“A lot of people in our industry haven’t had very diverse experiences. So they don’t have enough dots to connect, and they end up with very linear solutions without a broad perspective on the problem. The broader one’s understanding of the human experience, the better design we will have.”
Steve Jobs

Think about: Are your experiences diverse? Are you putting what you know to good advantage?

Now, here’s a recap on some useful marketing, business promotion, new technology and other interesting stories from the past week:

Is your business one of a kind? Or do you have a client whose business is shooting for the moon?

The Daily Telegraph want to hear from you!

Their nationwide competition to find The Daily Telegraph Festival of Business’ SME of the Year is now open. The event is on 11 November in London. The event is being run in partnership with FedEx, has been launched to celebrate the achievements of small and medium-sized businesses throughout the UK.

The competition will be judged by the singer and successful businesswoman Myleene Klass.

NOTE: Registration is a pain, but if you let us know you want to attend, Rebecca Burn-Callander, Enterprise Editor at the Daily Telegraph will fast track your application. Contact me for details.

Marketing ideas from Marketing Profs

Lots more marketing ideas and tips have been published by Marketing Profs:

From: marketingprofs.com

A smartphone, contact-free for only £65 – Android One smartphones released in India by three companies

From Leo Kelion, Technology desk editor, BBC News: The first Android One-branded budget-priced “high quality” smartphones have been released in India. The handsets provide a minimum set of features determined by Google, which has sourced several of the components to help cut manufacturing costs. The company has also teamed up with a local network to make it cheaper to download Android updates and new apps. Experts suggest the move should help address criticism of earlier entry-price smartphones.

Sundar Pichai, who oversees Android, said the Android One scheme had delivered economies of scale that meant the first batch of phones could be offered for as low as 6,399 rupees ($105; £65) if bought contract-free.
Read more: www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-29203249

Beyond NPS: Identifying Advocates And Inviting Them To Take Action

From eMarketing Profs: Measuring your customers’ happiness with NPS surveys is great place to start, but unfortunately too many companies stop there. It’s time to take an ACTIVE role in inviting your company’s promoters to help you increase leads, generate more revenue, and reduce churn through advocate marketing.

Beyond NPS: Identifying Advocates And Inviting Them To Take Action
This new FREE eBook by Influitive and Waypoint Group features best practices for identifying and inviting your advocates to take action. It also contains insights and best practices from 10+ B2B marketing practitioners based on their experiences launching highly successful advocacy programs, including marketers from Ceridian, Okta, Mitel and more.

What are you waiting for?
Influitive helps companies like yours generate impressive customer engagement results with powerful advocate marketing software.
Download from: e.marketingprofs.com/a/hBUGDtbAJaJZfB88b8eB9lxEm2G/inf2

Best Practices for Visual Marketing

From TripleLift: They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but every image has its own value. In advertising, choosing the right image can make the difference between success and failure. TripleLift’s data team reviewed over 100 campaigns to help you understand the best types of images that drive results. Their metrics (FREE) will help you execute a picture perfect campaign.
Download now: triplelift.com/pictureperfect

How technology can help with VAT reclaim and expenses…

From Concur, via AccountingWEB, a very helpful FREE e-book provides insight into how using technology can help to keep the taxman happy. Discover the benefits of an expenses policy, what to check to ensure you are HMRC compliant and what VAT can be reclaimed on expenses.

Download the e-book to learn more about:

  • How to keep the tax man happy,
  • Nonsensical VAT rules,
  • Reclaiming VAT on fuel,
  • Reclaiming international VAT, and
  • How technology can help with VAT reclaim.

For more information or if you need any assistance, please visit www.concur.co.uk, read their blog or call them on 01753 501444.
Download from: www.concur.co.uk/resources/expenses-vat-and-hmrc-compliance-nutshell

Tolley – FREE Capital Gains White Paper

From AccountancyAGE – In certain circumstances shareholders may wish to pay dividends other than in proportion to their shareholdings. This FREE guidance note from Tolley® Guidance covers this topic in more detail and includes relevant cases.
Download this FREE White Paper from: www.accountancyageinsight.com/new_registration?document_id=22672

It’s Time for Cross-Functional Harmony

From eMarketing Profs – There’s a good reason why many B2B organizations get sales enablement wrong. And no, it’s not just about sales. It’s because every customer-facing group isn’t working together toward a common goal.

Simply put, sales enablement is the delivery of the right information in the right format, to the right person at the right time. But for it to work, the chasm between sales and marketing needs to disappear.

Download 3 Phases of Value Driving Sales Enablement for a FREE detailed framework on how to structure and execute a true cross-functional team focused on driving growth and profit. This ebook explores the roles that content marketing, sales intelligence, mobile technologies, and customer communities play in sales enablement. You’ll learn how to:

  • Empower marketing to facilitate the process of discovery
  • Equip sales with real-time intelligence
  • Build customer engagement through social communities and portals

Read more at: e.marketingprofs.com/a/hBUGa2qAJaJZfB88cELB9lxEmb$/download

Did you know that women are starting 1,288 new businesses per day? And that’s is the USA alone

From Amex, via Smart Brief – According to The 2014 State of Women-Owned Businesses Report, commissioned by American Express OPEN, the number of women-owned businesses has increased at 1.5 times the national average.  This new FREE report, based on data from the U.S. Census Bureau, includes up-to-date insights on the growth of women-owned businesses and pinpoints how policy and programmatic support can help even more of these companies reach their full potential.

In this report you will find:

  • A summary of the state of women-owned business today
A detailed look at national, state, metropolitan, and industry trends.
  • An analysis of the tremendous growth seen among firms owned by women of colour.
  • A look at daily business creation rates, comparing rates before and after the recent recession.

Learn more, read the full report:

How to Find Free Wi-Fi Hotspots When Travelling

From How to Geek – Free, public Wi-Fi access points are popping up in more and more places around the world. They’re extra useful when travelling, as you won’t have your home Wi-Fi network and may not want to pay for international mobile data.

These tips will help you find Wi-Fi hotspots on the go, whether you’re travelling to a foreign country or just to the other side of your home city.

Two Restaurant Chains That (Almost) Always Have Free Wi-Fi
If you want free Wi-Fi, keep an eye out for a Starbucks or a McDonald’s restaurant. These two chains have a huge number of locations all over the world, and they both consistently provide free Wi-Fi. Whatever you think of their coffee and food, their free Wi-Fi is good — and you generally don’t even have to buy anything, as you can just log right in. Of course, it’s probably polite to make a purchase if you’re going to be taking up a seat and using their Wi-Fi for a while.

These are far from the only restaurants with free Wi-Fi, but a Starbucks or McDonald’s is easy to spot from a distance and will probably have free Wi-Fi when you get there.
Read more at: www.howtogeek.com/196186/how-to-find-free-wi-fi-hotspots-when-travelling/

Tech Stuff: PCC approves private company GAAP exception for certain acquired intangibles

From Journal of Accountancy, in the USA, the Private Company Council (PCC) voted on 16 September to approve a GAAP alternative that will allow private companies to elect not to separately recognize and measure certain intangible assets acquired in a business combination.

Private companies that elect the alternative would not recognise:

  • Noncompetition agreements.
  • Customer-related intangible assets that are not capable of being sold or licensed independently from the other assets of a business.

It is anticipated that customer-related intangible assets often would not meet one of the criteria for recognition. Customer-related assets that may meet one of the criteria for recognition would include mortgage servicing rights, commodity supply contracts, and core deposits. If FASB endorses the alternative, it can be written into GAAP. FASB’s endorsement is required for all PCC-originated GAAP alternatives. FASB will discuss the topic in the coming weeks.
Companies that elect the alternative would be required to separately disclose qualitatively any intangible assets that did not meet separate recognition under this alternative.

The alternative would be applied prospectively for all business combinations entered into after the effective date, and there would be no option to apply it retrospectively.

A private company that elects the alternative would continue recognizing and measuring under existing GAAP all intangible assets that exist at the beginning of the period of adoption. That means that noncompetition agreements and customer-related intangibles that were recognized prior to the adoption of the alternative would continue to be amortized over the expected life that was set previously. Private companies that elect to adopt the alternative also would be required to adopt Accounting Standards Update (ASU) No. 2014-02, Intangibles—Goodwill and Other (Topic 350): Accounting for Goodwill (a consensus of the Private Company Council).
Read more: http://www.journalofaccountancy.com/News/201410953.htm

Top Tips & Trends to Know for Blogging in 2014

From marketers.blognotions.com, by Francisco Perez: Practically since the advent of blogging, people have been proclaiming that blogging is dead. There’s a new eulogy written for blogging every year, from major platforms—respected and popular sources like The Content King, Social Media Today, The Guardian, Politico, and even The New York Times have filled blogging’s grave and written its tombstone. Yet every year, more blogs pop up and more bloggers find success with audiences.
Blogging is nowhere near on its last legs, but some things have changed in the world of online journals since the heyday of Blogger and LiveJournal—and some things have remained the same.

This article sets out what you should know to start or continue running a successful blog in 2014 and beyond, whether you’re blogging as a primary online presence or working on a small business blog. [Francisco Perez is a Business & Inbound Marketing Consultant, an Online Entrepreneur, and founder of iblogzone.com]

Automatic: More than an app, it’s an ‘Automatic’ lifesaver for cars

You can’t have one yet (unless you live in the USA) but this lifesaver is on its way… Nearly every car on the road these days has a “black box” data recorder, like the ones in commercial airplanes. But the boxes in our cars have short memories — less than 10 seconds. That’s enough to preserve some pretty important evidence, like how fast you were going when you hit that lamppost.

But maybe you’d like a longer, deeper history of life behind the wheel. How far did you drive, and where? What route did you drive, how long did it take, and where did you park? For that, you’ll need to take careful notes, or get the right smartphone app.

The author of this article has been testing one that is actually more than an app. Automatic is a $99 piece of hardware that plugs into the digital interface found in most vehicles made since 1996. This little dongle uses a Bluetooth radio signal to connect with an app running on an iPhone. It’s a handy way to keep constant tabs on your driving habits. It can also tell you why the car’s “check engine” light just came on. And it has a built-in crash sensor that can call for a rescue if you’re in an accident.

About that digital interface — it’s called an OBD II port. It’s a plug mounted beneath the steering wheel, where the guy at the garage plugs in his computer to test your car during a state-mandated inspection. But the port has other uses. The auto insurer Progressive offers a plug-in device called Snapshot that reports your motoring habits to the company, which uses the data to award discounts to safe drivers. An Oregon company called CravenSpeed makes a $45 unit for performance fanatics. It tracks air temperature and barometric pressure, engine coolant temperature, revolutions per minute, and horsepower output, among other things.

The Automatic app costs considerably more, and does a lot less, but does it with style. Just plug in the dongle, download and install the free app on an iPhone or Android phone, and pair it up with the phone’s Bluetooth feature. Then enter the car’s Vehicle Information Number. It’s on a barcode attached to the doorframe of most cars. The app lets you enter it by scanning the code with the phone’s camera.
Read more: www.bostonglobe.com/business/2014/09/17/more-than-app-automatic-lifesaver-for-cars/

Amazon rolls out new tablets and e-readers

Have you got one yet?  Amazon ramped up its push into hardware last week, with the debut of six new or upgraded mobile devices, including a high-end £169 e-reader called the Kindle Voyage and its cheapest-ever six-inch touch-screen Fire tablet starting at just £79.

The online retail giant also revamped its basic Kindle e-reader to include a touch screen at just £59. All the new devices start shipping from next month.
Read more: www.cityam.com/1411089288/amazon-rolls-out-new-tablets-and-e-readers

Small Businesses Spend More on Social Than On Any Other Media

From Adage, Kate Maddox wrote that Social Media has become the top media platform for small and medium businesses when it comes to usage and spending, according to a new report from research firm BIA/Kelsey. The report found that 74.5% of small and medium businesses – defined as those with fewer than 100 employees – now use social media to advertise or promote their businesses. This is up from 71.7% last year. Small businesses also spend an average of 21.4% of their total media budgets on social, more than on any other media platform, according to the survey. This is up from 18.9% last year.

The survey, “Local Commerce Monitor,” is now in its 18th edition. This year’s report was based on an online survey of 546 small and medium businesses, conducted in July. Just over half of the businesses (52.2%) serve primarily consumers; 30.8% serve consumers and businesses equally; and 15.6% serve primarily businesses. The remainder of respondents were unsure.

In one of the key findings, small and medium businesses now use social more than any other media platform for business purposes. For example, small and medium business usage of print and outdoor advertising combined totalled just 59.3% this year, down from 63.0% last year.

In terms of spending, small and medium businesses spent a total of 18.5% of their total media budgets on print and outdoor advertising this year, down from 20.9% last year.

Instagram to introduce advertising in UK

In CITY A.M., Sarah Spickernell wrote to say that users of Instagram in the UK will soon be exposed to adverts. The photo-sharing social network said it was slowly rolling out advertising in the UK, with the first adverts set to appear at some point in the “coming weeks”.

Initially, adverts will just be for just a small selection of businesses, hand-picked for their “already great” presence on Instagram. The company wants to ensure the advertising its users are exposed to is “creative and engaging.”

Could professionals, like you, be damned if you do and damned if you don’t?

In ICAEW Economia, we learned that ICAEW members are in a Catch 22 over tax avoidance (but it applies equally to other professions).

ICAEW members are coming under intense pressure from clients to endorse tax avoidance schemes they have heard about, often from independent financial advisers or the scheme promoters themselves. Some general practitioners have even been threatened with losing their clients or being sued for negligence if they refuse to help, according to the ICAEW Tax Faculty.

At a recent meeting at ICAEW, faculty head Frank Haskew told Public Accounts Committee chairman Margaret Hodge that clients were often fed misinformation by tax scheme promoters about schemes or indeed about the responsibilities accountants have in giving tax advice.

They can’t afford to lose clients and they can’t afford to be sued. Yet they risk reputational and financial damage if they do get involved

Schemes are regularly described as investment opportunities while the High Court decision in Harben Barker v Mehjoo – which awarded £1.4m in damages to Iranian businessman Hossein Mehjoo after finding the accountancy firm liable for failing to advise him about certain tax avoidance schemes – is often cited, without mentioning that it was overturned in the Court of Appeal.

“Our members hate these schemes but they feel really under pressure,” Haskew said. “They can’t afford to lose clients and they can’t afford to be sued. Yet they risk reputational and financial damage if they do get involved.

“They are damned if they do, and damned if they don’t.”
Read more: economia.icaew.com/news/september-2014/icaew-members-in-catch-22-over-tax-avoidance

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Martin Pollins
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