Monday, 24 December 2012

Merry Christmas

We would like to take this opportunity to wish all our customers and contacts a very Happy Christmas and prosperous New Year.

Our best wishes to you for a successful 2013.

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Bookkeeping software in the cloud or in your office

We have just returned from the annual conference of the Institute of Certified Bookkeepers. Amongst the speakers were a number of bookkeeping software providers speaking about their product and the pro's and con's of cloud based software.

The requirement will be different for each business and who in the business needs to use the accounts software and why. But two questions we would encourage you to consider before making a commitment in reaction to a sales message is:

1. Does your accountant or any accountant easily support the new software and is it compatible to their system?

2. Do you really need a cloud based / online accounts system? Especially if you are outsourcing your bookkeeping, as the information each day will only be as up to date as the last visit by your bookkeeper

Friday, 14 December 2012

For all businesses with First Aiders

Late in 2010, the HSE announced that it strongly recommended that all first aiders should refresh their knowledge on an annual basis.

Our experience is that very few businesses are aware of this notice, as there was no formal notification to all businesses. Were you aware?

The recommendation is to avoid the natural knowledge fade, as the certification is still valid for 3 years, and therefore keep the basic skills up to date. There was talk of making this compulsory, but much lobbying resulted in this just being a strong recommendations. However many consider a 'strong recommendation' by the HSE to be as good as a compulsory requirement!

So we have developed 3 products to help your first aiders refresh their knowledge on a more flexible basis that attending annual training courses, whilst of course saving the cost of covering their position and travel expenses.

A cloud based version of the DVD
An elearning version to provide greater administration and tracking (elearning room)

For more details, then please contact us at A1 First Aid.

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

The intelligence in your data

There is no lack of data which we can use to analyse our business. If your business relies on online traffic, then we would suggest you have an understanding of a web analytics programme that provides data to suit your product or service and helps with the understanding of your underlying business. However, if you are not online or work as much offline, then what is your system for understanding your data?

Data can tell us so much about our customers, suppliers and staff. For example, gaining an insight or profile of your ideal customer, trends, being able to predict your future sales patterns, knowing the point when a prospect changes from a cold to a warm lead, maximising your resources, testing a product launch or knowing the cost of your recruitment efforts, are to name a few. But how do we ensure we are measuring the right things. Owner of A1, Mike Foster, speaks on the topic of 'The top 5 numbers in your business'. This is not saying you can only have 5, but don't have too many focuses and more importantly know what activity truly drives the success of your business.

Friday, 7 December 2012

Google advertising - a step too far?

We recommend the use of Google advertising, pay per click, to our clients if their business suits this medium, but has the latest addition to the Google income stream gone a step too far?

Were you aware that a competitor can now tag a sponsored advert onto your Google places listing? So your potential customers find your listing, thanks to your marketing efforts, but are shown an attached advert beneath it which will usually carry more benefit statements than your place contact listing will allow.

So is there a balance that Google should be considering? Many business owners are voicing their concerns that this is not perhaps the most professional approach, but, of course, it will drive income for Google so we guess it is here to stay. Some will be embarrassed to use it as it is so direct, but we have seen quite a bit of activity in this area over recent weeks with our customers placings.