The Benefits Of A Website For Your Small Business

So you have started up your own small business, and things are going well. You have established your niche, are slowly building up a loyal clientele, and you are beginning to achieve the targets you set out with. The only thing is, that this is all a little slower than you would have wanted and you are looking for ways to speed up the process, and get your name and brand out there. A question would be – do you have a website?

Why A Website?

A Facebook page for your business is great, but it cannot reach the numbers that a good quality website can. Getting your brand out there on the national, European or even worldwide stage is all about getting it seen and making it accessible to the masses. A website does this, giving you a web presence that can be accessed from just about anywhere, with the potential to reach thousands of new customers and clients.

But I Wouldn’t Know Where To Start.

If you think that a website would be a great idea for your start up,consider quality website builders. If that is not an option for you, there are companies out there who will create a bespoke website that totally meets your needs and that of your business, creating a design that reflects the aims of your brand. Silky Ocean Studio is one such company that has created a wide and diverse range of sites for both businesses and individuals including hair salons, actors and building services. They can then also maintain and update your website each month, leaving you with one less job to do. Click here to find out more about their services.

Mobile Friendly

These days it is all about the phone, and most websites can also easily be converted to an app that can be downloaded and used anytime, anyplace and anywhere. Even the most basic of sites can be made mobile friendly with the addition of a plugin, and this can mean that those who live for their technology can have your brand at the tip of their fingers.

Advantages Of Having A Website

You may just have a small shop or office where you run your business from, but having a website means that your business does not have to run 9-5 hours. It can be accessible 24 hours a day, welcoming new and potential customers all the time.

Your site can also say a lot about your business and can be used to promote your brand in other ways, for instance, a blog is a great way to introduce new product lines when they are in the production stages. You can also allow customers to add reviews and testimonials, and can encourage them to leave them online in order to improve your standing on Trustpilot and Google.

Finally, if your brand begins to spread its wings and grow, you can offer your services online. This can be through an online shop, or by offering online quotes for your services.

The Online world is right now, and the future. If you are not harnessing its potential, you could be seriously stunting your business growth.

 

Hidden business costs to be aware of when starting a venture

Underestimating the costs that you’ll absorb as a new business could lead to premature business failure. It’s important to plan for and understand exactly what it will take to be successful. Fortunately, being aware of these three hidden business costs should help you get your venture started on the right step:

Keep your gas and electricity bills in control

According to data compiled by BusinessEnergy, a micro business based in the UK will use on average 7,500 kWh of electricity per year and face a total bill of £1,062 as a result. These figures rise to 15,000 kWh and a £2,038 bill for a small business, 25,000 kWh and a £3,146 bill for a medium-sized business and 60,000 kWh and a £7,346 bill for an industrial business.

Add to this the fact that organisations with gas connections typically use 10,000 kWh per year with a total average bill of £430 if they are a small business, 25,000 kWh and a total bill of £856 if they are a medium-sized business and 45,000 kWh and a total bill of £1,424 if they are a larger business and it soon becomes clear that gas and electricity are major expenses for companies across the board.

Therefore, you should take the time, when first setting up your business, to shop around and find the best deals for your energy. Flogas, for instance, offer a competitively priced and reliable gas supply to a variety of companies and can help them save up to 45 per cent on their gas spending alone.

Ensure you show your staff you appreciate them

As you are setting up a new business, it is very likely that you will be getting to know a lot of new faces as you build your team of staff members. To ensure they remain happy and see your company as a great place to work, it is important that you show employees appreciation when they are working hard and delivering the results that you are striving for — even if this does mean added costs.

Everything from prizes for employee of the month initiatives, to setting aside budgets so that teams can bond outside of the workplace with a meal or social gathering will cost money. However, they are also very likely to boost morale and have employees appreciating their work and doing their jobs with a positive attitude.

Don’t forget to offer staff members the opportunity to go on training courses on behalf of the company as well, as doing so can help maintain high levels of motivation and engagement.

Make sure you get with the times

As a new business, there’s a huge chance that you’ll be entering into a very fierce arena of competition whatever industry you have your eye on. One way to ensure you survive is by ensuring your team has the most up-to-date technology available to them to deliver the best results possible.

If your employees raise a good argument that they will be better served carrying out tasks on the move, consider investing in a collection of tablet computers installed with all necessary software. Worried about cybercrime when you hear of stats such as that there were around 3.6 million cases of fraud and 2 million computer misuse offences recorded by the Crime Survey for England and Wales in its latest annual report? Adding robust security programs to all of your computer systems should give you peace of mind.

Such implementations may add up where initial costs are concerned, but if it results in a more effective and efficient workplace then surely you will quickly reap the rewards.

Create A Logo – Create a Presence

In the times in which we live, image and branding are everything. If you have a product to sell, or a company or brand to promote, you need to make sure that you have a logo that helps you to establish just who you are and what you are offering to the big wide world. Think about all the major companies and well known brands that are a market force today – Starbucks, Rolls Royce, Mcdonalds, Versace, Apple, Ralph Lauren Polo, all these brands have an instantly recognisable logo. You don’t need to see the name of the brand, or even any other wording, you know exactly who they are and what they are selling.

Clearly the logo you use for your brand is important. It shows your style, your ethos, and most importantly, it is a statement of your intent. Today, with many new start ups appearing every single day, you need a logo that helps your ideas and business stand out from the rest. This is true whether you have an office or warehouse based building, an online store or website, or even an Etsy or eBay shop. Your logo is often the first thing that people see, your introduction to the world, and is a really good way of standing out to the world.

Logojoy

Logojoy help you create a logo to be proud of. You can design a personal logo for any business or venture, with the average design time taking just 45 minutes. Logojoy say

Logojoy uses artificial intelligence to instantly generate beautiful, unique logo ideas for your business.

The beauty of Logojoy is that it is very easy to use. It’s robot designer Dezi has so far created designs totaling more than 100 million for a wide range of companies, and has worked with almost 44,000 entrepreneurs who wanted to give their company a new look. One of the things I love about Logojoy is that you don’t pay to use the system to create your designs, you use the system freely, and only pay once you have a usable design that you love and would be happy to use to promote your business,

The Process

You start the design process by entering your brand name. Logojoy then offers a range of generated designs featuring different layouts and fonts so it can get a general idea of your needs and style. You are asked to highlight five or more designs to create a style shortlist that can be used as inspiration. Next you move onto colour schemes, looking at spectrum’s of colour that make up mini palettes. I initially chose a pink colour scheme for my fashion-mommy logo, but the great thing is that you can later change this if you decide something else looks better, or is more appropriate.

The next step is to add a slogan if you so wish, with the advice from Logojoy being that short and snappy often works best. I chose something simple – ‘fashion-beauty-lifestyle’ which basically sums up exactly what ‘fashion-mommy’ is all about. You can also chose symbols from a wide range, with keywords generating a range of images, and also generating other related keywords, from where you can find even more images. I used the key words fashion and beauty at first, but later used a more specific ‘high heels’ tag to find an image that I wanted.

Once you have completed these steps, Logojoy will give you a choice of logo’s that it has generated based on your choices. I had logos with different fonts, image logos and different colours from my spectrum collection. There was also an option to click for more logo’s if none of the ones presented are suitable, but I really liked a simple, elegant design with a shoe at the centre.

You can then move forward to a refining screen, where you can change colour, font size, image, image colour, layout, quite literally everything about your Logo. I had opted for a pink/red colour spectrum, but changed it to a darker shade of blue which I found to be more striking. I made the font more Art Deco in design, echoing one of my passions, and also changed the colour of my slogan and image to a glamorous shade of red.

I created a logo that I am really proud of, one which would be perfect for letterheads, emails, business cards, literally everything that would help me promote my blog. The premium package costs just $65, and you can also get social media add ons. Your logo is converted to different file sizes and formats so you can use it in many different ways, and the cost includes support if you decide to change anything about your logo any time after the initial 24 hours after design.