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Welcome to Fresh Threads, our weekly roundup of the best comments and advice from the forums.
Here are my top picks from this week.
I received a letter from a solicitor acting on behalf of my former employer asking me to sign a deed to say I shall comply with a clause in my contract of employment referring to confidential information and, if requested, confirm I have complied with the undertaking set-forth in the deed.
I am concerned at the threatening tone of the letter and I wish to confirm if they have a legal right to ask me to sign the deed.
The Byre: That sounds to me like a unilateral change of terms of employment, and you don't even work there any more. Bin it, or keep it as a memento to laugh at.
paulears: If your ex-boss didn't sort it while you were employed, then you have no duty to cooperate now. If the confidential material is pointless or useless to you, why not ask him to pay for your compliance, sign it and take the money?
cjd: You have absolutely no obligation to sign anything, so don't. The contract you signed is your only obligation and if your ex-employer has a problem with that it's entirely his problem.
Recruitment&HR: The letter states you are aware of the confidentiality clause and informs you that, should the employer have reason to believe you breached it, you will confirm that you did not. It's up to you whether you sign it or not.
After a few hard years, my family is considering closing the general store/newsagents my grandmother purchased in the early ‘80s.
We now have six stores on the same road, supermarkets give us a good kicking, most of the locals have left the area, and loitering has also been an issue.
Our store was remortgaged in 2010 at a stupid rate, so even if we close the store we still have a huge mortgage to pay. What are your thoughts?
Mark T Jones: Either give customers a reason to come to you, or go to them. This might mean adapting to meet the demands of the Polish market, or it might mean re-inventing yourselves as purveyors of something that people will go out of their way to buy.
webgeek: You've somehow got to be different than the rest. Find something that you can do bigger, better, faster, cheaper - you need a product line and an angle. You don't have to be everything to everyone, find a niche and go deep.
WeddingsInWales: Supermarkets do not do small niches, local shops can fill a gap with niche services and products. Rather than try to reinvent yourself, I would be tempted to let the shop out to an entrepreneurial immigrant or two.
Chris Ashdown: You are not able to compete with the supermarkets, but you should be the place for all the basic items your customers need
I am really struggling with SEO for my small business, and feel like I am in a bit of a catch-22 situation: low web traffic doesn't generate enough income, so I don't have any money to spend on an SEO consultant.
SEO totally eludes me, there seems to be a collection of unwritten rules that need to be observed. I’m genuinely stumped.
AllUpHere: It all depends on what industry you are in. Some are simple to DIY with no budget at all, and some are a challenge even with a very large budget.
tony84: Don’t worry about back links. Do your web pages have a lot of content on there, eg 600 words plus per page? Does that content contain key words/phrases once or twice per hundred words? Is your website mobile-responsive? Does it display your address and phone number?
fisicx: There are so many things wrong with your site. All of them could be easily fixed and have you ranking in days, not weeks. You have pitifully few words on each page.
Darren_Ssc: I think you need a bit of help with someone writing for you and maybe doing a bit of research. Find someone you can build a rapport with, get your heads together and you're halfway there.
I run a mountaineering and climbing company based in the Scottish Highlands, and I wonder how much I actually need to work. The work is seasonal, with peak months in January, February, March, May, June, and September. The other months are quiet.
I don't wish to keep expanding the business, and decided to scale down the business to reclaim more time for myself. Can anyone advise on how to calculate the number of days I need to be out on the hill to make it work for me?
estwig: The only advice I can offer in my search for the ever-elusive work-life balance is to make it a business goal to 'do less for more'.
MrD: Know when to set limits, eg business time when relationships come second, personal time where business gets ignored, and spare time where either one can have priority but keep that priority.
Victoria_V: Set up strict boundaries to separate your work and personal life, be more strategic with your time, and communicate with your partner/family.
Stas Lawicki: Really think about the important things in your life (values), and order them 1 being most, 5 least, important. Startups can be horrendous on the work-life balance. They can also be great in helping you achieving a flexible one.
That's all for this week – have a great run into the weekend.
Thank You for sharing this stuff!
After all said and done, not all businesses or websites need to worry about it. Most small businesses will not be affected right?
this is Inflation