Tag Archives: business

Create Workshops


Last week I did How To Grow Your Business Online workshop for  Lancaster university create project run by Joseph Buglass . The university well known for its management school. Is currently ranked third in the UK and is known for  encouragement of entrepreneurship.  So much so that Lancaster University Management School has hosted the first university-based Entrepreneurial Summit last year. One which is to be followed up by Sheffield university this year.

So what do you present to a group of young entrepreneurs? Cost saving factors is always going to be appreciate. I tended to focus on some things that I had learnt the hard the way and allowed them to ask questions. With so much advice and expertise on the Internet is really is about showing them what is important. I think the advice that stuck with them the most is “if you have not got the time to build a network to market your product than you will have to question what are you doing”.  It is all about delivering above expectation so that they tell their friends and their friends. Whom naturally trust them.

The added benefit with doing this sort of presentation is that it brings you full circle so that you engage in your own projects in a more focused way.

Cyber Squatting Over, True Internet Freedom

ICANN have just announced that it is going to be introducing a whole new level of internet domain names as they explain below.

“Presently, users have a limited range of 21 top level domains to choose from — names that we are all familiar with like .com, .org, .info.

This proposal allows applicants for new names to self-select their domain name so that choices are most appropriate for their customers or potentially the most marketable. It is expected that applicants will apply for targeted community strings such as (the existing) .travel for the travel industry and .cat for the Catalan community (as well as generic strings like .brandname or .yournamehere). There are already interested consortiums wanting to establish city-based top level domain, like .nyc (for New York City), .berlin and .paris. “

This is really good news there has been a flourishing market in buying up 4 to 5 letter domain names with the intention to sell them on at a higher price. This will effectively put an end to that. Which means I have a few blog posts to change.

The plan is set for implementation in the first half of 2009. Read more here

Questions about Social and Business Media

I asked these questions a couple of months ago, and today I posted the last answer. Enjoy.

How effective is social media?

Answer here:http://tinyurl.com/5cdt2y

How long is it going to be around?

Answer here: http://tinyurl.com/3o989x

How much does it cost in relation to other media forms?

Answer here: http://tinyurl.com/5znakl

What is the biggest growing age group?

Answer here:http://tinyurl.com/4lmpk5

What can it do for my company?

Answer here: http://tinyurl.com/4d3veg

What can it do for me as a director? Can I do it my self?

Answer here: http://tinyurl.com/3kk325

Running For Gold on Style and Grace

With the Olympics almost over I was catching up on some of the events last night. The running events always amaze me. Some of these long distance runners, in fact all of them, run with such grace. They run long distance events the same time I could do 400 meters when I was at school and I was one of the best runners in the North West aged 13. These athletes run with such grace that it almost looks like no effort at all. There is a lesson for us all there. I am sure that America and many other countries have much better resources and trainers. But it is the Africans that dominate this sport. While I am sure they train very hard I think they have something more.

Do you run your business on Style and Grace? Would you like to?

Why One Should Love Business Plans

You have been out somewhere and had a great idea for generating some money or starting a business. We have all been there. What should you do next?

If your idea is to be anything more than just an idea you will have to test it. It is important to test each idea as potentially you can save yourself alot of time and money. A well tested idea is of a benefit to everybody involved. So how do you test your idea?

The first step is to write it down. Writing things down focuses the mind more clearly on what you are trying to achieve. Below is a step for step plan on how to test any new idea. If your idea can make it to the end of these questions then you may well be ready for stage two, a business.

1. Write the idea down in its pure simple form.

2. Go onto the internet and see if there are any related products or services that compete with your idea.

3. If the idea is serving a local area, check local newspapers and magazines to see if anyone is doing something similar.

4. Write your ideas down on paper so that you can present it in email or paper form to a small group of people related to the project.

5. Gather a small group of people who will benefit or help you and do a brain storming session. The objective of the brain storming session is to find faults in the plan and reasons not to do it. Not the other way around.

6. If your plan survives this far you are ready to build a prototype. A prototype can be a model of your idea or a process flow chart if it is a service. For example, if you are designing a new sort of gear system you are going to have build that either in model form of for real to see if it works and if there are any possible problems that may exist with it. If it is a service (a non physical object) than you will need to document the process flow including as much information as possible.

7. After you have done this, one will have established any potential problems and to see if the idea is still feasible. But you are not finished yet. A second round of group analyses is necessary to see if the idea still stacks up. If you succeed in this, you can pat your self on the back and start on your business plan.

How to Grow Your Online Business

To grow an internet business it is much like any business in the physical world. The more contacts you have the more business you can do. So attending networking events, Keeping in touch with related bodies, companies, and individuals is going to keep your name fresh in their mind. In the online world this is done by the same method. I recommend spending an hour a day, subscribing to sites, posting adverts, having a blog, leaving comments on other peoples blogs. It is also important to build up a relationship with any likeminded people. If you like what they do then send them an email, or leave a comment. As the relationship develops you will be able to do reciprocal links. The name of the game is linking. The more links you have pointing to your website the higher your page rank will be, the more traffic you will get, the more business you will do. This is the most ethical way to increase web presence and fundamentally is what the Work Connexions site does.

If you have leanings to the dark side of the force, he he J you can try SEO’s (Search engine optimization). They will do all of the above but not usually by ethical methods. They will set up a bogus site for example http://eaby.com/ which will automatically have links to their customers and will open up a number of windows. (quite often used on porn sites) when you try to close the windows you end up clicking the site. Google and Alex registers this click as a visit. What Google sees is the higher traffic to the website and thus decides that the website is important and gives it a higher page ranking. It also adds up all the links in its database to decide the sites relevance.( A method that is closely guarded and regular changes) So when someone types in a word related to your site on Google you will appear on the first page of results. The risk is with such techniques is that Google will eventually catch you out and ban your page to the salt mines in Siberia never to be found again. In till you sincerely apologise to Google and promise not to use such techniques again. That’s it in a Nut shell. I hope it makes sense……..

Top 10 Business Resolutions

When your company is developing and growing it is too easy to overlook some of the less exciting elements of being in business. However, my experience has shown that paying attention to these elements will help your business be more stable, more profitable and easier to run. At the beginning of this year (2007) I sat down to write up the official KDR-EBusiness Top 10 Business Resolutions, and the reasons why you should consider them. If you would like our assistance with putting some of the ideas below into action, then please get in touch.

1. Have a backup plan

Vital business information is stored on your computers. Make a point of checking that your backup plan is up to date and that you perform a recovery test at least once this year. When your computer hardware fails, you need to know that recovery is possible.

2. Update your business plan

Once a year, revisit your business plan – if you don’t have one you’ll find it is worth the effort to make one. There’s a good starting point here

3. Streamline your administration

Well run administration can make a huge difference to a company. You can always find room for improvement. Examine the way that work flows through your company, find and remove the roadblocks first, employ IT technology second.

4. Sort out your email

Make plans to deal with timewasting SPAM. Depending on your business sector, there are legal aspects to email use and storage that must be considered. Create an email management plan.
Oh, and sort out your inbox, you know you need to.

5. Watch the cash flow – carefully

get your accounts up to date, and keep them as close to real time as you can. If you don’t have an accounts package, then you should consider purchasing one this year – but don’t do it without skilled support and advice.

6. Train your staff

Focused training for staff will contribute to the success of your business, but make sure that the training matches a business goal.

7. Don’t maintain the status quo

The business environment changes all the time, your business needs to change to match it.

8. Update your website

If you do, make sure that it is standards compliant this time around. Your old website probably doesn’t work in many of the new browsers that have been released since it was last updated. A well planned Search Engine Marketing campaign might also help to improve the effectiveness of your website.

9. Don’t ask how much it costs, ask what value it adds

Work out the value to your business before making a purchase. If the value is greater than the purchase cost, then go ahead.

10. Tidy Up the workplace

Because you know you should.

And finally, please let us know what your top ten business resolutions are…

About the Author:

Rob Mercer is a Director of KDR E-Business Limited, which provides IT Management services to small and medium sized enterprises. Rob has a Masters Degree in IT and is also a member of the British Computer Society. He has over 25 years experience in a variety of IT roles and industry sectors. Despite this he can still converse in English, a fact much appreciated by his customers.