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Category Archives: Regional

Business advisory event this month – fully government funded, no more to pay

Set aside November 23 after work (6-8pm)

johncokley2016

Starting, or want to expand, your small business?

This is for small-business owners who run a shop, cafe, service or office in the Moreton Bay Regional Council area (that’s a big circle around the Redcliffe Peninsula: north to Bribie Island, south to the Brisbane River). It’s part of our fully government funded professional mentoring and small-business service where we offer five-six hours of qualified, experienced advice designed to target your business needs. We ask only for a “Gold Coin” contribution (which we then donate to charity).

These sessions focus on providing practical advice to your business in the following five streams:

  1. Funding avenues and financial analysis (guidance on available banking and finance products, how to present finance bids, effective cash flow management processes and financial data interpretation and referrals to accounting advice);
  2. Building your business (diagnostic assessment of current business operations, followed by business planning advice that meets identified needs; assistance in preparing marketing plans on promotional opportunities and advertising options; guidance on entering new markets and the feasibility of new business ideas, including exporting products or services);
  3. Making the most of your talent and team (guidance on human resource strategies, including recruitment, employment and occupational health and safety (OH&S) requirements; advisory service meetings and networking opportunities; talent recruitment and retention tools; training programmes to inform enterprising people about significant new regulations and/or relevant Australian Government business initiatives);
  4. Management capabilities (assistance with creating, reviewing and implementing business plans, assessing and improving supply-chain management, succession planning and creating security over leased premises or intellectual property; assistance to access appropriate legal advice, including on licencing, retail tenancy, intellectual property and credit management); and
  5. Digital engagement implementation (advice and assistance on e-commerce take-up; advice and assistance with information technology and broadband services issues; advice on adopting technology concepts to assist with marketing, managing and growing ideas)

This project supports a range of service delivery mechanisms including:

  • one-on-one tailored business advisory services
  • face-to-face or virtual/online meetings
  • small group training for up to 10 people at a time. Call me now on 0413 004 138 or visit our site: http://www.edupreneurservicesinternational.com/
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Wisdom of the crowd and some homespun …

Thanks to all the net-speed advisors over the past few days … and a little luck. Friends in the Better Internet For Rural, Regional And Remote Australia (BIRRR) FaceBook group suggested I connect my laptop directly (by cable) to our modem and retest … and it didn’t change anything. So I was reassured that our local area network hardware was working OK.

Then I went out of the office today and took my laptop with me and my partner told me the internet speeds were pretty good at home while I was away. Hmmmm? Probably something running on my laptop … hadn’t I just started to use the Microsoft OneDrive desktop folder last month for off-site data storage? Yes, now that I think about it, I had noticed that using the Google Drive desktop application had slowed down our bandwidth dramatically while living in Victoria, so we don’t use that any more, preferring manual webpage uploads for storage and security.

So a couple of minutes ago I manually turned off the OneDrive desktop folder and recorded these speed test results. Not bad … though not as good as Jacen Carpenter in Longreach … jealous.

Memo to self: In future, stick to manual uploads.

speedtest_8

speedtest_9

Energy price bites

Anyone else notice electricity costs went up? We’ve just paid our three months of power consumption in Longreach to Ergon Energy and the bill was $1096.37. Our previous three-months’ bill (August-October) was $512.56. So … more than double.

The difference was air-conditioning, of course. As the weather heated up approaching and during Christmas and New Year, our air-conditioner use increased. Probably doubled, by the looks of it.

Here’s how Ergon charges people in the hot droughted Central Western region for power … take a look at Pages 15-17 (Section 5) … it makes interesting reading.

It’s based on the cost of supply and other considerations, especially in the Mt Isa region … basically electricity supply costs along the coast from Cairns to the Darling Downs “have a relatively low distribution cost to supply”, while anywhere else (except the Mt Isa region) “have a significantly higher distribution cost of supply than the East Zone”.

So if you live anywhere else than east of the Great Dividing Range, or in the Mt Isa region, expect to be slugged big time for your “lifestyle decision”. Hmmm, do we get a reduction in tax rates for the same “lifestyle decision” which results in lower service levels in everything else, including power reliability? Not likely! Let me know what you think …

In the swim for Summer …

Coola Cozzies

Our friend and former Small Business Management student (now graduate!) grazier Julie Brown of Ilfracombe, has launched her new business (above) just in time for Christmas.

Coola Cozzies is Julie’s way of earning valuable off-farm income during the drought but this is no charity … have a look at these wow designs (all created by Julie).

Julie describes them as “Cool, colourful, comfortable women’s and men’s board shorts and UPF50+ rashies, swim shirts and sun shirts.”

Cunningly, Julie has also catered for people at my end of the market (generously composed) and sells men’s and women’s board shorts, men’s and women’s UPF50+ short-sleeve and long-sleeve rashies, and women’s swim tops in sizes to fit women’s sizes 10 to 24 and men’s sizes L to 4XL.

Coola pics 1

Coola pics 2

Do you believe in success?

currin cover final jpeg.jpg

Last Saturday we travelled 90 minutes south of Longreach to the little town of Stonehenge and cooked a few steaks and snags for the local Christmas Party on behalf of the Rotary Club. Desolate country at the moment but full of warm-hearted real Aussie people, kids and their parents. And out of this country has emerged our new hot Strictly Literary seller, Do You Believe in Dragons? by grazier Paul Currin. Paul and Julia Creek illustrator Maree Power have created a new world for young teens where horses, motorbikes, dogs, feral pigs and (well, there had to be …) dragons rule.

It’s a tale of fantasy based on the Currins’ real-life sheep property near Stonehenge. In the book, kids Ted and his younger brother Bill, along with their best friends Doug and Sarah, are on their school holidays enjoying everyday rural activities, including riding horses, motorbikes, going fishing and chasing feral pigs. Their holiday takes a strange turn when Sarah — the eldest, and only girl of the group — has an unlikely encounter with a magical dragon, which can’t be seen by anyone who doesn’t believe he is real. Excitement ensues, as one by one, the family members come to realise the existence of dragons. This awareness becomes increasingly important when a life-threatening situation unfolds involving the Ted and Bill’s father and a pack of dingoes.

Do You Believe in Dragons? is fine new Australian Outback fiction, professionally edited and produced at Strictly Literary and available for under $20 in paperback, or instantly for ePub, Kindle and for Android on Google Play. Perfect for the young jillaroo or jackaroo for Christmas!

Australian agroforestry movement gains momentum, farmers diversify into timber plantations @ABCRural

The golden rule for growth is diversification, as this report on the ABC last month demonstrates …

Australian agroforestry movement gains momentum, farmers diversify into timber plantations @ABCRural.

Need a mentor for your small business?

 

Very happy to let you know that our business experience and expertise is now available through the TAFE Queensland Small Business Solutions program, which offers business mentoring for a low one-off fee of $395. If you or a friend have a small business which could use the tried and tested advice and methods described here, please contact TAFE here and mention my name. Available all through Central and South-East Queensland. I have run businesses in publishing, retail, and (of course) small-to-medium sized journalism enterprises.

Cokley Mentor

WTF?

One idiot is all it takes! C’mon Longreach, tell the Eagle’s Nest owner he’s badly mistaken. And by the way, we won’t be eating there again until he changes his tune and publishes a retraction sign.

idiot

Moving: box yourself in with this?

Many families move house at Christmas time and this professional removalist’s box is sure to come in handy. We had it professionally constructed to move 5 cubic metres of our furniture across half the country (Victoria to Outback Queensland) and now it’s ready for its next user. Only $300 to purchase and free pick-up in Longreach. The box — technically called a “lift van” — can be shipped by rail to you but the shipping will be extra. Phone John on 0413 004 138 or email now.

A June Dozen

We’ve been eating, drinking, testing and tasting and the fruits of our labours are coming here soon. Watch our video … perhaps you’ve visited these places too? Love to hear from you, John and Pip

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