10 Reasons Why Your Business Needs A Website

Any web design company that offers budget websites will often find themselves talking to business owners who’ve never had a website before. Half of the battle here is often persuading the customer that a website is a great idea for any business, and any money spent is going to be well worth it and more in the long run. Even a site at £99 sounds like a lot of money to someone who doesn’t see why they should have a website, and probably also doesn’t see why they should have one at all. Let’s look at ten good reasons why any business needs a website in 2014.

1.  Your competitors probably have websites

People search online for products and services these days. If you don’t have a website but your competitors do, they’ll be the ones getting the work that comes from online queries. You might argue that you get passing trade, word of mouth and work from other types of advertising and that might be true, but those sources of income are going to shrink as internet based enquiries get closer to being 100% of all traffic. Professional website design companies like Redwall Creative aren’t in business for nothing – a lot of people are busy getting websites for themselves.

2. First impressions count

When people find you online, the first few seconds they spend on your site is vital. if your site looks cheap and nasty, they’re going to think that your business is too. If your site is clean, well laid out and attractive, they’re going to look favourably at you and your business. Sites don’t have to cost a fortune to look good – even a basic site can look nice!

3. Your customers will expect you to have a website

People don’t remember email addresses or telephone numbers any more – they rely on finding the information that they need online as and when they need it. If there’s no website they’re firstly going to wonder why, and secondly they’re going to phone someone else. Even the most basic of website can get around this problem.

4.  Your website works 24/7

Your website is always there for you, working 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Even when you’re office is closed, your site is still there. This means that people can find and read about you any time that’s convenient for them, and then perhaps email or phone you when they know that you’re going to be in. It’s like having a salesman working for you all day, every day for only a few quid a year. Who wouldn’t want that?

5. It’s a convenient point of contact

People like to get in touch in various ways. Your website can have every single piece of contact information that you’ve got, such as:

  • Address
  • Email
  • Telephone
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Google+
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest

The list goes on…..

All this information is in one place too, and in the case of the other websites like Facebook you can provide links so that people can go straight through to them directly from your site.

6. Cut down on repetitive calls

It’s easy to have an FAQ section on your site that answers 99% of all of the popular questions that you are asked. This means that you can simply point people to the relevant article/page/blog on your site, rather than having to do it over the phone every single time. This is great, as you only need to write the article once (and you can do a great job if it!) and the customer can read and re-read it in their own time until they fully understand, rather than remembering what was said over the phone or referring to scribbled notes.

7. It’s your online CV

As well as listing your prices and services, your website can show who you’ve done work for. This can help to reinforce the confidence that potential customers have in you. If you do work for local government, charities or sports associations that your potential customers have heard of they’re going to be far more likely to do business with you.

8. It’s great for promotions

If you’re well into Facebook and Twitter, your own website is a great place to hold information of any current offers or promotions that you’re offering at any given time. This means that your facebook or Twitter messages only need to link to your website article, so you only need to write it once. You’ve also got free reign on how the offer will look too – no restrictions like you might have on a Facebook post or Twitter tweet.

9. It’s not the yellow pages

Every day I talk to customers who still think an advert in the yellow pages is enough to get the word out about them and their business. While this still might be true for some people (the over 60′s are a good example) it’s completely untrue for others. In many markets the yellow pages (or equivalent) isn’t even printed any more, and this is set to increase. It’s dying, and you’re going to have to get used to that. Also, look at what a website costs versus an advert in the yellow pages – a website is ridiculous value for money!

10. Websites are great value and have no downside

That brings us nicely into my final point of today. These days, the kind of website that is perfect for a small business needn’t cost the earth. You’re guaranteed to make your money back, and the site is going to be so much cheaper than other forms of more traditional advertising. That fact alone, and the preceding 9 points mean that if you don’t have a website, there isn’t a single reason why you shouldn’t look at getting one as soon as you can. If you’re spending as little as £99 for a proper little site, what’s the worst that can happen? it might not double your trade overnight, but it’s certainly going to help, and who’s business doesn’t need a little help these days? get to it!

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The Value of Good Customer Service

Customer service can be easy – and it wins business for life.

The emails we get from customers can be really informative sometimes. People often ask the same questions which indicate the areas of the print industry that the man on the street struggles most to understand. One chap wanted to purchase some banner printing, but thought that all printing of this nature is now done using templates! It was a pleasure to explain to him that digital printing companies often have in-house designers that are happy to design exactly to your specification, and that this was still pretty common in the industry. He was delighted to hear that he wouldn’t have to fiddle around with an on-line design website, as most customers are!

Another customer, auraprint had got a price from our website for some flyer printing and then called to place the order after getting their ‘quote’. While most companies are happy to do this, I did explain to her that she could actually order and pay online at the prices shown – online printing to the rest of us! She was amazed by this and insisted that she go away and try it out for herself. After doing this successfully she called to say how easy she had found it, and that she would definitely be doing it again in the future. Just goes to show that in this world of e-commerce not everyone has a full understanding of what is really possible given a computer and an internet connection.

Another customer phoned us up regarding the printing of a trade show banner stand. He’d seen the online cost and the shipping cost, but refused to believe that such a large item could be shipped for the same cost as a few printed labels. I explained to him that most business customers of Parcelforce (or whoever) get a standard price for one shipped item – be it small or large – and thus this pricing was carried over onto the shipping costs of the work that we sell online.

That’s three common misconceptions that I was happy to dispel. Each time I do this there’s a very good chance that I’m gaining trust and winning and excellent customer for life. You should do it too! Seriously, these people are just crying out for a level of service that will make them purchase and it’s really really easy to give it to them. Just be patient, explain how it works and guide them through the process. They can be your customer for life.

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Situps? Not The Best For Abs!

In the modern fitness craze there’s an emphasis on the six pack. It’s everywhere you look in the media, and it’s no surprise that it’s become one of the main goals of fitness fanatics everywhere.

The main misconception is that doing abdominal exercises will reduce the fat on these areas, but this is absolutely not true. You need to remove body fat from all over until you get to the point where you can see the muscle structure of the abdominal section of your body. That said, training these muscles will help them to be more defined and give you a flatter stomach, body fat permitting.

When people think about training their abs, the situp is usually the first exercise that people think of. However, it’s been proven over time that it’s not actually the best exercise that you can do, and can even cause you some health problems if you do too many, or do them wrong. This really is something that a professional trainer with qualifications from somewhere like CMS will be able to verify. They provide a lot of training of this type, and their website makes it easy to enrol for online fitness courses.

Problems

Situps produce the exact same type of forces on your spine that can cause disc bulge or disc herniation. They are terrible for your lower back and you should avoid them on this basis alone.

They also only work your stomach for part of the motion, the top part is using mostly your groin/thigh muscles to pull your body upright, as opposed to crunching your ribcage into your lower body. This can lead to groin strains.

Lastly, your abdominals work in many ways and in many directions. Solely doing one exercise movement will cause an imbalance, and this can lead to real problems further down the line. Your abs need to be trained in a variety of ways, which imitates the way that they are used naturally every day.

What To Do Instead?

Leg lifts are much better way to strengthen your core muscles and there are many ways to do these, each with lots of variations. Planks are also a great way to do the same, and are much easier on your back! With these two exercises, in combination with the effects from training other body parts, you can really make a difference to your abs and do it safely!

Leg Lifts

Lay on your back and slowly raise your legs until they point straight upwards. Hold for a second and then slowly lower them down to the floor. To add variation, you can slowly do the splits at the top of the motion before putting your legs back together and lowering them down. Whichever way you do it, do them slowly and remain in control at all times.

Planks

Planking is basically putting your body in a position where your abdominal muscles are under tension, and then holding that position for a period of time. The following 5 pictures will give you an idea of some great ones to do – simply hold each position for 60 seconds and you’ll be doing really well. Well, that’s all for today – thanks for reading and enjoy your training!

Plank 1 Plank 3 Plank 4 Plank 5

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Bespoke Printing Costs

Posters are a great item that has been around forever. We’ve all had them on our walls depicting our favourite bands, movies or pieces of artwork and so they have a place in our culture that is hard to replace (a bit like stickers – we love to print sticker!) at the low cost that posters often are. However, the posters that we are talking about now are mass produced, litho items that cost only a few pounds. What if you wanted to print your very own poster – how would you do it? Well, you need to find a printer that has a wide format machine capable of doing large pvc banner printing. A good print company will have this, but not all do so it’s worth checking. A good printer will also be printing brochures by the dozen, so they will be experienced as well, making sure that you’ll get the best job possible.

shutterstock_126267986One problem is often the resolution of the artwork files. Because posters are large they need to be of high enough resolution not to be pixellated when printed at full size and this can be difficult to achieve – files like this are not freely available. Help is at hand however, as most good printers such as Aura print will have access to an online image library that contains really big images that you can use as part of your design. They might charge you a little for this service, but it’s worth it if you want real quality for your one-off poster print. Of course, any vector aspects of your design won’t be affected by the resolution and if your design is mostly geometric shapes or text you may not need any high res images at all. Business cards printing don’t need huge res files, so it wouldn’t be a problem in that case.

One thing that most people find surprising is how expensive a one-off custom online banner printing is compared to a poster from a shop. This is because shop posters are mass produced and thus are a lot cheaper to make. One-off poster pricing has to take into account the setup time for the machine and the time it takes the pre-press guy to check and prepare the design ready for print. If you get a quote for say 500 posters and work out what each one costs, you’ll actually see that it’s the ones in the high street shops that are expensive! Of course, these need to make a profit when sold, and the designer, manufacturer and retailer will all want a cut of the final selling price.

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Office Fitness – The Survival Guide

So you’ve ended up in a job where you’re basically sat in your ass for 8 hours a day? Welcome to the world. More and more our jobs are computer based and sedentary and we can go an entire day without getting out of our chairs. With a combination of bad posture and lack of activity we can end up with general problems such as weight gain and lack of cardio vascular fitness, as well as back problems and other more specific issues.

Recent studies seem to show that this kind of working situation is basically a recipe for disaster. Combined with further unhealthy pastimes such as drinking, smoking and eating the wrong foods you’re basically on a one way journey to an early grave. It’s hard to believe that this is true, but the human body just wasn’t designed to sit around all day.

So what can we do about it?

Well, busy and stressful office jobs often leave us feeling tired and drained after a long day. Simply saying ‘go to the gym after work every day!’ isn’t always going to be very helpful. Mustering up the energy to go to the gym can be hard, and even if you’re a member it can often be very tempting to sack it off and go straight home and sit on the sofa for the evening.

The trick is to get your exercise WHILE YOU’RE AT WORK! Yes – that’s right! How do we do this, I hear you ask? Well, if you’re clever there are things that you can do in the office during the day that will go a long way towards alleviating the bad effects of a sedentary office job.

1. Get Out of Your Chair

Sounds obvious, but this is the big one! If you have cordless phones, walk about while you talk. If there’s a sandwich run, offer to do it. If you have a copier room, take other people’s copying for them. Don’t take the lift – use the stairs. In your break times, go for a walk. If it’s possible to walk or cycle to work, do that.

2. Get Your Sitting Posture Right

You’re probably sick of people saying this, but SIT UP STRAIGHT! Place your feet flat on the floor and sit with your back straight. This simple task can alleviate a lot of bothersome backaches all by itself. Try to keep this up too – it’s easy to forget and go back into a slouch.

3. Sneaky Pushups

No-one’s expecting you to get down and give us fifty. If you get caught you’ll probably get a disciplinary and while getting fired may be viewed as a good thing, some of you have bills to pay I’m sure. What I’m talking about are pushups that you do while leaning at an angle against a work surface, low wall or railing or some description. In the coffee room? Do some against the kitchen top. Have to take the lift? Do them against the wall when you’re by yourself. Use your imagination – you’ll find places where you can do a few every now and again. Before you know it, it’ll have added up to a good workout. Pushups work chest, shoulders and triceps as well as strengthening your core muscles. Bonus!

4. Lunges

A lunge is basically a walk using long strides where you get as low as you can between each step. Your trailing knee will nearly touch the floor and your leading thigh will almost be at right-angles to the ground at your lowest point. You’ll basically look like John Cleese in Ministry of Funny Walks. Do these as you move around the office, whenever you think you can do them without being seen by anyone that matters… These work all of the leg muscles quite comprehensively as well as further strengthening core muscles.

The Net Effect

You’ll find that you ache like hell for the first week, but after that things will start to improve. If you’ve got any niggling aches and pains they should also start to subside. You’ll probably have more energy and be able to concentrate better on your work when you need to, as well as sleeping better at night. Now, don’t get me wrong – you’re not going to be fit enough to start selling online fitness courses like companies such as CMS do – you’re not going to be THAT fit just yet. Without real cardio exercise there’s only so much that you can do, but it’s a start. And a fantastic one at that.

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2014 – The State Of Solar Power

Where would the world be without solar energy? Simple items like calculators would have limited power options without access to solar energy. In addition, homes wouldn’t be able to use solar panels to provide light and head for people. You’ll learn how to use solar energy with the advice in this article.

If you don’t want to or can’t go for full solar power, at least consider a solar water heating system. Many regional and community governments offer financial incentives, rebates and tax credits for even doing this, just like they do for full solar installations. Check with your local government before doing anything to know the perks.

One great way to take advantage of solar energy is by constructing a heat well just inside the south facing windows or patio doors of your home. This well collects heat from the sun during the day and releases it after dark. This form of solar energy is completely passive and requires no maintenance. Companies like solar energy panels barnsley will be able to help you with this!

Not every solar panel is created equally. Always buy from a reputable dealer that has been in business for a number of years. The solar energy marketplace is littered with businesses that do not succeed. Make sure the company you buy from will be around if you need help or have problems with your system.

Solar energy systems allow you to cut your ties to the outside world. You can go completely off grid with one of these systems. You will not have to pay monthly fees or wonder who is watching your power use. You can increase your level of privacy while saving the environment and your money. Solar heating panels Barnsley are an example of a company that knows an awful lot about this – and they should, they install a lot of them!

As a business entrepreneur, you want people to look at your business in the best possible light. One way to show your customers and potential customers that you are doing your part to be eco-friendly is by choosing to run your business with solar energy. This will help appeal to those who are conscientious about the earth.

Don’t cheap out on the installation! Yes, you’ve spent a lot of hard earned cash on these solar panels, but that’s the point entirely. You’ve made a huge investment, and you’ll want these panels to be secured perfectly. If you opt for someone with less experience or a spotty track record to save a bit of cash, then you’ll likely have lots of issues in the future. Again, solar panels Barnsley are the right people to do the job!

Solar energy has a useful place in our lives. From powering small items, to making an entire home or building light up. Everyone can use solar energy to make their lives easier, including you. When it comes time for you to use solar energy, keep the featured advice from above in mind.

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Fashion Tips!

Fashion has endless possibilities. That means that, no matter what your fashion sense, you can put together a look that is completely and utterly you. Whether you lean towards the classics like raybans or like to partake of all the latest trends, this article will help you be a true fashion powerhouse.

If you have to wear stockings, make sure that you wear some that fit you very well and are not too large or too small. Wearing the wrong size can make you very uncomfortable and it does not look good for you if you have to adjust them in public areas. A top garment design agency Wakefield will have some in stock that are right for you.

Black is a good basic color to wear with other colors, but do not concentrate on wearing black all the time. While wearing black on the bottom half of your body can be somewhat slimming, make sure you jazz your style up by adding something colorful on your upper body, like mens police sunglasses that often have blue lenses. The websites of design agencies west yorkshire will have plenty of examples for you to look at.

Read fashion magazines at least once a month. If you want to stay up to date on what is hot and what is not you need to do your research. Fashion magazines will keep you informed through each season and as trends develop. If you feel that you ate still missing out there are television shows dedicated to fashion as well.

If you are starting to go gray, try using a vegetable dye. As long as it is just a few strands that are causing anxiety, this product should do the trick. It turns the gray a shade that is a tad lighter than the rest of your hair. Using vegetable dye will make it look as though you have nice, new highlights and will then fade out over about three months.

Wear light colors when you go out on a sunny summer day. Light colors reflect the sunlight and will keep you cooler. Dark colors tend to retain heat and can make you hot. Clothing in white is the most ideal for a warm day in the summer because it reflects light the best. Don’t forget sunglasses when you’re out in the sun – quality sunglasses are great for this as the lenses will have proper UV protection.

Go shopping with friends and help each other pick out clothes. Your friends can be your best resource when it comes to choosing the right outfits to wear. You want the people closest to you to help you because they are the ones that are going to help you look your best.

Now that you have learned the basics about fashion, you are armed and ready to be the fashion icon that you want to be. From classic to trendy, any look is achievable with the right advice. Use what you have learned to put together a look that is truly you. Who knows, one day you might have your own fashion blog like this one – website design wakefield might be just the people to put it together for you!

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Birthday Banners

The combination of an in house design team and wide format machines means that a print company could make you a truly excellent and unique birthday banner. Luckily, this is a really popular combination of facilities at print companies these days, and even new companies starting their own websites offering outdoor banner printing or banner design, are also incorporating the combination of designers and wide format machines in their business plan (a lot will be doing flyer printing with this setup!). With out a designer, print companies are reliant on customer artwork (which is often wrong, especially with banner printing as resolution is often insufficient), online design software (which the customers often can’t be bothered to use) or freelance designers, who often lack the flexibility to do quick amends because they are not in the building and easily contactable.

So, if you’re designing a birthday banner, where do you start? Well, photos of the person in question are usually very popular. These can often be supplied as jpegs, or sometimes you’ll need to scan photos that the customer will provide. Either way, you’ll have something to work with pretty quickly. Wording can usually be as simple as “Happy 50th Birthday John” – and rarely much more than that. Colours should be suitable for the sex of the person, with pink (of course!) being very popular for girls and ladies. After that, a few nice patterns or some balloons, presents etc can be the finishing touch, and absolutely all you need to create a design that the customer will really love. Most of your designs can actually be quite similar, but because all of your customers won’t know each other they won’t know that their banner isn’t quite as unique as they might have thought! I don’t think that this is dishonest though – by adding their pictures and creating the text to their spec you are still supplying something great.

The chaps at Supaprint do a lot of Birthday banners and are proud to say that all of their banners are truly unique – it’s VERY rare that any elements are shared between designs. The designers say that this keeps their jobs interesting and keeps their design skills sharp – lucky for their customer! I’ve seen their design (for banners and flyers), and they are certainly some of the best out there. With their fast turnaround and competitive pricing, they are certainly one of the companies that you should check out. They do have a Facebook page, and they post a lot of their designs there – check them out and see what you think!

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