19 July 2018 Last updated at 03:25 GMT


A True American Success Story: In Plain Sight

One of the country’s leading laser eye surgeons, Dr. Cory M. Lessner is the epitome of an American success story.

And it seems he was always destined to head down the same career path.

“From the age of two, my parents said to me that this is what I should do,” he says.

"I have an uncle who is an opthalmologist, and when I was nine I began reading one of his books and decided I would be an eye doctor.”




Australia’s skills shortage crisis shows no signs of abating.

According to the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations, an incredible 43 per cent of skilled industries – based on 76 occupations continually assessed by the Department – have experienced skills shortages in the past 12 months.

Improving these statistics is one of the motivators behind Sydney-based business Get Qualified Australia. Established in 2010, the company has positioned itself as the country’s leading exponent of Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) through Skills Recognition – providing stepping stones to not only a higher skilled workforce, but greater career satisfaction among individuals.

Get Qualified Australia is the brainchild of Adam Wadi, born out of his own successful experience with RPL.

RPL was introduced in Australia via the AQF (Australian Qualifications Framework) in 1993 as a way of any individual’s pre-existing skills, knowledge and experience to be credited towards a formal, nationally-recognised qualification.    

Adam came face-to-face with the process in 2005, when his practical background in hotel management allowed him to quickly and easily obtain an Advanced Diploma in Management through the Australian Business and Retail Academy.

“I was very impressed with how the RPL process worked,” he recalls.

“My years of experience in the hospitality and tourism sector were formally recognised, and my Advanced Diploma started the next phase of my career.”

With a new qualification under his belt, Adam moved into delivering training courses at hotel schools across Australia.  His own positive experience with RPL led to him explaining and recommending it to his friends and colleagues in the hospitality industry, and in a short space of time he referred close to 200 people to the process.

His hospitality career was at its peak, but the entrepreneur saw a new business opportunity on the horizon.

“I saw the scope to partner with a range of Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) to offer people a substantial number of qualification options through RPL,” he says.

Adam was committed to remaining independent and, more importantly, offering a wider range of qualifications across a greater number of industries than existing companies ever before.
Get Qualified Australia’s credentials were evident from its inception, courtesy of partnerships with the Management Institute of Australia – to supply nationally-recognised training courses to candidates – and MEGT, a non-profit organisation that specialises in employment, education, training and apprenticeships.

Adam’s vision pioneered the early days of Get Qualified Australia. The company positioned itself as the country’s leading RPL specialist, but branched out to form partnerships with reputable RTOs to offer a variety of nationally-recognised qualifications through the RPL process.

Across time, Get Qualified Australia began to offer a detailed selection of personally tailored training, staff development and assessment solutions to meet the requirements of individuals and businesses.
Simply, the company is a ‘one stop shop’ that offers a range of educational, training, RPL and Skills Recognition services under the one umbrella.

Among the thousands of Australians to have benefited from GQ Australia’s services is Sydney’s Steve Rodwell, who completed a Certificate IV of Training and Assessment based on the RPL and Skills Recognition process. He now utilises his Management and business background as a Lecturer in Hotels Management and Marketing at the Intercontinental Hotel School.

From its inception, Get Qualified Australia recognised technology as a crucial way of targeting its audience, and implemented a number of online resources to make the entire process as straightforward as possible for candidates.

These resources included a secure e-Learning portal, offering a comprehensive range of learning and assessment options monitored by Get Qualified Australia’s RTO partners, and a series of YouTube tutorials  to explain RPL in plain English.

More than three years later, Get Qualified Australia is the country’s number one RPL and skills recognition specialist. Adam and his team of qualified RPL Skills Recognition Assessors have underpinned the company with exceptional levels of customer service and tangible results.

Through its partnerships with RTOs, Get Qualified Australia now offers access to more than 400 qualifications  across industries such as business, construction, information technology, transport and tourism – and there’s an even bigger picture in mind.

“We’re working towards getting 500 qualifications in the very near future, and 1,000 qualifications by the end of the year,” says Adam.

“There’s near limitless scope for what RPL can offer, from working towards a nationally-recognised qualification in a field you had previously never thought of pursuing a career in, to obtaining a Graduate Diploma to vastly boost your personal and professional development,” says Adam.

“We are proud of our status as Australia’s premier RPL and Skills Recognition specialist, and look forward to further developing our range of qualifications and tailor-made training solutions.”

About Get Qualified Australia

Get Qualified Australia is one of Australia’s leading RPL and Skills Recognition specialists.

Founded in 2010, the company provides a range of Vocational Education and Training (VET) services for local, national and international clients, in line with Partnership Agreements with Registered Training Organisations (RTOs).

Through its RTO partners, Get Qualified Australia offers more than 400 nationally-recognised qualifications in industries such as hospitality, business, construction and trades, information technology, transport and many more.

Get Qualified Australia utilises skills recognition systems developed in consultation with RTOs, VET stakeholders, Industry Skills Councils and key industry groups to offer tailored training, staff development and assessment solutions to individuals and businesses.


6 Social Media Tips for Small Business Marketing

Social media is the best marketing tool, which small business owners have at their fingertips today. It allows small businesses, which cannot afford to launch private online communities, communicate with consumers in a personal way for building better customer relation. If your business hasn’t started using social media, you are losing a great opportunity to promote your brand and thereby increase the sales for your business. The following top 6 social media tips for small business marketing will help to interact with online customers in social spaces and also guide you in developing and maintaining better relationships with the customers on social networks.

Plan your SMM approach

As with business strategy, you need to make a plan and stick to it to be successful. Outline the objectives as well as the steps you want to take apart from the tools you’ll need for meeting your marketing goals. Your plan must outline how your small business is going to integrate SMM into the existing marketing approaches. Some of the social media-specific issues, which you’ll need to think about:

  • Assigning the regular tasks and updates to an employee with social media and marketing experience
  • Deciding on who is going to create profiles and accounts and who are going to have access to the accounts
  • Selecting the tools, which will help systematize the SMM method and finding social analytics tools to help track success
  • Reviewing your small business marketing approaches and determining where a development in the social media will be beneficial

Find your potential customers

With so many social networking channels available to customers, it can be tough to select a social networking platform for your business. Before creating accounts in Facebook or Twitter to start your marketing campaign, conduct a thorough research to find where your consumers already congregate over the web. Usually it takes less effort and time to join consumers where they’re in comparison to creating a number of accounts and profiles in hopes that clients are going to find you.

Schedule daily time

You need to give regular time to your customers on social media. Schedule enough time every day to communicate with customers, monitor conversations and send new messages.

Be a professional

Social businesses in order to communicate with customers need to be an expert in social media platforms. For example, small businesses can join the communities where they already have their customers and start answering questions and giving advice. Always remember one thing—never pretend to be a consumer while participating in social discussions. Let people know you are an entrepreneur.


When you are marketing your brand in social media, you should stop broadcasting on your products/services and listen to what your consumers want to say. You can build strong social relationship with your consumers when you learn to listen.

Be social

A small business should have good conversation skills and must respond quickly to people. The main point of social networking is conversing and customers are going to get bored if you do not take part in the social flow. Just like offline conversations, you must ask direct questions to your customers within the social group to make them feel important.

If you follow these tips, you will start to see social media making a big difference to your business’ online presence.

Author bio:

This article was written by Adriana Sopi, a business consultant who helps small businesses grow. The writer has even written many articles on 8a certification; and other SBA 8 a certification, which help small businesses get an access to federal contracts.

5 Minutes With a Green Technology Entrepreneur @ Charleston Airport

Brian Heather is a serial entrepreneur; young, dynamic, good looking and with a real social conscience. Not only is he in the business of sustainable building, landscaping and water proofing, this 30 year old business man is changing the landscape of green buliding.

It may be a buzz word to many, but let me assure you, being green is more than meets the eye. Brian is a much sought after entrepreneur who has landed himself in the spotlight with his inaugural Ted Talk on June 23 on "The importance of reconnecting our cities to nature".

His business, Solterra Systems, is a fully licensed electrical, landscaping and waterproofing company that focuses on integrating environmental technology into buildings.

This can range from green roofs where you are producing food, to rain screen siding systems that protect the building from the elements with plants. 

But enough about that, how can we connect our cities to nature. Here's what he had to say:

What can communities be doing more of to connect their cities to nature?

The first step is attaching an ROI to the benefits associated with being in nature for all humans. For example, they estimate that the average American spends 26% of the day being distracted whether its a text message or an advertisement - but right now technology is very much a part of what we do - and so, if we just look at businesses for example, there is a loss of productivity in the workplace and people have in general very un-balanced lives.

So, my goal, is to show that putting humans in more natural settings, that people are more productive and can recover from a distraction faster as well as the fact that they will be more healthier. This can only benefit workplace production.

What made you choose to be an entrepreneur?

I had some success working at a former company as an employee building a renewable energy division and just realized that my vision would not be fully implemented by working for someone else. So, when I was 24, I decided to leave and start Solterra Systems.

What is the best thing about being an entrepreneur?

The ability to have a vision and to get a number of people excited about that so that that vision can be executed and accomplished.

What's the biggest obstacle you have had to overcome as a young entrepreneur?

I started my business in 2008 right at the start of the financial crisis which was not a good time for any contractors, so I had to go out and figure a way to gain clients and convince them to spend money on green technology when people where not spending money at all. It was a time when other contractors were going out of business.

What is the most important lesson you have learnt?

No matter what you are doing, defining responsibility is most important. When you have a group of people working towards the same goal, responsibility needs to be defined.

Who are you mentors and how did you get them?

I have a number of mentors in the Entrepreneurs Organization that have been through some of the same difficulties that I have been through and so they share these experiences and challenges.When I was just starting, I met this guy who was the only person in the US who taught all courses to become a certified green roof professional and he took me under his wing. This was instrumental in proving to my first clients that I could do the work.

What's the biggest issue that your industry is facing?

Education because right now not many people are familiar with the technology so the cost to obtain a customer can be high. We are faced with providing the education to the client to assist them in making a decision and to actually take the step of purchasing the technology. There is still a lot of work to be done here.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

We just obtained our first patent so we are moving more heavily into product development and manufacturing. It is my goal to be distributing internationally some of the green technology that we have been working on and to take a systematic approach to designing and constructing buildings with a core competency of implementing this green technology into the building.

You can find out more about Brian by visiting www.solterrasystems.com

If you like this story and want to here more about entrepreneurs and marketing, join us on Twitter or Facebook.

From Dragon's Den to Mean Girls

The Mean Girls CEO Krista Whitley Castellarin shares her entrepreneurial journey with Marketing Eye, talking reality TV, PR, dog grooming, drag queens and more.

From dipping her toe in dog grooming to featuring on popular program Dragon’s Den, it appears Castellarin has done it all. Her appearance on the TV show made history after she received a $200,000 investment for 10 per cent of her grooming business, Fabulous Furballs.

Today, she runs hybrid engagement agency The Mean Girls, helping American businesses grow through advertising, marketing, public relations, social media and a variety of other outlets.

However, her journey wasn’t without its bumps as she juggled motherhood with her entrepreneurial desires and reality TV appearances.


Yusen Logistics - Forward Thinking

Yusen Logistics offers a full spectrum of integrated logistics functions designed to give customers a better experience.

Japanese-owned company Yusen Logistics, which commenced operations in Australia in its current form on 1 April 2011, is actually a merger of two logistics companies that have operated in Australia for almost 25 years.

The merger between freight forwarder Yusen Air & Sea Service and domestic logistics company NYK Logistics was simply the result of business sense – it occurred when parent company NYK Group realised that, after 2008’s global financial crisis, having one integrated logistics arm was better than two competing ones.

The resulting contract logistics and international freight forwarding company offers a full range of end-to-end supply chain solutions, including ocean freight forwarding, air freight forwarding, customer brokerage and tariff consultancy, as well as supplier management. Its network is similarly comprehensive, linked together by operational bases in 36 countries worldwide.

General manager of business development Grant Gurney has been with Yusen Logistics Australia through the Yusen Air & Sea Service side since 1999 and thus seen it grow from being a “reasonably small freight forwarding company” to a “major player in the market place”.

“Yusen Air & Sea Service opened in 1988 as a fairly small operation in Sydney and Melbourne, offering freight forwarding and customs brokerage services,” he explains. “Since then the business has grown mainly through organic growth, to a stage where we employ close to 100 people in the freight forwarding division. We’ve since opened in Brisbane and our turnover has increased markedly.”

All in one

In the spirit of being a combination of two initially separate companies, Yusen Logistics has ensured none of its services are separate either.

Gurney claims Yusen Logistics’ “total integration of services” is one of its greatest points of difference. “A number of our competitors have the same range of services as we do, however in many cases their different logistics functions are run as separate companies under the one holding company,” he says.

“In Yusen Logistics, all of our functional logistics services come from the one business. This ensures better commercial offerings, better operational service and better administrative procedures, which lead to a better overall experience for our customers in all areas.”

Yusen Logistics’ complete management of processes on the freight forwarding side is supported by 1-Stop Connections, who supplies the information required for its import and export operations. “Our use of 1-Stop includes an important software tool that allows us to make and receive payments from fellow community members, thereby speeding up the exchange of documents and funds without the need to physically transfer paperwork,” Gurney says.

Positive change

Another of Yusen Logistics’ competitive advantages is said to lie in following a philosophy originating from the company’s country of birth.

“Kaizen is a Japanese word that, loosely translated, means ‘change for good’,” Gurney explains. “It is not just a program that we run to fulfil our customer’s expectations around continuous improvement, but a core principle of the way we do business.”

In accordance with the philosophy of Kaizen, Yusen Logistics staff are trained and encouraged to look constantly for ways to improve efficiencies. “In this way we can assure our customers that we are doing everything possible to help them in areas including safety, quality, environment, increasing efficiency and decreasing costs,” says Gurney.

For several years now, Yusen Logistics has also followed a “very strong” environmental policy. “In terms of not just having an environmental policy but in living by it, we would be at least the equal of our competitors, if not ahead of them,” he adds.

Catching the wave

Over the next three-to-five years, Yusen Logistics will focus on further developing its ocean freight forwarding services – a “growing area” according to Gurney. “Down to pressure from consumers to lower costs, a lot of businesses are transitioning from air freight to ocean freight movement – so a large range of products that were formerly transported by air are now moving by ocean,” he explains.

Using this strategy, and supported by its full spectrum of services and a dedication to continuous improvement, Yusen Logistics hopes to weather increasing consumer pressure to achieve “sustainable growth” across all facets of the business. “Our overall objective is to become a top-five international freight-forwarding company within the next three years,” Gurney says. “And it’s tracking in the right direction.”

Like Nothing On Earth - Vail Resort

At 5,289 acres, Vail, the largest ski and snowboard resort in the United States certainly lives up to its reputation. With breath-taking views of the surrounding mountains and warm, inviting ambience of Old World European-styled villages, it is said to be the “Disney World” of all ski resorts. The town of Vail sprawls over 4.5 square miles and is centred around two villages- Vail Village and Lionshead. The luxurious resort features an abundance of first class hotels, shops and restaurants. Vail has three main mountain regions; The Front Side, The Back Bowls and The Blue Sky Basin. 


How to throw the perfect corporate function

Throwing a corporate function can often be fraught with danger – striking the balance between casual and professional, while juggling budgets and priorities is never an easy task.

Lincoln of Toorak manager Dimmy Alevizos has overseen hundreds of corporate events and said that planning a corporate event is often overcomplicated when planners get bogged up in the tiny details, failing to see the overall big picture.

“People often overthink things when they plan the event,” she said.

“Quite often, planning a corporate event is down to several basics – once you’ve written up a plan and stick to it, the rest of the event will be a success.”

1.            Create a budget
Know your limits and beware of hidden costs when organising a corporate event, especially if it is a large-scale one. Don’t get carried away with decorations and centrepieces as costs often add up in the end. Your budget will also determine if spouses, significant others, children and clients will be invited to the event.

2.            Lock in a date
Avoid days near the beginning or end of a company holiday period, as employees may be away. If you can, choose a weekday so that employees are not forced to forgo their personal commitments for a work function. Also, don’t worry if people are unable to make a day you choose – you will never be able to cater for everyone, especially if you have a lengthy guest list.

3.            Determine the type of event
Work out if it is best for the event to be indoor or outdoor, casual or cocktail. Factor in the seasons, the aim of the event and the guests who will be attending. If you are planning to have numerous presentations and speeches, it is best to provide plenty of seating and tables so people can sit and eat for the duration. On the other hand, stand-up cocktails and finger food is more appropriate for meet-and-greet networking events so that guests can move around and mingle.

4.            Pick the right entertainment
Don’t go for a big-name entertainer, as they may not have the most professional attitudes due to their already-established fame. Select entertainment appropriate for the event and its guests, making sure you have activities to appeal to everyone attending. Hosting a creative function? Perhaps burlesque dancers and circus performers could be an option. Planning something a little more serious? A guest speaker on a relevant topic may be a better choice.

5.            Spend on quality food and beverages
Be mindful of both quality and quantity – make sure that the food provided is good and plentiful, as it will make or break the event. Don’t forget to check your guests’ dietary requirements ahead of time as well.

6.            Make sure the right people attend
When the event begins to take shape, begin promoting the function and send invitations out. Invitations should always be personalised. If you can, make a follow-up phone call to make sure your guests received their invitations. After drafting your RSVP list, make a second round of follow-up calls to ensure they are all attending. This will also ensure that the event won’t slip from people’s minds, potentially increasing the amount of guests as well.


The building blocks of B2B

B2B relationships
can often be fleeting, even transient. But not at VIPS International – the business is continuing to go from strength to strength, with an impressive history of client retention

The Australian company boasts big-name clients including retail household names Estee Lauder, Nestle, Sportsgirl and Sussan, who have all been partnering with VIPS International for at least a decade.

Since taking over the company in the 1990s, executive director Douglas Dick has turned the business around, expanding to South Africa and New Zealand in recent years.



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Case Study: BrightLine Solutions AtlantaMarketing Eye Atlanta was recently engaged by BrightLine Solutions in Atlanta to re-develop their rather new website incorporating more services, social media and a different look and feel.The company is based in both Atlanta and New York and was founded by serial entrepreneur Christy Brown. Specialising in Information Technology, Embedded Software Engineering, Accounting and Finance, Christy has paved a niche in her market and delivered a service that is both professional and unsurpassed by any of her competitors.