New PC, Frustrations and PPE :)

I’ve had troubles with my blog recently. Being defaced and then losing data thanks to stupid technicians. I’m back and will remain back! Hackers can go screw themselves.

Anyway, I finally got a new PC. So, I won’t be needing to be doing any upgrading in a very long time! Good news 😀

Here are a few pictures for your viewing. I haven’t got the specs with me at the moment but I will put them up soon. It’s very meaty. I’m liking it a lot. I haven’t made full use out of it yet or pushed it to it’s limits (which is gonna be hard) but all great so far. Its a custom build from pcspecialist.co.uk.

One of the frustrations these past two months has come from my business. The MonkeyPC has a extremely strong selling point in Monkey Care. However its got a weakness in the fact it’s too near its limits so to speak. It can’t meet clients demands fast enough in this division. I’ve lost clients already because of it. Moving back to this server has cost a lot. The old one was meant to be stable and give a improvement but instead it was the opposite. Now our billing system (WHMCS) is sending out overdue notices to clients who shouldn’t be receiving them. It’s been a nightmare these few months 🙁

Moving on from that my first few weeks with the open university have been good. I’m now getting into the meaty part. I’ve submitted my first assignment and I’m not sure how thats going to go. Got to wait a while for the results. The next few weeks are a lot tougher. More work and the fact I fell a bit behind after completing the first assignment. However, it’s more interesting. Looking into consumption, rubbish and how we shop in society. I’ve not made many notes so far and the notes I do make I’m trying to digitise them to make them neat and organised.

Catching up is very difficult considering the volume of work and other things I do. So, I’m making it my mission to catch up by tomorrow. A large part has been done today. I also had a tutorial today. I really enjoy them its great seeing tutors that actually engage with their students and don’t tell them off when they come in late like little kids. Today we had a good debate and discussion. However, much like question time there wasn’t enough time!

I have questions to raise about the second assignment it looks challenging to say the least. First I just want to catch up with the weeks study. Almost done all my online activities. Gonna go now. Hope to post tomorrow after I finished my work. Love all my readers 😉

Mistakes you wish you never made!

Do you have that mistake you wish you NEVER made? Please tell me I am not alone 🙂

I sold a forum (Let Politics Talk) back in 2008 because I was heading off to university and didn’t have time to manage it. I hadn’t been for months prior to the sell anyway. Unfortunately I sold, I could have got a lot more for it but I needed to offload my projects so I could commit. When I sold up I made it very clear of the direction I wanted the community to take. I wanted someone to take care of it continue development and create a less centralised moderation team.

One of the first errors I made (when I was part of the team) at LPT was leadership. We had a dictatorship more then anything and not a very diverse moderation team. This lead to one member being banned mainly because others didn’t believe with his views and thought he was a extremist. Which I believe now is entirely the wrong course to take. At the time I should have seen it too 🙁

I can only put that down to inexperience on my part, and the lack of having a diverse team from different backgrounds who are able to see things from different angles. We were all pretty similar unfortunately.

… And under the new leadership

Under the new leadership nothing much has changed. Apart from lots of great SEO and lots of awful spam. The forum still has the same broken parts as I left it back in 2008. This leads me to believe the software hasn’t been upgraded at all! Fair enough if we were only talking visuals. As visually its not too bad. I don’t want to be critical of the current owner as he has done more with SEO then I could have. I’m looking to become involved with it again if I can as I’d love to be of some use.

However, looking back on it now. Would I give my baby up again? Never 🙂

Me & The MonkeyPC

I can’t think of what to write about really. I will be blogging about The MonkeyPC later on in this week or month. I have lot of exciting things planned regarding that and have had some feedback which has come in handy.

I’m still working hard at Sainsburys in Oxford. I only have a few weeks left until I leave.

Other then that not much has changed personally. However, on the business side things are almost ready. The draft business plan is complete. The financials are a little weak and need a second going over.

There is still a lot to do but progress is coming on.

Lovin’ the weather hope it stays sunny.. stay tuned for more updates 🙂

Apple Elf – Development Part one of many!

I’m not going to say much about anything now except that things are coming along nicely. However we need to know what would make the most complete hosting experience in your own opinion.

This is where Apple Elf needs your help. Just make a post here about what you believe a webhost company should provide you.

In return you will receive one month free hosting on any plan when we launch.

Thank you for your assistance 🙂

Whats happening?

Well, I’ve been concentrating on my online projects a lot over the past few weeks. In particular Ferrari Fans and Apple Elf. Ferrari Fans needs a push start and I have been frantically been trying to get bits ready to launch Apple Elf. Progress is being made.

The current logo looks like this

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I am back now and will be updating this more frequently. Oh and my parents decided to buy a kitten and name him Smokey. He’s cute but it’s tough to do anything with him around.

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At the time of writing this post I was listening to nothing! It’s currently 2:49am.

Staff Management

Well, I’ve not posted in a while but I’m back! I have more time so I will certainly post a lot more in this blog 🙂

Today I am going to write a article about staff management. This is one vital component that is often overlooked by managers/business owners. It’s easy to think we just pay them and they work as they should. In fact staff management is a lot more complicated then that.

Staff Performance

Staff Performance is one area many businesses can improve on. It’s not about making them work harder, smarter rather. It’s your job to make your staff more productive. Monitor their performance, don’t make it obvious though. Everyone hates being monitored and watched (People hate to see people standing over them!).

One way of improving productivity (and in turn performance) is through the basics such as manners and your own mentality towards you staff. Don’t think as your staff as just staff or even worse slaves. Remember you need your staff more then they need you!!! A staff member can find another job easier then you can start another business.

By installing processes staff standards and in turn staff performance will increase. These can be written or verbal. Instruct them on better ways to do things, listen to what THEY have to say! I know because you’re the big boss everyone should listen to you but you can make improvements by listening to your staff.

Staff Morale and motivation

Obviously if you spend hours shouting at your staff they aren’t going to be very motivated to do anything 😛
A small firm is one place where motivation can be at its lowest. Some employess can feel overloaded, neglected, or hard done by. It can reach the stage where people start taking time off sick and having de-motivated people around really can create a unhealthy climate for everyone else!

Recognition and advancement leads to employee satisfaction!

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Obviously if a staff member is screwing up more then you can tolerate you should sit down and discuss this with the member of staff. Giving them pointers on how to avoid the mistakes that happen last time and putting in some processes for them to follow so they don’t make the same mistakes again. Never grill your staff or demote them!! Remember you can always leaven out criticism too, if things are going better then they did before but still far from being acceptable you can say something like “This is definitely a improvement, but we still have a way to go. Lets spend some time looking over what we can do better”.

By now you have probably figured out just how important employees are. They are more then employees, they are not robots. They are living people by managing effectively they can prosper and in turn so can your business.

If you haven’t figured it out by now read it again and again! If you still don’t get it then I am afraid this arena really isn’t the place for you!

I hope you enjoyed reading this article. I have more coming on business management soon 🙂