It has been another very busy week since the last blog post and the upgrades to our data networking around the house, On the work front I have been continuing to do some preparation for the new Cater For You web site. With the help of SellerDeck, I finally managed to extract all of the data out in spreadsheet format to see what needs to be updated. I thought I / we’d been thorough when adding new products – something that I think differentiates us from our competitors who just put the basics supplied by manufacturers and why we are near the top of the Google rankings… but I was wrong. So that means I’ve a huge amount of measuring, weighing and photographing to do before February. Unfortunately OGL who supply our finance system ProfitItplus have been incredibly unhelpful in finishing their API for data exchange, but fortunately we have a fall back option and everything is still on track for February.
We have a number of new products that I’ve been very slowly adding to the site – there is a great range of new PET cake boxes (photo above) ready to go up as soon as I’ve finished preparing the photographs I took last week. It is currently one of our peak times at C4U so I also spent a few hours in the warehouse putting stock away whilst the rest of the team were coping with the landslide of orders. The seasonality of the business has always struck me as slightly bonkers and impossible to have the right resources available for all areas, but there is not a lot we can do about it. Only a few more weeks and then it is low season until Easter next year (hence why we do our major projects between now and then!) and all our mince pie boxes are tucked away for another year.
I’ve also been doing a fair amount of work on the new J & J Air Systems web site where we’ve doubled the traffic since its relaunch, along with the enquires. In addition to the CodePath tool I bought for the SellerDeck extraction above, I also renewed my subscription to Screaming Frog SEO tool, I did a blog post on my Chalfont Web Design to cover that. Some good news on this front was that I had a successful ballot application for a ticket to BrightonSEO in April 2019. Love going there and absorbing the best techniques and what is coming up in the future, it really is insightful. We still also use the services of a dedicated SEO company for Cater For You for the really technical areas, but there is so much that most web sites can do easily to improve their rankings relatively easily.
I popped into Amersham hospital this week to have a blood test to check up on my Psoriatic Arthritis numbers and was staggered how busy it was and how much it cost. For the first 30 minutes it is free, but after that it was £3.50 for the next 2 1/2 hours. I would have preferred to use Chalfont St Peter hospital as it is local and free parking, but unfortunately, a few years ago they scrapped the queuing system and they outsourced the booking of appointments, where the telephone line is open for 3 hours and it is normally engaged. Surely that outsourcing cost would have been better employed paying the phlebotomist for another hour a day rather than a third party telephone service – it is almost like the local health authority are trying to make it difficult to be used and maybe close it due to under use. Saying all that, I was lucky to get a space at Amersham, the queue as I left (two 1/2 hours later) was almost back to the main road.
So after a busy week, it was a busy weekend. I was very lucky to be invited by a couple of my customers to Christmas do’s on Friday and Saturday. The Friday was a pleasant evening out with the CSE Distributors team in High Wycombe bowling and then a great curry in the Chutney. It has been ages since I went bowling and enjoyed it. I also enjoyed spending some time with the CSE team too as I’ve not seen them for a while since they employed an excellent full time marketing person.
Saturday evening I was out with the fabulous Trading Depot team who have worked tremendously hard this year to keep up with the growth in the business. It was a great night out at Windsor Race Course and parties organised by Best Parties Ever with acrobats, good food and decent disco afterwards. The facilities were top notch, though not sure my Dad dancing was…