The Friday SMB wrap-up

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Welcome to another Friday, small business owners. With the working week cut short by the Easter long weekend, you may have missed out on some of last week’s small business news. If so, you’ll be glad to know that we’ve wrapped up two weeks of headlines for you to catch up on.

This fortnight, NSW businesses were told they’d have access to a new a series of international trade events during World Trade Week, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s (ACCC) won its appeal against Google and the annual Online Business Index revealed optimism amongst online retailers.

Facebook completes roll-out of new layout

All Facebook business pages made the switch to the new timeline layout on March 30.

The design of the new and improved pages allows businesses and brands to better share their story and connect with customers.

These features include the new cover photo and timeline, which give SMBs an opportunity to better express their identity and story, while the pinning feature keeps important posts at the top of a page for up to seven days.

World Trade Week to highlight importance of international trade to NSW economy

A series of international trade events were announced last week, which will run across Sydney to recognise the importance of international trade to the NSW economy during World Trade Week NSW.

Held from 18 May to 25 May, the week will run parallel to the international World Trade Week celebrations.

Traffic jams force Sydney-based SMBs to change procedures

Half of all Sydney businesses are making changes to their operations as a direct result of worsening traffic congestion in and around the city.

The NRMA BusinessWise Survey of 600 businesses found almost 50 percent of SMBs in metropolitan Sydney have made changes to operations because of the effects of congestion.

Interest rates held by RBA at 4.25 percent

The Reserve Bank of Australia held the official interest rate for the third consecutive month last week, citing close to trend growth, inflation and lending rates.

RBA governor Glenn Stevens said the decision to hold rates at 4.25 percent, as analysts widely tipped, came as a result of recent figures suggesting the world economy will grow at a below-pace trend this year, but that we’re not facing a deep downturn.

SMBs neglect travelling employees duty of care: study

Businesses are becoming complacent when it comes to their duty of care towards employees required to travel for work, a new study has found.

Concur study found businesses are uncertain about the impact increasing business travel has on their responsibilities toward staff.

With the rapid development of markets in the Asia-Pacific region, local employees are increasingly being asked to travel overseas, potentially exposing them to greater risks.

Online compliance lesson in ACCC Google appeal win

The Federal Court upheld the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s (ACCC) appeal against Google for publishing advertising material designed to mislead or deceive.

Legal experts are urging SMBs to recognise how the case provides clear evidence of their online obligations.

Online retail optimism driving move to mCommerce: eBay

After a year of phenomenal growth, Australia’s top online retailers are now beginning to embrace mobile commerce, according to the latest Online Business Index (OBI).

The results of the 2012 OBI revealed enormous success for Australia’s top online retailers last year, with eBay’s top 2000 local sellers increasing their revenue by 45 percent over the previous year.

These revenue jumps have boosted confidence amongst eBay sellers, with more than half reporting they feel optimistic about the year ahead and are anticipating growth in sales.

Bad night’s sleep costing businesses $5b in lost revenue

Sleep deprivation is costing the Australian economy billions every year in lost productivity, according to a new sleep study.

A sleep census conducted by CQUniversity and Sealy found 96 percent of people surveyed reported waking up still tired, with just four percent waking feeling refreshed and ready for the day.

Unsurprisingly, sleep deprivation is having a negative impact on the country’s business sector, as sick days, lost man-hours and poor productivity are a direct result.

Consumer confidence tugged down by household financial concerns

Despite improving conditions in the global economy local consumer confidence has fallen, as households remain concerned about the state of their own finances.

The Westpac Melbourne Institute Index of Consumer Sentiment fell by 1.6 percent last month, taking it from 96.1 in March to 94.5 in April.