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The Friday SMB wrap up

Welcome to Friday, small business owners. If your week has been anywhere near as busy as ours, we’re sure you could use a wrap-up of the most important headlines. This week, the RBA cut the official cash rate by 0.5 percent, Mark Bouris announced an inaugural business seminar, and MYOB found SMBs are still feeling negative toward the Federal Government.

Over half of workers looking to change jobs: Report

Two-thirds of local employees intend to secure positions with another employer within the next 12 months, according to a new report, while the remaining third seriously consider resigning from their current role.

The Kelly Global Workforce Index surveyed nearly 170,000 people in 30 countries, including more than 1,600 Australians and found a further 74 percent of workers cited the ability to “excel or develop” as key to instilling a sense of meaning in their job. The survey examines the factors employees use to evaluate potential employers, the people who influence their career choices and the use of social media in making job decisions.

SMBs still largely dissatisfied with Federal Government

Over half of all SMBs have expressed dissatisfaction with the Federal Government, as many report feeling disrespected and unsupported by Julia Gillard’s Labor party.

According to MYOB Business Monitor research, 52 percent of small to medium businesses are dissatisfied with the Federal Government, just four percent down on the peak dissatisfaction levels recorded in October last year.

Just 11 percent said they’re satisfied with support provided by the government and 36 percent were neutral on the subject.

Apple topples JB Hi-Fi in reputation index

Apple Australia has ended JB Hi-Fi’s two year reign at the top of the AMR Corporate Reputation Index, in its very first year of inclusion in the survey.

In addition to looking at overall reputation, the AMR index measures how Aussies feel about a company on the seven key drivers of reputation; Products & Services, Innovation, Workplace, Citizenship, Governance, Leadership and Financial Performance.

According to the index, Apple is viewed by local consumers as having a very strong reputation across the entire range of dimensions, topping all but Citizenship and scoring highly on Products & Services, Innovation and Financial Performance.

Interest rate concerns push business optimism down

Business expectations have slid this quarter, as interest rate worries and ongoing pressure from the strong Australian dollar weighs on local SMBs.

According to Dun & Bradstreet’s latest Business Expectations Survey sales and profit expectations have fallen 11 points for the September 2012, a significant drop from the five-quarter high registered during the June quarter. A quarter of all businesses now believe they’ll see a fall in sales in the coming quarter, and a similar number believe they’ll also see lower profits.

Business insolvencies hit new high, expert says monitoring is key to survival

Local small business insolvencies hit a record high in February, with the number of companies entering external administration reaching their highest level since 1999.

According to figures released by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), 1,123 businesses went into administration in February, up from 518 in January. This was the highest monthly figure recorded since ASIC began releasing statistics in 1999.

The closest figure to this new high was recorded in March 2009, when 1095 businesses were placed in administration.

RBA cuts official cash rate by 0.5 percent, in effort to stimulate growth

The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) has cut the official interest rate by 0.5 percent to 3.75 percent, citing weakened economic conditions and moderate inflation as the drivers behind its decision.

Many analysts were expecting the RBA to cut the official rate by just 25 basis points today, as it did in November and December last year, but it said it believes current financial conditions need to easier than those “which prevailed in December.”

“Growth in the world economy slowed in the second half of 2011, and is likely to continue at a below-trend pace this year,” RBA Governor Glenn Stevens said.

Business credit applications on the rise in resource-heavy states

The divide between Australia’s three mining states and the rest of the country appears to be growing, as the Northern Territory, Western Australia and Queensland lead the way in growth of business credit enquiries in the first quarter of 2012.

According to Veda’s Commercial Credit Demand Index for the March 2012 quarter, the three big mining states are responsible for the majority of the 8.8 percent country-wide growth in credit enquiries, with the other states lagging behind.

“It’s no surprise that business credit applications have been stronger in the resource-sector heavy states.  Overall there has been an increase in all states, which is a positive indicator but highlights that the two-speed economy continues to accelerate the disparity between these state economies,” Veda head of commercial risk Moses Samaha said.

One third of SMBs aren’t destroying sensitive documents properly

Personal employee information is being made easily accessible to thieves, as one third of businesses fail when it comes to document security and the destruction of out of date personal information.

In a survey commissioned by the National Association for Information Destruction (NAID), three in ten organisations were found to be unaware of requirements under the Privacy Act, which order businesses to destroy personal information when it is no longer needed.

Only about half of the businesses surveyed had formal destruction and security policies and 68 percent had no formal destruction training programs.

NAB and CBA fail to pass on full rate cut

The National Australia Bank (NAB) and the Commonwealth Bank (CBA) were the first of the Big Four banks to reduce their standard variable interest rates following Tuesday’s surprisingly large rate cut by the Reserve Bank (RBA), with both failing to pass on the full amount.

The NAB was the first to reduce its standard variable rate, cutting it by 32 basis points to 6.99 percent yesterday afternoon. The CBA reduced its rate by 40 basis points this morning to 7.01 percent.

Prior to NAB’s announcement, the Bank of Queensland revealed it would cut its variable home loan rate by 35 basis points to 7.11 percent.

Mark Bouris to reveal secrets to business success in upcoming seminar

Well-known entrepreneur Mark Bouris will kick off his inaugural “Secrets to Business Success” seminar at the end of this month, to offer SMBs advice on cashflow management, budgeting, marketing and business valuation.

Held in association with his wealth management business Yellow Brick Road, Bouris and a panel of business experts will address a range of small business issues, in order to help SMBs thrive in today’s difficult economic environment.

Etsy CEO to share innovative secrets at event

Innovative Etsy CEO Chad Dickerson is set to inspire and inform local creative entrepreneurs at the ‘Etsy Success Sydney’ event, to be held in June.

The special summit, being held as part of Vivid Sydney 2012, will connect innovative entrepreneurs and help them adapt to changes in the new economy.

As CEO of the handmade online marketplace, Dickerson will outline his personal strategy for innovation in the summit’s keynote address, ‘Finding Your Courage’.

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