The Friday SMB wrap-up

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It’s that time of the week again! So take 10 minutes out of your Friday to catch up on the week’s most important small business headlines. This week, OzForex launched a new online prepaid travel card without reload fees, LinkedIn launched its iPad app and tributes began rolling in for former COSBOA CEO Jaye Radisich.

Poor supplier communication sees SMEs taking business elsewhere

Suppliers who neglect to review the spelling, grammar and appropriateness of their customer communications risk hurting their relationships with their small business customers, according to a new study.

The study by CR Cards revealed almost 70 percent of the 320 SME owners surveyed regularly received poorly targeted communications from mid-tier suppliers. CR Cards founder Matt Sandford said mid-tier suppliers were chosen as there tends to be a “higher churn rate and less customer loyalty” in that area.

The survey revealed just over 25 percent of business owners took issue with the ‘amateurish design’ of supplier email and mail communication, while almost one third admitted to having seen both their personal and company names spelt incorrectly.

Retail giant Woolworths posts third quarter sales increase

Woolworths has announced impressive third quarter sales figures of $14.07 billion, an increase of 3.8 percent over the previous year.

This result was achieved despite what CEO Grant O’Brian refers to as “a tight consumer market” caused by multiple natural disasters, poor weather and accelerating deflation.

Food and liquor sales rose 2.9 percent on the previous year to $9.4 billion, Big W sales increased by 1.4 percent while Masters, the company’s new home improvement stores which opened during the third quarter, posted an almost 30 percent rise in sales.

OzForex launches online prepaid travel card without reload fees

OzForex has launched a new prepaid travel card allowing business travellers to manage nine currencies wholly online, removing the need to visit a bank branch.

The card includes free currency reloads, competitive exchange rates and online accessibility, which OzForex CEO Neil Helm said existing cards aren’t offering to busy travellers.

“Most travel cards are seen as a lucrative product, but poor exchange rates and high or even hidden fees mean that they don’t deliver good value for travellers,” Helm said.

Tributes flow for small business champion Jaye Radisich

The former CEO of the Council of Small Business of Australia (COSBOA) and the youngest woman ever to be elected to the WA Parliament died at the age of 35 last month, and tributes from people in the business community have begun to flow for Jaye Radisich.

Tributes have flooded in for former Labour politician and small business champion Jaye Radisich, who died from cancer last month at the age of 35.

Deena Shiff, former head of Telstra Business, worked very closely with Jaye in the development of a website to help small businesses transition to the new Fair Work Act, in partnership with the Federal Government in 2009.

Businesses are cutting costs and expanding to the cloud: report

Virtual technology and pay-as-you-go business services are the key to effectively cutting business costs while simultaneously spurring growth, a new survey has revealed.

Cloud computing has come out on top in a new report by Regus, with 43 percent of Australian businesses opting for the virtual world in an effort to save money as well as expand.

Regus regional vice president for ANZ and SE Asia William Willems believes in this current economic environment, businesses are keeping one eye on new opportunities and the other on their bottom line.

New LinkedIn iPad app makes networking easier

With networking key to success in the current business environment, the newly launched LinkedIn iPad app aims to help users make the most of its services.

The app, which is built for iOS 5.0, serves the fastest growing device on LinkedIn, with iPad use growing 250 percent from 2011 to 2012.

A range of new features have been built for the app, including modules to show who has viewed your profile and who’s changed jobs, and a congratulate feature.

India overtakes US to become biggest spammer

India has claimed the premiere position as the top spam-relaying country, stealing the US’s top spot, for the three months to March this year.

Sophos has published its latest Dirty Dozen list of the top 12 junk message-contributing countries, which attributes the south-Asian nation with relaying one in ten or 9.2 percent of all spam emails. Sophos cited the rapidly increasing number of internet users in India, coupled with a lack of quality protection against hackers, as the reason behind the country’s rise to the top spot.

The United States has been relegated from first to second place, responsible for 8.3 percent of spam emails, followed by South Korea and Indonesia and Russia which tied at fourth place.