Online Business Tools and Tips
“Physical distancing with social connection”
Dear Broome Businesses,
With the challenging times ahead of us it is becoming more important to stick together and support each other in the community. We have set out to gather useful information and tips to help Broome businesses mitigate the disruption to daily work. We have tried to offer ideas on productivity, working from home, the basics of online marketing and more. We hope you find the below information useful.
Cheers from Laszlo & Melinda
- LoveBroome Directory is a great new tool for any business to get found locally
- Google My Business is a free tool that gets your business pop up on internet searches – very important if you want people outside of Broome to hear about you
- Go to https://business.google.com/ to get started
- A website is a great tool to display static information about your business
- If you don’t already have one, you can get a head start by setting up a simple site
- If you already have one you can add more functionality that helps you manage your business. A few functions that might come in handy:
- Ecommerce or online shop – this bad boy makes your business stay open 24/7 on the internet
- Website chat box – people who have found your page can easily get in touch with you instantaneously
- Online booking for services and appointments
- Integrations, including accounting, taking payments online, order management, contact management, etc.
- Social media presence is paramount in our community – click here for details
The Broome Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) is providing an ongoing interpretation service of what government and federal officials communicate.
- The latest information about the economic stimulus packages can be found here: https://broomechamber.com.au/lets-break-it-down-the-second-economic-stimulus-package-in-response-to-coronavirus-covid-19/
- You can sign up to the BCCI’s newsletter on their website: https://broomechamber.com.au/
- You can follow the Chamber on Facebook @ https://www.facebook.com/BroomeCCI/
- Kimberley Small Business Support provides a business advisory service.
- Some of us might end up working from home for an extended period. This might sound fun at first (or not), but in reality, it can become a pain. This article offers a few good tips to keep on top of it: https://au.pcmag.com/get-organized/61100/20-tips-for-working-from-home.
The Kimberley Development Commission has an office in Broome with an aim to connect local businesses with opportunities and grants.
- You can contact the local mob here: https://kdc.wa.gov.au/local-content-officer/
- Funding sources:
An important option for businesses who wish to tender is VendorPanel – please note the Shire of Broome is now using this platform extensively for its tendering processes. You can register here: https://www.vendorpanel.com/marketplace
If you have cloud-based Microsoft Office subscription, chances are you can check your emails and calendar on any device through an internet browser. Check your subscription or talk to your computer guy. Then, grab your Microsoft Office username and password and head to https://www.office.com/ to log in.
If you are accessing applications on your work computer in a browser, you will most probably be able to use those applications from your home computer as well. You will need your username and password for each application though. Please bear in mind that some of these applications might handle sensitive/personal data that should only be accessed from the workplace.
Both Skype for Business (or Microsoft Teams) and Zoom offer voice, video, chat and screen sharing options including conferencing capabilities.
Note: there are free versions available with limitations (for instance Zoom will limit online group meetings to 40 minutes).
These are great tools to keep in touch with your staff members, customers, friends and family. These apps are capable of free one-to-one and group chats, and phone and video calls globally (note: both sides need the app and internet). Some of them are capable of paid calls to external numbers (like calling a landline in Europe for a couple of cents).
- Messenger (by Facebook) – https://www.messenger.com/
- WhatsApp – https://www.whatsapp.com/
- Google Hangouts – https://hangouts.google.com/
- Viber – https://www.viber.com/
- Skype – https://www.skype.com/en/
- TeamViewer: this handy program can provide remote access to a computer
- The best use cases might be:
- you might use it to access your work computer from home
- your computer guy to run maintenance and troubleshooting tasks without having to show up in person
- your bookkeeper/accountant to access your accounting software and documents locally installed/stored on your computer
- You can download it for free for personal use here: https://www.teamviewer.com/en/
- For business use, please consult your computer guy
- The best use cases might be:
- Computer basics – if you wish to refresh your knowledge on how computers and the internet work check these pages out:
- Computer security
- If you don’t have virus protection on your PC or Mac, please get some – it is not that expensive and can save you a lot of trouble by safeguarding you against all sorts of online threats – you can have a look at some good ones here: https://www.techradar.com/best/best-antivirus
- If you don’t have cyber-security and data backup services in place for your business, please consult an IT specialist – Broome has some great IT guys, they will assist you
- ‘Broome’ is NOT a safe password – head over to https://howsecureismypassword.net/ and check your password, please.
- Google provides a full suite of free applications and training to get you started including digital skills and working/learning/teaching anywhere. Check their comprehensive training here: https://grow.google/intl/ALL_au/remotework/.
Are you doing your business accounts online yet? Time to change… Both Myob and Xero can work through the internet, making your life that bit easier and potentially reducing the time required for all the administration work around accounting. Talk to your accountant or bookkeeper about how to go online.
With most of the town interconnected through social media, businesses need to make sure they are well presented on the relevant platforms. You might be there already, but you might need to do more.
When choosing social media platforms for your business, think about your customer base and select the social media platforms that are most suitable for
- your customers
- your business and
- your current capability of running communications through those channels.
Facebook is the most obvious choice for most businesses, but Instagram can be a winner with certain demographics, while LinkedIn works fine with professional services and YouTube is a great choice if you need to display lots of videos.
You can have a quick read about social media platforms here: https://www.searchenginejournal.com/social-media/biggest-social-media-sites/
If you wish to learn more about social media marketing, check out this collection of useful sources: https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/social-media-marketing-resources.
To set up or update your Facebook business page, you can follow Facebook’s tutorial here: https://www.facebook.com/business/pages/set-up.
This page is pretty cool, because it helps you with critical functions like displaying your menu (if you are a food business), showcase your services/products, connect your existing online shop or set up your page as a ‘shop’ (instead of the more common ‘business’) on Facebook.
Please check out Instagram’s business starter page here: https://business.instagram.com/?locale=en_GB.
If you need help with your social media presence, please find a local expert.