Sam Kidd's thoughts on business

This is my personal space where I share random thoughts and opinions on general business and business practices.

All Blog Entries For January 2008

2008-01-17 03:22:00.0

Teamwork Project Manager

Been up the walls here the last week so have not blogged in a while. I have been working with the guys (Dan and Topper) on The product is looking really well now, the guys have done a great job in building this.

Teamwork PM is an online Project Management application that will help you work faster and be more productive in the work place.  We have been using it for a while now in Digital Crew and it's been bloody fantastic. (well I would say that I guess)

Before Teamwork we often forgot to pass on messages or simple tasks that we needed to do for our clients, or it just ending up taking too long to sort out problems because we would miss each other in the office or emails we sent to each other would just get buried in an our email inbox.

With Teamwork we have got rid of all these problems. We have a few more features that we are in the process of adding, and  we have have had a load of suggestions from people currently using Teamworkpm but It will always be an on going project as we improve things over time.

I would love to get some more feed back from people to see what othe feature people would like. There is a free edition use as well as the paid versions with have a few more features. Please give the free one a go and let me know what you guys think.


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2008-01-10 01:04:00.0

FeedDemon is now FREE!

Just heard from Dan that the fantastic RSS reader, FeedDemon is now free. Thats right I said it FeedDemon is FREE!! I have been meaning to get FeedDemon for a while now but have just never got round to it.  I see on their site that they do a synchronization with the blackberry, so I will have to look at that. I have been using viigo on my Blackberry. I saw Dan was using on his iphone and I liked the way your feed were synced with your desktop.

The full press release can be found on the FeedDemon site here.

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2008-01-09 23:28:00.0

Building Coffee Republic From Our Kitchen

Building Coffee Republic From Our Kitchen is the book by Sahar Hashemi and Bobby Hashemi. I read Building Coffee Republic From Our Kitchen over the christmas break while dying from that bloody flu that was going round.  It's not a big read and I got through it in a couple of sitting. I picked it up in Waterstones in the after Christmas sales, for about 13 Euro. 

The start of the book is all about how you too can be an entrepreneur, and giving people advice and encouragement for taking the leap into running your own business. So if you already own your own business the start of the book is a bit boring and is just telling you what you already know and do.

However I found the book really good once I got half way through. This is when they are about to about open the doors on their first Coffee Republic shop. Once I got to this part it was a really interesting to read. The reason I got it was to see how someone goes from one small coffee shop to becoming one of the biggest brands in the UK.
And for this part alone it was a great book.  Its written by people that you can tell love their business and have worked bloody hard in it.  If your thinking about open a coffee shop or any business really in the retail trade I would recommend you give this a read.

Link to it on Amazon

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2008-01-07 23:14:00.0

Whopper Freak out

As you will know from other posts on this site I love advertising that's really stands out above the rest.  This site is another example of someone thinking outside the box to get their message across.  Any advert that you want to watch and want to tell people about is a winner in my books.  This advert comes from a company I didn't think I would be writting about here, Burger king.

The idea for the video is of course simple like any great idea. What would happen if you took a Burger King restaurant in America, and then you decided, hey lets take the Whopper off the menu and told everyone that comes in that the Whopper has been discontinued for ever. Well the video will answer those questions.
Tags: Advertising | Video
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2008-01-07 19:34:00.0

How to change Name in Team Fortress 2

How do you change you name in Team Fortress 2. Still seems to be a problem that a lot of people are coming up against. To change your name in Team Fortress 2 is really easy to sort out.

I wrote about this here before but people can't find the post. So I will write it out again.
I had been having this problem down in AREA51 and it was a pain playing a LAN with about 30 unknowns running around. Still made life for the spy easier. The work around is really easy to fix. In fairness Valve have done a great job with their Steam client. I used to hate Steam but I have to say I'm really starting to love steam as a content delivery system.

Any how back to the problem people have been having with changing their name in Team Fortress 2.

Go into console then type:
setinfo name Kiwi 
Just change kiwi to what you want your player name to be. Sorted
If you ever round AREA51 on a Tuesay night call in for a LAN of Team Fortress 2. It normally kicks off at about 7pm and runs to about 11ish.

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2008-01-06 22:09:00.0

Buying a lease for a Commercial Property or Retail Unit.

Commercial Property, I know I have had a rant on here before about leases for commercial property and because of this I have found people coming to the site that are searching for info on leasing of commercial property. I was also talking to a few people about this as well and I forgot what it was like when you’re first looking for a property to rent to start a shop or business. So I thought I would put down just a few basic things that might help people out.

I remember when we were first looking for a shop to rent for AREA51 and going into all the property places to ask about commercial property or retail units.The first time I met with a property auctioneer they asked me was I looking to buy a lease or just looking to rent. I was think to myself, well aren’t they the same thing. Well they are and they aren’t.  The easiest way to explain buying a lease is before you can pay rent you must buy the right to pay rent. I know this sounds crazy when you’re first starting out into the retail world that you must pay to rent.

So the basic story is, lets say you have found a shop you like. This shop has the sign lease for sale. You ask the auctioneer how much it is. They say it 90k; you then cough up a lung and need a seat. So what’s going on here, well the shop you are looking at is owned by a landlord. He owes the building. Then he decides he wants to rent the building or part of it for retail. Now to protect that persons business they get a lease, which is the right to rent and run a business. Now the landlord can’t just say get out of my building I want it back now. So the person has their business protected, but if they want to close up shop they can sell on this lease to someone else so they can run a business there. So if you wanted this shop for yourself you will have to pay 90k cash to the person who’s business is closing down. The other down side to this is it is just like buying a house. In the way that it goes to the highest bidder, so there may be a bidding war ahead for a retail property.

Ouch I hear you say. I know this is a pain, especially if you are a start-up business. The only good thing is you now own a bit of an asset. If you then decide in a few years time you need a bigger shop or that shop didn’t work out for you, well then you get to sell the lease. You may make more or less, it all depends on demand and other factors with the shop.
Even though I feel the lease is an asset the banks don’t look at them this way. Not a huge shock there really. I wrote a bit here about trying to get a loan using the lease as equity before. Bloody banks!!

This is a really basic look at retail leases but it may help you get a better idea of how it works. If you have any question just email me or write it into the comments.

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2008-01-04 20:06:00.0

Blogger Unleashed

You always hear of these great stories of how people seem to make such massive amounts of money online doing what seems like feck all really.  I have read load of blogs about ways to go about it, most of them bored the pants off me, and it just seemed pointless really. Then last night while catching up on all the blogs I missed over christmas, I was reading Day Job Nuker (great funny Blog) he had a post about this guy who really claimed to do this. I thought sure! another boring site here we go. The site is called Blogger Unleashed. So I clicked on it to have a quick look. 6 hours later I was still reading Blogger Unleashed . I have to say I was just blown away by the posts.

It's impossible to write why I found why Blogger Unleashed  so good. I guess it's causes he's straight to the point, he then is able to show and to back up everything up that he goes on about. Plus you can tell it's written by someone who is just so passionate about what they do. You can feel in his writting that he's trying to get so much out so fast ,and he's really trying to help other bloggers who are looking to do this for a living.

His site he says is full of mistakes and is baddy written, which is fine with me, cause I can't write and spell for shite either so I don't notice most of them, but this almost adds to the real human feel Blogger Unleashed has.

If your interested in running an online business and making some money online you really should it out.

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2008-01-03 19:49:00.0

Welcome to 2008

I can't believe another year has passed by. In some ways it feels like it has just flown by, then again, it does seem like a age that I was in New York during February last year.
I have to say I'm looking forward to 2008, 2007 was busy but in someways not much happened for me. Last year was filled with a lot of ground work, which I know is important, but it just ain't as exciting to be honest. I'm now hoping this year I will see a few of these things startup.

Also the wisdom teeth coming out was fantastic. They came out on a Thursday and I was eating by Sunday. So much for my diet plan before Christmas, that didn't work so well. Still I don't know why I waited so long to get them out, I'm such a wimp when it comes to the dentist. Life in my mouth is much better now, I don't keep trying to eat my cheeks which is a nice change.

Quote : "Hard work never killed anybody but it is illegal in some places."

One of my must buys to start the year the Demotivators Calendar 2008

Also I see now on the despair site they now do T-shirts, I thought this one would be good.

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