Forget about dropping a dress size or cutting a few inches from your waist, the most important change you could make in 2019 is improving your mental health.



This is the message from health and well-being experts Better Humans, who believe far too many of us take our mental health for granted. Their advice for 2019 is, yes, exercise is very important but it is essential to make other changes to your daily routine if you are to keep your mental health in tip top condition.



Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to other humans, and make choices.



Victoria Anderson, clinical director at Better Humans Technology, explains: “Mental health concerns are often not clear-cut and often people do not realise that they may have a problem. This is why it is vital to look after your mental health at all times. Mental health issues are more than just receiving a diagnosis and then going for treatment – they involve a lot of ups and downs, learning, growing, and a lot of hard work.

“So for 2019 I urge everyone not to take their mental health for granted, as we all need to do better. As a practising physio, I see lots of people who want to get fitter and more toned at this time of year. Exercise is undoubtedly good for us, it strengthens our bodies, including our vital organs such as heart, lungs and brain, and releases happy chemicals into our blood stream which help us to feel more relaxed and content.



“However, this is only a 'part' of our overall wellness. Unhealthy lifestyle choices such as working long hours, or even checking emails when out of work hours, means that we don't give ourselves a chance to switch off and get the much needed rest that our body and mind needs. Being constantly busy and not taking the time to relax has a significant impact on our mental health and can push us into a 'flight or fight' state which has dire consequences for our body and brain health. 



When in this state, stress hormones, such as cortisol and adrenaline, rise which inhibit the function of our immune systems, digestive system and reproductive systems - literally we're in survival mode and anything not essential to help us survive is suppressed.  As a consequence, tissues don't heal as quickly and are more prone to damage, we can get gut pain and digestion issues and are more susceptible to picking up infections. We are also more likely to suffer from 'brain fog' where concentration and decision making is more difficult.



“There are lots of tell-tale signs that you may be struggling, such as not being able to get out of second gear and feeling like everything is struggle. We all know that lack of sleep, poor nutrition, and dehydration make this downward spiral more likely, but most of us do not realise that being in a constant state of distraction is also a major contributor to poor mental health.  Being unable to sit still without doing something else such as constantly checking your phone, surfing the net, watching TV, or not being able to stay in the same place for more than 5 minutes is a sign that we're disconnected from our inner voice and mental state.



Anderson adds: “I would recommend small lifestyle changes alongside exercise to help with our overall well-being: making sure we drink more water, getting at least 7-8 hours sleep per night, eating green vegetables, reading, going for a walk outside, having a bath and giving ourselves 'permission' to have a rest!  Quite often, going for a 20 minute walk outside in nature can be more beneficial than an intense work-out in the gym for an hour. Similarly if you’re chair-bound at a desk all day, persuading a colleague to have that 20 minute meeting with you, whilst you walk around the block will stimulate free-flowing conversation, help you connect with the outside world as well as incorporate some active time. 



“Our unique REACH programme is example of how employers can take a proactive approach to help ensure their employees stay fit and healthy. REACH is a unique blend of tests and digital training using the latest developments in neuroscience, motor imagery, visualisation and brain training. If followed the programme is proven to create healthier, happier and more productive employees; lower absenteeism; improve engagement and retention rates; and ultimately enhance the performance of the company overall.”



Victoria Anderson is responsible for the physiotherapy operation and new product development. She is a MSK advanced physiotherapist, and previously held the CEO position in an established city centre physiotherapy clinic. Victoria has prior experience in the digital health sector, and is passionate about adopting technology to make skilled physiotherapy practice more widely available. She is also a member of Health & Care Professions Council (HCPC), Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP), and the Acupuncture Association of Chartered Physiotherapists (AACP).



For more information about Better Humans and the Reach programme please visit






Digital PR…. Are You Clicking the Right Buttons?

Digital PR uses expert content to get businesses more clicks, more visits, more interactions and ultimately more sales.


Digital PR is an online marketing strategy used to enhance your online presence. It is achieved by producing high quality content and then using this content to network with journalists, bloggers and influencers to gain high-quality backlinks from key websites and online publications, social media mentions, positive customer reviews, and to improve SEO. Digital PR is an evolved form of PR. Instead of only targeting print publications, Digital PR focuses on online publications and brand awareness. 

What a Digital PR campaign should achieve for your business:

1 - Create engaging, high quality content that is SEO-friendly.

2 - Build brand trust - a digital PR campaign ensures your customers only see positives when they type your company’s name into a search engine.  

3 - Boost website traffic -  more people reading about your business and sharing your content via social media, means more people will be visiting your website.

4 - Improve SEO and rankings - content is king!

6 - Increase sales - the more people reading about your products and clicking through to your website, the more leads you will generate. 

“Without Digital PR, any SEO campaign you’ve been running will not get you top on Google.”

What is PR???

“If a young man tells his date how handsome, smart and successful he is – that’s advertising.


If the young man tells his date she’sintelligent, looks lovely, and is a great conversationalist, he’s saying the right things to the right person and that’s marketing.


If someone else tells the young woman how handsome, smart and successful her date is – that’s PR.” – S. H. Simmons






Christmas is almost upon us, and more than ever before a lot of the gifts which will appear under the tree this year will have been bought online. But how can online retailers make themselves stand out to the last minute shoppers, and thereafter moving into 2019?



E-commerce experts Optiseller have been on a mission to help online retailers achieve a bumper Christmas this year.  CEO Craig MacCallum gives his top tips to maximise sales in the Christmas peak season and on into the January sales.



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  1. Focus on the right things:  You need to be clear on where your store is performing well and where there is room for improvement.  There’s no point wasting time working on listings if they’re already in great shape.  Make sure you get a good view of the areas holding you back by having a negative impact on search results or conversions.  If you have a good handle on the pulse of your marketplace business you’ll be able to make the right decisions for growth.
  2. Attract buyers ready to purchase:  You’d be amazed how many sellers don’t spend the time on optimising their listing titles.  You have up to 80 characters to capture the buyer’s attention so make the most of them.  Your titles should read well and contain all the relevant keywords to help with search visibility.  Be smart with your keywords and don’t use acronyms that people won’t immediately understand.  Your focus should be on capturing those people who are ready to buy.
  3. Make sure your listings are found: Item specifics are there for a reason, so use them.  This is especially true for the fashion sectors as eBay states that buyers looking for fashion items are 65% more likely to use filters to narrow down their search results.  They’ll filter on things that are important to them such as colour, brand, style and so forth.  So it’s important to include as many item specific values as you can. That way your products will be included when the buyer uses search filters.
  4. Don’t get hit by duplicates: This year eBay has really started to crack down on duplicate listings by enforcing its Duplicate Listings policy more strictly.  Sellers who have fallen foul of the policy have found themselves suffering lower search rankings. This has resulted in lower conversions and sales. It can be difficult if you’re listing hundreds or thousands of products to spot which listings are duplicates and which should be removed.  But time spent addressing this issue is time well spent.  You don’t want to be penalised and lose out in peak shopping times.
  5. Reassure buyers your products are genuine:  With the increase in counterfeit products, buyers are becoming more cautious especially when purchasing higher ticket items such as jewellery and watches.  By adding the correct GTINs on your listings you can reassure buyers that your products are both genuine and authentic.  Moreover, as eBay increases its focus on the shopper’s experience, using GTINs will help to increase the visibility of your listings both in the marketplace itself as well as the offsite promotions eBay runs.


  1. All this can seem pretty daunting when you’re dealing with a large inventory. Thankfully help is at hand.  With Optiseller, you can get to grips with your data quickly. Our suite of online tools can scan all your listings, identify issues such as duplicates, missing or incorrect item specifics, incorrect GTINs and a whole host more. You can then update your listings fast, so you don’t miss out on those potential customers on the last couple of weeks in December and on into 2019. 

  1. For further information please visit




Aberdeenshire husband and wife team develop first-of-its-kind affordable and accessible smart home technology aimed at giving the elderly at least 5 more years in their own homes

tl tech

A start-up from the North East of Scotland is looking for a New Start Scotland boost as it looks to launch its new smart home technology aimed at keeping the elderly in their own homes for as long as possible.   

TL Tech, based in Inverurie, Aberdeenshire, was launched in 2018 by husband and wife team Thomas and Caroline Laurenson. It aims to provide unobtrusive, affordable and accessible smart home solutions to elderly people, their families and carers to allow people to live in their own homes with independence.

TL Tech has entered New Start Scotland’s £5K pitch competition, where budding entrepreneurs get five minutes to pitch a business idea to a panel of expert judges and the winner will receive £20, 000 worth of business services including a lump sum of £5,000 cash.

Caroline explains: “We have entered the New Start Scotland competition as we believe we have a unique business idea that could make a real difference to people’s daily lives. We all know about smart technology, and it is very much thought of as something which is nice to have but not essential. However, for the elderly or disabled, it could really be the difference between them remaining in their own homes or being forced to move into residential care .

“The UK’s ageing population is a huge concern for the government, and this is why it has been included as one of its Grand Challenges. The UK care sector is already struggling to cope, and this problem is about to get far far worse over the next 20 years. At the heart of our project is the desire to give people support to enable them to live more independently and improve their quality of life, this directly mirrors the statements made in the mission brief to ‘ensure that people can enjoy at least 5 extra healthy, independent years of life by 2035’.”  

“While there is cutting edge research into home based aids for elderly people and those with health conditions or impairments, this is focused on expensive new technology that may not be suited to the traditional home set-up and would result in significant disruption to install. At the other end of the scale there are products that provide functions like door bells, cameras and motion/fall sensors, however these are discrete systems that all operate with different controls and the individual cost of each can soon build up.

“What we are offering is completely different. Our vision is to provide tailored smart home technology in people’s homes to allow them to interact with their families and the devices that they already have. It’s not about having a home of the future, it’s about being in your home, now. Your home to enjoy, where you feel comfortable and safe. Our system integrates seamlessly with traditional systems, it can be easily modified and upgraded as needs change and can all be monitored and controlled through a single interface. The system design and technology is simple and straight forward with the focus instead being on adapting and programming exactly the right functionality for the end users accessibility requirements.

Caroline adds: “We are now looking for funding so we can do more testing and further develop our unique software platform which controls the smart technology. It’s our plan to install the hardware in some homes free of charge, which would allow for more extensive user testing, and then use this information to further develop a more advanced software platform to enhance user functionality and data security.”

Ceri Rogers, managing director of New Start Scotland, comments: “The 5k pitch competition has been set up to help businesses like TL Tech; who have a great business idea but need assistance to get it off the ground. As well as the competition, the fantastic line-up of speakers, seminars, networking opportunities at New Start Scotland 2018 will give new businesses all the information and advice they need to move forward.”

The New Start Scotland exhibition and the Scottish Business Exhibition takes place on the 21st & 22nd November 2018, from 10am - 4pm daily, at the SEC in Glasgow.

For more information on how to exhibit, or to register for a free ticket, visit

About New Start Scotland:

For 17 years, the New Start Scotland Exhibition has helped ten's of thousands of budding entrepreneurs turn their dream business into a reality. Whether you have a business idea which needs some help to get up and running or you've recently started a new business which you're looking to grow, New Start Scotland has everything you need under one roof. You'll be able to network with thousands of other entrepreneurs and business owners from around Scotland, find cost-effective suppliers and support networks and get access to top quality advice from experts in a diverse range of seminars and workshops.