Round 3 of Small Business Basics Grants

Round 3 of Small Business Basics Grants

Attention, Small Business owners! New opening dates have been announced for Business Basics Grants!

Round 3 opens for applications as follows:

Regional Queensland funding stream: 9 am, Monday 16 May 2022

South East Queensland funding stream: 9 am, Tuesday 17 May 2022

Grant information can be found on the QLD government website.

This grant is for START UPS and small business owners just getting back on their feet. It offers $5,000 cash upfront to go towards things like:

  1. Coaching and Training
  2. Creating or updating your website
  3. Business planning and advice
  4. Strategic marketing planning and advice
  5. Cyber Security tools and training

We are here to help your local small business succeed by understanding your goals and the essence of your brand. Please give us a call if we can help you with any of your digital marketing, I.T Support, and communication needs.

Our favourite local Brisbane Business that you need to visit 

Our favourite local Brisbane Business that you need to visit 

If you’re on the hunt for something unique and special in Brisbane, look no further! Forget visiting or buying in the same places all the time and discover a special local business in Brisbane.  

We love and support local businesses and we want you to feel inspired by their amazing work. Keep scrolling and don’t miss these special places and help support Brisbane and surrounding businesses and brands!  

Treat your body and soul  

Unplugged Yoga Studio in the beautiful neighbourhood of Paddington has a simple mantra for their students: “Be yourself and just have fun!”. If you love yoga or are just starting out, then this is your place. They have a magical studio with lots of light and are specially designed so that your yoga classes are extraordinary. 

You will not only find a place to meditate and improve the flexibility of your body, but also a happy and vibrant community. 

Is there anything better than a cold beer? 

If you are a fan of quality, craft beers and want to support a local Australian product, then you must visit Milton Common. In its industrial design premises with a Berlin atmosphere, you will feel at home. Whatever the reason for celebration, any excuse is good to have a good beer accompanied by quality food. 

The perfect gift 

Brissy-based, Blushing Confetti offers you a wide variety of possibilities for gifts or a treat for yourself. From picnic accessories, to all kinds of fashion accessories and beautiful designs for your home or office. 

A different experience 

Looking for a different experience. Relax while little fishes nibble and exfoliate the skin on your feet. Without a doubt, a relaxing and fun experience with Barefoot Fish. The ideal thing about this activity is that you can do it alone or you can have a fun time with your friends. Do you dare? 

Connection with your body and mind 

The Wellness Reserve is an individual journey that will connect your body with your mind. The pillars of this small nutritional and fitness consulting business are based on connection and mindset. They will present you with an easy and intuitive guide that will allow you to build a healthy routine. 

Dolce Vita  

If you are a fan of Italian cuisine like us, you cannot miss The Rustic Olive. Delicious dishes of the best of the Mediterranean diet and with incredible views that will make everything even more exquisite. If you go to dinner there, do not forget to order their delicious tiramisu. 

Improve your local SEO with a .AU domain 

Improve your local SEO with a .AU domain 

In the competitive world of business, it is essential to have a website and online presence. Due to the many competing websites online, it is important to have an SEO strategy. The best place to start is with local SEO on your website and domain. This post explains how your domain can optimise your local SEO. 

What is Local SEO? How does it work? 

Every time a search is performed on the internet, the browser uses many patterns and algorithms to generate the search results and rank them in order of relevancy. Many factors determine if a website is relevant to a search, one factor is proximity, which factors in location. This happens even when the search doesn’t include “near me” in the search phrase. 

Local SEO is very important for businesses with a physical location or those who are serving a geographic area. 

Using a .AU domain will make your website among the top pick for local searches about your business, product or service. 

What is special about the .AU domain? 

.AU is the internet country code top-level domain for Australia. .AU domains are a digital asset to an Australian business, as they help people find your business online and signal to your website visitors (and those who you email) that you have a connection to Australia. 

Who can get a .AU Domain? 

Direct .AU domains were released on the 24th of March 2022. The domains are exclusive to people and organisations who have a verified connection with Australia. A full list of the strict requirements are on the auDA website: About .au direct domain names | auDA 

A Priority Allocation Process is in place until September to enable anyone with existing namespace domains (com.au, net.au, id.au, org.au, asn.au, edu.au and gov.au) the opportunity to exactly match their domain names with the new .AU. 

What are the benefits of having a .AU domain?

Show you are a “dinky-di” Aussie. 

By having a .AU domain, internet users will recognise your .AU domain as local and trusted. You will be improving your local SEO! Australians who support local businesses will shop and support and shop with you.  

.AU is trusted, reliable, secure & validated 

People and organisations can register a .AU domain provided they meet the criteria in the .AU licensing rules. 

.AU is short and simple 

Removing the .COM or .NET to make your domain shorter and more direct. A direct .AU domain will rank higher than other (.NET.AU or .COM.AU) domains in search results. 

Where can I get a .AU domain? 

We are a domain name reseller! Contact us to get your direct .AU domain today. 

Where can I get help with Local SEO? 

A good Local SEO strategy will help your business be more visible in local search results. Subscribe for free marketing & SEO tips. 

Why should you implement message on-hold in your business? 

Why should you implement message on-hold in your business? 

If you think your business does not need an on-hold message service, you may reconsider once you read about how an on-hold service can help you expand your marketing actions. 

It is important to know why you should have an on-hold service before dismissing the idea altogether. Here are the facts that you need to know about phone answering services and why you need to include them in your marketing strategy. 

What are on-hold messages?  

Before we talk about the advantages of an on-hold service, it is important that you understand what this service consists of. On-hold messages are voice messages or recorded songs that play while your customers wait on hold to speak with you. The information that the recorded messages contain can vary depending on how you want to address your customers. 

Prevent your customers from hanging up the call 

On-hold messages keep callers waiting in line. A survey conducted by the ICM proved that 70% of callers who are on hold in silence hang up within 60 seconds; of them, 35% of them do not call back. 

Silence confuses callers and creates a high sense of frustration. Losing 70% of sales opportunities is serious, and does not leave a good impression on your customers. On-hold messages will give your customers personalised attention and prevent them from developing a bad relationship with your business. 

Marketing opportunities 

Take advantage of your hold line. A good on-hold message is an invaluable marketing asset that can be very advantageous for your business. Your customers are going to judge your company based on their own experience and how well they are served. This is where the value of finding the balance between an on-hold message that explains the values ​​of your brand and at the same time communicates business opportunities comes in.  

Building your customer loyalty  

Your client’s first impression of your business may be waiting on a call to speak with your team. What impression would you like to make? 

Just like your website or logo, your voice message or music on your on-hold message is extremely important to your branding. When you design this message, think about how it can contribute positively to the image of your company. 

Your client’s first impression of your business may be waiting on a call to speak with your team. What impression would you like to make? 

Just like your website or logo, your voice message or music on your on-hold message is extremely important to your branding. When you design this message, think about how it can contribute positively to the image of your company. 

What steps to follow to create an effective on-hold message strategy? 

For your on-hold message to be completely effective, it is important that you consider the following steps: 

Create a message that identifies with your business 

When you are thinking of your main on-hold message, keep it simple. Here are some small ideas so you can do a complete brainstorm of your business and help you to identify your main message: 

• What is the reason why your customers call your business? 

• What information can you provide them, so they don’t hang up? 

• Can you direct your customers to a website or contact form where they can get answers to their questions faster?  

• Do you have any new products that you would like to promote that may be of interest to your customers? 

Don’t overthink  

When you have answered these questions and have a clear idea of ​​what your customers would like to hear, then simply write your message. Do not overthink the message, the more natural the better. 

Your message must sound natural, organic, a clear message that all your customers can understand. In any case, if your message does not convince you, you always have the option of hiring professionals to help you elaborate or perfect your message, to achieve more effectiveness. 

Production plan 

When you have defined your message, the next step is to choose the voice and music that will accompany your message. A Cloud Voice On-hold message service has several options to make your message incredible. You can choose between female or male voices, in addition to the perfect background music for your on-hold message.   

Are you convinced of the benefits of on-hold messages for your business? Start designing the perfect on-hold strategy for your business. Need some help? No problem, Key Technologies can help you. 
How many HFC dropouts in one day is too many? NBN. Co standards explained 

How many HFC dropouts in one day is too many? NBN. Co standards explained 

There are a number of types of National Broadband Network (NBN) connections, one being the Hybrid Fibre Coaxial (HFC) connection. HFC uses existing “Pay TV” or cable networks to connect the NBN from the nearest fibre connection node to a premise. 

With any connection, there are outages – unplanned, scheduled or intermittent dropouts. This article explains how the NBN has brought HFC under the same performance standard as fibre to the node (FTTN) in how they identify unexpected dropouts and how many dropouts are considered “too many”. 

The NBN consider four or more unexpected dropouts in a 24 hour period would qualify as a service “to be investigated”. This change has been reflected in the NBN Operations Manual dated February 22nd in a section called PI-Performance Incident – ​​Thresholds.  

The Performance Incident (PI) section is relatively new within the operations of NBN Co. The NBN Co describes that a PI has occurred when there are between four and nine unexpected dropouts in one day or during any of the previous two calendar days. 

The NBN defines an “unexpected outage” as a “temporary loss of connectivity”, but the definition excludes formal network outages. To better understand this concept, a PI would apply to problems experienced on a single line and not when there is a broader problem that may affect multiple lines or services.  

It is unclear why the NBN suddenly (and quietly) decided to bring HFCs under the IP threshold regime. A spokesman for NBN Co said it only came about as a result of an unspecified “consultation.” NBN’s intent with this new report is to help diagnose problems in the future, generate service restoration tickets, and determine when to send technicians to customer sites. PI thresholds still formally exclude all other access technologies, which make the apparent urgency of including HFCs in the standard even more unclear. It may be a move designed to subdue long-standing problems with unexplained outages in the HFC network and put a specific definition on what it would take for a site visit to examine the connection and try to remedy it. 

Counting the acceptable dropouts in the 24 hours can be a great solution to standardise services and offer a service without interruptions. 

However, for some people in the industry, a minimum of four unexpected dropouts is a fairly high number, these users might start making claims after two. In any case, it is important to take these measures as an improvement and a standard to improve the instability of the NBN and therefore be able to offer a better service to everyone. 

Social media trends 2022

Social media trends 2022

It is not something new to emphasise that trends in social media are always changing. Knowing how to adapt your marketing strategy to these trends will help you connect with your customers and explore new business opportunities. In this post, we will review the most important trends for 2022 and help you find techniques to adapt them to your small business.

The most used platforms

With the coming of age of some of Generation Z, Facebook is losing more and more power. The consumption of Facebook by the new generations is merely practical. Especially with so many websites using Facebook login to speed up the login process.

Generation Z has a special preference for micro-video platforms like TikTok or Instagram. Since 2019, more people between the ages of 16 and 24 have visited Instagram more than Facebook.

While Millennials and Baby Boomers use the networks to find news, Generation Z mainly uses them to find content and stay up to date with trends.

TikTok continues to grow unstoppably! Since 2020 the number of consumers who use TikTok outside of China has grown by 32%, which comes from Baby Boomers and Gen X. TikTok is a Platform that exists mostly to find inspiration, be it creative or self-knowledge guides. These two content trends make two completely different generations feel connected on this social network. As a small business, you must make sure that you show your customers extra content that they will not find on your website. Aim for fun videos or more inspirational and lifestyle content, it all depends on the type of audience you want to reach.

Brands that connect with their community

Building a community of voracious customers around your product is every brand’s dream. But the most successful brand communities you see online have been built over time by global brands with tons of resources. And while social media allows any online business to gain a following, that doesn’t automatically translate into a truly engaged and active community. In 2022, the key to getting real communities that love your company is in the hands of content creators.

The smartest brands in 2022 will leverage creator communities to learn more from their customers and build affinity. This is where the figure of micro-influencers is important. Social media users look to social media for authenticity and brands they can relate to. It is important that when you do your search for influencers you manage to find those who connect with their audience and do not saturate them with empty advertising.

Social ads

Creativity is now the key when preparing your social media ads. It’s been predicted that by 2022, marketers will spend a lot more money on banner ads, but to stand out, they’ll have to work harder at creating ads that are tailored to each social network. Creativity on top of marketing.

Where and how should you spend your money? The leading channels of investment by marketers continue to be Instagram, Facebook, YouTube and LinkedIn. But where it becomes interesting to invest is in new, more dynamic channels and, above all, much more directors in dialogue with your audience. Tiktok, Pinterest and Snapchat have warned their sales of ads about last year.

Why should you invest more in networks that normally have not been a priority? The answer is simple, consumers are saturated with social ads. In 2022, social advertising will be organic and adapted to platforms. In addition, the figures speak for themselves, these new channels offer a more direct and real scope with your audience.

The consumption habit has changed over the years and more people use social networks to discover new products. 60% of Gen Z’ers use Instagram to discover new brands and products. 71% of small businesses are looking to sell on social media.

Social media has become a virtual mall of sorts, right in the palm of our hands. We can browse products, find inspiration, and purchase within a few clicks. As a result, platforms have begun to introduce new social commerce tools.

The incorporation of new platforms in digital ads has also changed the way these ads are created. TikTok’s whole brand-facing wing operates on the tagline “Don’t make ads. Make TikToks.” Pinterest’s call to action for advertisers is “Stop interrupting. Start inspiring.” And Snapchat encourages advertisers to “Become a part of Snapchatters’ everyday conversations.” Simply put, no one wants their experience on any social network interrupted by ads from brands that are as boring and self-serving. Brands that advertise successfully on these networks understand that audience mindset is key.

Slack’s “Make Work Better” Facebook ad

Customer service in social networks

The lockdowns and changes that the industry has been experiencing in recent years have made customer services find new channels. Marketers have been taking on more responsibility for managing the influx of customer service inquiries.

Order delays, whether due to a lack of workers or supplies, have caused many consumers to use social networks to have a quick, convenient, and effective response to their needs. 64% of people said they now prefer to text rather than call a business. The pressure for small and medium-sized businesses to adapt across as many digital customer service channels as possible has been enormous. Social media has increasingly become a vital customer service channel.

In 2022 more companies will be adapting their customer service on social networks. Knowing how to combine social marketing with social attention will help make your company position itself in this evolving world of marketing. In other words, offer a shopping experience that is linked to your values ​​as a company and that offers your customers a personalized advice service that will not only make them discover new products but also build loyalty with your business.

Short-form videos are valued more

TikTok has changed the way we consume social networks. More and more users prefer short videos for information or just for entertainment. The adaptation to short videos by Instagram has helped to increase this trend. There’s been a 20% increase in the number of Instagram users engaging with this feature since 2020.

In short videos, creativity is once again essential. Consumers on these channels are far more likely to use social media for creative inspiration and favour brands that offer this, so editing tools like TikTok’s Stitch or Instagram’s Remix feature are good resources to draw on.

Sustainability becomes part of the purchase decision

The new generations are increasingly concerned about the effects of climate change. In their purchase decision making, they consider the companies that are associated with sustainability values.

The purchase of ecological products is increasing and the sale of companies that are associated with these values. For example, recyclable packaging or also service companies that adapt their offices to a much more sustainable model.

Social Audio Will Become More Popular

More than 74% of businesses have indicated in a study carried out by Hootsuite that they will start investing in audio-only content in 2022. The same study indicates that live streaming audio will also increase next year.

At this stage, the trend has not yet caught the attention of smaller businesses, especially considering that it’s not the most affordable form of content marketing. It might only be an audio clip, but there’s still a lot of time and expertise that go into creating audio content.

With these insights, you understand which social platforms to use to reach your target customers. Now you must think about how to adapt these trends to your business, keeping in mind that the key in each of these trends is personalization and creativity. Find your voice on each of these platforms and offer extra content on each of them. We will be here to help you in this adaptation or to continue discovering more trends.