Top 10 New Year’s Resolution for Small Business Owners

Clare Earle - Wednesday, January 11, 2012

It’s the start of the New Year and millions of people around the world are reflecting on 2011 and are making New Year’s resolutions that will make them better, slimmer or healthier. As a small business owner you can also make a ‘corporate’ new year’s resolution for your business. In our next blog entry, we will share with you what Piranha Designs has promised to achieve in 2012. But now, let me share with you, what I believe, are the top 10 New Year’s resolutions for small business owners:

  1. 1.Support Other Small Businesses

As a small business owner yourself support other small businesses by switching one of your current providers or suppliers to a small business!

  1. 2. Focus on the Growing Mobile Community

It is a known fact that more people are using their mobile phones to surf the internet and that this is a growing trend. You need to make sure that all your online marketing strategies are mobile-friendly. Have you ever tested how easy it is to navigate through your website via a Blackberry, iPhone or Android?

  1. 3. Put yourself on the Map

It is also true that more and more people are using the internet to source out local businesses; so make sure you can be found easily on Google Places, Bing maps, and Yahoo maps.

  1. 4. Share the Workload

As a small business owner your time is precious so reflect on where your time and effort is most fruitful and focus on that! Then pass on all the other tasks (admin tasks, blog updates) to other staff members or consider outsourcing. 

  1. 5. Socialise More

Chose a social network that will be used to market your business, there is a wide selection (blog, facebook, twitter, google+, LinkedIn) so make sure you pick the one that best suits you. If you are already using one of these social networks either commit to utilising it further to promote your business or chose a new network to take full advantage of.

  1. 6. Refresh Your Website

Do not fall into the trap of focusing on your facebook account and neglecting your website. There is no point in having an up-to-date facebook page that leads to an out-dated and inaccurate webpage. Remember to keep the content and look relevant and engaging!

  1. 7. See Your Staff as Your Customers

If you see your staff as your primary customers you will start to praise them and treat them even better than you are now. This will have the knock on effect of having a happier and more motivated workforce which will lead to higher productivity and improved customer service!

  1. 8. Prepare for the Tax Time

Make a commitment to yourself that you will have all the relevant paperwork in an organised fashion at least 3 weeks before the tax deadline; this means that you can avoid the mad rush and stress of getting all the paperwork ready at the last minute.

  1. 9. Socialise in the Real World

Online socialising should not replace real world socialising; instead they should complement each other! You can find very valuable clients or providers by socialising outside of your normal circles. Perhaps attend a conference or join an association. 

  1. 10. Treat Yourself to Some TLC

As a small business owner it is very easy to work yourself too hard and reward yourself too little. So make sure you treat yourself regularly with leaving home early one day or treating yourself to a day at a spa.

Remember to look at our blog over the next few days so that you can find out what Piranha Designs New Year’s resolution is for 2012.  

Can you afford not to offer Free shipping?

Piranha Designs - Wednesday, May 18, 2011
As I speak to our customers I see that small businesses are fighting a difficult battle against the larger online stores such as Amazon. I have also seen that one of the key advantages that Amazon offer is Free Shipping.

There have been some recent studies that show quite astonishing results:

Nearly 50% of online orders include free shipping.

61% of people are very likely to cancel their order if they do not get free shipping.



Image and stats from comscore.com

Buying online is always supposed to be cheaper than going to a store, however when I buy from a store I never pay shipping, nor do I have to wait to get the item. It is these two concepts that need to be improved in order to make an online store successful. Short delivery periods and free shipping. That is why Amazon Prime is excellent. People pay a low annual fee and get free first class delivery on almost all products.

Small online retailers need to combat this, you can't just sit back and allow your customers to go to Amazon. At the same time couriers are not cheap, and with the rising cost of fuel this isn't likely to change much. What can you do?

The most popular option is to offer Free Shipping on orders over a certain value, and within a specific weight or volume. Basically you have to absorb the cost of shipping, but the increase in orders should be able to outweigh that.

It is worth a try. If you are using one of our Piston Commerce systems it is an easy option to turn on, give it a month and see the difference.

Breaking into the Spanish ecommerce market

Piranha Designs - Wednesday, April 20, 2011

We have recently begun working with a select number of Spanish firms in developing their ecommerce websites. Powered by our multi lingual Dynamo CMS software, the sites are making a solid impression.
A while ago we launched Agape - a large bi lingual website with an online store, videos etc. Last week we have finished two other sites Royal Pianos and Rosa Gabriel.



Royal Pianos.com is a leading Piano distributor based in Benalmadena, with clients all over Spain. Their new site allows for online ordering of Pianos and gives them an easy way to update any information immediately. We have also setup a free ebook, (Guide to buying a Piano) this serves to build trust and also starts a relationship with the company. From the day it was launched we have seen clients register for certain pianos, and are confident that this website is going to go from strength to strength. Visit Royal Pianos >



Rosa Gabriel.com is a very economical clothes store based in Tarifa. They have been around for a long time and are looking to expand. By building the site on Dynamo they can add their hundreds of products themselves, and market them through a weekly newsletter. Visit Rosa Gabriel >



Although the market is very weak in Spain, there are still some companies that are looking for professional suppliers who can help them overcome the struggles and improve their business. Working from Gibraltar, with access to English resources can give us an advantage over the competition.

Gmail Motion - A funny April Fools Video.

Piranha Designs - Monday, April 04, 2011
On April Fools Day there where some funny pranks. Here is one of my favourite:
Google announced the launch of Gmail motion - the latest in email technology, where you can do almost anything with simple gestures. Watch the video below:

Can small businesses save money and time by having employees work from home?

Piranha Designs - Wednesday, March 30, 2011
There is a growing trend in the USA and in the UK for people to work from home. A friend in London works for a top UK television channel, and due to the nature of the work, she has to start at 4am. After an hour or so she has finished and doesn't have anything more to do until much later on. Obviously there is no point in getting her to go all the way to the office, which is quite a commute at ridiculous hours in the morning, if she is just going to sit at a PC and do her stuff. So she works from home. Gets up early has a cup of coffee and does whatever it is she needs to do without wasting hours driving or getting the tube.

There are a number of benefits (taken from UK BusinessLink website)

* improved retention of employees, eg home working can help retain working parents with childcare responsibilities
* a wider pool of applicants from which to recruit, eg disabled people who may prefer to work from home
* possible productivity gains through staff having fewer interruptions and less commuting time
* increased staff motivation with reduced stress and sickness levels
* savings on office space and other facilities
* possible location of sales staff near clients rather than being based in your premises

At the same time it is scary for a business owner to think his employees are in their pijamas playing the Wii instead of hard at work in the office! Obviously there are loads of great tools that can help to make everything easier. Here are some of the best:

  • Dropbox - online hard drive where everyone can share data
  • Google Docs - Online Office documents
  • Skype - Now with multiple video conferencing
  • GotoMeeting - online conferencing
  • GotoMyPC - remote PC access
One company that have really taken this to heart are Citrix Online, a hugely successful US based operation. Read more here: http://www.businessweek.com/smallbiz/content/feb2011/sb20110215_286886.htm

Also read: Why its Ok to let my staff work from home.

Please post your comments below.

Cashflow and the Real Estate of the future

Piranha Designs - Wednesday, February 23, 2011
Cashflow is the key to success in personal finance. Monthly income is the best way to go. If you have ever played Cashflow 101 from Robert Kiyosaki, you will know what I mean.

10 years ago property was the best thing to own for cashflow. Especially a property that you bought for a relatively low price, could rent out at a lot more than the mortgage, and eventually sell for a tidy profit.

Recently property prices have increased so much that these gems are very hard to find.

There is a new real estate emerging, the internet real estate.

Internet real estate is similar to commercial properties, it depends where they are, what kind of footfall (traffic) they get and how appealing they are. Websites have the potential to draw in higher monthly incomes with a lot lower outlay at the beginning.

McDonalds restaurants sell hamburgers but they are in the property business, renting or owning prime locations all around the world.

What is a prime location on the web?

A top Google ranking for a popular keyword is like being in Times Square. With thousands of customers knocking on your door, this is a very valuable position and can be extremely profitable.

You can build a website and get it high up the rankings and own this important real estate, or you can actually buy a website that is already in a good position.

There is a website that focuses on flipping websites, much the same way people flipped properties a while ago. This site allows you to buy websites and some whole businesses many with established cashflow.

Its quite interesting check it out: www.flippa.com

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