Smarter Weekly Roundup: Your cheat sheet to the week in small business


Smarter Weekly Roundup: Your cheat sheet to the week in small business

An alarm clock that forces you out of bed, vending machines you can hug, the bets cities for startups, tweets, tools and other curious wonders for your Friday.


The Victorian Employer’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VECCI) is looking for small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) from Victoria to take part in a trial of its new 5StarSustainability SME tool. The 5StarSustainability SME tool is an online tool that assesses your current environmental sustainability performance and provides guidance on what to do to improve performance. Once completed, the tool will provide you with a sustainability rating of one to five stars and recommendations on how to improve your rating. To be eligible for this free trial, your business must be in the Health, Transport and Warehousing or Accommodation and Food Services industries. Register your interest by calling VECCI Sustainability Services on (03) 8662 5196 or visit the VECCI blog.


Ramos: the alarm clock which forces you out of bed
Ramos is proof not only that a good idea can come from sleeping, but also that Kickstarter will fund it if it's good enough. Paul Sammut invented this alarm clock, which has a wireless defuse panel to be placed outside of the bedroom, as a way of preventing himself hitting the snooze button every day and sleeping in. It's now been funded to the tune of over $150,000 by fellow snoozers, and we totally want one. Start your day with Ramos here.  

Vending machines that respond to love
Probably not a tool you can use unless you're in the self-service food retail industry, but soft drink giants Coke have done it again. After putting your name on every bottle of their stuff, they've now installed a vending machine at a Singaporean University campus that dispenses free Coca-Cola - if you hug it. Seriously. If that sounds ludicrous, wait until you see how many kids lined up to physically show their love for a product that's been around for years. Learn how to hug a brand here.

Good Reads

7 Mistakes to avoid on your E-commerce Site
Now that every man and his dog is starting their own online store, the temptation to go the quick and easy route can be a strong one. But it's not going to end well for you or your potential customers, as this piece demonstrates by outlining the seven cardinal sins of e-commerce. These include difficult credit card entry systems, complicated naviagation and charging too much for shipping. Click the link to find out the rest, before you make those mistakes yourself.  

The Best Cities For Startups On The Planet
Thank God for TechCrunch, who do all the hard yards for us. The geek supersite last year took it upon themselves to lasunch an ambitious R&D project called the 'Startup Genome', which tracks which the best cities to get ahead in tech and collates data about what makes them so successful. This piece looks at why certain cities help foster 'startup ecosysytems' and then ranks places based on all this information, with Silicon Valley and NYC unsurprisingly taking out the two top spots. Sydney and Melbourne are right next to each other in the rankings, however, so have a read and then gloat to your app-making mates across the border for at least the next 5 days until someone else disputes this information.

Tweet Of The Week

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