Friday 23 October 2015

See why using outside help for some of your business needs frees up time for you to do what you do best


As part of the process of setting up my own business, I have had reason to look in different parts of the internet for all sorts of ideas. Sometimes these internet searches are planned and sometimes a little bit of serendipity comes into play (see blog here - )

I think that as the business develops, I will need outside help in some areas of what I attempt to do. For instance, I won’t try to conduct my own legal affairs – I will leave that to the expertise of a solicitor. I won’t want to spend hours of my time checking and filing my own accounts – I will make use of an accountant that knows their way around the tax rules.

And it was while looking into different professional business service providers that I came across the company Adactus -

Being a well-established company that provides more than one service gives Adactus a head start when it comes to helping out startup companies such as the one I am putting together. In the early days of my estate agency business I will be trying to run the show from home but will have to spend a lot of time out on the road. And the question that this asks is “how will I be able to provide an office service for my customers?” I want them to be able to pick up the phone and speak to someone from my company but I hope to have my time filled with appointments at client’s houses. Adactus could provide an answer. They will provide a high-quality and professional telephone answering service in several languages, call acceptance and transfer, and a virtual secretary from Mondays to Fridays from 8:00 to 18:00, outside these hours – a voicemail service.

Tax is always a taxing question for any business large or small, so looking at what might be a tax beneficial status is something that many companies have looked into. You can have a discussion with Adactus about their company registration services after contacting them via their website. They can offer potential tax-related benefits for foreign companies, as they are based in Switzerland. Switzerland has one of the most beneficial tax rates in Europe along with a politically, geographically and economically stable infrastructure. That is highly attractive to foreign companies which choose to change their address to Switzerland.

As I stated at the start of the blog, Adactus are experienced in several areas that could help the average startup or the slightly more established company to get ahead in business. I try to look at business from several angles and highlight companies that I have used or would consider using to help me set up my small business. Recently I have shown how RawShorts and Fiverr could help a new or small business and I will keep on exposing good companies to my readers of this blog. If you have any questions about this then please do not hesitate to comment on the blog or get in touch with Adactus directly via their website.

Wednesday 21 October 2015

See the different marketing ideas I'm using to sell my books


I've been looking at ways to expand the sales of my mystery shopping book. It's had some initial interest and I want to capitalise on that interest and turn it into book sales. There have also been a couple of positive reviews already. It's one of those things that every time you talk about it, other people are really interested in what you have to say. It's a topic that everyone has some interest in, either what you do or becoming a mystery shopper themselves. To assist with the book I've started a blog that mixes hints and tips from the book with my daily experiences as a mystery shopper. Each blog entry prompts the reader to take a look at the book. The blog can be found here.

I have also set up a basic promotional YouTube video to help with the book sales. The idea behind these two things is to get people to like the look of what is going on and then go on to buy and read the book. But the next questions I have are-

  • How are people going to find the blog or the YouTube video?
  • Who is my target market?
  • How will I reach them?

The people who I think will be mainly interested in mystery shopping are university students and the mothers of children that are at school. I live quite close to a university city so I thought that the below poster could get me a bit of traction. I'm going to put it up in a few places around the city that I know students frequent. I hope that more readers of the blog might mean more book sales. Finding the mothers might take a little bit more doing. I'm thinking that the forums mothers frequent such as mumsnet might be somewhere to look. I know from sites like Money Saving Expert  don't allow people to advertise their own products on their forums so mumsnet may be the same. Aside from these two areas, it's a case of searching and thinking more about potential readers and how I can reach them.

The poster looks like this-

Wish me luck!

Thursday 15 October 2015

See the free easy tool that's helped to promote my blogs and books


It's been quite an eventful week in the small world of Amazon Kindle book selling with my book "The Secrets of Mystery Shopping: How to Become a Mystery Shopper" receiving quite a lot of interest and a lot of questions. Amazon don't really give you a great idea of sales figures, as I always find their reports sketchy until the month is over and the money is in my account. This is largely because of Amazon Prime, which gives people the chance to read some or all pages for free and then you, as an author, are given a percentage of the Amazon Prime fund. This is based on the proportion of reads your book got from everything available on Prime.

The immediate, personal feedback has been good, though and I know of a growing number of people that have told me they've bought the book. Friends, family, work colleagues and then their contacts (reached via Facebook) have been buying and I hope it to be my biggest seller yet.

To go alongside the book, I've started a blog. The purpose of this blog is threefold-

1- To promote the book
2- To give people an insight into what a mystery shopper does
3- To give people an idea of the good things that you can get out of mystery shopping

I've seen more interest in this book then any of the others that I have published so I hope that it continues to create a few waves. And I hope that it helps people who are interested in mystery shopping to get a start in the industry. As with all my books, if just one person gets something out if it then I think it will all be worthwhile.

I also used some spare time this week (precious commodity that it is) to produce short animated promo videos for two of my books. I used a website called to produce the videos and many of their templates are free. The videos are as follows-



If you don't think that you can use a site like RawShorts, then an alternative would be somewhere like where someone will be able to produce you a promo video for as little as $5.

The idea is that they give me a little more exposure for the books and offer a different way for people to find my blog, my books and me.

Thursday 8 October 2015

See the book that will help you on your mystery shopping journey


My Amazon Kindle book called The Secrets of Mystery Shopping : How to Become a Mystery Shopper was released yesterday. This is one of my books that I have published as I look to generate an income in the run up to opening my own business. The idea is that these books bring in a (modest) income as the estate agency starts next year and I go without an enlistment income for the first few months it takes to get properties on my books and through to sale completion.

The book was available to pre- order on Amazon but there was a little bit of a wrangle between me and them about the pre-order and edits to the book so the pre- order was cancelled and the book launched immediately.

When I uploaded the book file when setting up the book for ore-order, there was no mention of any issues in updating the content in the run up to launch. So when I went through the final edit of the book, checked and updated the contact details of all the mystery shop companies I was ready to upload the final file to the Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing site. When I got there, this book was greyed out and I couldn't access it to update. I contacted the help desk and was told that for the 3 days before the release, the book was unavailable to edit - I'd missed the deadline by about an hour! Although I didn't know I'd missed a deadline because there wasn't enough information there to tell me.

I was gutted - the choice was to wait until after it was released and then change the book file -meaning that any pre-orders would be unable to access the updated file. Or to withdraw the pre-order title, republish as a ready to buy book and have my customers read the full experience. This meant that I would lose the ability to set books up to pre-order for a year. I went for the second option as I couldn't see the value in having someone pay for what wasn't a full book.

So, here we are, it's published and I've set up a blog (here) and a twitter feed @mysteryshopper74 to help with the exposure.

It's available on the Amazon Kindle store now, so take a look and see what you think.

Wednesday 7 October 2015

See how changing blog presentation should improve click through


I looked recently about a different way of presenting the work that I carry out over the internet.

It's about looking at headlines that will prompt the reader to look further into the article. Many of my blogs are publicised on social media and I'm looking at how the initial words get someone to read through and get interested. I've taken on this way of looking at my blogs as well as starting to formulate how I will put this together for my photography.

The result in a couple of places is starting to show dividends and I have stared using these style of titles in my blogs-

How To Sell Your Home

With titles such as "Find out how to highlight your home for the best sale price" and "Use this selling tip when marketing your home" give interested readers enough information to read through the hyperlink and maybe take in more of the blog whilst on that page.

The mystery shop blog

This is another new blog and is designed to help sell my new Kindle book-

It has titles like "See how a quick 2 hour mystery shop can be profitable" and "Find out how I earned money with a shopping trip to a local coastal town" which again are designed to get people to read through. If they then like the content, it may trigger a sale of the book.

I'll report back on here how the sales of these products go through and the response to the blogs with these new titles.