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  • 06/06/2021 6:00 PM | Anonymous

    Ultimately you're in your business to make money, so what are some ways you can maximise your return? Look at your revenue model and consider other streams you can introduce. Perhaps you could expand your operations with new products, services or features? ⁠

    Some great revenue models that you can use by themselves or in combination are: ⁠

    1. Products for purchase. These are tangible items available in store and/or online or digital products.⁠

    2. Services provided. Consider adding or refining existing services to complement your primary services.⁠

    3. Subscriptions and memberships. Capitalise on loyal customers with a recurring income stream, with three-month or twelve-month packages. ⁠

    4. Affiliate markets. Simply include links to other relevant products on your website or social channels and in return get kickbacks or commission when a purchase is made.⁠

    5. Freemium. In this model, you provide basic services for free but aim to entice your customers to pay for premium features. ⁠

    6. Retainer. If you work in a service industry, you can have consistent revenue by receiving an agreed fee for a service you provide at regular intervals - like monthly. ⁠

    7. Experiences and events. Explore the opportunity to create a physical event or virtual experience, perhaps using or learning about your product. ⁠

    Your revenue model may be fine the way it is, but if your business has hit a wall, you may want to consider these different revenue models!


    Adapted from Business Australia 

  • 25/02/2021 10:46 AM | Anonymous

    New research by the Regional Australia Institute (RAI) shows one-in-five city residents are looking to move to the regions, with more than half wanting to make the jump within the next 12 months. 

    RAI CEO Liz Ritchie said metro movers are looking for more space, to be better connected to the natural environment and they want a more relaxed lifestyle – all the things that Regional Australia has to offer. 

    “What’s really interesting about the survey we had commissioned is that the appeal of Regional Australia is a stronger motivation to move than any dissatisfaction with city life,” Liz Ritchie said. 

    “Brisbane respondents came in as the most stressed in the country, followed by Sydney-siders and then those in Melbourne. More than 69 percent of all those surveyed said reducing general stress and anxiety is a major driver for considering a life outside our capital cities,” Ms Ritchie said. 

    When asked about the reasons for considering a move, 70 percent rated traffic congestion as a major factor and 68 percent want to reduce their cost of living. 

    But it’s the positives of life outside the city limits which resonate even more, with 77 percent of potential movers ticking both space and connection to nature as reasons to shift. The improved general well-being that regional life offers is a major drawcard for three-quarters of those surveyed. 

    While the COVID pandemic has significantly raised the desire to move to Regional Australia for 22 percent of survey respondents, more than half said they were already considering relocation before the pandemic. 

    The RAI commissioned qualitative and quantitative research among more than 1,000 people in Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne and Perth who were considering moving to Regional Australia. The research was carried out in November and December 2020. 

    Larger coastal centres were the most popular locations for potential metro movers, but when it came to smaller areas, inland towns held their own against those on the coast, with about one third of respondents indicating an interest in both. 

    “Concern about limited job opportunities was identified by respondents as the biggest barrier to moving to Regional Australia, even though the latest job vacancy figures show there are more than 54,000 roles available in Regional Australia, with professional and skilled jobs featuring strongly across the regions,” Liz Ritchie said. 

    “Our research underpins a multi-million-dollar, multi-platform national awareness campaign that the RAI will launch next month at its National Summit in Canberra. It will inform potential movers about the great opportunities to live, work and invest in Regional Australia,” Liz Ritchie said. 

    “We are very excited to be unveiling this campaign at our Summit and look forward to seeing many regional stakeholders there on 17-18 March,” Liz Ritchie said. 

    For more information about the Summit, go to 

  • 09/12/2020 9:51 AM | Anonymous

    While there are many who can't wait to say goodbye to 2020, there's no doubt the coronavirus pandemic made sure businesses had to adjust to ensure their survival. This has changed the trajectory of what 2021 will look like and what businesses should do to get ready for the upcoming year. 

    Some small business trends predicted for 2021 include:

    1. Social Engagement 

    During the pandemic, brands relied on engaging with their customers and potential customers across social media. In 2021, there will be a big push toward a more authentic presence on social media and one that's less curated by social media experts, such as real behind-the-scenes looks at a company.

    2. Empathy 

    One survey revealed 93% of Australians would trust a business, buy more, and/or recommend it to friends and family if it demonstrated empathy towards its customers and community. It’s not about asking ‘How can I sell my product to them?’ but being more understanding what their needs are, how they receive that message, or how they want to be communicated to, and then how your services meet their needs.

    3. Workplace Flexibility 

    The traditional structures of the work week, pay cycle and remuneration are decades old and have been steadily evolving anyway. The events of 2020 may accelerate that for a lot of workplaces. "Flexible working is hugely valued. Whether that is for doing the school pick up, going out for a bike ride when the weather’s good, or spending a month working from New Zealand. Well, why not? As an employer, this is a relatively easy benefit to offer.”  - Pamela Phillips

    4. Business tech on the rise 

    Businesses are hurrying to move IT services to the cloud, so employees can work from home. And they’re moving sales online, so customers can shop from home. Business tech that could help your business do this includes:

    • ecommerce tools for setting up online shops

    • payment services for accepting credit cards (and other forms of online payment)

    • cash flow management tools

    • inventory management apps

    Adapted from: Xero, Forbes, Go Local First

  • 22/09/2020 12:21 PM | Anonymous

    1st October, 5:30pm - 7:30pm, Mittagong RSL

    Southern Highlands Chamber of Commerce & Industry and Wingecarribee Shire Council are pleased to present the Small Business Commissioner Chris Lamont, as Keynote Speaker, as we launch a significant program of local events in support of small businesses in the Southern Highlands.

    This year we have been exceedingly challenged by two unforeseen disasters. The impact on business, particularly small business, is profound; and is accelerating changes which had already begun. These include technological change and its consequences – good and bad – for retail and main streets, ‘working from anywhere (WFA)’, innovation, productivity and other efficiencies. The future of work is changing forever, and we are especially mindful of young people and their professional prospects.
    The major theme for this year’s festival is re-booting, with a focus on up-skilling with social and digi-tech, revisiting financial foundations and business planning, future proofing your business and managing your team. The Southern Highlands event program includes elements addressing all thematic areas in a range of learning, social and entertainment environments, both face to face and online.

    In addition to skill development, connecting with each other is an important part of re-booting oneself, the business and the local economy. We are looking forward to facilitating networking after a long period of time where face to face events have been restricted. Our thanks to Mittagong RSL for hosting this COVID safe event.


  • 21/07/2020 10:32 AM | Anonymous

    COVID-19 presents a once in a generation challenge for our business community.

    Based on feedback from our recent Business Recovery Survey results, Business NSW have identified 10 Business Recovery Drivers that will protect and steady the economy in the short-term, and will lay the foundation for our future success in the long-term. These recovery drivers are the basis of this special report.

    The onus now rests on our political leaders to work together to get businesses and our economy back on track.

    Download the report here. 

  • 15/07/2020 6:24 PM | Anonymous

    A Business's online presence can help cement its credibility, increase brand awareness, reach a wider customer base and allow people to connect with you. Here are four elements you can't miss when creating a strong digital footprint.


    A website is your virtual shop front, so you need to make it count. A free or paid website template from platforms such as WixSquarespace or Weebly can help get you set up quickly. If you have the budget, you could also hire a web developer to create a fully customised design, tailored to your brand.

    A good website should:

    • be visually appealing
    • be easy to navigate
    • help build brand credibility
    • make it easy to share information
    • be set up to drive conversions.


    Creating a website is the first step, but then you’ll want to ensure people can find it. That’s where search engine optimisation (SEO) comes into play. It helps your website rank higher in search engine results.

    If you’re keen to give it a go yourself, there’s plenty of free information about SEO strategies online, including some online courses. However, there are also SEO experts who can do the heavy lifting for you, depending on your budget.

    Remember, SEO is not a set-and-forget strategy. The landscape is constantly evolving, so it’s critical to keep up to date, to monitor and optimise your approach.


    Social media has become an invaluable tool for doing business. So, once you have identified the right platforms for your business, you should create a strategy that’s in line with your business objectives, such as:

    • brand building
    • increasing conversions
    • audience research.

    Then, it’s all about creating engaging content to support those goals and engage with your followers online to create long-lasting customer relationships.


    Listing your business on platforms such as GoogleMyBusinessBing Places or the Yellow Pages can make it easier for prospective customers to find your business while searching for a related product or service online. To support a frictionless customer experience make sure all listings are current, with up-to-date opening hours, web addresses and contact details.

  • 15/07/2020 6:18 PM | Anonymous

    Join Business Australia's Webinar at 12pm AEST, Tuesday 21 July 2020

    If you are running your business from home, discover how you may be able to claim tax deductions for your expenses such as electricity, gas, computers, rent and furniture!

    The way you work from home determines which expenses you can claim for deductions. Get the information you need in this one-hour tax power session, hosted by Entrepreneurship Facilitator Serviceto ensure your EOFY tax return is making the most of your available tax deductions.  

    During the session we discuss:

    • Home-based business categories
    • Deduction rules
    • Occupancy and running expenses
    • Motor vehicle deductions
    • Depreciation
    • How much you can claim

    You will have the opportunity to submit questions unique to your business during the live session. 

  • 15/07/2020 6:14 PM | Anonymous


    Has tax time prompted you to review how you currently manage your finances? If there’s room for improvement, now is the perfect time to consider moving to the cloud and automating some of your financial processes.

    Cloud-based accounting tools, like QuickBooks Online, automate a number of financial activities, such as payroll, invoicing, payments and expenses. Turn on Goods and Services Tax (GST) tracking and it will even automatically track and calculate your GST, so, when you’re ready to lodge your Business Activity Statement (BAS), it’s quick and simple. 


    Now more than ever, small business owners need to find ways to lower their expenses. One way to claw back the costs is to review supply contracts (e.g. electricity and telephone contracts) that are coming to an end and negotiating lower prices or switching suppliers. 

    Other ideas include buying in bulk, pooling resources with other businesses, paying invoices early in exchange for discounts, and rewarding employees with non-monetary bonuses such as flex-time.

    If you’re struggling to stay on top of your admin, QuickBooks has made life easier with their Smart Receipt Capture function. 


    You’re not alone if managing your cash flow has become a constant struggle, particularly with the impact of lockdown restrictions on business operations and turnover. However, even before the pandemic, cash flow woes were one of the most common reasons cited for business failure. That is why coming up with new plans and tactics to prevent your cash flow from falling short should be your priority.

    QuickBooks’ new Cash Flow Planner tool uses machine learning to provide real-time cash flow predictions over a 90-day period based on patterns in users’ data and bank history. This can give you a clearer picture of where you stand and how to manage expenses. And since it automatically uses your bank history to make predictions, there’s no need for tedious data input on your end.


    According to QuickBooks research, profitable small businesses are about 10% more likely to use an advisor (58% ) than those not using one (48%)*. While the number one piece of advice a small business would give others looking to start their own venture, is to pay for the advice of an accountant or bookkeeper, with almost half (48%)* of small business owners in agreement.

    The hard-to-predict nature of the COVID-19 health crisis means that financial management is already more complex and fast-moving than ever before – a situation that’s unlikely to change in the immediate future.

    On top of reducing your day-to-day admin, an accounting advisor can actively stay on top of assistance programs and regulatory changes to put your business in the best position possible.

    If you aren’t already leveraging an accounting advisor for more than your tax return, it might be time to reconsider. You can find a ProAdvisor near you here.


    As well as leaning on the advice of an expert accounting advisor, you should also update your financial forecasts and goals. This should cover sales and expenses, and projected cash flow. Base these on previous data over the same period for accuracy.

    Creating new forecasts will give you a good idea of what you’re going to make and what your costs will be over the next 12 months. This can help you plan and manage your finances better.

    Once you’ve created your forecasts you should then set your financial goals. These could be related to profitability, margins, cash flow, or a different metric specific to your business. Make sure to update forecasts with a significant bit of fat built-in for ongoing economic uncertainty or new waves of pandemic-related restrictions.

  • 15/07/2020 6:05 PM | Anonymous


    Australians are being urged to buy from small businesses in their local communities in a nationwide campaign launched today in Canberra by the Minister for Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business, Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash.

    The “GO LOCAL FIRST” campaign, an initiative funded by the Morrison Government and coordinated by the Council of Small Business Organisations Australia (COSBOA), will highlight the vital role of small businesses in our nation’s economic recovery and in keeping communities thriving.

    The campaign will encourage Australians to choose local small businesses when they are purchasing products and services to help get the sector back on its feet.

    “Australia’s 3.5 million small businesses are the heartbeat of their local communities. When they thrive, communities thrive and the national economy prospers,” said Minister Cash.

    “Throughout this pandemic, these businesses have done it tough and while some sadly won’t reopen, others have adapted to serve customers and to keep staff employed.

    “Australian small businesses need local communities to back them now, by ‘going local first’ when they need to buy a product or service,” Minister Cash said.

    Research commissioned by COSBOA and conducted by the C|T Group shows Australians are spending more at local businesses since the COVID-19 lockdowns began earlier this year, but temporary and permanent closures are preventing them from doing more to support them.

    The research finds Australians see broad economic improvements as the most important issues for the country, after managing the spread of the coronavirus.

    COSBOA Chief Executive Officer, Peter Strong said “small businesses account for just over one-third of Australia’s GDP and an economic recovery will not be possible without small businesses trading and hiring people.

    “We want to see Australians out supporting their local grocers, butchers, accounting and legal firms, gardeners, tradespeople, and goods producers like wineries and farmers.

    “When you shop locally, your money stays in your community, meaning local small businesses will still be there as we emerge from the COVID-19 crisis,”

    Mr Strong said. The Go Local First campaign will be supported by ambassadors committed to supporting Australia’s small businesses. The nbn and the Pharmacy Guild of Australia have signed on as inaugural ambassadors.

    George Tambassis, National President of the Pharmacy Guild of Australia commented “the community pharmacy sector is unique in that it’s composed almost entirely of small businesses because most pharmacies are owned and operated by locals.

    “That means we truly understand small business are the heartbeat of their communities.

    “But right now, they’re doing it tough, so we should be supporting them now more than ever, or we risk losing them.

    “I would encourage everyone to back this campaign and GO LOCAL FIRST next time you need to buy something or need some advice,” Mr Tambassis said.

    Brad Whitcomb, nbn Chief Customer Officer said:

    “Australians have responded in extraordinary ways to COVID-19 social distancing measures, including as people have relied on the nbn to keep them connected to work, study, entertainment, family, friends and shopping.

    “Our recent nbn Behavioural Change Survey highlighted a groundswell of support from consumers wanting to support local businesses online. The research highlights an opportunity for local businesses to strengthen their online presence and to make it make it easier for consumers to find their products and services.

    “Going Local First can mean more than a stroll to the local greengrocer; it also means looking for local small businesses online and thinking about buying from them first.”

    The GO LOCAL FIRST campaign will be rolled out on outdoor, radio, and digital advertising over the next six months with a call to action to consumers to spend locally first.

    For more information on the campaign or to be part of it, go to

  • 15/07/2020 6:00 PM | Anonymous

    The SHCCI Board urges all members to review and comment on this plan which will lead the way into the future of economics in the Southern Highlands.

    Southern Highlands Destination Plan

    Council is seeking feedback on a draft ‘Southern Highlands Destination Plan 2020‐ 2030’.

    It is common practice for local government areas to have separate strategies for tourism and economic development. Council includes tourism with other industry sectors in a whole of destination approach positioning the Southern Highlands as an attractive investment destination; a place to live, work, learn, play and visit.

    Documents can be viewed online here.

    Share your thoughts via the online submission form, email to or post to Wingecarribee Shire Council, PO Box 141 Moss Vale NSW 2577.

    Submissions close 4.30pm, Sunday 30 August 2020. 

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