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Monthly Archives: July 2016

July 18, 2016

5 Essential Tips for Enjoying Airshows

A Stringbag 1

A wide variety of vintages

Airshows are a great day out for individuals and families. They can be enjoyed by anyone from aviation enthusiasts to those who may not a first consider themselves interested in aircraft, but who enjoy the spectacle and the occasion.  With that in mind here are 5 essential tips for enjoying airshows that will help you to make the most of the day, whether it’s a big international show or a smaller event on a grass airfield.

Obviously the size of the airshow is a big factor that determines many things, not just the size of the queues for the loos.  So keep that in mind when planning your day out.

Parents who have experience of any kind of outdoor event involving their children will probably be familiar with most of what comes next, but check through anyway as there may be one or two things you haven’t considered.

Check the weather and check it again

Spitfire at Goodwood

Grey skies and drizzle 🙁

The airshow season in the UK is from spring to autumn, so there’s bound to be a wide variety of weather and some events can be cool to say the least.  Airfields tend to be wide open spaces exposed to the elements!

As the day approaches keep an eye on the weather and check it again on the morning you leave for the show.  Don’t rely just on the main TV news for this as the weather at the airfield may by very different from the regional forecast.  There are plenty of fairly accurate apps for this, like WeatherPro which comes with a free and a paid version.

Airshows are rarely cancelled due to adverse weather, but it would be shame to make the journey only to find that it had been called off and you neglected to check before leaving.

Clothing and footwear

A Antonov AN-178 1 1960Once you know what the temperature is likely to be you can choose appropriate clothing and footwear.  Your enjoyment of the show is going to diminish rapidly if you get cold waiting to watch pilots put on a display.

It’s highly likely that you’re going to be standing on grass, whatever the size of the airfield.  If there has been any recent rain you will notice the damp.  If you don’t plan on bringing any folding chairs then a thick picnic rug is a good alternative.

If there’s going to be any sun remember to bring the sun cream.  Every year thousands of people return from airshows with sun burnt faces and necks because they’ve spent several hours staring up a the sky and forgot to put on some protection.

Essentials: hat, sun cream, sun glasses, umbrella (for shade, as well as rain)

Food and drink

It is an unfortunate fact of life that the catering at outdoor events tends to be overpriced, but it is convenient and there’s usually a fairly good variety. The other disadvantage is that you have to queue for it, so sometimes it pays to get an early lunch and avoid peak times.

The obvious alternative is to bring your own, but that means you have to prepare it and carry it to wherever you intend to sit.  That might be quite a long way from the car park, so a rucksack or trolley might be the answer if you have a large party of adults and children.

The loos are better than they used to be, but they can still be unhygienic due to constant use.  Wash your hands thoroughly and consider bringing your own hand sanitizer or anti bacterial wet-wipes.

Travel and access

A Blades 1 1960Again, forward planning is important if you are to reduce the stress levels and make the day go smoothly.  It may be tempting to pile everyone and everything into the family car and set off, but sometimes travelling light and going by public transport is the better option.

The Farnborough International Airshow (held once every two years) is one example where travelling by train might be better.  In 2016 there was a two hour wait for people trying to leave the main car park after the event on the Saturday.  Meanwhile, those who travelled by train simply boarded a free shuttle bus to the train station.

However, public transport will not always be an option and you’ll need to make your own way there.  If you end up parking in a large field, check your location before leaving the vehicle i.e. remember where you parked!  There’s nothing more annoying than trying to find the car when all you want to do is get in and get home.

Airshow Photography

Airshow PhotographyAirshows provide great opportunities for both amateur and professional photographers.  No doubt you will see the serious amateurs and the professionals with their large lenses and tripods.

However, taking pictures at airshows is something everyone can have a go at and it can be easy to take some good shots for the album or to share on social media.

Your phone or tablet is probably best for taking still images of the static display of aircraft and varies other activities around the site.  Without a zoom lens you’re unlikely to get a good picture of aircraft in flight.

On the other hand you can film the displays on your camera and by so doing capture the sound of a Rolls Royce Merlin engine or some other dramatic engine noise.

Conclusion

Finally, a word about safety.  Crashes at airshows are extremely rare, but when they do happen the effects tend to be dramatic and consequently they make a lot of headlines.  Statistically speaking you’re probably safer at the show itself than you are on the journey to it.  The aviation authorities and the airshow organisers take every precaution they can to keep you safe, and crowds continue to flock to all sizes of shows throughout the year.

To find out more about airshows and to choose your next one search online for one of the many sites that list them each year, like Flightline UK.

July 12, 2016

Should we use Social Media? Is it right for our business?

Should we use Social Media?The majority of new aviation businesses will at some point consider what presence they need to have online.  They will start with a website and then ask themselves the question should we use social media? Is it right for our business?

The answer to this question will depend on several things.  There are plenty of aviation businesses that have no need of social media and many that don’t even have a website.

If your already have a lot of clients and your order book is filled with repeat orders from that client base then time, effort, and money spent on a website might be wasted.  Similarly, marketing through social media will be low on your list of priorities.

On the other hand, you can achieve all your goals with just one social media account and a very basic brochure style website.

Flying into Cyberspace

If you are to realise your long term business goals you may need to lay some foundations now.  Creating a website and making your mark in the world of social media may not pay any dividends in the short term, but further down the line you may wish you’d started earlier if you delay the entry into cyberspace.

If you’re in the aerial photography business a website, Instagram, Flickr, Vimeo, or YouTube account is the obvious place in which to showcase your completed projects.

Videos in particular are seen very favourably by Google in SEO terms.  An active YouTube channel is a big plus, but SEO benefits are engineered by paying particular attention to the title, description, tags, and even the thumbnail.

You may have created a superb video with excellent editing and accompanying music, but if you haven’t given attention to the way the video is listed in YouTube then you may be missing a lot of traffic.

Sharing your work

Sharing your work on social media can expand your brand and attract potential leads.  If you niche is aerial photography and perhaps Lidar then you might want to share you work with appropriate hashtags in order to draw the attention of prospective clients.

It’s worth doing a little research before choosing the right hashtags.  If you want to attract the attention of decision makers in certain geographic areas then the choice of hashtag is of paramount importance.  Quantity is important too.  1-3 hashtags is about right, but more than four can seem like a confusing message.

With your carefully crafted aerial photography video uploaded to YouTube or Vimeo you can share this on Facebook, Twitter, and your LinkedIn company page using your choice of hashtags.  If it’s of sufficient quality and interest viewers will also share it, but you have no control over which hashtags they will use.

Generating Passive Income

It costs nothing to open a YouTube account and you can quickly learn now to upload your choice videos as each is completed.

If your videos are of interest to the many millions of viewers with an insatiable appetite for new material then your video may well become a source of passive income through advertising.

Monetising videos in this way is easily done provided that the images, video, and music used is licensed correctly.  It’s simply a matter of managing your YouTube account settings for each video submitted.

Anyone can learn to do all of this, given enough time, but if your time is already filled with other tasks why not let someone who has already learned the ropes do it for you.

Contact me to discuss how we can make best use of YouTube and other social media accounts to showcase your work and attract new clients.

July 11, 2016

6 Best Restaurants in Barbados that you have to visit

6 Best Restaurants in Barbados

Barbados is a wonderful island that is ideal for holidays of all types.  If you’re planning a visit then you are probably wondering where to eat and there’s no shortage of choice.  With that in mind here is my choice of the 6 best restaurants in Barbados.

Obviously tastes will vary and you’ll probably make up your own list if you visit the island often enough.  Restaurants close and new ones open, so you might be lucky to find somewhere new to add to your list.

Most restaurants and hotels are on the west and south coasts.  The north of the island is sparsely populated and the east also, but no visit to Barbados would be complete without a visit to Bathseba and other locations on the eastern coast.

The west has the calmer waters and more of the luxurious hotels, while the southern beaches are better for kite surfing and the accommodation suits a wider range of budgets.

6 Best Restaurants in Barbados

  • The Fish Pot is the restaurant in the Little Good Harbour hotel located further up the west coast beyond Speightstown.  It’s beautiful in the evening but try in for lunch and you’ll enjoy the sea views.
  • The Lone Star overlooking Alleynes Bay on the west coast is a converted garage and you’ll notice the theme runs throughout the restaurant with the waiting staff in white mechanics’ overalls.  It’s both restaurant and hotel and has a great atmosphere and seaside dining.
  • Tides in Holetown never disappoints.  Consistent quality of food and wine.  Enjoy a pre dinner cocktail in the bar.
  • Try the Sunday buffet at the Sandy Lane Hotel just south of Holetown.  It’s not cheap and you’ll need to have a light breakfast.  Treat yourself and your loved ones to a little luxury.
  • Waterfront restaurant in Bridgetown.  As the name suggests this restaurant overlooks the fishing boats moored in Bridgetown harbour.  Go on a Thursday evening for the live jazz.
  • On a budget?  Try Just Grillin’ – there are at least two outlets on the island.  Eat in or take away. They do really good ribs, flying fish, chicken, and sides.

Still on a budget, how about the Roti Den (corner of Holders Hill and Highway 1, opposite the Tamarind Hotel).  Delicious rotis with a variety of fillings – and they do fill you up!

These are just a few suggestions to get you started and which will almost certainly provide you with a very memorable meal.  There are dozens of other places to try.

There is something about Barbados that draws you back again and again.  It’s hard to pin down, but some have suggested it’s the people, the parishes, and the sense that it’s a home from home in the Caribbean to British folk in particular.

 

July 9, 2016

Retail Arbitrage UK – Buying Low and Selling High

Retail Arbitrage UK

The process of buying low and selling high dates back into ancient history.  It’s as old as human civilisation itself.  Merchandising and trade are one of life’s constants and the only things that change are the products and the tools.  However, retail arbitrage is something relatively new and its existence is due to the technology and innovation that can be found in the online world.

In the world of retail arbitrage UK sellers have a smaller market that their US counterparts, but they should not think that they are the poorer cousins for it.  Amazon’s reach is long and stock sent to UK fulfillment centres can be sold in Germany, Spain, Portugal, and elsewhere in Europe.

The UK is a smaller but different market.  Developing expertise in this arena will equip Amazon sellers with the experience that will help hugely if and when they decide to branch out into the USA.

What is Retail Arbitrage?

Simply put, retail arbitrage is the process of buying products from retailers and selling them yourself as a retailer at a higher price (e.g. on Amazon).

This is made possible by the fact that some retailers have excess stock they want to clear to make way for other products.  It could also be due to the fact that the product sells so well on Amazon that the price has not been reduced due to the demand.

There may be other reasons, but the point is you can buy things from online shops, ship them to Amazon, and sell them at a profit, even after you’ve deducted the Amazon fees and shipping costs.

This provides an opportunity for Amazon sellers and merchants, but the tricky bit is finding the products.  Not only that, you need to find them and buy them when they are in stock and before the price difference closes.

Profit Sourcery for Retail Arbitrage

Profit Sourcery is a tool that does all the hard work for you.  It is a browser based product research tool available on a three tiered subscription.

(I’ve written two other posts about it: Profit Sourcery Tips and Amazon Shipment Warnings.)

The tool collects all the data (freely provided by Amazon) relating to products, prices, seller rank, size, weight and much more  It then analyses all this and presents the results on your own dashboard.

Each subscriber sees a unique set of products on his or her dashboard each day so you’re not competing with other Profit Sourcery subscribers.

Subscriptions are paid monthly.  You can cancel or upgrade in your dashboard. There are no long term contracts and you can cancel at any time.

Using the online training provided by the Profit Sourcery team, and by reference to their extensive supporting documentation, you can quickly learn how to interpret the data and make good buying decisions.

If you get stuck, have any questions, or just want to give some feedback, you can send messages to the team through your dashboard.  I can tell you from personal experience that they are usually quick to respond.

Once you get the hang of it you’ll see how your profits can be reinvested to buy ever increasing amounts of stock.  The online business grows according to the pace and scale you choose.

However, my guess is that the people at Profit Sourcery will eventually limit the number of subscribers.  There is mention of this in the video interview below with Ed Brooks (Profit Sourcery founder), so if you haven’t tried it yet I suggest you do so soon.

Sign up now for a free 7 day trial.

July 8, 2016

The Dalai Lama on Refugees in Europe

Yellow-single-candle-on-a-dark-black-background-000054664548_LargeThe Dalai Lama is one of the world’s most popular spiritual leaders.  His compassion, wisdom, and humour have won him fans and friends all over the globe.  He is welcomed by both religious and political leaders who give him their time and attention.  When he speaks, people listen attentively.

As well as the millions of Buddhists who revere him there are millions more who buy his books, contemplate his teachings, and listen to his every word.  His reach goes far beyond those of the same faith.

He’s also a Tibetan refugee, so he knows a thing or two about what it is to be driven out of your home country by strife and violence.

He knows first hand how it feels to be a long term refugee.  Along with many thousands of fellow Tibetans he fled his homeland in 1951 when the Chinese invaded and took over the country.  He is now based in India.

Given his reputation for compassion and other qualities it may come as a surprise to some when they hear what he had to say about refugees in Europe.

On the other hand, if you imagine what might be the best possible outcome for those whose plight moves you, his words may come as no surprise at all.

Help those in need

He begins by recognising the humanity in those refugees and expressing compassion and empathy for their plight:

When we look into the face of every single refugee, especially the children and women, we can feel their suffering

Then, he moves on to practicalities and he balances the view with the recognition of those in the host countries:

A human being who is a bit more fortunate has the duty to help them. On the other hand, there are too many now,

Europe, for example Germany, cannot become an Arab country

..he said, according to the German translation of the interview in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.

Germany is Germany

..he added.

Return and Rebuild

He seems to recognise the strains placed upon the communities in the host countries who welcome in refugees:

There are so many that in practice it becomes difficult.

…from a moral point of view too, I think that the refugees should only be admitted temporarily.

The goal should be that they return and help rebuild their countries.

In short, he seems to be saying that we should of course help all those in need, show them compassion, and treat them with dignity and respect.

We should give medical, material, and emotional comfort and support to those who have suffered.

However, we should not maintain an open door policy and we should work towards the goal of returning most refugees to their homelands once the crisis has passed.

I suspect many refugees would agree.  My guess is that many who have fled war would like to return to their homelands to rebuild their communities one day.

His advice speaks for itself, though it should be remembered that he’s talking specifically about refugees, not economic migrants moving from poor to richer countries, and not even asylum seekers who may never be able to return to their places of origin.  The terms are used interchangeably, the stories are politicised, and the meanings are lost.

Compassion

Real compassion isn’t selective.  If you feel compassion for refugees and their plight then you can’t claim the moral high ground and dismiss the concerns of those affected by their arrival en masse, and yet that it’s precisely what happens.

In real democracies everyone’s voice is heard, even the voices of those you may dislike and those with whom you disagree strongly.