The Chancellor’s Autumn Statement

It may be me, of course, but I cannot understand why some firms just don’t bother to treat their clients like customers.

Governments rule much of our lives. The interest we pay on our mortgages, the interest that we don’t get on our hard earned savings and how we draw our pensions. On 3 December, Chancellor Osborne will, once again, explain what he is doing with our money and the huge National Debt we have built up over the years.

What Mr Osborne says on 3 December will affect you and all your clients.

Don’t you owe it to your clients to send them a handsomely designed summary from your firm about the Chancellor’s proposals?

Send out a million copies, if you like, of the summary to clients and prospects for £100 + VAT. For details, visit our shop or email me at:


Here is my regular round-up of marketing and business promotion issues plus other interesting things over the past week. It provides access to tools you can use right now to promote your firm plus software that will help those endeavours.

Marketing ideas from Marketing Profs

More marketing ideas and tips have been published by Marketing Profs:

Why You Need To Install Windows Updates Automatically

An article at said that once again there are urgent security patches released for Windows, and this time the problems they fix are “potentially catastrophic” issues with the encryption stack. This is why you should have Windows install updates automatically.

It’s possible you leap into action every time you see the security notification, but many people don’t. And, if you do, what’s the point of installing critical security updates manually? Just have them install themselves.

Patches Should Be Installed as Soon As Possible
You often need to patch security problems as soon as possible to fix whatever the problem is.
After a patch is released, the security hole becomes public knowledge if it wasn’t already. Attackers now know the problem and can rush to start exploiting it as soon as possible before people update. Attackers know business and home users are often slow to update, and they can wreak some havoc in the time before people patch.
Read more:

Technology solutions for increased productivity: a free SmartCompany eBook

From in Australia: One of the biggest challenges for SMEs is finding ways to get more productive and grow without being bogged down in time consuming and costly approaches. Increasingly technology is providing solutions – allowing both businesses and individuals to become more productive and efficient. But the challenge lies in equipping your SME with the right tools.

SmartCompany and SAP recently looked into the technology habits of SMEs, along with their productivity and growth ideals. We found that while SMEs appear tech savvy and understand the impact of technology on business, 50% say they don’t have the resources required to improve their productivity. Clearly there is an imbalance.

This free SmartCompany eBook, Five ways to get productive and grow with technology solutions, brought to you by SAP, is designed to showcase these findings and demonstrate how SMEs can increase their productivity without enormous costs.

You’ll also learn:

  • What SMEs find challenging about adopting new technology;
  • How SMEs can overcome a lack of resources;
  • How technology can help with the issue of staff disengagement;
  • Why better productivity doesn’t have to be expensive;
  • How to navigate regulatory burdens with technology, and more.

Read more:

How leaders use personas to drive innovation

From The Savvy Marketer’s Guide® to Leading with Personas shares three real-life success stories — and one decided failure — of how change leaders leveraged personas to drive innovation and inspire change in four complex and very different business situations.

What will you learn?
The Savvy Marketer’s Guide to Leading with Personas shares:

  • How personas can be used to create alignment, shake off misconceptions and inspire innovation.
  • The insightful stories of three leaders who used personas to achieve their goals (and the cautionary tale of one that didn’t!).
  • Seven ways that personas can be used as powerful change-leadership tools.

Get the FREE guide from:

Simply Measured Twitter Study Q3 2014

If you want to learn more about Twitter, read this: From Simply Measured: Twitter is a key channel for social brands to connect with their mobile audiences, but the network continues to change fast.

In their latest study, Simply Measured analyzed the top brands in the world and the new ways they’re using Twitter, the results they’re seeing, and which tactics have contributed to bigger audiences and increased brand engagement.

Download Simply Measured’s latest Twitter study to learn:

  • How active the world’s top brands are on Twitter
  • How top brands are using hashtags, link types and visual content
  • Which tactics have contributed to increased brand engagement
  • Best practices for perfecting your Tweets

…and much more. Click the link below to download the full study!

How To Successfully Scale Your Social Efforts Across Your Entire Organization

From Hootsuite This FREE white paper is designed to take your organisation through the essential steps involved in implementing a successful and scalable social media strategy. Scale to meet customer needs and reap the rewards of effective social media engagement across the enterprise.

Gain insight on how to mandate social media use to positively impact all departments:

  • Integrate social into existing organizational and departmental goals.
  • Listen to conversations about your brand and learn from your competitors.
  • Engage to Build Community: Empower your Social Team to contribute to the conversation.
  • Encourage your Social Teams to distribute new learning both within the Team and your organization as a whole.
  • Secure your online profiles to avoid publishing errant messages.
  • Measure your Social ROI: Build the capacity for measurement into every social action
  • Amplify your outreach and invest in a social future.

Download your FREE copy today:

Effective time management

From Go To Meeting: In this FREE white paper, well-known time management expert and best-selling author Cordula Nussbaum demonstrates methods for creative and individual self-management. Cordula also provides an introduction to modern, effective time management practices.

Download the white paper and find out how to:

  • Identify and switch off personal stress causes and time thieves
  • Re-organise your daily work according to your personality
  • Efficiently prioritise tasks and delegate if needed
  • Get back into top form with successful self-management

Download the white paper:

3 Hiring Process Blunders

So you are hiring people again.  This FREE eBook from Foundation Resourcing details the latest, cutting-edge Financial Services hiring techniques.

When you get this FREE eBook, which you can read at your leisure, you will discover…

  • The little known concept of “deep referencing” and the 7 key questions you can ask which will highlight a poor hire before its too late.
  • 10 crucial interview questions you should be asking and a breakthrough questioning technique which is guaranteed to reveal a candidates genuine strengths and weaknesses to you.
  • The 4 rules to effective assessment days including the radical new concept of subterfuge assessment stooges to glean attitudinal behaviour
  • A full brief on the latest psychological profiling techniques, which have proven to be the most effective in the financial services industry.

Read more:

5 Steps to Social Planning for Enterprise Brands

From Simply Measured:  Written by Bridget Quigg: At the biggest brands, the dollars being spent on social media require careful planning, regular analysis, and optimization on a large scale. These high-revenue companies are pushing hard to make social media support their business.

Ron Schott, Director of Professional Services at Simply Measured, provides insight on how he sees the major brands he has worked with – leaders like MasterCard, IHOP, HTC, and KIA – approach their social strategy planning process.

Click on the link below for his summary of five planning steps and some advice on each.
Read more:

Did you know that 94% of Crowdfunding Funded Companies are Successful and Still Trading

From Business Matters: Angels Den, a leading equity crowdfunding platform, has this week revealed that 94% of the businesses that raised funds through the site are still trading, despite the leading research stating 56% of all angel investments will fail.

Technology start-ups and those operating in the food and drink sector emerged as the top performing industries in terms of successful start-ups, with London and the South-East the most likely locations for them.

A newly-released infographic designed and compiled by a leading crowdfunding platform and angel network has revealed that as many as 94% of the businesses that have raised funding through the site have gone on to achieve financial success and are still trading. This statistic has come to light despite a recent finding from NESTA that suggests around 56% of angel investments will fail to make any return on capital.
Read more:

How the Most Successful People Keep Innovating

From American Express: Written by Vivian Giang: If you feel you or your business are stuck in a rut or, worse yet, failing, use the strategies from 6 innovation experts to spark creativity and change in your company

No matter what activity you’re pursuing, you have to continually evolve or you won’t make any progress. This is especially true when it comes to business—you have to keep transforming and innovating, staying fresh and up to date. You often have to zag while everyone else zigs.

So how can you keep up with the fast-churning world of business in order to remain viable and needed? Some of the most successful people in the world share their secrets to blocking out the noise and continuously innovating below.
Read more in the full article:

Law-Mart: Pick up a Will with your TV at Wal-Mart

In Written by Jeff Gray: Walk into one of four Toronto-area Wal-Marts and in addition to the advertised “pre-Black Friday deals” that include discounted toys and flat-screen TVs, shoppers can also pick up a last will and testament drafted by a real, live lawyer.  Recently launched Axess Law has put itself among the most aggressive of a new breed of low-cost law firms by installing a bright-orange branded retail presence inside Toronto Wal-Marts over the past year, offering wills for just $99 and real-estate deals for $1,288, tax and other expenses included. The service is the first of its kind in Canada.

The law firm says the move has been so successful it is expanding the service to seven more Toronto-area Wal-Marts over the next six months, with a plan to move into Wal-Mart Canada Corp. outlets across the country. The next location, at Toronto’s west-end Dufferin Mall, is due to open in weeks.

“It’s only a matter of time before you see our bright orange in Alberta and B.C.,” Axess Law co-founder Mark Morris, 38, said in an interview.

The concept is not unlike accounting firms and travel agencies that have set up shop in various large retailers. But it is a still revolutionary step in this country’s conservative legal circles…
Read more:

UK: How to get a guaranteed pension that lives on after you’ve died

From the Daily Telegraph: Written by Katie Morley: One of the downsides of buying guaranteed pension income from an insurer is that the pension dies when you do. But a little-known clause that allows you to pass it to loved ones could be about to hit the mainstream

A little-known pension option, which allows people to pass a guaranteed pension onto loved ones as an inheritance is expected to boom in popularity next year.

In April 2015, the Government will ban the “pension death tax” which currently means people have to pay 55pc tax on pension money they pass on as inheritance. The ban is primarily for drawdown pensions, where people will be able to take control their own investments and take as much or as little income as they like. However, the ban will also apply to a rare form of annuity that comes with an inheritance option called “value protection”.

Annuities provide a guaranteed income for the rest of someone’s life in retirement, but when they die, the pension dies with them, and the insurer pockets whatever’s left. But when people with these so-called “value protected” annuities die, the insurer pays out up to 100pc of the sum for which they bought the policy, minus the combined value of the annual income they’ve been paid.
Read more:

UK: Finally, you can hold buy-to-let in your pension. Here’s how

[24 November 2014, Telegraph] Posted 22 November: By Richard Evans and Nicole Blackmore: Buy-to-let landlords may be about to have their biggest dream come true: being able to hold their properties in a personal pension.
This would make any future capital gains tax-free. Holding residential property in a pension has previously been impossible.

The change, which comes about as a result of a new fund that invests in rental properties, could even see investors receive a windfall from the taxman if the value of their buy-to-let portfolios is boosted by tax relief when it is put into the pension.

This manoeuvre, which would see investors swap their existing, directly owned properties for shares in the property fund, could suit small buy-to-let investors with a handful of properties. A different tax perk could benefit larger landlords who own their properties via a limited company, who may be able to defer some of their capital gains tax liability.

Either process would be complicated and would involve costs as well as benefits. Here we look at how they would work, first for small landlords and then for larger ones who already own, in effect, their own property company.
Read more:

Martin Pollins
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