Having come across 2 recent occasions in quick succession of potential customers asking specific questions about who actually owns their website and domain as they had heard and experienced stories of web designers disappearing leaving them with no access to their domain or website we thought we'd provide some details on how you can take some steps to protect yourself from this situation.  One recent customer also advised of approaching a web design company for a quote to create them a new website, the quote came in too high so they approached us via a recommendation and when we looked into it, the previous company had actually purchased the domain names they wanted and now wont return their calls nor agree to see them.  They are effectively holding the domains to ransom! 

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Last month we explained how we were using Google Apps for business and that we were using it for Email, contacts and our calendar.  We have also created a 'Virtual Office' for one of our clients who are now also using it for email, calendar and contacts and we even provided several spcific training videos for them to set up their own email accounts, calendar details and contact information.  We are now moving them into the Google Drive which will allow them easy sharing of documents and wanted to explain how we use Google Drive ourselves as freelance website designers. 

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This article has been updated on 10 December 2012 due to a change in Google Policy!  

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We have covered the check, check and check again ethos in previous posts as well as looking at your business from your customer's perspective. We also cover these in our regular Newsletters but we still come across things that people should be addressing otherwise it can reflect badly on your business.  

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Look carefully at your selling opportunitiesHaving recently been on holiday with the family, I had pre-booked car hire to allow us the freedom to see Tenerife at our own pace and when we wanted. When I booked the hire car, the booking process clearly informed me that the hire company charge for a full tank of petrol so I was to ensure I left the car empty when dropping it off after the hire. This sounded great as it would save me having to fill up before dropping the car off. But then I thought, well hang on a minute, I've just booked this hire car because the price was very reasonable compared to other companies. Now I think about it, the actual full cost is actually a lot more (50%) because no matter what, they would charge me an additional €67 to cover a tank of fuel when I dropped the car off. This left me feeling diddled - it felt a bit like a Ryan Air charge (sorry Ryan Air but unfortunately you are probably the market leaders in add ons)! 

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