Finance News

Climate protests: disastrous for small business

Posted on Monday, September 23, 2019
Last week we saw large-scale protests across the world, calling for greater action on climate change. The protests were largely driven by school children, but there were plenty of adults involved as well. This would have been disastrous for their employers, particularly if they were small businesses. I reckon there’s a better way to go about getting real action on climate change that doesn’t involve taking the day off. Of Australia’s top 100 businesses, less than 15% have a published policy on climate change and climate action. That’s a disgracefully low percentage, and I’d be willing to bet that the percentage of small businesses who have a climate policy would be even lower. That’s why I think Friday afternoon would’ve been better spent by businesses encouraging their staff to sit down together and build a strategy to minimise their impact on climate change. It could be as simple as reducing the amount of paper used in printing, or switching to recyclable toner ... Read the rest of entry »


Posted on Tuesday, September 17, 2019
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Food industry: innovate or die

Posted on Tuesday, September 10, 2019
You might think that with the rise of app-based food delivery services like Uber Eats and Deliveroo that business would be booming for the hospitality industry. But that’s not always the case. Despite the staggering numbers – Australians spent $2.6 billion on food delivery last year – these digital disruptors are causing some serious damage to the food industry. How? By eating away at margins. Profit margins in restaurants are usually less than 30%. Big take-aways like McDonalds make around 22% profit, while casual dining restaurants operate on a 5-10% margin, while fine dining restaurants make about 4-6% and most of that is on alcohol sales. And the alcohol sales – or more importantly, the in-house dining experience – is what they’re losing thanks to the food delivery apps. This is compounded by the fees charged to the restaurants by the delivery apps, which can be up to a 30-35% commission. So whatever margin the establishment was making, gets eaten up even further. ... Read the rest of entry »

Spring has sprung!

Posted on Monday, September 2, 2019
Spring has sprung, which means it’s time for the annual spring clean to begin. And I’m not talking about weeding the garden – September is the perfect time to do a financial spring clean! Guru tip 1 – in this falling interest rate environment, there’s never been a better time to get a better home loan deal from your bank. Ask for a better rate or a discount, and maybe even suggest a valuer pays a visit to re-value your property, now that the market is on the up. Beware however, interest rate shopping and switching banks has become difficult since the Banking Royal Commission, so to quote Cat Stevens, “it’s not time to make a change”. Guru tip 2 – a clever way to get a discount on your home and contents insurance is to install a cheap but effective CCTV system. While you might need to outlay a few hundred dollars now, your insurance company will love it and you’ll recoup the outlay within a couple of years through insurance premium reductions. Gur ... Read the rest of entry »

The businesses bucking the retail recession

Posted on Monday, August 26, 2019
Last week I wrote about the changing buyer behaviours that are leading a downturn for Australia’s retailers. This week we’re going to talk about some retailers bucking the trend – and you might be surprised about who has come out on top this reporting season. One big surprise-packet is JB Hifi. They’ve reported 7.1% growth in the face of stiff competition from online retailers, an all-time high. The others ticking along nicely are Coles and Woolies, the duopoly everybody loves to hate, but still shops there anyway. Why are these big businesses going so nicely? I see three possible explanations: 1. Big budgets. They say you’ve got to spend money to make money, and if you can afford to plaster the entire world (TV, radio, online, social media) with ads about your ridiculous Little Shop toys, you’re also likely to reap the rewards. 2. Clever investment. In the case of JB Hifi, they bought a distressed asset in The Good Guys and turned it around with TGG reporting 4% grow ... Read the rest of entry »

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