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The Friday SMB wrap-up

Welcome to Friday, small business owners. No doubt you’ve had a busy week, so as usual we’ve wrapped up the week’s most important small business headlines for you. This week, Julia Gillard won the Labor leadership ballot, Telstra released it’s first 4G tablet and Australian consumers were found to be the most confident of consumers in any developed nation.

Australia second most prepared nation to adopt cloud technology

Australia now ranks as the second most prepared nation to adopt cloud computing technology, while developing economies continue to fall behind when it comes to cloud preparedness.

Of the 24 economies assessed under the Business Software Alliance (BAS) Global Cloud Scorecard, Japan was deemed most prepared whilst Germany, the United States and France were also ranked highly.

Consumers demanding faster service without loss in quality

Close to nine out of ten customers in the Asia-Pacific region want businesses to deliver faster service without compromising on quality, and SMBs are being urged to act on this trend now.

A recent BDO Global report Service 2020: Megatrends for the Decade Ahead found 87 percent of clients from Asia-Pacific companies expect faster service than they did five years ago due to the increasing role of technology.

Julia Gillard wins leadership ballot

Julia Gillard won Monday’s Labor leadership ballot 71 votes to 31, demonstrating she has the majority support of the Caucus. Kevin Rudd has confirmed he’ll move to the backbench and remain as Member for Griffith.

The results of this morning’s ballot have brought further confidence to the Gillard government.

“Once the votes were read out, there was a certain amount of relief on the faces of the members and senators,” Labor MP Chris Hayes said, according to ABC News.

Telstra launches first 4G tablet, ready for business on-the-go

The Samsung GALAXY Tab 8.9 is now available on the Telstra 4G LTE network, making it the first tablet to launch onto Telstra’s new, super-fast 4G network.

SMB owners keen to boost the speed at which they conduct business on-the-go can buy the GALAXY Tab 8.9 4G with 16GB of storage outright for $720, while the 32GB version can be purchased for $840.

Work/life balance drives flexible working market growth upwards

The local jobs market has seen increasing growth in part-time employment over the past five years, with a trend emerging away from full-time employment towards more flexible working hours.

Part-time employment has grown at a rate of 2.8 percent per annum, compared with 1.5 percent growth in full-time employment, according to a report by business analysts at IBISWorld.

Aussie consumers the most positive of all nations

Australia has the highest consumer confidence of all developed nations, a new survey has found, with optimism increasing locally for the first time since July 2010.

Australia came out on top of the Nielson Global Survey of Consumer Confidence and Spending Intentions Survey, which polled over 28,000 online customers in 56 countries worldwide late last year.

While consumer confidence fell in 60 percent of the 56 markets surveyed, it increased in Australia, indicating a positive result for the retail sector.

Online sales growth outpacing traditional retail

Online retail sales grew 29 percent in 2011, far surpassing growth in traditional bricks and mortar sales for the year.

According to the NAB’s Online Retail Index, the growth rate for traditional retail sales has remained stable in comparison to online, averaging around 2.5 percent. International sales rose 40 percent, slowing in the second half, and domestic sales lifted 25 percent.

In 2011, Australians spent $10.5 billion online, which represents just 4.9 percent of the total traditional retail spend for the year, and despite the well-publicised concern about the bulk of sales going to international retailers, the index found domestic online retailers accounted for three quarters of all sales.

Small business makes history in Facebook leap year sale

Retail history has been made in Melbourne, after a small business made $50, 000 in less than 24 hours through a sale on its Facebook store.

123 Cheese reduced all its products to $29 for a one-day ‘Leap Year Sale’ on 29 February.

“[It’s] truly remarkable. People were placing orders and then sharing the store with their friends, who would then share it with their friends,” 123 Cheese owner Mark Lynch said.

Lorna Brett

Lorna Brett

Lorna was Dynamic Business’ Social Web Editor in 2011/12. She’s a social media obsessed journalist, who has a passion for small business. Outside the 9 to 5, you’re likely to find her trawling the web for online bargains, perfecting her amateur photography skills or enjoying one too many cappucinos. You can follow her on <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/dynamicbusiness">Twitter @DynamicBusiness</a>

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