Expert Picks is a collection of top five business tools reviewed and recommended by various small business owners and industry experts.
The experts are:
- Tristan White - The Physio Therapy
- Jan Barned - Financial Management Trainer
- Amanda Gomes - SmartCompany
- Lisa Burrell - Victorian Employers' Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VECCI)
- David Gregory - Small Business Mentoring Service
Tristan White owns The Physio Co, which has provided physiotherapy services to aged care residents since 2004. The Physio Co has been listed by BRW as one of Australia’s Best Places to Work for the past three years. At the same time it has also made it onto SmartCompany’s Smart50, a list of Australia’s fastest growing companies.
Website: The Physio Company
Tristan's picks are:
- Google Mail: 'Going Google' and having them host all of our @thephysioco.com.au emails gives my team and I access to our emails everywhere.
- Google Docs: Similar to Google Mail, having access to the documents that we use regularly on our phones and laptops pretty much anywhere is very powerful.
- FollowUpThen: Imagine having someone email you in 2 minutes, 2 hours, 2 days or 2 years to remind you to make an important call? That's what FollowUpThen does.
- Teamly: The key to getting more done is shorter lists. Teamly helps me define my priorities and sharpen my focus on getting the right things done.
- Amazon Kindle App: I love to read. With the Amazon Kindle app on my iPad and iPhone I have my entire library in my pocket.
Jan Barned is the owner of Financial Management Trainer and a Small Business Victoria workshop leader. With over twenty years finance experience internationally and in Australia, Jan Barned is passionate about assisting small and medium business and not for profit organisations achieve financial literacy. As an experienced keynote speaker, facilitator and author, she makes understanding financial management easy, interesting and at times even fun!
Website: Financial Management Trainer
Jan's picks are:
- Financial Statements Template: Ensuring financial statements are produced regularly will provide financial information for the continous improvement of your business.
- Cashflow Forecast Template: The forecast will predict if your business will have enough cash to support the operations of the business.
- Evaluating Business Performance: This guide provides information on how to evaluate your business performance and includes great templates that you can use.
- Improving Business Performance: This guide explains how to find the key drivers in your business and has some really useful templates that you can use in your business.
- Checklist for managing in times of financial difficulty: This checklist provides tips and suggestions that may help when to going gets tough.
Amanda Gome is the founder of SmartCompany and StartupSmart, co-founder of the Property Observer, The Power Index and Womens Agenda. Amanda has a long history in business journalism; at both Fairfax and News Ltd. Amanda is also an adjunct professor of business at RMIT University, lectures students in entrepreneurship, and regularly comments to the media on business and digital publishing issues.
Amanda's picks are:
- Google Analytics: A free tool that will help you track a range of data on your site, including visitor numbers, page impressions, conversions, bounce rates and time on site.
- Basecamp: An online project management tool which provides great visibility of how projects are tracking across different areas of your business. It can also be used to share documents and other files.
- DropBox: A free (or low cost, depending on your needs) service that allows you to share files, photos, documents and spreadsheets online if you need access to docs at home as well.
- Twitter: An invaluable tool for following breaking news, industry leaders and trends. It’s also a great way to communicate with key stakeholders, such as customers, suppliers and staff.
- Evernote: This is an application to take notes on your Smartphone. It’s free, functional and easier than carrying around a notebook.
Lisa Burrell joined Victorian Employers’ Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VECCI) in 2009 and is the Manager Workplace Relations Operations. She has worked in employee relations roles across State Government and also at Spotless, a multi-industry, Top 200 company and within Public Transport, giving her exposure to a range of industry sectors, unions and state and federal legislation.
Lisa's picks are:
- WorkSafe: The Victorian WorkSafe, Small Business section is specifically set up for small business users and can assist employers looking for a reference guide in relation to the system, including quick access to popular forms and publications.
- Superannuation, Income Tax and Higher Education Payments: The income calculator on the Career One website is a user friendly tool that allows you to see the relevant tax, super, take home wage, etc. for discussing or considering pay rates with current or prospective employees.
- Long Service Leave calculator: The Business Victoria – Long Service Leave Calculator is a quick reference tool to find out whether an employee is entitled and how long for. This includes treatment of breaks in service and its impact on entitlements.
- Superannuation and Tax: This checklist helps employers in payroll administration when assessing relevant superannuation amounts as a quick view of the correct treatment of leave, workers compensation and allowances.
- The Small Business 'Overtime vs. More Staff' calculator: A simple tool that helps employers calculate the costs of overtime versus a greater head count. You can put in different scenarios and cost bases, and, compare against a standard rate.
David Gregory brings to Small Business Mentoring Service (SBMS) a passion for small business and a strong desire to see that business owners receive all the help they can get. He has worked with big business and small. Coming from an advertising and marketing background with Coles Myer, he then went on to buying and design areas before leaving the organisation to start his own small business.
Website: Small Business Mentoring Service (SBMS)
David's picks are:
- Basic Business Plan: Business plans don't need to be 'war and peace'. In most cases a basic business plan will provide sufficient direction for future planning.
- SWOT & Competitor Analysis: The SWOT is one of businesses most valuable tools. Combine it with a Competitor analysis to strategically plan your business.
- 90 Day Goal Planner: 'Fail to Plan and you plan to fail’. The 90 day goal planner is used by businesses to establish small bite sized objectives and to hold themselves accountable to a time frame.
- Marketing Plan Guide: Once you have created your business plan, the next step is to establish a plan to get you there. The marketing plan allows businesses to work on promoting their business.
- The Daily Cost of doing Business (DCODB): How much does it cost you to open your doors for business each day? Businesses need to know this critical information. The DCODB worksheet makes the process easy.