Home' Border Enterprise : Spring Summer 2010-2011 Contents enterprise
Vol 3. Summer/Autumn
COST cuts can seem like hard
work --- a masochistic measure
best left to beleaguered British
and German politicians. But
making cuts boosts your bank
balance and demands less effort than working
harder, or smarter --- however you do that. With
cuts, you must just be observant: pinpoint the
areas where costs can be shaved, then whittle
So that you can find the best deals across
a range of expenses with little fuss, here is a
round-up of some price comparison hubs, most
of which have an Aussie slant. The list covers
everything from Bankwest to broadband.
The leads should be especially handy if you
run a startup that has scant cash splashing
around. Prepare to get clicking and scrimping.
Electricity costs are climbing across Australia,
according to Energy Matters. According to
the comparison and switching service Make It
Cheaper, business energy bills are set to soar.
In some cases, inflation could add over 50 per
cent to a business' energy bills, Make It Cheaper
claims. So energy is a key expense to watch.
Make It Cheaper compares all the Australian
energy suppliers in your area, and hunts the
best energy deal for you. The site is brash but
clear and easy to navigate.
Undecided about which high-rate interest
account to sink your savings in?
Infochoice crunches the numbers. Among
other banks, Bankwest, ING, NAB, St George,
Commonwealth are accounted for clearly. The
most attractive rate displayed hovers at around
6 per cent.
If, instead of a high-interest account, you want
a low-interest loan, you can explore the financial
comparison site's small business borrowing
section. But prepare for a jolt. The loan rate
ranges from 7 per cent to (gulp) 36 per cent.
"There's no reason not to get a high-speed
internet connection in Australia," says this
dedicated broadband comparison site --- a
weak pitch. Still, the site is snappy.
Visitors keen to cut straight to the chase
should pore over the list of the top five most
popular plans, one of which is offered by thrifter
magnet TPG. User-friendly.
Another broadband assessment hub, Internet
Choice, oozes style, which may sound irrelevant,
but sleek design makes it easier to sustain
And you will need plenty, if you assess the
site's entire line-up of over 600 broadband
plans. Choice indeed.
Again, if you want to cut to the chase, you
can just glance at the featured list of low-price
plans --- once more scrimp-friendly TPG gets a
mention. No slouch at customer service these
days, TPG is hard to beat.
MOBILE PHONE PLANS
Mobile phone plans are notoriously hard to
compare. Phonechoice sets out to clear the fog.
When you run a Phonechoice search, you may
find that a ton of results rolls up and still feel fuzzy.
But at least you have a roadmap to play with.
In a bonus, Phonechoice offers a solid
broadband comparison generator. The hub
covers fixed-line phone plans, too.
Template sites enable you to design business
cards that look professional, whatever your
background. You can then just email the design
that you made to your local digital print shop, or
carry it over on a thumb drive. So it matters little
whether the template site that you pick has a
".com" or ".com.au" suffix.
One of the best on the web is
Businesscardstar.com. The site presents an
array of attractive templates, enabling you to
choose between 'corporate', 'elegant', 'flashy'
and more. Stylish and a doddle to navigate.
GADGETS AND DOODADS
Shopbot is a cool tool for pinpointing
benchmark prices for a range of electronic
goods --- laptops, routers, LCD monitors, toner
ink cartridges --- you name it. You can then
undercut them on eBay, with the help of a utility
like Auction Sniper www.auctionsniper.com if
you want to play dirty.
Starting a business
on the cheap
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