business assistance

Educating yourself with podcasts

Podcasts have been around for a quite a few years now, in recent times interest has spiked with educational podcasts on the rise. This free source of information can prove valuable to anyone. Here are our top 5 podcasts:

1) The Gary Vee Audio Experience

2) Impact Theory: Tom Bilyeu

3) Aubrey Marcus podcast

4) The Tim Ferriss Show

5) Ted Talks Business

There are so many great podcasts out there, let us know your recommendations by dropping us a line on our Facebook page. Thanks for reading!

A helpful tool for the busy business person

Heard of the app called Productive? We have been using here in the Illume Marketing office for the past month. We like it. A lot. Productive is a free tool that helps you build a routine of life changing habits. Set personal goals, track your progress, and motivate yourself to achieve new heights.

What can you do with the Productive app?

- Plan your habits with an easy-to-use interface
- Schedule habits for any time of the day
- Set smart reminders for each time of the day
- Stay on track with useful feedback

Why should you download the Productive app?

The clear and beautiful interface is intuitive and easy to use and will help you stay focused and determined to build new habits and reach new goals.

The app is fully customizable - you can name your habit, choose a unique icon and even pick its color. 

Track your habits and analyze progress - build motivating chains of completed habits and perfect days. The longer your chain of completed habits, the more likely you will keep the streak going.

Smart reminders give a summary of what's scheduled for each part of the day.

Subscribe to Premium for even more great features to boost your personal productivity: 
- Unlimited number of habits
- Improved reminders for individual habits
- Motivating stats for each habit
- Habit trends with week by week data
- Passcode lock to keep your list private

* Choose the length of subscription: 1 Month / 3 Months / 6 Months / 1 Year.
* Choose from different subscription options.
* PLEASE NOTE: Subscription with a free trial period will automatically renew to a paid subscription. You can cancel your subscription in the iTunes settings at least 24-hours before the end of the free trial period. Subscription payments will be charged to your iTunes account at confirmation of your purchase and upon commencement of each renewal term.
* Please note: any unused portion of a free trial period (if offered) will be forfeited when you purchase a premium subscription during the free trial period.
* You can cancel a free trial or subscription anytime by cancelling your subscription through your iTunes account settings. This must be done 24 hours before the end of a free trial or subscription period to avoid being charged. The cancellation will take effect the day after the last day of the current subscription period, and you will be downgraded to the free service.

Learn new skills. Form good habits. Break bad habits. If you stick to it, this will help you in business and lifestyle. It’s a available for Android and Apple devices. Give the free 7 day trial a go, we think you will like it!

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Ask your landlord this!

So you have decided to relocate your business to a new premises or you are a new business owner looking to open a shop front in a prime location. Exciting times - no doubt! A million things are probably going through your mind, negotiating a new fit out, lease terms, contents insurance, the list seems never ending. 

So here's a thought - prior to signing any lease or contract, ask the landlord how they can help promote your business. If your new premises is in the same location as several other businesses and the property is owned by the same landlord (eg. a shopping centre), you could ask if they have a cooperative marketing fund that all businesses contribute to. If they do, be sure to ask how much is injected into the fund each month. 

If your landlord is smart, he / she should be willing to invest in marketing for your business. After all, the longer you stay in their premises, the more rent they will receive from you. They should want you to succeed.

So let's say your landlord is willing to invest in marketing. Where is it best spent? Who to contact to get the best deal? Well, here you have 2 options. You can employ a marketing agency (like ours!) or you can do all the research, negotiating, media buying and production coordination by yourself. There is a lot of effort involved in getting a successful marketing campaign off the ground. But if you have a background in marketing or are just willing to put in the time and effort, you can make it happen.

It is important to note that traditional media like radio broadcasters, television networks and newspapers are a lot more negotiable in price than they were several years ago and still provide effective advertising methods, particularly in the Darwin market. You can bolster your marketing efforts by contributing to your landlords funding, which will give your business further awareness.

So make sure you have the conversation with your landlord. Promotion of your new premises should be in your business plan and if it isn't - make some changes to include it!! If you would like to find out more about business plans and general business advice, the NT Government has a team for this. Contact your nearest small business champion here. Thanks for reading.


Gaining residual sales

Residual sales, we are talking about those very small sales that can quite often escape us. When business isn’t free flowing through the door, these little wins become even more important. Here are some ideas to make sure you capture your residual sales:

  • Are you in the service industry? Perhaps you are a motor mechanic. Generally, a motor vehicle is serviced every 10,000km or every 6 months. What if you created a database with a reminder system set up so that in 6 months’ time from the date of service a polite email reminder is sent to the customer to notify them that their car is due for a service. If a vehicle travels 10,000km per year, but you are reminding your customers that their service is due at the 6 month mark, this would significantly increase your sales.

  • Offer a premium option. This is relative to most service based businesses and the retail sector. Take a mobile phone repair shop. You could offer a premium screen replacement service and a standard screen replacement.

  • Assess your inventory. If you notice that you are constantly running out of products or having low stock levels, talk to your suppliers about a revised buy price. If you order in larger quantities, perhaps you can ask for a better price from your supplier. This will increase your margins and will mean more money in the bank for you.

Just a couple of ideas for you and we hope you found the read interesting. If you have any topics that you would like for us to blog about, you can contact us here.

Using video to streamline processes

There is no doubt that video production has been on the rise for several years now. If you don't know how to do something, you can pretty much just jump on Youtube and find out how to do it, maybe not a heart transplant or brain surgery (best to leave that to the professionals!). But seriously, it is amazing the wealth of knowledge that has been accumulated using video production.

So why not use this to help your employees in your business? Imagine if your office assistant needed to know how to perform a certain function while processing an invoice. Your assistant is obviously going to ask you. But you are so busy, out at meetings with clients. What if you were able to send your assistant a simple link to a video, that would show her a step by step process of how YOU would like your invoicing processed. Well quit imagining. You can do it easily.

  1. Buy a headphone and microphone set - a good quality set. We tried it the cheap way with Apple Earphones and the attached microphone. We had alot of audio problems, so don't skimp on your equipment.

  2. Go to Google and download OBS Studio. This is a screen recording application that allows you to do explainer videos. It records your computer screen so you can create a personalised tutorial.

  3. Once you have downloaded OBS Studio, head over to Youtube and do a couple of "how to use OBS Studio" tutorials. It is really simple to use, but do the tutorials as it will assist with your knowledge of settings and workflow.

  4. Once you are ready to do your explainer video, open up your intended program or file that your want to produce.

  5. Put on your headphones and check your microphone works. Now hit record on OBS Studio, this will now start to record your screen and voice. Simply talk through the process and complete it the exact way you want the task done. Click on "stop recording" once you have finished.

  6. OBS Studio saves direct to your computers video files. Go there and view your first explainer video. If you are unhappy with it, you can edit it within the app.

  7. If you are happy with it, set up a private account on one of the video sharing platforms such as Vimeo or Youtube and set it to private with password security.

  8. Now you can just send this link to your collegue and they can complete the task the exact way you intended! Easy!

Processes like this sound painful at the start. However, the amount of time you will save is invaluable in the long run. Thanks for reading.