Five Must-Learn Tips for Doing Business In Melbourne

Melbourne city has an illustrious history of supporting entrepreneurship and small businesses. The bustling city constantly promotes innovation and entrepreneurship in order to continuously build upon their prosperous business environment. If you’re thinking of having your own business, then Melbourne is definitely on the list of best places to start. However, before you even begin your journey, here are five important tips you would need to know.

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5 Ways to Build Your Company Brand

Many people make the mistake of creating a company without any marketing direction. They don’t pay enough attention to their brand and end up suffering substantial losses because of that. People tend to look past the importance of establishing their company’s brand and go into the industry completely blind and directionless.

Your branding is especially important in establishing the image of your company and what sets you apart from all the other competitors in your industry. Your customers will always remember you for the brand that you set. It would also lead most, if not all of your marketing strategies because your aim should be to repeatedly show off your brand and make sure that everyone knows it.

So how do you get started with that?

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Your Ultimate Guide To Hiring Employees In Singapore – Part 2

This is the second part of our ultimate guide to hiring employees in Singapore. In our last part we went over the basics and the legislation that guides the whole process here in Singapore. In this part we want to further explain what you need to do if you’re trying to hire local and/or foreign employees for your company here in Singapore.  

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5 Key Skills That Every Procurement Manager Must Have

Anyone who is making it in the procurement universe will tell you that the job is extremely hard but also highly rewarding. Procurement specialists are always working with suppliers on a daily basis and therefore the job would require them to have a high level of confidence and also a high level of intelligence to be able to work their way through the industry.

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5 Business trends to follow in 2017

There are new trends every year that dominate businesses. In order to increase the chances of achieving success, it is important for businesses to adopt the trends. Having a good understanding of these changes will help you progress and thrive in the current market.

 Here are five business trends that are most likely to have the largest effect on your organization:

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Best Business Practices: Marketplace

Running a business is definitely not an easy feat. Often times you’ll have an amazing idea but find yourself stuck, not knowing what your next move should be. Other times, you could have just reached a deadlock. Entering the world of startups is definitely intimidating if you don’t have a clear idea on how to run your business. These days with the trend of market places making its way into the startup scene, it would definitely save you a lot of time if you were already equipped with the right practices to run your business.

Here’s a list of best business practices we have gathered to help you out!

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5 ways top executives improve their productivity

Finding enough time in a day to complete all your tasks may be difficult. Sometimes you’re left with small pockets of time that you have no idea what to use on. Then realise where all your time went. Productivity is always key when running a business and making use of every minute you have efficiently could determine how well your company grows.

Here are some of the best tricks practiced by top executives in order to improve their productivity.

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Looking for Clients? 7 Ways to Market Your Consulting Business

Credits: David Anderson & Associates

The consulting industry is rapidly changing in the way it communicates with its clients. You may feel like you have an unlimited number of competitors in this industry and so many ways to market and reach out to your clients. However, you’re limited by resources, time and money.

Based on our own research and experience in the consulting industry, we came up with 7 optimal marketing strategies for your consulting business.

 

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Getting the most from your vendors – Published On Straits Times | ThunderQuote

This article was first published in The Straits Times – Recruit on 11 November 2016 contributed by ThunderQuote co-founder Junming Tan.

The right processes make for better working relationships

Organisations frequently need to outsource work to specialised service providers or purchase products from third party vendors. However, finding the right vendors is not always an easy task. Furthermore, the rise of freelancers has muddied the waters for corporate buyers. While costs are often lower, their risk profile may be drastically different, meaning more checks may be required. Whether you are part of your organisation’s procurement team or you are looking to work with a vendor on an outsourced project, here are tips to select the right partner and maximise chances of your project’s success!

Is your supplier genuine?
The first step is to verify the legitimacy of your prospective supplier. Check their business registration and public documents such as ACRA Bizfile to ensure they are registered. If the vendor provides a list of references, call up a few to ensure their validity. You can also check what value the vendor brought, whether they are easy to work with and if the vendor has good after-sales support.

Nowadays, most businesses have their own website and domain. It is simple to run a WHOIS check by Googling “(business domain name) Whois check” and ensure that the registrant is the organisation in question. I also recommend checking the number of years registered, domain age and whether they have a local address to be used as additional points of verification.

Quality checks
Besides worrying about fraudulent suppliers, another concern is the vendor’s quality and ability to provide long-term support. Quality checks can be done through basic assessments such as vetting their websites, collaterals, past portfolios and testimonials. If you are sourcing through a B2B vendor platform, then certain checks are likely to have already been performed. Nevertheless, it is still wise to do your own background work. Whenever possible, ask friends or business contacts if they have any referrals. If a trusted contact has already established a good working relationship with the vendor, they have already done a background check for you.

For certain products and vendor types, especially for significantly important or high value projects, site visits are advised to ensure the quality and check on the vendor’s capabilities. Meeting face-to-face meet with the vendor will greatly help in determining their trustworthiness. If meeting in person is not possible, then make a call or use Skype. Ask them questions about their history, products, previous similar jobs, payment and delivery terms, to ensure they know their field and are capable of meeting your needs.

Getting independent vendor quotations for fair comparison
It is recommended to get multiple quotations from suitable vendors (minimum three) in order to make a fair comparison, before making your final decision. Unfortunately, people often find the process of getting multiple quotations from relevant vendors a hassle and time-consuming. Online platforms like ThunderQuote, GeBiz or Freelancer assist in the matching processes and guarantee an independent assortment of vendor quotations for fair comparison.

Develop risk profiles and put in place risk mitigation strategies
Generate risk profiles on your shortlisted vendors to check on their long-term viability. This is especially important if your project is likely to take several months to complete, or if you require ongoing support after the initial period.  In addition to checking with references or previous clients, some of this information can be found through ACRA or third party-tools such as MyFINB. Reviewing vendors’ financial data is important but tough to execute, hence less frequently done. This is where specialized tools like MyFINB become useful, as it provides data extraction, analysis and summaries. This makes due diligence simple and accessible.

Once you have identified possible risks, determine ways to manage them. For example, a local business wanted to implement an IT system to provide HR support. They were about to hire a large reputable international company to build a customised IT system. However, the local business quickly realised the risks of poorer ongoing support due to the fact that the international company was based overseas.  Finally they selected another international company that had a local branch office, to provide ongoing support. They also incorporated stricter documentation and training requirements as part of the project scope, and also requested for a third-party developer advice to ensure the system was coded on a commonly used language. This made it easier to transfer the project to other vendors, if necessary. These extra steps greatly mitigated risk of support failure.

Monitoring
Once the vendor is confirmed, regular monitoring is essential to ensure the risk profile and risk mitigation strategies are up-to-date. Keep track of important metrics, to ensure good performance of vendors during the contract period. An open communication channel with your vendor is important to provide feedback and enable them to stay on track, while they update you early on any possible obstacles or risks.

 

Junming Tan is co-founder of ThunderQuote is the most comprehensive business services portal in Singapore, Australia and ASEAN , where hundreds of thousands of dollars of procurement contracts are sourced every month by major companies like Singapore Press Holdings, National Trade Union Congress and more.

This article was first published in The Straits Times Recruit on 11 November 2016.