So what happened in 2015?

Many regular readers and old friends have commented that I seem to have taken my foot off the gas in terms of this blog and a few other things. So what has been going on? Well firstly I had to restructure my businesses because I did not have enough time to tend to them all. I have also been spending quite some time here. The next issue came in March when I had a small accident. You can read more about that here. This threw up a few other issues incluing severe arthritis which mean’t I would spend most of the year on crutches. Last week I was able to stick the crutches into storage after a procedure in hospital.Only time will tell if this is a temporary as opposed to a permanent solution. Some of you may also remeber this little issue that reared its ugly head a few years ago and started playing havoc with my hearing. I now wear hearing aids full time. Unfortunately this was the start of something more serious. So there is the answer, unfortunately my time has been taken up with other things.

October’s Commuting Rant

I thought I would get this one in early! Some of you will know that I have ranted about commuting into London recently and especially about the behaviour of certain individuals or groups. Well here goes this months installment! Brompton bike riders. You lot are so beginning to really take the mickey that you have gained a reputation in my eyes akin the that of a BMW driver!. Firstly please don’t be so precious about your stupid bike we all do not need to make a space around you. You are actually supposed to put said bike on the overhead luggage rack anyway. Secondly half unfolding your bike whilst either the train is still moving or on a platform seriously annoys your fellow commuters. You are supposed to unfold your bike outside the station. Worse still are those Muppets who ride down the platform at Victoria Station at * in the morning 🙁 Next up. Ticket Gates. To one side of each set of ticket barriers at any station is a wide angled gate for those of us who are disabled or have heavy luggage or pushchairs with us. It is not for idiots who think they are too good to use a normal ticket barrier. Please stop doing it. You look like a complete twat when you do it as well. Now lets talk about passing the time on the actual journey? Reading a newspaper – thats cool. Reading a good book is fine too. Sipping a latte while you are at it – excellent.. I do it too! Reading reports marked confidential and making sure the whole train carriage can see makes you look like an idiot especially to the bloke on Thursday who was reading a Ministry of Defence, highly classified document on the 08:20 to Waterloo! Lets be clear this document was so sensitive it should not have left the office. I am surprised one of my fellow commuters didn’t take a picture and get the Daily Mail to report it! To be fair it is not the first time I have seen classified government papers being read on a train. This months special mention however must go to the plonker who was talking so loudly about Microsoft System Center on his mobile phone one morning and telling his contacts on the other end of the telephone what do do. He also kept looking around to try and work out why someone was pissing themselves laughing from Raynes Park to Clapham Junction. Well mate here it is especially for you, whoever you are: Firstly Microsoft System Center was my old shop for many years until I left IT. I had some good times consulting on the international circuit around this product set. Secondly you were talking absolute bollocks and trying to get a junior to go through an operation which only you alone should have done from a desk of some description with full control of your environment. You also gave wrong information about a certain part of the product set to your colleague and gave him a password which I assume was for a certain service account. Naughty. Naughty Naughty! I hope your boss sees this and sacks you! Thats the commuting rant over for this month!

Yet another commuting rant

Some of you may know that I took a fall the other day and I am now back on crutches. 🙁 Today was my first day travelling into London at rush hour on crutches. What a pain. But a few people need to be singled out here. To the bloke who gave me a seat at Wimbledon. Thank You. To the two bints who would not stop gassing and let me off the train at Clapham Junction. What a pair of airheads you really are. Now lets start on Victoria Station. To the silly bint who ran into me while running and trying to do her fucking make up. Wake up earlier prepare properly and watch what you are fucking doing! Commuting is getting worse in the UK but please guys taker care and commute responsibly and properly. Its not that difficult.  

A Small Work Related Rant – Valuation and Freelancers

I am writing this in a personal capacity as I felt it would be unfair to post this on a work site as it is not policy to post these sorts of observations on work related websites.

I have been buying and selling websites and technology businesses in a professional capacity since 2004 either on my own account or on behalf of clients. In this time I have participated in a large number of deals. When I speak to a vendor, their idea of the market value of a website or business is usually a little over what the market will pay. I would suggest that with the exception of the group I will deal with its generally between 5-10 percent but maybe as much as 15 percent from time to time.

In nine years in this business I have dealt with a large number of freelancers. In some ways I am still a freelancer. Now a number of freelancers set up businesses outside their core skill set in their spare time and I have no issue with this at all. I admire their entrepreneurial spirit. This is a good thing! The big problem is when it comes to time to sell. I used to get two or three calls like the following a week when I used to be a member of a certain freelance trade association and I am staggered by the number I have received in the past week.

It goes like this. I get a call asking if I can sell a website. I then ask pertinent questions to get a rough idea of value and verbally present a marketing plan. When it comes to freelancers the websites they build in their spare time are worth between £250 and £5000 as a general rule. There are some exceptions. Freelancers will explain that their hourly rate is £x. This is usually well over inflated. I’m sorry but if you are a front line IT call handler on contract to a local government organisation in the Midlands you do not earn £75 an hour! More like £15 if you are lucky!  They multiply their hourly rate by an over inflated amount of time that it took them to get their valuation. so a site worth £1000 realistically to them has a valuation of £30,000! They usually did not take 300 hours to develop either – more like 30 -40! Please stop lying!

This causes a number of problem for supply and demand in the market place and does have the effect of stalling new entrants to the market in the form of buyers. The other issue is the amount of commission they wish to pay on a sale if I am to sell the site or business on their behalf. I am sorry if your site is only worth £1000. I am not going to work on a commission of 1%. That means only £10 for me. Ergo I make a huge loss!  Yes your Estate Agent may work on 1% but that is on a property sale most likely greater than £150,000! Again this causes problems in the market as it stalls the entry of new stock to market at realistic prices which is the lifeblood of the market.

If I offered some of these sites out to market at the prices many freelancers who sell wanted for them I would be a laughing stock quite quickly. As I would be massively over inflating the real market worth.

I must say that experienced operators are on the whole very good but some freelancers do muddy the market with over ideological thinking and I do wish they would stop, especially of they are a member of a freelance trade association! As I said earlier the majority of these calls used to come from their members and no I will not name the association. It has been 2-3 years since I had these silly conversations with freelancers but in the past week I have seen the largest number (15) since then.

Penultimately the other issue that raises its head is that of the Flippa website as all of these freelancers have heard of it. If you want an increase in emails from Nigerian fraudsters and spam emails then please try and sell your site there. Listings start from only $9. See if you actually make a sale! I wish you luck! Sedo is okay but in a similar vein. You will be waiting a long time to sell at any price. Ebay is good but this is a specialist market that requires specialist  knowledge.

Apologies for the rant and my best wishes to the operators and freelancers who develop other businesses and have their heads screwed on when it comes to sale time!

When is a restaurant not a restaurant?

The answer to this is quite simply when there are more children in there than adults, the adults cannot control their children and the restaurant management couldn’t care less. Thats when. This is exactly what happened on Saturday when we went to the Olive Garden in Raynes Park, dial in the fact the the air conditioning wasn’t working and on one of the units the down vents had been covered with tape. The food at the Olive Garden is always of an exceptional standard. Its just such a pity they got the service wrong on this occasion.