Separate names with a comma.
Welcome to Fresh Threads, our weekly community roundup.
In UKBF Stories, Francois Badenhorst took community advice on whether small retailers can profit from Amazon's marketplace and Chris Goodfellow compiled a guide to importing from China. On the forums, the community discussed eBay phishing plots, the election and wanting their money back.
Here are my top picks for this week:
Pish_Pash, General Business
As someone who considers himself “one of the most street-wise kids on the e-block”, Pish documents an eBay phishing scam he fell for this week – albeit for only thirty seconds.
After being contacted through eBay’s messaging system, Pish_Pash was sent three links to products the sender was intending to stock. While the first and last link directed him to the legitimate eBay site, the middle link prompted him for his email address and login. “Because my guard was down a little and because I was nonchalantly chatting to my partner whilst doing all of this, I wasn't concentrating,” Pish_Pash says. “I logged into it - eek! It was an eBay lookalike website.”
Despite immediately changing his password, he’d learnt the lesson that “even the savviest of the sav can be phished.”
Read more as jblz details the phishing attack that’s almost impossible to detect on Chrome and Firefox.
james_firmsites, Time Out
Theresa May announced this week that an early General Election would be held in June, citing a need for unity as Brexit negotiations begin. It was unsurprising news, given the Conservatives’ rumoured 21-point lead over Labour’s embattled Jeremy Corbyn, and many reacted with the kind of weary fatigue that comes from a third major vote in as many years.
On the forums, where Trump, Brexit and Scotland had been fiercely debated, the announcement passed with little fanfare. James_firmsites’ thread looked ahead to how the election’s outcome would affect small businesses.
Yellow Square Motor Parts: I’m happy with how the exchange rate reacted to the announcement today. A big Conservative win would be good for importers I imagine.
Jeff FV: There is a cogent argument that a massive Tory majority would result in a softer Brexit, as May would be less of a hostage to those hard right Brexiteer MPs. It leaves me in a quandary: I struggle to countenance voting for the Conservatives who basically screwed us all over (Euro referendum) just to resolve silly internal squabbles in their own party.
SBK Simon, Employment & HR
SBK Simon’s employee has booked a holiday during term time, which the company policy doesn’t allow. The employee has a recognised disability and was planning on going away with their mum for twenty days. Despite their holiday request being denied repeatedly, the employee has now insisted that they will take the holiday regardless.
Since the employee has signed a contract and is still within their probationary period, SBK Simon is looking to arrange a disciplinary meeting on their return.
paulears: Not allowing the term time holiday is your choice – and presumably in the contract – so after 4 refusals and the employee insisting they’ll take it anyway, he's in the wrong. But how much courage do you have to get rid of a disabled person who wants to go on holiday with their mum?
Employment Law Clinic: The only obvious complication is why this employee so adamantly feels the need to take leave in term-time. If it’s simply money, that doesn’t seem to be an argument at all, and reasonable to follow disciplinary procedures. But as you mention a disability; is there a risk that there isn’t suitable holiday accommodation available outside term-time? If so, the question that arises is whether allowing leave, so this employee can enjoy appropriate rest and recuperation like other employees, would be a reasonable adjustment.
tony84: To be honest with you, if someone is prepared to go against their employer so soon after being taken on, it does not bode well. I think you need to take the full picture into account, but at the same time, what will your other employees think?
Conn, Sales, Marketing & PR
Conn is looking to find local suppliers for his new startup, but his emails to vendors are being ignored. “I'm not sure whether they're uninterested or they think I'm trying to scam them,” he says. “Should I just walk into their offices and talk to them in person?”
Steve Alphabet: On average, 80% of emails will be ignored. Are your emails going to the relevant people? Do those relevant people have a need for what you offer, at the time you're sending your emails?
Erminoli: I strongly recommend you to build relationships at eye level first. As a startup in the travel business, try to find attractions that are quite new as well. Team up with people who can relate to your situation and who can identify with you and your company.
fisicx: Most of your day will be filled with emailing. The amount of 'work' you do will be tiny compared to the time you spend administering the business (which includes marketing and supplier/client management).
Donna Eccleston, General Business
Donna Eccleston's post deliberates between two different retail business ideas: a cigar lounge and a nightwear shop. Some great debate follows from the community, questioning the longevity of bricks and mortar retail (as Alan says, in a few years my grandson will be asking me, “can you tell me what a shop was?”) the profitability of the smoking industry and, er, the 1964 Wartburg thrunge bracket.
Have a great weekend everyone!