The Trade Counter Returns

I am pleased to announce the return of The Trade Counter to this website.

The Trade Counter specialises in providing trade stock for small businesses from some of the world’s leading suppliers and currently has over 500 products available.

Please click here to visit The Trade Counter. 

The Trade Counter is part of the relaunch of The Trade House.

Virtual Office : ProjeQtOr Now Available

I am delighted to announce that ProjeQtor is now available in my Virtual Office product.


ProjeQtOr is an open source project management software grouping in a single tool all the features needed to organize your projects. It is simple, easy to use daily while covering a maximum of project management features. Its particularity, in addition to its completeness, is to be quality oriented.


  • Planning management : ProjeQtOr provides all the elements needed to build a planning from workload, constraints between tasks and resources availability.
  • Resource management : ProjeQtOr manages the availability of resources that can be affected to multiple projects. Tool calculates a reliable, optimized and realistic planning.
  • Tickets management : ProjeQtOr includes a Bug Tracker to monitor incidents on your projects, with possibility to include work on planned tasks of your projects.
  • Costs management : All elements related to delays can also be followed as costs (from resources work) and managing other expenses all costs of the project are monitored and can generate invoices.
  • Quality management : The specificity of ProjeQtOr is that it is Quality Oriented : it integrates the best practices that can help you meet the quality requirements on your projects.
  • Risks management : ProjeQtOr includes a comprehensive risks and opportunities management, including the action plan necessary to mitigate or treat them and monitoring occurring problems.
  • Perimeter management : ProjeQtOr allows you to monitor and record all events on your projects and helps you in managing of deviations, to control the perimeter of projects.
  • Commitments management : ProjeQtOr allows you to follow the requirements on your projects and measure at any time coverage progress, making it easy to reach your commitments.
  • Tools : ProjeQtOr includes some tools to generate alerts, automatically send emails on chosen events, import or export data in various formats.

For more information on either Projeqtor or Virtual Office, please use the form below to contact me.

Virtual Office – Update and Pricing

My Virtual Office product has now been live for just over 6 months and has attracted some wonderful new customers who are all very happy with the service they are receiving. Virtual Office puts your business into the browser with access available from any device.


Flashback: Voucher Codes

Some time ago a gave presentation to small business investors and owners at a business networking event about some of the pitfalls and issues when marketing a business on voucher code and discount code website. It was a very well attended talk which I thoroughly enjoyed giving with a robust question and answer discussion at the end. You can download my slides by clicking on the link below 🙂 Voucher Code Websites Presentation

2 very dangerous Ed’s

So election campaigning is now in full swing. There are political soundbites everywhere and slanging matches going on in every media outlet there is. As a self-employed businessman though I am running bloody scared at the moment and so are so many people like me. Business is quiet over at The Investment Network too as people hold onto their positions for fear of what will happen on election day. You see there are two dangerous blokes called Ed in Westminster and every self-employed business man or woman is scared witless of them having any power whatsoever. Yes its Ed Miliband and Ed Balls. The thought of these two idiots in power for small business people in unpalatable. They hate the small business and the small business owner with a passion that most level-headed normal people only ever reserve for trafficwardens! The two Ed’s however are not normal nor are they level-headed. It would appear most likely that a Labour government would feature a coalition with either UKIP or the Liberal Democrats. Nigel Farage’s only useful policy is to reintroduce smoking into pubs! I do approve of this one! Nick Clegg is too wet to make a difference. So if you want to know why small businesses are being quiet on doing business at the moment when it comes to investment, expansion and capital expenditure. It is because they are scared of the two Ed’s. What about me? Well I am scared and if Labour get any semblance of power, expect me to move to the Channel Islands fairly expediently.

Comsumer Electronics As A Marketing Tool. Why It Sucks!

Since starting The Investment Network in 2013 I have had a large number of conversations with start up businesses that are looking for additional assistance with their business or who are looking for funding. This is an interesting part of my work. I am always especially interested to hear of the marketing ideas for these businesses. Or am I? I am beginning to get very irked by business owners who suggest giving away iPad’s, iPhone’s, games consoles and the such like. These devices are ten-a-penny and everyone has them. If you need to give away an iPad then in my opinion you have two problems with your business model. Firstly in my opinion you do not have a product or service that will sell well enough without an incentive that probably costs more than the sale price to the customer. Why would I want an iPad in return for buying what you have to sell when I have three already!? Secondly on the basis of my first point you are probably attracting customers who cannot afford an iPad in the first place, so how are you going to reach your target market if your targets already own three iPad’s and the only people who are interested in your product cannot afford one! If they need to buy your product or service to gain an iPad, how on earth can they afford to become a repeat customer? I have been in and out of the mobile phone business since 2004. In the early years, consumer electronics along with cash back were a massive lure in the sale of mobile phone contracts. PlayStation’s, Laptops, iPods and flat screen televisions as an incentive to sign a contract were all the rage, until Christmas 2007. This is where it all went wrong. You see parents were signing up to mobile contracts in order to get the expensive toys and games consoles for their kids to give to them as presents. That Christmas I saw some of the largest number of rejections for mobile contracts ever in a one month period. Its clear they wanted an expensive gadget but could not afford it. My mobile phone business was without its knowledge or desire becoming a sub-prime games console and iPod shop! My advice to the small businesses I speak to now is to not bother with consumer electronics as a gimmick but to think of your target market and think of something unique that your competitors will have difficulty copying and that your target market will enjoy and appreciate. Remember your target customer already owns three iPads, a flat screen TV, a games console and an iPhone! Dial in a relevant product or service with a good ongoing sales and marketing plan and for God’s sake do not forget magnificent customer service and the mathematics says you have a good, viable business on your hands. However if I hear another business wanting give away consumer electronics as a gimmick I will probably scream so loudly that the residents of Munich will probably hear me 🙂 Anyway that’s all for now folks, please enjoy the rest of the festive season!