Industry Experts

Our resident business experts analyse what’s going on in the world of business tech and explore what it means for you, with practical industry insights to build your Smarter Business™.

Tennis superstar Andre Agassi
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Andre Agassi on business: Know your competition

Whether on centre court or in the boardroom, success or failure often relies on just how much you have studied and analysed your competition. No-one knows this better than Andr...

The business owner standing by her shop front door.
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Striking the right balance in your business

"Camilla Franks says success comes from an unconventional mindset."

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Why your business needs an IT service delivery model

Each month, Cross Words invites a business brain or digital doyen to step onto the Smarter Business Ideas soapbox and share the big hot button topic or issue that has them all fired up.

Tennis superstar Andre Agassi
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Business IQ
Andre Agassi on business: Know your competition

Whether on centre court or in the boardroom, success or failure often relies on just how much you have studied and analysed your competition. No-one knows this better than Andr...

The business owner standing by her shop front door.
Business IQ
Business IQ
Striking the right balance in your business

"Camilla Franks says success comes from an unconventional mindset."

A row of people working at desks on various devices
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Understanding analytics

"While technology has opened multiple new avenues for creative agencies, allowing marketers and businesses alike to explore new ways to get their message to the people, it’s al...

women sat at desk with plants and clothes sketches around her
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What's on your desk? Virginia Martin

From a small shop in Melbourne’s historic Curtin House to stores across Australia, fashion designer Virginia Martin is creating much more than desire with her sophisticated clo...

a man wearing a suit looking at the camera in front of telstra banners
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Can innovative tech sharpen your business

As a small business owner you may often feel you're flying solo, but the local knowledge available at Telstra Business Centres may help you knock over some business challenges.

a passenger plane flies overhead against a blue sky
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5 Secrets to Branson's success

Richard Branson is a business visionary and market leader. He’s also made a lot of mistakes. Here are five lessons business owners can learn.

Telstra Vantage stage
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Success of the Agile

At Telstra’s Vantage conference in September, Principal Management Consultant Jesper Lowgren talked about why businesses need to stay nimble and remember their ‘dot’.

persons shadow against red and white stripped flooring
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Lessons from the US presidential campaigns

The current presidential campaigns in the United States are driving much of the media conversation globally. So what can businesses take away from the race for the highest offi...

Penny Locaso sitting on sofa with red blanket
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What's on your desk? Penny Locaso

For former Shell executive Penny Locaso, the future of business is in collaboration. And when it comes to her office, it’s all about creating positive energy that’ll feed into ...

Various coloured textas with connecting dots
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Top 5 inspirational people you need to follow

From entrepreneurs to marketing gurus, the world of social media is full of inspiring wisdom you really can't ignore.

A man walks towards the sun while an extended shadow is cast on the road
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7 surprising things every business owner should do before they retire

Jeff Haden explores a few things you should tick off your business bucket list – from making a leap of faith to making a difference.

glass with multicolored liquid knocked over
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Overcoming the 5 business success killers

It’s important to learn from others’ mistakes. Jason Cunningham reflects on two decades of experience to identify the common pitfalls and what to watch out for.

Lightbulbs hang in front of a blue wall
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Can innovation be bought?

Everybody wants to be “innovative”, but is it possible for innovation to come in a package? Or can it be built into people and process?

view of treetops from the ground up
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At the top of her game: Leeanne Grantham

From a national basketball star to the boardroom, Leeanne Grantham’s been at the top of Aussie sport for more than two decades. Here she shares her lessons for Aussie business.

Erin Deering and partner Craig standing in front of the Hong Kong skyline
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Triangl: Swimming in the deep end

Triangl's co-founder Erin Deering proves business and pleasure can mix.

Two smartphones with illustrations of clothing
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Technology: The most important fashion trend of the decade

Although technology and fashion have come together previously with fads like the 80s Walkman and 00s iPod, technofashion is far more prevalent and having a much greater effect ...

Janine Garner smiling while holding an umbrella
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Why collaboration drives NFPs

For businesses looking to get involved with or establish a not-for-profit (NFP), mentor Janine Garner says the key is to find collaborators who know things you don’t, writes Yv...

ariel view of AFL ground next to river
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What AFL players can teach small businesses

There's a lot to learn from team sports - a focus on teamwork, working together and dedication, among many others. As we approach finals season, Jeff Haden takes a look at what...

A mountain climber reaches for a woman's hand
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15 Tips to build a better business

Australian industry leaders keep you up-to-date with what you need to do this quarter.

Greek flag flies on a blue sky
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What can the Greek crisis teach Aussie business?

The challenges being faced by Greece at the moment may not have a direct impact on Aussie business, but there’s a lot to be learned from their situation.

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3 Things Steve Jobs got wrong that built his empire

For all his success, Steve Jobs also had his share of failures. But failure guided a lot of his success. Here’s three things that helped build his empire.

Man and woman sitting in an office
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Simple metrics your small business can't afford to ignore

Measuring how well your business is performing can be done a multitude of ways. Jeff Haden looks at the four that will show early signs of trouble, or indications of success.

Jo Horgan, Founder of Mecca Cosmetica
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How Mecca made it count

It’s been nearly 20 years since inception, and Mecca is still the “peacock” of the beauty field. We catch up with Jo Horgan to learn her secrets.

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Management to do list

Tiffany Loh gets together Australian industry leaders to keep you up-to-date with what you need to do this quarter.

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Why mobile matters: Google's new mobile optimisation rules

Your business' website could drop down the search rankings from smartphone web searches if you don't heed Google's warnings on mobile-friendly web design.

Dwayne Martens and Howard Barkhan arm in arm smiling
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Me and my mentor: Dwayne Martens and Howard Barkhan

Dwayne Martens is the CEO of Amazonia. His mentor, Howard Barkhan, has experience in businesses, big and small.

Keith Roderick and Marnie Shepherd leaning against a lawn bowls score sign
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Risky business

Operating from Victoria’s second largest city, Geelong, with a second office in Werribee, Roderick Insurance Brokers delivers personal and corporate insurance services. Over th...

Peter Alexander with dog
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War stories: The boy least likely

How Peter Alexander is now the man everyone wants to sleep with.

man holding ram horns against his head
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Charlie Arnott natural grass fed beef

Charlie Arnott’s family was famous for biscuits – now he’s branding biodynamic beef. Stuart Ridley catches up with him to talk business philosophy, rural areas and selling beef...

Smarter Business Ideas Issue 15
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Smarter Business™ Issue 15

This month’s edition of Smarter Business™ brings you more tips, tech and expert advice, helping you run your business Smarter.

The Daily Edited products
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Fashionably smart: 5 fashion service brands that are smart on social

Strut your stuff on your social networks with help from Australia and New Zealand’s top fashion brands.

Man holding coffee and ipad
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Podcasts to power your business

The internet holds all the knowledge of the human race, but how do you sort the wheat from the chaff? We’ve collated our favourite podcasts for SMBs.

blank notepad open on table
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The easy way to be as productive as Warren Buffett

For small businesses looking to maximise their productivity, Warren Buffett’s Two-List System can be revolutionary, and help business owners put their focus onto the things tha...

social media apps graphic
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Must-have social media tools for SMEs

If you’re just starting out, hiring a full-time social media manager is probably a tad premature, but there are alternatives.

Ashton Kutcher at the Tech My Way event held in Sydney
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Tech investor Ashton Kutcher on innovation

Ashton Kutcher is most famous for his acting and high-profile relationships, but he is also a savvy technology investor with shares in Uber, Spotify, Airbnb, and more. Here he ...

Man with hand over mouth
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The biggest business blunders of 2014

More than half of Australian small and medium businesses have admitted to making a business mistake in the past year, according to new research released by Telstra.

Smarter’s News and Digital Editor Tiffany Loh sits and Ilana Edelstein, co-creator of ultra-premium tequila Patrón
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How Patron built a billion-dollar business

Smarter’s News and Digital Editor Tiffany Loh sits down with Ilana Edelstein, co-creator of ultra-premium tequila Patrón and author of The Patrón Way to find out the challenges...

Mailbox
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What would Google do? 9 Email rules that transform your inbox

In a new book How Google Works, Google executive chairman and former CEO Eric Schmidt and former Senior Vice President of Products Jonathan Rosenberg impart nine rules for emai...

Origin Energy chairman, Gordon Cairns
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How meditating changed the life of Origin Energy Chairman

What do Richard Branson, Oprah Winfrey, Kylie Kwong and Bill Ford Jr have in common? They all practice some kind of meditation. Even Rupert Murdoch has tweeted about his intere...

Twitter Headquarters San Francisco Canteen
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Step up, or step down: Leadership lessons from Airbnb and Twitter

Airbnb and Twitter both came from nowhere in such a short space of time and offer some brilliant lessons in scaling up to achieve global supremacy. Though as Morris Kaplan expl...

rubble block letters
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Surviving the wrecking ball: Learn from Steve Jobs and Alannah Hill to avoid failure now

At face value, you wouldn’t think tech icon Steve Jobs and Australian fashion designer Alannah Hill have much in common. But both have been hit hard by the business wrecking ba...

maggie beer holding box of peaches in food store
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War stories: Maggie Beer's perfect recipe to small business success

It only took Maggie Beer 20 years to become an overnight success. Maggie Beer has been a staple in Australian households for many years, but it took a lot of work to get t...

Gary Ng and Andrew Morello with ice creams
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Me and my mentor: Gary Ng

Gary Ng and Andrew Morello are two of the happiest people you’ll ever meet. Serendipity brought them together and although they’re from different backgrounds, the pair has forg...

books
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8 Eye-opening books that will change the way you do business

Successful Australian entrepreneurs reveal the books they turn to when in search of management advice and Leadership tips.

oil and gold on scale
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Consultants say big data is key to success, on any budget

Data science is big news, with many consultants promising big data holds all the answers to business success. Read on to find out how you can keep up, even if your budget is lo...

men pushing chess pieces
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What Does The Competition Policy Review Mean For You?

The government has released its draft report today. Find out what the recommendations for your industry are.

cartoon fish
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Little data: What your customers might tell you (if you listen)

Big data has a little brother that should not be dismissed. Deborah Tarrant looks at the many benefits for business when customer little data is captured.

old superman cartoon
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Make Your Superannuation Super Fit

Superannuation contributions are often overlooked by Australia’s small business owners.

calculator and tools and graphic
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Management to do list Q1 2014-15: What you need to know now

Australian industry leaders keep you up to date with what you need to do this quarter.

Marion Grasby eating in Thailand market
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What I've Learned: Marion Grasby, Spice Queen

Marion Grasby saw a gap in the market and created her own line of quality Asian ingredients and recipes.

piggy bank and tape measure
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2014 Federal Budget Creates Worries For Businesses

The 2014 federal budget has produced mixed feelings across industries, with manufacturers and wholesalers remaining positive and Retailers anticipating a sharp drop in sales, a...

business people standing on coins
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Insights from the National Salary Survey 2014

The 2014 salary survey from the Australian Institute of Management (AIM) reveals smaller pay increases in the year ahead and less demand for permanent staff.

high tech carpark
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3 Tips To Successful Bootstrapping With GoGet

Bruce Jeffreys, co-founder of GoGet, shares his bootstrapping secrets.

red balloon
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The 3 Ways RedBalloon Embraced Bootstrapping

Naomi Simson, Founding Director of RedBalloon, shares her bootstrapping secrets.

Woman with building, rabbit and bread coming out of her head
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Ways To Kickstart Your Creativity

There are scientifically proven ways to train your brain to be more creative, at any time of day or night.

A Wi-Fi symbol next to a graph, next to a brain sign, next to a computer on a cloud with a wi-fi symbol
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Management to do list Q4 2013-14: What you need to know now

Australian industry leaders keep you up to date with what you need to do this quarter.

book shelf
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Top reads loved by 6 of the world's most influential leaders

We raid the bedside tables of the biggest and brightest in business to unlock their sources of motivation.

man at coffee shop
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Acquiring Good Business Sense

Adam Theobald, founder of Aussie startup and order-ahead app, Beat the Q whose service has processed more than 500,000 beverages and bought out one of the country’s most loved ...

cartoon twitter bird
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10 Business Leaders You Need To Follow On Twitter

When it comes to advice in 140 characters or less, these business people lead the charge in tweeting.

construction vehicle
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On Point: 3 Tips For Success

When Michael Snare launched Point Project Management (PPM) with business partner Brendan Bilston in 2006, it was a calculated risk.

Man in rowboat on water from above
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Batten Down The Hatches: 5 Tips To Survive A PR Storm

Bad press does not discriminate among the size of a business – from a negative comment on Facebook to full-blown, damning headlines bad PR can happen to anyone. Here are some p...

black milk founder in the street
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How To Build Your Own League Of Devoted Social Media Followers

Cameron Parker, Black Milk's head of marketing, shares his tips for growing your business just by using social media.

cash
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Need A Boost? 5 Easy Ways To Improve Your Cash Flow

You could get money flowing into your account faster with these tips from Effie Zahos.

wedding ring on finger
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Unholy Union? Marriage And Money

Delaying getting married can have a surprising effect on your income, as Ross Greenwood discovers.

plane
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Do A Branson: The Pros And Cons Of Personal Branding

There’s a lot of talk about the concept of personal branding. We get excited about Richard Branson’s exploits - space travel, bikini girls and balloon races.