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Southern Entrepreneurs  Blog

At Southern Entrepreneurs we believe the best way to be successful is to improve how you do things. This is why we empower our members with useful information on how to do just that. In our blog you will find the latest business and industry information, real life business success stories, events and training programmes, ‘how to’ guides and much more.

SE Blog

29 Nov 2016

BLOG - merry Christmas

Wishing all Southern Entrepreneurs a very happy Christmas

 

09 Nov 2016

BLOG - How Will Events in USA Effect the Markets?

Donald Trump will become the 45th US president after completing the most dramatic political upset in modern American history. Here are five questions the new president will have to answer on the economy.

 

26 Oct 2016

BLOG - What Keeps You Awake at Night?

These days there's no shortage of things to keep you awake at night, wherever you stand on the political spectrum.
For some it's Britain's exit from the European Union. For others it's the prospect of Brexit being thwarted. For others still, it's whether the Chinese economy will hold up, what the outcome of the US presidential election will be or the risk of artificial intelligence taking over your job.

 

18 Oct 2016

BLOG - How Tastes are Changing

It's 8.20 on a Wednesday morning, and Chris is about to tuck into a chocolate twist pastry and an orange juice, with a coffee (Guatemalan beans) on its way. He doesn't have to be in the office until later but will use his time in this South London coffee shop to catch up on his emails in peace.
He does this about once a week, he says.

 

05 Oct 2016

BLOG - How to use Twitter Analytics (working smarter not harder)

So there you are diligently posting away on Twitter and hoping that what you’re tweeting about and when you’re tweeting is actually working in terms of building followers and getting good engagement.

 

20 Sep 2016

BLOG - Dramatic fall in shop openings

There was a "dramatic" fall in the number of shop openings in the first half of the year, according to a new report from the Local Data Company.

 

20 Sep 2016

BLOG - UK Tech Talent?

Across BBC News outlets this week, under the banner Tech Talent, we are asking whether the UK can compete in the global technology industry - and why we haven't produced a tech giant on the scale of Google or Apple. Here are my thoughts on those questions.

 

05 Jul 2016

BLOG - Struggling to keep up with customers who want your product yesterday?

We now expect so much more as technological processes & functions that took minutes a few years ago now happen in seconds.

 

20 Apr 2016

BLOG - Illustrating a presentation – some hints and tips

Sometimes we default to thinking a presentation must include slides. But if you’ve ever suffered “death by Power Point”, you’ll know it pays to give careful thought to your use of visuals. Sometimes slides are exactly the right visual aid to support a presentation. And sometimes they are better avoided.

 

02 Feb 2016

BLOG - Oh by the way, you have to be a Magazine Editor too…

In the last month I’ve picked up three new clients because they like how I sound on the internet. How has that happened and what could you do?

 

05 Jan 2016

BLOG - is home the best place to work?

As a freelancer, I’m privileged that my office can be anywhere – London, New York, Berlin or back at my parents in Teesside. Still, despite the rise in the number of workspace options (coffee shops with fast Wi-Fi, co-working hubs), I still spend most of my time working from home.

 

17 Dec 2015

BLOG - the power of relaxation

The Power of Breath Work and Relaxation

Christmas time can be stressful for many people in so many different ways, but it is important to note that it is not just Christmas that brings about worry and stress.

 

22 Sep 2015

What is NLP

It is how you run your mind not your mind running you!

 

01 Sep 2015

Mobile Apps for Business: Beyond the AppStore

One of the most common Google search terms around business mobile applications that we’ve identified here at Microsec is “best business apps”.  There are certainly lots to choose from, and each self-contained app does a very specific task: mileage calculator, receipt tracker, business card scanner, credit checker, etc..

 

01 Sep 2015

Holiday Entitlement for 2016/2017 – Are you aware?

Could your business be at risk of a breach of contract claim? Yes, if your holiday year runs from the 1st of April until the 31st of March and your employment contracts state that employees are entitled to 20 days’ holiday plus bank holidays, you very well could be. Why? It is all due to the shift in Easter holidays in 2016 and 2017

 

01 Sep 2015

The New Sound Of Eastleigh

A group of experienced broadcasters are coming together in the hope of setting up a community radio station for Eastleigh

 

18 Aug 2015

BLOG - How vain are you?

Vanity URLs are a marketing blind spot and it's time marketers woke up to their importance, argues Katherine Slavin, senior client services manager, RadiumOne.

 

11 Aug 2015

BLOG - How to be calm under pressure

Mistakes and pressure are inevitable; the secret to getting past them is to stay calm.

 

10 Aug 2015

BLOG - Why planning social media posts makes sense

‘Fail to plan, prepare to fail.’ The old adage is as true as ever, not least for social media marketing.

 

27 Jul 2015

BLOG - Making the most of social media

"The thinking goes, if you’re not online, you’re nowhere," the Virgin Founder notes in a recent blog post. "But I don’t believe it’s always the case."

 

23 Jul 2015

BLOG - Emoji friend or foe?

WIDELY celebrated on twitter and other social-media websites, July 17th was declared to be World Emoji Day by Emojipedia, a website that catalogues the icons .

 

15 Jul 2015

BLOG - How to tweet like a DJ

Twitter is a strange old place when you first join. You can see loads of conversations apparently going on but no-one’s speaking to you.This social network is sometimes compared to one huge cocktail party and it’s easy to wonder for how long you’ll have to wear those Twitter How to L-Plates

 

 

25 Jun 2015

BLOG - Handling conflict

How good are you at handling conflict inside or outside of work?
Do you hope it will go away if you ignore the issue?

 

08 Jun 2015

BLOG - The entrepreneurial myth

5 Ways to Develop Your Business With Gerber’s E-Myth Philosophy

The “Entrepreneurial Myth” or E-Myth is a business ideology born into existence by Michael Gerber. The notion behind E-Myth is that too many entrepreneurs fail because they get caught up spending most of their time involving themselves in the technical aspects of their business and next to no time actually managing and strategising for growth.

 

03 Jun 2015

BLOG - Business communication minefield

4 Essential Tips for Navigating the Business Communications ‘Minefield’ in 2015

If you want to make your business efficient, productive and profitable then you need your communications to be actively supporting you and not costing the earth. Here are 4 essential tips to help you achieve that:

 

21 May 2015

BLOG - How's your time management?

Be Efficient, Effective and Get Things Done
So what is Time Management?

 

20 May 2015

MEMBERS NEWS - Simple New Website Delivers Direct Access To Family Law In Hampshire

A simple new website heralds the launch of a new local company aiming to improve access to family law courts. Hampshire Family Law is a cooperative between four experienced family law barristers who offer fixed cost, direct access to the law without the need to consult a solicitor.

 

18 May 2015

BLOG - How do I market without bragging?

Very often those who’ve achieved great things go quietly unnoticed. Doubly so when British reticence and modesty gets in the way.

This is all very admirable…but unfortunately this will not help in the marketing of your business

 

12 May 2015

BLOG - A little empathy goes a long way

How well do you think you know your potential customer? Do you understand their challenges, their likely mindset and lifestyle?

To be honest if you don’t your marketing is not going to work.

 

05 May 2015

BLOG - how does your website smell?

For the last couple of months I, like most people, have been bombarded with articles about Google’s new policy of favouritism towards mobile friendly websites. It certainly is a significant change, and one that makes sense given the massive increase in the use of mobile devices for both browsing and online shopping.  There is, however, much more to creating an effective website than just making it responsive

 

01 May 2015

MEMBERS NEWS - Hampshire Firms Combine To Boost Business Growth

A Hampshire consultancy has helped a precision engineering manufacturer in Eastleigh upgrade its computer systems to capture growth opportunities in the energy sector.

 

27 Apr 2015

BLOG - how google thinks in 2015

The way Google thinks really influences how it looks at your website, and decides if it's worth ranking on page 1...or page 2 and beyond. Google also frequently changes its mind about what is good on the web, and what's not. In this article, I give my humble view on what Google is liking in 2013, and 3 changes business owners can make to their website to make it more Google-friendly.

 

22 Apr 2015

MEMBERS NEWS - Local Specialist Eye Hospital Helps Olympic Mentor After Near Miss

Poole man, Bernie Shrosbree - the professional sports mentor and high performance coach - almost collided with a car due to his poor vision.  The frightening experience made him realise his eyesight had to be corrected.

 

30 Mar 2015

BLOG - Promote your events on Linkedin

You work hard to plan events for your company,  industry association or favorite nonprofit organization, bu filling the seats can be a challenge. Here are ten simple ways to use LinkedIn to get the job done:

 

23 Mar 2015

BLOG - advertising that works

Promoting yourself is costly - so finding out how to effectively advertise your business might be a good idea! Now that everyone is getting back from holidays let’s get to work on your adverts and flyers.

 

02 Mar 2015

MEMBERS NEWS - Interactive Technology Suite Opens in Poole

Local company Hugh Symons AV is opening its brand new Interactive Technology Suite to all local businesses and schools in March.

 

19 Feb 2015

MEMBERS NEWS - TRACOuk Wins!

The Recycled Assets Company has won a Year of free mentoring from business experts to help grow and develop. Jason Bentley, founder had to go through a series of heats, making a case. This culminated in the final head to head at the Marriott Hotel, Portsmouth.

 

16 Feb 2015

BLOG - Stress and our brain

We all get stressed from time to time and for some of us stress plays a large and unwanted part in our lives.

Stress activates the potent chemical of cortisol, it surges when you slip into stress and secretes into the bloodstream (it thrives off stress).

 

11 Feb 2015

BLOG - Not all start-ups are the same

In the past entrepreneurship was viewed (and taught) as a single process, with a single approach to creating a business plan and securing funding for a startup. The best entrepreneurship textbooks and blogs assume that advice to startups is generalizable. But as I learned from my students this “one-size-fits-all” approach does not work for all startups. Different market opportunities present radically different startup risks and costs.

 

02 Feb 2015

BLOG - Playful Marketing as part of "The Play Ethic"

Whilst doing some research for my latest workshop (branding a Town actually!) my interest was piqued by a paragraph concerning place marketing and changing social attitudes viz:

  “This is accompanied by an equally significant shift from the work ethic to the play ethic”

This got me thinking about how “unbuttoned” businesses have become – literally in terms of dress down Friday - which now seems to be dress down Monday to Fridays. In step with this,  marketing is increasingly both playful and humorous.

 

28 Jan 2015

BLOG - Digital marketing - what it means to you

A couple of years ago a returning client of mine exclaimed that he hadn't realised that I'd turned into such a technical geek. 

I explained that with the advent of Digital Marketing it meant that many marketing professionals had had to do precisely that.

 

20 Jan 2015

MEMBERS NEWS - Hampshire Business Launches Product in USA.

Succinct Solutions successfully takes a Hampshire based company overseas with the announcement of a million pound business deal.

 

19 Jan 2015

BLOG - Is coaching for you?

Coaching
“The Power of Positivity”

How often do you hear yourself saying?
I wish I had done that years ago?
I don’t think I can achieve that?
I am no good at this?
Why do I not have enough time to get everything done?
Can I really make it to the next step on the career ladder?
I want to lose weight and get fit but it is such a struggle?

This is where Coaching comes in!

 

01 Jan 2015

MEMBERS NEWS - Promoting with Quality Video.

Vidibiz Digital Media, based in the New Forest, have recently introduced an affordable Video
product to support small and medium sized businesses by helping them promote their business
over the internet using “Chroma” or Green Screen technology.

 

15 Dec 2014

BLOG - digital predictions for 2015

In the coming year, mobile will continue to strengthen its hold on the industry, smart data will outshine big data, and real-time marketing will become an achievable goal.

With just a few weeks left in 2014, it’s time for some of my annual digital marketing predictions for the upcoming year.

 

11 Dec 2014

BLOG - "Simples" idea big impact

Three simple marketing questions, one amazing marketing campaign

A client recently said how much he loved the compare the market ads and how he wished he’d thought of something similar. I decided it would be really interesting to find out more about this particular marketing campaign.

 

11 Dec 2014

MEMBERS NEWS - A New Website Boosts Business.

In the spring of 2014, Southern Entrepreneur members The Hampshire School of Hypnotherapy and IT & Marketing firm MQM Interactive, both based in south Hampshire, joined forces and developed a strategy to raise the School’s profile and grow the number of activities and students.

 

11 Dec 2014

MEMBERS NEWS - How Coaching can help you and your business

I work with people on a “one to one” basis and within a team environment in order to help people to help themselves and move forward in order to succeed and achieve goals and aspirations.

 

03 Dec 2014

BLOG - Measure social media success

Measuring Social Media Success: Which KPI's should I look at?

 

01 Dec 2014

BLOG - Retirement planning for the small business owner

Pension ages are going up and people are carrying on in the workforce until well beyond their retirement age. Many retain vigour and enthusiasm for their work and this can add significantly to their personal identities, so why not?

 

25 Nov 2014

MEMBERS NEWS - Hampshire business delivering wireless internet solutions.

EMS Ltd, based in Liphook on the Hampshire-Surrey border, has successfully secured a £200,000 expansion loan from the Enterprise M3 Funding Escalator, which will enable it to create 10 new jobs.

 

19 Nov 2014

MEMBERS NEWS - Rentsoft Meter™ selected as Finalist for Inspire Innovation Excellence Award

Basingstoke, Hampshire. October 2014- The judges for the 2014 Inspire Business Awards have selected Rentsoft Meter™ from The Business Software Centre as one of three finalists for the Innovation Excellence Award.

 

19 Nov 2014

WHAT MOTIVATES YOU

WHAT MOTIVATES YOU?

It all started with a single “yes.” I’m amazed by how this one “yes” has provided me with an ongoing source of motivation.

 

17 Nov 2014

BLOG - Is an apprentice just what you need?

Has there ever been a better time for a would-be apprentice? Politicians of all parties are practically falling over themselves to offer more opportunities for on-the-job training.

 

15 Nov 2014

BLOG - Entrepreneur or business person?

Did you hear? Victoria Beckham, former Spice Girl, wife of the famous soccer star and owner of a successful fashion business has been named the UK’s Entrepreneur of the Year by Management Today, a respected British magazine.

 

13 Nov 2014

BLOG - How to raise prices and still keep your customers happy

As we approach the last few months of the year, it’s a good time to reflect and review your business and your achievements. Are you at the point you’d hoped to be? Are you reaching your financial goals?

Now is the perfect time to assess whether your prices are right for you and your customer. Being self-employed can make increasing your prices seem scary and, dare I say it, greedy. But aligning your prices with the market and competitors is an important thing to do – and may lead to the realisation that you’re not currently charging enough.

Wondering how to go about raising your prices? You could try following these five steps.

 

10 Nov 2014

BLOG - How to create a website for an international audiance

"Do you cross your fingers and hope that the Google translate button pops up alongside your URL?" 

Your traditional British pickles and chutneys are sitting on the sideboard, boxed up and ready to export. All you need to do now is to wait for some orders. But who’s clicking on your website? Perhaps your target audience are overseas, and don’t understand your site. Or maybe your servers are slow and they’re just getting a pickle, one pixel at a time. So how do you make your website navigable for a global audience?

 

30 Oct 2014

BLOG - Are you gender equal?

Women are beginning to gain a stronger stance in the boardroom, and with recent research from EEF revealing that one in five directors at FTSE 100 companies are now female, there’s certainly been a movement in corporate culture from seven years ago where all directors in FTSE 100 companies were male. Bearing these figures in mind, it is clear that there is less male dominance in the boardroom, but this must not be mistaken for the idea that gender equality has finally been achieved in business, particularly for SMEs.

 

30 Oct 2014

BLOG - Turn Linkedin contacts into real contacts

While it’s always interesting to receive a LinkedIn invitation, if you don’t know the sender or share any connections, it can often leave you scratching your head—especially if the message hasn’t been personalized. Over the years, I’ve received countless requests to connect with professionals whose careers have really intrigued me. But after accepting said invitation, I’ve never heard from them again, rendering it the virtual equivalent of a ding-dong-ditch

 

27 Oct 2014

BLOG - do you manage an introvert?

Do you supervise individuals would might describe themselves as an introvert? If the answer is “yes,” you may want to take a moment to examine how you manage them. In many cases,  we hold misconceptions about introversion, which can lead to ill-fated supervisory decisions. I’d like to point you in the right direction

 

27 Oct 2014

MEMBERS NEWS - Drawing in Southampton

Drawing in Southampton! Local Artist & new business owner's Artwork being shown in & around Southampton.

"Newly starting up my own business had been a dream of mine for years, it gives me the chance to share my talents in Art by producing work for people that is especially for them to their specifications."

 

 

24 Oct 2014

BLOG - is your business ready for winter?

Slip and fall law suits increase exponentially in winter, where icy surfaces increase hazards and snow may not have been cleared. As a business, you are required to keep areas such as aisles, stairs, walkways, car parks, and other parts of the premises reasonably safe for clients and employees.

 

22 Oct 2014

BLOG - How's your work life balance?

As parents settle into the new school year — a time for new schedules, new activities and new demands — the pressure to balance life and work is ever present. But to suggest there is some way to find a perfect ‘balance’ (i.e., to focus equal time and attention on work and home) is impossible in my mind. Or to put it more bluntly – the whole concept of work-life balance is bull.

 

21 Oct 2014

MEMBERS NEWS - The Business Elephant in the Room!

There is an unacknowledged problem in business that nobody talks about

And it is business skills – or the lack of them. Most people start out in business because they want to do things differently. They want to play by their own rules, and achieve goals that are important to them. Most people are really good at what they do as a business. But do you know what? The training you have before you start your business, just teaches you to do something – be a therapist, be a plumber, a driving instructor, a florist. So what can you do? 

 

20 Oct 2014

BLOG - How to waste your content marketing efforts

Wow, your traffic numbers look awesome! Growing faster than kudzu in a southern state, you’ve got the whole thing licked! Kudos. Kick back and relax, job well done

 

15 Oct 2014

BLOG - Why coaching is the key to success

How much does your team fire fight? 
Are you often struggling to achieve objectives? 
What would you and your team achieve if you looked at your aims and objectives from a solution focused mindset? 
How does your team behave under pressure?
Are you and your team already a success but would like to become more successful?

 

13 Oct 2014

MEMBERS NEWS - A Solicitor who is embracing new technology to bring legal information to clients

Alison Colley of Real Employment Law Advice, has recently launched a Podcast, ‘The Employment Law & HR Podcast’ provides legal and practical updates to busy business owners and HR practitioners.

 

10 Oct 2014

MEMBERS NEWS - Could you help us to add value to our clients?

As travel connoisseurs, our passion for the most exclusive of travel experiences enables us to create the most magical and exciting of packages.  Whether people want to escape to a secluded 4 star location or to experience that memorably authentic trip of a lifetime - we deliver for the most discerning of clients.

An essential part of that is taking customer service to the next level …

 

08 Oct 2014

MEMBERS NEWS - Enterprise M3 - local Enterprise Partnership launches £5.5 million funding escalator to help local high-growth businesses

The FSE Group are pleased to announce that the Enterprise M3 Local Enterprise Partnership has committed £5.5 million of capital to create a new funding escalator comprising a loan scheme and an equity fund managed by The FSE Group.

 

08 Oct 2014

MEMBERS NEWS - Stopped for having No Insurance

It was Sunday morning and Steve was travelling on the M27 on his way to pick up the family for a weekend away.  Mrs R was out shopping and all was well in the world.

Ne nar ne nar, as a Police car flashes him to pull over.

 

08 Oct 2014

MEMBERS NEWS - Coaching for Goal Achievement

Hello my name is Shelley Edwards and my company, Progress to Success offers Coaching and Training services for individuals and businesses.

It is always a good idea to map out some goals and aspirations, so this article invites you to grab a pen and paper and answer the coaching questions below in order to help you move forward and be, have and do what you wish!

 

06 Oct 2014

BLOG - key marketing questions to ask yourself today!

A little self-examination in business is always useful. And, as you will inevitably not see the wood for the trees when you are busy in your business, I thought I’d give you 6 key marketing questions to ask yourself.

These should not only give you pause for thought I honestly believe they will help you go to the next level.

 

29 Sep 2014

BLOG - Don't Hit Send - 7 Sanity checks for sending cold emails

Over the years I’ve come up with a list of sanity checks I go through before I send a cold email, and I want to share this list with you, too. For these to be effective, though… you have to be willing to be 100% honest with yourself. If you can’t, get someone else to run these checks for you.

 

25 Sep 2014

BLOG - Let's get confident

Lets Get Confident!

What does Confidence mean to you? We are all very different and it helps to define what it means to you, so write a few words, draw some pictures or just ponder over the word "Confidence" Imagine you are trying to explain the word to an alien from out of space who doesn't know anything about confidence, what would you say to them?

 

05 Sep 2014

BLOG - Why its never too late to start a business

I always consider myself very lucky because I went into business at a very early age. I always knew that I wanted to become my own boss and not too many years after leaving school I was living this dream.

The fact that I was out there in the market place as a young age meant that I had a head start and that was a definite advantage. In business there really is no substitute for experience and I was able to learn from my mistakes and successes as I went along.

 

05 Sep 2014

BLOG - The rise of infographics

According to blogger  Jeff Bullas,  Google searches for infographics increased by 800% in just over 2 years between 2010 and 2012.  

This is perhaps not unexpected when they’re ideal vehicles to share and click via social media and offer easily digestible information on a particular subject.

 

04 Sep 2014

BLOG - How to be a blogger that people bother to read

About five years ago I read an article about our increasing inability to read great chunks of text and the fact that we were mostly scan reading.  Little did I know at the time that this was relevant to me positioning myself as a blogger that people bother to read.

 

04 Sep 2014

MEMBERS NEWS- Government Funding

Winchester business gets Government funding to Grow

Ecoskill Managing Director - Peter Richardson seized the opportunity of getting £2000 to help grow his business.  Ecoskill is a Winchester based business that had been running for over 3 years when they won a contract in China.  This changed the direction of the business and meant some strategic advice.

Peter was an early adopter to the Growth Voucher Scheme, which started in January 2014, when he heard about it via his networking groups and social media.  As Ecoskill had been trading for over a year, had less than 50 employees and was registered in England they knew they were eligible. Peter said ‘The application process was really simple and only took about 10 minutes.  After that I was contacted by Lisa Harding from Enterprise First’.

 

04 Sep 2014

MEMBERS NEWS - The Marple Cross Centre

Keeping your workforce happy

We have all heard the saying: “A happy workforce is a productive workforce. Recent research by the University of Warwick shows that it is in fact true: happiness can raise productivity levels by as much as 12%. Happy workers are also more likely to stay with a company rather than look elsewhere.

 

04 Sep 2014

MEMBERS NEWS - Hambledon Vineyard

Hambledon Vineyard aims to be the biggest and most successful sparkling wine producers in the UK

Hambledon Vineyard in Hampshire is set to become one of the biggest and most successful sparkling wine producers in the UK. The company has just launched its first branded sparkling wine, Hambledon Classic Cuvée, and cemented an exclusive distribution deal with one of the UK’s most prestigious fine wine wholesalers, so expect to see their wines in merchants and restaurants across the country very soon!

 

03 Sep 2014

MEMBERS NEWS - Employment Law Advice for Employers

New legislation on Employee Flexible Working Requests

On 30th June 2014 - the law changed with regards to the right of employees to request flexible working. This meant that any employee can now make a request for flexible working. Prior to this change, only employees who cared for certain children or adults could make a request under the statutory provisions.

 

28 Aug 2014

BLOG - Be healthy work better and be more productive

Having a healthy lifestyle means having a happy, longer and fulfilled life!
Many people find it hard to stay focussed and maintain a healthy regime and sometimes a simple thing like planning meal times in advance can be of great benefit

 

26 Aug 2014

BLOG - “Ready, Steady, G… Hang on, before I do, maybe if…”

How many times have I historically set about doing something then haven’t due to those voices in my head telling me otherwise (these are different from those other voices in horror films … but then again!), well, it’s a rhetorical question but how many times have you considered:

 

22 Aug 2014

BLOG - 3 Essential Things You Should Do On LinkedIn

Are you doing the right thing?

You may have been weaned on Facebook and Twitter, but if you’re using social media for the good of your business, there will come a point when you have to get serious with LinkedIn.

3 essentials of LinkedinI don’t want to bore your striped suit off with statistics, but with more than 300 million members it’s huge. Indeed so important has LinkedIn become to business and professionals that some head hunters have been told to ignore anyone who is not a member.


 

18 Aug 2014

BLOG - Working 9 to 5?

Is it time to kick the 9 to 5 habit?

New technology enables us to work from anywhere at anytime. So shouldn't more businesses make a break with the past?

Mornings are busy times in my household. With two pre-school children to deal with and both myself and my wife working full-time, there's plenty going on. Like most parents, we don't need alarm clocks; we have two human ones that start to chirp at 7am and sometimes much earlier. But we're the lucky ones. I have worked as a freelancer since before they were born and my wife works from home most days. There's no 7.53 train for either of us to catch. Some mornings I can write 800 words before breakfast, other times I can look after the kids while my wife makes an early start. Our days have flexibility, if they didn't we'd be poorer both financially and time-wise.

 

13 Aug 2014

BLOG - Are you missing out on life?

“The present moment is filled with joy and happiness. If you are attentive, you will see it.” ~Thich Nhat Hanh

“Yeah…Uh huh…Uh huh…Yeah…No way! Uh huh.”

This was the response I got when talking to a friend the other day. I could tell he wasn’t really listening, because he was browsing Facebook at the time.

Why was his smartphone more important than me? It didn’t used to be this way.

I know I’m at risk of sounding out-of-touch and technophobic. But I really do think this is a much bigger problem than we perceive.

We’re talking about our lives here. Do we really want to dedicate them to an iPhone?

 

11 Aug 2014

BLOG - On your own

BLOG - On your own?

Are you a sole proprietor now, or are you planning to start up your own business?

You might have employees, might be part-time, might work from home, etc. This article discusses the pros and cons of sole proprietorship and some tax information you’ll want to know.

Many people own and operate a small business as the sole owner.

 

08 Aug 2014

BLOG - Are you a "normal"

A useful new word jumped into my inbox the other week and it deserves a wider airing.

The word in question is "normals" and it describes the bulk of technology users - those of us who definitely don't queue up outside gadget shops for the midnight launch of the next new thing.

 

31 Jul 2014

BLOG - The end of paper?

Are we ready for a paperless office?

Nowadays there is a lot of pressure on companies, small businesses and enterprises alike, to strive for a completely ‘paperless office’ and it’s easy to understand why. The news is saturated with the likes of government bodies pushing for ‘digital-by-default’ and guides like WRAP’s Green Office advising on best practice. But in reality, only 1 per cent of EU businesses has actually achieved a paperless office. While society is pushing for an ideal initiative, it’s clearly not delivering ideal results. So what’s going wrong?

 

25 Jul 2014

BLOG - Important hour

The most important hour of your life

An executive called me up a few months ago in existential pain. He had spent the last several years pursuing a career path he now admitted was not right for him. He had overstayed his time building a software company when he really wanted to be teaching and writing. An optimist by nature, it had surprised him to find how off track he had become without ever intending it. Almost as concerning as being off track was the realization that it had happened without any deliberate choice on his part. How was this possible? Why do otherwise smart people end up strategically adrift? And what can we do about it?

 

24 Jul 2014

MEMBERS NEWS - Upholstery and Interiors Business

Local Upholstery and Interiors business get accepted by Britain’s most respected trusted trader business.

The partners of Dee Cee Upholstery and Interiors, Derek and Karen Caplen, are proud to announce that they are the first upholstery business in Hampshire to be accepted into the new Which? Trusted Traders.

 

24 Jul 2014

BLOG - Aldi

5 lessons to learn from growing supermarket Aldi

1. Basic store layout

Walking into an Aldi is a totally different experience to walking into a gargantuan superstore such as Tesco or Asda. Bright, spacious rooms decorated with huge gaudy hoardings are replaced with small, dimly-lit shops with narrow aisles and sparse shelves. The chain sells a fraction of the items bigger supermarkets do, focusing on a single own-brand variant of any given product. As German newspaper Der Spiegel wrote in 2010, talking about Aldi's first forays into retail in Germany, "this nation of sensible shoppers got the grocery market it deserved: as cheap as possible, practical and with absolutely no frills."

 

23 Jul 2014

MEMBERS NEWS - Videos with Rostand

Use Videos with Rostand to turn potential clients into actual clients

Every business is looking at innovative ways to find new clients - while retaining the loyalty of existing clients. One way you can achieve this is by using pictorially interesting and clearly scripted videos.

When you’re looking for a company who can bring you videos that help you to define your message, you need to know you are in safe and experienced hands.

 

22 Jul 2014

BLOG - NLP

NLP - not just for business

How NLP has helped my clients to get out of their own way and lose weight and live a healthy life!

Weight loss, adopting a healthy lifestyle, feeling great and keeping it all going does not have to be a chore, un-enjoyable or indeed difficult.

I have been helping many of my clients with getting what they want when it comes to their health and well being and the results speak for themselves!

 

21 Jul 2014

MEMBERS NEWS - Hosting and Cloud Solutions

Hosting and Cloud Solutions for Business Issues

Scenario - I was recently involved in a relocation of a business for approximately 12 staff members. This was however left to the very last minute and meant within a few weeks we had to be out of the existing office and relocated to a new office - approximately 10 miles away. To add to the difficulties the new offices were not available for 2 months – leaving the business homeless.

Problem – This presented a number of issues, not only did we have a lack of office space to move into, but also nowhere to place the email servers, telephone systems and other business critical servers in the interim.

 

18 Jul 2014

BLOG - Content marketing

Content marketing - 10 top tips

Businesses seem to be getting in an awful muddle about Content Marketing.  They may now understand that it’s a good thing to put helpful resources on their website but they're still using a  hit and miss approach.
So let’s go back to marketing basics.


 

16 Jul 2014

BLOG - Network

Why you should network

Learning how to network effectively is one of the most powerful tools an individual can use to advance their personal and professional life.

This skill can help you land your dream job, score a promotion, and become close with the leaders in your industry.

 

07 Jul 2014

BLOG - Twitter

Why you can't afford to ignore Twitter

By now you’ve probably heard about Twitter's slowing user growth, a statistic that many social media naysayers were keen to jump on (though not as loudly as they’ve done in the past with stats that may or may not indicate the demise of social media). Twitter announced the slow down in their most recent company report, noting they’re implementing strategies to get user growth back on track. The interesting thing is, when you actually look at the numbers, that user growth slowdown may not be as bad as many have perceived, based on the headlines and stock decline.

 

03 Jul 2014

BLOG - Recruiting

Recruiting your first sales person

Understandably, business owners are nervous when recruiting their first salesperson.  This is invariably a relatively high cost resource and sourcing investment for the business.  As with most high reward offerings, there’s higher risk too – the risk of staff disruption or wasted investment costs to name a couple.  However, with a bit of planning, the upside ought to be far greater for the business.

 

30 Jun 2014

BLOG - Branding

Your company brand

A couple of years ago we worked on a lovely project for a new children’s shop based in North Hampshire – it was a fun project to do and we got involved in the branding, logo design and exteriors and interiors of the shop. All the fun creative parts, we even got involved in the window displays, which we could go to town on and we did.

 

23 Jun 2014

BLOG - NLP

Are you limited by your beliefs? NLP can help

What are Limiting Beliefs?

Ever said to yourself or to anyone else that you cant do something because you are not good enough at it or you will probably not succeed? Yes? Then you experienced a limiting belief. They literally stop us from achieving what we desire because we tell ourselves the unhelpful thought/s so many times that we totally believe it to be true!

 

17 Jun 2014

BLOG - Pinterest

A pinteresting marketing tool

Have you come across www.pinterest.com yet?   

This is a social network and social publishing site based on photos which allows you to create an "online collage" or "digital pinboard" or "virtual corkboard". 
Using this you can gather together inspirational images to do things like plan a wedding, decorate your home, plan your summer wardrobe or share the beauty of your surrounding area or your passion for pugs.

 

13 Jun 2014

BLOG - Manage stress

Helping you to manage stress

Stress and Anxiety  “Stress is a physical, mental, or emotional response to events that cause bodily or mental tension.”

A staggering 75% of the UK population are experiencing some form of stress daily!  Work related stress accounts for over a third of all new incidences of ill health.

 

06 Jun 2014

BLOG - your world

2 weeks to save "your world"

The NCA is today urging members of the public to protect themselves against powerful malicious software (malware), which may be costing UK computer users millions of pounds.

Action taken by the NCA to combat the threat will give the UK public a unique, two-week opportunity to rid and safeguard themselves from two distinct but associated forms of malware known as GOZeuS and CryptoLocker.

 

05 Jun 2014

BLOG - Marketing data

The business of marketing data-8 simple ways for you to analyse

The ghastly business of analysing marketing data is probably the marketing equivalent of preparing a room to decorate.  You know all that horrendous and boring wallpaper removal, crack repair and sanding – it’s a tedious process but boy can you tell if you haven’t done the prep.

 

03 Jun 2014

BLOG - British manufacturing

Good news for British manufacturing

Manufacturing activity in Britain increased for the 15th straight month in May, in further signs that the recovery is broadening out.
Growth was underpinned by strong domestic and overseas demand, according to survey compiler Markit. It said the broad-based expansion reflected "stronger economic conditions", as small, medium and large enterprises all hired more staff.

 

02 Jun 2014

BLOG - Break even

Calculate a "break even" point

What is break-even point?

A break-even point is the level of sales at which you generate sufficient gross profit to cover your fixed overhead costs, thus breaking even and making neither a profit/surplus nor loss/deficit. To calculate your break-even you need to identify your costs as either fixed or variable. Variable expenses are recorded in the accounts as cost of goods sold or cost of sales. Fixed costs are recorded as operating expenses (sometimes more commonly known as general or administrative expenses).

 

29 May 2014

BLOG - Inspiration

Need some inspiration?

Richard Branson started his record business from the crypt of a church where he ran The Student magazine. Branson advertised popular records in The Student and it was an overnight success. Trading under the name "Virgin", he sold records for considerably less than the "High Street" outlets, especially the chain, W. H. Smith. Branson once said, "There is no point in starting your own business unless you do it out of a sense of frustration." The name "Virgin" was suggested by one of Branson's early employees because they were all new at business. At the time, many products were sold under restrictive marketing agreements that limited discounting, despite efforts in the 1950s and 1960s to limit so-called resale price maintenance. In effect, Branson began the series of changes that led to large-scale discounting of recorded music.

 

22 May 2014

BLOG - Grow Your Workforce

Grow Your Workforce

Growing your workforce can be one of the most challenging aspects of running a business, and I see more business owners who have got it wrong than have got it right. In fact, many business owners have stopped growing their teams altogether because they have made so many mistakes with recruitment and it has cost them so much time, money and effort that it they cannot face going through the process again. The truth of the matter is that you cannot grow your business without growing your team, and if you want more out of your business, you have to learn how to put more in to recruiting and developing your staff.

 

19 May 2014

BLOG - Networking Tips

10 Top Networking Tips

1.  Present yourself well . Business networking is often about first impressions, and first impressions are often about presentation. At face-to-face events, dress well, polish how you speak, make eye contact and generally present yourself to impress others with your professionalism and charisma.

2.  Don't bombard - interact . If you approach business networking solely as an opportunity to talk about yourself and your business, you'll bore people. Make networking more enjoyable by strategically limiting how much (and how repetitively) you talk and by increasing your chances to listen to and interact with the business networking group.

 

15 May 2014

BLOG - More From MailChimp

3 Simple Ways To get More Business From MailChimp

Even in 2014, you can still get more business with email marketing. 'Email marketing ' sounds fancy, but it's just about sending a few targeted emails  to your customers and potential customers with the aim of getting more business.

Even now, too many businesses send bulk emails using their website, their Outlook application, or their Gmail account, not realising that it's a great way to get your email address flagged as being spammy . When your email address (or server) gets flagged as being spammy, then your emails never reach your recipients. That means all your hard work is wasted.

 
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