Smarter Business News Special

So much has happened this week that we didn't have time to get it all out there. Here's our wrap of all the business news you need to know before the weekend.

1. This just in from Google: ignore mobile at your peril

When Google does research, the rest of the world listens.  On Wednesday, they announced that Australians are obsessed with smartphones, to the extend that over half of us own them and 3 in 4 of us don't leave home without it. More importantly, 65% of people access websites from their phone daily, but a whopping 79% of sites are not mobile-optimised. Taking away those statistics, the basic point is if your site is hard to use on a mobile phone, you're losing swathes of potential customers. Swathes. Most people search for small businesses while on the go, so get yourself looking good on the small screen or get left behind. Free tips over at Google's Mobile Planet.

2. Retailers protest raise in the minimum wage

Times are tough for retailers in Australia, so this week's battle between unions and the Australian Retailers Association is not exactly a surprise. The ARA is trying to quash a move to increase minimum wage of casual and part time employees in the sector, claiming it will exacerbate an already dire situation and that they already provide enough concessions to make up for the dollars. “Retailers want to keep providing decent jobs and work life balance to the 1.2 million people who work for them, but more wage pressures will act as a disincentive to employing low skilled, part time and casual workers- the very people within the economy who need to retain flexible employment," said Russell Zimmerman, the Executive Director of ARA. What do you think? Let us know on our Facebook page.

3. Brendan O'Connor announces online seminars for Small Business

Minister for Small Business Brendan O'Connor launched a new set of online seminars (the 'Small Business Future series') for small and micro businesses earlier this week. The aim is to educate you lot about useful issues like the Federal Budget, Digital Economy and the NBN, which we have been assured is actually rolling out before 2027. It's kind of a local version of the online education tools we profiled recently. O'Connor also announced that the Gillard Government will appoint an Australian Small Business Commissioner late this year. The Small Business Futures series provides small and micro business owners with the option to watch and ask questions either via live streaming or in person.The Small Business Advisory Scheme, launched in 2008, has also been extended, which means more funding for SMEs. Further information is available from AusIndustry on 13 28 46.

4. eBay takes segmented advertising from offline to online

If you don't know what geoTribes are, you will soon. They're part of eBay's latest push to help advertisers in both small and medium business target segmented audiences in the same way they currently do in print. It's a big step forward, given that there are only a few sites in the world who legally have access to the kind of data required (age, socio-economic status, lifestyle) and can utilise it. Despite their adherence to privacy rules, eBay has still managed to double ROI for most of their clients, so it might be a good place to start spruiking your services or product. You can take a walk through the geoTribes world here.  

5. This:

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