As we look towards July, small businesses are focusing their attention on the upcoming National Small Business Summit. On the agenda for this year’s event is policy and developing relationships to benefit small business owners. As part of the event, COSBOA (Council of Small Businesses of Australia) is to host a discussion introducing senior politicians, industry representatives and bureaucrats, in order to focus on the issues experienced by small businesses in the lead up to the election.
The rationale is to ensure that key politicians and policy makers are listening to all voices and viewpoints within the business economy. The eleventh National Small Business Summit has a role to play in shaping the topics the debate will address, building partnerships and promoting policy to improve business relations for small business owners.
COSBOA’s executive director has said 2013 is the year that Australia’s small business community will be given rights and independence, which would begin at this year’s summit. He said the summit would give shareholders the platform to get involved in policy conversations that were important for the country’s 2.5 million members of the small business community. Included in the scope of discussion for the summit will be policies on workplace relations, improvements to superannuation collections and paid parental leave, contract law fairness and competitive policy, as well as the elimination of regulation and compliance demands placed on small business owners.
The Summit will be attended by, among other important people, the Federal Minister for Small Business and the Shadow Federal Minister for Small Business.
One of the Summit’s primary objectives is to generate employment and activity for the local economy. In order to get there it needs to engage key industry and government representatives so the right structures and frameworks can be encouraged and so that small businesses have the latitude to focus on what they need to, to promote and growth their business.
As key policy makers and industry representatives’ work on loosening red tape and making business channels easier to navigate, the internet is opening up communications channels of its own that can be used successfully by small business owners. For those small business owners who want to grow their operations in an affordable way, social media could just prove to be the way to do it. Linkedin, the world’s biggest professional networking platform, which has now more than 200 million active members worldwide, has just announced its Australian membership base has surpassed the four million mark. This reflects a 300% growth rate since 2010.
In addition to using the platform to grow their corporate brand identities, members down under have been noted to be taking advantage of its potential for content sharing and insight discovery.
Research into Australian usage shows the top four titles for members are owner, director, manager and managing director. In terms of industry activity the top performers were Information Technology and Services, financial services, construction and accounting. As far as endorsed skills are concerned the most in-demand include change management, project management, strategic planning and business strategy.
Other statistics reveal the top four performing keywords on the social platform were marketing, sales, recruitment and project manager. The top local cities on the platform were Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth.
One of the drivers for the growth in activity and interest is the mobile phenomenon, with smart phone and technology usage making the internet portable, and making it easier to run businesses. The last few years have seen a continuing trend of businesses looking to streamline business operations and costs, with Regus making virtual and serviced offices more readily available because of the opportunities opened up by the wave of technology that has seen such a rapid uptake by the Australian buying public.