Archive for April, 2008

VAT on An Post

Had been searching for ages trying to work out An Posts VAT policy, finally i’ve found answers which werent easy to find (not on their website and tough to find on Google too!) So here’s the Facts as i understand them:

An post is VAT exempt for postage under – Revenue section Para(xia)1st Sch.

An post will charge VAT on courier post. So you can pay it and claim it back.

I hope this will help some fellow entrepreneurs starting out – i’ll hold my hands up and say it would have saved me serious wedge if i got the correct information the first time round. Its an expensive lesson learned so i felt i had to share it.

Independent News Papers now resorting to Spamming

Like everyone else i hate SPAM – so i was a little surprised when a big company like Independent Newspapers – responsible for the Evening Herald and Irish Independent Dublin City editions, started resorting to Spam to try to make sales – there’s desperation and then there’s plain cheapening the brand.

Shows a real lack of ability on advertising excutive and in my opinion totally lets down the brand badly. Worse still the Papers send out testomonials from reputable companies (so they’re brand is also diminished by being associated with spam) and the arrogant muppet marked the spam as “URGENT”. Someone please tell Peter he’s a tool:

Peter O’Sullivan,
Advertising Sales, Independent Newspapers,
Intercall Management,
FreePhone: 1 800 30 40 30 Ext 585
Fax: 021 – 4366085
E-mail: [email protected]

Ps. I would strongly recommend against ever hiring if they are ok with using the medium of spamming to sell. I e-mailed them about it, but i sincerely doubt they care enough to respond.

Marketing for and from the Homeless

I’ve had a few reminders of fundamental marketing concept reminders that i recieved from some unlikely characters lately. They got me thinking a lot and i felt it was worthwhile sharing.

1. 11811 – Offering a service.

What the homeless have to contribute.

I really have to point out that the people i saw implementing this concept were not homeless it was more like lazy busking… But probably would have got an even better response if they were homeless and making effort to contribute. Two guys with a cardboard sign, operating an “Enqueries” service outside a busy train station. Folks would ask them – “Which way to…” a hotel / street / attraction etc and then throw them a few coins. Its a perfect service as it meets a requirement and give people an option for an easy answer rather that ask a stranger. Most homeless would know the streets pretty well (no pun intended) and would have a good knowledge where things in their territory are. If only they knew how to monetarise the intellect they don’t know they have.

2. The Fussy Homeless man who choose his customers.

A good lesson from the down and out.

Not meaning to be disrespectful of any ones unfortunate situation or circumstances, but i met the most interesting homeless fella when in London. He was anything but the normal sight you see begging. This lad was drinking Champagne / Sparkling Wine from a brown bag and the first time i saw him was reading a 600 page crime thriller novel – it was a Wednesday afternoon and he was a the exit of the Underground. As i paused to check directions the guy checked his watch, put away the bubbly and book – seconds later the crowds rushed out off the latest arrived train, several contributed to his hat and as soon as the volume of the rush went away his focus was back to his book and away from his hopeful glares that caught the eyes and wallets of his contributors. There were still the occasional passerby, but these went as productive times. I remember in a brief moment of bemusement thinking that the guy was more self-actualised than the vast majority of his contributors (clients).

The guy had his business worked out and his goals set clearly. He didn’t want to spend all his time begging, was there a return begging while it was quiet – well yes – but he’d rather focus his marketing during the busy times when the return was higher. Its the classic 80-20 rule and certainly an area many of us can improve on. We spend 20% of the time going after 80% of the business. Maybe like the homeless guy we should just let some customers drift by and focus on where the big money is.

Just wanted to give a quick plug to the guys at Its a really great resource site that pulls together all the different elements that you need to pull together a good party! Everything from Kids parties to Weddings are catered for.

Was impressed when one of the founders of the site told me about It’s an online comparison website for financial services. While the concept is not new in itself, we’ve been severly lacking this kind of thing here. In the UK Martin Lewis at constantly alerts people do the best value deals in all sorts of area’s and i think it’s such a shame we don’t have the same here to encourage value amongst consumers and in my opinion as a result this Paddy Tax Society operators are not encouraged to be more competitive. Have a glance between the best credit card deals on Money Fish and The Money saving expert to see what i mean – Were getting shafted!

I get the impression that MoneyFish are going to be growing a lot in the next while so fingers crossed that the site will be continually updated and a forum etc will be added. Best of luck guys!

Vodafone Wireless Broadband Card – Roaming

Vodafone Wireless Broadband Cards offer a roaming Add on, but be very very very careful if you take them up on it. We opted in because having crossed the boarder to northern Ireland a while back i got a nasty bill for a few thousand, which in fairness to them they did resolve, but still considering its all a Vodafone network i thought it was on necessarily high. So we added the roaming option to cut the costs down. Unfortunately we get lots of e-mails and ocassionally they contain big PDF’s. Going over the 50 mb roaming limit cost around 360 Euro (76 mb over). Next time i’ll find an internet cafe.

Roamer be warned!

I wonder when someone’s going to do a MAXROAM style data card!