Exercise Physiologists: Careers in Focus

The world of Allied Health is filled with many professionals who are skilled in helping patients enjoy good health. An exercise physiologist helps patients stay healthy through the use of exercise. They are trained to treat people’s medical issues with the use of exercise.

The competencies that an exercise physiologist has through University training; makes them more equipped than the ordinary personal trainer or physio at the gym. They have vast knowledge of the human body and they blend this insight with exercise for optimal health delivery. Exercise Physiologists facilitate physical and mental healing through their professional practice.

Based on their training, exercise physiologists have sound knowledge of the effects that exercise has on the cardiovascular system, endocrine system and musculoskeletal system. They can schedule exercise programs that help patients get rehabilitated or stay fit. They have a wide array of treatment options that they work with; they may recommend Pilates or home based/gym based exercise routines. Furthermore, their practice covers behavioural modification programs. Exercise physiologists can treat medical conditions such as cardiovascular diseases, obesity, asthma, arthritis, depression, diabetes, osteoporosis, as well as other health conditions.

Director and head exercise physiologist at Live Well Rehab Brendan McCann outlines one of the core responsibilities of exercise physiologists is to help people develop new and healthy habits to enable them manage their medical condition. The dynamics, information and skill that they share help patients handle their health issues in the best way possible. Beyond this, they can work side by side with podiatrists, physiotherapists, physical therapists and occupational therapists.

Exercise physiologists have a rich stream of opportunities on where they can carry out their practice. They may work in hospitals, private practice, medical centres or gyms. The patients they treat can range from children to the elderly members of the society. Exercise physiologists can also work in the field of professional sport or in the area of sports medicine research. This is a very popular area of work and study, and is therefore the most competitive niche within the industry.

Exercise and Sports Science Australia (ESSA) is the professional body that accredits all exercise physiologists in Australia.

How to start your career as an exercise physiologist

This career requires you to undertake a four year university degree course. You can study Exercise Physiology in most universities in Australia. The course covers nutrition, bio-mechanics, psychology and physiology. Part of the course work requirements is to create fitness and rehabilitation programs. Some of the Universities in Australia that offer this degree include QUT, Latrobe, University of Sydney, and Murdoch University.

In the event where the University of your choice does not offer a degree course in this discipline, there are other courses that can be chosen that still allow for your study of Exercise Physiology. For example, some universities offer relevant courses such as Bachelor of Exercise and Sports Science, Bachelor of Applied Science or Bachelor of Science. These may be a three year degree course, but they can help you on your way to becoming an exercise physiologist.

At the end of your degree program, you would be eligible to apply for membership in ESSA. One of the things that can drive this career route is your passion. If you like physical activity and would love to help others manage their medical condition through exercise; then you need to give it a shot as an exercise physiologist.

As the elderly population in the society keeps growing, exercise physiologists would continue to witness an increased demand of their service. Most of our modern lifestyle puts limitations to how much physical activity people get engaged with. This is where an exercise physiologist comes in; he helps them build solid programs that help them stay fit. Ultimately, this would result in the rise of various health conditions receiving treatment through the use of exercise. Some of the medical conditions that can be addressed include high blood pressure, obesity and diabetes.

It is obvious that a career as an exercise physiologist can be quite rewarding. You would help many people stay healthy, fit and full of vigour through the exercise programs that you create for them. You would also play major roles in helping them manage their medical condition in an effective way.

Who is an exercise physiologist?

An Accredited Exercise Physiologist (AEP) is a graduate who has earned a University degree or its equivalent in this discipline. He specializes in preventing and managing chronic diseases/injuries with the use of exercise. AEPs can serve people challenged with the following:

  • Arthritis and Osteoporosis
  • Pulmonary disease
  • Obesity
  • Neuromuscular exercise therapy (Parkinsons disease, Multiple
  • Sclerosis and Cerebral Palsy)
  • Cardiovascular Disease
  • Post-surgical rehabilitation (Hip/Knee replacement, ACL
  • reconstruction)
  • Chronic pain and Fatigue
  • Cancer and Cancer treatment recovery
  • Mental health conditions
  • Diabetes and more

What differentiates Accredited Exercise Physiologists from other exercise professionals?

Here are some of the unique reasons:

  • They are trained to work with all kinds of people. They can handle chronic health conditions through the use of well-structured exercise programs. This is not common to other professionals.
  • They are University trained experts
  • They are eligible to register with WorkCover, the Department of Veterans Affair, Medicare Australia and are recognized by most private health insurers
  • They go through strict accreditation requirements before they are fully certified

 

Accredited Exercise Physiologists are different due to the following factors:

  • They can provide health modification counselling for people with chronic disease and injuries.
  • They have a good grasp of clinical exercise in treating or managing patients.
  • They have extensive knowledge and skill in the alternative health practice.

What differentiates accredited exercise physiologists from personal trainers?

Accredited Exercise Physiologists (AEP) undergoes extensive training in the University, which qualifies them to treat patients with chronic medical conditions. AEPs also treat people who do not have any health challenge and help them map out long term plans to stay healthy. Their program helps people prevent conditions such as cancer and diabetes.

Most AEPs are equally qualified as Pilate’s instructors, personal trainers, physiotherapists, dieticians, etc. They have the requisite expertise to help you maximize the benefits of exercise.

exercise physiologist vs physiotherapist

What differentiates exercise physiologists from physiotherapists?

Accredited Exercise Physiologists and Physiotherapists are known as allied health professionals. However, the primary focus of AEPs is to use exercise to prevent, manage and treat chronic medical conditions. AEPs typically work with conditions such as (but this is not limited because they do so much more): osteoarthritis, heart disease, osteoporosis, diabetes, lower back pain, mental illness, some cancers, delaying cognitive decline and mental illness.

AEPs combine their expertise in exercise prescription and behavioural change to help their clients become their own health advocates. They have a growing number of clients since most individuals would like to age well.

We’d like to thank Brendan McCann for helping us put together this Careers in Focus piece. Follow him on Facebook or Google for his latest updates about the world of exercise physiology.

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Interviews with Entrepreneurs: Brink Hosting

Modern game servers have made it possible for computer game lovers to compete against each other via the internet. The servers are engineered to support multiple players at the same time without crashing or slowing down the action. Hence, it’s imperative to choose a server hosting company that is reputable to get utmost value for your time and money.

Today, we got an excellent opportunity to speak with the founder of the leading Minecraft server hosting company Brink Hosting who have gained massive popularity from all across the globe for providing top quality Mincraft related services. Here is the full interview.

What inspired you to start the company?

For a long time, I used to play computer games on slow servers. It was almost impossible to enjoy the game when playing against an opponent virtually through the internet. After consulting a couple of my friends, we decided to establish our own game serve hosting company. So far, we have managed to attract millions of customers from all across the globe and this is a clear proof that clients love our service packages.

Where did you get the finances to establish the business?

Just like any other start up in the technology industry, we experienced a number of financial constraints. At some point, we doubted if our business idea was viable, but thanks to a bit of luck, we managed to get a loan from one of the local banks. We also pumped our own savings into the business and this enabled us to purchase the servers, pay office rent, and launch traditional and online marketing strategies.

What were the main challenges that you encountered during the initial stages?

The main challenges that we encountered were gaining trust from our target audience and competition to our game server hosting company. We had to hire a professional marketer to help us come up with a solid marketing strategy.

Want to know more about the life of a digital marketer? Read about it here!

What are some of the main marketing channels that you use?

Well, we have been busy diversifying and looking for new ways of marketing our services to customers. Currently, we are using social media, email marketing, and holding monthly conferences in our office to enlighten the public about game server hosting and minecraft gaming services. Based on the fact that we have clients from all across the globe, we periodically attend trade fairs to not only showcase our services but also to network and outsource with other entrepreneurs. MineCon is the biggest Minecraft convention worldwide which we always attend. This has greatly helped us to learn new technology and improve our services to meet our target audiences needs and expectations.

minecraft in game hosted on server

What makes your services different?

To succeed in any form of business, you need to come up with a business model and services that stand out from the crowd. By working cordially with our product development team, we have managed to come up with service packages that suits the different types of clients who come to us. To achieve this, we conduct periodic market research projects to collect data and feedback on our existing services. No customer feedback or request is ignored; for instance, we offer customized service packages for some customers whose needs fall outside our existing scope. This is usually the Minecraft nerds who are so close to buying their own server but don’t have the capabilities to set one up.

What keeps your business afloat and kicking?

Thank you for this question, due to the unpredictable economic environment, most of the business especially those that are involved in provision of technology-based services and products end up in financial turmoil and this in the long run forces them to close down. To avoid falling into the same trouble, we have sustainability and strategic plans in place that guide us on what to do throughout the year. We have also gone a step further to hire a team of business experts who have the skills and experience required to run the business and make informed decisions. Honestly, without them, we would have probably closed shop three years ago due to fierce competition.

How do you communicate with your customers?

As I mentioned earlier, email marketing has been instrumental in helping our business grow to where it is today. However, we also have an able customer support department whose main mandate is to respond to clients queries in a timely manner. Our customers have the opportunity to contact us via email or phone calls. We are also active on various social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and SnapChat. Hence, our clients have a direct line of communication with us at any time of the day even during the wee hours of the night as we operate 24/7.

Where do you see this industry in the next let’s say three years?

Well, to be honest with you, it’s not possible to predict the future of this business due to the many new technological innovations that are introduced into the market every day. That said, we believe advancement in technology will improve the quality of our services tremendously. We will have superior games with the capacity to support more players and games at the same time. We are keen to implement any new development that we feel will give our clients the best gaming experience and this helps us to stay miles ahead of our competition.

What advice would you give to an entrepreneur who wants to venture into this business?

This is one of the most common questions I get whenever I attend a conference, trade fair, or interview like this one. The thing is, before you venture into this business, you need to have specific and realistic goals and objectives that you want to achieve after a given period of time. In addition, you need to have a clear roadmap to steer the business in the right direction and a team of able personnel to help you carry out various tasks.

Any closing remarks?

The Minecraft server hosting business is very dynamic and clients need to be on the lookout for our new service packages and deals. As the founder of Brink Hosting company, we aim to provide nothing but the best services to our customers.

Thank you very much for taking time of your business schedule to talk to us here at Shape Your World, we wish all the best in your business endeavours.

Thanks for having me!

Interviews with Entrepreneurs: Katherine @ Milk Tooth

This week, the team at Shape Your World sat down with another budding entrepreneur in the massively profitable baby/ toddler goods sphere to find out what it takes to make it in the baby industry. Katherine kindly took some time out of her busy schedule to answer a few questions about her business Milk Tooth which stocks some of the most stylish baby goods from brands like Le Toy Van, OB Designs, Weegoamigo, Noe and Zoe, and Colette Bream to name but a few.

What was the inspiration for opening Milk Tooth?

My inspiration came from a few different places. Firstly, I want to be able to stay at home with my daughter, Sylvia, who’s currently 16-months-old. Secondly, I have a bit of an entrepreneurial streak, and having helped to create and support other small businesses when I was a banker, I’ve always wanted to own and run my own business. Finally, I love shopping for beautiful things and I really enjoyed creating a nursery for Sylvia while I was pregnant and nesting. Milk Tooth lets me satisfy that interest as I get to hunt down amazing baby and kids’ products from all around the world. I’m always finding cute doll houses, baby blankets, and felt ball rugs that other mums are envious of!

Has running your own website for children products helped you develop your relationship with your own child?

I probably wouldn’t put it in those terms, but as I mentioned above, one of the reasons I’ve created Milk Tooth is to allow me to stay home with Sylvia. I’m probably getting an additional three days a week with her that I otherwise wouldn’t have if I were working part-time, so in that way my business is supporting my relationship with her. That, and she’s often a “product tester” for some of my baby and toddler toys and bits of gorgeous nursery décor! I still remember the first weegoamigo blanket i gave her, it was so cute.

How has your life changed since starting Milk Tooth and what opportunities do you envision for yourself as a business owner?

The first part of this is a particularly interesting question. It’s changed a lot, actually. Not only am I not working a standard office job, but the people I’m socialising with have shifted a bit too, as not all of my friends seem to understand what’s involved in running a business and I’ve created some new and fantastic friends through the business, including some other work-at-home-mums. I’m also living much more frugally than before, because small businesses take a while to turnover a real profit! We’re doing fine, but my family is definitely being more careful with money until Milk Tooth becomes a real success. Of course how I spend my days and nights is completely different now, too,  because I spend my days running around after a toddler and then I really get stuck into work from about 8:30pm onwards (I’m a night owl so this suits me perfectly).

Felt Ball Rug Sailing colours

Milk Tooth Top Seller – The Felt Ball Rug

Have you had any challenges or difficulties running the business and how did you overcome them?

Time is my biggest challenge! I honestly can’t get any work done (aside from the odd social media post or comment and regular trips to the post office) while I’m looking after Sylvie. There is SO much more to do to create and build an online business than I ever realised before. I had no idea before I started. I love all of the challenges though, particularly learning about the different facets of website design, marketing and advertising.

How do you maintain a healthy work/life balance?

My business provides me with the healthy work/life balance! I get to spend all day every day with my child which, while exhausting and oftentimes difficult, is a privilege that many mums don’t get to experience. I will never regret that. The tricky part is making sure I give myself some downtime in which I’m neither mothering or working. A coffee with a friend, sans child, a couple of hours relaxing with a glass of wine in front of the tv in the evening, that sort of thing, is important. It is a bit tricky though, because I love working on Milk Tooth (if I didn’t I should just stop!) so I need to remind myself not to spend every spare hour on it.

Where do you see your business going in the next few years?

I hope to be able to continually build the business over the next few years, to get it to a place where it’s making a decent income for me. That’s a reasonable three-year goal, I believe. I’ve read in a few places that it generally takes three years to really get a business going and profitable. I’d really like a part of that to come from returning customers, as I try to provide the very best shopping experience and customer service possible, and I want people to feel at home on my website and feel like they’ve gotten to know me a little bit. Beyond that, I’d love to see Milk Tooth grow to a point where perhaps I’m utilising warehouse space and I have a couple of staff helping me out. If I could create a couple of jobs out of the business for other people, that would be very rewarding in and of itself.

 

Careers in Focus: Sushi Chef

Sushi and sashimi are eminent components of Japanese cuisine that aren’t just special cooking techniques, but an art in itself. Professionally trained sushi chefs have need for specialized training that differs from general culinary arts education. Sushi has become more accessible and a popular feature at restaurants over the past decade.

Sushi chefs spend a lot of time paying attention to small details when working behind the sushi counter. Sushi is complex and requires exceptional knife skills and an extensive knowledge of raw food and fish. Not only do sushi chefs have to know how flavors are combined and play together but must also learn to create masterpieces that are a delight to the eyes.

This form of ‘food-art’ is quite fundamental when it comes to ingredients. If you’ve ever observed the making of sushi then you’ve probably watched a skilled chef create delectable and colorful dishes from quite a sparse selection of simple ingredients.

Since this culinary art form is so high in demand, professional sushi chefs today are drawn from all backgrounds and ethnicities, the position is no longer limited to skilled Japanese practitioners.

a chef preparing sushiAlthough formal training is not required to become a sushi chef, there are viable educational strategies for those who are enthusiastic to learn about the art of sushi. Culinary programs are designed to speed up the process of the basic culinary skills needed to become a professional sushi chef. Those who are interested should seek out a formal culinary academy with departments specializing in sushi and Japanese cuisine. There are also international opportunities which exist in most Asian countries. Due to high demand of experienced sushi masters in Japanese restaurants, the number of educators and institutions offering relevant curriculum is growing rapidly.

Work experience is highly necessary even with formal training at an established institute. For the majority of sushi chefs, learning the crucial skills and artistry behind the perfect sushi can take as long as four years. Sushi chef apprentices are likely to train under the supervision of a professional and Certified Master of Sushi – a certified professional trained in technicalities and excellence.

We spoke with Tetsuya Yohei, reputable sushi chef from Oishi Restaurant in Amman, Jordan. Oishi serve both Chinese and Japanese food and have built a reputation over the years for outstanding cuisine, especially in regards to their sushi. Quality is first class at both Oishi restaurants and the sushi is created using only the best ingredients. Here is what Tetsuya had to say about becoming a sushi chef:

Hi Tetsuya, thank you for taking the time to speak with us today. Firstly, was it difficult for you to become a sushi chef? What advice would you give to those considering to go into this field?

“Being a sushi chef takes a lot of patience. Ten years ago, I enrolled myself into a $6,000 intensive and very stressful course in Tokyo. That small ball of rice with slices of raw fish may look like a simple job, but in reality it’s the art of perfection. The best students take up to two years to master their skill and the slower ones take up to four. I took two and a half years to master my skills, it was an enjoyable but difficult time. Before you are start to learn about combining the fish with the rice you have to perfect your knife skills, that is the hardest part. My best advice to those considering to join the world of sushi art would be to love what you do and have patience at all times.”

Why did you choose to work as a sushi chef in Amman, Jordan?

“Sushi is becoming very popular nowadays in all regions of the world. I always wanted to travel and the opportunity arose for me at Oishi Restaurant in Amman. Sushi is my specialty but I enjoy making all kinds of Japanese and Chinese food that they serve there. I love cooking and I want to share my creations with people all around the world.”

One last question before we conclude things for the day. What is your favorite thing about your job?

“The best part of my job is seeing customers at the restaurant enjoy the sushi that I have made. It is a delight to bring the Japanese art of sushi to life in a different country.”

Thank you Tetsuya! Hopefully your insight and advice will help inspire aspiring sushi chefs!

If you’d like to follow Tetsuya and his team at Oishi in Amman, you can find them on Facebook here. To find your nearest Japanese culinary school take a look online or ask at your local sushi bar.

Interviews with Entrepreneurs: Andrew @ Rental Guardians

The property game is fiercely competitive. It takes a thick skin and a lot of motivation to succeed, two things we believe this week’s entrepreneur, Andrew Allen from Rental Guardians definitely has. Andrew has been in the property management, buyer advocacy, and real estate game for almost five years. He decided to branch out from his initial project focusing on buying properties for investors to include property management services and offering a support service to his investors was the logical choice. Since starting Rental Guardians they have seen fantastic growth in the Brisbane area and are well known in investment circles as a reputable property management team. We sat down with Andrew to discuss life as a business owner in the real estate game.

 How long have you owned your business?

I started Allen Real Estate as a ‘Buyer advocacy’ business in January 2010, so almost five years now.

 What was the inspiration for opening your business?

I was looking for the flexibility of working for myself due to life factors such as spending a lot of time in Europe and also having small children, the ability to design my own working hours was a motivating factor. Also and this is the main reason, I was looking for a field where there was significant upside in earning capacity and very generally Real Estate meets this qualification well. A more practical motivation was the fact that I have been self employed for almost all of my working life, the last time I worked for someone else was 1992!

 How has your life changed and what opportunities do you envision for your future as a business owner?

So far my responsibilities have increase in line with income, managing employees is a challenge that has it’s advantages and disadvantages. Opportunities mainly revolve around stepping outside the day to day running of the business and into an overseeing and business development role, this is an ongoing process that is still a few years away from fully happening.

What are 3 things that you did successfully to put your business on the map and what tips for success would you suggest to other small business owners, new and existing?

1) Network with centers of influence for your business, finding your customers and the people who will refer you mutiple customers is powerful.

2) Use professionals to do important work for your business such as design and marketing, don’t try and do everything yourself, focus your time on what helps you bring in revenue.

3) Establish a reputation of authority in your chosen domain, being viewed as an expert helps business come to you rather than having to chase it.

Do you spend more time working in your business than you did when you were employed by someone else?

Absolutely yes. There’s no 9-5 with my current business, you are always on call. To a large extent taming this issue is the great challenge of business and lifestyle, how do you strike the balance on growing your business and revenue while at the same time enjoying the benefits of having more income? This is a work in progress.

 How have you managed to balance fun and pressure in the growth of your business?

Having a family day helps, usually Sunday where you don’t do any work or try not to. Also booking holidays in advance is a key idea, if you don’t schedule this time then it likely won’t happen.

What has been the biggest personal challenge for you since becoming a small business owner?

Definitely employees, I was regularly told that ‘staffing’ was the greatest issue for my colleagues and now I think that’s true also.

How important is it to recognize loyal customers?

Your customers become your repeat customers and referrers, so it’s very important to deliver a quality service and thank your customers for their support of your business.

What percentage of your customers come from your local community?

From Brisbane the percentage would be less that 20%, mostly clients are coming from a distance, usually interstate or overseas as one of the key value adds for these clients is they aren’t able to inspect property themselves so are outsourcing their inspections to somebody local.

How would you describe the culture of your business?

Ethical and trustworthy, which are often stated and often absent features in real estate related services. I’ve always valued a quality result for a buyer and client over a commission, this regularly can cost money in the short term but I believe is well compensated in the longer run.

If you want to keep in touch with Andrew, or follow the progress of Rental Guardians you can follow the brand on Twitter or Google+. We’ve covered some other areas of the real estate world here on Shape Your World, so if this is a career that may be of interest to you be sure to check out our previous post about project marketing.

Interviews with Entrepreneurs: Matt @ Top Frog Energy

Top Frog Energy has quickly become one of Australia’s fastest growing solar lighting providers. For the last seven years, 26 year old Matt Harris from Top Frog Energy has been cementing his business as the industry leader in all things solar. Whether it’s solar lights, solar panels, hot water, or solar camping equipment that you’re after Matt has built his business around the sun! Most recently, Matt has decided to close up his solar shopfront and move the business completely online. We spoke with him just after the launch of the new Top Frog Energy website, covering the trials and tribulations of being a small business owner

How long have you owned your business?

We started our business in 2009 with a retail solar lighting, solar panels and solar camping shop in North Brisbane.. Just recently we have made the decision to shut our store and go online.

What was the inspiration for opening your business?

I had worked in retail since I was 15, for a number of different companies in a variety of positions within the workplace. I worked my way to store manager at my last retail job and my boss was generous enough to put me through a certificate 3 in business management. After a couple of years as store manager, I realized that I had climbed as high as I was ever going to for that company. I made the decision that I would rather work my butt off for my families benefit, so we started a family owned and operated solar business.

How has your life changed and what opportunities do you envision for your future as a business owner?

Being a business owner is not easy, but I believe I have learned a lot of things that help in everyday life and grown in confidence as a person. I can no longer simply walk into another retail store, I must assess everything and have probably turned into a difficult customer. I dream big and envision continuing to grow my business into a very large and successful one and possibly even wholesaling to other businesses.

What are 3 things that you did successfully to put your business on the map and what tips for success would you suggest to other small business owners, new and existing?

  1. The best decision I made for my business was putting a terrific sales manager in. He wasn’t the first sales manager I hired and the difference in the performance of the business since he came was incredible. I would suggest always putting experienced and trustworthy people in the key positions within your business, but they must be getting the results you require also.
  2. Advertising is essential. Sometimes the cheapest forms of advertising can be quite effective, it doesn’t have to be all TV ad’s and sponsoring the Broncos. Whenever we were quiet I would send staff to do letterbox drops around the local suburbs and advertising on my car produced good results.
  3. My store layout would draw customers to the shop. I was in a complex surrounded by larger, more well known businesses. I had a lot of bright and colourful lights throughout my shop, but by far the most effective were the flashing big disco lights I had shining into the car park. There was not a spot in the car park where you didn’t notice those lights flashing and half the customers said they were drawn to my shop by the lights. I would also change the layout of my store every couple of months, to keep things interesting.

Do you spend more time working in your business than you did when you were employed by someone else?

I do tend to spend more time working in my business than when I was employed by someone else. However I think it is very important to maintain a social life and am a strong believer in the saying ‘work to live, don’t live to work’.

How have you managed to balance fun and pressure in the growth of your business?

The only way you can maintain a successful business and a healthy social life is to have other people in your business which you can trust and rely on. Otherwise your business becomes a sinking ship the moment you step away. There are always going to be times when you come home in a bad mood because of something that happened at work, but I try as often as possible to leave work for the workplace and not let it affect my social life.

What has been the biggest personal challenge for you since becoming a small business owner?

The biggest personal challenge for me has been knowing when something isn’t working and when to change it. There have been times where I have hung on to the hope that something will work, when really it has been obvious for a while that things need to change. This can be as simple as keeping an underperforming staff member or product too long. In one case, when the solar market slowed, I made the decision to shut the shop down and go online about a year after I should have, meaning I was paying large overheads that I really wasn’t getting the benefit of.

How important is it to recognize loyal customers?

It is very important to recognize loyal customers. Often this is done with loyalty cards and discounts, but often going above and beyond with service or even just building a good relationship can help build a strong base of loyal customers. Of course selling quality products over garbage will also help grow your list of loyal customers.

What percentage of your customers come from your local community?

All of our marketing was targeted at the local community and that was where 99% of our business came from, however just having taken our business online, I would expect that to change with more of our marketing being targeted at online sales.

How would you describe the culture of your business?  The culture of our business is aimed at achieving our goals of providing top quality products and service to our customers. This includes continually training staff, always testing products and dealing with any customer issues promptly and professionally.

What’s have you got planned for Top Frog Energy in the coming months?

Our latest shipment of solar lights has arrived so the next month will involve setting out our marketing plan for the flood lights via the website. We have recently signed up to Google+ too so we will be working on building a social media strategy for all of our solar products also.

Careers in Focus: Digital Marketer

With the rise of the Internet came a shift in advertising from traditional mediums like print media, billboards, and TV towards online mediums such as banner advertising, pay-per-click ads and search engine optimisation. An entirely new market was created and in the space of a decade it has become one of the fastest growing and most pervasive factors in each of our daily lives.

While traditionally high-school graduates studied an undergraduate degree in business or commerce before moving into advertising or marketing careers, a new breed of online entrepreneurs are learning about online marketing in their own time, outside of university, and building a name for themselves in this relatively new industry. With limited regulation and the potential to make very healthy salaries if you are good at it, the online marketing industry has been luring in university graduates and high-school students alike, any of who can make a name for themselves if they are driven to achieve.

A plethora of online and TAFE courses have sprung up, offering education in web design, running an e-commerce store, SEO and digital media marketing, social media marketing, and pay-per-click advertising amongst others. If you are interested in a career in digital marketing or even thinking about learning about it as a hobby, there is no limit to the possible choices in which to focus upon.

For those of us who aren’t interested in attaining a legitimate certification, there is even a huge amount of options when it comes to free online courses. If you’re just interested in learning, than having a go at some of the free online education modules available may be the best way to go. This is also a great idea if you are unsure of what areas of online marketing you wish to specialise in. Some things to think about to help you decide what area might interest you the most are:

  • Which (if any) facets of marketing will help you and your family/friends currently?
  • Are there area of digital marketing you are already familiar with and enjoy doing?
  • Are their significant employment opportunities in your favoured marketing area?
  • What is your ultimate goal after education?

All of the above questions may help you decide which areas of digital marketing are most suited to you. If you still cannot decide, it might be best to try your hand at a few free online courses until a particular area jumps out at you. You may even find you enjoy learning about all facets of it and decide to become a jack-of-all-trades. Below we will go into a bit more detail about several particular industries to give you a better idea about each of them.

Search Engine Optimsation (SEO)

The rise of SEO was brought about following the rise of Google as the world’s most popular search engine. Webmasters and marketers realized that they were able to manipulate organic rankings by making certain changes to their websites and building links to it from other websites. While this is a really basic view of SEO and one that has been superseded by the plethora of search engine algorithm updates that are being constantly released, it gives an idea of what SEO involves. Essentially websites need to be tailored to communicate effectively with search engines, which gives the engines a realistic idea of which keywords the website should be listed for in their organic section (this is the non-pay-per-click section of any search engine page, where webmasters do not pay a fee for each user who clicks through to their website). While Search Page of GoogleSEO is now extremely broad in its scope compared to when it first came on the scene, it is one of the best known areas of online marketing and one you will almost always be able to find a job in if you are successful in being able to help push websites to the top of the organic rankings.

Some notable, highly-successful SEO companies are BrisDigital (Brisbane, Australia), Firstpage (Hong Kong, China) and Mainstreethost (New York, USA). If you are interested in learning more about SEO, it might pay to follow the blogs of some of these companies to get some really up to date knowledge in the field. Beginners can also find a lot of great information in this Beginner’s guide to SEO.

Social Media Marketing (SMM)

With the advent of social media: Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus et al., came the rise in the number of potential way to monetizing accounts. This desire to create cash-flow has spawned the next generation of Internet marketers. Whether you need somebody to run your Google Plus and Twitter accounts for you, design and optimise your Facebook advertising campaigns, or write content to post on your blog and share across all of your social media platforms; you can be sure there is somebody out the who does exactly what you’re after. Most of us here at Shape Your World are actually sick of being spammed by SEO and social media marketing companies touting for new work everyday. Alas, long gone are the days when email spam was simply about porn and Viagra.

Because social platforms are only just coming of age, a lot of savvy, young entrepreneurs have focused on developing their marketing skills utilizing these platforms and are building a name for themselves and their “start-ups” while the industry is still in its infancy. Due to it relatively young age, you’ll be hard pressed to find a university degree with any real depth about social media marketing, and if this is an area that interests you, we would recommend doing some up-to-date online courses in SMM, or getting practical first-hand knowledge from professionals already carving out their niche in the industry.

Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Advertising

The last area of online marketing we’re going to review today is pay-per-click advertising, commonly known as PPC. PPC is a growing advertising medium as more and more businesses move into the online arena and fight to be found amongst their competitors. Essentially, search engines decide when an ad is relevant to their search traffic and show the ads to relevant, targeted potential customers. This form of advertising can be extremely effective as campaigns such as Google AdWords can be highly refined and developed using statistical data and feedback to ensure the correct and most profitable demographics are being targeted.

PPC can also cost advertisers large sums of money if ads and their targeting are not set up correctly. This problem created a whole new category of online marketers, those who help set up and manage PPC campaigns for clients. Known as PPC Management or in the case of Google where most PPC takes place (especially in Australia), Google AdWords Management; this area has become huge sector for online marketers and their businesses. There are many highly skilled PPC and Google AdWords Managers in Australia, however one Brisbane company we keep hearing about is Ads on Google. Their AdWords Management team have built a strong reputation for saving their clients thousands of dollars through well managed campaigns.

Unfortunately that’s all we have time for today. If you’d like more information on any of the aforementioned digital marketing topics, do some research online and educate yourself. Alternatively, if you have specific questions you’d like to ask us, shoot the Shape Your World team an email and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.

Company Profile: Triangle Tires

Triangle Tires was founded in 1976 and has a long history in tyre manufacturing. Over their 38 years in the industry, Triangle have built their brand to be one of the largest tyre producing firms in the world, the whole time maintaining a single fundamental goal: “to meet their global customer demands and serve the global market through continuous research and development.”  This focus has been successful for Triangle so far, as they now rank in the top 10 tyre manufacturers in the entire world and are distributed to more than 150 countries.

So advanced are Triangle’s developments in tyres, they have build strategic partnership with a plethora of international brands including well recognize companies such as: Goodyear, Caterpillar, Volvo, and Hyundai. They produce more than 700 different kinds of radial tyres, in over 160 sizes which are made for passenger cars, light are regular trucks and in the form of OTR tyres for construction and mining vehicles. These numbers do not include the over 400 types of bias tyres they also manufacture in over 100 sizes. In total they manufacture over 10 million pieces each year.

With so many units in production each year, Triangle are a huge employer in the areas of China where their four manufacturing plants exist. Currently the company employs almost 10 000 staff across China and hundreds more who work around the globe in sales and marketing. The Traingle Tire headquarters and their largest tyre manufacturing plant is located in Wei Hai City in Shandong Province, China. This region is famous for the number of tyre producing facilities in the area, not just Triangle Tire Group’s but other companies as well.

The Triangle brand could not have been so successful without the ongoing quality and technological improvements over the years. What started out as just a small company has blossomed into a Chinese national icon and a brand synonymous around the globe with reliability, affordability and technological innovation. The development of a globalized economy over the past few decades have been an incredible opportunity for this Chinese tyre brand, allowing them the ability to reach millions more end users all across the planet.

So in demand are these Chinese tyres that companies have been built to purely assist with their distribution around the globe. DTL Chinese Tyres is one of the wholesale distributors that has been set up to aid in the export and shipping of Triangle Tires’ tyres all around the globe. While not a subsidiary of Triangle, the team at DTL and the many other Chinese export companies that do similar work distributing Triangle tyres work closely with the Triangle team to ensure the correct shipments are made on time to the right ports, and the end customers are kept happy.

tyrevarietiesBelow is list of some of Triangle’s achievements over the past four decades.

  • 1976 – Construction finished and production began.
  • 1990 – Production of PCR tyres and LT tyres began.
  • 1995 – Triangle became the 1st company in China to produce TBR tyres.
  • 2000 – Appointment by the Chinese Government of the title of “Chinese Famous Brand”, The 1st tyre manufacturing company to achieve this.
  • 2002 – Triangle became the 1st Chinese company to produce OTR tyres.
  • 2003 – Strategic partnership with Goodyear was initiated.
  • 2004 – Strategic partnership with Caterpillar was initiated.
  • 2005 – ISO/TS16949 Certification was attained.
  • 2008 – Production of the GIANT OTR till rim diameter R57 began.

All research and development of new tyre technologies at Triangle are done internally, which has been a large competitive advantage for the company and a boon to its strong growth as a brand.  All Triangle tyres are certified by most important international certification companies such as DOT, ECE, CCC etc. and they all follow the European standard on noise (“S” mark) and the REACH standards.

With such a strong history, focus on innovation, and network of distributors and partners, it is unlikely that the Triangle brand will fail anytime soon. We expect the brand will actually increase marketshare in 2014/2015 and push even higher in the list of top tyre manufacturers on the planet as domestic sales boom and international sales also increase at a reasonable rate. Keep an eye out for the Triangle brand, if you haven’t heard of them before today, you’re bound to again soon!

Company Profile: 3monkeez

This week’s company profile is set to focus on the manufacturing sector, more specifically; stainless steel manufacturing. The manufacturing sector is an area we have yet to cover here at Shape Your World despite the value it provides to the Australian economy. Our goal is to provide an in depth analysis of the industry and market in which they operate, highlighting key issues and challenges faced by this national business in general, and propose some recommendations for the business.

Business Profile and Industry

3monkeez have been providing stainless steel products for the commercial market for over a decade, specializing in commercial tapware, sinks, trade waste solutions, and plumbing and sanitary installations. Their operation is renowned for their ability to custom manufacture any stainless steel product based on their extensive technical library or custom plans. The stainless steel market is quite competitive, and therefore a key point of difference is required to separate the bulk of the manufacturing companies from each other. The collapse of one of the country’s most prominent manufacturers of stainless steel tanks, tubes and pressure vessels last year shows that even companies with high turnover (in the region of $40 million p/year) are at risk if they fail to align their business focus. The steel services industry averages an annual revenue of $7 billion nationwide. Although annual growth according to IBISWorld is currently at -3.8%.

Key Business Issues and Challenges

  • Competition: – With such a large amount of money on offer, it’s easy to see why the stainless steel market is saturated, especially when producing light commercial products such as sinks, tapware, and commercial plumbing materials. It is important to remain proactive in obtaining new business and maintaining strong customer relationships.
  • Low Cost Imports: – The strength of the Australian dollar thanks to mining industry has caused the penetration of low cost, imported stainless steel commercial products to increase. This substitution of products from China has been affecting stainless steel fabricators since the late 2000’s.
  • Less Market Share: – With more and more revenue being shifted overseas, manufacturers have been affected by the downturn in the commercial and industrial building sectors more than usual. A shrinking market, combined with a diminishing market share has made acquiring new work more competitive. In this case, it comes down to the company with the best marketing, not necessarily the best product.
  • Employee Skills: – the skills and knowledge of a manufacturer’s workforce can present an additional barrier to entry and improvement. Many jobs are highly specific and it can be quite hard to fins skilled workers when looking to expand.

SWOT Analysis

  • Strengths: – Centralised Stainless Steel Manufacturing facilities along the East Coast. Possibly the biggest advantage 3monkeez has is a presence in every state, meaning quicker delivery and production of sinks, troughs, and commercial kitchen tapware for their clients.
  • Weakness: – Price and visibility. As discussed earlier price points have been a highly contested issue within the industry.
  • Opportunities: – With the Australian Dollar dropping below US90c. There may be hope on the horizon for local production. Of course increasing the company’s visibility is key to capturing this possible opportunity and a solid marketing plan should already be in place to ensure the success of this.
  • Threats: – Imports are the number one threat to the stainless steel manufacturing industry in Australia.

Expansion Issues

Capital investment is the most obvious challenge for further expansion in a shrinking market. Setting up capable stainless steel manufacturing plants that are able to open up other revenue streams requires a high amount of capital to construct a plant that is competitive within the market. There are also staffing issues as management may be required to monitor growth.

Recommendations

Some of the recommendations outlined for 3monkeez are as follows: –

  • Marketing budget- increase the allowance dedicated towards marketing in an effort to capture a larger market share.
  • Strengthen client relationships – leverage existing relationships to not only find new business contacts but also to keep a constant flow of work.
  • Employment training- increase the skill levels of employees

 

Moving forward it is imperative to keep an eye on revenue streams and look to diversify where possible. Having smart, measurable, and achievable business goals mapped out for every section of the business will help to keep the business moving forward and leapfrog their competitors. Be sure to read our other company profiles like this post about Nokia. Who knows you may just find your next career!

 

Careers in Focus: Dentists

A career in the health industry can be very rewarding. Knowing that everyday you are improving the lives of those around you makes going to work each day that much more enjoyable.

If you’re doing well in school and are considering a job in a medical field, you may want to consider dentistry. Dentists work to diagnose, prevent and treat conditions in the mouth, mostly working with teeth. There are a large number of problems people have in their oral cavity, but some of the common things they do are helping customers with: filling in dental cavities, periodontal diseases, pathologies of the jaw, fixing cracked or impacted teeth and detecting and treating oral cancer.

Many dental surgeons specialize in certain areas. Some dentists focus on denture and denture repair, while others specialize in building crowns and bridges for people with missing teeth. Some prefer doing general dental and teeth whitening, while others specialize in treating those with oral cancer.

There are a great variety of options for people in the field and the work can be quite varied. With such a huge range of problems to treat and the common need for emergency dental when people take a nasty hit to the jaw, a day in the life of a dentist is never dull!

We spoke with Dorai, a renowned denture fitment expert and dentist from Chandler Road Family Dental in Boronia, Melbourne. This particular clinic has built a reputation over the years for outstanding service, not just with dentures and denture repair, but also with general dentistry and many of the numerous other dental services they offer at their Boronia clinic. Here is what he had to say on becoming a dental surgeon:

Hi Dorai, thanks for talking with us today. Firstly, was it difficult for you getting into dentistry, and what recommendations would you give to students considering following a similar path?

Well yes, it’s not easy. Dentistry takes a lot of focus and study, as much as any other medical degrees I would say. Any student currently studying it will tell you, it takes a lot of work. If you’re interested in becoming a dentist you’ll have to do well in school and learn good habits of studying hard and paying attention during class.

It’s a serious job working on people’s teeth and things can go very wrong if we aren’t paying close attention at all times, so being able to concentrate on the task at hand is extremely important.

How did you decide what areas of dentistry to specialize in?

Most university graduates will get a job at a general practice after finishing their degree. From there they will learn about, and get more practice on many of the various types of dentistry. Some choose to specialize in certain areas, as I did with dentures and denture repair, while others will stick to general work and become jacks of all dental trades, so-to-speak.

Often dentists who specialize in any particular area will still do other forms of dentistry, they just have a particular area they work with regularly, so the standard of their work may be higher. For example at the clinic I work in back in Boronia, we don’t only work with denture patients, we still take on almost all forms of dental work except with those who require extremely specialized services such as those who have severe jaw deformation after traumatic impact or those with severe oral cancers.

Wow, that’s a little bleak. Does it ever get depressing constantly working with patients who have problems?

Don’t get me wrong; it has its bad days and its good. Overall however I find it enjoyable helping others and it’s quite fulfilling too. There is a rumour going around that dentists commit suicide at a higher rate than any occupation, but I’m sure that’s a myth. There are a number of some scientific journals discussing how that just isn’t true. I know and work with a lot of others in the same field as myself and all of them are very happy in their professional lives. I’m lucky too I guess, the area around where I work in Boronia and Ferntree Gully in Melbourne is fairly quiet, so we don’t get a great deal of overly traumatic dental emergencies.

Okay so it’s probably about time we finished things up for the day. One last question before we tie things up; what’s your favourite things about your work?

That’s an easy one. The look on people’s faces after reconstructive dentistry, teeth whitening or after I’ve built them a perfectly fitting pair of dentures. A small change to someone’s teeth can make a big change to their self esteem and I’m always so happy when I see an overjoyed customer reveling in their new smile.

Thanks Dorai, hopefully your advice and stories will inspire some future generations of dentists to study harder.

If you would like to become a dental surgeon, speak with your student adviser about what is involved and study hard so that you can get into the required university course. You can also subscribe to the Chandler Road Family Dental Blog to keep up to date with the latest industry information and dental tips. If dentistry is in your future, we wish you all the best with your studies and your future career!

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