Britains First Business Book Festival

This Friday sees Bournemouth host The Business Book Festival.

From the website:

Meet the UKs best selling business authors at the UKs first business book festival. Hear them speak; listen to their stories; seek their advice; buy their books.

Discover:

Whats new in enterprise thinking;
How to succeed in todays challenging times;
Inspiration, innovation and intelligence
The first UK Business Book festival has invited the countrys top business authors to come together and spend a day sharing their knowledge of how to make money and change the world.

And

– Hear great stories from entrepreneurs
– Get ideas that will save you money
– Network with the sharpest brains in the business world
– Learn how to publish your own business book
– Find the courage to do your own thing and succeed

The line up of authors that will be speaking is pretty impressive and I suspect that Brad Burton will be worth the 35 entry fee on his own.

Operating on the IYDAYDG (if you dont ask, you dont get) principle, I asked the organizers for a reduced price to pass on to readers of this blog. And they said yes 10.

To take advantage of this offer, register online here and order just the 10 Single Session ticket. Theres an Order Notes box on the checkout page type the word KashFlow in to that box and then when you collect your ticket on the day youll find out its been magically upgraded to the Full Attendance package.

There are two catches:
1) dont expect the free book voucher
2) you must register by Thursday, so get it done now.

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This entry was posted
on Tuesday, September 7th, 2010 at 9:21 am and is filed under Uncategorized.
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The Support Dashboard

As our customer base as grown substantially this year, and continues to do so every month, so does the demand on our support team.

I needed a way to be able to closely monitor the current state of support without having to continuously log in to the support system.

So what we came up with is the Support Dashboard. This is displayed on a big LCD screen perched on top of a filing cabinet thats visible from everywhere in the office. Visitors to the office always comment on it.

support-dashboard

A green light means all is well.
An amber light means someone has been waiting for a reply to their support ticket for more than 30 minutes.
A red light means someone has been waiting more than an hour if it ever goes red then its all hands on deck until its green again.

As you can see in the photo, itscurrentlygreen. But when it goes amber or red it lists the ticket subject line, how long the customer has been waiting and who (if anyone) the ticket is assigned to.

For those that care about these things the support ticket system is eSupport from Kayako and the dashboard was magicd up by Tim using SQL Server Reporting Services. The choice of the Comic Sans font was also Tims. So please aim flames in his direction, not mine.

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This entry was posted
on Wednesday, September 15th, 2010 at 11:24 am and is filed under Technology.
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Team Photo

I needed some head shots done of a couple of my co-directors to go on OrbitAccounts.com, a new product we launched yesterday.

It was one of those rare occasions when we actually had everyone in the office, so took the opportunity for a group photo (click for larger version).

team

L-R we have:
Shelley Sales
Sandile Lead Developer
Graham Account Manager
Dominique ber PA / General Manager
Les Sales
Efe Support
Kunal Sales
John Support Manager
Me The Boss
Tim Second Line Support and IT Manager
Mandeep Sales
Simone Exec PA andReceptionist
Big Tim CTO
Michelle – Sales Director
Shah Sales
Sam Sales

The photo was taken by Amanda Eatwell of AJE Photography. If you ever need any sort f photogrpahy work, shes the girl to go to. Very professional, very capable and not over price.

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This entry was posted
on Thursday, September 16th, 2010 at 1:51 pm and is filed under Uncategorized.
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Remove that Twitter badge from your website – Now!

I got asked last week why we dont have a Twitter badge on our website. I think the asker assumed it was an oversight.

It isnt.

As Ive written before, the purpose of the KashFlow website is to get potential customers to register to take a no-obligation, 60-day free trial of our accounting software.

So anything that distracts from this end goal, or doesnt move a website visitor towards it, is a Bad Thing.

Put another way, the website is a funnel, with the bottom of that funnel being the free-trial sign-up page.

Putting a badge on the website saying Follow us on Twitter would effectively be like getting a drill and putting a big hole in the side of the funnel for visitors to escape and maybe never return.

dj_tweetssa_tweet

My turn to make some assumptions. I assume s/he is talking about Twitter being a method of getting people to your site to buy your wares.

Yes, it is but why take someone from being on your site to another location in the hope of getting them back to your site???

brays_tweet

That argument has some merit. We do have a good community around KashFlow, and following us on Twitter is a way to be a part of that which is why we have a Twitter badge on our log out page.

But getting new trialists is ahigherpriority than getting newfollowers. Or to put it another way:

jw_tweet
So do you have a Twitter badge on your site? Are you losing sales because of it?

Semi-related post: Four Things You Probably Didnt Know About Twitter.

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This entry was posted
on Monday, September 20th, 2010 at 3:51 pm and is filed under Marketing.
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Your Vanity is Devaluing LinkedIn

vainI use Twitter every day. Anyone can follow me, and Ill follow anyone who looks interesting.

Facebook I use much less frequently and dont have (or want) many friends on there. Its more personal/family related, although I do have KashFlow RSS feeds plugged into it.

My problem is with LinkedIn. I find it a very useful network, but Iregularlyget connection requests from people I have very tenuous connections with or have never heard of:

– Twitter followers I have no interaction with, or just banter with
– KashFlow customers Ive never dealt with myself (theres nearly 10,000 of you now!)
– People I exchanged a few inconsequential words with at some event or another

You get the picture.

Ideally Id only connect on LinkedIn with people I know, worked with, done business with or would at least recognise if I bumped into them somewhere.

Theres two reasons I dont want to add other people.

Firstly, if they ask to be introduced to a genuine connection of mine, I cant tell the recipient of the intro anything at all about the requester. And if the requester turns out to be a muppet then it reflects badly on me.

Secondly is the same thing but in reverse. A genuine connection may see Im connected to John Random and want an intro. An intro via me to John Random isnt going to carry much weight as John hardly knows me Im just one of his 500+ connections. So again, a poor quality intro that John Random may not follow up reflects badly on me.

Adding tenuous connections seriously undermines LinkedIns usefulness.

I think its the whole race to get a high friend count that makes people want to add as many people as possible.

Am I missing something?
Do you have 500+ LinkedIn connections, most of whom you dont know from Adam? Why?
Would we all be better off without a published friend count, or is that an essential ingredient?

I am willing to have my mind changed on this, just as it was on the topic of Twitter badges

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This entry was posted
on Friday, September 24th, 2010 at 11:33 am and is filed under Ramblings.
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Mumpreneur – a good or a bad word to be using?

Theres a debate raging on Twitter now over the use of the word Mumpreneur as a name for a mother thats an entrepreneur

It started with a conversation between @EtcEtcOnline (Darren Leighfield) and @KellyCairns

Darren says its a ridiculous label and would put people off using the services of someone calling themselves a mumpreneur
Kelly disagrees, and lots of others agree with her arguments include the fact that it helps mumpreneurs identify each other.

I really cant decide what side of the argument I agree with.

Use the comments box below to share your thoughts, or tweet with the tag #mumpreneur

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This entry was posted
on Thursday, September 30th, 2010 at 12:43 pm and is filed under Ramblings.
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Introducing QuickSnap – Single-purpose iPhone app for KashFlow

qsWhen I talked about ouriPhone app, the one feature Id harp on about the most was the ability to take a snapshot of a receipt and get it into KashFlow in a few taps. So I could get out of a taxi or pay a bar bill and immediately have the scanned receipt in KashFlow.

The problem was that as the app does so much more than this, it was more taps/data entry than is ideal.

So in talking to the great iPhone developers we work with, we came up with a plan: a single-purpose app optimised specifically for getting receipts into KashFlow.

The result is QuickSnap, now available in the app store.

First, the set-up: Create a supplier in your KashFlow account, perhaps called Unprocessed Receipts. Then add a new nominal code (or Outgoing Type) , perhaps called Misc Expenses

Then fire up the app and in the settings screen you choose the supplier and code you just created and also enter your name. Your app is now configured for use.

When you fire up the app youll have the option to use an existing photo or shoot a new one.
You can then(optionally) enter a description for the receipt.
Tap to send to KashFlow and a new receipt is created against the selected supplier and code.
The description you entered is used as the description followed by your name in brackets so you can have multiple people using the app without back office confusion.
Your snapshot is attached to the receipt so when you are ready you can sit down and fill in the details.

Beautiful.

Note: when you tap to send to KashFlow, you get to chose the size of the image. Some users are reporting problems using the larger options. Let us know if you have this problem so we can get it fixed.

Note 2: Before you ask, no no plans to do a version of this or our main app for Android just yet. But we are getting a *lot* of requests, so may well do so at some point.

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This entry was posted
on Tuesday, October 26th, 2010 at 9:35 am and is filed under Technology.
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Kashflow iPhone App

Today on his twitter stream Kashflow founder Duane Jackson made this announcement

Being the geeky accountant I am I was quite excited to see this. Xero’s policy seems to be to stay away from working with a particular operating system they just use a mobile website which causes problems due to the iPhones not supporting flash. There is other unsupported Kashflow apps for the iPhone which I will review at a later date. This is the first official accounting SAAS iPhone app I have used.

Installing and logging into the App is as simple as it should be.

The home screen seen here shows a simple financial overview in basic non accountants terms. For some reason that loading message stayed on the screen

Kashflow Online Accounts Ireland

Kashflow Homescreen

The app its self is relatively basic but covers everything a small business owner would need while out and about.
An unpaid invoice list

Kashflow online accounts

Unpaid Invoice List

and the ability to add invoices

Kashflow online accounts Ireland

Add an invoice

When I exited the app and reopened it I did get this error message which seems to be a problem with multitasking but other than that seemed stable for V1.1

The Kashflow iPhone app is available from the app store here