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LATEST! 30th November 2013
(scroll down to see full list; previous month's (October 2013) Viewpoint; Latest eBOSS contents

Scroll down for: A Home and Small Business Viewpoint by Len Tondel, from 1st November 2013

By way of explanation. The term 'home business' consists of two words. 'Business' is the second one; it's there to qualify and support the word 'home' and all that goes with it - and not vice versa. Consequently, we also list below, items which are of interest and value to the home. Whether in its context as an office or as a part of your family and lifestyle but always directed at the improved prospects and enjoyment that running a business from home, in its entirety, can bring.

For a current, multi-part overview of starting and running a business from home, go here: http://www.homebusiness.org.uk/features.htm

30.11.2013: UK has highest level of property taxes in the developed world. http://money.aol.co.uk/2013/11/29/uk-has-highest-level-of-property-taxes-in-the-developed-world/ A very rare story for the British media as it would point the finger at why political parties of all shades really want to see so many new houses built all the time - and it hasn't got anything to do with an adequate supply of affordable properties for first-time buyers!

UK household debt hits record high. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-25152556# Trebles all round, chaps! Arf, arf.

Cyber Monday splurge to hit £500 million. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/10482004/Cyber-Monday-splurge-to-hit-500m.html

The Twelve Scams of Christmas. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/internet-security/10483697/12-Scams-of-Christmas-revealed-by-McAfee.html

Why more people should own their own businesses. http://blogs.independent.co.uk/2013/11/29/why-more-people-should-own-their-businesses/

Britain's smallest distillery. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/foodanddrink/10478134/Word-of-mouth-Cambridge-Gin-Britains-smallest-distillery.html

The 7 most powerful sales tools. http://www.bmmagazine.co.uk/marketing/sales/22279/7-powerful-sales-tools/

29.11.2013: Freebie Friday. http://money.aol.co.uk/2013/11/29/freebie-friday-this-weeks-discounts-deals-and-freebies/

Small firms warned about mass malware campaign. http://www.computerweekly.com/news/2240209198/UK-police-warn-of-malware-campaign-targeting-mainly-SMEs The National Crime Agency's (NCA's) National Cyber Crime Unit (NCCU) has issued a warning about a new mass e-mail malware campaign. The e-mails, which are specifically targeted at smaller firms and consumers, appear to be from financial institutions, but carry a malicious attachment that encrypts files on the infected computer and any local network it is attached to. A £500 ransom demand in bitcoins is then made to unlock the files. The NCCU is urging firms not to open any suspicious-looking attachments, regularly back up files to a location off the network and update antivirus software. Anyone whose device is infected by this malware should report it via ActionFraud (http://www.actionfraud.police.uk).

High Streets need radical action says report. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-25147673#

Black Friday: online deals no match for charity shops. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/lifestyle/10480982/Online-deals-are-no-match-for-a-charity-shop-bargain.html

Illegal downloads are acceptable. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/news/10480938/Illegal-downloads-are-acceptable-say-half-of-EU.html

Bank of England scraps Funding for Lending scheme. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/economics/10480502/BoE-scraps-Funding-for-Lending-for-mortgages-to-cool-housing-market.html To 'cool' the housing market? Or because it wasn't having the desired effect, anyway? (As we were saying.) House prices see monthly drop. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-25136249# Then again, who do you believe? http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-25145362#

'SME' a damaging piece of jargon which is stopping many firms from fulfilling their potential. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/comment/david-prosser-smes-is-a-damaging-piece-of-jargon-that-is-stopping-many-firms-from-fulfilling-their-potential-8971154.html An intelligent and knowledgeable article for the mainstream media. A welcome change to read something from someone who knows what he is talking about.

Britain's burglary hotspots. http://money.aol.co.uk/2013/11/28/britains-burglary-hotspots-suffer-in-the-worst-month-of-the-yea/

28.11.2013: Consumer spending driving the UK economy. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-25118514# Including spending by all those immigrants? The Ponzi scheme breathes another day.

Yellow Pages firm in administration. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-25129629#

Cost of finance too high for SMEs. http://www.bmmagazine.co.uk/news/22263/cost-finance-high-smes/

UK a nation of compulsive clickers. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/internet-security/10478327/UK-is-a-nation-of-compulsive-clickers-who-leave-PCs-vulnerable-to-attack.html

Spanish homes earmarked for demolition offered to Brits. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/personalfinance/expat-money/10478342/Spanish-government-accused-of-pushing-illegal-homes-to-Britons.html

How hard is it running a pub? http://www.telegraph.co.uk/men/thinking-man/10473565/Running-a-pub-how-hard-can-it-be.html

UK state pensions are lowest in Europe. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2514232/Britains-pension-shame-State-packages-worst-world-study-shows.html That should discourage all those immigrants on benefits from staying permanently in 'Bongo Bongoland' Britain. And why the totally overlooked subject of pension planning for the self-employed needs to be thought about all the more seriously.

27.11.2013: New regulations set out deadline for dealing with website comments. http://www.out-law.com/en/articles/2013/november/defamation-law-reforms-to-take-effect-from-the-start-of-2014/ New regulations outlining the process to be followed by website publishers who receive complaints about comments posted on their sites will come into force on 1st January 2014. Under the Defamation (Operators of Websites) Regulations, publishers will be required to contact comment authors to inform them of a complaint and give them five days either to consent to the removal of their comment, or provide the publisher with their contact details to be passed to the complainant. If there is no response from the author, or they refuse to allow their details to be passed on, the publisher will have 48 hours to remove the comments from the site. The regulations also give complainants the right to insist that their identity remains concealed from the author of the comment. (EnterpriseQuest)

Nine million in serious debt across UK. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-25108891# That will be the economic revival the country is enjoying plus all those illegal immigrants about to come over.

Ofgem attacks energy company profits and performance. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-25101062# The whole country has already been doing that for years. So who are Ofgem? A chimney on a dog's arse.

Winter freeze led to extra 31,000 deaths last year as energy prices rose. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/winter-freeze-led-to-31000-extra-deaths-last-year--against-a-backdrop-of-soaring-energy-prices-8965427.html Which would put the energy companies right up there with terrorist regimes like the US. They should have laws against it.

Otherwise, a good test of home business profitability as '5 million' fledgling entrepreneurs cuddle up to their dummyphones and try fummin' with just a pair of sawn-off gloves and the steam from an electric kettle to keep warm. Day in, day out, for the next three months. Dreaming of the good 'ole days of travelling to and from work in a nice, warm sardine can and working in an office heated at another boss's expense.

Government proposing increased border delays and cost of travel. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/travelnews/10476060/New-border-checks-could-increase-flight-delays-and-prices.html

6 tips for expanding your business. http://www.bmmagazine.co.uk/in-business/22258/6-tips-expanding-business/

5 ways to describe yourself in business. http://www.bmmagazine.co.uk/in-business/advice/21920/five-ways-describe-business/

Does coaching work? http://www.bmmagazine.co.uk/in-business/advice/22238/coaching-work/

26.11.2013: Directors fund small companies with personal finance. http://press.experian.com/United-Kingdom/Press-Release/a%20quarter%20of%20smes%20use%20personal%20finance%20to%20support%20their%20businessss.aspx A quarter of directors of small companies have used mortgages, credit cards and personal savings to fund their business, according to the results of a survey by Experian. The research found that almost 50% of directors had used personal funds to set up their firm, 37% to invest in premises or equipment, 30% to pay suppliers, and 26% to clear debts. Nearly half of respondents said they used personal credit cards to pay for everyday business expenses, while almost a third said they had used mortgages secured on their homes to fund business investments. Almost half of directors said they had used their own savings for business purposes, while 65% had funded these out of their personal current account. (EnterpriseQuest)

I'm surprised the figure is this low because I don't know of any small business where personal finaces haven't been brought into play at some stage or another. Still, not a reality check which will be receiving an airing in the media any time soon. It might affect the take-up of the Government's burglar's bagful of business funding schemes.

UK's worst bankruptcy hotspots. http://money.aol.co.uk/2013/11/25/the-uks-worst-bankruptcy-hotspots-revealed/

Payday loan risk to mortgage applications. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-25098810#

Crowdfunding start-up raises £1 million in 1 day. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/news/10473047/Crowdfunding-start-up-Seedrs-raises-1m-through-its-own-website.html

New app for accessing internet anywhere in the world. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2513321/New-app-Be-Bound-lets-users-access-internet-world-FREE.html Anywhere?! This I've got to see.

Motorists prefer maps to satnav. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/motoring/news/10471427/Motorists-prefer-printed-maps-to-satnav-finds-AA.html Just as people and businesses prefer real, face-to-face encounters and genuine goodwill to fake friends and superficial social media. Unfortunately, politicians and the media don't get out much.

EU moves to close Big Corp tax loophole. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/eu-commission-moves-to-close-corporate-tax-loophole-used-by-google-amazon-and-starbucks-8963162.html That's 'EU' as in 'EU' and not 'corrupt, British government fagging for Big Corp'. Our politicians will be most upset.

The £150 hobbit home. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2513154/Farmer-builds-house-just-150-using-materials-skips--current-tenant-pays-rent-MILK.html

25.11.2013: The cottage industries boom. http://www.theguardian.com/money/2013/nov/24/cottage-industries-homework-working-from-home 'The number of people working from home has doubled in the past 10 years', claims the author. Really?? Who says? (In the absence of any statistics, credible or otherwise, provided by the article.)

In fact, based on the numerous 'findings' we see on a regular basis, 'homeworking' numbers have fallen - and significantly - over the past 10 years. Furthermore, in the absence of any definitions of 'homeworking' or 'cottage industry', it should be remembered they are not traditionally viewed as being one and the same activity, either.

How criminals exploit wi-fi hotspots. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/internet-security/10468317/Lazy-WiFi-providers-offer-data-free-risks-for-terrorists-and-criminals.html

The digital future of receipts. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/think-tank/10468392/Receipts-the-digital-future.html

New law to cap payday loan interest. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-25083701# Not the usual 'corrupt', political foot-dragging when it comes to banging up High Street banker-mates for fraud, then? Just as one example.

RBS treatment of businesses referred to regulator. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/banksandfinance/10470607/Vince-Cable-sends-dossier-on-RBS-treatment-of-struggling-businesses-to-financial-regulators.html The usual story of seizure and asset-stripping by the banks and a practice which has been going on for centuries, supported by an entire political class of 'corrupt', inbred, fagging 'swivel-eyed loons'.

Student loans to be sold off to debt collection agency. http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2013/11/24/student-loans-sell-off_n_4333887.html It will be 'entrepreneurs' business start-up loans next.

24.11.2013: Price comparison websites to be investigated. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-25068588#

UK energy bills face app attack. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/energy/10469940/Compare-the-Market-plans-meerkat-style-attack-on-energy-bills-with-new-app.html

Britain to be hit with a flood of fake goods as migrants swarm in. http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/444837/Britain-to-be-hit-with-a-flood-of-fake-goods-as-migrants-swarm-in This will be all those ex-pat British crooks living in Spain coming home for Christmas, will it? Or, you can just carry on buying them on eBay, as usual.

The ultimate small business gift guide. http://sbinformation.about.com/b/2013/11/12/ultimate-small-business-gift-guide.htm?nl=1

23.11.2013: Freelancers and micro-businesses are earning more and more. http://www.bmmagazine.co.uk/news/22186/new-research-reveals-freelancers-micro-businesses-earning/

12% of festive spending goes online. http://money.aol.co.uk/2013/11/23/12-of-festive-spending-goes-online/ Is that all? Still, it's more than enough to impress our minority issue politicians. While the economy keeps on waiting for the promised 'internet revolution' to make much of an overall impression.

Royal Mail missing postal targets. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-25048425#

Growing popularity of the phoney research scam. http://money.aol.co.uk/2013/11/22/the-growing-popularity-of-the-phoney-research-scam/#!slide=aol_1260682 ALL scams are appearing to be more and more popular these days, driven by the internet and social media especially. Over fifty years ago, before the internet aborted itself into the world, even the simplest third world peasant would understand and be wary of lottery scams, Ponzi schemes and pie-on-a-skyhook earners. Nowadays, everyone's a rocket scientist, sharing on forums of other anonymous, illiterate rocket scientists, what is a good punt and what to avoid.

Top 20 thrifty tips for your home. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/property/interiorsandshopping/10355977/Interior-design-top-20-thrifty-tips-for-your-home.html

22.11.2013: Freebie Friday. http://money.aol.co.uk/2013/11/22/freebie-friday-this-weeks-discounts-deals-and-freebies/

UK economy will take years to recover. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-25044115#

Energy companies making £650 million a year from billing 'errors'. http://www.theguardian.com/money/2013/nov/21/energy-companies-overcharging

House prices boosted by proximity of thriving High Streets. http://money.aol.co.uk/2013/11/22/shop-small-boosts-house-prices/ A fact which has been sniffily ignored by the country's politicians who remain in thrall to US internet Big Corp (and porn sites) and continue to block any and every serious attempt to revive the country's small, independent traders. Such as slashing extortionate business rates, for example.

UK house-building rate falls away. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/disaster-as-uk-housebuilding-rate-falls-away-8955242.html

Brit dreams of buying abroad collapse as property sales fall by 42%. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/personalfinance/borrowing/mortgages/10467032/Dream-of-property-abroad-dies-as-sales-fall-26pc.html

10,000 new entrepreneurs supported by start-up loans. http://www.bmmagazine.co.uk/news/22164/10000-new-entrepreneurs-supported-start-loans/ 'Entrepreneur'? Or naive, wide-eyed wannabes without any business experience or the nouse to raise even a couple of grand in cash, taken for a ride by the Government?

Winners of Great British Entrepreneur Awards 2013. http://www.bmmagazine.co.uk/news/22169/great-british-entrepreneur-awards-winners-announced/

Essex University Business School 2014 courses. http://www.essex.ac.uk/ebs/bmt/HTML/html_e-mail_Feb_mar_courses.html

How to choose a year-end that works for your business. http://www.bmmagazine.co.uk/in-business/finance/22172/choose-year-end-works-business/

21.11.2013: New research reveals Europe-wide growth in freelancing. http://www.pcg.org.uk/news-events/news/2013/11/13/new-pcg-research-shows-freelancing-fastest-growing-sector Freelancing is the fastest growing sector of the EU labour market, according to research commissioned by the Professional Contractors Group (PCG). The research revealed that by the beginning of 2013, the number of freelancers in the EU had risen by 45% since 2004 to reach 8.9 million. The UK saw one the greatest increases, with a 63% rise in freelance professionals over this period, although the increase in the Netherlands was the highest with a 93% increase. (EnterpriseQuest)

Firms should act now to comply with data protection reforms. http://www.out-law.com/en/articles/2013/november/businesses-can-take-steps-now-to-ease-move-to-new-compliance-standards-under-data-protection-reforms-says-ico/ Deputy Information Commissioner David Smith has outlined several ways in which firms can prepare for forthcoming reforms to EU data protection rules. The draft General Data Protection Regulation was approved by a European Parliamentary committee last week. Although the final version of the Regulation is still subject to change, Mr Smith said business owners should start reviewing their current procedures for processing personal information to ensure individuals provide 'explicit' consent. He also said that firms should expect new laws to be introduced requiring them to have systems in place to make sure personal information is deleted upon request from an individual. The reforms are not expected to fully come into force until 2017. (EnterpriseQuest)

Financial planning tips for setting up a new business. http://www.bmmagazine.co.uk/in-business/finance/22149/going-alone-financial-planning-tips-setting-new-business/

Nationwide Select the best all-round credit card. http://money.aol.co.uk/2013/11/21/nationwide-select-credit-card-the-best-all-round-credit-card/

10 ways to keep your house warm for less. http://money.aol.co.uk/2013/11/21/10-ways-to-keep-your-house-warm-for-less/

20.11.2013: Official release: Skills Minister issues challenge to young entrepreneurs. https://www.gov.uk/government/news/skills-minister-issues-challenge-to-young-entrepreneurs

British Chamber of Commerce offers new online export resource. http://www.bmmagazine.co.uk/in-business/running-your-business/22096/british-chamber-commerce-launches-new-online-export-resource/

Personal debt in UK almost as high as economic output. http://www.theguardian.com/money/2013/nov/20/personal-debt-mental-health-report

Number of gambling ads in UK soars by 1443% since 2005. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2509990/Number-gambling-adverts-TV-soared-1-443-2005-child-exposed-200-year.html Unfortunately (for the internet and its devotees) if you take firstly, porn and then gambling out of the mix, then the whole internet phenomenon would collapse like a playing card skyscraper in the face of a tornado. Which would be very sad news for 'Wankminster' and put some indirect pressure on our politicians to address matters of governance, instead of trawling for their daily deviation at taxpayers' expense.

Unlike porn however, gambling represents a very useful source of revenue for our cynical governments, so widespread addiction, violence and crime, spiralling levels of personal debt, broken homes or not, let's target the lesser evil of payday loan advertising, instead. As that will also please the banks, it's a 'double whammy'. (Trebles all round, chaps. Arf, arf.)

Last-minute odds make internet gamblers less likely to win. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2510123/Why-betting-online-isnt-worth-Last-minute-odds-make-internet-gamblers-likely-win.html Yes, that's the plan. Yet it's amazing just how many people even in this supposedly 'informed' day and age, believe that someone is offering them a genuine 'system' or 'business' which can beat the odds - in exchange for a handsome fee, naturally.

Identity theft a rising threat. http://money.aol.co.uk/2013/11/20/identity-theft-a-rising-threat/

Builder blacklists protests planned. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-25005703#

The best and worst places to sell your house. http://money.aol.co.uk/2013/11/19/the-best-and-worst-places-to-sell-your-house/

Language for the Future: the most important languages to learn. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/education/education-news/arabic-beats-french-mandarin-beats-german-and-spanish-is-best-of-all-uks-international-education-body-highlights-most-important-languages-to-learn-8949872.html Innit.

Broadband nightmares. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-24985265

How to bid like a pro on eBay. http://www.mydaily.co.uk/2013/11/20/tips-for-bidding-on-ebay/

19.11.2013: Pressure mounts for two-year business rates freeze. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/retailandconsumer/10458664/Pressure-mounts-on-Osborne-for-two-year-business-rates-freeze.html

Toxic 'Free Enterprise Group' proposes VAT on food and childrens' clothes. http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2013/11/18/vat-childrens-clothes-food-conservative_n_4296174.html Together with widespread reporting of proposals to pay for visits to the doctor, it's amazing how easily our patriotic and anti-EU politicians turn to the fiscal ideology of their bankrupt, socialist French neighbours when it comes to finding the money to pay for their proposed pay rises. Which 99% of the public doesn't think they deserve. But then, that's modern democracy for you.

Still, home businesses should be OK. They can simply divert some of their time from 'eating cheese 'n biscuits and watching the telly', to knitting wooly childrens' clothes and growing their own in a council wheelie bin.

HMRC launches free interactive tax information webinars. http://www.freelanceuk.com/news/4421.shtml A series of free live webinars for new and prospective business owners is to be run by HMRC on Saturday 7th December (Small Business Saturday). The webinars will provide information to help self-employed freelancers and company directors learn more about registering for tax and national insurance, record keeping and reporting responsibilities, allowable business expenses and VAT. Four separate webinars will run during the day covering the information needed for registering as self employed, directors' responsibilities, business expenses for the self employed, and VAT awareness. (EnterpriseQuest)

New burglary identification scam. http://money.aol.co.uk/2013/11/18/new-burglary-scam-identifies-vulnerable/

Small energy firms winning new customers. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-24958753#

Npower tops energy company complaints league. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-24988147#

An online case for reading the small print. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/blogs-magazine-monitor-24992518

10 West Country houses that earn their keep. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/property/westcountryproperty/10451965/10-West-Country-houses-that-could-make-you-money.html

18.11.2013: Scottish business tax options to be outlined. http://money.aol.co.uk/2013/11/18/business-tax-options-to-be-outlined/

Households less optimistic on finances. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-24961527#

Household finances suffer setback. http://money.aol.co.uk/2013/11/18/household-finances-suffer-setback/

Energy bills driving up business costs, survey suggests. http://www.fpb.org/news/2645/Forum_research_suggests_business_costs_rising_3_5__ahead_of_inflation.htm
The cost of running a business is rising more than 3% ahead of inflation, according to new research from the Forum of Private Business (FPB). Nearly all respondents to the FPB's Cost of Doing Business survey reported an overall increase in their business costs and 87% said their energy bills had increased. Other rising costs included transport (83%), marketing (78%) and raw materials or stock (69%). The survey also found that costs for micro, small and medium-sized firms had risen by 6% since the previous year, compared with the annual inflation figure of 2.7%. (EnterpriseQuest)

Yet another bagful of 'surprises' during this period of 'economic recovery'.

Call to cut financial firms' phone charges. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-24977130#

Banks failing rural customers. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/personalfinance/consumertips/banking/10417471/Decline-of-branches-Banks-fail-rural-customers.html

O2 and Twitter join forces to 'help' UK SMEs with £1 million ad credit. http://www.bmmagazine.co.uk/news/22039/o2-twitter-announce-partnership-support-uk-smes-1m-ad-credit-available/ In other words, a 'free' advertising campaign for O2 and Twitter.

Why paid online marketing is like drug addiction. http://www.bmmagazine.co.uk/columns/opinion/22018/paid-online-marketing-like-drug-addiction/

17.11.2013: 500 UK entrepreneurs prepare for global start-up battle. http://www.bmmagazine.co.uk/angels/22074/500-uk-entrepreneurs-prepare-global-startup-battle/

Small business owners burning the candle at both ends? http://www.bmmagazine.co.uk/in-business/20737/small-business-owners-burning-candle-ends/

5 certain ways to make poor decisions. http://www.bmmagazine.co.uk/columns/opinion/22045/5-certain-ways-make-poor-decisions/

Last chance to book a Will Aid appointment. http://willaid-news.org.uk/1AU-1ZHXE-0A52QY8A03/cr.aspx

16.11.2013: The £3.55 billion risk lurking in your home. http://money.aol.co.uk/2013/11/15/the-3-55-billion-risk-lurking-in-your-home/

Warning to consumers on fixed price energy deals. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-24956410#

6 quirky gadgets that cut energy bills. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/personalfinance/consumertips/household-bills/10444702/Six-cheap-and-quirky-gadgets-that-cut-energy-bills.html

Ransom spam targeting UK users. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-24964426

Mobile phone users being charged up to £5 a minute for calling Directory Enquiries. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2508190/Mobile-phone-users-charged-5-minute-directory-enquiries.html

Summer 2014 launch for London domain name. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-24948055#

The best time to start a business is during an economic downturn. http://www.bmmagazine.co.uk/in-business/advice/22058/best-time-start-business-economic-downturn-put-another-way-now/

7 ways to make your presentation message stick. http://www.bmmagazine.co.uk/in-business/advice/22051/7-ways-make-presentation-message-stick/

15.11.2013: Freebie Friday. http://money.aol.co.uk/2013/11/15/freebie-friday-this-weeks-discounts-deals-and-freebies/#!slide=aol_1261817

UK retail sales fall 0.7% in October. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-24938048# The media no doubt, will refer to these statistics as yet another 'surprise'.

Faster broadband saves time and money. http://money.aol.co.uk/2013/11/15/faster-broadband-saves-cash-time/ . . . and costs the operators more to introduce.

Commuting times getting longer. http://money.aol.co.uk/2013/11/15/commuting-times-getting-longer/ That will be because of the 'improved and more competitive transport services' the public are getting after Margaret Thatcher's gurus prompted her to start selling off the nation's publicly-owned assets. Or 'theft', as it would be called if perpetrated by plebs.

Still, this story might give birth to another crop of half-articles about the supposed savings and benefits of working from home. To drown in a sea of energy bill debts and business rates, instead.

Rent arrears at their lowest since 2008. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-24945444#

Nearly 200,000 homes at risk with families falling behind with mortgage payments. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2507628/Nearly-200-000-families-risk-losing-homes-falling-mortgage-repayments.html

Councils to be given powers to ban peaceful protest by local residents. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/councils-to-be-given-powers-to-ban-peaceful-protests-that-might-disturb-local-residents-8940535.html The goose-step march of Nazi Engerlandt continues . . . just days after the country's brownshirt 'Poppy Police' reminded those who really did suffer during the two world wars, what they were fighting against. Sadly, battles may have been won, but the two wars have been lost, as sides simply changed trenches. Which means that for small local businesses, the only way 'up' will be an even heavier investment in cash suppositories for bent decision-makers, it seems.

Council housing block shaped like swastika. http://money.aol.co.uk/2013/11/18/council-housing-block-shaped-like-swastika/ And there are people who think I 'make up' my comments . . .

The best and worst places to live in Britain. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/ten-best-places-to-live-in-the-uk-solihull-comes-top-8938636.html

The world's best houses for under £100,000. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/property/buyingsellingandmoving/10446289/The-worlds-best-houses-for-under-100000.html

Arsebook and Twatter harm literacy, claim headmasters. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2507642/Facebook-Twitter-harm-pupils-literacy-Headmasters-claims-children-distracted-sites-dont-bother-read-books.html Quick off the mark, aren't they? With a bit of luck, they might now come to grips with preparing the country's yoof as future employees, successful businesses or just functioning members of society. Sometime in the 22nd century.

France on brink of recession. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2507613/France-brink-recession-Troubled-economy-went-reverse-summer.html No surprises, once again, from the laziest and most incompetently governed and administered country in Europe, if not the world. Then again, blaming everyone else is a French national characteristic, so an economic revival isn't going to happen any time soon. And were there to be even the slightest hint of one, most of the country's workforce would go on holiday (or strike - same thing in France) for three months to celebrate.

Don't fall for the Mirosoft Windows scam. http://money.aol.co.uk/2013/11/15/dont-fall-for-the-microsoft-windows-scam/#!slide=aol_1260682

14.11.2013: Heat your home office for 8p a day. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/energy/10449357/Heat-your-home-office-for-8p-a-day.html

Entrepreneur battles winter chill with Radfan. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/good-news/10337617/Entrepreneur-battles-winter-chill-with-Radfan.html A radiator version of the Ecofan, etc, etc? http://www.ebay.co.uk/sch/i.html?_trksid=p2050601.m570.l1311.R1.TR2.TRC0.A0.Xecofan&_nkw=ecofan&_sacat=0&_from=R40

2013 National Business Award Winners. http://www.bmmagazine.co.uk/news/22032/winners-announced-2013-national-business-awards/

House repossessions set to fall. http://money.aol.co.uk/2013/11/13/house-repossessions-set-to-fall/

Small firms able to exit phone contracts without penalty. http://media.ofcom.org.uk/2013/10/23/protection-for-consumers-against-mid-contract-price-rises/ Consumers and small businesses should be allowed to cancel their landline, broadband or mobile phone contract without incurring a penalty if the provider increases their monthly subscription, Ofcom announced today in new guidance. Claudio Pollack, Ofcom's Consumer Group Director, said: "We think the sector rules were operating unfairly in the provider's favour, with consumers having little choice but to accept price increases or pay to exit their contract." (EnterpriseQuest)

522,000 affected by bedroom tax. http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/nov/13/bedroom-tax-figures-august

Co-op scales back energy price rise to 2.5%. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/personalfinance/consumertips/household-bills/10447477/Co-op-scales-back-energy-price-rise-to-2.5pc.html

Telecoms companies summoned by Cameron over price hikes. http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2013/nov/14/david-cameron-telecoms-curbs-bills-price-inflation . . . the Government panel will be led by the Minister for Trade, an ex-telecomms boss.

EU exit hugely damaging to UK. http://money.aol.co.uk/2013/11/14/eu-exit-hugely-damaging-to-uk/ As with any successful relationship, it's always the input of everyone concerned which should be heeded and taken into account. Needless to say, any media publication of input from the UK's EU partners, is conspicuous by its total absence. Which makes one wonder what they're trying to hide?

For those whose lives extend beyond criminal tabloids, dummyphones and a Twatter account, this link is always worth an ironic laugh: http://ec.europa.eu/unitedkingdom/blog/index_en.htm

7 hidden features of Microsoft Outlook. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/microsoft/10444045/7-hidden-features-in-Microsoft-Outlook.com.html

3 common mistakes people make when preparing for appointments. http://www.bmmagazine.co.uk/entrepreneur-interviews/22026/3-common-mistakes-people-make-preparing-appointments/

13.11.2013: 376,000 have card details hacked. http://money.aol.co.uk/2013/11/13/376-000-have-card-details-hacked/#!slide=aol_1260682

Energy bill hikes to last 17 more years, watchdog claims. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-24920026

EDF breaks away from energy cartel. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/personalfinance/consumertips/household-bills/10442967/EDF-attacked-for-blackmailing-Government-as-it-unveils-smallest-price-rise-of-the-winter.html On the other hand, having been guaranteed double the price of electricity for the next 35 years in exchange for helping build the UK's next nuclear power station, I suppose EDF can afford these little gestures.

Prince accuses supermarkets of putting squeeze on farmers. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/prince-charles/10445267/Prince-accuses-supermarkets-of-putting-squeeze-on-farmers.html

Vote to overturn bedroom tax fails in Parliament. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/a-recipe-for-sleepless-nights-vote-to-overturn-the-bedroom-tax-fails-in-parliament-8935741.html

New pan-European rail booking service launched. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-24913935#

Home Office plans a fast-tracking passport control service - for a fee. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/immigration/10445165/Pay-a-fee-to-skip-the-passport-queue-under-new-Home-Office-plans.html 'Fast-tracking' has always been possible at the discretion of immigration duty officers. In recent years however, (crap) technology, illegal immigration and terrorism have become increasingly publicised and politicised issues - as if they hadn't always existed, anyway - and performance has been sacrificed for posing; and cheapshot official ruses for milking the public are developed instead.

Travis Tygart, nemesis of Lance Armstrong, to take action against Jamaican dopers. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/othersports/athletics/10445296/Travis-Tygart-Lance-Armstrongs-nemesis-aims-to-crack-down-on-Jamaica-doping-problem.html Mr Tygart, who has received as much publicity from claiming to expose the one athlete doper he singled out from the whole universe of professional athlete dopers, would only become convincing - to those that know about these things - if he and his spurious agency USADA took action against his own country's major dopers, notably football, baseball, swimming and tennis as well as track and field, of course. Then again, Mr Tygart, his agency and above all, WADA the world anti-sports doping agency, are every bit as mindful as are the media, of biting the hands that feed them and so, picking at minorities to keep up appearances, is called for. And if a few more young hopefuls keel over and die of unexplained circumstances in the meantime, then that's what they call commercial, collateral damage.

If doping in sport is ever to be tackled seriously - and at the moment, there is no official will to do so because sports promoters actually WANT dope-fuelled, extraordinary performances to draw the crowds ('do the math') - then an investigation of the IOC, WADA and USADA would be a good place to start. Until then, the utterances of Mr Travis and his ilk carry about as much weight as yet another day of US spam.

The Craigslist killers. http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/nov/10/craigslist-killers-murder-story-family-breakdown

12.11.2013: David Cameron: Britain needs a culture change to get behind business. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/economics/10442244/David-Cameron-Britain-needs-a-culture-change-to-get-behind-business.html Which would mean a culture change in politics and the media, and their turkeys voting for Christmas.

Late payment gap widens between Britain's largest and smallest businesses. http://www.bmmagazine.co.uk/news/21994/late-payment-gap-widens-uks-largest-smallest-businesses/ On the other hand, we musn't see 'cultural change' in the business world affecting Big Corp contributions to political party funds.

Energy customers not 'cash cows', Minister to say. http://money.aol.co.uk/2013/11/12/energy-customers-no-cash-cows/ Oh, yes they are!!!

All UK energy suppliers, including independents. http://www.which.co.uk/switch/energy-suppliers

Energy company satisfaction survey. http://www.which.co.uk/switch/energy-suppliers/energy-companies-rated?utm_source=www.which.co.uk&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=groupreferral

Treasury plans new online alternative to self-assessment. http://www.contractoruk.com/news/0011303taxman_offer_opt_out_self_assessment.html Almost two million taxpayers could be allowed to manage their tax using a new online system in favour of annual self-assessment, as part of plans released by the Treasury. Online tax accounts, similar to those used for Internet banking, could benefit up to 1.7 million individuals with relatively simple tax affairs, the Treasury estimates. Treasury Minister David Gauke said: "We want every taxpayer to have the option of an online tax account and the steps we are taking will lead to taxpayers being able to opt out of self-assessment. Embracing digital and moving to an online tax system will greatly simplify how the public interacts with HMRC." (EnterpriseQuest)

eBay makes item images compulsory for online listings. http://sellerupdate.ebay.co.uk/spring2013/picture-standards eBay sellers must include images when listing items, under new rules that came into effect on 30th October 2013. Listings in all categories except Vehicle Parts & Accessories and Tickets must now include an image of the actual item being sold, rather than stock images or catalogue photos, to avoid misleading buyers. eBay has also set out further requirements for the images used with item listings to improve the website's performance for mobile users. (EnterpriseQuest)

House prices in 'surprise' monthly drop. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-24909678# Well, not a 'surprise' at all, because the tabloids have been saying there has been a huge increase in sales and prices - so the exact opposite will inevitably be true. However, we monitor house prices 'in passing' if only because there are so many property or buy-to-let scams doing the rounds and judging by the bulletins we get, then depending upon the area, a significant number of unsold properties seem to be coming down in price. The mere fact that the recent Buy To Let scheme is attracting so much comment should be warning enough of another sub-prime threat in the offing.

Top 20 web words, 2013. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2500331/The-20-words-2013-Survey-lists-error-code-404-drone-fail-common-terms-used-year.html

11.11.2013: EU and US resume trade deal talks. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-24895482# So all this silly posturing by a couple of EU leaders over snooping by the Americans (which has been going on since the end of the Second World War, and everybody knew it) has just been a waste of time, then? Now there's a surprise. Perhaps BelowStandard & Pisspoors' recent reminder of how badly the present French 'fonctionnaire' government is ruining its country's economy, might have had some effect after all?

Whitehall premium rate helplines scam hits the poor. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/premium-rate-whitehall-helplines-hitpoor-hardest--with-half-the-cost-coming-from-being-on-hold-8931606.html

Mobile phone bill debt rises 15% in one year. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2499074/Thousands-debt-mobile-phone-bills-Number-calls-helpline-rises-15-year.html The government will be pleased. It seems that a family-of-four can be paying out £140 a month on dummyphones, which is often more than on energy costs. Which just about sums up the country's mentality these days.

Users deserting Big Six energy cartel for cheaper suppliers. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/money/bills/article-2495691/Angry-energy-customers-desert-Big-Six-smaller-cheaper-rivals.html

Wave of new banks to challenge High Street dominance of Big Five. http://www.express.co.uk/finance/city/442220/New-banks-to-hit-the-high-street-and-challenge-Big-Five . . . and Ministers are examining ways of putting paid to the threat.

Government to use powers to stop councils blocking the spread of betting shops. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2499111/We-wont-stop-march-betting-shops-say-Ministers-Government-prevent-councils-using-planning-powers-stop-firms-opening-new-outlets-shopping-areas.html Like any form of addiction, another nice earner for the inbred swivel-eyed ones, especially during desperate times. Not exactly a surprise.

Too late to beat the carbon credit scam. http://money.aol.co.uk/2013/11/11/its-too-late-to-beat-the-carbon-credit-scam/#!slide=aol_1260682

10.11.2013: Local growth research project launched. http://www.publicfinance.co.uk/news/2013/10/research-project-to-discover-what-works-for-local-growth/ The Government has announced the launch of a research project to help improve local economic growth by evaluating the effectiveness of policy decisions in areas such as skills, employment and regeneration. The 'What Works Centre for Local Economic Growth' will provide evidence for local authorities about which actions work best to boost local jobs and business. Centre Director, Henry Overman said the project would help local policy makers to make better informed decisions about which policies are most likely to drive local development. (EnterpriseQuest)

Nothing like a bit of research to come to the same blindingly obvious conclusions you could get for free from some local, pub regulars. Still, it does keep our otherwise unemployable academics, consultants and civil servants in work while supposedly impressing the plebs at the same time.

Demolitions in face of bedroom tax. http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/nov/10/bedrooom-tax-affordable-homes-face-demolition Should help to inflate house prices still further.

Two thirds of councils turning down street lighting. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/labour/10438321/Two-thirds-of-councils-turning-street-lights-down-research-finds.html The usual squawks of protest from self-interest groups, citing increased crime and road safety risks. On the other hand, I live in an area where there is no street lighting whatsoever - and there is no crime and any kind of road accident is a rarity. Which is more down to zero tolerance of hoodies, drink-driving or using a dummyphone while driving, rather than street lighting. Plus, at the end of a hard day's work, the vast majority of people are more than happy to put their feet up in front of a fire and doze off - rather than lurking about in some shadows.

Trending: the chimney sweep. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/festival-of-business/10436774/Chim-Chim-Kerching-The-return-of-the-chimney-sweep.html Plenty of prospects here for our unemployed yoof. A bit difficult getting a dummyphone signal halfway up a chimney, though.

Teenagers saying goodbye to Facebook. http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2013/nov/10/teenagers-messenger-apps-facebook-exodus Things are looking up.

3 steps to successful digital marketing. http://www.bmmagazine.co.uk/marketing/sales/21981/3-steps-successful-digital-marketing/#rpctoken=1554903590&forcesecure=1

UK tractor speed limit to be raised to 25mph. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2496235/At-good-idea-EU--faster-tractors-Britains-farmers-set-catch-continent-speed-limit-lifted.html Really? It's going down then, from some of the tractors I used to slipstream when training on my bike, even twenty-five years ago.

09.11.2013: EC proposals to change VAT reporting. http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-13-988_en.htm and http://www.accountancyage.com/aa/news/2302736/eu-to-treble-uk-vat-reporting-obligations The European Commission has proposed changes to VAT reporting for businesses in the European Union (EU) from January 2017. The changes have been driven by complaints from firms trading across the EU about variations in frequency and format of VAT reporting between member states. The proposed changes include a simplified standard VAT return that will have to be filed on a monthly basis. Currently UK businesses typically file VAT returns on a quarterly basis, but the proposed changes will require all firms with an annual turnover of more than £1.7 million to complete a VAT return each month. Head of Tax at global accountancy firm TMF Group, Richard Asquith said the changes would dramatically increase VAT reporting frequencies and also costs, for all but the smallest UK firms. (EnterpriseQuest)

Taxman spying on your homes using Google Earth. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2494152/Now-taxman-spying-home-using-Google-Earth-Satellite-images-clues-wealth-lifestyle-youre-paying-enough.html Just as we have been warning - yet - for every dummyphone user out there, it's probably all too late.

CNET Community: what can I do to prevent my browser from being hi-jacked? http://forums.cnet.com/7723-6132_102-604705/what-can-i-do-to-prevent-my-browser-from-being-hijacked/?tag=nl.e497&s_cid=e497&ttag=e497&ftag=CAD5920658

How to get back at your bank for call-centre hell. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/personalfinance/consumertips/10436125/Fed-up-with-life-on-hold-Just-call-Trevor.html

Peers urge action on nuisance calls. http://money.aol.co.uk/2013/11/09/peers-urge-action-on-nuisance-calls/ 'Action' on nuisance calls has been urged almost since the telephone was invented. However, just like spam and online scams for example, it's a nice little earner. Enough to justify the appointment of telecomms bosses as government ministers.

Can you really write a novel in a month? http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/books/10435830/NaNoWriMo-the-month-long-novelist.html

Yet another Dragons' Den whoopsie. http://www.bmmagazine.co.uk/news/21966/flushed-success-last-laugh-dragonss-den-rejects/ Although I'm no fan of dumbed-down media trivia like The Dragons' Den, it should be remembered that the path to business success is inevitably littered with failure and if a team of investors simply picked a winner every time, it would be a 100% fix. However, in view of the increasing amount of flak The Dragons' Den panel is getting these days, perhaps the producers could do a series about the programme's past successes? Especially on key issues such as the revival of the High Street; a national apprenticeship scheme; business support and business finance, where the involvement of a Dragon in matters of national importance has been seen as synonymous with and equivalent to, the Government's incompetence at dealing with its own political remit.

UK men top European housework league. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2494168/Good-news-girls-UK-men-European-housework-league-They-chores-Spain-manage-fifth.html That will be all those 'successful' home business entrepreneurs with a bit of spare time on their hands. Wheeling their foreign-made Dysons out of the same cupboards as their ex-bank-manager mentors.

Sterling gets a boost from ECB rate cut. http://www.express.co.uk/finance/city/441776/Sterling-gets-a-boost-from-European-Central-Bank-rate-cut Now there's a thing; I thought sterling could look after itself without any help from the Europeans. Well. According to the tabloids, anyway. Not that they've ever got anything right so far. But there's always a first time, I suppose.

The Winds of American Change: losing the family home business and selling the family home. http://www.counterpunch.org/2013/11/08/selling-the-family-home/ Not a 'real' American business model which our US-inspired political sheep will be using in their propaganda any time soon.

Weekend Larf: 'Ban burkas' says Moikal O'Lary. http://www.independent.co.uk/travel/news-and-advice/ryanair-chief-michael-oleary-says-ban-burkas-in-uk-8929255.html Interesting comment from the boss of an airline which has made so much money from carrying the country's 'hoodies' to 'slash 'n smash' holidays in Spain or anywhere else British thugs like to congregate. Now, after further endorsement by the country's Prime Minister, hoodies have gone from gangsta minority to the UK's largest social group of political and criminal offenders, giving small businesses as well as the vulnerable generally, a particularly hard time.

Still. Musn't let national image, public welfare and genuine security issues get in the way of making a fast, corporate buck. Or winning an even cheaper vote.

08.11.2013: Freebie Friday. http://money.aol.co.uk/2013/11/08/freebie-friday-this-weeks-discounts-deals-and-freebies/

Renting out your spare room: how much can you make? http://money.aol.co.uk/2013/11/07/renting-out-your-spare-room-how-much-can-you-make/

Mis-selling compensation too slow. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-24848299#

Tablets and smartphones have changed Christmas shopping forever. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/retailandconsumer/10434370/Tablets-and-smartphones-have-changed-Christmas-shopping-forever.html

The cheapest mobile phone in the UK? http://money.aol.co.uk/2013/11/07/the-cheapest-mobile-phone-in-the-uk-asda-launches-a-5-phone/

Big squeeze on household spending expected to last until 2030. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2489978/Big-squeeze-family-budgets-continue-2030-household-bills-account-THIRD-spending.html

Gas prices are not rigged, claims energy lapdog. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2490460/Gas-prices-NOT-rigged-energy-watchdog-insists-leaving-customers-pay-higher-bills-winter.html#comments Time to get a new dog.

The UK's most profitable places to buy property. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/property/propertymarket/10427213/UK-house-prices-the-most-profitable-places-to-buy.html

MPs attack immigration checks by landlords. http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2013/nov/08/mps-attack-landlords-immigration-status-tenants A predictable outcry from MPs as a significant centre of influnce in government is property and all matters allied. I'm waiting for the time we get some politicians who don't work for Big Corp, raising the same genre of objection to the self-employed being unpaid tax assessors and collectors who risk being prosecuted, even jailed, for getting it wrong. A pity the same rules don't apply to the official taxman, the Treasury and the government itself.

The breadline bloggers. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/foodanddrink/10414414/How-to-eat-well-for-next-to-nothing.html

Couple in France win landmark judgement to have ten wind turbines taken down for spoiling their view. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2490820/Couple-win-landmark-battle-10-wind-turbines-taken-spoil-view-dream-home-France.html Well done to the judge. A few more rulings like this and the taxpayer might start to accrue a few savings from this global scam. So that the government can spend it on other publicly-funded energy scams like fracking or energy prices.

07.11.2013: Official release: Investment and campaign to help small firms grow. https://www.gov.uk/government/news/investment-and-campaign-to-help-small-firms-grow

Town halls planning council tax rise. http://money.aol.co.uk/2013/11/07/town-halls-plan-council-tax-rise/

Britain's most trusted brands. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2489258/The-brands-earned-nations-trust-John-Lewis-heads-list.html

Britons pay the most property tax. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/10431722/Britons-pay-the-highest-property-taxes-in-the-developed-world.html

Internet scammer to close down company. http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2013/nov/06/grant-shapps-software-firm-dissolved-labour Having recently avoided prosecution for fraud. Which had nothing whatsoever to do with him being a Minister and the Chairman of the Conservative Party. At all. At all.

Britain is EU's 'best pupil'. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2488553/Britain-best-pupil-obeying-edicts-Strasbourg-says-Eurocrat.html As we have been saying for the past couple of decades; and perfectly understandable for a country with a political class which is formally taught how to fag, bend over, lie and 'find'.

How to harness the spirit of enterprise when self-employed. http://www.express.co.uk/finance/personalfinance/441396/How-to-harness-the-spirit-of-enterprise-when-self-employed

Five ways to describe yourself in business. http://www.bmmagazine.co.uk/in-business/advice/21920/five-ways-describe-business/

How about a heat pump? http://www.heat-pump-systems.co.uk/index.html

Is there a place for DIY home security? http://nls.cnet.com/pageservices/viewOnlineNewsletter.sc?list_id=e497&send_date=09/17/2013 I fully approve of the replies. Get a dog. Or two. And a shotgun. Or two.

The Ignorance Survey: monkeys beat human beings and above all, university students. http://nls.cnet.com/pageservices/viewOnlineNewsletter.sc?list_id=e497&send_date=09/17/2013 No surprises there, then!


'It is always perversely satisfying when marketing experts are proved wrong and the case of the top entrepreneurs on the BBC TV show Dragon's Den and the collapsible water bottles is a good example.

The creator of the plastic refillable water bottle, Guy Jeremiah, appeared on the show in July 2010 to sell his idea to top marketeers and potential investors Duncan Bannatyne, James Caan, Peter Jones, Deborah Meaden and Theo Paphitis. Despite the obvious environmental benefits (less non-refillable plastic bottles thrown away, currently 5,000 bottles a second worldwide) and the benefits to consumers of paying 0.07 pence for 500 ml of tap water, rather than the hundreds or thousands times more for bottled water, as well as having something small and light enough to carry around in a pocket, handbag or school lunch box the five clever business experts all rather angrily dismissed it. Jones said it was never going to take any sales from the bottled water market, Paphitis said he would rather stick pins in his eyes than back it and Bannatyne said it was "a terrible invention" and "ludicrous" and, in what looked like a pre-arranged action to make the programme a bit more exciting, threw his sample bottle across the studio.

Now, around two years on, the product the dragons refused to invest in is doing rather well, having sold 100,000 at £5 each and being sold in Marks and Spencer, and in 15 other countries. Jeramiah is also targeting bottled water drinkers of the future by promoting through schools a Find-a Fountain campaign identifying public drinking fountains where water bottles can be filled up for free, and offering a map of locations. (Ethical Consumer)

Back in 2010 Theo Paphitis, as well as preferring pins stuck into his eyes to investing in collapsible water bottles, told Jeremiah "You've got five sophisticated investors here who don't want to be treated like idiots" Under the circumstances shouldn't that be the other way around?'

Courtesy of: http://ezinematters.com/

'Great possible news . . . for those who like using their mobile phones on trains.

Reportedly Transport for London,(TFL) which will operate Crossrail when it opens in 2018 has hinted that, due to some technological improvements passengers will be able to operate their devices on the whole network, even in tunnels.

This amazing benefit to mankind will mean that the mobile phone users, or abusers as some uncharitable types term them, can carry on inspiring and entertaining their fellow travellers with exciting details of their work/home/love/lust lives, or the fact that the train's late yet again, without the oft-heard and sometimes welcomed "Hang on, we're going into a tunnel".

Now there's progress from TFL . . .'

Courtesy of: http://www.eou.org.uk/

Unfortunate news for regular users of the Eurostar who all too frequently have to put up with young American executive types who start a dog-leg conversation upon leaving Paris, trying to impress upon their clients and the rest of the carriage that they are seasoned, international business travellers, until ooops, the Chunnel unexpectedly comes along, cutting the signal, the conversation and the phoney act. (That's a joke.) Welcome relief for fellow-passengers on the other hand, and leaving no-one in any doubt why our American posers can't seem to afford anything better to wear than a pair of old jeans nor a ticket for Business Premier class.

On the other hand, just like 'Dragons', perfect material for government advisers, though.

06.11.2013: Where to get help with your gas and electricity bills. http://money.aol.co.uk/2013/11/06/where-to-get-help-with-your-gas-and-electricity-bills/#!slide=aol_1261817

UK services growth at 16 year high. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-24815800#

Microsoft warns users of hacker attacks. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-24814999#

Roaming charges deter Britons. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/travelnews/10427867/Roaming-fees-deter-Britons-with-smartphones.html

Can you really save £300 a year with a wood-burning stove? http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/personalfinance/consumertips/household-bills/10424950/Can-you-really-save-300-a-year-with-a-wood-burning-stove.html I save £2000 - £3000 a year with my stoves (which certainly aren't wood pellet burners), depending on how hard the winter is. Truly. But that's another story.

Another bent politician story. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/conservative/10429206/Senior-Conservative-MP-uses-political-contacts-to-further-business-empire.html

How Google snoops on your email. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2487660/Google-snoops-email-uses-private-details-sell-adverts-Microsoft-claims.html

Payday lenders grooming children. http://www.theguardian.com/money/2013/nov/05/payday-lenders-accused-grooming-children-ads Not like the supermarkets, toy, sweet, banks, telecoms, porn and internet industries, then?

Better Life Index suggests Britain is one of the best places in the world. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2488144/Why-Britain-best-places-world-Personal-security-job-satisfaction-earnings-rank-average-survey-35-countries.html Speechless, I am.

4 things your customers don't want. http://www.bmmagazine.co.uk/marketing/sales/21395/4-things-customers-dont-want/

Have UK businesses forgotten how to grow? http://www.bmmagazine.co.uk/in-business/21902/growing-pains-keep-business-small-stressful/

05.11.2013: 1.7 million Britons are one-man bands. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/personalfinance/10424746/1.7m-Britons-are-one-man-band-firms.html This figure is a massive drop from the 4.5 - 5 million projections of 15 years ago when 'sole traders' or the 'self-employed' were also associated with yet another media fantasy, the so-called explosion in the numbers of people running a home business. Since that time, the officially held views, prompted entirely by marketing exercises such is this one, have languished around the 3 - 3.5 million mark.

However, the same publication, The Daily Telegraph, claimed earlier in the year, that there are a staggering 8 million Brits running internet-based home businesses, so for anyone who believes what they read in the British press, this latest 'finding' must come as a bit of a shock. Just as it will also prompt yet another marketing exercise, probably by a telecoms company this time, rounding the figures up by a couple of million. (Based upon a statistical sample of 250 anonymous customers who have sold a baby buggy on eBay.)

£1 in every £5 in Britain is spent via the web. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2487504/Britons-webs-big-spenders-How-1-5-spent-UK-computers-phones-tablets.html If that's all, then there would appear to be a great deal of hope left for the traditional High Street. Despite upsetting yet another long-running media and political fairy tale.

On the other hand, a 'well done' to the mere 220,000 British businesses which are online, according to the official website http://www.gbbo.co.uk/ That's a very significant output for such a small percentage of the British business community. Despite Government ministers, the media and all their lickspittles suggesting that the world and its future is all about Twatter and Arsebook.

Could this website save the High Street? http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2487067/Could-Hubbub-save-high-street-App-lets-order-food-local-shops-delivered.html Here we go again.

Immigrants to UK make substantial and net contribution. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-24813467 We can't be getting at the truth of the matter, can we now, or our Nazi, criminal tabloids will be out of a job.

Migrants more likely to claim work benefits than Britons. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/immigration/10426202/Migrants-more-likely-to-claim-work-benefits-than-Britons.html Thus speaks a former HMRC policy official under whose shared watch, Big Corp - or migrants by another name - chalked up £ billions in tax avoidance schemes with the connivance of said department. And continue to do so with total impunity.

HMRC lands £100 million from tax evaders. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/personalfinance/consumertips/tax/10424991/HMRC-targeted-raids-land-100m-from-tax-evaders.html From scrap metal dealers to restaurants, apparently. So at least they're doing 5% of their job.

Wonga defends UK business practices. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-24814037# Apparently, only 7% of Wonga's customers default. Or, 33% less than the 40% default rate of successful applicants for government start-up loans. (We 'did the math' for anyone with a GCSE in Fummin who might stumble across this while walking into other pedestrians.)

Energy giants to refund £2 billion to customers. http://money.aol.co.uk/2013/11/05/energy-giants-to-refund-2bn-to-consumers/#!slide=aol_1260906 Is that before, or after the next round of price hikes?

How the country's population changes during a working day. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/10417064/Mapped-how-the-countrys-population-changes-during-a-work-day.html

A photographic record of a traditional home business's 'premises'. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2487232/Photographer-David-Morris-spent-decade-touring-Britain-taking-pictures-shepherds-huts.html

04.11.2013: Post Office managers to strike. http://money.aol.co.uk/2013/11/04/post-office-managers-to-strike/

EU overwhelmingly best for business, says CBI. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-24773179#

Kickstarter raises £17 million in one year. http://money.aol.co.uk/2013/11/04/kickstarter-raises-17m-in-a-year/ OR. Kickstarter raises £22 million for UK businesses in one year. http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2013/11/04/kickstarer-uk-total-raised_n_4210981.html

Green tax to knock £75 off energy bills. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/energy/10424118/Green-tax-to-knock-75-off-energy-bills.html

RBS to poll SMEs on loan policy. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/banksandfinance/10423816/RBS-to-poll-SMEs-in-overhaul-of-loans-policy.html

UK farms sore over French oyster herpes. http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/nature/uk-farms-sore-over-french-oyster-herpes-8919261.html

Businessman who threatened Barclays bank staff with flamethrower, walks free. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2486028/Businessman-threatened-Barclays-bank-staff-FLAMETHROWER-cancelled-debit-card-100-000-debt-walks-free-court.html

03.11.2013: How do I deal with cyber attacks? http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/advice/10420248/How-do-I-deal-with-cyber-attacks.html

Business planning for success. http://www.bmmagazine.co.uk/in-business/advice/21775/business-planning-success/

Ten tell-tale signs that your business is struggling. http://www.bmmagazine.co.uk/in-business/advice/11102/alarm-bells-ten-tell-tell-signs-that-your-business-is-struggling/

Keys to understanding customer value online. http://www.bmmagazine.co.uk/in-business/advice/21769/keys-understanding-customer-value-online/

How to make contracts water-tight. http://www.bmmagazine.co.uk/in-business/legal/21665/avoiding-holes-boat-make-contracts-water-tight/

Grow your own mushrooms. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/gardening/gardeningadvice/10414690/Grown-your-own-delicious-mushrooms.html

02.11.2013: Lenders crack down on 'accidental' landlords. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/personalfinance/borrowing/mortgages/10418580/Lenders-crack-down-on-accidental-landlords.html

Households excluded from UK growth. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-24775443#

70% of adults use Bank of Mum and Dad. http://money.aol.co.uk/2013/11/02/70-of-adults-use-bank-of-mum-and-dad/ This increasing exposure in the media of 'The Bank of Mum and Dad' has triggered our political, clockwork gobshites to start targeting pensioners' traditional savings and natural tendencies to help their own, so that governments can thieve it to give to tax-dodging American Big Corp and piss the rest of it up the wall, instead. Then, just like selling off publicly-owned assets, it will also help support the country's 'economic revival'. For a year or two.

Half of British businesses believe benefits of EU membership outweigh benefits. http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/440516/Half-of-British-businesses-believe-cost-of-EU-outweighs-benefits Which is by stark contrast with earlier polls and petitions which demonstrated that the British business community was wholly in favour of remaining in the EU. Then again - there are businesses whose trade with the EU is as fictional as is tabloid reporting. And there are businesses which rely heavily on trade with the EU. And in the middle, there is the government which doesn't care either way but will do as lobbyists and the Americans tell them to do.

Repossessions 33% higher in the north than in the south. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/personalfinance/borrowing/mortgages/10417746/Repossessions-33pc-more-in-the-North-than-South.html Which means the north is the place to go for buy-to-let wannabes plus, in my experience, northerners are more honest than their southern counterparts and thus, a better bet as tenants.

Plan to cut used car complaints. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-24777273#

The ultimate green home. http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/green-living/the-ultimate-green-home--down-to-the-rainwater-in-the-toilets-the-wwfs-new-headquarters-is-no-glasshouse-8918528.html

CNET Community: Spyware, viruses, & security forum: Google and Bing search results links redirects: Virus or money-maker? http://forums.cnet.com/7723-6132_102-603222/google-and-bing-search-results-links-redirects-virus-or-money-maker/?tag=nl.e497&s_cid=e497&ttag=e497&ftag=CAD5920658

01.11.2013: Freebie Friday. http://money.aol.co.uk/2013/11/01/freebie-friday-this-weeks-discounts-deals-and-freebies/

Bank customers warned of fraudulent emails. http://money.aol.co.uk/2013/11/01/bank-customers-warned-of-fraudulent-emails/

66% of business leaders in favour of EU referendum. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2482755/Costs-staying-EU-outweigh-benefits-warn-business-leaders-overwhelmingly-plans-referendum.html

Social enterprise is the way forward. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/educationopinion/10399011/Social-enterprise-is-the-way-forward.html

Fears of debt-fuelled recovery. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/personalfinance/borrowing/loans/10417604/Fears-of-debt-fuelled-recovery-as-credit-card-spending-jumps-revised-BoE-data-show.html

Lloyds to refund 1000 card purchases a week. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/personalfinance/consumertips/banking/10416942/Lloyds-to-refund-1000-card-purchases-a-week.html

The alternatives to the Big Six energy providers. http://money.aol.co.uk/2013/10/31/the-alternatives-to-the-big-six-energy-providers/

Government unveils energy reforms. http://money.aol.co.uk/2013/10/31/government-unveils-energy-reforms/

Tax on foreign property owners proposed to burst London housing bubble. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/constructionandproperty/10417422/Tax-on-foreign-property-owners-to-burst-Londons-bubble.html

Tips for moving an online business onto the High Street. http://www.bmmagazine.co.uk/in-business/advice/21798/tips-moving-online-business-high-street/

Time of day marketing to boost High Street. http://www.bmmagazine.co.uk/news/21806/time-day-marketing-boost-high-street/

31.10.2013: Royal Mail workers' strike cancelled. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-24749336#

HMRC warns buy-to-let landlords. http://money.aol.co.uk/2013/10/30/hmrc-warns-buy-to-let-landlords/

Contactless card data can be taken. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-24743920#

Don't let your accounts become a nightmare. http://www.bmmagazine.co.uk/in-business/finance/21786/dont-let-accounts-become-nightmare/

Getting the most from your website. http://www.bmmagazine.co.uk/in-business/advice/21789/getting-website/

30.10.2013: Ministers defend business rates. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/retailandconsumer/10412944/Ministers-defend-business-rates-despite-high-street-turmoil.html And so we come to the real reason for the demise and difficulties not only of the High Street but the UK's small business sector generally. Not the internet. Not the EU. But, as always, our politicians. Not to worry. We'll get to the bottom of these things eventually.

Small energy companies 'escape levies'. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-24741541# I don't remember either the media or the politicians pointing out such vast differences in purchasing, billing and profitability between the energy companies before? I wonder what's held them back from identifying these significant discrepancies sooner?

Crown Post Office workers to strike. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-24730673#

HMRC tax crackdown on landlords. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/personalfinance/houseprices/10410791/Landlord-tax-crackdown-gets-serious.html

Energy companies axe prompt payment discounts. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/money/bills/article-2479059/AXED-Discounts-paying-energy-bills-time--just-prices-up.html

Francois Hollande becomes most unpopular French president ever. http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/oct/29/francois-hollande-most-unpopular-president While the infantile French media which clamoured for his election with a barrage of far-fetched, third-form propaganda, becomes Europe's least-credible source of information - after that of Engerlandt, of course.

Which? cries foul over football packages. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/travelnews/10412183/Which-cries-foul-over-Thomas-Cook-football-trip-mark-ups.html Entirely in keeping with professional football's global image.

Cost of farmland rising faster than that of housing. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2479262/Cost-farmland-rising-faster-housing.html

European bicycle sales rising faster than those of cars. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2478404/Bicycle-sales-overtake-CARS-time-Europe--recession-blame.html Or it could just be an instinctive reaction of disgust to the media drip-feed of football, nothing but football and still more rubbish about football? And even the orchestrated Armstrong feeding frenzy which ultimately served to drive even more spectators to watch bike racing and onto bike seats themselves, than ever before.

Recession to blame? Or a cultural shift? Whatever, for those who jumped on the cycling bandwagon a few years ago (like Sky), then big trader or small trader, things are very much looking up. Despite media-backed and USADA-approved #1 sport for doping, American football this time, coming to Wembley.

Confessions of a removal man. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/property/movinghouse/10405468/Confessions-of-a-removal-man-We-emptied-the-wrong-house.html

29.10.2013: How to claim on your house or car insurance after a storm. http://money.aol.co.uk/2013/10/28/how-to-claim-on-your-home-or-car-insurance-after-a-storm/

New doubts about recovery. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/retailandconsumer/10408986/New-doubts-about-recovery-as-retail-sales-stall.html Or, doubts which are 'new' to politicians and the media. I don't think business professionals have been fooled, although you very rarely get to hear from people who know what they're talking about these days - as they need more to express themselves than a line and a hashtag on Twatter.

Draft rules set out deadline for dealing with website comments. http://www.out-law.com/en/articles/2013/October/two-day-deadline-for-website-operators-to-notify-comment-authors-about-defamation-complaints/ New rules outlining the process to be followed by website publishers who receive complaints about comments posted on their sites have been drafted by the Government. Under the draft rules, publishers would be required to contact comment authors to inform them of a complaint, and give them five days either to consent to the removal of their comment, or provide the publisher with their contact details to be passed to the complainant. If there is no response from the author, or they refuse to allow their details to be passed on, the publisher will have 48 hours to remove the comments from the site. The rules, which are being drawn up under the new Defamation Act, also give complainants the right to insist that their identity remains concealed from the author of the comment. (EnterpriseQuest)

OFT consults on legal guidance for landlords. http://www.oft.gov.uk/news-and-updates/press/2013/70-13 The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) is seeking views about its new draft legal guidance for the private rental sector. Lettings professionals, tenants and other interested parties have been invited to respond to a consultation on the guidance, which outlines the OFT's views on how the law applies to the sector's activities and identifies practices that could be in breach of legislation. The consultation will run until 10th December 2013. (EnterpriseQuest)

Millions refusing to pick up phones because of intimidating cold calls. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2478660/Millions-scared-menace-intimidating-cold-calls-refuse-answer-phone.html

MPs demand HMRC should take internet giants to court over unpaid taxes. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2478462/MPs-fury-HMRC-failing-multi-nationals-court-amid-warning-35billion-uncollected-tax-just-tip-iceberg.html Another bit of political show-boating which won't change any final outcomes. The day Big Corp starts paying its £ billions of dues in the UK, is the day the present collective installed at 'Wankminster' is out on its neck. Fast-forward instead, to a much-publicised HMRC list of Ten Ten small business tax-dodgers who have fiddled the country out of a few bob.

BT accused of profiteering from nuisance call fee. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-24712206#

Britons must be given the skills to compete with immigrants. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2478336/David-Camerons-anger-factories-staffed-foreigners.html This has been a problem for almost a generation yet politicians and educationalists have fiddled while Rome burns. Even now, as the country's school-leavers enter the jobs market without even the most basic social skills let alone any useful knowledge and experience, government and the media find it easier - and more profitable - to engage in rabble-rousing and hate preaching rather than applying solutions which were blindingly evident just twenty or thirty years ago. Notably, parents who know how to parent; teachers who teach; and yoof which accepts the need to learn. Which is back to parenting and teaching again.

It's ironic that for all the tools which our 'leaders' claim have improved the present generation's lot in life - the internet, computers, smartphones, 101 t.v. (repeat) channels, modern housing, German cars for everyone, benefits galore - never have prospects been so limited and people as individuals, so superfluous and isolated. At which point, there's a very strong case for chucking it all in the dubbo and going back to the 'old' drawing board. Businesses included.

28.10.2013: HMRC targets VAT cheats in Scotland and Northern Ireland. https://www.gov.uk/government/news/vat-cheats-crackdown A new taskforce to crack down on individuals and businesses making fraudulent VAT repayment claims in Scotland and Northern Ireland has been announced by HMRC. In particular, firms set up for the sole purpose of making false VAT repayment claims are being targeted and HMRC expects to recover £7 million. The taskforce is part of an ongoing campaign to tackle tax avoidance, evasion and fraud in the UK, with £90 million collected as a result of taskforce activities carried out between 2011 and 2012, and a further £90 million expected to be recovered over the coming three years. (EnterpriseQuest)

Green tax going to wrong homes. http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/green-living/green-tax-goes-to-wrong-homes-says-think-tank-8906448.html

Gazumping is back. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2478077/Gazumping-house-prices-rise-Chronic-lack-properties-sale-driving-return-hijacking-tactics.html

What does Internet Explorer warning mean? http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/advice/10404772/What-does-this-Internet-Explorer-warning-message-mean.html

Why is broadband more expensive in the US? http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-24528383

10 best slow-cooked recipes. http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2013/oct/26/10-best-slow-cooked-recipes One of the many benefits of working from home is that - if you are so inclined - growing your own food and home cooking can make significant contributions to the household economy as well as providing much-needed mental breaks and adding to the family's quality of life generally. Although I wouldn't throw in a carrot to this pick of ten 'best' slow-cooked recipes for Chelsea posers, slow cookers, pressure cookers, even wood-burning stoves and Agas with casseroles gently bubbling away (assuming a traditional stove design) can even help keep you warm while the meal chugs away. Then, try to find just an average of an hour a week or so to find, cut, split and store your wood and the energy companies and the politicians can go and shaft themselves.

Sadly, the political and economic objectives of putting people into battery housing are that all quality of life options should be removed and, just like battery hens with nothing more to do than watching water pass by in their eye-level plastic troughs, are left with nothing more to do than watching plastic themselves.

So it goes without saying. If you want to have a successful home business, buying a house which offers you more possibilities than a crap internet connection, is no bad thing.

27.10.2013: One-in-three people could be paying the wrong tax. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/personalfinance/consumertips/tax/10404649/One-in-three-could-be-on-wrong-tax-codes.html

How your local economy is performing. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/economics/10403407/How-the-economy-is-performing-in-your-area.html

Police buying eBay data to target crime. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/police-buy-ebay-data-to-target-criminals-8906381.html

Payday loans have new consumer champion. http://www.independent.co.uk/money/loans-credit/payday-loans-defended-by-new-consumer-champion-8906441.html

Top Ten Tips for landlords. http://www.bmmagazine.co.uk/in-business/advice/21604/ten-top-tips-landlords/

Weekend Larf: Royal Mail sale will help stamp out Britain's debt culture. http://www.express.co.uk/finance/city/439266/Ask-the-boss-Royal-Mail-sale-will-help-stamp-out-Britain-s-debt-culture It hopes to achieve this with ongoing, rabid and profiteering price increases, driving the public and small businesses in particular to insolvency to pay for the cost of its services.

26.10.2013: Branson announces launch of Virgin Startup for UK's Young Entrepreneurs. http://www.bmmagazine.co.uk/news/21724/bransons-virgin-joins-start-loans-young-entrepreneurs-uk/

Cashing cheques without going to the bank. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/personalfinance/consumertips/banking/10405808/Cash-cheques-without-going-near-a-bank.html

Trending: boom in home tuition. http://www.theguardian.com/education/2013/oct/25/new-boom-home-tuition

Fad or Ponzi scheme? Bitcoin. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/more-than-a-fad-or-just-a-ponzi-scheme-how-the-world-is-getting-used-to-bitcoin-8904987.html

Royal Mail planning to swamp public with cold calls. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2477108/Now-Royal-Mail-plans-swamp-cold-calls.html

What sort of networking animal are you? http://www.bmmagazine.co.uk/columns/opinion/21712/sort-networking-animal/

Schneider's Twitter business tips. http://www.theguardian.com/technology/video/2013/oct/25/david-schneider-twitter-tips Who he?

The world's cheapest and most expensive places for energy prices. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/property/propertynews/10404438/Energy-prices-the-worlds-cheapest-and-most-expensive-places.html

25.10.2013: Freebie Friday. http://money.aol.co.uk/2013/10/25/freebie-friday-this-weeks-discounts-deals-and-freebies/

Tips to meet 31st October paper self-assessment deadline. http://postman.cbmeg.co.uk/lt.php?c=734&m=747&nl=9&s=3be78aab1efba36abcc2e8d459ad1ac6&lid=24563&l=-http--www.bmmagazine.co.uk/in-business/finance/21715/tips-meet-31st-october-paper-self-assessment-tax-deadline/

Tax penalties threat from HMRC. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-24654309#

Website publishers could be liable for defamatory reader comments. http://www.out-law.com/en/articles/2013/October/online-publishers-need-to-exercise-a-degree-of-caution-when-posting-stories-that-could-attract-critical-comments-rules-echr/ A new ruling by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has prompted warnings that website operators could be held liable for defamatory comments posted by their readers. The ECHR agreed with the decision of a court in Estonia to hold an online news publisher responsible for disparaging comments made about the owner of a shipping company featured in an article on the site. The court ruled that the publisher could have predicted the nature of the comments the article was likely to attract and taken steps to prevent them being made public. Under the UK's Defamation Act, which came into force earlier this year, website publishers could be held liable for reader comments, but new regulations setting out their responsibilities in full are yet to be finalised. (EnterpriseQuest)

Google breaks banner ads promise. http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2013/oct/24/google-breaks-promise-banner-ads-search-results

How to avoid cloned designer sites. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2473425/Is-1-000-designer-bag-actually-fake-One-tricked-buying-cloned-designer-sites--heres-avoid-it.html

Britain second only to Estonia for EU fuel poverty. http://money.aol.co.uk/2013/10/25/pm-urged-to-act-over-cold-homes/ Good to see Britain up there, competing for the top spot again, even if Estonian winters are much, much colder.

Is switching energy providers pointless? http://money.aol.co.uk/2013/10/24/is-switching-energy-providers-pointless/

British commuters spend over a year in traffic jams. http://postman.cbmeg.co.uk/lt.php?c=734&m=747&nl=9&s=3be78aab1efba36abcc2e8d459ad1ac6&lid=24564&l=-http--www.bmmagazine.co.uk/news/21709/british-commuters-spend-year-traffic-jams/ A lot of these jams recently being caused by Brits making a daily trip in their BMWs and SUVs down to the local food banks. Then driving around the corner for a packet of fags, a case of beer and a conversation in the supermarket aisles with their dummyphones.

24.10.2013: Official release. Government supports first ever Small Business Saturday. https://www.gov.uk/government/news/government-supports-first-ever-small-business-saturday Another piece of self-promoting bullshit from the Government which, despite pointing to the established importance of the British small business community, offers a US example for emphasising how much potential there is in a Small Business Day. On the other hand, the Minister responsible can't even be arsed to get on his bike and tour some small businesses to offer his support, and instead, will simply appear on an Arsebook page and Twatter about the subject for a few minutes in a week's time.

I would be astonished if more than 10% of the country's small businesses were even remotely affected by Twitter or Facebook. Their currency is footfall, bums on seats and hard cash. They've got work to do. And not just loaf around behind a screen in 'Wankminster' with a couple of open tabs to social media and another half a dozen to US porn sites.

Still, perhaps some heart should be taken from the fact that this time, there doesn't appear to be a media mediocrity or Dragon endorsing the initiative, and thus dooming it to failure before the country's hacks even wake up to this latest press release.

In the meantime, we continue to support the country's small businesses. Every single day, including Small Business Saturday. And not just once a year for a photo-shoot and a quick Twatter, like our politicians and the media.

'Give apprenticeships to stay-at-home mums'. http://www.bmmagazine.co.uk/news/21702/cherie-blair-give-apprenticeships-stay-home-mums/ Not a new idea by a long shot; the HBA (the organisation behind this website) was offering an officially accredited work from home/home business qualification as long as fifteen years ago. So as far as we're concerned, it's a good idea. Getting a reliable, ongoing commitment from all parties involved is a problem, however.

Post Office managers to take industrial action. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-24637357#

New top level web domains announced. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-24637673#

Mobile users win penalty-free switch. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-24636682#

Bank acknowledges 'contactless' card problems by changing rules. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/personalfinance/consumertips/banking/10398813/Bank-acknowledges-contactless-card-problems-by-changing-rules.html

It's all about the 'work club'. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/women/womens-business/10397701/Women-forget-private-members-clubs-its-all-about-the-work-club.html Once again, nothing new. There seemed to be scores of these dotted around the country even twenty years ago, centred on the themes of 'homeworking, 'teleworking' or running a business from home and inspired to a greater or lesser extent, by just one or two people in each location. However, once the driving force/s move on, retire, what-have-you and the 'energy' leaves the group, then just as with charities and voluntary groups everywhere, the club's days become numbered.

Today, with the added prominence of virtual networking and socialising (supposedly), I do wonder how much steam there is in 'work clubs'. The more's the pity.

The best place to live in the UK. http://money.aol.co.uk/2013/10/23/the-best-place-to-live-in-the-uk/

With our usual gratitude and thanks to BAD News and Cobweb Info.

Len Tondel



Viewpoint: October 2013; September 2013; August 2013; July 2013; June 2013; May 2013; April 2013; March 2013; February 2013; January 2013

December 2012; November 2012; October 2012; September 2012; August 2012; July 2012; June 2012; May 2012; April 2012; March 2012; February 2012; December 2011/January 2012

November 2011; October 2011; September 2011; August 2011; July 2011; June 2011


eBOSS October 2013 contents:

AIMS for Home Business Alliance members:

Pick of the News:
HMRC explores new approach to Business Record Checks; Health professionals targeted in new HMRC campaign; Complex local licensing rules hinder start ups, councils warn; Security services will require a licence from April 2015; Small firms able to exit phone contracts without penalty; New guide to help Welsh firms jointly bid for public contracts; Small building firms see tentative signs of recovery; Over 1,000 building sites fail safety checks; OFT consults on legal guidance for landlords.

Tax and VAT News
FREE! 101 Insider Business Tax Tips

Self Assessment Payments on Account: Make Sure You Don’t Slip Up

Yelp! by Colin Edwards

7 Big Marketing Mistakes Small Business Owners Should Avoid

Affiliate Program Basics

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Consumer Action Group newsletter; TotalInvestor blog and newsletter; Google Adwords tips and free report; Big Pockets trade accounts; Planning Enterprise; Google Adwords tips and free report; UK business directory, window film company: reduce glare, reduce heat, save money; Action Planning summer programme guide; UK Biz Sales; Art of Design webmag; all about creating and editing .pdf files; Maximising Mobile Marketing; Can you please help?; Cyber-security - mitigating the threat seminar; 10 Steps To Mobile Marketing Nirvana et al; disposal of your IT equipment; half-price business card offer; Save up to 43% on summer train fares; August theatre deals; Achieving Business Excellence workshop; Creating video for the web course plus other open course programmes; Create Video Marketing Suite; Royalty-free stock photography; On-line security test; Exceptional discounts with DHL and UPS; compare legal costs; Guidance for small firms considering cloud computing; Free carbon footprint calculator;
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