How time tracking can improve productivity and morale

Time tracking is a fact of agency life. You do some work, you record your time. This is logical because you’re charging by the hour: tot up the hours done at the end of the month and you can send an invoice.

But time tracking is something that in-house marketers seem to have never got on with. Surely the only point of doing it is for management to monitor how long your tea breaks take?

If they introduce time tracking, what will the next step be? Rationing of biscuits? A maximum number of loo breaks? 

This idea misses something very important: for some activities tracking time is the only way of measuring and improving return on investment.

And at the end of the day, that’s what your boss (and his boss) care about.

Four reasons why you shouldn’t become an entrepreneur

Having been involved in five startups, Evernote CEO Phil Libin definitely knows what it takes to be an entrepreneur.

During a speech at TNW 2012 he revealed that 100,000 people sign up to Evernote everyday and the service is rapidly approaching 30m total users.

But while Libin suggested that technology means now is the best time in history to start a business, he listed four popular motivations for becoming an entrepreneur that will guarantee the business fails…

Think like an entrepreneur: Five strategies for brand innovation

Innovation. It’s brought up in articles, at conferences and in board meetings. But how can we innovate in companies that still don’t have the flexibility or the right mind set?

Julie Cottineau, former VP of Brand for Virgin USA, brought the idea that we are all entrepreneurs to Columbia University’s Brite Conference this morning. Innovation isn’t just for new businesses so how do we bring it to the heart of an established company?

Six top tips for bootstrapped startups

I find people are endlessly interested in what it’s like to run your own business, and particularly like the juicy stories, since schadenfreude and rubber necking are yet to go out of fashion it seems.

So I’m going to share a few thoughts on starting a business; in particular about bootstrapped businesses where you haven’t got a large pile of VC money behind you and the freedom to hire all the people you want and put PS3s in the kitchen. 

This post is for the poor sod who left the easy nine-to-five job and who is now fighting tooth and nail to keep his/her business going. A bootstrapping top tips if you will…

Q&A: Wonga CEO Errol Damelin

Errol DamelinWonga is an online service which has found a gap in the financial services market, providing short-term loans of up to £1,000 to users, and processing applications quickly.

The company was launched in 2007, backed up by £3m in funding, and came out of beta last year. I’ve been talking to founder and CEO Errol Damelin about Wonga.

Scott Adams on confusopolies

Scott Adams is best known as the creator of the popular Dilbert comic strip. Dilbert, of course, has risen to popularity by poking fun at the typical white-collar office that so many of us have experienced first hand.

Site review: NakedWines.com

Naked Wines launched this week, offering an alternative model of buying wine online, by connecting winemakers directly to customers.

Naked Wines

In theory, this will reduce the winemakers’ marketing and distribution costs and allow customers to get quality wines at reasonable prices. So how does the website shape up? 

Q&A with Duncan Jennings of VoucherCodes.co.uk

Duncan Jennings, the founder of VoucherCodes.co.uk, spoke at our recent Online Marketing Masterclasses about – you guessed it – the role of voucher codes in affiliate marketing.

I caught up with him to find out how voucher codes can be embraced by e-commerce companies to drive sales, and to figure out some best practices in this area.

Does advertising iPhone apps on iPhone apps work?

Last week Barry Schwartz at Search Engine Roundtable trialled AdMob, the online advertising platform, where he blew $100 in half an hour, advertising an iPhone app.

I asked him whether it worked out or not…

How much are your users worth?

As anyone who runs a website knows, your userbase constitutes one of your most important assets.

Putting a “value” on “users” and keeping track of this value makes a lot of sense, even if you’re not looking to sell your website. Yet putting a value on users can often be difficult.

Should you start a business in today’s recession?

As the woes of the global economy have deepened and it’s clear that we’re in for some tough times that will likely be prolonged, there’s still no shortage of people encouraging entrepreneurs to start businesses.

Many great businesses were started in bad economies!” they proclaim. And they’re right. Great businesses have been started in the toughest of times.