Gearing Into The Holiday Season

With the holiday season fast approaching, I will be taking a little break from my usual posting schedule. My next blog post will be on Friday 8th January when the bank holidays are a distant memory, the train timetables go back to their usual levels of unpredictability, the John Lewis Christmas advert is no longer on TV and the last of the turkey sandwiches have been eaten! Working Santa
Like the rest of you out there who run their own businesses, or have super demanding jobs, I won’t be taking very much of break, with the launch of BODO sandal sales approaching rapidly, I really need to keep my eye on the ball. There has been a lot of exciting developments with BODO in the last few months, like meeting and agreeing to work with Lance Clark of the Clark Shoes empire, among other things, and I am really optimistic about the launch and the future of the company. I will of course keep you updated on here with news of all the big developments that occur and our imminent launch. Whether you like it or not, sometimes you have to slow down at this time of year, partly because the people, contractors and other businesses that you work with will be off. Workaholics like myself can often find that frustrating, but I try to see it as a blessing in disguise – a chance to recharge my batteries and make some time for the people that matter.
The last few months have been busy, busy, busy, but I will be taking a few days off however to spend with my family and am really looking forward to spending some quality time with my baby daughter! I would like to take this opportunity to wish all of my readers and followers a very happy holidays and a fantastic New Year! I am hoping that you get to spend the festive season with all of those that you love and hold dear!

Saving You Time For The Important Stuff – The Wonders Of Online Shopping

The Holiday Season is in full swing and as we all rush around frantically trying to get last minute gifts for our loved ones, I am left truly thankful for the wonders of online shopping! I have seen countless social media posts from friends and family, bemoaning just how crowded and hectic the high street is and the idea of going out into that fills me with a kind of dread!

trying to navigate through this lot isn't really my cup of tea!

Trying to navigate through this lot isn’t really my cup of tea!

My wife and I have done the majority of our festive gift buying online and it really takes the stress out of it! Obviously the holiday season is about soooo much more than consumerism and gift buying, it’s about love and peace and spending quality time with the people that matter, but when you are a busy person with a startup to manage, utilising online shopping can help with that too, leaving your more time to do the important things, like spending time with those you love and might not get to see as much as you would like or volunteering to do something good for those less fortunate within your community!
As BODO is an internet-based start-up company, I’m obviously a huge advocate of the online world and this to me is yet another benefit of the internet-age.
Since founding BODO a few years ago, my life has become busier than I ever imagined it could be, running your own company, one that you are passionate about turning into a success, means that the line between your personal life and your work life can be an incredibly blurry one. So having the option to be able to get the majority of my gifts by clicking a couple of buttons on my phone or laptop, means that I get to save valuable hours to spend with my young daughter and see family and friends that I might not get to see as much as I would like the rest of the year round.
Knowing what it feels like to be an independent retailer, I always try to support those brands that are just starting out too, especially if I know that they have similar goals and ideals as BODO!

The Quest For Common Sense

The other day I was casually browsing through the paper, when I noticed a small side column about an 8-year-old

The latest in state-of-the-art molestation devices? I think not!!

The latest in state-of-the-art molestation devices? I think not!!

boy who was arrested in Kuwait for molesting his teacher. The molestation that this boy carried out, was throwing a paper airplane that hit his teacher’s posterior.
The article was only a few lines long, but after reading those few lines, I was left seriously questioning whether our old friend common sense really has left the building!! I honestly don’t remember the last time 3 or 4 lines of text left me so confounded and really quite irate. Molestation is a serious charge, one that remains on a person’s criminal record for many many years and can prevent them getting employment or pursuing certain careers, so to discover that this 8-year-old was in the dock on a molestation charge for something so non-sexual and entirely irrelevant really made my blood boil.
According to the report, the teacher was pressing for a 5-year jail term for this kid! 5 YEARS, for throwing a paper airplane?!?! The mind simply boggles. When I was at school, I made and threw my fair share of paper airplanes, and not once did one of my creations end up hitting its intended target, so the chances are, the poor little guy didn’t even intend to hit his teacher in the rump!
Apparently the kid was entirely shocked and bewildered when he turned up in the court room and could not understand why he was there!! All I can say to that, is of course he was confused, because the charge against in makes no sense in this world or any other!!
Teachers are a heroic breed, they take a lot of crap often for poor pay and in difficult conditions, they are there to nurture our young and help people to find their way in life, but not this lady, she is definitely in the wrong profession! Personally I think this delusional teacher should be made to reassess her priorities and I’d be inclined to put her in the dang dock for wasting the authority’s time for such a frivolous and trumped-up charge.
I can only hope that for the sake of this poor little guy’s future, that the judge presiding over this case has more common sense than the teacher who reported him and throws the case straight out.

Tiz The Season For Tax Returns

Because BODO UK (and in fact many startups) began life as a small business, myself and many of the organisation’stax returns employees were self-employed. Being self-employed has a number of different benefits, but doing a tax return is definitely not one of them!
For the super organised folk out there, the time will have long since passed and their tax returns will be neatly filed away have already been submitted to HMRC. For those us who don’t have the luxury of that much free time, but aren’t quite as bad as the proper lastminute.com’mers, tiz the season to be buried knee-deep in a swirling sea of receipts, invoices, scraps of paper and random bits of tissue which somehow decided to get involved. With coffee as our trust sidekick, we make the perilous battle through the mound of paper, attempting to organise it into something that resembles order!
Every year I seem to have the same discussion with several of BODO’s freelancers, each and every one of them bemoaning having to sift through the piles of paper and deal with those tax returns. To be quite honest with you, I have been self-employed for so long, that submitting a tax return has become second nature to me and I am pretty organised throughout the year, so it isn’t the mammoth operation it can be for some people because I sort it out as I go along, but I know this isn’t a feeling that is shared by a lot of people. One of my mates, (I won’t mention any names) absolutely hates it, he finds it unnecessarily complicated and despite the fact that he can’t really afford it, he has an accountant to submit his tax returns, because he really just can’t deal with it himself. He actually makes a quite a valid point (each and every year) whilst ranting away furiously about the whole thing and that is, “why isn’t this stuff taught in schools”. He’ll usually embellish his point by going into great detail regarding the many things he learnt in school which he feels were most pointless and of absolutely no use to him in life whatsoever, getting more and more wound up as he lists off the different utensils that the Roman’s used to have their tea!
Whilst I don’t agree with everything he says, it does make me wonder why there isn’t more of effort made to explain our rather convoluted tax system to children whilst they are in education. I guess we will never know, but can but hope! To all those of you out there who are self-employed and still haven’t submitted those pesky tax returns, I have but one thing to say – don’t leave it to the last minute, it only makes the whole thing worse!