Making Work Your Passion

Hi Lane here,

Today I want to take a look at how you can make work your passion. Having spent a lot of time working with people looking to make career changes and consulting on the issue, I came to understand this aspect of work intimately.

People Don’t Like Work!

And, official figures will tell you that less than 5% of people actually enjoy what the do for their work. Sadly that means 95% of people in today’s world are simply enduring “the job”. I have seen the trend which suggests a lot more people are now working under their own steam and developing online markieting businesses, but…I still see a massive rush hour every day. This suggests that many people still turn out fopr work every morning.

So, this begs the question, how can I make my work align with my passion in life?

I talked to Peter and Julie Maxted of Pets, Homes and Gardens which is a pet sitting franchise business opportunity.

So, how did it all start?

“We loved our dogs”, smiles Peter, “Oh yes”, interjects Julie, “they were always a prime consideration in our lives, how to make room for them and to ensure we enjoyed a lot of time with them”.

“So, initially, we just started pet sitting for people in the local area. We had the room and we could run this alongside our local publishing business”, says Julie, “we enjoy the publishing business, but our dogs wre, still are, our passion”.

O.K, I can understand that, but how did you make the leap from just offering a side business to setting up an operation to franchise out?

“I guess we were a little lucky, but then, I’ve heard it said you make your own luck”, says Peter, Julie continues, “we were talking to a friend David Hardisty who is a business consultant, and he’d just taken another business client of his into the franchise model. He suggested it would work perfectly with pet sitting”.

Light Bulb

“It was a “light bulb” moment”, laughs Peter, “we saw the possibilities immediately, but had no idea how to go about making it happen”.

“However, David was prepared to “cut us a deal”, so we started talking to him. It was a short leap to change all the media David had prepared for his other client to our branding and market. In return we gave David’s wife, Mel, our first franchise and we gave it to her free of charge on the understanding we could use her as a “sales tool” to help bring in other franchisees”, says Peter.

“Yes, we cut our teeth with Mel, and working alongside her and David, we were able to iron out all of the rough spots leaving us with a very smooth operation some three months later”, adds Julie.

Solid Growth

“Indeed, once we had a reference point, and Mel was so helpful in getting other franchisees on board, we grew quickly”, says Peter, “we now have thirty five franchisees all over the United Kingdom and are looking for mnore in all areas”.

“It’s a great deal”, says Julie with a broad grin, “you get everything you need to run a hugely successful business. All the paperwork, accounting processes and you get some advertising each month thrown in. And, what’s even better is that the total up front costs are only £495”!

How do you keep costs so low?

“That’s just a sort of signing on and system delivery payment”, says Peter, “obviously, we can’t run the entire business on such a small income so there is profit share with PHG taking a small share of every franchisees monthly profit in order to maintain all of the infrastructure and ensure we can be paid as well”.

David arrives, “it’s a brilliant deal”, he pipes up, “Mel loves her animals and she loves running a Pets, Homes and Gardens franchise, the real beauty is that everything is done for her so she can concentrate on doing what she enjoys, looking after pets”.

Peter adds the final word, “I am just so pleased we are allowing people to totally love what they do to earn their money – it’s hugely gratifying”, he laughs loudly.

You can find PHG and the following web address


SaaS Software Engineering Recruitment

Let’s take a look at the SaaS Software Engineering Recruitment Market.

The growth of SaaS and PaaS over the last few years has been phenominal. It’s no secret that copmpanies like Sales Force have started to dominate by providing cloud based Software as a Service. And, you can see why. Using such services create great cost savings for businesses at all levels as well as accesability to advanced software systems for smaller business who are able to buy in at a level that suits them.

It’s a true win/win situation.

This is true for both the providers and users, which is a great situation to be in. And, something that rarely happens!

Market Penetration

For the providers of such systems, it gives them a far deeper market penetration because of the economies of scale invokved they are able to offer to a far wider auduence. For example the two man Internet business that needs a sales rfecording system can afford to buy into Sales Force at the very lowest level. They get super fucntionbal software for a fraction  of the cost they would have to pay to set up their own infrastructure.

So, the growth pattern is clear for all to see. and, in all honesty you could probably not have seen this coming even six or seven years ago. Yes, the technology was there, but it wasn’t being utlisied. So, this really has been a quantum shift forward.

Recruitment Challenges

So, what sorts of challenges has this brought for recruiters looking to hire SaaS software engineering recruitment staff into this high demand market?

The first thing to say is that the number of SaaS and PaaS development roles open has exploded. When this happens in any technology market (as if did when Unix took over as the operating system of choice and obhect Orientation becamse de riguer), there is a skills gap.

This of course drives up the price of the skills.

It also leads to the dreaded skills shortage as it takes time for technologists from other disciplines to cross train into the new skills requirements.

How You Work as A Recruiter

For the recruitment agency this can be good or bad depending on how you work.

If you are working on a low level contingency basis, then trying to find the skills to meet your clients demands can be challenging. this sort of lower level service provision works well when you have a skills market in balance and doesn’t really required ultra skilled recruitment consultants. Finding and placing the candidates becomes something more akin to an admin role.

However, when you attack a skills short market, it does provide a unique opportunity for the recruiter.

How Top Recruiters Work

Many find the challenge all a little too much, but the skillful recruiter revels in this sort of market. Indeed, this is where the role of recruitment consultant truly becomes consultative.

the more advanced recruiter will know and understand his clients’ projects, he will know what skills they want and when they are likely to need them. He has a close working relationship with the SaaS Development Managers and will be pro-active in finding skills for them on the required timescale.

He will also “career manage” his candidate base with the key SaaS Software engineering skills. He will know when the best people are looking or available. He will pair them up with the best opportunities whilst fulfilling the needs of his clients at the same time. this is truly consultantive recruitment, and only the best can deliver it.

Finding The Best Recruitment Agency

if you can find recruitment consultant who work in this manner they are worth their weight in gold as they will bring a continued pipeline of business. They will be extremely market aware, understand the skills, projects and how the skills market works in their niche.

Such consultants are not only valued by their agency, but also by their candidates and clients alike.

For a truly consultative approcah in SaaS aqnd PaaS software development, contact Harvey Thomas.

The Pros and Cons of Window Tinting

windowtintersThe look and feel of any single space in your home or place of work – as well as your car – is controlled by the quantity and type of sunlight that shines through the windows – it’s true wether you like it or not! But, did you know that you are able to effortlessly modify the look of any room by putting on a tinted cover of film to the glass to alter its transparency, colouring and strength?

It’s really a very simple process.

A Wide Variety of Uses

Tinting windowpane glass includes numerous uses in buildings including the ability to hide visibility through lower-level or ground floor glass windows in your home or to conference rooms and offices in the work place by using a solid film on the surface of the glass within minutes.

For that luxurious shaded-window appearance in your car, just use a layer of tinted film – you don’t need to upgrade the windows with high-priced alternatives! Indeed, paying for a new window “pre-tinted” is far more expensive that adding tint film – fact!

When you tint the glass windows in your car, you also give yourself and your family controlled visibility when on the highway, so you don’t have cause to be bothered about placing stuff in complete view in your car, and anyone travelling in the interior of your car can look somewhat unseen when you are temporarily caught in a traffic slow-down, or simply running from one place to another place.

Window Film In The Workplace

Several organizations exploit solid window film at commercial sites to increase their workers’ concentration and efficiency by decreasing ability to see into meeting areas, private specific offices and cooking or rest locations, so bringing down the threat of worker disturbance.

An alternative use to shade windows might be placing a corporate entity’s corporate colourings in their head office, or utilizing cloudy tinting film sheets to hide unattractive vistas on the outside of the window or even purely to be able to make an office appear more pleasant and so as a result inspire more productivity potential.

Safety Is Important

Protection inside the workplace and at schools and colleges is very important nowadays and applying safety film to outdoor windows is one fast and trouble-free way to reduce damage and look after building residents if a window is broken by accident or caused by vandalism.

Installing a clear top layer of adhesive film on glass can help you fulfill current security building documentation with out having to take out a window and swap it using safety glass.

In the Home

you can also add solar film to tint glass in your home. This not only looks great but is also another way to save on your heating.

If you’ve been motivated to make an effort to try a bit of window tinting in your living or workplace environmental surroundings, or to apply extra pizzazz to your car, go to this site for extra guidance and to see several examples.

The Growth In Digital Marketing

If you look at any figures these days, it’s not hard to understand that online marketing and eCommerce in particular are “taking off”. last year over £16 billion was traded via eCommerce mechanisms, and that trend is set to increase almost exponentially over the next five to ten years.

So, what is driving this phenomenal growth?

“Technology” spurts Doug Bates of Intelligent People, a digital marketing and product management recruitment agency based in St Albans in the U.K.

With a client list that inlcudes eBay and Amazon, two of the biggest eCommerce companies in the Western world, Doug knows what he is talking about. He’s worked in digital marketing recruitment for over thirteen years with business partner Chris Mason.

“So, yes, the technology is driving the move to eCommerce. Certainly the more secure payment systems that now transact really quickly and safely are the main movers behind it. People no longer feel exposed entering their credit card details online. Yes, there are still breaches of security, but generally speaking online systems are secure and people feel safe. That is the major reason online sales have exploded”.

Other Growth Factors In Digital Marketing

Surely there must be other factors driving this though?

“Well, of course there are other factors, but I genuinely think the safey aspect that the technology gives us has moved on and opened up online trading for many people who were not happy to buy online before. However, other roles in the gamut of digital marketing have also become far more advanced to back up the tech movement”, he smiles.

“You see UI and customer tracking have moved so far from when we started IP back in 2012. The tracking of the customer journey is now so advanced and the systems employed (there’s that tech angle again) are so clever thet they can almost predict what customers are going to do. Also, the ability to offer related products and the algorithms used are so much more advanced. It’s all about taking the maximum dollar take from every customer as they transit through your website”.

Of course I understand you need to maximise your income from your online presence, but is this the only way in which technology has helped?

Technology Is The Base Of It All

“In all honesty, technology is helping and driving online commerce at virtually every stage of the process. That extends to customer capture as well. The mechanisms for doing that are so much more advanced as are the mailing systems that site behind the capture. But it’s the analytics that go on that predict and suggest customer behaviour that are the real game changers”, he cays with some confidence.

“We are recruiting a lot more people who are in to the customer journey and the ability to analyse and refine that journey, in essence to “push”, very gently of course, people down the right path for the digital retailer to maximise take. It’s almost become and art form”, he laughs and takes a sip of his Costa Coffee.

Key Areas

“We are finding that each area of digital marketing is being divided down in to ever deeper sub niches. For example, SEO now breaks down into Search Marketing Vacancies as well. Growth Hacking has become and incredibly important area as have Performance Marketing Jobs. I have already mentioned the advances in analytics but we also have to look at things like Conversions and Conversion Tracking. Key areas, why are people buying, or possibly, why not?”

This is all vital stuff to the digital marketer isn’t it?

“Yes, indeed”, he takes another sip of coffee, ”

You can find Intelligent People’s Online Marketing Recruitment website here.


Business reviews – Fad or Necessary for All Businesses?

Business-ReviewsQuick Overview:

  1. Yelp
  2. Foursquare
  3. Google Local Listings
  4. TripAdvisor
  5. Angie’s List
  6. Yahoo Local Reviews
  7. Insider Pages
  8. Better Business Bureau
  9. Facebook

Taking the time to sign up for the following sites or services not only keeps you active in the community, it enables you to better understand your target market. While you may worry about having to constantly monitor your account activity on these sites, we would like you to point out that benefits of signing up at such sites…

  1. Yelp

Yelp! Is a consumer review site that enables customers and consumers to leave behind their personal experiences with a business, as well as rate the business. It relies on a 5 star scale and is easy to sign up (for free). It’s typically used for physical local businesses. If you own a physical business, it’s free to sign up and start responding to reviewers. Quick tip: If you do receive a negative review, respond in a positive way. It reflects better on your business.

  1. Fouresquare

Similar to Yelp!, it’s a local discovery mobile app which offers personal search results for the users of the app. Founded in 2009, the Fouresquare app is targeted towards consumers who enjoy shopping around. Businesses can use the site to help conduct their market research on who their customers are, their customer’s needs, and the products they’re most interested in. Every business should have a membership with Fouresquare.

  1. Google Local Listings

Google is usually the place we turn to the most whenever we need to answer a question. So it’s no surprise that Google Local Listings helps bridge the gap between consumer and business. From finding nearby businesses, booking cheap flights or bus tickets, or even suggesting trendy places for meals, Google has become the all in one tool we rely on in our daily lives.

  1. TripAdvisor

While not too important for local businesses, businesses that rely heavily on the tourist season will definitely want to place a business listing here. TripAdvisor may have a significant impact on sales for hotels, and restaurants.

  1. Angie’s List

Angie’s List is geared towards all service based businesses, but a membership here can be hefty. While seen as a potential downfall, consumers tend to rely heavily on Angie’s List not too many businesses are keen on trying to jump through multiple hoops to get their business listed here. This often stops less than ethical businesses in their tracks. It’s difficult to produce fake reviews on this site, which only further enhances a consumer’s trust.

  1. Yahoo Local Reviews

Yahoo’s alternative to Google Reviews, Yahoo local reviews enables users to post reviews about businesses with a choice to choose from a 1-5 star rating. While not as popular as the previously mentioned alternative, it’s still worth considering.

  1. Insider Pages

Insider Pages is a user based review site. Not only is it free for anyone to join and share their reviews on local businesses, the results are index-able by Google and the businesses often receive a good push in the local Google SERPS (which is awesome if you’re doing SEO).

  1. Better Business Bureau

The big granddaddy of all reviews or reporting systems, Better Business Bureau helps establish trust in just about any skeptical consumer’s minds. BBB takes a somewhat laid back approach when it comes to enabling reviews about businesses. Rather than promote any particular business on their site, they provide a rough overview of the business and also provide information about the company’s accreditations, and even a clear view of complaints- as well as positive reviews. Instead of relying on a 1-5 star review rating system, BBB grades businesses based on an A-F scale rating. A being awesome, and F being…well…

  1. Customer-ReviewFacebook

Facebook is hot right now, and it probably won’t be cooling down anytime soon. Not only is it a great place to connect with others, it can also be a convenient place for consumers or fans to leave their personal reviews or ratings of your business. Chances are you already spend a significant amount of your time on Facebook anyways, so why not create a page for your business anyways?

New businesses just starting out may not need to sign up for a membership to all of these sites, but by picking a select few, you’re well on your way to gaining the exposure you need to get things rolling in the right direction.