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Australian businesses share their favourite investments


We chatted to real business owners about their best buys over the past 12 months.

Sponsored by business nbn®. With a choice of high speed plans, business-grade support and from a range of providers, business nbn is made for businesses' evolving needs.

Not every business investment is a wise one. But when you spend the money in the right place? Wow, can it make a world of difference.

From skyrocketing sales to streamlining your entire working day, some investments are worth their weight in gold. So how do you spot a nugget?

A savvy investment will look different for every business. To give you some inspiration, we reached out to 5 business owners to find out what their best investments have been over the past 12 months.

Faster Internet

Moving from Sydney to regional NSW, business owner Rafa Canto was worried about poor Internet connectivity and reduced speeds. So he sought out nbn, hoping to find a high-speed plan that would give him seamless internet access, so he could focus on achieving his business goals.

"It has been such a great investment," he told Finder. "I actually have better Internet than I had in Sydney and my productivity levels have increased massively."

Canto is the digital director and co-owner of Australian Digital, a digital marketing and web development agency. Poor Internet, he says, is a hindrance to getting work done and reflects badly on the business.

"If the quality of video calls isn't great or the Internet drops out, it doesn't give a very professional image," he said. "People are kind, but if your image is pixelated and people are struggling to hear what you say, it's frustrating."

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A website upgrade

Krys Charalambous launched online fashion boutique Modella Clothing back in 2014. Initially a side hustle, it soon grew into a full-time gig and she was able to quit her corporate job.

Then, last year, Krys made a $5,000 investment in her business, paying to have the website professionally redesigned. The results speak for themselves, with sales increasing by 380% year-on-year.

"The business has grown exponentially," she told Finder. "The most impactful changes include simpler menu and navigation, improved search functionality, faster checkout, improved images and a new store and product reviews element."

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Training conferences

Training conferences might get a bit of a bad rep from time to time, but when they're well-organised and strategically aligned, it's an entirely different picture.

In fact, Brodie Haupt, CEO and co-founder of digital lender WLTH, says the company's quarterly team training conference is by far the best investment of the year.

With operations across the nation, WLTH flies every single staff member into Brisbane for a couple of days to get together or even meet for the first time.

"For us, these face-to-face interactions are absolutely priceless as it builds the friendships and trust needed for our business to excel in this fast-moving industry," said Haupt. "It is the chance for everyone to get comfortable with each other and build a collaborative environment with their team members."

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Fractional executives

Small business owners often become jack-of-all-trades. Finances? Marketing? HR? You're managing it all at the beginning. However, as your business grows, there may come a point when you're just not getting good value for your time.

That's exactly what software firm Hatchworks' founder and CEO Brandon Powell realised after 4 years of managing his company's finances.

"I understood the basics enough to manage the numbers, but at a certain point, it was like flying a plane without being able to read all the dials," he said. "Possible but ill-advised."

With the business rapidly growing but not yet in a place to hire a full-time head of finance, Powell hired a fractional CFO.

"What a difference it makes in bringing in an expert. He was able to do far more (and better) in 5 hours a week than I could in the 20 I was spending," said Powell.

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Another area that business owners may attempt DIY is search engine optimisation. However, increasing your budget or bringing on an expert could make a big difference.

"The best investment that I've made for my businesses in the last 12 months has been doubling down on my SEO budget," said Darcy Ogdon-Nolan, founder of The Bircher Bar.

"Given the transition that most of the world has had to make towards online retail and working remotely, strengthening our organic web presence has paid dividends, and will continue to do so into the future."

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Discover more about business nbn® today

Sponsored by business nbn®. With a choice of high speed plans, business-grade support and from a range of providers, business nbn is made for businesses' evolving needs.

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