Chris Roberts

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Posts about Business

The Answer is Marketing

The question is a fundamental one, and one which doesn't appear to be asked by enough business owners or boards of directors.

It is simply this, "Who should own our website?".

The Danger of 'Not Invented Here'

Unsurprisingly, software developers enjoy writing software. So much so, in fact, that they will often choose to write every piece of software they need to solve a particular problem.

On the face of it you could argue that this is a good thing - after all, writing software is what software developers are paid for!

Think you're finished? You're not even close!

So, you have an idea for a web application. Perhaps you've even written some of the code and got it working. Your friends and family have taken a look and think it's great. You're ready to go - all you have to do now is get it on the web and start making money!

And there's the rub. Getting an application from 'working' to 'ready to launch' often takes more work than writing the app itself.

Timeboxing - Keeping Meetings on Track

Timeboxing is a great tool which can be applied to meetings to help make sure you cover everything on your agenda, finish on time, and stay on-topic.

Here's how it works...

The Future of the High Street

It would appear that it's not an easy time to be a retailer. Stories of familiar high street names going into administration, or at least severely struggling, are becoming ever more frequent. Blacks, La Senza and Hawkin's Bazaar have all gone into administration following a disappointing Christmas shopping season.

Whilst the current economic climate is clearly a large part of the problem, the rise in internet sales can only be adding salt to the wounds. Figures from an IBM study show an increase in UK online sales of 21.5% from November 2010 to November 2011.

What's Your Internet Strategy?

The chances are you already have a website; it might even be a good one! You may have put together a proper plan to ensure your site has a real purpose and attracts a good quantity of the right kind of visitors. It might even persuade them to part with some money in return for your goods and services.

If you do have such a site, well done - you're one of the few! If you haven't - perhaps you should speak to my team at Firehoop.

Voting With Your Feet

I frequently remind my clients that marketing their business online has many advantages over more traditional methods. One of the key differences is the ability to gather near instant statistics. When done properly, the effectiveness of each piece of marketing can be measured in detail.

This can really help make sure budget is being used in the most appropriate way.This is true for both off-site advertising and for changes which are made on-site, too.

Social Media - What's it all about?

Love it or hate it, there's no doubt that Social Media is here to stay. Facebook now has over 400 million active users and the number of celebrities using Twitter means that it is rarely out of the spotlight.

It's already making a huge difference to the way people use the web. As a result, businesses are increasingly taking advantage of the opportunity to reach new audiences.

My First Rule of Business

Over the last week or two, I have been reviewing various aspects of my business and have realised that I've been making a glaring mistake. We're now well on the way to resolving the problem, but I wanted to make sure the same thing doesn't happen again.

Some Background

When not to Do It Yourself

I have a bad habit that I've been trying to kick ever since I started running a business. I have a built in compulsion to do everything myself. Whether this stems from force of habit from the days when I was the only person in the business, or from some kind of built-in arrogance that makes me feel I'm the only man for the job - I don't know. All I know is that it's there - and it's not good.

What do I mean by DIY projects? I mean the sort of project that's got nothing directly related to the money generating potential of the business, but still needs to be done.

A Note to Recruitment Agents

I don't think I'm alone in my dislike of recruitment agents. They have earned a reputation for charging extortionate fees (25% to 30% of the employee's annual salary) for merely shuffling CV's from candidates to potential employers. The few recruitment agents who actually add value to their customers' businesses now appear to be lost amongst a sea of agents who simply 'go through the motions'.

Saying 'No' to Recruitment Agents