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Category Archives: retail

Nesting and carving now … timber gifts for Christmas

Two of our clients have interesting natural last-minute gift ideas for people in or near Brisbane.

Kelly Matthews of Melomys environmental consultancy in the western suburb of Moggill hand-makes and sells these nest boxes for kookaburras, native gliders, bats, parrots and possums.

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I held one and they’re quite substantial … made of 18mm marine-grade plywood to exacting international standards.

Kelly (who holds two Masters degrees in environmental science) told me that while the boxes are similar designs for these species, there are important differences.

Gliders like their entry door at the back because they’re secretive creatures but parrots like theirs at the front (with a doorstep pole as well) so they can stand there and strut their stuff.

The boxes are priced at less than $100 and are currently on sale for Christmas. So check out her website to finalise your order: www.melomys.net.au.

Next, talented woodworker Bevan Blackshaw hand makes a wide range of useful Australian native timber gadgets and furniture.

bookbird

I was captivated (and purchased) one of these top-selling “book birds”. Try this … insert thumb in hole and place inside spine of opened paperback or hardcover printed book. Voila! Book stays open, single-handedly. $12.35 + shipping.

 

 

 

foldingchairsAnd these beautiful stools are $245 each + shipping. They fold up flat for easy carrying and storage. I reckon they might be ideal for the caravan generation.

 

 

 

 

foldingchair1See a whole lot more here and here or phone Bevan in Wavell Heights on 0419 689 723, email timberdimensions@ymail.com.

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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/

Closing in on Dad’s Day

Sponsored content supplied by Fatjoe.

With Fathers’ Day fast approaching, it’s time to get those brains in gear and decide what to get the special man in your life.

Of course, most of us are on a budget, so we want something that is personal, fun and not too expensive. But buying gifts can be a pricey business, so to remain on target with your spending check out these budget-friendly gifts.

Dads Day

Personalised gifts  

One of the best things about a good Fathers’ Day gift is that you can personalise it. You can do this by getting a reasonable price gift with his name or initials on it, such as a wallet or pen.

Or how about theming the gift along the lines of his favorite sport or hobby.

You can get Boxt Father’s Day hampers with chocolate rugby balls for the sports fanatic Dad.

Or if you have a little more to spend, why not try a personalised bobble head with vehicle, for those dads that are into cars or motor bikes?

Something to do

They say that a great gift keeps on giving, and if you get your dad an activity that is certainly the case.

Perhaps he has always harboured the desire to be an artist?

Then why not get him an easel and paint set like this? Or a charcoal sketching set?

Or even a cool Zentangle book and some fine-line pens for some artistic meditation?

These aren’t too expensive, and a creative dad will definitely get a lot of use and joy from a gift like that.

artist

Relaxing

If your dad has a stressful job or even if it’s just the kids that are giving him the runaround, why not treat him to something relaxing for Fathers’ Day?

You could try a massage, although some of the more traditionally macho dads might balk at this. They might appreciate a trip to the steam room and sauna instead though?

If you dad likes to relax in front of the telly, a subscription to a media provider like Netflix can be an awesome choice.

If you have siblings, you can split the fee to make the costs more reasonable.

Then not only does Dad get to watch all his favorite shows, but you can also bond, by binge watching your favourite shows together!

Fun

Fun presents can be a bit tricky.  If you pick something fun, it should also have some long-term value as well. Otherwise, it’s a waste of money that could have gone on something that they would have really enjoyed.

gamer

Some popular and fun presents for gamers include controllers or the latest Xbox or PS4 titles like No Man’s Sky or Saints Row.

If you want to give him a fun surprise, why not get a jumper from a charity shop.

Then wrap the game up in the jumper and wrap the jumper up. His face will be a picture when he thinks that the ugly sweater is his real gift!

Just in time for Father’s Day

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It had to happen! Son Liam enters the retail game with these six-pack holders three-and-a-half weeks out from Father’s Day. He’s only imported 500 and they’re $20 each including postage. Take your pick, as long as you want green, blue, hi-viz orange, red or black … I’ve held them in my hand and they look and feel great. Here’s his EBay page. OMG, I’ll have to help with the packing and shipping 🙂

Want to be a citizen journalist?

You_TheCitizenPhotographer_cover

Buy eBook or hardback here

Buy Kindle version here

Here’s a sample of Giulio Saggin’s new book we have published today:

Giulio Saggin began his career as a news photographer in 1989, at a time when newspapers had photographic departments with photographers, both staff and freelance.

In the ensuing years the media modernised but photographers always had their place.

The onset of the digital age changed all this and the media world is being transformed at what seems to be an exponential rate.

While there might be several million photographers around the world, there are several billion citizens with digital cameras and smart phones on hand to capture news as it happens.

This has resulted in an explosion in citizen photographers, where anyone can lay claim to being a photographer, and whose photos are largely free, or inexpensive, for media outlets to use.

Included in the several billion are journalists who, at the very least, have a mobile device with a camera. In an ever-expanding media market, the economics of one journalist with a camera has dictated they take on the role of photographer as part of their reporting duties.

The phenomenal rise in citizen journalism (photography) and journalists with cameras has had a detrimental effect on photographic departments and photographers around the world.

Many media outlets have chosen to do away with photographic staff and arm their journalists – many of whom side with the photographers – with cameras or smart phones and given them the task of taking ‘photos’ with minimal training at best.

As a result, the vast majority of images produced have been inferior to those produced by trained photographers (who study their art at college for at least 2-3 years, or the equivalent on-the-job training for older ‘pre-college’ photographers).

In most cases the journalists taking photos don’t have anyone to tell them right from wrong, so they have little or no idea if what they are doing is correct or otherwise. They have no way of learning. Photography is a discipline and a lack of discipline in any facet of life leads to chaos.

Visual stories are as complex as their written counterparts. Giving someone a camera/smart phone doesn’t make them a photographer, just as giving someone a laptop doesn’t make them a journalist.

It’s hard to say what the future will bring but it appears one thing is certain. If media outlets are going to want their journalists both to write and take photos, those with skills in both areas will be the ones getting the jobs.

While journalists are being made to take photos, photographers wanting to work in the media will have to learn to write.

The future may well see the traditional roles of journalists and photographers meld into the one term – photo-journalist.

It’s a term that has been in use for decades by those who already write and take photos, and many photographers because of their visual story-telling skills.

If the current trend is any guide, the term will become the ‘norm’ in the not-too-distant future.

Into the known-unknown …

Telstra

We have entrusted all our personal and business communication needs into the hands of Australia’s largest telecommunications provider and this is today’s encouraging message. Wish us luck and we hope to see you “on the other side”.

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

Score for Drought Central

LG mainWho would have thought that we could buy a major consumer durable item like a washing machine cheaper from a Longreach shop in drought-stricken Western Queensland than from a bigger town or a major capital city? But today we proved it and here’s how it went.

We needed a new front-loading washing machine because our old one (at least 10 years old) was showing strong and certain signs of conking out. As managing director Pip had pointed out during the old machine’s descent, the washing machine ranks alongside the oven and cooktop as the most important appliances in the modern home.

So up the main street of Longreach we went to Leading Appliances and they had two on offer: a Simpson and an LG. After dutifully inspecting the merchandise and the product guides, and quizzing the staff, we chose the LG and arranged delivery for this afternoon (it would be about 500 metres’ drive in their little truck). Total price: $799 + $20 delivery = $819.

Now, because I run this shopping blog, I couldn’t resist the urge to test the market and see how much more or less we might have paid shopping either online or in Brisbane. So here are the results, based on identical products, real-time online shopping and delivery prices tested today:

LG offered the machine we bought, the WD12021D6, on their website for $969, not including delivery. That was a pretty clear result.

Harvey Norman, $749 + $199 delivery (nearest shop is in Emerald, four hours east) = $948.

Good Guys, $698 + $550 delivery (looks like the nearest location is in Rockhampton, eight hours east) = $1,248

BiRite (nearest shop is in Blackall, two hours south-east), $798 + $49 delivery = $847.

So there you go, little old Longreach and Leading Appliances … score for you today! Now if only they sold wine? 😦

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.

Is this the only expanding shop in Longreach?

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I walked into Leonie Huff’s little shop Nature’s Tonic just after Christmas and I have to say I was impressed. Packed shelves, fresh stock, friendly staff. It’s tucked away at the rear of the Merino arcade where our other retail mate, Sue Smith, runs Spinifex Collections (which we featured just before Christmas).

Six months later and Leonie has doubled her floor space by opening a juice bar across the arcade and filled it with tables and chairs. Now we hear that she’s become a magnet and other businesses are relocating to be close to this omen of success.

Sue, Leonie and other businesses in the arcade last month held a gala shopping night and the talk is there’ll be more.

Leonie might be the hot spot but Mike Lockrey’s “hydroponic fruit and vege factory” is also evidence of Longreach’s latest growth spurt.

This erstwhile pizza shop owner has branched out into hydroponic tomatoes, lettuce and cress and we’ve tasted them … they’re the best in town in our book.

If you’re a Grey Nomad or just a regular tourist who likes your veges fresh and not too expensive, he sells every weekend at the railway station but daily 10am-noon just on the north side of the Thomson River near the Golf Club at Cramsie. Here’s a map …

and his website

Don’t forget to buy my new book Shopping News online … where you can read lots of other ways to Shop Your Way to Success™ (soon to be a series of business seminars).

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