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AI and chatbots already leading the virtual charge

By Anthony O’Brien, Professional Planner, August 2, 2018

If you’re one of the 62 per cent of Australians purchasing online, you may have noticed a trend in the last few years. I saw it recently when booking flights with one major Australian airline.

During the process of, I was asked numerous times if I wanted help along the way, with a chat window appearing in the top left corner of the screen. It was made clear that ‘Jess’ was here to help me, and that if I had any questions, I could ask.

‘Jess’, of course, is not a real person and is a chatbot. It’s an example of how artificial intelligence (AI) is changing marketing and client services. This technology is already being used in financial services, and could be a core tool for planners. Continue reading “AI and chatbots already leading the virtual charge”

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What is key person insurance?

By Anthony O’Brien for Money Magazine

Almost two years ago, we lost my long-term Corpwrite business partner, great friend and fellow Money writer Chris Walker to cancer.

I won’t dwell on the details of his illness but, over the past couple of years as his health deteriorated, Chris urged me to apply for “key person insurance” – sensible advice given his health status.

However, I’d had income insurance for years, and deemed it would cover me sufficiently if something happened – so I ignored Chris’s advice.

But some key-person insurance would have helped our business, Corpwrite Australia, mitigate the financial tribulations of losing Chris’s unique skills when he retired in January 2016.

Continue reading “What is key person insurance?”

How to access disability funding through the NDIS

By Anthony O’Brien for Money Magazine, September 2017

The NDIS is set to transform the way the disabled get help and this guide explains what’s available.

For people with disabilities and their families, getting care and support can take a big financial toll.

In fact, Australians with disabilities have it tougher than their counterparts in many other nations, with our spending on long-term care for those under 65 less than half that of most Scandinavian countries and just over half the UK’s. The employment rate for disabled Australians is low compared with the OECD average, with 45% living in or near poverty.

If disability is a part of life for you or a family member, you want to make the most of the support available. Here I give a rundown of the government’s pensions and allowances, and the new National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

Continue reading “How to access disability funding through the NDIS”

The many numbers behind your marketing ROI

By Anthony O’Brien, for Professional Planner, October 9, 2017

Calculating the return on investment (ROI) is an age-old question when it comes to allocating a budget for marketing.

Unquestionably, a marketing budget and determining an appropriate ROI are linked. However, they are not the only numbers you should be considering when formulating your marketing and sales approach.

Start with the strategy…including your numeric targets

Regular readers of my posts will be aware that I believe fervently in starting with a strategy. Planning is crucial to producing a winning marketing program right. That said, it’s quite astonishing how many businesses still fail to include their revenue and margin numbers in the strategy process.

Continue reading “The many numbers behind your marketing ROI”

Three marketing elements you can’t afford to ignore

By Anthony O’Brien, for Professional Planner, July 3, 2017

 

There’s a common view in the business world that marketing is a combination of “pretty pictures and nice words”. In other words, marketing is purely about brand and communications.

It’s one of my personal frustrations about marketing, and to be honest there’s much more to being a strong marketer than running campaigns and building engaging copy.

I’ve long been a believer in the theory that for a marketing strategy to work, the person writing the plan needs to truly understand your business, its balance sheet, fulfilment processes, how it generates new revenues, and so on.

Continue reading “Three marketing elements you can’t afford to ignore”

Is your small business healthy or headed for disaster?

How to give your venture a health check

Launching a small business is extremely solid work and keeping it purring along is equally demanding. To ensure your venture remains a growing (and going) concern, it’s important to give it regular “health checks”.

Continue reading “Is your small business healthy or headed for disaster?”

Stay on top of your small business accounts

Money Magazine December 21, 2015 Original Article Anthony O’Brien

After starting two small businesses, I’ve learnt from experience that maintaining the accounts is critical to staying afloat and keeping the tax office at bay. Mercifully, with the assistance of an experienced accountant and bookkeeper, along with online software packages, it’s possible to keep a neat set of books and even generate some decent cash flow.

Continue reading “Stay on top of your small business accounts”

Banking products for small business

Money Magazine November 23, 2015 Original Article Anthony O’Brien

As a small business-owner, you’ll require banking products such as credit cards, business loans, online savings and transaction accounts to manage cash flow – unless you have vast personal wealth. Mozo director Kirsty Lamont says the banks are competing in the sector with more available credit and competitive rates.

Continue reading “Banking products for small business”

Cash flow management is your friend

After comprehensive planning you’ve decided to sack your boss and take the plunge into small business. This is a significant decision, which 20,500 new entrepreneurs made between June 2013 and June 2014, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Continue reading “Cash flow management is your friend”

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