March 2014 Review

I think we can finally conclude that the Ark building business idea can be put on hold for now. I will need to check the good book to see how we handle Sahara dust and European pollutants, especially as the Eastern Europeans seem to have the car washing business nicely tied up (am I sounding like Nigel Farage here?)

March continued much in the vein of February, with fewer enquiries than usual, but as always we like to turn this to our advantage by making use of this most valuable of  commodities, time, elsewhere.

We have had our alarm server upgraded so we are now able to develop the IP based alarm system into a valuable new feature that we believe will continue to keep us ahead of the competition. Keeping on the Internet Protocol theme, we produced a short video to demonstrate the capabilities of IP based High Definition (1080P) CCTV systems and distributed it through our usual social media channels. There is still a premium on IP based systems and Analogue is sometimes more suitable, but that gap is rapidly closing as more manufacturers get involved in IP driving development and bringing down cost.

Of course the other major project is the transfer to our new offices. Last month we had the first phase of the building refurbishment completed, and this month we continued with the planning of the next phases. We have recruited a specialist in renewable energy and energy conservation techniques, who is putting together our detailed design to take advantage of technology such as solar energy, energy absorbent materials, heat pumps etc in the new place. Our local MP Robert Halfon has agreed to officially open the office in the summer, so we also now have a provisional target date for completion. More on this next month.

When it comes to advertising to bring in new business, it pays to keep an open mind and try different channels, so I have decided to give TrustATrader a go for a year. What impressed me about this organisation is their selection criteria for the businesses that they are happy to represent. It isn’t simply a lead generation business, they actually perform a rigorous check to ensure that you will not bring their own business model into disrepute. So only companies who can satisfy their criteria are accepted. We have completed the preliminary checks, which include aspects such as liability insurance, trade membership and qualifications, backed up by verifiable client references. The validation checks should all be completed within a few weeks and we will see how effective their own advertising campaigns are.