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20+ Tips for New Small Business Owners

With more and more people starting their own business, becoming self-employed and or working freelance than ever, I thought it might be interesting and helpful to ask people for their top tips for new small business owners.

To help you with your start-up or new business I asked them

What advice would you give to someone starting their own business? I got lots of answers and so here are just a few…

At Least – 20 Tips for New Small Business Owners

It’s a lot easier to drop prices than it is to raise them. So – thinking about VALUE not simply price is always the right approach

Don’t go too far without getting an accountant who you can truly interact with.

Mike Briercliffe, Leadership at Computers since 1976

Don’t start unless you can set up and survive 3 months with zero income!

Stephen Quin

Value yourself from day one. Don’t undersell your services, because increases in hourly rate are harder to explain than a fair rate for your work from the start. You’ll lose more potential business increasing rates than you will by setting a fair price from day one, and potentially

Matt Atherton, Owner and Principal Consultant at purpleplanet – Software Solutions

Enjoy it because it’s something you have enthusiasm and passion for not because other things failed – so believe in yourself

Mark Longbottom, Creator/Founder at platform58

Tips for New Small Business Owners

Know your offerings worth. Set your pricing to that. Dot undercut yourself or you’ll always get clients that drain you.

Lisa Pattenden Owner-operator at Social Helping Hand

Keep your overheads low!

Amy McCloskey Tobin, Writer. Editor. Content Strategist. Speaker at amymtobin

Be profitable in 6 months or stop/pivot

Marieke Hensel, Founder at Laundrylicious – Founder at

Go for it! Don’t listen to anyone who discourages you unless they have gone into business themselves!

Tim Berkesch, Worked at Crowdify Club

Don’t be afraid to take risks.

Michael Knight, Motion Picture Visual Effects Artist / Graphic Designer / I.T. Consultant at Mass Illusion

Be confident on WHY you created the business and know the strengths you bring that makes the business unique – your WHO. Make your WHY and WHO the foundations for all decisions – stay authentic and true to those foundations.

Richard Flewitt, Change Maker at The Change Makers

 Things take 8 times longer than you think they will. Plan accordingly. Secondly hire good staff and pay them well.

Lisette Johnson, Case manager/healthcare navigator at YWCA Richmond

I’d say that my top 4 are: keep overheads as low as possible; keep overheads as low as possible; develop your brand and stay true to it; identify your goal and stay focused on it; be awesome!!

Janet Mohapi-Banks – Entrepreneur Coach at 

 Always make your customers feel appreciated 💕

Lori Turner

Very Thick Skin…It’s a Must

Steven Hughes, Director of Marketing at DashBurst

Do what you love.

Julian Hall, Founder at Ultra Ltd

Know that heart. Do not listen to naysayers. Surround yourself with people who are older, wiser, and can allow you to process outward what you do not know.

Elizabeth Traub – Owner, Designer, Buyer at Skip To My Room

Surround yourself with good people who want you to be a success.

Garry Pickles, Managing Director at Online Media Direct

And My Favorite Tips for New Small Business Owners

 The best advice I could give you is to love what you were doing and expect to work 24 seven, be patient surround yourself with people that encourage you and mentor you. If you are prepared to work and work hard you will succeed but the most important thing is you better love what you do

Mary Kay Evans Philosopher – Carepathways

Get the balance right between working ON your business and IN your business. Be prepared to do the things you don’t like doing or pay a professional to do them. Either way they need to be done! Don’t stick your head in the sand! 🙂

Carol Verity   Independent Distributor at LifeVantage  and

Start early while doing your full time job, then slowly go full time. And don’t quit so quickly. Always learn and adapt.

And stop trying to find the perfect “theme” just start.

Aaron Lee Wei-Ren is the chief geek at

There are some really lovely, inspirational tips here – so I really hope these Tips for New Small Business Owners help you to keep going

Daybreak Games Closing Down Landmark Game Servers

Daybreak Games Closing Down Landmark Game Servers

6 months after the official launch of Landmark Game, Daybreak Game Company have announced that they are closing the servers on February 21 2017.  The game will be no more.

There are many gamers that are very sad tonight, and some that are probably gloating.

Daybreak Games Closing Down Landmark Game Servers

To say this is a shock isn’t entirely true.  Its been on the cards for a while but loyal players, who have stuck by the game for 3/4 years, Players who have paid hundreds of pounds into the game just kept hoping and praying Landmark would be fixed. Landmark Game is the only game around like it, nothing else can replace it.   Players have been asking for updates for months because bugs were not being fixed and more bugs were appearing but Daybreak had gone silent.  (Cue cricket noise)  Daybreak weren’t even answering complaints or helping players at all. People who hand spent 100s of hours building creations before launch could not place them in the new build since launch, it was crazy. Daybreak were useless at community management before (since Daybreak  cut back on staff) but since launched it has been non-existent.


Daybreak Games Closing Down Landmark Game Servers

Today Landmark released this on the forums

Since Landmark first entered Alpha, we have been impressed by the creative talents in this community. You pushed the boundaries of what Landmark could do, and we are grateful for the time and energy you shared through your creations in this game.

While there is still time to enjoy Lumeria and the many worlds you’ve built within Landmark, we wanted to let you know what you will be seeing happen between now and February. Beginning today, Player Studio items will no longer be available for listing or for purchase in the Landmark Marketplace. Landmark will also no longer be available for purchase. All items in the Marketplace with a Daybreak Cash price will have their price reduced to 1 DBC.

The game servers, as well as the accompanying forums and social media channels, will be closed at 4:00PM Pacific Time on Tuesday, February 21, 2017.

We want to thank each and every one of you for your creative contributions to Landmark. 

Who gets refunds for Landmark Game?

The people that only bought this game 6 months ago – do they get refunds?  I know most of us have lost our money we paid in Alpha or Beta that’s the way it goes I guess with early access games is it? Maybe that’s the chance you take.  However, this game was launched, launched as a finished game in a bad state, when it should have never have been launched.  It was rushed, we all knew it, we think now it was a last stitch attempt to make some money and it didn’t work.   Loyal fans, who were basically screwed over thought these bugs would be fixed over time but no, the game was broken even more – isn’t there a law against that?  How can someone bring out a game, have people spend money on it and then take it away.   Isn’t that like buying a car and six months later Ford take it back because they don’t like it and you don’t get a refund.   Thinking about it what about the money spent in-game since launch, that too should be refunded in reality.

When landmark was launched, the size we could build was changed so buildings we made could not be put back up, so I had to sink my full-size Big Ben into the sea  – many players had this problem and they had great amazing builds, and little did we know that was just the start of our problems.

Daybreak Games Closing Down Landmark Game Servers

So it looks like the Everquest Next fans were right – after EverQuest Next was cancelled and Landmark was launched, they told landmark players that we would be sorry.  Landmark Game Launched – EverQuest Next Fans Give Bad Reviews

Yes, we are sorry – very sorry, upset and annoyed  –  don’t say I told you so…..

Daybreak Games Closing Down Landmark Game Servers

Whatsapp no longer supporting these phones

Whatsapp is now seven years old and mobile or smart phones have changed so much since then, that some old phones don’t offer the capabilities that Whatsapp needs to keep updating and adding new features. Its been announced that Whatsapp no longer supporting these phones, the older ones, and you will need to upgrade if you want to continue using Whatsapp. Eeek!

I’m a big fan of Whatsapp, and I know many people are. Even my clients like to use chat apps, especially Whatsapp as its quick and easy and you can see if the message has been read (usually).  I also blog about Whatsapp often, usually to try to stop people sharing Whatsapp scams.

These changes are going to affect a lot of people, its almost a year since Whatsapp announced they had 1 BILLION users.  I use it daily now for various groups or personal conversations and I know not everyone, can update their phones all the time.  I even still have a 3GS as a backup phone which I do use now and then so I won’t be able to use Whatsapp on that anymore.

This is probably going to affect kids who are using their parent’s old phones (or is it only me that does that to my kid). Or our older generation who don’t like to upgrade their phones as they won’t know how to use them.    When you think about it, it could be pretty horrendous to some who just cannot upgrade their mobiles for one reason or another, but I do totally understand the need to be able to upgrade, and not much point supporting platforms or phones that won’t be able to keep up.

Whatsapp no longer supporting these phones


Whatsapp no longer supporting these phones

So who is getting the axe… Whats app no longer supporting your phone?

The platforms which are affected from January are

The platforms which are affected from January are

  • Android 2.1 and Android 2.2
  • Windows Phone 7
  • iPhone 3GS/iOS 6

And from June, support will stop on

  • BlackBerry OS and BlackBerry 10
  • Nokia S40
  • Nokia Symbian S60

From Whatsapp Blog

These platforms don’t offer the kind of capabilities we need to expand our app’s features in the future. If you use one of these affected mobile devices, we recommend upgrading to a newer Android running OS 2.3+, a Windows Phone 8+, or an iPhone running iOS 7+ before the end of 2016 to continue using WhatsApp.

Whatsapp say that you can’t even transfer your chat history between platforms but they are providing he option to send your chat history to your email –

Find out how to do that ….

Good luck if you do have to do this.

Does this affect you that Whatsapp no longer supporting these phones that are a bit older?

I’d be interested to know. Or does everyone have newer phones than the ones listed?  Please leave a comment and let me know.


Change your Password – Skype Accounts Being Hacked

A quick warning to change your password – Skype Accounts Being Hacked. I’ve seen many people on Facebook and Twitter complaining over the last two days that, their Skype Accounts have been hacked, most people say its an account they hardly use or haven’t used to for a while, so doesn’t sound like a Phishing Scam in Skype. It could be that someone has got hold of some or all of Skype’s credentials database. Or there is a virus coming in from somewhere else maybe an email. And that is the need to change your password right away.

Although Skype users are complaining that their Skype accounts being hacked and then links are being sent out to everyone in their contacts, so I would assume that is causing more people to have their Skype Accounts Hacked.  Do not click any links from friends or contacts ask them first if they sent it.  And don’t click any links in Emails that look like they have come from Skype, go directly to the Skype App.

Change your Password – Skype Accounts Being Hacked

I’ve seen no reports from Skype or any news reports to say what has happened.  But I would advise everyone to be on the safe side and to change your passwords and not to click any links from friends, ask first.

How to change your password on Skype

To change your password on Skype Desktop

Click Skype in the top left

Click Change Password and follow the instructions.

Skype Accounts Being Hacked

Can’t get into Skype Account?

If it’s already too late and you can’t get into your Skype account because your account has been Hacked or now Blocked for suspicious  behavior

Signs that your account has been hacked

  • Unexpected payments leaving your account.
  • You’re unable to sign in with a known password.
  • Unknown contacts or conversations appearing in your Contacts or Recent list.
  • Calls from your account you don’t recognise or didn’t make.
  • Unexpected messages being sent from your account to known contacts.
  • Increased or reduced Skype Credit balance.

If your account has been hacked

If you suspect your account has been compromised, or if you’re unable to sign in, you should:

  1. Run your computer’s anti-virus security to remove any malicious software or viruses.
  2. Change your Microsoft password. Make sure you choose a strong, unique password.

From Skype Support

Tweet live video

Tweet Live Video – Twitter app update

Twitter today announced that we can tweet live video direct from the Twitter app, which is “powered by” Periscope.  Live video is the new black for 2017 we are all going to be live streaming, and if we are not we should be. The thing is now there is no excuse as it is going to be easy to do it from your mobile. We’ve had updates on Facebook Live and Instagram and the popular Snapchat of course, all of our social networks are fighting for you to show everyone what is happening in your world on their network.

The reason live streaming is so popular is that your can connect and interact with your audience in real time.  This creates a way for people to really get to know you.  Transparency: you don’t get that from creating videos which have been tweaked and edited beyond their life or from words on a page.  Live video (unless you have a special overlay) is live, real and right now.


Tweet Live Video using iOs

To stream your live video on Twitter all you need to do is to

  • Compose a Tweet
  • Tap – LIVE
  • Tap – Go Live

and its as easy as that to start broadcasting #GoLive to your followers. Or actually anyone, as anyone can join your live video, comment, and sent hearts (oh thats new)

This update will be rolled out over the next few day on Twitter for iOS and Android.

Amazon Go - Shopping Technology with No Queues

Amazon Go – Shopping Technology with No Queues

This what we’ve all been waiting for Amazon Go – Shopping Technology with No Queues. They call it Just walk out technology!  Queues are going to be a thing of the past, I hope.   No lines, no queues, no check out, brilliant.  Queues are one of the reasons I do all of my shopping online. Standing in a queue is such a waste of time. What a dream it would be if at lunch time or when you are in a rush, you could just run in get what you need and out again.

Amazon Go - Shopping Technology with No Queues

Amazon Go – Shopping Technology with No Queues

The team at Amazon are coming up with lots of ideas lately and this has to be their best idea ever. Amazon Go – Shopping Technology with No Queues, No Queues I tell you. I’m very excited by this new tech.   Amazon have created an advanced shopping technology where you turn on your Amazon Go app, go into the shop pick up what you want and walk out.  Check out the video below, these shoppers look like shoplifters, how that will be policed?

How does Amazon Go work ?

The Amazon Go app utilizes computer vision, sensor fusion and deep learning which is the same types of technologies used in self-driving cars.

 Our Just Walk Out technology automatically detects when products are taken from or returned to the shelves and keeps track of them in a virtual cart. When you’re done shopping, you can just leave the store. Shortly after, we’ll charge your Amazon account and send you a receipt.



Its as simple as that – All you need is an Amazon account, a supported smartphone, and the free Amazon Go app.

They have a 1800 square foot store in Seattle right now which is going through a beta stage but will be open to the public in early 2017.

What do you think about Amazon Go – Shopping Technology with No Queues?  Some people think its technology gone too far and other people might be concerned that it will mean less jobs?

How find more customers on Twitter

How to find more Customers on Twitter

If you are using social media for your business, you need to have a targeted following, which is easier than you think on Twitter.  How to find more customers on Twitter, is a question that everyone asks. Twitter is a powerhouse of information which businesses sometimes overlook.  Twitter makes it easier than any other network to find and target new customers.

We all want new customers, followers, clients to get more visits to our websites and to essentially get more sales.  There is really no point in having 100k followers on Twitter who aren’t interested in what we do.  What we want are people who are interested in us and what we do.  We can search for these people or business in Twitter without even using adverts.

Twitter Bio

First of all, you need to make sure that your bio is set up correctly so that people who look at your profile know exactly what you do, and where you are. Add keywords and include a link, the link is very important, this can be your website, your LinkedIn, or an type link which shows all of your networks.  The reason for this is that most people who will take the time to check out your profile will almost always click the link in your Bio.

Now you are reading to start searching for new customers.

How to find more customers on Twitter

Twitter makes it easy for us to find our target audience or new customers on their social network with the use of Twitter Advance Search.

With Twitter Advance Search you can search Twitter for specific phrases, find Tweets to or from a user or narrow down Tweets by location. You can even search for only the Tweets that have a happy sentiment. 🙂

First, enter a search in the “search twitter” box.

How to find more customers on Twitter

Let’s say for instance you repair washing machines in London and you search for “washing machine broken”.

You are then taken to a page with lots of tweets with those words in but these words will be in any order and might contain other words. Twitter automatically shows you the Top tweets.

How to find more customers on Twitter

At this stage, this search isn’t very helpful. These people could be anywhere in the world and it might even be something else that is broken.

At the top of this results page, you will see sections for Top Tweets, Latest Tweets, Accounts, Photos, Videos and More Options.  You can click through those if you like to see what they do. However, the option we want is More Options and now clicking Advanced Search. <<  Or you could always just use that link.  You will then see the Advance search page.

Advanced Twitter Search

With Advanced Twitter Search you can now refine your search as follows


Tweets containing:-

  • All words in any position (“Broken and Machine and Washing”)
  • Exact phrases (“Broken Washing Machine”)
  • Any of the words (“Broken” or Machine or Washing”)
  • Tweets excluding specific words (“Washing Machine” but not Broken”)
  • A specific hashtag (#Hotpoint)
  • Tweets in a specific language (written in English)


  • From a specific account (Tweeted by “@Hotpoint”)
  • Tweets sent as replies to a specific account (in reply to “@Hotpoint”)
  • Tweets that mention a specific account (Tweet includes “@Hotpoint”)


  • Tweets sent from a location of your choice or choice near to my own location


  • Choose a date range you want to see Tweets from


  • Choose a sentiment – Positive – Negative – Quotes or include retweets.

You will then be shown a new list of tweets that are much more targeted, and you still have the options above (Top Tweets, Latest Tweets, Accounts, Photos, Videos and More Options) so you can easy refine it even more.

You can then choose to Follow these accounts, put them in a list to watch them and nurture them, create conversations with them.

On this example search it was more direct so you might want to take action.  I’d still be careful about storming in saying Hey we can fix your washing machine as people don’t usually like that. What you could do is use your personal account to tweet the person “hey, it’s awful when your washing machine stops working @werepairhotpoint are in your area maybe they can fix it for you”.  Crafty, maybe but it gets your tweet across in a more helpful way.

And that is How to find more customers on Twitter.

Remember this was a really simple example of a search which shows that that by combining fields in advanced search, you have a really cool PowerSearch, without having to move from  No need to even use a third-party platform.

You can even use IFTTT to save a search and send results to you via email – check out their website – maybe that’ll be another blog post.

Happy Searching – Please comment or find me on twitter @michelledh if you have any questions.


Instagram Launches Live Video and Disappearing Photos

Instagram Launches Live Video and Disappearing Photos

Instagram announced a while back now that they are going to be adding live video to Instagram stories. Well, today Instagram Launches Live Video and Disappearing Photos too.

It’s been said that live streaming is going to take over social media in 2017 and right now it is very hot for those who are using it right.  Which surprisingly isn’t that many yet, imagine what an overload we will have when everyone decides to jump on the bandwagon and starts using live streaming to promote their business.  I’m not just talking about the videos people stream walking around the park with their children but live video with useful entertaining content.

Instagram Launches Live Video and Disappearing Photos

Instagram want you to share in the moment

So, what improvements have Instagram made?  We already have Stories which was launched in August but this version of video – is live video – which will be shown to your friends and followers while you are filming but will be gone as soon as you have finished.  This sharing in the moment is what they believe will encourage more people to share.

On the live video, you can also give hearts and emoticons like you can on Facebook live. However, these videos aren’t exactly like Facebook live streams as on Facebook live videos stay around forever, which seems to work because these videos continue to appear in feeds and get many more views.     So, I’m not sure how well this type of live video will do actually, are enough people going to stream at the right times, or is this just going to be a very niche following which whom you can connect on a deeper level.

I wonder how you will be notified or if you can turn them off like you can turn off Facebook live notifications.

Instagram Launches Live Video and Disappearing Photos

Snapchat style disappearing messages

Similar to Snapchats 6 second snaps, of disappearing photos, on Instagram you will also be able to send photos and videos to groups or certain friends which will disappear, as soon as they’ve seen them. And by the look of this video from Instagram thinks everyone wants to send pictures to each other pulling funny faces.  Seems very useful.

You just need to swipe to take your photo or video then tap to send it privately.

The new messages will be available from Monday 28th November and Live video will be viewable also starting Monday, but being able to broadcast live will be on a roll out over the coming months.

How to get verified on twitter

How to get Verified on Twitter – Get your blue tick now!

How to get verified on Twitter For a while now, Twitter has expanded who can get verified on Twitter, and a number of people have been asking me How to get verified on Twitter.  They want a blue verified badge on their Twitter account so that people know they can be trusted and are authentic.  Twitter doesn’t make this very well known or easy to find, so I thought I’d help you out.

Twitter used to only allow verification for high profile people, public figures, tv stars, film stars, most media actually,  brands and sports stars and other similar areas.  However now they say they allow creators and influencers or if it is determined to be of public interest.

Needless to say – I have tried to get the little blue badge on my own Twitter @michelledh but have been rejected *sad face* However, I do know a lot of people in my industry who are much more influential than me who have been rejected too so that doesn’t make me feel so bad.   If you are thinking, “Oh, they won’t verify me” you may as well try and some people who have been verified have totally shocked me, I’ve no idea how they got through, so just go for it.

How to get verified on Twitter

How to get verified on Twitter

The most important things you need just to get started is a verified phone number and email address, also a real name and an accurate profile picture will help.   You will also need to compose a reason to why you should be verified, just saying because I’m cool isn’t a good enough reason apparently.

So to get your account ready to become verified on Twitter you have to submit a request to verify your account 

But BEFORE you do that, you need to get your account ready.

You Must Have

  • A verified phone number
  • A confirmed email address
    A business must have a business email address. 
  • A bio
  • A profile photo
  • A header photo
  • A birthday
  • A website
  • Tweets set as public in Tweet privacy settings

All of the above obviously need to reflect who you are or who your business is and be consistent.   Once you have submitted your request to be verified on Twitter, you will receive an email to tell you if you have been accepted or not.

So, I hope now that you know How to get verified on Twitter, the good news is that, if you are turned down, you can go back and make some more changes and apply again in 30 days.

how to get facebook group analytics

How to get Facebook Group Analytics

You have been able to get analytics for pages for ages because facebook have their very own analytics built in and it’s quite useful. If you want to find out how to get Facebook Group Analytics its a bit more difficult.

Facebook Groups vs Pages

Many business owners choose a Facebook Group over a page now. Why? Because not only are Facebook groups are a proven way to form connections and discussions because they feel more like a community than a page.

Pages are still valuable even though some businesses seem to think a page is a way to shout about their products and services, without using them to provide value for their community. Which unless you are Pepsi, is a big mistake. Although even Pepsi don’t just post boring “buy my stuff now” posts, they have great content which includes video and interactive posts, it is still all about them but still.

With Facebook Pages you can use ads,  you can add a variety of apps so that people can easily find you elsewhere, or you can collect email addresses and run competitions. The good thing about Facebook Groups’ however, is that there is a bigger sense of community, you can store files, and search posts and members feel more able to share. Posts are also much more visible in the news feed if the group is not a closed group.

Facebook pages have great insight and analytics so you can measure what works, but Facebook groups don’t, which if you want to see what is working can be a pain.  One of the things that Facebook group owners are concerned about is How to get Facebook Group Analytics, what is the ROI of a Facebook Group.

How to get Facebook Group Analytics

Those of us that run Facebook pages and Groups as community managers love analytics and we love to show the businesses we work for how well their pages or communities are doing, so Analytics are an important part of our job.

Luckily there are now a few platforms or tools to help you get Facebook Group Analytics and I’ve been looking at these two.

With Sociograph you can get analytics on Facebook Groups and Pages, and you are not restricted to how many Groups or pages. You are also not restricted to the time, you can go back to last month, last year or all time.

Although it does seem to have a few bugs and might not completely accurate on busy groups and pages.  Sociograph gives you are very good idea, about what’s going on for free.


All you have to do is connect your personal profile and it lists all of your groups and pages. click on the one that you want to analyze.

You can find the overall number of

  • Likes
  • Shares
  • Comments
  • Post Types

Then you will have a list of posts – with a rating – Likes Comments and Share.

Visitors – with a rating – Karma, likes, shares, comments

Group Growth – this will start recording after your first visit.

The data can be exported to CSV for offline analysis.
The tool is completely free.

Has the same as the above, but much more and still for free however you are restricted to 4 groups for free, so if you have more groups you can pay and they also offer much more information, which you can pay for.

How to get Facebook Group Analytics

This one is much nicer to look at than Sociograph but you don’t get as much for free, so that’s understandable.  There are more graphs, photos are used and so much information you can download.

You can also view information per day on this platform.

You are restricted to only 7 days data history for free.

Some of the paid for extras are..

  • Data archived
  • Publish in Groups
  • PDF & PPT reports
  • Publishing tool
  • Time intervals selection
  • Custom time zone
  • Data exports
  • Time intervals comparison

You can also get a lot  more information about group members, which is great.

Groups members

We do not provide any personal information about members except his/her name and Facebook app scoped id.
You might have differences between the number of members on Grytics and the one you have on Facebook.

Facebook Privacy allows members not to show up in the API and Facebook displays deactivated profiles on groups members list.


Group Engagement
Group Activity
Active Members
Posts Engagement Score
Posts Reacted
Posts Commented
Non Publishers
Non Commenters
Non reacters
Not engaged
Top publishers
Top commenters
Top reacters
Top engaged
Engaged Members score
Top influencers
The date of the last activity

So I think both platforms have their good points. If you don’t want to pay using both of these together, you can get great insights to your Facebook Group. If you do want to pay, I feel that Grytics is very good value for money.

I hope you enjoyed How to get Facebook Group Analytics – tell me if you found other ways.