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Had a busy week, small business owners? Catch up quickly and easily on the week’s most important headlines, with our Friday SMB wrap-up. This week, Business Chicks announced Zappos.com CEO Tony Hsieh was coming down under to share his secrets, an eerily lifelike Steve Jobs doll figurine was pulled from the market and consumer sentiment recovered slightly.

Optus teams with Australian Open to deliver Wi-Fi

Tennis fans will have access to Wi-Fi during the Australian Open tournament for the first time thanks to Optus, which has invested in expanding its network across the Melbourne Park event site.

Optus has joined with Tennis Australia to provide customers on any network the ability to access the latest news and the ability to connect with friends, download applications and online services at no extra cost.

How MBE South Brisbane bounced back from disaster

In January 2011, MBE South Brisbane suffered extensive water damage to its operations during widespread flooding of the city. On the anniversary of the floods, the digital print business is back to business as usual and owner Paul Stenhouse told Dynamic Business that he’s again hopeful about the future, thanks to hard work and continued support from main supplier Fuji Xerox Australia.

Tony Hsieh to share secrets at Business Chicks workshop

In his first-ever visit to Australia, Zappos.com CEO and eCommerce guru Tony Hsieh has signed on to present at two Business Chicks workshops.

Hsieh will share his insight as a thought leader and career highlights, which include founding LinkExchange, and billion dollar online retailer Zappos.com as well as writing a New York Times bestselling book, at two workshops in Sydney on Tuesday February 14 and Melbourne on Thursday February 16.

Free event for SME owners who don’t know where to start with social media and PR

Is your New Year’s Resolution to promote your business better? Do you have no idea where to start? Then this is the perfect event for you. Learn the tips and tricks of how build your business through public relations (PR) and social media.

Dynamic Business publisher and editor Jen Bishop (who has more than 5,000 Twitter followers) will chair a panel of experts at a free event in Sydney on 9 February 2012. The panel will explain what PR is and all the different forms it takes, which parts you may be able to do yourself and where you might benefit from paying a professional. They’ll also cover common mistakes people make and corners they cut and the implications this can have for your business.

Blogging growing in popularity among female SMB owners

More female SMB owners will begin blogging for their businesses this year, as they adapt to the new online marketing age and embrace the opportunities it presents.

According to the 2011 Australian Women and Social Media survey, conducted by Mum Pr and Brand Meets Blog, 47 percent of women in business are using blogging as part of their online marketing strategy and 28 percent of the women surveyed who don’t have blog are planning to establish one this year.

Customer attraction tops business development strategies: MYOB

Customers will be the focus of many SMB business development strategies this year, as businesses work toward attracting their attention and creating loyalty to survive the two-speed economy.

According to MYOB’s latest Business Monitor research, 49 percent of small to medium business owners are aiming for client/revenue growth in 2012, an increase of three percentage points on the prior year, while 32 percent hope to simply maintain their current levels.

Had a busy week, small business owners? Catch up quickly and easily on the week’s most important headlines, with our Friday SMB wrap-up. This week, Business Chicks announced Zappos.com CEO Tony Hsieh was coming down under to share his secrets, an eerily lifelike Steve Jobs doll figurine was pulled from the market and consumer sentiment recovered slightly.

Plan for disaster with free business continuity workshops

After so many businesses were impacted by 2011’s natural disasters, the Business Continuity Institute (BCI) Australasian Chapter will run 13 free Business Continuity for SMEs Planning Workshops around the country throughout February and March.

According to the BCI, though large-scale natural disasters create headlines, the most common causes of disruption to business are man made, with the prolonged loss of power, failure of a key supplier, or equipment breakdown the main issues.

Lifelike Steve Jobs doll canned, after lawyers get involved

The Chinese business that designed a lifelike figurine of late entrepreneur Steve Jobs has pulled the product before it even hit the market, after “immense pressure” from Jobs’ family and Apple’s lawyers.

InIcons‘ Tandy Cheung has released a statement about the 12-inch doll he designed as a tribute to Jobs, who passed away in October last year. It came with a number of accessories, including an apple, a pair of glasses and a pair of Jobs’ trademark denim jeans.

Consumer sentiment recovers only slightly, despite rate cuts

Two consecutive interest rate cuts have failed to boost post-Christmas consumer sentiment, a result economists have called “disappointing.” But slowing inflation means businesses may benefit from more rate cuts in the months to come.

The Westpac Melbourne Institute Index of Consumer Sentiment rose 2.4 percent in January, taking it from 94.7 in December to 97.1 in January.

Westpac chief economist Bill Evans said the result is “somewhat disappointing,” given the Reserve Bank’s decision to cut interest rates in November and December, by a total of 50 basis points.

SMBs shrug off online threat

Despite all the hype about online shopping taking money away from local businesses, a new study has found close to 70 percent of local small businesses aren’t losing any sleep over threats posed by the internet.

According to research commissioned by Telstra Business and the Council of Small Business of Australia (COSBOA), while large retailers continue to complain online shopping is impacting profits, SMBs are tackling the issue head on, with 81 percent having established a website and many planning to boost their online presence this year.

First 4G smartphone to hit market next week

Australians will have access to Telstra’s 4G network for the first time next week, with the launch of the HTC Velocity 4G smartphone.

Consumers in 4G coverage areas using the HTC Velocity 4G from Tuesday January 24 will be able to access mobile internet speeds of up to five times faster, between 2Mbps to 40Mbps, and upload speeds up to three times faster, of 1Mbps to 10Mbps, making it ideal for businesses who are reliant on internet on-the-go.

The Velocity 4G features a 4.5-inch touch screen, a 1.5 GHz dual core processor for fast multi-tasking and an 8-megapixel camera.

eBay reports booming year of business

eBay has enjoyed yet another year of strong results, bolstered by rising PayPal membership numbers and strong Christmas figures, as consumers continue to show a desire to spend online.

eBay’s revenue for the quarter ended December 21, 2011 increased 35 percent to US$3.4 billion. For the full year, revenue jumped 27 percent to US$11.7 billion.

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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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