Recent Articles

How Smart Storage Is Empowering Entrepreneurs

November 17, 20140 Comments

A recent report puts Britain at the top of the list when it comes to self-employment. We’re now, apparently, the self-employed capital of Europe. Some 4.5 million of us work for ourselves, making up over 15% of the labour market.

Various reasons are cited, from a weak jobs market to more people wanting to forge their own path towards fulfilling their aspirations. Whatever other motives drive people towards the entrepreneur life, leaps forward in technology along with practical and accessible physical storage options play a part.

Physical Storage

Gone are the days when you need a bank loan just to hire enough space to store physical stock. The previous lack of small to mid-sized storage capacity was a stumbling block to any entrepreneur who wanted to enter the retail or mail order market. As the popularity and acceptability of online auction sites grew, (they’re now used by major High Street vendors as well as sole traders), a rising need for secure storage became apparent.

Home storage lacks organization. It smudges the boundaries between a healthy work/life balance out of existence. Warehousing is beyond the means of the smaller trader so a sizeable gap in the marketplace grew.

Enter self storage companies like Big Yellow, who now offer a viable and professional, long-term solution. That’s long-term in a business-life sense, not in a contract sense, because with storage room rentals from just a week, traders are free to respond to changing business needs with very short notice periods. Moving up or down in storage space so as to accommodate seasonal fluctuations is common. The availability of large lockers also puts storage within reach of those with very modest needs who don’t need entire rooms. These allow entrepreneurs to start out on a professional footing from the beginning, with a ready-made plan for growth.

Self storage companies provide secure, easily accessible storage, with plenty of space for delivery vehicles. In addition, helpful staff will sign for deliveries when you’re not there. Add in extended opening hours, and it’s easy to understand why up to half the units in a facility are now taken up by business ventures.

Cloud Computing for Virtual Storage

Cloud computing came of age when devices were taught to talk to each other. Now, an account with any of several cloud storage providers means you can email customers at home then nip out to the self storage unit to pack up orders, without losing track of stock levels. Customers expect a rapid response when they contact you, so keeping up with mobile and cloud advances can give you the edge.

Whichever of the best known providers you choose, makes little difference. Dropbox, Google Drive or iCloud all offer some storage capacity for free with the option to upgrade as business storage needs grow. If you’re a Microsoft user and a 365 subscriber, you can now also sign up for unlimited storage with OneDrive which is rolling out over the coming months.

Seamless Storage and Customer Service

Having a disconnect between the point of sale and the stock storage location can cause delays in restocking and mixed up dispatches, which can both add up to unhappy customers and lost sales.

Savvy entrepreneurs who harness the best of both worlds: professional, flexible storage and the power of cloud computing, pull off the seemingly impossible feat of being in two places at once.

They’re in the office taking care of admin and customer support, but also at the depot managing stock and dispatching orders. In a fast paced business environment, it’s hard to think of a more efficient solution.


The Best Length For Tweets, Facebook Posts & YouTube Videos

October 25, 20140 Comments

What Is The Best Length For Tweets, Facebook Posts & YouTube Videos?

Branding and advertising experts generally know the most engaging length of a billboard headline, a print copy or a TV advert. But do they know the best length for tweets, Facebook posts and YouTube videos? Do they know the ideal length of a domain name?

The following infographic by Tim Nudd, which recently appeared in Adweek, seeks to give the definitive answer to these important questions based on recent research he has undertaken:

The Ideal Length Of A Tweet, A Facebook Post & A YouTube Video

Even though it’s much more challenging to keep a tweet to between 71 & 100 characters, it will certainly make it much easier for anyone wishing to retweet it or add a comment of their own. Just because you can say more doesn’t mean to say you need to use them for the optimum response.

Let me know whether you agree or have a different approach. Relevant comments are always welcomed.


Common Office Rental Mistakes – Six to Avoid Making When Hiring an Office

August 26, 20140 Comments

There’s little doubt that there are some great office rental opportunities out there, though for the inexperienced business owner, entrepreneur or manager, how can they tell a great deal from one precisely the opposite?

Rental rates naturally play a major role in their estimations, but as anyone who’s ever hired office space before should know well, there’s a lot more to a great office rental than rental rates alone, no matter how favourably low they are, or as is often the case, appear at first.

An orange office

Image credit: Simon Collison, license Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)
Image source:

There are many areas in which office rental mistakes are made, not all of which involve contracts, landlords or office space, but rather the way one goes about making arrangements, for example, procrastinating and not allowing themselves adequate time which often leads to them making panic decisions – that’s number one.

Procrastinating and making panic decisions

Six months prior to relocating is widely considered the right time to start searching for a new office rental because there’s a lot more involved in hiring an office rental than signing on the dotted line and moving in – much more.

Commercial tenants who fail to give themselves ample time generally find themselves making panic decisions and these are the decisions that often take their toll on the health of a business in a myriad of ways.

Not clarifying business objectives

What are your objectives for relocating to a new office space, or if you’re taking your business from the spare bedroom or garage to a ‘proper’ office, what are your reasons for relocating?

Failing to clarify your business objectives regarding office space often has disastrous results; consequently, you need to understand your office space needs to make sure the office you hire meets the specific needs of your business.

Not shopping around

With so many offices for rent it really does pay to shop around. Not only do you need to compare office rental rates in the area you’ve decided upon, but you also need to compare factors like contract flexibility, location, access to public transportation, car parking facilities and meeting space, networking opportunities, local amenities and so much more – this is why you need to allow yourself ample time to hire an office.

Not seeking representation

This isn’t necessary everywhere, though in some countries, most notably the US, commercial tenants aren’t afforded the same rights as residential tenants. “Unlike residential tenants, there are no laws that protect commercial tenants. You are on your own to negotiate a lease that protects your own interest,” says Otto J. Kostbar, Esq., a real estate expert based in Jamesburg, NJ.

Not inspecting the office and/or the contract

Before signing on the dotted line it’s imperative that you inspect the office for breakages and signs of wear and tear and document them with the landlord for future reference.

Inspecting the contract before signing is also crucial, and whilst you probably don’t need legal representation, it’s not a bad idea and could prevent problems in the future. If you don’t want to pay for a solicitor, have an experienced business peer or friend look over the contract for you.

Not negotiating with landlords

Never underestimate your negotiating leverage – most landlords would rather have a tenant in now at a lower rate than deal with the uncertainty of leaving an office vacant.

Most commercial property experts advocate making plans to hire office space at least six months in advance because this provides tenants with ample time to explore the options available to them, inspect offices, scrutinise lease documents and negotiate with landlords – how much time have you given yourself?


Launch: An Internet Millionaire’s Secret Formula

July 13, 20140 Comments

Launch: An Internet Millionaire’s Secret Formula To Sell Almost Anything Online, Build A Business You Love, And Live The Life Of Your Dreams by Jeff Walker

Launch: An Internet Millionaire's Secret Formula To Sell Almost Anything Online, Build A Business You Love, And Live The Life Of Your Dreams by Jeff Walker

Launch: An Internet Millionaire’s Secret Formula To Sell Almost Anything Online, Build A Business You Love, And Live The Life Of Your Dreams by Jeff Walker. Click Here For Ordering Details & A Free Look Inside The Book

“Launch: An Internet Millionaire’s Secret Formula To Sell Almost Anything Online, Build A Business You Love, And Live The Life Of Your Dreams” by Jeff Walker is his #1 New York Times Bestseller. It takes you through his proven formula:

“deliver huge value, build a loyal tribe, then put together a launch sequence that makes a great offer”

Jeff Walker has become one of the top entrepreneurial and marketing trainers in the world. But it didn’t start out that way…

He started his first online business as a stay-at-home dad taking care of two small children. The “business” was launched from the baby’s changing room – and it started with a free email newsletter sent to 19 people. That was in the Internet Dark Ages of 1996. Since then he has been behind many hugely successful online launches, generating over a half BILLION dollars in results for his students and clients.

“Launch: An Internet Millionaire’s Secret Formula” is Jeff Walker’s “treasure map” into that world, taking you through his methods and how it’s done.

From 113 customer reviews as of July 13th, no less than 94 of them are already giving his book a five star review! (Click Here To Check Them Out For Yourself)

If you’re still unconvinced, have a listen to Jeff Walker’s own account of how and why he’s written this book. On top of which, follow his link under the Youtube video, where you can get some great extras from him including three live webcasts where you are taken through his entire Product Launch Formula (Product Launch Formula has generated over a half BILLION dollars in results for his students and clients). He assures me these webcasts will be 100% content with no further sales pitches.

That’s one hell of a deal, especially considering the live training sessions will probably be something like 2 hours each. Six hours of live training from Jeff Walker for $7 (or like $10 if you get the “physical” version).

Comments and questions, as ever, are very welcome.


Success 2014: Keys to Success in Every Area of Your Life

June 25, 20140 Comments

5th July 2014 ExCel London

The Pursuit Of Wealth & Happiness

Coming to the ExCel London on 5th July 2014, Les Brown, Duncan Bannatyne, Chris Gardner and many other speakers share their personal strategies for success and show you how to get results in business now and in the future. They head a team of world-class achievers delivering diverse yet complimentary systems for success.

You cannot rely on old methods to meet the new challenges of today. You need to know what’s cutting it in business right now and what’s going to work in the future. The best way to prepare yourself for tomorrow’s business challenges? Learn the progressive success systems from those who are proving that they work at the very highest level.

The quickest way to become successful is to spend time with those that already are. Success 2014 brings together some of the most prominent leaders in their field in the world today, those who are dedicated to creating and sharing the most cutting-edge systems for success.

Chris Gardner

Chris Gardner

Chris Gardner is the author of the book, “The Pursuit of Happyness,” a New York Times and Washington Post #1 bestseller based on his life story. A series of adverse circumstances in the early 1980′s left Gardner homeless in San Francisco and the sole guardian of his toddler son. Unwilling to give up on his dreams of success, he climbed to the top of the financial industry ladder from the very bottom. It is the inspiration behind the acclaimed movie “The Pursuit of Happyness”. Now, his aim is to help others achieve their full potential through his speaking engagements and media projects.

Duncan Bannatyne

Duncan Bannatyne

A poverty-stricken childhood steeled Duncan Bannatyne’s drive to make his fortune from an early age. After his naval career, which included a spell in military prison, Duncan drifted from job to job ending up in Jersey. It was here that Duncan made the decision to turn his life around.

He began his entrepreneurial life by trading in cars, but it was with an ice cream van purchased for £450 that changed the course of his life. With ‘Duncan’s Super Ices’, he set out to become the king of the 99 and eventually sold the business for £28,000, founding a nursing home business instead.

He sold his nursing home business for £46 million in 1996. Duncan quickly diversified into the fitness market and, just over a decade later, now operates Bannatyne’s Health Clubs, the largest independent chain in the UK. His Bannatyne Group also has interests in hotels, bars and a chain of luxury spas.

Duncan holds an OBE and was has been awarded an honorary Doctor of Science (D.Sc.) from Glasgow Caledonian University for services to business and charity. He also launched the Bannatyne Charitable Trust, which supports worthwhile causes.

A Dragon in the Den since the first series and now in its 11th series. Duncan has 6 children and 2 grandchildren.

Les Brown

Les Brown

Les Brown is one of the world’s most renowned and highly sought after motivational speakers. In elementary school Les was mistakenly declared, “Educably mentally retarded.” However, his tenacity and belief in his ability unleashed a course of amazing achievements from sanitation worker to broadcast station manager to state representative in Ohio. His life and message, that with proper guidance and training anyone can begin achieving the things they desire now, is a true testament to that belief.

For the full programme and to get your tickets whilst they are still available, just go to

Success 2014: Keys to Success in Every Area of Your Life


The LinkedIn Code

May 30, 20141 Comment

Discover How to Crack the LinkedIn Code

How to Crack the LinkedIn Code

The LinkedIn Code: Unlock the largest online business social network to get leads, prospects & clients for B2B, professional services and sales & marketing pros.
Click Here To Order Now

LinkedIn is not just another social network, it’s a powerful business-building tool to attract more leads and clients. In fact, this lead generating GOLD MINE is over 277% more effective for lead generation than any other social media platform, including Facebook and Twitter!

If you’re in business, you NEED to be on LinkedIn. But you need to do it RIGHT – or you’ll spin your wheels and waste more time than it’s worth. The LinkedIn Code cuts right to the chase, providing you with all the tools you need to navigate the often confusing landscape of LinkedIn, so you can unlock the rich rewards it can bring to your business.

In The LinkedIn Code, award-winning social media expert Melonie Dodaro shows you how to:

  • Create a professional LinkedIn profile that is client-focused and speaks to your ideal prospects and clients
  • Get your profile to show up at the TOP of the LinkedIn search results, so prospects find YOU and not your competitors
  • Understand LinkedIn etiquette and best practices, so you can build relationships and avoid doing anything to damage your credibility
  • Generate leads using proven social selling techniques with a step-by-step lead generation plan that you can implement daily for maximum results in minimum time

The LinkedIn Code reveals the very same system developed and practiced by author Melonie Dodaro, who receives more than 70% of her leads from LinkedIn. The LinkedIn Code is your key to cracking the secret of using LinkedIn for true business success.

If LinkedIn confuses you, feel free to ask a question via the comments box below. Maybe you’ve got your own #1 tip on how to use LinkedIn. If you have, I’d love to here about that too!

Don’t forget, LinkedIn is one of my specialities and if you want any help, I’d love to give it. You only have to ask!


What It Takes To Get A Job At Google

May 13, 20140 Comments

How hard is it to land a job at Google? They have a reputation for having one of the toughest application processes, and with two million applicants each year to choose from, there’s no shortage of hopefuls. Check this infographic from and see for yourself what it takes to get a job at Google:

What Does It Take to Get a Job at Google? by – Connecting Great Companies with Global Talent


Social Media: Work-Place Distraction or Productivity Tool?

May 9, 20140 Comments

Whether staff should be able to use social media in the workplace is a topic for discussion from board room to staff room in many contemporary work places. As a result, many companies, from small businesses to large corporations, find themselves needing to implement a social media policy in the workplace just so that the parameters and role of social media during working hours can be clearly defined and, just as importantly, understood by all concerned. So what are the arguments?

Social Media: Work-Place Distraction or Productivity Tool?

A Work-Place Tool:

In terms of contemporary workplaces and today’s high-tech working environments, it seems that there are plenty of reasons why allowing staff to access social media might be a positive thing:

  • Not banning (or disabling as some companies have been known to do) Facebook and the like during working hours shows trust in employees and can therefore boost morale.
  • Keeping social media available and not banned demonstrates respect that employees have their own time during breaks and lunch. This also gives employees a chance to show responsibility for their own actions and in managing their own work schedules, including those mini-breaks social-networking!
  • Employees’ social media accounts are generally personal and disassociated with the company or business: therefore interactions there don’t reflect on the business. The exception to this may be LinkedIn … which is one form of social media which many companies particularly object to during working hours.
  • A company allowing the use of social media reflects a business which recognises that different generations have different needs and skills. Allowing social media interactions during breaks is the action of a forward-thinking, pro-active company where technology, as well as employee management is concerned.
  • Using social media can also be an asset to internal interactions, adding to the hub and speed of conference and query between colleagues, for instance through Twitter’s private messaging system.
  • Use of social media could be used as a privilege and benefit for employees.
  • For industries such as marketing, design and the Arts, use of the internet and visual social media sites such as You Tube, Stumble Upon and Pinterest can provide great inspiration and can be a useful tool for productivity.
  • Similarly, for businesses which pride themselves on being up to date within their industry or within popular trends generally, allowing staff to frequently access news-feeds and trending topics can not only boost productivity, but inspire company-relative responses and on-trend initiatives.
  • Social media can also be a vital tool for promotional purposes and communication.

It’s also interesting to note that an Australian study from the University of Melbourne (2009) showed that using social media during work breaks resulted in a 9% increase in total productivity.

“We’re now seeing technology playing a vital part pre and post event with skilled social media marketers creating an event buzz and facilitating greater interaction and networking between attendees/participants.”

Rob Spaul of Team Tactics, a corporate events company based in London

Finally, allowing the use of social media offers the opportunity for businesses to create in-house experts who can help you to market your company and products online without the aid of expensive external consultants; team building days including sharing know-how across a range of social media sites can be empowering, enjoyable and motivating for your employees and productive and inexpensive for companies.

A Work-Place Distraction:

Popular arguments against the use of social media in the work place include:

  • Social media’s addictive element. This “time suck” effect, as it’s known in the US, can lead to staff spending longer breaks than they are allowed or becoming distracted from their work through obsessive checking for messages, both of which result in a loss of productivity.
  • The absence of social media in the work place helps to establish a balance between work and social activities: for some companies, social media has the word social included in the title for a reason and therefore it has no place in the work place!
  • Social media is, for some, a popular place to vent frustrations and therefore allowing easy access to it when all’s not well in the work place may not seem ideal!
  • Network security issues can be a very real issue for many companies. Passing on links in the “have you seen this …?” vein is a popular part of social messaging and whilst many companies don’t object per-se to their employees accessing social media in their break-times, they find they need to draw the line on the possibility of this happening via company hardware, which may then be compromised by link- sharing facilitated malware and viruses.

The Fine Line

Of course, where there are black-and-white arguments, there will also be shades of grey. Some social media, such as LinkedIn, has a greater business, entrepreneurial and job searching profile and whilst it could benefit your company to allow employees to access it during working hours, you might never be quite sure if they are networking on your behalf … or their own!

Even if social media is being used appropriately and within company guidelines, many companies may still be concerned that by allowing or actively encouraging social media use across the working day, they are failing in helping employees to build up those important face to face communication skills and interactions. This lies in direct conflict with the fact that social media is a vital tool in helping to build “virtual” relationships which can be key when networking, with international colleagues, for example. All of which can be a real conflict for some companies in deciding on their social media policy.

Additionally, it’s almost impossible to implement a blanket ban on social media during the working day as many workers will still be able to use their own personal devices in their breaks.

Finally, it’s worth remembering that the current trend across all kinds of business is “transparency”. By having a fully embedded social media policy which recognises the role of social media in the work place both for business and social purposes presents your business as transparently pro-active in supporting your employees and encouraging both employee and customer loyalty at the same time.


Top Tech Tools for Up and Coming Entrepreneurs

May 7, 20140 Comments

Many entrepreneurs began their careers in business as specialists with certain areas of expertise but have, as is often the nature of entrepreneurialism, gradually drifted towards becoming more of a generalist with their fingers in multiple pies.

This calls for tech tools that empower entrepreneurs to bridge gaps in experience, knowledge and specialisation and there are many excellent tech tools that can help them do just that.

A cartoon of people collaborating

What tech tools do you need for your business?

Organisational tech tools

Organisational finesse is essential to successful entrepreneurialism but if you
weren’t a business manager in your previous incarnation, organising yourself and others can be tough going at times.

Of the many aspects of organisation that entrepreneurs need to take note of, keeping track of their finances and tax obligations are two of many and the tech tools to keep organised here are bookkeeping tools like Xero, paperwork organisational tools like File This and travel management tools like TripIt.

Collaboration software

Entrepreneurs frequently collaborate and work with others and some also work on hi-tech projects where they’ve assembled a team of ‘boffins’ and need to oversee their progress.

Mendix is a good choice as a free collaborative tool for entrepreneurs working on technical projects, as is Podio for customer and lead management and Moxtra, which is seemingly great for everything an entrepreneur could collaborate with others on.

Video conferencing tools

Whilst savvy entrepreneurs realise that nothing can take the place of the face-to-face meeting, they’ll generally need to be able to videoconference in the office and on the move.

The easy-to-use Skype platform is still one of the best free videoconferencing tools available to entrepreneurs – they can upgrade to a paid version if they want to conduct videoconferences with more than one person – and Google+ is also increasingly popular as a free videoconferencing tool.

Enterprise solutions

Many entrepreneurs have an aversion to traditional payment methods because they’re somewhat restrictive and stifling.

Fortunately there are some excellent tech tools available that enable entrepreneurs to accept cost effective and safe payments, most notably the increasing number of mobile payment apps that empower entrepreneurs to accept payments with a credit card reader and their smartphone.

Phone Swipe is a popular one – it’s currently only available in the US – as is the better known and more accessible Square and the more versatile and cost effective Intuit GoPayment.

These solutions enable entrepreneurs to increase their payment acceptance options and save them time and money.

Cloud services

There are likely to be countless instances in which entrepreneurs need to collaborate or share information with others and one of the most outstanding tech tools now available to them are cloud services.

Cloud services used by savvy entrepreneurs are often as simple as the free Google Drive, OneBox and Dropbox, all of which are excellent tools for storing and sharing information so that entrepreneurs can access important information when away from their professional serviced office space and share it with others.

Event management tools

Whether an entrepreneur has many events to attend or an event to organise and promote, event management tools can help them manage and navigate their event related needs.

Flavorus is an excellent tool for managing RSVPs and also boasts payment processing options that are both secure and cost effective. Eventbase is another excellent event organisation app entrepreneurs can use to provide smartphone event maps and schedules for attendees.

Achieving any degree of success as an entrepreneur is often, in the increasingly digitalised world in which we live and work, dependent upon utilising technology effectively – these tech tools are just a taste of the technology accessible to entrepreneurs that can empower them to achieve great things.


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