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So Newport is back in lockdown, and Cardiff and Bristol may soon follow. Whatever happens, with everyone now online, this autumn’s mar­keting season will be more com­pet­itive than ever, and there’s no time to waste in getting started. So this seems a good time to mention that I offer a FREE social media dash­board to save tons of time with your social media mar­keting.

Social media mar­keting doesn’t get any easier. This dash­board helps you to create, schedule and re-use posts across the main social media channels, with a simple cal­endar interface. Just create a few days’ worth of posts whenever you have time, and set them for when your audience are online.… Read the rest

Why Cheap Web Designers Often Disappear

Cheap web designer disappearingSo here’s some­thing I left out of my “Why Website Prices Vary” post because it can be a touchy subject. So first, let me say that most web designers I know are superb, tal­ented people who only want to help. That said, the exper­i­enced ones are rarely cheap web designers.

Still, I have just spoken to yet another dis­tressed small business owner. His cheap web designer had left him in the lurch with a broken website and no access to fix it.

Other business owners had told him this was “typical” of “flaky” designers. They all just assumed the worst of our entire industry. Even web designers rarely discuss it, just pointing out that you get what you pay for. Still, it is pre­dictable and avoidable.… Read the rest

Why Do Website Prices Vary So Much?

Small busi­nesses often want simple, affordable web design packages. That’s fine, we can do that — but then some call pro­fes­sional web design “expensive” and “over­com­plicated”. So why do website prices vary so much?

Because web design can mean several very dif­ferent things.

Business web­sites serve a wide range of pur­poses. Some of those pur­poses are common, others less so. So there are at least three levels of web design to con­sider.

Affordable Web Design Packages

Common require­ments can some­times be stand­ardised, and pro­cesses stream­lined, to keep costs down. However, flex­ib­ility creates com­plexity, so in practice, “stream­lining pro­cesses” always means “restricting choices”.

For some people, and some pur­poses, that makes little dif­ference — and cash flow is often a bigger concern for small busi­nesses.… Read the rest

Ten Common Website Design Mistakes

Web design is like cooking — it may look easy, but it’s easy to get wrong. No microwave can make you a chef. Similarly, DIY website builders let you make costly mis­takes. So Base22 kindly provided this infographic of ten common website design mis­takes, and I’ve added a few more points below.

Ten Common Website Design Mistakes

Whilst DIY web design often makes these mis­takes, so do inex­per­i­enced web designers. That’s why exper­i­enced pro­fes­sional web design is a better business investment, even in affordable web design packages.

Poor User Experience

Whilst user exper­ience is also affected by most of the points below, visual design plays a big part too. It’s not just a matter of making things look pretty, either.… Read the rest

Small Business Coronavirus Lockdown Help

Enough with the doom and gloom. As small business owners facing this coronavirus lockdown, we need to remember:

  • Bad news and fear sell papers. So they get over-pro­­moted.
  • Good news is coming from other sources. Share hope, not fear.
  • The game has changed, not ended. We lose if we admit defeat.
  • Everyone is being hit — but that levels the playing field.
  • Adaptability is the small business advantage.
  • Negativity under­mines cre­ativity and planning.
  • Our fam­ilies and teams need to see con­fidence, not fear.
  • Stress also under­mines the immune system. Breathe, and calm.
  • Mutual support, determ­in­ation and flex­ib­ility will win.
  • No entre­preneur sur­vives without being able to see hope in adversity. Silver linings may be a razor’s edge at times, but that’s where we find the silver.
Read the rest