Category: Business

All that is needed to get a new business started is a great idea. The covid-19 pandemic has seen record numbers of businesses founded across the world, with furloughed workers or those whose jobs have disappeared entirely developing ideas to become their own bosses.

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Office of National Statistics data shows that more businesses are being incorporated each week in early 2021 than in 2019 or 2020, with the week ending on Friday 29th July saw more than 16,000 new businesses registered in the UK.

The way in which most businesses have been forced to operate since the early part of 2020 means that it has never been more important to have an online presence. In fact, it is probably more desirable for a business to have an online presence than a bricks-and-mortar premise these days.

Let’s take a look at some top tips for getting your new business established with an online presence.

Set up your own website

A website is like a virtual shop window, showing prospective customers your wares just as well as a pane of glass on the high street, with the added benefit that nobody needs to leave their house to visit. In setting up your new site, you have the tough job of coming up with a unique and apt web address.

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Domain registration sites such as names.co.uk allow businesses to check on the availability of the domain names you create. Once you have found a domain name, you can then buy the domain name from a registration site; you will also need to pay for hosting.

Design your site

Anyone who is old enough to have fiddled about in Notepad creating basic HTML code to make websites will be pleased to learn that web design has become easier over the last 20 years or so. Sites such as Wix, Squarespace, and WordPress have made designing beautiful and full-featured websites a very simple task. Templates can be employed to generate a great-looking site in a matter of minutes, with no knowledge of coding required.

What should be on my site?

At an absolute minimum, your site should include a homepage that welcomes visitors to your site, explaining your vision and setting out how customers can get in touch with you. This could include your email address, phone number, and social media handles as well as a contact form.

Developing your site further could see the inclusion of an ‘about’ page that talks about your business’ history and aims. A services page could give an overview of the services you offer, or it could branch into multiple pages that look at the different arms of your business. A separate contact page may include the contact details above, along with your address or other important information that could help customers get in touch with you.

Businesses selling items may wish to invest in e-commerce solutions, which include the ability to take card payments and PayPal payments from customers online.

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A few years ago, business owners were rushing to get fully-featured websites and thriving social media profiles. Now those things are so commonplace it is not considered “a good thing” to have a website so much as it is considered incredibly unusual to not have one. Today, the rush is to conquer the mobile space.

Why are mobiles so important? Well, the smartphone is near-ubiquitous today, and people use their phones constantly throughout the day. Even having an icon on the home screen can help to reinforce your brand’s presence in the mind of the user and having the ability to push offers to your users will help to build goodwill, and encourage past customers to revisit your brand from time to time. Using the app as a part of a loyalty scheme will improve your analytics too.

What Goes Into a Mobile App?

Almost any business could benefit from a mobile app, but there are a few key considerations that you should remember when getting the app developed. It’s easy to fall for ‘feature creep’ when laying out what you want from your app. So, look at the features and functionality and be ruthless when deciding what is a ‘must’ and what is simply a ‘nice to have’.

Be realistic about who will use the app and how, too. Adding ‘share to Facebook’ functionality is easy enough and reasonable, rebuilding your own social network in your app is much harder, and will likely be a waste of time because it will not be used by a lot of people.

Getting a Great Mobile App

If you are already working with a local company that undertakes web design in Nottingham, it is well worth asking them if they offer mobile app development.

Mobile apps are a great investment if you rely on repeat business. If you can persuade a customer to install your app, then you will have an easy way to reach them via their phone’s notification screen, putting marketing messages in front of them whenever you wish, and also giving them value-added benefits that will build goodwill.

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The latest construction headlines hitting the UK say it all: there is a brick shortage coming. For those with brick projects under construction and brick products not yet secured, this means a steep rise in costs. For many companies and individuals in London the gap between supply and demand simply means the viability of their projects, and even home improvements, are severely at risk.

What is the solution?

Many people are throwing around the idea of importing. This is a possibility, but it doesn’t solve the cost issue. Alternatively, by importing the skills needed via an immigrant workforce, the bricks could be made in the UK. This is more practical, but the question that needs to be asked is why not consider a different material?

For many people, there is no alternative. Bricks are the fabric of Britain and the capital. Anyone riding on a bus through London can see this. Bricks are our heritage and history, they are practical, hard-wearing, beautiful and durable. Buildings constructed out of brick last for centuries.

New cutting-edge research

All this could be about to change. With sustainable design and construction playing a huge part in many projects, from city hospitals to manufacturing facilities to private residences, sooner or later a solution will arise. British universities and architects in London are already pushing forward in the research, development, and use of alternative materials. Fantastic products such as self-healing concrete, 3D printed ceramic brick units, vacuum glazing, smog-absorbing concrete, algae walls, and engineered timber frames are taking off. It is a process that once started will not stop, but when will it start?

Every year we are becoming bolder and braver with our product choice, which is showing in the quality and look of our homes and offices. The brick will always be a fantastically strong and stable product; however, as with a stone, there may come a time when it is no longer commercially or environmentally viable. Let’s prepare for the future and not get too hung up on the past.

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