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The Friday SMB wrap-up: The week in review

Welcome to Friday, small business owners and entrepreneurs! Join us in taking a look back at the week gone by, and catch up on any important headlines you might have missed. This week, the 2012 Telstra Business NSW Award winner was named, it was reported that economy-wide spending rose in June and confidence in the Federal Government fell, again.

Spending up a solid 2.5 percent in June

Economy-wide spending enjoyed a solid gain in June, according to the latest Commonwealth Bank Business Sales Indicator (BSI), suggesting consumers are slowly becoming less tentative about parting with their cash.

In seasonally adjusted terms spending is now up 10.1 percent on a year ago – the biggest annual gain in over four years.

The BSI tracks the value of credit and debit card transactions processed through Commonwealth Bank point-of-sale terminals, which represent around 30 percent of the Australian market.

The BSI has now recorded six rises in sales over the past eight months, with spending up 2.1 percent in May.

SMBs experiencing growth, despite troubled economic conditions

Two-thirds of SMBs have experienced growth over the last two years, which a new survey is attributing to good business planning and financial management, and many expect continued growth over the next two years.

The RSM Bird Cameron thinkBIG 2012 survey results show over 63 percent of local SMBs experienced growth in last two years. The thinkBIG survey looks at the planning practices of business owners and assesses the impact of recent global financial conditions.

The research revealed 77 percent of SMBs expect to grow in the next 12 months, up from 69 percent in 2010 and 76 percent in 2011.

The figures also show around 76 percent of businesses are undertaking formal planning to prepare for this, a 30 percent increase compared with 2011.

Over half of all Aussies now shop online, says research

Over half of Australians over the age of 15 have made an online purchase, according to new research, with figures also pointing toward the likelihood that online spend will grow a further 17 percent this year alone.

Online shopping is causing significant structural changes in the retail industry with 53 percent of local consumers aged over 15 now buying online, according to new research by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) and Frost & Sullivan.

The Australian and New Zealand Online Shopping report found the number of dollars spent online by Aussies will increase by 17.9 percent to $16 billion in 2012. A total of $26.9 billion is expected to be spent online by 2016.

Offshore online shopping has increased by 20 percent in the last year to $7.2 billion, now representing 45 percent of Australia’s total online shopping spend.

Confidence in the Government plummets, again

Small to medium business confidence in the Federal Government has hit record lows, as almost three in five SMBs report dissatisfaction as a result of a lack of support from Gillard’s Labor Party.

According to the MYOB Business Monitor survey of 1,004 businesses, 57 percent of small business aren’t happy with level of help the Gillard Government is giving the sector. Just 17 percent of business operators were satisfied, a six percent increase from MYOB’s last report in March.

Frustration felt by the SMB community has skyrocketed since research began eight years ago. In 2010, MYOB reported that 38 percent of SMBs were dissatisfied and in the wake of the most recent report, this number had increased by an additional five percentage points.

Laservision crowned winner of Telstra NSW Business Award

Laser and lighting-show pioneer Laservision has outshone the competition to take out the award for 2012 Telstra NSW Business of the Year.

The Dural-based business, which has been fusing technology and entertainment since 1984, is a world leader in entertainment communications.

Laservision offers products and services to the entertainment industry in three areas of specialty: architectural lighting, permanent attractions and special events.

Revealed: The five biggest website gripes

What do consumers find most annoying when navigating online? A new study has revealed what web users see as the five biggest frustrations – all of which are easily rectified with a little time and effort.

Hard-to-find information is the most frustrating aspect of the internet, according to a recent study. The study collected data from more than 36,000 respondents via the website feedback tool Webreep, to find out the top five things that annoy internet users.

It found the five things that make for a frustrating experience on a website:

1. Hard-to-find information.
2. Slow download speed.
3. Slow response to emails.
4. Bad quality information.
5. Unattractive design.

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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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