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I bet you think the image slider on your website it great — sorry you are almost certainly wrong

In about 2010 fancy image sliders started appearing on websites. They looked fantastic — I wanted one for www.hobbsparker.co.uk.

So I set to, hacked some code from codecanyon.net (this is a brilliant resource for all things web), fought with something called jQuery for a few hours, and launched a new website with fancy image sliders for each part of our business. I was impressed with myself.

I then went back to the day job.

In late 2012 some detailed analysis of our website data using Google Analytics (free and brilliant too) exposed the shocking reality of the performance of our website.

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Roger LightfootI bet you think the image slider on your website it great — sorry you are almost certainly wrong

The most important job in your business — bar none

Backup

And the second most important job?

Monitor your backup software and test that you can restore your data.

Our technology business HP Technology was recently called up to help a London business whose main server wouldn’t start. It soon became clear that a hard drive had failed and worse still there was no backup. Nobody had taken responsibility for this.

We were able to help using some seriously techie stuff to get most of their files back but some of their recent work and emails were lost for ever.

There is strong evidence that a very high proportion of SME businesses go out of business following a significant computer failure where the backups are inadequate.

My advice:

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Roger LightfootThe most important job in your business — bar none

Eating frogs

I was lucky enough to take over the reigns of our business on 1 January 2005. Just 4 days later, I fired a member of staff.

Just to be clear:

  • I did not enjoy this
  • I did not take it lightly
  • We dismiss very few people at The Hobbs Parker Group
  • The terms we offered to this individual were fair

However, I knew it was the right decision. This member of our team was not up to scratch and was letting our clients and her work colleagues down despite our best endeavours to help her improve.

What I was not expecting:

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Roger LightfootEating frogs

A better business

Better customer service, higher levels of staff engagement and satisfaction, better marketing, less administration and lower costs.

And more fun.

Welcome. In this blog I will be sharing some of things we have learnt over the last 164 years at The Hobbs Parker Group of which Fabmin is our latest member.

Some successes, some disasters but most of all some easily actionable tips that made ours a better business over the last couple of decades.

With best wishes for 2015

Roger Lightfoot
Co-founder – Fabmin and Group CEO – The Hobbs Parker Group

 

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Roger LightfootA better business