Sunday, 13 October 2019

Your Finances and The Power of Multiplication

Personal Finance
Photo by Josh Appel on Unsplash

Personal Finance - Budgeting

Many of us have difficulting in managing our finances.

Budgeting, of course, is essential, knowing where our money goes each month and allowing for future expenses is key to avoiding financial problems.

There is one problem that confronts most of us and that it is the subtle power of persuasion either by self or a talented salesperson.

What is the problem?

The problem is minimising the real cost. It's been done in sales for years. For example, if you were considering purchasing an expensive camera, the salesperson will often reduce the seeming cost from the total value to a monthly or daily charge. £2000 over 24 months can be reduced to £83.33 or £2.74 a day. In our minds, £2.74 a day, less than the cost of a coffee is a bargain, even if we don't buy a coffee day! If we did buy a coffee a day, we would at least have the option of cancelling that treat in return for the camera.

Small value items can also create a problem for us. Spending £5 on a magazine or £1 on a chocolate bar might not appear to be much. What happens though, when we add up all those small spends? 12 monthly magazines will become £60, 5 chocolate bars a week will be £260 for the year. This is the power of multiplication. When we are trying to save money, take a look at the real cost, not just the one-time purchase. How many times a week, month and years do you make those purchases?

Be Realistic & Honest

If we are to really manage our money well, we need to be realistic with what we actually need to buy and honest to admit what we don't really need and if necessary can do without. Better still, when we view savings in the light of the power of multiplication, we can turn those £1 a day savings into many hundreds of pounds at the end of a year.

Thank you for reading this post. Please do leave a comment in the section below.

Tuesday, 8 October 2019

How Podcasting Can Promote Your Business

podcasting is easy to do for business
With today's technology we are now able to listen to podcasts whilst on the go when in the car, train, bus or out walking or jogging. Although we often hear about the power of video it's not always possible or safe to be able to watch a video but we can listen to audio. That's probably why radio has never been killed off by TV.

Not everyone can have a radio station but with the Internet, it's now possible for anyone to podcast and build an audience of avid listeners if you give them content that interests them. It need not cost you one cent to start and podcast. For example, Anchor.FM is a simple and convenient way to record your podcast with your phone or computer. Anchor FM will distribute your content to Spotify, Apple, Google and many more platforms without you having to a thing. Check it out and see how easy it is to record, add jingles and even receive recorded replies from listeners.

As mentioned above you won't need any expensive equipment, it is possible just to use your smartphone but you might wish to upgrade as you get more proficient. Remember though, it's the content that is the most important rather than having a radio quality sound. On the other hand, the quality of the sound should not be off-putting.

I could spend much more time talking about the technical side of podcasting but that is not the purpose of this post. Rather, I would like to explain the benefits of podcasting for a business, charity, sports club or any organisation that needs to to get their message out and connect with people. As an example, you can listen to the podcast that I do for Warminster Town Football Club

Why Podcast? 

A podcast enables you to regularly update your audience. A business can share tips and advice for which their products or services can be used. A law firm can talk about advice around legal matters and invite questions from listeners to be covered in episodes. A garden centre can explain how to look after plants and discuss what is in season now and therefore have an opportunity to invite people to visit or shop online. 

If you are a sports club you can talk about your club and include interviews with players, officials, fans and more to help bond supporters with the club. This is something I have found to be very beneficial for Warminster Town Football Club.

The opportunities are endless and if you need more ideas please use the box on the right to ask me or use the contact link on my About Me page!

Your podcast can lead to new business as people will begin to trust you. People buy from the people they know, like and trust and podcasts can help you build this relationship. It's worth noting that podcasts get found on Internet searches which is a bonus. Adding your podcast to your website and embedding into a page is easy with Anchor.FM. It can be set to show the latest episode or add each individual episode into a page or blog post.

As a tip, if you wish to combine podcasting with video in one go it's possible to make a video of you speaking and extract the audio for a podcast saving you time. Of course, this only works if visuals are not required.

Keep Going

When you start to podcast be prepared to speak to no one other than your friends or through social media shares. It takes time to build an audience and you will need to produce regular content for it to work and people to subscribe. At the end of your podcast and maybe at the beginning ask your listeners to subscribe so they will be notified when a new episode is uploaded. It's also a good idea to number each episode, Anchor.FM has a section that allows you to set the series and episode number plus you can add it to the title or description. This helps with searches and also lets listeners know that you have more content they might have missed.

Promote your podcast on Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin and wherever your potential audience might be found. Let everyone know when you publish a new episode and as you build a library of episodes you can promote older ones that are relevant at the time.

Above all, enjoy yourself! Let me know how you get on.

Saturday, 5 October 2019

Good Customer Service

Most of you, no doubt, are like me in that you expect businesses to give you a realistic level of customer service. It takes very little in time or cost for a business to do this and if done right will increase the levels of business and profits. It should make good business sense.

The bare minimum that I expect, as far as customer service goes, is as follows.
  • To be greeted pleasantly and politely. 
  • To be thanked when leaving in a pleasant way. 
  • To be treated in a respectful and friendly way during the transaction.  
  • To be given honest information in answer to questions, and for staff to have a good knowledge to answer those questions, or if more difficult to be able to find the answer.  
  • Promises, such as phone calls to be returned are kept, and goods delivered on time. To be kept informed if there are any problems that might impact on those promises or expectations.  
The above are very basic principles. It surely is within the capabilities of anyone running a business to provide this level of service.

When I go into a store, visit a restaurant or stay in a hotel, I watch how the staff not only interact with me but also with other customers. I find it fascinating to watch how businesses are run and which ones get it right and those that don’t.

What about you? Have you any examples of good or really bad customer service that you have experienced? Please leave a comment below. I would like to hear from you.

Tuesday, 1 October 2019

Listen to the Rhythm of the Pouring Rain

Many of our memories are connected to sounds. These sounds can evoke in us very different feelings stretching from sadness to joy and from peace to anger. What one sound can mean to you can be greatly different in someone else.

I love to hear the sound of rain. It takes me back to my childhood when we used to take family holidays staying in caravans on the east coast of England. With British weather being what it is, we would often have rain which could confine us at times to staying inside the caravan listening to the patter of rain on the roof. The memories this evokes though are of the happy times playing family games and chatting with each other. There were no mobile phones and Internet in those days to make us so insular!

Another sound is that of the birds singing, particularly in the spring as life wakens up after winter. There are some birds who’s raucous call, such as gulls can at certain times be annoying, especially at 5am!

Music of course, brings back memories and creates feelings of different moods. It has been used for millennia to inspire people into battle or raise their spiritual feelings. The TV and movie industry use music constantly to create the mood of what is on the screen. We all have our favourite pieces of music and songs and some that we just hate!

It is said that, “you can never judge a book by its cover” and you can never tell what type of music people like or loathe unless you get to know them. The most unlikely person based on appearances I have met, told me how he loved Baroque music but when looking at him with his dreadlocks you might have guessed reggae or rap!

I am sure that we all have hundreds of sounds locked into our minds that will bring back memories with many more still to be developed. Research into dementia is showing the value of music to help sufferers have a better quality of life and bring back happy feelings showing just how deep inside us sounds are stored.

I would love to hear your thoughts, so please do leave a comment below.