How much are you missing out?

FOMO, or Fear Of Missing Out, is an interesting concept. It’s where we get worried that someone else is having a rewarding experience that doesn’t include us. If you run your own business, this could be translated as a regular customer using a competitor. You might be fearful of that happening, but if you aren’t…

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SBS button

The problem with Small Business Saturday

I have a major problem with Small Business Saturday. Actually, three problems. The first is the origins of the event in the first place. Small Business Saturday was started in the US in 2010 and sponsored by credit card company American Express (Amex). Amex bought advertising on Facebook, which it gave to its existing merchant…

veteran owned logo

We’ve teamed up with Veteran Owned to support ex-military business owners

As you know,  is the world’s first time-based marketing platform, and we’ve partnered with Veteran Owned UK to offer our premium service for free to ex-servicemen and women across the country. Ex-military personnel with their own small business who are members of the Veteran Owned directory will now receive a free six-month subscription to our premium…

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time

The times they are a-changin’

Watch this video: We’ll come back to it shortly. Times change, we all know that. But no matter what it is that changes, we adapt and we carry on (eventually). The internet isn’t going to take away everyone’s jobs and it won’t actually be the death of the high street. New jobs will still be…

sleepwalker

We’re sleepwalking towards an empty high street

See that headline? It’s true. We’re sleepwalking towards an empty high street. Let’s face it, we’re shopping more online or in edge-of-town superstores and retail parks. So why do we need a high street? Most of the United Kingdom’s GDP comes from single person businesses. They are the lifeblood of our economy. If GDP is…

cookie

Would you like a cookie with that?

Cookies, data harvesting, even people-tracking is increasing on the apps we use every day. Researchers from the University of Oxford found that 83% of all free apps on the Google Play Store share your data with Google. Forty-three per cent of those apps then shared data with Facebook, plus other firms such as Twitter, Microsoft…

older

Helping small business: is it time to look to the older generation?

JP Morgan Chase recently launched Advancing Cities, a $500 million initiative to create economic opportunities in cities around the world. This funding is focused on providing small businesses with the critical resources needed to grow, with the plan that it will result in the revitalisation of local communities. JP Morgan Chase has identified (following similar projects in…

stand out

How does a small business stand out from the crowd?

When you advertise on a social media platform, you’re relying on others to do something for you. If you don’t want your post/image/ad to be static, you need people to share it. The problem is – depending on how many people your customers follow, their news feeds are going to be moving pretty fast. So you have to…

dice

Are you gambling with your business?

You frequently gamble with your business. You will pay out huge sums of money in the hope that you will see a return on your investment. Who’s guaranteeing that you will see a return on what you are spending? Nobody. You would have a better chance of betting on the outcome of the Grand National.…

winter is coming

Winter is coming

Make no mistake, winter *is* coming. Just take a look at social media and you’ll see plenty of people complaining about the tumbling temperatures. Grumbling won’t make a difference though – it’s happening. So let’s be bold and face another brutal reality. How much money have you lost this year? Any small business that relies…

frustrated

How do you make an appointment fit into your hectic life?

We’ve all been there. Where do I need to be? What time to I need to be there? Where do I need to be afterwards and by what time? Who’s having the kids? Who’s having the dog? These thoughts have to be considered before we start trying to book an appointment. It doesn’t matter if…

aristotle

You’re a time-waster

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” – Aristotle What an inspiring quote. It’s not quite so inspiring when you realise that what you repeatedly do is waste time. You’re a habitual time-waster. It’d be bad enough if you were wasting other people’s time, but you’re not,…

insanity

The definition of insanity

Einstein said: “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” Most people are guilty of that. For example: You want to book a restaurant, beautician, cleaner or even a driving instructor. You search online for someone (and there may be a big list of them), and…

time-4-change

Who gives a XXXX about small business?

I’ve thought long and hard about this particular topic. Ever since we started the me:now project, the small business has been at the forefront of what we do and why we do it. And it’s become obvious to me that the main reason there aren’t many B2B resources available to small business owners, is because…

media

Choosing the right social media for your business

Advertising when you’re a small business is hit and miss at best. Especially on social media. We’ve written previously about how all businesses need to take an active part in marketing themselves. It’s time to change The days of putting out a static advert and hoping people will flock to you are gone. What is…

small business

Oh! You’re on your own?

Do we assume that a small business is more likely to rip us off or be less reputable because they are just one person? Would we rather use a bigger company than a small business because of their reputation and the customer support they offer? The perception is that a bigger company has the people…

England

Is doing the right thing a new thing?

England made the semi-finals of the World Cup, and that’s a huge achievement. It’s not just our team performance that has stood out, but individual progress too. Just look at England manager Gareth Southgate and his methods. He’s come a long way since his penalty miss in 1996. It’s the small things that stand out.…

victim

Are you a victim of your own success?

Being successful as a small business is fantastic. You’re making money, filling your appointments, covering all your bills… life is good. So where is the negative? In business, the negative side to being successful is there, but only a small part is to do with success.  If customers can’t get an appointment with you because…

pencil me in

Who benefits?

Just who benefits when a small business is successful? The easy answer is ‘everyone’, but the devil is in the detail. So here are some numbers… There are 5.4 million private micro-businesses in the United Kingdom*. A micro-business is classified as any business that has fewer than 10 employees. You might be a little surprised…

social

Be active in marketing yourself

While we were building the me:now playtform, I listened to a lot of marketing people. Some offered pretty generic advice, talking about LinkedIn and Instagram, while others went into greater details discussing the minutiae of SEO, PPC & AdWords. The platforms are important: if your customer base doesn’t reside on your social media service of…

what

What have you done for me lately?

I wonder how many people read the title but hear it in their heads as if Janet Jackson was singing it? It’s a very selfish and expectant line, but also reflective. It questions whether a relationship can be considered an equal partnership. There is also a suggestion that someone has given more than the other.…

hand

Should big businesses support small businesses?

It’s an interesting question. Why should a bigger, potentially more successful company, support a small business? Do they have anything to gain by providing any help and what form should that help take? Without getting too detailed, let’s look at some of the numbers surrounding the small business community in the UK. *ONS 2017 UK…

binocular

How do we find stuff anymore? Adverts?

It’s rare for me to write a blog post on the back of a previous one, but I can’t shake the feeling that I should have approached it from a different point of view. The more I think about it, the more I see how we (customers) are being sold stuff, or rather, how we’re…

skipad

How do you advertise when everyone skips the ads?

Skipping the ads is the norm online, but it presents even the youngest of viewers with an unusual problem: what products are out there? I’ll give you an example. My son is 11 years old this week and I asked him what he would like for his birthday? His response was “I don’t know”. So I asked…

empty

I’m free to work – but nobody knows!

We previously talked about the double-sided nature of “free” stuff for customers. Very often, when confronted with something free, a customer’s next thought will be “what’s the catch?” Business owners are no different. We all love getting something for free, but it’s hard to shake the feeling that we’re being conned somehow. There’s another kind…

fair

But it’s not fair!

How many parents hear “it’s not fair” on a daily basis? Whether the kids aren’t able to do what they want or just not being able to get their own way, it’s a mantra familiar to most households. Did you know that Amazon in the UK has 29 different children’s books with the title It’s…

bulldog

I’m free to do what I want, but I can’t be bothered

Everyone likes something for free. At least, we do when it’s truly free. But how often is there a catch? If the ‘free’ thing requires some effort on your part, do you not bother because it’s not worth the effort? What’s more, if the thing is being given away for free, what does that say…

selfish

Be selfish. Work to your schedule, not someone else’s

Selfish? Who writes a blog about being selfish?! Being selfish isn’t usually seen in a positive light, but we think if you look at it from a different angle, being selfish can be a good thing. I know… it’s a tough sell, but stick with us, we’re going somewhere with this. is free to all businesses…

escharian_stairs_fb

Life doesn’t have to be so complicated

After writing 17 blog posts about the same problem, it feels a little strange to be finally writing about the solution. To save you looking back to see if there was an underlying pattern I’ll help you out. Life is hectic, stressful and at times damned complicated. We’re constantly running around to fit other people’s…

pegs

Being at home is more than just being at home

Whether you’re housewife, stay-at-home dad or you work from home, it’s never just being at home. During the day the home is a hive of activity and often it’s no more than a base we return to, to drop stuff off before heading out again. Take an average day in our house… Empty dishwasher –…

Change

Change – without it progress is impossible

Change is a funny thing. Some hate it, some embrace it and some people try to ignore it. But change is inevitable. We’re constantly changing, whether that be as we age or as we grow as individuals. So, what is it about change that causes people to react so differently? Change has an air of…

sprouts

How much do you put up with at Christmas?

It’s quite a strange question, but how much do we put up with just because it’s Christmas? We put up with having hoards of people over for dinner, we put up with food we don’t like and maybe (just maybe) we tolerate people that we possibly wouldn’t so easily do at other times of the…

Santas Naughty List

Life is full of lists. Christmas edition

Even as I create this blog post there’s a list of ‘features’ down one side of my screen. Our lives have become one big endless list. There’s the bucket lists, shopping lists, to-do lists, the check list and – as we have previously discussed – waiting lists.

Cheese

Dream cheese and business misunderstandings

‘Sweet dreams are made of cheese’ – not sung by Annie Lennox It’s one of the world’s greatest misheard lyrics and possibly the only one mentioning cheese, but then there are other misheard gems such as: ‘We built this city on sausage rolls’ – Starship ‘It doesn’t make a difference if we’re naked or not’…

Time is money

Time: how much does yours cost?

It’s interesting just how much value an advertiser puts on your time. Or rather, how much monetary value is put on it. How much value would you put on your time? If you’re paid hourly, then I guess you’d apply your hourly rate to your personal time. So, say you earn £10 an hour, then…

maureen-4_3474774b

Automatic booking – but it’s good to talk

Maybe the headline above should read – are we becoming less social? It might seem a strange question to ask given the amount that is being shared on a daily basis across Facebook and Twitter, but sharing thoughts and experiences online is easy. Let’s face it, with the advent of the emoji you don’t even…

Traffic Jam

The Problem With Traffic

The problem with traffic is that it effects us all.     In the UK, the average motorist will spend on average 32 hours a year stuck in traffic. In the US that increases to 42 hours a year, and it’s getting worse. The impact this has on small businesses is immense.

Blind to responsibilities

Shirking our responsibilities

So here’s a thought… with the growth of the service app, are we shirking our responsibilities? Which responsibilities? Well, usually if we want someone to come into our homes to fix the cooker or repair the heating we would do due diligence with regards to how competent they are. We might ask friends for a…

small business

Let’s hear it for the little guy/small business

In the Western world (rather than the Westeros world), the bulk of an individual country’s GDP (Gross Domestic Product) comes from small business. They are businesses that provide some form of service to other companies or individuals, such as accountancy, computer support, hairdressing or even dog walking. The fact that the service sector is so…

4038221-7476578304-35885

Rip-off Britain… but who’s being ripped off?

I don’t like being ripped off, taken for a ride or simply overcharged. No one does, do they? Yet increasing numbers of us are being ripped off, and worse still, we’re blind to it. You see, for years there have been services (now apps) that offer to find you the right business depending on what…

customer-group

What are you really looking for?

So, you want to find a local business? It might be a hairdresser, a plumber or even a dog groomer. The problem is always the same no matter what you’re looking for or where you look. When are they available?

Thanks for showing up

To show up or not show up – That is the question

Recently I have found that more and more businesses are sending text reminders for appointments to make sure customers show up. My doctor, my dentist and even my chiropractor all either call or text me to remind me that I have an appointment with them. The doctor sends a text straight after the appointment is…

skull-517594_1280

Waiting lists – how long is waiting too long?

Waiting lists – how long is too long? Have you ever tried to book an appointment somewhere only to be told: “We don’t have any free bookings right now, but would you like to go on our waiting list?”

small & micro business stats

Growth of the micro business

Micro business are very special and they have one major thing in common with small businesses… There are so many of them.  

so many adverts

Trust and Advertising. Do you trust online adverts?

Wherever we go online there are adverts of all shapes and sizes. They are on Amazon, Facebook and even on some of the more high profile brand sites. Given that a lot of such advertising is linked to your searches, do you trust what they are advertising? Are you nervous when you see adverts in…

all-icons

Online Advertising – does it work?

Interesting article in the Harvard Business Review regarding online advertising. https://hbr.org/2017/03/do-search-ads-really-work The article briefly summarises a working paper by Michael Luca of Harvard Business School on the subject of Reviews, Reputation and Revenue: The Case of Yelp.com.

frustrated

How do you make an appointment fit into your hectic life?

We’ve all been there. Where do I need to be? What time to I need to be there? Where do I need to be afterwards and by what time? Who’s having the kids? Who’s having the dog? These thoughts have to be considered before we start trying to book an appointment. It doesn’t matter if…

aristotle

You’re a time-waster

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” – Aristotle What an inspiring quote. It’s not quite so inspiring when you realise that what you repeatedly do is waste time. You’re a habitual time-waster. It’d be bad enough if you were wasting other people’s time, but you’re not,…

insanity

The definition of insanity

Einstein said: “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” Most people are guilty of that. For example: You want to book a restaurant, beautician, cleaner or even a driving instructor. You search online for someone (and there may be a big list of them), and…

time-4-change

Who gives a XXXX about small business?

I’ve thought long and hard about this particular topic. Ever since we started the me:now project, the small business has been at the forefront of what we do and why we do it. And it’s become obvious to me that the main reason there aren’t many B2B resources available to small business owners, is because…

media

Choosing the right social media for your business

Advertising when you’re a small business is hit and miss at best. Especially on social media. We’ve written previously about how all businesses need to take an active part in marketing themselves. It’s time to change The days of putting out a static advert and hoping people will flock to you are gone. What is…

small business

Oh! You’re on your own?

Do we assume that a small business is more likely to rip us off or be less reputable because they are just one person? Would we rather use a bigger company than a small business because of their reputation and the customer support they offer? The perception is that a bigger company has the people…

England

Is doing the right thing a new thing?

England made the semi-finals of the World Cup, and that’s a huge achievement. It’s not just our team performance that has stood out, but individual progress too. Just look at England manager Gareth Southgate and his methods. He’s come a long way since his penalty miss in 1996. It’s the small things that stand out.…

victim

Are you a victim of your own success?

Being successful as a small business is fantastic. You’re making money, filling your appointments, covering all your bills… life is good. So where is the negative? In business, the negative side to being successful is there, but only a small part is to do with success.  If customers can’t get an appointment with you because…

pencil me in

Who benefits?

Just who benefits when a small business is successful? The easy answer is ‘everyone’, but the devil is in the detail. So here are some numbers… There are 5.4 million private micro-businesses in the United Kingdom*. A micro-business is classified as any business that has fewer than 10 employees. You might be a little surprised…

social

Be active in marketing yourself

While we were building the me:now playtform, I listened to a lot of marketing people. Some offered pretty generic advice, talking about LinkedIn and Instagram, while others went into greater details discussing the minutiae of SEO, PPC & AdWords. The platforms are important: if your customer base doesn’t reside on your social media service of…