Author Archive

The Distractions of the House

Working from home is a great thing. You can sit on the sofa responding to important emails while still wearing your pyjamas. You can take a business call from bed or send that backlog of invoices out from the comfort of your dining room while you listen to Jeremy Vine on the radio. Or at least that’s what they tell you.

I’m new to the world of working from home and I have yet to fully get to grips with it. I thought I’d take this opportunity to tell you some of the problems I experience and then ask you how organise yourself when working at home.

Get some sleep: You earned it.

I’ve been up and running in business for seven months now and I’ve enjoy the extra freedom that “being your own boss” allows you. That’s not to say I don’t put the hours in. In my old job I worked almost 50 hours a week and I am pleased to say I no longer do quite so much, but not far off. The difference between then and now is that I want to do this work rather than have to do the work.

I think this is fairly typical of many business owners. We tend to work long hours, certainly more than the standard 37.5 hours that many people work. It’s great that business owners are so committed to their livelihood but I often find that when the topic of hours worked is mentioned, many people declare my working week to be pitiful.

Free Apps to Enhance Your Facebook Page

Facebook Pages are terribly dull places when you first create them. You have a wall, an info tab and a place to stick some photos. You might think of using the discussion area on there but mostly these are pages with only a few posts by the page admins. By and large, Facebook Pages aren’t very interesting until you add some apps and custom tabs. Here I want to run you through some of the free tools you can use to enhance your Facebook Page in an instant.

Add Google Maps

This app is a great contact tab for your Facebook Pages despite suggesting you simply get a Google Map added to your page. Instead of just that, you get to add links to your business’ other social network accounts on Twitter, Tumblr, Blogger, Flickr, YouTube and others. There is also a section to add a Google or Bing map to your page making it even easier for your users to find your business. To find the app, click here.

Pagemodo

I am probably not alone in thinking this but it is pretty hard trying to design a good looking landing tab on Facebook for those of us who were not blessed with a designers eye for detail. Thankfully a bunch of clever people created Pagemodo, the WYSIWYG page creator for Facebook Pages. With no technical knowledge at all you can create a Facebook Tab that shows off your business in a great light – no Microsoft Paint necessary! The best thing about is it you get one tab entirely free. Result!

RSS Grafitti

If you’re using your Facebook Page to get people onto your website, quite possibly via your blog, you could a lot worse than install RSS Grafitti. A lot of RSS tools that you can install onto your Page will give you a plain list of your most recent posts whereas RSS Grafitti allows you to add a great looking tab to your page that pulls all your content into a fantastic looking page. It automatically posts content to your wall and can be setup in a few minutes with you never heaving to fiddle with the settings again.

Static HTML

The guys at Involver certainly know how to make a decent app or two and their Static HTML tab gives you the freedom to create a tab using HTML that we all know and love. When Facebook stopped supporting new FBML tabs there were many who thought setting up a simple page with a few graphics and clickable links would become very difficult to run. Not so. Installing Static HTML makes the whole process real easy and you once again you can play about to create tabs that really make your Page stand out.

Amongst The Cloud

 

CloudsA few years ago my girlfriend bought me a book called The Cloudspotters Guide by Gavin Pretor-Pinney. Mr Pretor-Pinney is passionate about clouds – cumulus, cirrus, cumulonimbus – he loves them all. He encourages the reader to take some time out of their day to just lie back on some soft grass, look up at the clouds and find shapes in them. This kind of lazy afternoon sounds blissful to many and I would certainly fancy a slice of that leisurely pie. My only problem, however, is with the word cloud. It has taken on a whole new meaning for me as of late.

 

Ones to watch:social start ups

Following the successful launch of the photo sharing app Color, which allows you
to see the photos of other Color users that are within 150ft, we thought
we would take a look at other exciting start ups that are soon to be
launch from Silicon Valley and beyond.

Posterwalk

The
latest in location based social software is Posterwalk which turns your
geotags into art. Posterwalk uses your location data and social media
activity to create maps of your life and turn it into a poster. You can
choose the style you want ranging from London Underground Maps for the
city based geek to a world map for the jetset tweeter. Onto these a
range of your tweets, photos and check-ins will be added to show others
how much of a well travelled techy you are. Posterwalk is compatible
with Twitter, Facebook, Flickr and AudioBoo

Find Your Audience

 

Recently our business gave a short seminar that was an introduction to social media for business at Derby Quad. The audience were a mixture of start-ups and soon-to-start-ups ranging from wedding stationary designers to hanging basket distributors but all of them were interested in using social media to grow their business.

 

Our presentation went well and at the end we did a short Q&A to help iron out peoples social media problems. One of the things that surprised me was just how many people thought it was essential to get themselves onto Facebook or Twitter without giving much thought to why exactly they needed to be there.

Staying Focussed – The Challenge of Being Your Own Boss

This post is by Martin Broadhurst

It has been a busy month in the Status office as we continue to establish our business. Since I last blogged on the BBN we have won our first significant contract and we have been making a lot of connections to get our name about. It’s been a great start for us and we’re beginning to see positive results from our efforts.

While getting work in and building up awareness of our business is good, Mark and I have still been mindful to remember to work on ourselves as well as bringing in new business. This past week in particular I have personally been developing my time management skills. While I have been on time management courses in the past when I was employed elsewhere, working for yourself brings new distractions into play.

Fail to prepare, prepare to fail

All about our first week of delivering a service to clients & what we've learnt from it Read the rest of this entry »