"There is one thing stronger than all the armies in the world, and that is an idea whose time has come." Victor Hugo

The fortune of Marcus Demeter: A Short Gothic Novel

Author: | Filed under: // Published Articles, news | Comments Off

short gothic novel

‘The Fortune of Marcus Demeter’ is a short gothic novel, written by XOXX under the pseudonym G.E. Blakesley. Read the extract below and buy the complete work on Amazon.

The fortune of Marcus Demeter: A Short Gothic Novel

As we approach the dawn of the 1900s I approach the twilight of my years. My life has been, what most would call, idealistic. After graduating from university I found my calling working as a clerk for a reputed firm of lawyers. Through hard work and study over many years I gained partnership in the firm. At the age of twenty-four I was married to my beautiful Elizabeth, whose company I enjoyed until only last year when she was taken from me and this world. Elizabeth blessed me with two children of whom I am extremely proud, Jane the eldest, and the image of her mother is happily married and living with her husband and my two grandchildren in the north of England. Jacob, I am pleased to say has followed his father’s footsteps and is working as a barrister. He is, as yet unmarried, but I am reliably informed that he is regarded as somewhat of a cad by the ladies of London society. Read the rest of this entry »

4 Tips to Improve your Social Media Marketing

Author: | Filed under: // Published Articles | Tags: , , | Comments Off

social media tips

1. Act like a friend: Most social media, like Facebook and Twitter, were originally conceived as ways for friends to communicate. They have evolved now, but we should keep in mind why they were created and why people go on them. No one goes on there to find out about your latest widget or special offer, so don’t ram it down their throat. That doesn’t mean that people are not interested in your latest widget or special offer, it is just a matter of thinking about how you get it across. Imagine you go out for dinner with a friend and they tell you about a great deal they have just got on some flights. You are interested. You want to know. You might even take up the same deal, but that is not the 1st thing that your friend told you about, and is only a small part of the conversation. This is how your social media should be. Read the rest of this entry »

Author: | Filed under: // Published Articles | Comments Off

Screen Shot 2015-02-23 at 12.35.38

XOXX’s Guy Blaskey was asked by the Virgin Entrepreneur forum to contribute to an article about how to make your ideas work.

The other Entrepreneurs included the founders of Oppo Ice Cream, Pip and Nut, The Hip Hop Chip Shop Proper Beans and more.

To read the advice from Guy and the other entrepreneurs go to: http://www.virgin.com/entrepreneur/nine-entrepreneurs-explain-how-to-make-your-ideas-work

How you can find out is your product will be successful before spending (a lot) of money on it.

Author: | Filed under: // Published Articles | Tags: , , , , , | Comments Off

Product testing

This article by Guy Blaskey was originally published by the London Evening Standard

If we knew what products were going to be huge successes and which were going to be total flops before we spent money on them it would make business life a whole easier. It’s difficult to predict the future, but there are some things that you can try.

First, some things that are not worth trying: Read the rest of this entry »

Dragons’ Den 2015 episode one review: ‘Involve me and I will understand’

Author: | Filed under: // Published Articles | Comments Off

Dragons' Den

This article by Guy Blaskey was originally published on BusinessZone

Dragons’ Den is reality for the people involved, but the situation is one that most of us won’t encounter on a regular basis. However there are key things entrepreneurs can learn to help in everyday business life. Here are two from the first episode in the new series. Read the rest of this entry »

Marketing for growth

Author: | Filed under: // Published Articles | Tags: , , , , | Comments Off

Business growth

This article was written by XOXX’s Guy Blaskey for the e-book “Going for Growth” published by Sage. You can get the complete book here

Before we start to look at marketing for growth it makes sense to look at marketing in general, what is, why it exists and where it has come from. In ‘the good old days’ marketing was effectively taking things to a market. If you were a carpenter you would take the stool that you made to a market, hopefully sell it and then use the money to buy some vegetables so that you could feed your family. Or if you were a farmer you would take your vegetables to the market and sell them to make money so that you could buy a stool to sit on while you ate your dinner. The process was simple you had a ‘need’, such as satisfying your hunger and a seller had a product to meet the need, such as vegetables. Read the rest of this entry »

Business advice from ancient Rome

Author: | Filed under: // Published Articles | Comments Off

goal setting


This article by Guy Blaskey was originally published on smarta.com (www.smarta.com/blog/2015/1/pooch-and-mutts-business-advice-from-ancient-rome/)

Stoicism is a school of philosophy that is looked over by many philosophy professors and students. Unlike other schools of philosophy the stoics were less bothered with searching for the meaning of life, and more bothered with how they should live their lives. The three most well-know Stoic writers are Marcus Aurelius – the Emperor of Rome who died at the beginning of the film Gladiator, Epictetus – a freed slave and Seneca – one of the richest businessmen of ancient Rome.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Smart New years Resolution.

Author: | Filed under: // Published Articles, // Tips | Comments Off

goal setting
This article was written by Guy Blaskey for Over the counter Magazine.

It’s that time of year again, where we all promise to be better and do more good things and less bad things in the new year.

New year’s resolutions have a long history (at least according to Wikipedia). Ancient Babylonians made promises to their gods at the start of each year, Romans made promises to the god Janus at the start of January and medieval knights took a “peacock vow” to re-affirm their commitment to chivalry in the period after Christmas.

Read the rest of this entry »

5 steps to set up a quick/cheap business email and website

Author: | Filed under: // Tips | Comments Off

More and more people are setting up their own businesses either as side projects or full time. If you want to get going quickly you need to have a proper business-like email address and a website. These can be set up very quickly with very very little cost by following the 5 steps below:

1) Buy your URL

Buy your URL at www.names.co.uk (or godaddy.com or any other URL provider). This should preferably be www.yourbusinessname.com – but you can look at other, relevant, memorable option. The DIY chain B&Q has the URL www.DIY.com, which is much better than www.bandq.com

Read the rest of this entry »

Should you stock less to sell more?

Author: | Filed under: // Published Articles | Comments Off

This article by XOXX’s Guy Blaskey was originally published in Pet Product Marketing.

What to stock is one of the most important decisions that any store makes and offering customers as much choice as you can is the general approach, but it may be wrong.

The psychologist Barry Scwartz wrote a book called “The Paradox of Choice” explaining why more choice is not always a good thing… he even argues that it is potentially responsible for increased depression and suicide rates, but we won’t go into that here.

Read the rest of this entry »