This article is my regular round-up of marketing and business promotion issues plus other interesting things over the past week.

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“We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.” – Walt Disney

Marketing ideas from Marketing Profs

Here are lots more marketing ideas and tips that have been published by Marketing Profs from

Accountants missing disclosure facility opportunities, finds CCW

AccountancyAGE reported last week that accountants are potentially missing opportunities to square their clients’ tax affairs with HM Revenue & Customs through beneficial disclosure facilities, top 20 firm Crowe Clark Whitehill has found in its fourth annual survey of general practitioner accountants.

The findings suggest that every accountant has clients who would benefit from making a properly managed disclosure under one of the available HMRC facilities, but a lack of understanding of the facilities means that it is not happening.
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Windows ‘Threshold’ preview could go live in September

A preview of the Windows new operating software could go live in September according to Tech Radar. The next major update to Windows, currently being called Windows Threshold, could arrive in preview form as soon as late September. That’s according to ZDNet, whose unnamed sources said a Windows Threshold “technology preview” will go live in early October at the latest.

“Threshold” is thought to be the code name for Windows 9, though Microsoft has yet to confirm it officially. Nevertheless the Windows 9 preview will be available to any and all who choose to participate, one of the site’s sources said. Tellingly the Windows 9 tech preview will reportedly also feature automatic mandatory monthly updates, a move that could signal Windows’ future trajectory. It’s believed that Windows 9 will hit the shelves in Spring 2015. Source

Be Prepared: Create a Recovery Drive for Windows, Linux, Mac, or Chrome OS

Computers don’t come with operating system installation CDs anymore (did you forget?). If your operating system won’t boot, you’ll need a bootable recovery drive to fix it. All operating systems allow you to create these. These recovery drives provide access to the same recovery options your operating system includes. You can always create them later, although you may need access to a computer running the same operating system.
For details, read more at:

Look to ‘The Simpsons’ for lessons in economics 

From CCH’s­ You might not have known it, but all those episodes of ‘‘The Simpsons’’ were just secret economics lessons. It turns out the yellowish, four-fingered cartoon characters have a lot of insight to offer on basic economic theory. We know this thanks to Joshua Hall, an associate professor of economics at West Virginia University — and the brains behind the new book ‘‘Homer Economicus: The Simpsons and Economics’’ (Stanford University Press).

Hall got the idea to incorporate pop culture icons like Homer Simpson into his lessons after teaching a three-hour night business class. “It’s hard to go three hours when you’re just lecturing and eyes start glazing over,’’ he said. Hall started using examples from ‘‘The Simpsons’’ to hammer home lessons – from urban transportation in the monorail episode to a gambling lesson involving Mr. Burns and a casino. Hall began with the theory that episodes from the cartoon offered numerous: from the simple, such as supply and demand, to the more complex, such as the economics of immigration and health care.
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Most firms have not updated T&Cs – Has Yours?

From Supply Management: More than eight out of 10 firms have failed to update their terms and conditions to take advantage of new late payment regulations that came into force last year, a survey has revealed. Law firm Lovetts said just 32 per cent, out of more than 100 businesses, were claiming legal recovery costs and compensation on late payments “as a matter of course”, even though the ability to do so was put into law as part of the UK adopting an EU directive. Lovetts said the findings came despite an increase in the number of bad debts and almost a quarter of firms saying the problem had worsened in the past year. Lovetts said lack of awareness or fear of upsetting customers may be behind the figures. Charles Wilson, CEO of Lovetts, said: “Our survey suggests businesses are missing a major opportunity to claim compensation and reasonable costs on overdue invoices – effectively making the debt recovery free.
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Added value means added business

From Accountancy Age Insight: Many accountants are widening their nets in terms of what they can offer. The world of business is ever-evolving, and accountants have to stay on top of their game to deliver a top-notch service. Clients can be like young children. Some show a fearless enthusiasm that may need to be gently reigned in for their own good; some may want to move into bigger, unknown territories but are scared of taking the first step – others are keen to learn the ropes of running their businesses soundly, and just need a bit of guidance.

This two page free article from Sage outlines how accountants can generate new business by providing added value to clients.
Download from:

Apple’s iWatch to have tough, sapphire display

If you still charge by the hour, you need a watch. Why not get an iWatch from Apple (not yet released but coming soon). According to the Wall Street Journal the iWatch will have scratch resistant sapphire on its screen. Apple may have learnt its lesson after the fragility of the iPhone screen. According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, the company’s new iWatch will feature scratch resistant sapphire on its screen rather than more delicate glass. Sapphire is preferable to glass because it is both harder and more resistant to heat, making it a tougher material to scratch or damage.
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Publicity: Getting Media Coverage

To generate constant media coverage, fresh & creative content is a must – but it isn’t always easy when newsworthy topics are scarce. There is now a free guide available from Vocus with eight great ways to generate publicity. You’ll discover how creative tactics such as newsjacking, leveraging user-generated content and creating controversy will capture the attention of the media and achieve consistent publicity for your brand.
Read Eight Ways to Generate Publicity:

Make the Most of a Wealth Management Practice and Grow Your Firm

How do tax and accounting professionals expand their businesses with wealth management services? And how do they keep both their practices growing successfully? Learn how in this new eBook brought to you by Accounting Today and Cetera Financial Specialists. Based on polls conducted by SourceMedia Research, and supplemented with additional studies sponsored by Cetera, this eBook shares best practices, videos and other resources that:

  • Provide concrete steps you can take to grow your business
  • Show you how to build stronger client relationships
  • Help you get your practice on the fast track to success

For help in growing your firm, read this new eBook today. Available here.

Martin Pollins
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