EU VAT Changes Jan 1st – The Problems And My Solution…

This post is most applicable to those of us who live in the EU and especially the UK.

I am not a qualified accountant so this is not advice, only my opinion and nothing more :-)

So, what is happening?

Currently, if a business sells a digital product (ebook, membership site subscription, software etc) VAT (i.e., sales tax) is charged based upon the country where the business is located.

This has led to a lot of tax avoidance by larger companies.

For example, corporations like Apple, Amazon, Microsoft and many others have previously located their EU businesses in Luxembourg where VAT on eBooks is 3%.

This rate has applied to sales in ANY country in the EU. Even though the rates in most of those countries are higher.

To clamp down on this the EU are, from Jan 1st, changing the rules so VAT is charged based upon the buyer’s location.

So continuing with Luxembourg as the example:

Currently: Luxembourg registered business sells to a UK customer. VAT is 3% (Luxembourg’s “Super Reduced Rate”)

From Jan 1st: Luxembourg registered business sells to a UK customer. VAT charged will be 20% (UK’s rate)

It’s certainly a big shake up with Luxembourg set to lose 70% of its VAT revenue while the UK is set to gain £300 million ($480 million) per year!

What’s the problem for small online businesses?

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“Landing Page Builder” MANIA – 3 Problems To Watch Out For Before You Buy (And My Choice)…

best landing page builderI wanted to share my thoughts on the recent mania of “landing page builder” product launches.

Specifically, I’m talking about products like LeadPages, Instabuilder 2.0, OptimizePress 2.0, Profit Builder, LandingPageMonkey, ClickFunnels etc.

The list goes on and on and right now there are a LOT of new ones coming out, almost on a weekly basis!

When it comes down to it they all allow you to do the same basic thing: Create sales pages, squeeze pages, download pages and so on.

Now building these pages are absolutely CRUCIAL for really any kind of online success but if you’re not careful you could end up buying ALL of them, especially with the very tempting discounts and bonus packages that are often available when they first get released.

Needless to say, this would be madness and you DON’T need all of them.

You just need one – or perhaps if you’re like me two – which you can use to create ALL of the pages you need.

But how do you decide which one to go for?

Well first of all I recommend being very careful of these pitfalls:

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How To Copy My 3 Source Passive Income System

If you’ve been on my list over the last few months you may have noticed that I’ve been a bit quiet recently.

In fact, a quick look inside my Aweber account tells me that the last email I sent was over 2 months ago (excluding automated autoresponder emails).

What’s going on?

Well so far 2014 has looked something like this for me:

  • March: Put on a live 2 day seminar in London
  • April: Started a 5 week road trip, driving 5,500 miles from Atlanta to San Francisco
  • May: Decided to move from London to Cornwall
  • June – October: Arrived in Cornwall, bought a new house, began renovating it, spent time enjoying the great weather, exploring the area and started learning how to surf (very early days and I still can’t stand up – yet!)

In essence I’ve taken a good chunk of the spring and summer off.

Summer 2014 close to my new new home in North Cornwall, England

Summer 2014 close to my home in North Cornwall, England. Click the image to see more on my Facebook page (opens in new tab).

But my online profit streams have remained healthy and consistent due to the “multiple streams of passive income” I have set up.

I’ve put the phrase itself in speech marks because it is a bit of a cliché and one that is misused and over-hyped a lot.

However, in this post I want to show you that it is real, it can be done and how I personally do it.

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Website Hacking – Are You A Sitting Duck? 6 Steps To Help Beat The Bad Guys…

As we all know, hacking is a huge issue and as a website owner you are likely to fall into one of three categories:

1) You’ve been hacked in the past and know just how frustrating it can be

2) You have actually been hacked but you just don’t realize it yet

3) You are a little complacent with a “probably won’t happen to me” mindset

I don’t know which of these apply to you but I’ll admit here that I’ve been in all 3 camps at various stages of my web business :-(

Providing a complete guide on website security is well beyond the scope of this blog post but what I would like to do is share with you some simple steps for prevention, monitoring and resolution that you can put into place to reduce the risk.

Firstly, to stress the importance of this let me share just some of the things that I’ve personally experienced:

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Stop: How Can This Be Done Faster & Easier?

overcomplicate thingsI’m not one for making outlandish predictions but in this post I’m going to make an exception.

I predict that you suffer from the same trait that I do:

The ability to take a simple idea and vastly overcomplicate it to the point that you never get it done.

Even though I’ve successfully created, published and made money from over 10 online products, there are far more products, blog posts, emails, upsells and general promotions that have never seen the light of day because of my ability to overcomplicate things.

It’s not good, it’s frustrating and also costs money!

The good news is that I’m steadily getting better. Although I know of no overnight cure I hope that some of the ideas I share with you in this blog post will help you with this too (like I said, I’m assuming you suffer from this too!).

Let’s take things back to basics and assume that you are just starting out with a brand new web business with no products and no email list.

Goal number one is to build your list because that’s the fastest route to ongoing, consistent income online ever.

To do this you can either:

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The Problem Of Being “Unplugged”

Last week I got back from an absolutely excellent four and a half week road trip across the USA.

Since I started online in 2010 it was the longest time I have (almost) completely “unplugged” from business by taking an extended period of time off.

This said, I did post Facebook photo updates on most days:

https://www.facebook.com/RobCornishPage

The first thing to say is that I feel very fortunate to be able to do something like this and I don’t take it for granted.

In the past it just wouldn’t have been possible to get my employer’s permission for such a trip and obviously then there’s the cost side of things, hotels, car rental, flights, meals and so on…

Running any kind of business can be pretty intensive experience and after a while it can be hard to make out the wood from the trees. In this respect, taking a break can be a great thing to do.

To me however, there is one significant downside, particularly if you go on a longer trip as I have just done.

It’s all to do with…   Continue Reading →

Lessons From My First Ever Live Event

live eventEven though I’ve spoken many times at other people’s live events, until last weekend I had never put on one of my own.

As with doing anything for the first time there is a big learning curve to transcend.

So in this post I’d like to share with you a few tips and pointers to consider if you are looking to put an event on yourself.

Some are simple and some are more subtle but I hope all together they give you some good food for thought…

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2014 Versus 2010 – Easier Or Harder?

2014 verses 2014I’ve heard all sorts of tales regarding what went on in the “old days” of internet marketing.

In fact, some of the stories, such as how easy it was to rank in Google by artificially stuffing articles full of keywords make it sound like the Wild West!

But these kinds of things, to me, are really just anecdotes.

I can’t comment on them directly because I didn’t get started online until 2010.

Before that I was tucked up in the corporate world, completely unaware of what internet marketing was. I was commuting and working to pay the bills as the vast majority of the population in the developed world still are.

This said, I do think it is worthwhile comparing how things were in 2010 to now, 2014. Not least because it is all too easy to lose perspective on the current state of play we find ourselves in.

Doing full justice to this comparison would probably take a 20,000+ word essay so instead here are some thoughts that you might be able to relate to.

1) Traffic

In 2010 virtually every beginner’s course I came across told you to get traffic by either:

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Your Topics Covered… (Bit of an Epic!)

In my last blog post I asked for suggestions of topics to cover on the blog.

Thank you very much for all your comments – it was really overwhelming and I really appreciate it :-)

And congratulations to Yvonne Finn who was the randomly picked winner of the contest. It’s only a small prize but I hope that you’ll spend your $50 Amazon Gift Card wisely Yvonne!

As you would expect a whole host of topics and questions were raised in the comments.

Trying to write a blog post which covers them all would make pretty difficult and convoluted reading so I apologise in advance if you asked a question which is not covered here.That’s actually quite likely I know but I promise at some stage we’ll return to the other issues in the future.

Here is an overview of the some of the main issues that were raised:

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Win An Amazon Gift Voucher For Helping Me Decide…

writers blockWell, it happens to everyone….

I sat down this afternoon to write a new blog post and I just couldn’t get the words down.

After about 150 words I quit.

My topic (on sales pages) was just not coming out the way I wanted it at all.

So I right clicked on the Word file I was working in and selected “Delete”.

However, with every challenge in life, big or small, there’s always another way!

Not only that but one of the best things you can do is to listen to your audience.

“Listening” in forums, blog comments, emails and online surveys is a fantastic source of inspiration.

So here’s what I’m proposing…

1) In the section below drop a quick comment and let me know what you would like me to cover in the next post here on the Gain Higher Ground blog.

It can be anything to do with starting and growing your web business: What’s your top traffic source? How do create a product? How do you get started with outsourcing? How do you create sales pages? How do you manage your time?

Basically, your number one most burning question!

2) I’ll pick a topic that is suggested and publish a written or video blog post on it next week.

3) As an incentive (and a bit of fun :-)) I’ll send a $50 (£30) Amazon Gift Card to a randomly picked commenter.

Please comment by Sunday January 12th (which also happens to be my 38th birthday) and I’ll announce the winner in next week’s blog post.

Thanks in advance for your contribution and I’m looking forward to reading the suggestions! Kind regards, Rob :-)