Posts Tagged Ireland

Free Business Advice Hub in North Dublin

The Get Ireland Working Team ( who have run 9 successful advice hub meetings since the start of the pilot program (1st July 2010) in the Kilbarrack Social Welfare Local Office catchment area are running another Free Business Advice Hub on the 28th of September. The event which will be held at Suttonians Rugby Football Club at 8pm, is open to any new or small business.

The Get Ireland Working Team have got together with a number of successful business people who have volunteered to share their experience with you for free. They are available to help you build your business start-up idea or existing business.

For more information contact

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1850 & 1890 numbers, your number is up!

An old telephone.
Image via Wikipedia

There have been many discussions over the past couple of years about the value of 1890 and 1850 numbers to general public. In the past, when ringing someone outside your area code cost you an arm and a leg, these numbers were of true benefit to both the owner of the phone number and of course the person ringing the phone number.

From a business perspective, offering your potential customers the ability to ring you at local (or lower) call rates was a great and effective marketing ploy. To the customer, you were safe in the knowledge that a call to the said company would not result in a massive phone bill for something that was possibly a small matter.

However nowadays, 1890 and 1850 seem to be nothing but a scam with no more intentions than filling the telecoms operators coffers with vasts amount of money. There isn’t a telecoms company in Ireland today that don’t offer free national calls as part of their home phone packages. Therefore calling 1890 & 1850 numbers should be free right? Wrong….

Even though the number you are dialing may terminate at a local number, you will still be charged the rates associated with calling a 1890 or 1850 number. Whereas, if they had provided you with a landline number, it wouldn’t have cost you a penny.

It’s fair to say that most people aren’t aware of this fact, until of course they receive their monthly itemised bill that states this. For that reason many businesses will continue to promote their 1850 & 1890 numbers as it has the appearance of being a cheap way to contact them. It also removes “location” as an issue. If people don’t see the area code, they will just assume that the company is local.

The reality is that we should be pushing for these numbers to be stopped. The only people making money from them are the telecoms providers and I would hazard a guess that it’s quite substantial.

So if you are a business and want to save your customers some money, why not ditch the 1890 or 1850 number and start promoting your landline number again. If you are someone who rings these numbers, why not stop and starting seeking the landline numbers of the companies you are trying to contact?

There is a list of popular establishments landline numbers on this thread… – it may come in handy some time!

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Web design search volume in decline

As the recession hit, most web design companies were busier than they had ever been before. There seemed to be a sudden rush of businesses trying to get online. In the majority of cases it was a knee-jerk reaction to prop up their falling incomes. During the latter half of 2009, this sudden rush seemed to have abated. There are many stories flying around that some of the major web design companies in Ireland are hanging on by the skin of their teeth and offering well below cost websites in order to generate some sort of cash flow.

Although they say that 99% of all statistics are made up, it’s still worth looking at some… :)

Google Trends is a great tool for researching keyphrase search popularity over a number of years of traffic on Google. So I used this tool to run a few searches on terms relating to web design to see if it could paint any sort of picture of what the state of the web design is in.

Web Design Search Stats - Google Trends

As you can see from above graph, the search term “web design” has been on a massive decline since the recording of the statistics began. Interestingly, if you take a close look at the latter quarter of 2009, you can also see a steady decline in searches for “web design”.

December is generally a slow time for new business in web design terms, so there are no surprises when you see the massive dips in searches across all years. Also quite interesting, is the steady performance of the term “website design”. In fact, there’s possibly a slight growth in searches for this term throughout 2009.

Does this mean that the web design industry has finally entered the recession with everyone else?

Only time will tell I guess…

Looking at the other side of our business; online marketing, it appears to be performing quite well. There is an obvious increase in searches for “SEO” – everyone seems to know what it is now or at least know someone that fancies themselves as one. There is a decline in searches for “Internet Marketing” though, maybe a phrase that has been lost to the popularity of “SEO”.

Although it’s hard to see from this graph, there has been a surge in searches for “Social Media Marketing“, which started showing up on the radar in 2007. No surprises there, since it’s the latest and greatest buzz word on the planet!

Online Marketing Search Trends

We’ll never get a true picture of the web design or online marketing industry from statistics like this. For example, the searches for “SEO” are being diluted by people trying to figure out how to market their own websites rather than actually looking for those services. None-the-less it’s interesting reading for anyone in or trying to get into this industry.

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Our Hypocritical Government Shops Abroad

SVG map of Ireland.
Image via Wikipedia

As the recession deepens and our government continues to peddle the “don’t shop up North, it’s unpatriotic” message, it seems are government is doing the exact opposite.

I just happened to take a look at the eTender notices I receive by email this morning and there was one web project that I completely overlooked (but that’s neither here nor there). It had been awarded and no, not to an Irish company.

The job was awarded to a UK company based in London.

I’m sure this isn’t the only public tender contract that has been awarded to companies outside Ireland. You’d think the Government in times like this would give the job to Irish companies even if we are slightly overpriced. The money then is being pumped into our economy and not someone else’s.

The hypocrisy of it all!

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Google Still Making a Killing

LAS VEGAS - AUGUST 18:  Google Earth systems p...
Image by Getty Images via Daylife

Before Google announced their Fourth Quarter resultsĀ  for 2008 yesterday, most people expected a drop in revenue from the search King. There has been a lot of talk lately of job cuts sinceĀ  their recent decision to cease the future developments of Jaiku and other projects.

With the Worlds rapidly declining economy I really wasn’t sure how they would perform. When I looked at the recent upsurge in business that we were doing in Ireland, by businesses looking for new ways to promote their business, I should have really seen the writing on the wall. We were getting calls daily from people looking to promote their business on Google Advertising and were willing to pay whatever it took to get there.

It was if every business in Ireland had finally realised that the web was the place to promote their business and with the downturn, they needed to do it now. I, naively thought this was just an Irish phenomenon. That Irish “take a punt” mentality, but it seems we’re not the only ones to think like that.

Google’s results show an 18% increase in revenues for the same period last year. This can be directly linked to their web properties, which say an increase of 22% over the same period last year. A whopping $3.81 billion.

The downside to their wonderful results was that they only posted a meager $382 million profit, this can be put down to their investments in other business such as Clearwire and Time Warner.

You can view the full report by clicking here.

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