The Road to Becoming a Morning Person Again

Wednesday, March 24th, 2010

I seem to be getting quite into networking now, not that I’m not finding it daunting, believe me, I am. But I’m managing to kick myself out of bed early in the morning (very, early in the morning yesterday) to get myself out there.

Yesterday was my first BforB event at Thornbury Castle, which at 7am, coming from Bath, required a certain willpower to get out of bed – long gone are the days I used to get up at a ludicrous hour for my job in media distribution (I was a paperboy). In spite of this, I got there a little early, had a discussion with the organisers I was invited by, and settled for a tasty Full English (now that’s my idea of an event) once the rest of the group arrived. It was quite a busy morning with lots of non-member guests as well as myself, all of us were invited to spend a minute introducing ourselves – which I seem to have got better at with every event I’ve been to – and put a few of our business cards into an organiser which was handed round as the introductions were taking place. I was pleasantly surprised to find once it was passed back round to me that most of my cards were no longer there, so hello if you happen to have taken one, and stumbled upon my blog ;-)

There was a short presentation on growing one’s business, which I’m not really thinking too much about at the moment, but it was good to know the options for expansion in the future, should everything miraculously explode into dizzy heights.

During my email exchange with Rodger Scott (owner/organiser for BforB Bristol) I found they are apparently looking to set up a Bath group, which I expressed my interest in – I need to get along to the GWE Business West Bath Business Show, where they’ll have a stand to find out more.

Must dash, I have a meeting with Keir from Carsonified in a very short while about arranging a work placement. Funnily enough it’s at Starbucks, which should further enhance my being a morning person again.

Group Interview: Expert Advice For Students and Young Web Designers

Monday, March 15th, 2010

http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2010/02/17/group-interview-advice-for-students-and-new-designers/

Fantastic interview with:

  • Henry Jones (Web Design Ledger)
  • Wolfgang Bartelme (Bartelme.at)
  • Chris Coyier (CSS-Tricks)
  • Chris Spooner (SpoonGraphics, Line25)
  • Soh Tanaka
  • Jon Philips (Spyre Studios)
  • Paul Boag (Boagworld, Headscape)
  • David Leggett (Tutorial9, UX Booth)
  • Jacob Gube (Six Revisions)
  • Elliot Jay Stocks
  • Brian Hoff (The Design Cubicle)
  • Darren Hoyt
  • Walter Apai (Webdesigner Depot)
  • Jacob Cass (Just Creative Design)
  • Zach Dunn (One Mighty Roar and Build Internet)
  • Paul Andrew (Speckyboy Design Magazine)

Giving some insight into industry, and as the title suggests, expert advice for design students and young web designers.

BRAVE ‘Let’s Talk Starting in Business’ Seminars

Wednesday, March 10th, 2010

So yesterday and Monday I ventured out to Bristol, for two seminars hosted by Justin Ricks of BRAVE, supported by Barclays bank. Over the two days I gained some really useful information, and met a few new contacts in the networking opportunities (hello if you’re reading!). I now have a much much clearer picture of what I need to get sorted to get myself setup and off the ground as a registered sole trader, and as I’ve recently started invoicing, I need to get onto Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs pretty sharpish, else I have no doubt the taxman will come-a-knocking. Best keep everything above board right from the start really. Good news is, I have up to three months to register once I’ve begun properly trading.

I’ve been in contact with Lloyds, the local SME manager should be getting back to me after a training course she’s on over this week, and I should be able to get a business bank account setup through there – I’ve been told it’s very easy as I’m already with them and have a stellar account history… *adjusts and polishes halo*

Speaking of banks, I don’t intentionally publicly go about slating anyone (honestly, I don’t), but I know Lloyds also has a really good online banking service from experience, unlike other services I’ve signed up for of late who have two very long ID strings and eight pieces of memorable information to remember. *cough, pause for clarity* Nationwide *pause for clarity, cough*.

But back on topic.

(more…)

Software for Smooth Operation

Wednesday, March 3rd, 2010

This week’s guest speaker was Imogen Woodford, who came to give us advice on software and general tips to help managing a business, which really got me thinking about things.

Planning and Organisation

Something I really really should concentrate a lot harder on is general time management. Imogen suggested an application I’d previously heard mentioned; Remember the Milk. Something worth looking into due to it’s notification and syncing features, I currently use Appigo Todo, but haven’t really got the syncing with iCal set up to my satisfaction. It sort of works, as I use it mainly on my custom iPhone lockscreen (to be featured in a future post), but it sure would be nice to have a little more ‘push’ assistance to really nag me to get things done. MobileMe gets all my calendars (Work, Freelance, Uni and Personal) synced nicely across my devices, and I’ve recently started really pushing myself to use it for every little thing, I need to rule over myself a bit more to dedicate time to doing certain things, else I just won’t get them done when the work (hopefully) starts to mount up more.

Finances

This is something I mainly have under control due to Billings being absolutely fantastic. Again, I need to get round to setting the database up on the iDisk, as at the moment it’s a bit of a pain to use it on the MacBook when I’m out and about, then export all the slips back to the iMac, it sure would be nice to have it centralised in the Cloud, then I’d be much more tempted to work on the move, for the simplicity of billing my time. I can’t recommend Billings enough, especially with its minimal pricetag, the stress it’s saved me from the times I was using Office for Mac, and seeing my Excel invoices disintegrate before my eyes due to corrupted files is worth the price, and then some. In terms of separating out personal finances, I really, really, really need to get a business bank account setup now, that’s right at the top of priorities.

(more…)