Ok, so it’s tricky to prepare for something when you’re not quite sure what that “something” is. But there’s no doubt that Brexit will mean changes for all businesses.
And the best way to prepare for change… DIGITAL! Here’s 5 simple concepts that we implement for businesses that also can be used to combat changes from Brexit.
Get a CMS website. A CMS or “content management system” will allow you to quickly make changes on your website when Brexit happens. You may need to quickly change pricing or terms.
Start a newsletter. A newsletter allows businesses to quickly communicate with their clients and customers at scale. When Brexit happens you may need to quickly update all your customers about changes to your terms or business service. A newsletter is a super quick and simple way to do this.
Start accepting on line payments – This can be a complex e-commerce system or a simple adhoc payment page. Either way, accepting online payments will allow you to work with various currencies and quickly accept payments, deposits sand recurring payments.
Get your social media ready – You might need to be able to quickly launch a campaign. There’s no faster or better way to do this than with social media. You should have at least one social media profile ready with a decent following. And you should know how to “boost” content, like an offer, a service update or job post.
Beacon13 will be helping their clients through this uncertain time with professional digital support. Cutting the cost of traditional communications whilst raising their business profile on line.
“How much is this going to cost?” …The number 1 question that comes from business owners when we discuss a new website or digital strategy.
The smart ones, wait until they can weigh up the value (Or ROI) from our proposal before asking this question. The not so smart ones ask that question right out of the gates. “How much is this going to cost?” ..Before we’ve even deciphered what “this” is.
So, you’re considering investing in a new website. Or perhaps a social media strategy or SEO or an email marketing strategy. Or all of the above (which would constitute an overall digital strategy.)
Let’s pretend you’re going for a digital strategy. You’ve made the decision to start improving and enhancing your on line presence. To start increasing visitors to your website, increasing your social media following and improving conversions from both. To begin with…
You’re asking the wrong question.
The question business owners should ask is not “how much does this cost” but “how much can this make”. An investment in a good digital strategy should improve sales and reduce costs. With an overall improvement in revenue and profits.
An increase in revenue
Our studies of 48 companies (and further online research) suggest that an investment in a digital strategy can lead to an increase of 8 – 10% in revenue. It’s up to the business of course to decide what that means. i.e. A company with £1m turnover can expect to increase revenue by around £90,000 within 12 months.
An increase in profit
A good digital strategy will ultimate reduce costs for a company over the finiancial year. Cost cutting exercise might include – improved billing processes, faster payments, e-commerce, automated messaging and alerts, reporting for forecasts and more.
Often companies are still spending on “old media” like radio, TV, magazines, newspapers, billboards and more. An effective digital strategy often allows companies to cut back on old media spending with no loss of advertising coverage or brand awareness.
In all, (from our own experience and on line research) we can deem that companies can can improve profits by 1% to 3% in 12 months. Taking a £1m turnover company, with a pre-digital net profit of £100,000. We can assume an increase in profit of £20,000. If we consider increased revenue also. This can be around £32,000.
So how much should I spend on a digital strategy
Doing the maths, a good metric for determining spend a new digital strategy would be 1% of turnover. A £1m turnover business could invest £10,000 in a new digital strategy and expect a really good return on their investment.
For micro businesses of £250,000 or less turnover, we’d suggest investing 2% of turnover in digital. Simply because there’s a threshold in the amount required to create a quality digital solution.
Cut to the chase – where’s my £100k??
Well, if you’ve got a business with £1m+ turnover and you’re not “all in” on digital… Get at it!! Your £100,000 is there for the taking. If you’ve got a micro business, start spending 2% of turnover with a good digital partner (or partners) until you get to there.
It’s not just a case of just “throwing money at it”
The assumptions above are founded in the fact that you’ve found a creditable digital agency to create and implement your digital strategy. Beacon13 has been creating, managing and supporting successful digital strategies for companies in NI in 5 years. We’d be happy to help with yours. (subject to a few checks. )
If we told you need to do just 1 thing to drive your business on line would you believe us?
Business owners often fret over social media, their website and their digital strategy. “What should we be doing?”…”What should we avoid?”… “Should we do a newsletter?” “What about GDPR?”… “Is Bing really any good? “…”I think it’s all a fad” (Yes, that’s a real comment from a client.)
Digital (by which we mean, your business website, Google, social media, newsletters, e-commerce, business apps, booking systems, industry websites) can be a mind field for business owners. Business owners are engineers, medical professionals, builders, make up artists, retailers, legal professionals, estate agents, mechanics… They are not Digital Marketeers or Web Developers!
So, if we take 2 businesses. Same industry, same business model, similar client base…
Business A) – Business A is absolutely “killing it” on-line. Their website pops, converts customers and accepts payments. They’ve good a good social media following from their customer base. And they keep them well informed with interesting, informative content about products, services and industry news.
Business A is always top of the list in Google & Bing and they create newsletters and videos. Their brand looks really sharp on line.
Business B) – Business B’s website looks like a school project from 2005. Their brand is messy and inconsistent. They have little or no social media presence. They can’t be found on Google, they’ve never heard of Bing and they have no way of accepting a payment on line from anyone.
What’s the difference?
So what has Business A done that’s allowed them to create this on line presence. What knowledge do they have that Business B does not? How do they keep on top of everything and do it so well? They’ve done the 1 thing we’re about to tell you. The secret to a successful on line strategy that any business owner can implement today…
Wait, are you ready for it? Are you sitting down? The 1 thing to do to fix all of your digital woes and generate some real business on line is…
Working in social media marketing we need to understand the types of people that (commonly) use all of the major social media platforms.
Nasty as it may seem – we need to understand things like age, sex, pay grade, marital status, location, shopping trends, social class and even IQ of the main users on each platform.
A lot of people apparently. IQ and intelligence are important factors in finding which types of content will resonate. For example; An article about Quantum Physics might not resonate that well with a young man that’s more interested in who won the match on Saturday. And that’s fine! Each to their own.
But this has brought us to a piece of research that might be interesting and advantageous for people or businesses to know. And note, we did come to this research with some preconceptions. (Which may or may not be debunked.)
Our preconception is that Twitter users, as a whole, are more intelligent than Facebook users. This preconception comes from posting thousands of articles, images and videos across all platforms and seeing that highly intellectual content preforms better on Twitter than Facebook. It just does! Now, does that mean Twitter users are smarter?
Well, here’s the bullet points…
A 2019 study finds that Twitter users make more money overall.
Analytics suggest that news, political and science related content is consumed better on Twitter.
From our (very coarse) research, we can deem there’s no real hard science to suggest Twitter users are smarter. There is however a lot of science to suggest that typical Twitter user and very different from Facebook users. And they use the platforms for very different reasons.
Broadly speaking; Twitter users are indeed looking for intellectual pursuits, news and informative content. Facebook users are looking for entertainment, photos and family/community content.
Patrick McCaul Environmental Consulting Engineers Ltd. is a highly respected Building Services Engineering Consultancy with a creative and motivated team of engineers, designers and associated technical personnel.
This Company has developed significant expertise in the sustainable energy sector over several years. It specialises in addressing the needs of the internal environment by providing consultancy on energy conservation, low carbon / energy design strategies and the incorporation of sustainable energy systems for both existing and new builds.
PMC took a massive step digitally in June 2019 to develop both their business & digital strategy. Now successfully in partnership with Beacon13 Ltd, they have recreated a brand unique in its industry, a website that only reflects the true authenticity and true professionalism of the PMC.
With a surge in demand for talented Senior Engineers and Graduate Engineers across the construction industry in both UK & Ireland, PMC are having to adapt their recruitment approach in order to acquire and retain quality talent.
The challenge therefore is how the industry can better align job demands and employee skills, and so beacon13 came up with a digital solution for recruitment across the board.
Orchestrating a recruitment drive for a large organisation such as PMC is more than simply filling roles with applicants who meet the required skill sets.
In preparation for the interviews, PMC took a unique approach which was devised to curate a dream-team effort, in order to attract a large volume of potentially-right candidates in a timely and cost-effective manner.
The drive was the first step in introducing potential candidates to what PMC where about, core values and a very detailed description of the career involved.
In addition to the recruitment drive , Beacon13 also thought it was essential for advertisements on traditional media, outreach on digital channels was necessary to maximising engagement. For instance, LinkedIn targeted a specific audience, helping to spread the word across the construction industry.
LOOKING FOR A NEW CAREER IN ENVIRONMENTAL ENGINEERING?
Check out PMC’s careers, page if you think you have what it takes.
We have the pleasure of working alongside the most ELITE businesses in Northern Ireland, so we asked over 100 NI businesses, which business software proves most successful for their business…
MailChimp is one of the biggest names in email marketing software, unlike virtually all competitors,MailChimp offers a free plan. As in permanently free.
Newsletters, Campaigns with Built-in analytics
Mailchimp is a email marketing tool, basically it allows you to regularly engage with your audience via the use of email. This usually involves sending out a regular email newsletter with updates, special offers, information and advice. If you have a blog it would also include links to your latest blog posts.
Email marketing is absolutely key in reaching your potential customer base. It is the cornerstone of building a digital business.
Quotient is super-intuitive online quoting software that lets you create, send and manage your quotes. You’ll save time and make more money with Quotient. Need we say anymore!
Great looking Quotes with a competitive edge
Your quotes will look great, and receiving them over email makes doing business easy for your customer. The whole process can give you the edge you need over any potential competitors.
Easily add images, files or website links directly on your Quotes, and give your customer everything they need to make a decision.
Xero is beautiful accounting software that helps you do mundane bookkeeping tasks faster, so you can enjoy more time doing the things that matter to you.
Accounting software for “on the go”, simple and effective.
Look after your staff with Xero Payroll and drive profitability on your projects with Xero Projects. It’s fully integrated with Xero so you can keep all your business information in one handy place.
It’s easy to access all your data and Xero tools from anywhere – just connect to the internet. Plus, keep all your essentials like invoicing and payroll at your fingertips with Xero’s mobile app.
If you have used online banking, Airbnb, or Netflix, you have probably used Twilio. In fact, Twilio powers communications for over 40,000 businesses around the world.
Text alerts for your customers
Simply put, Twilio is a developer platform for communications. Software teams use Twilio APIs to add capabilities like voice, video, and messaging to their applications. This enables businesses to provide the right communications experience for their customers.
Behind Twilio APIs is a Super Network, a software layer that connects and optimises communications networks around the world. This is what allows your users to reliably call and message anyone anytime.
With Twilio, you can reach customers in the ways they prefer, and engage with them effectively using context related to that interaction. As customer experience can increasingly make or break your brand, programmable communications has become more crucial than ever to the success of businesses today.
5. Sitechecker Pro
Good SEO is vital for any business website
Compliance with search engine guidelines is an important factor for the success of your website. The Sitechecker Pro analyses your website and gives you tips on optimising your site for a long-term success in search engine optimisation.
Simply, to implement good SEO practices, its great to have a tool that’s got your back. Did I mention that it’s FREE?…
Beacon13 are digital professionals, we are here to help your business grow digitally. If you’re thinking about a website refresh, or need a partner in digital , give us a call today on: 02879549627.
It’s a plugin for WordPress that will transform any website into a very powerful online store. It has everything you need all under one roof. It’s simple to use, robust & secure. Think of it as your online business revenue machine.
So…What’s the BIG deal?
You could pretty much sell anything and it’s incredible easy to use! If you want to sell something, you can sell it with Woo-Commerce. That includes physical products, digital products, subscriptions, appointments, and much more.
Woo-Commerce is one of the most popular eCommerce platforms worldwide.
It’s Free… Yup Free as a bird.
Woo-Commerce is competitive with leading enterprise eCommerce applications, but because it’s free, any business or entrepreneur can take advantage of it. Now that’s what you call a level playing field.
Unlimited Plugins & Awesome Features.
Just like WordPress, Woo-Commerce includes an extensive range of features that can be extended with the addition of plugins. Businesses who use Woo-Commerce benefit from access to thousands of WordPress plugins & themes as well as hundreds of eCommerce-specific extensions built just for Woo-Commerce. It’s your one stop shop.
Are you ready for Tax going Digital?
When managing an online store with payments, security is crucial.Woo-Commerce is built on WordPress, the software that runs 26% of the web. Regularly audited by Sucuri, an industry leader in security, so you can rest assure you’re in good hands.
Tax is going digital in Early 2020, every business owner, self employed or sole traderyou should be thinking about taking payments online, whether you are a retailer, accountant, estate agent, builder, hairdresser or a charity everyone should take payment’s online!
The simplicity for both you and your customer/client is undeniable, they pay quickly, you get paid fast. Online payments give you theadded backup of invoices and statements stored online, perfectly ready for that dreaded tax return!
You can design the way YOU want.
Not only does Woo-Commerce have endless themes to suit most, you can totally customise your Woo-Commerce store to stand out from the crowd. Pretty awesome isn’t it? Not only do you have all the Themes to help begin, but you can ideally create your own awesome design, with the help of the experts…
Awesome Analytics & SEO built in.
We all know the importance of SEO and managing the growth of your business website with analytics. It’s hard staying on top of it all, with WordPress – Woo-Commerce, you have it all in the one manageable place.
The more you know about your customers and the way they interact with your store and its products, the better. Woo-Commerce have you covered.
Can any business website use Woo-Commerce?
Unfortunately Woo-Commerce is an eCommerce plugin for WordPress websites. Good News is we can help…check out our article on WordPressfor everything you need to know about WordPress websites.
Get a Quick Quote to change your current business website to a WordPress site & join the 2.3 million eCommerce websites around the world.
In short, because Woo-Commerce provides a complete eCommerce solution that is fast, easy to use, and can adapt to the needs of any eCommerce business, it’s bloody amazing and if your not on it already… I would recommend it. I’ve had my fair share of eCommerce platforms… and this one ticked all my boxes.
If you are struggling with your current eCommerce website or even thinking about taking payments online, talk to Beacon13, we can advise whats best for your business.
McKee’s started off as a traditional family butchers in 1898. Over 120 years later they’re bringing their traditional recipes on line with a new website and home delivery service.
The elite butchers (based in Maghera) have seen a steady growth of the company from the mid 80s. The growth came mainly from a timely response to changing times.
McKee’s started producing pies and convenience foods just around the time that women (Sorry gents, but that’s who did the shopping in those days) were looking for such products.
McKee’s pies, stuffing and scotch eggs are now household names across Northern Ireland. And the company delivers these products to over 150 stockists as well as selling direct to the customer from their Maghera base.
When opportunity strikes…
It’s in the “direct to the customer” part that McKee’s have noticed an opportunity. McKee’s have a wonderful brand, a loyal local customer base and a fleet of vans on the roads every day. This lends itself naturally to a home delivery service.
The missing piece of the pie? (forgive the pun)… A shiny new website that allows customers to order McKee’s products on line. This is where Beacon13 comes in. The Beacon13 team have created a WordPress website with Woo-commerce, Paypal Payments, Email alerts and more.
We’ve added all of McKee’s product lines and worked with the McKee’s team to create packages for family dinners, occasions and parties. We’ve given the website some of McKee’s branding and styling to reflect their shop, the factory and product packaging.
All in all, providing the same wonderful McKee’s experience, but now on your phone or desktop from the comfort of your own home.
No mean feat.
McKee’s understand that a new approach to the sale of their product won’t be easy. Although the company is well versed in selling their products in-store and to their trade customers, the internet sales and home delivery service will be a whole new challenge.
McKee’s will initially trial the service to the (very) local market first. Only addresses within a 20 mile radius can avail of the home delivery service at present. This will allow McKee’s to build up an understanding of their customers expectations when it comes to ordering on line.
Ultimately McKee’s want to offer the same level of quality on line as they do in-store. So they’ve given themselves a little time to make sure this happens.
Beacon13 will be on hand to help them perfect their new digital venture.
Fintec Limited is a growing IT support company based in Bellaghy. The Mid-Ulster team has developed a niche with Credit Unions in Northern Ireland & the border counties. A unique blend of IT experience, knowledge and cyber-security skills has positioned Fintec as the “go to” team for Credit Unions.
Fintec specialise in providing managed IT solutions including hardware, email, back-up and security. They offer Credit Unions; on line and off-line support and a dedicated IT specialist. Fintec is now actively working with over 30 credit unions.
Business Continuity Planning & Disaster Recovery
BCP (Business continuity plans) are essential for all businesses they prepare your organization for times of emergency or disaster, BCPs make sure that your business operations are still running should the unthinkable happen.
Fintec also offers a disaster recovery service for when the unthinkable happens to help credit unions get their business get back on track.
“We focus on keeping all your critical business functions operational by implementing firewalls to stop cyber attacks, installing back up drives and back up servers.”
Brian Rea – Fintec
Cyber security consists of technologies, processes and controls designed for the purpose of protecting your system, networks and data from cyber attacks. Proper implementation of cyber security greatly reduces the risk of cyber security.
Fintec offers a vast knowledge and experience in cyber security implementation and the best measures for preventing such attacks from happening.
Working with Credit Union’s existing software
Fintec has substantial experience in working with typical software packages used at Credit Unions in Ireland and Northern Ireland. Software like Zion, Cumis relationship management and Abacus fern software are just some of the packages that Fintec is happy to integrate their hardware with.
Does your credit union need managed IT support, cyber security or disaster recovery?
SEO helps small business owners create fast, robust, and user-friendly websites that rank higher in search engines, which in turn helps bring more qualified potential customers to their sites and eventually increases conversion rates. In many respects it’s simply quality control for websites.
Here’s 3 tips on boosting your website with SEO.
Keyword Research – It all begins with words typed into a search box. Keyword research is one of the most important and valuable in the search marketing field. Ranking for the right keywords can make or break your website. By researching your market’s keyword demand, you can not only learn which terms and phrases to target with SEO.
Keep it simple – Well-structured, clean, and uncluttered websites compels a casual visitor to stay longer, thereby decreasing bounce rate and increasing page views. Build relevant content and solve their problems, they came to your site for a reason, make it happen!
Implement your keyword research – Make sure your keywords are within your meta descriptions and meta-tags, titles, headings. Oh and check your URL slug, make sure it’s simple and relevant.
Besides, one of the main reasons for having a website is to stand out from your competition and increase sales.
More traffic, more engagements, more sales.
For small business owners SEO is the KEY to digital success.