credit card issues

- admin at 16:12

Hi folks just a quick post on the subject of credit cards…

Credit cards are an indispensable tool for making and particularly accepting payments conveniently either online, over the phone or on the high street - there are many advantages to this kind of transaction… Payment and fraud protection sure is a biggie as far as I am concerned and I would never go out without my credit card in my wallet because I always need it wherever I go - and cash is increasingly becoming something I keep in a leather bag! I almost never use it these days except for very small payments where using a card would be just silly. Of course, it’s great when you stay within your balance and don’t go into the red, you might say, after all that’s what they are for! The interest on some credit cards is very high and you could soon find your credit card minimum payments to be your single biggest monthly bill.

The culture we have been living in has been very much influenced by marketers, particularly of high ticket goods and banks and credit card companies. They have been deliberately encouraging us to spend more than we can afford, so they offer us benefits like payment protection and now they are offering balance transfers and zero interest periods which if you are an accountant, you can save a fortune on your interest payments by continually moving your overdraft from one company to another every 3 months or so. But seriously who has time to go through the rigmarole of signing up with another credit card company and jumping through all the hoops they require you to jump through before they allow you to transfer your (negative) balance over to them? Then you have to make sure you pay off the balance in the required amount of time before they start to charge you interest unless you transfer again. Sooner or later they wil all get wise to what you are doing and simply refuse, or you will run out of credit card companies! Plus the chance of fraud is greater, the more credit cards you have, the greater the possibility of accidentally misplacing or losing one.

It’s likely of course that in the next few years we will see the demise of credit cards entirely as the banks are rolling out their mobile phone apps that will allow us to check our balances, make and even receive payments all with just one PIN number. Of course phones may end up getting so slim you won’t be able to tell the difference… credit cards will get slimmer, more technology will be built into them and more security features like fingerprint ID, voice recognition cameras etc will all be helping to keep the fraudsters at bay.

I got my paypal card through not long ago and it disappointed me at how slowly any transactions I made on and off line were to process, a few even stalling completely, I hope that gets sorted real soon, I expect it’s more to do with the stores and banks not being used to it and possibly the risk of online fraud may ring a few digital alarm bells causing the payments to stall a bit, who knows? I still get very annoyed when paypal arbitrarily decide to freeze a transaction. Every time they do that it’s always to their benefit as they are always the ones holding the money so they make interest on it. I must say things have improved re paypal in the last year or so - it used to take up to 5 working days for a paypal balance, or part of it, to be transferred to my bank account and the minimum amount was £50 - any less and there were fees incurred. Not any more, no fees and the transfer (at least toi my bank, Natwest) is almost instantaneous, within minutes every time.

Accepting Credit Cards

- admin at 19:18 in General

Hi my name’s Mark Todd and I want to spend a little time talking about how to accept credit cards, particularly from the viewpoint of a small business owner. I get asked this question all the time, it is going to increase your potential for sales enormously if you can take credit card payments and really what else is there?
As the owner of a small business you will know already that unless you are happy to accept cheque or money order(who wants to do that these days?) you can only deal with cash transactions which is all very well but you soon get into the situation where you lose track of what cash is your own personal money and what is the business’s.
Obviously the temptation to accept cheques is always there but then you and your customer are faced with the annoyance and inconvenience not to mention added expoense incurred both sides) - First you have to explain to the customer that they will have to wait up to 5 working days for the cheque to clear which in itself can give a negative impression to the customer and so I always advise my clients and students to avoid taking cheques whenever possible unless the customer is ok with waiting for it to clear.
You will always find customers wanting to pay by credit or debit card - there are so many reasons why it is preferable, fraud protection is certainly one of them and all kinds of customer benefits that make them more secure with this increasingly popular alternative to cash… and the obvious answer is always “sorry no I don’t take card payments” which will be a source of annoyance to your customers, it can lose you sales and give the impression of not being all that professional - well, I have an answer for you and you are going to love it - Paypal!
Whwnever a customer offers to pay by credit or debit card simply accept happily and go to your computer terminal (you have to have a paypal account but then these days who doesn’t?) Paypal is internationally recognised as a secure, safe and reliable online paying suystem (after all Ebay uses it), almost all companies and businesses, not to mention individuals, have payapal accounts thgese days.
So you just take the customers card and log into paypal, take down the number details and charge the card, you can enter all the relevant details and make the payment. Then print or write out your customer a receipt for their purchase and you’re done! So now you can proudly advertise that you can accept credit cards and have no added expense like PDQ machines, bank charges and so on (apart from the small charge Paypal will take)

Health and Safety 2

- admin at 16:48 in General

Health and safety training is so important, I am always being asked one thing or another about health and safety and when I am doing presentations, people are often very attentive, asking questions and making constructive suggestions.. This is great but really not that accurate a representation of how people work, in the workplace things are different.. both in the cases of employees/workers and managers, the focus is on getting the job done, usually quickly, and that in itself can be a cause of accidents, another being lack of safety awareness sometimes concentration and often neglecting or forgetting to use the right safety equipment.

Realising that there is even a risk there is one of the things I have to remind people of and to take an active interest in each others’ safety in the workplace. Many times accidents can be averted by the help and support of co workers watching each others backs and taking an interest in the collective safety of everybody on site. Also management can have a significant input when it comes to issues like working in confined spaces, where better design of plant and machinery can help make the workplace safer, for instance by modifying existing environments so that it is safer for the people who have to work in them.

Sometimes something as simple as agreed working practices, procedures agreed upon in meetings and training sessions can be instrumental in saving lives, avoiding injuries and costly downtime for the company, not to mention compensation payouts. Health and safety is everybody’s responsibility and serves the interests of everyone in the workplace. Having the appropriate training, mindset and safety equipment is not optional these days as there are many governmental legal requirements that companies have to abide by in order to avoid prosecution.

IOSH Training courses

- admin at 13:00

IOSH is the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health, in terms of membership it currently comprises about 40,000 people and that would include many thousands of health and safety advisors and professionals. It is based in the UK but has branches all over the world with 22 accredited courses running in other countries and 35 here in the UK. It was set up in 1945 as part of RoSPA on a non profit basis, specifically to promote awareness of health and safety issues in the workplace.

Professional organisations can become involved in IOSH in one of two ways, one is the package courses which include the managing safety courses, which tend to be the most popular, and then there is the working safety course, both of which have been written and produced by IOSH and their dedicated team of developers. They have been described as very much “plug & play” and they have done nearly all of the work for you so if you are a trainer like me, these courses really are a godsend and represent many hours of time saved in course research and preparation.

Of course you do need to spend some time reading and familiarising yourself with the course materials and get totally used to the story behind the animation, but once you have done that you should be totally ready to use them professionally and go ahead with presentations and training seminars..

There are also the tailor made approval services and these are all about when people have written their own courses, like myself, and they would like to gain the approval of a reputable third party like IOSH..
Both courses are going to provide the student or trainer with a very high level of awareness in real terms - they are aimed very much at normal working people in a typical working environment, their managers rather than safety experts, so very easy and straightforward information on safety that is easy to assimilate and incorporate into one’s everyday working life.

credit card payments using mobile phones

- admin at 12:45

Hello again and welcome to another post. It is my intention that these post will contain lots of ideas, strategies and tactics to propel your business forward and today we are going to talk about something that will allow you to close the sale and get paid no matter where you are and Iím really excited to share today’s tip with you.

A little background on this tip. I was at a conference a few months back and it was probably among the top three most productive and profitable conferences that I personally have attended. Every time I sat down at a meal, it was interesting. It was almost always meal time, breakfast, lunch or dinner it seemed, but as I was a speaker the time was going by real fast ande so it was just a constant buzz of speaking, eating and making sales - woo hoo! Almost every single time I sat down, I got a new client. It was amazing.

One particular prospect who I was talking to was so excited to work with me, they were ready to pay right then and there and move forward in working with me for some business coaching. And, of course, how do you take payments if you are far away from your office? They don’t have their cheque book, of course they don’t… They certainly don’t have the amount of cash that it would take to buy my particular service. So how could you process that transaction when you are are so far away?

Wouldn’t it be great to be able to say, “no problem, I can take a card payment right here”, whip out a card reader and process the payment there and then? Well now, I can and there are a number of great services available that will allow you to do exactly that without it costing you a small fortune… more details next post, see you soon…
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online printing

- admin at 12:25 in General

Hello everybody, today I want to talk about online printing, as mention briefly in my previous post -
Online printing is the most economical and often the quickest way to get your business printing done these days, and will often be far superior in quality to anything you are likely to print using your office printer - you may scoff or not believe me but I have compared the results and I have used a number of online printing services and the results really do speak for themselves.

Also it’s easy to forget to factor in the downtime that your office or home printers can cause when they need their ink replenishing, the time it takes to load them, unpack boxes of paper, fixing paper jams, waiting for prints to come out, routine servicing/cleaning and the waste… forget it. Use your home printer where it belongs - at home, for business, use a dedicated printing service and online is definitely the best option these days…think about it, you don’t have to leave the office or drive anywhere, you don’t have to pay a designer unless you want to - you will typically have a massive database of attractive design templates to choose from and edit to your requirements, or design your own using the online printing company’s design software usually an online application and you can either set it up yourself from home or if you time is too valuable, get an office junior or other staff member to do it for you.

Your time is valuable so you need to use it wisely, delegation is the way and online printing is the ideal way to delegate work out to an expert that will save you money and time. You want to be making your business make money not chasing around getting printing done, you want it designed quickly, efficiently with the minimum of fuss or expense then the templates saved and simply re order when needed.
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Printing For Business

- admin at 03:20

Hi my names Mark Todd and this is my blog.

This is my first blog (3rd post) so if it seems a little basic and dumb, sorry, bare with me, I am new at this. I may not know much about blogging, but I do know a fair bit about business printing, having run several successful businesses in the past myself and been a business consultant for 4 years, I know the importance of printing for business in any industry. Your clients and customers rely on you to provide them with the best quality of service or products, if you don’t they will soon start looking around at your competitors to find an alternative, and where does that leave you?

Your customers and clients will be on the receiving end of whatever printed materials you are currently giving them. Invoices, business cards, letterheads, flyers, leaflets, receipts, advertising the list is endless and unless they see total professionalism and attention to detail, a bit of creative flair and a co ordinated graphic look, then they will be simply unimpressed.

It doesn’t cost any extra to have this in your printing for business and yet so many businesses fail miserably in this area. Now I know what you are thinking - you don’t want to be shelling out loads of money for designers and professional printers to make you a slick advertising and stationery solution and frankly I dont blame you, although it would be wise to check out the printing options open to you as it may not be as expensive as you think…

An alternative option to employing the serices of a professional business printer is to get your business printing done online, which I intend to discuss in detail next posting, for now I am going to take a well earned break, stick my feet up and have me a little new year drinky, Happy new year everybody! …

Health and Safety

- admin at 10:28 in General

Hi everyone, this is my first blog site so be gentle on me folks :)

So much to say, so much to do, so little time to say it in, oh well best press on and it will all sort itself out over time, or not, in which case this could be total nonsense. It is my intention on this blog to keep you, dear readers, updated on my activities and thoughts.

My name is Mark Todd and I am a safety consultant and trainer for Eversosafe consultancy management services here in Stoke on Trent. I have been a member of IOSH for several years and have always been interested in the field of health and safety in the workplace.

I am highly experienced in the field and have developed my own personal style of health and safety training.
My own individual style of presentations using prezi and powerpoint plus video and role playing has helped me to provide my delegates with rewarding and fun introduction to health and safety.

My company offers a number of excellent training courses for every level in the workplace from senior management to chargehands and staff managers and general staff memebers.
My speciality is IOSH managing safely training courses for managers and management, covering aspects like roles and responsibilities under health and safety law. I teach the principles of hazard recognition risk and the legal requirements etc.
We use fun interactive tools such as games and role playing and then we have a short assesment at the end of each course and a work based project gain an IOSH certificate.
I will post again soon, wish I could write more but this will have to do for now, I have a new prezi presentation to finish, it has to be live tomorrow! 300 students in attendance so it has to be good, or at least finished anyway!
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