Steve.Richardson - Profile

Steve.Richardson

Forum titleAdministrator
JoinedSep 2009
Posts7635
Thanks4569
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Latest activity 2nd Jul 2021 12:55pm  
Business listing  

Steve.Richardson Bio
Happy father & business owner, fascinated by marketing, local search & making trader directories effective.
- Founder of the UK Business Directory and Forum; www.mylocalservices.co.uk
- Founder of the USA Directory; www.mylocalservices.com
- Creator of the Trusted Trader platform; www.trustedtrader.scot in partnership with Trading Standards.

Always willing to help and advise if I can, feel free to connect or get in touch.

Favourite quotes:
- The Attitude of Gratitude - Father Brian D'Arcy
Be thankful for what you have, not stressing about what you haven't.

- Production not Consumption - Daniel Priestly
Be a producer of effort, for health, wealth and family. Not sat on the sofa being a consumer.

Recent Posts
Current affairs on Quora 2nd July 2021 12:55 PM

This is why I love Quora...

Question - Did Russia shoot down the British warship HMS Defender?

 

Should have just stuck to my optimism and ignore the pessimism!

We'll know in about 40 minutes, but I'm feeling unusually optimistic.

Must have fallen under the Southgate charm and charisma 

No doubt we'll be thrashed 2-0 by ze germans and normal service will be resumed...

Absolutely, Boris Johnson is the second coming and he has commanded that Covid be gone.

And by the eight month of our lord, 2021, so it shall be.

Hail Bozo, Hail Bozo... 

Short answer, no 

Fascinating, I hadn't actually heard this story until I saw your post. One side effect from Covid, I got bored of the doom, gloom and negativity, so rarely watch the news!

I think to start and run a business, particularly if you are aiming for a high growth business, then you are going to need buckets of confidence and optimism. You can also read that as arrogant, cocky or ego if it's overdone.

A lot of people, particularly startups like to talk up success, tell the world how fantastic they are and how well they are doing, regardless of the truth. Most of us have been guilty of that to some extent, I know I have.

But I think it's easy to build a friendly culture with whatever values you hold dear with a small company and handful of employees. I think it's more of a challenge the larger a business gets. Companies are microcosms of general society and will have all the same traits, from political beliefs, racism, stance on the environment, plodders, go getters, bullies, nice people. The bigger the company, the bigger the divisions, the harder it is to manage a standard one size fits all culture and ethos.

Culture is supposed to come top-down, but if you only recruit an echo chamber of like-minded believers aligned to your thinking, then you can argue that could stifle creativity, miss out on meaningful critique, debate and improvement.

The gold standard of large company culture is Google, but back in 2018 they have had mass walkouts due to sexual misconduct and harassment, so even the golden boys and gals seem to struggle.

The BBC used to pride itself on its values and culture, but that's been shot down in flames quite a few times, including very recently.

John Lewis has often been held up as a beacon, as it's employee-owned, which generates a flatter management structure, but they have been having trading problems with employees missing out on bonuses, so is that the best way to run a business?

Maybe culture and ethos is impossible to maintain once you get to a tipping point of number of employees, and business strategy is really the only way to run a large organisation. React and fulfil customer demand, rather than worry about culture and ethos.

If your customers are worried about the environment or health, then you need to be, so sell them electric cars and avocados. If they want fun and carefree, sell them v6 petrol engines, alcohol and cigarettes.

At least that's my more cynical assessment 

I'm back! 24th June 2021 3:08 PM

Not a problem Rebecca, I can't talk, I'm like the Scarlett Pimpernel 

Reall sorry to hear about your daughter but I'm glad to hear you are finally getting the right support, even if you are having to pay for it yourself  

It's a tough call with the NHS, I've seen it from both sides, to amazing support when our youngest was admitted with a meningitis scare, to pretty awful geriatric care for different grandparents, and everything in between.

The majority of staff are awesome, most nurses do it as a vocation and not for the money, but there is and will never be enough budget for everything. Whoever has the awful job of deciding priorities can mean hardship or even a death sentence for some. Successive governments from all flavours have routinely interfered and meddled with the running of the NHS, wasting billions in restructures, strategies and failed IT projects. 

I think it should be 100% non-political, with an extra NHS tax paid by all, above National Insurance, £2 a month of everyone. There are around 30 million working adults. Few would miss £24 a year, which would give an extra £720 million. Make it a fiver and you've generated £1.8 billion extra. But plenty will oppose and say that's not fair, until of course they need it.

Looking forward to a meal out with the folks tomorrow and drink down the local! Normality slowly seems to be coming...

It's been a strange/interesting/horrific/awful/incredible 18 months depending on what day it was and what stage of lockdown we were at.

Homeschooling for me was the low point. We soldiered on when I know many gave up, to the point of turning the lounge into a makeshift classroom with a whiteboard and fold up desks, then packing away at tend of school. But keeping to the same school routine, including breaks, although incredibly hard, I think in hindsight worked out pretty well.

But it only worked with 2 parents tag-teaming, and to be honest, my wife was absolutely incredible. Help from the school, particularly early on was definitely below average when compared anecdotally to stories around the country. The kids have been amazing and resilient. Behaviour has without dipped and screen time has been more than I'm comfortable with, but we are now reducing back to normal screentime levels and digital discipline.

Business-wise, we abandoned the office in March 2020 and haven't been back. Early lessons became very apparent around technology, and relying on employees to provide their own computers isn't the way forward, with issues around data risk, virus's, and slow older machines not designed to be work machines.

So for the cost of a bunch of laptops and utilising the office PC work application licences and a very cheap remote support app, productivity has actually increased. Luckily we had IP phones in the office, so we all took our phone home, plugged it in and it's like we are still in the office! Feedback is the lack of travelling to the office is appreciated and the greater flexibility this brings. Face to face interaction is handled by 2 weekly zoom team meetings, which has now become the norm and works really well. It's now hard to imagine us in the office.

I appreciate not all industries can work from home, and for those that can, not everyone wants to. I'm also very aware of the devastation of many industries, from tourism to hospitality, and have been dealing first-hand with issues from some of our Trusted Trader members who were unable to work, particularly due to tighter rules around non-essential home repairs in Scotland.

For me, lessons have reconfirmed how key it is to diversify and not be reliant on single revenue streams and to expect the unexpected. As revenue for one business plummeted, revenue increased for my other, balancing things out. Things are now picking up again and from the coalface, we seem to be heading to a post covid world, regardless of what the Government or media tell us.

I'm glad the worst is over, but for me personally, it has been incredibly challenging, very stressful at times, but I think I've come out the other side with a different and more balanced perspective around flexibility and work-life balance, and a much more robust business ready for the next inevitable brexit/covid/recession/catastrophe...

I am looking forward to going aboard again though! At some point... 

 
Quora Ads (PPC) - worth a look 24th June 2021 1:28 PM
Interesting, thanks. I think it's unlikely that my true target market is there though. High paid executives wanting to make a career move of some kind. ”
 

Never say never, I was quite surprised by the type of people on there. I assumed it was mainly argumentative brexiteers or people mainly wanting to rant. But among the noise there are a lot of interesting groups with some surprising demographics, including execs, business owners, airline pilots, engineers etc.

It's one I may come back to in the future, as their model is still in its infancy, but that also means it's very cheap if anyone wanted experiment/punt.

 

VATs a funny one and more of a curse. If you're a builder, after about 2 jobs you will hit the VAT threshold.

Take a lifestyle business such as a social media bod or web designer with little overhead and maximum profit, then keep under the £85k threshold and you have a decent income for flexible hours that you choose to work. Plus you can undercut the bigger competition, so what's not to like!

I've got 2 VAT registered businesses and all the hassle that goes with that, then a fabulous VAT free business with next to no overheads. I know which one I prefer 

Great article about this from Marketing Week.

Anyone who missed it, Ronaldo, a former Coke sponsor, shunned 2 bottles of coke in front of him, moving them out of shot and reaching for a water.

Allegedly this saw Cokes share price slump and marketing agencies around the world seem to go hysterical.

In the Marketing Week article, written by the genius and straight-talking Mark Ritson, he introduces some perspective and common sense. In reality, the share price was already reducing from other factors, and actually increased slightly from the publicity.

Plus the age-old adage, all publicity is good publicity. It might have upset a few coke fans or made a few people turn away from a horrible sugary teeth rotting drink and move to water. But it would have increased far more sales due to the free publicity and increased air time and exposure, on the back of a footballer moving a couple of bottles out of shot, and a media frenzy then kicking off.

It goes to show what a bizarre world we live in. I'm sure there are plenty of more important causes to get emotional about, but everyone loves to shout an opinion and jump on the band wagon.. Like I've just done