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Author: Cristina

My Reading List

With the Aussie dollar going gangbusters against the greenback, I’m one of the many that have taken advantage of its buying power and shopped online. Not for clothes or shoes, since I still prefer to try my clothes on, but for books. For some reason that I’m not prepared to delve into at this moment, books are hideously more expensive in Australia than in the US or UK. As a bibliophile, it becomes an expensive hobby so I tend to buy from Amazon or The Book Depository. Even with the shipping, it always works out cheaper and with The Book Depository’s free shipping to most countries, I save a lot of money.

The only exception to this overseas spending spree is that I always buy local when the book is by an Australian author. I want to offer them my support and I’m sure their royalties get diluted somewhere along the line if I purchase from overseas.

So I thought I’d share my most recent buys as I’m pretty excited with this batch. There’s nothing like opening a box full of new books. Who knows, you might rediscover an old favourite or find a new one.
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Networking – why i think it’s important

Being a business owner can quite often be a lonely journey. Unless friends or family members have had the experience of owning a business themselves, it’s very hard for them to relate to the issues that I have to deal with on a regular basis. The pressures of managing cash flow, the regulatory requirements of employing people and the process involved in running the day to day operations of a business are not easily understood by those that haven’t been through it themselves.
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Instilling customer loyalty

My husband was recently given a new Playstation 3 through a promotion from one of his suppliers. So of course, this meant a trip to our local game shop to buy a new game to play on it. No, we didn’t go to EB Games or JB Hi-fi. Not even Big W or Kmart. We went to a small local business called Sunbury that my husband has been a customer of for the past 21 years.

Yes folks, you read it right. 21 YEARS. He has been buying games from this shop since he was a teenager. From his Atari console (remember them?) to his most recent game purchase for the new PS3, he has purchased them all from this one store. Sure, we’ll go to the big stores and have a look at new releases, but we will always go to Sunbury to make the actual purchase.

As business owners, we all dream of finding that client who is loyal and stay with us for years. In today’s competitive environment, price seems to be the key to getting new customers. Consumers are given so much choice that they can afford to shop around and tend to go the business that gives them the best price. If they think that what you’re offering is too expensive or someone else gives them a better price, they switch.
For anyone providing a service or selling a product, this means that it’s now becoming more difficult to retain customers for the long term. So I decided to find out from my other half what keeps him coming back and how this store has managed to instil such unswerving loyalty in such a fickle industry.
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Have you ever brought your kids to work with you?

Running my own business, I’m very lucky that I get to work from home, sleep in until 8am and spend time with my son. I’m also thankful that I can take him to my office without having to ask anyone for permission. But after today, I wonder if it’s a little selfish of me to do it. Yeah, sure, he gets looked after by his own mum, but it must be hard for the little guy to come into a boring office with nothing to do and being told to be quiet every time I was on the phone.
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