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Small Business Advice

Google Web Vitals – What’s The Fuss?

In case you haven’t heard, Google’s latest search algorithm update focuses on your website’s tech­nical per­formance. Specifically, on a group of metrics that Google calls “Core Web Vitals”. So what are these Google Web Vitals, and what’s all the fuss about them for?

What Are Google Web Vitals?

Google’s Core Web Vitals are a small set of key metrics focused on page speed and user exper­ience. Check these three impactful metrics first before under­taking deeper optimizations.

  • Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) measures how long it takes for the largest content element (e.g. a hero image or heading text) on your page to become visible. Aim for an LCP of 1.2 seconds or less.
  • Total Blocking Time (TBT) tells you how much time is blocked by scripts during your page loading process.
Read the rest 

Freelancer Pricing

A Freelancer Pricing Poem For National Freelancers Day

Freelancer pricing is a serious matter,
It’s not just a game that you play with your mates,
Though you may think I’m as mad as a hatter,
When I tell you freel­ancers must know THREE DIFFERENT RATES.

The first is the cost of staying in business,
Your break-even salary plus all business costs,
Divide by the hours that you expect to be working,
If you sell below this, your business is lost.

Next comes the rate that you’d get in job markets,
Those costs, plus your worth as a full employee,
You won’t last for long if you sell below this one –
Morale cannot live on a sub­standard fee.

But the last is the rate that you really should aim for,
The one that will let you do more than survive,
The fair price returned for the value you offer,
That lets both you, and your cus­tomer, thrive.… Read the rest 

How To Start A Small Business Website: The Essentials

If you have a small business, or are thinking of starting one, you need a website. There’s a lot to con­sider though — and many small busi­nesses fail because they’ve over­looked one or more of the essen­tials. So here’s how to start a small business website.

Ready? Let’s begin!

What Every Small Business Needs

First, there are a few things every business needs. Hopefully you’ve con­sidered these already, but let’s cover them briefly, just in case.

A Good Offer And A Realistic Target Market

The key words here are “good”, “real­istic” and “target”.

Startups often hope to sell some­thing they like to “everyone”. That rarely works — espe­cially if no-one else sells any­thing similar. If there’s no com­pet­ition, the market may not exist, or may not be sus­tainable. It’s easier to sell an improvement on competitor’s offers than some­thing entirely new.… Read the rest 

WordPress Updates — The Pitfalls

WordPress updates and website maintenanceHere’s a great example of why auto­mating updates in WordPress is only smart for non-business web­sites. As I write this, one of the WP plugins pub­lished by Facebook just released an update with invalid code.

Not just a bug — code so wrong that it crashes sites. Code that wouldn’t have passed basic testing.

I’m sure “Facebook for WooCommerce” will be fixed promptly. However, over 900,000 online shops use it. If they were all running auto­matic updates, almost a million shops would be offline right now.

Other WordPress Update Problems

This comes on top of the GADWP fiasco earlier this year, too. In that, ExactMetrics changed the nature of their popular plugin without warning, through an “update”.

Version 6 of the “Google Analytics Dashboard for WP” plugin was “redesigned from the ground up”.… Read the rest 

Small Business Coronavirus Lockdown Help

Wales is entering another COVID-19 lockdown (as of October 23rd). Folks found this post helpful back in March, so I’m updating it with some new offers.

As small business owners in these dif­ficult times, we need to remember:

  • Adaptability is the small business advantage.
  • Negativity under­mines cre­ativity and planning.
  • Our fam­ilies and teams need to see con­fidence, not fear.
  • Stress under­mines the immune system. Breathe, and calm.
  • Mutual support, determ­in­ation and flex­ib­ility will win.
  • No entre­preneur sur­vives without being able to see hope in adversity. Silver linings may be a razor’s edge at times, but that’s where we find the silver.

Business Reality Check

Choose opportunityMany UK firms pan­icked at the first lockdown, fretting about remote working and scaling back on expenses.… Read the rest