A blog is launched and a forum is sold.
I’ve been waiting and wondering when and how to start my own blog, and what it would relate to until it occured to me that perhaps I really do have a story to tell. Those who know me well know that I haven’t had it easy, and I’ve turned that around into what seems to be turning into a fairly successful life. So I want to share with others what I have learnt along the way.
The ideal opportunity came to launch this blog when I sold the UK Business Forums, an online business community I have run for over 3 years and that grew into the largest online business forum community in the UK. I had this independantly verified by 10 Yetis PR & Marketing. Their research showed me that UKBF received more than twice the level of member activity in the average day than the next closest rival forum, and that to me (and the new owners) was fantastic news
I love the forum community on UKBF, it’s a bit like people watching but just virtual, and you cannot actually see the people…so I guess it’s nothing like people watching! It never ceased to amaze me when you can see hundreds of people a day posting questions, concerns and thoughts about their businesses online and then a community of business owners in the same situation as the original poster jump in and help them out with answers and their own thoughts. This, to me, is what business should be all about. People just wanting to help each other get along and make a success of their business and their lives. That is why I ran the forums as I did, why I invested so much time and energy into promoting and growing them, and why I was so reluctant to actually sell them. However, when you’re given the opportunity to clear you mortgage, have a fantastic holiday, and have some real business benefits/partnerships to your own business put in your lap you see it as a sign .. and sign I did.
During the hand over process for UKBF I had a two meeting at the offices of the now new owners, Sift Media, and I have to say I have never seen a company like it! If I ever need a job I’ll be applying there :-). I’ve never seen a company that has such a fun and relaxed working enviroment, where the boss orders in serious amounts of booze every single Friday to be handed out free to everyone. A company where the lunch hour is, something around about whenever you finish your few pints and your food so long as you have finished any work that needs doing. If you have finished all your work, just stay down the pub and I’ll see you tomorrow. Poker nights every Monday night, an all expenses holiday to Bulgium for all the staff, and not all the staff remember that holiday as the boss picked up the bar tab!
When you have spent a few years building a community as strong and supportive as UKBF you can’t help but feel emotionally bound to it, so when you come to sell something like that you can’t help but feel worried that it could all be destroyed. That is why I really had to get to know the guys and gals at Sift, and I must say I actually think they may even do a better job of the future than perhaps I have done .. and that is saying something.
From now on I plan to blog about information, communities and generally discuss anything I find on my Entrepreneurial travels around the Internet and in my own business at Quick Formations. Working with so many small businesses, start-ups and being a networkerholic I’m sure I’ll find plenty to talk about. For now though, I’ll sign off from this first post and plenty of people show an interest in the ramblings of a not quite as young as I used to be Entrepreneur.