Christmas break was a chance to get ahead by getting new engraved plaques done
With so much happening last year and so much to do this year I started early by ordering new engraved plaques for the shop over Christmas. I always shut up shop for the whole Christmas week as I always found I just ended up hanging around and not seeing anyone. This year I wanted to make use of the time and get ahead for the New Year by getting stuff done I never get the chance to do in the week normally.
These bits that have been on my to do list of rages I was determined to get rid of and so I made a start the day after boxing day by designing and ordering some new engraved plaques for the shop. I have been thinking about this for ages and hadn’t gone ahead before as I needed quite a lot of them done and so the cost was a factor. With a good Christmas period under my belt I finally had the spare cash to do it and so I got to work designing the little engraved plaques to go around the shop.
Designing the engraved plaques was great fun
I love a bit of creative license and designing all the plaques was great fun. I found a website that allowed you to see the signs as you designed them and had loads of customisable elements which was ideal for me. You were able to specify size, font, colour and finish and that is exactly what I wanted and best of all you could see the sign taking shape as you created it with a visual tool the website had.
It took a few hours to do them all but they looked great and once I had paid that was that and the signs should arrive shortly. I am impatient to see them and get them in the shop and hope all my hard work will pay off with the end result.
As well as engraved plaques my creativity continued
Once the engraved plaques were done the next job I wanted to complete over Christmas was some much needed web updates. Although I know its really important the website always gets neglected due to time. This year I am absolutely going to make more effort in updating and adding elements to it. We have started to see the website paying off and I really want to get a focus on that to compliment and grow the shop business.
I may never be retailer of the year or an online entrepreneur of note but I think we small changes and a bit of focus I will have a really good shop and online business. My resolution this year is all about my website and making more money through it. I have invested in a couple of training days and am reading a few books on it at the moment and hope this will help me make the most of this side of the business.
I got my engraved plaques from http://www.stonesign.com
A big thanks to the sign makers
The shop is all signed and sealed and yesterday the sign makers came in to talk about my plans for the new shop and what I wanted to have. Pain in the bum that I am I know exactly what I wanted but the sign makers were so patient with me as I did not have the words to explain. They took the time and trouble to understand my babbling and eventually understood the product I was looking for to promote my new shop.
I wanted a 3D sign so that it looked like it was coming out at you and I wanted it backlit so at night there was a glow around the letters. The sign makers were great and Gary showed me loads of different shop signs they had done for other customers or theirs to get an idea of what I was trying to achieve. When we finally arrived at the right terminology for the sign I wanted the sign makers sketched out a rough idea of the size and dimension I had to work with and we agreed on the size of the letters and the positioning of everything.
Sign makers came back with visuals
About three days later I got the call to arrange the meeting to show me the visuals of the shop signs they had come up with. I agreed to meet them straight away as I was super excited to see what they had come up with.
The sign makers arrived with their laptop and we go to work looking at the visuals and some images to explain what they hoped to do with the shop. I was blown away with it all as it looked so professional and cool and I could really imagine it all in place. It was not going to be cheap but I wanted to ensure I created the right first impression so had planned for this expense when I did my business plan.
Sign makers went off with the order
Loving their work I sent the sign makers off to get the shop signage done and was given a date for the fit. It would take about a week and I didn’t know how I was going to wait that long I was so excited. The shop though ensured I was not sat around waiting as I could not believe how much needed to be done. My list seemed endless but one by one I got things done and before I knew it I got the call from the sign makers to say it was ready and they were coming out first thing next morning.
They arrived first thing and after a quick cup of coffee to wake us up the guys cracked on within a few hours it was really taking shape and I could not contain my excitement at just how fab it all looked. The sign makers finished just after lunch an they did a fantastic job so much so lunch was even on me! http://www.printsauce.co.uk
Why do companies plump for parking control management
Rant of the week this week is about the seemingly endless amount of parking control management measures measures being imposed on us poor consumers. The world has gone mad for these fake traffic wardens and they are even policing your local supermarkets now. Why on earth Tesco and Sainsbury feel that there absolutely enormous car parks need parking control management is beyond me as I don’t think I have ever witnessed a full supermarket car park in my life. But as every little helps maybe they have just gone too far.
Of course if you have a genuine problem with space and people are abusing you parking facilities I can completely understand putting parking control management measures in place is a great thing to do but it is the scale at which they are popping up in bizarre places that has me worried. From Tesco to McDonalds they are all at it, don’t overstay your welcome is the message they are giving me and when you are spending your hard earned cash with them it does surprise me a bit.
Waiting for the school to in force parking control management
I can see the school I take my kids too being next at the end of the day where do you stop. Parking is a bog issue around the school and I do wonder when some bright spark comes up with the idea to implement some sort of parking control management measures to make my life more difficult. They come up with some classics so I will keep you posted if the wrath of the parking titans comes to a school by me. I hope they don’t the school run is stressful enough without parking control management to contend with.
The pro’s and con’s of parking control management
Obviously I am being a bit negative on the subject of parking control management but the reality is I only get irritated when it is a ludicrous situation like at the supermarket of restaurant I am using. The harsh reality I guess is there are loads more cars, trucks and lorries on the road and they all need to park somewhere and so naturally some will take advantage of a businesses own parking when they can’t find a legitimate space to use or as I sure happens all the time the individual doesn’t really care where they park as long as they can do what they need to do or go where they need to go.
For all of us I guess we have brought his upon ourselves with our thirst get places quicker and need for multiple cars in the household as more and more people have to work in the family unit. All I ask is that everyone takes a sensible view on parking control management and we don’t end up living in a world where parking consumes every waking moment and you end up spending your whole life looking for that elusive free space!
I was looking for second hand stoves
I decided after ages of deliberation that I was going to invest in a woodburner and after seeing the price on a new one thought looking at second hand stoves may be a better option for me. A new good make and model was coming out at around £1500 and that was not even fitted, cheaper ones looked just that and so I started to research the second hand stoves market.
The choice for second hand stoves on eBay was remarkably large and I even found a few retailers selling off ex demo stock on his online shop it was eventually the route I took to get an ex-demo model and I did so for a few reasons. Price wise the ex-demo models I looked at were more expensive than the direct second hand stoves but obviously I had a bit of come back with the shop and also it had not been used so it was a brand new stove but i got a few hundred pounds of the price tag as if had been sat in the showroom. I was lucky as he was changing suppliers and wanted rid of all these stoves and so I even managed to get the price down a bit more.
Fitting second hand stoves
I was lucky in that the ex demo model I bought was also fitted by the man that sold me the stove making him a few extra pounds and giving me better guarantees on not only the stove but the installation too. He will also now do all my servicing, repairs and sweeps so he will be happy going forward to. I have got friends that have fitted the stove themselves but they would not recommend it and neither would I. You have to get it signed off by someone anyway and in reality what proper tradesman would risk his accreditation on a self installed stove that he has no idea how it was fitted what quality of parts were used etc, the answer is probably not a great one.
Get advise on second hand stoves
I was upfront with my fitter that I was going for second hand stoves rather than new but explained I wanted him to fit it anyway in return for a little help. He ended up selling me a stove but was more than happy to survey my property to discuss size needed and any other questions I had. Most good shops will do the same after all you are going to spend over a £1000 with them anyway and if they are smart they may even convince you on a stove they are selling. make sure you get a couple of quotes too as the price can differ dramatically and cost you far more than is needed.
Once its signed off and it will have to be or you home insurance will be void you can start enjoying the considerable benefits of owning a woodburner, especially if you went down the second hand stoves route and saved a wedge of cash.
The rise of free bets
The proliferation of gambling websites has seen a massive number of free bets offers used to try to increase visitors and so profits. In the past a link building campaign would be enough to see your website climb and the traffic onto your website increase but that was then and with a few Google updates and a whole lot of competition the game has changed and so to has the strategy for success.
The Google way has always been “simple” deliver great content to your customers and your website will rank organically but is it really that simple? The short answer is no, Google doesn’t think delivering free bets is enough and so gone are the days of affiliate websites simply plastered with great free bets offers. Google wanted more and so introduced a whole series of updates including the now infamous Penguin and Panda update which focussed on link quality and content respectively.
Surely the punter is just looking for free bets
But is this is really what the customer really wants? Most punters are just looking for free bets to make betting risk free for a while easier and to be frank what is better than a website with all free bets offers in one place, from free bet no deposit to deposit based free bets deals all in one convenient place, surely this is not all bad. I can see the point in making things harder to allow the cream to rise but the last few updates have been a sledge hammer blow to people who are investing heavily in both time and finance just to make a living which seems harsh.
Most punters I know would be happy to visit a website packed with offers that would keep them gambling for free and I would suggest that these free bets deals would be absolutely fantastic content for an individual looking for some free bets so I cannot really understand the strategy from Google on this one. One the one side they are saying you need great content but on the other delivering a strategy that makes finding these sites more difficult.
With every attack there is a counter measure and these sites are fighting back. Better content and new strategies mean that they are coming back in with better websites and I suppose this is a good thing for everyone.
Think more about you customer and less about free bets offers
What would an average punter want beside a free bets deal? Once you crack this one you will be on the way to getting your website shared and favourited, combine this with a good online strategy and social media effort to start getting back to where you deserve to be. Google updates will always be a broad swipe attack but if you are focussed on the end game and commit the time and resource needed you will almost certainly future-proof your website against these updates and get back to helping your customers get the free bets deals that want. http://www.freebetsinternational.com