How To Start A Very Small Business

Business ToolsAlthough I have returned to full time work I am still keeping my own business going in my spare time. I was surprised at how easy it is to start a business and so I have held off writing this post for quite a long time to make sure that I haven’t missed anything important…

Please bear in mind that I am certainly not an expert. I just thought you may be interested in what I have found so far in my adventures into self employment…

If you want more details there are loads of websites full of great information out there but I found the best place to start was the Business Link site. This is an official government run website with loads of useful hints and tips on where to start. This site can be a bit daunting as there is such a plethora of info but I regularly find reasons to return here for tidbits to help me clarify certain things.

Anyway the reason for this post is to explain the basics required to get started as a very small business. There is no real reason this should require loads of money, in fact you can get set up as a Sole Trader without any outlay at all.

This is great news if you are just creating a small sideline business. For example buying stuff to sell on eBay, rather than just selling you own used goods…
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I’ve Lost 2 Stone In 2 Months!

As I mentioned in I’m Back, Bigger But Hopefully Better I have been on the Diet Chef diet for about 2 months now. As you have probably guessed by now, looking at the title of this post, I have lost over 2 stone in that time. In fact it’s just over 30 pounds!

Now this is probably a bit quicker than recommended. It’s very exciting though. Lots of people have noticed the change which is a definite sign that things are going in the right direction. I’m under 18 stone now for the first time in quite a while. If I carry on like this it can’t be long until I reach the 17½ stone target I set myself back in my Goals For 2011

As I still have about 6 weeks left on the Diet Chef diet I might have to start setting a new, lower target!
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How To Write A Blog Post

Writing ToolsSome of my blog posts have taken a long time to materialise. If I am to continue writing for this site then I need to get a better grip on the amount of time I spend creating the content. The problem is all to do with my current process!

If I don’t set myself a regular deadline then I don’t get around to writing. There is always something more important… Even with a deadline I have a tendency to leave writing the post until the last minute. The basic idea would already be in my head and then I just sit down and start writing…

Quite often I find things tend to veer away from the initial idea as it was too vague. This can be interesting as my subconcious starts coming out to play and the ideas for future topics can soon multiply, but this is far from ideal. The post tends to grow very rapidly and then requires heavy editing to try and focus the point a bit. This can lead to a lot more time than there should be going into each post…

Posts on a specific, targeted topic, tend to be more interesting anyway. To help with this in future I need to create a more focused approach to writing posts. Putting your head down a letting the words wander off wherever they want should definitely be a part of the process but there should also be some structure.

Hopefully this might be useful to other budding bloggers but also will become a reference for myself when creating future posts.
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Useful Productivity Hacks From GTD

GTD Tickler FileI’ve tried lots of different techniques and tools over the last couple of years and some of them help but some just don’t work for me. Sometimes you can just tell straight away but it’s not always that obvious. Every now and then evaluate your processes and identify areas that may be unnecessary or that aren’t beneficial enough to warrant the time involved.

The most important thing when trying to improve your productivity is ‘Learn What Works For You’.

I found a lot of useful tidbits in David Allen’s Getting Things Done book, or GTD for short.

I wrote a very brief GTD review back when I first read the book. Some parts stuck and some didn’t. Over time though I have tailored a few things to better suit my way of working…

Here are a couple of the things that have stuck with me and some of my own experiences of them.
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Facebook Timeline Image Dimensions

Facebook timelineRecently Facebook introduced their new timeline feature. This shows items in date order, against a central ‘time’ line running down the middle of the web page. You can now add milestones into the timeline which can be useful to populate a bit of historical info…

The layout has also changed requiring a cover image that goes at the top of the page along with a larger profile image, which is used as the thumbnail against any comments you make, and lastly the apps you make available are also shown just under the cover image, using new sized images.

As the timeline feature is optional some of my Facebook friends have already started using it, but some haven’t. I resisted the urge to change as I didn’t see anything wrong with the current system…

Then Facebook decided to force all Pages—like my peteoshea page, not your personal profile—to use timeline. I thought it might be useful to record some of the important sizes for anyone else about to move to timeline.
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Woo Hoo, It’s A Long Weekend!

Black RabbitI’ve been back to work for about a month and these bank holidays are my first time off.

Happy Easter everyone!

I am not feeling great at the moment. I have had a cold for the last 3 days and I still haven’t managed to shake it completely yet.

It’s the worst cold I’ve had in a long time. Being back in the closed environment of the office every day has some downsides…

I’m sure I will still manage an easter egg or two though. It would be rude not to…

Anyway I’m starting to feel a bit better, at long last, so there should be a proper post again next week. In the mean time try not to eat too much chocolate & hot cross buns…

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Image: Pete O’Shea

Returning To Work?

Rusted Farm MachineryA while ago now I mentioned here on this blog that I was quitting my 9–5 job. Even before leaving the job I started questioning the decision

Having been working for myself for 18 months I still haven’t achieved anywhere near as much as I had hoped. Now don’t get me wrong I have done a few things in that time that I am very pleased with. The problem is that I just haven’t found nearly as much time as I had wanted to, to spend on the personal projects I had envisaged.

Over that time I have had some good months and some not so good months…

Then I was offered some extra work for my old company but this came with some extra restrictions. This got me thinking as to whether I would just be better off returning to full time employment. Am I really cut out to be my own boss?

Time to reflect on my original decision and see if my feelings have changed in any way…
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