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Small Business Information Day

posted Jun 4, 2013, 8:32 PM by Daryl du Plessis
The Small Business Information Day was organised by the Small Business Centre Central Coast and was held at Windmill Farmstay on 23rd May 2013. The aim of the day was to provide small business owners/managers up to date information to assist in bringing health to their business. A delicious barbeque lunch was also provided as part of the day by Milton and Joan of Windmill Farmstay



First up was the WA Department of Commerce. Debra Richardson, a former industrial inspector, provided insightful information on current labour laws and standards. Debra advised that information relating to labour relations, awards etc can be obtained by calling wageline on 1300 655 266. This is a free call centre for employers and employees regarding WA employment laws. In addition, the federal government's Fairwork ombudsman has contracted the Department of Commerce to provide information services to country WA relating to the national labour relation standards.


Next up was Julie Mizen from AusIndustry, a federal goverment agency which provides information and funding to businesses to support innovation and development. AusIndustry operate Enterprise connect, which is a free business advice for companies that have a turnover of $750k to $2m operating within certain sectors. AusIndustry also provide a small business support line (federal based) which can be reached on 1800 777 275. There are many governments grants available to businesses and it is worth being informed about what is availble for your business. For more information go to business.gov.au


Siobhan O'Gara from the federal government consumer watchdog, Australian Competition and Consumer Commission or ACCC, presented information about business to consumer laws. Of particular note was social media liability, fans or followers making misleading statements about your business can your make the business liable for the comments made. It is up to the business to moderate these comments. Also of note is the requirement for businesses to provide itemised bills showing details of the labour per hour and parts costs. Ignorance of consumer laws does not limit a business' responsibilities and training on consumer law is available at www.ccaeducationprograms.org. Further information about consumer protection is available at www.accc.gov.au.

Andrew Stowell from Esafety solutions discussed the merits of the Thinksafe campaign. Operated by Worksafe but run independantly, Thinksafe provides OSH advice to small business. A consultant will work with the business to create an action plan for safe and effective operational safety and health in the business. To qualify for this service, a business needs to be independently owned with 30 or less full time employees. For further information go to the Department of Commerce website at www.commerce.wa.gov.au.

Earl Pryor of Synergy Business Services provided some excellent advice for small businesses on how to manage their books leading up to tax time with particular focus on MYOB and Quickbooks. Of interest was the changes to cloud based systems for accounting packages with both MYOB and Reckon (Quickbooks) launching internet hosted services. There are other cloud based services currently avaible but Earl predicts mainstream uptake of these services is 5 years away.

David Endersby of The Human HeRd is an HR and business coach. He showed us some interesting models for determing where a business is placed and where it needs to aim to be successful. Small businesses can benefit greatly by having a HR consultant advise them on contracts and other HR requirements.

Natalie Stodart from the Department of Commerce Industry Participation Branch discussed the Local Industry Participation Framework. The framework "seeks to improve channels of communication with both suppliers and project proponents to ensure that benefits flowing from resource projects to the Western Australian economy and community are maximised." Check the department's website for further information.

Clayton Jaworski from the WA Department of Training, Apprenticentre program, closed out the day. Clayton described the role Apprenticentre plays in assisting with apprentice recruitment and management. Further information can be obtained form the website at www.trainingwa.wa.gov.au/apprenticentre/

Overall the day was very informative and relevant for small businesses. The key message that I took from the day was that there is plenty of advice, information and assistance available to businesses. There are many advantages to being informed and getting the most out of the assistance that can be provided for your business. To be kept informed of future information days in your area check the Small Business Centre Central Coastal’s website at www.centralcoastalbusiness.com.au.
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