all the providers. This seems strange, because he has a good job and has never missed a payment in his life. Joe assumes the companies must be picky, so he jumps online again and makes a few more applications. What´s this? More declines? This is crazy!
Joe decides to bypass this madness and treat himself to a big flat-screen television. He chooses a beauty: 55 inches and full high-definition picture. Furthermore, the store offers credit; so he feels the purchase will be easy. Joe confidently gives his details to the store finance representative, the whole time thinking: "I can´t wait to get his TV home." But, sure enough, his finance is declined. Has the whole world gone mad? Why won´t anyone give Joe credit?
A lot of people are not aware that each time they apply for finance they are almost certainly going to have someone make an enquiry on their credit report. That enquiry will be recorded for five years.
While it´s true that a credit provider can´t make a credit enquiry without consent, gaining approval can be as simple as ticking a box on a website or saying "That´s fine" to a credit representative.
But why are credit enquiries that go no further a problem?
Surely it´s only the enquiries that led to loans that matter? You would be forgiven for thinking so but, unfortunately, the answer is no. When a credit enquiry is made, there is only a limited amount of information on the credit report.
If a client makes an application for a home loan, the only information recorded is the date and type of application (in this case, a home loan), the credit provider and the amount. The enquiry won´t say if the application was approved or declined or even if the client took up the approved facility. A credit provider looking at past enquiries is flying blind.
If you go back to Joe´s situation, the credit card provider will look at the number of recent enquiries on the report, without knowing the outcome of each. In today´s risk-averse world, the outcome of this misinformation is often decline. Many credit providers will assume past applications have been declined and will decline the application in turn, just to be safe.
In many cases, the consumer won´t even get the opportunity to plead their case, because many lenders have fully automated credit scoring. These systems are triggered to react to recent enquiries and decline the application without looking into it further. Most of the time, there are no clearly visible notices on application forms and websites warning people that an enquiry will be noted on their credit report and the possible implications of making multiple applications.
Even if the consumer is aware an enquiry will be noted on their credit file, very few realise the potentially debilitating effects a high volume of recent enquiries can have. Often, this only becomes apparent after the damage is done.
But how do you fix it?
The answer is you can´t - not in the short term at least. Unless the enquiry was made without authorisation, thete is little that can be done to have an enquiry removed from a credit file. The only cure is time. The older the listing, the less relevant it is. There´s no rule for how old an enquiry needs to be before it´s not considered an issue, because each lender tends to carry different lending criteria and these criteria are under constant review.
This doesn´t help people who have made this mistake and desperately need finance. Given how many people are affected by this problem, more public awareness about it is called for. Something as simple as a clear message next to the ´submit´ button on a website, letting people know that a credit enquiry will be made and a high level of recent credit enquiries could result in credit issues, would be a place to start.
Armed with this knowledge, most people would apply for credit in a more informed and responsible manner and fewer brokers would be faced with this problem.
Sourced from Mortgage&Finance brief May/June 2012 issue.
Alison Homestead, Wyong
On the morning of Dec 3 2011 Wyong Shire lost one of its most historic and much loved buildings Alison Homestead through an act of arson. The homestead was the oldest building in the suburb of Wyong and one of the oldest in the shire. It is the headquarters of the Wyong District Museum and Historical Society.
The property on which the homestead stands was originally 500 acres, granted to Mr William Timothy Cape in 1825 and was called Cashiobury. Mr Cape was later the headmaster of Sydney Grammar School and the Member for Wollombi, which included the Wyong district. The original homestead was the headquarters of the Wyong Cattle Run. In 1840 the property was raided by the notorious bushrangers the Jew Boy Gang. The five members of this gang were caught in the Hunter District and later sentenced to death and hung in Sydney. The Cape family owned the Estate for 60 years.
The Alison Family
In 1874 Mr William Alison a wealthy squatter who was originally from Scotland acquired the Cape Estate. He also bought thousands of acres around the Wyong District. Mr Alison´s total Wyong land holding was approx 14,000 acres, and his NSW holdings were the size of the country of Belgium.
The land was later owned by his son Mr Charles Alison and his wife Constance. During their occupation in the 1890s the homestead was enlarged to be become the beautiful residence that was to become a show piece of Wyong Shire.
The Alison family first subdivided the town of Wyong in 1886 just prior to the opening of the railway in 1887. The first sawmill in Wyong was opened along with a hotel and general store. Mr Alison also gave to the people the site of the School, Post Office and School of Arts.
When the Alison´s left Wyong in 1900 the property was subdivided and had various owners and in 1919 the property was bought by the Pearce Bros of Randwick nurserymen. The Pearce family conducted a famous nursery known as Gorston for over 50 years. The homestead property was sold to Main Roads in conjunction with the Newcastle Freeway Works. In 1988 Wyong Shire became the owners of the homestead.
The homestead was renovated in part and the use of the building was handed over to the historical society in 1991 to use as a museum. The Society eventually leased the property from the Council and still continues today as the main carers of the homestead grounds. The museum was rather humble in its initial occupation and the grounds were also of little attractiveness. With help of many volunteers this was about to change. Over the last 20 years volunteers have laboured tirelessly to transform the building and grounds into one of Wyong Shires greatest assets. The museum also housed many of the historical records of the shire.
Today the Alison Homestead property is home to an active band of volunteers who endeavour to maintain and run a first class Museum facility for the benefit of all the community. Some activities and groups that use the grounds and buildings are Alison Homestead Men´s Shed, The Wyong Pioneers Association, Alison Craft Group, Homestead Garden Club and the Alison Homestead Seniors Exercise Classes. The Wyong District Museum and Historical Society is the parent body that oversees the smooth running of the Museum and its grounds.
The Alison Homestead property plays host to many bus tours and events such as Colonial Fairs, Car Club Rallies and Fund Raising. The grounds are a popular place for group picnics and BBQs.
The rebuilding of Alison Homestead is a must for Wyong Shire. The loss of this building does not mean the history of Wyong Shire stopped in December 2011. The museum still has many historical items that need to be preserved and displayed for future generations. The homestead proudly played an active part in the community and still rightly claims it place as the Birth Place of Wyong.
For the record the Alison Homestead Estate of 14,000 acres now has a population of 38,000 people and contains 19 suburbs from Charmhaven in the north to Tuggerah in the south and Jilliby to the west.
BBX Marketing Business Solutions
A MINIMUM $10,000bbx Interest Free Credit Line is available to all small business owners who become a part of the BBX network.
In times of economic confusion such as now, business owners face daily challenges that were not around when they first embarked on their business journey, but today a plethora of problems ranging from poor sales to overstocking all eat away at what was once profitable businesses.
BBX offers a tangible part solution to almost any problem a business faces, they supply new customers, move excess stock, assist in debt recovery, and ultimately improve the cash flow of any business if used correctly.
Few know that BBX works with its own ATO recognised currency, ´the BBX trade dollar´ which is used by over 15,000 businesses in 7 countries, the BBX currency can make a significant difference to the way your business can look in a relatively short period of time with GUARANTEED RESULTS.
It is not designed to take away your cash income but to improve your overall income using the untapped income potential from ´downtime´ in your business or the ´excess stock´ that you have. Since 1993 BBX have skillfully used these commodities to improve thousands of businesses and their bottom line cash profitability.
Each month BBX creates over 30,000 new sales for businesses by using its own currency within its BBX membership base, each new sale is a sale that would never have happened in the ´cash world´.
When you are left with no marketing budget after your last marketing campaign failed to ignite your business, when you believe you have tried everything you know to kick start your business again, get assistance from BBX to market your business nationally and globally.
With guaranteed solutions to many of your business issues, BBX is a logical choice for the laterally minded thinker, obligation free appointments are available to business owners, talk to Troy Melville at BBX on 4388 6664 today.
Central Coast Business Park
Central Coast Business Park (CCBP) is all about employment, the environment and living a sustainable future, and that´s why this year CCBP is hosting the 2012 Buy Local Festival.
The Buy Local Festival is a fantastic opportunity for local businesses to showcase their goods and services and support the local community, and that´s why it´s such an important event to CCBP. The Park is located on the Pacific Highway in North Wyong, opposite the golf course, just off Lucca Road. It has a great range of facilities; including its very own Farm Gate Cafe, ample parking, CCTV, regular caretaker patrols, container storage, HV power, amenities block and much more!
The festival will be hosted in Building B, originally a 4,000 m2 warehouse, the building has been carefully disassembled saving as many of the original materials for re-use as possible. The large steel frame has remained which means CCBP have been able to recycle a vast amount of embodied energy in its initial form - and that means more green points! The building has been carefully re-designed as six individual premises ranging from 195 m2 to 1,100 m2 office/warehouse, with various sized premises in between. The modern layout incorporates various environmental design features including; shading to the facades to reduce solar load on the windows, high bay windows providing lots of natural light and high opening windows allow heat to escape and increase air circulation within the premises. Access is fantastic, as they all have double door entry points and where appropriate a roller shutter door.
All the premises in Building B are available for lease and have amazing potential for your business, whether it be an office, a warehouse or combination of both. With great transport links to the F3, either North via Sparks Road or South through Wyong town, access to the site is excellent. The onsite facilities will support your team as well as your business, Farm Gate Cafe can even provide catering for your meetings!
Please take the opportunity to have a look at the Building B when you are walking through the Buy Local Festival. For more information about these unique premises or if you wish to arrange an inspection prior to the Buy Local Festival please do not hesitate to contact us on:
Christian Smith - Sales Manager
Anita Crowe - Property Manager
Central Coast Tourism - Jacqui Greaves, Business Development Manager
Central Coast Tourism is one of the State´s most progressive Regional Tourism Organisations
The organisation is naturally keen to support the efforts of B2B with a Twist and the Buy Local Festival, realising the importance of encouraging local businesses and services to strive for excellence and sustaining well run, professional and profitable enterprises that serve our local region, as well as adding real value to the visitor experience.
To assist the organisations members and the region as a whole, and following public consultation, CCT published and implemented a Destination Management Plan. The organisation leads the development and implementation of strategies to increase the awareness, preference and visitation to the Central Coast from key consumer and business markets.Annually over 4.25 million visitors come to the Central Coast injecting approximately $670 million into the local economy.
A membership-based organisation, CCT has over 260 tourism operators and business supporters. Membership provides a range of benefits based on key target markets. There are six levels of membership with fees starting from $60 per annum for Social Membership through to $12,000 for Corporate Membership.
Central Coast Tourism members also have the opportunity to access State Government Funding. These included access to a pool of $250,000 for Project Development and $200,000 in matched marketing funding.
CCT provides a visitor information network across the Central Coast with Visitor Centres located at Kariong, The Entrance and Gosford, and supports a range of ten satellite locations scattered across the coast. In 2011, Central Coast Tourism was appointed as the Official Reservations and Ticketing Agent for the Ex-HMAS Adelaide Reserve by NSW Government Crown Lands Division. Central Coast Tourism also leads the marketing strategy for NSW´s newest artificial reef site.
2011 also provided Central Coast Tourism with the opportunity to expand its services, meeting the needs of a growing Conference and Events market. For the past 12 months in the newly created role of Business and Tourism Events Manager, Chris King has actively sought and bid on new valuable business, tourism and sporting events.
As a result Central Coast Tourism has been the lead organisation working with both Gosford City and Wyong Shire Councils and other regional organisations to secure a number of significant events including: The Senior Country Rugby Union Championships at Morrie Brien Oval March 31st and April 1st 2012, World Youth Baseball Championships June 2012 conducted in both LGA´s, and the Sustainable Economic Growth for Regional Australia (SEGRA) Conference to be held at Terrigal in November 2012 all estimated to inject over $2 million to the local economy.
These events along with a variety of new and important tourism event opportunities still to be confirmed will provide significant economic and social benefits to CCT members, as well as a plethora of local business and services. If you, your business or organisation participates in conferencing, junior or senior sport championships and similar events out of our region and believe these events can be conducted here on the Central Coast please contact Chris King, Business & Tourism Events Manager via email at email@example.com or phone 4343 4409 to discuss the possibilities.
Tuggerah Company cuts power bill by $10K a Year
A TUGGERAH electrical manufacturing company will save up to $10,000 a year in power and maintenance costs after installing a special energy-saving device on its warehouse lights. Belkin, a multi-national corporation that manufactures electrical products, introduced the voltage optimisation units in its Tuggerah logistics warehouse thanks to the help of Central Coast energy efficiency specialists DNA Energy Solutions. Chief executive officer of DNA Electrical David Mears said, the special devices are very successful in Europe with some 7,000 systems in use on projects ranging from small car parks to entire airports. 'These units can save almost 30 per cent of the energy being consumed by lighting and 25% of the energy being consumed by air conditioning, refrigeration and commercial kitchen equipment.
Now, with installations in shopping centres, warehouses and car parks in Australia, other businesses here can take advantage of this new technology and save on future energy consumption.
With the assistance of an accredited certificate provider under the scheme, the Belkin project was also eligible for the State Government's Energy Savings Scheme and attracted a financial return of over $7000 for Belkin.
Protection against rising energy costs
Businesses are under more pressure each year to deliver results while maintaining the normal comforts and services to clients, investing in Energy efficiency has become paramount to staying in business for the long term. Any good business with a plan for the future needs to be looking at ways to protect themselves against these increasing energy costs. Our Energy Systems provide a way for businesses with high energy consumption through lighting, air conditioning, refrigeration or kitchen appliances to reduce their consumption without the high capital cost of replacing equipment and disruption to productivity.
'We have worked with some large organisations across the Central Coast and NSW and currently have our systems involved in some exciting trials that we hope will expand nationally and with electricity prices on the rise, installing this technology is a smart investment for any company."
Think Smart, Think Future, Think 'INTELIGENS'
There are many ways to look at energy efficiency within an operation and with energy companies looking to expand time of use and demand response strategies, it makes it even more critical to understand where and how the energy within the business is used.
The INTELIGENS Energy Saving System is a device that primarily sits at the main switchboard or initial power source and cleverly optimises the voltage supply to your equipment and because it operates more effectively it uses less consumable energy.
The programmable software allows the user to set parameters and view the energy used and energy saved within the system and with an integrated Ethernet port the systems are able to be added into your existing Network.
The system is fully automatic once set up so works seamlessly in the background without affecting your business operations.
What you need to know about the PPSA?
The Personal Properties Security Act ("PPSA") commenced on 30 January 2012. The PPSA provides an Australian wide scheme to govern the way secured financial arrangements will operate. If you do not register your security interest rights on the Personal Properties Security Register ("PPS Register") you may be exposing your business to substantial risks.
A security interest is defined as being any interest in personal property which secures the payment of money or the performance of an obligation.
Personal property includes all tangible and intangible property including plant and equipment, inventory, motor vehicles, intellectual property, book debts, receivable and other contractual rights.
A security interest needs to be perfected to preserve priority and ensure that interest is enforceable on insolvency, which can be done by registration of your security interest on the PPS Registrar.
So what do you need to do to protect yourself and your business?
Should you require assistance to address these issues or the effect of PPSA on your business please contact the Commercial Team at Aubrey Brown Partners on 4350 3333.
Little Creek Cheese Factory - Open for Business
Located at the Old Milk Factory, Alison Road, Wyong. Little Creek Cheese Factory is well worth a visit. Watch cheese being made, taste the wonderful cheeses and chat to the cheese makers.
Little Creek Cheese is a family owned and operated producer of gourmet cheese, with long standing family ties to the Central Coast. The owners' extensive food retailing experience has highlighted the demand for fresh gourmet cheese in Australia and specifically on the Central Coast.
Their cheese range includes Körözött, Little Creek Salad Cheese, Wyong White, Herbed Wyong White, Wyong Washed, Fromage, Wyong Yellow, Central Coast Gold. All cheeses are made without added colours and because they use non animal rennet, they are suitable for vegetarians.
Little Creek Cheese also supply to restaurants, caterers, families and businesses that want superior quality cheeses to impress, for their menus and functions.
Visit them within the heritage listed Wyong Milk Factory, where you can watch cheese being made. Make your way to their shop where you can taste our wonderful cheeses, chat to the cheese makers and explore our cheesy knick knacks.
Come along and visit at Building 12, Wyong Milk Factory 141-155 Alison Road, Wyong.
What's the upside to the downturn?
Australia has made it through the GFC - or has it? The continuing ups and downs in the American economy and the threat of bankruptcy in some European countries has put further pressure on the Australian Economy and more importantly, on small business. The on-line shopping trend and the high Australian dollar are also applying pressure to small business in the retail and manufacturing industries and a downturn is being felt across many industries.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics tells us that 96% of all Businesses are Small Businesses, therefore, the effects of any downturn, for whatever reason, impacts on most of us.
So what's the upside of the downturn? You now have time to get to know your business.
I firmly believe and have often said "to grow your business you need to know your business".
What better time is there to get to really know your business than when those pesky customers are not there to bother you so much (tongue-in-cheek).
A business goes through stages during its life - the start-up, the profit-making, the coasting, the decline, and, if these stages are not well managed, the eventual - going-out-of-business stage. Knowing what stage your business is at is important so that you can identify and implement measures to keep the business in business. For example, if you are in the coasting stage and wish to avoid the decline stage, adding new products/services may invigorate your business image and avoid the decline. Sometimes it's not more customers we need but more business from our existing customers.
Also, during each of these stages, there are peaks and valleys that need to be managed. When your business is going well (peaks) it should not be viewed as 'normal' trading. During peaks, pay down debt, renew equipment, refurbish the shop and maybe even accumulate a little cash. But so many business people want to reward themselves far beyond what, in the long term, the business can afford.
When there is a downturn in trade (valleys), do all those things you've complained about not having time for, e.g. write new content for your website, communicate with your customers, undertake a risk analysis of your business, revisit the business plan and your exit strategy, get the business records in order and get spending under control. No-one in small business should have 'spare time' during a downturn - there is always something you can be doing to 'Know and Grow your Business'.
Time to change Financial Institutions?
How closely do you look at the fees you pay on your business cheque account or the interest that is charged on your loans? Some businesses believe that change is too hard, preferring to take an easy option, accept their position and put these costs down to "business as usual".
Saving costs can be as simple as increasing electronic banking usage or looking at what other institutions are offering. Look at the benefits rather than the barriers.
Some of the barriers that affect the decision to switch are the amount of additional work required to change current electronic arrangements with debtors, additional borrowing establishment costs or break costs for fixed term borrowing. These are genuine issues but the inconvenience may be minimised in a number of ways.
If you decide to look at another institution, start by obtaining a quote. Branch staff can help and also direct you to their business banking teams for assistance regarding any borrowings you require. Don't just consider the major banks; there are many other institutions including building societies and credit unions that can help. Try looking at their website.
After comparing what you are currently paying to what is available, you can make a decision on your options.
An easy way to change to another institution is to first open a business cheque account, and arrange for internet banking. To continue smooth operation, leave your current cheque account open. Identify your debtors who pay electronically, and arrange to let them know to forward funds to your new account. Direct payments (e.g. lease payments) will need to be rearranged to be deducted from your new account. This can all be done progressively.
Commercial debts can be considered after all business cheque account details have been converted. When applying for commercial borrowings, the best approach is to talk with that institution and ask what is required.
As a guideline:
Additional requirements may include tax portals, cash flow budgets, and business plans.
Don't resist change. If there are cost savings for your business you should consider pursuing it. You will find institutions quite willing to help reduce the inconvenience and assist you in the move. Contact one of our Newcastle Permanent Business Relationship Managers by dropping into your local branch, calling 13 19 87 or visiting newcastlepermanent.com.au
Newcastle Permanent Building Society Limited ACN 087 651 992 AFSL 238273. Any advice contained in this article has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. Because of that, before acting on any advice you should consider the appropriateness of the advice having regard to your circumstances.
NSW Business Chamber - Prime Minister asked not to turn back on Small Business
Central Coast NSW Business Chamber has asked Prime Minister Julia Gillard to back up her public statements of support for the small business sector by including the portfolio in her new look Cabinet.
The call has been made following the resignation of the former Small Business Minister, Mark Arbib.
"In the past week there has been a lot said by the Prime Minister about her achievements to date and her priorities for the future," said Daniel Farmer, Central Coast - Regional Manager.
Sourced from NSW Business Chamber.
Andrew Roach - RDACC CEO Regional Development Australia Central Coast
Its shaping up to be a busy year for the Central Coast - and Regional Development Australia, Central Coast (RDACC) is pleased to be a part of an exciting 2012.
In late 2011 it was announced that the Central Coast will have the benefit of being one of the first locations in Australia of have the NBN Broadband rollout, initially through two locations (Gosford and Long Jetty). This was a resounding endorsement of collaborative working on the Coast, with elected representatives from all levels, the two Council's, government agencies, education establishments and business coming together to represent the region in lobbying for the highspeed communication infrastructure. 2012 will see action 'on the ground' as agencies at all levels work towards a successful implementation of the roll-out.
2012 will also see the Central Coast play host to the Sustainable Economic Growth for Regional Australia (SEGRA) conference in November. The 16th annual SEGRA conference will see national and international speakers, and with an anticipated attendance of some 400 delegates, provides the Central Coast with an opportunity for to highlight the region to a wide audience.
The Central Coast Regional Community Creative Producer, in conjunction with RDACC, will play a significant role during 2012 in promoting increased arts capacity on the Coast, through the commencement and implementation of two programs funded by NSW Arts.
2012 will see RDACC and our partners work towards the establishment of the first Central Coast Regional Learning Board and the completion of projects aimed at promoting innovation in business in the Region.
This year will also see the continuation of successful events which bring together the community, business and government agencies, including the successful 'Try-a-Trade' event, the 'Indigenous Jobs Market' and the 'Australian Government Jobs & Skills Expo'.
One of the key events for the year will be the 'Buy Local Festival'. This Autumn edition of B2B with a Twist contains a special feature on the Buy Local Festival, and I would encourage all businesses on the Coast to support the event.
The entire team at RDACC are looking forward to a busy and exciting 2012, and hope to see you all over the coming weeks at the various business and community networking events.
Andrew Roach has recently been appointed as the Chief Executive Officer of Regional Development Australia Central Coast (RDACC). Andrew has been a resident of the Central Coast for more than a decade. He has a background in local government planning and strategy including senior local government roles in both Australia and the United Kingdom. Prior to taking up his current role at RDACC Andrew worked for the past 4 years as a consultant in the fields of development, planning policy and local government strategy.
Mark Izzard - Unique Security Group : Security Matters
Gone are the days of needing large amounts of physical security as documented in our history books as far back as 2100BC. Evolving from manpower to electronic security surveillance took thousands of years. The first CCTV (Closed Circuit Television) system was designed and installed by Siemens in Germany in 1942 by the noted German engineer Walter Bruch for the purpose of observing the launch of V-2 rockets.
The world's largest CCTV camera was built in Indonesia and measured 4.57m x 1.7m x 1.7m, made of steel reinforced fibreglass and together with its 14m tall tower, took six months to build. The camera has a resolution of 540TVL with 36x WD (f=3.4 - 122.4mm wide dynamic range) optical zoom. The manufacturer constructed this functioning, record-breaking camera as a symbol for its community.
The company stated, "This giant CCTV camera has been built upon our mission to raise 'security awareness' in our society. With this security awareness, we expect all of us could grasp the idea that public security in our country is not only government's responsibility but also ours. With this awareness, we believe that our country will become a safer place to live in". "This CCTV camera will symbolise the 'rise of security awareness' in our homeland and also in the world," the company added.
A mega-city in Chongqing in southwest China plans to build a $2.6 billion security system that will be one of the world's largest with 500,000 surveillance cameras. Police Chief Wang Zhijun said the system would be the world's largest new security network since the September 11, 2001 attacks in the United States. The system would dwarf a network of 40,000 security cameras installed in the capital of China's far-western Xinjiang region last year. A Police spokesman told the Global Times the cameras, which are due to be installed by 2012, will mainly be used for crime prevention, emergency controls and rescue operations.
Here on the Central Coast we don't need to install 500,000 security cameras nor do we need to spend $2.6 billion, but we do however, need to recognise the significance of protecting our homes, businesses and our community.
With "security awareness" being an integral part of our personal and business lives - the implementation of security and safety measures can prevent the loss of thousands of dollars and the potential loss of productivity in your business and workplace.
These losses can come in many forms from obvious theft and malicious damage through to a WorkCover claim due to injury or stress. How would it affect your business and bottom line if you were to lose your entire business data or have a colleague or staff member injured or traumatised and unable to return to work for a long period of time?
These days high quality does not have to mean high cost, Unique Security Group are security experts and can offer a wide range of products and services to assist in your needs of surveillance and protection.
Having the Central Coast's only 24 hour Back-to-Base Alarm Monitoring Centre located at Charmhaven, ensures fast and efficient response to all your security needs. Our team are happy to assist you with assessing your home or business by providing you with cost effective options.
Please call any of our team on 4394 0799 to learn more.
Web Review with Michelle from Webstuff.biz - Increasing Online Sales
Many retailers experienced a significant reduction in sales for the Christmas period, of which the internet and growing sales online were largely to blame. Consumers are now shopping online in record numbers. Issues such as price, convenience and the ability to order 24/7 via their mobile phone or computer, without leaving home. Consumers realise that they can compare prices and often order products online to be delivered right to their door from either local, national or overseas suppliers whose overheads are significantly lower than those having a shopfront.
I have noticed a large increase in spending from corporate businesses such as Harvey Norman, Myer, Woolworths and many more are increasing their web presence to boost their sales. Many of the larger retailers find it more cost-effective to use the internet to offload surplus or old stock. They also realise this target market is online looking for a bargain delivered to their door. All are realising that they must take notice of the growing consumer trends and either keep up with their competitors' fast growing online sales or lose market share.
What does this mean for small business owners? Many business owners I have spoken to are worried about prices being driven down by internet businesses. I have heard comments that businesses cannot compete with international companies offering low pricing online or the small online businesses that set up and sell at very low margins and rely on large volume to make a decent living. So the question is: As a retailer, how do you get around this?
Service providers are also competing online: I've seen some very clever business owners embrace the online rush and cash in on niche services that are not available in various areas of Australia or overseas, and set up their office so they can communicate around the world. One particular company we worked with developed a website to take skip bin orders 24/7. You just pick where you want the bin delivered, enter your details, pay and they turn up. Their business is going from strength to strength and they were clever to tap into a market that didn't have time to do business during normal working hours and preferred to order services like waste removal after hours. In fact most of their sales come in after 7pm at night!
Price is often an important factor in sales; it is difficult not to focus on this because you will always get a segment of any demographic that will be orientated on price rather than on quality or service. When selling online it's even harder because people are looking at a website with no human interaction.
People will often make decisions based on price and their perception of the company through their website, due to the lack of human connection online.
So how does a retailer compete online without focusing on price? The first one is to ensure your website looks professional so people know they are dealing with a reputable well established business. Secondly your website needs to function smoothly; especially important with e-commerce websites. There are many strategies too long to list, which are achievable, if you have the drive. A good online presence cannot be delivered overnight; instead it has to have a solid base and the ability to grow at a pace suitable and sustainable to you.
If you are serious about your online presence and would like to set up a time to look at your website with no obligation please contact me
Wishing you all a great 2012 in business, health and personal growth
Business is Great!
A landscape gardener ran a business that had been in the family for two or three generations. The staff were happy, and customers loved to visit the store, or to have the staff work on their gardens or make deliveries - anything from bedding plants to ride-on mowers.
For as long as anyone could remember, the current owner and previous generations of owners were extremely positive, happy people.
Most folk assumed it was because they ran a successful business.
The business was indeed generally great, although it went through tough times like any other. What never changed however was the owner's attitude, and the badge saying Business Is Great!
Everyone who saw the badge for the first time invariably asked, "What's so great about business?" Sometimes people would also comment that their own business was miserable, or even that they, personally, were miserable or stressed.
Anyhow, the Business Is Great! badge always tended to start a conversation, which typically involved the owner talking about lots of positive aspects of business and work, for example:
And so the list went on. And no matter how miserable a person was, they'd usually end up feeling a lot happier after just a couple of minutes listening to all this infectious enthusiasm and positivity.
It is impossible to quantify or measure attitude like this, but to one extent or another it's probably a self-fulfilling prophecy, on which point, if asked about the badge in a quiet moment, the business owner would confide:
"The badge came first. The great business followed."
BWC - Central Coast Business Women of the Year 2011
October 2011 heralded another amazingly successful year for the Business Women Connect 2011 Central Coast Women in Business Awards. Nearly 200 men and women celebrated the fantastic achievements and gave recognition of the women in business and our community at Crowne Plaza, Terrigal.
Business Women Connect Director Kim Williams said "We have an amazing pool of talented women on the Coast and I hope this recognition event spurs them on to achieve even greater things in the future."
The top honour of Business Women Connect Business Woman of the Year Award was won by Michelle Allen of Webstuff.biz who had earlier in the evening won the Women in Business Services category.
Michelle Allen started Webstuff.biz in her home office initially, due to having young children at the time. She eventually moved to the Business Incubator at Ourimbah Campus and then moved into commercial premises at Erina.
Work/life balance has played an important role in Michelle's growth as a business woman. "Once I changed my lifestyle to a healthy and active one, my business has grown from strength to strength. I am able to concentrate more and have energy to burn, so I can get a lot done in a day. Also, I feel calm and the happiest I've ever been which allows me to be the best I can in what I'm doing" says Michelle.
Being a multi award winning web design company Webstuff.biz also gives back to the Central Coast, they support many non profit organisations such as Camp Breakaway, Central Coast Community Chest, Central Coast kids in need, Central Coast Family Support, Blair's Wish and many more. Michelle says "we take a percentage of the business work we do and give back to non profits that need a helping hand, so all our clients should be proud that they have helped us help many non profit organisations that need support".
The other two major Awards were won by Ashleigh McTackett of Hotondo Homes who was the recipient of the Harvey World Travel Young Woman of the Year and Leoni Baldwin of the Department of Premier & Cabinet who was awarded the Robson Partners Woman of the Year Award.
Our congratulations to all the 2011 Central Coast Women in Business Awards winners.
CCAS - "Influencing generations through sport."
It's hard to believe that Christmas is just around the corner, but with the range of products now available for purchase through the Central Coast Academy of Sport online store at www.thinksport.com.au, we're looking forward to being able to help plenty of locals out with a quick and easy Christmas shopping option.
Our group of official suppliers is growing every day and along with our own exclusive range of Central Coast Academy of Sport apparel, we're now also offering a wider range of quality products including 2XU compression and performance sports apparel, Audio-Technica headphones, Grip surf and leisure wear, Spalding balls and sporting equipment, Sporte Leisure clothing, Survival first aid kits, Victor Sports strapping tape, and Sports Wisdom coaching resource books.
All products are advertised to the general public at recommended retail pricing, whilst CCAS athletes, coaches and officials have the ability to access discounted pricing using their unique discount codes.
To celebrate the festive season, we're offering B2B readers a 10% discount on any purchases through the online store during the month of December.
To receive your 10% discount on any purchase, simply visit the online store at www.thinksport.com.au, fill your shopping cart and apply the ‘B2BXMAS' discount code when progressing through the checkout / payment section of the site.
You will have the option to have your items posted out to you direct or to save on delivery and collect in person from the Central Coast Academy of Sport office within the Gatorade Regional Athletics Centre at Mingara Recreation Club, Tumbi Umbi.
Please note that the ‘B2BXMAS' discount code will only apply for the month of December, so be quick to make sure you receive your discount.
In other Central Coast Academy of Sport news, we are pleased to welcome Troy Melville and the team at BBX on board as the new major sponsor of the 2011/12 Central Coast Academy of Sport BBX basketball program.
BBX has the largest trade exchange network in the world and whilst currently operating in seven countries with 16,000 card holders and over 250 staff, BBX has a strong local presence here on the Central Coast and I know Troy will be making contact with many B2B readers if he hasn't already.
Yours in Sport;
Tax rebates for employers
As a Transition to Work program provider, Job Centre Australia is encouraged by the latest announcement from the NSW government in relation to tax rebates for employers that hire a person with a disability.
As more information regarding the scheme is released Job Centre Australia will be sure to keep you up to date. If you would like more information on how hiring a person with a disability makes good business sense call Paul at Job Centre Australia on 4322 5511
Building for Generations at LA Group
Driving around Wyong Township and its fringes quickly reveals many iconic buildings constructed by John Lusted – and in October the Wyong Chamber of Commerce honoured this outstanding citizen by presenting the Kevin Faulks Award for his history of Community Service. John's list of achievements is impressive, but for anyone who knows Mr Lusted the most endearing feature of this man is his humility. To this day he is still planning good works and he is a most worthy recipient.
Gone are the days when one local builder reliably constructed most of the public buildings in the area, but now John Lusted's son Matthew's LA Group still successfully competes and adds a timeless quality to the mix where the main ingredient of personal service is paramount and is not forgotten.
Matthew Lusted is part of our town and is now our local building connection in the Wyong district. His confidence in this region's future is undaunted and extends to plans for an LA Group corporate building overlooking the Wyong River. It will bring a vibrant activity and fresh new life to the Shire's River precinct.
Unique design needs an intuitive builder – LA Group offers solid experience, excellent systems and modern processes. Fifty years of Wyong's history behind LA Group gives this vibrant young company a keen eye to the future of our region.
The LA team is based right near Wyong Race Course and their projects stretch from the northern suburbs of Sydney right up into the Hunter Valley. Winners of Master Builders Newcastle “Excellence in Building??? Award for 2011, this talented construction company is ready for the next project whether commercial buildings such as schools and hospitals, residential townhouses and individual homes or Interior and shop fitouts.
LA Group – www.lagroup.com.au or 02 4353 0633
When local knowledge can make a difference!
Letterbox distribution to targeted areas is a great way to ensure your message is delivered to your target market.
The LBH Promotions team have over 16 years' experience in the industry and our extensive knowledge of the demographics on the Central Coast is of great benefit to our clients. We will work with you to ensure your distribution is delivered to suburbs or parts of suburbs that suit your business. Whether you wish to target businesses in the rural or the residential market, we can assist. 96% of Central Coast businesses are micro to small and letterbox distribution is a fundamental, cost effective way to target specific markets. With many businesses opting to work from home, distribution to the Rural and Residential areas of the Central Coast is also an effective way to build your business alliances.
LBH Promotions has a unique business distribution method. Your flyer is hand delivered over the counter, into the business ensuring it has made it into the business premises. The distribution is carried out by suitably attired supervisors and staff.
A business distribution can be broken down into sectors such as industrial areas, retail areas, local shopping districts or from suburb to suburb. You can deliver from as little as 500 flyers which means you can easily target the market you are seeking.
The Central Coast has many different sectors of rural areas from hobby farming homesteads to high-end, large land holding estates. If any of these are your market then we can assist you in choosing where to spend your marketing dollars.
It's important to distinguish your clientele. We at LBH can work out a plan to cover sections that will allow you the best option for return on investment. The Central Coast has many different demographics from low income, medium income to high income, elderly, families, singles, commuters, etc. Suburbs can be broken down into sections to obtain the best result. On the Central Coast you can deliver from as little as 1000 flyers to a complete area cover of 125,000 flyers.
LBH Promotions has extensive knowledge working with boundaries for franchises, real estate boundaries or electorates and will liaise with all parties to ensure those boundaries are kept. Our free pick-up and handling option for Central Coast businesses also allows ease of mind to the client. Whether you have your flyers ready to go or require assistance with Graphic Design and Printing, LBH Promotions can assist.
If you are considering letterbox distribution then call LBH on 02 4392 8550 or visit our website www.lbhpromotions.com.au
ARE YOU GETTING ENOUGH...from your Financials?
I have been told recently that nobody wants to read boring, uninspiring accounting related articles. Well, the NOBODIES don't have to. But the SOMEBODIES - business people, owners, operators and their staff, who want to be successful in business, just might find something interesting in what an Accountant “with a passion??? has to share.
To Grow your business you need to Know your business, and that includes the financials. Yes, I am passionate about ‘empowering' businesses to take control of their financial viability. I set out every day to make a difference to somebody's business.
It may just be as simple as being available to take their call, or, it may be keenly taking the time to explain, answer questions, or analyse data when discussing their financial reports. If the business owner is not aware of what these reports are telling them, how are they going to make the financial decisions that need to be made, sometimes on a daily basis?
In the Spring issue of B2B, I posed several questions which were intended to test your knowledge of your business's financials. Break-even, productivity targets, sales targets, performance indicators, liquidity and financial stability ratios. You may think these do not concern you – well think again. Simple analysis such as these could provide an early warning to costs getting out of control, or product/service prices not returning sufficient margins to cover costs. Knowing the dollar value that you must achieve per week to ‘Break-Even' can be a great motivator. For example, if by Wednesday of any week you have achieved your break-even dollar amount then Thursday, Friday and Saturday (if trading 6 days) is all cream (profit). How powerful is that!!!
The financial health of your business is up to you - if you don't understand and use the financials to assist decision-making, then the cost of having them prepared could be wasted.
What's coming up in the New Year.
As a holistic provider of Tax and Accounting services, we also provide coaching and training services, to share our knowledge and empower business operators and their staff.
In November MYC Partners commenced delivering “Business Workshops??? which took place in our training/boardroom in Woy Woy. We have been delighted with the feedback we have received so we will be offering more of these two hour sessions in the new year. (And don't forget, we usually offer at least one of the workshops FREE).
The workshop topics have been designed to provide businesses with short, sharp and to-the-point information and activities. Topics included: Cashflow Forecasting, Using Financial Statements for Decision-Making, MYOB Tips & Tricks, Goal Setting to Achieve you Business Vision, and, Essential Elements of Bookkeeping/Recordkeeping. We are also looking at offering half and full day workshops on: “Put the WOW factor into Customer Service???, and MYOB in a DAY (You provide the laptop and we provide the MYOB Educational software).
Please Note: Many of the comments in this article are general in nature and anyone intending to apply the information to practical circumstances should seek professional advice to independently verify their interpretation and that the information is applicable to their particular circumstances.
Contractor or Employee - Are you clear about the status of your workers?
Are you aware of your responsibilities when employing contractors? As an employer you need to be certain that your contractors are indeed true contractors. Some employers have been treating common law employees as contractors. One reason given by employers is that the worker holds an Australian Business Number (ABN). This suggests that many employers and workers may hold misconceptions about what it means to hold an ABN. Some employers believe that if an individual has an ABN, they are automatically a contractor. They do not understand that only those who are carrying on an enterprise in Australia or who have a clear business intent are entitled to use an ABN. Misconceptions like these can result in a business being non-compliant with their employer obligations such as PAYG withholding and 9% Superannuation Guarantee Contribution (SGC), and may face penalties for failing to comply with these obligations. Workers compensation insurance is also impacted if contractors are ‘deemed' to be employees, should the ATO make such a determination on the employers arrangement with the contractor.
A business using contract workers should ascertain if they are indeed true contractors. Yes, it is easier to pay a contract fee rather than all the administration cost associated with ‘putting them on the books', but the financial consequence of backdated PAYG withholding and SGC, PLUS penalties for non-compliance, would be a lot worse.
Save yourself a lot of stress and worry - use the ATO ‘Employee/contractor decision tool' at: http://www.ato.gov.au/businesses/content.aspx?doc=/content/00095062.htm and understand your responsibilities as an employer. Ignorance is no longer a defence.
Making a contribution to our community could save you money
B2B with a Twist are proud to be involved in the Newcastle Permanent Introducer Program – providing mutual support to our community.
Newcastle Permanent is owned by and run for the benefits of its members. This includes an extensive range of community initiatives such as the Introducer Program.
Two very worthwhile local charities here on the Coast will benefit through this program:
MMAD (Musicians Making a Difference) – assisting traumatised and abused young people through music and mentoring; and
It's this easy – anyone interested in applying for a Newcastle Permanent Home Loan or Business Loan product just need to mention B2B with a Twist to their Newcastle Permanent representative and for each successful loan, B2B with a Twist will receive $300* through the Introducer Program. These funds will be pooled and then donated to MMAD and The Iris Foundation as their needs require.
For further details and eligibility please contact David Coles, Newcastle Permanent on 0427 240 654.
*For every home loan approved and fully drawn down by Newcastle Permanent, the referrer organisation will receive a referral fee of $300. Applicable to new loans only.
Security on the Internet
Consumer research over the past 10 years has shown that security concerns and lack of awareness about Internet Banking and its benefits stand out as being the main obstacles to the adoption of Internet Banking in Australia. The convenience and low costs of Internet Banking are appealing however, it's the issue of security that is the major hurdle.
Secure Internet Banking is a major priority for both business and personal banking customers and one that financial institutions take seriously. Many financial institutions in response to these concerns have now established a series of additional security processes in order to help protect their customers from fraud on the Internet.
From additional passwords to verify a specific payment, to SMS messaging to confirm payments, the good news is that Internet security is being addressed.
VerifID from Newcastle Permanent is a great example of one such service. VerifID provides added security for Transfer, BPAY® and Batch Payments where funds are transferred out of your accounts. VerifID constantly monitors Internet Banking activity and will automatically request authentication for higher risk transactions.
Traditionally, when you log on to Internet Banking you simply use your Member Number and Access Code. VerifID offers an additional layer of security to help protect you against possible attempts at online fraud using a telephone of your choice (home, work or mobile).
At the time of making a payment or transferring funds via Internet Banking, customers receive an automated phone call that provides them with the VerifID code, which is needed to complete the transaction. Customers simply enter the VerifID code into the Internet Banking screen to complete the transaction.
This additional layer of protection helps to prevent unauthorised transactions on accounts. While it's a simple step, this extra layer of security provides greater peace of mind for Internet Banking payment transactions.
VerifID was awarded Money Magazine's 2009 Best Innovative Service award.
If you require any further information about VerifID call Newcastle Permanent on 13 19 87 or visit www.newcastlepermanent.com.au
Central Coast Franchisee takes top award.
Central Coast couple, Tanya and Gavin Kruck took out the prestigious National Pizza Hut Franchisee of the Year Award at a recent national conference. As directors of GT Management Group Pty Ltd, the couple own and operate 3 Pizza Hut franchises; Lake Haven, Bateau Bay and Wyong. Since obtaining their first store Lake Haven, in April 2007, the couple went on to purchase Bateau Bay and build Wyong within 6 months.
GT Management Group Pty Ltd employs over 85 staff in all age groups and provides assistance to the disabled and long-term unemployed. Tanya and Gavin firstly thanked their staff for their continued execution and added that “The customers of the Central Coast and great operations have seen company sales grow year on year.??? The award is determined by Customer Service KPI's, Team Member Training, Food & Safety Audits and Sales Growth Performance.
The recognition is part of the culture that has succeeded numerous times over the last 4 years. On 9 occasions stores have achieved Annual Champions Club Top 5% of Stores. Last year all 3 stores made the coveted club resulting in members of the management team travelling to Queenstown, New Zealand for reward and relaxation. The current year appears to be shaping up in a similar vein, with only weeks remaining in the reporting year. Bateau Bay is ranked 1st, Wyong 2nd and Lake Haven 12th in the 267 Pizza Hut stores in Australia.
Central Coast partnership attracts major conference & spotlight on region
Fresh on the heels of the announcement that the Central Coast is amongst the first regions to receive rollout of the National Broadband Network, a similar partnership has secured the Central Coast to host a premier national conference – Sustainable Economic Growth for Regional Australia (SEGRA) 2012 conference.
Regional Development Australia Central Coast (RDACC), in partnership with Central Coast Tourism, won the bid to host the 2012 conference, which focuses on exploring issues affecting regional Australia.
As official host for the 2012 conference, the Central Coast will have the opportunity to promote its regional strengths and achievements, increasing future potential for business, investment, tourism and events.
“RDACC and Central Coast Tourism are excited to announce that the Central Coast will host the 2012 SEGRA Conference,??? said Anthony Dow, Executive Officer of RDACC.
“The event is estimated to inject $400,000 into the region and will generate both long and short term benefits for the Central Coast,??? he added.
Held annually since 1997, the conference attracts an average of 300 delegates from around Australia, with representation from academia, government and industry, as well as host region ‘champions'.
“SEGRA has long been recognised as a leading national conference and hosting the event offers economic benefit to businesses within the host region, along with the opportunity to promote the wider destination and location of the conference,??? continued Mr Dow.
“With the Central Coast inward investment website www.investcentralcoast.com.au launching this year and proposed developments such as The Landing at Gosford presenting a number of investment prospects, the event will present a timely opportunity to promote regional development and business relocation options,??? he continued.
“Overall, the hosting of SEGRA 2012 will support the goal of building the Central Coast's profile as an ideal location for hosting national events, as well as for conducting business, investing and visiting,??? he said.
The conference was held in Geelong this year, where the Central Coast was announced and congratulated on being awarded the 2012 hosting rights. Next year's conference is likely to be held in October, with a date and Central Coast venue to be set shortly.
A dynamic local organising committee will influence the delivery of a world-class programme, before, during and after the SEGRA event, which will leave an enduring legacy for our region.
“We would like to acknowledge the contribution from all our partners in supporting the bid, including Wyong and Gosford Councils, , the University of Newcastle and TAFE NSW, Central Coast Regional Development Corporation and NSW Trade and Investment,??? added Mr Dow.
For more information regarding the 2012 SEGRA conference and other regional initiatives, visit the RDACC website at www.rdacc.org.au or contact 02 4349 4949.
Shop LOCAL, Stay LOCAL, Play LOCAL!
The Central Coast is a fast-growing community. Infusing your hard-earned dollars into our local economy by shopping, staying and, of course, playing locally gives a positive impact, benefiting generations to come.
Shopping locally can create a closer bond between a business and you, the consumer. You're treated as a local, not just a John Doe. Most small businesses contribute to our community throughout the year and shopping local supports their efforts. If “We Love Our Central Coast Region???, then why not show our Central Coast businesses a bit of love too? Shop LOCAL!
The Central Coast is full of resorts and holiday parks. Many are right on the beach. This means you can not only relax and have a delicious drink by the pool, but you can gaze at our gorgeous, coastal sunsets front row. So, why not Stay LOCAL!
Whether you love to golf, shop ‘til you drop, taste beautiful wines, or just spend quality time with your family; the region is overflowing with great recreational things for you to see and do. Giving you all the more reason to Play LOCAL, too!
Small changes in our choices can lead to big changes in our region.
Help us to prevent the tragedy of suicide and create hope
Early intervention is the key.
Community fund-raising activities and sourcing of donations is building the resource as well as creating awareness of the need for early intervention as a means of prevention.
Whilst building the legacy, the Foundation also provides financial and physical support where appropriate for projects targeting ‘at risk youth'.
Based on current research young people are most vulnerable from early puberty to mid-twenties. It has also been recognised that early signs of mental health problems can be detected in young children.
These are easier and more effective to treat at an earlier age before problems become entrenched.
The Statistics are certainly alarming on the Central Coast
One in five people experience a mental illness in Australia in any given year. That is 60,000 people on the Central Coast. Depression and anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness (Stigma Task Force 2007)
Regardless of the clinical diagnosis of an individual, the socio-economic demographics, life stresses and history of the individual are all evidenced factors in suicide. (Suicide Safety Network 2009)
Suicides on the Central Coast have increased each year from 29 in 2006 to 39 in 2009. (Coroner's Office) There is no indication of a reduction since then. This is a tragic reality and indicates early intervention initiatives are vital in an effort to make a difference to so many lives.
The Senate Enquiry into Suicide Prevention in Australia in 2010 has brought to light the reality of the situation and many recommendations have been made to Government for appropriate action.
However, at a local level we can all act now and contribute in some way to making our community a happier place. Start in the family and ask “are you OK???? Look after each other. Early intervention can lead to prevention.
Do you check your website statistics?
We all hear about website traffic, conversions and where leads come from, however; do you ever spend time analysing your website statistics? We make it a standard to send our clients a monthly report so they can see how much traffic is visiting their website and where it is coming from.
Why should you check your statistics regularly? It is important to know how many visitors are coming to your website. You could be spending a lot of time updating your website, adding content or wondering why you are not getting sales online. You need to know a number of important details such as: visitor numbers, where they are coming from, how long are they spending on your site, what keywords are used to find your site and what search engine sends you the most traffic.
If you are paying for online advertising it is even more important that you look at your website statistics because you need to make sure you are getting a return on your investment. If your online advertising is not working then take some time to find out why and if you are still are unsure change to another advertising option based on your target market.
Sometimes your website might be outdated or you may have a broken link on your site which stops people from going to a specific area. Most web statistics will pick up this type of problem.
When looking at my own website statistics, I discovered a few websites that were sending us great traffic. I took the time to look at their sites and found that they were businesses that had put our logo on a links page. While we were not their web design company they were promoting us. I took the time to email them a thank you note and guess what? A couple have become clients - your website statistics can help you market your business.
Google analytics will tell you how people are viewing your website; for example you may be getting a lot of visitors using their mobile phones rather than computers. With information like this you can check your website to make sure it is displaying properly on hand held devices. Again, this is an important and often overlooked aspect to check.
You should ensure that your website is easy for people to find information quickly; website statistics can help you understand how your users move around your site. Don't know how to set this up? Then contact us and we can implement statistics to your website.
Just for my own research I would love to hear comments from you about what type of web statistic package you use and why?
Wyong Regional Chamber of Commerce 2011 Annual Business Awards
MORE than 150 people attended the Wyong Regional Chamber of Commerce Business Awards on October 14, 2011.
The ceremony was held at Mercure Kooindah Waters Central Coast with a fabulous night of awards, dinner and dancing.
The night was a huge success thanks to staff, executive committee and volunteers from chamber membership and our valued sponsors, special thanks to Delta Electricity who has been the Event Partner for over 8 years.
The Wyong Regional Chamber Business Awards gives our members the opportunity to be recognised as an award winning business.
Congratulations to all of our winners 2011 Annual Business Awards
CCAS - "Influencing generations through sport."
As the weather starts to warm up again, we have a number of sport programs ready to spring into action at the Central Coast Academy of Sport.
Since the last edition of B2B With a Twist, there have been some exciting new developments at the Academy.
Two new staff members have joined the team - Sammy Armstrong as our new Programs Coordinator and Warwick Whitmore as our Media Manager. Both Sammy and Wok have hit the ground running and have already assisted in further enhancing the overall operations and exposure of the organisation.
Sammy has been busy familiarising herself with the twelve high performance sport programs we run through the Central Coast Academy of Sport including AFL, athletics, basketball, football, future stars, golf, lawn bowls, netball, rugby union, speed skating, surfing and swimming.
Many of these programs have received a full review and will be launched bigger and better than ever in the near future.A real focus has been placed on aligning each of our sport programs with the elite national team or state / national body within that particular sport, so the scholarship athletes truly benefit from a formalised pathway to elite level representation at the peak of their sport.
Already we have formalised partnerships with AFL NSW / ACT and the Sydney Swans in AFL, the Sydney Kings in basketball, Central Coast Mariners in football, Jack Newton Junior Golf (JNJG), Netball NSW and the NSW Swifts, the Australian Rugby Union, Surfing NSW and Swimming NSW.
In addition to these strong working relationships, we are also working with a number of other high profile sporting organisations with some exciting new partnerships to be announced soon.
With the appointment of Sammy as our new Programs Coordinator, this will free our Operations Manager Hannah Everett up a bit more, so she can dedicate further attention to other important areas of our business including events and sponsor servicing.
Hannah and I have been working on the renewals of extremely valued existing sponsors such as Mingara Recreation Club, who recently renewed their major business partnership and support for a further three year period, whilst we have also been speaking with new prospects and have formalised some exciting new relationships with local organisations such as Kooindah Waters Residential Golf and Spa Resort, who join Magenta Shores Golf & Country Club and Shelly Beach Golf Club as sponsors / official venues of the Academy golf program.
We’re delighted to welcome Kooindah Waters on board and we thank Lyn and Sue at B2B With a Twist for facilitating early discussions regarding partnership opportunities between Kooindah Waters and the Academy of Sport.
The best way to keep up to date with everything that’s happening here at the Central Coast Academy of Sport is to join our e-newsletter distribution list through our website at www.thinksport.com.au. While you’re on the site, you can also view episodes of Thinksport TV - hosted by our Media Manager Warwick ‘Wok’ Whitmore.
Yours in Sport;
Central Coast Academy of Sport
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Central Coast Markets
Imagine a flourishing township snuggled contentedly in beautiful farming valleys, surrounded by lakes and forest. An easy train ride from Sydney, it boasts a vibrant and creative community so collaborative that the local Sports Club gives rise to a prosperous Co-operative Diary. The 56 dairy farmers who form the Co-op increase in number to over 200 in little more than a decade, creating local employment for more than 40 people.
One hundred years ago, this idyllic scene was reality for the people of the Wyong Shire. At its heart was the Wyong Butter Factory, a hub of industrial activity showcasing all the very best local produce including fresh fruit and vegetables, chickens, pigs and geese. Proud farmers entered their best cows into competitions with entries being walked from as far away as Jilliby to the Wyong Show.
Surviving a whole century’s worth of boom and bust the Wyong Milk Factory (as it is now known) is back with a modern twist and a new lease of life…and some new space for lease! Today
The Wyong Milk Factory has been lovingly repaired, saved and salvaged. The riverside barn is enjoying a new lease of life as "All Sorts Fitness & Wellbeing Centre" and also a multi-purpose hall facility. Suitable for NIDA workshops, school concerts, touring theatre companies, filmmakers and more, the delightfully enticing heritage listed building has endless possibilities.
The Markets building is inspired by East London’s famous SPITALFIELDS markets, this rural-industrial space with its winding nooks and crannies is a simply irresistible space to play for the curious child in us all. The twists, turns and archways of the original historic building structure reveal new and exciting stalls at every turn, contrasting beautifully with the wide-open space of the green leafy cottage gardens by the riverside.
The markets will be home to the new Central Coast Markets. Think a rural paddy’s market with a smattering of businesses and you’ve pretty much got it - see you there!
In addition to the Markets building, the Wyong Milk Factory is now home to an original handmade Cheese and Yoghurt producer-Little Creek Cheese. With the strong history in the dairy industry, it fits like a glove to have this producer at the Milk Factory.
The Markets building also plays host to a cafe split across two levels. A winding metal staircase takes you up to the top terrace for a bird’s eye view of the impressive Gym facilities as well as the Wyong River. With a welcoming feel and all the wholesome goodness of a home cooked meal, the Cafe is the place to be when you’re hungry for some tummy lovin’ food.
The "New" Central Coast Markets’ owner, Wassim, migrated with his family to the Central Coast in 1979 and has been in the Fruit and Vegetable industry since opening his own shop at 16 years of age in the Mangrove area, and managing a store in Sydney.
Wassim’s extensive experience in the Fruit Industry has now brought him back to the Central Coast where he currently operates one of the Central Coast well known fruit shops. His success has enabled him to take up the opportunity that has arisen from the restoration of the Wyong Milk Factory, opening up a unique style of markets. The new markets will meet the needs of so many in the local area.
The facility will provide a one stop shopping for: Fruit and Vegetable, Bakery - baked daily, Continental Deli over 10,000 groceries, Alfresco Dining and Restaurant Cafe Menu, Wholesale/Chicken pre-packed meat everyday and Products/ Continental Products, and extensive variety of gourmet cheese.History
Created in 1907 by a Co-op of 56 local farmers, the Buttery Factory (As it was then known) originally comprised of no more than a boiler room, engine room, butter-working room, cool room, testing room, storeroom and office existing for the sole purpose of processing butter, not milk.
It was a hub of industrial activity employing many local people, gradually evolving over time into a fully functioning milk bottling factory, drawing a wide variety of other farm produce to its markets from the surrounding valleys.
Despite being burned to the ground in less than two hours by a fire in 1921 so huge that the exploding butter could be seen and heard 10 km away, the ruins of the original Butter Factory gave birth to a newer, more extensive and well equipped Milk Factory built by the 200+ dairy farmers who had by this time become shareholders in the Co-op.
Today - the site is rejuvenated, re-energised and restored......ready for you to enjoy all over again in new and exciting ways.
Cafe Hours 7am - 3pm
Restaurant 5pm - 10pm
Fruit Market 6am - 7pm
7 day per week.
When Fresh is best - visit and experience fresh, wholesome food and a beautiful atmosphere at the Wyong Milk Factory - Alison Road, Wyong.
100,000 extra jobs to boost employment in NSW - Chris Holseien
Member for Gosford, Chris Holstein today said the NSW Liberals and National Government have delivered another election commitment to support the creation of 100,000 extra jobs for NSW, by offering a payroll tax rebate to businesses.
After a decade of lagging employment growth in NSW under Labor, the NSW Government is kick-starting the economy under its Jobs Action Plan, with 40,000 extra jobs prioritised for regional NSW.
"Over the past decade NSW has suffered the lowest jobs growth of any mainland Australian State. For too long a number of regional communities have faced the uncertainty and widespread social and financial impacts, as a result of higher unemployment levels", Chris Holstein said.
"In particular, the latest figures show that the Central Coast Region unemployment rate is above the state average of 4.9% at 5.2%. Additional concern is with the widely reported 30% plus in youth unemployment on the Central Coast".
"This rebate will not only give local business owners greater support to employ more staff and expand their business, but the creation of these jobs will have a considerable impact on building confidence within individual communities and reducing the stress of unemployment on families."
"Recognising the potential of regional NSW and the role Gosford will play in making NSW number one again, the NSW government believes the creation of jobs will be central to this.
The rebate of $ 4,000 is equivalent to the annual payroll tax bill for one employee on the average wage and will be paid in two parts, at 12 months and 24 months after the employee is hired.
"We are determined to reduce unemployment within our state and the payroll tax rebate not only kick-start the economy, but more importantly, it will promote the creation of long term sustainable jobs for out State and the people of Central Coast" Mr Holstein said.
Job Centre Australia receives a 5 Star rating.
B2B with a twist would like to congratulate Job Centre Australia’s Central Coast sites for their outstanding results in the Disability Employment Services (DES) Star ratings. They received the highest achievable rating of 5 Stars making them the highest performing DES provider in the region. Across NSW, Job Centre Australia had 70 per cent of sites achieving 4 stars or more. This a fantastic result in a competitive environment.
The DES Star Ratings system is the mechanism implemented by the Department of Employment and Workplace Relations in measuring the success of DES providers in the delivery of their service.
"We are extremely happy with this result" said Marketing Manager, Paul Stanton. "It is a testament to our hard working staff and the quality delivery of our service. I would also like to thank all our local employers for making this result possible. We look forward to continue making a difference to the lives of people with a disability through meaningful employment."
For more information about Job Centre Australia and how they can assist you to find the right person for your business call Paul on 4322 5511. Or go to www.jobcentreaustralia.com.au
Well done McDonalds - Job Centre Australia
McDonald’s on the F3 North and South have recently demonstrated their commitment to providing great opportunities for people with disabilities by hiring 19 jobseekers from Job Centre Australia.
Job Centre Australia applauds the management and staff working at these stores and the compassion and professionalism that they have shown. At our first meeting with McDonald’s, we presented 6 jobseekers with severe disabilities and without any hesitation they were hired on the spot. This group included three jobseekers aged 22 who had not previously been given an opportunity of paid employment.
The training and policies of McDonald’s were clearly demonstrated by all McDonald’s staff involved who have shown their strong belief in the benefits of diversity and employing people with disabilities. The management at these stores were aware of the barriers these jobseekers faced and modified their practices to suit.
Throughout the recruitment and induction process McDonald’s have been very accommodating going out of their way to ensure that the jobseekers employed would succeed. McDonald’s were very accommodating with the rostering of our jobseekers, giving them regular shifts so that there was stability in their lives and to ensure each was able to travel to and from work. A modified application and induction process was developed to assist in the creation of a level playing field.
The managers in these stores have since organised for Job Centre Australia staff to meet with other McDonald’s stores to offer the same opportunities to many more people with disabilities.
At every stage of the recruitment process McDonald’s have gone above and beyond to allow our jobseekers to be given this great opportunity. Job Centre Australia have been overwhelmed at the great lengths McDonald’s have gone to to provide opportunities to these great individual jobseekers. The attitude and openness that McDonald’s has shown to people with disabilities should be applauded.
McDonald’s see the ability in people and have provided each of our 19 jobseekers not only paid employment but a sense of self-worth, belief and inclusion in the work environment. McDonald’s has brought down barriers and have shown to these jobseekers, Job Centre Australia staff and the general public that some employers are prepared to provide jobs for a wide range of people with diverse needs. The impact of employment on the jobseekers is overwhelming.
Maturity levels and confidence have grown amongst the group with two of the boys now commencing apprenticeships directly resulting from the great training and work experience from working at McDonald’s and the inclusion in mainstream society.
In return McDonald’s now have additional happy, committed and diligent staff members. All of the 19 jobseekers placed commenced employment in the dining area and have carried out their duties effectively. Many customers have provided positive feedback to the restaurants. Each of these jobseekers is thrilled to have secured paid employment, staff morale is high and most importantly the new recruits have become a part of the McDonald’s team and are held in high regard by fellow workers, management and customers.
An award so deserving - Kevin Faulks
The Order of Australia is an order of chivalry established by Elizabeth II, Queen of Australia, on 14 February 1975 "for the purpose of according recognition to Australian citizens and other persons for achievement or for meritorious service".
Our congratulations to those that were represented in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list this year. We would like to acknowledge and honour the very special posthumous OAM awarded to Kevin Faulks, for service to business and to the community of Wyong.
Kevin was devoted to the Wyong Shire and through his position as Wyong Town Co-ordinator he passionately shared his vision and inspiration for the growth of Wyong township and its community.
Although Kevin passed away last year his legacy and vision will live on in todays and the future development of the Wyong Shire. Kevin was a friend and mentor to many in the Wyong community and this award reflects the dedication and hard work he put in for the community and business sectors in the Wyong Shire.
Kevin became the face of Wyong and had a very charitable heart. His enthusiasm and dedication achieved outstanding results. He is fondly remembered and honoured for his contribution to our local community.
The Complete Brochure Design List - LBH Promotions
Brochures can be great persuasive instruments, especially since they have adequate space to convince the reader of what you are selling. However, do not make the mistake of creating a brochure that is purely informational. Here are some steps to help guide you through the process of creating a great brochure.Cover
The cover is the most important part of the brochure. It is what gets people’s attention and makes them want to read further. Make sure the cover design is eye catching. Use a single image for bigger impact, and keep the headline under 10 words. Be sure to tell the customer what is in it for him or her to do business with you.Headings
Most people will skim your brochure by reading the headings, so put the important information in your subtitles. This way readers can still grasp the full scope of your offer even if they completely skip the main copy.Copy
With brochure printing, all of the copy or text should focus on the customer. Connect with the reader by talking about his or her needs. Engage the reader by explaining how your company can meet those needs. Use a conversational tone, short sentences, and a simple vocabulary.Photographs
Use four or five photographs in your brochure, keeping in mind that professional photos are best. Use shots of people benefiting from your products or services so that prospects can picture themselves in their place. Make sure the resolution on the images you choose has at least 300dpi or the picture will look grainy when it is printed.Fold
For brochure printing, the three-fold is the most common; it has three panels. You can also simply have one fold, called the bi-fold. A fold that works well for a lengthy brochure is the z-fold, which opens like an accordion. Whatever fold you use, be sure that neither your text nor your photos gets distorted by a fold.Font
The typeface or font you choose needs to be easy to read. You also want a font that fits your business’s personality. Only use one to three fonts per brochure printing, and be consistent by using the same font for all headings, another for all body text, and possibly a third for captions.Captions
People are more likely to read captions than anything else, so put persuasive copy in the captions. Just be sure to keep your captions short to avoid clutter.Contact Info
Include your physical address, phone number, fax, email, and web address. Make sure this information is easy to find, such as on the last panel below your call to action.Call to Action
Include a call to action in your brochure. Tell the customer to order now, and give an incentive to do so by making an offer only available for a few weeks.
Brochures are great sales tools, but only if they are designed for success. Take your time with your design, keep your audience in mind, and you will be on the road to amazing results.
Contact LBH Promotions on (02) 4392 8550 or firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss how we can assist you in delivering your message to the consumer. More information about LBH Promotions can be found at www.lbhpromotions.com.au
Mercure Kooindah Waters Central Coast - Jessie Sheehan
Mercure Kooindah Waters Central Coast has appointed Jessie Sheehan, an experienced hotelier from Melbourne, to the position of General Manager.
Ms Sheehan specialises in conference and event management, skills she believes will enable her to raise the profile of Mercure Kooindah Waters as an exceptional conference and wedding venue.
"There’s incredible potential to bring more conferences and events to the Central Coast, using Mercure Kooindah Waters as a base for accommodation, function space and golf, from which visitors can explore further afield," Ms Sheehan said.
Prior to joining Mercure Kooindah Waters, Ms Sheehan held the position of General Manager at Accor’s Grand Mercure Mt Lofty House, a boutique hotel in the Adelaide Hills. Before relocating to Adelaide for that position, Ms Sheehan spent eight years with Rydges Hotels and Resorts. As Executive Assistant Manager for Rydges Melbourne hotel, Jessie managed 120 staff as well as the restaurant, conference centre and all hotel operations.
Mercure Kooindah Waters Resort is located just 90 minutes from Sydney’s CBD and is an excellent location for meetings and events. It features a ballroom which caters for up to 300 delegates theatre-style, six meeting rooms with plenty of natural light and 95 hectares of grounds in which to host outdoor functions and activities. Several rooms feature expansive terraces for outdoor breaks and direct vehicle access for easy bump-in and bump-out.
As part of its Mercure Meetings program, Kooindah Waters offers a carbon neutral program for meeting planners who wish to offset the environmental impact of their event. The cost is borne by Accor as part of the company’s commitment to sustainability.
Mercure Kooindah Waters Resort was named ‘Best Meeting Venue under 500 Delegates’ at the 2010 NSW Meeting and Events Industry Awards and recently won the award for Meetings and Business Tourism at the the Hunter Valley and Central Coast Tourism Awards. The Kooindah Waters Golf Course was included in Australian Golf Digest’s 2010 Top 100 golf courses in Australia.
Mercure Kooindah Waters Central Coast features an 18-hole golf course designed by Ross Watson with input from PGA professional Craig Parry, an endota day spa, restaurant and wine bar, indoor lap pool, spa and sauna, outdoor pool, tennis courts and gymnasium.
The Resort is close to many nature-based and adventure attractions, stunning Tuggerah Lake and several award-winning restaurants. The pristine beaches of the Central Coast are less than 30 minutes away and the wineries of the Hunter Valley can be reached within 40 minutes.
Doing Business on the Central Coast - MYC Partners
Doing Business on the Central Coast
The Central Coast is a great place to be. Many of us in business are here to enjoy the relaxed lifestyle, indulge in a seachange or to just "get out of the rat race".
Whatever the motivation, as part of the business community on the Central Coast, we must remember that even though we are in a relaxed "laid-back" part of the world, our attention to professionalism and good management practices is integral to positive business outcomes.So, how does this affect you and your business?
You may have heard (once or twice) that business owners need to work on their business not in their business. Sometimes we need to be reminded of this. Have you checked the pulse of your business lately? What indicators do you have in place to get meaningful information about the performance of your business - other than just relying on your ‘gut’ feeling?
Take a look at the following questions and get a feel for how well you really know the financial management aspects of your business.
Go through the questions quickly, answering just YES or NODo you know your business:
1. Projected annual Sales for 2011 ?
2. Average monthly Sales ?
3. Daily/weekly/monthly Sales targets, either % or $ ?
4. Percentage of Sales that are spent on Variable costs ?
5. Percentage of Sales that are spent on Fixed costs ?
6. Gross Profit Margin (GPM), as a percentage ?
7. Net Profit Margin (NPM), as a percentage ?
8. Industry GPM benchmark percentage ?
9. Industry’s EBIT benchmark percentage ?
10. BREAK-EVEN point ? Daily, Weekly, Monthly or Annually?
11. Percentage of monthly Sales that are Cash and on Credit Terms?
12. Percentage of Sales collected in the month of the sale?
13. Percentage of Sales collected in the month after the sale month?
14. Level of Liquidity ? ie. could you pay your creditors TODAY?
15. Rate of return on the investment of your money in the business?
16. Debt to Equity ratio?
Do you know:
17. The number of hours you need to work OR number of products sold in a week/month/year in order to generate the Sales dollars required to achieve the "salary" you require?
How many of these questions did you answer straight up? Do you have a finger on the pulse of your business, or has this questionnaire (hopefully) stirred you into action to understand what the day to day financial management of your business may involve.
From an accounting and business consulting perspective, I have seen the consequences of poor financial management. The Bureau of Statistics tells us that 90% of failed businesses cite "lack of management skills" as the major cause.
As a business community, let us all strive for professionalism, good management practices and most of all, the rewards of business success on the Central Coast. Julie Blatch is a partner at MYC Partners, Accountants and Business Consultants at Woy Woy
National Broadband Network - Anthony Dow
What does the National Broadband Network hold for small business on the Central Coast?
Nearly 22,000 micro or small businesses call the Central Coast home. These businesses range from the self-employed trades person supporting the construction industry to a small tourism operator employing up to 19 people.
A recent survey of 1000 small businesses on the Central Coast was commissioned by the Central Coast Business Enterprise Centre, with support from Regional Development Australia Central Coast, Wyong Shire and Gosford City Councils. When asked "how satisfied are you with your internet speed?", 16% of respondents expressed dissatisfaction and 19% were moderately satisfied. Effectively, based on this independent research of small businesses on the Central Coast, 35% are underserviced in terms of internet speed - potentially 7,700 small businesses need more internet speed.
As the National Broadband Network (NBN) rollout nears the Central Coast it’s critical that our communities are ready to embrace the opportunities high speed internet brings.
For the Central Coast, the NBN raises the prospect of new revenue generating opportunities coupled with considerable cost reductions, for instance, by:
It will also cut the cost of reaching potential new customers and reduce inventory costs with the ability to access just-in-time delivery. The NBN will also open revenue opportunities through immediate access to new and distant markets with the capacity to showcase products and services in high definition video.
Local ICT company, Computer Networks, part of the CN Group of Companies, is the first enterprise partner of MyNetfone in Australia which allows the group to offer hosted enterprise voice over IP (VoIP) telecommunication solutions. At the launch of their new premises in Gosford, Richard Gibbs, Managing Director Central Coast and Newcastle stated "The National Broadband Network (NBN) rollout will offer small to medium businesses a choice between the existing copper services or a fibre-enabled VoIP phone and broadband service. When you look at the price difference between the copper services at 50 cents a call compared to five cents a call for VoIP, you start to see the real value of the NBN for local businesses."
Like any change, especially one of this scale, there will be risks to manage. For the Central Coast’s 22,000 small businesses success will be about adapting to the new possibilities, and staying ahead of competitors as local markets around Australia are exposed to the rapid grow in domestic online trading - predicted to double to $33b in the next five years.
Written By: Anthony Dow, Chief Executive Officer, Regional Development Australia Central Coast
Newcastle Permanent - Beats Big Banks
Newcastle Permanent Building Society has been recognised as Home Lender of the year at the Financial Review Smart Investor Blue Ribbon Awards for 2011 for the second time in three years.
The prestigious award is open to all financial institutions including the major banks making the win much more significant for a regionally-based organisation.
Newcastle Permanent CEO Terry Millett said the award is an acknowledgement of the high quality home loan products and consistently competitive pricing delivered to Newcastle Permanent members.
"We were judged Home Lender of the Year following an independent assessment of our mortgage products across all categories by one of Australia’s leading financial services research firms, infochoice," Mr Millett said.
"To be recognised as Australia’s leading home loan provider is especially pleasing as this is one of the few national awards where banks and mutual banking organisations compete on an open playing field.
"The reason we can offer such competitive home loans is that as a mutually owned organisation we are not aggressively focussed on shareholder returns and profits like listed banks. Newcastle Permanent is focused on delivering an appropriate profit, which is entirely retained in the business to provide highly competitive products and invest in the improvement of the business for the benefit of our members.
"Newcastle Permanent is the largest Building Society in NSW and is committed to being a genuine alternative to the traditional banks. Winning the Home Lender of the Year award for the second time reinforces that our ambition is achievable," Mr Millett said.
Newcastle Permanent was also the only organisation to win four awards including three additional awards, Building Society of the Year, best Premium Home Loan Package and best secured personal loan.
Ten tips for preserving your business - Newcastle Permanent
Understand your business structure
The first thing to consider, with assistance from your Accountant, is the structure you are operating your business in (e.g. sole proprietor, partnership, company, trust or other). From this structure determine what are the tax, superannuation and legal implications of this? Are you utilising the correct vehicle?
Review the documentation held for the relationship between yourself and the other business owners
Consider what you have in place covering partnership agreements, buy/sell agreements, security for loan facilities, "wills" for yourself and your business, and risk insurance coverage.
Engage and interact with specialists who should know you and your business
Consider engaging the following specialists:
Determine the life stage of your business and what you want to happen with it
Is it in the development stage, expansion stage, maturity or wind-down phase? What do you expect the business to be doing while in this stage? Plan and implement strategies to achieve this.
Establish an exit strategy from the business for yourself
Consider how you leave the business - will you sell your business, wind it up, pass it on to others, franchise it or do something else?
Think about yourself as well as the business
Do you have your own retirement plans and how will this be funded? Ensure that you have superannuation or something similar in place besides "the business".
Identify the people within your business who are essential for its successful operation
These can be both owners of the business and key employees. What do you have in place to protect them and the business in case of death, disability, illness or injury?
Evaluate and review the risks for your business on a regular basis
`This can include the impact of fire, theft, burglary, breakdown of equipment, cash flow, and liquidity.
Consistently review the financial situation of your business
Look at the profitability, income maximisation, expense minimisation, and impact of taxation (including the impact of taxation upon sale of the business).
Work "on" the business not just "in" the business
Take the helicopter view and see the business through the eyes of the target market, the customer, the supplier, the worker. You need to know what is going on and be in a position to act effectively as the business profile changes.
Take time to consider these tips for your business and utilise specialists to improve your strategic planning. Newcastle Permanent Financial Planners and Business Relationship Managers are available to assist with these tips and help you with your business. Drop into your local branch, call 13 19 87 or visit
If you’re a first time party organiser, the first tip is Don’t Panic!
Christmas Parties can be the highlight of the year for every company, so think about why you are giving a party in the first place and what you are aiming to do.
For example, is the party a reward to staff for their work throughout the year or is it to impress suppliers and clients? The basics to organising a successful event remain the same. Establishing this will help to determine the look and feel of your party right from the outset; it will also help establish who should be invited.
It’s all in the preparation and planning so we have put together some useful tips to make sure you organise a night to remember.
Read any contracts carefully and beware of any restrictions on licensing hours and local noise abatement orders. Ensure the venue has public liability insurance and that there are no hidden extra costs such as security, power and labour costs.
Final Tip, have fun!
Sourced from partyoffers.co.uk
Slither and Slumber Event Review
The inaugural Slither and Slumber Executive Sleep Out was held at the Australian Reptile Park on 12th August, 2011 and was a overwhelming success. The event raised over $64,000 for two very worthwhile local charities - the Iris Foundation and Coast Shelter assisting those in hardship.
The Iris Foundation is building, through investment, a ready available resource for the Central Coast to be used for suicide prevention, primarily focusing on youth. Whilst building this legacy the Foundation also provides financial and physical support where appropriate, for projects targeting ‘at risk youth’. Based on current research young people are most vulnerable from early puberty to mid-twenties and it is vitally important to raise awareness of the need for early intervention as a means of prevention.
Coast Shelter operates six refuges, a homeless restaurant, a brokerage service and various outreach housing programs. The need for Coast Shelter’s services continues to grow with the increased cost of living. Coast Shelter is unable to provide housing for 70% of homeless people seeking their help, because they have no vacancies. Last financial year Coast Shelter was able to help 490 homeless men, women, youth and families by providing them with a safe place to live. Also, with the assistance of an amazing volunteer workforce, they served 52,877 free meals at the Donnison Street Community Centre.
Thank you to everyone who donated and participated in the Slither and Slumber event and a special thanks to the sponsors who helped make it possible - The Australian Reptile Park, 2GO 107.7FM, Essential Wellbeing, Treehouse Creative and Business 2 Business with a Twist
Tourism Awards 2011
2011 Bluetongue Brewery Hunter and Central Coast Awards for Excellence in Tourism.
Tourism professionals gathered at Ausgrid Stadium for the prestigious 2011 Bluetongue Brewery Hunter and Central Coast Awards for Excellence in Tourism. The awards ceremony and gala dinner celebrated the industry’s leading contributors and recognise the high standards of the Hunter and Central Coast tourism industries.
Judging was chaired by Mr. Allan Ray O.A.M., one of the founding directors of Tourism Hunter. Mr Ray said "This year’s awards submissions were of such a high standard, it was highly competitive across all categories. It is always great to see not only the standard of submissions, but also the number of entrants."
Winners were announced in 23 categories with an additional six silver awards and eight bronze awards being recognised. These outstanding results reflect not only the growth of the tourism industry, but the professionalism and world-class nature of the both Hunter and Central Coast’s tourism products and services. The most prestigious categories of the night were ‘Outstanding Contribution to Regional Tourism by an Individual’, ‘Outstanding Contribution by an Individual’ and the ‘Young Achiever’. These awards recognise the significant contribution these individuals have made to the success of Tourism in the Hunter and Central Coast.
Sandrine Gaymard - Tree Top Adventure Park took out the award for ‘Outstanding Contribution by an Individual’, for her significant contribution to the Hunter and Central Coast tourism industries.
Janene Rees - Moonshadow Cruises received the ‘Outstanding Contribution to Regional Tourism’ Award, being recognised for the role she has played at Moonshadow Cruises.
The ‘Young Achiever’ was awarded to Melanie Hutchinson - Maitland City Council, for her efforts in the development, delivery and management of the Maitland City Council organised flagship events.
Australian National Tourism Award winners in 2010, Scone Motor Inn and Wyndham Estate Winery once again proved leaders in their categories taking home the ‘Standard Accommodation’ and ‘Tourism Wineries’ awards respectively. Scone Motor Inn was also inducted into the Hall of Fame, having won the award for three consecutive years and are recognised as excelling in the sector. This was the second year that Wyndham Estate has won its category.
Also being inducted to the Hall of Fame were Christina’s Bed & Breakfast from Lake Macquarie for ‘Hosted Accommodation’, Hunter Valley Gardens Christmas Lights Spectacular for ‘Festivals & Events’ and Shoal Bay Resort & Spa for ‘Health & Wellbeing Tourism’. Shoal Bay Resort and Spa’s Country Club Hotel was also recognised as a winner in ‘Tourist Pubs’.
This year’s ‘Tourism Restaurant and Catering Services’ award was won by Margan Restaurant for the second year, proving their dedication to providing quality food.
First time winners were Glenworth Valley Outdoor Adventures winning two awards in Adventure Tourism and Tourist Attractions, Avoca Beach Picture Theatre in Heritage & Cultural Tourism, Château Élan Hunter Valley in Luxury Accommodation, Ex-HMAS Adelaide Artificial Reef in New Tourism Development, The Qantas Challenge in Major Festivals and Events, Kangarrific Tours in Tour and/or Transport Operators, Kooindah Waters Golf & Spa Resort in Meetings and Business Tourism, Norah Head Holiday Park in Tourist and Caravan Parks, and Strickland State Forest in Ecotourism.
All of the winners now go on to become finalists in the State Tourism Awards to be held in Sydney on Thursday 17th November.
Gold Winners were
Getting the most from your online advertising budget - Webstuff.biz
How you spend your precious online marketing budget depends on your target market. For example if your business can trade nationally or worldwide it is wise to look at Google and Facebook for pay per click advertising rather than local advertising directories which can be limiting for new target market leads.
If you are only targeting local business: such as a hairdresser or food retailer; then in many cases online business directories can be limiting as one of the downfalls is often traffic within a small demographic area. However other strategies such as networking, referrals and printed magazines (like this one) are a great way to complement your online marketing plan. This allows you to focus on your local market as well as branding. I find that the use of advertising in printed magazines, such as this one, combined with networking and online marketing ensures us of a constant stream of enquiries.
Finding other businesses that can complement your business and send you referrals is also another great option. I personally try to send referrals to as many people within my network as possible to ensure business stays here on the Central Coast.
If you are signing up to a business directory make sure you find out the facts first. Ask them to show you proper live stats (not their marketing material), ask for a trial period of one month and then make sure you track how many click-throughs and how many of your enquiries are coming from the site.
A trial period will not cost them any money as it is often just a profile about your business and a link to your site which will allow you to test to see if the traffic is really there for your business - not theirs. Often the traffic statistics you are shown is traffic that has hit the home page of their site, not the sub pages where your advertising will be located. This is really important when considering online marketing, as initial home page figures can look impressive on paper. It’s really simple: if you don’t get a good return for your advertising money then it is not worth renewing it - be hard!
Ask new clients how they found you and record the answers so you can see a general pattern of where your leads are coming from. Often this information can be useful and if necessary you can spend more on successful online areas and stop advertising in unsuccessful online advertising media.
I spend time looking at online advertising for my clients and assessing what works and what doesn’t. Sometimes sites that look fantastic and full of content can be deceiving as they might not get you results which should translate into click-throughs to your own website or phone enquiries. My favourite is pay per click ads with Google and Facebook as you can target specific demographics in various areas whether locally, state-wide or nationally.
For B2B readers I’m going to give away a free one hour consults to 3 proactive businesses that are serious about advertising online. This will include an assessment of your website, analysis of your target market and what form of online marketing would work for your business.
To qualify for the free consult; your business must be ready to move to that next level which will involve allocating a small monthly budget for online advertising.
"First Impressions" of your business are so important
When I first started my career in web design in the early nineties, websites were considered a non- essential marketing tool for a company. In fact the majority of websites were created for personal use where people posted their family photos, talked about themselves and very rarely referred to their business. It could be considered an early form of social media - without the interaction. These days technology keeps improving with more and more advanced features on the market.
Commercial websites were initially small "brochure type" sites that contained information about the company and their products and services. There were no forms to collect information, hardly any spam or viruses. Traffic from anywhere was considered gold. The big advances in the early days of web design were animation and sound. From here the web took off and grew at a phenomenal rate.
In 2011 people’s expectations about the web have changed considerably. Now forms on websites are standard. The look and presentation of websites are a high priority and traffic is more focused towards a particular target market, rather than numbers. Social media has now become a major strategy for savvy business owners as a means of promoting their business and generating leads.
Surprisingly, I still see companies with ugly websites or ones that are quite old often containing outdated information. When I ask them about updating their website I get answers such as "I don’t have time", "poor cash flow" ,or " I don’t get much from my website - so why bother"?
Well it does matter! Mostly people will look for you online, check you out online before they contact you, or send your website address as a link referral to a third party. If you have a great business and someone refers your business website to a potential new client, what would you like to hear them say? "The company is great to deal with, however their website is terrible" or "the company is great to deal with and they have an informative website"? An effective website will help increase sales and gain more clients, leading to increased cash flow.
If your online presence is not professional, informative or designed to allow clients to easily move around your website, then there is every chance people will be looking at your competitors websites, who may present a more professional look online. Even if your business is small, a simple five page website that is well designed and set up to take new client enquiries, would be a great start.
If you are a larger business, then be objective about your site. Is your website old and out dated? If so, then make it a priority to update NOW!
Consider adding new multimedia to your website. Features like a video about your company or a new product, can bring fast, credible information to your website. If your website is set up properly, it will help your Google rankings to bring even more traffic to your website.
Webstuff.biz can refer clients to a company that offers a great "starter package" on video requirements. Webstuff.biz can sit face to face with you, review your website and discuss some alternatives and suggest affordable options to update the site or add new features. Our referral to our video contact is one example of taking you into the future! This company has a reputation of excellent work and of course are capable of doing high-end jobs also. Starting with a small video package on your website is a great idea which can be expanded as required.
If you are in need of a new website upgrade, I personally have more than sixteen years experience in the web industry and have learnt not to "overdevelop" websites with things that are not necessary. We have a team of talented people who specialize in particular areas and are extremely capable of developing advanced online solutions. We are upfront with the advice we give and look at a solution which will work for your business online, tailored to your business needs and budget.
Verb appoints new CEO
Wholesale Managed Services Provider Verb has appointed Damien Wilde as the new CEO.
Mr. Wilde, who holds a BA from Sydney University as well as an MA from Bristol University in the UK is also the General Manager of commercial property developer Henry Kendall Group, owner and a major shareholder of the Verb Group.
Some two years ago Mr. Wilde saw that having technology business parks as the next key area of how the Henry Kendall Group could add value to both the IT and property industry alike. "Today business parks and Information Technology are synonymous. They are both vital for any business to operate, so I began looking at how we can bring the two together."
"Besides the Henry Kendall Group being a 60-year old business, the team within Verb has over 100 years’ of combined experience in delivering Managed & Data Centre Services to the market. This team now provides an excellent Wholesale Managed Service offering for end customers, large and small, via our Partner Reseller Network on a ‘pay by the month’ basis without locking them into lengthy contracts."
Moving forward, Mr. Wilde pointed out that "I believe the high density data center space will take off and that these types of data centers do not have to be a monolithic structure, but can be modular with highly agile services. This is what we have built at Verb and its market acceptance has been incredible ".
About the Verb Group
The Verb Group is a group of companies specialising in the delivery of Wholesale Managed Services to system Integrators, Managed Services Providers, Independent Software Vendors and Telecommunication partners for their clients.
The Data Centre facility utilises modular technology from Tier One vendors and Service Providers that allows Verb’s existing and new customers to increase ICT efficiencies, contain costs and simplify the complexity of their IT environments.
The Group’s Data Centre Services are built around resilience and a high level of customer service, run by a management team with more than 100 years of industry experience. More information is available at http://www.verbgroup.com.au
Central Coast businesses "Made it Happen" then celebrated!
The Business 2 Business networking event held on May 12th was a grand affair with guests taking a stroll down the red carpet, into the Erina Function Room, Erina Fair. The theme of the night was a black and white dress code "with a Twist". Whilst members and guests donned business attire of black suits with white shirts, a more adventurous few were spotted! Our resident Master of Ceremonies, Chris King, looked sophisticated from head to toe in black evening suit, white shirt and "piano keyboard" tie and polished, two tone, black and white shoes. Our winner of the best dressed on the evening was Kate Morris, Events with Pizazz, looking rather dapper in black tails, white frilled bodice and black bow tie!
The networking event was an opportunity for the Buy Local Festival exhibitors, sponsors and supporters to reconnect with each other alongside of Business to Business members and guests.
Buy Local Festival photographs from Artistique Photography by Nicolette were on display and a video by BluStone Productions’ Brett Wallace, capturing the event, was played whilst networking began with guests eagerly chatting to old and new acquaintances.
This event marked the 4th birthday for Business 2 Business with a Twist. Two huge presents appeared centre stage. Joe Zappia a "singing security guard", courtesy of Unique Security Group, jumped out of a box and serenaded the founding duo, Lyn Thompson and Suzy Allport. When the ribbon was pulled on the other present, a stunning B2B Birthday Cake, from The Sweetest Things, was revealed.
The Austrian Schnitzelhaus at Erina Fair provided the most delicious, authentic Austrian fare. Guests had a hard choice between a variety of schnitzel, Austrian sausage, veal croquettes and Austrian rissoles that all melted in the mouth. This was accompanied with premium lager courtesy of Bluetongue served from the Little Pub Co and Tamburlaine organic wines - reds, whites, rose and champagne - from the Hunter Valley.
It is events such as these where ideas are exchanged and initial contacts made have the opportunity to gradually develop into strong partnerships.
Tim O’Neil - Mi Communications New & Exciting Technologies
The great Rugby League referee, Bill Harrigan, was famous for saying that if he didn’t use the latest technology to his advantage then he would have been silly. So I pose the question - do you, in your business, utilise the best available technology? You may think that some technology is new and different, you may be hesitant, but there is technology available that is backed by large companies that can improve the productivity in your business. We’ve all heard the catch phrases - cloud computing, smart phones, imbedded laptops and Next IP networks - but how can these be of an advantage?
The good news is that one of the most trusted companies in Australia can help you with all these options, but what are they all about.
Cloud computing via Tsuite from Telstra allows companies to take advantage of a solution called SAAS or software as a service. It is enterprise software but made available to any business as a monthly payment on your Telstra bill. Such software includes Exchange on line, Mcaffee and Telstra Remote Back up. Exchange on line very simply utilises Microsoft instead of utilising your exchange server in your IT system. All you need is access to the internet. No more webmail when you travel. Virus protection and off site back up is not only very well priced but can be set and forgotten. Cloud computing really is a new way for you to get access to some of the latest technology and improve or increase your productivity.
It seems that mobile phones just keep getting more advanced. We hear about this all the time, but how can you utilise this in your business? We all know about getting email on your phone and the jury is out on productivity. But what about a solution iphone or android apps, facebook all linked to your phones? Everyone I talk to talks about increasing the customer service level, but how can you implement an increase of delivery to your customers? By contacting a developer such as Webstuff.biz to assist you in developing these apps . It really gives your customers a real time way to be in touch with you and allows you to respond to their requests promptly and deliver an increased customer service experience.
These are just a quick example of how, by utilising the new and exciting technologies that are available, you can really enhance your business performance, very similar to how Bill Harrigan did as a Rugby League referee.
Remember MI COMMUNICATIONS can assist you with these and many other solutions in your business to help reduce costs and improve the productivity of your business. Feel free to give us a call on 1300 642 667.
CN Computers "Cloud Computing-are you ready to take advantage?"
"Cloud Computing" is becoming an increasingly common term, and debate is hot as to whether it will be the next game changing innovation to affect businesses. Clearly companies like Google and Microsoft think it is. Why else would they be investing huge sums of money into research, development and now deployment of cloud based applications?
So what is cloud computing? There are many different definitions. For the purposes of this article, let’s define cloud computing as "the use of business applications that are running on systems (computers) that are not owned by you, are located outside your business premises and are accessed over the internet".
The current Microsoft ® Business Productivity Online Suite (BPOS) and soon to be released Microsoft ® Office 365 solutions, are great examples of business applications that are delivered to customers via cloud computing.
So should business owners consider adopting cloud computing?
This will depend on the business benefits to be realised.
An appropriate cloud computing based solution will allow you to "rent" the features and functions you require and pay only for what you use, rather than what you might (or might not) use in the future. The solution should come with a service model that gives you the right level of support and protect your information from a variety of disasters that may or may not eventuate. The solution should be scalable (up and down) to support changes in your business growth, without needing to tie up valuable capital funds that are better spent on developing your core business. Finally, the solution should give you access to Enterprise grade systems at prices not possible if you adopted a traditional on premise, own it yourself model.
In order for this innovation to work, it requires quality infrastructure at several different levels, including a reliable broadband network. The National Broadband Network (NBN) should help address issues that have confronted business for far too long in this country and help businesses adopt cloud computing based solutions that deliver measurable improvements to the bottom line.
Computer Networks is a local IT services company who is well versed in helping businesses determine the benefits they can achieve from adopting cloud computing applications. As a Microsoft and Telstra T-Suite partner, Computer Networks can demonstrate the cost savings that can be achieved through adoption of cloud based solutions like BPOS and MS 365 and help businesses understand whether they are suitable for moving their systems into the cloud.
To see if your business is ready to take advantage of cloud computing,
People are the Key to Innovation
Interesting ideas, new technologies, and clever work practices are all just that - without people.
People are the key. People take ideas and turn them into innovations. This has been a recurring theme throughout the 2011 Hunter Central Coast Innovation Festival (HCCIF).
From kids playing rock music, to electronic bins, smart ways to keep in shape, new designs for berths at ports, and social media breakthroughs, the HCCIF has this year, more than ever before, showcased real innovation and real people across the Hunter and Central Coast.
The Festival’s opening event featured kids from Rosie’s School of Rock’s new Au:Sum Program, which encourages children with autism to excel through music. It showcased four Year 9 students from Merewether High School who won the Future Homes 2010 competition and designed a sustainable house, which was built in the playground by Future Homes competition manager and Central Coast builder, Craig Riddle. There are also amazing projects being quietly achieved by the team at Newcastle Innovation and the high level technology of Ausgrid’s Smart Grid Smart City Trial.
A plethora of events then began across a busy two week period. 42 events across the Hunter and Central Coast included: * The Buy Local Festival with a Twist - an event uniting over 200 exhibitor sites showcasing Central Coast business, government and service organisations to encourage residents to "buy local" contributing to business growth and therefore job opportunities on the Central Coast; * The Hunter Founders Forum’s - Hunter and (inaugural) Central Coast Breakfasts, where companies working on innovative ideas are matched with investors: * The Digital Showcase as the name suggests, showcased innovations in the digital and social media sphere;
* HVRF and CCRF’s Hunter and Central Coast Regional Economic Updates launched region specific innovation research.;* Year 4 children from Hunter and Central Coast schools participated in Engineers Australia’s Straw Tower Building Competition;
* Newcastle Innovation showcased the new Newcastle Institute for Energy and Resources; * HMRI presented a public lecture on smart ways to improve the health of families; * Together Today hosted a workshop on the Hunter’s strategy to tackle the global challenge of climate change.
Hunter TAFE’s "Create and Innovate", launched exciting new TAFE courses while "workshopping" innovative work practices and North Coast TAFE showcased innovative social, community and training practices. A tour of the Port of Newcastle highlighted new developments there.Seminars, workshops and presentations were also hosted by AusIndustry, Hunter Business Chamber, Hunter Business Centre, Port Stephens Council, Tom Farrell Institute, Wyong Council, Central Coast NSW Business Chamber and RDA Central Coast.
The Central Coast Innovation Summit, the launch of Central Coast Manufacturing Connect and the University of Newcastle’s Ourimbah Campus’ "Towards a Smarter Central Coast" were hugely popular events that highlighted the scope of innovative people and businesses that exist on the Central Coast.
"With collaboration comes with innovation" is a theme being promoted amongst Central Coast manufacturers and embraced Central Coast wide companies working together and sharing ideas to encourage wide ranging opportunities for everybody.
The closing event, held on the Central Coast, reinforced the aforementioned idea, as well as the need to embrace our regions’ youth in innovation, which was showcased brilliantly by I-Factor - a competition introduced to the HCCIF this year, where Central Coast school students were invited to produce a multi-media presentation promoting the Central Coast as a business and lifestyle destination.
The Hunter Central Coast Innovation Festival is about encouraging new ideas and creating new ways of doing things. It is about motivating people to take a risk on a new idea and showcasing people that have done that and made a difference.
The 2011 Festival has reached more people than ever before and will continue to be a platform for innovation and creativity to be highlighted across the Hunter and Central Coast into the future.
For more information contact Kate O’Mara on 4908 7300.
Introducing a new B2B Publication Section:Shop -Stay - Play
To maintain ongoing momentum from the Buy Local Festival, this section promotes the ‘Buy Local’ theme. The Central Coast offers outstanding natural beauty in our waterways, beaches and National Parks and award winning attractions. An array of activities from swimming, fishing, pelican feeding to bush walking and horse riding abound on the Coast. Options for everyone from retail centres to local markets, arts and crafts, festivals, music, dining and accommodation.
Every time you spend on the Coast, you are supporting local businesses ensuring our area continues to flourish. We can all take a part in breaking down one of the biggest challenges facing our region - creating local employment and retaining young employees.
Did you know-
Our hospitality industry employs up to 50% of workers aged 35 years and under?
The retail and health industries provide the highest rate of jobs in the area, with retailing providing the highest number of entry-level jobs.
The Central Coast region has a population of approximately 314,000 residents. Spending just $20 per week per person locally instead of out of region generates approximately $280m per year for our local economy.
Our region is unique - let’s be proud and invest in our families future.
Join us on the We Love Our Central Coast Region facebook page - show your support, put forward your suggestions where to Shop • Stay • Play and hear of upcoming events.
The B2B publication will cover activities designed to provoke interest or provide fun and enjoyment for Coast residents and visitors.
Why Buy away or Go away when it’s only just a Step away!
Federal Budget Overview - Business Announcements
PAYG Tax changes
The Government will provide additional cash flow benefits to small businesses through the tax system. The Government will reduce income tax instalments paid under Pay As You Go (PAYG) using the gross domestic product (GDP) adjustment method for one year. This change will deliver a $700 million cash flow benefit from lower tax payments in 2011-12, mainly to small businesses.
PAYG instalments in 2011-12 will be set at 4 per cent above a small business’s taxable income for the previous year, half the statutory rate that would otherwise have applied. This is a one-year benefit and the statutory rate will apply as normal from 2012-13.
The depreciation and PAYG changes will apply to all small businesses, including sole traders and businesses operating through trusts, partnerships and companies. These reforms will make tax simpler for small business, while increasing cash flows so they can reinvest and grow their businesses.Small business depreciation for motor vehicles
The Government will allow small businesses to claim up to $5,000 as an immediate deduction for motor vehicles, with effect for vehicles acquired from the 2012-13 income year. The remainder of the motor vehicle value will be pooled in the general small business pool (depreciated at 15% in the first year and then 30%).
Small businesses will benefit from accelerated depreciation for motor vehicles through increased cash flow and a reduction in tax payable, which will allow them to reinvest in their businesses’ growth and expansion.Buy Australian at home and abroad initiative
A new ‘Buy Australian at home and abroad’ initiative will provide $34.4 million over four years to encourage better linkages between major projects in the resources sector and capable Australian firms. This includes:
Continuation of the small business support line, with a commitment of $7.1 million in new funding over the next four years has been confirmed. The service provides advice to small businesses, including those in regional and remote areas of Australia, on issues such as: obtaining finance; cash flow management; retail leasing; personal stress and hardship counselling; and promotion and marketing. The support line will refer small businesses to specialist advisers for more complex and detailed advice.
Information sourced from NSW Business Chamber
Federal Budget Overview - Infrastructure
The Government will deliver over $4.3 billion of initiatives commencing 1 July 2011 to ensure that individuals and communities across regional Australia share in the nation’s prosperity. These include:
Information sourced from NSW Business Chamber - Federal Budget Overview 2011-2012
Federal Budget Overview - Skills & Workforce Participation
Training and Skills
34 Regional Strategists to develop regional education, skills and jobs plans aimed at improving access to education, training and employment in 34 non-metropolitan Regional Development Australia areas.Information sourced from NSW Business Chamber - Federal Budget Overview 2011-2012
Festival with a positive vibe and a "Buzz"!
After two days at the Bridgecoast Stadium, Terrigal, the Events with a Twist, festival co-ordinators for the 2011 Buy Local Festival with a Twist, were full of praise and overwhelmed by the feedback from festival exhibitors and attendees.
Come rain (lots of it), hail or shine the Buy Local Festival with a Twist, was set to go ahead on Friday April 29 and Saturday April 30. Over 200 exhibitor sites showcased products and services, from a plethora of business and industry, encouraging visitors to work, stay and play on the Central Coast for the growth of our region, leading to more employment opportunities or, jobs for the Central Coast!
The rain did not stop an estimated 7,500 visitors, arriving at the Bridgecoast Stadium. April 2010, the inaugural festival, saw 1,500 visitors.
The success of the festival can be attributed to the support and involvement from our sponsors and supporters, as noted below, as well as the many exhibitors that put such effort and enthusiasm into displaying their products and services.
The festival proceeded smoothly thanks to our Master of Ceremonies, Mr Chris De Havilland.
A festival atmosphere prevailed as activities entertained and educated the attendees. Exhibitors sites were alive with interactive golf putting, soccer games, coights games, "guess the number of jelly beans in the jar" competitions, and even the "Pavarotti of singing security guards" giving an impromptu performance.
On the outdoor stage near the food, wine and coffee vendors, festivities were abuzz. 14 performances by singers, bands, drummers and dancers entertained the public and demonstrated the talents of local artists.
Participants commented on the positive vibe amongst the businesses some meeting each other for the first time and on the number of enquiries, leads and interest they received at their sites. An encouraging number of Feedback Forms were received from businesses and the attending general public. The main question asked on the form was "What do you think of the Buy Local Festival concept ie: promoting business growth and jobs for the Central Coast?" On a scale of 1 (poorest) to 10 (highest) - 81% of these forms were marked 8 and above!
Other interesting statistics showed that 17% of visitors were seeking information on Tourism and Lifestyle, 18% of visitors were seeking information on Business Information Services , 21% of visitors sought information on Marketing and Promotion services and a favourable 16% of visitors were attending to find information on Goods and Services.
To continue the enthusiasm generated by the festival, local businesses can register on the online Buy Local Online Connect website to offer great deals to local residents. All are welcome to make comments on the wonderful facilities in our area on our facebook page"We love our Central Coast Region".
As participants in the Hunter Central Coast Innovation Festival, the Buy Local Festival with a Twist, looks forward to additional businesses being involved in our festival next year and would like to thank all those business and organisations that participated this year, who showed working together, we can "Make it Happen"!
Visit www.b2bwithatwist.com.au to view all the action at the event.
"Don't Boil Beer - Keep it Bright!"
Pacific Beverages, owner of the beer brand Bluetongue, has created a new beer category for Australian consumers - introducing Bruers Bright.
Pacific Beverages, a joint venture between Coca Cola Amatil Australia and SABMiller, was formed in 2006 and began importing, selling and distributing premium beer brands, including Peroni Nastro Azzurro, Miller Genuine Draft and Pilsner Urquell, joined later by Miller Chill and Grolsch. In December 2007, Pacific Beverages acquired Bluetongue Brewery and its stable of Australian premium beers, including Bluetongue Premium Lager.
In its four year history, Pacific Beverages has grown market share of premium beer in Australia from 3.6% to approximately 10%. They unveiled their new "uncooked" draught beer, Bruers Bright, by releasing online videos, which shows consumers the absurdity of boiling beer and the benefits of Bright Beer. The tongue in cheek videos, reflect that unlike other draught beers coming out of major breweries on the Australian market, Bruers Bright is filled directly from bright beer vats into kegs without any "cooking" or pasteurisation - giving the beer full flavour, freshness and real draught taste.
Paul Gloster, Chief Marketing Officer, Pacific Beverages said, "Bruers Bright demanded a different marketing strategy to the other beer brands in our portfolio for several reasons. Firstly, the way in which it is brewed is unique to any other major brewery’s draught beer on the market. It truly is ‘bright beer’ in that it isn’t "cooked", in other words pasteurised, before it is kegged. Secondly, it was created as a result of discussions with our key customers, the pubs and clubs of Australia, who identified Bruers Bright as a solution to a gap in the market. Most consumers don’t even know their everyday draught beer is being boiled, so we need to educate them on this fact, show them why it tarnishes taste, and present them with a solution - bright beer", said Gloster.
"We asked key customers what was missing in their venues and they told us that they needed innovation in the draught beer category, which would bring consumers back into pubs. We listened and Bruers Bright was born,"said Gloster.
Bruers Bright is made with all Australian ingredients to be a highly drinkable Australian style draught lager, with a clean fresh aroma, a fruity individualistic palate and a soft bitter aftertaste, delivering the ultimate fresh beer experience!
Bruers Bright was successfully trialled at a number of venues since November 2010 and will now become available on tap in over 500 venues nationally.
Treat Yourself to a diVine day out...
Established for over 5 years, diVine tours have created a niche in the Central Coast tour market. Whether you’re a visitor to the Central Coast, a long-term resident or local business owner, diVine tours can show you the Hunter Valley like no other tour operator.
Coming from a hospitality background spanning over 15 years, owner/operator Roy Fraser-Watson focused on starting a tour business specialising in day tours from the Central Coast to the Hunter Valley, showcasing the very best this world renowned wine region has to offer. With over 140 cellar doors, top-rating restaurants and a range of other gourmet providers such as cheese manufactures, olive producers and specialist chocolatiers, the Hunter Valley has everything required for the perfect day out!
With an enthusiastic knowledge of wine and the wine-making industry, Roy embarked on creating a wine tour with heart... not to mention ‘nose’, ‘legs’ and ‘body’... the result is the ultimate wine tasting experience! Five years later, diVine tours are a highly recommended Central Coast business offering a door-to-door service from the Central Coast and Lower Hunter regions.
For your next trip to beautiful Hunter Valley wine country, contact diVine tours and...treat yourself to a diVine day out!
diVine tours services include:
Gourmet Wine Tour - Your small group tour allows unique wine tasting opportunities at boutique vineyards in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere. Sit back, relax & enjoy the scenic journey through the historical Hunter Valley wine region. Enjoy private wine tastings at 4-5 cellar doors, restaurant lunch including glass of wine, and cheese & chocolate tasting.
Private Tour - Book your group on a diVine private tour and receive a personalised itinerary to meet your individual needs. Visit wineries of your choice or let diVine arrange an itinerary to suit the mood of your day.
diVine Wine Tour - Held once every season and limited to a maximum of 10 guests, this exclusive wine tour is the ultimate Hunter Valley experience. Be spoilt with a Champagne breakfast, carefully selected private wine tastings, a two course lunch and cheese & chocolate tastings. Suitable for couples or small groups up to 10 guests.
Charter Services - diVine tours offers a range of charter services perfect for social groups, special events or business functions. It’s a popular option for Hunter Valley concerts, Sydney/Newcastle restaurant or event transfers, or any other Central Coast small group transporting needs.
diVine tours operates 7 days - for further tour information please visit
www.divinetours.com.au or contact
Two Life Changing Charities Unite
Coast Shelter providing accommodation and support for persons who are homeless and disadvantaged on the Central Coast and the Iris Foundation for the prevention of suicide, primarily focused on young people and their families on the Central Coast, have partnered together to create awareness of the plight of homeless people and raise much needed funds through the Slither and Slumber executive sleep out to be held on Friday August 5 at the Australian Reptile Park.
The partnership for this executive sleep-out during "Homeless Persons Week" is meaningful, because Coast Shelter supports people who, due to their homeless circumstances, are at possible high risk of suicide. This includes homeless families often living in cars, or wherever they can find a temporary bed for the night, mothers and children forced from their home due to violence/trauma and young people from the streets, who for a variety of reasons are not able to live with their family.
The lead up to the night out has people talking, with companies eagerly registering, after raising $1,000 to send their managers or perhaps relatives or friends, into the "wilds" of the Park!
Raffles of "Central Coast Experience" Packages including resort stays, dinners and passes to Central Coast Tourist attractions, are waiting to be won!
The Slither and Slumber event, challenges all Central Coast businesses to participate in an overnight, under the stars, sleep-out. Escape the snapping teeth of the corporate world, rest your weary head amongst the wilds of the Australian Reptile Park, mingling with like-minded supporters of those in need.
Put the word out amongst your staff, families, suppliers and clients to sponsor you by raising $1,000 for this unique opportunity, supporting Coast Shelter and the Iris Foundation.
Coast Shelter is a not-for-profit charity, attempting to meet the needs of the disadvantaged within our community through advocacy and the provision of direct services.
Providing accommodation to approximately 110 homeless men, women and children each night, Coast Shelter also coordinates the provision of over 200 meals every day, at the Donnison Street Community Centre in Gosford, with the help of an amazing volunteer workforce.
Coast Shelter refuges, which look more like ordinary homes, accommodate homeless men, women, families and youth, whilst staff help them to get their lives in order. Staff are skilled in problem areas, such as domestic violence, financial difficulties, gambling, alcohol and other drug issues, behavioural difficulties and living skills. Programs aim to meet the specific needs of people, providing guidance and support to assist them to obtain their own accommodation and manage their lives effectively. Coast Shelter is a strong advocate for social justice, particularly in relation to those on low incomes and suffering "housing stress".
The Iris Foundation is for the prevention of suicide on the Central Coast, primarily focused on young people and their families, but does not exclude any individuals identified as at risk. Creating awareness of the importance of early intervention, as a means of prevention for those at risk of suicide, is a priority.
Bev Baldwin and Dawn Hooper established the Foundation in 2006 under the United Way Central Coast Community Chest Trust, as a result of the suicide of Bev´s 21 year old grand-daughter.
"Iris" means "vision of light" and was the name of both the mothers of Bev and Dawn. It seemed a natural fit, as the name of the Iris Foundation, to give hope to people suffering.
The Foundation is a lasting legacy to the Central Coast providing assistance to Central Coast services in detection and appropriate intervention of "at risk" individuals and assistance for their families.
Collectively the Coast can make a huge difference in helping to prevent the tragedy of suicide by supporting initiatives aiming at early intervention.
The Little Pub Co
The Little Pub Co is a unique, privately owned business operated by Wayne & Marilyn Ansell. Just think, you can have your own little pub - anywhere, anytime (which happens to be the company motto)!
Setting new standards in the provision of alcohol and drinks related services, is what the Little Pub Co strive to provide. Whether your venue is indoors at your home, or "on the prairie", at a function or convention room, or by the sea or a tranquil river, they can be there with their purpose-built, stainless steel bars and covering marquee!
The design of the bar creates a professional feel and ambience for your special event, wedding, party, festival or corporate function. The Little Pub Co is not just for "little" events. They specialise in small or large functions, offering efficient, professional service and quality products for your guest’s enjoyment and providing a range of stunning, custom designed mobile bars, suitable for all occasions indoors or outdoors.
"Catering for the different needs of consumers, you can choose different components to complete your requirement. Services include Beverage Packages where The Little Pub Co. takes care of everything for you including bar set up, glassware and related equipment, bar staff, clean up, and of course, the alcohol itself" Wayne said. They offer a complete range of beverages, keg beer (served icy cold straight from the tap), packaged beer, wine, spirits, cocktails, champagne, juices and soft drinks - you choose to suit your tastes and budget. Or you can simply order your choice of Keg beer and equipment for "icy cold beer on tap", along with a Cocktail machine, and have a "DIY" experience! The Little Pub Co has a team of RSA certified, fully trained professionals, who are dedicated to making your event a successful and memorable experience.
You can contact Wayne on 4332 0979 or mobile 0421 549 694 or jump on their website and check out their photo gallery at: www.thelittlepubco.com.au.
Country Style Cooking&Markets in Beautiful Bushland Setting
Who: Warnies Cafe
What: Country Cooking
Where: Railway Rd, Warnervale (next to station)
When: Mon-Tue 5.30am-6.30pm/Wed-Fri 5am-8pm
Sat 6am-9pm / Sun 6am-6pm
How: Enquiries 4393 2955
Take yourself back to the days of old. In the rural countryside of the Central Coast, in the northern reaches, you’ll find a heritage style country homestead, located next to the Warnervale Train Station. A quaint General Store is located on the premises and alongside it, the fabulous Warnies Cafe. At the cafe you might see a picture of "Warnie", the prawn character, who is an inspiration for conservation, the environment and a reminder of the days when the local lakes were teeming with fresh prawns. Warnie is named after local larrikin Albert Warner, the original settler of Warnervale and also an environmentalist of his time.
Warnies Cafe is the perfect spot to drop into on your way north, or simply get away for the day, to an idyllic, picturesque area, where you can relax, while the children play on the huge lawn surrounding the cafe. A shady terrace overlooks natural bushland where bellbirds sing happily. Even the gentle rattle, of trains pulling out from the station gives you a comforting, "yesteryear" feeling!
Your host at Warnies Cafe is Linda Bennett. The team under Linda’s great guidance, are renowned for their warm hospitality and friendly country manner. "Warnies" as it is known by the locals, is the perfect location to hold any function. Linda’s staff can help you choose from a delicious range of menu ideas to suit any type of function. Warnies Cafe proves their versatility by offering catering for your office or home!
For sit down meals, a varied menu is offered and daily specials are promoted. The food is good ol’ country cooking including mouth watering homemade soups, huge meaty burgers and scrumptious scones and cakes!
Early opening hours entice early-risers for breakfast as the sun comes up. Delightful Morning Teas are a great way to catch-up with friends and if you extend that into a long, lazy lunch you are sure to enjoy the experience.Markets
Wow - markets as well! Held behind Warnies Cafe, on the 3rd Saturday of each month. There is a wide variety of exciting stalls including, antiques, clothing, jewellery, home produce, native plants and face painting for the kids. Plus there is always a special feature for each market day!
Warnies Cafe run a BBQ for the Markets and serve their usual delicious selection of food throughout the day - so you certainly won’t go hungry! Market stall enquiries -Wayne Wood
Buying a Franchise - Aubrey Brown Partners Expert Advice
Franchising is not a business itself, but a way of doing business.
The benefits of buying a franchise include the fact that you are buying a tried and tested "system", which is usually set out in great detail in an Operations Manual, you are buying the goodwill attached to a recognised and established brand and products, and you get ongoing support and training from the franchisor. Standardisation, consistency and uniformity across all aspects are key principles of the franchise business format.
However, some people can find the inflexible nature of a franchise system frustrating, and unfortunately, some franchisors do not provide the promised support. Because of the nature of the relationship, and the franchisor's need to remain in control over certain standards critical to the ongoing success of the franchise system, the Franchise Agreement is usually imbalanced in favour of the franchisor.
Franchising is regulated by the Franchising Code of Conduct, which prescribes strict disclosure requirements upon the franchisor, and imposes certain obligations and conditions into the Franchise Agreement.
Buying a franchise is a serious decision. It is important that you obtain proper legal and financial advice from professionals who are experienced with the laws of franchising before proceeding, and carry out all of your due diligence including reading the documents carefully, talking to other franchisees, researching the franchisor, and assessing your financial resources and ability to meet the requirements of the franchisor.
Anna Cruckshank and the Commercial Law Team at Aubrey Brown Partners is very experienced with advising clients in relation to buying and selling franchises, establishing new franchises, and franchise disputes.
We have also assisted several franchisors with setting up a franchise system, and meeting their legal obligations.
If you are thinking of buying or selling a franchise, or setting up a franchise as a franchisor, please contact us on 4350 3333.
Crave a coffee, relax in a Cabana
Remember the carefree '60s when surfing dudes and beach babes hung out at their favourite beach? That's what you will be reminded of when you enter The Ettalong Beach Cabana. You will be greeted with plenty of smiles and laughter! Funky beach decor, inside and out - a casual ambience is the cafe's theme.
Owner Amanda, has years of experience travelling the world as a Flight Stewardess experiencing great food and good music. Her aim is to source local produce and offer meals full of healthy fresh ingredients.
The Cabana also makes a mean coffee!
The Cabana opens at night on Fridays only, offering 10 mains at $10 each. There are 7 seafood dishes, also a steak, chicken and vegetarian dish. Visit The Ettalong Beach Cabana at the Buy Local Festival and pick up your Friday Night Voucher of a $10 Main Meal & Free Dessert. You can't beat that - bookings: 4341 1123
CC Academy of Sport - "Influencing generations through sport."
Well here we are, our first edition as an official member of the B2B With a Twist family.
We are delighted to have recently formalised a partnership with Lyn and the team at B2B With a Twist, which sees the Central Coast Academy of Sport on board as a platinum sponsor and B2B With a Twist joining our extremely valued group of major business partners including 107.7 2GO, Central Coast Express Advocate, Communities NSW - Sport and Recreation, Greater Building Society, Mars Food Australia, Mingara, NBN Television, 101.3 Sea FM, The University of Newcastle and Webstuff.biz.
This is an exciting partnership, which will see great benefits and further growth across both organisations, who operate under the same key principles and share a genuine passion for community engagement.
From our perspective, we will be looking to make the most of the partnership by further promoting awareness and understanding of the Central Coast Academy of Sport within our community and further afield.
The Central Coast Academy of Sport is a non-profit organisation that exists to provide locally based sports training, education and overall personal development opportunities for our aspiring athletes, coaches, officials and administrators of the region. We are proud to be considered by many as a leading regional academy of sport and we continue to strive to ensure we are providing the best possible service and support not only to our athletes, coaches, officials and administrators, but also to our valued partners, sponsors and suppliers.
We survive through the support of our sponsors and we are always looking for additional support across all areas of our business. I trust our exciting new business partnership with B2B With a Twist will assist us in opening more doors and attracting more great organisations who have an interest in assisting us to provide opportunities and influence generations through sport.
Each year, we participate in the ClubsNSW Academy Games, which is a mini Olympic style event that brings together all NSW regional academies of sport. This year we will be taking a touring party of over 100 athletes, coaches, officials and support staff to Armidale for the event between Thursday 14 - Sunday 17 April.
We are currently looking to attract tour sponsors, so for just $500 + GST, your organisation can show its support for our very own local academy of sport. If interested, please contact me at the Central Coast Academy of Sport office on
Yours in Sport;
Small Business Grows by 20% on the Central Coast
The Central Coast Business Enterprise Centre (CCBEC) launched its comprehensive survey results recently under the CEO, Mr Wayne Gates.
During the past 10 years, the Central Coast has experienced unprecedented growth with the population of the Coast expected to grow by another 100,000 people in the next twenty years. Based on such a rapidly rising, growing population, employment creation is critical. The CCBEC's aim is to support small businesses on the Coast to help them grow, creating greater employment opportunities on the Coast and reduce the numbers of Central Coast workers commuting to Sydney for work. One of the key goals of the Central Coast regional economic development plan, is to create another 45,000 jobs over the next 20 years.
"We supported around 500 start-ups and 400 existing small businesses last year", Mr Wayne Gates said. "In addition to employment growth, the CCBEC's mission is to bring small business practice on the Central Coast up-to-speed with the latest business developments in Australia" he said. To achieve this, the CCBEC surveyed their existing small business clients to ascertain business growth trends, analyse small business statistics and pin-point what their small business clients most need, to help shape the CCBEC's business support services and programs.
CCBEC Client Survey Results
"CCBEC gained a huge thumps-up - 94% of clients said when they acted on the business advice they received from the CCBEC, it had a positive impact on their business. This result outstripped the state average of 73%".
"CCBEC exceeded the state average in every category for delivery of Business Advisory Services".
"Small Businesses surveyed see the CCBEC as a partner in growth with 91% stating they would use our services again and 96% saying they would refer the CCBEC to other small businesses , family members and friends".
"Central Coast Small Business rated the CCBEC as an essential service. They rated 'Access to Quality Business Advice and Training', as the second most important service for their business".
"The survey also found the CCBEC assists businesses across a broad range of industries, giving us far greater reach and impact than any other association on the Coast."
Services, Support on offer from the BEC
As small business face their day to day challenges on the Coast, often under resourced and working through ongoing legal business requirements, the CCBEC aims to offer needed services, to ensure their futures and accelerate their growth.
The CCBEC accelerates small business success in a number of ways including,
Last year CCBEC ran technology workshops supporting more than 440 businesses with on-line programs including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn. The CCBEC receives funding from all tiers of government, Federal, State and Local, to support the CCBEC's core programs.
Visit CCBEC at the Buy Local Festival in April, where all types of Central Coast businesses will unite to showcase their products and services, encouraging the public to "buy local" to create business growth and jobs for the younger generations of the Central Coast.
No Mine - A victory for the community - DAVID HARRIS
Member for Wyong, David Harris MP, hailed the Planning Minister Tony Kelly's decision to refuse the Wallarah 2 Mining Application, as a victory for common sense.
Mr Harris said the decision vindicated his position to oppose the project since 2007.
"I have led an active campaign on behalf of the community to stop this application which would have allowed mining under the important Wyong Water Catchment," Mr Harris said.
"I have written submissions, spoken at Inquiries, spoken in Parliament and lobbied all levels of Government to fight this mine proposal," Mr Harris said.
"I have always maintained that a proper and rigorous assessment process was required so there could be no legal issues with the final determination by the State Planning Minister," Mr Harris stressed.
"Despite criticism from some members of the community and the State Opposition I had faith in the system."
"My faith has been rewarded with the right decision - the right decision for the benefit of the whole community." Mr Harris said.
Mr Harris said that he had even had suggestions that he should ‘jump ship'. "If I had done as some had suggested, my voice would have been removed from the debate and I would not have been able to effectively advocate on behalf of our community."
"My strategy has proven to be correct; I stayed at the table where I would be most effective as a voice against the proposal from within the Labor Government."
"I never took the easy way out - up until the last minute I was still organising representations to relevant people within Government." Mr Harris said
"It was clear to me from the beginning that this was a bad proposal for the people of Wyong - the people I was elected to represent."
"The Central Coast Water Supply is protected and I am proud to have fought so hard for this to happen." Mr Harris said
"This has been a community battle and I pay tribute to Craig Thomson MP, Cr Bob Graham and the many other community people who have fought this issue for so long," Mr Harris said
Mr Harris said that he was pleased that he had honoured his commitment to his constituents and had continued to fight to ensure their concerns were recognised.
"I am proud that other commitments such as better bus services, hospital improvements, more road funding, new school at Warnervale and having the Central Coast recognised as a Region, have also been achieved," Mr Harris said
Mayor Praises People Power as Mine Proposal is Rejected
Mayor Doug Eaton has praised the community of Wyong Shire following news the NSW Government has rejected the Wallarah 2 coal mine proposal.
"At the end of the day, it was community who stopped this mine from going ahead", Mayor Eaton said. "Council conducted a survey a couple of years ago that showed 82 per cent of our community were against this mine and everyone has kept that level of pressure bubbling along to help get this result" he said.
"In my 20 years in public life, I have never seen so much opposition to one single proposal." While the Planning Assessment Commission recommended the approval of the project, the PAC report admitted disappointment at the level of information provided in the Environmental Assessment by the proponents.
"One of the Minister's key points in refusing the proposal was the issue of insufficient ground water modelling", Mayor Eaton said. "Council experts were able to demonstrate this clearly to the Planning Assessment Commission and it was one of the critical findings of the report". "We spent $250,000 engaging experts and staff resources to respond on behalf of our community, and that was ratepayer's money which the community were happy for us to spend because they didn't want this mine". "That money spent on engaging experts has proved to be money very well spent given their findings that showed how flawed the proponent's ground water studies were."
The Mayor praised Member for Wyong David Harris, who publically announced at the Blue Haven on March 4, that Planning Minister Tony Kelly has rejected this proposal. "Mr Harris has taken this issue up in Parliament on behalf of the community and has stood firm and I congratulate him on this result," Mayor Eaton said.
"The State Opposition was also clearly against this mine, as was the Federal Member for Dobell, Craig Thomson, while members of the Australian Coal Alliance and the Stop Korean Coal Mine Group
Also took the fight right up to the Government." Mr Harris praised Council's role in lobbying strongly on behalf of the community.
Radiotherapy - Treat Free, Treat Local, Treat Now!
Businesses of the Central Coast came together to support Central Coast Radiation Oncology Institute in its bid to secure free public radiotherapy treatment for patients on the Central Coast.
For the first time many business groups joined forces for this worthy cause including Central Coast NSWBC, Gosford Chamber of Commerce, B2B With a Twist and Business Women Connect.
With just over 50 businesses represented and Gosford Mayor Laurie Maher in attendance it was a great opportunity to seek support from the business and wider community to circulate support petitions and educate them on the current system in place for treatment of public patients on the Coast.
CCROI provides radiotherapy for cancer patients on the Central Coast utilising "state of the art" technology and has been a local business in Gosford since 1995.
Unfortunately there are no free public radiotherapy practices on the Central Coast so if you would like to be treated where you live on the Central Coast private treatment is your only option. Free treatment is only available if you are able to travel to Sydney or Newcastle, which is taxing and difficult for an already unwell cancer patient. Support us in our Campaign "Treat Free, Treat Local, Treat Now!" CCROI is currently trying to negotiate public access to radiotherapy treatment for Central Coast residents NOW. This would greatly benefit Central Coast cancer patients and their immediate treatment plan.
We have asked the NSW State Government and the Minister for Health to partner with us in Gosford to form a Public-Private Partnership to allow CCROI to provide immediate free public access for radiotherapy patients on the Central Coast.
To assist in the fight for free treatment please go to our website http://www.radiotherapy.com.au/ where you will see the "Treat Free, Treat Local, Treat Now!" tab and you can download a petition to sign.
Further information phone 4349 8000 and we look forward to assisting you.
Print Solutions Key to Carbon and Electricity Use Reduction
One of the most topical subjects this year is the rising cost of electricity to business owners and families alike and the possible inclusion of a price on carbon in the near future. When you way up the financial effects on small business our normal day to day functions could really end up costing us a lot more than we really think.
Did you know that each piece of paper produced in the office accounts for 8.4 grams of carbon per sheet; therefore if a company produces 1000 pieces of paper per day, they are effectively emitting 8.4 kilograms of carbon per day.
Similarly based upon the current cost of electricity (electricity price rises may just be something we all have to deal with), a Multifunction Printer could be costing your business over $5000 per annum in Electricity costs alone.
A managed print services company, such as Viatek, can work with business small and large and show them solutions that are not only tailored to their business but ensure their business has minimal impacts on the environment and minimal impacts on energy use. They will make sure the business achieves the following results;
The most difficult aspect of finding out how businesses achieve these outstanding results is asking. For a free onsite assessment of your business please contact; Cameron Lawes 4324 7288 or 0412 008 831.
What Search Terms are being used to Find You Online?
I hope you all had a wonderful break over Christmas and New Year and managed to take some time off to spend relaxing with loved ones as I did: here's to a successful 2011.
When you don't know the name of a business that sells the product or service you are looking for, or if you have a business in mind but can't think of their correct name - you have to think creatively when searching online.
What search words would you use? Or more importantly what words do you think your potential clients would use to search for your business if they didn't know your name? You may have heard of Google adwords. You can purchase set keywords which when used in a search, will allow your business to appear on the search results page of Google. The position your business appears on the page will be determined by the adwords you purchase. The idea is to be positioned on the front of the list or at the top of the page so searchers can find you more easily.
Your business can even appear as an advertisement on the right hand side of the search results page, dependent on your adword purchase.
Do you know what keywords your competition is using on Google? Try typing in your full company name e.g. Webstuff.biz Pty Ltd or a variation such as Webstuff or Webstuff.biz and see what comes up in the search results. Try a few variations to see if another company is trying to trade off your name. If your search finds this situation is occurring; try contacting the company and ask them to stop using your business name.
Usually a phone call or a stern email can persuade the company to stop using your business name. It is a must that you keep a written copy of your request so there is a record of it.
This has actually happened to my company. The perpetrator responded to me and said it was "fair competition" to use my company name as part of their advertising - would you agree with this statement? How would you feel if this happened to you?
It is important that you spend some time checking to see what is said about your company online - even if you don't have a website! There could be blogs, reviews or news forums saying defamatory things about your business or you. However you may even be receiving praise from a customer via their website. This is something you must make time to check at least every month, given the changeable nature of the World Wide Web. Schedule the task into your calendar and set up a monthly reminder.
Resources to help you online
Webstiff.biz is currently offering a two hour consultation with myself on "Searching for your Business" for only $20.00. This is funded by the government and endorsed by the Central Coast Business Enterprise Centre. If you find a problem with someone using your business name I can show you some strategies to alleviate the problem. Ultimately you may need the services of a solicitor if all else fails - however it may not be required. This consultation can also be used to assist you to set up a business Facebook account. There are limited consultation vouchers available, so please get in early - phone 4325 1188.
Webstuff.biz can also advise and direct you to a site that will assist your business in driving traffic to your website.
Do you want to set up an internet business? The site can provide the focus, direction and structure you need to get started and improve your online presence or build affiliate marketing. Bloggers can find a way to increase traffic through their efforts and quickly create content. I have followed the guidelines to create my new blog of my journey in health and fitness explaining how the journey has helped me take my web design business to a new level, visit: www.michelleallen.com.au
Timing is Sometimes Everything!
2GO and SEA FM had just started a buy local campaign on air, when a chance meeting, 5 weeks back, with Lyn Thompson and Sue Liptrott, took both organizations down a parallel path.
Lyn and Sue were on the charge of an already successful Buy Local Festival With a Twist 2010, and were out promoting the Buy Local Festival With a Twist 2011, to be held at a new venue at Bridgecoast Stadium, Terrigal.
The synergies were instant, both Lyn and Sue, like 2GO and SEA FM, had a similar focus on local business, encouraging all Central Coast people to support our local business and hence increase available job numbers on the coast, for our kids in particular.
It was an instantaneous decision that we joined the 2011 Buy Local Festival With a Twist, assisting with the marketing and promotion of this already popular event.
The Buy Local Festival With a Twist, will become the premier event in Terrigal and the Central Coast, I am sure.
Lyn and Sue made it clear in talks they were catering for both local business and for all people of the Central Coast to enjoy a great two day event.
This is local kids commencing apprenticeships - we are very proud to help Greg every year.
We acknowledge we have youth unemployment problems on the Central Coast and will assist where ever possible.
Central Coast Radio have a full time community liaison officer, Cressy McLean and we assist non-profit organizations whenever we can, whether they are charities or organizations like CCGT.
You can contact Cressy at Central Coast Radio on 4324 2400 to discuss possible assistance.
Our CCR executive team has empathy with local business, as most have been on the other side, working in businesses of their own. The General Manager, the General Sales Manager have all owned a local business, even our Promotions Manager, Sarah Ferman, assists in a local business with her partner.
A large number of our sales force have owned a business locally. They know what it is like to be in business on the Central Coast. Our staff know how to give helpful marketing advice utilizing our two well established radio stations.
At 2GO and SEA FM we have 45 full time employees and a good number of casual staff. Most have children, and we understand that a strong local economy means jobs for our children.
I encourage everyone to attend the 2011 Buy Local Festival With a Twist and participate if possible. Purchase an exhibition space, or at very least, visit and support our community on Friday April 29 and/or Saturday April 30.
We will be promoting it hard, so let's create some jobs!
I love my GM position at Central Coast Radio 2GO/ SEAFM.
Master of Impersonation - Chris Dehavilland
The Buy Local Festival with a Twist, is pleased to announce our Master of Ceremonies, a veteran of international performances, Mr Chris De Havilland.
Chris is a professional presenter, motivator and humourist.
Chris invariably instils a message - at the Buy Local Festival, a message of supporting Central Coast businesses to help create jobs, contribute to business growth and assist in creating a comfortable lifestyle in our beautiful, scenic region.
The message is sure to be recalled, as throughout the day, Chris will introduce various characters to assist the Master of Ceremonies role as ambassador of the festival.
Remember, this is the Buy Local Festival with a Twist - there will be many more personalities, interactive activities and surprises to educate and entertain throughout the 2 days.
If you would like to catch a glimpse of Chris' talents visit: www.ChrisDeHavilland.com
Clr Laurie Maher - Mayor of Gosford City Council
Gosford City Council is delighted to once again support the Central Coast Buy Local Festival. Following the success of last year's inaugural event, the 2011 Festival is set to be even bigger and better.
Hosted over two days, with more local businesses displaying their wares and greater opportunities for long lasting ties to be established across our community, the second Buy Local Festival is dedicated to achieve its aim of "Making it Happen".
Buy Local grows confidence in our local economy and gives us the opportunity to develop a strong and prosperous region. It also helps us to realise that every dollar we spend in our area is an investment in our local community.
Buying outside of our region can threaten the viability of our businesses and threaten the job security of local workers.
Less than half of our population is actually employed in the Central Coast area, with only 40 per cent of residents working locally, which is a damning statistic and is only compounded by our central positioning between both Sydney and Newcastle.
I believe we need to look to change this statistic as a community because the follow on effect it will create will mean benefits to all types of businesses on the Central Coast, injection of new money into the economy and job security for local works and their families.
Buy Local is about encouraging investment in our local community and showing pride in our region. Supporting one another is what our Central Coast community is all about.
As Mayor of Gosford City, I would ask that you support the Buy Local Festival and give your local businesses - who employ your children, friends and relatives - a genuine opportunity to do business together.
Councillor Laurie Maher
What the Buy Local means to Kooindah Waters
Kooindah Waters is a stunning haven of tranquility, where visitors and locals alike enjoy the resort and its relaxed lifestyle. However, the site hasn't always been so attractive. It's undergone a transformation in recent years.
The site was originally Strathaven Golf Course. Surrounding this unimpressive 13 hole course was bushland which was used as the local dumping ground. When Investa Property Group purchased the land, it was severely polluted and degraded. Much of the native flora and fauna were long gone.
After years of environmental work to reverse the negative impact of years of illegal dumping, the Kooindah Waters Golf Course opened in 2006 as an 18 hole championship standard, wetlands golf course, designed by leading golf course architect Ross Watson with input from PGA professional and current Kooindah Waters Ambassador, Craig Parry.
The first houses at Kooindah Waters were built along Boundary Rd. Today, there are 83 homes at Kooindah Waters with several completed houses and land for sale.
Mantra Kooindah Waters Golf and Spa Resort opened in January 2008. Its accommodation offering comprises studios, one, two and three bedroom villas. Karinyas restaurant and wine bar sits at the heart of the Resort and provides a fine dining experience for both leisure and corporate guests. Karinyas' chefs use the highest quality ingredients, sourcing local produce and suppliers whenever possible to support the local economy and provide the best products to our customers.
Kooindah Waters is passionate about supporting Buy Local and contributing to the growth of the Central Coast economy, through initiatives such as hosting the Kooindah Acquisitive Sculpture Prize Exhibition (KASPE). This sculpture exhibition is run by Northlakes Toukley Rotary and raises money for the Iris Foundation, a Central Coast charity for suicide prevention. On April 3, the Resort will hold its fourth annual Family Fun Day, to raise money for Central Coast Kids In Need and Central Coast Health's Children's Fund. Come and join us!
Local Jobs For Local People - Paul Stanton, Marketing Manager NSW
Job Centre Australia is a Disability Employment Service that has been providing innovative recruitment and training solutions to the Central Coast community for over 20 years. During this time they have placed over 2000 local jobseekers into meaningful employment. With this experience you can trust that the knowledgeable consultants can assist in providing employment solutions to both jobseekers and employers.'
Job Centre Australia can see the benefit of buying local. Many of our regular employers are sole traders and small businesses who rely on the income that is provided by other local businesses and consumers. Buying local also assists in the hiring of local staff by building local economies which in turn helps make the Central Coast a better place to live and work.
With youth unemployment on the Coast now at a staggering 41.2% (Feb 2010 15-19 year olds) Job Centre Australia has decided to combat youth unemployment through its latest program Youth2Work. This is a program that has been specifically designed to address the issues that young people face when transitioning from school into the workplace. Youth2Work assists youth with an identifiable disability to learn how and where to look for their perfect job, gain work experience opportunities, receive advice on resumes, cover letters, interview techniques, career planning and goal setting. When the candidate is ready for work Job Centre will look for employers in the community to provide career opportunities. This will be backed up by ongoing support and training in the workplace.
The Youth2Work program ensures that employers have a great selection of local, trained and very keen prospective employees who are ready and willing to get the job done. This service is free to both employers and participants and comes with a pool of incentives and support programs. So why don't you help us uncover the next generation of skills.
Job Centre Australia sees the importance of growing the local Central Coast economy by not only buying local but employing local too. So help Job Centre Australia tackle local unemployment on the Central Coast by contacting us in one of three ways.
Visit one of our local offices at Gosford,
Regional Development Australia - Central Coast
Regional Development Australia Central Coast NSW (RDACC) is leading and partnering on many local programs to create successful and sustainable communities.
Small and Micro businesses are the foundation of our business community here on the Central Coast, totalling more than 22,000. RDACC is working closely with the Business Enterprise Centre (BEC), Business Chambers and other government departments to support our local businesses.
RDACC are partnering with a Wyong Shire Council led initiative to improve the sustainable policies and procedures of a group of small businesses in the Tuggerah area. Other delivery partners include State Training Services from the Department of Education and Statewide Business Training, a Registered Training Organisation.
This ‘Green Skills' sustainability program is aimed at helping and supporting local businesses with changing environmental management systems. Statewide Business Training has developed a training program specifically for the Central Coast Region , designed to engage local business in accredited training that will develop, integrate and promote sustainable policies and procedures to be implemented in their workplace.
RDACC understand that environmental issues will be important in shaping aspects of future economic development of the region, and this is just one of the project's RDACC are partnering with local government and training organisations in supporting local business.
At the Buy Local Festival on 29 and 30 April, key business support agencies will team-up to present a ‘one stop shop' for businesses to discuss their business needs. Representatives will be able to access advice on business expansion, criteria for government funding support, and general mentoring advice.
The Festival showcases local businesses, attracting consumers and gathering all under one roof. Held over two days, the Festival will drive the Buy Local concept to enhance the growth and sustainability of our Central Coast region, promoting job creation, a vibrant business community and great networking opportunities.
The Festival supports our Central Coast region with the following priorities to:
RDACC has teamed-up with Industry and Investment NSW to support this event as it specifically supports our agenda of strengthening the business community capacity and spirit.
RDACC also operates the Central Coast Business Incubator. The major objective is to provide assistance to small to medium sized businesses to expand into successful businesses and to help accelerate its growth, achieve its potential and attain long term viability.
Enquiries can be made by calling 4349 4949.
"Mi" expertise, our commitment, your savings!
Mi Communications is a fully accredited Telstra Business partner based wholly on the Central Coast. We are proud to say that all our staff live, work and play right here on the Central Coast.
After 5 years based at Erina Fountain Plaza, Mi Communications made the decision to relocate to larger premises and in conjunction with the move, target our services exclusively to the business community. Our philosophy is simple. We have a "whole of business approach" which simply means, we look at all aspects of your communications. We take the time to understand how your business works , talk to you about how you may like it to work and we design a proposal to suit your needs. We often even save you some money. Many Telco dealers only look at one aspect of your communications, but when we combine all aspects, that is when we are able to tailor a solution that fits all your business requirements.
Recently Mi Communications was called into Webstuff.biz to review their communications. Michelle Allen wanted to simplify and increase the professional image of her business, but didn't want to be restricted with a solution that could not grow along with her business. Michelle's staff were struggling to manage the call flow of her customers, let alone deal with the challenge of using a phone system too small to handle the amount of incoming calls. The solution we provided, simplified the call flow, with options on answering calls, managing calls, call diversion and voicemail. Wireless headsets provided for some staff meant an ergonomically comfortable work practice. A corporate voice agreement provided more economically priced calls and cost savings.
LBH promotions also recently took advantage of Mi Communications expertise, and were supplied a solution that simplified their communications but also saved them money in comparison to their previous carrier. Their new system was installed professionally with emphasis on listening to their needs and matching those requirements.
Mi Communications is a community minded company. Surf Life Saving Clubs and community groups such as Gorokan Community Pre School, Sixty Five Roses and Telstra Child Flight are the organisations we favour with support.
Tim O'Neill, General Manager of Mi Communications said "it is important to support the community that supports us". "The Central Coast is a great place to live and work. All the team at Mi Communications are committed to supporting our local community and working together to secure a better future for us all".
Community spirit at the heart of Fortunity
Formed in 2006, by the merging of several of the Coast's most successful accountancy and business advisory firms, Fortunity has a Board of Directors focused on impressing their clients with exceptional service, as well as building a culture aimed at inspiring and supporting the local community wherever possible.
As a local firm, investing in the future of the Coast is important. Employing a team of over 40 makes Fortunity the largest business and financial advisory firm on the Central Coast. Being able to offer young professionals a secure, dynamic team environment with rewarding career opportunities is testament to the commitment Fortunity has to being one of the most progressive companies on the Coast. The cadet program, offering school leavers the opportunity to build a career in business or financial advisory, is seen as just one of the strategies to help strengthen the local economy.
"Fortunity in the Community" is the firms' charity group aimed at supporting various charitable organisations and events. Contributing to charities such as Central Coast Community Chest, Coast Shelter and the Haven Education Centre, as well as offering an additional day off per year to dedicate to community service, ensures the team are engaged with the community and committed to improving the quality of life of those living in it. The Fortunity team also held a recent BBQ, selling bacon and eggs rolls to local businesses to help raise funds for those impacted by the floods in Queensland, Victoria and parts of NSW.
Particularly pleasing to Fortunity's Directors is their association with several local sporting groups including the Mariners and the Central Coast Bears. Fortunity have been the largest Central Coast sponsor of the Mariners since 2006 and are proud of the role their support plays in building community spirit, as well as the economic benefits that these sporting teams generate for the Coast.
Having a buy local policy is a part of the firms' philosophy. Understanding how far the local dollar stretches and the impact this has on the local economy is one of the key reasons for the policy. Together with building strong client and supplier relationships, it's important to understand the commercial benefits of supporting local businesses.
Currently celebrating the success of being named the only Central Coast firm listed in the prestigious BRW Top 100 Accounting Firms, Fortunity ranked number 70 in the 2010 listing. With their sights firmly set on becoming one of the top 10 regional firms in 2011, they are a local firm offering exceptional business and financial advisory services to the Central Coast.
With offices located in Erina if you're in need of a firm to help your business grow, or help build your personal wealth, you can contact them on 02 4304 8888
Community Contribution Worthy of Community Sport
Mark Izzard is unique - unique because he puts his money where his mouth is. Often asked "why do you donate security services that equate to the value of a median priced home on the Central Coast?", his answer is simple. "I love the Coast and its community!"
Mark is director of Unique Security Group, a company he established in 2006, seeing the vital need to protect local businesses.
A proud family man, Mark advises that his children attend a Coast school and play football in their local team. Unique Security Group sponsors Woongarrah Wildcats Football Club, which boasts 52 teams this season.
Mark also acknowledges that his wife supports the many shopping precincts on the Central Coast with her avid belief in "Retail Therapy". He delivered a significant contribution to the community when he offered to conduct the live monitoring of the Community Safe CCTV Program. Watching a network of public space CCTV cameras located in Toukley, East Toukley, Wyong and Budgewoi, the value of this work is calculated at $300,000 approximately per year.
The first stage of this program involving 6 cameras in the Toukley shopping district, was launched recently at Unique Security Group's Alarm & CCTV Monitoring Centre, located at Charmhaven. VIPs in attendance included Member of Parliament, David Harris, who was instrumental in securing the funding for the cameras, Mayor of Wyong Doug Eaton, Tuggerah Lakes Area Police Commander, David Swilkes, plus many supportive Toukley business owners.
A Rotarian, Marks' professional company, Unique Security Group is also sponsoring for the 3rd year, the Kooindah Acquisitive Sculpture Prize Exhibition (KASPE) with security manpower and electronic services.
If you, or your community, need security, consider a local, experienced and uniquely skilled company.
Phone Unique Security Group on 4394 0799
Central Coast boasts leading travel industry professional
Central Coast leading travel agent Maxeine McKeon is a true local having lived in the region all her life. Now acknowledged as the Central Coast's most experienced travel professional, Maxeine has a thirty year plus, well respected reputation in the industry. She has been at the leading edge of travel and holiday innovation, strategic development and industry governance for many years.
Recognised as among Australia's most experienced travel professionals, Maxeine's many travel industry achievements include being the first franchisee for Harvey World Travel when she operated the first agency in West Gosford in 1979.
Since that time she has owned and operated eleven travel agencies on the Central Coast over a distinguished career. Maxeine was also a foundation shareholder of Harvey World Travel Franchises and served as a director on the company's Board for many years.
Maxeine was the winner of the Central Coast's Women in Business Awards for 2010 in the Hospitality, Tourism and Travel category. She was also awarded a Women in Business Awards life time achievement award in 2009.
Maxeine's Harvey World Travel Erina Group presently operates three retail travel agencies, one at Fountain Plaza at Erina and two in Erina Fair.
In 2006 Maxeine was appointed as one of only nine travel agencies to support and sell space travel by Virgin Galactic. These nine agencies were the first appointments in the World and resulted in Maxeine's Erina Group being listed by Travel Weekly as among "Travel's Top 50" most influential. The magazine said: From the hundreds of applications received, Virgin Galactic selected nine lucky agents to represent the Galactic brand and send future clients into space.
Maxeine said the travel industry has become much more challenging today with online travel bookings, reduced commissions, suppliers selling direct and some financial institutions also offering travel products. The more successful travel companies have and continue to develop new market segments, products and services.
"These agencies understand that success means staying ahead of the pack, anticipating changes in the business environment and planning accordingly, doing the marketing and delivering the products, services and support to customers with experienced, professional travel consultants."
"My strong advice to businesses and other customers is to stick with established travel agencies. That way you will get the professional travel support and related travel products that can't be matched elsewhere, plus other benefits that will drive your money further and avoid the disappointment and inconvenience of a ‘deal' that goes bad," Maxeine said.
Over the years Maxeine has placed particular importance on being involved in and financially supporting the Central Coast community, sporting groups, schools and the local business community. "I also continue to assist industry business development, training and mentoring programs as opportunities arise."
Recently Maxeine's travel group has become the lead sponsor and partner of the Business Leaders Series of the NSW Central Coast Business Chamber that runs breakfast seminars and other functions to promote business success on the Central Coast.
Phone Harvey World Travel Erina 4365 2337
Historical Wyong has a genuine "Coastie" on its side Sandra Kerr
Sandra Kerr has aspired to become a manager in the tourism industry since her teenage years. Currently in her role as General Manager, Mantra, Kooindah Waters, Sandra was born on the Central Coast.
Living in Point Frederick, then Gosford whilst attending Gosford Primary School, Sandra's family then moved to Erina, where she revelled in her environment of an old farmhouse, surrounded by grazing cattle, chickens and ducks.
Sandra's teenage years were spent at Erina High and on weekends she spent her time enjoying endless summers with friends on the idyllic Terrigal Beach.
A "people person", Sandra knew the spectacular wonders of the coast she loves, would be a drawcard to visitors from Sydney and beyond. The lifestyle is infectious! Living in Terrigal, Wamberal and now Bateau Bay, Sandra knows just how good life is when you can look out your back door to a National Park or walk 5 minutes to reach a golden beach.
She believes our region is still a beautiful, scenic part of Australia and the modern necessities of shopping centres, educational institutions and medical facilities have been built to enhance the lifestyle of residents.
Sandra progressed her career, as the Central Coast expanded, having previously held management positions at Crowne Plaza Terrigal, Mantra Ettalong Beach, Dooralong Valley and Cypress Lakes Resorts. Her success was crowned in her current role at Kooindah Waters Golf and Spa Resort, located in Wyong. "I am passionate about my work and the opportunity this role gives me to attract visitors to the historic Wyong Shire" says Sandra.
A board member of Wyong Chamber of Commerce, Sandra hosts events such as The Kooindah Acquisitive Sculpture Prize Exhibition (KASPE) March 19 - April 30, an initiative of Northlakes Toukley Rotary, as a step towards establishing Wyong as an arts precinct.
What an asset Wyong has acquired!
Looking forward to seeing you at the Central Coast Buy Local Festival 2011 Friday April 29 & Saturday April 30.
Sharpe Bros Pave the Way
Sharpe Bros. (Aust) Pty Ltd is one of Australia's premier road companies, leading the way in the development and provision of viable solutions and technologies to improve the quality and safety of Australian roads.
Based on the Central Coast, Sharpe Bros is a family owned company that can trace its roots back over three generations and 60 years.
During the 1950s and 60s the Sharpe family started their business in development and building construction. By 1970 the business had expanded into asphalt operations. Today, Sharpe Bros is regarded as one of Australia's leading asphalt paving companies, providing innovative services for road surfacing and maintenance operations throughout Australia.
Brothers and Joint Managing Directors Michael, Richard and Hayden Sharpe have remained committed to providing unparalleled service over the years, taking pride in their superior workmanship and ensuring all operations are in line with the strong family legacy.
The company has grown exponentially over the years and now, with its trademark colour green, the company's trucks and machines are often seen on road surfacing, building, construction and maintenance projects all along the coast.
Sharpe Bros has long been recognised for its commitment to innovation; leading the way for the rest of the industry. They have invested millions of dollars in developing the Sidewinder and Flexipaver technology in their Gosford depot to overcome the limitations of traditional road maintenance machinery.
Sharpe Bros also has a strong sense of community and a proud history of offering support to a number of community organisations including schools, fire brigades, charity organisations and fundraising committees.
They have a longstanding partnership with the Gosford Regional Gallery. This currently includes a five-year, $25,000 sponsorship of the annual Sharpe Bros Art Prizes.
Sharpe Bros remains committed to its community involvement, with the benefit flowing both ways.
"The company volunteers its services for community involvement which creates a lot of enjoyment and pride for all our employees and their families. So everyone benefits through working and volunteering for the community," Michael says. "We continue to develop new ways of helping, while having a lot of fun along the way."
Sharpe Bros' ongoing commitment to being an industry leader, a good corporate citizen and a company dedicated to occupational health and safety has been recognised with a number of awards in recent years.
The company has been awarded the Gosford City Australia Day Award for Business of the Year, NSW Family Business of the Year, the Central Coast Manufacturer's Award for Innovation, the National Safe Work Australia Award for Best Practice and the WorkCover NSW Award for Best Practice.
Sharpe Bros has been committed to the highest quality of work for over 60 years. If their past and current performance is anything to go by, this family company is set to be paving the road to the future for many more years to come.
2010 Delta Wyong Regional Chamber of Commerce awards
Our very successful Annual Delta Business Awards were held on Friday evening at Kooindah Waters. Congratulations to the following members:
Benefits of Chamber of Commerce Membership
Membership of a local Chamber of Commerce gives you the opportunity to be part of the business community where you work and or live. As a not for profit organisation, your local Chamber of Commerce is focused directly on building business growth in the area in which it operates.
As we're all operating in a very diverse and now global arena, Chambers of Commerce are always looking at how they can add value to their members so that membership retention is a focus as well as membership growth.
You'll find that your local Chamber of Commerce is working with all the organisations in your area to provide a high level of service to their members and the wider community in general.
As with everything, there is strength in numbers and a Chamber of Commerce with an active membership and a dedicated board of innovative people that offer their time to volunteer can help foster business growth in your area, region, and State.
Chambers of Commerce give you the opportunity to promote your business via a variety of programs and networking events. You'll typically be given opportunities for sponsorship and event advertising at very reasonable rates. You'll also be able to grow professionally and personally by enhancing your own skills.
Peter Miller President - Wyong Regional Chamber of Commerce
LBH Promotions & B2B with a Twist have had a long affiliation with Wyong Regional Chamber of Commerce.
There is great fulfilment in being part of the local business community and building alliances and friendships with like minded business people through the Chamber of Commerce.
Lyn Thompson - Principal, B2B with a Twist
Being a member of the Wyong Chamber of Commerce has allowed us to connect with all levels of business and organisations within the local business community. The chamber is a vital link for information regarding issues both locally and regionally. Without this link our business would not be as successful as we are.
We are very proud to be winners of the Wyong Regional Chamber of Commerce Business Development Award. Winning the award helps us to continue to grow our business through the advertisement of this endorsement.
Sandra Kerr - General Manager, Mantra Kooindah Waters
IT and Your Business Success!
More and more technology is finding its way into our day to day lives, and business is no exception. Today information technology has become the backbone of commerce. It underpins the operations of individual companies, ties together global supply chains, and increasingly links businesses to the customers they serve. Hardly a dollar changes hands today without the aid of computer systems. The way companies utilise these systems dictates how successful they are.
Choosing the right computer systems for your business and maintaining them can lead to increased efficiency and profitability through minimisation of unproductive downtime. Purchasing quality branded equipment like IBM and HP, then coupling this with appropriate business applications will give you a solid IT foundation for your business. You may not be running one of the world's largest discount airlines, but unexpected downtime in your systems can have just as dramatic an impact on your customers. For this reason you need to have solutions in place that reduces the risk of unexpected downtime, or, if the unexpected does happen, solutions that allow you to recover quickly.
Purchasing quality branded systems for your business is only the start. Regular maintenance and monitoring are required to ensure that the systems run at optimal levels. Who hasn't experienced the frustration of slow system responses, continually restarting equipment when frozen and even wasting time checking unwanted email because you didn't have a suitable SPAM solution in place.
Computer Networks (CN) understands these requirements and offers the highest level of equipment, maintenance and professional service to help companies implement the computer systems their business needs. With offices at Gosford, Newcastle, North Ryde, and Brisbane we have a team of over 65 staff offering a full range of strategic and day to day operational services.
For an obligation free quote, please contact Michael van Dartel at Computer Networks email@example.com
"... At our initial meeting I was impressed with CN's professionalism in reviewing our current problems & assessing our IT requirements to expand our business.
Angus Farncomb - Long Jetty Pharmacy
"Computer Networks has recently taken over our IT requirements for our business. They have completely reviewed our requirements and installed systems that have had an immediate return on our investments. Our overall staff efficiency has been dramatically improved. The service we receive from CNCC feels like that of a owner operated small business yet they have the backup of many technicians and resources of a larger company but still keeping their rates very fair and competitive in the market."
Greg Ollerhead - Director OneWorld Australia
It's your life - so why protect it?
Gurney Financial Services has been assisting individuals and families on the Central Coast and greater NSW for the past 5 years. We specialise in family budgeting, consolidation and management of superannuation and the implementation of income & lifestyle protection through insurances.
We pride ourselves on providing individual advice that is just for you and your family. What was once right for you may need to be updated -maybe you have bought a house, got married, kids came along, or changed jobs. When these milestones happen in our life we need to make sure we are protected.
Gurney Financial Services is concerned about protecting the local community and their families. So many families these days are losing their homes due to disablement or death of the main bread winner. But what if you could protect yourself for about the cost of a cup coffee a day?
I hear you say, this will never happen to me, or I have some insurance in my super - but would it be enough?
With medical expenses sky rocking, the costs of funerals on the increase - what would be better for you and your family - debt and the potential loss of the family home or debt free and a lifestyle?
We all protect our home and car against theft and fire, but what about our families, aren't they worth more than anything else in the world?
If you would like a complimentary appointment to discuss solutions for your family, then Gurney Financial Services would love to meet with you. What are you waiting for call now 4393 5979.
Tarnia Gurney t/as
Gurney Financial Services is a Authorised Representative of Sentry Financial Planning Pty. Ltd.
"Identifying the potential threat of the GFC on my business, I recognised I needed a mentor, but didn't quite know how to go about it. So I went searching on the Central Coast for a business mentor," explains James Carter, MD of Carter Universal.
"I've had other mentors in the past, so I was aware of the value of having a mentor. Any professional, business person who is serious about their business needs a mentor from time-to-time. You can't always be objective about your own performance.
When you're a pickle inside a jar you can't see the label," James adds.
On the website, James discovered the Central Coast Business Enterprise Centre's mentoring programme. "After meeting with a CCBEC business facilitator, I was confident that their support would not be a waste of my time and effort," said Carter.
The CCBEC mentoring programme is backed with one-to-one sessions with an expert approach, growth groups participation, practical hands-on educational workshops, or a referral to either an accountant, solicitor or franchising consultant.
"Twelve months ago my expectations for a mentor was someone with a good track record in business to bounce ideas off. A thinking partner who would challenge my perceptions and ideas. Someone who would hold me accountable to my goals and timelines. The outside insights without a set of instructions, a secret agenda or quick fix answers, proved to be invaluable."
"With my mentor we have been able to grow my business through the GFC, and I'm doing very well now. We have altered the course of my business operations with far reaching results."
"The distinct advantage of the CCBEC is that they matched me with the right mentor. My assigned mentor's ability to ask questions that forced me to get very clear definition was phenomenal. He never gave me the answers, but helped me discover the "why" and "how". I don't know where I'd be without my mentor. It's been a life-saving experience", concludes Carter.
Newcastle Mayoral Message - Newcastle's renewal
On the 23rd of August this year, the GPT Group withdrew its plans for the $600 million redevelopment of Newcastle's Hunter Street Mall. This decision hit the city hard and will carry with it numerous implications for both the community and Council. But it is not the death knell.
Newcastle can still achieve the future it deserves with a distinctive, attractive and welcoming city centre. Key to realising this future however will be a holistic and integrated approach to the city's renewal, backed by government and a united community.
Recently, in a show of unity, civic leaders, state agencies and members of parliament met in Newcastle to discuss opportunities for revitalisation in the wake of GPT's decision to opt out of our city's centre.
Essentially the meeting was about creating a common vision and fostering cooperation between different levels of government, in a bid to deliver positive outcomes for the community.
I'm optimistic about the discussions that took place at the meeting. There was a high degree of engagement, a high level of commonality and a firm commitment by everyone present to make things happen. Issues discussed include land-use mix, connectivity and parking, public domain, heritage and culture, enterprise, land ownership, look and feel and community space.
The outcome is an agreement that Council and the State Government will work collaboratively to renew our city centre, while at the same time encouraging and supporting business.
In the short term there are no less than 45 revitalisation opportunities identified in the Hunter Street Revitalisation Master Plan (HSRM) Strategic Framework. In the medium to long term we hope there will be further opportunities available through funding from Infrastructure Australia.
Meanwhile, a working party has been formed comprising myself as well as Councillors Shayne Connell, Mike King, Aaron Buman and Graham Boyd. We will now develop a prioritised action plan, which is expected to go before Council for consideration in the near future.
Entrenching regionalism into the system of Government
The outcome of the Federal election has put "Regional" Australia well and truly on the agenda of Government. In a number of speeches recently by Simon Crean MP Minister for Regional Australia, Regional Development and Local Government Minister, he has clearly stated the opportunity for Regional Australia to attract significant focus and investment.
Minister Crean said in a Speech to the 2010 Sustainable Economic Growth for Regional Australia (SEGRA) conference in Townsville "This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to entrench regionalism into the system of Government. Done properly it cannot be unpicked".
The Regional Development Australia (RDA) network has been identified by the Federal Government as the primary conduit to the local communities and their needs.
Here on the Central Coast, the RDA organisation is working closely with Councils, State government and other stakeholders to maximise the opportunity presented by the promised increase in Regional Australia investment.
RDA Central Coast is a partnership between the Australian and State governments to support the growth and development of Australia’s regions. RDA committees are building partnerships between governments, regional development organisations, local businesses, community groups and key regional stakeholders to provide strategic and targeted responses to economic, environmental and social issues affecting the regions of Australia.
RDA Central Coast is leading the implementation of the Regional Economic Development and Employment Strategy (REDES) which will support the growing population of the Central Coast, expected to reach 405,000 by 2031; this represents an additional 100,000 people living and working in the region.
Recently we have partnered to deliver the inaugural Central Coast Indigenous Jobs Market, Central Coast Business Showcase held at Parliament House in Sydney, and have hosted monthly forums entitled ‘Focus on the Coast’ covering topics such as Climate Change, Health Services and Broadband.
RDA Central Coast is proud to support our business community and in particular this valuable Business publication.
Please visit our website for more information www.rdacc.org.au
Royal Institute of Deaf &aamp; Blind Centre
The Royal Institute for Deaf and Blind Children (RIDBC) provides vital support to over 950 children with significant hearing or vision impairment and their families across Australia, as well as vision or hearing screening to thousands more each year. RIDBC has had a strong presence in the Central Coast and Hunter Regions for many years.
Based at Floraville, RIDBC Hunter provides education and support to 41 local children and their families through its preschool, early learning program, parent support groups and early learning groups. RIDBC also recently opened an Early Learning Centre in Gosford for hearing impaired children and their families.
Educating and supporting children from their first weeks of life, this support continues for a long as needed, which may be an 18 year commitment. We need to ensure we have the funds necessary to honour that commitment.
With only 30 per cent of services Government funded, RIDBC relies heavily on community support to help provide the remaining 70 per cent.
RIDBC needs to raise approximately $1 million every month in order to maintain its intensive educational and research programs and continue to make a difference in the lives of these children.
While this makes fundraising a critically important facet of the organisation, we do believe this is a positive, as it allows us flexibility and discretion over how we run our programs. It also allows us the freedom to be innovative and to go above and beyond.
Australians are an increasingly supportive community. While there is more competition for the charity dollar - total fundraising proceeds are actually growing in real terms each year which we hope to see continue in the future.
RIDBC, which is celebrating 150 years of excellence in education and research this year, is calling for donations to help them support the needs of children with impaired hearing or vision. Your donation will help them to overcome the many challenges associated with deafness and blindness, so that they too can reach their full potential in life.
To donate to RIDBC please visit www.ridbc.org.au/donate or call 1800 043 411
Warnervale Town Centre
The State Government has predicted that by 2031 the Central Coast will have an additional 100,000 residents, and this will require around 45,000 more jobs, (as outlined in the Central Coast Regional Strategy). The proposed Warnervale Town Centre will help manage this growth in population, employment requirements and retail demand.
The Warnervale Town Centre (WTC) is bounded by Hakone Road to the North, Hiawatha Road to the east, Sparks Road to the south and extends west of the Great Northern Railway Line to include land that is owned by the NSW Department of Planning, adjacent to the Sydney-Newcastle Railway.
The site consists of approximately 119 ha, of which 79 ha is proposed for development with the remainder to be utilised for public recreation, environmental management and conservation.
It is proposed that the town centre will include:
The timing of these facilities is dependant on development of the area and, in some cases, the availability of funding to assist in paying for construction.
Sourced from Wyong Shire Council
Landcom's Announces new Neighbourhood for Warnervale
Landcom is planning to deliver a new residential neighbourhood on its 13.8-hectare land holdings in Warnervale, north of Sparks Road. The precinct will reflect Landcom’s long-term dedication to foster sustainable communities within sympathetically designed neighbourhoods that fit within their natural environment.
It will encompass up to 150 lots for contemporary homes, semi-detached townhouses & apartments and is slated for release in 2011.
With the Central Coast one of Australia’s fastest growing regions, with projections of 100,000 additional people by 2031, Landcom’s residential release promises to be a boon for a mounting local demand for quality, diverse housing, particularly addressing the needs of older couples and younger families.
A defining feature will be Landcom’s construction of an ecologically sustainable wetland, to be fed by local creeks, part of an integrated water sensitive design network, set to be a local landmark and popular meeting place.
It is envisaged that Landcom’s neighbourhood will act as a catalyst for the future development of Wyong City Council’s proposed Warnervale Town Centre.
Recently, Landcom on behalf of the other two landowners Wyong City Council and Woolworths, completed detailed design and costing for the major entry road, off Sparks Road, into the future Town Centre. This road is an important part of the local infrastructure, linking the proposed retail core and new railway station and Landcom’s residential precincts to Sparks Road.
On September 20th, 2010, dignitaries including The Member for Wyong David Harris MP officially unveiled Landcom’s information billboards on Sparks Road. Landcom will keep the greater community appraised of project updates through regular advertorials in the local press.
Landcom anticipates calling for expressions of interest from builders and developers to co-venture the development in coming months and submitting a Development Application for the residential development in the next six months.
It is expected the residential release alone will support up to 100 new construction jobs for the Central Coast, with the road development itself expected to generate 14 full-time jobs.
Landcom is a well-respected NSW
For more information contact,
Web technology continues to develop at an alarming rate
Earlier this year Webstuff.biz launched our social media management service for companies that find it difficult to manage their social media presence like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. We have received record enquiries for this service as many businesses require support for their social media online presence.
Webstuff.biz is now launching another new service - mobile phone application development (phone apps). We can set up websites for mobile phone iPhone applications (iPhone apps) and create other mobile phone applications for use on Android phones.
There’s a boom in popularity of smart-phones and web browsing capable mobile phones. Smart-phone sales are expected to exceed desktop PC sales in 2011; on these devices traditional websites don’t always look the way you expect. To ensure your viewers have a pleasant and easy experience on your website using their mobile phone you should consider having an alternative. You can have a small "mobile phone friendly" web presence or you can have a custom application designed and built for your online presence.
Mobile phone applications can be designed to meet your online business requirements. For example if you sell goods online you can have a scaled down site that would make it easy for someone to purchase goods via their mobile anytime they like. There are many options and ideas that can be implemented into mobile phone application development which can help promote your business and gain new sales: this is limited only by your imagination.
With the enormous growth of mobile phone internet applications, many of the major companies are now creating mobile phone applications to meet their client’s requirements. As a small business owner you have the advantage of being right at the cutting edge of technology if you embrace this. In saying that, not all businesses are suited to this technology and that’s why I am happy to meet with you to discuss your online requirements. Don’t worry; if we think your business isn’t suited to this new technology we will tell you.
As we can build quality websites, provide social media support and now create mobile phone applications: we are in a position to offer businesses a complete online solution that will work for their business. We also have a very large network of great business service providers such as graphic designers, business coaches and marketing people that we are happy to recommend to you if we cannot help you in the area you need.
If you have an idea and would like to discuss it with us, please contact our office on 4325 1188 or visit our website to electronically submit your details 24/7.
The Webstuff.biz team and I would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a safe and merry Christmas and thank the business community for their ongoing support of our company.
Mayoral Message - Gosford
We all know Gosford City Centre is the capital of the Central Coast; and we all know the Central Coast is an important region in Australia. Our population is similar to the ACT, Northern Territory, Illawarra and Hobart.
Now, following years of lobbying from Council, the NSW State Government has officially acknowledged the Central Coast as a Region.
This announcement was made at the same time as the announcement that the Central Coast Regional Development Corporation had been formed to, among other things, focus on the revitalisation of Gosford City Centre.
Hot on the heels of this announcement was the announcement that the Minister for Planning is considering the Gosford City Centre's waterfront as a state significant site.
Then the Minister of Lands announced the State's Land and Property Management are requesting proposals from developers to develop Gosford City Centre's waterfront.
The momentum is compelling. Creating a thriving Regional Capital will bring many benefits to the people of the Central Coast. One of these benefits according to the NSW Department of Planning will be 6,000 more jobs.Gosford City Council hopes NSW State Government will help us reach these targets. They could move our Region's departmental headquarters to Gosford; the Region's State identified City Centre.
At the moment all of our Region's headquarters are in Newcastle or Sydney. The people of the Coast who work in their own Region's headquarters have to commute, or worse those representing our Region don't live in our Region, and so know little of it.
This will not just bring these jobs. For every extra job directly created in the City Centre there are flow on benefits right across the Central Coast as people spend their money locally rather than in Sydney or Newcastle.
Another benefit the people of the Central Coast Region should expect from a revitalised Gosford City Centre is the same level of investment in infrastructure that other regional capitals across Australia have enjoyed. So what have the capitals of the ACT, Northern Territory, the Illawarra or Hobart got in terms of infrastructure that the Central Coast hasn't?
A Regional Performing Arts Centre, a University Campus and City Playground were the top 3 'wants' according to more than 1,000 people who provided input to the Gosford City Centre Masterplan. This is the kind of infrastructure that gives a city heart and makes it a place of pride.
The State Government announcements and the momentum they have created is pleasing. Our community and Council have worked hard to produce the Masterplan for Gosford City Centre to become a world class regional city. Now, together we should look forward to a bright future."
Mayoral Message - Newcastle
Over the last year, The City of Newcastle has been working with the community to develop a long-term shared vision and plan for our local government area. The plan is called Newcastle 2030 and it will help set our city's direction for the next 20 years by recognising and building on our strengths, realising our opportunities and addressing our challenges.
Council is playing a lead role in the initiation and preparation of the plan but will not be solely responsible for its implementation. State and regional agencies, business, community groups and individuals will work in partnership to deliver the Newcastle 2030 plan, which will provide a strong platform for making sustainable choices in planning and providing services.
More than 1400 members of the community have had direct input into the project through a range of engagement activities including workshops, surveys and public forums.
During the first round of consultation, a number of priorities for the future were identified. Overwhelmingly, the people of Newcastle want to see improved public transport, including cycle ways. Other priorities recognised include a revitalised and vibrant city centre and an actively engaged community. Also seen as important is a protected and enhanced environment, a liveable and distinctive built environment, a smart and innovative city and open and collaborative leadership.
With a clear picture of the priorities established, Council then held a series of workshops to identify practical ways of moving forward and addressing those priorities. More than 300 energetic and passionate participants joined Peter Kenyon from the bank of I.D.E.A.S. and generated in excess of 500 ideas - from simple initiatives to long-term visionary strategies.
There is still more consultation to be done including staff workshops, youth and aboriginal community forums and then it is hoped the plan will be on exhibition for public comment by November this year.
The overwhelming message however is while Newcastle has already gone a long way to reinvent itself as one of the more desirable cities to live, work and visit in Australia, it has the potential to become even better.
Good News Story - Job Centre - September 2010
Webstuff.biz is a proud Platinum sponsor of B2B with a Twist along with Job Centre Australia. Through the fantastic opportunities created by the B2B networking evenings they have developed a great working relationship and will continue to support one another in the local community.
Michelle Allen, Managing Director of Webstuff.biz says, "it's great working with Job Centre Australia, they identify the skills we require from our staff and send us suitable candidates. They make the process really easy for employers to find the right person for the job. I highly recommend contacting Job Centre Australia for your staffing needs as they are a no cost, no obligation service."
"Webstuff.biz commenced in 2002, it was a home based business where I executed everything myself. It has now grown into a very successful business with an office located in Erina. We currently have 5 employees and are expanding due to the high demand." Michelle explained.
A new aspect of the business is Social Media management (Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and Blogs). Michelle will be hiring two clients from Job Centre Australia to work in this area. Cale, a jobseeker from Job Centre Australia will be joining her team. He brings extensive experience and fresh ideas to the business to assist her clients to market their business using Facebook.
Michelle to date has employed three jobseekers from Job Centre Australia.
Webstuff.biz has recognised the benefits of hiring people with a disability and is "setting the benchmark" for employment on the Central Coast for people with a disability.
Benjamin Gearhart (pictured below) is the first employee from Job Centre Australia to be employed by Webstuff.biz. He commenced as a trainee web designer at the beginning of February this year. Ben comments, "To me, this is my dream job, something that I have always wanted to do and I am grateful to my employer and Job Centre Australia for allowing me to learn something new everyday and look forward to the future." Michelle says, "We have found him to be passionate, focused and very loyal. Ben has fitted into our team really well and is now working on account management for our clients. He is a valuable part of our team."
Michelle has taken the opportunity to place her jobseekers into a Disabled Australian Apprentice Wage Support (DAAWS) traineeship that is available to employers who employ a person with a disability. Government incentives are payable to eligible employers during the course of the traineeship/apprenticeship of up to $104.00 a week. Tutorial, interpreting and mentoring assistance are also available through the program if required.
If you would like more information on how Job Centre Australia can benefit your business please call Lesley on 4322 5511.
Verb DC puts Wyong on the world IT map
Over the years our skilled young IT graduates have in many cases had to relocate for their job, taking with them the next generation of young families.
Verb DC has the potential of generating many jobs in the IT industry as well as attracting technology related businesses to the area.
Our nation is currently in the middle of a debate around the merits of a National Broadband rollout to 93% of homes around Australia. The Central Coast as a regional area, is one location keenly interested in the outcomes. For businesses, access to business grade internet services has been available for quite some time, however it is Data Centres which store data, deliver services and manage business environments in the 21st Century.
The Central Coast has for too long been starved of Data Centre availability. Verb Data Centre last week launched the first Data Centre on the Central Coast. Located at North Wyong, it sits in the middle of the Sydney to Newcastle corridor. The site at North Wyong is therefore ideally placed as a Data Centre. It sits adjacent to a Power substation and has access to gas as an alternative power source. Fibre, via both the Optus IP EVOLVE and Telstra IP MAN data and internet products is available. This means that businesses can connect via high speeds from their location to Verb Data Centre.
The Verb Data Centre is a Data Centre with a difference. Built on the HP POD (Performance Optimised Data Centre), it is an Asia Pacific first in sustainability as well as a world first as a commercial data centre of this type. The POD is ground breaking technology that enables power efficiencies of 60% compared with a normal Data Centre which is very significant considering that data centre industry is predicted to overtake the aviation industry in terms of carbon emissions by 2020. This is great news for the environment and great news for business efficiency.
The Verb Data Centre asset will not only provide services to Central Coast businesses, it also has the potential to generate many millions of dollars in business from companies in Newcastle, Sydney, Australia-wide and internationally. It has the potential of generating many jobs in the IT industry as well as technology related businesses being attracted to the area.Pat Wilde, the Chairman of Verb Data Centre and his son Damien Wilde, a Director of Verb Data Centre, are owners of Henry Kendall Group, a shareholder of Verb Data Centre. The Henry Kendall Group views the Data Centre as Stage 1 in working with Wyong Council, the NSW Government and other property owners to establish the North Wyong precinct as a Technology based Business Park. This has the potential of creating thousands of skilled jobs in the area.
Although Verb Data Centre brings international companies such as Hewlett-Packard, Microsoft, Cisco, Telstra, Optus, APC, ADC Krone and Kaseya as its business partners, it is a local business success story. Henry Kendall Group has its roots traced on the Central Coast, having been established in the 1970s. The Wilde family has a renowned heritage dating back to the 1890s on the Central Coast. Chris Clifford, a Verb Data Centre Director and shareholder also has family roots going back to the 1800s, as local Chemists and Farriers in the Gosford area. "There is not a business today that does not rely on IT in some way. The Verb Data Centre offers a huge new economy opportunity to establish the Central Coast as an IT hub," said Pat Wilde at the launch of the Data Centre last week.
For Central Coast businesses requiring state-of-the-art and cost effective IT Support, Data Storage and Back-up, Email and Internet Services, Verb Data Centre is ideally placed to assist you today. Verb can demonstrate how SMB customers can best utilise cloud computing to bring efficiencies to their business.
You can arrange a tour of the Verb Data Centre by calling today on 1300 653 115.
Wyong Council has worked closely with the developers of the Verb Data Centre to ensure that the facility was established within Wyong Shire. The development will contribute greatly to the local economy and provide employment opportunities for residents of our community. The centre which is the first of its kind in the South Pacific region, has embraced modern technology and has the support of such large companies as Hewlett-Packard, Microsoft, Optus and Telstra.
This facility will provide IT services to both local and national organisations and will undoubtedly lead to the establishment of other businesses within Wyong Shire. Initially the centre will provide an opportunity for 13 jobs however as the industry establishes its niche in the market there is no doubt that the number of employees will grow rapidly and provide an opportunity for our skilled IT workforce to secure local employment.
The council also appreciates the faith shown in the region by the developer Henry Kendall Group in locating this modern IT operation within Wyong Shire.
Finally Council is convinced that this centre and its association with the major companies listed above will ultimately lead to further opportunities and employment for the residents of Wyong Shire. This is a great result for our community.
Wyong Shire Council
The new Verb Data Centre which was officially opened in North Wyong recently with support from the NSW Government, will create up to 13 full time high tech jobs on the Central Coast within 12 months.
The Verb Data Centre will provide a state-of-the-art facility for businesses to house data as part of their core operations, or as back-up and for disaster recovery. It is the first of its kind in the Asia Pacific region and is seen within the industry as the way of the future.
The company undertook considerable analysis of the market before making its decision to locate in North Wyong. It's a valuable addition to the Cental Coast and will boost the region's profile as a perfect location for this industry.
The NSW Government had provided assistance to help attract the company to the region through Industry & Investment NSW's Regional Business Employment Fund, which supports small to medium businesses' efforts to create new employment opportunities, establish or expand their operations or diversify and strengthen their business.
David Harris MP
Member for Wyong
Parlimentary Secretary Central Coast
"What an addition to the Central Coast and Wyong's IT offering!" was the reaction of Anthony Dow, CEO of Regional Development Australia Central Coast (RDACC) after attending today's launch of the Verb Data Centre.
He says RDACC is focused on bringing the best information technology infrastructure and applications to the Central Coast including attracting priority status for the rollout of a national broadband network.
Mr Dow added "The Wyong community should be proud that, through the Verb partnership, they have attracted major national and international interest with this 'first in the Asia Pacific' modular type Data Centre. I look forward to working with Damien and the Verb team to attract new high technology businesses to the Central Coast."
Regional Development Australia
Pioneering the Way
Patrick Wilde AM BA LLM (Hons) MBA
Chairman Verb DC and Henry Kendall Group
Patrick was made a member of the Order of Australia (AM) for his contribution to the retirement village industry and to medical research. He is currently the President of the Westmead Medical Research Foundation and a director of the Westmead Millenium Institute (WMI) one of Australia's preeminent medical research institutes. He is a Governor of the Historic Houses Trust.
As the CEO of the Henry Kendall Group since 1976 and having established the first Henry Kendall Village in 1985, Patrick has been a pioneer of the retirement village industry. He was the moving force and is the Industry Partner to establish a major study of the industry and its social and economic impact on Australian society. This study involving the Universities of Sydney, New South Wales and Bond University is the largest ever undertaken in relation to this industry.
The Henry Kendall Group is part of the Wilde family property investment business and has real estate investments and businesses throughout New South Wales . It is however predominantly a Central Coast focused investment group. The Group's businesses include not only the Verb Data Centre, but self storage, child care, car wash, medical centres and commercial and industrial investments.
A Man With a Mission
Kevin, a man with stamina and strength, right to the end, sadly passed away on Saturday 24th July 2010. His loving wife of 53 years and best friend Judith, daughter Sarah-Jane, son Simon and daughter in-law Jodie were by his bedside.The number of people that attended his funeral was testament to the life he led and the lives he touched.
The smooth talking marketing genius had a way of making everyone feel special and before you knew it you were on-board lobbying with him for the Wyong Shire. Kevin was appointed Wyong Town Co-ordinator in 2003 and passionately went about his job of implementing the Strategic Plan to revitalise the town of Wyong. He also had a vision that the Wyong Regional Chamber would be up there with the best. When Kevin was first appointed there were only 60 members and today the chamber boasts a membership of over 220 members.Kevin became the FACE OF WYONG with an enthusiasm and dedication that achieved outstanding results.
Kevin had a very charitable heart and this was acknowledged in 2007 when he was awarded a Rotary Citizenship Award as part of recognition of his outstanding achievements within the community
We should be thankful for the dedication and vision Kevin brought to Wyong Shire and the Central Coast.
A Few Media Quotes
"Kevin Faulks, Town Co-ordinator for Chamber, urges RTA rethink on four lane highway through Wyong."
He will surely be missed by all
Limitations, Stress, and their Effects on Business
Most individuals yearn to be fulfilled, well and happy; most teams want to be competitive and excel and all businesses and leaders want to be successful. Why do some of us fulfil our potential and others not?
LIMITATIONS! Where do these limitations come from?
Often our greatest limitations come from within, in the form of our own conscious and unconscious beliefs, assumptions, attitudes and knowledge learned and developed from exposure to our life experiences. Paradoxically our previous life experience and learning's can be our greatest asset and the greatest limitation for ourselves, our relationships and our work life and business. Prior knowledge and experience becomes the limited lenses we view the world, ourselves and everyone else through.
In small business, just as in large corporations, many constraints to fulfilling personal and professional potential also lie in limitations. These limitations can negatively impact strategic choices, productivity, decision making, behaviour, stress levels, interpersonal skills, business culture, teamwork and the personal well being of the individual as well as the commercial bottom line (well being) of the business.
Greater complexity and marketplace change has meant that in many cases past strategic approaches, problem solving methods and skill sets are no longer enough. The way in which business was once transacted has altered significantly requiring a greater skill set from those responsible - technically, emotionally and psychologically. To positively impact the bottom line in any business today requires that business owners understand themselves and their teams from the inside out. Limitations of our own self awareness, experience and understanding of others can manifest as limited success and often failure in terms of fulfilment, financial wealth, relationships, health, stress, business and in the overall quality of our inner lives and business/work performance.
So how can you grow yourself and improve your business?
Two ways - In business as with elite sport, we can be coached on the more technical aspects such as strategy, methodology, technique and practice i.e. the external things that help us "do" better. This can expand our capabilities (our range of choices and capacity to respond to the challenge) which builds more confidence and improves performance. Additionally and just as importantly we can cultivate capacities that support the quality of our inner being which can be severely compromised by a lack of awareness, stress and pressure. It is scientifically proven that the quality of our "being" (inner states) affects the quality of our "doing" (outer performance) which the Business Review Weekly (BRW) recently highlighted as critical.
InsideOut Coaching and Consulting works closely with businesses, leaders, teams and individuals to transcend limitations, improving commercial competitiveness and personal performance. This is achieved by utilising professional frameworks and models from business, strategy, leadership, psychology, neuroscience, stress management and elite sport, building capacity from the inside and out while improving the bottom line in personal, professional and commercial contexts.
Usually only available to larger corporations in the major cities, our own strategic expansion means our highly sought after services are now available to small, medium and large businesses in the Central Coast and Hunter Regions.
Our team has worked internationally and are all recognised as extremely successful business people in their own right, from diverse entrepreneurial and business backgrounds and experience grounded by formal university business degree's and coaching qualifications. We are also internationally accredited and present the clinically proven Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program which can be conducted on or off site. For more information on our next MBSR programs beginning in October at Gosford, Wyong, Lake Macquarie and Newcastle or any of our other Business and Personal Coaching Services:
Check out our website at:
Region a boon for Central Coast
There has been a long campaign being waged to deliver Regional status to the Central Coast. Community members, local organisations and business groups have lobbied hard as they have understood the economic benefits associated with such a move.The NSW Government had appointed a Minister for the Central Coast in 1999 and the Central Coast Regional Coordination Team was set up. This was the first official Government recognition of the Central Coast as a Region.
In 2005 an application to the Geographical names board was successful and the Region was officially acknowledged as the NSW Central Coast.
Application was made to organisations such as the Australian Bureau of Statistics for the Region to stand alone in their calculations and Government needed to follow suit.
In 2009 a new push for Regional Status began with Community. The then Premier Nathan Rees set up a special Office of the Central Coast under Marie Roberts and tasked them with finding out how specific Regional status could be achieved.
Ms Roberts located the specific legislation under the Planning Act, which grouped Gosford and Wyong under the Greater Sydney Region.
Current Premier, Kristina Keneally with the support of Minister for Planning, Tony Kelly made the decision to remove the two local government areas - thus formalising the Central Coast as its own Region.
This will start to have effect, particularly in terms of how Government Departments regard the Region. It will allow access to different funding arrangements and most of all give local residents greater pride in our beautiful region of the world.
Greater recognition was already underway with the announcement of a Regional Cancer Centre, a new Bureau of Meteorology office proposed and excellent "Buy Local" campaigns being run.
Regional status has also led to a Central Coast Development Corporation being formed by the NSW Government.
Great news for local residents and business and the announcements will continue as the Region's status continues to grow.
Packaging line for Bluetounge Lager now open
Thursday 29th July 2010; Jennifer Hawkins and John Singleton toasted the first Bluetongue Premium Lager coming off the packaging line at the new $120 million Pacific Beverages-owned brewery on the Central Coast.
Bluetongue Brewery started brewing its first batch just weeks ago. The brewery has taken just 18 months to become operational and boasts global state-of-the-art brewing technology.
Since being established just four years ago, Pacific Beverages has cornered approximately 10 per cent of the Australian premium beer market and the Bluetongue Brewery is designed in a modular format to allow for expansion as the company continues to increase its market share in Australia. The $120 million brewery has an annual capacity of 50 million litres, equivalent to about 6.5 million cases, and is easily expandable to 150 million litres over time.
What this means to the Central Coast
The Bluetongue Brewery brings significant employment opportunities to the Central Coast. Once fully operational the brewery will provide around 100 full time jobs in a range of functions including:
The flow on from this will see a significant number of related jobs in sales and distribution.
The new brewery can also boast about being one of the most environmentally sustainable breweries in the world. The sustainability efforts have focused on six main areas namely water and energy consumption, product packaging usage, waste generation (water and solids), atmospheric emissions and considered land use.
The largest investment has been in the water recovery plant, which utilises the most modern technology including an anaerobic methane reactor, aerobic (membrane biological reactor) and reverse osmosis treatments to produce high quality reusable water. This recycled water will be channelled into the general maintenance of the brewery including wash down and cleaning, boilers, refrigeration, staff amenities and fire water top-up that results in water usages equalling about half the global average. The Brewery has also invested in storm-water harvesting to capture 900,000 litres for later supply to help sustain the much needed water for the future Porters Creek scheme.
Peter McLoughlin further expands on the sustainability credentials, "From an energy perspective, we are in a position to recover the methane from the anaerobic part of the water plant and feed it into a methane boiler. When the boiler is operating at a full head of steam we will get a 15% reduction in energy. Combining this with all the other sustainability measures we have implemented across the brewery, such as flash pasteurisation and dry bottle conveyors, our carbon footprint has been substantially reduced".
LEADING TOURIST ATTRACTION
The site at Warnervale is close to the F3 and will be a great stopover for tourists travelling up and down the freeway to and from the Central Coast and Hunter . The brewery will include a visitors centre and restaurant opening late 2011. Guests will have the chance to taste beers from the brewery and take a tour of the brewing facility providing further job and tourism opportunities.
Mayoral Message - June 2010
I recently had the honour of turning the first sod to signal the start of construction on one of the most important water infrastructure projects seen on the Central Coast in more than 25 years - the Mardi-Mangrove Link.
Not since Mangrove Creek Dam was built and commissioned in 1982 has there been such a major investment to protect our future water supply.
When the new 2.1km pipeline from Wyong River to Mardi Dam and the 19km pipeline from Mardi Dam to Mangrove Creek Dam are built and commissioned - along with two new pump stations - the Mardi-Mangrove Link will help secure the region's town water supply for the next four decades.
Presently, Mangrove Creek Dam is only 28% full. With current demands and rainfall patterns in mind it is anticipated the Mardi-Mangrove Link will help storage levels recover to around 60% by 2015.
We also have both Gosford and Wyong Councils working together as initiators of the project and liaising closely with the Federal Government which has committed $80.3M through the Water Smart Australia Program.
The Councils are jointly funding the remaining $40M. Construction will continue over the next 12 months with all project elements ready for commissioning by June 2011.
I look forward to the day when the Mardi-Mangrove Link is up and running and our Central Coast water supply system is a lot more secure.
World Environment Day is upon us with this year's theme being "Many Species, One Planet, and One Future". There no bettertime to reassess how we live within the broader scope of our environment and how the actions of humans affect other living things on our planet. The theme ties in nicely with the Year of Biodiversity which also has a focus on the importance of many different living things to give balance to our world.
We are losing species at a rate faster than any other time recorded in history.
Achim Steiner UN under-secretary-general and executive director of the United Nations Environment Programme says "Many economies remain blind to the huge value of the diversity of animals, plants and other life-forms and their role in healthy and functioning ecosystems from forests and freshwaters to soils, oceans and even the atmosphere."Humanity has fabricated the illusion that somehow we can get by without biodiversity or that it is somehow peripheral to our contemporary world.
From frogs to gorillas, and huge plants to tiny insects, thousands of species are in jeopardy.
Rather than get into a funk about the plight of the world - we can all use this day to celebrate how precious and fascinating our world is and realise that we can all make a difference. Educating ourselves is a good first step. Being actively responsible in our personal lives and within our businesses is even better.
Think about what resources we use at work - can you recycle your waste better? Can you get involved with a 'green' corporate volunteering group? Changing habits and making small differences can make a big difference.
Good News Story - Job Centre - May 2010
Kristina Keneally makes young job seekers night
On Friday 7th May a fundraising event was held at Kooindah Waters for David Harris MP. Over 100 guests attended the evening including Kristina Keneally - NSW Premier, all reports were that is was a great success. Assisting in the success of the evening was loyal employee of Kooindah Waters, Alex Wesson, who had the pleasure of meeting both Kristina and David on the night.
Alex commenced employment with Kooindah Waters as a casual room attendant and kitchen hand at the 4.5 star Golf and Spa Resort located in Wyong, in April 2009 and was made full time in September. Alex's employment is supported by Job Centre Australia, a not for profit specialist employment agency that has been assisting jobseekers with a disability, illness or health condition for nearly 20 years.
Job Centre Australia and Kooindah Waters have been working successfully together for the past 18 months. To date Kooindah Waters have employed 5 jobseekers in various roles within the resort.
The General Manager, Sandra Kerr, commented that "as a result of our ongoing relationship with Job Centre Australia they have saved us time and money by offering work experience placements, wage subsidies and trainers. This allows us to give people a chance to find out if they are the right fit for our organisation."
Jamie Ryan, Executive Chef, is enthusiastic about the program and states "from day one, nothing was too much trouble for Alex, he came willing to work and to learn. Alex is the type of guy that when you pile a massive amount of dishes in front of him, from a 300+ conference, he smiles and say's thanks".
What once was a dream is now a reality for Alex. Congratulations Alex! Keep up the Good Work.
Bluetongue Continues to Back Local Stadium
Bluetongue Beer signs on for another two years as naming rights sponsor of Bluetongue Stadium 10th May, 2010:
Bluetongue Brewery today announced that it will renew its naming rights at The Central Coast Stadium in Gosford for another two years, which includes exclusive pouring rights.
Peter McLoughlin, CEO of Pacific Beverages who owns the Bluetongue Brand says "We are proud to announce our ongoing partnership with the Stadium. Bluetongue's affiliation with the Central Coast region is very important to us, particularly with the new Bluetongue Brewery being commissioned within weeks in Warnervale.
We are the local brewers in the region and investing into the local community is important to us. Our progress to date is in no small way attributed to the support from local customers and consumers and the decision to continue to support the region was an easy one."
Monique Marks Managing Director of Bluetongue Stadium, says, "We are very pleased to welcome Bluetongue back for a third term as the naming rights sponsor of our stadium. Given Bluetongue's strong Central Coast 0heritage and its popularity in the region, the brand is an ideal fit for us. Our patrons recognise it as a home-grown success story and are proud to drink a brand that is their own".
Fair Work Act
The NES are set out in the Fair Work Act 2009 and comprise 10 minimum standards of employment. Each standard is covered in detail in separate fact sheets (see below), but in summary, the NES involve the following minimum entitlements
A Great Local Buy Initiative - Wyong Shire Council
Wyong Shire Council’s Councillor Emma McBride along with Wyong Regional Chambers’ Executive Manager Kevin Faulks has shown great initiative in providing a Local Preference Policy to be implemented this March.
Local Preference Policy
'A local preference policy sends a strong message to the business owners and rate payers of the Shire that the Council supports them and I look forward to its implementation. I believe in the current economic climate that Council should demonstrate leadership, supporting local businesses and the creation of local jobs,' Clr Emma McBride
Councillor Emma McBride gained unanimous support for the development of a local preference policy in May 2009 and a Councillor workshop followed in October. 'I believe in the current economic climate that Council should demonstrate leadership, supporting local businesses and the creation of local jobs, 'Clr Emma McBride.
Director of Corporate Services David Jacks' report followed in November, recommending the adoption of a local preference policy. Supported by the Wyong Regional Chamber of Commerce, the policy will apply a weighting of up to 10% when evaluating tenders to businesses operating on the Central Coast.
In 2008/09, Council's discretionary spend on goods & services was $120m, 36 % of which was spent outside the Central Coast. A Local Preference Policy will allow the expansion of that spend on the Central Coast potentially injecting millions of dollars into the local economy. 'The adoption of a local preference policy, built into the sustainability principles of procurement makes sound economic sense,' said Deputy Mayor Lisa Matthews.
The Director of Corporate Services, David Jack recommended that the policy be adopted and indicated that it may be implemented as soon as March 2010, recognising that this policy meets Councils primary community obligation to be efficient and effective with its activities and its role in developing and stimulating the local economy.
The Councillor workshop considered the policies of many rural & regional Councils with local price advantages of up to 10-15 %. For a local preference policy to be effective it must support the local economy and represent good value for rate payers, this policy strikes that balance. 'A local preference policy sends a strong message to the business owners and rate payers of the Shire that the Council supports them and I look forward to its implementation.' said Clr McBride.
CENTRAL COAST ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT...
The NSW Government announced the Central Coast regional development vision to support 45,000 new jobs, new businesses and industries in the region over the next 20 year.
Premier Keneally said the Regional Economic Development and Employment Strategy (REDES) will support the growing population of the Central Coast - expected to be 405,000 by 2031 - an additional 100,000 people moving in. .
"Our long-term plan for sustainable economic development in the Central Coast, will build jobs, industries, businesses, close to home for people living in this great region," Ms Keneally said. .
"We have worked closely with stakeholders, businesses and the community to create this vision for the Central Coast - we have listened to your priorities, and will now begin working to implement this strategy. .
"The Central Coast is the ninth largest population centre in Australia and the third largest residential region in NSW - we will continue to support and plan for its bright future." .
Premier Kristina Keneally joined Minister for the Central Coast, Ian Macdonald, and Parliamentary Secretary for the Central Coast, David Harris, at the University of Newcastle and TAFE NSW - Hunter Institute Central Coast Campus, Ourimbah. .
To develop the strategy, the Government consulted with more than 80 large business and regional stakeholders, 300 businesses small and medium enterprises and 400 individuals. .
The REDES is a partnership between the NSW Government, the Regional Development Australia Central Coast (a State and Federally funded body), Gosford City, and Wyong Councils. This partnership will be honoured through a Regional Compact for Economic Development and Employment. .
"Today we will sign a cooperative agreement to implement this strategy as quickly and as effectively as we can," Ms Keneally said. .
A taskforce, chaired by Minister Macdonald, has now been set up to manage the implementation of a broad range of improved government services to this vital regional hub. Each proposal will be given proper government consideration before they are implemented. .
The Regional Economic Development and Employment Strategy (REDES) includes: .Strengthening the regional economy
Infrastructure to support economic growth
"The REDES provides direction and priorities for creating real, lasting jobs, close-to home, for skilled, well-educated workforce over the next two decades," Ms Keneally said. .
The Regional Development Australia Central Coast - one of the partners - will lead the implementation of the REDES. A review of the strategy will be undertaken every five years. Minister for the Central Coast, Ian Macdonald, said the Compact is a commitment to the future of the Central Coast and is based on a number of key principles.
Under the Regional Compact for Economic Development and Employment :
"We are committed to working together to develop and implement plans and actions to enable these outcomes to be achieved.
"The Compact reaffirms the commitment of all parties to ensure that we have a coordinated approach to sustainable economic development for the Central Coast region," he said.
"As part of the strategy I will Chair an Executive Group that will lead and monitor the implementation of the strategy and encourage the region’s future economic growth."
Parliamentary Secretary for the Central Coast and Member for Wyong, David Harris, welcomed the strategy as a long term vision for the region.
"The development of this strategy has involved extensive consultation with the local community across all levels of Government - providing a unique opportunity to shape the future direction of our region," Mr Harris said.
"The Central Coast is a great place to live and work and this strategy will encourage investment in the region."
Fair Work Information
Fair Work Information Statement to help create better Australian workplaces
Australian workers now have a new tool to help them better understand their workplace rights.
A Fair Work Information Statement (FWIS) has been released by the federal Fair Work Ombudsman.
Fair Work Ombudsman Nicholas Wilson says the statement aims to assist employees to understand their minimum entitlements and other workplace issues.
"From January 1 this year, employers must provide a copy of the FWIS to all new employees either before, or as soon as possible after, they start work," he said. "It is a two-page document which provides basic information for workers on matters that will affect their employment and points to where they can find out more."
The Fair Work Act requires the Fair Work Ombudsman to publish a Fair Work Information Statement explaining key aspects of Australia’s national workplace relation system.
The Act provides a safety net of fair, relevant and enforceable minimum employment terms and conditions through the National Employment Standards (NES) that will come into effect on January 1, 2010.
The statement covers the following topics:
The Fair Work Information Statement can be downloaded from Fair Work Online at www.fairwork.gov.au Mr Wilson says that with less than a month before important workplace relations changes take place, Fair Work Online has been updated to assist employers and employees alike with helpful information. A new-look Fair Work Online Homepage links web users directly to information on four key areas - the Fair Work Information Statement, the National Employment Standards, Modern Awards and Flexible Working Arrangements.
The Fair Work Ombudsman is an independent, statutory agency responsible for educating employers and employees about workplace rights and obligations, ensuring compliance with workplace laws and where appropriate, commencing proceedings for contraventions.
Information is also available from the Fair Work Infoline on 13 13 94 from 8am to 6pm weekdays.
Keys to a successful exhibition at an event
Marketing & Sales
Effectively reaching your customer is critical for business success.
While this might seem obvious, it is an area which companies struggle with the most. No matter how good your product or service is, customers will not come and find you, you must go out and find them.
Marketing and sales go hand in hand, but they are two distinct functions within a company. In a small business, both functions may be carried out by the same person.
The marketing planAll businesses benefit from a marketing plan. A marketing plan should answer these questions:
Small business marketing tips
The sales planA sales plan helps to focus a company on reaching its revenue goals. A sales plan should contain:
A sales plan should be very action orientated and specifically define who is going to do what, when. While longer term goals can be stated, sales plans are generally more short term in nature so they can be easily monitored and updated.
Remember, it is more expensive to gain a new client than retain an old one. Therefore make sure your sales plan is not just targeted at new prospects, but takes into account retaining past and current clients. This can include customer loyalty programs, special discounts, client visits or additional service offerings.
Information sourced from www.smallbiz.nsw.gov.au
Business data - An asset worth protecting
For most businesses, information is the most important asset after staff.
Today's use of computers for storage of business information demands that responsible business owners implement disaster recovery solutions to backup and (if necessary) restore data that is lost, corrupted or stolen.
Research shows that many businesses fail within 2 years of a significant data loss.
In the event of a major system failure, the time required to restore normal business computing operations includes:
Effective disaster recovery solutions require
Affordable technology exists today that allows the implementation of reliable and efficient disaster recovery solutions that meet these criteria.
There is no excuse. "Disaster recovery is business insurance you just can’t afford to live without." #1
If you would like further information on disaster recovery solutions for you business data, please contact Mick at Computer Networks Central Coast on 4322 0665.#1 Jeff Godlewski (Network World) Sep 2008
Appointment of Local Employment Coordinator
Federal Member for Dobell Craig Thomson welcomed the appointment of the interim Local Employment Coordinator to the Central Coast-Hunter.
The Local Employment Coordinators have a key role to play in the Australian Government's $77 billion Nation Building Recovery Plan to support jobs today by investing in nation-building infrastructure for tomorrow.
"I am pleased to introduce Mr Peter Taylor who is already working to play a critical role in helping to drive local responses to keeping Australians working," Mr Thomson said.
"As part of the Australian Government’s Nation Building Recovery Plan, $608.568 million is being invested in Central Coast-Hunter to support jobs and training opportunities."
"Mr Taylor will work with local business and other key stakeholders, such as local councils and unions, to develop strategies for keeping people in work while recruitment for the permanent Local Employment Coordinator is underway.
"He will identify ways to ensure that local people are able to access the job opportunities created by the Government’s economic stimulus measures.
"He will also work with key Government and community agencies to develop rapid responses to best deal with emerging employment issues in Central Coast-Hunter and promote job opportunities."
For further information on Keeping Australia Working and the Jobs Fund go to: www.deewr.gov.au/Employment/KeepAustraliaWorking/
For enquiries please contact Craig Thomson's office on (02) 4351 1223.
The NSW Budget - boost for small business
The NSW Government will provide a free online business tools as part of a $6.5 million investment in programs to support NSW small and medium businesses in the NSW Budget.
The NSW Minister for Small Business Steve Whan said the business e-learning portal is being developed by the NSW Government and the University of Western Sydney.
"This will be a fantastic resource for small business operators. The site will offer real, practical assistance. For example, users will be guided on how to develop their own business plan which they can use when seeking finance or for monitoring the performance of their business," he said.
The site will also include a ready checklist and self-assessment check to assist in reducing the number of small business failures in the State.
Small business operators will also be able to access free training in finance, marketing, legal requirements, employment and export.
The small business e-learning portal and website will compliment a range of small business programs on offer by the NSW Government.
"Business Advisory Services will continue to provide free business guidance from experienced business facilitators at strategic locations across the State.
The new online portal will be able to do a lot of the early work, like writing a business plan, at home, before they visit their local BAS.
There are almost 650,000 small businesses in NSW, providing jobs for more than one million people.
Minister's Visit to Central Coast
What a productive and informative day the Central Coast had with the visit from the Minister of Small Business, Independent Contractors and Service Economy, Honourable Dr Craid Emerson.
Starting with a business leaders luncheon held by NSW Business Chamber with President of the Regional Advisory Council - Ken Baker, NSW Business Chambers Regional Manager - Mary Doherty and Member for Dobell Craig Thompson was also in attendance. Held at Diggers at The Entrance, where Craig Emerson gave an informative speech followed by a round of question and answer discussion. Then at 3pm it was off to the Central Coast Business Enterprise Centre situated at the Zenith Centre, Tuggerah Business Park for an afternoon forum with local small businesses.
Dobell's Craig Thomson shared his awareness of the challenges faced by business on the Central Coast and made suggestions on how to help cut employment.
At least 30 different businesses were represented, ranging from sole proprietors to medium sized manufacturers.
The Minster Craig Emerson has a PHD in Economics with experience in small business including setting up and running his own business. He shared his vision for a one-stop shop and was pleased to see that the Central Coast Business Enterprise Centre had implemented this concept for small businesses.
He mentioned that Central Coast businesses riding the current economic roller coaster makes for good economics and social achievement. He also posed the question "Can we do more to keep people local" and indicated the he and his department are committed to do everything they can to support local small business.
Craig Emerson, the Minister, also gave a commitment that the Federal Government were endeavouring to remove burdens and red tape in the area of regulations at a Federal, State and local level for small businesses. In turn this would give small businesses incentives, keep more earnings, reward efforts and promote more free enterprise.
Questions were raised concerning unfair dismissal, ATO (Australia Taxation Office), carbon footprint and training, help for manufacturers, employer incentives, bank relationships, the tender process and "Buy Local" and the extension of the stimulus package.
SMSF - Property Bonanza
Recent changes to the SIS Act (effective from 24 September 2007) mean that trustees of superannuation funds may now borrow in prescribed circumstances, and may in fact pursue a geared investment strategy, provided that the requirements specified in the SIS Act are followed. The New Super Rules present fresh opportunities to leverage into the property market using your superannuation savings.
The many tax incentives introduced by the Government into superannuation laws, mean that many Australians may potentially accumulate wealth faster in a superannuation environment than they could by investing in identical assets outside of their superannuation. Now, under the new rules - superannuation funds can invest in direct property without the need to have accumulated the full purchase price. Superannuation funds are able to do this by using an Instalment Warrant Arrangement.
With the equity markets worldwide doing so poorly and with the lower cost of interest on borrowing and property being fairly priced - many real estate agents and financial planners are predicting a surge in the number of individuals opting to get control of their own super and experiencing heightened numbers of new SMSF’s being setup for the specific reason of purchasing property through the new IW arrangements.
There has not been a better time to take control of your superannuation.
2009 Federal Budget - Where do you stand?
Budget at a Glance - Announcements
The second Swan Budget is projected to deliver an underlying cash balance of -$57.6 billion, or -4.9% of GDP.
Total revenue for 2009-10 is expected to be $290.6 billion, with 42% coming from individuals' income taxation and 20% coming from company and petroleum resource rent taxation.
The IMF insists that fiscal stimuli must be sustained and (if possible) increased in 2010.
IMF points out that the credibility of extraordinary government spending can only be maintained if it:
The Federal Government's mediumterm fiscal strategy consists of:
Small business tax break
The Government will inject an additional $141 million to expand the Small Business and General Business Tax Break for small businesses. This provides a greater incentive to invest in new capital items such as vehicles as well as existing equipment. Small businesses will be able to claim a bonus tax deduction of 50% of the cost of eligible assets ordered between 13 December 2008 and 31 December 2009 and installed by 31 December 2010. This will give a small business spending $30,000 an extra $6,000 upfront tax deduction. The 30% announced earlier this year can still be obtained by all other businesses that acquire eligible assets before 30 June 2009, as well as the rate of 10% applying for eligible assets acquired before 31 December 2009.
Personal income tax cut
Treasurer Wayne Swan’s budget delivers $22 billion in nation building infrastructure, focused on transport, communications, energy, education and health.
New Announcements - (NSW)
Skills and Workplace Participation
The Government has increased education spending by around 50 per cent over the current five year period
Research and Development
The incentive to undertake research and development will be doubled for most small businesses from 2010-11 under the new Research and Development (R&D) Tax Credit - replacing the existing R&D Tax Concession. As an interim measure, the Government will lift the expenditure cap on eligible R&D for firms in tax loss from $1 million to $2 million for the 2009-10 financial year, at a cost of $65 million.
Small Business support line
The Budget also provides $10 million over two years to establish a Small Business Support Line and referral service to assist small
10 Stress Tips
1. Know your priorities
Look at all of the different areas of your life including career, partner relationship, family, friends, health, finances, creativity and self care and think about what is most important to you. What are your personal values? What is your definition of success? Make sure you plan time for activities that you find pleasurable and for the things that really matter.
2. Choose your attitude
Having a positive outlook really makes a difference. Each morning before your feet hit the floor think about three things you're grateful for.
3. Make time to relax
One of the things that is missing for many people is that little bit of space where we simply stop and do nothing. Practise yoga, tai chi or meditation to help you learn to physically and mentally relax.
Taking a few deep breaths is one of the most effective ways to reduce and manage stress.
Here's a simple breathing exercise. Sit comfortably and close your eyes. Breathe deep into the abdomen, taking the breath deep into the belly and allowing the ribs to expand out to the sides and the belly to the front, hold the breath for a moment and breathe out using a loud ‘sigh’ sound. Repeat at least seven times, making each breath slower, longer and quieter.
5. Get healthy
Exercise is one of the key factors to reducing stress as it not only increases your fitness level which provides you with more energy, it is also the best way to flood your system with positive hormones which counteract the impact of the negative stress hormones.
Remember to eat a healthy diet with lots of fresh vegetables, drink at least two litres of water each day and replace coffee and tea with herbal alternatives.
6. Plan breaks
Make sure you get away from your desk to eat lunch. It's also important to schedule a holiday each year and preferably, a couple of mini-breaks such as a long weekend, in between.
7. Find an interest
This is beneficial on many levels as it provides you with 'you' time, plus many hobbies also give you the opportunity to express yourself creatively, engaging the right side of the brain.
8. Connect with friends
Make contact with a friend. Reaching out to others helps you gain perspective and changes how you think and feel about your problems, which will definitely help to relieve and manage your stress. Most people don’t need therapists. As long as you can talk openly and honestly and have someone really listen to you, you can reap similar benefits by talking with a trusted friend.
9. Know your boundaries
Learn to say 'no'. Be clear about your personal boundaries and learn how to say a gentle but firm 'no' when people make requests of you that push those boundaries.
Laughter is one of the most valuable resources to help you reduce and manage stress. See a funny film or a comedy show. Remember to create time to 'play' and remind yourself to lighten up and not take life so seriously.
Boost referrals with a memorable introduction
Positive wrd-of-mouth is the main source of new business for many soloists, and networking is a good way to build it. But people have to remember you to refer clients, so how you introduce yourself to people you meet is important to boost referrals.
When we meet someone new and they ask what we do, most of us take the easy option and respond with a label: "I'm an accountant", "...writer", "...graphic designer" and so on.
Labels can be very limiting. With so many new people to meet, it’s very easy for other networkers to get the wrong impression of us anyway, but we add to the problem if we use labels that don’t articulate the true nature or value of what we do.
When I first set up as a soloist, I proudly called myself a marketing consultant. A mate of mine rang with an opportunity for me. He knew someone who was opening a waxing salon and needed some ads written. Now this was someone who knew exactly what I did for a living, that I had a background in industrial marketing and specialised in writing proposals. Or so I thought. In fact all he’d absorbed was that I worked in marketing. To him that obviously meant ads for XXX Brazilians. Ouch.
Here's another example. A graphic designer might specialise in consumer packaging or magazine design, focus only on websites, or do cheap and cheerful business cards and pizza flyers. What you think about what graphic designers do depends on your own experience of them. So when someone introduces themselves as one, you’ll immediately think of those you already know whose businesses may be very different.
To focus attention on the words we use when networking and to boost referrals, I came up with an introductory statement I call the 10-word teaser. It is your opening line when someone asks: "So what do you do?"
Why 10 words? Because you have three seconds to make an impression and 10 words is the most anyone will remember when meeting you for the first time. There are two options:
With two 10-word teasers up your sleeve, you can choose which one you use. My first option is to introduce myself as "a proposal strategist and writer". That's my specialist positioning and it's usually enough to get the conversation rolling. Otherwise, I can talk about the problem I solve; "I help companies win hundreds of millions in new business". It's a more aggressive opening, but sometimes this is necessary to get attention.
A personal trainer might position herself as "a wellbeing coach" or as someone who "helps people change behaviours to become healthier". A publicist "negotiates specialist media exposure" or "helps clients build brand awareness in niche markets".
For more about specialist positioning, and why I think it’s essential for success as a soloist, take a look at my article Why specialist positioning matters.
To create the 10-word teaser about problems you solve or results you create, think about what triggers people to pick up the phone and call you. Many more people buy to solve a problem than to create an opportunity, so first try to find a problem-centred statement you can use.
Let's say you're a tax accountant. You start telling the people you meet through networking that you "specialise in solving tricky tax problems." One of them is talking to a friend at a barbecue, who says he’s dreading a call from the tax man because he hasn’t filed a return in four years. Who is your networking contact going to remember? Chances are it will be you, so this can be a great way to boost referrals.
Money management tips to survive the downturn
If you can keep your cool while economic mayhem abounds, you could set up your business for not just survival, but for greater profit and cashflow when things improve. Here are some money management tips to thrive and survive in the downturn.
It's all over the news that business and consumer confidence is low and that Australia and other Western economies are heading for tough times. Money is tight and many business sales are falling. This is not good news for many small to medium enterprises, but it can present a chance to take stock and even get the edge over competitors who don’t treat the situation as an opportunity.
This is a time when business owners need to show leadership and retain the confidence of staff and stakeholders. SMEs often have an advantage over larger businesses in that they are able to act more quickly and decisively. Larger businesses often have to contend with office politics and various departments trying to protect their own turf, whereas SMEs are more down to earth.
Just because SMEs can act quickly, it can be detrimental to employ ‘slash and burn’ money management tactics to survive a downturn. i.e. indiscriminately cutting costs without really thinking about how this might impact on the future of the business.
The best place to begin preparing for a downturn is to work towards where you want to be when things pick up again.
Once you have a picture of your ideal business, you can begin to look at the cost of running it and other money management issues. Start with a review of your Profit and Loss Statement for a prior period e.g. for the year ended 30th June 2008.
When times are good most business owners spend little time worrying about every cent that gets spent. When sales start to fall though, this is the best place to start.
Look at direct costs e.g. cost of products for sale and labour costs. Are there alternatives or better methods of delivering your product or service? Perhaps do some research on the Internet to see how other businesses are doing it.
The next money management tip is to work your way through every line item on the Profit and Loss Statement. Time put aside to focus on this issue can be some of the most profitable time you will spend in your business. It may seem tedious, but when every cent is coming out of your pocket as a business owner, believe me, it's worthwhile.
I went through this money managment exercise myself a couple of years ago and came up with approximately $250,000 per annum worth of savings. I looked at every single item and thought "How can we do this better, more efficiently and more cost effectively?" Lots of self-discipline is necessary and a little sensible ruthlessness as well.
The important point in relation to cost savings is that every dollar saved is a dollar straight onto the bottom line. Whereas every dollar of extra sales may only be a matter of cents onto the bottom line, because a sale carries with it direct costs and overheads.
Cashflow also needs serious attention during a downturn. Stock needs to be more closely managed to ensure only the stock that is required is purchased. If you are purchasing stock on credit terms you could get a double whammy of reduced sales and collections at the same time as paying for stock that is taking longer to sell.
All of the above may sound like Doomsday stuff, but if you can be realistic and take the tough money management decisions now, your business will be in a much better position when the downturn ends.
Your business will also be in a far stronger position than competitors who haven't properly managed the downturn or indeed survived it. When the upturn arrives your business could be even more profitable and valuable.
How will you make your business robust enough to thrive through the downturn?
Sue Hirst is the founder of CAD partners (also known as 'CFO On-Call'), a team of Financial Controllers who can help business owners grow their business safely
Engaging Customer Interest
Many retailers are searching for ways to stand out from the crowd in order to generate extra sales.
Here are a few simple ideas that smart retailers are using in their stores and showrooms to enhance their customer service and distinguish themselves from their competitors.
Eye catching displays
First, try displaying moving promotional images in your storefront.
Moving images are a great way to attract the interest of passing foot traffic.
In the past this promotional technique was rarely adopted by retailers due to the expense and relative poor quality of the video and graphic images available to them. The sheer physical size of the TV based display technology also prohibited the use of this technique in most shop displays.
However, it is now a viable option for most businesses to display moving promotional images using flat screen (LCD and plasma) monitors and digital multimedia technologies.
All in one digital systems are now available for use in retail showrooms that feature slim lined flat screen monitors with multimedia equipment attached.
The rapidly advancing quality of multimedia imagery now allows even small businesses to cost effectively produce an eye-catching range of multimedia product information displays and advertorials.
The display screens are also becoming increasingly more affordable. The display screens can now range in size from 15 inch LCD screens through to large plasma screens. These screens can produce crisp high quality images and due to their flat slim design they now only require a very limited floor space, making them suitable for inclusion in most shop displays.
You may also find the use of multimedia based promotional displays particularly useful during the Christmas shopping period when trying to attract the attention of passers-by who are otherwise aimlessly wondering the retail arcades looking for gift ideas.
The next idea is the use of touch screen information kiosks in your store.
You will have seen various types of computer information kiosks before. The actual kiosk units are often a flat touch screen computer monitor mounted on an upright stand or wall mounted. Both options are suitable for a retail showroom, though if you have a store with limited floor space, the wall mounted kiosk in an easily accessible area may be the best option for you.
Touch screen kiosks can offer customers a wide range of information including full product catalogues and product specifications, customer testimonials and they can also assist in educating customers about terminology and concepts used in your industry.
If you wish, you may also allow customers to design or modify product specifications and place orders using the kiosk. Recent trends indicate that using in store kiosks to allow customers to order products is becoming increasing popular overseas.
The kiosk is best used in a store environment to entertain customers when sales representatives are busy serving other customers or as a means of customer self-education. The benefit of the interactive nature of information kiosks is that they will often engage and amuse customers when customers otherwise may have left your store or become impatient when waiting to be served.
Another very simple and yet effective idea is to create personalised printed catalogues for your customers.
This idea requires some simple catalogue creation software, a computer, a printer and possibly a digital camera. Using these tools you can select specific products from your range and produce a printed personalised catalogue for a customer on demand.
For example, if a store customer was interested in three of your products, you could print a personalised catalogue for that customer featuring their preferred products. The catalogue can include pictures and specification details of the three products together with your company logo, the name of the sales representative, company contact information and ordering information.
You may already have found that customers are often overwhelmed with information when shopping. By taking this type of active step to offer extra customer service through a personalised catalogue that you will go a long way towards demonstrating your genuine interest in the customer and reinforcing your product and brand.
These three ideas are just a few examples of ways that you can gain enhanced benefits from applying simple e-business technology to basic promotional and customer service concepts.