THE BLOG FOR AUSTRALIAN SMALL BUSINESS

CASE STUDIES ZENFOTO
Turning Negatives into Positives Helps Keep This Australian Family Business in the Frame!

 

Nikias Leigh from ZenfotoJust how many camera puns can I squeeze into an article based on the continuing success and innovative future plans of a cracking Australian Professional Photography business?

None whatsoever, there’s really no need, we’re all grown-ups here.
Instead, I’ll just simply announce that in today’s all-new Martin Print Case Study, we focus on……no, sorry, that one was purely accidental. I’ll start again.

I meant to say that in today’s new study, we take a close-up look at the developing story of Zenfoto.
Roy Leigh’s long-running family business delivers a fresh new angle in professional photography which really puts his thriving small business in the big picture.
By sharp contrast, his entrepreneurial son Nikias Leigh, is now focusing on developing a visionary new franchising model for the business.

We caught up with Nikias for a candid chat about the background of this thriving family business, in which he sheds new light on the future plans of Zenfoto.

Phew! A couple may have crept in there, but I think we got away with it…..

 

Some of us are more photogenic than others.

The last time I had my photograph taken was a couple of weeks ago, whilst I was on holiday.
I was just reaching the end of a momentous 300-mile coastal walk (it might have been slightly less, I’m just going on what it felt like to me – probably best to knock a couple of noughts off that figure) and I had decided that I wanted my photograph taken, as I stood majestically on the clifftops.

I politely asked a passer-by if he would do me the honour of taking my camera and capturing this glorious moment. I was hoping that the resulting photograph would accurately depict me as the magnificent explorer, proudly celebrating yet another adventurous achievement, as I stood at the very edge of the clifftops and gazed out to sea in search of my next triumph.
It didn’t quite work out like that.
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Posted In Case Studies, Zenfoto

ESCAPE FROM THE SPAM BIN OF DOOM!
How to Ensure Your Small Business Email Campaign Won’t Get Thrown Out With The Trash!

So you’ve built up a healthy list of loyal subscribers for your lively Email campaigns and Newsletters? You’ve created a unique opportunity to reach out to your treasured customer base, and keep them all in the loop with exclusive updates and news and offers relating to your quality Small Business?

Terrific stuff. But what if this cracking content gets mixed up with all the garbage out there that is forever doing the rounds? What if all that hard work and dedication just ends up in the trash bin?
Martin Print takes a look at the most effective tools you have at your disposal, to ensure that your crucial marketing material leapfrogs the deadly spam bin, and finds its true destination on the screens of all your interested customers……

 

 

How To Escape The Spam Bin of Doom!Nobody likes spam.

Don’t worry, I’m not going to down that well-trodden path of making jokes about the funny meat that comes in cans.
Besides, I’m quite partial to the odd spam fritter every now and then. Nothing wrong with that. Goes quite nice with pickled onions and a gherkin.

But no, I think it’s fair to say that nobody likes the modern electronic version of Spam and everything that it stands for.
We think of spam and we think of aggressive marketing being relentlessly forced down our throats by very strange companies who seem to genuinely believe that the best way of attracting your custom is to bombard you from every possible angle, with the same spirit-crushing message, and the same spirit-crushing strategies.
It’s horrible, it’s deeply annoying, it’s very stupid, and it immediately alienates any potential customer with half a brain cell.
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SEO TUTORIAL:
HOW TO GET TO GRIPS WITH SEO
3. Meta Tags – The Secrets of the Invisible Keywords


In the third chapter of our 976-part Beginner’s Guide to SEO Tutorial (Ok, calm down, I’m only joking – I’m sure we can wind it all up in less than 900 chapters if we cut out all the lemon sponge cake jokes), we take a look at the power of Meta Tags.
What exactly are they? How can we use them to reach an effective compromise between the search engines and your readers? Do they even work anymore, or are they an outdated concept from a bygone era?
Martin Print digs out a pair of infra-red glasses, and investigates the mystery of the invisible keywords….

 

SEO - How can we make use of invisible keywords?In the previous chapter of our ongoing SEO Beginner’s Guide, we took an extensive look at the power of keywords in content, and examined why it’s one of the most important and powerful factors to take into account when considering your Search Engine Optimisation techniques.

We also nearly managed to squeeze out our top tips on how to get a perfect lemon sponge cake every time, but we ran out of space again. I’ll try my very best to spill the beans on this winning sponge strategy later on, but I can’t promise anything.
Don’t get all confused about beans though, there are definitely no beans involved, trust me.
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MARTIN PRINT NEWSDESK
National Broadband Network Points to an Australian Business Revolution – But is YOUR Small Business Getting Ready?

There’s a BIG revolution coming to the Australian world of Small Business. It’s still a few years away, so there’s no need to panic just yet and get yourself all in a flap – but here at the Martin Print Newsdesk, we reckon that it’s vital you start thinking about your plans now, if you want to be ready for the future.
The long-awaited rolling-out of the National Broadband Network is already underway, and looks set to change the business landscape forever…..

 

Are you prepared for the future of Australian small business?Our Newsdesk hounds and sniffer dogs have reported recently on the promising growth of Australian Small Businesses with an online presence……but we’ve also expressed concern that the majority of small businesses still don’t seem too keen on making the lucrative jump into Cyberspace.

But why are all these people so reluctant to embrace the obvious advantages of the internet?

The reasons are many and varied, and unfortunately, quite valid in a lot of cases.
Poor signals, slow speeds, and unreliable service, are all regularly cited as major factors in turning people away from taking their business to the worldwide web.
Even those who are lucky enough to be able to access good quality high speed broadband are often put off by the sheer expense of it all.
In far too many cases, small businesses seem to come to the conclusion that having any kind of online presence simply isn’t worth the effort.

That’s all set to change with the arrival of the National Broadband Network.
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HUNTING HIGH AND LOW FOR HUMOUR
Delving Deeper into the Funny Business of Humour in Business Cards

Ok….so after reading my recent article on how A Little Smile Goes a Long Way, you’ve all decided that funny Business Cards are the future, and now you all want a humourous business card of your own.
Great stuff. But how exactly do we go about this? Where does the inspiration come from to dream up a bold and original vision that is guaranteed to raise a smile with your new customer base?
Martin Print puts on a silly clown mask and considers how YOU can take the right path in dreaming up your own unique comical concepts, without slipping on the comedy banana skin…..

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Hunting for Humour in your funny business cards.I’m thrilled to report that I had a terrific response from my recent article on Humour in Business Cards. Our phone lines have been buzzing, our mailbags have been overflowing, and our inboxes were crammed so full that we temporarily broke the internet.

It took a little while for us all to realize that we’d accidentally wandered into next door’s offices again. Fourth time this month. You’d think they’d have developed a sense of humour about it now, but no, we were escorted from the premises in the usual heavy-handed manner, and were given the usual threats about getting the authorities involved.
It seems as if nobody’s allowed to make an honest mistake these days. They even made me put the banana back in their fruit bowl.
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CASE STUDIES THE PARTY PEOPLE
How Two Australian Brothers are Producing Ballooning Profits at the Small Business Party!

Everyone likes to think they know how to party. But, you know, some people are better at it than others.
In the case of entrepreneurial brothers Peter and Dean Salakas, they’ve swiftly scaled the dizzy heights of Small Business success to become the number one name in Australian party suppliers, with some very big news just around the corner.
But the real Party People story stretches back further than you may think, and involves a certain character from the 1980’s called Patches the Clown.
Martin Print Case Studies catches up with Dean Salakas for a custard pie and a bowl of jelly, to reveal the roots of this incredible non-stop party – and you’ve all got an invitation….

 

The Party PeopleCrossed wires again. Probably my fault.
I thought I’d been given an invitation to a Small Business party in Sydney.
I was hoping that this was going to be a rare chance to show off my best frilly party shirt, and exchange fascinating anecdotes with like-minded entrepreneurs about the benefits of colour-coded invoice books.

As I burst through the doors with my bottle of cheap dodgy wine, my crumpled party hat, and my novelty police whistle, I realised that the wrong end of the stick was stuck very firmly in my grasp, yet again.

I was actually here to meet Dean Salakas, one half of the dynamic brotherly duo behind the recent sizzling small business success of The Party People.
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PROFESSOR MARTIN’S BUSINESS CLINIC
How to Combat Your Online Critics!

Following on from his recent article on handling customer complaints effectively, Professor Martin now opens up another Business Clinic session to tackle an altogether more modern offshoot from this timeless problem – the online critics!
Nowadays, it seems that everyone’s a critic, and wounding negative comments about your small business can be typed out in seconds and put on display for the whole world to see!
So, what are the best methods for dealing with online negativity and criticism? Do we try and be sensible and rational with these people, hoping that they’ll eventually change their minds and be nice to us? Or do we offer to meet up with them in the nearest convenient pub carpark, and then threaten to poke their eyes out with a big stick?
Professor Martin grabs a red hot poker (just in case) and goes out into the internet wilderness in search of those pesky Trolls….


Here at the Business Clinic, we’ve had a lot of interesting feedback from my recent article on How to Handle Customer Complaints and Criticism Effectively.

Nigel, my increasingly strange lab assistant, has been kept very busy opening up and responding to all your letters, queries, suggestions, and offers of large sums of money if we just go away and stop bothering you with all this nonsense.

One particular question that kept cropping up regularly in our Business Clinic Postbag was “What am I supposed to do when somebody posts negative comments about my business on the internet?”

It’s certainly a very contemporary problem that every cutting-edge entrepreneur should know how to deal with.
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FOLLOW THE BIRDIE FOR
SMALL BUSINESS SUCCESS

How to Make Money and
Pull in the Profits from Twitter!

How is Twitter working for your small business? Have you even taken the plunge and registered an account? Isn’t it all just silly pointless tweets and people trying to be clever in less than 140 characters? What good is that to a budding entrepreneur?
Martin Print rummages around the nest of a constantly growing and developing social networking phenomenon, and asks if 100 million active users can really be ignored…..


Twitter
is often seen as a slightly less successful and infinitely more simplistic distant cousin of Facebook.
It’s true that Facebook certainly has significantly more active users, and a wealth of applications, games, and tools to entice the savvy social networker into signing up – even if, on the whole, it mostly boils down to you putting up photographs of your drunken mates falling down the steps, or seeing who can get the highest score on Penguin Toss or Spin The Monkey.

Twitter, by comparison, is operating on a different level altogether, and its simplicity is often its selling point.

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FREE ICE-COOL MARKETING
How To Claim Your 100
FREE Glossy Fridge Magnets!

There are a whole stack of marketing advantages in handing out fun freebies to your customers. A quality promotional gift will be genuinely appreciated by your loyal clients, whilst ingeniously raising the profile of your own business.
Martin Print takes an in-depth look at the magnetic pulling power of the promotional fridge magnet, and exclusively reveals how you can claim 100 of your own fantastic glossy fridge magnets, custom-designed with your own artwork and logos…..for FREE!

 

Every now and then, in the ongoing marketing adventures of every small business, there arrives an opportunity for you to drop that gigantic promotional sledgehammer just for a moment, and try something a touch more shrewd and subtle.

Whilst we all like to shout our marketing messages from the rooftops, or have aeroplanes majestically deliver our latest advertisements in breathtaking skywriting 10,000 feet high, or maybe even have our brand and logo superimposed onto the face of the moon to attract possible extra-terrestrial custom (always good to think ahead, nothing wrong with that), there still comes a time when it’s good to just calm down a bit, have a bit of a breather, and have a little think about simpler but incredibly powerful marketing that doesn’t cost the Earth.
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A LITTLE SMILE GOES A LONG WAY…
Are Funny Business Cards The Future?

How can a sense of humour help us engage with our potential customers? Are we really going to reach out to a new audience by telling everyone the dodgy joke about the bridesmaid and the elephant?
Martin Print bravely tries to crack a smile, and investigates the impressive impact of humourous Business Cards…..

Do you ever wake up in the morning with a mind-melting hangover, a screaming thirst that you know will never be quenched, and a bulging wallet crammed full of business cards from people you have no memory of ever meeting?
No? Just me, then?

Right. I thought that was probably the case. I might need to make a couple of lifestyle changes. Forget about that then.

Let’s try an interactive social experiment instead. I’ll even join in this myself, we’ll do it together.

On my signal, I want you to have a proper rummage through your wallet, purse, or pockets and see just how many Business Cards you happen to come across in your search.

Ready? Okay, let’s….oh wait, this would probably have worked better if I’d remembered to put my trousers on this morning. I did wonder why I was getting so many funny looks at the sweet pastry counter.
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