Thursday, 31 January 2013

Business: 1st Step to Search Engine Success

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Internet search engines such as Google, Bing, Yahoo and Ask are great! Their web search facilities advertise your web site to the word free of charge, who can complain about that?!


This way to my web site! Photo by Cawi2001

If you have a new web site or blog you need to jump on the search engine band wagon. You will need your site to start appearing (at the top of a page 1 of relevant search results) on all the major search engines asap!

For search engines like Yahoo and Ask you need to wait for them to find you 1st, which can take some time.

However for Google and Bing you can metaphorically knock on their door and invite them round to your web site.

If you want to submit your web site or blogs URL to Google click on the link or head to www.google.co.uk/addurl

To submit a URL to Bing click on the link or head to http://www.bing.com/toolbox/submit-site-url.


What is a URL? A URL is your web address http://www.myobshowuk.blogspot.co.uk is this blogs URL.


There is no guarantee that Bing and Google will come flocking to your door and that you will shoot up the page ranking list. However submitting your site shows willing and also shows that your web site is being ran professionally. Professionalism mixed with regularly updated quality content and some great SEO work should allow your web site to rise to the top.

Let me know how its working out for you?

Take care,

Dom O'Neill

New to business? Listen to the weekly MYOB Show Podcasts via the player below




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Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Technology: 6 Tips for a Great Sounding Video Blog

Standby... and action

Now you know the 8 Tips for Great Looking Video Blogs  (if you don't know them, click on the link and read the blog) you'll need to learn the 6 very simple tips to enable your video blog to sound as good as it looks.

Video blogging is built on its universal accessibility: the pro has the same platform as the bedroom video blogger. With this in mind this blog will concentrating on technique rather than expensive technology. As with everything to do with sound recording, the world and his wife have their own opinion on what is good and what is not. However in this blog I'm using the rules we use here at MYOB Show.

A basic guideline before we start: We (at MYOB Show) feel an interview with one person should last no more than 5 - 10 minutes depending on the skill of the interviewer and the knowledge of the interviewee. Quality is always better than quantity. However if you feel you can go longer and keep the audience interested then why not give it a try. 


6 Tips for a Great Sounding Video Blog


1. Introduce yourself.

2. Introduce your guests and mention any related facts about them which could be relevant to the interview. Points 1 and 2 give the listener context about who they are listening to and the validity of any arguments made.
 

3. The headline: Explain what the feature is about, and most importantly why we (the audience) should listen! Keep it snappy! Some reports suggest you only have seven seconds to convince someone to watch your video before they watch something else.

4. Make sure you have questions ready & know what you want to get from the interview – you shouldn't “wing it” (make it up as you go) - as you can easily loose focus or run out of interesting chat. 

5. However "go with the flow" if the conversation leads to something useful but off topic go for it! You can always bring it back on topic with the next question.

6. End by summing up the interview, then thank your guest.


Now you know, give them a try and let me know how you get on.

Dom O'Neill 


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Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Entertainment: Quotes of the Week


This week via @myobshow on Twitter I have been tweeting funny, interesting and motivational quotes from some of the big names in the world of wisdom. Plus I've found nuggets of genius from some relatively lesser known names too.


“Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.” 
- Dr. Seuss


"Glory is fleeting, but obscurity is forever." 
- Napoleon Bonaparte


"We are all here on this planet as tourists. None of us can live here forever." 
- Dalai Lama 


"And in the end it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years" 
- Abraham Lincoln 


"Marks got it wrong. Religion isn't the opium of the masses. 
Work is" 
- George Marshall 


"There is only one success - to be able to spend your life in your own way" 
- Christopher Morley


The quote from Dr Seuss is my quote of the week, it helps cheer me up when a great holiday is coming to an end or when the weekend is over and I know I have a grueling week ahead.

This week I'll leave you with a quote of my own. This sentence helps me decide what to and what not to blog each week...


"Don't spend your day answering the questions no-one is asking" 
- Dom O'Neill


However, I also feel you should never be scared to tackle niche subjects. So this week the questions I have been asking are Jet2: Are they any good? What is a staycation? And Why should I invest in rest?


Have a good week,

Dom O'Neill
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Monday, 28 January 2013

Business: Why Should I Bother to Save?

 It is still very hard to start up as self employed or freelance at the moment. You need to do more than ever to prove you are worth investing in! Savings will not only help you in during the bad times but could also help you access the cash you need to grow your business. Find out how via the advice of our guests below.


 Today we are chatting about the benefits of having savings and putting money aside. The interview features Ed O'Neill MD at English in Newcastle (@enginnewcastle) and Louise Hardy from the BIC (@northeastbic).


Not got time to read? You can hear all of today's interviews plus more via the AudioBoo Channel
 

Why you need to have savings?

Listen to this part of the interview via the audioboo player.

Ed: "There are always things to pay for and it is important to save for those times. The tax bill always comes when I am not busy (a slower time of the year) so money in reserve is good".

On this issue Louise points out that it is easier to save in dribs and drabs then have to “pull it out at the in one go".

Louise continues: "On a personal note I always feel it is less painful to pay tax bills in dribs and drabs putting money away on a monthly basis. I’m not sure why but it feels like I’m paying less. I'm not! But it tricks my mind into feeling a tad better about it".



How to save:

Listen to this part of the interview via the AudioBoo Player

Ed: "You really don’t know what is round the corner. Cash flow goes up and down, (For me) summer is high but November and December is slower so you need money saved up for those months".

Louise: "You need to make hay when the sun shines. If you do have some spare capital during your busy period I would defiantly suggest putting money away on a weekly on monthly basis. Unfortunately VAT, tax and other things will always be there and you will always be better to have money to fall back on".



Is getting credit not easier than saving?

Listen to this part of the interview via the AudioBoo Player




Louise points out that the problem with credit is you often get it when you have money. However the problems arise when bad times come and you find yourself with no money. You then can can’t afford to pay the loan or credit back. "This can send you into an endless spiral".

Ed also points sates that finding credit and persuading lenders to part with their cash is one of the biggest problems a small business will face.


Storm clouds over Big Ben & the UK houses of Parliament

Why is credit so hard to get?
Hear this part of the interview via the AudioBoo Player

Louise: "The Government may have made money available to the Banks to lend to small & medium sized business but at the end of the day proof of a return is still what makes the difference between a yes or a no on a loan request".

Louise also stated, "the bank will always lend on the ability to pay back - regardless of government involvement... As an ex banker I know people will look at cash flow and ability to run your business.
If you don’t have proof of cash flow and show an ability to pay back you won’t get a loan. It’s a catch 22 situation, as a new start up you can’t show what you have done over the last 12 months and therefore you don’t have the history to prove you can pay a loan back".

However, its not all bad news as having savings can help you attact a loan. Louise explains, “if you can get into a habit of regularly saving it gives them (the lender) a guarantee that you have steps in place at the beginning”.



Let me know if any of that helps.

Many thanks,

@Dom__ONeill



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Friday, 25 January 2013

Business: A Week in Tweets

This week @MYOBShow has been scouting the net for the weeks top news stories (with a business twist) to keep you in the loop. 

Each week on the blog we give you the best headlines and the opener of each story. If you like what you read click on the headline link and you'll be taken you to the relevant page.


"Just when David Cameron thought he was on a roll (Europe speech, unemployment down, best PMQs for ages) along comes that old enemy - GDP - to spoil the party. 

That the UK economy shrank in the final 3 months of 2012 was not unexpected. That it contracted more than predicted, however, is a problem for Numbers 10 and 11."


US News from www.telegraph.co.uk/news:

Headline:Barack Obama inauguration 
"Barack Obama kicks off his second term with a scaled-back inauguration and an appeal to America to 'seek common ground'."


EU News via
"Some business leaders have warned that David Cameron's EU referendum proposal will hurt investment, but others have backed the prime minister's move.

The head of US-based investor Pimco, Mohamed El-Erian, said it would raise the UK's cost of borrowing in markets." 

MYOB News: 
This week on the MYOB Show we answered the question why your health is your business? Plus we found out why you should take time out to investing in rest. We reviewed a budget airline and asked Jet2: Good Value or Plane Old Cheap? While in our podcast we investigated Staycations (the affordable way to take a holiday)

Listen to the podcast on the embedded player below.
Listen to internet radio with MYOB Show 
on Blog Talk Radio



World News from

"An Australian company claims it has found an untapped shale oil field with estimated reserves that could potentially put the country next to remarkably oil-rich Saudi Arabia. Still, extracting the discovered treasure poses a huge technical challenge."



And Finally:
asks, could Mars support life? Underground lake found in Mars crater
"While NASA's Curiosity Rover has been stealing the headlines, new evidence from another of the space agency's Mars missions has revealed what appears to be a wet underground environment on the planet." 


Now you‘re up to date. Remember you can keep yourself in the loop all week long - Find breaking news via our Twitter feed @MYOBShow.


Take care,

Dom O’Neill


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Thursday, 24 January 2013

Travel: Why fly Jet2: The Review



Whether you are taking a business trip or investing in rest, what most of us are looking for above all else is good value for money. Budget airline are often cheap but not all are good value. Today I am reviewing Jet2 and ask is Jet2 good value or plane old cheap? 



A Jet2 aircraft getting ready to travel
from Majorca to Newcastle
 



Where do they fly and how much will it cost?

Where?

Jet2 fly to many holiday destinations from the UK including Majorca, Gran Canaria, Nice and Cyprus to name a few.

If you are traveling for work, Jet2 also fly to a number business  destinations including Edinburgh, Rome, Paris and Barcelona.

To get a full list of destinations check out Jet2 Destination Map.
 

Ticket Price

 Ticket prices start at £18 if you travel from either Leeds Bradford or Belfast to selected destinations. From many other airports  tickets starts from £20-£40. However as with all budget airlines tickets prices rise the closer it is to the date of departure. Which means it pays to be prepared and book early.

Seat Reservation:

Added to your ticket price you may want to pay for a seat reservation (at around £5 per seat per journey). This will add an extra cost to any journey - which will be magnified if you are buying multiple tickets. On the flip side however pre-booking takes away the stress of seat selection. You don't have to rush down to the airport early to bag the best seats. If you're paying for seat reservation I would recommend paying a tad more for an extra leg room seat. In my opinion this extra leg room will pay for itself in comfort and relaxation especially if your tall like me!


In Flight:

There is no such thing as a freebie on a Jet2 flight. All extras need to be paid for! However, Jet2's prices are comparable with its rivals. Plus, if you travel at the end of a season you can end up quids in (as I found on my last trip). Jet2 like many retailers have end of season sales, which means at the right times of the year good deals can be had while in the air.


Booking Fee:

Like most budget airlines these days Jet2 charge you a  
booking fee: (quotes from Jet2 & fees correct at date of blogging)
"A booking fee of 3% will be applied to all payment methods except for Solo and Visa Electron cards which are free".

 "For payments by Debit card (except for Solo and Visa Electron) the minimum charge will be £2.49".

"In addition to the above Booking Fee, credit cards will incur an additional fee of 1.75% with a minimum charge of £4.99."

"In addition to the above booking fee, payments using PayPal will incur an additional fee of 1% with a minimum charge of £3.49."


How can I save more?

Booking fees are very unpopular with travelers because they can up the cost of a trip quite considerably. If you fly a lot it my be worth applying for a solo or a visa Electron card - as neither of these type of cards are charged a booking fee.

If you are on a short business trip or city break you will probably only need hand luggage which. Traveling hand luggage only means you can take advantage of online check in and wave your hold luggage fee. Jet 2 offer a comparable hand luggage size compared with their rivals. You can bring 1 bag of no larger then  56cm x 45cm x 25cm in size on any Jet2 flight. Which isn't bad compared to Jet2's rivals Ryanair (who allow 1x 10kg bag of 55cm x 40cm x 20cm) and Flybe (1x bag of up to 50cm x 35cm x 23cm in size).

For those who need more luggage it pays to be prepared. You can book hold luggage from £7.99. A hold luggage bag can weigh up to 22kg. Booking bags into the hold online and in advance will save you quite a bit of money compared to booking it in at the airport on the day of departure.





To review Jet2 I needed to take some test flights. The flights I took were in mid October on a return flight between Newcastle Upon Tyne (UK) and Majorca (Spain).

 
Was it a stressful experience?

Printing off my own boarding pass and opting to travel hand luggage only saved me time, money and stress.  Online booking speeded up my check in time and allowed me to arrive at the airport around 50 minutes before the flight rather than the usual 90 minutes to 2 hours prior. I hate airports so anything which enables me to spend less time in a airport and save me money at the same time is a massive benefit.


To sum up...

The crew were friendly and didn't oversell to me. Of course they were selling everything under the sun, but unlike some budget and holiday airlines the crew were less in my face about it.

Apart from the fact that the plane very cold, I really didn't have anything to complain about. The plane took off on time and landed early. The seats were comfortable and even in the "non-extra leg room" seats spacious. I noticed the seats on Jet2 planes were thinner than usual. Thinner seats would hint at less padding, however the seats were comfortable even on a 4 hour flight.

Jet2 offered a pleasant flight at a good price. Which is good value for money in my book!


Happy travels,

Dom O'Neill

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Stumbled Upon


Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Travel: What is a Staycation?


As I covered in the blog Invest In Rest, time off and relaxation are a vital part of living the dream and being your own boss. 

Got no money or time for a holiday? 

How about a staycation?

What is a staycation you may well ask? A staycation is a holiday close to home (in the same country as you are in). It uses the "stay" as in staying close to home and "cation" as in vacation. 
 

Listen to the show via the embedded player below. 



Staycations give you the relaxation of a holiday but cost less, are easier to organize and travel time is often relatively short.

Want some more ideas?...

Idea 1: You could spend a long 
weekend seeing some famous sights.
Photo of Trafalgar Square in London
Idea 2: Take the day off and visit a 
historical or cultural sight close by.
Photo of Ronda in Spain
Idea 3: Take some time out at the beach.
Photo of Frazer Island, Australia
Idea 4: Take a mid week city break.
Photo of Sydney Australia

As I said in an earlier blog when you're living the dream and you are the boss Your Health is Your Business. You need to work and play hard to get the best balance.

Staycationing is all about relaxing on a budget. So a prime staycation location would be a place close to home but far enough away so you can relax and forget about work for a while.
For ideas of keeping costs down while traveling read the blogs Making The Train Cheaper and Cottage Over a Hostel Cop Out or Quids in?

Once you start exploring you may well be shocked at what great places are just round the corner. There may even be a gem in the very city which you live in. 

Anything which takes you out of work mode and gives you time to relax and refresh is a perfect staycation location.


Give yourself a break once in a while. Your wallet and soul will thank you in the long run!


Remember you can listen to the MYOB show via the player below.




Happy traveling! 

Dom O'Neill 


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Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Travel: Invest In Rest!

Your body, soul and bank account will feel the benefit in the long run.

Take it easy

I have been a freelancer for many years and I know first hand that being your own boss is much tougher than being someones employee. 

Here are the facts...

Small business owners as a group work an average of 15.3 million extra days each year compared to "staffers". 

An employees average week is around 40 hours,
while a small business owners average week is closer to 50 hours a week. I’ve had weeks where I’ve done much more, how about you?
So with all the extra hard work you put in, when was the last time you went away on holiday? 

Did you know? 75% of small business owners took less than 28 days of holiday last year. Tot up how many you took, is the number above 28 days?

In an interview reported by bdaily.co.uk last year: Yorkshire Bank East Region director, Richard Norrington, says: “small business owners (should) recognise the importance of investing time in mental, physical and social well-being, which can be as valuable as cash is to your business”.
 

I know what you may be thinking "I don't have the time" and "where's the cash for that coming from?!"

Those are the question I used to ask. Holidays can be cheaper than you think read the blog Cottage over a hostel, a cop out or quid’s in? I never invested in rest in the past but then my body gave up and my back to give in. 

I was out of action for weeks and as a freelancer I did not receive sick pay for my time off. The injury (and lack of work as a result) ended up costing me a small fortune in both cash, energy and moral. I know from personal experience how much it pays to invest in rest.


These days I always try to get away once every 6 months... minimum! Why not try a short stay-cation somewhere close by. For ides read the blog Travel: Islay an Unexpected Gem.


Invest in rest – your body, soul and bank account will feel the benefit in the long run!

 

If you get the chance, why not take some time out for an adventure...


 

Or take a long weekend off and enjoy a city break...



 

Or why not take a week in the sun to relax? You deserve it.


Can't afford a big holiday? Why not try a staycation? Listen to the MYOB Show Staycation blog via the embedded player below.



 Listen to internet radio with MYOB Show 
on Blog Talk Radio


Happy traveling,

@Dom__ONeill

 
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