When you’re flat out running your business do you struggle to find the time to sit back and take an objective look at your online marketing efforts?
It’s a common issue for small businesses: being so focused on running the business it leaves little time to figure out how to get real growth.
The bottom line is – you can’t do it all yourself. You need to work with someone who understands online marketing and can genuinely help you to make more sales and profits.
Start by downloading the free ebook from this page. It’s got some great content and at the end there’s a very special limited time offer just for you.
We use the internet in creative ways to help local businesses
Helping ‘brick & mortar’ businesses to find new customers
We will only work with one business type. As an example, if you own a beauty salon you can be confident that we will work solely with you. We will not simultaneously work to promote a competing beauty salon.
There are many ways in which we can help businesses to find more customers, make more sales and increase profits. We’ll work with you to understand where you’re at and what you’d like to achieve and then create an individual plan that is tailored to you.
As a gold member of one of the largest online marketing communities we have access to the latest information on the strategies that will bring the greatest success to your business.
Social Media Marketing
Marketing has changed
- Have you watched a recorded TV programme and hit the Fast Forward button when the adverts came on?
- When was the last time you picked up the Yellow Pages to look for a telephone number?
- Do you get irritated when you answer the phone and it’s somebody trying to sell you something?
The old ways of marketing a business are no longer working or at least not to the extent that they once did. It’s not enough to just buy ad space or bombard your potential customers with offers because the reality is, they are not paying attention. They are becoming desensitised to this form of marketing.
Customers can be far more selective when it comes to purchasing or selecting a service and the likelihood is that they will purchase from a company that they know, like and trust. So marketing today is about building a relationship with your potential customers. And it starts by understanding where their attention lies and it’s not necessarily with the TV or newspapers.
You haven’t got to look very far to find the ubiquitous smartphone and it’s where we’re spending a disproportionate amount of our time. Whether it’s keeping up with friends and family on Facebook or Messenger, watching videos on YouTube or interacting on Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram or (for the younger generation) Snapchat your potential customers are there.
Social media marketing starts by joining in with the conversations that your potential customers are having, providing value within those conversations and starting to build trust and familiarity.
If you’re looking to acquire new customers then talk to us about how we can help you to develop your social media strategy.
Do I need a website?
You’re probably aware that the vast majority of people will turn to the internet to find companies that are relevant to their needs; the days of the phone book are far behind us. If your business hasn’t got its own website then you’re missing out on the potential to gain new customers.
A business website should be seen as a vital component of any business irrespective of size. It should act as the shop window to your business, providing information to your potential customers 24 hours a day. In fact, the absence of a website may negatively affect your customers’ perception of your business.
It’s quite surprising then that research carried out by B2B comparison site Approved Index last year highlighted the fact that there are nearly 2 million small and medium enterprises (SME) who do not have a website. They attached some numbers to those businesses showing just how much money they’re potentially losing by not having a website and quite frankly the numbers are astounding.
By far the largest proportion of the SME market without a website are those with no employees (sole proprietors or a self-employed owner/manager). It’s understandable when considering the costs involved in starting and running a business that a website gets pushed to one side and that could be a false economy. When done properly a business website has the potential to return that initial investment many times over.
We build our websites on WordPress
WordPress is by far the most popular platform for building websites. At the last count, nearly 30% of all websites globally were running on WordPress. Its popularity stems from the fact that, as a content management system, it’s easy to work with. It has a familiar interface (something akin to Microsoft Word or Google docs if you’re familiar with those) so once a website is built it’s super simple for the client to create new content and add it to the website. And WordPress makes sure that the formatting of that content is consistent with the rest of the site so the new content looks great.
If you already have a website is it mobile friendly?
Around the middle of 2015 Google made some changes to the way it ranks websites, the effect being that if a website isn’t mobile friendly then Google will penalise the site and place it lower in the rankings.
Google have very kindly provided a tool that will test your website for mobile-friendliness. You can find the tool here. Check your website and if it doesn’t pass the test then talk to us and we’ll advise you on what needs to be done.
I believe that we are incredibly fortunate to live in a time where the barriers to entry into a retail business are so low. Just a few years ago you would have needed to have saved a small fortune in start-up capital to open a brick and mortar store.
That is no longer the case. With retail moving online it’s now simple to get started and relatively inexpensive. You don’t even need to setup your own online store if you’re just starting out. With Amazon’s ‘fulfilment by Amazon’ (FBA) service for a low monthly fee you just send in your products to Amazon’s warehouse. Amazon take care of getting your products in front of their customers, processing the payment when a sale is made and shipping your product to the customer. Every two weeks Amazon deposit into your bank account the proceeds from sale (less their processing fees).
Eventually you may want to open your own online store and here again it’s relatively inexpensive. We work with two platforms. The number of different products that you intend to sell will determine which of the solutions is best for you.
One of the greatest challenges when launching your own online store is driving traffic (customers) to your shiny new store. With a store on Amazon that challenge is largely taken care of. Amazon gets enormous amounts of traffic; customers who arrive with the sole intention of buying. Amazon have been extremely successful with their Prime offering of free shipping in getting those customers to return time and time again.
Amazon’s fulfilled by Amazon (FBA) service can create a real hands-off business for you if that appeals. They’ll take care of everything for you from payments and shipping through to managing any returns. You just send in your stock and leave Amazon to do the rest.
Here at Bubyli we are experienced at setting up and running Amazon FBA stores. If this approach sounds interesting to you then why not get in touch and we can go into a bit more detail for you.
If having your own E-commerce website or online store appeals then WooCommerce is a great place to start. WooCommerce works hand-in-hand with WordPress, it is what’s termed a plugin.
If you currently have a WordPress website then it’s relatively simple to add e-commerce functionality. If you’re just starting out with E-commerce then we can create a WordPress site for you and integrate the WooCommerce plugin.
- An easy to manage admin panel
- An unlimited number of product categories
- A secure payment gateway
- A good shopping cart experience
WooCommerce does have its limitations. If you intend on adding hundreds of products to your store then you may find that WooCommerce starts to struggle. If you do envisage adding hundreds of products to your store then you may be better off starting out with Shopify.
Shopify is a modern online E-commerce platform that integrates well with social media platforms such as Facebook. It also integrates well with Amazon FBA so it’s a great solution if you’ve started out on Amazon and then wish to expand into your own online store. The Shopify platform gives your customers a great mobile experience.
Unlike WooCommerce it does have the capacity to scale so if your sights are set on a huge store with hundreds or products then this is the solution for you.
It comes with a good choice of themes (layouts) both free and paid for. There is also a huge library of plugins and extensions to extend the capabilities of your store. The mobile seller app allows you to keep track of your sales wherever you are.
Shopify charge a monthly fee with tiered pricing depending on your needs.
If you’d like to discuss Shopify further or you’d like a hand to set up your own Shopify store then feel free to give us a call.
Website Management & Support
Ever heard the phrase ‘you should be working on your business, not in your business’?
When running a business, understanding where best to focus your energy can be the difference between success and failure. Looking after your own business’s website is a good example of ‘working in your business’. Is it the most effective use of your time or would your business benefit more from you concentrating on growing the business?
Let us take care of your website for you and free you up to ‘work on your business’
We’ll ensure that all software updates are applied to protect your website from external threats. We’ll perform a backup of your website and well clear out any spam messages.
Give us a call if you’d like to get some of your time back.
How can we help you? Complete the following form and we’ll get back to you.
Latest Blog Posts
I’ve spent most of my career working in the corporate world with my time being split fairly evenly between a hands-on technical role and a technical sales role. The one true blessing that has helped me throughout my career is that ‘I get technology’. I understand the online world, the internet, the world of social media, the world of communication.
I’m aware that not everybody is as confident about their technical skills as they’d like to be (does that sound like you) or has the depth of knowledge necessary to make the most of the online opportunities that exist. Maybe you just don’t have the time to do it all yourself. That’s okay because I really enjoy helping people.
It’s now time for me to use the skills that I have learnt over many, many years to help small and medium sized business owners throughout Essex to grow their businesses. If we collaborate together and combine our skills we can achieve great things for your business. Two heads are definitely better than one and I’m here to help you.
And when I’m not working…
Learning to play the saxophone came quite late in life for me. I was probably around 35 years old when I purchased my first sax and started having lessons. It was one of those things that I’d always wanted to do from age 11 or 12.
I’d only ever considered playing in private just for my own enjoyment. It didn’t quite work out that way and I ended up playing a range of public engagements, from the Essex Arms in Brentwood right through to playing onboard Kimi Raikkonen’s yacht at the Monaco F1 Grand Prix.
I don’t play very much at all now but The Remedy very kindly took me under their wing a couple of years ago. I’m not great but I can just about knock out a tune.
Little Red Corvette
Yes, for any Prince fans – my very own little red corvette. I had this car shipped over to the UK from Florida in 2013. It’s a 1976 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray.
If you’re like me you’ll know how when you hear a certain piece of music or a song it will evoke memories of a special occasion or a time in your life and transport you back to that point in time. One of the first things I did was to go to Amazon Music and download about 100 songs from 1976 and 1977 to play in the car while I’m driving. I stopped short of getting the white suit that John Travolta wore as Tony Manero in Saturday Night Fever.
You’ll see that the car has wedding ribbons on in this picture. I’d just helped some friends out and delivered the groom to the church so that he could marry their daughter.