Good Afternoon from glorious sunny Exeter. Just returned from walking the dogs, through Devon’s beautiful countryside. Manchester United have opened the door again for London’s Arsenal to catch them again – i’m sure a certain Liverpool fan from one of our Bristol clients is very happy with that result!
Worrying news for jobs and the economy with “un-named” sources, inside HSBC saying that a move of the world-wide Banks HQ from London to Hong Kong being on the cards. A rare joint statement from HSBC Chairman Douglas Flint and Chief Executive Stuart Gulliver dismissed the rumours, however coming so quickly after sharp criticism from Bank of England Governor, Mervyn King, and the new Bank levy hoping to raise £2.5billion, the high cost of justifying the HSBC HQ in London will naturally come under the microscope.
HSBC (who of course did not require any sort of “bail-out”), may just be firing an indirect warning shot, before the final arrangements for the Bank levy are announced and other banking reforms.
David Cameron has been saying that “Enterprise is the only hope for growth“. It has been a very tough time for a lot of businesses, and hopes are that the next budget with be very ‘Enterprise-friendly’. We talk to plenty of companies who are looking for innovative ways of growing their business, but are concerned about costs.
As a result, a lot of our customers are changing the way they spend their marketing budget, by moving away from traditional methods of marketing such as Yellow Pages, and looking to get value for money from Internet Marketing and Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). Moving higher in the Search Engine rankings on a monthly basis can reduce Pay-per-click costs vastly, while bringing in more traffic to your website when your Search Engine Results rise.
It can take a bit of time, but companies with a forward thinking approach to beating the recession and having a bright future are already taking action (which will delight Mr. Cameron!) The fear of course, is that companies will wait too long, and be playing catch-up while their competitors will be working with SEO companies, optimising their sites and developing link building methods – don’t be one of those who regret not taking that vital step forward to success. Visit Skyline Marketing for a look at your future.
It has been announced that Google is expanding rapidly in Dublin, it’s European Hub. Google has now purchased the tallest office building in Dublin for approximatley £88 million ($156m). Google likes to give their employees large amounts of workspace that is convenient and comfortable, and there is certainly plenty of it!
The location in Dublin is the Grand Canal Dock District which is currently unoccupied. The building in question is the Montevetro Building, and has 15 floors with 210,000 square feet. It even has its own Railway Station!
Head of Google Ireland, John Herlihy had the following to say about the acquisition: “We are at capacity in our EMEA headquarters on Barrow Street and the additional space will allow us to relocate some teams to Montevetro and to create an even more spacious working environment for Googlers in our existing buildings. Acquiring Montevetro also means we have the space and flexibility to support our future operations.”
Mr. Herlihy also had positive news for those looking for employment opportunities with Google in Dublin: “Here in Dublin we are constantly seeking the best and brightest talent and at any one time we have a number of exciting opportunities available for the right people to come work with us. . . . It’s a very exciting time in our company and it’s great to be a part of it.”
This is what i’m going through today and i’m sure lots of you out there are doing the same.
It’s coming up to that time of year again, when the new registration plates are released, and quite possibly the lease car needs to be returned and a new car purchased. So with Britain coming out of its worst recession since the 1930′s, what will your next car say about you and your company?
A few years ago, if I saw a high end executive car pull into our car park for a sales appointment with me, I would automatically think “this is going to cost me” rightly or wrongly – I would assume that the company would have high prices in order to pay for potentially a fleet of executive cars. I know we are all told not to “judge a book by it’s cover” but we’ve all done it and the majority of us still do.
So most often than not your new clients first impressive of you, first hand, will be a judgement made on the car in which you arrive in, it doesn’t matter if it’s your bosses, a rental or even a courtesy car, a judgement will be made!
If you are selling a high ticket item, then yes you need a “high end” car, and if you are selling a service which promises to transform your clients company or increase growth then you need to show that client that you are successful at what you do. Would you buy a service from someone that promises success and growth if they turned in a 5 year old Skoda? I have nothing against Skoda’s after all they owned by VW, who also own Audi, who both have excellent reputations as brilliantly built cars and if you lifted the bonnet of a modern Skoda you will see Audi and VW labelled parts all over the engine. So effectively they are all the same car in principle but if you lined up the 3 car’s in a row and asked a sample of people which one they would prefer, I believe the largest proportion will pick the Audi, not because it had the better parts, the better warranty or it is better value for money. They would choose it because Audi is marketed as a successful persons car, as is BMW, Jaguar, Mercedes and so on.
So what does your car say about you? Do you drive a car that represents your company well? A 1-2 year old Range Rover is a high end car which promotes wealth and success, but in my opinion it also shows a complete lack of care and responsibility for the environment. I do believe that Range Rover are doing their best to get rid of that image but it will take a lot of research to get the performance Range Rover drivers want and the Co2 levels the rest of society think are acceptable.
So should you buy a car because it is good for the environment, ABSOLUTELY. – but your choice should also be practical. There’s no point in turning up to a meeting at a clients office in a car that is kind to the environment, but you’ve got to use the clients car, if the 3 of you want to go out to lunch because you’ve purchased a 2-seater Smart-car because you don’t have any children. So think about practicality, I believe it must be comfortable to drive too especially if you need to cover a lot of miles.
So we have 3 things we are looking for in our car so far;
A strong successful image
Kind to the environment
Practical - It has to seat 4 people comfortably and be a comfortable driving position for long drives.
Right, the final element is The Costs, and I don’t just mean the price of the car which of course has to be a big consideration, I mean the P11D costs (see HRMC’s website for full details), the Petrol or Diesel debate, a petrol car is cheaper to buy but a diesel engine will last longer and you’ll get more MPG (miles per gallon), However Diesel is more expensive at the pumps, although the gap between petrol and diesel prices is narrowing. Then there’s the insurance and servicing to consider too.
So I am I any closer to my conclusion?
I think I am, well I’m down to a short list. So here we go…
- BMW estate :- Excellent badge, Drive and Engine most BMW will do over 50 MPG. The estate will offer the space I need for my 2 girls both are under 5, so I need space for buggies, bikes, scooter and the weekly food shop, (and my golf clubs)
- Toyota Prius :- The Hybrid Image shows that we care about the environment, there’s plenty of room, because it below 100 CO2 we can write off the whole amount against profit (if purchase not leased). The P11D costs are low and returning an average of over 60 MPG, it’s hard not to choose the Toyota.
(courtesy of Nationwide Vehicle Contracts)
Which ever car I choose and which ever car you choose, even if you do not judge people by their cars – the majority of others will!