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Texting and driving

You may recall that earlier this year we wrote a blog about the new driving laws that came in to effect on 1st March, which saw tougher penalties for those caught using their mobile devices whilst behind the wheel.
According to information published at the end of May, it would appear these harsher sanctions are not having a huge impact on the number of people behaving themselves whilst driving. In fact, between 1st March and 28th March (the four weeks immediately following the revised rules) a total of 6,000 motorists were caught red handed.

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Phone addication

Life is full of distractions, but it may well be true that nothing causes us to waste so much time or encourages procrastination quite like the mobile phone.  Whilst they are there to make our lives easier, automating many activities, and ensuring we have a whole host of information at our finger tips, it also means we are largely getting less done than ever before.

How many times do you check your phone each day?

What do you think?  Ten times?  Twenty?  Fifty?

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Could you save money?

Few of us are in a position where we are happy to throw money away.  No matter how much you have in the bank, you’re unlikely to want to simply waste what you’ve worked so hard to get.  Equally, if times are slightly tough when it comes to the finances, you want to do everything you possibly can to ensure you’re maximising what you have available.

Running a business is no different.  You should always look for ways where you can increase your revenue, whilst reducing your outgoings so you can maximise profits.  That’s just good business sense. However, it’s often easier said than done.

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Productivity Apps

productivity apps

There is no doubt you will have heard us say this before, but technology is everywhere. And by technology, to be honest, we’re talking about smartphones and the like. The simple truth is that you can barely go anywhere these days without being checked in automatically, or having targeted ads and offers zapped to you the minute you walk through a door.

The whole point of all this technology we carry around with us all the time is to ensure we’re constantly connected, but equally that we are getting more done. Or, at least that’s how we’re meant to feel. (more…)

Appendix

No matter what you do, whether you’re a sole-trader, run an SME or are the CEO of a large organisation, the ability to work whenever and wherever you need or want to is hugely important. Time is money, and losing either because you’re stuck at home with the kids because of a teaching strike or the car’s broken down is something few of us have any tolerance for.

These days we’re surrounded by tech which serves to make our lives easier, and as a result we can appear to be in the office, whilst actually being in a secluded cabin in the middle of the woods (signal permitting, of course). It’s this sort of tech, when it comes to all forms of telecommunication that we at Diamond Solutions specialise in. (more…)

The UK’s best and worst cities for 4G coverage – 2017

uk 4g coverage 2017

This week the UKs best and worst cities for 4G coverage were revealed with the north fairing significantly better than the south (which causes Kent-born Tony no end of turmoil). According to consumer group Which? and OpenSignal, Middlesbrough and Teeside had the best coverage at 82.7%, followed by Sheffield with 79.3%; however, Bournemouth and Poole ranked lowest with 67.5% with Southampton and Portsmouth not fairing much better at 69.6%.

Stoke on Trent appears to be the best place to be if you want a fast download speed, with Brighton being the worst. You may be forgiven what any of this matters, but with most of us living our lives, and even running our businesses from our mobiles, having strong, fast and reliable connectivity is vital. (more…)

Working smart are you?

 

With the start of a new tax year many business owners are busy thinking about how to earn more and spend less over the next 12 months.  No matter what financial health your company is currently in, few of us would shun the opportunity to do better.

How then can you give your balance sheet a makeover for the year 2017/2018?

#1 Networking

No matter what industry you work in or whether you sell products or services, every business need to spend money on marketing.  How you decide to spend that money though depends entirely on what is it you’re trying to achieve.

Gone are the days when you could only place adverts in The Yellow Pages, now you have a heady variety of options from Google Ads to social media and email campaigns.

Although tech is everywhere, and obviously dominated our professional and personal lives, you can’t get away from the simple fact that we are all just people trying to sell to people.  As such, getting in front of those people will always be one of the most effective, and often most cost effective, ways of spreading the message.

Fact to face networking, whether at a one-off event or in a members-only group, offers a fantastic way to increase your referrals, and also get people to act as your sales team. It can also be quite a lot of fun!

# 2 Outsource

When you run your own business it can feel like it’s a lot easier (and cheaper) to do it all yourself.  You can manage your own social media, add up your income, send your own invoices and plan your marketing; however, it doesn’t take long for it all to get a bit overwhelming, certainly if you are busy doing the actual work.

Whilst outsourcing is going to cost you money, it doesn’t have to cost the earth, and ultimately it can be worth any outlay by recouping your valuable time. Time you can spend focussing on your business and ensuring you are moving in the right direction.

It doesn’t matter what it is you outsource – bookkeeping, your website, your phone calls or even your address with a virtual receptionist, just find an expert and trust them.

# 3 Stay mobile

There is a certain prestige to having a dedicated work space; however, if you don’t really need it (i.e. you don’t have any staff to provide space for) it can be an expensive and unnecessary luxury.  Thanks to technology there is no reason why you have to be in a particular place at any given time.

If you have the right tech equipment, whether that be a Wi-Fi hotspot, good mobile phone with the right contract, or even a VOIP phone, you can work at anytime, anywhere.  There is no need to be chained to a particular desk, or office space.

Go out there and explore the world!

 

Apps – more apps ?

Most of us know that 23rd April is St George’s Day; however, it’s also UN English Language Day.  While you might not have heard of this day before, it was actually established in 2010 by UNESCO and seeks to celebrate multilingualism and cultural diversity as well as to promote equal use of all six of its official working languages throughout the organisation.

While you might assume the date was chosen to coincide with celebrations of our patron Saint, the reality is it’s actually to mark the anniversary of Shakespeare’s death.  For those of you who fancy yourselves as wordsmiths, we have a selection of apps that can keep you head and shoulders above your peers.

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We were at the Big Bolton Expo

Two weeks ago Diamond Solutions exhibited at The Big Bolton Expo, and we had a great time.

The expo itself, which was run by the team at thebestofBolton (who we are proud members of) was excellent. Long before we even stepped through the doors of the venue we had nothing but support from Gaynor and her guys and gals.

Whilst it’s good to know someone is on hand to answer all your questions, and deal with any issues along the way, the best thing is knowing they’re taking it as seriously as you are.  Marketing is always one of the biggest outlays any business will be involved with, and the proof is always in the pudding.  An expo is no different.

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Walk to work day?

Did you know that 7th April is Walk to Work Day?  To be honest, it’s not exactly up there with Christmas and New Year’s, but it is a good date for the diary.  Walking has so many health benefits, regardless of your current physical status, and best of all, is free.  Not only that, but it’s good for the environment and simple to get involved in.

If you want to take advantage of this date in a bid to increase your calories whilst reducing your carbon footprint then one of the best ways is to use an app.  We decided to look at some of the free apps that are available out there for you, and here are our top five:

# 1 MapMyWalk

Available on iPhone, Android and Windows this app gives you everything you’re likely to need.

Straight away you can access popular routes by location, whether you’re in Edinburgh, London or Tallahassee.  In fact, there are over 70 million routes to choose from, so there’s definitely going to be a little something for everyone.

Not only can you map out your entire route and keep track of them for future reference, you can also record your activity off-app by entering information manually. If you plan to use the app to help you stay on top of any fitness goals you have, then there is also the option to enter information regarding your diet and nutrition so you can have a complete picture of what you are doing when it comes to your fitness lifestyle.

One of our favourite elements is the social part, where you can add friends to provide each other with encouragement, or even set up your own little friendly competition.

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