“A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new” – Albert Einstein

Try something new today:

This article is a round-up of marketing and business promotion issues. It provides access to tools you can use right now to promote your firm plus software that will help those endeavours. The really good thing is that most of them are free – yes, that’s right – they won’t cost you a penny.

Here’s a recap on some of the marketing and business promotion stories from the past week:

P.S If you are thinking of selling your firm, please take a look at my blog Thinking of Selling.

Marketing Profs – lots of new ideas to try

Here are lots of new ideas from Marketing Profs:

Source: http://e.marketingprofs.com

14 Optical Illusions That Prove Your Brain Sucks

This is a bit of fun. Go to the source link given below and then stare at the black cross in the middle of the graphic you can see. Soon you’ll begin see a green dot moving around the perimeter. Eventually, all the pinkish dots disappear, leaving a lonely solo green dot traveling along the edge. But it’s all a lie. There is no green dot and the pink dots never really disappear.

This is known as the “lilac chaser illusion.” It’s a combination of several physiological phenomena including 1) the previously mentioned “phi phenomenon” in which we perceive continuous motion between separate objects viewed rapidly in succession (used in development of early cinema); 2) afterimages in which overstimulation of specific cones in the eye can “tire” them out while surrounding cones not affected by that particular stimulation will send the brain the complete opposite stimuli (in this case, green); and 3) the fact that our brains tend to ignore blurry stimuli that are in the periphery of our vision, a phenomenon called “Troxler’s fading.” (Image via)

Our brains filter through a constant tsunami of stimuli and piece the important parts together to recreate what we know as “reality.” And they do all this in damn-near real-time—which is really impressive if you think about it. But here’s the thing: a big chunk of what we consider “reality” actually consists of our brains making guestimates.
Read more:  http://uk.pcmag.com/internet-products/34428/gallery/14-optical-illusions-that-prove-your-brain-sucks

Murphy’s law or law of unintended consequences: The re-emergence of Goodwill?

Whether driven by such problems as Equitable Life, the general fall in annuity rates, the global financial crisis or financial problems in the European economy, or simply the desire for and expectation of an older generation to receive a significant capital sum on retirement, goodwill is now an increasing issue of interest within the profession.

Derek Smith, a senior consultant at Foulger Underwood, recently acted as expert witness on the Wildin case. The case [Graham Michael Wildin v HMRC] was about how to calculate the goodwill value of a Gloucestershire accounting practice that was sold in 2003. Wildin and HMRC disagreed over the CGT Wildin owed after he sold shares in his firm.

Traditionally, practising accountants expected someone to make a goodwill payment to buy into the practice and help partners to retire. Within medium and larger firms this ceased to be the approach some years ago but the practice was still retained in part by smaller firms. For some, this was established through their partnership agreements even though these were not always read (or shown!) to incoming partners. Although in some cases there was a discount applied for those who had been with the firm for some time, this was not always the case.  The recent past however has seen the emergence of a number of circumstances that were perhaps previously unforeseen or unexpected [covered in the article].
Read more: http://www.accountingweb.co.uk/article/murphy-s-law-or-law-unintended-consequences/561820

Check out Simon Sinek to spur you to bigger and better things

You ought to have heard of Simon Sinek. He’s an optimist and is described as “a visionary thinker with a rare intellect”. In this series of YouTube videos, he invites you to imagine a world where people wake up every day inspired to go to work and return home at the end of the day feeling fulfilled by the work they do, feeling that they have contributed to something greater than themselves. He’s a trained ethnographer, and the author of two books: the global best seller, Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action and his newest book, Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don’t.

Born in Wimbledon, he speaks a lot to professionals at audiences in the USA and the UK (and elsewhere, no doubt). Go to YouTube and search for Simon Sinek. Here are a few videos that you’ll want to watch and learn by:

Source: www.youtube.com/watch?v=sioZd3AxmnE

Texting for Success

With nearly everyone on the planet having a mobile phone, and nearly every one of those phones having texting capabilities, SMS has become ubiquitous worldwide. That makes it the perfect technology to interact with your customers.  Short message service is a simple, easy-to-use method of communication, and as this buyer’s guide examines, many businesses are using it to improve customer satisfaction and sales.

Download Using SMS for Marketing: A Beginner’s Resource for the ins-and-outs of SMS and how when implemented correctly, it can result in a significantly higher impact when compared to other channels.  Twice as many people use SMS as have access to the Internet or email. Don’t miss out on this untapped marketing channel. Download now.  Registration is required.
Source: https://www.marketingprofs.com/store/free/2225

Master the Art of Lead Nurturing

In the B2B marketing landscape, sales don’t come easy. Before customers sign on, your marketing and sales teams must collaborate to build brand awareness and trust, demonstrate value, and help prospects make an informed decision.

Today’s prospects are often reluctant to reach out to your sales team until they’ve completed a significant amount of independent research. Download 5 B2B Lead Nurturing Mistakes & How to Fix Them to learn how to drive engagement, measure your results, and tweak your programs to maximize potential sales opportunities.  Download now. Registration is required.
Source:  https://www.marketingprofs.com/store/free/2227

Download Five B2B Lead Nurturing Mistakes & How to Fix Them

In today’s B2B marketing landscape, your prospects are more likely than ever to complete a significant amount of research prior to reaching out to your sales team. This requires marketers to be masters of lead nurturing, helping to build brand awareness and trust, and demonstrating value so prospects can make informed decisions. Download this free guide to learn five common mistakes that many B2B companies make during the lead nurturing process—and practical tips for how to avoid them. Registration is required.
Read more: https://www.marketingprofs.com/store/free/2227

The vast majority of SMEs are still concerned about growth

The vast majority (84%) of senior decision makers from British SMEs say they are concerned about the current economic climate, with three in five businesses not confident that the economy will improve over the next year. This is according to the latest quarterly SME Risk Index from global insurer, Zurich, and polled by YouGov, surveying over 500 senior SME decision makers. Further details of the report are available here.

This latest report follows news on Begbies Traynor Red Flag Alert that suggested that an interest rate rise of 1% could have severe impact on SMEs experiencing financial distress, especially those with debts accumulated during the recession. Many commentators feel the Bank of England could increase interest rates as early as November 2014 with a slow incremental increase between Spring 2015 and the end 2017.
Read more: http://smerocket.net/2014/07/30/sme-concerned-about-growth/#more-1183

When the Buyer Only Cares About the Price

There is a type of client whose only priority is paying the lowest price, even if that means sacrificing quality, brand recognition, or delivery time. What can we do when price becomes the main obstacle to closing a sale? Many companies become frustrated with customers whose only priority seems to be the price.  Ariel Baños, President and founder of FIJACIONDEPRECIOS.COM, provides three keys to identify and profit from “price shoppers”
Read more: http://www.centralamericadata.com/en/article/main/…

How to build an online profile that leads to new opportunities

What’s the first thing you do when you meet someone new? You search for them online. You may look at their LinkedIn profile, their company website, blog and maybe even their Facebook profile and Twitter account. A quick online search of someone can tell you a lot of information and savvy business professionals and entrepreneurs know how to exploit this and use it to their advantage.

Your online profile, that is all the platforms that represent you and perhaps your business, has the power to influence potential new clients, business stakeholders as well as future employers. So if you want to be seen in a certain light or position yourself as an industry expert, building a strong online profile is the best way to achieve this.

When building your online profile you should consider the suggestions made in this useful article.
Read more: www.smartcompany.com.au/leadership/43074-how-to-build-an-online-profile-that-leads-to-new-opportunities.html

How to Self-Publish a Book

Twenty years ago, if you were a new author interested in getting your book published, you had to shop it around with publishers and hope that someone, eventually, might not reject you. But nowadays you can choose to self-publish anything you’d like. Here’s how.

In the old dynamic of getting your book in print, authors basically had three options:

  • Send a manuscript to publishers. If you were lucky, an editor at one of the big publishing houses would have plucked it from the so-called “slush pile” of unsolicited manuscripts. Your publishing contract may have included an “advance,” a sum of money that will be paid back with royalties earned from the sale of your book. The royalty rate? About 8-10% for mass market paperbacks.
  • Commission an agent to shop around your manuscript. A good agent would be able to get your book in front of the right people at the right publishing houses (for a price).
  • Have a vanity press handle publishing. You would send in your manuscript, and pay a large fee to get several hundred copies published. It would be up to you to sell them… or give them away.

That was then, this is now. The rise of tablets and the launch of self-publishing platforms have made it possible for anyone to release their own book to the world, without going through the traditional gatekeepers or costly vanity presses. However, it’s still easy to get burned with self-publishing. The author says he learned some of the pitfalls, rip-offs and mistakes the hard way, when he began publishing the In 30 Minutes series of how-to guides in 2012. Since then, he has started a small publishing company and has heard from lots of newbie authors who are unsure about how to get started.
Whether you have a fiction masterpiece, a biography, nonfiction work or children’s book, the pointers in this article will help you navigate the brave new world of self-publishing.
Read more: http://lifehacker.com/how-to-self-publish-your-own-book-1610916214

The Clear Skies Desktop

Ami Banerji‘s Linux desktop is clean, simple, and pretty open. What it gives up in widgets it gets back in simplicity, and that’s a good thing. This article shows how to get the same look for your computer.

Ami is running Ubuntu 14.04 “Trusty Tahr”, so while some of the look and feel is Ubuntu specific, not all of it is, and you can get a similar look with any Linux distro. Here are the components you’ll need:

  • The wallpaper from WallpaperUp
  • Conky, a lightweight system monitor for Linux systems
  • Harmattan for Conky
  • QlockTwo by none other than okubax, whose work we’ve featured before here
  • The Numix GTK theme
  • Plank, an application dock for Linux for the launcher at the bottom of the screen
  • The Numix Square icon set to replace the system icons

As with many setups like this, the beauty is that you can take it all and duplicate the look and feel, or you can just pick and choose the things that appeal to you and apply them to your own system.
Read more: http://lifehacker.com/the-clear-skies-desktop-1613651245

5 Ways to Get Over the Fear of Starting Your Own Business

You are on your way home after a long day at work thinking how you would love to start your own business—the freedom it would give you, the satisfaction it would fill you with.

You think about it more and more, and with each passing thought you increasingly realise all the reasons why you can’t actually do it.

  • You can’t take the risk
  • You aren’t good enough at anything you could actually start a business in
  • You can’t raise the money
  • You have no experience in starting a business
  • You wouldn’t mind trying, but you would mind failing
  • You are scared you will leave a good job for something that may amount to nil

If these are some of the things you are thinking—stop thinking those things, and never think them again.  And start re-thinking like this… [As in the full article]  For more information check out VTSL’s website.

[This is a useful article to share with clients who are thinking of starting their own business]
Read more: http://vtsl.hs-sites.com/blog/5-ways-to-get-over-the-fear-of-starting-your-own-business

Working Remotely – The Telecommuter’s Guide to the Galaxy

Working remotely – lawyers, legal professionals, techies, just about anyone – saves money, improves productivity, and creates greater access to talent.

This free book identifies the advantages of working from anywhere in the galaxy, and explores how workers and employers can optimize productivity, streamline processes, and adopt best practices.

If you’re considering working remotely or moving your practice to an all-remote workforce, check out this book for insight and recommendations to help you along the journey. Click the hyperlink below to register and obtain this free book.
Source: https://www.rocketmatter.com/free-e-book-working-remotely/

Martin Pollins

Martin Pollins

Managing Director at Bizezia
Martin Pollins is a Chartered Accountant with wide experience in corporate finance and business management. He holds a number of directorships and has served on the boards of several companies, including those listed on the London Stock Exchange, AIM and OFEX.

He was a Council member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales from 1988 to 1996.

Martin Pollins ran his own firm based in Sussex and was the first Accountancy firm in the UK to advertise on television and Martin went on to create and launch the CharterGroup Partnership (the UK's first Accountancy network) and then LawGroup UK (one of the largest networks of lawyers in the country).

Martin started work on the Bizezia concept in 1996, developing the broad range of information resources and products over the past 18 years.
Martin Pollins
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