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Victorian Small Business Update
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Ed’s rule of thumb for running an online business

You can buy anything online these days, including art. But that wasn’t always the case. In fact, when Ed Hartley started bluethumb, a digital marketplace for artists and artlovers alike, there was no online market at all. 


Fast forward six years and, while Ed may not have everything down to a fine art, bluethumb has become so successful it is now a gold standard in online-only business. 


In recognition of this Ed was recently named one of Inside Small Business’s Top 50 Business Leaders, so we asked him to paint a picture of what he’d learned along the way. 


His main piece of advice was this: “Hire great people when you find them, even if you’re not in the market. Great people build your business for you and are the best investment you can make.”


Click on the link below to find out more. If nothing else you’ll discover what to look for when buying a piece of art.


Read more                                                                                               



News & Events



500 just for starters

Silicon Valley’s globally renowned accelerator program 500 Startups is opening its Australian headquarters in Victoria.

And what does that mean for you? 500 Melbourne, as it will be known, will help accelerate more than 40 of Australia’s best startups in the next two years, as well as supporting investors and startups outside its accelerator program.


Register your interest by emailing melbourne@500startups.com

Promised land

The Coles Nurture Fund is helping small Australian producers and manufacturers to innovate and grow their business.

Established two years ago, the fund is allocating $50 million over five years in grants and interest-free loans to support the development of new market-leading products, technologies, systems and processes. Businesses don’t have to be a supplier to Coles to apply.

The next round of applications close April 21.



Heaven sent

Seeking funding can be a daunting challenge at the best of times so it pays to know where – and how – to look.


This interactive seminar will explain what options the government and angels provide and, even better, what you need to do to attract their attention.

What: Angels and Government
Where: East Melbourne
When: 29 March

Cost: Free


Join the dots

All successful small businesses owners have a well-developed DIY outlook, but sometimes it feels like you’re working in isolation.


The Connect Expo will fix that in just two days. Featuring more than 100 exhibitors, the Expo connects you with decision makers across industry, government and your small business peers.

What: Connect Expo
Where: MCEE
When: 29-30 March
Cost: Free



Phone it in

If you’re thinking about starting your own business help is at hand (literally if that hand is holding a smartphone).


ASIC’s First Business app provides essential information on everything from working out if you’re ready, to legal and government requirements you’ll face, with case studies to learn from and helpful networking tips.


Soft touch

Knitting and computing have a lot in common … apparently. If you’re in the software industry you’ll be interested to discover how knitting can open up a world of possibilities for a coder.

What: Software Art Thou?
Where: Zendesk, Queen St, Melbourne
When: 23 March
Cost: Free



Just say no

Have an idea but no clue what to do next? Sounds like your startup needs a start up.


This conference helps you get going by pointing out what you should and, just as importantly, shouldn’t do in the early days of your product development. Or, if you want to use a buzz-word (because you’ll need to get used to those), it explains and explores idea-validation. 



Let’s get physical

Next month isn’t just April – it’s Premier’s Active April, when Victorians are encouraged to do 30 minutes of physical activity each day.


It’s free, fun and part of the Victorian Government’s healthy people commitment Create a workplace team and you could win free fitness sessions.




Spread the word

Does your marketing plan need a makeover? Need help discovering new products, services, or markets?


Our hands-on Marketing for Growth workshop will challenge you to build a deeper understanding of your customers and help you expand your business opportunities.

April tools

You have a business and this means you should revisit it regularly to make sure its fully functioning.


April is the month to check your buying policies, prices and commissions to make sure costs are minimised and profits are as high as possible.


Check out our three-point plan to help make sure your business is exploiting its sales, cash flow and profit potential.




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