Why does my business need a mobile app

Whether you have seen a mobile app for another business or you have read about them I hope to help with reasons why a mobile app would be good for your business, club or school.

What can an app do for my business?

  •  An app helps build brand loyalty, all business owners desire brand loyalty. With a mobile app your business can stay in direct contact with your clients or members. You can stay engaged with customers and keep them informed about your business activities, events and special offers, or in the case of schools inform parents of events, school closures or information regarding their child.
  •  A mobile app allows you to present information, services and products to your customers through a medium that people use and have with them constantly, this provides your business with an excellent affordable tool to inform and market to your customer base at any time.
  • A mobile app provides you with a ready revenue stream allowing your business to reach an audience that you normally wouldn’t reach through other means of marketing (97% of messages are read), people are always searching for the easiest and fastest way to get the information, products and services they want.
  • Customers always have their phone with them, no matter what they are doing people are always fiddling with their phones or tapping away on a tablet, this means that people can search, buy, browse or share at any time of the day or night regardless of where they are or what they are doing, with an app your business will always be available to them.
  • An app will keep you ahead of the competition, whilst your competitors may not have an app at this time, you could, here at Activ we have made developing and launching an app more affordable allowing you to reap the benefits with a sensible ROI, allowing you to engage with customers, build brand loyalty and be on the cutting edge of technology.

Why wait, your customers are using mobile devices everyday browsing for products, services, booking appointments, purchasing goods and much much more, how many people these days book a hotel or visit a restaurant without first reading the reviews, looking at on-line maps to see where it is, what the parking is like or what’s on the menu?. For the price of a couple of adverts you could have the latest technology advertising only your business.

If you would like any help or advice with your web presence or would like more information on cloud contact us.

At Activ Web Design (Yorkshire) we have over 25 years experience of producing custom software.

If you would like to get more information please visit http://www.activwebdesignhull.co.uk/activ-apps.html

Alternatively if you would like us to discuss your software requirements contact me at:

Tel: 07850 009750
Email: dave.rowland@activwebdesign.com
Website: www.activwebdesignhull.co.uk/activ-apps.html
Twitter: @activmobileapps

Tell me and I’ll forget, show me and I will remember, involve me and I will understand (old Chinese proverb).

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Low Cost Ways To Promote Your Business

Starting a business on a shoestring? or just looking for ways to stretch a small business marketing budget?

Here are some low-cost, high-impact ideas to promote your business.

Most important
Plan your attack, define who your prospects are, and then determine the best way to reach them, be as specific as possible, is the decision maker the CEO of the company or a working mom? will you find them on Twitter, Google Plus, Pinterest or Facebook?.

What about networking at local business meetings? will they be searching for your type of product on Google or eBay?  do you want to start promoting your business to them at the start of their buying cycle, or when they’re about ready to make the purchase, write your answers down and most importantly read them before you start any new marketing campaign.

YOU MUST – Have a website, if you don’t have one get one plain and simple.

Set your business up in the free listings and local directories, be sure to include your website link  (you do have one don’t you?) and business description.

Then
Create a business profile page on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. make sure your business profile includes a good description of what you do, why you are different, and why customers should come to you, make sure you have the right keywords and a link to your website.

Look for groups or conversations that talk about your type of products or services and participate in the conversations, but don’t spam them with constant adverts for what you sell.

If you’re just starting out and don’t have a business card and business stationary, get them as soon as possible, your business card, letterhead and envelope tell prospective customers you are a professional who takes your business seriously.

Be sure to list your website address on your business card and, letterhead and any handouts you create.

Get your business cards into the hand of anyone who can help you in your search for new clients, call your friends and relatives and tell them you have started a business, visit them and leave a small stack of business cards to hand out to their friends.

Talk to all the suppliers who you buy products or services from, give them your business card, and ask if they can use your products or services, or if they know anyone who can. If they have bulletin boards where business cards are displayed (printers often do, and so do some supermarkets, hairdressers, etc.), ask if yours can be added to the board.

Attend meetings of professional groups,and groups such as the Chamber of Commerce, 4 Networking, BNI, or civic associations, have your business cards ready and don’t forget to ask other people about their business, not only will they appreciate your interest, they will remember you because of it.

You may need to pay for membership in those groups but if they attract your target customers it is worth it, many of these groups have a website where members can promote their business, make sure your name and website link get added as soon as possible. Once it is added double check to be sure your contact information is correct and your website link isn’t broken.

If possible become actively involved in some of these groups, this will add to your credibility and give you more opportunity to meet possible prospects. however, opportunists are quickly spotted for what they are, and get little business.

Whilst you don’t want to become involved in many groups that require a lot of your time, you are after all running a business, you can and should make a real contribution to them by offering useful ideas and helping the groups success when possible.

Look for something unusual about what you do, and publicise it, send out press releases to local newspapers, local radio stations and magazines whose audiences are likely to be interested in buying what you sell, be sure to post the press releases on your website or blog too, being sure to include links to your website in the release.

To increase your chance of having the material published, send along a photo (not the radio stations 🙂 ) with your press release, editors of printed publications are often in need of photos to fill space and break up the gray look of the page.

Write an article that demonstrates your expertise in your field.Send it to noncompeting newspapers, magazines, and websites and blogs in your field that accept submissions from experts, be sure your name, business name, phone number, and a reference to your product or service is included at the end of the article.

If the editor can use the article you get your name in print, and possibly get your contact information printed for free which helps drive traffic to your site.

Whenever you do get publicity, get permission from the publisher to reprint the article containing the publicity.

Ask for work or leads, contact nonprofit organizations, schools and colleges, and even other businesses that have customers who may need your services.

Network with others who are doing the same type of work you are, let them know you are available to handle their work overloads, but don’t try to steal their customers you will only get away with it once and it will do your reputation no good at all.

If you are confident enough, offer to be a speaker at industry conferences or local business groups they often need speakers for meetings, you will benefit from the name recognition, contacts and publicity.

If your product or service is appropriate, give demonstrations of it to any groups or individuals who might be interested.

Put videos of your product or service on YouTube and other video-sharing and slide-sharing sites, this is highly effective when it comes to SEO and your website.

Find out what local government programs are in existence to help you get started in business, most offer free counseling, and some can put you in touch with government agencies and large corporations that buy from small businesses.

Send out sales letters to everyone you think might be able to use what you sell, be sure to describe your business in terms of how it can help the prospect. Learn to drop a business card in every letter you send out, follow up periodically with mailings (email or post).

If you use a car or van for your business have your business name, contact and website information professionally painted on the sides or back of the vehicle that way your means of transportation becomes a vehicle for advertising your business, if you don’t want the business name painted on the vehicle, consider using magnetic signs or stickers.

Get on the telephone and make “cold calls.” these are calls to people who you would like to do business with, briefly describe what you do and ask for an appointment to talk to them about ways you can help them meet a need or solve a problem, but don’t forget when you make these calls that they are also trying to run a business.

Get samples of your product or your work into as many hands as possible.

Offer a free, no obligation consultation to people you think could use your services, during these consultations offer some practical suggestions or ideas.

Learn to ask for referrals ask existing customers, prospects and casual acquaintances, when you do get them follow them up.

Use other people to sell your product or service in addition to selling your products yourself, look for affiliates, re sellers or people who will generate leads for you in return for a commission on sales, be sure your pricing structure allows for the fees or commissions you will have to pay on any sales that are made.

Get together with businesses who serve the same market, but sell different products and services to you, arrange to exchange leads.

Have sales letters, flyers and other information printed and ready to go.

Trial Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising on the search engines. some offer a voucher or code worth £50 to £75 in free advertising to start, however, know how they work before you start and plan very carefully watch what you spend on a daily or more frequently until you are comfortable using PPC ads and make sure you monitor the return on your investment.

If you would like any help or advice with your web presence or would like more information on cloud contact us.

At CodeSpinnewe have over 25 years experience of producing custom software.

If you would like to get more tips, or would like to receive a free 90 page eBook on Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) please visit http://www.codespinner.co.uk/free-ebook.html

Alternatively if you would like us to discuss your software requirements contact me at:

Tel: 07850 009750
Email: info@codespinner.co.uk
Website: http://www.codespinner.co.uk/
Twitter: @CodeSpinner

Tell me and I’ll forget, show me and I will remember, involve me and I will understand (old chinese proverb).

Tips on improving your copywriting skills

Now is the time to start taking advantage of all the existing and emerging social media platforms currently available to you. Whether you are a business looking after your own social media campaigns, or a consultant working on behalf of a client, it important to get it right and this is where learning even the basics of copywriting skills will pay dividends.

Social media has been around for some time, initially these were great platforms to help build brand awareness and gain user interaction in fact they still are, however, in some instances they can be used to help drive traffic and improve conversion rates as well as playing a huge part in a business’s rankings with the many search engines.

Now is the time to start taking social media more seriously, whether it’s getting the basics right, or in understanding social media strategies, the following copywriting tips are worth remembering when using any media platform:

Spelling and Content

There is nothing worse than visiting a site that contains spelling mistakes or content that doesn’t read well, from a business perspective this will at best this makes the company look unprofessional and careless and at worst it can put a stop to any user interaction, rendering the whole process pointless.

Don’t beat about the bush

Whether you are writing a full page or trying to tweet a message in 140 characters or less, it is important that the message is to the point, any followers will simply lose interest if the message is “wordy” and not to the point, this doesn’t mean avoid having a personality it just means be clear and concise in what you are trying to convey.

Don’t lose the connection

Keep a clear connection between your brand image and social media personality it is an all too common mistake for many brands using social media, for example, a company may have the perception of being vibrant, new and exciting, but their social media activity may not reflect this, so write in a way that will enhance your brand image, whatever that may be.

Be creative!

It is important to focus on getting the user to click on a link, or to look at something you have shared, one way to do this is to be a little more creative with your posts or tweets, so instead of tweeting, “Here are some copywriting tips”, you could create more interest for example by saying, “For tips on improving your copywriting skills, follow this link”.

Make time!

It is all too easy to forget about updating social media content, especially if you are busy, however, every little helps, one way is to set yourself reminders to send out a tweet or update your status at various intervals during the day even if you can’t find time to post a full article.

Set aside some time to actually engage in online conversations with others, the more “active” you are the better this will be for your company’s exposure.

Most of all – Enjoy it!

The whole point of social media is to engage with others this is why it is important to enjoy the experience and not go for the hard sell which will put people off.

Potential customers or clients would rather take time to talk and engage with a company that is actively seeking their interaction rather than abruptly trying to push their products or services onto them.

Above all have fun! this will show in the way you write and the way other people perceive you or your business don’t see it as a chore but rather an integral and important part of online marketing.

At CodeSpinnewe have over 25 years experience of producing custom software.

If you would like to get more tips, or would like to receive a free 90 page eBook on Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) please visit http://www.codespinner.co.uk/free-ebook.html

Alternatively if you would like us to discuss your software requirements contact me at:

Tel: 07850 009750
Email: info@codespinner.co.uk
Website: http://www.codespinner.co.uk
Twitter: @CodeSpinner

10 Top SEO Tips

Content must be unique.
You need to provide content that is unique it’s no good copying content from other sites the search engines will look at identical content and work out who created it.

Add new content all the time.
Sites that are adding content on a regular basis are seen as more reliable this also helps you to increase the amount of relevant content on your site, which in turn improves your rankings.

Keyword Analysis
The first thing you should do when working on search engine optimization is find which keywords and phrases to use for your site. Keyword analysis is an on-going task in SEO

Choose a keyword phrases that are popular, but not too popular.
When trying to decide on a keyword phrase, you want to find one that is popular but not extremely popular. This may seem counter-intuitive, but the reality is that extremely popular keywords are very desirable and so very competitive. It’s better to try to optimize for keywords that you can rank higher with. You will generate more page views from a less popular keyword when you are on the first or second page of the search engines, than from a popular keyword that only gets you on to page 50 of the search engines.

Create an accessible site.
Makes sure the HTML is accessible to both search engine spiders and screen readers. The more accessible you make your pages, the easier it will be for search engines to read and rank your pages (check the pages against http://validator.w3.org).

Use your chosen keyword phrase in your title tag.
The title tag is one of the most important tags on your Web page it is the first tag the search engines look at and is often overlooked. Placing your keyword phrase in the title tag, preferably at the beginning is very important to get that phrase into the search engines. Plus it puts your keyword phrase as the link in the search engine index.

If possible get a domain with your keyword phrase in.
Putting your keyword phrase in your domain name is a great way to optimize for that phrase.

Use the keyword phrase in your URL.
Even if you can’t get your keywords into your domain name, you can put them into your page URLs. Search engines read the URLs and assign value to the text they find there.

Use your keyword phrase often, but not too much.
The ratio of your keywords phrases to the rest of the text on your page is called the keyword density. It’s important to repeat your keywords in your document, but not too much. Keyword density should be between 3% and 7% for your primary keyword phrase and 1%-2% for any secondary keywords or keyword phrases.

Use your keyword phrase in anchor text of links.
Link text is another great place to put your keyword phrase, links stand out on most web pages, and so are given higher priority than surrounding text.

If you would like to get more tips, or would like to receive a free 90 page eBook on Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) please visit http://www.codespinner.co.uk/free-ebook.html

Alternatively if you would like us to perform the SEO tasks for you and get your site noticed contact me at:

Tel: 07850009750
Email: info@codespinner.co.uk
Website: http://www.codespinner.co.uk

Why do I need a website?

How many businesses today still remark “why do I need a website?” and how many business have a website that looks fantastic, has flash, video, sound and music, cost a fortune and doesn’t attract a single customer.

At Codespinner in Hull our local advisors are all trained in sales, marketing and website design, we do not simply employ graphic designers to make pretty looking websites. Your website should be a business tool that should benefit your business.

There are three main ways a website can help your business:

  • Save Money
  • Save Time
  • Make Money

A website is the most flexible and cost effective way to keep in contact with your customers, inform them of your latest offers/events/news. Studies have shown that regular communication with your customers will improve loyalty to your business and therefore they’re likely to spend more with your business.

At Codespinner we know exactly how to fine tune your website to your marketing activities to ensure you spend less but gain more from your campaigns.

How do you advertise currently? A website will allow you to advertise yourself 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Direct them to your website that provides full details about your business, a website provides a second shop window to attract more customers and raise the profile of your business over a greater area. Can you afford not to have one?

If you would like a free consultation with no hard sell, at a time and place of you choosing contact me at:

Tel: 07850 009750
Email: info@codespinner.co.uk
Or visit http://www.codespinner.co.uk

for all your website and online profile requirements in Hull, Bridlington and East Yorkshire

Starting a business on a shoestring

Make sure there is a demand for your service or products.

Unless you are rich and can stand the losses you don’t have room for trial and error, a business needs demand to survive and it doesn’t matter if its products you are selling or a service you are providing.  Market research is a must.

No Excess fat.

Forget the fancy office, fancy shop and the company BMW, if you can start from home if you are in the business of sales consider online or markets and fairs, rent instead of buy if you and your business are viable then the rest will come with time.

Illusion – Look bigger than you are.

Build a professional website (or have one built for you) don’t let people know you are a one man band working from home, answer the phone professionally it costs nothing look for special offers there are plenty of companies offering a batch of business cards cheap, you may get a better deal if the same company produces the rest of the stationary, haggle they need your business and expect haggling when you are selling the less expenses the better you need money coming in.

Passion

if you haven’t a passion for your business then save your money and carry on working for someone else. Believe me things are going to be hard if you are not committed then don’t do it working for yourself is hard work, you will need to go the extra mile if you are to succeed, long hours, heartache and disappointment precede a successful business.

 Balance the Books!

When possible take the cash option, you won’t have the luxury of 60 or 90 days credit, so where possible get the money from your customers as quickly as possible if your service takes time ask for a deposit or staged payments get the cash coming in and keep it that way

If you hold a stock purchase only what you can sell, avoid overstocks which are often sold later at a reduced profit or even a loss.

Reinvest.

Once the money starts coming in keep a percentage to re invest in the business, avoid taking from the business if possible the flash car will wait a month or so, remember anything sold must be replaced if you are to keep going.

Choose an online profile partner

A huge percentage of purchases are made online, in fact people research online before purchasing, all businesses these days require an online presence, we can supply a website at a fixed cost, the site will not only look good but will work for your business and regardless of the number of pages you require the price is fixed take a look at our site (Here)  to see what you get

And finally!

Good Luck!

Software Development

Fixed price web site design

2012 Business Plans

Hi,

Well christmas is over for another year, now is the time to take a long hard look at your business plans for the new year, unless you are 100% happy with your advertising. online profile or amount of business you had last year (and how many of us are 🙂 ) now is the time to get someone to look at your online profile.

At Activ we not only build fixed price web sites, but we also look at the bigger picture, sure for £499 your not going to get all the bells and whistles  but you  will get enough of them to make sure your site works for your business rather than just sit there looking pretty. Companies can spend a fortune on a web presence which their web designer tells them they need, it will probably look fantastic with images gliding gracefully across the screen whilst christmas video’s play in the corner and snow gently slides down the screen but chances are, after 6 months the site will still be looking just as pretty and still not generating business for you. just look at some of the highest grossing sites, amazon.co.uk, is it the best looking site you ever saw?, how about PC World, Argos to name but a few, the difference between these companies is that their site are built to a) work for the business and b) be easy to use by the customer, do you visit these sites to sit and look at the graphics or sit and watch a 5 minute video of their products whizzing around the screen.. No and they know that.

The point I am trying to make is if you want a site that works hard for your business then come and talk to us (Activ) , if you want the site to just look pretty we probably can’t help you.

We offer a full range of help and advice to make your online presence the best we can from fixed price wesites £499, to full e-Commerce sites at £999 as well consultancy, photography in fact everything you need online.

Happy New Year!

For all you online profile advice and web sites in Hull and Bridlington Codespinner Ltd

or call 07850 009750, email: info@codespinner.co.uk

Created Twitter…

Created Twitter & Facebook accounts ready for the Activ franchise areas to build websites in Hull & websites in Bridlington also setup ready for Activ Rotherham Social watch this space….

Dave Rowland Blog

Dave Rowland

Welcome to the CodeSpinner blog. The intention is to blog about all things software and web design…..

I fully intend to work for myself, I have built the site (Here) so they will come! also have an Activ web design franchise, have a time limited job so hopefully things will fall into place.

The reason for the web design franchise is two fold, I started Codespinner with the intention of supplying bespoke software to small to medium sized businesses, the decision to go with Activ as well is more of a safety net it allows me to supply fixed price websites, standard or e-commerce with little or no debugging. The Activ web design software allows me to virtually drag and drop websites to the customer’s specification with virtually no coding.

The advantage to me is hopefully a quick turnaround of a boilerplate affordable site, with what should become the “bread & butter” of the Codespinner business, the advantage to the customer is that they know exactly how much the site will cost.