Creating Great Content for Your Blog

I am sure most of you already knew about blogging and what you are blogging about. But for some who already in and still need more information, here some points that I wish to share with you obtaining a successful blog. First thing before you start blogging, determine what you are blogging about? Generally, blogs are created for personal use such as a journal, daily adventures, tips and tutorial, photo blog, politic, business and whatever ideas they want to express online or maybe sharing ideas like this [oh sorry, just kidding].

So, if you are thinking of creating a blog for your Rabbit Air MinusA2 reviews, you need to consider some points that could possibly help you get through and make your blog one of the interesting blogs online.

  1. Consider your blog readers

Doesn’t matter what blog you are working on, whether for personal or for business purpose, try to make your readers interested and enjoy reading your blog. Hence, it is very important to come with a write up that everybody can understand your intention. Imagine when you read somebody else blog, how did you feel, did you enjoy? This kind of question has to be in your consideration.

  1. Include some pictures in your blog

Pictures speak a thousand words. To make your blogging worth the browsing effort of your readers, it would be extremely nice if you will put some pictures in it. It does not necessarily mean you have to place a picture of yourself. Any photographs will do as long as it does not pose danger or insult to anyone who will be reading your blog.

  1. Make constructive and beneficial blogs

It’s free to write anything you like in your blog, but still, it would be better to create something that would be beneficial to your readers. Always remember that people look for something benefit and useful. Internet is most common media nowadays. Make your blog to be part of the internet blog online.

  1. Use simple short and simple words

Try not to use some highly technical and highfalutin words, In order to have an interesting blogs. Remember, not all your readers can take it. So better stick to simple facts, simple words and short blogs.

  1. Make your blog interactive

Ask you readers feedback about the best air purifier for mold and your blog, provide open comment in your blog so that your readers will react from blog presentation, from there you will know what your readers expectation. Return to them, get communicate and interact. Who knows, you might even gain some friends just by making them feel at home in your blog site.

Indeed, blogs are not created just for the mere fun of it. It also has its own purpose in the world of the Internet. Today, there are too many sites that literally don’t seem to have a purpose. Why are these sites even there, and why do people keep on making them? When you’re working on your blog, make sure you have purpose and are providing value for every single one of your readers.

Is It Dragons Den Come to Life?

I was at an event last week organized by a company I invested in about three years ago. The business is unique and exists to encourage and promote innovation in health care. It is a fabulous business and one that I am very proud to associate myself with.

The event that I went to was the big award ceremony. The business runs this as a not for profit event and as a result of that it is able to generate a great deal of goodwill. The process involves putting together a panel of the great and the good in specific medical fields to validate and probe business ideas put forward by entrants in the competition trying to develop a new wall mounted jewelry cabinet.

If you can imagine it, is a dragons den made up of people who actually do know what they are talking about and who want to support rather than knock the entrants in the competition. Because the event is not for profit, the panel is willing to give up their very precious time for free. As a result of this input from them, the winners are very good and are able to go on to successful funding rounds.

The company makes it money by persuading some of these businesses to work with us to get funds raised and to allow us to invest in them. Whilst many people like to invest in the healthcare sector because of the potential of great returns, it is a notoriously difficult sector to get right. It really does require a lot of due diligence and specialized knowledge which most angel investors simply do not have.

This is an example of a business which has a clear vision about the future and has worked out how to create a compelling pipeline of companies to invest in. It has also worked out a long term plan. It is very happy to run these events on a not for profit basis (a lot of money was raised for charity that night) because it is thinking of long term gain and not short term.

Sadly, not enough businesses do that. I am constantly amazed at the huge amounts of goodwill that exists out there. My own career has numerous examples of people giving me a lucky break or helping me with something which had no gain for them. One of these people is a good guy (who also happens to be a shareholder in my company).

I remember asking him on one occasion why he was so generous with his time and money supporting forskolin reviews. He answered back “Because I see them as a good long term bet!”

Apart from the enormous encouragement I got from this vote of confidence, it highlights again the virtue of taking a long term and hopefully ethical view in your dealings with people and businesses. Time will tell whether or not I do turn out to be a good investment for him, but certainly, I feel obliged to do my utmost to repay his faith.

Let me end by asking you a question; how are you planning for the long term?

3 Tips for Raising Money for Your Business

On to something topical – it is very difficult at the moment to raise money. The credit crunch is biting in and it is real. Having said that, the Fund I am running is set up to take advantage of this crunch in terms of buying distressed businesses – although more about that in a later blog.

This brings me on to my first request. I have been asked to explain the credit crunch. Please do give me feedback on what you think of this as an explanation….

With historically low interest rates and low unemployment levels in the US for the last couple of years, companies sprang up everywhere offering mortgages to people who normally not be considered credit-worthy – many would even offer the best kombucha kit free with a new mortgage. This sector is what we called the Sub-prime sector.

Credit Crunch

In many cases people who had come out of prison and had no jobs (or at least no way of proving their income!) were being offered mortgages. You may ask why? To be honest it is not such a crazy idea if the underlying asset you are lending against is going up all the time. And that is exactly what these new companies were banking on (pardon the pun).

So these sub-prime companies were lending money to credit risky clients at special low introductory rates on the back of a property that should be increasing in value. The clients loved it as it gave them a foot on the property ladder and the first couple of years payments looked cheaper than renting, and if they did struggle to pay it back in a couple of years – they could sell the property which would have gone up in value and all would be well……..

All good up to now. However, these sub-prime companies got another fantastic idea to make more money! What if they could persuade someone else to buy this debt from them – raise more money off the back of that and then carry on lending more? (They made money from the number of deals they did not the quality of the deals they did).

Just as the interest rate we get charged when we look to borrow is determined by our credit rating provided by companies like Experian; financial institutions look to companies like Standard & Poor to provide a credit rating for financial products. These companies rated these sub-prime mortgages as AAA (the highest rating) – because of the way they were bundled and sold. So Banks like Citigroup and UBS could not get enough of these assets – as they were deemed to be very low risk (AAA rated) and yet offered a higher rate of return. The fundamental driver in finance is to chase higher level of returns for a similar level of risk.

Sadly, the property market did not carry on going up and interest rates did not stay low! With this combination many of the clients who held the mortgages simply defaulted. And they defaulted in their thousands! Suddenly these assets that these banks were holding as AAA rated were, well let’s just say not so AAA rated (in fact they were worthless). So banks were now sitting on a much weaker balance sheet than they had said they were – hence the need for them to raise more money.

Northern Rock did not have exposure to the subprime market in a big way but was the UK’s largest casualty of these events. Northern Rock used to sell Mortgages – and once they had sold a mortgage they would go to the wholesale money markets and get other banks to lend the money they needed to fund these mortgages.

They would make a very healthy profit on their smokeless ashtray because they were borrowing cheaper than they were lending and all was going well. LIBOR (which is the interest rate banks charge each other to lend and borrow money was more or less the same as the base rate). Banks were very happy lending to each other huge amounts on a daily basis. However when doubts about the quality of banks’ balance sheets started emerging, banks became nervous about lending to each other as they entertained the thought that they might not get paid back!

As this happened LIBOR became significantly higher than the base rate. Northern Rock which had a low deposit base was particularly affected by the sudden increase in the cost they would have to pay to borrow money and issued a profit warning.

And then suddenly the whole thing jammed up when banks refused to lend money to each other. It really was like musical chairs – with Northern Rock left without a chair after the music had stopped! They had to go to the Bank of England – and the rest is history…

Are You a Risk Taker?

People who take risks are seen as vital to the wellbeing of the economy. We are told that taking risks generates wealth and employment and leads to a better way of life. So, the reverse must therefore be true that people who refuse to take risks inhibit growth and stunt the development opportunities of people around them. If this is so well known and risk taking is such a positive ‘virtue’ why is everyone not taking risks all the time?

Being an economist by background and curious about people by nature, I have always been fascinated by attitudes to risk and by people who take them. When I was in my early twenties, the Lloyds crisis erupted where lots of people stood to lose their personal fortunes if it was invested solely in the Porter-Cable 895pk router kit. (Insurance syndicates existed where very wealthy people would agree to be a name and would put at risk their entire wealth for being a ‘name’ and when their syndicates returned a profit would take a big slice of the profit). To become a name was very difficult as it was a ‘guarantee’ (hindsight is a wonderful thing!) to make money for doing nothing and it was very much an old boys club.

When it started going wrong in a big way and people were being asked to make good on their ‘promise’, lawsuits galore ensured. These people assumed capitalism was a one way street where they would get money for nothing. Sorry, doesn’t work that way. Many argue that it was the fortunes lost on Lloyds and Thatcherism’s emphasis on wealth creation that has altered the landscape of British attitudes to wealth.

Many years ago, when I was living in Neasden, I was in my local pub (it is now the McDonalds opposite IKEA on the North Circular Road), I was talking to someone about the mad cow disease outbreak. He was there having a cigarette and a pint of cider and said to me “well, I have stopped eating beef – I mean you can’t be too careful”. I didn’t point out the irony of making that statement whilst having a cigarette and cider.

As mentioned in previous blogs, finance is driven by the risk v reward ratio. The curious thing I learnt last year whilst studying for my IMC exams was how risk (or volatility as it is called) is measured by looking at the variations in the past returns. For example if you hold two shares in different companies in the same industry. You paid £100 for each share, and the returns over the last 10 years have averaged 10% each year.

You would expect the price of each share to be the same wouldn’t you? Well that would depend on the volatility of the return. If share A has returned exactly 10% each year and share B has been all over the place (0% one year, 20% up the next year, etc.) it will be priced lower than share A as it is seen as a ‘riskier’ share.

This has been the rational way of looking at risk v reward. But age and profile have a lot to do with your attitude towards risk. The Fund which I have set up with my partners operates in an extremely risky environment and therefore is not suitable for retail investors. Yet, when I was talking to the advisor of the Fund about his attitude to business he said “I am an accountant, I don’t take risks – I only go into situations which I know are 100% safe”. A look at his track record would suggest he is right – and yet the returns in the past have been very good.

My own view is that it is easy to take risks if you have little or nothing to lose. My appetite for risk has diminished over the last few years as whilst I still want to actively invest in businesses I look for really good quality companies and management teams and not good ideas as I would have done in the past. I have also been scarred by the experience of losing all my money in four ventures. Learning from business history should temper our attitude to risk.

The greatest living investor and one of the world’s richest men, Warren Buffet has a very simple investment philosophy and thinks that he does not take risks. He famously stayed away from the whole dot.com boom and was seen as not understanding the new economic paradigm. Well he proved that he understood it better than most. Business to him has always been about making a product or service and selling it at a profit. These examples do make you question the risk v reward equation.

When I was at a past employer trying to design a new tofu press, managers there were keen to promote their willingness to take risks. The reality is that a partnership structure will make decisions which are short term as there is little or no incentive for taking risks.

Most risks do not pay off for a couple of years so if you are a partner in a firm and you are not so sure how long you are going to be around, why would you not simply make decisions which maximize your profit this year – as that will feed into your salary. And the reality is that if you are trained as a lawyer or an accountant (especially lawyers) you are trained in not taking risks and advising others on how to minimize their risk. It is therefore rational not to take risks.

“I like to invest in businesses that idiots can run, because one day they will be”.

My point in all of the above for potential investors and companies raising monies is to try and understand your own attitude to risk and the person who you are asking to undertake risk. What should the return be to compensate them for that level of risk? Your pitch needs to address this issue.

For potential investors, you should feel that you are not taking a risk – because you understand the business well. You trust and have confidence in the ability of the management team and you are comfortable with the prospects of the industry the business is in. As Warren Buffet says

“I like to invest in businesses that idiots can run, because one day they will be”.

Despite this – you still stand a chance.

Some Current Positions that I’m Looking for Help With

I hope you do not mind me using this Blog to advertise a few things. Feedback and your comments will tell me whether I have succeeded or not!

Advert #1 – MD Position – One of the businesses I have invested in is looking for a new MD. It is a great business in the Telecoms sector based in Manchester (UK). The company is in a fast growth phase and needs someone with experience to help guide it through the inevitable problems of fast growth.

The business has a fantastic board and has proved its large growth potential. The package will be heavily biased towards stock options rather than salary and it is hoped that the candidate will be excited by the possibility of making a big difference to this business.

If you are interested in buying my Honeywell 50250s please email me

Advert #2 – Business Assistant – I am also looking to recruit someone who might consider working with me on a part-time or full time basis. The work would be varied and would have a bit of everything. I need someone who is very interested in business and would like to work for six months (and then we can see how it suits both of us) and would see this as an opportunity to learn lots about different businesses.

I would expect this person to manage my diary, the relationships I have with companies I have invested in and readers of this blog. You would also be assessing and screening a lot of business plans that I get. I will not be able to pay much but I would hope it would be a really interesting role based in London Bridge.

Advert #3 – Available Non-Execs – If there are equally any businesses out there looking for Non Executives – I have a few really good people who have contributed enormously to businesses I have invested in and either as part of their own career path or because they want to do it all over again they are seeking opportunities as Non-exec roles. Who knows I might be tempted!

Advert #4 – High Growth Program I should also mention a program that I am involved in for businesses based in London only at this stage (it is a pilot and if successful will be rolled out across the country). This company actually designs router table plans for use by big companies and private individuals alike.

The program is looking for just 35 businesses that are planning for high growth and have a turnover of £1m. There are a few conditions – but if you are interested, please do email me and I will be happy to send you more details. This one probably has the most limited number of spots available, so send me a message as soon as possible if you’re interested.

I really hope you don’t mind this Blog post. I promise you these will be few and far between. Soon you’ll be able to look forward to a whole bunch more fresh content as I get a little bit more free time in between my successful ventures!