25 percent off GT5 at HMV

Gran Turismo 5 is without doubt the reason I decided to get a Playstation 3. After numerous delays (spanning nearly 5 years) I am delighted to note GT5 is now set for a UK release on the 24th November!

As far as I can tell the cheapest place to get hold of a copy is by pre-ordering from HMV. Aside from getting a 25% discount on the RRP for GT5 you will also receive exclusive codes giving you access to the Audi R10 Tdi and the Honda NSX GT500 stealth models.

For full details please view the HMV Gran Turismo 5 offer page.

Smarter Card efforts

In a recent post on the Savvi Student Discount Card I hinted at my annoyance regarding that company’s decision to use the same strapline as on the Smarter Card.

Coincidence? No. I met with the owner of Savvi Student a couple of years ago with regards to his UniExpress venture. There were brief talks of doing something together. I was quite happy (as I always am) with my business ideas to lay everything on the table as I find, if nothing else, it ensures you have to act on them.  There’s a time and a place for being secret about business ideas and it usually revolves around concepts which can be patented i.e. new technologies.

Finding his recent forray into the student discount market gave me a much needed kick up the backside (more on my recent lack of effort in a future post) and I’m delighted to say this has resulted an abudance of new orders for the Smarter Card. May I take this opportunity to thank everyone who has ordered a Smarter Card in recent weeks, I will personally ensure you do not regret this decsion :0)

I am confident some of this recent success is because we are circulating trial cards in Leeds. By dropping 1,000 freebies in the area students are able to experience the great discounts on offer for a limited time. Other students are seeing the cards in circulation and this is encouraging additional sales.

If you’d like to find out more check out the Smarter Card website – here.

Arrival of the Smarter Card
Arrival of the Smarter Card

34sp.com – awesome hosts

I first blogged about 34SP in July 2010, thanking them for offering top notch support as I got to grips my first hosting account. More than twelve months on, I feel the need for a little update.

Through my work with Smarter SEO, I have experience of more than 20 different hosting companies and I have no hesitation in saying none have tempted me to leave 34SP.

It’s a pleasure to deal with a business that not only bases all support staff in the UK but responds quickly to telephone and e-mail enquiries.

So, if you’re looking for hosting – either as an individual, business or web developer, I would strongly suggest one of the packages on offer from 34sp.com:

UPDATE – 34SP.com now offering one month’s free hosting

It’s probably worth a mention that 34SP’s control panels and admin areas are a pleasure to use. Everything is where it should be – which can’t be said for some of the more mainstream hosting companies.

Call of Duty: Black Ops launch offers from GAME

COD: Black Ops 2 - available 13th November 2012
COD: Black Ops 2 – available 13th November 2012

I have just updated the post Call of Duty: Black Ops Pre-Order bonus competition to include details of some launch offers from GAME, including the ability to purchase the basic Black Ops edition (as opposed to Prestige or Hardened versions) for just £24.99!

However, there is a catch, in that you need to buy another game at the same time. Still, I believe this is the start of what will be a price war between the big name videogame stores for possibly the most anticipated game of the year [taking into account the apparent non-launch of GT5!]

Graduate Entrepreneur

Graduate Entrepreneur on Twitter
Graduate Entrepreneur on Twitter

EDIT: 19th September, 2012 – it looks as though this scheme is no longer operating. If I find out any more I will update this entry, however in the meantime I have removed all links to Graduate Entrepreneur as their website is no longer there. This little update also gives me an opportunity to plug Speed Plus, who offer start-up support to students in the West Midlands. For more information please visit their website.

When I started Smarter Housing I was lucky enough to get a place on the Enterprise Fellowship Scheme. The hot desking facility gave me some workable office space, the bookable boardroom meant prospective clients would be given an excellent first impression of my “premises” and being surrounded by other graduate entrepreneurs generated a very positive atmosphere for all concerned.

I was one of the last few people to benefit from EFS at the University of Warwick as the scheme was closed due to a lack of funding. This is a huge shame because access to all of the above, alongside mentoring and funding opportunities, gives any start-up owner the ability to focus on the important aspects of running a business i.e. selling their product or service and generating a long term income.

It therefore gives me great pleasure to see that Justin Whitson is pouring his own money into Graduate Entrepreneur. In their own words:

Offering graduates with an entrepreneurial spirit a real opportunity to build a successful business.

Our investment programme provides everything you need to get your business off the ground. We will guide you, fund you and even provide free accommodation whilst you work from our state-of-the-art centre in Leeds. Your business is only an application away.

I would recommend any recent graduates who are starting a business get in touch, as the scheme looks like EFS with additional bells and whistles. Win-win!

Theo Paphitis #TheoSBS – Small Business Sunday

Small Business Sunday (#sbs) is constantly evolving.
View this post for up to date information!

Every Sunday Theo Paphitis holds a competition for Small Business Owners on Twitter, aptly named Small Business Sunday. Quite simply, 6 small businesses have the chance of a re-tweet to his 50k+ followers.

Theo Paphitis #TheoSBS on Twitter
Theo Paphitis #TheoSBS on Twitter

To enter, simply Tweet @TheoPaphitis between 17:00 and 19:30 on any given Sunday, being sure to include the hashtag #TheoSBS. [update – 22nd March 2011 – #TheoSBS has been replaced with #SBS]

I was absolutely delighted to note that my entry for @SmarterCard was picked along with 5 other lucky businesses for this week’s competition.  If you don’t know already, Smarter Card gives you access to local discounts, nationwide.

It isn’t possible for me to know the exact impact at this early stage, however I have already picked up an extra 20-30 followers and a couple of e-mails directly from businesses who would be interested in offering student discounts via the Smarter Card, which is obviously great news.

On that note, I’m going to end this post by saying a huge “thank-you” to Theo Paphits for picking the Smarter Card entry.

Update:  The inaugural #SBS winners’ event took place on Friday 30th March, 2012, at Edgbaston County Cricket Ground. The event, hosted by Theo Paphitis, saw a huge turnout and was a great success. I didn’t get to go for long but I was fortunate enough to meet the man himself. 

Student Discounts on Smarter Nights.com

The Smarter Card grants the bearer access to exclusive local discounts, nationwide. The card is sold by on-campus resellers and also through partner stores, all of whom receive a commission for generating sales.

However, in this time of austerity, online business should not be sniffed at. I am not happy with performance of the Smarter Card in searches for student discounts in X and/or Y student discounts and as such am working hard on improving this in the near future.

Taking things one step at a time I have created a new page, Student Discounts, which will serve as a landing page for Google searches on student discounts. How I manage to integrate this with the Smarter Card without causing duplication is yet to be decided, so I’ll sleep on it and sort it out in the morning 🙂