Monday, November 13, 2006

Slow Progress

So, other than being made redundant and attempting to setup my own business, my second son coming into the world and suffering with the lack of sleep associated with that, what ahve I been upto?

Well, as the heading says, Progress is slow. As I am currently still employed then I can't earn money during my normal core hours. This I assume would include developing websites that are capable of earnig me money. So, progress on websites and associated income streams has been limited to evenings and weekends, and to be fair with new baby time has been very limited.

So, what have I done?

Business Awareness Workshop
On the 6th November I attended another business awareness course provided by Penna Associates in central Manchester. It has to be said, the course was excellent and I would recommend that anybody considering setting up in business should attend.

CV Review
After the business awareness workshop I had a 1 hour 1 to 1 with one of the Penna trainers during which time we reviewed my CV. A couple of changes to be made but I feel much happier with both style and content.

The Future
The practicalities of having to earn money to support the family along with haveing two children under 2 give several problems. Firstly I need money and secondly I don't get much work done when oliver is not in nursery, effectively giving me a 3 day working week! At this time the business has not been setup and as such is not capable of generating money so any idea of hiring an office can be forgotten. With that in mind, the only serious option is to look for another job and whilst I am looking I will push hard on the business front.

New Baby

A big apology to anybody following my blog. Everything has been on hold due to the birth of my second son William James. Both Mother and Baby doing fine and first son, Oliver has been a star and has handled the new situation without much of a problem.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Business Awareness Course

I attended a Business Awareness Training course provide by TBV Business Services today. They provide the courses on behalf of business link who I recommend you contact should you be interested in setting up your own business. The course was a half day session and covered every topic needing consideration when setting up a business. As such the information was limited but it provided enough information to get you started. Much of the information (and much more) is available on the business link website - its well worth a read! So, while the information on the course was limited I did feel that it pulled together a lot of the information made available on the business link web site and relayed it in an organised fashion. i.e what comes first ? and then what? sort of approach...

While the course may be limited it also opens up further avenues of investigation / training, with upto 3 one to one sessions with a business advisor being made available to you. Two business review sessions and specialist sessions covering topics of your choice - book keeping, marketing for example.

I would recommend this course to anybody considering setting up their own business.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Sorting the finances

Some of the most worrying aspects about being made redundant are the financial ones. How are we going to live? How are we going to pay the mortgage? etc etc

Well, my top tip is to do a financial analysis as soon as you have any idea that you are likely to be made redundant.

I then spoke with my mortgage providers and it turned out that not only will the mortgage protection plan cover me for upto 12 months, the plan MAY pay out for period of 3 or 4 months if I do decide to setup my own business. (I need to get this in writing)

The mortgage providers have also agreed that I may take a 12 month mortgage holiday if I so wish.

So, what does this mean to me?
Well, by simply removing the mortgage from my outgoings for a short period of time I can make my payment in lieu of my notice period and my redundancy payment last not 4 months as it normally but maybe 7 or 8.

By closely examining my outgoings I estimate that by only paying for the essentials I can extend that further by another month or two.

This is serious as it not only shows me how much money I waste but it has huge positive effects upon my mental state! It really does remove a lot of pressure.

So the message is clear, if you find yourself in my situation - sort out the finances as soon as you can.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Business Awareness

I just though it would be worth updating the blog with a usefull tip that somebody else had given to me when I told them that I was considering setting up my own business. It was suggested to me that I simply contact Business Link to discuss some of the finer details with them. One phone call later I find myself booked onto a Business Awareness session that is to be run locally. It will discuss amongst other topics, setting up the business and importantly what business model to choose. It is run locally and it is entirely free of charge. So, my tip to you is to find out what help is available - and take it.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

We are proud to announce OpakapakaFinance

Hot on the heals of the Mother & Baby and Toys sites we have now published a finance site. Now lets get one thing clear we are not offering any financial services, we are not advocating or advising on the purchase of a particular service or financial product and we are not offering financial advice. The site simply pulls a number of products and services from a range of providers into a single viewable area allowing the consumer to make comparisons .

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Search Engine Optimisation and Blogging

The reality of the redundancy and the real issue of having to setup a business that will support myself and the family now begins to hit home. Its no longer play time - I have to generate cash and quick. It's all very well having websites published that are capable of generating cash but if I don't get any visitors then I won't earn any money. Whilst I have researched SEO it does not appear to be an exact science, their are no guarantees. I need to get my websites known and quick. I sort of stumbled across blogging but it does appear that this could provide part fo the solution. Time will tell.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Garden Leave

As mentioned yesterday I was going to go into work to tidy up a few loose ends. I duly turned up after spending an hour in the gym and spent the rest of the day sorting out a few things. Sometime late afternoon my email account, intranet and internet access were disabled, I took the letter received the previous day informing me that I was not required on site now to read we don't want you on site ! So I went home and started the garden leave !

After negotiating that I could use compnay internet /phone access during my notice period I found this a bit strange and a sad way to be treated considering I had worked extremely hard for the business during the past 8 years.